Producer Habu Answers More Questions Fans Sent in For Anime Expo

MarcFBR

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A fun little addition...

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Thanks to a few different tweets from Producer Habu, it appears that Digimon game staff members will see what further Anime Expo questions they might be able to answer that had been sent in by fans.


This was posted as a series of 5 tweets by Habu (1, 2, 3, 4, 5). Each tweet is being posted here as a separate paragraph.


Some of the most received questions for Anime Expo were: About the systems in Survive, and Will 'this' Digimon appear in a game? These questions showed up a lot. I couldn't answer all that were received, but I'm currently in discussion with other staff as to which questions we can pick up and answer.

There was an interesting question. "At the time Digimon was created, the internet and digital technology were for a limited number of people, but after 20 years, the internet and technology have changed to something everyone uses on a daily basis. How should Digimon change with the changed worldview?

I think it's a great question that should be discussed with everyone, not just me. I'd like to hear Mr. Kakudou and Mr. Konaka's thoughts on it as well.

When reflecting the change from digital being an unknown thing into something that has become a part of everyday life, I think that it is necessary that the balance of fantasy and reality should be customized so that they don't contradict the basic settings. Cyber Sleuth was one of those outputs in my case.

As an LCD toy, Digimon was strongly pushed as an AI program, but in the anime they were depicted as lifeforms of a different world, partner Digimon that evolve based on a bond with humans. They are depicted as their human's other half, and I think that this point allows the Digimon to have a more established character.

It mostly relates to one specific question, but it's a generally interesting one, moreso that he wants to hear the input of those related to the anime, along with him bringing up why the games have, over time, skewed more and more to have anime-like elements in them.



Thanks to onkei for the translation.

Hopefully we get more of these soon!



The various upcoming Digimon games produced by Habu that are currently up for pre-order: (affiliate links)
Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth- Complete Edition for Switch
Digimon Survive for PS4
Digimon Survive for Switch
Digimon Survive for Xbox One
 

saifors

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If I'm not mistaken wasn't Tamers very big on the Digimon being really advanced AI, and Frontier and Savers Digital World also incline very heavily on being a real "Digital" world.
I prefer this way more than Kakudou's representation of it, this is Digimon, not Yokai Watch.
 

SparkGold

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Habu is one of my favorite people alive. I'm a massive fan of this man

If I'm not mistaken wasn't Tamers very big on the Digimon being really advanced AI, and Frontier and Savers Digital World also incline very heavily on being a real "Digital" world.
I prefer this way more than Kakudou's representation of it, this is Digimon, not Yokai Watch.
while I think that just having a game based on yokai doesn't justify a Yokai Watch comparison as there is nothing wrong with having more than one series that feature them, I do agree that I don't want Digimon to stray from a strictly artificial origin and that it does take away from a very large part of what made Digimon a unique series to me. However, of course, Digimon would most likely be the same series I love if it were the case as long as they don't push the idea onto everything which I doubt they will. This series also already has universes like you mentioned where they imply an artificial origin, so it already isn't a thing that would seem to affect all lores
 

Grimmon

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Even in cases where the digital age technology sparked the creation of Digimon or even if AI was what they started out like, they still exist as independently-thinking, living creatures in a separate universe with its own rules, and manifest seemingly supernatural abilities even while existing in our own universe. None of that is artificial or technological to whatever extent, regardless of what sparked their existence. I don't see what difference it makes on any level what their actual origin was/is. ***

And to go a bit further with this, while Tamers was and is my favorite digimon series, the science they reference and how they use it was by far the worst aspect of the series. "Oh, people a few years ago created an AI, so of course we know how to manipulate the living, freely thinking, supernatural otherworldly creatures that they have become and have now entered our world!" was utter garbage.

It is very cool that technology is incorporated in the natural habitats of the digital world, that there are fundamental rules to their world and existence that correspond to principles of digital technology and programming, but that can very well be with or without a man-made origin of the digital world and its inhabitants. And it remains exclusive to the Digimon franchise and part of its appeal regardless. I deeply appreciate that different series/seasons focus on alternate origins, and I hope that the variety will only grow bigger, especially in cases where, like in the world of Adventure, there is enough airtime to actually explore the concept more.

