Digimon is a show that will forever be compared to its monster training counterpart, Pokémon, but the two shows are actually radically different. Sure, they both focus on a group of youngsters that become friends and form a bond over their mutual love for their creatures, but the tone of the two programs aren't too similar.
Digimon has always been praised as the far less repetitive, and more complicated show, bringing in constant themes of death and stressing the importance of love between the kids and their 'mon. And with a more serious approach to storytelling came a wealth of intriguing and often dark material. Some of the better storylines were actually fueled by death, and with the individual characters dealing with the loss of their friends.
Many Digimon fans consider the third season, Digimon Tamers, to be the darkest and most complicated season of them all. And though several entries on this list coincide with that season of Digimon, there is actually a wealth of dark moments that appear throughout the Digimon television show, the manga, and the numerous videogames that have come out over the years. So without further ado, here are the 15 Times Digimon Was Too Dark For Kids.
15. Gizumon the Digimon Killer
Gizumon's very creation and appearance are reason enough for his appearance on this list. It is a Digimon without an ego, and its very purpose is to fulfill its master's orders, no matter what they command.
Gizumon has many forms, each more deadly than the last, and its main purpose is to kill Digimon. It's a creepy combination of metal appendages, and its got an eerie construction that matches its motives. Its only appearance is from Digimon Data Squad (or Digimon Savers) and its odd that the series introduced a creature whose only motivation is killing the creatures that everyone loves so much.
It seems like an idea that would never make it off the cutting room floor, but Digimon has never been a show to shy away from intense or malicious material.
14. Hikaru Beats Teru to Death with a Rock
Digimon D-Cyber is a Chinese Manhua (Chinese comic) that introduced the concept of X Digimon, which were normal Digimon that were infected by x-antibodies. The darkest moment throughout the entire storyline is at the end of Chapter 2, where events are reaching a fever pitch between the three main characters, Hikaru Ryuuji, Masuken Kana, and Teru Raku.
Masuken is a recurring villain throughout the series who is constantly trying to get the better of both Hikaru and Teru. Masuken even tricks Hikaru into going mad and attacking his young friend, and Hikaru beats Teru to death with a rock (or so he thinks). It's later revealed to be a trick in the next chapter of the comic, but for an entire page, the audience is lead to believe that a character brutally murdered his best friend.
D-Reaper is another creature that's scary because of his appearance and motivation. The D-Reaper is referred to as the, "true enemy" and is the major protagonist from the Digimon Tamers series. Unlike most of the creatures in the digital world, D-Reaper was not created by the, "monster makers" but was instead created by the United States Department of Defense.
The D-Reaper's sole purpose is to cleanse the digital world when its inhabitants exceeds a specific number, and it will stop at nothing to purge those entities from the world. In the beginning of the series, D-Reaper is dormant and living beneath the digital world, but when it is awakened, it wreaks havoc on everything that gets in its way. It's another creature born out of the necessity to kill, and it's yet another creature that is too mature for younger audiences.
12. WarGreymon Dismembers MetalSeadramon
The fights throughout the Digimon series were always brutal, but the most intense fight is certainly WarGreymon vs. MetalSeadramon. In the 42nd episode of the first season of Digimon: Digital Monsters, WarGreymon seems to be close to defeat as he is within the clutches of MetalSeadramon.
As MetalSeadramon is bragging about his impending victory, WarGreymon finally has enough, and he uses his signature brave tornado move to split right through MetalSeadramon. Complete with blood spatter and all, this violent move completely destroys MetalSeadramon from the inside, leaving him in pieces in the ocean. It's more brutal than anything portrayed throughout similar shows like Pokémon, and it's surprising that it didn't get censored here. It's also a more mature scene than most of the ones in the newer Digimon Tri, which is actually tailored towards a more mature audience.
11. Tai Going To The Digital World
This is another dark moment that is incredibly depressing. When a battle ensues between both Ogremon and Koromon, Tai must try and find a way to make Koromon digivolve. However, Tai is struggling to get his Digivice to cooperate with him, and it seems like all hope is lost as Koromon is getting completely pummeled by Ogremon.
