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Digimon (デジモン Dejimon?), short for (デジタルモンスター Dejitaru Monsutā?, "Digital Monster") is a popular Japanese series of media and merchandise created by Akiyoshi Hongo, which is comprised of anime, manga, toys, video games, trading card games and other media. Digimon, the lifeforms the series revolves around, are monsters of various forms living in a "Digital World," a parallel universe that originated from Earth's various communication networks. Digimon is often claimed by detractors to be a knockoff of Pokémon, though they both appeared at about the same time, and have entirely different approaches to the monster concept.
Digimon hatch from eggs called Digi-Eggs. 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 are feral in nature, but most 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. Old Digimon and Digimon who receive fatal wounds 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. On March 7th, 1999 they began airing a television counterpart titled Digimon Adventure. 6 further series would follow, but so far not all of them have 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 2012, there have been six series — Digimon Adventure, Digimon Adventure 02, Digimon Tamers, Digimon Frontier, Digimon Savers, and Digimon Xros Wars. 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 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 Adventure (Season One)
The first Digimon television series, which began airing on March 7, 1999. 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, Taichi "Tai" Kamiya was paired up with Agumon and Yamato "Matt" Ishida 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, Koushiro "Izzy" Izumi, Mimi Tachikawa, Joe Kido, and Takeru "T.K." Takaishi. Later on in the season, Tai's younger sister Kari Kamiya was introduced as an eighth character.
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. Some people say Flamedramon was better than Raidramon and vice versa. This was a rivalry that was not included in the Digimon Adventure 2 cartoon. 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 D-Arc. Guilmon took form from Takato’s sketchings of a new Digimon. (Tamers’ only human connection to the Adventure series is Ryo Akiyama, a character featured in some of the Digimon video games and who made an appearance in some occasions of the Adventure story-line.) Some of the changes in this 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. The same process is also used to Digivolve the Digimon. 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 began airing in Japan on April 7, 2002, though it rarely aired in the UK. After prompted to do so by unusual phone messages, the five main characters go to a subway station and take a train to the Digital World, to fight the antagonist, Cherubimon and his Legendary Warrior servants before they succeed in dominating the world. Later facing a greater ordeal and threat from Lucemon and his two Royal Knights: Crusadermon and Dynasmon. Contrary to the other Digimon series, the characters do not have Digimon Partners. Instead, they use their D-tectors to transform themselves into powerful Digimon to fight their enemies, another new feature in the series.
Digimon Data Squad (Season Five)
After a three year hiatus, a fifth Digimon series began airing on April 2, 2006. Like Frontier, Savers has no connection with the previous installments, and also marks a new start for the Digimon franchise, with a drastic change in character designs and story-line, in order to reach a broader audience. The story focus on the challenges faced by the members of DATS ("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 DATS 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 on October 1, 2007.
Digimon Fusion (Season Six)
After another three year hiatus, a sixth Digimon series is being produced. Digimon Xros Wars (デジモンクロスウォーズ Dejimon Kurosu Wōzu?) was released in July, and will star Shoutmon (シャウトモン Shautomon?), Dorulumon (ドルルモン?), Ballistamon (バリスタモン Barisutamon?), Greymon, Monitormon (モニタモン Monitamon?), and Shoutmon X4 (シャウトモンX４ Shautomon Kurosu 4?). It has two sub seasons: Digimon Xros Wars: The Evil Death Generals and the Seven Kingdoms (デジモンクロスウォーズ～悪のデスジェネラルと七人の王国～ Dejimon Kurosu Wōzu: Aku no Desu Jeneraru to Nanajin no Oukoku?) and Digimon Xros Wars: The Young Hunters Who Leapt Through Time (デジモンクロスウォーズ～時を駆ける少年ハンターたち～ Dejimon Kurosu Wōzu: Toki wo Kakeru Shounen Hantā-tachi??)
There have been eleven Digimon movies released. All of them but X-Evolution are directly based on their respective anime series, though several of them were outside of canon; Digital Monster X-Evolution originated from the Digimon Chronicle merchandise line. Furthermore, seven of them have been released and distributed internationally; those that were released only in Japan are Digital Monster X-Evolution, Ultimate Power! Activate Burst Mode, Digimon Savers 3D: The Digital World in Imminent Danger! and Digimon Adventure 3D: Digimon Grandprix!.
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.
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.
The series aired internationally as well; In the United Kingdom, Digimon aired on the UK Fox Kids (rebranded after 2005 as JETIX, now Disney XD) cable/satellite channel and also on CiTV. It also aired in various countries, including 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, Castilian Spanish, European Portuguese, Brazilian Portuguese, German and Italian versions of Digimon are completely uncensored and uncut from the original Japanese edition.
Arabic dubs of the first four Digimon shows were released in Arabic speaking countries under the name أبطال الديجيتال (Abtal El Digital; "Digital Heroes") in the Middle Eastern countries, while its title was kept as "Digimon" in Lebanese TV stations, and the series kept most of its Japanese characteristcs such as the theme song tune and story-line as well as there were no cuts or censoring. 
