Taking a break from Decoy this week (look for volume two starting next week!) to talk about a little franchise that’s always been close to my heart. Digimon: Digital Monsters.
The great thing about Digimon is that it always reinvents itself each season. They set up one group of characters and give you just enough time to really care about them, but not too much to get sick of. However, because of this, some seasons are remembered a bit more fondly then others. It always seem like a shame we’ll never get to play in those older worlds again.
This is where Digimon Decade comes in. For those wondering where the title comes from, I basically stole it from a certain Kamen Rider series (a 10th anniversary series of the modern era of Kamen Rider where a single rider meets up with every other rider of that era…you can probably see where I’m going with this.) Digimon Decade would be very similar.
So far, this idea is pretty bare bones, so forgive me if I don’t put in TOO many details.
Our series starts with a group of kids getting thrust into what we think is this season’s version of the digital world (however, it doesn’t look like any version of the digital world shown before.) They each encounter their Digimon for the first time, and hijinks ensue…until they’re approached by Gennai. He informs them that there is a tear in the digital world, and it has opened up portals to alternate dimensions complete with their own version of earth and the digital world. He hands them each a digivice and sends them on their way.
Now, ideally this would be a 10th anniversary series, so they would start with the 9th season’s world and work their way back. Each episode arc is them stuck in one digital world (or possibly earth) from a specific season. They have to find the tear in each and repair it with their digivice. Attempting to stop them is a resurrected Digimon villain from past seasons.
However, they’re not fighting alone. They meet each cast from each season (some a little older then when we last saw them) and eventually have a team-up. This is where the main cast’s digivolutions come in. Each of the main Digimon is tied to a certain character trait. Or more specifically, something like the crests from the first two seasons. When the characters resonate with one of the older digi-destined, they activate a thing called a “digi-soul” which allows their Digimon to grow to champion level (while sharing characteristics of the Digimon they acquire this ability from). Each character gets more then one digi-soul, which allows for multiple champion forms. To get to ultimate level, they simply combine two of the forms into one. Mega level adds a third digi-soul to the mix.
Eventually the team gets a “sixth ranger,” a digi-destined who had been raised by the bad guy, and made to think that everyone is his enemy. This doesn’t last long, as Gennai exposes the fact that this character was actually kidnapped by the big bad. He gets his combination powers from characters that came in late in their own teams (Kari, Ken, etc.)
I’m not going to do a season-by-season play-by-play here (since a lot of seasons for this don’t exist yet, and I’m not current with the more recent ones), but when the gang goes into the season two world, they only interact with the main characters from that season. Through random circumstances, they never actually meet anyone from the season one cast.
This changes when they have one last world to go to. The big bad decides to go back in time to kill the first digi-destined at a young age. Remember in season two when they said they had to go back one last time and give up their crests to stop something? This is it.
The season one guys actually succeed in summoning Omnimon to fight the big bad, but even him and the strongest evolutions of the rest of the cast can’t take him down. However, they know the new team has the ability to combine Digimon even further, so they combine ALL their digimon (both new and old) into “Shinomegamon” stopping the bad guy once and for all.
But we’re not finished there. What would a Digimon series be, without a beautifully animated movie? In the movie, which takes place after the end of the series, Diaboromon is back once again. This time, taking advantage of the rifts in worlds the gang thought were sealed permanently. They go to each world again, trying to stop him, but he keeps escaping. Finally, they make their way back to the season two world, where the season one cast is waiting on them as well. They bring back Shinomegamon, but it’s not enough. The monster absorbed powers from past villains on his multi-world trek. Luckily, a few portals open up and he monster gets blasted from seven different locations. The other digidestined teams join the scene, and they all team up to take down Diaboromon for one last time, combining their powers even further to create Shiningomegamon. Once the battle is done, each team takes their leave and our main characters return with their Digimon partners, hoping one day to meet up with their inspirations again.