Digimon Tamers S01E01

17 min read

Guilmon is Born! The Digimon that I Created (JP)
Guilmon Comes Alive (EN)

Original Writer:  Chiaki J. Konaka
Dub Writers: Steven Jay Blum

Original Airdates:
April 1, 2001 (JP)
September 1, 2001 (EN)


Laurie’s Notes: Tamers has always been my favorite season of Digimon. So it’ll be interesting seeing the Japanese and how badly the dub handled the source material. The opening song for the dub is the same theme for the first two seasons, they just changed it a bit to fit in ‘Digi Modify’, which I thought was always really cool. Hopefully they didn’t butcher much, but I feel like the opposite may be the case.

Summary

In a world where Digimon is just game, where it’s just another product for kids to buy, and is most certainly not real….Takato, our protagonist, is the best Digimon Card Game player ever! So good that he’s too good for school and spends his time daydreaming about getting his own Digimon. Which of course ends up happening and the creature materializes in a back alley with some sewer pipes (ew). They meet some new friends along the way and some crazy shenanigans happen, no one is ever the same again. Strap in for a wild ride.

Culumon: Kulu-Kulu (Scared running away noises)
Maildramon: grunts
Calumon: “Ahhh, Ahhh Maybe we should talk about this! If you give me a chance, I’m sure we can work it out! Ahh I just wanted to play!”
Maildramon: “OkAAAY…. Let’s PLAY!!”


Culumon: Silence
Calumon: “I don’t like this game!”


Culumon: Silence
Calumon: “Ahh, Ahh, Ahh Are you sure you’re playing it right?”


Culumon: Silence
Calumon: “Aaaaw, nuts… ahhhhhh….!”


Culumon: “Kuluuuuuuuuu”
Calumon: “Game Oveeeeeeerrrrr…”

Otacon: Calumon, what happened? Answer me! Calumon? Calumooooooooooooooonnnnn!


This whole scene paints Calumon in the most annoying way possible. What’s wrong with having the Digimon act a little more like monsters, and not…whatever Calumon is supposed to be? Some kinda naive child? It can’t be a good sign for things to be changed so much in the opening scene.

Sub on the left, dub censored flash on the right

When DarkTyrannomon beats Maildramon there’s a bright white flash because I guess its too much violence for kids to see a digital monster get crushed and their pixelated blood go everywhere

Culumon: “Kulululu…..”
Calumon: “Ahhhh ahhhh ahhh…Hey”


Culumon: “Where am I, culu…”
Calumon: “I hope the other Digimon here aren’t as rude as that one…”

God Dub Calumon is insufferable already.


Takato: “With this option card DarkTyranomon Digivoles into Perfect LEvel MetalTyranamon”
Takato: “BULL’S EYE, BABY!”


Takato: “What can I say I just came up with it”
Hirokazu: *Silence*

Takato: “What can I say you’re dealing with a super genius”
Kazu: “Yeah in your dreams doofus”

Not sure why they chose to put a line in here for Kazu, maybe to make Takatos comment seem more fluid?


Hirokazu: “Hey Takato, what’s the hold-up, we’re gonna be late”
Takato: “Wait up Hirokauz”


Kazu: “Takato will you hurry up if we’re late Ms. Asagi is gonna make us stand in the hall again”
Takato: “I’ll be right there don’t’ leave without me”

There was no need to match lip movement here, I don’t know why they didn’t just keep what was said originally which sounded better and less like Hirokazu was annoyed/pissed off at Takato.

Side Note

Hirokazu’s name was shortened to Kazu in the dub. I actually find Kazu easier to say, so I’m thinking that’s why it was changed in the dub too.

When Takato gets the blue card in the dub, the music is kinda creepy/horror/something bad/important is gonna happen. In the Sub its the opposite, it’s like a fun bubbly mystery. Something new and shiny and mysterious has appeared. When the Blue D card landed on the pile in the dub there was a ‘gong’ noise. In the sub it was a cool digital chime noise.

Takato: “What was that?”
Takato:  “This is new”


Takato: “Oh no….I’m late”
Takato: “My card reader goes mental and I’m late for school again.”

Not sure why they had to add extra dialogue to the scene, ‘mental’ seems like such an early 2000s thing to say.

Side Note

The dub has some weird background music playing, it has an air of mystery to it. Japanese has no music, just the sound of the school bell ringing.

Takato: “Gotta run gotta run”
Takato “Thanks for waiting Kazu”

Takato seems much more bratty in the dub. Not sure if that’s the right word, but not sure how else to put it. He’s ruder, more sarcastic and seems highly annoyed than his Japanese self.


