|Genre||Action, Adventure, Comedy-drama|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Yukio Kaizawa|
|Written by||Chiaki J. Konaka|
|Licensed by||Saban Entertainment|
|Original run||April 1, 2001 – March 31, 2002|
|Battle of Adventurers|
|Released||July 14, 2001|
|Released||March 2, 2002|
|Written by||Yuen Wong Yu|
|Published by||Rightman Publishing Ltd.|
|Original run||April 2004 – October 2004|
Digimon Tamers (デジモンテイマーズ Dejimon Teimāzu ), known outside of Japan as the third season of Digimon: Digital Monsters, is the third television anime series produced by Toei Animation based on the Japanese Digimon franchise. Unlike the previous seasons, Digimon Adventure and Digimon Adventure 02, Tamers takes place in a different universe, mostly taking place in the real world and revolving heavily around the collectible card game based on the series. This series is also known for it's darker undertones in story plots, taking darker routes than in previous series'. Tamers aired in Japan between April 1, 2001 and March 31, 2002, whilst an English language version by Saban Entertainment aired in North America between September 1, 2001 to June 8, 2002. A manga adaptation by Yuen Wong Yu ran between April and October 2004. It was succeeded by Digimon Frontier.
- First Half (episodes 1-24)
One day Takato creates his own Digimon Guilmon when he slips a mysterious blue card he found in his deck through his hand-held card reading device, changing it into a D-Power (called a D-Arc in Japan), the Tamers version of a Digivice. The appearance and powers of this Digimon come from Takato's sketches that were scanned into the device. Guilmon bio-emerges from the Digital World and is found later by Takato. Henry meets his Digimon Terriermon when he rises from the screen of a computer game, while Rika's Digimon Renamon approached her to ask to be made stronger, since Rika was famous for her skills on the Digimon card game. Early in the series, the three Tamers and their Digimon duel foreign Digimon that are emerging into their world. Takato, Henry and their partners begin working together, while Rika and Renamon prefer to fight on their own; however, they all soon realize that much more is at stake during their battles and the six unite as a team. They also encounter two more Digimon, who become regular characters in the series: Calumon, a mysterious Digimon that has the power to make other Digimon digivolve, but dislikes fighting, and only wants to play and eat junk food, and Impmon, a Digimon that left his Tamers because he was sick of their bickering and selfishness, and thinks that all Digimon with Tamers are a disgrace. Other characters, Kazu, Kenta, Jeri (Takato's friends from school) and Suzie (Henry's little sister) become Tamers later on in the series, and Ryo (Rika's rival and legendary Digimon Tamer) is introduced after the team enter the Digital World. Along the way, the kids learn to be responsible for those creatures as a mysterious man known as Yamaki tries to stop wild Digimon from coming to the real world. From the secret government agency called Hypnos, Yamaki was in charge of monitoring all Digimon activity around the globe.
- Second Half (episodes 25-51)
Later, when a group of evil Digimon calling themselves the Devas, who, serving the Digimon Sovereigns, believe that true Digimon shouldn't pair up with humans (it is later revealed they were actually misguided), the trio of Tamers and their Digimon defend their world against them. The Devas' true purpose for entering the human world was to capture Calumon, and take him back to the Digital World, so that they could use his power of Digivolution. The Tamers and their friends then decide to leave for the Digital World to rescue Calumon. They destroy all but one of the Devas (Antylamon turned to the side of good and became Suzie's Digimon partner) and confront Impmon, who had digivolved to his mega form, Beelzemon, after making a deal with the Sovereign for more power, in exchange for eliminating the Tamers. Jeri's partner, Leomon, is killed by Beelzemon, which causes Jeri to fall into depression. Beelzemon is defeated by Gallantmon. After traveling the Digital World on their quest, the Tamers meet (and fight with) one of the four Digital Gods, but finally agree to work together in order to destroy the D-Reaper, a computer program initially designed to keep digital life from getting out of control, but it itself became rampant. The Tamers not only must save both worlds from the D-Reaper, but also rescue Jeri, who has been taken by the renegade program and is, unwilling and unknown to her, feeding it information with her sadness. A huge battle ensues with Takato, Henry, Rika, Ryo and their Digimon versus the D-Reaper, with Takato trying to rescue Jeri while the others try to finish of the D-Reaper for good. After a massive battle, the D-Reaper is finally defeated when Henry and Terriermon implement a plan created by Hypnos and the Monster Makers and manage to devolve the D-Reaper back to its original, harmless state, and send it back into the Digital World. Takato and Guilmon succeed in rescuing Jeri, and everyone is rescued by Takato's friends Kazu and Kenta and their Digimon. The Digimon however, are forced to return to the Digital World, forcing the people to say good-bye to all of the Digimon.
