Digimon Tamers Sub/Dub Comparison Episode 1: Guilmon is Born! The Digimon I Created

Plot: In a world where Digimon is merely a card game (and maybe TV show?) a boy named Takato stands as one of its biggest fans. He spends most of his time playing Digimon the card game and drawing Digimon in his notepad.

One day a mysterious blue card is scanned through his Digimon card reader and transforms it into a Digivice. Not only that, but the new Digivice scans drawings that Takato made of a Digimon that he made up called Guilmon and brings him to life. Takato is thrilled to see a real Digimon but soon realizes that they may be more dangerous than he imagines. Is Guilmon to be trusted—OH OF COURSE HE IS! WOOK AT DAT FACE! SUCH A CUTIE!

Preface: I really like this season, even more than Adventure 02. (Whether or not it’s my favorite Digimon series…….I’d have to get back to you.) The cast for the Digidestined is better, the story is better, the relationships between the kids and their Digimon are better and they’re delving into a darker atmosphere this time. It’s not without its problems, but I still really enjoy it. Not much else to say about it for now, so let’s dive in.

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Our opener this season is even more changed from the original than Adventure 02’s. In fact, I’d say only about 10% of the clips from the original, if that, are kept in the dub’s version, which is sad because they have some creative and nice looking shots.

A couple of the shots that they kept, namely the scene where we see Calumon in the forest and the title card are actually digitally altered. The scene with Calumon in the forest is reversed so we zoom in on him instead of zooming out. The title card is obviously changed to be English, but they also sloppily animate (and by that I mean have a paper cutout flying around) Calumon flying near the ground to make room for the logo, and the scene itself has been shortened dramatically.

The music is completely different from the original, no surprise there. This season also features the same theme song as the previous two seasons only with more emphasis on electric guitar and the inclusion of “Digimodify!” The original theme is okay. It reminds me of Blood +’s first opener for some reason. Just the chorus.

One of my main issues with the series is Calumon. I hate this thing. I just do. Maybe he’s less annoying in the original, I don’t know yet, but I hate his guts in the dub. I blame his voice for the most part and the fact that he never shuts up. He never does anything particularly wrong but he’s so damn annoying.

Also, I find his sheer existence to be pointless. Why is there a Digimon who needs to spur Digivolution? Why do they have such difficulty doing it on their own? Isn’t that what their Digivices are for? And doesn’t this become a moot point later or does Calumon always just happen to be near the fighting? I remember him being kidnapped with Jeri at one point and I don’t remember them having any problem Digivolving then.

Calumon in the original has a speech quirk where he constantly says “culu” at the end of his sentences. That better be adorable and not annoying as time goes on…

The title screens are, as the last two series, removed in lieu of just putting the title over the beginning scenes. The title isn’t changed for the most part, but here’s this week’s title card.

Title Card:

Title Change: Guilmon is Born! – The Digimon I Created is changed to Guilmon Comes Alive, which is basically the same just shortened.

Sadly, it seems the title card art for the most part is pretty weak in this series.

Now we’re introduced to the other problem some people have with this series – the card game.

In this world, Digimon is just a card game. We’re supposedly not building on the series canon from the previous two series. If we were, Digimon would be incredibly common parts of everyday life. Here, it’s just a card game. The cards are used in the series by means of a scanner on their Digivices. Certain cards give their Digimon special boosts and abilities like super speed, weapons, flight and more. They’re basically phased out by the end of the series, though, except when using the blue card.

A lot of people believe this was a marketing ploy to get Digimon cards to compete against Pokemon cards, while others believe it was a poke at Yu-Gi-Oh, and still others believe it was yet another pointless add-on to the series like Calumon. I dunno. I don’t really mind the aspect of the cards. I never quite understood how exactly they work in tying into the Digital World, but they seemed like a fun addition.

In terms of the real life card game, I have some of the cards but I never collected them like I did Pokemon or Yu-Gi-Oh cards (I have way more Yu-Gi-Oh cards than either Pokemon or Digimon) Neither Pokemon nor Digimon as a game interested me very much. I liked collecting the cards but I got bored of it after a while especially when trading for them died down.

Name Change: Hirokazu is shortened to just Kazu.

Ms. Asaji, Takato’s teacher, has the exact same voice actress as Kari from the previous seasons in the dub, Lara Jill Miller. I have to say, it is insanely distracting. She doesn’t do a damn thing to differentiate her voice from Kari’s except maybe make it a tiny bit deeper/more serious and it really doesn’t help that Ms. Asaji looks quite a bit like adult Kari too.

I love how Takato compares Guilmon to Agumon and not Veemon in both versions. Like, yeah we know Agumon’s better.

In the original, Ms. Asaji (without Takato realizing that it’s her) asks if Takato’s designing a monster and he corrects her and says it’s a Digimon. In the dub, Ms. Asaji asks if Takato’s designing a Halloween costume and he says “No, it’s a Digimon. Don’t you know anything?” Wow, Takato. That’s pretty damn rude.

He’s slightly snotty about it in the original too, but he doesn’t insult Ms. Asaji. Either way, there’s no reason to be rude. In the original, does Takato forget that Digimon is short for Digital Monster? So technically she’s right, especially since there’s no way to tell if it’s a digital monster from a little drawing.

Original Takato tells us that Guilmon’s a virus type Reptile Digimon while Dub Takato doesn’t mention that.

One of the people who works at Hypnos, the organization Yamaki runs, named Riley/Reika says that there’s an irregular packet detected. In the dub, she says she sees an irregular germination pattern. *shrug* Also, this woman, the one with the long red hair, is voiced by Yolei’s dub voice actress, Tifanie Christun, otherwise known as “I really really really don’t want to write my name like any other person.” It’s not as distracting as Kari’s VA in Ms. Asaji, but there it is.

