The fifth series of Digimon, coming four years after its predecessor Digimon Frontier, and aimed at a slightly older demographic: those who watched its predecessors as kids. The cast is considerably older than usual, the story is Darker and Edgier (if nowhere near to the extent of Digimon Tamers or Digimon X-Evolution), and the animation style is the most mature-looking and least stylized of the franchise. (faces are still out there but the Noodle People are gone, for example)Set in a world where the barrier between the Digital World and Human World is starting to fall apart, the Digital Accident Tactics Squad, or D.A.T.S., protects Tokyo from emergent Digimon while using Digimon partners themselves. During the escape of a lone Agumon, 14-year-old street fighter Marcus Daimon gets involved with the organization. He is partnered with fellow agents Yoshi Fujieda and Thomas H. Norstein, and they are tasked with subduing Digimon emerged into the real world and preventing the havoc they would cause. Soon, however, things gradually begin to become far more complicated than any of them expected, as the Digital World shows signs of fighting back against mankind.Savers consists of equal parts shaking up the formula and adhering to it more than Frontier. Adults have Digimon partners, Digivices are manufactured by humans, Marcus doesn't wear goggles and the effective Big Bad is a human acting of their own accord. On the other hand, it's a return to the standard Bond Creatures setup broken by Frontier, Agumon returns as the lead partner, and DATS must still Save Both Worlds before it's too late.It was dubbed in the US as Digimon: Data Squad, breaking from the former practice of lumping everything together as Digimon: Digital Monsters. After another Sequel Gap, it was followed up with Digimon Xros Wars.Spoiler warning.
Fans of s-CRY-ed will notice that Masaru is basically Kazuma in a Digimon series, both because of his personality (and tendency to punch things larger than himself) and his voice. And the all the punching. Did we mention that?
All Your Base Are Belong to Us: DATS headquarters is blown up at the climax of episode 26, destroying all the equipment along with it and forcing the heroes to find an alternative means of getting to the Digital World.
Awesome, but Impractical: To make Agumon digivolve Marcus has to punch the enemy. As awesome as this is watching Marcus leap into the air and sock a baddie in the face, it can understandably be difficult to do, especially when said baddie is very fast, invisible, or incorporeal.
Batman-Gambit:Kurata transports Eldradimon to the Real World to unleash a new weapon built specifically to destroy the digimon. If that failed he's was banking on the city believing that monsters were attacking, thus reinforcing his governmental position.
Battle Aura: Digisoul/DNA Charge, it can be used to repel monsters or help them evolve even.
Be Careful What You Wish For: In episode 10, Kristy is embarrassed by Marcus' behavior and makes some specific wishes that end up with him getting hurt. Shortly afterwards, a Literal Genie of a Digimon makes them happen. One of her wishes was that Marcus should get squished by an oil tanker.
Bishonen Line: Digimon Savers is in love with this. Agumon, Gaomon, Lalamon and Falcomon all have humanoid Ultimate/Mega stages. Most of the supporting DATS Digimon, Kamemon and the two Chessmon, manage to pull this off, though they only reach the Perfect/Ultimate level. Even Gizumon pulls one.
That's just the Digimon shown evolving onscreen. Most of the Royal Knights, two of the three Hyper Bio-Hybrids and BantyoLeomon all have Bishonen lines in the expanded universe materials.
Bittersweet Ending: Par for course, all Digimon return home and leave their friends behind after the final Big Bad is beaten. However, at least in this case, Marcus gets to stay with his by going along and has his happy ending. And since the Digimon chose to go this time, there's nothing saying the split up is for good and Marcus' intention is to make the Digital World good for humans and Digimon, so it's not as bittersweet as most.
Bowdlerization: In the dub, the BomberNanimon/Citramon episode. Unsurprisingly, this was the result of Executive Meddling. If Jeff Nimoy had not done this, Disney was going to cut the episode. However, some actually enjoy this change out of its sheer audacity.
Calling Your Attacks: It's a given in the show, but on the other hand there is Ivan in his weird quest for Yoshino's love, when he shows his evolution he does nothing but use weird names for his attacks.
Catch Phrase: Yoshi's "This is the worst!", and Marcus has "It's fighting time!" in the dub only, and "That's how a man lives!" in the original.
Marcus: How can you just sit here and eat with all that's going on?
Agumon: Because if I eat standing up I don't feel good.
Marcus: That isn't what I meant!
Colony Drop: Kurata, in his death, detonating a bomb that sets the two worlds to crash into each other. Though this wasn't intentional, as he intended to destroy the Digital World.
