Digimon (デジモン Dejimon ), short for "Digital Monsters" (デジタルモンスター Dejitaru Monsutā ), is a media franchise encompassing anime, manga, toys, video games, trading card games and other media. The franchise's eponymous creatures are monsters of various forms living in a "Digital World", a parallel universe that originated from Earth's various communication networks.
Conception and creation
Rivalry with Pokémon
Digimon's history has been marked at times by rivalry with the Pokémon media franchise that debuted at a similar time. Described as "the other 'mon'" by IGN's Juan Castro, Digimon has not enjoyed Pokémon's level of international popularity or success, but has maintained a dedicated fanbase. IGN's Lucas M. Thomas stated that Pokémon is Digimon's "constant competition and comparison", attributing the former's relative success to the simplicity of its evolution mechanic as opposed to Digivolution. The two have been noted for conceptual and stylistic similarities by sources such as GameZone. A debate among fans exists over which of the two franchises came first. In actuality, the first Pokémon media, Pokémon Red and Green, were released initially on February 27, 1996 in Japan; whereas the Digimon virtual pet was released on June 26, 1997.
Digimon hatch from eggs called Digi-Eggs or Digitama. In the English iterations of the franchise there is another type of Digi-Egg that can be used to digivolve, or transform, Digimon. This second type of Digi-Egg is called a "Digimental" in Japanese. They age via a process called "Digivolution" which changes their appearance and increases their powers. The effect of Digivolution, however, is not permanent in the partner Digimon of the main characters in the anime, and Digimon who have digivolved will most of the time revert to their previous form after a battle or if they are too weak to continue. Some Digimon act feral. Most, however, possess large amounts of intelligence and human speech. They are able to digivolve by the use of Digivices that their human partners have. In some cases, as in the first series, the DigiDestined (known as the 'Chosen Children' in the original Japanese) had to find some special items such as crests and tags so the Digimon could digivolve in another further stages of evolution known as Ultimate and Mega in the dub.
The first Digimon anime introduces the Digimon life cycle: They age in a similar fashion to real organisms, but do not die under normal circumstances because they are made of reconfigurable data. Any Digimon that receives a fatal wound will dissolve into infinitesimal bits of data. The data then recomposes itself as a Digi-Egg, which will hatch when rubbed gently, and the Digimon goes through its life cycle again. Digimon who are reincarnated in this way will sometimes retain some or all their memories of their previous life. However, if a Digimon's data is completely destroyed, they will die.
Virtual pet toy
Digimon started out as a digital pet called "Digital Monster", similar in style and concept to the Tamagotchi. It was planned by Wiz and released by Bandai on June 26, 1997. The toy began as the simple concept of a Tamagotchi for boys (as Bandai was also the creator of the Tamagotchi). The V-Pet is similar to its predecessors, with the exceptions of being much harder and being able to connect to fight other Digimon v-pets. Every owner would start with a Baby Digimon, train it, evolve it, take care of it, and then have battles with other Digimon owners to see who was stronger. The Digimon pet had several evolution capabilities and abilities too, so many owners had many different Digimon. In December, the second generation of Digital Monster was released, followed by a third edition in 1998.
On March 6, 1999, the franchise was given an anime as the first of the Digimon movies aired in theaters in Japan. Originally, the Digimon Adventure movie was supposed to be a short film, but after the storyboard was finished, a request for Digimon becoming a children's television show was made. On March 7, 1999, they began airing a television counterpart titled Digimon Adventure.
Four further series would follow, each with their own tie-in movies, and the series was dubbed for release in western markets in the fall of the same year. The show spawned card games, with Hyper Colosseum in Japan and later Digi-Battle in America, and more video games. The animated series is easily the best-known segment of the Digimon universe and responsible for the majority of its popularity.
"Digimon" are "Digital Monsters". According to the stories, they are inhabitants of the "Digital World", a manifestation of Earth's communication network. The stories tell of a group of mostly pre-teens, the "Chosen Children" (DigiDestined in the English version), who accompany special Digimon born to defend their world (and ours) from various evil forces. To help them surmount the most difficult obstacles found within both realms, the Digimon have the ability to evolve (Digivolve). In this process, the Digimon change appearance and become much stronger, often changing in personality as well. The group of children who come in contact with the Digital World changes from series to series.