Takato: *Silence*
Takato: “Aw nuts”

This happens before Takato is even shown in frame. It’s as the school bell rings, in a much more American sounding way, and the shot zooms in on the school itself.


Ms. Asaji:: “Are you really feeling sorry for  being tardy today”
Ms. Asaji: “You know the rules: if you show up late, you’ll have to wait!”

Holy Shit, Kairi is back!!! Oh no wait…that’s just her voice actor. But what if it’s some ploy to show that the first two seasons are actually connected and that’s grown up Kairi! I swear I’m not a conspiracy nut. Also the Japanese teacher seems to have much more personality than the American one.
Not sure why they had Kairis VA play this role, but its mind boggling.


Takato: “I-Ive learned my lesson”
Takato: “Who Me?”

No, all the other kids standing out in the hallway that are late, in fact the entire class is out there with you. God he’s so dumb in this series.


Ms. Asaji: *Silence*
Ms. Asaji: “Now I want you all to pay attention this is going to be on the test”

It’s only been a few minutes into the episode and I”m already baffled and slightly annoyed at how there’s so much extra, unneeded dialogue in the dub. Not every silence has to be filled with someone talking.


Takato: “His offense power rivals that of Agumon the strongest of all the Child levels”
Takato: “I’m gonna make him better then Agumon”

This illustrates how smart Sub Takato seems, that he thinks about offense vs defense. While Dub Takato just wants him to be better then Agumon.


Ms. Asaji: “Is that a Monster?”
Ms. Asaji “ Are you designing a Halloween costume?”


The Dub has got to keep it relatable and kid-friendly, so lets dumb it down to letting the teacher think its a Halloween costume. And for some reason relate it to a kid’s holiday? And then Dub Takato is a dick for no reason. Why is this kid a sarcastic little asshole? Is that what all kids like were at his age? And how old is he? 10, 11? He can’t be any more than 13 or 14. Sub Takato is actually ashamed he got caught and is genuinely confused about why someone was asking him about a monster. He thought it was another kid. Not to mention he seemed is a lot more apologetic and guilty when he saw it was the teacher.

Takato: *Silence, with a thoughtful Takato looking out the window*
Takato: “What should I call him…? RedDinoFiremon! Nah, that’s stupid… BlazingDragonLizardmon! …Yeah, get real”

Gotta stay hip with the kids and cram words where they don’t belong. God Japan Takato is so much different and cooler then Takato, at least less of a dick.


Takato: “A Virus Attribute, Reptile”  
Takato: “Cool now thats a name!”

Sub Takato is spitting facts, going into detail about the type of Digimon Guilmon was. Dub Takato is lame and dumb. Like literally stupid and can only say his Digimon was cool. Are kids in the United States dumber then Japanese kids and we wouldn’t know or couldn’t figure out what a Virus Type….REPTILE was? Would we confuse reptile with a dinosaur? Was this marketed to kids? Well, I guess it was, but I feel like it was more for mid-teens. /rant

Side Note

Music in the Japanese was actually more of a jump scare sound. He actually sounded surprised. The Dub fell flat with just a standard bop (like bop-it) sound.  Also, Takato taking “a time out” makes him seem so much younger then he really is.

Juri: “I forgot my recorder” 
Jerri: “There it is.. Bad flute…bad

 God Jerri has always given me the heebie-jeebies. Maybe it’s the fact her puppet says words (while the Sub just has the puppet bark). Thus it has a more “human” personality, or maybe its because Takato sounded creeped out like this is the crazy girl everyone knows to stay away from.

Side Note

There’s no music track in the Sub. But in the Dub it’s clear that these guys are possibly bad guys, but are definitely mysterious.

Japan “Packet is expanding”
USA: “Picking up an abnormal germination energy pattern”

WTF Is this shiit. Dub you’re failing me! My childhood is ruined. What the hell does ‘abnormal germination energy pattern even mean! The Sub makes perfect sense, a ‘packet’ is internet language for….something. I think it’s like a piece of data or something, I don’t know, I’m too lazy to google it. Regardless, I can’t even understand what the dub is trying to say now in the year 2020 much less when it came out originally.

Side Note

I liked how you can tell where they cut for commercial cause there’s still the fade to and from black in the dub.

Takato: *Grunt*
Takato “What else can go wrong”

Not sure why they decided to add more lines when there wasn’t any. Maybe the VAs get paid based on how many lines they could fit in an episode?


Takato: “What……..” *silence*
Takato: “I’m dreaming…wait a minute this is real.”

