English: Digimon Adventure
Synonyms: Digimon Adventure 01, Digimon: Digital Monsters
Mar 7, 1999 to Mar 26, 2000
23 min. per ep.
PG - Children
L represents licensing company
7.871 (scored by 95,258 users)
indicates a weighted score. Please note that 'Not yet aired' titles are excluded.
based on the top anime page. Please note that 'Not yet aired' and 'R18+' titles are excluded.
SynopsisSeven kids are transported to the Digital World, a strange place where digital creatures called "Digimon" reside. A group of Digimon soon befriend them and keep the kids out of harm's way. The children then discover they are the Chosen Children, which protect the Digital World from evil Digimon like Devimon and Vamdemon.
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Characters & Voice Actors
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Opening Theme"Butter-Fly" by Kouji Wada
Ending Theme#1: "I Wish" by AiM (eps 1-26)
#2: "Keep On" by AiM (eps 27-54)
Animated Series Review No.10
To this date, I will be reviewing about another Digimon series, the original Digimon Adventure, the very first installment of the Digimon animated series and the first of the two-part love story of Yamato Ishida and Sora Takenouchi.
~playing Digimon Theme by Paul Gordon... I mean, Butterfly by Wada Koji~
First Arc: Survival Into the Unknown/Devimon Arc (Episodes 1-13)
Second Arc: First Crest/Etemon Arc (Episodes 14-21)
Third Arc: The Chosen Child of Light/Vamdemon Arc (Episodes 22-39)
Fourth Arc: The Dark Masters Arc (Episodes 40-54)
Every Digimon series is known for stories that have something to do with saving certain world/s or (be it that series' Digital World or the real world)... just like some of the shonen animated series that had something to do with that kind of goal. Some are decent at most (Digimon Frontier, Digimon Adventure 02, and Digimon Xros Wars series), some are good at least (Digimon Tamers, Digimon Savers, and Digimon Adventure) and every single one of them (including the other media for the franchise) had one goal in mind - to create commercial successes for its company to sell their products - just like all of the other companies that have the same goal (and sometimes, had much more successes than Digimon, like Pokemon for instance). Sometimes, even if the gaming companies were on the competition on selling these products, I did wonder if their fans adored more on either the characters or the products, which can be either a good or a bad thing. As for me, a good/great/memorable story is much more rewarding than those toys since they can't easily be either created or destroyed, unless if I could be a collector of a certain set of these kinds of products, that is. Stories in any medium do always have the potential to give either good messages or great entertainment to its readers or viewers in order to give them meaning in life, moreso than any other products...
So, where am I?
Since I already made reviews about Digimon Tamers and Digimon Adventure 02 and Digimon Adventure tri will be released in theatres on the 21st November 2015 (in Japan, obviously), so why not reviewing the original Digimon Adventure this time around?
Digimon Adventure is a 54-episode children's anime about the extraordinary adventure of the seven (later, eight) Chosen Children, along with their destined Digimon partners as they take the responsibilities of being the chosen ones to save the Digital World and the real world from the grasp of evil... That is the entire summary of that series, no more, no less. But at least, the series was definitely good at using this overall.
This series is basically the backbone for the other Digimon continuities, including Digimon Adventure 02, to work. Often times, some expanded ideas in those shows will worked greatly (the evolution concept in Digimon Tamers, for one) and some others fell short (the Jogress Evolution concept played by the main cast of Digimon Adventure 02 [excluding Taichi and Yamato's Omegamon]).
So, shall I begin?
Story (7/10) [25%]
For this review, I will only be talking about this TV series only and none of the other Adventure-related sources will be added here. I will also not be addressing the Digimon Adventure PSP game here in this review as well.
Nostalgia aside, the storyline has a straight-up generic approach about the struggles of good versus evil in order to reach a certain goal. There isn't not much to say about the storyline aside from 'the main characters developed from kids wanting to go home immediately to the saviors responsible on saving two worlds', 'the main characters made assurance that they loved their families', 'the main characters defeated evil on their ways' and 'the Chosen Children developed bonds with their Digimon partners, as well as with the other Digimon on their side'. But at least, the series had equal amounts of ups and downs in terms of its storyline, but overall, the plot is generally good.
On the positive side, each of the four arcs had its own specific climax, specifically created to develop the main characters (particularly, the four Chosen Children mentioned) as responsible persons since they are growing up. To summed those four climaxes:
Devimon Arc: Devimon's defeat and Angemon's sacrifice [centered on Takeru Takaishi]
Etemon Arc: Taichi's return to the real world [centered on Taichi Yagami]
Vamdemon Arc: The revelation of the Chosen Child of Light [centered on Hikari Yagami]
Dark Masters Arc: The brawl between Taichi and Yamato due to the realization that Yamato is not an effective older brother for Takeru [centered on Yamato Ishida]
Also, the pacing is consistent for each arc. For both the Devimon arc and the Etemon arc, the pacing was quite slow in general since the seven Chosen are discovering and accomplishing things for themselves to grow as such responsible persons with the help of their Digimon partners. For both the Vamdemon arc and the Dark Masters arc, it becomes fast since the issue of saving the world had begun and only the (now) eight Chosen Children and their Digimon partners will do the actions to reach such goals, aside from those plot twists that happened (both of which happened in their midpoints).