But, most importantly, what does any of this have to do with this thread? If I am not reading the first post wrong, the only two remotely relevant references were 1. that in real life Digimon was marketed as a kind of AI when it was just a digital pet before the anime came out, and 2. a quoted fan question claiming that digimon were created when "the internet and digital technology were for a limited number of people" without making any statement about the kind of relation between the two. And it actually seems like the fan was talking about Digimon as a brand in general, hence the capital D and the use of "was" instead of "were" unless that was due to the translation. None of that seems to say anything whatsoever about Habu's or anybody else's views on the origin or existence of Digimon in any of the game or series worlds.

***: This is not true for a few games I think, where it is specifically stated that the digimon and their world were designed or man-made, but that always was extremely off-putting for me and made me feel a massive disconnect with what the story and characters were, since their importance is gravely diminished as a result.
 
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DATS24

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as far as I respect Kakudou as the original father of digimon adventure, we must admit that Kakudou was the one who started to make digimon's general image "vague", and inconsistent. Digimon was and is always about technological things, especially digital technology and computer-related thing. While Tamers might have much more respect to digimon's true origin, the other anime had failed to maintain this "image".

I don't really think that it's wrong to make digimon an "isekai" genre as what Adventure started from. But the more they make the anime, the more vague these "technological" stuffs and the correspondence with digimon itself. Started from Frontier, then Savers, and mostly XW, these "image" had been subtle and even more. Sure Appmon might've been taken this theme once again, sadly the execution was quite messy.

I really really hope that Habumon will make digimon more consistent with its original theme, there's nothing wrong with the human-digimon bonds from the anime, but the digital technology aspect must be kept.
 

Grimmon

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as far as I respect Kakudou as the original father of digimon adventure, we must admit that Kakudou was the one who started to make digimon's general image "vague", and inconsistent. Digimon was and is always about technological things, especially digital technology and computer-related thing. While Tamers might have much more respect to digimon's true origin, the other anime had failed to maintain this "image".

I don't really think that it's wrong to make digimon an "isekai" genre as what Adventure started from. But the more they make the anime, the more vague these "technological" stuffs and the correspondence with digimon itself. Started from Frontier, then Savers, and mostly XW, these "image" had been subtle and even more. Sure Appmon might've been taken this theme once again, sadly the execution was quite messy.

I really really hope that Habumon will make digimon more consistent with its original theme, there's nothing wrong with the human-digimon bonds from the anime, but the digital technology aspect must be kept.
Wasn't Kakudou only involved with Adventure, Adventure 02 and X Evolution?
 

McGann

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I'm not too against Digimon as other-dimensional spirits made visible by technology. It doesn't necessarily negate their digital heritage. It could just mean that the metaphysics of the digital world go beyond what is currently understood by science. Like, Xros Wars even suggested that the Digital World preceded the Human World.
 
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DATS24

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as far as I respect Kakudou as the original father of digimon adventure, we must admit that Kakudou was the one who started to make digimon's general image "vague", and inconsistent. Digimon was and is always about technological things, especially digital technology and computer-related thing. While Tamers might have much more respect to digimon's true origin, the other anime had failed to maintain this "image".

I don't really think that it's wrong to make digimon an "isekai" genre as what Adventure started from. But the more they make the anime, the more vague these "technological" stuffs and the correspondence with digimon itself. Started from Frontier, then Savers, and mostly XW, these "image" had been subtle and even more. Sure Appmon might've been taken this theme once again, sadly the execution was quite messy.

I really really hope that Habumon will make digimon more consistent with its original theme, there's nothing wrong with the human-digimon bonds from the anime, but the digital technology aspect must be kept.
Wasn't Kakudou only involved with Adventure, Adventure 02 and X Evolution?
Indeed, but I think that he was the initial trigger. I mean, after him, so many representatives on TOEI that were given freedom how to interpret digimon to handle the anime or other media except probably the Vpet. Sure Konaka might had some respect for the origin of digimon, but after him I don't really think they've learnt about digimon well. Just see Frontier, Savers, and XW. I don't think they're bad anime at all, but from watching them, I began to think that I couldn't see the "digimon" aspect implemented in those series, and this was much more clear in XW. What's digimon-ish about Frontier, Savers, and XW? I probably can't really explain bcos I also think it was vague. What makes XW a digimon series that is "digimon"? digital world? I don't think so.

Some series might have told like XW that digital world preceded human world and made them visible by technology, but that's just some farfetch'd theory they put in the series without further explanation and implementation.
 
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Hanbei

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Personally, i do prefer the more ambiguous supernatural-y depiction of Digimon. As McGann said, this doesn't necessarily exclude their digital nature.
Yokai/Demons are often linked to human emotion, and the internet is full of concentrated human emotion. Hell, the way humans transmit their feelings through the internet was a crucial point in Our War Game, and even though i was first exposed to that movie through that awful 4kids edit, that concept always stuck with me as something very interesting. I think technology and "magic" aren't concepts that need to be at odds.

