2019 marks the end of a decade where the Digimon fandom was resurrected and rose from the ashes.
This was a fairly exciting time for the Digimon franchise this decade with new stories for the Adventure kids, as well as new virtual pets, two new anime seasons, escape rooms, English releases, and more!
So let’s look into this past decade and my own personal high points of the Digimon franchise this decade.
The Digimon Franchise This Decade: An Overview
Before we begin, as I mentioned above, the decade started when the fandom was pretty quiet; 2010 saw the release of the first anime season since Savers’ finale in early 2007 as well as the release of the Xros Wars Mini, the first virtual pet since the Twins’ release in 2007.
In addition, despite Xros Wars’ two year-long, 79 episode run, it wouldn’t see an English release for three years after the first episode originally aired, and the last 25 episodes were never even dubbed into English.
Xros Wars aside, the fandom itself, at least in the English world, was fairly dormant.
However, in 2014, to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the franchise, a remake of the original Digivice toy, the Digivice Ver15th was released, and then, a few months later, a new series called ‘Digimon Adventure Tri’ was announced to be a continuation of Adventure which would feature the chosen in highschool in the year 2005.
Say what you want about Digimon Adventure Tri, but I feel it really brought the start of the Digimon Renascence for the last half of the decade.
Also, this image, as TheModernGafa mentioned on twitter yesterday, is probably one of the best things to come out this decade in general.
Obviously a lot was released and re-released this decade, and the best part of it all was that there was really something for every type of fan. So this blog post will just cover my own highlights and top 5 of releases from the Digimon franchise this decade.
#5: The Release of Digimon Games outside of Japan
Prior to 2014, the last licensed Digimon video game official English release was either Digimon World Championship for the Nintendo DS in 2008, or, if you count it, Digimon Masters Online in 2009.
While further Nintendo DS, 3DS, and PSP games were released in Japan after these titles, none really saw any form of official release outside of Japan.
Until the 15th anniversary in 2014 – the year of the beginning of the ‘Digimon Renascence’, a game was released that wasn’t a translation of any existing game, but a completely new title for the English market.
This game was more or less a continuation of the old ‘Digimon Rumble Arena’ games was released a month before the announcement of Digimon Adventure Tri and a few months after the Digivice Ver15ths were released.
This game, despite the Xbox One and PS4 being already a year old, was released on the Xbox360 and PS3 in November 2014, and, as the fandom awoke from a slumber, all of us collectively decided to buy it, even if it was bad.
Was it good? Of course it wasn’t, the graphics looked like relics from the previous decade and the gameplay was fairly repetitive and average. I had some fun with it, but I probably only put around an hour into it; there wasn’t really much reason to play the game, especially on a generation of console that was essentially on its way out.
But we bought it. Did this impact the chance of a release of future games in English? I like to think so, because less than two years later, Cyber Sleuth was released in English only a year after its Japanese release, and then, the following game, Hacker’s Memory, was released in English only a month after its Japanese release on the 19th of January 2018.
While Digimon All-Start Rumble is fairly forgotten about in the fandom (because it’s easy to forget about), it definitely deserves a mention.
#4: Digimon Universe Appli Monsters
Yes, I love this season, it’s my favourite. I’ve gushed about it a lot before, I’ve cosplayed one of the main characters, I reviewed it on the podcast and even the Digimon sceptic, newbie, and critic Jay admitted to actually ENJOY watching it.
It’s a good show which basically took everything that kind of worked from the last 25 episodes of Xros Wars and made it enjoyable.
The characters were well-written and relatable, and the story was mostly exciting and had clever moments which seem to read the minds of the viewers where a character actually points something out (such as “Why did you call it a punch when it was a kick?” or “Why are we involving ourselves in filler when we have a big bad to fight?”).
My absolute favourite thing in the season is that, while Digimon often has moments of plot convenience where the characters seem to (sometimes literally) trip over plot elements, Appmon, while still having moments like this, completely explains why these moments happen.
While it’s obviously aimed at kids, it’s likeable even for an adult to enjoy. I enjoyed watching Appmon more than I enjoyed watching Tri, despite the fact that I am more or less Tri’s target demographic.