As of 2010, there have been six series — Digimon Adventure, Digimon Adventure 02, Digimon Tamers, Digimon Frontier, Digimon Savers and Digimon Xros Wars. The first two series take place in the same fictional universe, but the third, fourth, fifth and sixth each occupy their own unique world (in the case of Digimon Tamers, the Adventure universe is referred to as a television and commercial enterprise, as well as the appearance of one character hailing from the Adventure universe). In addition, each series has spawned assorted feature films. Digimon still shows popularity, as new card series, video games, and movies are still being produced and released: new card series include Eternal Courage, Hybrid Warriors, Generations, and Operation X; the video game, Digimon Rumble Arena 2; and the previously unreleased movies Revenge of Diablomon, Runaway Locomon, Battle of Adventurers, and Island of Lost Digimon. In Japan, Digital Monster X-Evolution, the eighth TV movie, was recently released, and on December 23, 2005 at Jump Festa 2006, the fifth series, Digimon Savers was announced for Japan to begin airing after a three year hiatus of the show. A listing of Digimon straps revealed the existence of a sixth television series.
Digimon was produced by Toei Animation and Bandai of Japan. The series were broadcast in Japan by Fuji Television. The first four series were called Digimon: Digital Monsters in international markets, whilst Savers was released as Digimon Data Squad.
Digimon Adventure (Season one)
The first Digimon television series, which began airing on March 7, 1999 in Japan on Fuji TV and Kids Station and on August 14, 1999 in the United States on Fox Kids dubbed by Saban Entertainment for the North American English version. Its premise is a group of seven kids who, while at summer camp, travel to the Digital World, inhabited by creatures known as Digimon, where they become the DigiDestined and are forced to save both the Digital and Real World from evil. Each Kid was given a Digivice which selected them to be transported to the Digital World and was destined to be paired up with a Digimon Partner, such as Tai being paired up with Agumon and Matt with Gabumon. The children are helped by a mysterious man/digimon named Gennai, who helps them via hologram. The Digivices help their Digimon allies to Digivolve into stronger creatures in times of peril. The Digimon usually reached higher forms when their human partners are placed in dangerous situations, such as fighting the evil forces of Devimon, Etemon and Myotismon. The group consisted of seven original characters: Taichi "Tai" Kamiya, Yamato "Matt" Ishida, Sora Takenouchi, Koushiro "Izzy" Izumi, Mimi Tachikawa, Joe Kido, and Takeru "T.K." Takaishi. Later on in the series, an eighth character was introduced: Hikari "Kari" Kamiya (who is Taichi's younger sister).
Digimon Adventure 02 (Season two)
The second Digimon series is direct continuation of the first one, and began airing on April 2, 2000. Three years later, with most of the original DigiDestined now in high school at age fourteen, the Digital World was supposedly secure and peaceful. However, a new evil has appeared in the form of the Digimon Emperor (Digimon Kaiser) who as opposed to previous enemies is a human just like the DigiDestined. The Digimon Emperor has been enslaving Digimon with Black Rings and Control Spires and has somehow made regular Digivolution impossible. However, five set Digi-Eggs with engraved emblems had been appointed to three new DigiDestined along with T.K. and Kari, two of the DigiDestined from the previous series. This new evolutionary process, dubbed Armor Digivolution, helps the new DigiDestined to defeat evil lurking in the Digital World. Eventually, the DigiDestined defeat the Digimon Emperor, more commonly known as Ken Ichijouji on Earth, (who is more or less a rival to Davis) only with the great sacrifice of Ken's own Digimon, Wormmon. Just when things were thought to be settled, new Digimon enemies made from the deactivated Control Spires start to appear and cause trouble in the Digital World. To atone for his past mistakes, Ken joins the DigiDestined, being a DigiDestined himself, with his Partner Wormmon revived to fight against them. They soon save countries including France and Australia from control spires and defeat MaloMyotismon, the digivolved form of Myotismon from the previous series.
