Drifting? The Island of Adventure (JP)
And So It Begins… (EN)
JP: Satoru NISHIZONO
EN: R.D. Chamberlain and John Ludin
JP: March 7, 1999
EN: August 14, 1999
Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse (and really, if you lived through 2020, you should know better), here I am, re-RE-reviewing Digimon Adventure episodes 1-13. I gotta go back and fix my horrible, embarassing mistakes, cover up all the incriminating evidence I left behind, and remove the shitty punch-down jokes I threw in when I was old enough to know better than to do that shit. Don’t get too excited, though; that does mean some of my shitty punch-lateral jokes will remain, because some shits are just timeless! Let’s do this!
Text next to the blue bars is translated and transcribed dialogue. Among it, the text in italics and listed first is what was said in the original, Japanese version. The text following is what was said in the dub. The text that’s
struck-through is what was said in our hearts, but not in either version. If you find that tricky to read, you should be able to hover over struck-through text to see a tooltip of the text (if this doesn’t work, leave a comment and I’ll figure something out).
Anyway: buncha kids went to summer camp. It was weird. They may or may not have been sucked into another world. The possibility of being sucked into another world was NOT mentioned in the liability waiver.
The first cut is, not surprisingly, in the opening Animation. First of all, the American theme song is too short, so I suppose some of these cuts had to happen. The original opening theme did contain some very beautiful, unique scenes, and it complemented the original theme song (Wada Kouji’s ‘Butter-fly’) well.
Narrator: “In the summer of that year, strange events occurred all over Earth. In Southeast Asia, the paddy fields dried up from lack of rain. Heavy rains flooded the Middle East. America experienced record freezing temperatures. At one summer camp, little did anyone know, an adventure in an unknown world was about to begin.”
Tai: “That’s home: Planet Earth. But I’m not sure that’s where I am right now. Okay, let me back up a little. It all began when the climate went completely out of control. The rainforest dried out, and other places got totally flooded with oceans like chocolate sauce!”
Chocolate sauce oceans are indeed the deadliest and most delicious outcome of climate change.
Tai: “And get this: cities which were normally blazing hot in the summer got super cold.”
I told you not to touch the thermostat!
Tai: “At the time, I didn’t know any of this was going on, because I was at camp. All of the other campers were, you know, goofing off and hanging out. Me? I was enjoying the summer sun while, uh, going over my multiplication tables.”
Remember multiplication tables? Those things sucked. “Here, memorize this shit and be able to regurgitate it in under a minute. Don’t actually learn what the numbers represent or how they work. This is a maths class; we’re not here to teach you to understand maths!”
Tai: “That is, until it started to snow. In the middle of July! Totally freaky! And it gets weirder. You won’t believe what happened to me and six other kids. Oh, by the way, my name’s Tai.”
Doctor: “Well, Mrs. Kamiya, what would you like to name your son?”
Mommy Kamiya: “Tai.”
Doctor: “Tie what?” *rimshot*
Mommy Kamiya: “Why is there a drumset in here?”
Daddy Kamiya: “Sorry.”
Also, it’s not the middle of July! It’s the 1st of August, which is kind of important. Not right now, but it will be!
Now we meet our heroes:
|Original (Eastern order)||Dub (Western order)|
|YAGAMI Taichi||Taichi “Tai” Kamiya|
|TAKENOUCHI Sora||Sora Takenouchi|
|ISHIDA Yamato||Yamato “Matt” Ishida|
|IZUMI Koushirou||Koushiro “Izzy” Izumi|
|TACHIKAWA Mimi||Mimi Tachikawa|
|TAKAISHI Takeru||Takeru “T.K.” Takaishi|
|KIDO Jou||Joe Kido|
For whatever reason, the dub retains the characters’ names but assigns them these nicknames, and they will never use the characters’ actual names. The exception is “Izzy”, whose real name ‘Koushiro’ will appear in the background of some scenes much later on. How did he earn a nickname based on his surname instead of his given name? We may never know.
In Japan and East Asia in general, personal names are ordered family name first, given name second. The family name is what some Westerners would think of as the “last” name because our order is the reverse. So Yagami is Taichi‘s family or “last” name, and Taichi is his given or “first” name.