Regardless of what i think on that matter, i don't think that what Habu said in the last tweet necessarily excludes the "Digimon as AI" point of view. He's shown before that he prefers the "Digimon as beings" take on it, but the main thing i got out of that tweet is that Habu acknowledges that in Adventure, the digimon had personalities of their own that evolved alongside the personalities of the children. Digimon being a reflection of the protagonists' personal growths and struggles is one of the main themes of Adventure (so much so that Yamato spells it out at one point lmao), and that can work regardless of whether they are incredibly advanced AI or supernatural creatures. So long as that aspect is kept and done well, the actual origins of the monsters are kind of irrelevant. That's what i think, at least.
 

DATS24

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Personally, i do prefer the more ambiguous supernatural-y depiction of Digimon. As McGann said, this doesn't necessarily exclude their digital nature.
Yokai/Demons are often linked to human emotion, and the internet is full of concentrated human emotion. Hell, the way humans transmit their feelings through the internet was a crucial point in Our War Game, and even though i was first exposed to that movie through that awful 4kids edit, that concept always stuck with me as something very interesting. I think technology and "magic" aren't concepts that need to be at odds.

Regardless of what i think on that matter, i don't think that what Habu said in the last tweet necessarily excludes the "Digimon as AI" point of view. He's shown before that he prefers the "Digimon as beings" take on it, but the main thing i got out of that tweet is that Habu acknowledges that in Adventure, the digimon had personalities of their own that evolved alongside the personalities of the children. Digimon being a reflection of the protagonists' personal growths and struggles is one of the main themes of Adventure (so much so that Yamato spells it out at one point lmao), and that can work regardless of whether they are incredibly advanced AI or supernatural creatures. So long as that aspect is kept and done well, the actual origins of the monsters are kind of irrelevant. That's what i think, at least.
I think that Cyber Sleuth actually already did both. Not only they see digimon as AI but also life being. This is why the game's quite questioning the moral of treating digimon whether as tools (just bcos they're programmed for) or life beings. And that a human can make bonds with this AI being to become stronger together.
 

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Digimon weren’t created by humans in Cyber Sleuth either, if Agumon and Gabumon are to be believed.
 

Grimmon

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I think that Cyber Sleuth actually already did both. Not only they see digimon as AI but also life being. This is why the game's quite questioning the moral of treating digimon whether as tools (just bcos they're programmed for) or life beings. And that a human can make bonds with this AI being to become stronger together.
Isn't this just what humans in Cyber Sleuth think because they didn't know that Digimon were in fact creatures from a whole other world? Which is why agumon and gabumon laugh out loud when someone suggests they are man-made?
 

Hanbei

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I haven't played Cyber Sleuth yet (can't wait for the PC ports, i'm so excited!), but that ambiguousness is exactly what i'm talking about!
When you leave it open like that, people like DATS can interpret it as AI and people like me can interpret it as something more mysterious, and neither one is explicitly "wrong" for it. Instead of dwelling on questions of where they came from, that can be left to the viewer's imagination while the writers can focus on the actual themes and messages they want to send across. I hope Survive can do the same.
This is why i'm not too keen on overexplaining things in a story like Digimon. Don't get me wrong, there's a lot of hard Sci-Fi and even hard Fantasy tales out there that have very well-defined rules and tell their stories very well within said rules to great effect, but with Digimon in particular, i feel the mystery of the setting is a very valuable part of the experience. If that makes it "vague", then i really don't mind.
Again though, that's just me.
 

HawkG

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Even if the digimon were originally man made would that even matter. Doesn't what truly matter is that digimon "evolved" to a point of sentience and gained free will. No matter how deep any given series goes into defining the world, all of them still have some sort of "magic" or mysticism in them. As for the digimon's connections to their partners, I'd prefer something closer to savers but with the way this game's story would be written, I'd hope we'd get something closer to tamers. Adventure's other half style character writing is fine but over the years I feel it just became weaker and weaker with each new installment.
 
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WoolishlyGrim

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It's worth remembering that whether or not Digimon in a particular continuity are ancient or manmade (and either one has interesting story possibilities), they are yokai either way, and they were always intended to be. A common class of yokai is 'inanimate objects that have become yokai through repeated use and exposure to humans,' and manmade Digimon are just that concept applied to the digital age.
 