If we’re going to delve into voice actors here, the other main worker at Hypnos besides Riley is a woman with short blond hair voiced by Peggy O’neal who voiced Davis’ older sister, Jun, in Adventure 02 and also voices Henry’s little sister, Suzie, in this series. Her voice isn’t really recognizable though.

I’m a tad bit confused as to how Takato even knows what a Digivice is. I mean, is it a part of the card game? I think there might’ve been a Digivice card but it was the first season designs not these completely new ones.

I have a theory that maybe this is supposed to be like our world and Digimon is not only a card game but a TV series as well. That would explain how Takato and the others know these things that I don’t remember being part of the card game and why Takato would think that all Digidestined leaders, even though he didn’t know any other Digidestined at the time, wear goggles. Even if the Digivice is a card, there’s no way the thing about the goggles would be a part of that.

Takato’s mom originally tells him to take a shower before dinner. In the dub, she says dinner’s ready.

I will never really understand how exactly that whole thing with Guilmon’s creation worked. It was just a drawing with some stats and info. Unlike the real cards with something to actually scan, these were just pages from a note pad. Also, why did Takato believe scanning his notebook would work anyway? I know it did but why did he think that?

If scanning those pages created a Digiegg, why did Guilmon appear as Guilmon? Shouldn’t he have been Baby or In-Training level instead of Rookie? Also, how does Guilmon even have Baby or In-Training levels if Takato never seemed to draw them? Then again, I don’t think he ever drew some of Guilmon’s other Digivolutions. In fact, I think he just drew Growlmon, didn’t he? I really don’t get Guilmon’s existence entirely I guess.

The commercial break eyecatches like the last two seasons are removed. They’re a little weird actually. The Digimon this time take the form of lego-like characters.

Dub Takato: (in his sleep) “Guilmon…..Digiarmor….Energize….”…..Digiarmor Energize? Did they forget what series it was? How could that possibly be part of the card game? Did they ever introduce Armor Digivolving to the card game? And if so did people really say that?

I don’t even know why they would make him say that since they never once Armor Digivolve in this season. This is more evidence to my claim of Digimon being both a card game and a show in this world, but it’s dub exclusive. In the original, Takato just says “Guilmon….evolve.”

Rika originally gives Lynxmon’s level while dub Rika just says “Lynxmon vs. Renamon” Also, Lynxmon is Armor level? It has no armor….

Using the Digimon cards for actual Digimon battles is called Card Slash. In the dub it’s Digimodifying.

The card that Rika uses for a speed boost in Renamon is originally called High-Speed Plug-In B. In the dub she just says “Speed activate!” Rika! You shouldn’t promote drug use! That’s awful!

Also, lets say that the first two series of Digimon really are a TV show as well in this series – if it is why are the Digidestined this season called Digimon Tamers and not Digidestined/Chosen Children? Takato in both versions calls Rika a tamer. Is that what all people who play Digimon the TCG are called?

Attack Name Change: Koyousetsu is changed to Diamond Storm.

Originally as Takato wakes up from his dream/vision he says that it was just a dream. In the dub he says “I’m alive. Good game!” Well, you were never in the line of fire so dunno why you’re surprised that you’re alive. Also from an enjoyment standpoint it wasn’t really a good battle. It was entirely one-sided.

Dub Takato actually proves my theory by saying “What if it wasn’t just a TV show or a game?” However this, again, isn’t mirrored in the original. Original Takato just says “What if it wasn’t just a game?”

Original Calumon asks a bunch of questions about the people he’s seeing like why are they walking in similar patterns and why aren’t they fighting. In the dub, Calumon asks why the ‘metal Digimon’ (cars) are spitting out all those people and claims they must be really good fighters or have awful indigestion.

Ya know, if Takato really wanted to have the best chance of his friends believing him, he’d show them his Digivice. Yeah, they’d probably claim it’s a toy or something but it’d be somewhat proof.

They forget to re-add the sound effect of Takato hitting his head in the sewer so it just looks like he’s holding his head and groaning for no reason.

Due to a commercial break, they had to rearrange a couple shots. In the original, we see Takato walking down the stairs before we see the team at Hypnos detecting Guilmon. In the dub, we repeat a shot of the light and show Hypnos before Takato walking down the stairs. They also remove the part where Reika says the location of the Digimon from the scene and place it after Takato walks down the stairs.

Also in the original when a Digimon appears in the real world they call it “realizing.” In the dub it’s Bioemerging or breaching.

Riley (dub Reika) makes a mistake. She says the Digimon is appearing in West Shijuku. It’s called ShiNjuku, Riley.

Davis’ VA is our narrator for this season. What, did all of the VA’s from the previous series have a contract with Saban to be in all of the Digimon series or something? Just to see, I looked up if TK’s voice actress, Wendee Lee, was in Tamers. She is, technically, as a kid named Mako who was one of the kids who was intended to be Impmon’s Tamer alongside Ai.

While we’re talking about Impmon, he’s voiced by Derek Stephen Prince who was Ken’s VA. Finally, Terriermon’s voiced by Izzy’s VA, Mona Marshall. I know it’s no big shock that a dubbing company reuses the same VA’s for various projects, hell just look at Funimation or 4Kids, but that really sticks with me for some reason.

As with practically every series I’m comparing, the ending theme is completely removed as is the next episode preview. Instead we just get a rehash of the opening theme as our closer, which is a shame because the ending theme in the original is really nice.

Next time we’ll be meeting Henry and Terriermon and getting some hijinks from Guilmon.