Sunday, March 23, 2014

Spotlight: Digimon

The Original Team

Gather one. Gather all! Today, we go Digital!

That's right. This time I shine the Spotlight on Digimon, one of the best anime franchises.

Now, for those poor souls who haven’t seen it, you’re probably thinking, “What’s Hazard talking about?”

After all, Digimon is one of those shows that’s a really long toy commercial.

To you I say, well so was Transformers.

And more recently Gundam Build Fighters... and  Gundam in general really.

Digimon is really good. The mythology. The mechanics. The characters. The themes. It's awesome.

Which is why I’m taking my time, much like I did with Saint Seiya, to shine a Spotlight on each of the anime seasons.

This time Digimon Adventure!

The Story

Still a badass design

Once upon a time, it snowed a lot.

This was bad news for the seven kids on a summer camps of all things. However, fate had greater plans in store for them. Mysterious devices fall from the sky and take them to another World, a Digital World!

There they meet curious, small creatures (Digimon) which had been mysteriously waiting for them. With their help our intrepid heroes search for a way home, but not without running into bigger, meaner Digimon along the way.

It's a dangerous journey, but their little Digimon can turn into bigger, awesomer Digimon and kick ass.

With Friendship!

Their summer is just getting started.

The Setting

Want to see a Clown Trick?
Most of the action takes place in the Digital World. The little monsters, Digimon are data. Everything is made of data.

As a consequence physics are more of a suggestion in the Digital World. Likewise, Digimon are heavily influenced by, well, data. Dinosaurs. Dragons. Wizards. Vampires. Robots. Toys. There is information about it floating on the web, there are Digimon related to it.

Digimon are also smart. How smart varies, but they are usually just as smart as humans. The bad guys can range from deviously clever (yes, there’s a pun there) to really, really dumb. The kid’s partners (because that’s what they are) are not pets. There is a partnership between Digimon and Human, and that’s one of the driving forces of the show.

Oh, and Digievolution is awesome. Seriously, Evolution sequences and moments are the source of much awesome in the show.

How it manages?

Because putting Kari in the first picture would have been a spoiler

If you haven’t been paying attention so far, awesomely.

Digimon has basic character work, but it’s good, basic character work. Our main characters could have been simple one note characters.

Tai the brave leader. Matt the cool one. Sora the tomboy. Mimi the girly one. Izzi the smart one. Joe worrywart. TK the little kid. Kari… the little girl.

Instead, each of them get character development. They have their own issues that make them feel like people.

Another thing Digimon has going for it is that it really doesn’t try to dumb things down.

I mean, this could have been like Pokemon, and I’m not talking about the cool first season where stuff happened, but the other ones.

Digimon doesn’t go out of its way to make everything sugar and niceness like some kid shows do. That’s not to say the show isn’t upbeat, because it is. It’s generally a positive show, but bad things also happen and they are handled with the appropriate seriousness. 

Digimon Adventure 01 is a show I would definitely recommend to everyone. 

One Last Thing

Some people went ahead and watched the dubbed version.

That was a horrible mistake. 

I mean really, you miss the Opening that way! 

Seriously, Butterfly is great.

Then there are the other songs like Brave Heart. Really, they should have kept the Original Soundtrack.

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