At the last second, a vacuum opens up in the sky and Koromon is forced to digivolve into Agumon. Ogremon leaps after him, but is forced backwards into the digital world by Agumon's pepper breath. Agumon then gets sucked into the digital world, and Tai has to go with him in order to protect him, and the rest of the real and digital worlds.
Kari has to let Tai go on without her, and it's a truly taxing scene between brother and sister that was all too real for the children watching.
10. Dark Lizardmon's Torture
In Digimon Tamers, Dark Lizardmon is captured by the primary evil organization Hypnos, and he is interrogated under torture and is literally torn apart at the seams while fully conscious. While this is happening, he's screaming in agony, being forced to endure the equivalent of an autopsy on a living human being. It's far too violent, depressing, and at some points inhumane to be present in any sort of children's show, especially one with such a faithful and large audience.
After Hypnos is done analyzing Lizardmon's data, they delete all of the remaining still-living data. Though Dark Lizardmon is a villain throughout the series, that's no reason to expose children to such acts of violence. After the data is collected, Hypnos uses it to produce Juggernaut, a program that opens up a portal between the real world and the digital world.
9. Beezlemon Absorbing Taomon And Rapidmon
Beezlemon is engaging in a fight with both Taomon, Guilmon, Makuramon, and Rapidmon in Digimon Tamers, when he finally ends up getting the upper hand by destroying Makuramon, stripping him of his primal orb. Beelzemon then uses the orb in an attempt to absorb both Rapidmon and Taomon. Henry and Rika use an Alias card to save them both, but their ultimate data had already been absorbed by Beelzemon.
The next few moments are utterly horrific as Beelzemon starts to undergo some major body transformation. Beelzemon's shoulders start to bulge as both Rapidmon and Taomon start to protrude from Beelzemon's skin, with Beelzemon rithing in pain from the experience. This horrific scene was surprisingly kept in the English dubbed version of the show, even though it was far too scary for children.
8. Arukenimon And Mummymon Abducting Children
One common thread that seems present throughout the entirety of Digimon is that most of the time only horrendous and violent things happen to the Digimon; rarely to their human partners. However, in the latter half of Digimon Adventure 02, both Mummymon and Arukenimon drive around Tokyo on Christmas Day and kidnap twenty children, throwing them all into a truck. The following day, Mummymon and Arukenimon kidnap Ken as well, in an effort to transfer his Dark Spore and pass it on to their acquired children.
There are few things as cruel or as dark as kidnapping children, and even with a light and comedic backdrop, the mere imagery of this act is more than most kids could (or should) handle at such a young age.
7. Oikawa's Hallucinations
In the second season of Digimon Adventure, Oikawa is one of the main villains, and he's attempting to plant Dark Spores in as many children as possible, using his companion Digimon, Mummymon and Arukenimon.
In a particularly horrendous scene, Oikawa finds himself in a cemetery, where he is visited by both Mummymon and Arukenimon in their digital forms, and he's haunted by ghosts and voices appearing all around him. The cemetery setting alone is pretty scary, but once the ominous music begins to play in the background, and different entities begin appearing all around Oikawa, that's when it gets truly terrifying. The scene ends with Oikawa screaming, and then the show cuts immediately to a scene with the children arguing.
The whole arc throughout the latter half of this season is filled with some very dark scenes/episodes, but this one definitely takes the cake.
6. Organ Harvesting in Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth
The Digimon videogames are known for their repetitive endeavors, massive amounts of grinding, and their especially lighthearted storylines. Believe it or not, the Digimon series was much darker than most of the games, but one side mission stands out as specifically horrifying.
In Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth there is a specific side mission in which a group of criminals trap the inhabitants of the real world in cyberspace, and with them caught in that realm, they begin to harvest their organs to sell them on the Black Market. The mission involves you uncovering this secret organization and bringing them down from the inside, forcing them to cease all of their horrendous activities.