Colossus Climb: Marcus and Agumon attempt this against Yggdrasil, with the rest of the team as backup.
Conspicuous CG: Rosemon and Ravemon's Burst Mode evolution sequences, unlike those for ShineGreymon and MirageGaogamon, aren't CG. They don't even try to remain consistent with the style they use, having completely different backgrounds with no text reading BURST MODE and being much shorter and less eventful. This is especially jarring since every other set of evolution sequences for the four main Digimon are consistent with each other, with all four sequences for evolving to Mega/Ultimate getting the same CG treatment.
Cross Counter: Marcus and Agumon do this at the start of their fight in the first episode.
Marcus and Thomas when Thomas turns traitor.
Curb-Stomp Battle: The first battle against Merukimon could not be considered anything else but this (but that's what happens when you have three Champions trying to beat one Mega. A later battle with the three as Ultimates against the same Mega...goes exactly as well.)
GeoGreymon in the first ten or so episodes.
ShineGreymon Burst Mode vs. Kurata/Belphemon. Given Kurata's character, this one is very satisfying.
Death Glare: ShineGreymon burst one gives one to Kurata after taking control of the battle with an epic Unflinching Walk for added intimidation. Emphasis on death, as his expression is practically screaming "I'm going to kill you".
Deconstruction: Remember how Digimon Adventure 02 ended where everyone in the human world received a Digimon partner? Ever thought how it would really be if everyone including those with dishonest intentions had a powerful creatures to help them commit crimes? Now what was the first half of Digimon Savers about?
Reconstruction: That said, the series explores the relationship between humans and Digimon, and while there are people who will misuse and harm them, ultimately, they end up establishing that as long as there are those like Marcus and the others, Digimon and humans have great potential together.
Then it goes right back to deconstructing that idea despite that however, it is acknowledged through later events that Digimon running amok in the real world is a bad idea, not everyone is ready to interact with them. Rounding the message back off to, yes, Digimon are dangerous creatures, and the world at large may not be ready to deal with them. Even though there are people who will stand up and fight, however, at times they may not be enough, as they can't erase the danger, or be everywhere at once.
Possibly subverted in the end. Even though Drasil was apparently defeated, he appears to Marcus and Agumon at the end, telling them that he intends to go to sleep and watch over them as they try to make a world for both humans and Digimon. So, even after all that, they couldn't completely kill Drasil.
He practically makes a living out of doing this. Nearly every Digimon he successfully punches is nearly nine times his size and could obliterate a small army single-handedly. If ever someone deserved the title "Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?", its this guy.
Marcus' father was shown to have been just as capable of this, though we never see him actually doing it.
Degraded Boss: When first introduced, Gizamon was thrashing no less than three Ultimate (Perfect) level digimon while Gizamon was only in its Champion (Adult) form. This gets even worse after Gizamon is upgraded to its own Ultimate form, which all the other Gizamon in the series use. They subsequently end up being mowed down by the dozens by digimon of all levels afterwards and instead end up being used for a Zerg Rush rather than the impressive destructive power they're supposed to have.
Dirty Coward: Kurata. His hatred of Digimon actually started out as simple fear. After SaberLeomon attacked the expedition (because of HIM) he decided that all Digimon were dangerous and needed to be eliminated. Really shows during his final fight with the heroes after ShineGreymon digivolves to Burst Mode and turns the tables on him. He goes from a Smug Snake to begging for his life.
Disney Death: Subverted. Originally, Savers looked to follow the convention set by Adventure/02 & Frontier: Digimon don't really die. They just revert back into eggs, from which they will hatch again and restart life anew, with no memory of anything that happened to them previously (except when they do remember); DATS "killed" Digimon in this way all through the first arc. But then Kurata develops a way to permanently kill Digimon, and embarks on a mission of genocide...Also had a Double Subversion, when Agumon is killed. He does revert back into an egg, and Marcus is repeatedly warned that when he hatches, he won't remember anything about their life together; it really will be just like he died. However, this ends up being untrue, and Agumon and Marcus are happily reunited. Possibly foreshadowed by Piyomon earlier: apparently, exposure to humans and a Digisoul can break the rules.
Played for Drama early on: Piyomon dies twice in one episode, the first time causing him to go crazy from confused memories of his previous life, and the second time to stop his resulting rampage.
Disappeared Dad: Because Marcus's dad went into the Digital World in order to retrieve Keenan, and then had his body possessed by Yggdrasil while his soul went into BantyoLeomon.
