10 TV Shows/Anime Like ‘Pokémon’ | TheReviewGeek Recommends

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Pokémon is an imaginative monster-catching phenomenon. It’s a series that holds a special place in fans’ hearts from its wonderful video games to its child-friendly anime. Its games and anime adaptations have taken a nose dive at certain points. However, the franchise continues to delight newcomers and veterans alike.

If you’re having trouble finding anime similar to Pokémon, fear not! We’ve discovered 10 alternate shows that’ll give you a similar experience as Pokémon.

Additionally, for each anime we’ve reviewed, we’ve included a link that allows you to view our full thoughts about the series to see if it’s worth your time.

So without further ado, we present 10 TV shows that should whet your appetite when you’ve finished streaming Pokémon!

Digimon Adventure

Similarities – Colorful Worlds & Creatures

Digimon Adventure was Digimon’s answer to the Pokémon series. While both anime feature humans exploring worlds full of super-powered creatures, Digimon Adventure delivers a grander narrative with mature themes. From religion, death, and trauma, fans can expect Digimon Adventure to capture more adult-like undertones.

While Digimon Adventure feels grittier than the Pokémon anime series, the world is characters traverse feels just as magical and mesmerizing as the universe Ash Ketchum and his friends travel through. You can expect to grow attached to Digimon Adventure’s cast and see them develop into likable and complex individuals.

Digimon Adventure’s fight scenes are immaculate and exhilarating, too. If you enjoyed seeing Pokémon battle each other and loved the chemistry between Ash and his friends, then you’ll get a kick out of the mishaps Tai and his friends encounter in Digimon Adventure.

Dinosaur King

Similarities – Adventure

Dinosaur King is Pokémon but with dinosaurs. Both anime offer simplistic narratives, compelling characters, and a similar feeling of adventure. The dinosaurs in this anime range from cute to menacing upon transformation and combat each other in intense fights. While the characters feel flat at times, many fans will adore the action sequences inserted in this show.

Dinosaur King follows a boy named Max, who stumbles upon some magic stone slabs depicting dinosaurs while attending a paleontology mission with his father, Dr. Taylor. The dinosaurs call out to Max and his friends for help and revive themselves.

To make matters worse, an evil organization called the Alpha Gang travels back in time to hunt down these dinosaurs in hopes of taking over the world. Aiming to stop them, Max and his friends travel the world to obtain the dinosaurs before the Alpha Gang does.

Zatch Bell

Similarities – Story & Characters

Zatch Bell is an underrated shōnen gem. While its popularity was piqued during the early days of Toonami, it hasn’t received much acclaim like Naruto, One Piece, and Dragon Ball Z.  Like Pokémon, this anime features a protagonist who dreams of becoming his world’s great combatant for likable reasons.

The battles in this anime are top-notch and feel akin to the RPG elements established in the Pokémon anime. Like the Pokémon in the anime and games, Zatch and his Mamodo friends will grow stronger by unlocking newer and flashier moves after each bout. To help with their growth, these Mamodo team up alongside specific human partners who will read a command from their spell book to unleash their potential.

While Zatch Bell’s storyline features a similar premise to the Pokémon anime, its storyline is oozing in complexity and well-written plot twists. Furthermore, Zatch’s enemies feel more threatening and maniacal compared to the goofy villains’ Ash and his friends take down in every episode. If you’re looking for a similar anime but with more complexity, check out Zatch Bell.

One Piece

Similarities – Adventure & Superpowers

One Piece is regarded as one of the best adventure anime from Shōnen Jump. It’s about a pirate named Monkey D. Luffy who dreams of becoming his world’s Pirate King. To do so, Luffy must form his band of mercenaries and set sail across the grand line to locate the former king’s treasure called One Piece.

Like Ash, Luffy is a likable protagonist who values friendship, comfort, and exploration. Luffy’s more complex than Ash, though. This is due to the circumstances that come from his pirate lifestyle, which forces Luffy to forgo his caring facade. He’ll endure many mind-numbing and intense fights pushing him toward death.

One Piece’s world is on par with the world established in the Pokémon universe, as each island Luffy visits feels different from the last. These islands have a different sets of problems, cultures, and governments. Fans looking for a wonderfully written world should give One Piece a shot, despite its length.

Hunter X Hunter

Similarities – Adventure

Hunter X Hunter is one of Yoshihiro Togashi’s most beloved works. This anime delivers incredible storytelling, beautiful action scenes, and a charming cast of well-rounded characters. Like Pokémon, Hunter X Hunter will make you cry during its emotionally-driven scenarios and cheer during adrenaline-pumping fights.

At the same time, Hunter X Hunter feels more mature and serious than Pokémon. While Gon is as child-like as Ash Ketchum, he undergoes more horrifying and life-changing circumstances that will force him to tackle situations from an adult perspective.

On that note, the villains in Hunter X Hunter are better written and feel more threatening than the antagonists you’d find in the Pokémon anime. If you’re looking for an anime with a similar hero’s journey storyline, but matches up with your mature level of intellect, then check out Hunter X Hunter.