Digimon Tamers (Season three)
The third Digimon series, which began airing on April 1, 2001, is set largely in a "real world" where the Adventure and Adventure 02 series are television shows, and where Digimon game merchandise (based on actual items) become key to provide power boosts to real Digimon which appeared in that world. The plot revolves around three Tamers, Takato Matsuki, Rika Nonaka, and Henry Wong. It began with Takato making his very own Digimon by sliding a mysterious blue card on his card reader, which then became a D-Power. Guilmon took form from Takato’s sketchings of a new Digimon. (Tamers’ only human connection to the Adventure series is Ryo Akiyama, a character featured in some of the Digimon video games and who made an appearance in some occasions of the Adventure story-line.) Some of the changes in this series include the way the Digimon digivolve, and the way their "Digivices" work. In this series, the Tamers can slide cards through their "Digivices", which give their digimon certain advantages, such as in a card game. This act is called "Digi-modify" (Card Slash in the Japanese version). The same process was often used to Digivolve the Digimon, but as usual feelings plays a big part in the digivolving process. Unlike most Digimon series where the tone is set mostly in a way to appeal to young children, Tamers took a darker tone in nature.
Digimon Frontier (Season four)
The fourth Digimon series, which began airing on April 7, 2002, radically departs from the previous three by focusing on a new and very different kind of evolution, Spirit Evolution, in which the human characters use their D-Tectors (this series Digivice) to transform themselves into special Digimon called Legendary Warriors. After receiving unusual phone messages, the five main characters go to a subway station and take a train to the Digital World. They end up fighting Cherubimon and his group of Legendary Warrior servants, hoping to foil his effort to dominate the Digital World. Later on, they face an even greater challenge as they try to stop the Royal Knights—Dynasmon and Crusadermon—from destroying the Digital World and using its data to revive the original ruler of the Digital World: the tyrannical Lucemon. In general, Frontier has a much lighter tone than that of Tamers, reverting to the style of Adventure and Adventure 02.
Digimon Savers / Data Squad (Season five)
After a three year hiatus, a fifth Digimon series began airing on April 2, 2006. Like Frontier, Savers has no connection with the previous installments, and also marks a new start for the Digimon franchise, with a drastic change in character designs and story-line, in order to reach a broader audience. The story focus on the challenges faced by the members of D.A.T.S. ("Digital Accident Tactics Squad"), an organization created to conceal the existence of the Digital World and Digimon from the rest of mankind, and solve any Digimon related incidents occurred on Earth in secret. Later the D.A.T.S. team is dragged between a massive conflict between Earth and the Digital World triggered by an ambitious human scientist determined to make use of the Digimon to his own personal gains. The English version was dubbed by Studiopolis and it premiered on the Jetix block on Toon Disney on October 1, 2007. Digivolution in Data Squad requires the human partner's DNA ("Digisoul" in the Japanese version) to activate, a strong empathy with their Digimon and a will to succeed. Like previously in Tamers, this plot takes on a dark tone throughout the story.
Digimon Xros Wars (Season six)
Three and a quarter years after the end of the fifth season, a new sixth series has been confirmed by Bandai for the Digimon anime. The official name of the series was revealed in the June issue of Shueisha's V Jump magazine. It aired in Japan on TV Asahi - July 6, 2010. The story is labelled as a Digimon war like nobody has ever seen before. Reverting to a style in character designs similar to the first four seasons, it follows the adventures of Taiki Kudo, a dependable and selfless boy who is unwillingly drawn to the Digital World along two of his friends, and with a small group of digimon they befriend, he forms an alliance named "Team Xros Heart" created with the intention of restore order to a fragmented Digital World and stop the efforts of other factions prone to counquer it by force. To aid in their battles, Taiki makes use of the "Xros Loader", a special digivice whose main function is to temporarily fuse two or more digimon together in a stronger one with special abilities.
There have been nine Digimon movies released in Japan. The first seven were directly connected to their respective anime series; Digital Monster X-Evolution originated from the Digimon Chronicle merchandise line. All movies except X-Evolution and Ultimate Power! Activate Burst Mode have been released and distributed internationally. Digimon: The Movie, released in the U.S. and Canada territory by Fox Kids in October 6, 2000, consists of the union of the first three Japanese movies.