Evil Plan: Kurata's plan to take over the world, even if it wasn't his first desire.
Evil Versus Evil: A Downplayed Trope: Merukimon and SaberLeomon don't see eye to eye over how to deal with the humans; they exchange threats, challenges and criticisms during the conversation.
Excited Episode Title!: While the Japanese versions of the episodes having these are pretty standard Digimon fare, the dub names for the episodes notably end in exclamation marks more often than those of prior seasons.
Expy: The three main Digimon are expies of three main digimon in Digimon Adventure. To elaborate Lalamon and Palmon, Gaomon and Gabumon and well ... Agumon and Agumon.
This addition of the franchise is particularly much more fanservice-laden compared to the earlier seasons. Once Lalamon becomes Rosemon, she becomes the vehicle for most of it, including her evolution sequence showing off her features, bouncing at random moments, and having an attack that basically strips her when she uses it. Much of this was edited out of the dubbed version of the anime.
Feud Episode: In one episode, Marcus and Agumon get into a fight which results in Agumon hiding inside Marcus' digivice for most of the episode. When Marcus is unable to defeat a black Garurumon that's rampaging through the city, Agumon finally comes to the rescue and everything is sorted out once again.
Flash Step: Chirinmon has an attack move called "Knowledge of Swift." And indeed it is.
Freudian Excuse: A powerful one. Keenan's hatred of humanity began with the worst day in the digital world, when he saw his mother Frigimon/Yukidarumon murdered before his eyes. Merukimon trained him to become a Digimon warrior, and though Marcus, Thomas and Yoshi became his friends, and Merukimon convinced him that he did not hate all humans, the events of that day remain his chiefest motive.
Kurata is hinted as having one himself, though it's much less sympathetic seeing as it stems from him being a sociopath. In addition to his fear of Digimon, he deeply resented Marcus's father, who he was originally assistant to, and believed Suguru/Spencer humiliated and slighted him during their time in the Digital World.
Fugitive Arc: After Kurata convinces the world that Digimon are evil and that any Digimon sympathizers are not to be trusted.
Good Is Dumb: Too often, the heroes just stand and watch Kurata's weaponry line up, and waste time openly wondering what he's up to instead of trying to prevent it. Given that his stated motive is Digimon extermination, it's hard to understand why they let his minions work away with little opposition. This is particularly prevalent during the Eldradimon siege.
Good Old Fisticuffs: Marcus. Yes, he fights super-powered monsters on a regular basis with his bare hands.
Heel-Face Turn: Keenan and Falcomon (of course), Gotsumon via death induced amnesia, the Royal Knights, Nanami and Ivan.
Heroic Sacrifice: Merukimon musters up his Heroic Second Wind in order to severely damage and weaken the Gizumon XT prototype with one punch, despite being mortally wounded and bound to die in the process.
Heroic Resolve: The DNA Charge translates this into Digimon strength, so when Marcus, Thomas, Yoshi and Keenan master it, it enables Agumon, Gaomon, Lalamon and Falcomon to digivolve to the Mega level. An even more powerful and controlled version manifests as the Burst Mode, which is harder to achieve (as Marcus found out to his horror) but results in Digimon far more powerful than even the Mega level.
Hero with Bad Publicity: Marcus, Thomas, and Yoshi are accused of treason after the incident in the Infinite Ice Ridge. They and other DATS members later come under fire once public opinion about the danger posed by Digimon clashes with their opinion of the same. Marcus at one point has to point out to his mom that they are technically criminals.
Hoist by His Own Petard: Remember those devices that allowed Kurata to handily jump between the worlds? Yeah apparently abusing them causes damage to their locations,so he sucks a few up while merged with Belphemon and continues to destroy the space continuity,and then when he's defeated,he blows up the last thing stopping the Digital World from colliding into Earth,but dies with it.
Also to Digimon Tamers, in the Japanese original, the voice actor of Dukemon is the exact same to the one from Tamers.
Citramon, originally BomberNanimon, became an homage to Don Patch of Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo, complete with matching voice actor! The dub writer, Jeff Nimoy, was told that the giant walking bomb had to be censored or the episode was cut; they made the best of a bad situation.
Definitely to the actual series of Digimon Adventure, and as the most obvious one: As the villain of the penultimate arc is finally defeated, the Digital World appears in the sky, leading to the appearance of the true villain and the final arc. Complete with a montage across the world of people looking at the Digital World, and with a scene of one of the main characters saving a falling plane. Pretty much the only differences are that this time, the Digital World is actually, physically there in the sky...and that it first appears in episode 38, not 39.
