Digimon (1997-2021): What Made the Digimon So Overwhelmingly Popular?

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Digimon, short for "Digital Monsters" (デジタルモンスター Dejitaru Monsutā), is a popular Japanese media and merchandise created by Akiyoshi Hongo, which includes anime, manga, toys, video games, trading card games, and other media.

The franchise focuses on Digimon creatures, who are monsters living in a parallel universe that originated from Earth's various communication networks. In many incarnations of the universe that Digimon inhabits, the Digital World is identical to Earth until 1999 when it became a separate entity. In some incarnations, the Digital World remains identical to Earth until an event causes drastic changes while in others it existed before humans did.

Digimon is popular among kids and adults alike because it offers a unique take on the monster genre. It's also one of the few franchises that include both male and female protagonists.
Photo: LPN
Background History of the Digimon

You might not have heard of Digimon, but you've probably heard of the Pokemon franchise. The two are very similar, in that both are virtual pet games for the Game Boy and other handhelds. However, unlike Pokémon (whose creatures came from the Kanto region1655717908394.png), Digimon was originally from another dimension—the Digital World! I'm sure you're wondering how they get here? Well, as it turns out there's a portal between our world and theirs!

Digimons are creatures that come from a parallel universe called the DigiWorld or Digital World. This is where they live and grow up until they reach maturity when they can then cross into our world through portals that open every thirty years or so. It's been over twenty years since a new portal opened so we don't know when one will open again yet but we do know that if you want your own Digimon then all you need is some money because these things aren't cheap!

Digimon: Digital Monsters is a series of virtual pets that were released in 1997. The original Digimon was a small toy with motion sensors and an LCD screen, which displayed an animated character as it moved around on its own. It evolved from these early designs into the wildly popular franchise we know today.

It's also worth mentioning that this game had an intense theme song:
Digimon and Tamagotchi

If you're a child of the '90s, chances are you've played with at least one Tamagotchi. If you're not a child of the '90s, chances are you still have an affinity for Tamagotchis. And if that's not true for you either (you can't be human), then let me explain: Tamagotchis were toy digital pets that first hit toy store shelves in 1996. They came in all shapes and sizes and colors—from tiny white rectangles to blue-and-white cell phone-sized models—but most importantly they had one function: to be loved by their owners until they died.
Tamagotchi care was pretty simple: feed them regularly (they ate food pellets) and clean up after them when they used the bathroom (which was done via poop). If you didn't take care of your pet correctly, it would die within a few days or weeks at most."

If you don't remember the '90s or weren't even born during the decade, then you might not know what a Tamagotchi is. Well, it's one of those electronic devices that were popular before smartphones were common. The Tamagotchi was started in 1996 by Japanese company Bandai and sold over 76 million units throughout its lifespan. In 1996 there were two different versions of the toy: one where players could raise their own virtual pet (a digital monster) through feeding, digging up poop, and playing with it until it eventually grew into one of three different types: baby, teen or adult.

Main series games
The first Digimon main series game was released in 1997, and it's been a hit in Japan ever since. The most well-known games are Digimon World 4 and Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth (which you can find on the PS4).
Digimon World was originally released for the Sony PlayStation console in 1999. It's one of my personal favorites because it has an awesome plot, great customization options for your character and your monster friends, and a fun gameplay style that lets you explore different areas of File Island as you play through an epic adventure.

Digimon World 2 (also known as Digimon Adventure 02: D-1 Tamers) was released in 2001 for the PlayStation and featured some great gameplay elements that were missing from other titles at the time. This game also had a cool monster system, where you could capture monsters instead of fighting them with your own Digimon. If you played this game back then, chances are you still remember how excited it made you feel when your monster was ready to evolve into its next form.

Digimon World 3 was released in 2003 for the PlayStation, and it's a game I loved playing because it had an amazing story. It also featured some of my favorite monsters from other games like MetalGarurumon, who could evolve into WereGarurumon if he got enough food in his stomach before fighting. The battle system was fun too, where you could choose which attacks your Digimon would use by pressing buttons on the controller or by tapping them on the screen. You could also


If you already have a Digimon and are looking for more, the franchise has you covered. There are several spin-offs that cover a range of genres, including an RPG series and puzzle games.

Digimon World

The first two games in this series were released on PlayStation 1. They're basically Pokémon with some added features: you're able to customize your character by choosing their clothes (and even name), as well as their starter creature. One of these titles, Digimon World 4: The Next Chapter, was released on PS1 in 2000; it's currently available on Steam as well.
Digimon World Dawn and Dusk

This is a mobile game based on the original anime series; it was developed by BECAK inc., who also created many other popular mobile games including Fate/Grand Order 2nd Season CCC & FGO Arcade Version.

Digimon World Championship

This title is a Nintendo DS spin-off that revolves around raising and battling your creatures. The game also features minigames, including one where players can take care of their Digimon with real food items from the series.