Another positive thing about the storyline is playing its themes correctly without putting much intensity on these themes in order for its targeted audiences to understand them easily. These themes include some light-hearted ones such as 'good versus evil', 'development' and 'friendship' and some dark-themed ones such as 'death', 'divorce', 'sacrifice' and 'inferiority complex'. These themes will create good effects on the good development of the Chosen Children.
On the negative side (not really negative in general), however, this show generally keeps its thought that the viewers are those only within the age of its targeted audiences (8-to-12 years old children), keeping the targeted audiences motivational in their life. It is not really that bad by any means if that is the case and since the series used its themes correctly, but this kind of scenario can be a turn-off for the older audiences who would have watched this for the first time.
For one, this series played the concept of black-and-white approach straightforwardly, along with predictable 'good' and 'evil' characters. This can be a problem once the series will be rewatched without nostalgia after some other Digimon series were released and looked by its growing audiences, particularly with Digimon Tamers being much more impactful Digimon series without any nostalgia. Most of the time, the series followed the formula of having Vaccine-type (particularly the Chosen Children's Digimon) and most of the Data-type Digimon being on the good side (with MetalSeadramon being a major exception, being a member of the Dark Masters), while most of the Virus-type Digimon (except the group of Otamamon and Gekomon and Ogremon). That being said, there are such very rare cases of having a third party character (Datamon against Etemon and later on, MetalEtemon against Pinocchimon) in this series.
At times, the series will give information about the Digimon's attribute, family, type, moves and their forms (through Koshiro and his reliable laptop), in which it can get interest for the older audience, but the targeted audience will felt complicated about it or will just ignore those facts and continuing on watching the series.
Another is the formula of having specific focused antagonist(s)/Big Bad(s) per arc in this series (and this formula will also be used much more terribly by Digimon Adventure 02). Often times, these antagonists (specifically Vamdemon and the Dark Masters) will appear when the previous antagonist was defeated, and become the new target by the Chosen Children. With that in mind, this definitely questions the motivations and actions of those antagonists when they were not the ones being focused on that certain arc before them. For instance, the Vamdemon arc ended with the sudden plot twist that the Digital World as well as the real one was now in danger of being destroyed by the Dark Masters. The villains followed the formula of Sorting Algorithm of Evil, since every antagonist will be stronger than the previous one(s).
Also, the series followed the episodic format of development, making some of the future events somewhat predictable. For instance, any certain Chosen Child-focused episode for the six of the eight Chosen Children (Taichi, Yamato, Sora Takenouchi, Koshiro Izumi, Mimi Tachikawa and Jo Kido) will usually end up developing their relationships with their Digimon partners, thus newer evolution came out afterwards. While the character development was quite beneficial for the characters, many viewers might think that the Chosen's development required to be timed to trigger their Digimon partner's newer evolution. Of course, the obvious exceptions are the two youngest Chosen Children whose Digimon evolved in a way much different from their older counterparts' Digimon. After all, these two are quite special... Kind of reminded me of "Dagomon's Call" of Digimon Adventure 02.
There are some plot armor and Deus Ex Machina applied in some events in this series, more often to save the main characters from a certain great failure. For one instance, there are the Digivices and the Crests. They're supposed to make the Digimon be able to evolve but they come with a load more nifty tricks that are never elaborated on. For examples, (1) against Devimon, they served to give more power to Angemon even though he was established later on as being a very powerful Digimon; (2) against VenomVamdemon, when the Chosen Children were defeated, their Crests suddenly acted up and physically restrained the giant when their own Digimon couldn't do that; and (3) against Apocalymon, he threatened both worlds with some suicide attack, the Digivices ended up forming some barrier to contain him.
Also, the Dark Masters arc was too good and interesting to be just 15 episodes, compared to the length of the Vamdemon/Eighth Child arc.
Lastly, there is Apocalymon. There is absolutely no hint that he even existed until the last three episodes, then the Chosen Children and their Digimon are fighting him.
Overall, aside from those unexpected plot twists I have mentioned, the series is generally predictable by any means, as expected for any action-focused children's animated series. But the storyline is overall good in basic sense due to handling the themes correctly as well as developing its characters in a good way possible.
Characters (8/10) [25%]
As generic but consistently good as its storyline is, the characters are quite just the same as the former.
To start off, the Chosen Children followed the formula of TVTropes' The Team in terms of their functions: (1) Taichi is The Leader, functions as the one who generally leads the group; (2) Yamato is The Lancer, who is a foil for Taichi and will more likely have a conflict with him than anyone else; (3) Sora is the Team Mom, generally holding the group together before certain conflicts arise; (4) Koshiro is The Smart Guy, being the most intelligent and realist member of the group; (5) Mimi is The Chick, the most brutally honest and apathetic member of the group; (6) Jo is the Team Dad, being the most cynical and reliable member of the group; (7) Takeru is The Heart, being the most endearing and optimist member of the group and (8) Hikari is the Sixth Ranger and Waif Prophet, being the most mysterious/ill-girl-type member of the group (and still mysterious until now) and someone who comes up late in the party along with her Digimon partner.
Their Digimon were essentially The Big Guys of the group, the powerhouses of The Team and the ones basically fighting the enemies in place of their human partners.