Several new elements are introduced in this series, including the use of game cards in conjunction with the Digivices to give different powers to the Digimon, the presence of Calumon, a lone Digimon responsible for the Digimon evolutions, and the use of "biomerging" to bring the Digimon to their final Mega levels, by merging their bodies with their human partners. The series also continued the progression from Digimon Adventure, which was set in the Digital World with only a temporary return to the real world, through Digimon Adventure 02, where the characters returned from the Digital World to rest after most episodes: in Tamers the action is entirely within the real world, with a journey to the Digital World mid-series. This third series as well marks the first entry in a Digimon anime series, featuring the Tamers facing off the last battle against a non-Digimon, digital entity (the D-Reaper) taking place in the real world at the series end.
Main characters 
|Character||Voice actor||Digimon||Voice actor|
Matsuda Takato (松田 啓人)
|Brian Beacock (EN)
Makoto Tsumura (JP)
|Guilmon||Steven Blum (EN)
Masako Nozawa (JP)
|An imaginative and artistic young boy who created his own partner Digimon, and gradually emerges as the unofficial leader of the Tamers. He imagined Guilmon and brought him to life after discovering his Digivice.|
Li Jianliang/Ri Jenrya (李 健良)
|Dave Wittenberg (EN)
Mayumi Yamaguchi (JP)
|Terriermon||Mona Marshall (EN)
Aoi Tada (JP)
|A half-Japanese/half-Chinese boy, the voice of reason in the group and kung-fu expert. He chose Terriermon as his partner in a video game.|
Makino Ruki (牧野 留姫)
|Melissa Fahn (EN)
Fumiko Orikasa (JP)
|Renamon||Mari Devon (EN)
Yuka Imai (JP)
|A tomboyish, headstrong female Tamer who is a champion Digimon card player and initially the most experienced against fighting Digimon, as well as a good singer. She chose Renamon out of her desire for the strongest partner.|
Akiyama Ryō (秋山 遼)
|Steve Staley (EN)
Junichi Kanemaru (JP)
|Cyberdramon||Lex Lang (EN)
Ikkei Seta (JP)
|An enigmatic tamer that went missing after beating Rika, and taking first place in the Digimon Card Tournament.|
Katō Juri (加藤樹莉)
|Bridget Hoffman (EN)
Yoko Asada (JP)
|Leomon||Paul St. Peter (EN)
Hiroaki Hirata (JP)
|A female tamer who is one of Takato's friends from school. She has a poor relationship with her father, as a result of her mother's death.|
Shiota Hirokazu (塩田 博和)
|Brad MacDonald (EN)
Yukiko Tamaki (JP)
|Guardromon||Richard Cansino (EN)
Yanada Kiyoyuki (JP)
|A comedic tamer who is very good friends with Takato and Kenta, and often defeats them in the Digimon Card Game. He also idolizes Ryo.|
Kitagawa Kenta (北川 健太)
|Steven Blum (EN)
Tōko Aoyama (JP)
|MarineAngemon||Wendee Lee (EN)
Ai Iwamura (JP)
|A Tamer who is very good friends with Takato and Kazu. He is considerably more resigned and less inclined to speak thoughtlessly compared to Kazu.|
Li Shaochung/Ri Shiuchon (李 小春)
|Peggy O'Neal (EN)
Ai Nagano (JP)
|Lopmon||Michelle Ruff (EN)
Aoi Tada (JP)
|Henry's little sister, and the third youngest Tamer (after Ai and Makoto). Initially unaware that Terriermon is alive, she treats the Digimon like a plush toy, much to Terriermon's chagrin.|
|Ai and Mako
Ai (アイ) and Makoto (マコト)
|Rebecca Forstadt & Wendee Lee (EN)
Haruhi Terada & Miwa Matsumoto (JP)
|Impmon||Derek Stephen Prince (EN)
Hiroki Takahashi (JP)
|Two young children whom Impmon first meets during his first time in the human world; his experiences with their sibling rivalry gave him a strong dislike for humans. They reconcile with Impmon near the end of the series.|
Secondary characters 
- Alice McCoy and Dobermon
- Locomon - Ultimate Digimon that goes on a rampage through Shinjuku, creating a portal to the Digital World. Resists attempts by Growlmon, Beelzemon, Renamon, Takato and Rika to stop him and is revealed to be controlled by Parasimon. Digivolves into GranLocomon near the end of the movie. Freed from Parasimon's control by Gallantmon and returns to the Digital World having de-digivolved back to Locomon after the battle is over, commenting that he wants to "keep on running."
