Digimon

From Academic Kids

Digimon (Japanese: デジモン, Romaji dejimon) was originally a dueling digital pet ("digi pet"), or tamagotchi, called "Digital Monster" created by Bandai on June 26th, 1997, although it had been clear that Bandai had been planning Digimon since the beginning of that year. The Digital Monster toy was an enormous success, and in November, four different colors of the toy were released. In December of the same year, the "Digital Monster Version 2" was released.

Digimon first appeared in illustrated form with the advent of the one-chapter manga, C'mon Digimon, which was released in summer 1997. C'mon Digimon then spawned the popular 58 chapter Digimon Adventure V-Tamer 01 manga, which began on November 21st, 1998, and ended in August 21st, 2003. V-Tamer was the last of the Japanese Digimon manga. Digimon first appeared in game form on January 28th, 1999, with the release of the popular Digimon World game for Playstation.


Contents

TV series

Main article: Digimon: Digital Monsters (anime)

On March 6th, 1999, the franchise was given animated form, with the first of the Digimon movies airing in theaters, and the next day the first Digimon television series, Digimon Adventure, began in Japan. There were three more series to come, all with their own tie-in moves. The show spawned card games, with Hyper Collosseum in Japan and later, Digi-Battle in America, and more video games. The animated series is easily the best-known fragment of the Digimon universe, and responsible for the majority of its popularity worldwide.

"Digimon" are "Digital Monsters". According to the stories, they are creatures who inhabit the "Digital World", a parallel universe that is in part a manifestation of Earth's communication network. The stories tell of a group of pre-teens (known as the "Chosen Children" or DigiDestined in the dub) who accompany special Digimon born to defend their world (and ours) from various evil forces. To help them overcome the most difficult obstacles found within both realms, the Digimon have the ability to evolve (Digivolve in the dub). In this process, the digimon may change appearance and personality, and become much stronger. The group of children who come in contact with the Digital World changes from season to season.

As of 2004, there are four series: the first two make one storyline, while the latter two (Tamers and Frontier, respectively) have unrelated plots. The third series makes reference to the television and commercial enterprises of the first two. In addition, there are several movies based in the Digimon universe, the most recent being Digital Monster X-Evolution, released on January 6th, 2005 in Japan. This new segment in the Digimon saga was entirely done in CG animation, but included all the familiar voice actors from previous series. Rumors have abounded as to the creation of a fifth and possibly even a sixth season (with the story continuing the third series or following the X-Evolution storyline), but this turned out to be misconception forged from the announcement of the new manga and video game series. Currently, there is no new seasons of Digimon anime planned for development.

Digimon is produced by Toei Animation and Bandai of Japan. Originally, the series were exhibited on Japan's Fuji Television. In the United States, the series was dubbed by Saban, and was initially broadcasted through Fox Network's Fox Kids and Fox Family, but after Disney's acquisition of Saban during the third series, the first three series stayed on ABC Family and the fourth premiered on UPN, farmed out as part of a deal between Disney and UPN, which concluded with Frontier's end, leading to the season being re-run on ABC Family. In Canada, the show was broadcast on YTV. The animated series was also shown across the world, which includes countries such as South Africa, Malaysia, Australia, Puerto Rico, Argentina and others. Assorted fansubs and dubs for the series also exist, with focus having been on the undubbed movies.

The movies

Digimon: The Movie, released in the US territory by Fox Kids in October 2000, consists of the union of the first three Japanese movies. Those stories are based in the universe introduced in the first two seasons of the TV series. The five have yet to be released in America, but it is now apparent that the fourth through seventh are currently in production.

Digimon Adventure (The movie)

The first story focused on Taichi Yagami (Taichi "Tai" Kamiya in the English version) and Hikari Yagami (Hikari "Kari" Kamiya in the English version) four years before their adventure in the Digital World. It shows their first encounter with Digimon and what happened to them (as well as the other children) when they participated in their first digimon battle after raising a quickly growing Botamon. In the story, that Digimon hatches from a Digi-egg and eventually evolved into Greymon to fight a Parrotmon who appeared in the city. The movie was used in episodes of Digimon Adventure to explain why Taichi and company became the Digidestined in the first place.

