21st Anniversary of Digimon Adventure 02 & 15th Anniversary of Digimon Savers!

MarcFBR

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It's April 2nd in Japan, so more anniversaries! Digimon Adventure 02 began 21 years ago on April 2nd, 2000.

(Various text below has been used in prior anniversary articles.)


Adventure 02 was the first anime that came after Adventure, and it came in a form that to some degree, is still sort of unique and is still pointed out (and Adventure still goes with to this day.) Not wringing out every story bit from the characters as they are in a never ending roundabout with an eventual change, but telling a tale and jumping forward to a new story.


02 jumped a few years ahead and introduced 3 new leads with unique and interesting Digimon joining Takeru, Patamon, Hikari, and Tailmon. The rest of the leads from Adventure were recurring characters with the time jump having various defined character change for them.

The show was also interesting in that it added a few new types of evolution into the anime, which the franchise has played with various twists to evolution continuing on from here.

From a technical perspective, 02 is also unique in that towards the end, Toei changed the production chain, so while most of 02 uses older composite video, the last few episodes moved over to component, a change that would benefit future Digimon shows.


In recent years 02 has been caught between a rock in a hard place, where sales and interest are still high, but it isn't quite differentiated enough from what came before (since it's still part of Adventure) to get to many things of it's own while Adventure has continued to move forward with the path 02 helped pave. There has still been a number of notable 02 things though: various 02 elements making their way into tri., a few GEM figures (with hints of more), the well liked 15th Anniversary D-3s, and heavy appearances in various franchise 20th Anniversary merchandise a couple years ago (and appearances in various V-Pets and games.)

The last year hasn't been bad for 02 though... characters also showed up in Kizuna, and we've seen plushies, appearances in recent products and the card game, and even an 02 centered audio drama with the Kizuna home video release in Japan!




But April 2nd isn't just 02's day...



It's the 15th Anniversary of Digimon Savers!

Digimon Savers premiered on April 2nd, 2006.


Savers has an odd and unique place in the franchise. It's the first time it came 'back' after the original run of the anime ended. There were various comics, games, products, even X-Evolution, but nothing fully 'ongoing' in a way easy for people to connect to.


Savers both went back to elements that helped defined the franchise (Agumon as a lead, with a bunch of Greymon evolutions), while also going with a new art style, and going with a general mood of feeling more actiony. The primay leads of Masaru, Touma, and Yoshino are still well remember today, and they were later joined by Ikuto, along with a wide range of recurring characters ranging from various members of DATS and Masaru's family.


Savers has been one of the pieces of the franchise that at times has felt the most like it hasn't gotten things as time has gone, but with appearances in various franchise 20th Anniversary products, video games, recent V-Pets, and even a hint at a GEM figure (a hint at an actual Savers GEM figure, not the V-Tamer one that is being branded as Savers for marketing reasons), that will hopefully change so fans will be able to nab things. And of course, with the Frontier Blu-ray Box out for awhile at this point, Savers makes a heavily obvious next choice, so we will see what will happen there...



Update- Digimon Web posted social art and a message for the 15th Anniversary of Savers...



April 2nd, 2006 was the day that Digimon Savers began broadcasting. Today is the 15th Anniversary!㊗🎊
Congratulations Savers!
Celebrate with Japan's No.1 Fighting Bancho, Masaru Daimon & Agumon~🎉
Now, let's fight!🤜💥🤛

A bit of a fun time for 02 and Savers fans to share their thoughts on two very different shows.



We did a breakdown of the Digimon Adventure 02 BD-Box a few years ago.

The Digimon Adventure 02 Blu-ray Box is still available to order: (Affiliate link)
Digimon Adventure 02 BD-Box


We also did a breakdown of the Digimon the Movies box a few years ago. This contains both 02 movies and the Savers movie.

The Movies Box got split apart into singles a few years ago, and everything is still available, including the full box: (Affiliate link)
Digimon the Movies Blu-ray Box
Digimon Adventure Movies Blu-ray
Digimon Adventure 02 Movies Blu-ray
Digimon Tamers Movies Blu-ray
Digimon Frontier & Digimon Savers Movies Blu-ray
 

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JonVonBasslake

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Surprise, surprise, everyone is ignoring Savers yet again... I mean, I get that Tamers is the fan favorite (Adventure is more the general public's favorite or the only one they know of), but like almost no-one is talking about Savers anywhere and it's a damn shame. It's my favorite season, closely followed by Tamers. But everyone is just focusing on Tamers and nothing but Tamers...
 

VanChizzle

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02 is still one of my favourite seasons to this day. There are of course things worthy of critique but it introduced a lot of interesting elements into the franchise which still last to this day in a sense. To me it's still the only series other than Adventure that actually has a fantasy feel to it, and I think it should've paved the way for more sequels to explore the lore they had set out.

