Digimon Adventure (Japanese: デジモンアドベンチャー, Hepburn: Dejimon Adobenchā), known as Digimon: Digital Monsters in English-speaking territories, is a 1999 Japanese anime television series created by Akiyoshi Hongo, and produced by Toei Animation in cooperation with WiZ, Bandai and Fuji Television. It is the first anime series in the Digimon media franchise, based on the virtual pet of the same name. The series aired in Japan from March 7, 1999 to March 26, 2000. The series ran for a total of fifty-four episodes. A day before the television series' broadcast, a 1999 short film of the same name was screened in theaters. After the television series' run, on March 4, 2000, a film sequel titled Children's War Game! was released in theaters. Both films were compiled and released as Digimon: The Movie on October 6, 2000 in North America.
Cover of the U.S DVD box-set.
|Genre||Adventure, fantasy, isekai|
|Directed by||Mamoru Hosoda|
|Written by||Reiko Yoshida|
|Music by||Takanori Arisawa|
|Released||March 6, 1999|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Hiroyuki Kakudō|
|Produced by||Keisuke Okuda|
|Written by||Satoru Nishizono|
|Original network||Fuji TV|
|Original run||March 7, 1999 – March 26, 2000|
|Children's War Game!|
|Directed by||Mamoru Hosoda|
|Written by||Reiko Yoshida|
|Music by||Takanori Arisawa|
|Digimon Adventure 3D: |
Digimon Grand Prix!
|Released||October 3, 2009|
|Publisher||Namco Bandai Games|
Since the release of Digimon Adventure, several sequels and adaptations have been produced. A succeeding television series, Digimon Adventure 02, was broadcast from 2000 to 2001. A video game adaptation of the series was released for PlayStation Portable on January 17, 2013. For the series' 15th anniversary, a six-part film series taking place a few years after the events of Adventure 02, titled Digimon Adventure tri., was released between 2015 and 2018. A new film, titled Digimon Adventure: Last Evolution Kizuna, and taking place 11 years after the events of the original series, was released on February 21, 2020.
Plot and characters
On August 1, 1999, seven children are transported into the Digital World by Digivices that appeared before them at summer camp, where they befriend several Digimon (Digital Monsters). The kids' Digivices[a] allow their partner Digimon to Digivolve[b] into stronger forms and combat enemies. As the kids explore to find a way home, they learn that they are "DigiDestined", children chosen to save the Digital World.
After defeating Devimon, the DigiDestined are contacted by Gennai, who tells them to travel to the Server Continent to retrieve artifacts called Crests, which allows their Digimon partners to Digivolve past their current level. After defeating Etemon, the DigiDestined are tormented by Myotismon, who attempts to prevent them from using the power of Crests. Myotismon searches for the eighth DigiDestined in the human world, and the Digidestined and their Digimon return to the human world also to find the 8th child first. This 8th child is soon found out to be Tai's younger sister, Kari. When Myotismon reveals his true form, Agumon and Gabumon achieve Mega forms through Warp Digivolution[c] to defeat him.
When the boundaries between the human and Digital Worlds begin to intersect, the DigiDestined return to the Digital World to face the Dark Masters, who have each taken control of a part of the Digital World. In the midst of their battles, they learn that they were chosen to save the human and Digital Worlds from encountering Digimon in the human world four years ago. However, tension leads to infighting within the group and causes them to temporarily separate. After reflecting, the DigiDestined reunite to defeat Piedmon, the last Dark Master, and confront Apocalymon, who attempts to destroy both worlds. Apocalymon destroys their Crests, but the DigiDestined realize the power of their Crests were inside them all along and use them to defeat him. With the Digital World restored, Tai and his friends leave their Digimon partners behind and return to their normal lives.
In 1999, a short film based on the virtual pets called Digimon Adventure was released. However, shortly after the film's storyboard was completed in 1998, producers at Toei Animation were requested to turn it into a television series.
The DigiDestined's character designs were created by Katsuyoshi Nakatsuru. The staff had decided to name the characters based on kanji that related to luck. For the original Japanese version of Digimon Adventure, all music was composed by Takanori Arisawa. In addition to composing original music for Digimon Adventure, Arisawa has also recycled and made remixed versions of several music tracks from Sailor Moon Sailor Stars.