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I have to admit as much as I am fond of and respect Adventure I’ve always seen it as a fun spin off. Even though it’s the form of Digimon media I started with I’ve never seen it as the real definitive lore for Digimon. I have always found the original man made origins from the Toyline and Tamers to be not only a lot more fascinating and unique, but to be the superior representation. We already have a number of series about yokai, demons, and other super natural phenomenons. Making Digimon another one of these feels played out and loses parts of it’s creative charm.

Now advanced AI’s that naturally evolved into complex digital constructs based of human information feed to the internet. That’s genius right their! Making them man made constructs who gain sentience through scientifically means is down right amazing. The creation surpassing it’s creators. There’s also the fact that it would better explain that bond between human and Digimon. Since a Digimon is still a creation of man.

It’s one of the few time which I’d say the Scientific aspect defeats the Fantastic one.

I hope this direction Habu is taking doesn’t affect the World games, Virtual Pets, and Tamers. I’d be okay if it’s just Adventure, Survive, and Story.
 
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Grimmon

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I have to admit as much as I am fond of and respect Adventure I’ve always seen it as a fun spin off. Even though it’s the form of Digimon media I started with I’ve never seen it as the real definitive lore for Digimon. I have always found the original man made origins from the Toyline and Tamers to be not only a lot more fascinating and unique, but to be the superior representation. We already have a number of series about yokai, demons, and other super natural phenomenons. Making Digimon another one of these feels played out and loses parts of it’s creative charm.

Now advanced AI’s that naturally evolved into complex digital constructs based of human information feed to the internet. That’s genius right their! Making them man made constructs who gain sentience through scientifically means is down right amazing. The creation surpassing it’s creators. There’s also the fact that it would better explain that bond between human and Digimon. Since a Digimon is still a creation of man.

It’s one of the few time which I’d say the Scientific aspect defeats the Fantastic one.

I hope this direction Habu is taking doesn’t affect the World games, Virtual Pets, and Tamers. I’d be okay if it’s just Adventure, Survive, and Story.
But in all the branches of the franchise that include humans going to the digital world and digimon coming over to the real one, Digimon are in fact supernatural and their origin (whichever one applies in each case) does nothing to refute that.

When they cross over to the real world they are not just a material manifestation of whatever physical state they were supposed to assume, they are never just a printed copy. They can defy gravity, thermodynamics, and whatever other physical laws you can think of, always beyond whatever technology is being used to get them to materialize could afford them to. Several of them are merely elementals or animated objects, others produce ridiculous amounts of matter and energy, others pass through walls and float mid-air while having a heavy and sturdy build, and the chosen ones even share psychic bonds with humans; they are for all intents and purposes magical.

Even in Tamers where they are described as human creations, their home world is a supernatural mystery. They do not straight up occupy human hardware/the digital network which is used merely as a link between two worlds, and instead they reside in a separate plane of existence beyond it.

Of course we could theorize endlessly about how any of that could be traced back to whatever scientific explanation, but then that is the same with any other kind of supernatural, including demons, oni, yokai etc. I don't see how or why an average viewer or player of both Digimon and Yo-kai Watch would make any kind of distinction between them in terms of what they have to offer. The lore and origins don't change that for anyone but super-fans like us.

I guess that, at a stretch, you could argue that the real world is merely different than ours in cases like Digimon World 3 (realized digimon can still bend the laws of physics) or Digimon Tamers (Digimon can spontaneously materialize without any actual technology capable of facilitating such a process and they can bend the laws of physics as well). Truth be told I wouldn't mind a season/game that is actually about the very fact that people simply "didn't know" all that is possible and making the scientific breakthrough/discovery central to the plot, having people essentially develop technology that manipulates reality and describing the kind of apocalypse that comes with that.

Weren't we discussing about a similar concept in another thread a few months ago? About how a cool premise would be that programming (and math, and language, etc) actually is a means of spellcasting and there's actually schools of magic etc? The two concepts are kind of like two sides of the same coin, eh? It is a matter of flavor whether one would frame it as "magical" or "scientific" but nothing about the actual premise of each one would not be dramatically different. It's still human know-how and supernatural creatures. (Maybe we should do some world-building around these concepts collectively to make one super technological and the other super magical.)
 

