Welcome one and all, for I am back with another fantastic month of blogging! This month I’ve decided to really go big and declare it my Digimon Month! This franchise has been such a big influence on my life, and I love every bit of it to pieces. So, with the new Digimon Adventure Tri films coming out, plus that new Digimon series I thought it would only be appropriate to share my love all month long 😀 So, without further ado this is my ranking of all the Digimon seasons (note, not films).Enjoy!
6. Digimon Xros Wars/Digimon Fusion
When this came out it seemed as if every Digimon fan digivolved and flipped over a thousand tables. Don’t get me wrong, any fan would be hopeful and excited that a new show of their beloved franchise was coming, but from reading what the show would be and seeing the promotional trailers I’d say not many of us were so much as excited as we were confused. One of the things I love about the Digimon franchise is that it tries something new every season (as most properties such as this do) but Xros Wars felt totally different from Digimon, and in a bad way.
The new way the digimon could digivolve threw many fans for a loop, because not only did it seem like another version of DNA digivolving, but the digimon they evolve into felt like knock-offs to ones that we already loved from Adventure 01 and 02. I’m sure many fans, like myself, thought that this was a huge step back for the franchise, especially when at the time it was quickly being overshadowed again by other anime. But like any fan I gave it a chance, and while it was fun I have to admit that it was really tough to get through at times.
Unlike previous seasons it seemed that Xros Wars decided to focus on simple adventures and creating new power ups for their digimon rather than the characters themselves or even the relationship between the human and their digimon. There were episodes that did have that, but not to the extent that the previous seasons had went. There were a lot of cool aspects to this new universe, however, if you’re a Digimon fan that has seen every season in chronological order you will look at Xros Wars as a step back, and possibly the first time that a Digimon season didn’t understand itself. But, I will say that the third arc of Xros Wars, The Young Hunters Who Leapt Through Time, was really fun. It doesn’t improve the series overall, but it definitely shifts the series into familiar territory that old and new fans would invest in. That, and it had a wonderful crossover where every “red” character from every season came together to stop a common enemy. If you didn’t fangasm over seeing Omnimon, Paildramon, Gallentmon, Susanoomon, and ShineGreymon Burst Mode all working together then I don’t know what will.
5. Digimon Adventure 01
Okay, I know some really hard core fans may not agree with this, but let me say that for me the quality of Digimon has been very close to each other until Xros Wars. So while this may be the second lowest, by no means do I think of it as one of the worst. I just like the other seasons more 😛
So, Adventure! Digimon! The season that not only introduced Digimon to the world but was the gateway to many fans. I remember watching this as it first aired in America. I’d wake up early before school specifically for this show. It was like my religion back then, and if I missed an episode then you bet your ass I was going to try and find a rerun of it at some point…if I ever remembered what station it was on.
These fond memories do put a rosy shine on it as I’ve recently gone back to look at a few episodes only to find that while the quality is still good it takes forever to get anywhere in the show. And for this reason, mostly, I find Adventure 01 to be a wonderful and successful template of where Digimon can go. You have amazing character development, emotional story arcs, and a pace that really makes you get to know these characters and their partner digimon to a point that you will cry when these kids have to deal with real life situations. For most I think this is their favorite simply because it was what got them into Digimon, but I believe that while this is a very strong freshman year of Digimon the other season only improved and pushed the envelop more than what Adventure 01 was able to do.
4. Digimon Frontier
I feel like out of all the season of Digimon, Frontier is still one of the most controversial seasons that have been put out simply because the humans become the digimon, and there are no official digimon partners. However, it is because of that that I felt this season was really fresh and doing interesting things. Even though I loved the previous seasons, I always asked myself why the kids couldn’t help the digimon more? This concept was explored a little bit in Tamers, but in Frontier they go all out and really explore the relationship between humans and digimon by allowing these kids become digimon.
I don’t hold this season up to high standards, but I think it’s better than most fans give it credit. I know every time I revisit this season I’m always surprised at how easily I get sucked into this world, and seeing these characters physically helping the digital world has always warmed my heart. And because the kids become the digimon I find that makes the stories much more character focused. Probably more character focused than any other season. You watch as these kids really struggle with their inner demons, and sometimes that’s shown through their digivolutions.
