|Digimon Adventure V-Tamer 01 (counterpart), Digimon Adventure, Digimon Adventure 02 and Digimon Adventure tri. character|
Tai as originally designed for the manga V-Tamer 01
|Voiced by||Toshiko Fujita (Japanese)
Natsuki Hanae (Japanese, tri.)
Joshua Seth (English)
Jason Spisak (Revenge of Diaboromon, English)
|Relatives||Mother and father: Susumu & Yuuko Yagami (Susumu & Yuuko Kamiya in the English dub)
Sister: Hikari "Kari" Yagami (Kari Kamiya in the English dub)
|Date of Birth||July 15, Shōwa 63 (1988)|
Tai Kamiya, known as Taichi Yagami (八神 太一 Yagami Taichi) in Japan, a fictional character in the multimedia franchise Digimon. His debut is in the Digimon Adventure V-Tamer 01 manga, a manga where Tai is sent to the Digital World to meet his Digimon companion Zeromaru in order to save it from multiple enemies. An alternate version of Tai appears in Toei Company's 1999 series as the main protagonist of Digimon Adventure, a supporting character in the sequel and once again as the protagonist of the films Digimon Adventure tri.. In this timeline, Tai the leader of the first season DigiDestined. He is adventurous and a born leader, and is usually the first to spring into action. He is partnered with the dinosaur-like Agumon in the Digimon Adventure anime series.
Tai was created by manga author Tenya Yabuno from V-Tamer 01. Multiple voice actors have voiced Tai across the franchise. Critical reception to Tai has been positive by writers from manga and anime websites. While his role and personality in the first Digimon series has been positive, writers expressed mixed thoughts about Tai's characterization in Tri due to lacking his hotblooded personality.
Tai's original character was designed by Tenya Yabuno, one of the authors of manga V-Tamer 01. He was based on Kentarou Kamon, the protagonist of the Digimon manga pilot, C'mon Digimon. In the making of the first anime short based on the series, director Mamoru Hosoda wanted to focus on Tai and Kari's relationship with the Digimon that appeared in their house, Koromon. While viewers would envy the fact the protagonists for the fact that Koromon befriended them, Hosoda did not want to create explicit friendship with them as the Digimons might come across as dangerous creatures.
In an exclusive interview released with the Digimon Adventure DVD box on December 21, 2007, producer Satoru Nishizono revealed that as the staff decided on Tai's name using kanji that related to "luck". While Tai was conceptualized as the main character, Toei wanted to focus on all the Digidestined children at the same time resulting in an assemble cast. Producer Satoru Nishizono stated that with the exception of Tai and Agumon, Toei was told to make in-depth young characters to fit's the series' viewers. The staff considered Tai to remain as a protagonist for the next sequel but instead ended as a supporting character. The cast themselves were surprised by how Sora Takenouchi ended up as a couple with Matt rather than Tai with Mayumi Yamaguchi believing Sora should have married Tai. For the second film, Hosoda wanted to focus on Tai's childish characterization as he is nervous on interacting with Sora Takeuchi over a fight even though Tai and Izzy needed help from their Digimon to eliminate a big threat. While finding Tai's actions out of character, Hosoda wanted Tai to try his best to apologize with Sora to the point of calling it a miracle joking. Another aspect of the second film was that while the Digimon did not need to be by their partners' sides to fight, just by being together, they could solve difficult situations.
For tri., director Keitaro Motonaga stated the Toei staff thought about doing multiple situations which might feel out of character based on how he has aged in comparison to his previous appearances. The staff also focused on his rivaly with Matt Ishida due to how different the two matured. Furthermore, Motonaga commented that fans that Tai was in a stage where he thought he would not be a child again, which changed his characterization. In the Digimon Adventure Tri series, Tai's teenage design is made by Atsuya Uki.
In Japan, all of Tai's appearances were voiced by Toshiko Fujita. During auditions, the staff immediately chose Fujita as they were fans of her works. Fujita liked Tai's character due to how he cares for his sister and at the same time for his clumsy personality. She did not find difficulties in voicing Tai for the first series. She also liked the relationship between Tai and Agumon, believing it to be one of the best from the anime based on their similarities. For tri Fujita was replaced by Natsuki Hanae. During the audition, Hanae rewatched the entire first anime alongside the movies. Ever since he was a child, Hanae was a fan of the Digimon franchise so when he was given the role for Tai, he became excited and at the same time pressured. He liked Tai's character based on his bravery and his sense of justice. When reading the script, Hanae noted Tai was different from the time he appeared in the television series due to how he aged and felt this change was still natural.
