Pokémon versus Digimon has always been a heated topic among fans of either franchise. Despite sharing the “mon” moniker and having somewhat related premises, both series are very dissimilar in many ways. That makes it hard to quantify how to pit one lineup against the other. Pokémon are animals with the power to control the elements, while Digimon are digital creatures with the strength to conquer the world. Some Pokémon are literal gods that rule over time and space, though most are essentially pets with above-average intelligence (unless you’re Alakazam). Meanwhile, Digimon are fully sentient and can speak human languages.
Furthermore, the Digimon franchise is allowed to get darker with its storylines and has genuine stakes. None of the actual Pokémon in the games, shows, or movies are in danger. Every Pokémon battle ends with the Pokémon fainting, getting knocked out, or quitting. Comparing the two is almost like comparing apples and oranges; they are different enough that it’s difficult to contrast the two. When trying to figure out which is more powerful, Pokémon or Digimon, it’s best to go through each franchise’s history and see how each franchise deals with power-scaling for its monsters.
Pokémon History and Power-scaling
Pokémon should theoretically be able to destroy land and buildings with little effort, especially if we are considering Pokédex entries as fact. Pokédex entries state several pieces of information about Pokémon that suggest the species are capable of doing the impossible. However, Pokédex entries are often inconsistent and don’t match how some Pokémon are presented in media. If Magcargo’s body is 18,000 degrees Fahrenheit as the Pokédex states, that would mean Magcargo is hotter than the surface of the sun. Likewise, Alakazam’s Pokédex entry reads that it is constantly growing its IQ, which is impossible for any living being to have that much intelligence.
Normal Pokémon are not shown to be a threat to the general human population. In contrast, Digimon are always shown to be a danger to the general human population, destroying public property and endangering human lives. Despite the intensity of some Pokémon battles, trainers and other onlookers are never in harm’s way when standing close by to a Poké fight. Pokémon are also easily tamed by a simple Poké Ball.
The average Pokémon will not prove a threat, but it becomes tricky determining the real strength of all Pokémon when taking into consideration of the god Pokémon. Legendary Pokémon like Arceus, Dialga, Palkia, and Giratina are gods of the Pokémon world, with Arceus considered the creator of the universe. When it comes down to theological hierarchy, you can’t get any higher than a god.
Digimon History and Power-scaling
The Digimon mythology and rules are not as consistent as Pokémon, with the former constantly rebooting itself in alternate timelines. In most media, Digimon often poses a threat to public safety. While Pokémon battles are common occurrences within the Poké World, the reality where Digimon inhabit is not too different from real life. When Digimon fight on the streets, it’s taken more seriously because they can hurt people and cause destruction. Some of the eviler Digimon can cause some technology to go haywire and cause mass panic. For instance, Diaboromon gains access to nuclear weapons and aims them at Japan in Digimon: The Movie.
Related: 5 best Digimon games, ranked
Many Digimon are capable of Digivolution, with some of the strongest Digimon able to Digivolve three times. Each proceeding evolution is stronger than the previous. The levels of Digimon forms are Rookie (base form), Champion, Ultimate, and Mega. Mega Digimon have the strength to topple cities and cause all types of massacres. Even a rookie-class Digimon like Agumon can be a danger to people if he doesn’t have a Digimon Tamer to keep him in check. Digimon: The Movie shows the type of destruction a simple Agumon can do.
There are several fractions of Digimon in the Digimon World, with the strongest fractions worshiped as almost deities. The Celestial Digimon are angels that protect God’s domain, and the Royal Knights are armored Digimon that act as the judge and protectors of the Digimon World. The Royal Knights consist of the 13 strongest Digimon like Omnimon (Omegamon in Japan). The almighty tree known as King Drasil is the closest thing to a god that the Digimon mythos has. That said, King Drasil doesn’t feature the same power of literal creation as Arceus showcases within the Pokémon franchise.
In the end, if you’re facing off an average Pokémon against an average Digimon, the Digimon will likely have the edge. There are many powerful Pokémon that can keep up with some Mega Digimon, but on the whole, the strongest normal Digimon are more powerful than the strongest normal Pokémon. For example, Charizard is a powerful Pokémon, yet the mighty lizard Pokémon is nowhere near the same level as Agumon’s Mega Digivolution, WarGreymon. Some Legendary Pokémon like Mewtwo and Rayquaza can take on most Mega Digimon yet will come up short when facing off the more deity-like Digimon.
If we’re comparing the entire race of both species, then it becomes more complicated. Even though Digimon has many almighty monsters that rule over the Digimon World, there are Legendary Pokémon that are on the same scale as gods. Arceus is said to be the creator of the whole Pokémon universe, making its strength unfathomable. Neither Pokémon nor Digimon can compete against that level of unimaginable strength. If Arceus is among the Pokémon lineup facing the Digimon lineup, then the Pokémon lineup has the clear edge. However, if Arceus isn’t in the lineup, then the Digimon side will have the edge.