On June 25, 2000 on Fuji TV in Japan and October 21, 2000 on Fox Youngsters within the U.S. an episode of Digimon aired that over 20 years later continues to hang-out followers and the franchise itself alike. This was an episode that opened up a world of chance and a plotline darker than anything seen within the sequence – an episode that ended with a big cliffhanger that has by no means been immediately handled since.
The installment was season 2 of Digimon, episode 13. ‘The Name of Dragomon’ a.okay.a. ‘His Grasp’s Voice.’ This episode launched the Darkish Ocean.
In spite of everything these years it continues to spark debate and evaluation from followers. Why? It’s not like Digimon didn’t have its justifiable share of dropped plots. Why does the Darkish Ocean stand out and why was its thriller by no means resolved? To try to reply that, we now have to take a deep dive into the episode that launched all of it.
It begins when Kari Kamiya experiences unhealthy goals and visions of an ocean swallowing her up. Darkish creatures observe her within the hallways. She sparkles out of existence and seems within the Darkish Ocean. It’s a greyscale world. A lighthouse shines darkness as an alternative of sunshine. Kari makes an attempt to discover a approach out and stumbles throughout the darkish creatures from earlier, glowing pink eyes their solely function. They painfully cry out for assist, desperately hoping Kari will free them from the facility of the evil Digimon Emperor.
It’s all a trick nonetheless and vital variations between the Japanese and English variations of the episode happen at this level. Within the English model the darkish creatures try and kidnap Kari, hauntingly telling her, “you’ll be our new queen. We’d like you.”
Within the Japanese model it’s rather more unsettling. They inform her, “you’re worthy of being our bride. In an effort to combat the brand new god (the Digimon Emperor, it’s implied), we should create new offspring.”
In each variations Kari is saved by her Digimon companion Gatomon and the darkish creatures retreat into the ocean. Within the English model they woefully clarify their foiled plan,
“We thought you’d like to be our queen. Together with your energy you possibly can lead us within the battle in opposition to our undersea grasp. I assume we had been unsuitable. Beware, our grasp can sense your energy too and he’ll come for you.”
Within the Japanese model they depart Kari with this parting message.
“Chosen one… we believed you’d be glad to be our bride. Very effectively. We will return to the depths, to our former god, and look ahead to the time.”
Kari escapes from the Darkish Ocean however an enormous Digimon, named Dragomon within the Japanese model, rises from the ocean. The grasp the darkish creatures spoke of. Its eyes glow pink. END OF EPISODE. What does all of it imply? This appeared prefer it was going to be a significant storyline. The top of the English episode even teases, “who is that this evil darkish undersea grasp? Don’t miss the upcoming Digimon!” However that query would by no means be answered.
The grasp/god would by no means be seen once more and Kari by no means crossed paths with the darkish creatures. It’s an enormous cliffhanger that the franchise has by no means resolved and nobody from the manufacturing has given any solutions to. The Darkish Ocean does present up once more however just for temporary appearances.
A flashback in episode 23, ‘Genesis of Evil,’ exhibits a younger Ken dipping his digivice into the Darkish Ocean’s waters, remodeling it right into a Darkish D3 digivice which might later give Ken the facility to inhibit digivolution. Ken, because the Digimon Emperor, additionally attracts on the facility of the Darkish Ocean to energy his base.
Kari, Ken Ichijouji, and Yolei Inoue stumble into the Darkish Ocean via a “section warp” in episode 31, ‘Opposites Appeal to.’ Yolei is unable to see the Darkish Ocean till her frustration at that in some way makes it so she will. This appears to point that one’s feelings when getting into the Darkish Ocean can have a significant affect on what occurs to you there. Ken and Kari each have their share of trauma which can have influenced the Darkish Ocean’s maintain over them. Ken was initially pulled into the Darkish Ocean after his brother died, a brother Ken had beforehand wished would “simply disappear.” Kari watched Wizardmon, a sort Digimon that she’d grown near, bounce in entrance of an assault meant for her. She held him in her arms as he died. Yolei, her life comparatively simpler, wasn’t affected by the Darkish Ocean as a lot as them.
Within the Japanese model of the episode Kari worriedly states, “they referred to as me right here… once more.” It appears the grasp/god nonetheless desires Kari’s energy. The three handle to flee via a “gap in area” and by no means return.
Later in episode 45, ‘The Darkish Gate,’ Ken banishes the evil Digimon Daemon to the Darkish Ocean. He opens a portal there by dealing with his darkest fears and with a bit workforce friendship energy. Curiously Daemon signifies he already is aware of what the Darkish Ocean is, calling it Dragomon’s Ocean within the Japanese model.
It’s briefly talked about in episode 48, ‘Oikawa’s Disgrace’ when evil mastermind Oikawa reveals the Management Spire’s that plagued the workforce within the first half of the season and prevented common digivolution are a “current” from the Darkish Ocean.