Digimon Adventure was produced by Toei Animation and ran for 54 episodes on Fuji TV in Japan between March 7, 1999 and March 26, 2000. The main opening theme for all episodes aired in Japan is "Butter-Fly" by Kōji Wada, which peaked at #47 on the Oricon Weekly Singles Chart. "I Wish" by AiM is used as the ending theme from episodes 1–26, while "Keep On", AiM's 5th single, served as the ending theme from episodes 27–54. The series also uses three insert songs: "Brave Heart" by Ayumi Miyazaki as the Digivolution theme, "Seven" by Kōji Wada, and "Yūki o Tsubasa ni Shite" (勇気を翼にして) by Toshiko Fujita, Tai's voice actress. On August 1, 2014, during the series' 15th anniversary, a Blu-ray Disc box of the original series was announced and set for release in Japan on March 15, 2015.
Saban Entertainment licensed the series in North America and produced an English-language version under the title Digimon: Digital Monsters, which aired on Fox Kids Network between August 14, 1999 and June 24, 2000. The English version featured an original soundtrack and made changes to character names, as well as edits pertaining to certain aspects such as violence to make the series more suitable for younger audiences. Wendee Lee, Michael Sorich and David Walsh became the voice directors. The original soundtrack of the show was replaced by music composed by Udi Harpaz and Shuki Levy, which recycled several music soundtracks from Starcom: The U.S. Space Force, Princess Sissi, Masked Rider and Spider-Man: The Animated Series. The opening theme for all episodes is "Digimon Theme" by Paul Gordon. "Hey Digimon" by Gordon, an insert song featured in the show, and was released on the original soundtrack of Digimon: The Movie along with "Digimon Theme".
The series was released on DVD by Twentieth Century Fox (Saban's parent company) in 2000 and by Buena Vista Home Entertainment in 2002. A complete DVD boxset of the English dub was released by New Video Group on October 9, 2012 in the U.S and was released by Madman Entertainment on June 18, 2014 in Australia.
Digimon Adventure was added to the Netflix Instant Streaming service along with Digimon Adventure 02 from August 3, 2013 to August 1, 2015 in separate English dubbed and Japanese subtitled versions. Crunchyroll acquired streaming rights to the English dubbed versions, while Funimation acquired rights to the English subtitled versions. The English dubbed version of Adventure briefly returned to Netflix while the English subtitled version is now exclusive to Funimation. It is also available on Hulu in the US with the Starz add on.
Several short films based on the series were released in theaters in Japan. Digimon Adventure (デジモンアドベンチャー, Dejimon Adobenchā) was originally released on March 6, 1999. The story focuses on Tai and Kari finding a Digi-egg from their computer, which hatches and quickly Digivolves into Greymon, culminating in a battle with Parrotmon. The film grossed ¥650 million.
Digimon Adventure: Children's War Game! (デジモンアドベンチャー ぼくらのウォーゲーム!, Dejimon Adobenchā: Bokura no Wō Gēmu!) was originally released on March 4, 2000. In the film, Tai and Izzy find a virus Digimon who Digivolves into Diaboromon, resulting in him infecting the Internet and launches nuclear missiles towards their home. The film introduces DNA Digivolution through Omnimon. The film's ending theme song is "'Haru' Ichōchō" (「春」イ長調) by AiM. The film grossed ¥2.166 billion. Children's War Game! later served as the inspiration for director Mamoru Hosoda's film Summer Wars.
The two short films were combined with Digimon Adventure 02: Part 1: Digimon Hurricane Landing!! / Part 2: Supreme Evolution!! The Golden Digimentals and was released as Digimon: The Movie in North America on October 6, 2000. Digimon: The Movie was altered from the original script to remove "culturally awkward" Japanese elements and introduced jokes suitable for a North American audience. Originally, scriptwriter Jeff Nimoy wanted to combine Digimon Adventure and Children's War Game! while releasing Digimon Hurricane Landing / Supreme Evolution!! The Golden Digimentals as a direct-to-television movie, but the idea was overruled. In order to connect the film's stories, the script was rewritten to include Willis involved in Diaboromon's creation.
Digimon Adventure 3D: Digimon Grand Prix! (デジモンアドベンチャー3D デジモングランプリ!, Dejimon Adobenchā: Dejimon Guran Puri), a stereoscopic 3D short film, was shown at Toei Animation Festival on October 3, 2009 and was later included on a set of DVD works released on February 21, 2010.