First of all, as seen above, the Chosen Children have stereotypical yet distinct personalities, making every single one of them at least interesting to watch (I actually never hate Mimi or Sora in general since their characters are quite essential to begin with to the point that without either one of them, the entire group is most likely boring to watch). To take a realistic approach, it is quite impossible for these children to save the world by themselves and their Digimon and yet, they did it... mainly because of teamwork, idiotic villains and Deus Ex Machina obviously. What made these Chosen Children generally interesting and, for nostalgia reasons to some fans, memorable is definitely, at least, good amount of character development each one of them have in order to become a better person in life. Each one of the Chosen Children has flaws, insecurities and backstories to deal with, all of which have something to do with their Crests each one represented as well as these are all reflected to any 8-to 12-year child's actions for a certain kind of situation similar to a Chosen, and every one of them will be developed according what Crest does one have, making them, at least, mature to the role each of the Chosen Children had in this series.
While everyone of them are generally quite developed, the series will most likely focused on the four of the eight Chosen Children (the Yagami siblings and the Takaishi-Ishida siblings), thus those plot twists/specific climaxes in the previous section, and they ended up being the more popular ones among the eight in my opinion.
Their Digimon, also as seen above, on the other hand, are quite to be called the extensions of their partner's personalities, more often complemented for the development of their partners rather than having different character of their own. In general, while their bonds with their human partners grew closer, their personalities did not evolve or even grow up that much. As far as my animated series review for Digimon Tamers is concerned, the series played well with the great character development not only of some of the known Tamers but also of their Digimon partners and even some human characters, creating great balance of character importance, something that Adventure was quite not aware on that time (because they are in the process of developing Sora and Yamato as a married couple in the future, thus with all of those hints/that foreshadowing around Adventure and became obviously blatant in 02 when there is not much time to develop their relationship, because romance is not a thing in the Adventure series). Perhaps, the closest things to a good Digimon partner among the eight of them were Tailmon and Patamon, with Tailmon having a backstory in related to Vamdemon and Wizarmon, and Patamon being a very special Digimon itself through its evolutions.
(As a side note, while I am quite interested for the first film of the Digimon Adventure tri series, one of reason I keep my expectations low is the fact that the eight Chosen's Digimon are not that developed to begin with. So I was really that curious on the ways Digimon Adventure tri will handle their development, moreso than their human partners, especially since the trailers exposed the eight Chosen Children rather than their Digimon)
So where am I? Yeah, the supporting cast and the villains.
The supporting cast (Digimon and the Chosen Children's parents) are there to... support and to develop the main characters for a certain goal, obviously. It definitely does appeal the main characters more than them to the younger audiences, despite their impact to the Chosen Children, in particular Yamato and Takeru's parents (Natsuko Takaishi and Hiroaki Ishida) and Koshiro's parents (Masami Izumi and Kae Izumi).
Anyways, where are the Four Holy Beasts of the Digital World on that time? Oh, I forgot... they were trapped by the Dark Masters. I wonder how Leviathan, Pinocchio, Terminator and The Joker of Dark Masters did all of that, without us knowing.
Speaking of those four, the villains, in general, are just evil and they want to do evil things (destroying worlds, world domination, killing the Chosen Children, etc.)... for no reason. They are quite captivating to be liked or be hated by the targeted audiences, but they are quite hollow for the older ones to be either way since they don't have backstories to begin with... Almost.
There are two possible exceptions - Pinnochimon and Jureimon. The former is Pinocchio who walked on the wrong path (i.e. ended up being a psychopath since no one loved him, maybe except for Jureimon) and the latter turned out to be a manipulative and psychological bastard, in that I even wondered how in the world these two ended up being members of Dark Masters. But since this is Digimon Adventure, any evil will not go unpunished.
Overall, while the character development of the Chosen Children was ranging between fair (Hikari, in particular) to great (Yamato and Taichi, in particular), it could have been better if the series will also developed their Digimon partners so the meaning of evolution will be made good sense... Wait, that kind of thought will be nailed by Digimon Tamers, right? Fair enough.
Art (5/10) [15%]
While the storyline and the character writing are handled good enough in this series, the same cannot be said for the animation quality. This series is produced by Toei Animation, after all.
I'll begin with the obvious limited action sequences, in which most of the Digimon's attacks will be using repeated footages of their moves and there are lot of repeated Digimon evolution sequences (and lots of spinning) that could have just be used for the straight-up action at times. There are also some inconsistencies for the animation quality of the series, such as moving characters appeared to be static. Also, while the character designs for human character looked fine at most, the older members of the Chosen Children somehow did not looked like their age (10-12 years old), even if they acted as those realistically. The backgrounds for both the real world and the Digital World looked basic despite the references in landmarks (Odaiba, Japan in the real world, for instance) and being fitting to the atmosphere of the show. Perhaps, the only thing that shined in this part is the diversity of the Digital creatures, with of all of which have different real-life references in those (for example, Vamdemon is a vampire, Pinocchimon is Pinocchio, Angemon is an angel, Devimon is a fallen angel and many more.
Perhaps, the closest to be a well-animated episode it would be the "Koromon, The Great Clash in Tokyo". Again, this one definitely reminded me of the "Dagomon's Call" of Digimon Adventure 02, due to the dark and mysterious atmosphere that had shown here generally.
Overall, this section is certainly the weakest aspect of the Digimon Adventure. Despite that, the series was quite redeemed by the other objective aspects that may overshadow this section.