- Digimon Adventure (Part one of Digimon: The Movie)
- Digimon Adventure: Our War Game (Part two of Digimon: The Movie)
- Digimon Adventure 02: Digimon Hurricane Touchdown / Supreme Evolution! The Golden Digimentals (Part three of Digimon: The Movie)
- Digimon Adventure 02: Diablomon Strikes Back (Revenge of Diaboromon)
- Digimon Tamers: The Adventurers' Battle (Battle of Adventurers)
- Digimon Tamers: Runaway Digimon Express (Runaway Locomon)
- Digimon Frontier: Revival of the Ancient Digimon (Island of Lost Digimon)
- Digital Monster X-Evolution
- Digimon Savers - The Movie: Ultimate Power! Activate Burst Mode!!
- Digimon Savers 3D: The Digital World in Imminent Danger!
- Digimon Adventure 3D: Digimon Grandprix!
Versions outside Japan
In the United States, the series premiered in August 1999 on the Fox Television Network. It was dubbed by Saban Entertainment (later Sensation Animation), and was initially broadcasted through Fox Network's Fox Kids and Fox Family. The first four series were collectively retitled Digimon: Digital Monsters. Some scenes from the original version were omitted from the Saban dub, or were modified, in order to comply with Fox's Standards and practices which considered several scenes to be inappropriate for the target age group. Often dialogue was changed, and the show became less "Serious" in tone compared to the Japanese version, instead featuring more jokes and added dialogue, along with a completely different musical score, due to licensing issues. Another noticeable change in the dub is using different voice actors for different forms of a certain Digimon, whereas in Japan, the voice actor merely changes the tone of his/her voice, sometimes being altered for effect. The latter often results in a high-pitched childish voice for an otherwise monstrous or masculine form.
After Disney acquired Saban during the third series, the first three series moved to the cable network ABC Family, while the fourth (Frontier) premiered on UPN. This was due to a deal between Disney and UPN which concluded with Digimon Frontier. Frontier was syndicated on ABC Family shortly after that. Digimon continues to run in syndication on the new channel after Toon Disney, Disney XD. Digimon Data Squad has now started to air on Disney XD.
In Canada, the Saban version was broadcast on YTV. In the U.S. insular area of Puerto Rico, the show was redubbed in Spanish, and in Quebec (where Digimon Adventure aired on TQS, and Digimon Adventure 02 on TÉLÉTOON), the show was redubbed in French. A French version of Digimon Tamers was aired in France, but not in North America.
In the United Kingdom, Digimon aired on Fox Kids cable/satellite channel and on ITV. However, Digimon Frontier (the fourth series) has not been shown in the UK, and the show, including series 1, 2 and 3, hasn't been seen on UK television since late 2005, when Jetix took it off the air. However Digimon Data Squad has recently begun airing in the UK on KiX!. It also aired in countries such as Ireland, South Africa, Malaysia, Australia, Mexico, Argentina, Chile and others.
The Latin American, Brazilian, Spanish, German and Italian versions of Digimon are completely uncensored and uncut from the original Japanese edition. In Latin America and Brazil, Digimon Adventure, Digimon Adventure 02, Digimon Tamers and Digimon Frontier were aired on Fox Kids and later on Jetix until early 2005, the year in which all of the series were taken off the air. As June, 2009 Digimon Data Squad has not been aired yet in Latin America. Starting on July 4, 2009, reruns of Digimon Frontier are being aired on Disney XD Latin America, and in Brazil, TV Globo aired Digimon Savers from August to September 2009. Disney XD started to air Digimon Data Squad in 2010 on that country.
