20 Years since Digimon Premiered in English

MarcFBR

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Another anniversary, and it's a big one!



It's been 20 years since the English dub of Digimon premiered.


It premiered on Fox Kids on August 14th, 1999 on Saturday in the USA! The first episode was "And So It Begins..."

We're in the 20th Anniversary for the show in both Japanese and English now! We've been getting a ton of great news and info about the brand in general. Coming soon is the new movie, games, products, and just stacks of fun stuff!


How/When did you first see the dub, and any fun memories about it
 

mirby

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I first saw it when it premiered... 20 years ago today lol. Loved it, was sad when Frontier was moved to UPN and I couldn't watch it anymore (the UPN affiliate always had really poor reception where I grew up and while the Fox affiliate usually did too, we got the Bay Area Fox affiliate KTVU2 more regularly).

Actually met my fiance through mutual love of Digimon, so it's definitely been a big part of my life these past 20 years. Watched tri and Appmon for the first time with him and it was great. We're both looking forward to Last Evolution Kizuna.
 

Muur

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I'm not sure of the exact date, but I caught the anime, however it would've been a re-run, because whilst enjoying it my parents picked up Digimon World 1, which appears to have come out in 2001 for Europe, so I guess that's when I first saw it. Makes sense too, since I saw 01 and 02 back to back as a kid and I recall seeing Tamers not too long afterwards, so I guess I didn't see it as early as everyone else lol, but on the flip side I did get to have World 1 and three seasons of the anime in quite the fast succession and then spent most of my childhood, and even life, replaying those PS1 games and then moving up to DS (I never did get any of the GBA games other than Battle Spirit 2, which had Frontier which didn't air in the UK so I was confused and didnt play it lol). I suppose it was beneficial I got to see them all in a row like that, as it did help me become more of a fan than waiting for years... I guess. It seems it was around April 2001 or so, as I specifically remember getting World 1 as a "easter gift", lol. and then my first play session, I got a Nanimon... and never got a Nanimon in world 1 again. Shame. Nice memories though, oh my absolute number one franchise that I have sunk waaaaay too many hours in.
 

wildwing64

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I first saw it when SMTV:Live (ITV's Saturday morning kids programme, infamously hosted by Ant & Dec) started showing it at some point in 2000. I might be remembering wrong, but I believe they aired it instead of Pokemon that week, which is surprising in hindsight because that was always their biggest draw. Evidently I missed the first episode, but they were showing Episode 2, so I checked it out and was instantly hooked.

I later got a second chance to watch it from the beginning as CITV (back then, their weekday kids programme) got to Episode 27, left us on the cliffhanger with Tai banging the gateway door... and then looped back to Episode 1.

The scheduling was a little inconsistent, and I ended up missing Episode 20 both times it aired - which is ironic, because my all-time favourite Digimon debuted in that episode; MetalGreymon.
 

whatthechuck3

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I actually heard about the show from friends in the 3rd grade talking about it as a “cooler” alternative to Pokémon. I finally managed to catch it on tv one Saturday morning at my Grandma’s house (though I mistakenly thought an episode of Monster Rancher I caught was Digimon at first, starting another long term franchise love for me). The first episode I saw was the episode when all of the Champion Digimon are reuniting to fight Devimon after being separated. That was followed by Patamon’s evolution to Angemon and I thought at the time “Great! I’m starting at the last episode...” Luckily, I was wrong. I then mainly caught the earlier episodes on VHS and recorded the entire 8th child marathon on (at the time) FoxKids network. I still had that old recorded VHS for many years. While the dub does hold a nostalgic place in my heart, a couple of years ago I finally sat down to watched the original subbed version, and that’s now my preferred way to watch/think about Digimon. I just finished 02 subbed (which, where the first season was fairly comparable if a little more “kiddy” the 2nd season is a vast improvement in its original language). Finally getting to Tri before I hit up Tamers subbed.
 

DazzleDream

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I first saw it on network 2 in Ireland. I was in my grandparents' house and randomly tuned into the middle of the second episode. Something about it intrigued me so I started taping episodes to watch when school was over. Before long I was a die-hard fan!
 

Mugenlazlo

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I was 5 when the show first aired in the USA. Now, I am 25 and I still watch the show to this very day.
 

Rexanimon

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I was in second grade and all of the kids in class were talking about Pokemon. So the one day I flipped over to Fox Kids and thought it was Pokemon at first. It took me a little bit to realize that it wasn't Pokemon but from then on out I was hooked and grew to love the show far more than I loved Pokemon (although don't get me wrong, Pokemon is still up there). I still remember what episode it was too (episode 2 of Adventure, when Agumon digivolves to Greymon and defeats Shellmon). It's insane to think that was 20 years ago now...
 