Of course you're able to stop their horrific actions, but by the time you ultimately stop them, they had already murdered countless people. It's a side mission that's darker than most Mature rated videogames.
5. The Dark Ocean
The "Dark Ocean" arc throughout the anime is known as the most ominous and tragic of the entire series. The Dark Ocean is a force existing in the world of Digimon Adventure Season 02, which has the power to bring to life the most twisted and sick thoughts that humanity can muster. It also has the power to inverse the natural order of the universe.
Dragomon is the ruler of this off-world, and the realm plays a large role amidst both the real and digital worlds. Yukio guides Ken through this realm when his older brother Sam dies, and Kari visits the realm because she is holding too many emotions inside of her. The Dark Ocean seems to be a place of rumination, and it's a place of sorrow, which are themes that prove to be a little too heavy for the children watching.
4. Hitting Refresh In Digimon Tri
So this entry is specifically dark for the long-term fans of the series, who grew up watching their favorite characters and their partner Digimon form a bond that couldn't be broken. Unfortunately, in Digimon Adventure Tri: Confession, it is revealed that all the Digimon are actually infected by a virus, and if the virus isn't stopped, then the entire digital world will be destroyed, and all of the electricity in the real world will be gone. Basically, the team discovers that the only way to save the Earth and the digital world is for the entire Digi world and the Digimon to be rebooted.
Once this, happens the virus should be destroyed, and everything should be okay. The only catch is that none of the Digimon that we grew up with will be able to remember their former partners. And the next few minutes is a tear-jerking montage before everything is rebooted. It definitely isn't fit for children because young adults were crying for hours.
3. Leomon Dying
Leomon will actually be referenced in another entry on this list, but that one will deal more with the fallout that his loss brought to Jeri, rather than the death itself. Leomon's death is as disastrous for Lori as it is for Leomon.
In Digimon Tamers, Leomon is facing off against Beelzemon (one of the Seven Great Demon Lords) and is doing all that he can to protect the children from the deadly villain. Beelzemon puts his hand directly through Leomon's chest, killing him. He lets out a terrifyingly loud scream as he falls to the ground, with the kids surrounding them, fearing that their lives will be taken next.
It's also hard to watch as Jeri cries while watching her friend evaporate in front of her.
2. Wizardmon's Sacrifice
Wizardmon is a beloved character from the first season of Digimon, but the way he dies is utterly catastrophic. While fighting the first season's main villain, Myotismon, Wizardmon realizes he is definitely outmatched. Het gets thrown around by Myotismon, who even manages to break his wand, which then prevents Wizardmon from controlling his magic. Finally, Myotismon sent a devastating blast that threw Wizardmon directly into a wall.
Thinking that he had destroyed Wizardmon for good, he turned his attention towards Angemon, and the two continued to battle. Myotismon decided to try to finish his mission once and for all, and used the rest of his energy to send a blast of energy toward both Gotomon and Kari. However, Wizardmon managed to jump right in the way of the blast, sacrificing his life, and saving both Gotomon and Kari in the process.
1. Jeri's Nightmare
This is not only the darkest moment in the Digimon television program, but it's also without a doubt the most depressing. In the third season of Digimon, Digimon Tamers, Jeri loses her lifelong friend, Leomon, in a battle. It's a truly intense and heartbreaking moment, because as Leomon's data is being absorbed, he looks at Jeri one last time and says, "be brave, Jeri. A part of me will always be with you, remember you have a lion's heart." Jeri goes into a deep depression following her Digimon's death, which makes her the perfect target for the D-Reaper (who will no doubt show up on this list). She is used by D-Reaper to attack both the real world and the digital world, and she experiences a truly haunting nightmare in one scene. She is visited by dead Digimon and doctors, and it's definitely too terrifying to be in a children's show.
So there you have it, the 15 Times Digimon Was Too Dark For Kids. Were there any dark moments that we missed? Or do you have any particular favorites? Let us know in the comments below!