Digimon: Digital Monsters



Loud battles + toy tie-ins = OK, but not great.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Female characters -- though usually outnumbered by the guys -- hold their own in smarts and strength. Adults are mostly absent from the show, leaving the kids to handle decisions and strategy on their own. Characters often argue, but they resolve their differences in the end.

Violence & scariness

Usually only the digital monsters take part in battles, which are flashy and loud (mostly punches and occasional use of firepower) but don't result in realistic injury. When a monster is injured, he simply disappears from sight or dissolves into tiny pieces, which are said to later reincarnate. Other instances of mild suspense and peril include extensive falls, tumultuous airplane rides, and the like.

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Not applicable

The show often feels like a commercial for the line of Digimon toys, video games, trading cards, and other paraphernalia.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this anime series bears a lot of similarity to the well-known Pokemon franchise and comes complete with its own entourage of trading cards, video games, and toys. The frequent battles among the digital creatures are flashy and loud, but easily recognizable to kids as total fantasy. When they do occur, injuries are limited to the creatures rather than the kids (and instead of dying, they disassemble into small pieces which are said to reincarnate later). The show is targeted at kids 5-7, but the battles could be too scary for younger viewers; older children may be more interested in anime movies. Kids who don't watch regularly may be confused when they do tune in, since multiple cast and plot changes over the years lead to lots of continuity issues.

What's the story?

Long-running cartoon series DIGIMON: DIGITAL MONSTERS centers on a group of kids who travel to a parallel universe called DigiWorld and work alongside the digital creatures they befriend there to battle evil forces that threaten their peaceful existence. The Japanese-inspired anime 'toon has been known under a number of different titles since it began airing in 1999, including Digimon Adventures and Digimon Tamers. With each title change, the series added new characters and tweaked the original plot (in which the initial seven kids mysteriously transported to DigiWorld from their summer camp and ended up immersed in battle).

Is it any good?


While the general basis of relationships between the show's kids and their digital companions remained constant over the course of the series, almost everything else went through many makeovers. Some seasons feature seven human visitors to DigiWorld; others, as few as three. In early episodes, the kids can't get back home; later stories show a new cast of youngsters effortlessly journeying between the two worlds. And while in most stories each kid has his own specialized Digimon sidekick, a full season of episodes featured humans who could transform into the digital beings rather than just summon them for battles.

Youngsters will certainly find this lack of continuity confusing, and parents may be wary of introducing their kids to yet another marketing conglomerate looking to rival Pokemon. (Digimon boasts a similar assortment of tie-in video games, trading cards, virtual pets, and other toys.) And it's worth noting that although the show's violence is mostly of the flashy, fantasy variety and battles are reserved for the digital beings, those who are seriously injured dissolve into pieces that are said to regroup and reincarnate at a later date.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what kids like about this show. How is it similar to and different from shows like Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh!? Why do you think these anime-style shows are so popular in America? Families can also talk about cross-promotion and how TV shows and movies are used to sell products. Kids: What other Digimon products are you familiar with (cards, games, toys)? Do you own any of them? How does watching TV affect your desire for items like these?

TV details

This review of Digimon: Digital Monsters was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

  • Good battles evil in Star Wars-esque 'toon.
  • Alien-morphing and action -- every boy's dream.
  • Fun fantasy, but battles are consequence-free.
  • If you love Digimon, here's more. No surprises.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Parent Written byAngelistic-101 March 3, 2014

Digimon, Digital Monsters! Digimon are the champions!

Woww, where do I even begin? I want to try and make this short, but I can't guarantee anything. Well for starters, Digimon is one of the best anime I have ever seen in my life. I grew up with it and have re-watched it multiple times over the years. Every time I watch Digimon, I remember just how amazing a series it is. This anime series has a lot of positive messages, and the characters learn a lot while in the "Digital World". In a world where human children befriend cute, adorable digital monsters, Digimon teaches the importance of teamwork and friendship, as well as believing in yourself and never giving up. Digimon is not your typical anime, it is full of surprises and awesome adventures! There is quite a lot of fighting and violence, but it's all for a good cause. I'm pretty sure a ten year old would be able to differentiate between fantasy and reality. The human characters learn a lot from their digital partners, and they each form a special bond with their Digimon. Loyalty, friendship, love, teamwork, courage, optimism, leadership and especially hope. Digimon is truly an amazing series that I feel will teach any young child, 10 and up very important life lessons that they will carry for the rest of their life. They don't make shows like they used to, so having your child watch Digimon would be the greatest gift you could ever give them.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Teen, 16 years old Written byspiderkilroy October 26, 2012

It is not a ripoff. Digimon came first.