For the purposes of Digimon Uncensored, most instances in which I write out a full name will be direct quotes from the narrator or another character, so they’ll be in their native order. In the event that I refer to a character by full name outside of the native context, I’ll use the international convention of writing the surname in all-uppercase letters. If you don’t like the international convention, just pretend I’m yelling their surnames instead. It’s a thing I do.
The dub names, of course, will be written in Western order.
In Japan, people routinely refer to one another using honorifics (name suffixes), which indicate levels of formality or familiarity. Koushirou usually uses the suffix “-san” (polite or formal) for every human, Sora refers to Mimi as “Mimi-chan” (affectionate), and Jou refers to Sora and Mimi with “-kun” (informal, used when addressing an underclassperson or subordinate). Sora and Mimi call him “Jou-sempai” (formal, for addressing upperclasspeople) in return. These suffixes usually don’t have direct English equivalents, so I don’t include them in my translations. The exception is when a child addresses an adult with “-san“, which then translates to “Mr/Ms/Mrs/Mx”.
Speaking of “my translations”: I am not a fansubber! I’m not adapting the script for English-language distribution, which is a much more complex process that I, quite frankly, am not qualified to do. The translations I post are instead more literal, and I’ll elaborate on cultural idioms and customs in a nearby Side Note.
As a result, the lines I translate from the original may or may not match the lines in subtitled media. That doesn’t necessarily mean the subtitle is wrong; they’re doing their job, and I’m fucking around with my hobby because I don’t get paid for this.
The Japanese under the characters’ names in their introduction screens just states their school and grade, which is removed from the dub. Taichi, Sora, and Yamato are in fifth grade. Mimi and Koushirou are in fourth, Jou is in sixth, and Takeru is in second.
御台場小学校 ； 五年生
Odaiba Elementrary School; 5th Year
Regarding Koushirou, his name is frequently localized as “Koushiro”. The third syllable is indeed elongated (rō, not ro), so “Koushirou” or “Kōshirō” are the more accurate transliterations of his name. “Koushiro” has been around a long while and is the spelling used in the dub, so there’s really no reason to light your panties on fire if someone spells it that way.
Likewise, Jou’s name is sometimes written “Jyou” because of how the kana of his name is transliterated – じょう (hiragana) or ジョー (katakana). Both “Jou” and “Jyou” are valid spellings of his name. I have yet to see anybody spell his name “Jo”, which is sad because I find it really funny for some reason.
If you continue reading these comparisons, you will find that I include Japanese characters frequently to provide context for certain words, transcribe text from images, or disambiguate homophones. If that bothers you: that’s weird, and don’t tell me about it, because I don’t care.
Yagami was changed to “Kamiya” for the dub, reportedly because it spells “imagay” backwards and children might think it says, “I’m a gay”, which is ridiculous, and we’ll not have children learning improper grammar on our watch! Furthermore, it’s Japanese – those are syllables! It spells “migaya” backwards, ya turkeys!
Also: just let him be a gay! No one cares!
To get the ball rolling, Tai introduces the other characters for us. Our friendly narrator handled this task in the original. Giving the job to Tai is less than ideal because it kind of sets Tai up as the “main” character, which he is not. He does tend to get more focus than the others, but everyone on the team is equally important to the story, and the adventure they have is equally important to each of them.
Tai: “This is Sora. She’s okay… for a girl.”
You know, Tai, this is the third time I’ve been re-introduced to you, and you are no less unlikeable each time.
Tai: “And Matt. Matt’s too cool. Just look at that haircut!”
The writers love this kid’s hair.
Tai: “And this little kid is Izzy. He should have gone to computer camp.”
He did. Sadly, they kicked him out and said he should have gone to summer camp.
Tai: “That’s Mimi. I bet you can guess her favorite color on the first try!”
Tai: “T.K. is Matt’s dopey little brother.”
… he does look kind of dopey…
Tai: “Oh, and this is Joe, but don’t ever scare him! He’d probably wet his pants!”
Joe will do no such thing, and Tai needs to keep that part of his imagination to himself.
[Checking the status of the snowstorm outside their cabin]
Taichi: “It finally stopped, huh?”
