I still remember Digimon as the quintessential after school show. Nothing beat racing home after my classes, jumping off the bus, and running home as fast as I could just so I never missed an episode. With relatable young characters such as Tai, Sora, Matt, Izzy, Joe, Mimi, T.K., and Kari, every kid had their favorite who acted as a stand-in for themselves as they watched the show. The bond each character formed with their respective Digimon excited us and put us on the edge of our seats, made us laugh, made us cry, and left us with a lasting impression that has followed us all the way into adulthood.
But Digimon isn't just a kid's anime. It's also a massive media franchise that includes films, video games, manga, or Japanese comic books, virtual pet toys, and a trading card game. The franchise didn't gain traction with fans until the first anime incarnation, Digimon Adventure, but since then it has become a pop culture media phenomenon to rival the most popular media franchises, with many people comparing it to the other Japanese franchise based on monsters, Pokémon.
While I love both Digimon and Pokémon, Digimon will always hold a special place in my heart. The stories, characters, villains, settings, and themes were actually pretty adult for a kid's show. The show didn't play down to kids, which is something I definitely appreciated.
In this list, we will explore the facts of the television show that even the most die-hard Digimon fans didn't know. Let's go!
25 Macho Man
During a season three episode of Digimon titled The Messenger, a Digimon appears called Dobermon. Dobermon is a scary looking Demon Beast type Digimon whose design closely resembles a Doberman Pincher breed of domesticated dog. He was originally a Virus Digimon, but he was converted to a Vaccine Digimon by a mutation.
Dobermon was voiced to sound exactly like Macho Man Randy Savage.
Macho Man Randy Savage was a professional wrestler who wrestled for the WWE, mostly in the 1980s and 90s. Macho Man had a unique style of speaking. It was very gruff sounding and he tended to yell a lot. It’s no wonder why this style of voice would perfectly suit a rough dog type Digimon. It’s also possible that the voice actor was a fan of wrestling!
24 After Events Come Changes
During a season one episode of the show called My Sister’s Keeper, a particular scene needed to be edited out for American audiences. In this episode, Kari gets sick and Tai tries to find medicine for her in a gigantic city. The city is actually revealed to be the lair of a villainous Digimon called Machinedramon.
During this encounter, Machinedramon uses his cannon to explode a building in the city.
The reason this episode had to be censored was because of the attacks that happened during September 11, 2001. The censors thought that what was being depicted in the show was too close to the real-life attacks that had occurred and cost the lives of over 3,000 people. Knowing that, it’s probably a good thing they censored the episode.
23 That's Just Gross!
During a season one episode titled Etemon’s Comeback Tour, a scene had to be edited for a rather comical reason. Instead of being edited for violence, which is usually the reason a kid’s show like Digimon is edited, this episode was edited because of flatulence. During this episode, a villain called Etemon that the DigiDestined kids had defeated earlier returns in a new form called MetalEtemon so that he can take revenge.
During one fight scene, MetalEtemon unleashes gas on another villain called Puppetmon, which causes the kids to recoil in disgust.
This was seen as too problematic and adult for kids by the censors and it was subsequently edited out of the episode. I don’t think this scene would have been too adult for kids, but it’s a pretty funny fact that the censors did.
22 Planned To Fail
It’s hard to believe now, due to the popularity of Digimon, but there was a time when the creators of the show were planning for the show to be a failure. During the first arc, the DigiDestined kids go up against the evil villain, Devimon. The writers of the show actually planned an alternate ending for episode 13, which was the episode that the kids defeated Devimon for the first time.
The creators had a plan for this to be the final episode!
As crazy as that sounds, the alternate ending would have had Gennai, the old man who guides the DigiDestined on their quest, to appear after they defeat Devimon and simply return the kids home. Now that would have been a disappointing ending!
21 Evil Shows His Face
As stated in the point above, usually the reason for censorship in a kid’s show like Digimon Adventure is violence. And this pick in the list is a perfect example of that. During the eighth episode in season one titled Evil Shows His Face, when the show was still trying to find its groove, there was a fight scene between the evil villain Digimon called Devimon, and the righteous, good guy Digimon called Leomon.
Devimon claws Leomon’s back and throws an evil gear into the open scratch.
The gear then turns Leomon evil and he begins to attack the DigiDestined kids. This scene was obviously seen as too much for kids and censored. The show did not lose anything by this scene being censored luckily, as Devimon was still just as evil without it.