Well noo shiiieeeettt. Of course it’s real. Unless your whole life is a dream, you were just awake. 


Takato: “Did my Card Reader transform into this?”
Takato: “I’m going nuts. I’m sitting inside of a dinosaur, with a digivice. Right.”

The difference between how these characters act despite them being THE SAME PERSON is astounding. It’s like I’m watching two different shows….or the Netflix Death Note movie.


Culumon: “The sun went down…”
Calumon: “On a place with so many people how come there’s no one to play with? *AWWWWW?*”

Calumon is already insufferable, not sure the angle they were going for when dubbing this character as so annoying.

Side Note

Theres music in the dub that gives it an air of foreboding, or that something bad is gonna happen. Or at least mysterious. The sub has no music.

Lady leaving store: “Hi Takato-chan”
Lady leaving store: “ Takato Slow down”

Gotta get that safety lesson in, that running in the street is dangerous.


Takato: “(in a hurry) School was really fun today!”

Takato’s Dad: “Hi son, what did you learn at sch-“
Takato: “Oh you know the usual, two plus two equals four, well I got a lot of homework call when dinners ready!”
This scene makes Dub Takato look really dumb again, that they learned simple math in school. Why couldn’t he just say what original Takato said? It’d make him look less bratty too.


Takatos Mom: “The school recommended I have an actual conversation with my son.”
Takatos Mom: “In some families kids actually give their mothers a hug when they come home”

Look Takato is a typical American kid who doesn’t like his parents or give them any form of affection. Gotta keep it relatable.

Side Note

It sounded like glass crashing/breaking in the dub when he dumped out his cards. Japanese sounded like a metal tin opening, which is exactly what the cards were kept in.

Takato: “That blue card…”
USA Takato: “It is just a game…”

Finally, the Dub has some good dialogue. This actually sounded creepy, like Takato was scared about what was happening to him.


Takato’s Mom: “Take your bath first.”
Takato’s
Mom: “Come down dinners ready”

Not sure why they had to change the phrasing from bath to dinner. Maybe cause in America most kids eat dinner then bathe, and maybe Japan does it the opposite? At least thats always how it was in my white suburban home.

Side Note

The Subs music is more whimsical and mysterious. Like a kid going on an adventure. The Dub is still dark and foreboding, like something serious and bad is gonna go down. The rain effects don’t help either.

Cut, Added, or Shifted Scenes

The eye-catch from the Japanese is cut from the dub.

Side Note

There’s more foreboding music in the dub as it pans to Takato’s room and shows the DIgivice in his hand. No music in the sub.

Takato: “Guilmon… evolve…”
Takato: “Guilmon… Digi-Armor Energize…”

I liked that the Dub tried to make the connection that in Takatos world Digimon is just another tv show, card game, and video game. It’s just for fun and not real.


Rika: “It’s Lynxmon. Armor type”
Rika: “It’s Lynxmon vs Renamon”

Again, not sure why the dub had to change this stuff, and dumb it down. Although maybe saying ‘armor type’ would be confusing to us USA kids.

Side Note

This is the first we hear of the dubs phrase ‘Digi Modify’. Besides in the opening. I thought it was amazing, I loved saying it as a kid. ‘Card Slash’ sounds weird, not like something someone would actually say, but rather just do.

Takato: *Silence*
Takato: “There’s DEFINITELY something weird about those towers!”

Why does there have to be random bits of dialogue where there is none in the original?! It makes no sense. And thanks captain obvious/plot device. Are kids too dumb to pick up that the big towers they show could be important without them explicitly saying so?


Culumon: “Why are they all walking the same way? Why aren’t they bumping into each other? Why aren’t they fighting each other, cululu~?
Calumon: “I wonder why those funny metal Digimon keep spitting out all these people? They must be really good fighters… well, either that……..or this is the worst case of indigestion I’ve ever seen!”

My childhood is ruined. God the dub is so cringey, and they make Calumon seem really really dumb, not just naive and curious about the human world, but dumb.

Side Note

Side note: I thought it was cool how in the sub they made Takatos voice a little echoey as if he was actually in a domed enclosure and his voice sounded a little echoey because of it.
There was a weird popping sound when Takato removed Kazus’s hand in the dub. Which was not in the sub, and doesn’t even sound real. Unless his hand was suctioned to Takatos mouth, there’s no reason to include that sound.

