Posted by psgels on 27 December 2009 with categories: Anime Reviews



Anime did not do well on the Dutch television. When I was in elementary school, we hardly had any of it on, which sucked. However, when I entered high school there actually was a period when the TV-stations were seriously experimenting with it. It started with Pokemon, and probably reached its height during Dragonball Z. I think that the best we got out of it was about half a year of Cardcaptor Sakura in a really bad time-slot (you know, the time at which everyone already is supposed to be at school). Eventually though, all the anime was gradually cancelled until nothing really remained apart from the really crappy stuff.

Among the shows that also made it over here were the first two seasons of Digimon. The second season sucked pretty badly, and was nothing more than a one-sided emo-fest rip-off, but I liked the first season. Its story was cliched, but the characters were pretty charming. There are two thing that always bugged me. The first is the mysterious reason why the Dutch broadcasting company refused to show the episodes that took place in foreign countries. Seriously… wtf? The second is that at times characters kept referring to strange events that happened in the past, but we never got to see them. So when I later found out that they were supposed to be movies but that those bastards never showed them, I was pissed off. Now that I finally ended up watching the first movie, I’m pissed off even more because it’s by far one of the best episodes of the series. It would have been a terrific eye-catcher to get people interested.

It took me this long to watch this movie because, hey: it’s a movie based on a kids show. I couldn’t imagine how they can’t be something other than silly side-stories that add nothing to the franchise whatsoever. This movie is different, though. It first of all shows how some of the characters were when they were just tiny kids, but it’s also a damn good movie in itself. Its story is simple yet effective, and it doesn’t try to be anything that it isn’t. There’s enough time for that in the TV-series. Plus, for the background music the creators used the bolero. Can it get any more awesome than that? If you have somehow sat through the first season of Digimon, you owe it to yourself to check out this 20-minute prequel.

For the past five years, movies that are based on TV-series have hit a bit of a slump. They’re either lazy recap movies, or take too little risks, probably in fear of angering the fanbase. I’d say screw that. Before that time we’ve had tons of those movies which really went with their own ideas and visions. There were the big ones like Patlabor and Utena, but even the small movies like this show that you don’t always have to be epic or incredibly complex to work. Still, there is hope. Let’s hope that the upcoming Evangelion, Eden of the East and Haruhi movies will be able to break through this trend for the next decade.

Storytelling: 9/10 – Simple, fun, charming and detailed.
Characters: 8/10 – Young Taichi and Hikaru are adorable.
Production-Values: 8/10 – They actually used the bolero for the soundtrack.
Setting: 8/10 – I finally know why this event made such an impact to the characters in the series.

18 Responses

  1. Anca says:

    Haha, I can’t believe you watched this.

    I’ve seen the Digimon series up to a few episodes of Frontier on German TV (where a lot more anime aired before most stuff got cancelled), and they gradually became worse. i still liked 02 because of the cameos from the old characters (and because I was 10 or so).

    When I watched this I didn’t expect anything good, so I’m glad you confirmed that there wasn’t anything odd about my brain that day!

  2. Gottis says:

    I personally love all the Digimon movies and seasons (but they should be watched either in German or in Japanese because the German dub ROCKED! – And I say this as a Swede.) and the first movie is just heartwarming and so RIGHT. ^_^

  3. andrea says:

    wow I was about 10 years old when the first season started here in Italy, brings back such memories. Back then my happiness was all about playing super mario with my old super nintendo and watching Digimon. Wish I could go back to that period D:

    I listen to the Italian opening very often
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gst2BHRxwpI

  4. Meep says:

    Oh snap it’s Digimon!!! =] U dunno how many times I watched this movie. I saw it in theatres and I bought the movie ages ago. I was also very into the Digimon series, season 3 in particular. Anyways, awesome review.

  5. helen says:

    Digimon is something that will always stay with me, I guess. The second movie – Children’s War Game – is also fantastic. Then again, anything directed/animated by Hosoda Mamoru is worth watching.