Sound (7/10) [15%]
First of all, the overall voice-acting was quite simple and bearable. It is quite best when the voices played with the emotional scenes for the Chosen Children.
The soundtrack of Digimon Adventure definitely fit the adventurous atmosphere of the series, generally depending on the mood played into the scenes, although mostly none of which can be considered memorable, except for Maurice Ravel's Bolero... which definitely reminded me of the Legend of the Galactic Heroes/Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu anyway.
The well-known opening theme "Butterfly" by Wada Koji, while definitely not the favorite Digimon opening theme of mine (that goes to Wada Koji's "Biggest Dreamer" of Digimon Tamers), is quite memorable for giving its meaning to the adventure of the Chosen Children.
The ending themes "I Wish" and "keep on", both of which sang by Ai Maeda (who voiced Mimi Tachikawa), are good songs in their own right and quite fitting to the arcs that these songs are played, particularly "keep on" in which it played at a point where the Chosen are now bound to save the world by themselves.
The evolution song, "Brave Heart" by Ayumi Miyazaki, while definitely not the favorite Digimon evolution theme of mine (again, that goes to Wild Child Bound's "EVO" of Digimon Tamers), is pretty catchy and definitely fitting with the action sequences played within the show, if only those sequences were not repeated animation though.
Finally, there is another insert song, "Seven" by Wada Koji, which more gives the emotional impact to the scenes this song played.
As a whole, the soundtrack is quite solid for the series' adventurous storyline and it generally gave nostalgia because it played right to the theme of the series.
As a side note, the ending theme being played in the original TV series Digimon Adventure's final episode is "Butterfly", while the ending theme being played in the DVD-version's final episode is "keep on" (which was then followed by a statement that the adventure of the Chosen is unfinished... Hhmm... That's strange.). One reason is that the series did release its sequel, Digimon Adventure 02, in which the Digimon Adventure head writer, Satoru Nishizono, is no longer part of.
Enjoyment (9/10) [20%]
Other than being generally entertaining as a children's anime series, there isn't much to say about this that could be considered either very impactful or very dull storywise, even with those plot twists I put. After all, the series did limited itself to its focus on the Chosen Children which is, by no means, at most decent, despite the fact that there are significant focus on their Digimon, who are quite strong in general but did not actually grow up that much to the levels of the Chosen Children... maybe, aside from Tailmon. Even so, the Chosen Children's character development was quite great and really changed the course of the storyline (although Deus Ex Machina is also a participant of all of their adventure though).
Perhaps, the biggest problem here is on the fact that this series seemingly assumed that its targeted audience will be the only viewers, since the themes that played in the series are never done heavy-handed, but it also give the feeling of being childish in general, since most of the villains (including Vamdemon) are uninteresting, and they acted like stepping stones for the development of the Chosen Children to become saviors of the two worlds.
I will also not forget about the various versions of false suspense played here which can be bothersome and predictable at times, since, you guessed it, this is a children's anime. It is not that bad actually for its targeted audiences though.
Generally, the series has a generic yet great adventure story by any means, since it gives moral values to the people about the importance of the themes that played well here, leaving an impression that this is what should be a children's animated story be looked like... and I did enjoy the series as a whole with all sorts of adventurous stuff happened to them, but as compared to some other children's animated series, particularly Digimon Tamers (for now) with all sorts of character development and emotional and impactful scenes delivered there, this series is quite light-hearted, but not as light-hearted as Digimon Adventure 02 since it played the dark themes better enough as well as having consistent storywriting.
To begin, Digimon Adventure is definitely very fitting as an introductory children's anime, being a generic yet incredible adventure storyline and giving moral values to improve the lives of the targeted audience, through the experience of the main characters. The series is quite memorable, being the first Digimon animated series to be released and having characters (at least, the Chosen Children) that are generally endearing and well-established. The art is something to be improved as well as giving much personality to the other characters, but overall, it is still a great children's adventure anime.
As a side note, Digimon Adventure tri: Saikai will be released in Japan's theatres on 21st of November of 2015. For that matter, I will consider Digimon Adventure tri to be the true sequel of Digimon Adventure, generally because the focused characters of tri are the focused characters of Adventure - the original eight Chosen Children and their Digimon. It was quite good to see them again for the third time, but I don't really have the idea what the production team will be doing to made this series successful, since copying the main idea of Digimon Tamers (evolution/development) might be hard to begin with, but they can do that (unless Chiaki J. Konaka will interfere on that, since it is his work after all). But whatever the main theme of the series, I will be going to watch it anyway... I will be just waiting for the release DVD though.
For recommendations, if you ended up liking this, check out Digimon Tamers for more impactful and realistic approach of any Digimon storyline. Also, check out Full Metal Alchemist and Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood, if you haven't watched these series yet, if you wanted a similar adventure theme that played in the series.
Before I will be finishing this review, my next review will neither be any of the three remaining Digimon series since I will be giving way for some interesting animated series that I will want to give a review - Sword Art Online... What should I say about that series anyway?
