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Thread: What makes the Digimon franchise "cool" for you?

  1. #1
    Junior Commander Gigamon23's Avatar
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    What makes the Digimon franchise "cool" for you?

    I tried to see whether there was a thread like this already posted, but had no luck. So if you guys know of one like it, feel free to let me know.
    As someone who likes to create stories, I try to see what makes a story or franchise "cool" for me, so that I can use those principles properly when creating my own. Lately, I've turned my attention to the Digimon franchise to see what about it so enthralled me when I was younger, and what I still like about it today, aside from the nostalgia factor. I'd love to hear what makes the Digimon franchise "cool" to you!

    What I like about Digimon, I think, comes down to two or three main things. First, I love the semi-plausible science fiction elements. As a kid, I was always fascinated with science and technology. Digimon is a franchise that utilizes those sci-fi trappings and tropes, and successfully combined them with cool monster designs. (And seriously, what young boy doesn't like cool monsters? :P )

    The second main thing that I love about the Digimon franchise (and, I think, the thing that keeps me most interested today), is that it allows for a good deal of creative expression. All of the anime series have treated us to a variety of ways in which the monsters of the show are not only friends and companions, but also reflections and compliments to their human counterparts. This aspect of the franchise lends itself well to the tendency of children to imagine friends for themselves. However, inserting oneself into the world of the show does have it's limitations. Like most media, there is a degree of separation between the viewer and the world of the story, namely the main characters, because it is through their eyes that we experience their world. This is not a bad thing, of course, but it is a limitation.

    For me, the V-Tamer and C'mon Digimon manga (and for a very short while Digimon Next) seemed a little more inclusive, because they were stories that seemed like they could happen to anyone who owned a V-Pet. You cared for a Digimon just as the main characters did, which for me took away one of those degrees of separation. (Tamers and Hunters had a similar appeal to me in this regard, as it seemed that just about anyone could acquire a Digimon partner.) It was easy to imagine that there was a whole world behind the diminutive screen of the pet that I gave so much attention to. As a youngster, this extra degree of "realism" was enough to really capture my imagination. To tie this back to my second point, the fluidity of the evolution lines in the V-Pets meant that your pet was that much more unique and personalized than the Digimon partners in the show. (As a side note, Pokemon has been gaining increasing degrees of personalization as the series has continued, but until recently this has mostly been limited to the lineup of monsters you kept. It lacked a quality expressed in my next point.)

    Perhaps a third main point (which sort of ties back in to the second point), was that in Digimon, you spent a lot of time nurturing just the one monster, and to a degree fostering a "relationship" with it. This taps into an impulse many of us have to create and nurture. It's the same reason that many find sandbox games like Minecraft so entertaining. It is perhaps these two last points that are the reason I still love Digimon today--I am fascinated with the world that I imagine is behind the screen of those little virtual pets.

    Lol, I know these are a lot of words to explain a simple concept, but I do enjoy analyzing my own tastes and the reasons behind them. ^^' Again, I would love to hear why YOU love the Digimon franchise. It will be interesting to see how similarly or differently this franchise appeals to everyone.
    Last edited by Gigamon23; 02-24-2017 at 02:38 PM.

  2. #2
    I come from the net MasterOfTartarus's Avatar
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    there are alot of things to consider, entertaining story and characters(humans,digimon,villains), mostly the Character growth and pretty much the best monster design you can find for a monster collector franchise.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator TMS's Avatar
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    It's hard to say why, exactly. I've always loved monsters of all kinds, and dinosaurs, so that's a contributing factor. I'm also an addicted to information input, so I love all of the different classifications and other stuff to memorize (action/fantasy anime in general is great for that). Other than that, I guess just the general entertainment factor and the age at which I was introduced to it.
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  4. #4
    I come from the net viperzerof-2's Avatar
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    You don't see to many kids shows that really focus on character growth. Cool monsters help too!

  5. #5
    I come from the net Jay Ukyou's Avatar
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    Personally, I was sold on the show when I learned what the Crests were and what they meant. I loved the idea of the Digimon as reflections of these kids who seemed so much more fleshed out than most characters in Shonen anime. I think when Koushirou had his adoption storyline and it was handled so... adeptly was when I thought that this show really knew how to have an emotional core.