Savers was fun too. It's obviously one of the major occasions where Yggdrasil goes on its notorious anti-human crusade but having a truly evil human villain in Kurata really changed things for me. Previous foes like Oikawa and Ken could at least fall back on the excuse that they were manipulated... but nope, not this guy lol. He was bad to the bone and it was great seeing how a human with bad intentions could potentially shape events in the Digital World if they were so inclined. A great reminder that we really can be the true monsters sometimes.
 

Mon-Ohma

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Okay. I might as well post some thoughts.

=========

02. What to say...

First off, it is perhaps the one series I wouldn’t mind seeing remade in some manner. On account of how much potential it had going for it, but ultimately went nowhere sadly. In addition the amount of filler really hurt it as well.

I enjoyed the concept of armour evolution, which sadly fell by the wayside after the first arc. I liked Ken, but the Digimon kaiser could have been far better then what we ended up getting.

Takeru tended to grate on me quite a bit with his self-righteous routine, in turn compounded by the writers making Daisuke into a butt monkey just to prop him (and Takari) up.

Speaking of Hikari, the Dark Ocean/Dagomon stuff could have led to some interesting development for her, instead she was pretty bland throughout. Miyako had to make up the personality for the both of them.

Demon was cool, and deserved way better. Skullsatamon is boss!

Vamdemon comes back (again) in a more crappier looking form, and then dies in a laughable manner.

Yeah, ultimately a very mixed bag that could have benefited from tighter focus and direction. It was like someone threw a bag of great ideas into a mixer, and ended up with a hodgepodge that didn’t really excel at anything.

=========

Savers. Oh boy...

I won’t mince words, this is easily my least liked series. Others might be arguably worse, but certain elements in this just rubbed me the wrong way.

The main one in particular being Maseru. Hands down for me the most unlikable protagonist in the entire franchise.
Yes, I am in the boat that finds the whole punching Digimon thing painfully bad (and the fact none of them think to just swat him away is even more stupid), but it doesn’t help that he stays the same unlikable idiot throughout the entire show. Receiving zero growth, while in turn hogging most of the spotlight.

As for the rest. Touma was the bog standard stuck-up rival archetype with a wangsty background, though I did like Gaomon.
Yoshino received about one episode of development which boiled down to; stop being useless by...stop being useless. Other then that she was just there. Lalamon and her sausage nunchucks pretty much carried the pair.

Ikuto was probably the most interesting (not saying much), with the whole Tarzan/Mowgli thing. Apart from him, I preferred the DATS supporting cast over the leads.

People like to praise Kurata, but frankly I just found him extremely lame and far more annoying then hatable. A stock mad scientist with a laughably lazily written motivation. “I hate Digimon, so I’m going to use Digimon to take over the world! LOL!”
Zero personality or charisma, with an arc that dragged on way to long. The only reason he got as far as he did is because the rest of the cast just acted like morons.
In conclusion, a villain who is highly overrated by the fan base as far as I am concerned. Much like Ken he could have been executed a whole lot better.
Additionally, both the Royal Knights and Yggdrasil just felt tacked on.

In terms of redeeming qualities I am quite fond of the concept of DATs. Plus it probably has my favourite evolution sequences. 2020 I feel should have based there ones off those.

But overall, this is a show that to me came across as wanting to be something like Tamers.2, but went about it in a rather juvenile manner, with a load of generic Shonen cliches thrown into the mix.

You’ll either like it for what it is or hate it, and I am quite obviously in the later.
 

Unknown Neo

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02 is quite the thing. So much to say with two things I said I wouldn't say anything about anymore. Savers, that was a fun series. Yoshino was possible the first actual adult hero so whatever things you said about her are just weird and not creepy. Heh But hey, it really was a fun season.
 

Ultimamon

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02 is a show I have something of a love/hate relationship with. I liked the new kids well enough (especially Miyako and Ken, and the Armor Evolution gimmick was neat (I feel like Frontier's spirit evolution was a more better presented version of that concept though). But the show just fell apart towards the end of the Kaiser arc, and just spent the remainder spinning it's wheels.
The kids never really faced the same level of jeopardy as the original series tended to throw at it's protagonists, what with the fact they could pop back and forth on day trips to the Digital World.
Lots of one-off ideas could really have been expanded into the main plot, such as the Dark Ocean and Demon. Ultimately so much potential sadly went to waste.
Sometimes I wonder how a hypothetical third Adventure season might have gone, and whether it might have helped to redeem it in some manner with better execution.

Savers...Yeah, I could never really get into this one. The main cast just didn't gel with me. Masaru and Touma were really grating, and Yoshino was simply wasted.
Kurata was super lame, and Belphemon deserved farrrrrr better treatment.
I don't really have much else to say, since I barely remember much of the plot, having only watched it once more then a decade ago, and have no great desire to give it another look.
Later Digimon series just didn't hold the same kind of attraction for me as the first four did.
 
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