That's it for the review and see you next time! read more
Constantly accused of being a Pokémon rip-off, Digimon has struggled to find a big audience, particularly in the West—it doesn't help that its marketing never really took off out here. However, despite it never gaining a huge fanbase like its rival, Digimon continues to be a strong—if not struggling—franchise that still has a foothold in countries outside of Japan complete with its own loyal fanbase. So when most people think of Fox Kids or Saban Entertainment, they fondly think of either Power Rangers or Digimon (usually the first season), and not so much of the network itself. But for years, it meant risking an all-out playground civil war bringing up Digimon's name even when Pokémon's popularity was steadily declining, and one had to be hard-pressed to find someone who was a fan of both shows. To this very day, a mere 16 years after its first airing, there are still folks who are bitter towards Digimon and aren't afraid to fan the flames when provoked (Yu-Gi-Oh! had its share of hate, but not to the extent of Digimon's).
As a fan of both Digimon and Pokémon, I don't see how it's impossible to like both shows even though at the time I loved Pokémon to death and still do. They may have their similarities, but they are two vastly different creatures who just happen to inhabit the same genre. In fact, despite my love for Pokémon, I find Digimon to be immensely better in the anime department (the games not so much, ironically).
Story (8): Seven young kids go to camp for the summer, and wound up living in a digital land where they meet creatures called Digimon (short for Digital Monster) that evolve—called “Digivolving”—through six stages: Baby, In-Training, Rookie, Champion, Ultimate, and Mega. They use Digivolving and power of friendship to save the digital world from evil.
That's the simple, cliché response. In reality, Digimon goes much deeper than that, and it soon stood out from the other shounen 'Mon shows of the time. It still retains that cliché plot, but the thing about clichés is that there are different ways of playing with them, to help separate it from another similar clichéd plot. This doesn't automatically make the writing in Digimon perfect, there's always going to be flaws, but it makes it more watchable (or tolerable) than other similar shows.
Yes, seven kids (later it became eight) end up going into a digital world where they meet their Digimon partners. However, these kids end up discovering, or re-discovering themselves and grow up as characters to be better people. The Digimon technically don't change, although they are catalysts, and they do become stronger based on the inner strength of their partner. It's a form of teamwork, but more along the lines of “Believe in me who believes in you”.
But why were they sent to the Digital World? Because they are the Chosen: the DigiDestined who will save the Digital World from the bad Digimon who will do anything in their power to take over the world. Digimon was originally supposed to be about 13-26 episodes, however, high ratings in Japan was encouraging enough for Toei to continue for a total of 54 episodes. The series is thus commonly split into arcs named after the big bad: Devimon, Etemon, Vamdemon (Myotismon), and the Dark Masters. Each arc has its own fans, but typically the general consensus agrees the Myotismon arc is the highlight of the series.
Outside of your typical friendship and teamwork, Digimon is not afraid to tackle themes such as death, divorce, adoption, and fear of losing a loved one, and for a kids' show (especially given the time), it approaches them with maturity. And the average dub-hater will be pleasantly surprised to learn just how much Saban got away with all in a time where not even 4KIDS themselves wanted to touch such subjects (usually). Sure, Digimon has its share of censorship in the States, but only on an outward-appearance level (again, usually). Luckily, the script stays fairly true to the original while it developed Saban's signature gag dub trait, so a lot of the themes and atmosphere of the series remained. Still, the choice to watch the sub or dub rests all on the viewer, either are fine choices, both have their gains and losses.
Art/Animation (6): Let's totally be honest here, Digimon has a small budget, and it shows (Toei Animation has this problem a lot, it seems). Stock animation is rampant throughout the series, and there's off-model moments and other animation errors, but they typically try not to let you notice, and for the most part, they worked the best they could within their budget. As a digitally-colored show (heh, digital), the colors and line-art is clean, albeit kind of flat due to lack of lighting more often than not. The backgrounds (well, backdrops) stand out to me the most with this show in how everything looks holographic—in the Digital World, anyway, as the real world looks more normal, and thus more “real”. It's a stylistic choice that I feel is a staple to this show. Character designs are unique to the series in that everyone is distinguishable (big traits that stick out to me are the eyes, hair, and how big their hands and shoes/feet are—which is admittedly weird), and monster designs are varied from Digimon to Digimon. This helps them stick out in a line-up of other shounen anime, as well as pave the way for merchandise.
However, due to the small budget, the art is dated compared to later Digimon seasons, and even other anime of the time. The CGI Digivolutions in particular are the worst offenders (although for the time, it wasn't all that bad). The only exception I can think of where the animation was stellar and holds up very nicely (as well as go beyond its usual budget) was episode 21 when Mamoru Hosoda directed the episode.
Sound (9): Sound-effects in general are generic, however, the beeps, drones, and screeches of the Digivice stand out the most in that department—I would go so far as to say it's iconic to the series. The soundtrack itself is spectacular. Composed by the late Takanori Arisawa, Digimon's soundtrack is full of adventure and wonder, while being almost in an electronic/techno genre to give it a more digital feel. Every DigiDestined has their own insert song, and character score—two versions, to be exact—not really unheard of in such shows, but it's a big deal to Digimon. Villains even have their own character songs, if not theme scores, and they are wonderfully kept in character. The opening theme, “Butter-Fly” by Wada Kouji, is honestly one of the best anime theme songs in a kids' show (if not in anime in general), perhaps one of the more recognizable from the intro alone this side of Pokémon. “Brave Heart” by Ayumi Miyazaki is also well-known as the Digivolution theme song.