Sonic X

Similarities – Action & Based On Video Games

Sonic X is a fun anime based on Sonic the Hedgehog. Like Pokémon, this anime features protagonists who aren’t from the actual games. Ash Ketchum and Sonic X’s Chris Thorndyke establish wonderful relationships with the surrounding characters.

Ash is better written than Chris, as he’s shown to be more useful to his team than Chris. At the same time, Chris has some remarkable moments where he shines bright. Characters aside, these shows wonderfully capture the same exciting atmosphere fans expect from the games.

The battles Ash and Sonic endure in their shows will get anyone’s adrenaline pumping. Like Pokémon, Sonic X includes some scenarios from the games and adapts them faithfully. From Shadow the Hedgehog’s arc to Chaos, fans can anticipate Sonic X to deliver in its reimagining of classic scenes from the game.

Kirby: Right Back At Ya

Similarities – Comedy, Action, Nintendo

From a Sega franchise to a Nintendo one, we arrive at everyone’s favorite pink bundle of joy, Kirby. Kirby: Right Back At Ya was a fun adventure and comedy-driven anime that introduced new and classic characters to the franchise.

Like Pokémon, this series featured some similarities with its video game counterpart. From Kirby’s power-ups to his longtime rivalry with King DeDeDe, viewers can expect some fan-favorite abilities and character dynamics to appear in this show.

At the same time, Kirby: Right Back At Ya features some exclusive material not found in the games that will get people coming back for more. This show features a wonderful balance of action and comedy. As with other anime, the characters in this show will emote funny facial reactions to bewildering outcomes.

If you’re looking for another Nintendo-themed anime about one of its best franchises, check out Kirby: Right Back At Ya.

Animal Crossing: The Movie

Similarities – Slice of Life & Nintendo Anime

Animal Crossing: The Movie is another video game-based anime that features astounding depictions of classic Animal Crossing characters. Like the games, this movie follows a protagonist who arrives in a new village full of animal life that displays human characteristics and has human-based jobs.

The bonds this character forms with her animal villagers will remind folks of Ash’s friendship with his Pokémon. While this series lacks fights, our characters indulge in social activities like Ash does in Pokémon. From fishing for a meal to participating in festival activities, this movie offers a vibrant and fun world.

It’s these slice-of-life themed activities that bind Animal Crossing: The Movie and Pokémon together. If you loved the Pokémon anime and are a huge fan of the Animal Crossing franchise, there is a high possibility you will walk away satisfied after watching its anime.


Dragon Ball Z

Similarities – Action, Retro, Motivational Dialogue

While Dragon Ball Z is anything but happy-go-lucky, this show will certainly scratch any action fans’ itch. Whether it was Dragon Ball Z or Pokémon, both shows played a role in getting people to discover the world of anime. This series features a great amount of action with slight adventure and slice-of-life themes.

Like Ash and his Pokémon, Goku and his friends will encounter many rivals and foes that will test their strength and perseverance. Each fight helps the Dragon Ball Z characters grow and develop into formidable fighters. The techniques Goku and his friends utilize to defeat their enemy involve strategy, supernatural powers, and brute force.

Dragon Ball Z is more brutal than Pokémon. During their fights, Goku and his friends will end up with severe wounds that will push them to the brink of death. While Pokémon isn’t a stranger to tackling mature themes, it doesn’t feature violence that’s on par with Dragon Ball Z. That said, both anime feature a bundle of important life lessons that’ll stick with you for a lifetime.

If you’re looking for another retro anime to indulge in that has exhilarating action scenes, check out Dragon Ball Z.

You can read our thoughts on Dragon Ball Z in our full-season review here!

Cardcaptor Sakura

Similarities – Adventure, Fantasy, Comedy

Cardcaptor Sakura is another series from the 90s’ that captured many adolescents’ hearts. This series contains a great blend of fantasy, comedy, and adventure themes with a smidge of action on the side. While its protagonist’s adventure isn’t as grand as Ash’s, it concludes with a wonderful payoff.

At the same time, Cardcaptor Sakura doesn’t contain intense action scenes. Its protagonist Sakura doesn’t outright throw punches or kicks at her enemies. Instead, she utilizes the Clow Cards she captures to neutralize those card monsters’ abilities to make it easier for herself. In a sense, it’s similar to how Ash uses his Pokémon to fight his battles for him.

If viewers look at Cardcaptor Sakura from a certain angle, Sakura’s quest isn’t too far off from Ash’s journey. Both characters embark on a mission to capture supernatural creatures but have different reasons for doing so. While Sakura’s doing it to prevent her world from collapsing, Ash collects Pokémon to help push him closer to his goal of becoming a Pokémon master.

Cardcaptor Sakura also contains some funny jokes and facial reactions akin to the comedy you’d find in Pokémon. If you’re looking for another monster-taming adventure anime with more slice-of-life and comedic bits, watch Cardcaptor Sakura.

So there we have it, our 10 anime/TV show alternatives to watch when you’ve caught up with Pokémon!

What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!

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