    Once that emotional core resonated with me, I wanted to learn everything there was about the world. And the series certainly provided me with a lot of cool concepts to learn about. The nature of the digital world, the various ways a Digimon can evolve, the lore behind each monster, the relationship between the Digital and Real Worlds, and then later, the whole multiverse and how it tied together (or didn't tie together, depending on your views on such things).

    It all goes back to that bond between science fiction and human emotion. That's a good basis for any story.

  6. #6
    Junior Commander Tetra Seleno's Avatar
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    It always came down to the characters for me. While the first three series ran in the U.S., I was concurrently a fan of shows like Pokemon, Medabots, and Monster Rancher. What all of these mons show have in common was a.) cool monster (robot in the case of Medabots) designs and b.) human/monster partnerships.

    What made Digimon stand out to me as a child was how it explored issues that I didn't see those other shows tackling, which focused more on some of the conventional / prototypical shounen arcs. Character moments like Koushiro's adoption storyline, Jou and Sora's conflicts with a parent, Yamato and Takeru's relationship post-divorce... These resonated with me in a big way and invested me in the broader universe that the franchise was trying to build.

    Still, the science fiction elements of the franchise had their draw as well. Digimon aired just before the year 2000, and I remember being freaked out about Y2K at some point, so I thought it was cool to explore the notion of just what is happening inside my computer. On that note, Tamers will always be my favorite series because it pushes the science fiction elements of the franchise the hardest. (Zero Two, Frontier and Xros Wars play up the fantasy elements of the franchise much more IMO).
    Check out my Digimon blog for more Digimon-related analysis and commentary.

  7. #7
    I'm going digital AquaVersus's Avatar
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    There are a lot of reasons and it's hard to pin down.

    I guess for me...a lot of it had to do with having a partner/companion who provides you with unconditional love, support, sometimes sagely or spiritual wisdom, and even physical protection. That was probably a big part of why I was so drawn into Adventure and Adventure 02. My father passed away while Adventure 02 was airing here in the United States so I think at the time, even though I was already a solid Digimon fan by that point, I needed to feel special and loved and the idea of being a Chosen Child or a Tamer really appealed to me as a fantasy.

    I remained a fan because of the character development and ultimately because the concept of Digimon is just really cool. xD You have monsters ranging from cool to ferocious, a growth/evolution system that was so different from Pokemon, a parallel dimension, and stories that didn't talk down to their audience. I was and still am all for that.

    Today, I'm really into the evolution aspect of Digimon. I've posted a decent amount in the evolution thread here on WtW and it's just a lot of fun. I think this is one reason why I'm enjoying Next Order so much: I really love the concept of growing a Digimon and training it so that it evolves exactly the way you want it to. <3

  8. #8
    Junior Commander McGann's Avatar
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    I love the kitchen sink approach to the monster design that's equal parts bad-ass and adorable, the absurdist science-fantasy elements of the Digital World, and the way that world is mixed and contrasted with the slice-of-life drama of the human characters. It also knows when to not take itself too seriously; a similar aspect I enjoy in Doctor Who or Red Dwarf or The Lego Franchise. The ability to be silly and serious in equal measure gives it a tremendous feeling of sincerity, and the contrast enhances the strength of both qualities.
    "Never attempt anything without the gloves."

  9. #9
    Super Moderator Theigno's Avatar
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    We had a kind of similar thread a while ago, not 100% the same though: http://withthewill.net/threads/15250
    But well it has already been 2 years since then although it feels way more recent to me (how time flies...)

    considering my views haven't really changed since then, I might as well requote my reply from back then:

    Quote Originally Posted by Theigno View Post
    The biggest factor is that I am and always was fascinated by the concept and general lore of Digimon; The premise of human-made data manifesting as monsters and having a whole world full of these in most cases superhuman, intelligent and incredibly varied creatures, that mirror our cultures, conceptions and superstitions in many different sometimes parodic or warped ways and everything put into the context of this gigantic nonlinear evolutionary network in which almost everything is interconnected with over a thousand species fighting, coexisting and evolving. It's basically a plane of symbols given form and self-awareness, a world constructed from endless references to all kinds of things.
    For me it's that kind of crazy concept that always captivates me I see so many possibilities and an incredible potential in it. On the other hand I'm always aware that much of this potential is probably fated to be left unexplored, the thematic applicabilities of Digimon in general as well as the more complex dynamics and ecosystems a world inhabited by them could have are not something I think a franchise like this will delve into in great detail, the hope is there, faintly, but overall I confess that in many ways I like digimon more because of what it could be rather than what it is right now.
    I like my entertainment to be complex and challenging, either that or it has to impress me on a technical or stylistic level; The lore of Digimon passes those criteria just based on the sheer number of species and the amount of background information, references and intertextuality at the core of the franchise and the creativity of the designs, on the other hands it's quite a different story with the adaptions.
    I never lower my expectations for anything which in terms of Manga and Anime (Which I watch and read quite a lot) pretty much translates into staying clear of any conventional shounen series, which is exactly what I have been doing for many years now and most Digimon products and media are exactly the kind of conventional aesop-infused shounen aimed at people half my age that I wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole under normal circumstances; yet the fact that I still manage to enjoy them not because but rather despite their genre and style says a lot just about how much I love Digimon as a concept. Because every new anime or game extends the world, introduces more species, more concepts more abilities and generally adds to the bigger picture (sometimes even some human character may stick out but I generally don't count on that happening). The stories in and of themselves, which have a tendency to be childish and often unnecessarily moralizing, are secondary to the information they are made out of and I'm having fun extracting, analyzing everything about the setting and the rules at work. And of course in Digimon worlds can be incredibly different , with familiar concepts applied in new ways; this kind of creativity on many levels like the digimon themselves the diverse multiverse and even the different genres the Digimon world series has/used to have are a big part of why Digimon doesn't get boring.
    There's always new information and I'll even take things I know I won't like (hell I bough All Star Rumble) just because I simply want to know every piece of information that exists about Digimon regardless of the form that information comes in (and yes, that extends to haptic information which will result in me buying the action figures at some point in time).

  10. #10
    I'm a Maniac DigiAmy's Avatar
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    Tbh a lot of what was mentioned here already I agree with ;w; I'll try my best to explain why I love the franchise so much!

    First of all, the monster designs are really awesome. While other monsters are relatively simple at times (Which is also good!), Digimon tends to have an interesting style to their designs. It's definitely my favorite out of all of them.

    Unlike most monster franchises where you have to collect them all so to speak, Digimon grew into its own unique concept. While starting out as a Tamagotchi you can battle with, it then started being about how humans explore this new world with one Digimon they are partnered with. These Digimon partners both reflect and compliment their human companions. And as stated multiple times, I really loved seeing episodes of how the humans got along with their Digimon, traveled the Digital World, and tried to protect both worlds from peril.

    When I decided to revisit one of the shows a few years ago, I got to learn more about the characters and the world that they wandered around in. The characters had a great amount of character development, and the story was just as awesome as I remembered it. Then I got to learn even more about the Digital World. I decided to read more about the franchise, like the Vpets, video games, wikis, ect and I got to know a lot more about how the Digital World and the monsters that inhabit it work.

    I really don't want to spend the majority of this post comparing franchises, but it's true that they're all different even though they're always compared to one another. Pokemon obviously is about collecting monsters to complete the Pokedex, building a team, and battling it out with other trainers. Tamagotchi is about raising your virtual pet and being a good parent to it; The better you raise it, the better species that pet will be. Monster Rancher is basically training whatever monster you raise for various battles and tournaments. Of course these are all basic descriptions of their concepts and they're all good in their own ways, but I think one of the reasons why I love Digimon the most is because ever since the introductions of games and anime after the Vpets, it seems that it's more about what kind of Digimon fits best with a human partner, and how each character learns more as time goes on.

    Basically, it was a franchise I absolutely loved as a kid, and coming back to it, I can still appreciate as an adult. It's clear that the creators put a lot of effort into many of their Digimon series' and it really shows!

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