I was actually pretty surprised that I enjoyed Appmon, the premise did not sound like it would be good. It’s kind of sad when people don’t want to give Appmon a chance because it doesn’t look like Digimon or that it looks too childish.
If you want to read my thoughts on Appmon, I wrote up a quick blog post about it when we finally got an official English subtitle release a few months ago and I absolutely could not talk about the Digimon franchise this decade without mentioning Appmon again.
Give Appmon a chance and watch it.
Eri is Best Girl.
#3: Seeing the Adventure kids age (AND Original Chosen)
I’m not talking about just Tri, but how we got to see how the Adventure and 02 kids grew up, and, while Kizuna isn’t out yet, we have small bits of information about how the kids are doing in the year 2010.
When the epilogue of Adventure first aired, I was exceptionally disappointed that Miyako did not appear to have continued on to be the software developer I thought she would grow into; all the show gave us was that she was married to Ken and had children. While the other chosen had children, all of them were given occupations, Miyako, however, was not.
While a memorial CD drama hinted that she works with Koushiro and is just on maternity leave, the show never actually gave us this, so I’ve been pretty disappointed about it because, as a child, I was an aspiring software developer myself and seeing somebody so similar just become a wife and mother, stung a little bit.
Until, of course, this year, where we learnt that she’s studying Computer Science at university, so we at least know that she continued her passions.
I am also clumping the reveal of the original chosen children that we saw in the start of Digimon Adventure Tri in here too, because it was always something that I wondered about as a child, and seeing it, albeit briefly, really brought out the small child within. I’ve mentioned this moment before, but I’m always happy to bring it up.
In general, the Digimon franchise this decade provided a ton of nostalgia for fans of the original show, and, say what you want about Tri, it definitely helped bring both the fandom and franchise back to life.
#2: The Digivolving Spirits Line
Yup, I’ve mentioned this line twice before with both the Diaboramon release as well as the AtlurKabuterimon release, but it deserves a mention here; this figures are all fairly affordable and surprisingly well made, so I had to make sure to mention this toy series as one of my top releases from the Digimon franchise this decade!
I’ve wanted a figure of Diaboramon for quite a while, so having one released essentially internationally, was pretty cool.
While there hasn’t been a release in the line since the start of the year with BlackWarGreymon, I’m hoping that the line resumes once Kizuna is released.
#1: Digimon Virtual Pets are frequent releases again
Totally not a surprise that this is my top release in the all of the Digimon Franchise this decade, but it’s pretty surprising for me considering how frequent we get a virtual pet release.
Not to mention the fact that the Digimon ver20th was actually released in English this year, it was surprisingly released in Australia too, not to mention earlier than America.
While we don’t know if we’ll get further virtual pets released outside of Japan, I’m sure the fact that they sold out pretty quickly in Australia (as in, preorders sold out in days and there weren’t many available outside of preorders) helped the chances.
Despite the remakes of the original virtual pets such as the original Digital Monster and Digimon Pendulums), we also were treated to a completely new Digimon virtual pet – the Digital Monster X – which is more or less a mix between the Digital Monster and the Pendulum X. Though the release of the Digital Monster X spans outside of this decade, as the third and most likely final version is coming out early next year.
That’s it for my top five of releases in the Digimon franchise this decade. It was pretty hard to choose just five things as this decade was surprisingly full of Digimon releases for every type of fan! Judging by how the second half of this decade, I’m definitely excited for the roaring 20s!
What were your highlights from this decade? What are you hoping for next decade? Let me know in the comments or on social media! I’d love to hear your thoughts!
You can help out the podcast and blog in the following ways:
- Donate via our PayPal
- Nabbing something cool from our Redbubble
- Our Patreon (if you’d like to make more than just a one-off donation)!
- May’s ko-fi account!
- By spreading the word!
And thank you to our supporters on Patreon; Joe, AnimeGuy, Steven Reeves, Kaida Washi, Chisai, Kyle, Tom, Lizmet, Nicholas, Sam, Spiral, Keith, Magnus, Heemi, Alex, and Luke!
Be sure to check us out on our various social media accounts: