Plot: Seven kids at summer camp are somehow transported to a mysterious place called the Digital World, where they meet strange creatures called Digimon. They have supposedly been waiting for their arrival, but there’s no time to get acquainted with new friends because a fierce Digimon called Kuwagamon has targeted them for attack.
Preface: I am a huge fan of Digimon. This is one of those anime that I could watch over and over and never get tired of it. The characters are lovable, the story is great, and it never felt like it overstayed its welcome.
The dub definitely doesn’t fare nearly as bad as some of the other shows I compare, but there are still plenty of script changes and stuff of note that make this a worthy show for comparison. Digimon was dubbed by Saban, who you may recognize from every Power Rangers series ever. They also dubbed DBZ once upon a time and Samurai Pizza Cats. The show was distributed by Fox Kids, which is now Jetix. As much as it pains me on occasion, let’s start comparing Digimon Adventure 01.
The opening theme song was changed to a completely different song. I like the dub song. No, it doesn’t have many lyrics, and yes it’s repetitive, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be catchy and awesome. The original song is okay, and I know it’s beloved, but it never clicked with me much.
Surprisingly, all of the background scenes of the opening theme were kept exactly the same barring the title screen. Some slight edits may have occurred for time reasons.
In the original, a traditional narrator is narrating the opening scene. In the dub, Tai is. We also get no specification on what areas are being showcased when the explanations of the weather phenomena are given.
In the original, the paddyfields in southeast Asia were drying out. In the dub, it was just “the rainforests.” In the original, the middle east was getting flooded. In the dub, “other places” were getting flooded. In the original, America was becoming insanely cold. In the dub it was “cities that were blazing hot in the summer were becoming freezing cold.”
Entire Show Edit: A lot of the background music also seems to have been changed.
Some kooky kid jokes have also been added. The tone is a more serious in the original.
Name Change: Tai’s full name in the original is Taichi Yagami. In the dub, this is changed to Taichi “Tai” Kamiya…I have no clue why. Usually when names are changed in English dubs it’s to Americanize the name. Why change the name to another Japanese name?
Also, something kinda funny just occurred to me. Yagami is Light’s last name from Death Note. Kari is Tai’s younger sister, so her last name is also Yagami. Kari’s short for Hikari, which is Japanese for Light. In addition, if you switch the A and the I in Kari, you get KIRA! Screw L and Near, I solved that crap no problem.
In the original, the narrator is simply listing off their names as they appear in the same black borders as seen in the dub. In the dub, Tai’s still narrating and he’s giving slight opinions about each of the characters/character descriptions.
Name Change, Though Not Really?: In the original, Matt’s real name is Yamato. In the dub, his name is listed on screen as being Yamato, with Matt in quotes as his nickname. TECHNICALLY, this still makes sense since YaMATo, but I guess it still counts as a change since that’s not how he’s addressed in the original.
Name Change, Though Not Really?: Izzi is originally Koushiro Izumi. In the dub, his name is also listed as Koushiro Izumi but with Izzy in quotes as his nickname. Same circumstances as Matt with it ‘counting’ since his name is still displayed, he’s just being addressed differently.
Name Change, Though Not Really?: TK is originally Takeru, but they do the same thing with his name as with the others.
Name Change in Spelling: Joe’s original name is spelled Jo. It isn’t written in katakana, so I don’t think they were trying for “Joe” so I’m counting it, It should also be noted that, for some strange reason, Joe’s name in the dub is written in a different font from everyone else’s. Maybe it was changed last second.
Joe’s Font –
In addition, the original name boxes included their school name and what grade they were in. The dub just has their names.
Title Change/Title Cards: The dub doesn’t use the title screens from the original, which are cool, so that sucks. Also, the name of this episode is Adrift? The Island of Adventure! in the original. In the dub it’s And so it Begins…. I like these title screens since they change every episode, so I’ll do you guys a solid and post each one.
After the commercial break in the dub, they replay the footage right before the Digivices burst out of the sky. They add a line to Mimi in doing so.
In the original, no mention of what Koromon means is given. In the dub, Koromon says it means “brave little warrior” I don’t understand how that can be. Koro, to be extent of my knowledge, usually means some point in time such as “When” Mon is short for monster, hence Digimon: Digital Monsters. Saban must’ve thrown that in to point at his later crest of courage? None of the other Digimon get name explanations, so this just seems kinda weird. If anyone has another explanation, feel free to share.
The Digimon Index screens, which is what I call it when the Digimon’s information comes up on the screen, is entirely in Japanese in the dub barring the English version of the Digimon’s names in the corner, which were there to begin with. Maybe it was too much editing, but I gotta say, all that Japanese text was scary. I wish 4Kids was here right now 😦
OH! IT’S CALLED FILE ISLAND…BECAUSE THEY’RE DATA!….I never got that until now. Wow.
Dub Izzy: “I believe those miniature remote digital gadgets took on physical form.” You mean that Digivice on your backpack strap took on a physical form that is on the ground next to you? That makes sense. In the original, Izzy just says Motimon’s been following him since he woke up.