Digimon Adventure: Our War Game

The second story shows many of the Digi-destined, but only four end up saving the day when a computer virus Digimon raises havoc all over the world through the Internet. The kids must stop the evil digimon quickly before he provokes the launching of nuclear warheads aimed at Japan (where the kids are). Taichi and Yamato Ishida (Yamato "Matt" Ishida in the English version) end up getting so worried about their Digimon (in the form of WarGreymon and MetalGarurumon) badly losing to the evil Digimon, Diablomon/Diaboromon that they actually phase into the Internet and mysteriously give them the power to destroy the enemy in time. Both Digimon merge, evolving into the powerful Omegamon/Omnimon. However, Diablomon/Diaboromon is still too fast, until Koushiro Izumi (Koushiro "Izzy" Izumi in the English version) comes up with the idea to redirect e-mails that they are receiving from children watching the battle to slow him down, allowing Omegamon/Omnimon to finish him off just before the missiles hit. In the end, the deactivated missiles land harmlessly in the water.

Digimon 02: Digimon Hurricane Touchdown/Supreme Evolution! The Golden Digimentals

The last story involves the next generation of Digi-destined children after they travel from Japan to the U.S.A. and meet up with Wallace (Willis in English version), helping him to stop the menace of an enigmatic threat. As a kid, Wallace was given two twin digimon, one of which, Kokomon, mysteriously disappeared without a trace, returning later as the ruthless Wendimon. Takeru ('T.K.') and Hikari ('Kari') are the first ones to encounter Wendimon in New York while they are visiting Mimi; he kidnaps Mimi (she disappears before Takeru and Hikari's eyes) along with the rest of the older Digi-Destined and begins to de-age them. Wallace eventually explains his connection to Wendimon and that Wendimon wants to see Wallace again, which was why the Digimon kidnapped the older Digi-Digidestined -- because they, like he, have Digivices.

But when Wendimon evolved to Antylamon, and then Cherubimon, he de-aged Wallace and the younger Digi-Destined as well. Wallace figures out that his Digimon's urge for things to go back to the way there were litterally meant to make Wallace a kid again. After the battle is over, Cherubimon is defeated and the older Digi-Destined reappear at the points they disappeared from. In the end, Wallace discovers that his digimon was still alive after the fight, ready to be reborn from a Digi-egg.

  • The American compilation of this & the two previous movies claims that Wallace 'created' Diablomon in an attempt to create a continuous storyline; in reality, the third movie is not even considered canon to the show's plotline. The compilation also cuts the de-aging of the older children & battles from the third movie in order to shorten the film. Also for the dubbed version of the third movie all the images of that were shown of the older Digi-Destined at the beginning of the dubbed film were actually what they were doing when they disappeared.

Digimon 02: Diablomon Strikes Back

In this movie that takes place three months after BelialVamdemon's (MaloMyotismon's) defeat, the Digidestined go up against Diablomon again. Taichi ('Tai') and Yamato ('Matt') head back to the Internet to deal with him with Omegamon, while the younger Digidestined go to deal with the rampage of a swarm of Kuramon (Diablomon's Baby I form). With the help of Angemon and Angewomon (with Takeru ['T.K.'] and Hikari [Kari]), Omegamon was able to destroy Diaboromon again...but it turned out to be a trap, as his destruction allowed many more Kuramon to go to the real world. Things go out of control when the Kuramon in the real world merge to create a Mega level called Armagemon (Armageddemon), an alternate Mega in Diablomon's evolutionary line. It is so powerful that neither Omegamon nor Imperial Dramon were able to defeat it on their own. In the end, Omegamon gives his energy to ImperialDramon Fighter Mode, powering him up to Paladin Mode. Using his Omega Blade attack, ImperialDramon is able to strike down Armagemon, splitting him back up into the Kuramon. With the help of the energy from the Digi-Destined Digivices and the cell phones from the other kids of Japan, the Omega Blade is powered up, allowing all of the Kuramon to be destroyed for good. This is notable for being the only movie that has Ken in it.

Digimon Tamers: The Adventurers' Battle

Takato visits his cousin Kai in Okinawa, only to learn of an evil plan conducted by Mephismon/Mephistomon. Early mistranslated promo information cemented the idea that this movie was out of continuity with the series, but in the finished movie, there is very little to suggest that this could be true. Given that Kai goes on to appear later in the series itself, and knows who Guilmon is at the time, would suggest that the movie is in continuity.

Guest characters

Digimon Tamers: Runaway Digimon Express

This takes place after the series finale (though this is never explained in the film); in it, the Tamers try to stop a train-Digimon named Locomon, who was being controlled by Parasimon. The movie served to provide insight on Ruki.