Tai: “So there we all were at camp, when suddenly this huge blizzard came out of nowhere! Needless to say, the canoe races were canceled.” (replying to his own narration) “So let’s have toboggan races instead!”
They all laughed at me for bringing my toboggan to summer camp! They all laughed at me!! BUT WHO’S LAUGHING NOW??
Takeru: “Snow! Awesome!!”
T.K.: “I’m gonna build the biggest snowman!”
Sora: “Brr, it’s cold! I can’t believe it’s summer…”
Sora: “Brrr! It is freezing. And I didn’t bring a jacket!”
Jou: “Let’s hurry back to where the adults are. The longer we stay here…”
Joe: “Man! I was worried I’d catch a summer cold, but this is even worse!”
Fear not, Joe! You can still catch a summer cold, what with it still being summer and all.
Mimi: “Wow! Pretty!”
Mimi: “Wow! Why didn’t I pack my fluffy, pink snow boots?”
Koushirou: “No good… I thought I’d get reception now that the snowstorm stopped…”
Izzy: “Still not working. Bummer. This storm’s making a mess of my infrared Internet connection.”
Yeah, I don’t think that’s the storm’s fault, kid.
Izzy is the team’s resident “Smart Boy” / “Child Engineer”. He has no idea what he’s doing. In this case, he has a satellite phone for connecting to the internet, which of course was hindered by the snowstorm because the snow and clouds blocked the phone’s communication with the satellite. He is connecting the satellite phone to his computer via wireless infrared, which the storm is powerless to stop despite its best efforts, because infrared connectivity requires a line-of-sight between the source and receiver – i.e. the phone needs to be indoors and near the computer.
There is a non-zero probablity that Izzy put the sat phone outside in the storm as he attempted to connect to the Internet from inside the cabin, then blamed the storm for the computer’s failure to connect to the phone.
Original: the kids look at the aurora over some mystical, serene music.
Dub: the music indicates bad times are abound for no particular reason. It is silly because they have some mysterious-feeling music that plays in a following scene.
[There’s an aurora, too!]
Koushirou: “That’s weird! How can there be an aurora in Japan?”
Sora: “You’re right…”
Izzy: “You mean Aurora Borealis? The northern lights? That’s impossible! You see that in Alaska; we’re way too far south!”
Sora: “Tell that to the snow.”
Yeah, snow! Fuck off!
Jou: “We should hurry and get back to the camp where the adults are…”
Yamato: “That’s true. It’s be a shame if someone caught a cold.”
Joe: “I really think we ought to get back inside before we all come down with pneumonia.”
Matt: “And miss this? The sky is, like, short-circuiting!”
[A weird green light appears in the sky and fires off some beams at them]
Mimi: “Do you think we need sunscreen?”
Mimi, for fuck’s sake– of COURSE you need sunscreen! It’s summer! And UV light reflects off of snow!
[What did the green beams shoot at us?]
Izzy: “Meteors? Okay, so it’s not meteors.”
Izzy, Team Smart Boy, does not know the difference between meteors and meteorites. This is pretty standard for the level of knowledge he displays.
Sora: “What… are these?”
Koushirou: “It’s not a pager or a cell phone…”
Sora: “What are these?”
Izzy: “My guess is some sort of miniature, remote digital apparatus.”
As Team Smart Boy, however, he will be throwing out technical and/or complicated words to keep up the appearance. The chances that he knows what the words he’s using means are about 50/50.
In the dub, the Digivices, for some uncodly reason, emit this high-pitched shrieking noise when they’re active. It’s weird and annoying, and I don’t know why anyone thought that was a good idea.
Joe: “No instructions?”
Tai: “Forget the instructions – surf’s up!”
Ironically, he would have known what to do in the event of a sudden, geographically inappropriate tidal wave if he had read the instructions.
Mimi: *wailing* “I knew I should have gone to cheerleading camp!”
Again: she would have known to go to cheerleading camp instead if she’d read the instructions.
[Some time later, Taichi awakens to find what appears to be a disembodied, talking head on his chest]
Taichi: “Wh-Wh-What is this?!”
Disembodied Head: “Taichi, you’re awake! That’s great, that’s great!”