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Even in cases where the digital age technology sparked the creation of Digimon or even if AI was what they started out like, they still exist as independently-thinking, living creatures in a separate universe with its own rules, and manifest seemingly supernatural abilities even while existing in our own universe. None of that is artificial or technological to whatever extent, regardless of what sparked their existence.
It would absolutely be artificially in that case. Because “artificial” is an attribute based on their origin that says nothing about their other remaining qualities.
You claim that only because they possess the same qualities as-non artificial beings that makes them non-artificial themselves but that’s not true at all. If scientists manage to produce lab grown meat that feels and tastes exactly like normal animal meat and is virtually indistinguishable from it that wouldn’t make that piece of meat any less artificial in terms of its production, but that also doesn’t make the meat physically unreal or less edible or anything.
A more nuanced, question would be whether or not artificial feelings or thoughts should be viewed as “authentic”, to the same agree as ours and this is the sort of question that arises in the context of technology and would have no place, no reason to be examined in something based on yokai or something similarly vague or mystic as anything “magic” has no need to justify itself. It’s a way of taking the easy way out in a setting that otherwise comes with fascinating implications.

And to go a bit further with this, while Tamers was and is my favorite digimon series, the science they reference and how they use it was by far the worst aspect of the series. "Oh, people a few years ago created an AI, so of course we know how to manipulate the living, freely thinking, supernatural otherworldly creatures that they have become and have now entered our world!" was utter garbage.
Except one of the main points was not the human’s ability but their inability to keep control over the Digimon. Their creations were in many ways outgrowing the understanding of the creators.
The specific jargon and examples of “science” used was fictional silliness of course even when it claimed connections to real concepts, but that’s par for the course for fiction, but the approach is what I believe to be valuable, not that their scientific or technological principles would apply to our world, but that to those characters from the perspective of their world, even if it’s nonsense when viewed from outside, it is a problem of technological nature which shapes the atmosphere of the story.

It is very cool that technology is incorporated in the natural habitats of the digital world, that there are fundamental rules to their world and existence that correspond to principles of digital technology and programming, but that can very well be with or without a man-made origin of the digital world and its inhabitants.
The problem is once you go into detail about one side, the other becomes unnecessary.
If there’s all that yokai talk and at the same time we still get stuff being “based from scrap date from database x”, or “copied code from y” and all that and if they awkwardly try to combine those elements by weaseling around with “well, they are digital yokai, and there’s code but it’s like kami code run through a buddha compiler” or whatever weird mysticism they feel like implementing, it’s completely unnecessary.
To make that supernatural lore completely compatible with the original technical perspective would be to diminish it to a point at which it might as well not exist at all.

“This is a different world, where feelings are a quantifiable energy source, digital bits materialize and the laws of thermodynamics and general physics are kind of whacky”
That is all that was ever needed, which would at least in the basic terms still place it in the realm of science fiction.

***: This is not true for a few games I think, where it is specifically stated that the digimon and their world were designed or man-made, but that always was extremely off-putting for me and made me feel a massive disconnect with what the story and characters were, since their importance is gravely diminished as a result.
I feel that being put-off is important and a well executed story about this kind of artificial world would use that factor of potential alienation to its advantage.
We should be asking ourselves, “Are those characters getting fooled in some sense when they talk about friendship?”
But even if that thought doesn’t cross the thoughts of the writers, I prefer a setting in which the reader/player can at least have their own doubts.

But, most importantly, what does any of this have to do with this thread? If I am not reading the first post wrong, the only two remotely relevant references were 1. that in real life Digimon was marketed as a kind of AI when it was just a digital pet before the anime came out, and 2. a quoted fan question claiming that digimon were created when "the internet and digital technology were for a limited number of people" without making any statement about the kind of relation between the two.
And it actually seems like the fan was talking about Digimon as a brand in general, hence the capital D and the use of "was" instead of "were" unless that was due to the translation. None of that seems to say anything whatsoever about Habu's or anybody else's views on the origin or existence of Digimon in any of the game or series worlds.
It is relevant in the sense of how much of Survive’s identity is apparently founded on that yokai concept, even from the first marketing materials that were released that were stubbornly refusing to call the monsters “Digimon” or mention digital concepts at all.
And considering this context it is certainly no coincidence that this specific about the nature question was selected to be answered, even if only in a vague way, it’s hard not to read it as an implicit attempt to call attention to Survive’s presumed take on the franchise.

Wasn't Kakudou only involved with Adventure, Adventure 02 and X Evolution?
Indeed, but I think that he was the initial trigger. I mean, after him, so many representatives on TOEI that were given freedom how to interpret digimon to handle the anime or other media except probably the Vpet
The early games and Tenya Yabunos early Digimon work are not exactly painting any sort of consistent picture, so I believe that even before Kakudo, the creators of Digimon stories were given relatively free reign.
None of them at the time attempted to diminish the digital aspect of the monsters but I feel that if they decided to do that there wouldn’t have been much pressure to stop them, even before Adventure.

