The Hidden Awesomeness of the Japanese Digimon Soundtrack



When most people think about Digimon, one of the main things they remember is the opening theme - you know, the one that went "Di di di. Digimon. Digimon. DIGIMON DIGITAL MONSTERS DIGIMON ARE THE CHAMPIONS!" Now that that's stuck in your head, you should know that that wasn't the only music that the series had to offer. In fact, there was a ton of Japanese music that was, in the words of Izzy Izumi, "prodigious."


Digimon Opening Theme - Paul Gordon


This is the English version that we all know and love. CHANGE! INTO DIGITAL CHAMPIONS TO~! SAVE THE DIGITAL WORLD~!


Butterfly - Wada Kouji


Wada Kouji's Butterfly is probably the most iconic song to appear in the Digimon franchise, and it's a great introduction to Wada Kouji, a pop singer with an extensive discography. Butterfly does a much better job capturing Digimon's more emotionally nuanced side, while the original theme is mostly just about how cool Digimon are.


Sadly Wada Kouji died in 2016, but his music lives on. Here's another great example of his work, FIRE!!, the opening theme to Digimon Frontier.


FIRE!! - Wada Kouji


Keep On - AiM


Did you know that Digimon had an ending theme? Most American cartoons don't, so the ending theme was cut during the dubbing process, and nothing new went up in its place. That said, the animation is cute as heck, and the song is a perfect example of the genius that is Maeda Ai, also known by her singer name AiM.


Maeda Ai is a voice actress and singer/songwriter who has been active since the 1990's. She's provided most of the female vocals for the Japanese Digimon soundtrack, and she also played Mimi Tachikawa. Her voice can be sunshiney and sweet like in Keep On, but it can also be powerful, like in Days Aijou to Nichijou, the second Digimon Tamers ED.


Days Aijou to Nichijou - AiM

Digimon's Japanese soundtrack was my first introduction to the concept of actual music by real musicians being used to enhance a cartoon - a huge part of what drew me to anime in the first place. Do you love this music? If so, what are your favorite songs? Did you have a similar experience with the original soundtrack of another dubbed series? Tell us!

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