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- Feb 4, 2018
I think the problem with the pets is that there’s a fundamental disconnect between the pet art and the lore art. The pet art does a good job of making you feel like it’s a creature that needs to be nurtured while the official art and lore portrays sentient beings that wouldn’t need a human for care and that looks like they could and would easily kill you.Is it the V-Pets? Probably should be, right? That's where it all started. That's what they're consistently churning out. I have my own opinions on why that's not an ideal thing to build a brand on, but if they do I'd love it if they built it more...substantially. Less like a generic chachki and more something you can market globally. I love the lore and character design of Digimon, but you can't even experience the latter in their core product line. Would you be able to pick out one V-pet sprite from another? If I gave you 4 sprites would you be able to correctly match them to their names? Maybe? Probably not, because it would be a trick question and one of the 4 provided names wouldn't be there.
This disconnect doesn’t happen in Tamagotchi where all the sprites save early Mametchi look exactly like the concept art.
I’ve often wondered if the sprite forms most Digimon have should be canonized as official alternate voxel forms every Digimon has ala Dot Agumon, with the Dot forms potentially replacing the overuse of Child Digimon in most media.
To another extent, Bandai cannibalized it virtual pet audience in the west. In Japan, Tamagotchi is marketed almost exclusively towards girls with Digimon filling in the space of an “Otokochi” or “Boys Tamagotchi”. But in Europe and America Tamagotchi was re packaged as a more gender neutral toy in the early years with American Tama art being redesigned in a chalk art style to look more like a child’s notebook drawing instead of girlier pets.
I think this made Digimon virtual pets seem unnecessary in the west. Even if like Japan Tamagotchi’s rare us releases eventually relented and adopted Japanese art which had hyper focused even more on girls over the decades (early Tama characters were gender neutral and more animal like, later Tama are basically Bratz dolls and all their biographies now talk about how they all love fashion, shopping, and chasing after boys).