'Digimon' Defies 'Pokemon' By Aging Up Its Main Characters

For years, Digimon and Pokemon have been in an unspoken war. The popular series have gone back-and-forth in their race, giving fans plenty of ammunition to debate over. However, it looks like Digimon is about to make a big step forward.

Sorry, Ash! While you are stuck being a pre-teen, the original DigiDestined have already rocketed through puberty and into adulthood.

Thanks to Toei Animation, it looks like Digimon is ready to explore a new part of its original series. Over the last few years, fans got a chance to meet the DigiDestined in high school thanks to Digimon Adventure Tri. Now, a new project is in the works, and it will follow guys like Tai as young adults.

As the announcement goes, the brand-new Digimon film will focus on Taichi — or Tai — as he lives his best adult life. He will be joined by Yamato (Matt) in a new story where they are both 22 years old. A set of character designs for the older heroes were shown, and anime fans couldn't help but compare the move to Pokemon.

After all, Pokemon is very famous for its decision to keep Ash Ketchum the same age. The franchise is well over 20 years old by now, but its main character has yet to grow older. When Ash was introduced way back in the anime, he was about 10 years old... and it looks like Ash still hasn't hit puberty.

While some may appreciate Ash's unchanging age, it seems netizens are excited to see Digimon deal with this big shift. Aging up Tai and Matt will allow the characters to experience more growth than they would if they stayed teenagers (or pre-teens) forever. As the pair enter adulthood, these leads will give fans a window into how adults can interact with the Digital World. So, who knows? There may be hope yet for Ash to hit puberty after all.

For those unfamiliar with Digimon, the series was originally conceived by Bandai, Toei Animation, and WiZ in 1997 as a way to capitalize on the virtual pet craze sparked by Tamagotchi. The franchise focus on its titular "Digital Monsters," monsters that live in a parallel, digital world that came from mankind's technology. The franchise had its first anime adaptation, Digimon Adventure, which focuses on a group of children known as the DigiDestined (or "Chosen Children" in Japan) that are transported to the world of Digimon and have to fight the various evil digital beasts that roam the land.

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