- Monster Makers - Group of computer programmers/scientists who created the Digimon. Reunited by Yamaki.
- Gorou Mizuno (水野 悟郎 Mizuno Gorō): Nickname "Shibumi". Continued on with the Digimon project after it was shut down in 1986. He later is able to help the kids while they are in the Digital World, as well as rejoining the Monster Makers in Shinjuku to help fight the D-Reaper. Voiced by Bob Glouberman (US).
- Janyu Lee (李 鎮宇 Rī Janyū) / Janyu Wong: Nickname "Tao", Henry's father. He was voiced by Yoshiyuki Kaneko (Japan) and Jamieson Price (US).
- Rob McCoy: Nickname "Dolphin", Alice's Grandfather, professor at Palo Alto University. Voiced by Tom Fahn (US).
- Rai Aishuwarya: Nickname "Curly", professor at Miscatonic University. Voiced by Dorothy Elias-Fahn (US).
- Babel: Real name unknown. Voiced by Neil Kaplan (US).
- Daisy: Real or full name unknown. Voiced by Wendee Lee (US).
- D-Reaper: An out-of-control computer program. The main antagonist. Devolved by MegaGargomon and returned to the Digital World.
- Mitsuo Yamaki - Head of Hypnos. He was voiced by Susumu Chiba (Japan) and Steven Blum (US).
- Reika Ootori (Ootori Reika) / Riley Ootori - Chief System Operator. Voiced by Tifanie Christun (English, Series) and Philece Sampler (English, Movie).
- Megumi Onodera (Onodera Megumi) / Tally Onodera - System Operator. Voiced by Peggy O'Neal (US).
- Man In Black - Unnamed Hypnos agent and field operative that is seen several times in the series. Voiced by R. Martin Klein.
- Zhuqiaomon: One of the four Sovereign. Initially seems the antagonist, but later puts aside his quest to destroy humans. Helps in the final battle along with the other Sovereigns by pulling the D-Reaper back to the Digital World.
- Mephistomon: Ultimate Digimon. Main enemy of Battle of Adventurers. Is created from the data of an Apoclymon and battles Omnimon before ending up in the real world. Poses as a human and creates the V-Pets to create havok and destroy the world. Is apparently destroyed by Growlmon, but after his plans after defeated, he emerges in his Mega form of Gulfmon, but is destroyed by WarGrowlmon, Rapidmon and Taomon with Trinity Burst.
- Parasimon: Mega Digimon and main enemy of Runaway Locomon. Rather weak for a Mega, but can control the actions of humans and Digimon. Controls Locomon in order to create a portal between the Real and Digital world so a massive army of Parasimon can invade Earth. Controls Rika as well, but is stopped by Guilmon. Is destroyed by Gallantmon, but sends a signal that brings the army to Earth. Many are destroyed by Gallantmon, MegaGargomon, Sakuyamon, Justimon, Guardromon, MarineAngemon and Beelzemon before Gallantmon: Crimson Mode obliterates the army with his Crimson Light attack and closes the portal.
