A Tri-Team Review of “Digimon Adventure” – Digi-Destiny Revisited (Part 4)

“Our adventure in the Digital World might be over for now, but that gate won’t stay closed for ever. I have a feeling that this won’t be the last time we see our pals, the digimon! You wait and see. One day, that portal will open up again and we’ll return to the Digital World! I wonder if Agumon will remember me? I know I’ll never forget him, or the rest of the digimon! None of us will!”
—Taichi Kamiya “Digimon Adventure” [Last Words Spoken This Season]

[Welcome to the 4th and Final installment of our trip through “Digimon Adventure!” I hope you guys enjoyed it! Once again, I ask you to remember that our guest reviewer, Lord Patamon is from Mexico, so English is not his first language. As such, some of his dialogue may seem confusing. Rather than edit it, I’m leaving his words as they are, just as though we were having a vocal conversation. That being said, please enjoy the conclusion of our “Tri-Team Review!”]

Performances and Production

Cajun Samurai – In Japan, “Digimon Adventure” was created by Toei Animation with director Hiroyuki Kakudou at the helm as director. In the US, Digimon was licensed and dubbed by Saban Entertainment with director Wendee Lee at the helm. Now, unless you haven’t read the last three reviews I completed, you would know that Wendee Lee is a BIG name in anime.

OtakuAndrain – We don’t have much of a readership south of the boarder, but as for the dub voices. I think some of them sound a tad better than the originals. That said some of the jokes are very different in the dub so it kind of balances out?

Cajun Samurai – Yes. The US did adapt the humor of Digimon so that it would be more understandable to English speaking audiences. After all, a lot of the puns and jokes are based on Japanese words and sayings.

Lord Patamon – On that matter I can’t opine much about the US dub voices, but I can say that the Spanish voice actors sure fit the characters quite good. One I find interesting is Patamon and Mimi’s voice actress for the Spanish dub in Mexico. Yes those two shares the voice actress, but also their voice actress is the voice actress of Naruto.

OtakuAndrain – … That’s… extremely humorous.

Cajun Samurai – I had a feeling Naruto would find his way in here some kind of way.

Lord Patamon – Well you know ninjas are where you less expect [::chuckles::]

Cajun Samurai – Indeed. Okay, so let’s start at the top. In the US, Tai was voiced by Joshua Seth. Honestly, I could not think of ANYONE else for this role. He IS Tai. No matter what other role this guy takes, all I hear is Tai!

OtakuAndrain – Nothing I can say to that. He’s everywhere and all I hear is Tai too.

Cajun Samurai – Well, as of recently, he retired from Voice Acting and has focused on his other career–a traveling hypnotist. I could not make this up if I tried. For a certain amount of money, you can have Tai come to your birthday party and hypnotize you.

Lord Patamon – That’s something I see not happening on the Spanish dub. No offence to the US dub actors which I know they’re good too, but on the Spanish dub, one voice actor can do 2 characters in the same series and you would never guess it was the same person voicing those two characters. They leave no traces that would make you guess is one person dubbing two characters.

Cajun Samurai – It depends on the talent of the actor, really.

Lord Patamon – Of course as fans we will always associate the voice actor with our favorite character most of the times, and yeah you’re right on that. It depends on the talent of the actor.

OtakuAndrain – It happens rarely in Japan but I’ve seen it work. English dubs don’t tend to go there.

Lord Patamon – English dubs don’t tend to go where Andrain?

Cajun Samurai – Oh yeah, it’s worked in the past in anime—“End of Evangelion” for example. Amanda Winn-Lee voiced Rei and Shinji’s mom…

OtakuAndrain – Umm… Samurai… Huge Spoiler… but weren’t they the same person?

Cajun Samurai – Ugh…don’t get me started… In any case…let’s move on. Next on the list is Matt, voiced by Michael Reisz in the US. I had no problems with him. He pulls off the “I’m too cool” aura very well.

OtakuAndrain – He was a good voice I agree. He summoned forth the original character.

Lord Patamon – Talking about Matt, What’s with the Japanese version having a 11 years old kid aka Matt with a so deep voice?

Cajun Samurai – Whoa. They went age-specific?

Lord Patamon – I mean for season 2 it was okay. But in season 1 Matt, Tai and Sora were in 5th grade so I don’t think that voice did fit Matt very well at that age.

OtakuAndrain – No, he wasn’t that deep. But I agree a fifth grader probably doesn’t sound like that.

Cajun Samurai – Unless said 5th grader got left behind a year or three.

Lord Patamon – TK in season 2 did had a better voice in the Japanese version, but I always had my doubts about Matt’s voice in the Japanese version.

Cajun Samurai – While we’re on the subject of TK, it should be noted that Director Lee was also the voice of TK for this season…and honestly, she’s GOOD…

Lord Patamon – Yeah, actually it is pretty common to use voice actress when it comes to voice little boys.

Cajun Samurai – IT’s the same here in the US. In fact, in the last show I reviewed, a female voiced a 10 year old boy…and did a bang-up job. But knowing that the voice of TK will soon turn around and do the voice of Faye Valentine, Haruhi Suzumiya and Konata Izumi is amusing.

OtakuAndrain – I agree; The Young TK was really well done here. Heh… Wendee Lee is a genius–you forgot Mio…

Cajun Samurai – Of course, of course. Now…Speaking of women playing the voice of young boys…Andrain, you know where I’m going with this.

OtakuAndrain – I was waiting.

Cajun Samurai –  Let’s talk about Izzy. Mona Marshall plays him in the US…and she plays him a little too well.

Lord Patamon – what do you mean with little too well?

