A young boy named Ash has dreams of becoming a Pokemon Master. Starting off with his first Pokemon, Pikachu, he embarks on an adventure with his friends Brock and Misty that will take him all over the Kanto, Johto, and Orange Islands regions to battle other Pokemon trainers and earn gym badges. However, along with other honest Pokemon trainers, Ash will also cross paths with villains like Team Rocket that seek to steal his Pokemon for nefarious reasons.
You want to be the best like no one ever was? You will need a lot more than the Pokemon anime to get there. Why not try some of these anime recommendations?
For Fans of Monster Battling
When a group of kids head to summer camp, things don’t turn out exactly as planned. In the middle of July it begins to snow and they receive these strange devices that end up transporting them to the digital world. Inside, the children each receive a digital monster as a companion, but not all monsters in the digital world are as nice as their new friends.
Digimon and Pokemon. Pokemon and Digimon. Wars have been waged over which is better, but ultimately they are both the same. If you like watching monsters battle each other while the kids pretty much just stand there and watch, this is a fine series to get into.
One day, completely useless college student Minato Sahashi collides with a beautiful girl named Musubi. She is a Sekirei, a powerful humanoid that descended to earth. She is fleeing from two of her own kind and suddenly kisses Minato to awaken her true power. Due to his special genes, Musubi askes Minato to stay by her side and fight in a survival game between the Sekirei. The winner gets to ascend to the higher sky, but the fate of the Earth might just hang in the balance as well.
While Sekirei’s are not technically monsters, they are strong fighters and need a human companion in order to power up to their full potential. Naturally, this is a bit more stacked with fan service and aimed towards an older audience, but it is essentially Pokemon with pretty girls.
After playing too much Monster Rancher, Genki is zapped into their world. There he meets a girl named Holly and a whole slew of unique monsters. Together they embark on a journey to revive the great monster Phoenix, the only one capable to taking on a great evil that threatens to consume the world.
In Monster Rancher, the monsters tend to be more like friends than the slaves they are in Pokemon. However, the essence is the same. Both kids are cheery and use their monsters to do the fighting, but the overall plot of Monster Rancher is different.
After freeing a mysterious creature named Whisper from its prison, the thankful Youkai decides to become young Keita Amano’s guardian against supernatural forces. However, Whisper is not the only Youkai in the world. Youkai Watch follows Keita and Whisper as the encounter different Youkai and try to fix all the problems they cause.
You know what they say, Youkai Watch is the new Pokemon. Both based on video games, Youkai Watch feels extremely similar to Pokemon in almost every way. However, there is no Team Rocket and Keita tends to roll with a smaller crew, but they are essentially the same thing.
For Fans of Young Adventurers / Poor Parental Supervision
Hunter X Hunter
In the world, all dangerous tasks are shouldered by Hunters, whether it be hunting for lost treasure or exploring new territory. However, in order to become a Hunter, one must pass a dangerous test with a low rate of success. Twelve-year-old Gon is determined to become the best hunter possible and find his lost father. Along the way, he realizes that the path to his goal will not be quite so easy as it seemed.
While Hunter X Hunter gets more mature, both anime series feature a young kid leaving home to follow his dreams. Along the way, they must fight in tournaments, gain friends, and overcome their rivals.
Thirteen-year-old Tyson and his team mates have a dream of becoming the best Beybladers in the world. With the help of their team genius and powerful BitBeasts, they might just have a chance. Follow the team as they battle powerful opponents and struggle to reach their goal.
Aside from often being paired in the same time block with Pokemon, Beyblade also features a main character that travels with his friends to fight and grows more successful in his field. Both have strong rivals and also aim to be the very best.
One day while in the woods, a boy named Hunter Steel falls into a hole and gets transported to the Inner World. Here, brave humans battle insect armies atop spiders to keep the outer world safe. When Hunter arrives, he is summoned by the Oracle and asked to help unseal her power. Pairing up with Spider Shadow, Hunter seeks to become a member of the Spider Riders and bring peace to this world.
Although a little more grandiose in character designs, both Spider Rider and Pokemon feature two rather bright-eyed and bushy-tailed protagonists that want to grow stronger and are paired with non-human companions to do so. However, the difference is that Hunter does a little more fighting than Ash.
For Fans of The Power of Friendship! Yeah!
After solving the mysterious Millennium Puzzle, high school student Yugi Motou suddenly finds himself aided by a mysterious alter ego. While trying to unravel the mystery of this other Yugi, Yugi and his friends find themselves battling powerful opponents in the competitive card game Duel Monster where the opponents seeks to steal the Millennium Puzzle. As the stakes mount, so do the questions about the Millennium Objects and this other Yugi.
Ash wants to become Pokemon Master, Yugi wants to become a master duelist. For both to achieve those ends, they need to collect stronger monsters or cards. In both shows, monsters are summoned through some medium and both shows focus on the main group making both new allies and enemies.
Persona 4 the Animation
Yuu Narukami is the new kid to Inaba. At school he hears a rumor that if you look at a blank TV screen at midnight, you will see the face of your true love. However, when Yuu watches it, he sees a woman getting killed. In an attempt to watch it again, Yuu finds himself able to enter the TV world, a place filled with shadows that can only be fought by personas, awakened manifestations of the user’s true self.
Persona is essentially the more mature, darker version of Pokemon. Much more psychological and with a fair bit of violence and sexual content, Persona 4 is for a different age group, but remains strangely similar. Unlike Pokemon where everyone can have multiple companions, in Persona 4, only Yuu can use a variety of different Personas, the rest of his friends only have the one.
Reiji Ozora gets hooked on a new virtual reality game called Dragon Drive by a friend. In this game, each player is paired with a dragon companion. Hoping for something huge and fierce, Reiji is disappointed when he is paired with Chibi, a dragon cuter and smaller than he is. However, it turns out that Chibi is one of the rarest dragons in the game. Together with his new friend, Reiji must train, for the world has nefarious plans for Dragon Drive.
While not quite as adventure-oriented as Pokemon, both shows have the same feel. Whereas Ash has companion options, Reiji only has Chibi, but throughout the series the pair continue to get stronger.
Have your own recommendations for anime series like Pokemon? Tell us about it in the comments section below.