Mugenlazlo

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Don’t you just miss the old days of Saturday Morning Cartoons?
 

dgmn

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It's official i'm ancient :cool:

Now, I don't remember how it all began for me, which was the first episode I watched, but I do remember Koushiro's episode with ultimate evolution to AtlurKabuterimon was what got me hooked into it, since I didn't get to watch first episodes - that came a year later, but villains really got me into it and the whole concept of parallel dimension digital monsters bought me instantly, especially since I watched it first in Japanese and later Tamers (which I caught and stick with till the end) in German made it the best anime. 02 was on my priority list to watch since I heard there was twin version of Wargreymon in it, but the tv station already moved to newer Digimon series so internet gave me that pleasure years later.
Oh and I do remember that my first digimon cards were Sora's Birdramon and Meramon ;)

Wow 2 decades gone so fast cool for Digimon franchise
 

Piers

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In the UK it was CITV that suddenly aired a commercial for it: "First there was Pokemon, and now there's Digimon"
And at first I was kind of "meh" about it. It's just a Pokemon copycat, they want in on the fad. Whatever. (Obviously was dumb to where it actually began)

Then I caught sight of Agumon, and some of the other monsters. My opinion immediately swung in reverse.

My favourite Pokemon were some of the more vicious looking ones, and obviously Digimon knew this. The kid's "monster friends" are just small compared to them but sport predatory features: fangs, big claws, horns. And they're protecting these kids from monsters far larger and far more vicious looking. That's nuts! It's Pokemon overdosed on steroids and protein.
But it was Agumon I absolutely dug. This mini t-rex. But I also dug the guy with goggles. Even before the first episode began, I was hoping goggle boy would get the baby rex. At first thought it was Joe due to the Digimon's pre-Rookie state, in this case Pukamon looking similar to Agumon. Wrong. It was ugly Koramon, who looked like Kirby inhaled a mutated Scarfy. Before finding this out at the end of episode one, I was so disappointed Joe apparently got Agumon that I was already on the verge of writing off the show.

Even then, the first episode sunk its teeth into me. It's The Goonies but now they're in cyberspace with wacky creatures but also Heart of Darkness with how everything could literally kill these kids — Ash is just goofing off by comparison. My hype just went up from there. Digimon could evolve further into Champions and I wasn't prepared for Greymon or Garurumon. After school, I had to see what all these Digimon transform into. And the situations these kids got into was hilarious and how they tried to resolve adversity, it was gold. The time slot for Digimon was the most important part of the day for me.

And the show just kept escalating. The biblical fight of Angemon vs Devimon, and Patamon dying. Then an old Obi-wan rip off tells kids that their Digimon friends can transform further? I couldn't believe it. What would they look like? And again, Digimon knew this hype. Tai wanted to know just as much, and so there's the episode of him trying to force the evolution out of poor Agumon, after finding his crest to do so. It worked! I was stoked! Then SkullGreymon happens and I wasn't quite so spooked and disturbed in a long time.

At some point, though, I was accessing the late 90's web and had the idea to search for Digimon. Obviously, this spoiled what was to come, given I was UK based and the syndication was behind the US.

So I caught glimpse of names like MetalGreymon. I think my eyes lit up at just that meagre info. Metal? It's Greymon, but he's made of metal? I told friends this at school, and they didn't quite buy it. Sooner or later I tried to dig deeper, and eventually stumbled into a single screenshot of MetalGreymon's digivolve scene. Having watched enough ReBoot I could see this was 3D CGi, and my jaw kind of dropped then and there over the idea that this show would cut completely from 2D animation to show an elaborate 3D transformation. Had to immediately snoop on the web more and see when this happens, and eventually did. Episode 20. Noted in the calendar, it was counting down to Christmas in summer time. When it aired, MetalGreymon's screen time was ultimately meagre. He also looked nothing like I expected — he looked way better. Gnarly trident arm, mechanical prosthetics, manic face and fangs. Mutated bug wings and hair. It was completely worth it. The twist of Tai and Koromon suddenly being back in the real world was also utterly bonkers, and my mind was stuck thinking what was to happen.
 
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McGann

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I used to watch it in the mornings. Well, bits of it. How much I got to see varied on how much of the News my mum wanted to watch before finally letting me switch back over, I actually missed the first scene where the In-Trainings Digivolved to Rookies. When I tuned in next week, they had all changed and I guess I just rolled with it. Greymon was the first evolution I actually saw.

