Saturday, September 7, 2013

On The Air: Digimon (1999)

In the wake of the runaway success of Pokemon, particularly after WB plucked it out of syndication in February 1999, Fox needed to answer with an anime of their own. Oh, the chaos it caused the network's Saturday morning lineup still resonates even today!

Digimon bowed in Japan five months before its American debut, when producer Haim Saban acquired a license to bring the series to the US. Saban already had established a foothold at Fox, thanks to the equally popular Power Rangers franchise. However, Digimon's stay on Fox was a short one, as, after the network had shoved the series down the viewers' throats, at the expense of other Saban-licensed properties from Marvel Comics, and other Fox shows, the series shifted to Disney-owned ABC Family and to UPN, the latter for a brief period in 2002.

The sixth incarnation of the series, subtitled Fusion, debuted in Japan in 2010, and makes its American debut today on Nickelodeon, which holds American rights to the franchise. Saban reacquired a license for the franchise a year ago, right along with the Power Rangers, taking both series over from Disney. Let's go back in time, though, to the first episode of the Digital Monsters series from 1999, "And So It Begins":



I wouldn't be at all surprised if Fusion finds another US home on CW's Saban-programmed Vortexx block at the end of the month.

Rating: B.

4 comments:

Steven Dolce said...

I was a huge fan of this show when I was a kid.

hobbyfan said...

Was it better than Pokémon?

Steven Dolce said...

I liked it better than Pokemon. I liked Pokemon as a kid too.

hobbyfan said...

Since I wasn't much into this stuff, it didn't matter to me.