20 The Chosen Children
In the Japanese and original version of Digimon, the DigiDestined kids are known as something completely different than what they are known as in America. In the Japanese version, the kids are called the Chosen Children. The kids are called this different name in every single season of the show except for season three, in which they are called the Tamers.
The Chosen Children just doesn’t have the same ring to it as the DigiDestined.
It may sound nice in Japanese, but I am definitely happy that the writers changed the name of the kids from Chosen Children to DigiDestined. It’s still alliterative, but Chosen Children just doesn’t have the same epic-ness to it that DigiDestined does. It probably would have still been just as popular as it is today, but I’m glad they didn’t take the chance.
19 Capitalizing On Popularity
The show, Digimon Adventure, became a hit with audiences relatively quickly. The alternate ending we talked about earlier was scrapped and not even used. When the creators of the show realized how big the show had become during the first season, they immediately began production on the second season, before the first had even finished.
This proved to be a very good idea.
Because of the creators’ foresight, they were able to capitalize on the show’s popularity. The second season began less than a week after the first season finished! With barely any lag time between seasons, the show didn’t have a chance to fade from the audience’s memory. And it has stayed very popular ever since. The producers definitely got that one right!
18 Flattened By A Rock
Once again as stated above, the censors for Digimon Adventure just have no time for violence. While there are fight scenes in the show, sometimes those fight scenes can cross a line and end up getting censored. One such moment happened in the season one episode titled The Battle for Earth which dealt with the DigiDestined and their Digimon battling VenomMyotismon in the real world.
At one point in the episode, VemonMyotismon flattens Angewomon with a rock.
Perhaps this was seen as going too far by the censors, as Angewomon is a woman Digimon and VenomMyotismon is a man Digimon. Maybe the violence was deemed as not suitable for kids. Maybe it was just too violent. Whatever the reason, the scene was edited in later versions to not show the attack on Angewomon.
17 The Hour Of The Beast
One scene that almost got edited but didn’t, was a scene in the season one episode titled Prophecy. In this episode, Myotismon is seemingly defeated by the DigiDestined but a fog he created is still looming over the world. The DigiDestined eventually realize that Myotismon is not gone, and he will reveal his true form, VenomMyotismon, at six seconds and six minutes past 6 o clock, also known as the hour of the beast.
The hour of the beast is a reference to the good book.
In the book of Revelations in the Bible, the “number of the beast” is 666. This refers to Satan and the Antichrist, which is the reason 666 is seen as such an evil number. The plot point in the show was deemed too important to edit, however, so it was able to stay.
16 Piedmon's Last Jest
The episode titled Piedmon’s Last Jest is generally considered to be one of, if not the best episode of the entire Digimon series. In the episode, the villainous Piedmon, an evil clown Digimon, turns all of the DigiDestined kids into dolls of their former selves. When seemingly all hope is lost and only T.K., Kari, and Patamon remain, T.K. remembers encouraging words from his brother Matt and is able to activate his Crest of Hope.
Patamon then Digivolves into MagnaAngemon, Patamon’s Ultimate Form.
The audience had been waiting for a very long time to see Patamon’s Ultimate Form, and for it to happen in this episode the way it did is a huge reason why it is considered one of the best episodes of Digimon ever. The plot, villain, fight scenes, and Patamon finally Digivolving into MagnaAngemon makes it an almost perfect episode.
15 The Incredible Journey
During season three of the television show, there is an episode titled Homeward Bound. This episode is the forty-first episode in the third season. In this episode, the Digimon Tamers (remember, in this season they are not called DigiDestined) finally make it to the real world after a lot of difficulties.
The Digimon Tamers finally making it home is why the episode is called Homeward Bound.
The title of the episode is a reference to the movie Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey, detailing the journey home of a lost pair of dogs and a cat. In the movie, the two dogs and cat travel from the Sierra Nevada Mountains all the way to San Francisco. The movie came out in 1993 and was a huge hit with kids, basically becoming a cult classic.
14 Paying Respect To Another Anime
During the writing of season three, known as Digimon Tamers in Japan, the writer Chiaki Konaka was a huge fan of another anime series called Neon Genesis Evangelion. He was such a fan that he even designed the Digimon, WarGrowlmon, after the robot beserker Evangelion-01, and they have very similar traits.
He even wrote some of the characters in Digimon Tamers with the same traits as characters in Neon Genesis Evangelion.