Saban Entertainment, like most dubbing companies of the time, composed their own music. By themselves, the musical score is good, it's clear they got talent in the musical department. However, the editor(s) of the episodes completely went overboard with the music and just slapped pieces together to fill up the entire episode, rarely leaving a single scene quiet. But the musical score isn't as well-known as the ungodly catchy, simplistic theme song, simply titled “Digimon Are the Champions”. And now you have the English theme song in your head. You're welcome. Bonus points if you can see the intro play out in your head.
Voice-acting in the original is solid, though likewise with the English dub, some voices don't really fit the character. It's thankfully few and far in-between, and it's not like the voice acting is terrible. However, because I'm not fluent in Japanese, I'm slightly biased when it comes to voices regardless if that was the original intent on the casting director or not, thus I cannot judge them just based on how they sound alone. I do personally feel there are voices that work best in the original, while others are enhanced better in the English dub.
Speaking of, given the time, the English dub is surprisingly phenomenal with a great voice-cast—yes, a late-90s kids' anime has an amazing English dub, script and soundtrack aside. It took a bit for the directors and voice actors to get comfortable with the show, but they were able to bring the characters to life in their own special way. Many of them were in the field for years prior to Digimon, and are well-known to the anime community: Joshua Seth, Michael Reynolds, Edie Mirman, Mona Marshall, Derek Stephen Prince, and Lara Jill Miller (at this time, she was well-known from NBC's “Gimme a Break!”, her being cast in Digimon happened at the same time she returned to Hollywood) stand out best in memory, but many of the cast is well-done. However, as I said before, it, too, has its share of voices that just don't work out. This is more-or-less limited to side-Digimon that you don't see often outside of one or two episodes, so it's the main cast I have more praise towards (though Mimi is a bit of an exception in some areas—Ai Maeda in the original makes Mimi more likeable/listenable than Philece Sampler).
Characters (9): This is where Digimon truly sticks out as a show. It's very uncommon to find a show with as equally-complex and diverse a cast as Digimon Adventure. The eight main children made this show, even though their Digimon are good characters in their own right and serve as great foils/combos with their human partners.
The characters are as follows: Taichi “Tai” Yagami (Kamiya), the leader of the group who acts before he thinks (but isn't stupid); Yamato “Matt” Ishida, the cool-headed big brother of a lone wolf; Sora Takenouchi, the motherly tomboy; Koushirou “Izzy” Izumi, the young, know-it-all technical wizard; Mimi Tachikawa, a spoiled, rich girl who never hesitates to speak her mind, but has her heart in the right place; Joe Kido, the more down-to-earth of the children who has a paternal side to him; Takeru “T.K.” Takaishi, Matt's younger brother who provides a more innocent outlook to the world; and Hikari “Kari” Yagami (Kamiya), Tai's younger sister who is good-natured and soft-spoken.
Each of them have a backstory, and their own inner demons (well, maybe not so much with Kari according to some folks). Among the eight, any of them can be relatable to the viewer. Many of them struggle to become better, more mature people, but they aren't alone. The Digimon partners: Agumon, Gabumon, Piyomon (Biyomon), Tentomon, Palmon, Gomamon, Patamon, and Tailmon (Gatomon). They, too, grow as characters and have their own personality, although it's Gatomon (and possibly Patamon) who has the most character development. But their main role as Digimon partners is to protect and be supportive, and for the most part, they fulfill their duties. They are likewise the mascots of the series, and yet are more than just pieces of data.
Meanwhile, partner-less Digimon play important roles to the story, perhaps even more-so than the human protagonists. Some examples (off the top of my head) are Leomon, Ogremon, Piximon, Wizardmon, Myotismon, Etemon, Pumpkinmon, and Gotsumon. These characters had depth despite being in a few episodes at the least, but they also were just that memorable to the point they have fans to this day.
Special mention goes to the children's parents for adding a depth to the show most kids' shows don't do. Parents in Digimon were very supportive of their children, as well as loving, but were also the most human. While they don't go through the same experiences as their children (for the most part), it still affects them greatly to let their children go and save the world without knowing why it is they have to. They had to put their trust into them, and thus they (and the writers) gain my respect when they could've been like every other adult in similar kids' shows. If somehow the children don't grow on you, then perhaps their parents will.
Enjoyment (10): It's truly a damn shame Digimon has never gotten as popular as Pokémon. Both franchises were being worked on at the exact same time, neither creator knowing of each other, and yet it was Pokémon that was finished first, and would overshadow every other 'Mon show that would come out since. Is it possible to blame bad timing for why it is Digimon has to constantly work to get noticed? Maybe. But how do we know Pokémon wouldn't have gone through the same ridicule had it been Digimon that came out first? How do we know that Digimon would have gotten the same popularity? Would it still have struggled? Would it have been a worldwide phenomenon?
Do I wish Digimon would have a bigger audience? Truly, I do, it clearly deserves recognition and praise. However, at the same time, I feel it was a good thing Digimon has remained rather... quiet under many people's radars. For one thing, it felt more special to me, as a kid, to know that as sad as it was, the show was more for me (and my brothers) than anyone else. I didn't want the magic and wonder of Digimon to be sucked up by anyone else, I wanted to experience it all for myself. In my mind, everyone else had to be just as special to like it as much as I did.