In the English dub, Joshua Seth provides his voice. Seth did not find any impressions during his audition for the character with comments on how he was close to the people in the cast. He felt Tai was similar to him so he "pitched up [his voice] little bit younger". Additionally, he stated he enjoyed voicing the character. However, by the time the film Revenge of Diaboromon was dubbed in English, he had retired from the voice acting industry in 2005, causing casting director Jeff Nimoy to cast Jason Spisak as his replacement, remarking how similar he sounded to Seth. Seth commented that his regular is very similar to the one from Tai in Tri was not difficult as he initially thought he had to "warm" up to the character.
In Digimon Adventure, set in 1999, Tai is 11 years old and wears a blue T-shirt with orange stars near the shoulders, a yellow pocket on each side of the chest, and three yellow buttons in the top. He also wears a yellow shirt underneath his blue one, brown shorts, where he keeps his digivice, a blue headband where he puts his goggles, a black wristband on the left arm, white gloves, white socks, and blue and white sneakers with yellow triangles on them. His headband leaves a tuft of his hair out on the front. While he keeps this look in the Digimon Adventure V-Tamer 01 manga, Tai also has a cape and a wrist-mounted Digivice.
In Digimon Adventure 02, set in 2002, Tai is 14 years old and has more hair. He usually wears the Odaiba Middle School uniform; a white buttoned shirt with long sleeves, under an opened green shirt with long sleeves, gray pants, and white and blue sneakers. Originally, Tai wore his goggles but gave them to Davis on the younger boy's first day in the Digital World. In the summer, he wears a green shirt under a blue T-shirt with a yellow border on the top, a yellow triangle on each sleeve, and a yellow triangle in the middle, which is cut by a yellow line. He also wears yellow wristbands on his hands, light brown shorts, gray socks, and blue and yellow sneakers with white soles. The series epilogue, which takes place in 2027 depicts Tai as a 39-year-old with his hair cut who works as a diplomat for the United Nations representing the Digital World. While his causal attire is yellow shirt under a zipped grayish blue jacket with a blue collar, wears blue pants and blue shoes with yellow soles, his business attire is a white shirt under a black suit, and a blue tie.
In Digimon Adventure Tri, set in 2005, Tai is 17 years old and usually wears the Odaiba High School uniform; including a black buttoned jacket, white dress shirt, blue tie, navy vest, black pants and sneakers.
In the V-Tamer 01 story line, Tai is V-Pet trainer whose Digimon partner is a Veedramon that is named Zeromaru. Ending up in the Digital World after being summoned by MagnaAngemon, Tai accepts to aid in saving the Digital World from Daemon. During his adventures, Tai encounters Davis after he ended up in his universe, Ryo Akiyama, and Takuya Kanbara.
In the first Digimon Adventure short film, set in 1995, Tai and Kari discover a Digi-Egg hatching from Botamon to Koromon. This leads to their first encounter with Digimon. Later, Greymon defeats Parrotmon at Highton View Terrace, before they vanished. In Digimon Adventure, set in 1999, Tai, Matt, Sora, Izzy, Mimi, Joe and T.K., receive each their "Digivices", and they are sent to the Digital World. There, they befriend each partners and use them to defeat one of the Digimon villains.
After Tai obtains the Crest of Courage at the Continent of Server, Agumon inadvertently transforms into SkullGreymon. Piximon teaches Tai to give in for courage. After Tai saves Sora, Agumon transforms into MetalGreymon and defeats Etemon. The reunited heroes meet Myotismon, an vampire Digimon, who sets to find Kari in the human world. As Tai and his friends protect Kari and her partner Gatomon, they seemingly destroyed Myotismon.
The heroes return to the Digital World and confront the Dark Masters. After defeating Piedmon, the heroes meet Apocalymon, who destroys all tags. Though they are trapped in the data world, Tai and his friends realize that their crest symbols appear as a memory for themselves. This allows them to return to the Digital World and they defeat Apocalymon. With their worlds restored, the heroes and their Digimon partners part ways.
In the Digimon short film Our War Game, while their friends are preoccupied, Tai, Izzy, Matt and T.K. confront Diaboromon, a computer virus Digimon, who accessed the Pentagon's computers to fire missiles at Tokyo. However, the power of the internet allows WarGreymon and MetalGarurumon to merge themselves into Omnimon, in order to destroy Diaboromon. In Digimon Adventure 02, Tai becomes a high school student. He passes his goggles to Davis Motomiya, as he and the original group act as mentors, and support to the new group whose membership includes their youngest members T.K and Kari. In the series epilogue, set in 2027, Tai becomes a United Nations diplomat for the Digital World and has a son.
In the Digimon Fusion series, the 11-year old version of Tai appears in the final arc of the series when summoned from his universe in his eleven-year-old form to aid the Fusion Fighters alongside his DigiDestined allies, the protagonists of Digimon Tamers, the Legendary Warriors from Digimon Frontier, and the DATS agents from Digimon Data Squad during the battle against Quartzmon.