WarGrowlmon is an android Digimon, which makes sense as it was modeled after a robot from another anime series. WarGrowlmon is a gigantic Digimon who has two huge swords like weapons on its arms, along with two thrusters attached to its back so that it can take flight. He was always a favorite Digimon of mine!
13 Secret Name Origins
The names of the partner Digimon from the first anime series actually get their names from derivatives of Japanese words. This makes sense, as the show is Japanese. For instance, Agumon’s name comes from the word agurabana, meaning wide flat nose. Gabumon’s name comes from the word gabugabu meaning guzzling. Tentomon’s name comes from the word tentomushi, meaning ladybug. Gomamon’s name comes from the word goma, meaning sesame seed. Patamon’s name comes from the word patapata, meaning flapping. Kuwagamon’s name comes from the word kuwagatamushi, which is a stag beetle.
Palmon’s name is the only one not based on Japanese words, being based on the words pal, and palm tree, in English.
Biyomon’s name is actually based on a misspelling of the Japanese word piyo, which means the sound a bird makes. It’s very interesting knowing the origins of the Digimon’s names!
12 Creative Control
One interesting fact is about a writer which we have already talked about once in this list, Chiaki Konaka. The writer was very unhappy with the direction season two of the anime went, so he decided that he would step down from writing the series and pursue other ventures.
The only way he would stay on as a writer would be if he was given much more creative control.
This is exactly what happened, and the writer was given the opportunity to create his own unique ideas for season three. This resulted in him designing many characters after characters from the anime Neon Genesis Evangelion, like we mentioned earlier. This is a good lesson for writers to make themselves irreplaceable to studio executives, as he was seen as such an asset that he was given more creative control rather than be allowed to leave the series.
11 Time Travelling
In the final episode of the second season titled A Million Points of Light, the DigiDestined kids finally defeat one of their most dangerous rivals, the villainous Myotismon. At the end of this episode, there is a time jump to 25 years in the future.
The time jump in this episode reveals the career path that each character has chosen to follow.
Tai is now a diplomat between the real world and digital world, Sora is a fashion designer and is married to Matt, Matt is an astronaut, Izzy is a researcher of the digital world, T.K. is a novelist, Joe is a doctor, Mimi is a cook on television, and Kari is a kindergarten teacher. Seeing the DigiDestined kids all grown up and flourishing is quite a treat for fans who have followed them all the way through the show.
10 Disney's One Too
During the fourth season of Digimon, the show was moved off of the Fox Kids programming block to a different television block. This new block was from Disney, called Disney’s One Too, later known as Disney’s Animation Weekdays. This new block aired on UPN. Other shows that ran on this block included Recess, Doug, Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, Hercules, The Legend of Tarzan, The Weekenders, Pepper Ann, and Sabrina: The Animated Series.
Considering the popularity of all these shows, you would think the viewership would be very high.
However, the viewership was not good and did not recover until the show was syndicated by ABC Family. I vividly remember watching UPN, but it was a hard channel to find. It’s no wonder the viewership was not great.
9 My Milkshake Brings All The Digimon To The Yard
In the season three episode titled Kazu’s Upgrade, the Digimon Tamers come across a Digimon called Gekomon. In this episode, the Gekomon are making milkshakes to appease a villainous Digimon called Orochimon. The Digimon Tamers then join forces with Andromon to help the Gekomon and defeat the evil Orochimon.
In the original edit, the Gekomon are actually making drinks, not milkshakes!
You don’t have to guess why this scene was edited in future versions. Having the Gekomon make drinks instead of milkshakes was probably not the best idea for a family-friendly show. It’s pretty interesting to think that the writers of the episode had no problems with it, however. I wonder why they thought it was okay to put drinks in a kids' show.
8 To Be Continued...
Many fans of the Digimon Adventure, even the die-hard fans, may not know this fact. The very first time that a Digimon Digivolves without being in a close vicinity to their partner did not even happen until episode thirty-three of season one, titled Out on the Town. The Digimon that accomplishes this feat is Patamon, who Digivolves into Angemon to help T.K.
That’s not the only interesting fact about this particular episode.
This episode is also the first one to have the phrase “To be continued…” at the end of it! You would think that a show that is built like Digimon, with a lot of cliffhangers and long storylines, would have the phrase “To be continued…” in an episode earlier than this.