This show also aired in the Philippines in early 2000 on ABS-CBN. It would air Friday nights at 7:30PM. ABS-CBN hired Filipino voice actors to dub the show in English. This dubbing is mostly true to the original. Though they used the original Japanese show as the medium for the dub, some of the voices seem to sound like the U.S. version (e.g., Taichi having an adolescent's voice instead of a kid's) or completely original to the dubbing crew (e.g., Gabumon's deep, grumbly voice). The entire first series of Digimon Adventure was dubbed in English (in order to compete with the 4Kids version of Pokémon which aired on the rival network GMA 7 on the same day and time), along with Digimon Adventure 02. The second series aired on a new Saturday morning block at 10 A.M. two weeks after the first series finale. This series was dubbed in both English and Tagalog, so that it would be compatible with the other shows in the block. Cartoon Network Philippines began airing Digimon Tamers around 2003, then Digimon Frontier late in 2004. This time, the show, along with some of the other anime that aired with it, was dubbed by Singaporean voice actors. Tamers and Frontier were dubbed in Filipino when both series aired on ABS-CBN on its weekday morning line-up of animated shows (Tamers first followed by Frontier after a few months). Digimon Savers began airing in the country on September 8, 2008 and has currently ended. However, in January 2008, Hero started to broadcast the Digimon series with Digimon Adventure. The series which is currently shown on Hero is Digimon Adventure.
Digimon first appeared in narrative form in the one-shot manga “C'mon Digimon”, released in the summer of 1997. C'mon Digimon spawned the popular Digimon Adventure V-Tamer 01 manga, written by Hiroshi Izawa, which began serialization on November 21, 1998.
Digimon Adventure V-Tamer 01
Yuen Wong Yu manhua
A Chinese manhua was written and drawn by Yuen Wong Yu (余 遠鍠 Yu Yuen-wong), who based its storyline on the television series. This adaptation covers Digimon Adventure in five volumes, Digimon Adventure 02 in two, Digimon Tamers in four, and Digimon Frontier in three. The original stories are heavily abridged, though on rare occasions events play out differently than the anime.
Two English versions were also released. The first one was published by Chuang Yi in Singapore. The second one, which was written by Lianne Sentar, was released by TOKYOPOP in North America.
The three volumes for Digimon Frontier have been released by Chuang Yi in English. These have not been released by TOKYOPOP in North America or Europe. However, the Chuang Yi releases of Digimon Frontier were distributed by Madman Entertainment in Australia.
Dark Horse Comics published American-style Digimon comic books, adapting the first thirteen episodes of the English dub of Digimon Adventure in 2001. The story was written by Daniel Horn and Ryan Hill, and illustrated by Daniel Horn and Cara L. Niece.
The European publishing company, Panini, approached Digimon in different ways in different countries. While Germany created their own adaptations of episodes, the United Kingdom (UK) reprinted the Dark Horse titles, then translated some of the German adaptations of Adventure 02 episodes. Eventually the UK comics were given their own original stories, which appeared in both the UK's official Digimon Magazine and the official UK Fox Kids companion magazine, Wickid. These original stories only roughly followed the continuity of Adventure 02. When the comic switched to the Tamers series the storylines adhered to continuity more strictly; sometimes it would expand on subject matter not covered by the original Japanese anime (such as Mitsuo Yamaki's past) or the English adaptations of the television shows and movies (such as Ryo's story or the movies that remained undubbed until 2005). In a money saving venture, the original stories were later removed from Digimon Magazine, which returned to printing translated German adaptations of Tamers episodes. Eventually, both magazines were cancelled.
The Digimon series has a large number of video games which usually have their own independent storylines with a few sometimes tying into the stories of the anime series or manga series. The games consists of a number of genres including Life Simulation, Adventure, Video card game, Strategy and Racing games though they are mainly Action role-playing game. The games released in North America are: Digimon World, Digimon World 2, Digimon World 3, Digimon World 4, Digimon Digital Card Battle, Digimon Rumble Arena, Digimon Rumble Arena 2, Digimon Battle Spirit, Digimon Battle Spirit 2, Digimon Racing, Digimon World DS, Digimon World Data Squad, Digimon World Dawn and Dusk and Digimon World Championship.
In late 2009, Bandai created a webpage in Japanese showing a new game to be released in 2010 called Digimon Story: Lost Evolution, which uses the same engine as their predecessors Digimon World DS and Digimon World Dawn and Dusk and will be released on July 1, 2010. In February 2010, a website for the online multiplayer game, Digimon Battle, was launched, showing it to be based primarily in the world of the Tamers saga and its characters.
The Digimon Collectible Card Game is a collectible card game based on Digimon, first introduced in Japan in 1997 and published by Bandai. The card game is also put into games. Digital Card Battle is one of them and it's also featured in Digimon World 3.