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). The whole Digimon series was repeated last January 2008, from Adventure to Savers on Hero TV. Actually, they did not change the original voice. Digimon Savers is currently aired at ABS-CBN this September 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 (余 遠鍠 Yu Yuen-wong), who based its storyline on the television series. This adaptation covers Digimon Adventure in five volumes, Digimon Adventure 02 in two, Digimon Tamers in four, and Digimon Frontier in three. The original stories are heavily abridged, though on rare occasions events play out differently than the anime.
The Cantonese language version was published by Rightman Publishing Ltd. in Hong Kong.
Two English versions were also released. The first one was published by Chuang Yi in Singapore. The second one, which was written by Lianne Sentar, was released by TOKYOPOP in North America.
The three volumes for Digimon Frontier have been released by Chuang Yi in English. These have not been released by TOKYOPOP in North America or Europe. However the Chuang Yi releases of Digimon Frontier were distributed by Madman Entertainment in Australia and New Zealand.
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 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.
In the United States, there are sixteen 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 Dawn and Dusk, Digimon World Data Squad, 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.
Pokémon and Digimon
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The Digimon franchise has been criticized as being a clone of the more popular Pokémon title, as both properties are aimed at children and feature interaction between humans and fictional monsters. Thematically, though, they bear little in common. A Digimon human counterpart almost always has only one Digimon partner, while Pokémon trainers can have as many Pokémon as they want provided they have enough Pokéballs (however they are only allowed to have six on hand at any time); in Pokémon, this makes the focus of the series catching and training more monsters, while in Digimon, the focus is in developing friendships with them and defeating evil forces. A human will become a DigiDestined if, as the name implies, they are destined to be one or share a special bond with them, while in Pokémon, anyone can become a trainer, and can have any Pokémon they capture or buy. Some Digimon video games also center on sportsmanship, but the purpose of the fighting is to survive or otherwise become the "ultimate digital lifeform" by destroying their enemies, as opposed to Pokémon battles in which the Pokémon merely faints. In addition, with very few exceptions in recent games, once a Pokémon evolves it has no way to go back to its original state, while a Digimon can.
While both Pokémon and Digimon are wild creatures and display a degree of instinctual behavior, Digimon are anthropomorphized, possessing human speech and individuality. In the Pokémon franchise, most Pokémon only do evil things if their trainer commands them to (With a few exceptions), while in the Digimon franchise, there are many Digimon that have decided to become evil of their own accord (Devimon, for example). While some Pokémon may show some individuality, it is nothing compared to the range that Digimon exhibit. With exceptions not limited to Team Rocket's Meowth and certain legendary Pokémon (including Mewtwo), most Pokémon can only speak the syllables of their name, and are incapable of normal speech. Trainers are able to understand their Pokémon to some extent; the Pokémon can understand human speech, most notably orders from their trainers. Even more so, Pokemon and their trainers exist in a completely fictional world with no connection to the real one. In this world animals are almost completely absent, being substituted with Pokemon as their equivalents. In Digimon the Digital World is a parallel sub dimensional universe to the real one with parts of the story taking place in typically Japan and the Digital World though in rare cases the DigiDestined and their partners will travel to other countries and dimensions. Much of Digimon focuses on the interaction between the two worlds and how they effect one another. Pokemon are also organic, biological organisms typically resorting to natural abilities in battle rather than weapons (Though rare cases do have a form of weaponry which is organic or non convential). Digimon are made of data that can become physical when entering the real world. For this reason Digimon can appear in almost any form including but not limited to: machines, beasts, mythological creatures, androids, toys, human, demon, angelic and more. Because of this many Digimon carry weapons that can be anything from a sword to heat seeking laser shooting rockets.
Pokemon also has what could be considered a more episodic style where generally each new episode is different and does not have a large, elaborate plot-line that it builds into or is a part of. Digimon on the other hand uses an arc style within the show, with each episode contributing to a larger goal.
In actuality, Digimon seems to have more in common with Mecha anime and Tokusatsu superhero shows than it does with Pokemon and other monster training shows.
- 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 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.
- Miyazaki Ayumi: Performer of the opening and Digivolution themes of "Digimon Adventure" and "Digimon Adventure 02".
- 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.
- Bandai of Japan's Digimon website
- Toei Animation's Digimon Adventure website
- Toei Animation's Digimon Adventure 02 website
- Toei Animation's Digimon Tamers website
- Toei Animation's Digimon Frontier website
- Toei Animation's Digital Monster X-Evolution website
- Toei Animation's Digimon Savers website
- Toei Animation's official Digimon Xros Wars website
- Fuji TV's Digimon Adventure website
- Fuji TV's Digimon Adventure 02 website
- Fuji TV's Digimon Tamers website
- Fuji TV's Digimon Frontier website
- Fuji TV's Digimon Savers website
- TV Asahi's official Digimon Xros Wars website
- ↑ What Is Digimon?. Retrieved on September 5, 2006.
- ↑ Digimon Xros Wars ad.
- ↑ Digimon Xros Wars official site
- ↑ Digimon Xros Wars ad in V-Jump.
- ↑ Digimon Xros Wars ad.
- ↑ Lianne Sentar's Other Published Works/Works List
- ↑ Horn, Daniel; Ryan Hill (2001). Digimon: Digital Monsters, illustrated by Daniel Horn, Cara L. Niece, Dark Horse Comics. ISBN 1-56971-516-5.
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