The first season of the Digimon: Digital Monsters franchise. The story is about 8 chosen kids who are taken to an alternate world called the "Digital World". There each child bonds with a specific Digital Monster to be their partner.
Goggle-wearing hero Taichi "Tai" and friends Izzy, Joe, Matt, Mimi, T.K. and Sora are at a summer camp like no other, where snow can fall in June and the Northern Lights appear far from the Arctic. The pals fall through a magic portal into the very different world on the pink, sandy beaches of File Island, where they become embroiled in a battle between strange creatures. The kindly Digimon (short for "Digital Monsters") that inhabit the parallel world are being corrupted by an evil force who inserts Black Gears into good Digimon to turn them bad. As the children try to solve the mystery, their Digimon companions "digivolve" into bigger, better and stronger fighters.
After a handover engineered one of the three holiday special minifeatures (2000, cut together for U.S. release as Digimon the Movie), a second season followed, rebranded as Digimon 02 and set three years later, with the return of the evil Devilmon in control of a powerful new energy source. Our heroes, who attend the same soccer club with the gang from the first series, team up with a new digital monster, the blue Buimon, to fight back. A third series, renamed Digimon Tamers, began in April 2001, moving the action into the "near-future" year of 200X. This was followed by Digimon Frontier (2002), in which five all-new children were chosen to fight the evil Cherubimon, which is intent on destroying the world. This was followed by Digimon Savers (2006), in which more of the same ensued.
Numerous further Digimon "movies," often mere episode-length screenings at summer roadshows, have made the Digimon franchise even more confusing than it already was. These include The Runaway Digimon Express (2002), and Diablomon Strikes Back (2005). New toys were introduced in Digimon: X-Evolution (2005), which utilized elements of Norse mythology alongside a "virtual world" setup more similar to that employed in .hack.
Optioned for U.S. release in the post-Pokémon gold rush, Digimon was inadvertently one of the most faithful translations of TV anime; the U.S. and Japanese schedules were so close together that there was little opportunity to do too much rewriting or cutting. Technically speaking, as the descendants of the original virtual pets featured in Tamagotchi Video Adventures, Digimon have a better pedigree than Pokémon, despite only achieving about half the latter's ratings. The series was also dogged by legal wrangles in the U.S., when the Screen Actors Guild challenged production company Saban over the rights to residuals for the Digimon movie. The irony was not in SAG's claim that voice acting was a creative, skilled task that warranted better conditions, but that they had never brought it up before.