Culture

Digimon is back and no one told you

This would be the year that Digimon comes back to life.

This year has been full of surprises (most of them the bad kind), but we're about to hit you with a few words that might actually bring you a minor reprieve from the deluge of depressing news: Digimon is back.

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You did not misread, nor did you wake up from a fever dream to discover that it's still only 2005. Digimon is back, and has a few new tricks that don't necessarily involve training children to battle digital monster. This time, the it's also here to help lower your BMI.

Bandai, which owns the Digimon property, recently announced that it will release a line of fitness bracelets that integrate the late '90s TV series into various features on a Fitbit-powered band.

Among the features, which we covered here, is the ability to evolve your Digimon by engaging in healthy behavior (the bracelet monitors step counts and heart rates), as well as a battle system that allows wearers to train with each other. Unfortunately, it's only slated for Japan, though a release is pretty imminent.

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The bracelets are being released in Japan early next year.

While it might seem a little out of the blue for Bandai to be releasing Digimon-inspired hardware, the reality is that 2020 has been a somewhat fruitful year for the once Pokémon-rivaling series.

In April, a reboot of the original series titled Digimon Adventure aired on both Crunchyroll and Fuji TV in Japan, marking the first time a new, full-fledged, Digimon installment has been rolled out since 2010. The plot pretty much mirrors the original 1999 version of the show...

“In a parallel universe called Digital World live digital creatures, the Digimons. Populating the Earth’s many communication networks, these creatures are raised by humans called Tamers. Together they team up to fight Evil, trying to destroy the heart of their Digital World.”

The show was (like many this year) postponed do to COVID-related production delays, but this revival is apparently no fluke. According to Toei Animation Europe, there are several dozen episodes already on the way.

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A Digimon deluge is coming: 66 new episodes.

Toei

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But wait, there's more...

If the new fitness bracelets and a new TV series reboot wasn't enough to satiate your Digimon fix, there are also plans for a proper RPG called Digimon: Survive. Here's a description of the game from Bandai...

Digimon Survive sees a brand-new group of teenagers, led by Takuma Momozuka, get lost on a school camping trip, finding them transported to a strange new world of monsters and danger. ... players’ choices throughout the game will impact the evolution of their monster allies, and the final ending. Battles in the game are fought in 2D, in a more classic SRPG style.”

Though Digimon has often licensed its characters for free mobile games, Survive appears to be a more serious effort at bringing the series to more mainstream channels. The game was recently delayed until 2021, but will eventually be released on PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC through Steam.

So there you have it. Whether it's a TV series, game, or fitness bracelet, Digimon is coming back, which means that you can officially bone up on your evolutions and prepare your eyeballs for unexpected enjoyment.