7 Sent To The Dungeon
Sticking with the season one episode of Digimon titled Out on the Town, in the original Japanese version, the villains of the episode did not get off as easy as they did in the American version. In the episode, two henchmen of Myotismon, the big bad guy of the season, make it to the real world and mess around causing mayhem. The henchmen are Pumpkinmon and Gotsumon.
Pumpkinmon and Gotsumon proclaim that they are not really evil. They just want to have fun!
Unimpressed by this, Myotismon actually ends the lives of the two Digimon in the Japanese version! In the American version, however, Myotismon only sends them to a dungeon. I much prefer the American version, as the Japanese version is a little too dark for kids.
6 Don't Talk To Strangers!
In the season one episode titled Almost Home Free, there is a rather interesting scene that was edited from the Japanese version of the show to the American version of the show. During the episode, Sora’s cousin comes and picks up the kids as they are trying to hitchhike back home.
In the Japanese version, it is not Sora’s cousin who picks them up, but a complete stranger!
It makes sense that this scene was edited in the American version. During the time this show aired, kids were being taught all over the country to not talk to strangers, and definitely not to accept rides from strangers. Having the kids in a show this popular accept a ride from a stranger would not have been a good idea.
5 A Strange Kind Of Humor
Once again, in the same episode we just talked about titled Almost Home Free, there is a scene where the Digimon Koromon relieves himself on the seat of the car. In past episodes when Koromon does this, the pink swirls he leaves behind him are only referred to as sludge.
In this episode, however, it is fully acknowledged that Koromon has just gone to the bathroom!
This is interesting due to the fact that most of the “bathroom humor” in the show was edited out of the American version. A good example of this fact was during the scene mentioned in a previous entry in this list when MetalEtemon passes gas on Puppetmon. Why that scene was edited, but the scene where Koromon relieves himself on the car seat was not edited, is a mystery.
4 Throwing Punches
In the season one episode titled The Ultimate Clash, two of the main characters actually fight each other! Matt, who is angry at Tai, lashes out at him and has his Digimon partner MetalGarurumon attack him. Agumon Digivolves to WarGreymon in order to protect Tai.
Also during this scene, Matt and Tai attack each other, throwing punches at one another.
This scene was seen as too much for little kids and the punches that the two main characters throw at each other were actually edited out of the episode because the censors thought it was much too violent. It makes sense. The scene still got its point across by having the Digimon fight each other, and it was unnecessary for the two kids to hit each other as well.
3 Taking A Bath
In a season one episode which we talked about earlier in this list titled Evil Shows His Face, there was a scene that was vastly different for Japanese audiences compared to American audiences. In the scene, the DigiDestined kids are taking a bath inside a mansion that they stumble across.
Japanese audiences seem to be allowed more leeway from the censors.
During the scene, Tai and Matt get out of the water to pull Joe in. He does not want to get into the water. While this happens, in the Japanese version, none of the boys are wearing any clothes. You can see their bottoms! It makes sense that this was edited for the much more conservative American audiences, and it was probably a good thing, too!
2 Sora's Crest Of Love
In the American dub, they accidentally gave up some big secrets before they meant to! This happens in the episode Sora’s Crest of Love. This episode was meant to be the first time the DigiDestined found out the names of their crests. Tai holds the Crest of Courage. Matt holds the Crest of Friendship. Sora holds the Crest of Love. Izzy holds the Crest of Knowledge. Joe holds the Crest of Reliability. T.K. holds the Crest of Hope. Kari holds the Crest of Light, and Mimi holds the Crest of Sincerity.
However, the names of some of the crests were revealed before this episode!
The hawkeyed viewer can go back and look through earlier episodes of the dub. They'll see that some of the names of the crests were revealed before this episode. That’s not what the writers wanted!
1 Sock It To Me
In the season one episode titled The Gateway to Home, Gennai reveals to the DigiDestined that there is actually another one of them located in Japan. The villainous Myotismon is already planning to go there to find her. The Digimon Agumon and Palmon then decide to infiltrate Myotismon’s castle to find out his plan.
Once they are accepted by Myotismon’s henchman, Nanimon, they find a way in for the other Digimon and the DigiDestined.
The way they do this in the American version of the show is by giving Nanimon soda. However, in the original Japanese version, they give Nanimon saké! This was edited in the American version due to this being much too adult to show in a kid’s show. However, in the Japanese version, no one seemed to have a problem with it at all.