Cajun Samurai – The reason I say this is because after Digimon, EVERY…SINGLE…ROLE…SHE…PLAYS…IN…I…HEAR…IZZY. Minoru from “Chobits”: Izzy. Ryoko from “Tenchi Muyo!”: Izzy. A female bloodsucking vampire in “Wild Arms”: IZZY.

Lord Patamon – Guess she was around Izzy too much huh?

Cajun Samurai – Heh. Could be right. But I can’t fault her for it because in this role, she is awesome.

OtakuAndrain – mmhmm…

Lord Patamon – I think we can agree in that the voicing was quite well done on the dubs we got and on the Japanese version.

Cajun Samurai – Agreed. Aside from a few moments where the writing could’ve been tweaked a bit, or some actors sounding flat, on the whole, all the actors did an awesome job. Mimi was voiced by Philece Sampler in the US. No problems there. She played the role very well, balancing the ditzy side of Mimi with her serious sympathetic side.

Lord Patamon – Sometimes those mistakes are mostly fault of getting pressured to have the work finished on schedule. They don’t get time to redo the parts that need some polishing due to not having enough time.

Cajun Samurai – Agreed. Digimon was held to a pretty tight schedule.

Lord Patamon – Yeah. Actually I know how that can be because when season 5 got premiered in Mexico, I managed to contact by e-mail the Spanish voice actor who dubbed Thomas in season 5. He even told me that sometimes the client, in this case Disney, reviews the work and if they see fit, they tell them to remove something or add something else. Most times that is due to the censoring. So it is possible that some of the err… flat parts are due to the client aka the network that will be airing the series, asks for last minute changes.

Cajun Samurai – Agreed and understandable.

Lord Patamon – About how I contacted that voice actor or more like how I got his e-mail, that was because there is a Spanish forum in which members can interact with the Latin-American [mostly Mexican] voice actors, they’re quite friendly and always are willing to reply your questions 🙂

Cajun Samurai – American Voice Actors aren’t QUITE as accommodating…at least nowadays. Unless you get to talk to them at a Con and even then, you don’t have the chance to have a big one on one conversation.

Lord Patamon – Here is the other way around. Before, you could see a series in Spanish and you didn’t had idea of who were the voices behind the Spanish dialogs. Actually it was thanks to the anime that the dub actors got out of the anonymity. Since then now on the series at the end of the series’ original end credits you can see the dubbing staff including the voice actors. And man, Mexico has a quite a bunch of dubbing studios. Around 20 dubbing studios for what I heard.

Cajun Samurai – Okay, let’s move on so we can wrap up. We have Colleen O’Shaughnessy as Sora, Michael Lindsay as good old reliable Joe Kido and Laura Jill Miller as Hikari “Kari” Kamiya”. All of these actors put on very excellent performances in my opinion and were very believable.

Lord Patamon – That one is for Andrain as I don’t know much about the US voice actors.

OtakuAndrain – Honestly I didn’t have all these specifics prepared, all I know is “Digimon” made up a huge part of my childhood. It isn’t perfect though. Some of the Dubbing and rewrites do not please me and those fond memories must be discarded as characters were slightly changed. We all know I dislike that. 6.3/8.3.

Lord Patamon – Well same as Andrain I didn’t have any specifics prepared for this part, but much like Andrain, Digimon had a huge impact on me like no other anime ever had. I think it is because of how human it is. Human in the sense that we don’t see super powerful humans without any flaws and such, but that we see humans with flaws, qualities, problems like any of us can have. Well except for protecting two worlds but you get the point. My score is 8.0/8.3

Cajun Samurai – Okay. My turn! Plain and simple, this is a cast of legendary voice actors with a legendary show. While it’s not perfect, it is one of the best dubs of the time. 8/8.3

Cajun Samurai Score – 8.0/8.3
Otaku Andrain Score – 6.3/8.3
Lord Patamon Score – 8.0/8.3

Scoring Summary:

Story Breakdown – 25/25
Characters – 25/25
Animation – 9.1/12.5
Music – 12.5/12.5
Performance and Production – 22.3/25

Final Score – 93.9/100 = 93.9% – (A)

Conclusion

Cajun Samurai – Okay guys! I have to admit, the three of us really did the series justice.

OtakuAndrain – “Adventure 01” was probably the best of “Digimon. Its many characters and its pure Varity put it over the top. It laid a powerful foundation and up to even today is being mixed and matched on that foundation.

Lord Patamon – I agree! The plot was also very solid. It makes me miss those days when there still was good creativity.

Cajun Samurai – Agreed. “Digimon Adventure” was not only the start of a series, it was the beginning of a new way of seeing anime–no longer would simplistic storylines and undeveloped characters suffice; “Digimon” proved to us that anime about kids for kids could be done without either going over the heads of the audience or dumbing it down to the point of insult. And with that, my dear friends, we are done with our adventure of…well…”Digmon Adventure”!

OtakuAndrain – Our thanks to Lord Patamon for joining us today. Don’t worry he’ll be back later once we come back for more. No reason not to go on another Digi-venture right?

Cajun Samurai – Of course. [::pulls on a pair of goggles::] This is Digi-Month after all! We can’t talk about 01 without talking about 02!

Lord Patamon – Of course not my friend, you know I’ll be here for another Digi-venture. Also thanks to you two for the invitation 🙂 [“Digimon Adventure”] 02… Now that one sure will give us a lot to talk about, but that will be on our next review…

Cajun Samurai – Oh yeah…but that’s for next time! Until then–I’m Cajun Samurai…

Lord Patamon – I’m Lord Patamon…

OtakuAndrain – I’m OtakuAndrain. Thanks for coming by. So long for now.

[And so ends our first ever Tri-Team review of “Digimon Adventure”! Please be sure to join us next time when myself, OtakuAndrain and Lord Patamon take on the sequel to “Digimon Adventure”…]

“Digimon Adventure 02”

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