TBT: Digimon Adventure – Butter-Fly (why I still love the series)

Digimon Adventure has its special place in my formative years and here are some reasons why I love it


Digimon Adventure Tri just hit the cinemas in Japan and various anime-streaming services on the internet. While watching the first movie (or four episodes if you subscribe to Crunchyroll), I was overwhelmed by how much I miss the series. Tears rolled my porcelain cheek when the kids and their respective Digimon meet again. There is no better time to look back at my favorite digital monster fighting anime series, Digimon Adventure.

I am more of a fan of Digimon than Pokemon for various reasons. Now, this is not to say that I did not like Pokemon. I played several Pokemon games including my favorite, Pokemon Yellow. Really, just having Pikachu walking behind you is #TooCute. Not to mention when your relationship with Pikachu is high enough it smiles at back you! Ahem, I digressed. Like many other kids, I too watched Pokemon. Though I stopped watching the series after some scheduling conflicts between real-life and when the anime was aired.

Though Digimon Adventure came out in Japan in March 1999, I did not watch it until slightly later when it was dubbed into a more understandable language (Chocoboan). I grew to love it even more than Pokemon. As I matured and began to uncover and understand the nuanced differences between Digimon and Pokemon, I found myself gravitating towards the former.

Greg, our fellow contributor, also has a nice short write-up looking at the Digital Fever and Digimon that you can jump to here.

This article is more about my reflection of why I love the series, particularly, the first season. If I make any comparisons, I will try to keep it between Digimon Adventure and the first arc of Pokemon (up till the Indigo Plateau tournament).

DISCLAIMER: This is not another comparison of why Digimon is better than Pokemon, OK? Let’s move on to some reasons why I love Digimon:

1. Digimon Adventure Has A Definite Ending

Pokemon has been going on for almost two decades now. Since 1997, Ash Ketchum or Satoshi (as he is known in Japan) has been going on a never ending journey to see all Pokemon. Though it nicely parallels life in general and also makes for amazing franchise growth potential, it lacks the conclusion necessary to close a well-worn journey. I would love to see how Ash finally reaches his goal of being one of the best trainers out there.

Digimon Adventure Fanart
Digimon Adventure Fanart. Bring on the chopped onions!

Digimon Adventure‘s Chosen Children, also known as the DigiDestined, were summoned for specific purposes. Once they have fulfilled those purposes, they are done for the day. Those of you who know of Digimon Adventure‘s ending would remember how bitter-sweet it is. It was cathartic and satisfying.

2. Fantastical Creature Designs

This topic is probably the most visually divisive one. Pokemon designs have evolved over time and are definitely getting better. Digimon took a different overall approach to their monster designs right off the bat.


The DigiDestined first real antagonist is Devimon. As its namesake suggest, the design is based on a devilish creatures with black and dark blue coloring and menacing looks. It is still rather creepy to this day.


Whereas Devimon’s most obvious counterpart, Angemon, has its design based on angels. Angemon is also one evolution step-up from Patamon. Patamon, for those who need a refresher, is the chosen Digimon partner for Takeru “T.K.” Takaishi, the DigiDestined of Hope.

Agumon's Digivolution
Agumon’s Digivolution by aquarianangel91

Digimon‘s monster design also took from other real-world inspirations. Agumon and its Digivolution (digital evolution) track in the first series is inspired by Tyrannosaurus Rex. Later in the subsequent series, there are also monsters based on the Chinese Four Celestial Creatures, Mesoamerican deities, Japanese mythologies, and more. I know, I know, Pokemon also has monsters based on real-world references.

Ken Sugimori, the art director and one of the designers for Pokemon, is amazing for being able to create simpler but yet very recognizable monsters. Pokemon would not be what it is if not for his creative mind.

3. Personal Growth

Crests and Traits
Crests and Traits

As the DigiDestined, often times they needed to prove themselves worthy of saving both the digital and real worlds again and again. Taichi “Tai” Yagami, the leader and the DigiDestined of Courage, needed to prove that he is brave enough to stand up as many times as necessary and overcome failures. Yamato “Matt” Ishida, who had been the cold loner of the children, needed to face the fact that he needed his friends to succeed. He needed to demonstrate and understand the value in friendship, as he is the embodiment of the Friendship trait.

During the progression of the series, the DigiDestined also learned to deal with the manifestations and memories of their daily problems. They were forced to grow both as a team and as individuals.