I think that Cyber Sleuth actually already did both. Not only they see digimon as AI but also life being. This is why the game's quite questioning the moral of treating digimon whether as tools (just bcos they're programmed for) or life beings. And that a human can make bonds with this AI being to become stronger together.
Isn't this just what humans in Cyber Sleuth think because they didn't know that Digimon were in fact creatures from a whole other world? Which is why agumon and gabumon laugh out loud when someone suggests they are man-made?
So the humans believe something and the Digimon believe something else… but what reasons do we have to believe Digimon beliefs over human beliefs?
Laughter is proof of absolutely nothing after all.

As long as we are looking at a Digital World that is still obviously influenced by information of our technology, digimon’s bodies, their very personalities or degree of their intelligence is foreign information implanted into them as they are created.
We have seen the digital world generate Digimon Bodies with scars, wrinkles all kinds of “proof” of old age and past events, even though that specific body was only constructed from data in that very moment.
Why should one doubt the possibility of such a prearranged artificial past being generated for a Digimon’s mindset or the world as a whole? Have their “ancient ruins” decayed over time or are they recent models based on the data of real world ruins? Is their history and mythology factual or simply constructed from data about human history?
The belief that they use to claim their independence could be part of the very same mirroring process that causes their forms to resemble material from our world, Believing that they are not digital creatures because the human minds that produced the information they are based on didn’t have that same belief about themselves.
On which basis would they be able to distinguish the information that acts as their template from actual experience?

Skeptic arguments such as this exist for our own world, for example in Russel's "Five Minute Hypothesis" which, as you might imagine, presents a thought experiment in which the entire universe was created five minutes ago, human memories and signs of "aging" included. How would we be able to prove that?
The point is of course that we can't but the viability of theories like this and others in the same school of thought, like Descartes "Evil Demon", are generally neither provable nor falsifiable due to their very nature and lend themselves to little actual research in reality, but they become a whole lot more believable and relevant in a world such as the digital world that factually and canonically creates similes of information from outside itself. We cannot really trust in the reliability or authenticity of information we encounter there, including what goes on the minds of the inhabitants.

I could initialized an object in a piece of code, something like "var Digimon = {age:18}" and of course the resulting being would naturally believe to be 18 years (or minutes or seconds whatever unit we wish) old and everything else in the program would act as if it was 18, leaving no doubt in its mind that it is the truth, even though it says literally nothing about when it was actually created.

Agumon and Gabumon can laugh as much as they want but the humans might have just as much reason to laugh back at their naivety.

Even if the digimon were originally man made would that even matter. Doesn't what truly matter is that digimon "evolved" to a point of sentience and gained free will.
It matters very much where this sort of evolution originated since the path to sentience would have followed a completely different course in those two cases and one of them is interesting and relevant to our current society and the other one is “*shrug* magic I guess”
Where does the free will you speak of start and end, at which point would you define a program to be conscious rather than just performing computations? And then it is not just about their free will, the deeper fascination is that, through questioning the state of conscious in other intelligences we might also question the human capacity of free will as well.

It's worth remembering that whether or not Digimon in a particular continuity are ancient or manmade (and either one has interesting story possibilities), they are yokai either way, and they were always intended to be. A common class of yokai is 'inanimate objects that have become yokai through repeated use and exposure to humans,' and manmade Digimon are just that concept applied to the digital age.
I disagree that something fitting some incredibly vague definition says anything about the creators’ intentions. Digimon also seem rarely associated with any specific physical computers or objects, it is more about the information itself.

Instead of dwelling on questions of where they came from, that can be left to the viewer's imagination while the writers can focus on the actual themes and messages they want to send across. I hope Survive can do the same.
The basic essence of the setting is something that can very well impact the themes and messages of a work, and I would in fact put it as a weakness if a story does not adequately take advantage of their setting when developing their themes. Consciously avoiding an ambiguity or conflict at the center of a setting strikes me as cowardly, but if they were tp actually knowingly make this vagueness a plot point, something that the characters themselves have to grapple with they might be able to get away of leaving the big question unresolved, as long as they have the courage to actually be aware ask it.