Digimon Frontier: Revival of the Ancient Digimon

The last of the TV-based Digimon movies, but is not in continutiy with the show (we can deduce this thusly: Takuya becomes BurningGreymon, hence it occurs after episode 12, but Bokomon does not have Seraphimon's egg, so it's before episode 13 - but Zoe becomes Kazemon in the movie, and at this point in the series, she does not have her Spirit to enable her to do so. Hence, not in continuity). Takuya and company end up on a floating island in the middle of a civil war between human and beast Digimon, instingated by an evil Digimon named Murmuxmon. Murmuxmon was posing as the leader of each side in the war so that he could free an anicent evil that the Ancient Warriors, Ancient Greymon and Ancient Garurumon had defeated.

Guest characters

Digital Monster X-Evolution (eighth movie)

"Digimon X-Evolution" (subtitled "The 13th Royal Knight" on much official material, but not in the movie itself) is the first Digimon movie entirely in CGI.

The movie spans 75 minutes, making it the longest Digimon movie up to date. The story takes place in the Digital World, chronicling the adventures of Dorumon. It is based, to some degree, on Digimon Chronicle, the mini-manga and storyline accompanying the Pendulum X (digital pets) in Japan.

CD dramas

Digimon 02: Michi E No Armor Shinka

The 1st CD Drama, it takes place two months after the battle with MaloMyotismon. In a attempt to get some chocloate from the girls, Daisuke ('Davis') tried to change his image. He emulates Yamato ('Matt') & Koushirou ('Izzy'), both ending badly. As for the girls (Hikari ['Kari'], Mimi, & Sora), they end up as hostages of Boltmon, a Digimon who just wants a heart. After Pucchiemon settled things with Boltmon & Daisuke's ('Davis') issue (When he posed as Ken's 'Digimon Kaiser' persona), the gang faced the mastermind who used Boltmon, Pukumon. Thanks to a Dark Tower, the Chosen Children had to fight him with Armor Digimon; Jyou ('Joe') mixed up the D-Terminals, but this allowed the team to bring forth new Armor Digimon and managed to beat Pukumon up, causing him to retreat. Boltmon took his leave as well. The entire CD was comedic in nature, though this would be the last known story in the Adventure continity.

Digimon 02: Natsu e no Tobira

Another 02 CD drama, it took place in the summer of 2003, when Daisuke & Veemon went to America to visit Mimi & Wallace. But strange things started & seem to resolve around a strange girl who's smitten with Daisuke..

Comics

C'mon Digimon

Sometime in 1997 or early 1998, a manga involving battles between more-or-less holographic Digimon was planned, but apparently never got off the ground. However, this manga was published as a special in volume two of V-Tamer, and there it was revealed the hero of this manga, Kentarou, was the source and inspiration for the design and character of Taichi Yagami, the hero of V-Tamer and the leader of the Chosen Children in the television series Digimon Adventure.

Digimon Adventure V-Tamer 01

V-Tamer was the first and longest running published Digimon manga, starting on November 21st, 1998 and ending August 21st, 2003. Taichi Yagami first appeared in V-Tamer, although he is not the same Taichi that was in the Digimon Adventure television series - V-Tamer takes place in an alternate universe. In this universe, Taichi is involved in a V-Pet tournament, where he is told he cannot play because the Digimon in his V-Pet isn't recognized as being a real Digimon. However, after the tournament is over, Taichi plays the winner of the tournament, a boy named Neo Saiba, and their battle ends in a die - something that is supposed to be impossible. Later, Taichi is summoned to the Digital World by a Holy Angemon (known in North America as Magna Angemon) called Lord Holy Angemon, and there he meets the mysterious Digimon in his V-Pet, Zeromaru the V-Dramon. Taichi and Zeromaru travel to Lord Holy Angemon's castle with the aid of Gabo the Gabumon, and there Lord Holy Angemon begs Taichi to find the five Tamer Tags and defeat the evil Demon, who has disrupted the peace of the Digital World.

Along the way, more humans are brought to the Digital World, including Neo Saiba, Rei Saiba, Sigma, Mari, and Hideto. All brought their by Demon, Neo is chosen to raise the Digimon that will hatch from the Super Ultimate egg Demon is raising, Rei Saiba, Neo's sister, who has a digimental that will allow the Demon's experimental digimon to digivolve to a level beyond Mega, and the others, called the Alias III, are to help Neo and Demon with their Digimon. Hideto's partner is an Omegamon/Omnimon, formed by the jogress of "Org" and "Meluuga", a War Greymon and Metal Garurumon; Mari's is a Rosemon, and Sigma's is a Piemon. They are all villains that eventually reform except Rei, who has no digimon partners or evil intentions.

Dark Horse

Dark Horse Comics published American-style Digimon comic books, adapting the first dubbed 13 episodes of the first animated season.

