All of us hold a special place in our hearts for the shows we watched during our childhood. I remember the days when I couldn’t wait to get back from school and sit down on the sofa in our living room to watch the next episode of my favorite shows like “Pokemon” and “Digimon” with my sister. I was seriously obsessed at the time, as were most of the other kids my age. I can’t remember exactly how often my dad did this, but I think it was at the end of every week that me and my sister waited for him patiently to come home from work, waiting to see those shiny new packs of Pokemon cards he held out to us. I always smile when I think back on how easily our happiness was bought; how easily it comes when you’re younger. Those were times of true bliss.
When you look back on things, it’s always surprising how fast time flies. Pokemon aired back in the fall of 1998, and Digimon followed the next year in March. I was only five back then. Fifteen years later and those shows have remained embedded in my memory through thick and thin. They’re stories that I’ll never forget: tales of friendship and teamwork, where working together can overcome some of the toughest of problems and where hard work and determination pay off in the end. They were shows that instilled great values.
I don’t know why, but the thought of re-watching these shows had never really crossed my mind. Perhaps at the time, I was simply caught up in all of the new series that were to follow: Yu-Gi-Oh, Beyblade, etc. Perhaps I was simply afraid I simply wouldn’t enjoy them as much when I was older; afraid of tainting my cherished memories. Nevertheless, as much as I enjoyed these new series when I was younger, they couldn’t replace the gap held by “Pokemon” or “Digimon”; nothing has replaced them to date.
I really don’t know how we got on to the topic of Digimon in the first place, but about a week ago when I was on vacation with my family, my cousin suggested that I re-watch the series. The week before he had mentioned that he had re-watched Monster Ranchers, only to find himself extremely disappointed that it wasn’t as good as he remembered. However, he assured me that Digimon had remained as good as ever for him. So with that in mind, I decided to enter the realm of the digital world once again, 15 years later.
Honestly, I wish I had started re-watching it sooner. Within the first few seconds I cracked a smile as I was greeted by the familiar voices of Tai and the rest of the gang. We were all about to embark on a journey of overcoming all odds through teamwork and friendship. The more I continued to watch, the more my childhood memories slowly came flooding back. Watching an episode seemed to make time stand still for a moment.
At the age of 20, my views on certain things have changed and I’ve become more critical of both film and TV. Yet, even though I find myself more critical of anime today, I can’t bring myself to like this series any less than I did when I was younger. Sure, I may notice things such as re-using shots to save money or the fact that the basic layout of the episodes is kept basically the same for the most part, but they don’t take away from the experience of watching it at all.
Digimon is one of my favorite series of all time, and after starting to re-watch it, I know that this is something that will never change for as long as I live. It may vary somewhat from the kind of anime series I watch today, but that’s because it was created for a target audience of kids. It was meant to capture our imaginations and let them run wild. Heck, I remember swiping the card on the Digimon D-Power Digivice my parents bought me, pretending to jam the card, hoping that I would wake up the next day a Digimon Tamer. I still have it to this day in the top drawer of my dresser. I’m actually surprised it’s in such good condition, considering the fact that a lot of my toys went through hell when I was younger.
I also can’t even keep track of the number of Beyblades I bought, jumping off beds and other things, trying to pull off the coolest and most powerful rip into the tiny stadium I owned. The number of times I must have dented the wall doing that…. Good times.
Whether a show instilled in you the dream of becoming a Pokemon master, a DigiDestined adventurer, or maybe the best Beyblader the world had ever seen, our childhood shows were a major part of our youth and no doubt shaped who we are as people today. I may not have become the DigiDestined adventurer I dreamed off, but those dreams forever forged some of my fondest memories. Well brave adventurers, what were some of your favorite childhood shows and memories of them?