But I guess that this argument does touch on something that the debate has largely ignored, namely that Survive isn’t out yet, rendering any judgements on its treatment of the setting (or any irreversible split of the fanbase into digitalists/magicalists or something) premature.
No matter how much Habu talks about views, concepts or inspirations, as long as the product itself does not confirm them when its actually released, there’s nothing final or canon about anything stated.
And the final product might very well take a less radical stance than what the current marketing implies.
 
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Grimmon

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It would absolutely be artificially in that case. Because “artificial” is an attribute based on their origin that says nothing about their other remaining qualities.
You claim that only because they possess the same qualities as-non artificial beings that makes them non-artificial themselves but that’s not true at all. If scientists manage to produce lab grown meat that feels and tastes exactly like normal animal meat and is virtually indistinguishable from it that wouldn’t make that piece of meat any less artificial in terms of its production, but that also doesn’t make the meat physically unreal or less edible or anything.
A more nuanced, question would be whether or not artificial feelings or thoughts should be viewed as “authentic”, to the same agree as ours and this is the sort of question that arises in the context of technology and would have no place, no reason to be examined in something based on yokai or something similarly vague or mystic as anything “magic” has no need to justify itself. It’s a way of taking the easy way out in a setting that otherwise comes with fascinating implications.
I meant to specifically focus on my belief that even when they are artificial to whatever extent, they still are living creatures and that they have supernatural attributes, not that it somehow makes the fact of their origin obsolete. It feels like people who want to prioritize the artificial intelligence origin theory are trying to frame all their various qualities under an umbrella of "high tech" or "science" that the stories themselves/the worldbuilding itself rarely do (and when they do it feels like a poor/naive application of the concept that is no less abstract than claiming "lol, magic!").
I understand the point about a magical origin not leaving as much space for some deeper philosophical, existantial and moral conflicts, however when a creature can be described as/can exist as code wouldn't there still be room to explore the concept even with the fact of a magical origin established in-world? Has it ever been used as a focal plot point so far even in cases where the artificial origin is spelled out plainly?

The problem is once you go into detail about one side, the other becomes unnecessary.
If there’s all that yokai talk and at the same time we still get stuff being “based from scrap date from database x”, or “copied code from y” and all that and if they awkwardly try to combine those elements by weaseling around with “well, they are digital yokai, and there’s code but it’s like kami code run through a buddha compiler” or whatever weird mysticism they feel like implementing, it’s completely unnecessary.
To make that supernatural lore completely compatible with the original technical perspective would be to diminish it to a point at which it might as well not exist at all.
I... disagree. It may be unnecessary to mention one (technology) in the presence of the other (magic) but the very mix is a particular flavor that a lot of settings and franchises are based on. I personally find that the digital world working as a wasteland for chunks of code and discarded 3d models, and being a place where you can code things into being while also being a place of magical origin is a huge part of the what and the why I fell in love with the Digimon franchise. Whether that was a skewed interpretation by myself or the intention of the creators, it was/is very important to me. If it was just one or the other I am not sure I would have ever cared as much.

I think that Cyber Sleuth actually already did both. Not only they see digimon as AI but also life being. This is why the game's quite questioning the moral of treating digimon whether as tools (just bcos they're programmed for) or life beings. And that a human can make bonds with this AI being to become stronger together.
Isn't this just what humans in Cyber Sleuth think because they didn't know that Digimon were in fact creatures from a whole other world? Which is why agumon and gabumon laugh out loud when someone suggests they are man-made?
So the humans believe something and the Digimon believe something else… but what reasons do we have to believe Digimon beliefs over human beliefs?
Laughter is proof of absolutely nothing after all.

As long as we are looking at a Digital World that is still obviously influenced by information of our technology, digimon’s bodies, their very personalities or degree of their intelligence is foreign information implanted into them as they are created.
We have seen the digital world generate Digimon Bodies with scars, wrinkles all kinds of “proof” of old age and past events, even though that specific body was only constructed from data in that very moment.
Why should one doubt the possibility of such a prearranged artificial past being generated for a Digimon’s mindset or the world as a whole? Have their “ancient ruins” decayed over time or are they recent models based on the data of real world ruins? Is their history and mythology factual or simply constructed from data about human history?
The belief that they use to claim their independence could be part of the very same mirroring process that causes their forms to resemble material from our world, Believing that they are not digital creatures because the human minds that produced the information they are based on didn’t have that same belief about themselves.
On which basis would they be able to distinguish the information that acts as their template from actual experience?