Another reason I'm kind of glad it stayed low was unlike with Pokémon, Digimon has never really been accused of the same things its rival went through (at least, that I know of). If it had, I don't think Digimon would have survived. Pokémon had Nintendo, tons of merchandise, and millions of children (and dollars) to back it up. What did Digimon have? Fox Kids? Saban? Toei Animation? Some of Pokémon's percentage of fans? What good would any of those have done to keep Digimon afloat against the onslaught of attacks?
Even with the cheesiness of a gag dub, I still find Digimon to be highly enjoyable. Yes, the original Japanese is superior in everything, but the English dub is special, even if highly subjective, and thus I can't forsake the dub. It's just as memorable as Pokémon's dub, and yet though I managed to find a way for Pokémon and Digimon to co-exist as friendly rivals, it's the better of the two (although I honestly would have a hard to picking my most favorite). Saban Entertainment took good care of Digimon at this time, and I thank them for that. It's the only thanks I can really give them besides “Thanks for Samurai Pizza Cats” and “Thanks for the Fox Kids block”.
In the end, I think “Butter-Fly” says it best for Digimon as a whole (translated):
“After an endless dream, in this world of nothingness
It seems as if our beloved dreams will lose
Even with these unreliable wings, covered in images that tend to stay
I'm sure we can fly, on my love” read more
“Remember? How could I ever forget?”
Digimon Adventure 01, a household name, a childhood memory, what did this blast from the past have in store for us?
That one time at band camp... I mean summer camp. Seven children dubbed the Digi-Destined find themselves in an alternate world, filled with bizarre creatures and a luscious ecosystem, where they soon discover the inevitable path they must walk, together. Although initially hostile, they are each partnered with one of these bizarre creatures known as ‘Digimon’ whom they must work together with to not only save the Digital world, but human world as well. Digimon is best described as a coming of age tale. Each of our Digi-Destined must fight their own demons, in order to progress and ultimately have enough to strength to defeat the “Dark Masters” of the digital world.
When you think about it, there’s no way these children who aren’t even teenagers yet could handle a situation such as this without any hiccups. Each have their own shortcomings, insecurities and past memories that haunt them, which correspond to their crest, allowing deep character progression. Although their emotions are easily manipulated, the maturity to come to their senses and read the situation is also shown consistently throughout. But don’t forget their partners in crime, the Digimon. They resemble the voice of reason in each partnership, almost like a parental figure, although they are shown to be quite childish at times themselves. They switch from cute and cuddly, to imposing beasts in order to protect the ones they cherish, as if they were protecting their young. The evil Digimon are similar in an aspect, they generally represent adults and their personalities tend to stay the same throughout the show.
For 20th century animation, I think Digimon is still top notch. Scenery is blended in beautifully, character emotion is easily distinguishable and the animation is fluid. But let’s not forget the action scenes. I still get goose bumps from almost every digi-evolution that took place even with the hints of poor CGI. It’s the unique character designs that allow the action scenes to truly stand out, each with their own outrageous special attacks, such as breast rockets. What more can you ask for? If you can think of something, they’ve probably already done it.
Although repetitive, the soundtrack for Digimon Adventure is well done in both English and Japanese. But for the sake of this review we’ll look at its English counterpart. The trademark OP/ED of the Dubbed Digimon franchise is memorable if anything. It isn’t an addictive theme, but it gets the job done. The second major theme used “Hey Digimon” on the other hand is as enticing as they come: upbeat, light-hearted and catchy. Used during the last few minutes of most episodes, it portrays the strength of the digi-bonds created. The background music which usually incorporates deep brass instruments and melodic strings tends to suite the mood well.
Not just a children’s show, Digimon adventure breaks this conceptualization and showcases its strengths in a suitable fashion. Deep character progression, a loveable cast and hilarious humor and just some of the reasons that will make this show an enjoyable viewing. Both English and Japanese versions presented very well, so it basically comes down to personal preference, which personally, dubbed wins based on nostalgia alone. So with the upcoming installment Digimon Adventure Tri right around the corner, what are you waiting for? Give Digimon Adventure 01 a Tri.
Digimon may not deserve a score of 10 but for me, the anime just gave so deep an impression and I treated as one of my favorite anime forever.
I had no idea how much percentage of western people of 1990's watched this anime, but in China, most people born in that period had a memory of watching this anime. As a result, the opening music "Butterfly" is now regarded as one of the most famous (maybe "one of" could even be deleted here) in ACG circle in China. Even till now, once listening to this music, I would probably get fired up easily. Not confined to the opening music, the ending as well as other interlude musics are also great.
Back to talk about this anime, the character design is great for me. You cannot require this anime to depict a complex and obscure character since it aims to build simple and inspiring people with certain merits. For me, all the protagonists are so innocent and they overcame their weakness to become maturer, which is so inspiring.(Though I know it's rather simple) And it is parallel to its story, simple but excited.
One important thing which I want to emphasize is that though the target people of the anime is for children, some episodes and scenes are pretty artful. Some people might figure it out when they were young. Especially, the style of the episode "Koromon, the Great Clash in Tokyo!" is quite different including the music and background. And after a few years, I got to know that this episode is from Hosoda Mamoru.
The development of the whole story is not complex but the pace is good. And I fully enjoyed for almost every episodes, though it has been a long time. I am sure that I wont feel boring if I picked it up and watched through is again. The whole anime is so pure, pure excitement, pure lose and win, which I could regard as the best anime for a child to watch.