Panini

The European publishing company, Panini, approached Digimon in different ways in different countries. While Germany created their own adaptations of episodes, the United Kingdom reprinted the Dark Horse titles, then translated some of the German adaptations of second-season episodes, and finally began to print their own original stories, which appeared in both the UK's Official Digimon Magazine, and the official Fox Kids companion magazine, Wickid. These original tales danced in and around the continuity of the second animated season, before shifting to the third season, where the stories were more carefully thought out to fit between the tight storytelling of the animated series and would sometimes focusing on subject matter not covered by the show (Yamaki's past), or in the west (Ryo's story, the undubbed movies). Eventually, in a money saving venture, the original stories were removed from Digimon Magazine, which returned to printing translated German adaptations, this time of Tamers episodes. Eventaully, both magazines were cancelled.

TOKYOPOP manga

The TOKYOPOP Digimon manga is a Chinese manhua written and drawn by Yuen Wong Yu, based on the television series and brought to North America. The Chinese series covers all of the TV series in fourteen volumes, but the final three, covering Digimon Frontier, have not been released in English by TOKYOPOP.

Digimon Chronicle

Although not a manga in the usual sense, the six page story-starters sold with the Pendulum X toys are considered by some to be a Digimon manga. There are four "chapters", one sold with the Pendulum X 1.0, another with the Pendulum X 1.5, another with the Pendulum X 2.0, and the final chapter with the Pendulum X 3.0. Together with the Pendulum X toys and the official website, these tell the story of a Digital World controlled by a sentient computer named Yggdrasil. Because Digimon had multiplied so much in the past, Yggdrasil, the host computer, was unable to handle the load and the Digital Hazard occurred. Yggdrasil then created the "New Digital World", consisting of three layers for the past, present, and future - Urd, Versandi, and Skuld, respectively, and then let loose with Project Ark and the X Program to eliminate any Digimon Yggdrasil no longer wanted.

However, the Digimon adapted by obtaining a program called the X Antibody, which strengthened them, changed their form, and made them immune to the X-Antibody. Yggdrasil sent in the Royal Knights, thirteen Digimon devoted to keeping order in the Digital World, and at this point Kouta, Yuuji, and Shinji, three humans, somehow found their way into the Digital World and met their partner Digimon, DORUmon for Kouta and Ryuudamon for Yuuji. Kouta and Yuuji resisted Yggdrasil and the Royal Knights, but Shinji apparently sided with Yggdrasil.

D-Cyber

The D-Cyber manga is another Chinese Digimon manga based on the adventures of Hikaru, Masuken, and Teru. It introduces the concept of X Digimon, but their origin is different from that in the Japanese Digimon Chronicle. In short, an evil Metal Phantomon seeks to steal the Dragon Spirit from Hikaru's Digimon and use it to revive a powerful evil Digimon. In the end, it takes the power of the three Holy Knights (Omegamon, Dukemon, and Magnamon) and the power of the three Tamers to put a stop to Metal Phantomon and what he's done.

Fan Influence

As Digimon grows in popularity in both the US and Japan, the fanbase around the show and manga grows with it, becoming an entity all its own. Much like the fandom set around its sister anime Pokmon, however, it extends far beyond simply fanfiction and hentai. Entire fan-made Digimon generations have spawned from it, with their own powers and digivolution chains, as well as entire series' worth of fanfiction and [{RPGs]] utilizing these Digimon. There have also been multiple online petitions begging Bandai to continue the anime, though so far their request has gone unheeded. The most curious thing about the fan creations, however, IS the hentai, as its been continuously stated by the producers of the anime that Digimon - as living computer code - do not need to reproduce (as for the most part, they fragment into their individual fractal codecies upon death and are 'defragged' into a digiegg at a certain point in the Digital World in their lowest, weakest form) and, as such, do not require gender-specific identities or physical traits (like genitals). However, with the advancement of real-life artificial intelligence and statements made by the anime's writers contradicting those of the producers' on the subject, most fans have adopted the reasoning that Digimon CAN have genders, and create their fan works with this in mind (which proves very useful in explaining how the same characters from the anime can have different geners in a fan creation: as they are just programming, it's speculated, the individual Digimon could choose to alter the programming that dictates their gender at will, allowing for any combination of gender pairings for different Digimon to be available). This is further compounded by the theory that, unless it is fused with the Digimon's body, any clothing or armor that a Digimon wears (even after it digivolves) can be removed, allowing fans to speculate what a Digimon might look like sans armor/mask/whatever.

Notable people

Compare: Pokmon

See also

External links

English

Japanese

es:Digimon nl:Digimon ja:デジタルモンスター sv:Digimon zh:数码宝贝

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