Reviewby Luke Carroll,
Digimon: Digital Monsters - Collection 2
The adventures continue...
Seven kids at summer camp are mysteriously transported to another reality, where they are befriended by a group of strange creatures who call themselves "Digimon," Digital Monsters. The seven children are now dubbed as the DigiDestined, tasked with protecting the Digital World from evil Digimon like Devilmon. Can they save the Digital World and find a way back home?
As I'm sure many Gen Y children can proclaim, growing up in the 90's was the bomb. With the internet in its infancy (moving at an eye bleeding 33.6Kbps), and mobile phones barely even able to send a text message, children were entertained by two things, comics and television. Unlike today's adult driven breakfast shows, morning television was full of cartoons, and no two shows were bigger in that time than Aggro's Cartoon Connection and Cheez TV. These two host driven kids programs brought Australia an incredible amount of anime over their years including Samurai Pizza Cats, Sailor Moon, Digimon, Pokemon, and Dragonball Z (Don't forget Robotech! -Ed). Evidently, the popularity and nostalgia factor saw many of these shows receive a DVD release in recent years, however Digimon was never one of them (unless you count the 2003 cut-and-paste movie). That was until late last year when Madman formally announced the whole first season was getting a release on our shores. Skip a few months later, and the second and final collection of series one is here, ready to divulge with a bowl of cereal in hand!
This second collection starts us off right in the middle of the series. The DigiDestined have just been reunited after a few episodes of separation, however they quickly learn from the ever helpful Gennai that there is in fact an eighth DigiDestined back on Earth and Myotismon is on his way to find them. Failing to stop him however on their first attempt, the group learns of a second method to open the doors, using it successfully to return to Earth and begin their quest to find the eighth DigiDestined before Miyotismon does. Once the hunt finally ends (about 12 episodes in), the group learns that a lot has happened back in the Digital World, and decide they need to return and face their final enemy of the series, the four Dark Masters.
Visually, the series looks like it was ripped straight off a television screen, although that's not surprising since many of the episodes are sourced from TV masters. Designs are simple (and rather literal at times), colours are slightly faded, and the almost continuous use of stock footage will make you mind melt. The audio isn't much of an improvement either. The same sample of music plays over and over during transformations and fights almost like clockwork, and many of the lines delivered in the dub are either cheesy or lack emotion. And yet despite the obvious list of flaws, I still found myself drawn to the series just as I was when it first hit our screens. Nostalgia is a powerful thing.
On the extras side of things, the final disc contains a bunch of trailers as well as the original Japanese opening and closing themes. A nice touch if you want to see the difference between the two languages.
In the end, I don't think I'll be far off in thinking that those who plan to buy this collection already have their mittens around the first one. For many, this first season of Digimon is by far the most memorable of the lot, and this second collection helps solidify that. If you love your nostalgia gear, picking this title up is a must, just leave the alarm clock and cereal at home.
Film © 1999 Toei Animation Co., Ltd. © Akiyoshi Hongo, Toei Animation
Overall (dub) : D+
Story : C
Animation : C+
Art : C+
Music : D
+ It's Digimon finally on DVD!
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