The Darkish Ocean additionally will get a couple of fleeting moments within the Digimon Journey tri. movies. Beforehand unknown Digi Destined Himekawa turns into stranded within the Darkish Ocean after her Digimon companion, Taprimon, couldn’t keep in mind her. She fought again in opposition to the darkish creatures there however was pulled into the ocean by no means to be seen once more. The movies additionally tackle the Daemon cliffhanger by hinting he may return as a villain however this by no means went anyplace. With the Digimon franchise effectively right into a reboot of the unique first season, it’s uncertain this or some other Darkish Ocean plots will ever get resolved.
That leaves followers (together with us) to attempt to make sense of all of it. First off, let’s have a look at these key variations between the motivations of the darkish creatures within the Japanese and English model of episode 13.
Within the English model, the creatures seemingly tricked Kari into serving to them through the use of the darkish spirals. They knew this is able to make her sympathetic and hoped she would be part of them as their queen in a battle in opposition to their outdated undersea grasp. Why did they want Kari for this? They point out she has energy they want however it isn’t clear what that energy is. Beforehand within the sequence she had a connection to the crest of sunshine so perhaps they had been hoping her mild would have the ability to wipe out their grasp. There’s no clear reply to any of that query however it appears Kari, greater than some other Digi Destined, has some particular function to play on this battle.
The Japanese model’s motivation for the darkish creatures is far clearer. They aren’t combating in opposition to their god; they’re working for him to combat the Digimon Emperor. They selected Kari as a result of she was worthy of being their bride, a bride who would create new offspring to assist within the combat. This leads us to invest that these darkish creatures, which actually aren’t Digimon, are offspring of another bride.The horror of all that’s off the charts and deeply uncomfortable, particularly since Kari is a center schooler. It’s no marvel this was modified for the English model and rightly so.
Placing that actual life horror apart, the largest lingering query on the finish of the Japanese episode is what the darkish creatures meant after they instructed Kari to, “look ahead to the time.” The time of what? What did this god need together with her?
In all this we additionally have to ask what the Darkish Ocean itself even is. It’s implied to be a dimension or world that isn’t the Digital World, particularly since Kari can get there with out utilizing one of many Digi-World gates. We solely see a small part of the world. The ocean, a seaside, the lighthouse, an deserted city, and a tunnel.
The one different clues we now have to try to decipher what the hell the Darkish Ocean is comes from its clear affect, H.P. Lovecraft. Dragomon would possibly as effectively be referred to as Cthullumon given his look and the way in which he rises from the ocean. A transparent connection is drawn within the Japanese episode when a textual content card seems simply earlier than the title card, written in “digicode.” That is principally the Digimon alphabet and because of TMS over on the Digimon With the Will forums we all know it interprets to “Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn.”
In Lovecraft’s “The Name fo Cthulhu” story this translate to “In his home at R’lyeh, useless Cthulhu waits dreaming.” This is able to suggest that Dagmon is definitely Cthulhu! This might imply any variety of issues for the multiverse of Digimon however simply studying it on the tin, it matches up with the darkish creatures assertion within the Japanese episode that they’d “look ahead to the time.” We will now moderately extrapolate that they’re ready for the time Dragomon aka their god will wake. Probably to assist of their combat in opposition to the Digimon Emperor… or maybe one thing larger.
With all this info, fragmented as it’s, what can we moderately guess the Darkish Ocean is? Maybe, because the Digital World is made of knowledge, the Darkish Ocean is the black display screen in-between the 1’s and 0’s within the Digital World’s code. A spot that has to exist for extra “code” to be written however that’s barren of any life. Dragomon and the darkish creatures may have been banished there way back however earlier than that it was an empty world, solely carrying fragments of the code round it (the city, the lighthouse, and so on.) That additionally strains up with the Digital World, which additionally accommodates fragments of actual world machines and constructions (trains, buildings, and so on.) This proximity to the code of the Digital World is additional supported by the truth that individuals or Digimon may fall via “section warps” into it like Kari, Ken, and Yolei did. The Darkish Ocean is a world between a world. A world that should exist for the sake of one other world however is just not really a world of its personal. A world you nearly by no means see however in case you do… it’s nothingness.
It’s no shock why the Darkish Ocean continues to captivate and frustrate Digimon followers all these years later. A huge story was hinted at, one which held specific significance to fan favourite characters Kari and Ken. It may have expanded the scope of Digimon’s world, bringing in an influence past anything the workforce had ever confronted. The “what if?” of all of it holds nice energy over followers. It’s a disgrace the present deserted one thing that might have been so compelling.
Nonetheless, maybe its lack of decision isn’t a totally unhealthy factor. It makes the world of Digimon extra mysterious. There’s extra occurring than simply the battles the youngsters are having. There are different forces at work. Highly effective forces which have their very own objectives exterior of straightforward destruction or need for energy.
The extra you get of a franchise like Digimon the extra probably you’re for its fantasy world to get overcomplicated or over defined. Issues get too tidy, too neat, all the pieces is said to one another or a small group of characters (taking a look at you, Star Wars.) The Darkish Ocean breaks all that up. Certain our characters’ tales intersect with it however they’re solely a small a part of the thriller of the Darkish Ocean. If it’s a thriller that’s even solvable. As a lot as followers need it solved, there’s one thing highly effective a couple of mysterious power lurking on the fringe of the Digimon universe.
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