In the original, the narrator from before gives detailed information about Kuwagamon. In the dub, Koromon gives it. In the future, Izzy will usually be the one doing this. In fact, I rarely ever heard a narrator in Digimon in the dub, but it sounds like the original has him everywhere.
Name Change?: In the dub, Sora calls Pyokomon “Yokomon.” I’m not sure if Saban thought the P was silent or Sora’s VA goofed or they fully changed the name. I’m also fairly certain I’m not mishearing it either. For the record, in this episode anyway, Pyokomon’s Digivolution screen says ‘Pyocomon’ in the background (it’s sometimes spelled with a ‘c’ for whatever reason), not ‘Yokomon.’
Ya know, in a debate I had long ago about weird Digivolutions, I never brought up Pyokomon…She goes from a radish to a bird line….how does that make sense?
Name Change?: It sounds like they say Pukamon as Bukamon. In both Digimon’s Index screens, again in this episode anyway, they have it spelled right, they’re just saying it weird.
In the original, no mention of what the creatures are (Digimon) or where they are (The Digital World) is given until after all of the characters have reunited. In fact, where they are is never even mentioned in this episode. In the dub, they say it quite often after Motimon makes his appearance. Thus, the big reveal of what they are is fairly lost in the dub.
The commercial break eyecatches are edited out, which is also very common of practically any dubbed show. The eyecatches here are basically Digimon cards of each of the In-Training Digimon combining together to make their Rookie forms in a group shot. After the commercials, the Rookie cards join together to make a Champion group shot. I’m not sure if Ultimate and Mega will be added, but I’ll post them if they change.
In the original, the Digimon all restate their names after the commercial. In the dub, they give awkward explanations like Digimon are cute, loyal, have nice hair etc.
When Tai’s introducing everyone in the original, he follows up everyone’s name with what grade they’re in. Taichi, Sora and Yamato in fifth grade, Jo in sixth, Koushiro in fourth and Takeru in second.
In addition, the original’s dialogue is somewhat awkward. Taichi introduces everyone and each character follows up by introducing themselves. For example, “This is Ishida Yamato” “I’m Ishida Yamato”
The dub is no better. It basically sounds like a video game character selection screen. You select one character and they say something that of course their characters would say. Like Matt “No autographs please” and Izzy “Do you have Internet access?” Tai also makes a weird note to stereotype some of the characters such as Matt, the self-proclaimed cool one and Izzy our computer expert.
They don’t seem to dislike Mimi in the original. In the dub it’s all “Hey, where’s that girl with the silly pink hat?” “Hey now, her NAME is MIMI. *verbal eyeroll*” “Maybe she’s picking flowers or going on a nature hike.”
As the kids are running in the dub, Izzy says “Okay, so maybe she’s not picking flowers” he’s not speaking in the original, and you can clearly see that his mouth isn’t moving.
Kuwagamon doesn’t roar in the original. Barring his wingflaps, he’s totally silent.
The original has sad harmonica music playing when the kids gather their wounded Digimon. The dub has decent sad music for it, but I prefer the original. Can’t beat sad harmonica music.
Though Mimi is annoying, you have to give her credit for being the only one in the group who knows that Tanemon and the others have no other choice but to fight.
In the original, a vocal song is playing as the Digimon evolve for the first time. In the dub, regular Digimon background music plays. Basically a more instrumental and softer version of the dubbed theme, which will usually be used from here on out. In addition, in the original, the Digimon say (Digimon’s name), evolve! (Evolved version’s name) In the dub they say (Digimon’s name) Digivolve toooooooooo (Digivolved version’s name)
Name Change?: Biyomon is originally Piyomon. I still have no idea why these very minor changes are happening.
Attack Name Changes: Patamon’s Air Shot is changed to Boom Bubble.
Tentomon’s Petite Thunder is changed to Super Shocker (Which sounds better IMO)
Agumon’s Baby Flame is changed to Pepper Breath (Again, better)
Gabumon’s Petite Fire is changed to Blue Blaster (Eh)
Biyomon’s Magical Fire (Geez so much fire.) is changed to Spiral Twister (at least it adds variety)
And screw Gomamon’s attack, because they don’t even do it. Yeah, Gomamon needs to be near water, I think, to use his Marching Fishes attack, but still.
Palmon’s Poison Ivy is the only attack left alone.
Dub!Izzy: “They made vaporware out of them.” Vaporware is software that is announced but never released or died off somehow. How is Kuwagamon like that? Just because you know a fancy term kids wouldn’t get and it sounds technical doesn’t mean you should use it in places it doesn’t belong.
In the original, the music when everyone’s celebrating suddenly cuts out when Kuwagamon reappears. In the dub, the song properly ends, so it doesn’t sound as dramatic.
The dub gets rid of the ending theme song and replaces it with the same opener. Fairly common of dubbed kids shows. The original song is pretty good. They also lose the next episode preview, which, again, is also very common.
Next episode, we get our first Adult/Champion evolution/Digivolution with Agumon becoming Greymon!
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