Taichi: “It’s talking! It knows my name!”
Disembodied Head: “This is great, this is great! Taichi, this is so great!”
Taichi: “Wh-Wh-What are you?!”
Tai: “That is the last time I eat camp food!”
Disembodied Head: “Hey, you don’t need to be afraid of me. I’m your friend, I’m your friend, I’m your friend!”
Tai: “Just what are you? Have you had your Rabies shots?”
Disembodied Head: “Everything’s gonna be alright now, Tai. I’ve been waiting for you.”
Tai: “Waiting for me?”
Incidentally, he has not had his Rabies shots.
[The head goes by ‘Koromon’]
Taichi: “Koromon…? You were… waiting for me?”
Tai: “Koromon? That means… ‘talking head’??”
Koromon: “It means ‘brave little warrior’, and don’t forget it, Tai!”
Tai has already forgotten it, and you might as well, too, because it’s a lie. ‘Koro‘ comes from the Japanese onomatopoeic phrase “korokoro“, which is the sound of something round rolling.
[Koushirou finds Taichi]
Koushirou: “Thank goodness. I thought I was all alone here.”
New Creature: “What’re you sayin’? I’m right here with you!”
Izzy: “It’s me. And I’ve got this little pink thing following me everywhere.”
That’s your butt, Izzy.
Little Pink Thing: “It is me, Motimon!”
Motimon: “… at your service! Anybody want lunch?”
Given he has no food on his person– er… pers-mon, I can only surmise that this creature is bred to be eaten and is offering himself as lunch. Very considerate of him!
Original Motimon speaks in a heavy Kansai dialect, which originates from the Kansai region in southern Japan. It can be likened to someone speaking American English with a southern accent. I will attempt to translate his dialogue accordingly. It will probably be terrible.
[Motimon introduces himself]
Koushirou: “Since I woke up here, he’s been following me around. I have no idea…”
Taichi: “Here? This place is…”
Izzy: “I believe those miniature, remote digital gadgets have taken on an actual lifeform. I don’t remember anything like this in the camp brochure.”
Tai: “Y’think? It’s weird.”
Izzy: “The vegetation is lush, but the soil appears rather common.”
Izzy has no reason to believe the “digital gadgets” have taken on “actual lifeform”. That is standard for the level of deductive reasoning he displays.
Motimon: “This’s File Island.”
Koromon: “That’s right! File Island.”
Koushirou: “That’s what they say, but…”
Motimon: “Nothing is common in DigiWorld.”
Koromon: “That’s right, Tai. You’re in the DigiWorld!”
Tai: “And just where is the DigiWorld?”
It’s up your heiney and around the corner from the Digital World, which is its proper name in the dub, and the dub switches between that and “DigiWorld”. In the original Digimon Adventure, it’s also called the “Digimon World”, but it is canonically “Digital World”.
Japan likes to use English words in their media and daily lives, and this show is no exception. “File Island” is said FAIRU-tō 「ファイル島」 in Japanese. 島 as a standalone noun is pronounced shima, and it means ‘island’.
In dialogue, when a character use English words, I put the word in bold, but that’s only for words in conversation – i.e., words where a Japanese word could have been substituted but wasn’t. Why? I dunno; to point out a word I didn’t have to translate? Locations are an exception to this because they’re recurring.
Izzy: “I don’t care so much about where it is. I wanna know what it is!”
Izzy has no reason to believe this world is anything unusual yet. Stop reading ahead in the script, kid.
[Taichi climbs a tree and looks around with his mini-telescope]
Taichi: “There’s an ocean… I don’t remember seeing those mountains… Where are we?”
Tai: “The ocean? What’s that doing there? Our campsite was nowhere near the ocean! And I sure don’t remember those mountains. Hmmm. Something tells me a compass isn’t gonna help much.”
[Taichi spies a huge, red beetle coming right at him!]
Motimon: “Oh no! That’s Kuwagamon! He’s a violent Digimon!”
Koushirou: “What did you say?!”
Motimon: “I can’t watch! That is one seriously bad Digimon – even when he’s in a good mood!”
Izzy: “That’s just great.”
Narrator: “An Insect-type Digital Monster, Kuwagamon! His special attack can rip through anything – Scissor Arms!”