I missed a big chunk of the first Myotismon arc, to the point where I thought the episode where they return to the real world was the first time Biyomon reached Ultimate level. Remarkably I managed to watch the entire Dark Masters arc uninterrupted. Dunno if was because of a time slot change, cuz I remember my mum was still there. She actually laughed at Apocalymon's line "wait, what am I laughing for? I'm supposed to be depressed!"

Man that final shot of them waving the trolley goodbye was sad.
 

Paruseruru mafubu

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I still remember that Saturday morning fondly and actually still have the VHS recording to this day of it. Woody Woodpecker aired in the timeslot before it and they were advertising the Xena/Hercules animated movie. Can't believe that was 2 decades ago and yes Mugenlazlo, I miss Saturday mornings on Fox Kids and CBS very much. I really feel old because I can remember fondly the decade before that in 1989 with shows like 'The Real Ghostbusters', 'Beetlejuice' and classic TMNT. Everything was fun back then, even the McDonald's commercials.
 

Unknown Neo

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Hooray! I remember stuff. It oddly repeated once it got to the mansion and first appearance of Devimon. I thought the episode would have Patamon evo since the last few eps had everyone else evo. ...Hey wait, wasn't that bath scene episode that had to be edited because of butts?
 

Jmac28211

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I’ve been watching since day 1 in the states. My dad got me into it and we watched the first episode together. Digimon has helped me get through every major tragedy in my life. The Digimon Xros Wars hype train was in full swing when my father passed away. The hype for Tri (and subsequent episodes) was one of the only bright points when both of my grandparents were sick. I can’t imagine a life without Digimon, and lets hope we’re still adventuring in 2039.
 

DaiTigris

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I distinctly remember watching the first episode the the day it aired, and thus my lifelong addiction was born. My brothers where all over it, with the oldest immediately taking to Tai and the second oldest to Matt. During the first season they kept bugging me about what character/digimon I liked the most and I honestly didn't know at that time. I liked the designs of the monsters but at the same time they didn't stick on me of one I'd like to have as a partner in the first season. Kari would eventually become my favorite human character for being a younger sister and I related to her weird way of acting socially as I was a rather awkward child myself. Then Season 2 hit and the moment Gatomon showed up I knew she was my favorite, her whole character arc of wanting to find a place to belong is something I knew I wanted as a kid but I couldn't properly vocalize it. Then Wizardmon shows up and he's best friends with her, I was ecstatic(Cause it's a wizard and a cat. I like silly fantasy ascetics like that). By the time it was revealed Gatomon was Kari's Digimon my smole brain was just beyond the moon about it all. Heck the Myotismon arc is pretty much engraved in my brain as being the best TV show arcs I watched as a kid(Sorry didn't have cable or whatever in the house so I missed out on a lot of classic cartoons during that part of my life).
 

ArsDaemonum

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I wasn't allowed to watch television back when it first started airing, but I used to beg my parents to rent tapes at Blockbuster as they came out. When they started airing Adventure again to promote 02, I was able to actually catch it on television, and woke up earlier than anyone else in my household to watch (to the point I viewed it from the basement and set up my own 'Digi-corner' to watch). It was a morning ritual just about every week until they started airing 02 proper, where I sort of fell off the train for a bit. Fast forward a little bit, and I'm catching every episode of Tamers I can! As it continued, I followed it into Frontier, and even learned about subs existing online when I first heard of X-Evolution.

Sometimes I think back to when it first aired, and wonder where I'd be today if I didn't sit and watch it as often as I did. Digimon had a huge hand in motivating me to go into concept artwork and monster design, and became a large part of my life for so long. I can't imagine what I would be doing without it!
 

AppliFang

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I remember watching it on those Saturday mornings >W<
Loved it ever since lol
 

Mild At Heart

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Time really does fly.

I've said it before, but I first watched Digimon some time after it came out, when my grandparents gifted me with Digimon VHSes and toys (probably mistaking them for Pokemon merch). It was a volume 2 VHS tape and then another volume with the episodes where Devimon fooled them into taking shelter in a mansion and then separated them+the fallout from the separation with Taichi and Yamato. I didn't get that many VHS tapes over the years (I think after those two, I got the one where Tailmon evolves to Angewomon and then the movie), and I caught it relatively sparingly on TV for a while, but I still got hooked enough to care about the toys.

I like to think it's a testament to how good and interesting Digimon as a franchise is.
 
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