In Digimon Adventure tri., Tai and his friends attend Tsukishima General High School. They learn from their teacher and agent, Daigo Nishijima, that a mysterious virus are infecting every Digimon, and causing distortions between the human world and the Digital World. After recruiting Meiko Mochizuki, they learn that her partner, Meicoomon, is the cause of the infection and the distortion to both worlds. Though their Digimon partners sacrifice themselves to prevent Meicoomon from entering the human world, the Digital World becomes rebooted. Tai and his friends return to the Digital World, and reunite with their partners. After falling from the cliff and ending up through the underground laboratory, Nishijima sacrifices himself to save Tai, Davis, Yolei, Cody and Ken. After Tai reunites with his friends, they rescue Gatomon and destroy Meiccomon. This allows Homeostasis to delete King Drasil, a host computer-like being.
In other media
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Tai appears in several List of Digimon video games released by Namco Bandai. He also appears in Digimon: The Movie. Tai has three Japanese image songs: "Yuuki o Tsubasa ni Shite", "Atarashii Taiyou", and "Towa ni Tsuzuke!!". He also has a theme song with Agumon called "Team". Tai appears in the audio dramas, Digimon Adventure Original Story: 2½ Year Break and Digimon Adventure 02 Original Story: 2003 -Spring- (both released only in Japan). In the manga, he appears in Digimon Adventure V-Tamer 01 and Digimon Xros Wars.
In a series of online polls conducted on Toei Animation's Digimon website, Tai was ranked 3rd by Japanese voters as their favorite DigiDestined. When the same question was asked three more times, his rank fell to 6th, rose to 4th, and finally landed at 5th. IGN listed him as 62nd best animated character, praising his ability to admit his mistakes and his relationship with his Digimon partner, Agumon, which made one of the most popular characters from the 90s. In a poll he was voted as the 5th "Which catcher/trainer would take home the gold?"
Multiple writers for manga and anime have commented on Tai's character. IGN listed how Tai forces Agumon to evolve into SkullGreymon as one of the best moments from the first Digimon anime. Additionally, Tai and Koromon's brief return to the real world as listed as another moment due to Tai's brief interactions with his younger sister, Kari. Anime News Network highly praised Tai's character in the first series due to how he matures as a kid due to how he takes care of his sister most notably when she was sick and he got tired of seeing her inside the house while her parents were busy at work. Additionally, the site commented on Tai and Yamato's misrelationship due to their multiple differences that made them often clash. Retro Junk liked for how he looks after his group and that despite his issues, his friends respect him. THEM Anime Reviews liked the rivalry between Tai and Yamato, citing that at the same time both are similar character due to the two of them being big brothers who are often worried about their siblings. The same site also praised Joshua Seth for giving making Tai more appealing. Adam "OMEGA" Arnold from Animefringe praised the amount of focus given to Tai's character in the trilogy film Digimon: The Movie alongside other present characters. Shamus Kelley from Den of Geek also acclaimed Seth's acting in the movie due to the multiple emotions Tai shows across the trilogy as well as how the character tries to handle his relationship with Sora. In the book Digimon Power: The Ultimate Guide to the Coolest New Monster Game! a young reader expressed he liked Tai's character design for how large and spiky is his hair. In the book Anime Classics Zettai!: 100 Must-See Japanese Animation Masterpieces, Brian Camp stated that Tai's apparent relationship with Sora who is later revealed to be interested into Matt was well handled as due to the characters' ages in contrast to other Western series.
Tai's characterization in Tri. resulted in mixed comments by Jacob Hope Chapman from Anime News Network due his new hesitations which might not appeal to viewers of the series. While feeling it as part of Tai's character arc Christian Chiok from Japanator found Tai's traits out of character contrasting previous Digimon main characters. However, there were positive comments by Shamus Kelley from Den of Geek approved of Tai's new character arc noting that Tri focuses on personal responsibility and his potential for character growth. DVDTalk's writer Chris Zimmerman praised the still ongoing arguments between Tai and Yamato in Tri as fans from the first Digimon series would still find it memorable due to the history between these two characters. Otaku USA noted the arguments between these two characters as well and stated "Tai is actually the character who seems to be suffering from arrested development the most". Kelley complained about Tai and Yamato's still ongoing conflict in the next films commenting there were already enough in the first film and the possibility that Tai did not have character development in such movie. For the next film, Kelley readdressed such issues that were more present in the movie. In a Coexistence review, Anime Now's Richard Eisenbeis believes Tai managed to fully mature during the climax of the film due to his decisions in regards to who is the enemy, contrasting the original series where it was more obvious where Tai, as a kid, could easily is the enemy.
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