Koromon: “His name is Kuwagamon. He’s an insectoid Digimon. Vicious and ruthless, with teeth like knives and scissor hands that can chop through anything!”
“Kuwaga” is short for kuwagatamushi 「クワガタムシ」, which is just Japanese for “stag beetle”. Originally, he makes cicada-like sounds. In the dub, they’re definitely using Jurassic Park-ass raptor roars for him.
Koromon sings, “who needs a gardener?” as Kuwagamon flies in to severely harm him and his new friend. Jeez, Koromon. Read the room!
[Koromon has rescued Taichi from his beetley demise]
Taichi: “I’m fine.” *Koromon falls to the ground* “Koromon! … You idiot! Don’t be reckless!”
Taichi: “But … you did save me. Thanks.”
Izzy: “Tai, you okay?”
Tai: “Well, I have had better days
and dryer pants.” *Koromon from above* “Little guy! You should pick on bugs your own size! What’s your name? Koromon?”
Koromon: “That’s me.
I specifically asked you not to forget that.“
Tai: “You’re pretty brave… for a little guy. I’m impressed.”
Koromon: “It was nothing.”
[Motimon leads them away from Kuwagamon]
Motimon: “Hurry up! For having two long legs, you boys are awfully slow!”
Hey! For being a weird pink marshmallow blob, you’re awfully fast!
[Inside the tree]
Koushirou: “This is… a fake tree..?”
Izzy: “What kind of tree is this?”
Motimon: “It’s a hiding tree, silly.”
Izzy: (through gritted teeth) “Quiet now. Don’t make a sound.”
You’re making several sounds!
The dub has this fun fixation of taking moments like this, where characters are trying to hide, sneak away, or are frozen in shock, and adding lines like, “don’t make a sound” or “don’t move”. For some reason, their attempts to hide or be stealthy keep failing.
[Sora wanders by, completely unfazed by the giant beetle monster, and tells them it’s fine to come out]
Sora: “That was a close one, huh?”
Taichi: “What? It was no big deal!”
Sora: “You can come out now.”
Tai: “Uh, we were just planning the trap we were gonna set for that big bug.”
Silently, and… uh… in a secret tree! LIKE MEN.
[Sora has a new friend, too]
New Friend: “The sounds from Kuwagamon went far away, Sora.”
Sora: “Okay. Thanks, Pyokomon.”
Sora’s Own, Personal Something-or-Other: “I am enchanted to meet you, friends of Sora. Welcome.”
Sora: “Tai, Izzy, meet Yokomon, my own, personal something-or-other.”
Pyokomon’s plant-tendril-thing shakes, and that’s her detecting sound from Kuwagamon in the original. It does a weird purr/chirp in the dub for some reason, and that’s kinda gross.
Koushirou: “She looks like a plant, but is she also… One of them?”
Tai: “Looks kinda like a radish.”
Izzy: “Must be another one of them. Like the other… whatever they are.”
Still seeing very little evidence to convince me that these creatures are not meant to be food.
[Tokomon out of nowhere]
Koushirou: “Another one?”
Izzy: “They’re popping up everywhere.”
EW! Oh – popping up…
[Takeru and Yamato arrive, and Yamato has an underarm buddy]
Underarm Buddy: “I’m Tsunomon.”
Tsunomon: “Hello. You appear pleasant. Tsunomon is my name and I am quite pleased to meet you.”
Tsunomon’s deal in the original is that he’s extra-shy, so he offers only a bashful, “I’m Tsunomon”. Dub Tsunomon is already setting himself up for disappointment by assuming these people are pleasant.
[Suddenly: screams of horror and despair!]
Jou: “Help me! Some weird guy is chasing me!”
Some Weird Guy: “I’m not a weird guy! I’m Pukamon.”
Joe: “Help me! This thing, this thing…. It won’t leave me alone!”
Bukamon: “Hey, who’re you calling a thing? I’m no stuffed animal. The name is Bukamon.”
Joe: *screams* “Wha- What’s wrong with you guys? Don’t you see this creature hanging off me? And those creatures standing right there?”
To be fair to Joe: his is a lot uglier than the others. It’s like an old rotisserie chicken with a mohawk.