4. Sibling Relationships

Taichi and Hikari
Taichi and Hikari

Being an older sibling, I find myself relating to the two different big brothers, Taichi and Yamato. Both older brothers have their own issues and ways of dealing with their younger siblings. Taichi is overprotective of Hikari, his younger sister, due to an incident some years prior. Yamato too is overprotective of Takeru but in his own different way than Taichi because of their divorced parents. Over the course of the story, both learned to do what is best for their respective siblings, situations, and their different approaches as older brothers.

5. Different Relatable Characters

Digimon Adventure revolves around eight different characters. Each of them brings their own flavor to the table and have individual traits that boys and girls around that age may relate to.

6. Family Issues

Sora's Mother Being Strict (from Digimon Wikia)
Sora’s Mother Being Strict (from Digimon Wikia)

Digimon Adventure also does not shy away from familial issues and situations. Yamato and Takeru’s parents are divorced, Koushiro “Izzy” Izumi learned that he is an adopted child and had some difficult times dealing with that fact, and Sora Takenouchi’s mother was strict in an attempt to protect Sora from hurting herself further while playing soccer.

Though I could not understand Takeru, Yamato, and Koushiro’s familial issues when I was younger, I am now more able to empathize with them. I gained new appreciation and respect for the story.

7. Darker Story With Digital and Real-World (story-wise) Consequences

This one puzzled me a little. For a children’s show, Digimon Adventure is quite dark. After being whisked away to the Digital World, they often in danger, risking their lives. While the Digimon can regenerate after “death” because they are clusters of digital data, the children will just disappear if they die. Maybe if Gen Urobuchi were to write the script, there would just be two surviving members.

Some of you may point out that the real equivalent of death for the Digimon would be erasing their data and that is correct. There have been cases where Digimon allies were erased when they were trying to protect the DigiDestined. Again, sure they are just a bunch of data, but the deaths are real.

The stakes are upped when the main villain is attempting to merge the Digital World and the real world, ultimately bringing both worlds into the chaotic Data World. This gives the DigiDestined a very concrete and dire reason to fight.

8. Monsters With Personalities

I love that the Digimon have different personalities and characters. Though of course, they are often based on the designs and namesake. I mean, you wouldn’t expect Devimon to act cutesy, would you?

Izumi and Tentomon
Izumi and Tentomon

All the eight main Digimon partners have their own quirky personalities that may be shared with their DigiDestined partners. For example, Agumon and Taichi share the hot-headed and action-speaks-louder personality, but unlike Taichi, Agumon often shows caution. Gabumon and Yamato share the trait of reasoning and can be seen hanging around each other in contemplative silence. When Yamato prefers to be away from the group, Gabumon will simply be there without disturbing Yamato. Izumi is the computer whiz of the group who is partnered with the equally curious Tentomon. In the original Japanese anime, Tentomon speaks with Kansai accent and has rather formal mannerism.

9. Relationships Between The DigiDestined and Their Digimons.

Taichi and Greymon
Taichi and Greymon

Seeing how the DigiDestined grow with their respective Digimons is probably the best thing that happens throughout the series. It also probably the show’s greatest asset and accomplishment. By the end of the anime, the partners share unbreakable bonds. They depend on each other and they act like best friends and close siblings.

10. Great Songs

Finally, Digimon Adventure has many great songs. The opening song (shown above) is titled “Butter-Fly” (apparently this is the original spelling). Koji Wada, the singer, became famous for the song and has toured different countries singing with other anison performers.

Other great songs are: “I Wish” and “Keep On”, two ending songs sung by AiM and “Brave Heart”, the insert song plays during DigiVolution sequences and is sung by Ayumi Miyazaki.

Fans of the series may already know that Wada had to take a long break to deal with the sudden spreading of cancer in his body. He has been recovering and has lent his voice to the new Digimon Adventure Tri. I was delighted when I read about him performing the new version of “Butter-Fly.”

Do you love Digimon too? Let us know in the comments section!

I am signing off for now. We will be back for more #ThrowbackThursday next week!

Big thank you to our supporters

From their continous support, we are able to pay our team for their time and hard work on the site.

We have a Thank-You page dedicated to those who help us continue the work that we’ve been doing.

See our thank you page

About the Author

Astra W

I am a Chocobo mug who loves puns and is driven by the thirst for nostalgia. You will usually find me writing about days past like an old person. Other than that, I usually gawk at different visual arts or exercising my fingers on games. Or napping in the kitchen cabinet.

Read more from this author

Join our Patreon

With your support, you help keep the lights on & give back to our team!

Check out our Patreon!