- Akiyoshi Hongo: Maker of the original Digimon concept.
- Hiroyuki Kakudō: Director of Digimon Adventure and Digimon Adventure 02.
- Yukio Kaizawa: Director of Digimon Tamers and Digimon Frontier.
- Naozumi Itō: Director of Digimon Savers.
- Jeff Nimoy: U.S. Director of Digimon Adventure, Digimon Adventure 02 and Digimon Data Squad (Savers).
- Mary Elizabeth McGlynn: U.S. Director/Writer/Editor of Digimon Tamers and Digimon Frontier.
- Chiaki J. Konaka: Head writer of Digimon Tamers.
- Hiroshi Izawa: Author of the Digimon Adventure V-Tamer 01 manga.
- Tenya Yabuno: Illustrator of the Digimon Adventure V-Tamer 01 manga.
- Yuen Wong Wu: Writer and illustrator for the Digimon manhua series.
- Takanori Arisawa: Composer of the Japanese versions of Digimon Adventure, Digimon Adventure 02, Digimon Tamers and Digimon Frontier.
- Keiichi Oku: Composer of Digimon Savers.
- Shuki Levy: Composer for the English language releases of Digimon Adventure, Digimon Adventure 02 and Digimon Tamers.
- Deddy Tzur: Composer for the English language release of Digimon Frontier.
- Thorsten Laewe: Composer for the English language release of Digimon Savers.
- Paul Gordon: Co-Composer for the English language theme song.
- Kouji Wada: Performer of the opening themes of Digimon Adventure, Digimon Adventure 02, Digimon Tamers, Digimon Frontier, the second opening theme of Digimon Savers, and the evolution song of Digimon Xros Wars
- Digimon card game
- Digimon: The Movie
- Digimon virtual pet
- List of characters in the Digimon World series
- List of Digimon
- List of television programmes broadcast by ITV
- ↑ Digimon RPG. Gamers Hell. Retrieved on July 26, 2010
- ↑ Castro, Juan (May 20, 2005). E3 2005: Digimon World 4. IGN. Retrieved on April 4, 2010
- ↑ Thomas, Lucas M. (August 21, 2009). Cheers & Tears: DS Fighting Games. IGN. Retrieved on April 4, 2010
- ↑ Bedigian, Louis (July 12, 2002). Digimon World 3 Review. GameZone. Retrieved on May 1, 2010
- ↑ DeVries, Jack (November 22, 2006). Digimon World DS Review. IGN. Retrieved on May 8, 2010
- ↑ Related Games. GameSpot. Retrieved on May 8, 2010
- ↑ What Is Digimon?. Retrieved on September 5, 2006
- ↑ New Digital Monsters/Digimon TV Anime Listed - Anime News Network
- ↑ Template:Citeweb
- ↑ Template:Citeweb
- ↑ ANIME, MANGA Y TV
- ↑ Data Squad (TV) - Anime News Network
- ↑ Lianne Sentar's Other Published Works/Works List
- ↑ Horn, Daniel; Ryan Hill (2001). Digimon: Digital Monsters. illustrated by Daniel Horn, Cara L. Niece. Dark Horse Comics. ISBN 1-56971-516-5.
- ↑ http://digimonbattle.wemade.net/main/main.asp
- Bandai of America's Digimon Site
- JETIX U.S. Digimon Data Squad website
- Official website of the video game series
- Toei Animation's Digimon Adventure website
- Toei Animation's Digimon Adventure 02 website
- Toei Animation's Digimon Tamers website
- Toei Animation's Digimon Frontier website
- Toei Animation's Digital Monster X-Evolution website
- Toei Animation's Digimon Savers website
- Toei Animation's Digimon Xros Wars website
- Fuji TV's Digimon Adventure website
- Fuji TV's Digimon Adventure 02 website
- Fuji TV's Digimon Tamers website
- Fuji TV's Digimon Frontier website
- Fuji TV's Digimon Savers website
- TV Asahi's Digimon Xros Wars website
- Bandai of Japan's Digimon website
- Legal provider of "Digimon 02" streaming
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