Digimon Adventure (Anime 1999)
Created By: Akiyoshi Hongo
Last week, my sister and I re-watched the dubbed version of Digimon Adventure on Hulu. While watching this show as an adult, I noticed some things that I didn’t notice or comprehend as a child. In this post, I complied a list of these findings, along with my own thoughts about them.
1. There were a lot of cheesy, over exaggerated word-play, puns, and jokes made by various characters. For example, when Matt fought against Digitamamon, I remembered Matt using various egg-related jokes like, “You are going to be poached!” Honestly, these English lines are terrible and embarrassing that I couldn’t help but cringe and laugh. They would say the weirdest puns that wasn’t really necessary because it didn’t add depth to the plot or character development. Yet as a child, I wouldn’t notice these things because I was focused on the action and comedy came from visual actions as oppose to word-play and jokes.
2. At times, these kids fail at reasoning and logic. Okay, they are kids and they don’t know any better, but some of the dangerous things that they face could have been solved by using common sense. For example, rather than climbing a mountain to look at the landscape of the island, they could have just used Birdramon or Kabuterimon to fly up to the mountain. Izzy may be book-smart, but he lacks common sense.
3. Digimon poop out pink turds. Now when I was a kid, I always wanted to know what were those pink cream shape things that the Numemon would throw. I really didn’t notice what they were as a kid, but as an adult, I realized that those pink things are actually poop. The pink turds provide toilet humor to the show, and it did full-filled its’ purpose. When Koromon accidentally popped out a pink turd in Sora’s cousin’s car, I couldn’t stop laughing because it was so funny.
4. Patamon’s voice is actually more high-pitch that I thought it would be. I always imagined Patamon’s voice to be a little deeper and more boyish, but Patamon actually sounds like a baby girl.
5. I didn’t notice that Gabumon’s fur actually has two other arms that he doesn’t use. So I am assuming that it is just how Gabumon’s fur is designed to be. The fact that Gabumon is self-conscious when detaching his fur from his body is cute. Yet, he was willing to detach it when Matt was freezing to death after walking so long in a snowstorm.
6. Gabumon is a reptile digimon, just like Agumon. Honestly, Gabumon doesn’t look like a reptile, and his digivolutions consist of a wolf-theme.
7. The enemies they faced in the Digiworld don’t last very long. It is good that the Digidestined defeated their enemies as quickly as possible to save both, the Digiworld, and Earth. However, the evil characters they faced lack character depth, so our only knowledge about them is that they are evil.
8. It would have been an easy job to find the Eighth Digidestined, if only Tai would have remembered that Kari was with him when he saw the two digimon fighting on Earth. How can you forget your siblings!
9. During their mission to find the Eighth Digidestined, their method of communication was limited. If they needed to meet or tell them about a recent digimon sighting, they had to use the home phone/landline to alert the others. In one episode, Izzy tried to contact the others on the landline phone to see if anyone could help him with destroying a digimon. However, everyone was asleep, and their parents were the ones that picked up the phone, which is troublesome because their parents can’t comprehend the situation. Yet in Season 2, the show upgraded, in which the Digidestined not only got a digivice, but also a handheld communicator. I realized the importance of cellphones in anime because cellphones allow privacy and also you don’t need to go through the whole “parents just don’t understand” situation. It would be definitely hard to explain to your parents that you are trying to save the world.
10. In regards to the topic of technology, Digimon Adventure is a show way too advance for its’ time. The English dubbed version came out when computers and the internet was somewhat new to the daily lives of people. Moreover, the setting of Digimon Adventure, the Digiworld, is a world created through computer data. If you think about it, today’s internet could be seen as its’ own world too. We use social media sites as a way to express ourselves, but also a way to create our own internet character.
11. Lastly, my sister and I had an issue towards the poor word choice used in one of the dubbed episodes of Digimon Adventure. The term I’m talking about is,”terrorist.” Digimon Adventure aired in the United States around the same time the 9/11 Attack occurred. In an episode’s dubbed version, translators translated the Digidestined’s discussions of what happened in Highton View Terrace, where Greymon was fighting against a bird-like digimon, as a “terrorist attack.” I don’t see how this cartoon event is justified to be called a “terrorist attack.” My question is why use such a taboo term in a cartoon aimed for children. One could argue that they are paying “tribute” to the 9/11 events, but since it is being aired at the same time that this historical event happened, it is a sensitive term to talk about. In my opinion, the translators used an inappropriate word for the dubbed version of this cartoon. By using the word, “terrorist attack,” “terrorism,” or “an act of terror,” it seems that the media is instilling a sense of fear and danger within children. In my opinion, teaching a child or creating a sense of fear by using the term, “terrorist” is wrong. It isn’t the cartoon, but the English translation that create misunderstandings of violence and inappropriateness. This is one example of the dangers of mistranslation, and how the media has the power to shape the views and opinions of the youth.
These are just some of the observations I had when watching the first season of Digimon Adventure. I am looking forward to the latest show in the franchise, Digimon Adventure tri.