Jou: “Wha… Just what are these guys?!”
All Them: “We’re… Digital Monsters!”
Joe: “They’re- They’re everywhere! What are they?”
All them: “We’re Digimon: Digital MonstersTM.”
Reportedly, they are the champions.
This seems like a nice time for a break!
Original: in the next scene, the aforementioned Digital Monsters introduce themselves.
Dub: the Digimon: Digital Monsters make asinine comments. The dub also spoiled the surprise that “Digital Monsters” is, indeed, shortened to “Digimon”.
Koromon: “We’re not just Digital Monsters. We’re much more than that! We’re… kinda cute.”
Tsunomon: “And very loyal.”
Yokomon: “With beautiful hair.”
Motimon: “Or maybe no hair at all.”
Bukamon: “We can be funny. Ha!”
Tokomon: “And adorable.”
In the dub, Pyokomon becomes Yokomon and Pukamon becomes Bukamon. Why? I dunno. Letters. She has no hair, and Bukamon cannot be funny. It is illegal.
Speaking of asinine comments, Tai and his friends have something to say:
Taichi: “I’m YAGAMI Taichi, a fifth grader in Odaiba Elementary. This is Sora, who’s in the same grade.”
Sora: “I’m TAKENOUCHI Sora. Nice to meet you all.”
Taichi: “This is Yamato, another fifth grader.”
Yamato: “I’m ISHIDA Yamato.”
Taichi: “Over there is Jou.”
Jou: “KIDO Jou. I’m in sixth grade.”
Taichi: “Koushirou from fourth grade.”
Koushirou: “I’m IZUMI Koushirou.”
Taichi: “And, uh…this is…”
Takeru: “Takeru. TAKAISHI Takeru. I’m a second grader.”
Tai: “It’s a pleasure to meet each of you. My name’s Tai, and these are my friends from camp. I’d like you to meet Sora…”
Sora: “Nice place you got here… except the bugs.”
Tai: “And the self-proclaimed cool one over there is Matt.”
Matt: “No autographs, please.”
Tai: “And this is Joe.”
Joe: “I’d shake hands if you had any.”
Motimon has hands. They’re sticky, though.
Tai: “Izzy here’s our computer expert.”
Izzy: “Do you have internet access?”
Your computer expert thought the snowstorm outside was interfering with his infrared connection to his satellite phone as it sat right next to his computer. And that’s assuming he got that much right.
Tai: “And last but not least, this little guy is… uh…”
T.K.: “T.K.. Call me T.K., and I’m not as small as I look.”
Yeah. It’s called density, Tai.
Taichi: “That’s everyone, right?”
Sora: “Wait! I’m sure there was one more…”
Koushirou: “Mimi! TACHIKAWA Mimi isn’t here!”
Jou: “Oh yeah, Mimi from fourth grade! I have to give her…”
Tai: “There now. Is that everybody?”
Sora: “Hey, what happened to that girl with the funny pink hat?”
Tai: “Now, now. Her name is Mimi.”
Izzy: “Well, perhaps she’s off picking flowers, or going on a nature hike. Or a–“
That sounds like a reasonable supposition for this giant bug death world.
[Screams! Mimi needs help!]
Tai: “Mimi! Where are you?”
Izzy: “Okay, so she’s not picking flowers.”
You don’t know what the flowers here are like!
Tanemon’s name is the same in the dub.
[Kuwagamon gives chase!]
Jou: “Wha-What is this place?! Just what kind of place is this?!”
Joe: “Will this nightmare never end? My mom is gonna want a complete and total refund!”
She paid extra for this.
Taichi: “Damn it! How do we stop him from killing us?!”
Sora: “Taichi, it’s hopeless!”
Yamato: “She’s right! We don’t have any weapons!”
Koushirou: “We have to run away!”
Tai: “Okay, that does it! No more running away!”
Sora: “What else can we do?”
Matt: “She’s right. There’s no way we can fight that thing!”
Izzy: “Not and win, anyway!”
Yeah. Go for it, Tai!
[Sadly, they flee and come to the edge of a cliff]
Matt: “Great. Anybody bring a helicopter?”
You were supposed to bring the helicopter!