(PS: again, my English expression is not that good, hope what I've written is clear) read more
The main characters both have small monsters as partners, who can evolve into bigger, more powerful monsters. In both series, these monsters are used to battle each other and serve as bodyguards for their "owners." Pokemon was always the most popular of the 2 series, but Digimon is definitely not to be underestimated and by many even rated better than Pokemon.
A good deal of people recomend these two together because they are simular. That is where it ends, they are simular, but one should expect some majorly different senarios between the two. But the simularities... training monsters, traveling, growing up... are the things that might mean if one likes one, they might like the other.
You'll probably also like Digimon if you like Pokemon and the other way around, 'cause it's about monsters and people. Digimon has a better storyline though.
They both use monsters to fight other monsters and humans take care of them. Both are kids' shows filled with drama, action and more. Those monsters become stronger, and, as they become stronger, they can turn into more powerful beasts. There's a lot of monsters in the world, but the main characters only choose a few monsters to capture.
Both have monsters that battle
though digimon has a superior story to pokemon in every way possible
They are similar because they both have monsters, and they are controlled by their tamers, both live in a world where it has countless monsters.
They are both about kids who get "monsters". And they fight against other "monsters". And the "monsters" have different levels, so they get bigger as they get better. They are mostly for kids. But both are very nice anime.
Both are about kids who battle their pet monsters against each other.
Digimon and Pokémon.. two really famous anime series all over the world. It's quite obvious really. They both contain kids with monsters, who are battling the whole day long. I'd prefer Digimon though. The storyline is better and Pokémon can get a little bit boring sometimes.
Both have fights with different creatures. Both are similarly animated with similar character designs. There is a strong sense of friendship between the monster and their owner.
Both anime have monsters battling one another and evolving to get stronger. Plus, both have an emphasis on friendship. Each monster has an owner that they have a relationship with.
Pokemon Advanced and Digimon are both about the symbiotic bond between humans and their intelligent "monsters" and the trials and tribulations that they go through. Neither of these series is extremely plot-oriented, but prefer to show the characters' daily lives through repetitious battles. Both strongly point out the importance of friendship and team-work, but sometimes border on being too moralistic. It's almost a given that you'll love one series, if you were a fan of the other.
Both of these anime have Male leads and monsters as friends who battle at their side, while Pokemon is more catch em all of monsters and has no deaths and Digimon has only one partner and showcases "deaths" but on a none traumatic way of showing it, both of these animes have Monsters, Battles, friendship and finding your destiny!!!
Both anime have monsters that are like pets. Both Pokemon and Digimon have their "master".
Pokémon and Digimon are similar in fighting alongside monster buddies. The humans are the trainers. The monsters are the pets.
A world with monsters, using your own monsters to fight with anothers monsters, really addictive
Another breed of monster show, this along with Pokemon and Monster Rancher was one of the big 3 monster related shows. Filled with crazy creatures and adventures, if you liked this show (or Pokemon) you will very likely enjoy this series.
Both shows travel with monsters in another world and try to save the Mysterious World from an evil monster, and having and making friends along their travels.
Another breed of monster show, this along with Pokemon and Monster Rancher was one of the big 3 monster related shows. Filled with crazy creatures and adventures, if you liked this show (or Pokemon) you will very likely enjoy this series.
Both of these anime happen to have a very simular theme. A world on the internet with AI, artificial inteligence. In one, you can easily go to the world, while with the other you end up staying away. But it is still two alternative worlds.
virtual fights and a little kid who works great with the computer...
They both are basically based of the same idea: different worlds being parallel to earth. They also have fun talking animal-type things.
Both are very kid-friendly shows which take place in different worlds. They both carry about the same amount of mild violence and both feature colorful, talking animals who have human kids by their side.
On the net there is another world, a world that people can dive into. What seems to be a game isn't one like the main characters think and their lives end up being turned upside down. The suspense also builds up.
Both series contain sci-fi themes in another parallel world that draws away from reality involving the digital realm
Both series contain a lot of action as well as drama as well and characters of stark personalities.
I've never tough of this before, but after I saw some fanart crossover between Digimon Adventure and Persona 4, I think they're actually similar...
Better you should compare Digimon to Persona rather than Pokémon, why?
because in both Digimon and Persona, they're really share much similarities...
1. in Digimon, partner are chosen by destiny, same goes to Persona
2. the human partners in Digimon must get their crest and active it... in order to use the crest, they must understand what're their crest really means, why it deserve to be his/her crest? if they've understand it and take an action about it, the tags and crest will active... same case for Persona, they have to beat their shadows (means, their actualities, what they really are), make those shadow accept them, then they'll obtain a Persona
3. both Digimon and Persona takes the settings in real world actually, but... because of the case that happened, they have to be in another world and solving the biggest case there (Digital World and Mayonaka Terebi)
4. this is just my personal judge... I think Yukari from Persona 3 is really similar to Sora (partner of Piyomon)... and they representing "Love"
the perfect comparation...
Pokémon doesn't share all these, because of that, Pokémon is deserved to be compared to Yu-Gi-Oh which has Monster Summoned there and battle asign each other, and player are able to command the monster they chose by options...
Digimon and Persona are not set for battling, they're all about survive and destiny.. also personality
-Both have a big group of main characters with one "leader"
-Both have people fighting with an special creature
-Both have a very nice psychological character design
-Their first half of episodes are about one member of the group getting his special creature
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