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The Return of Digimon

by Shout! Factory (Paid Article) (Paid Advertisement),

The Digi-Destined return! After fifteen years (though not quite so long in anime time), the adventures of Taichi “Tai” Kamiya and his loyal Digimon partner Agumon continue. The story brings back their beloved band of friends – Yamato “Matt” Ishida, plus Sora, Izzy, Mimi, Joe, T.K., and Taichi's sister Hikari. And of course the Digimons are back as well – not just Agumon, but also Gabumon, Piyomon, Gomamon, Palmon, Patamon, Tentomon and Tailmon. For the millions of viewers who grew up with them on TV (and were introduced to anime in the process), now is the time to catch up with old friends!

The new story is set six years after the kids first crossed over into the Digital World and partnered with their Digimons (short for Digital Monsters), as seen in the original Digimon TV series. It's been three years since their last battle, shown in the series Digimon Adventure 02. The gate to the Digital World is now closed. On Earth, the kids are growing up – they're teenagers now, and going to Tokyo high schools. At the ripe old age of 17, Taichi has to think about exams and his adult future. The days when he was a hero, fighting alongside his human and Digimon buddies, are long gone…

Until, that is, monstrously infected Digimons start breaking into our world to rain chaos and destruction down on Tokyo! Luckily, Agumon and the other hero Digmons reappear close on their tails, and have a joyful reunion with their human soulmates. But as the battle is fought on our side of the gate, through the scenery of Tokyo, so the carnage starts to mount up. There are tensions between old friends. At the same time, the Digi-Destined must also deal with their changing feelings for each other (remember, they're teenagers now!), and investigate what's behind this terrifying Digimon invasion…

The first in a six-film series, Reunion begins the next epic adventure for the original Digimon characters, made in celebration of the fifteenth anniversary of the franchise. Unlike most Western cartoons, Reunion gives viewers the chance to see their friends grow up. The Digi-Destined have been given attractive new designs by Atsuya Uki, who also designed the characters for Kenji Nakamura's striking series tsuritama.

In the Japanese voice-track, all the Digi-Destined have been recast, with the new actors led by Natsuki Hanae (Inaho in Aldnoah.Zero, Kosei in Your Lie in April) as Taichi and Yoshimasa Hosoya (Sentaro in Kids on the Slope, Haru in HAL) as Matt. However, some of the original Digimon dub voice-actors are back for the new series: Joshua Seth as Taichi, Collen O'Shaghnessey as Sora, Mona Marshall as Izzy and Philece Sampler as Mimi. The new dub voices include Vic Mignogna, famed as Edward Elric from Fullmetal Alchemist, as Taichi's friend (and sometimes rival), Matt.

As for the heroic Digimons themselves, the Japanese version brings back all eight actors, including Chika Sakamoto as Agumon. (Trivia: Sakamoto was also little Mei in My Neighbor Totoro!) The English dub brings back many of the Digimons too. There's Tom Fahn as Agumon, Anna Garduno as Palmon, Jeff Nimoy as Tentomon, Kirk Thornton as Gabumon, Laura Summers as Patamon and R. Martin Klein as Gonamon.

Digimon Adventure tri.: Reunion is available this week on Blu-ray/DVD/Digital in English with the original English voice cast, plus Japanese audio with English sub-titles and new bonus features. Look for the second film, Determination, in August from Shout! Factory.

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