This season had really made me get attached to everyone’s struggle, and the fact that these kids had to physically and mentally get over their obstacles has made this interpretation have a special place in my heart. That, and as I kid I always wanted to become a digimon, and this series gave what I dreamt of for so long and so much more.
3. Digimon Adventure 02
While I loved Adventure 01, it wasn’t until Adventure 02 blew my tiny little brain and made my love of digimon permanent. It took everything I loved about Adventure 01 and amplified it. The original digi-destined came back, new evolutions were made, and this season has arguably the best over arching storytelling. This season really put legacy in the Digital World, and building upon what began in 01 only shows how great this series is.
The themes and maturity to the storytelling was really surprising, and this was the first time I felt like Digimon treated me as a person, not as a kid. It didn’t feel like it was talking down to me, in fact it felt like it understood me at times and played with that. They thought of new evolutions, and those evolutions actually made sense. There really isn’t a lot I can say about this season simply because it’s one of the best. If anything, Adventure 02 is a prime example of what fans expect out of Digimon, and it also shows why Xros Wars doesn’t jell with most fans.
2. Digimon: Savers/Data Squad
Digimon Adventure 02 may have cemented my love for Digimon, but it was Savers that gave me hope in the franchise once again. Before Savers, Digimon was coming out with a new season every year. 1999 was 01, 2000 was 02, 2001 was Tamers, and 2002 was Frontier. It would be four years of no Digimon until we got Savers. Four years of my youth in torment because I needed my Digimon fix. I couldn’t go to the video games, they’re sometimes good but not really the best. I couldn’t turn towards the manga, the ones that were translated were starting to go out of print and even the good ones weren’t coming over. To me the Digimon franchise was dead, and all I could do was continually rewatch past seasons.
To my utter shock Savers comes out in 2006, and I am floored! Not only were we getting a new season, but it was good. I will admit that I was conflicted on them using Agumon as someone else’s partner digimon, but after a few episodes I got into it. Not only that, but the main character can punch Digimon! Let that set in. He can PUNCH digimon! This season was starting to turn out pretty good, until we travel to the digital world and all hell brakes loose. It’s astounding how the quality of this season only gets better the further you get into it.
Savers was not only what resurrected Digimon, but it was dealing with themes you really wouldn’t think to see. For example, one of the characters was stranded into the digital world as a baby, being raised by digimon, and one of his character arcs is to readjust to normal life in the human world and coming face to face with the parents he never knew he had. This season just impressed me on all fronts, and I really loved the new digivolutions, history, and mythology they put into it. Savers exceeded all my expectations and is one of my favorite seasons to go back and rewatch.
- Digimon Tamers
I think it’s safe to say this is most fans’ favorites. Adventure 02 tackled dark and mature storylines, but Tamers took it to a whole new level. Everything explored in the first two seasons were not only brought back into this season, but explored ten fold. In adventure 01 we were horrified when Greymon digivolved into SkullGreymon, but nothing compares to the scene where Takato opens his heart to darkness and makes Guilmon digivolve into Megidramon. Or how we saw Terri descend into utter hopelessness as she activates a threat that could destroy reality.
This season was an emotional ride, and I pray to the digital gods that someday we’ll get a sequel season to this, but sadly I don’t think that’ll happen. I loved how in depth they explored the digital world in this series, and the balance between the digital world and the human world was done so well. There is so much death in Tamers that it’s hard not to go a few episodes without getting teary eyed. I find Tamers to be the staple of what Digimon can do. For a kids’ show, it really treated their audience with maturity. I don’t think Digimon seasons should strive to be this dark, but I think it shows what Digimon can do as apposed to Pokemon, or Yokai Watch (which I haven’t seen, but thought was a safe guess). There really isn’t much more I can say about this being my favorite other than that if you haven’t seen this then please do yourself a favor and experience it, and for fans of this show do yourself a favor and grab some tissues and marathon this beast.
Well, that’s my order of my favorite Digimon seasons. Do you agree? Tell me your order in the comments, and check back next time for Digimon Month has only begun!