Other games

The Digimon series is full of different games, including a few that you may not have heard of. Some of the more well-known ones include:

  • Digimon World was an RPG game released in 1999 by Bandai. The player controls a character named Takumi Aiba who becomes friends with his own digital monster, Agumon. The game focuses on exploring and battling other monsters in order to save your home city from doom.
  • Digimon Adventure: An RPG released in 1999 by Bandai that has become one of their most popular games ever since it was created. The plot follows Taichi Yagami and his friends as they try to save their world from the evil Dark Masters who have taken over it for themselves. It features many familiar characters like Agumon, Gabumon and Biyomon (who can evolve into Birdramon). It also encourages players to train up their Digimon partners so that they'll be stronger than ever before!
Digital Monster virtual pet

Digimon virtual pets were hugely popular in Japan and their success quickly spread to the rest of the world. They're basically Tamagotchis that can evolve into giant monster things, which is enough to get anyone hooked on them.
To play a digital monster, you first need to buy one from a store or online retailer. Once it arrives at your house, follow these steps:

  • Open up its package and remove all packaging materials using scissors or other sharp object (the safest option is usually scissors). Set these aside for later use in fashioning accessories or decorations for yourself or others who may be interested in doing so as well.
  • Put the digital monster in its cradle and press the middle button on top to turn it on. A screen will appear with three buttons at bottom left of screen: Feed, Train, and Play (in that order).You can feed your digital monster by pressing the “Feed” button repeatedly until you're satisfied with how much it's eaten.
  • When you're done feeding your digital monster for the day, press the “Train” button to enter a training session.
The TV shows and films
You may have heard of Digimon, but didn't know that it began as a virtual pet. You probably also didn't know that the franchise has gone on to spawn multiple TV shows and films. Here's everything you need to know about the world of Digimon: Digital Monsters!

  • The original virtual pets were sold in Japan from 1997 until 2002 and were known as "Digimon Tamagotchi." Given that they were released after Tamagotchi, it seems like Digimon was meant to be an upgrade; however, both products are so similar that most people don't make this distinction when discussing them.
  • In 1999, Bandai started releasing electronic devices called "Digital Monster Ver 1." These toys contained small LCD screens with characters from the first season of their animated series (which consisted of 52 episodes). They could also be used as cell phone charms or keychains if needed! They had a lot more functionality than your average Tamagotchi though—for example: when you connected two devices together via infrared signal transmission technology embedded within each device
In addition to being able to battle each other, they could also be linked up with one of your friends' Digimon Tamagotchis so that both of you could play against an AI opponent. You can also link up two devices in this same way, but only if they have different versions of firmware installed on them. This means that there are some older models out there which aren't compatible with newer ones.

Sales and popularity

In the short span of time between its birth and now, Digimon has landed itself a place in history. The little digital pet is the second best-selling virtual pet of all time—its sales dwarf that of Tamagotchi and Neopets by quite a wide margin. Further, it's the best-selling virtual pet in Japan, beating out even Pokémon at its peak. In fact, if you take into account all of Asia's sales combined (which I consider being a significant portion), then Digimon actually becomes the most successful virtual pet ever created—and this is before even considering America or Europe!
Also worth noting is the fact that Digimon was not only popular in Japan, but also in Europe and the United States. In fact, it's the best-selling virtual pet in the U.S., topping even Pokémon. This is a significant achievement as well because Pokémon's dominance of this market has been fairly consistent since its release—so much so that there hasn't been another virtual pet to come close enough for years.

Despite the fact that it's not as popular today as it was back then, Digimon is still selling fairly well. Most recently, the franchise has seen a spike in popularity due to nostalgia for its first generation.

Digimon: Digital Monster virtual pets are still selling well today.

Digimon: Digital Monster virtual pets are still selling well today. They're back in fashion and have been for years, with new generations of children falling in love with them just as their parents did. The Digimon virtual pet is still popular today because it offers a fun and interactive way for kids to learn about responsibility, growing up, and the responsibilities that come with having a pet.
Digimon virtual pet is still popular today because it offers a fun and interactive way for kids to learn about responsibility, growing up, and the responsibilities that come with having a pet

I feel like the Digimon virtual pet was a big part of my childhood. It was such an exciting time in my life, and I remember being allowed to play with my Digimon from morning till night time. The game itself was very simple but still fun enough that it hooked me for hours on end; I would feed, clean up after, and interact with all sorts of different types of digital monsters – not just the usual ones you might see today like Agumon or Gabumon.

Final Thoughts

Digimon virtual pets are a great way to get your nostalgia on. I think the key takeaway from all this should be that Digimon virtual pet was a great game and it's still fun to play today. So if you want to re-live those days of old (or just find out what it was like) go pick up a digivice and start petting some Digital monster today.

How do you remember the Digimon?
Did you have a chance to play with these virtual pets back in the day?