[The Digital Monsters have attempted to fight back]
Taichi: “You idiot! Why are you so reckless?!”
Koromon: “Because… I… have to protect you, Taichi.”
Tai: “Koromon, are you crazy? Why’d you do it?”
Koromon: “Sorry, it’s just…. I’m trying to make a good impression…”
“… by dying in front of you.”
Koushirou: “Why did you do that?”
Izzy: “They must be programmed for courage.”
Izzy has no reason to believe they’re machines or otherwise non-biological beings at this point, so the word he’s looking for must be “brainwashed”. Way to make it weird, Izzy.
Taichi: “He’s… still alive? … Damn it… at this rate…”
Sora: “I was hoping we’d seen the last of him.”
Tai: “Me too! Guess he had other plans, huh?”
Matt: “Ugh, I knew I should have brought my bug spray!”
Didn’t bring the helicopter, didn’t bring the bug spray – why did we even let you come with us?!
[The Digimon charge, and everybody’s yelling their partners’ names because that’s helpful]
Joe: “Turn around!!
You’re not even going the right way! Come back, Bukamon!”
The kids’ new devices light up, and their Digital Monsters undergo startling transformations! In the original, they “evolve” (shinka 「進化」). In the dub, they “digivolve”. It kind of works because it sets the show apart from a certain OTHER show in which creatures “evolve”, and it avoids conflating the process with natural evolution.
In the original, the evolution sequences and subsequent fights are usually accompanied by the song Brave Heart, sung by Ayumi MIYAZAKI. The dub doesn’t get an evolution/fight song of its own until much later in the series. Until then, it just plays the background theme song.
Officially: the break-down of these Digital Monsters and the changes to their evolved forms’ attack names:
(Dub, if changed)
|Original Attack||Dub Attack|
|Koromon||Agumon||Baby Flame||Pepper Breath|
|Magical Fire||Spiral Twister|
|Motimon||Tentomon||Petit Thunder||Super Shocker|
|Tsunomon||Gabumon||Petit Fire||Blue Blaster|
|Tokomon||Patamon||Air Shot||Boom Bubble|
|Tanemon||Palmon||Poison Ivy||Poison Ivy|
|Pukamon||Gomamon||Marching Fishes||Varies, but officially “Marching Fishes”|
[They set Kuwagamon on fire and send him reeling backwards into the forest, which somehow does not catch fire]
Izzy: “They made vaporware out of him!”
They made him never come into existence so hard he came into existence long before they fought or even knew of him, and he didn’t even die!
Piyomon: “We did it, Sora!”
Tentomon: “How about that Super Shocker? Pretty wizard, huh?”
It was ELECTRIFYIN- OW!
[Kuwagamon is not dead, and he breaks the cliff they are partying on]
Tai: “Guess we celebrated too soon!”
You always will.
Narrator: “Indeed. For these seven children, the longest – and shortest – summer vacation they’ve ever had begins.”
Tai: “So, just when we make some pretty cool friends, we all take a plunge. Never to see each other again? I don’t think so. But find out for yourself next time on Digimon: Digital Monsters!”
You all fell together, so I suspect you’ll be seeing them again soon whether you want to or not.
All in all, not a bad start to a show that, for the most part, is faithfully adapted aside from some misplaced humor and toning-down of seriousness. In this episode, you can hear how the voice actors are still figuring out their characters. I give it a C, for “chocolate sauce”, which you should not eat if it was once the ocean. It’s probably way too salty.
This show’s dub has a strong cast, and the voices are usually selected to match the original character as much as possible. Generally, the writers pay attention to the scripts and usually try not to leave anything important out if it can be helped, but they were working with standards which were much different back in the early 00’s, and the show was adapted for a younger audience, so some things did get lost.
In the end, the show is enjoyable whichever version you watch. Each version is a unique take of the same story, and they’re both fun in their own way! We’ll see in what ways they differ as we continue our comparisons! The grades at the ends of the comparisons are loosely based on how closely the script follows the original, whether plot points were translated correctly, and how entertaining I found the changes in their contexts. They are completely arbitrary, without rubric, and definitely without meaning or significance. I like every episode; the grades are just silly metrics for comparing the two versions.