Skeptic arguments such as this exist for our own world, for example in Russel's "Five Minute Hypothesis" which, as you might imagine, presents a thought experiment in which the entire universe was created five minutes ago, human memories and signs of "aging" included. How would we be able to prove that?
The point is of course that we can't but the viability of theories like this and others in the same school of thought, like Descartes "Evil Demon", are generally neither provable nor falsifiable due to their very nature and lend themselves to little actual research in reality, but they become a whole lot more believable and relevant in a world such as the digital world that factually and canonically creates similes of information from outside itself. We cannot really trust in the reliability or authenticity of information we encounter there, including what goes on the minds of the inhabitants.

I could initialized an object in a piece of code, something like "var Digimon = {age:18}" and of course the resulting being would naturally believe to be 18 years (or minutes or seconds whatever unit we wish) old and everything else in the program would act as if it was 18, leaving no doubt in its mind that it is the truth, even though it says literally nothing about when it was actually created.

Agumon and Gabumon can laugh as much as they want but the humans might have just as much reason to laugh back at their naivety.
Wait, I hadn't considered that this was the point DATS24 was trying to make. I agree that the ambiguous nature of those contradicting statements is an aspect of the story. However I tend to side with Agumon and Gabumon simply on the principle that, most definitely, they are the ones who are more informed in this case. The humans that were making the claim didn't even know a digimon world even exists, their knowledge was clearly more limited. That doesn't verify Agumon and Gabumon's claim/stance on the matter, with any kind of certainty, but I thought that DATS24 was stating that the opposite was... truer. I have definitely been caught up with the either/or approach in this discussion.

It's worth remembering that whether or not Digimon in a particular continuity are ancient or manmade (and either one has interesting story possibilities), they are yokai either way, and they were always intended to be. A common class of yokai is 'inanimate objects that have become yokai through repeated use and exposure to humans,' and manmade Digimon are just that concept applied to the digital age.
I disagree that something fitting some incredibly vague definition says anything about the creators’ intentions. Digimon also seem rarely associated with any specific physical computers or objects, it is more about the information itself.
I think that you two agree, in a sense. I feel like what WoolishlyGrim means is that what traditional yokai have been been in relation to objects, digimon may be in relation to digital information. Which is another theory I like and I would like to see implemented in the future, because it means that actual yokai, different in nature from digimon, exist in the human world, since the objects that they came from exist in the real world unlike digimon.

The basic essence of the setting is something that can very well impact the themes and messages of a work, and I would in fact put it as a weakness if a story does not adequately take advantage of their setting when developing their themes. Consciously avoiding an ambiguity or conflict at the center of a setting strikes me as cowardly, but if they were tp actually knowingly make this vagueness a plot point, something that the characters themselves have to grapple with they might be able to get away of leaving the big question unresolved, as long as they have the courage to actually be aware ask it.
Hmm, does a story really need to relate to the existantial fundamentals that the world setting is based on in order to be a good/worthy story?

(Thanks for all the thorough responses, I'm loving this.)
 
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Hanbei

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The basic essence of the setting is something that can very well impact the themes and messages of a work, and I would in fact put it as a weakness if a story does not adequately take advantage of their setting when developing their themes.
This is certainly correct, but Digimon does not necessarily have to explain absolutely everything to properly take advantage of its setting. Perhaps while talking about ambiguity it might have looked like i was implying the setting is entirely irrelevant, and if that's the case, i failed to articulate my thoughts properly. Sorry.

Going back to Adventure, if i was told to boil the story down to its most important components (to me, at least), i'd say that the children's growth is reflected in their partners, and the conflict that sparks that growth is their transportation to an unfamiliar, dangerous and mysterious place. Insofar as the goal is presenting their growth as people alongside the Digimon partners' literal growth as they evolve, it doesn't really matter how said Digimon came to be. In the context of Adventure, i'd even say doing away with the mystery of Digimon, and by proxy, the Digital World, would do a far bigger disservice to the potential of the setting than remaining "cowardly" on the subject.
Obviously, nothing stops other Digimon stories from focusing on other themes or messages, some of which could very well benefit from a less ambiguous approach to Digimon or the Digital World itself, but i don't think an Adventure-inspired setting like Survive needs that. From what you've said, i'm assuming this approach to Digimon storytelling isn't your favorite, and i can definitely understand why, but since marketing has made it very clear Survive is heavily inspired by Adventure, i'm personally hoping it will keep the aspects that made the show work for me, while also putting its own new spin on things.

Again though, the fact we can both have different opinions on what would make for a good story is the fun part of all this. Subjectivity is the soul of art, and without differing opinions discussions like this would be utterly pointless.
 
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