  6. Oh I miss this movie xD I totally loved the first season (no matter how cliche it was)~

  7. ama-ri says:

    oh digimon. brings back memories. it took very long for me too to watch the movies. i watched them about 3 years ago.
    I loved the first Season and I still love it. The second was…well… ok. the third was interesting because it was different (but the characters sucked.) the fourth was the biggest shit ever and the fifth was ok.
    the movies are quiete good but they all have really bad soundtracks. ok bolero is good but it gets annoying because it’s repeated so often. still digimon adventures is a very heartwarming series (including the movie)
    glad, you gave it a good score like that :D

  8. Tuko says:

    You have to see the third digimon movie! the soundtrack is only made by a electric guitar, and a very slow pase and the animation is very well made

  9. Happy Orange says:

    I have so much respect for you man. I remember asking for cable television just so I could get FOX kids to watch this…

  10. Ebod says:

    Oh my god, DIGIMON! Ahaha, I loved the first season! Second season was alright, just because they had one more episode of Wizardmon.

    Now go watch the other Digimon movies! xD

  11. Tan-Tan says:

    Digimon is charming because of the characters, except maybe 02 (some of the cast anyway) and maybe even Frontier…and definitely Savers >> but anyway, the original was really nice. The movies were also very good; they choose simple but interesting plots.

  12. Anon says:

    You should watch Tamers and Savers if you haven’t already. IMO the only good seasons after the first.
    Savers had a difficult start but it gets good.

  13. Chris says:

    Digimon got way more emo as it went along, even the 1st season had it’s second half full of depressed kids, but at least it did it well. The 2nd season focused WAY too much on the depression of the kids.

    I don’t remember the shows all that well since I saw them forever ago, but I do recall that the movie was at least entertaining and wasn’t trying too hard to be anything but just a fun time killer.

  14. Firechick says:

    I remember this movie! I actually found the Japanese version and watched it somewhere (without subs), along with the English version! This one is great! And yes, Tai and Kari are adorable as little kids.

  15. uebo7 says:

    You need to watch the second movie. It takes place after season one and Taichi and Koushiro are pretty much the central characters. I think it’s even better than this one and it still has the same charm that you were talking about.

  16. Firechick says:

    Hey Psgels. Question: did you watch the Dutch version of Digimon season 2, or the Japanese version?

  17. psgels psgels says:

    Firchick: the Dutch.

  18. Firechick says:

    Ah, I see. Well, if you ever have time in the future, you should watch the Japanese version of season 2. Who knows. Maybe it’ll be super duper better than the Dutch version. Just a suggestion.

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  • Raggers
    (Saturday, Mar 28. 2015 02:19 AM)
    @Aidan: true, but I don’t think the level is anywhere close to a true shounen. And once the basic rules are established it’s strategising and straight out fighting.
    I’d be more inclined to call it seinen with shounen elements than actually shounen.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 09:59 PM)
    Good all action finale to cap off Garo there, went out with a bang, though thing is I have no idea where their going to go with this when the movie, second season comes along, this seems like a pretty good point to finish.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 05:35 PM)
    I think that just about all the manga serialized in ultra jump feel less seinen than those serialized in other seinen magazines.
  • AidanAK47
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 05:19 PM)
    There’s plenty of in battle explaining. I don’t think there’s been a battle without in battle explaining. You got the first time villain that ends up a good guy. You got powerups and levels of quinques. There’s a ton of shounen elements.
    Just because something has gore does not make it seinien. Deadman wonderland is Shounen and it has just as much gore and torture.
  • Raggers
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 02:52 PM)
    @Emma: ah, yes.
    @Aidan: How so? A variety of weapons and abilities does not turn something into a shounen battle manga.
    I’d need a lot more random in-battle explaining secret powers to your opponent, and a lot more mercy to not consider it seinen.
    Also, torture, balls and limbs being chopped off as a sick joke, slicing people in half without warning, breaking half their bones…
  • AidanAK47
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 12:44 PM)
    I felt that the story became too shounen battle manga When at first it was portrayed as seinien. Especially with the quineqes and such.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 12:06 PM)
    @Raggers: His past with the old lady ghoul where he was castrated =<
  • Raggers
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 05:48 AM)
    @Emma: which moment is that?
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 05:26 AM)
    @Raggers : And in one moment, a rather disturbing development.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 05:24 AM)
    @Raggers: Actually, thinking it over you’ve got a point there, As I had said I’ve been marathoning re and come to think of it, it is more enjoyable to do so that way.

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