Alright. I am reviewing this because im tired of people saying that Digimon is a ripoff of pokemon. Digimon came out 3 years before pokemon in japan. it was only released in america after pokemon. stop calling it a ripoff!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Kid, 11 years old May 1, 2011

Amazing, if you can keep track of the whole and avoid Frontier and Data Squad

The first 3 seasons are amazing, after that it's as 'bout as good as Pokemon. The third season (Tamers) is where it gets violent. With one of trash-can-dump things leaving the digital world with the kids. I see you've complained about its lack of continuity, but it has a lot more than episodic shows like say Pokemon, or Spongebob. Digimon just is rebooted every season except for season 2, which on from season 1 with a whole new set of Digidestined. Season 3 takes place in a universe where the first 2 seasons were a popular TV show. You need to watch earlier episodes or it doesn't make sense because there is a very strong continuity so have to see it in order. Well season 2 lets the Digidestined travel between worlds all the time (because the gate between the worlds is in one of the computers in the computer lab). Season 3 (Tamers from now on) because it is set in another universe, has tamers instead, hence the title Tamers. Of all the continuitys (I don't know the plural for that word) there are only 3 people who fight for fun, everyone else fights for survival, hence it has much better morals then Pokemon. I will now tell you the 3 people who fight for fun; Ken (A.K.A. The Digimon Emperor) from season 2 , but he thought it was just a video game, so he's kinda excused, then we have have Rika (A.K.A. The Digimon Queen) from Tamers, who knew that it was real, but thought digimon have to fight, and here is the third and final of this list, Renamon (Rika's partner in Tamers) maybe fought for more than for fun, she did say that a soda that Takuto gave her was first gift. I should probably put the names of the main heros in each of the 3 first seasons; the first 8 Digidestined: Tai, Matt, Joe, T.K., Sora, Mimi, and Kari, now for the 4 new Digidestined (Kari, and T.K. stayed Digidestined) Yoilei, Cody, Davis, and Ken, ( yeah they forgave him, they give good messages like that), now for the 4 Tamers, from Tamers, Takuto, Henry, Rika and Ryo. Season 1 has the kids stuck the Digiworld, I already told you about 2, but Tamers is kinda weird in that the digimon are on earth for most of it, but they can't travel between worlds. There are 5 seasons in all, 4 is called Frontier, and 5 is Data Squad, but I ignore them because make no sense with the games that go with them, thus the product placement part, something, that I normally wouldn't mind, but not only is there notable product placement but you to import them from Japan because they make no sense without them and got released out of Japan. If I was going to count those anymore then I did just now, I would take some stars away, and stick educational on because to understand it, you'd need to learn Japanese. Tamers seems to have tacked on a follow your dreams thing, even without taking the original Japanese theme song into account. After all, Takuto created Guilmon with his drawing, and the first 2 seasons had the Crests, Tags, and Eggs, used to digivolve the partner digimon using virtues taken from the Digidestined, like Hope, Kindness, Love, Curiosity, and Courage. Tamers has some of the kids protecting their digimon from a secret branch of the Japanese Government: ENIAC. Here random info you might want to have before letting little kids watch it; Some of the scenes are pretty intense, though the average 7year-old should be able to handle it. Like the Bug-house episode, or anytime SkullWarGreymon or the D-Reaper shows up. But some things are just plain scary, like the J-Reaper agent, or Piedmon turning just about everyone into keychains. But there is a lot of cute too! Just about anything with Calumon is cute sweet and fluffy. Or when Guilmon eats bread. This show can funny too! If a scene has Davis and it's not a fight scene it'll probably be funny, or when Guilmon and Calumon made a bunch lines on the soccer field. So I guess this show has a good balance of all good things a show needs, but the last episodes always bring up tears. The end of Season 1 ends with the Digidestined leaving their partners, if you season 2 you know that they meet up again but they don't know that. At the end of season 2 the Digidestined and the digimon stay together, but a man that always wanted to see the Digiworld dies just before he get in, and the end of Tamers makes everyone cry, seeing Kokomon, Gummimon, Gigimon, and Viximon all have to go the digital world because as baby-level digimon they aren't strong to enough to stay on Earth, and Guilmon had never been a baby-level digimon before, and Earth was only home he ever had, Degenerating into Gigimon and then leaving Takuto forever would really hard for him. People are saying this is a knockoff of Pokemon, but no it's attempt to sell Tamogotchi to boys. By they way, Pokemon can't go backwards, and there aren't any mouse digimon, last time I checked. Between the games, the mangas, the movies, the audio dramas, and the anime, there's at least 24 different canons. And the v-pet backstories. Games are mostly one-offs. If you keep track of the canon (one per season, game, manga series, and half line of v-pets, (some of the movies and audio dramas are in the same canon as some of the anime), except for seasons 1 and 2 of a the anime) It has great story line.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much consumerism
Great messages
Great role models


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Star Wars Guide