is a popular Japanese series of media and merchandise, including anime, manga, toys, video games, trading card games and other media. Digimon are monsters of various forms living in a "Digital World", a parallel universe that originated from Earth's various communication networks.
Digimon hatch from eggs called Digi-Eggs/Digitamas(In the English language 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, and Digimon who have digivolved will most of the time revert back to their previous form after a battle or if they are too weak to continue. Some Digimon act feral-like. 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 season, the tamers had to find some special items such as crests and tags so the Digimon could digivolve in another stage called ultimate then mega.
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 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. Now the new Tamagotchi Digimon is Pendulum that has a total of 9 in the series. Bandai also has released a Non Related Digimon Tamagotchi.
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 season to season.
As of 2006, there have been five series — Digimon Adventure, Digimon Adventure 02, Digimon Tamers, Digimon Frontier, and Digimon Savers. As is obvious from their titles, the first two seasons take place in the same fictional universe, but the third, fourth, and fifth each occupy their own unique world (in the case of Digimon Tamers, the Adventure universe is referred to as a television and commercial enterprise). 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 Diaboromon, 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.
Digimon is produced by Toei Animation and Bandai of Japan. The series are broadcast in Japan by Fuji Television. It is still unknown if a 6th season will be made.
Digimon Adventure (Season One)
The first Digimon television series, which began airing on March 7, 1999 in the United States on Fox Kids
. Its premise is a group of young humans 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 child 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
, for example, Tai was paired up with Agumon and Matt was paired up with Gabumon. The children are helped by a mysterious man/digimon named Gennai, who helps them by 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: Tai Kamiya
, Matt Ishida
, Sora Takenouchi
, Izzy Izumi
, Mimi Tachikawa
, Joe Kido
, and T. K. Takaishi
. Later on in the season, an eighth character was introduced: Kari Kamiya
(who is Tai'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 season. 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 evolved form of Myotismon from the previous season
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-Arc
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 season include the way the Digimon digivolve, and the way their "Digivices" work. In this season, 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". 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 Digivices
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
—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 back to the style of Adventure
and Adventure 02
Digimon Savers (Data Squad)
After a three year hiatus, a fifth Digimon series began airing on April 2, 2006. Like Frontier
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 dub premiered on the Jetix
block of Toon Disney
at October 1, 2007 at 8:30 PM. The Digivolve scene in Savers
is also different, requiring something called Digi-Soul
, and the Tamers must chant "Digisoul Charge!!" to Digivolve their Digimon, or "Digisoul MAX!!" to Digivolve them to Burst Mode.
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.
In the United States, the series premiered in August 1999 on the Fox Television Network
. It was dubbed by Saban
(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 Fox 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.
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 and PAX Network in other areas. 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 U.S. JETIX block daily on Toon Disney. Digimon Data Squad has now started to air on Jetix.
The show also premiered in other parts of North America. 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.
It aired internationally as well. In the United Kingdom, Digimon aired on the UK Fox Kids (now JETIX) cable/satellite channel and also on CiTV. It also aired in countries such as Ireland, South Africa, Malaysia, Australia, Mexico, Argentina, Chile and others. However, due to poor ratings and licensing mistakes in the change from Fox Kids to Jetix, Digimon Frontier (the fourth season) has not been shown in any shape or form in the UK, and has been absent from the schedules of Jetix's UK incarnation since the beginning of 2005.
The Latin American, Brazilian and German versions of Digimon are completely uncensored and uncut from the original Japanese edition.
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 season 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 season aired on a new Saturday morning block at 10 A.M. two weeks after the first season finale. This season was dubbed in both English and Tagalog, so that it would be compatible with the other shows in the block. In 2003, Cartoon Network Philippines began airing Digimon Tamers around 2003, then Digimon Frontier late 2004. This time they, along with some of the other anime that aired with it, were dubbed by Singaporean voice actors. Tamers and Frontier were dubbed in Filipino when both series aired on ABS-CBN this year 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.
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, 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.
The Cantonese language version was published by Rightman Publishing Ltd. in Hong Kong.
An English version was released by Chuang Yi in Singapore and 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.
Video games (United States)
In the United States, there are eleven digimon games. The earliest ones are for the Sony PlayStation
console. (See 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
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 Kakudo: 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.
- 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 and the second opening theme of Digimon Savers.