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A Quick History

Digimon.....short for "Digital Monsters" as the logo above says, got it's start back in 1997 much in the same way as Pokemon did......in a game format.  Digimion was more of a spin-off of the (then popular) Tamagatchi or Giga Pets, rather than an RPG for a handheld game console.  It came in several different versions, each one had a different Digimon you had to take care of.  As with most virtual pets, the better care you gave them (like feeding them, and making them battle), the bigger they grew....eventually making them better and stronger Digimon.  You could connect your Digimon to another persons Digimon and do battle with them.

These Digimon V-pets came to Western shores in early 1998, but they didn't fly off the shelves.  In fact, they sold quite poorly, thus,  there are very few of the "original" Digimon out there, and they are now considered a collector's item.


It took a while before the anime series came around (April 1999).  Titled "Digimon Adventures" in Japan, the series focuses on 7 kids who get sucked into the Digital World to save it from the evil Digimon.  They meet up with 7 Digimon who quickly befriend the kids, and later in the series, an 8th kid is introduced and joins with the original 7.  It consisted of 54 episodes, which started to run in August of 1999 on Fox Kids and Fox Family soon afterwards.  The series has given Fox it's highest ratings since its Power Rangers days of the early/mid Ninties.

Digimon's popularity started slow.  However, by February of 2000 (which is also when I started to get into Digimon) the show started to gain some ground, and promotional efforts were taken, this time with much more success than the first try in 1998.  The TV series hit its peak with a 'sweeps' win over Pokemon in May.  Where most TV series end their season in May, Digimon's didn't end until mid-June.

Not much happend for a few months, until "Digimon Adventure - Zero Two", aka "Digimon 02" came to Fox in Fall of 2000.   It takes place 4 years after the first season, and introduces 3 new 'chosen ones' to join with 2 older Digi-destined.  It had already started in April in Japan, and was still finding success.  Also 3 movies had been released already in Japan at this point.

That brings in another attempt to overthrow Pokemon at it's top rated spot.  Fox decided to bring all 3 of those movies in, and throw them together into one feature film.  The finished product, "Digimon - The Movie" did poorly compared to it's competitor's issuing a few months earlier (Pokemon the Movie 2000).  Where that movie took in over $42 million total, the Digi-flick took in less than $10 mil.  In layman's terms....it's considered a box office flop.  This was probably due to the overwhelming popularity Pokemon still has (millions more fans than Digimon does) and poor editing by the dubbers.  In fact, over 30 min of footage was cut for time and/or censorship in the 3rd segment of the feature.  Pokemon may get its edits here and there, but nothing as extreme as the Digimon flick got.

Also during this time, a long-awated Digimon soundtrack CD was put out.  Again, because it doesn't have enough 'original' material on it (its more or less a rehash of songs by popular ska/reggae, and alternative pop-rock bands, and the rest are compositions by Shuki Levy and Paul Gordon made for the TV series), it didn't sell well as it's competitor's first CD "Pokemon 2BA Master", which was all original material.


For more info on Digimon, your links are in the left column.



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