Digimon (Dejimon, branded as Digimon: Digital Monsters, stylized as DIGIMON), short for "Digital Monsters" (Dejitaru Monsutā), is a Japanese media franchise encompassing virtual pet toys, anime, manga, video games, films, and a trading card game. The franchise focuses on Digimon creatures, which are monsters living in a "Digital Universe", a parallel universe that originated from Earth's various communication networks. In many incarnations, Digimon are raised by humans called "Tamers", and they team up to defeat evil Digimon who are trying to destroy the fabric of the Digital World.The franchise was first created as a series of virtual pets, akin to—and influenced in style by—the contemporary Tamagotchi toys. The creatures were first designed to look cute and iconic even on the devices' small screens; later developments had them created with a harder-edged style influenced by American comics. The franchise gained momentum with its first anime incarnation, Digimon Adventure, and an early video game, Digimon World. Several seasons of the anime and films based on them have aired, and the video game series has expanded into genres such as role-playing, racing, fighting, and MMORPGs. Other media forms have also been released.
Conception and creation
Digimon was first conceived as a virtual pet toy in the vein of Tamagotchis and, as such, took influence from Tamagotchis' cute and round designs. The small areas of the screens (16 by 16 pixels) meant that character designers had to create monsters whose forms would be easily recognizable. As such, many of the early Digimon—including Tyrannomon, the first one ever created—were based on dinosaurs. Many further designs were created by Kenji Watanabe, who was brought in to help with the "X-Antibody" creatures and art for the Digimon collectible card game. Watanabe was influenced by American comics, which were beginning to gain popularity in Japan, and as such began to make his characters look stronger and "cool." The character creation process, however, has for most of the franchise's history been collaborative and reliant on conversation and brainstorming.
Digimon hatch from types of eggs which are called Digi-Eggs (デジタマ Dejitama?). In the English iterations of the franchise there is another type of Digi-Egg that can be used to digivolve, or transform, Digimon. This second type of Digi-Egg is called a Digimental. This type of Digi-Egg was also featured as a major object throughout season 2 as a way of Digivolution available only to certain characters at certain points throughout the season] (デジメンタル Dejimentaru?) in Japanese. They age via a process called "Digivolution" which changes their appearance and increases their powers. The effect of Digivolution, however, is not permanent in the partner Digimon of the main characters in the anime, and Digimon who have digivolved will most of the time revert to their previous form after a battle or if they are too weak to continue. Some Digimon act feral. Most, however, are capable of intelligence and human speech. They are able to digivolve by the use of Digivices that their human partners have. In some cases, as in the first series, the DigiDestined (known as the 'Chosen Children' in the original Japanese) had to find some special items such as crests and tags so the Digimon could digivolve into further stages of evolution known as Ultimate and Mega in the dub.The first Digimon anime introduces the Digimon life cycle: They age in a similar fashion to real organisms, but do not die under normal circumstances because they are made of reconfigurable data, this data and can be seen all throughout the show. Any Digimon that receives a fatal wound will dissolve into infinitesimal bits of data. The data then recomposes itself as a Digi-Egg, which will hatch when rubbed gently, and the Digimon goes through its life cycle again. Digimon who are reincarnated in this way will sometimes retain some or all their memories of their previous life. However, if a Digimon's data is completely destroyed, they will die.