Anime Reviews

Things I Noticed In Digimon Adventure As An Adult That I Didn’t Notice As A Child

Digimon Adventure
(Via MyAnimeList)

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.

Digimon_Adventure_group_shot
(Via Wikipedia)

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.

Digimon Adventure 2
(Via MyAnimeList)

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.

Digimon Adventure 3
(Via MyAnimeList)

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.

Digimon15key
(Via Wikipedia)
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7 comments

  1. Well, Gabumon’s fur is apparently something he wears, not part of his body.

    The episode(s?) of Digimon Adventure that mentioned the terrorist bombing first aired in the US before 9/11, not shortly after it. The translators and writers had no way of knowing that the word they used was going to become a lot more sensitive less than two years later.
    (The third series, Digimon Tamers, is the one that was airing at the time of 9/11, and it actually had a scene with smoke coming out of a skyscraper cut out of the English dub.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the comment!

      Yeah, I remember the episode when Gabumon detached it from his body. I was surprised.

      As for the translators, even though it may have been one or two years before, I still feel that the word, “terrorist attack” isn’t the right choice of words. For me, I would consider it like an alien invasion as oppose to a terrorist attack.

      I didn’t watch Digimon Tamers in its entirety, so I vaguely recall what happens, but it is interesting to note the sensitivity of such an event influence the editing of a foreign show.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Forgive me for posting here over a year late, but I thought it would be interesting to you to point out some things that only Japanese viewers experienced with Digimon, somewhat in relation to what you posted here. No point in comparing the two dubs’ quality, but despite the English version sticking to the same plot and themes, there are slight changes in atmosphere, character, and drama, and two extra supplemental works that never made their way out of Japan that, honestly, change EVERYTHING WE THOUGHT WE KNEW.

    1) The jokes, as you probably already know, were mostly exclusive to the English dub. Other dubs avoided being too funny because in actuality, there is a lot of important silence. I’m sure it was done to avoid over-traumatizing kids. They cut a few seconds out of Wizardmon’s death scene, mostly to get the point across about a sad event without letting kids have enough time to really take it in and feel sad. The music changed in the English dub (likely due to copyright and budget reasons), with solemn violin melodies and even any moments of silence being replaced with either encouraging tracks or just general music. Really, the entire show feels different in Japanese and English simply due to the direction of the productions.

    2) There is a Drama CD released after Adventure that leads into Adventure 02, mostly with some plot-hole-filling explanations about how the gates started opening up again and how they got the D-Terminal devices, and also some introductions of family never shown in season 1 that would later be relevant in season 2. But ironically, whereas the English version cut out any potential parallels to 9/11 in later seasons, this Drama CD brings up 9/11… by making it happen WHILE Mimi is in New York, recording the tape that you, the audience, are listening to. Yup. She’s all cheerful, and then BOOOOOOOOM!–the tape cuts out and cuts back in. She explains that she meets other digidestined in New York and they all helped with the relief efforts until the adults came in. When listening, I was in awe…

    3) Wonderswan games. Not much to say here, but it MAY be an explanation as to why the antagonists were always so one-dimensional. A much later game in the Wonderswan game series (of which all are canon to the first two seasons, at least, considering season 2 flashbacks to a scene in the game) basically explains that the antagonist of the games breaks time and space through the digital-verse and, to ensure his own birth, as well as to distract the original digidestined. Indeed, Devimon, Myostismon, the Dark Masters, and even Apocalymon were all revived/sent by the main antagonist of the games from the future in order to ensure that everything happened the way it ended up happening. Well, I mean, he was HOPING the digidestined would be defeated, so that ruined his plans, but hey. How did he ensure his birth? By creating Machinedramon, the Dark Master, from a bunch of mechanical Digimon and even giving Ken the idea to make Chimeramon. Once both were destroyed, the data wasn’t reborn, but eventually fused together to create–you guessed it–the antagonist of the games himself. By this time, the protagonist of the games has been deceived and betrayed by the original digidestined cast, who were doing what they thought was right, but… at the expense of the protagonist’s well-being and their friendship. Yay! =D

    4) If you search around, you can find two official artworks (same pose, but different illustrations) of Gabumon without his fur. He looks somewhat like a small-headed Agumon, though you can picture the fur on him, too. Where did the fur come from? Well, it presumably comes with him as he evolves, but the questionably-canon lore suggests that the fur he wears is the fur of a Garurumon. I’m guessing the design is based more on the lore, but in terms of the canon, it doesn’t make sense. lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, thanks for the information about the Japanese version of Digimon. It was pretty insightful. I think with the Drama CD, paralleling the Digidestined events with the 9/11 events is pretty impactful and Gabumon is such an adorable Digimon, but the fur is interesting when it seems like he is a dinosaur type transforming into a wolf.

      Like

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