Kenta: *Silence*
Kenta: “Maybe he froze his hands wiping his baby tears”

It’s hard to tell who says what in this scene cause they all talk over each other. But ‘baby tears’ just..this whole interaction about ‘bed-wetting’ is really odd and feels forced and childish, even for middle schoolers.


Takato: “Does this mean something was born?”
Takato: Good thing I don’t have any real pets, can’t even keep track of a digital one” 


This got a bit darker than anticipated. I know sometimes younger kids, like 6-10 years old can have trouble taking care of a pet but for Takato to be aware enough to comment on it. Damn bro.

Takato: “It’s pointing toward something”
Takato: *Silence*

Do my eyes deceive me! For once the Dub didn’t force in a line, in fact, they did the opposite. Maybe they thought the foreboding music and the clear indication about the tower were enough, plus there was that really forced line about the tower a few minutes ago.

Cut, Added, or Shifted Scenes

For some reason, in the Dub, they cut out the sound of the lighter opening and closing. Maybe cause they didn’t want the kiddies watching to hear the lighter sound and start smoking.

Takato: “I’m going to make sure of this. With my own eyes.”
Takato: “I’ll show them, I’ll show everybody! Digimon are real”

Not sure why dub Takato suddenly has something to prove, when he didn’t tell anyone that Digimon are real, or think they were before this. Sub Takato just seems to want to make sure Guilmon is real, nothing to prove to anyone.

Side Note


While the sub music makes Takato looking for Guilomon out to be an adventure with upbeat music the dub makes it feel like the opposite. Like this is a serious, possibly foreboding and dangerous thing to do.

Henrys Sister: Quietly playing with Terrirmon. 
Henrys Sister: “Terriermon digivolves to…!!”

This was a cute addition on the dub part, and furthers the narrative that Digimon is just a show in this world.

Side Note

Jenrya’s name was changed to Henry, which is an acceptable change for the dub, as Henry is easy to say, while Jenrya isn’t really. Although they changed his last name from one Chinese name to another. Not sure why but it is annoying when dubs feel the need to subsitute one ethnic name for another ethnic name.

Side Note

The Sub music keeps the happy upbeat, going on an adventure track, but the dub has no music, but car/city sounds instead. Which I think takes away from the ending of the first episode. They’re setting up something cool and exciting and want the audience to get pumped. 
Takato is going to try and find Guilomon, and the dub music sounds like something out of Jaws. More foreboding music, while the Sub sounds upbeat and has a techno flair to it.

Takato: *Silence*
Takato: “Ewww, gross!”

I guess even some boys don’t wanna get dirty on their hunt for their Digimon. Buuut he had no issues wiping his face with his dirty gross hands and giving himself some dumb-looking mustache.


Takato: “It’s here.”
Takato: “He’s all mine!”

Dub Takato’s a selfish little kid, but I guess that happens when you’re an only child.

Cut, Added, or Shifted Scenes

The dub version and the Japanese version don’t exactly line up. For some reason, scenes are out of order. Maybe they wanted to try and correlate Hypnos talking about Guilomon entering when Takato was walking down the stairs.

Takato: “W-What..?”
Takato: “Nice entrance…”

The word choice for the dub is the dumbest I’ve ever seen. Like what were they thinking? Subs confused Takato seems more accurate to how an actual person would respond to getting steam in the face.


Takato “I’m the one who created you..”
Takato: “Hi, my name is Takato”

Guess its standard practice in America to introduce yourself to the monster you pretty much created, cause you’re equals right? The sub sounds a lot cooler than the dub.


Takato: “What…?”
Takato: “Erm, ‘gesundheit’? Wow, I g-guess you don’t like rats, huh…?”

Another attempt at the dub adding stupid lines, an attempt on comedy that fell flatter than a pancake.


Takato: “Don’t attack me Guilimon”
Takato: “Here’s the plan…I scream..and run….”

Sub Takato seems to have a level head on his shoulders and actually knows how to handle some level of danger. Dub Takato reacts more like how a kid his age would act. Quite a difference in characterization here.

Cut, Added, or Shifted Scenes

Dub-exclusive “Find out on the next Digimon: Digital Monsters!” segment.

Davis: “Aawh, DUDE, that’s harsh! Will Takato get toasted by Guilmon’s grill??

To be continued…..holy shit I forgot that Davis narrates the ‘to be continued’ that the dub has. The sub just ends. It’s a cheesy dorky thing the dub did and is kinda pointless, but that’s dubs for you.

Final Result

98% of the episode was retained.

Besides editing some digital blood pixels out, and a lighter sound, much of the episode remains intact. Although Takato’s personality in the dub is already vastly different than his sub counterpart.

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