Manga and comics
|Digimon: Digital Monsters|
Cover of issue #1
|Publisher||Dark Horse Comics|
|Publication date||May 2000 – November 2000|
|No. of issues||12|
|Written by||Daniel Horn, Ryan Hill|
|Artist(s)||Daniel Horn, Cara L. Niece|
A manga adaptation illustrated by Yu Yuen Wong was published in five volumes. Tokyopop published the series in English. In North America, a comic book adaptation of the Devimon arc was published by Dark Horse Comics between May and November 2000.
A series of mini-drama CDs were released throughout the run of Digimon Adventure and included supplementary audio dramas. In addition to this, character image songs for the main DigiDestined were included.
- Digimon Adventure: Character Song + Mini Drama 1 (デジモンアドベンチャーキャラクターソング＋ミニドラマ(1), Dejimon Adobenchā Kyarakutā Songu + Min Dorama 1), was released on November 5, 1999 and is centered on Tai, Sora, and Joe.
- Digimon Adventure: Character Song + Mini Drama 2 (デジモンアドベンチャーキャラクターソング＋ミニドラマ(2), Dejimon Adobenchā Kyarakutā Songu + Min Dorama 2), was released on December 3, 1999 and is centered on Izzy, Mimi, and Kari.
- Digimon Adventure: Character Song + Mini Drama 3 (デジモンアドベンチャーキャラクターソング＋ミニドラマ(3), Dejimon Adobenchā Kyarakutā Songu + Min Dorama 3), was released on January 7, 2000 and is centered on Matt and T.K.
- A full-length drama CD, Digimon Adventure: Original Story: Two-and-a-Half Years (デジモンアドベンチャー オリジナルストーリー 2年半の休暇, Dejimon Adobenchā: Orijinaru Sutōrī: 2-nen-han no Kyūka) was released on April 23, 2003 and follows the lives of Tai, Matt, Sora, Izzy, Mimi, and Joe in the two-and-a-half year period before Digimon Adventure 02.
Characters and Digimon from Adventure appear throughout many video games based on the franchise, such as Digimon Rumble Arena.
An RPG based on the original storyline of Adventure developed by Prope and published by Namco Bandai Games, also title Digimon Adventure, was released for the PlayStation Portable on January 17, 2013, part of the line-up of video games of the 15th anniversary celebration of the franchise. The game covers the entire series as well as the second Japanese film, Bokura no War Game, and sees the return of all the main voice actors. The game also features original story elements and an unlockable dungeon mode featuring the protagonists of the other anime series in the franchise.
On its initial release, the series found a rather large success in the United States. When it was first released in North America, the series was seen as an attempt to imitate the success of Nintendo's Pokémon franchise. Entertainment Weekly magazine named Digimon as the "Worst Pokémon/Net Crossbreeding Attempt" in 2000. Initially, many American viewers were quick to dismiss Digimon as a Pokémon rip-off meant to cash in on that show's success. However, audiences eventually noticed that compared to Pokémon, the characters interacted and developed realistically, as well as the integration of more complicated science fiction stories and societal themes. The English dub gradually improved as well, making fewer and fewer alterations to the Japanese original by later episodes. As a result, many young viewers quickly outgrew Pokémon and migrated to Digimon instead. However, Digimon never achieved the massive financial success of the Pokémon franchise as a whole.
Despite the criticism, it placed first at the start of the May 2000 Nielsen ratings sweeps, surpassing Pokémon: Adventures on the Orange Islands among viewers aged 2–11 and 6–11. Retailers and businesses such as snack food company Jel Sert and toy store chain Toys "R" Us capitalized on the popularity of the series by licensing it for promotion with their own products. Web search engine Lycos listed Digimon as the number five fad of 2000, and it ranked 35th on the list of the year's top searches.
- A Digivice (デジヴァイス, Dejivaisu), based on Bandai's Digital Monster virtual pet toy, is a digital device that the DigiDestined use to enter the Digital World and help their Digimon partners Digivolve.
- Digivolution (進化, Shinka) is the process by which a Digimon evolves into a higher-leveled, more powerful form.
- Warp Digivolution (ワープ進化, Wāpu Shinka) is a type of Digivolution that allows a Digimon to skip levels to reach a higher stage.
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