Monster Rancher

TV review by
Brian Camp, Common Sense Media
Monster Rancher TV Poster Image
A mediocre Pokemon clone with cartoon battles.

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 3 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages
Violence & Scariness

Cartoonish, video game-style violence, mostly implied. Lots of battles between "good" and "bad" monsters.

Sexy Stuff

This show is based on a video game and will likely encourage viewers to get and play the game.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the best that can be said about this series based on a video game is that it is a clone of Pokemon and Digimon: Digital Monsters. It ranges from grating to merely adequate. It's probably best to stick with the far superior originals, but if your child decides this series is right for them, it's best to know that there are a lot of battles, though cartoonish in nature, and that the show may encourage kids to get the video game.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byHolly R. December 22, 2017

Definitely not a "Pokemon clone" and darker story

Like the only other adult reviewer mentioned, it's not a Pokemon clone. Even the game that is mentioned by the reviewers play nothing like Pokemon. And I a... Continue reading
Adult Written bynduns October 24, 2009

Okay, I just gotta say this

It seems every time a show about pet monsters is made, EVERYONE calls it a Pokemon clone without a second thought. Monster Rancher is nothing LIKE Pokemon. Do... Continue reading
Kid, 10 years old March 25, 2021

Calm down

This is an underrated show. I just love the positive messages and awesome fighting scenes there are. Genki, Suezo, Mocchi, and more are very likable characters.... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byrenoni December 15, 2018

terrible its a pokemon rip off ...again..

WHY WHY there needs to be more cashgrabbing pokemon wanna be anime , it gets annoying! I dont even watch pokemon , but it makes me cringe a lot when thers other... Continue reading

What's the story?

Borrowing shamelessly from both Pokémon and Digimon, this four-part series follows a young video gamer who finds himself in an alternate world where humans and "good monsters" are allied in a fight against "bad monsters." After first gaining success as a video game, the Japanese-animated TV series Monster Rancher premiered in both Japan and the U.S. in 1999. Appealing mainly to adolescents, the stories are wildly varied in tone, but distinguished by slick, colorful animation and several exciting action scenes. Still those who might be interested in this series would probably be better sticking with the Pokémon series.

Is it any good?

The animation is fairly attractive, although it lacks the directness and purity of Pokémon: I Choose You Pikachu and the overall polished design of Digimon. Each episode is interrupted by a brief rap interlude, in which the singer urges viewers to "unlock your disk," a reference to the means by which monsters trapped in disks are freed. The voice-acting by the English dubbing cast ranges from grating to merely adequate.


This series of four videos starts with Vol. 1: Let the Games Begin! and ends with Vol. 4: The Problem with Pixie.

Fast Friends and Fiendish Foes is probably the best of the lot, which isn't saying much. It still contains a good deal of uneven story telling.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how this series tries to mirror Pokemon and Digimon. Why do you think the creators tried to copy them, and what are the advantages and disadvantages to coming up with completely original material? Can you think of other "copycat" examples, in film/videos, video games, TV programs, and even books?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love cartoons

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