Anime television series 
Digimon Tamers aired 51 episodes on Fuji TV in Japan from April 1, 2001 to March 31, 2002. The English-language version produced by Saban Entertainment aired on Fox Kids in the United States from September 1, 2001 to June 8, 2002, receiving various changes to character names and music, as well as edits pertaining to violence and cultural references. The Japanese version of Digimon Tamers (with English subtitles) was released on Hulu in February 2011. New Video will release the dubbed version as a DVD boxset in North America on June 11, 2013.
Theme songs 
- Opening theme
- "The Biggest Dreamer" by Kōji Wada
- Ending themes
- "My tomorrow" by AiM
- Episodes: 1-23
- "Days -Aijō to Nichijō-" (Days-愛情と日常-, "Days (Love and Everyday)") by AiM
- Episodes: 24-51
- Insert songs
- "Slash" by Michihiko Ohta
- "EVO" by Wild Child Bound
- "One Vision" by Takayoshi Tanimoto
- "3 Primary Colors" by Tamers
- "Kaze" (風, "Wind") by Kōji Wada
- "Starting Point" by Kōji Wada, AiM and Michihiko Ohta
Anime films 
Short story 
This short story, written by Chiaki J. Konaka and illustrated by Kenji Watanabe, was published in 2002 in Volume 5 of SF Japan, a Japanese science fiction magazine. Tamers 1984 was intended for a more mature audience, specifically the adult fans of Digimon Tamers, and focused on the creation of the original Digimon program by the Monster Makers at Palo Alto University in the United States. It revolved around the roles and thoughts of each of the Monster Makers, and dealt largely with the philosophical and technological issues surrounding the creation of artificial intelligence.
Audio drama 
This audio drama takes place several months after the end of the series. The Tamers have yet to be reunited with their Digimon Partners, but the Monster Makers have discovered a way in which the Tamers may be able to send messages to the Digital World. However, it's not certain if it'll work, or if their Partners will receive their messages. But with the memories and love for their Partners guiding them, the Tamers each make their own emotional and heartfelt messages, hoping that their Partners will hear them. They talk about the past, their plans for the future, how they've changed, and most of all, how important they believe that their Partners were to them, and convey the hope and certainty that will meet up with each other once again.
Reception and analysis 
Due to its differences from the first two Digimon series, Tamers received mixed reviews when it first aired in the United States (September 1, 2001). Tim Jones of THEM Anime writes, "Although Digimon Tamers has its faults (slow character development, a sudden change in new characters from the last series, and a less-than-exciting first half), the more you watch it, and the further you get into it, the more you'll enjoy it." In comparison to the first two series, Tamers also displayed darker undertones in its plot. According to English-language dub voice actor Dave Wittenberg, the new series possessed "an element of seriousness" that was not present in the first two series. Additionally, some parts would be better understood by older viewers due to the introduction of more difficult concepts.
The airing of Digimon Tamers coincided with the September 11 attacks, and in at least one case, the events have been analyzed within the context of the series. Margaret Schwartz of PopMatters writes, "As NPR and other […] media began to debate the September 11 images, I began to see just how important it was to consider how we as a culture define and experience "reality" […] Some argue that the shocking video footage […] is a necessary experience of the catastrophe—even a condition of it." She points out the metafictional story of Tamers where "bits of forgotten computer data have fused to become a separate world inhabited by live creatures". In acknowledging the line drawn between good and evil in the series, Schwartz writes, "The evil here consists in refusing to see that Digimon are "real", real creatures, and that destroying any one of them is in fact murder." Through the existence of intangible communication networks as a "product of human ingenuity", she concludes that "those of us in the "real" world have become so good at playing creator, at making "things" appear much like "real" creatures, that we tend to confuse the two."
- English translation of Digimon Tamers CD Drama
- Jones, Tim. "Digimon Tamers". THEM Anime. Retrieved September 15, 2009.
- McFeely, Chris (August 2002). "Interview With Dave Wittenberg". The Digimon Encyclopedia. Retrieved September 15, 2009.
- Schwartz, Margaret (October 8, 2001). "Real Consequence". PopMatters. Archived from the original on February 8, 2005. Retrieved September 16, 2009.
- Toei Animation official site (Japanese)
- DIGIMON TAMERS RESOURCES (Notes and history of Digimon Tamers from Chiaki J. Konaka) (Japanese/English)