Humans Are the Real Monsters: Keenan believed this strongly at first, but was convinced not to hold all of humanity in low regard at the end of the Merukimon arc. This was also Merukimon's and his follower's belief, and the main basis for the conflict of the series results from their convictions. It turns out to be wrong, as the basis for their belief is actually because of what one human bastard did, and he's no friend to humanity either.
Humans Are Special: Digimon who have actually partnered with humans are under this impression, as working together does allow them to get much stronger. Yggdrasil and his Royal Knights strongly disagree due to Kurata's actions, that is at first. Yggdrasil is convinced of this after getting a hole blasted through him using said power and a lowly human literally punches his lights out.
Idiot Hero: Marcus, sometimes to an infuriating degree.
Improbable Age: Marcus becomes part of a "The Men in Black" organization at age fourteen. Thomas, the same age, joined at some point earlier than that...after graduating university and becoming a licensed doctor. Anybody who partners with a Digimon (that isn't evil, anyway) is forced to join DATS.
Inconsistent Dub: Many Digimon who appeared in past seasons have their names, attacks, or both changed from their previous appearances, in the dubbed version at least.
It Only Works Once: GeoGrey Sword. Effective in its first appearance. Every use after that it is quickly broken.
I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Between Marcus and Kristy. After she gets Biyomon Marcus fights Biyomon to sent him back to the Digital World so that Kristy won't have to join DATS.
Jerkass: The Director of DATS, though he's Just Doing His Job, tries to arrest Keenan and give him up to Gotsumon in order to protect the city from the Pteramon and Boarmon attack, and is openly cynical of Commander Sampson's team's competence. He also views the Digimon as too dangerous to reason with, and becomes an obstacle to the trio's attempts to reveal the misunderstanding. He does a Heel-Face Turn later when Kurata announces his plans for World Domination, and even sends in helicopters in order to take down Belphemon.
Jumped at the Call: Marcus, once he realizes what he can do in DATS to further his fighting ambitions.
Karma Houdini: Popstar Neon, who had been using a Keramon to hack the internet to make it seem like his song was hitting the charts when it wasn't, ends his episode with just a mindwipe with no legal rammifications, despite knowingly committing internet fraud on a global scale. Sure, he won't remember doing it, but that doesn't stop the fact his music career gets a huge jumpstart that he didn't deserve.
In the Japanese series, a radio in the background of a later episode mentiones Popstar Neon suggesting he is still a celebrity.
Killed Off for Real: Digimon conventionally revert back to a Digi-egg upon being defeated or otherwise killed. They can then be reborn, and in rare cases retain memories from their past lives. However, the Gizumon species (and possibly Kurata's foot soldiers) are equipped with weapons that can permanently delete a Digimon's data, either by destroying them without a Digi-egg appearing or by causing their newly-formed Digi-egg to self-destruct.
Killer Robot / Mecha-Mook: The Gizumon, Gizumon AT and Gizumon XT have no emotions and are programmed to do what they are told, i.e. to kill Digimon. They all carry a Death Ray, a laser which obliterates the data of any Digimon unfortunate enough to get hit by it.
Limited Wardrobe: Averted with at least Marcus, who ends up sporting three totally different outfits in the series, each of which is adapted for his stock footage Digisoul sequences. Yoshi and Thomas get the same treatment as well (Thomas even gets an 4th alternate Digisoul in one episode). Ikuto, on the other hand, not so much.
Load-Bearing Hero: BanchoLeomon holding the two worlds from colliding with each other while Marcus and co. seek out Yggdrasil, but Craniummon and, later, the rest of the Royal Knights take his place.
Luke, I Am Your Father: Yggdrasil is Spencer Damon...then it's revealed he's not - Bancholeomon is Spencer Damon, Yggdrasil is just using his body.
Mind Rape: Happens to all three main characters simultaneously thanks to MetalPhantomon.
Missing Mom: Thomas', revealed to have been hit by a truck when he was young.
Mistaken for Spies: Baronmon at first believes that the heroes are spies and lures them into Eldradimon's city, captures them, and offers them as prey for Cerberusmon. He is shown to be in error rather quickly, however, and they become allies.
Monster of the Week: Half the time...the first arc actually had a couple reasons for this. The first was expanded in the video game.
Mood Whiplash: Standard fair for Digimon, but one particularly snicker-worthy scene happens when Kurata is about to digitally join with BelphemonRage Mode. Kurata enters some sort of chamber . . . and starts making funny faces and poses while being electrocuted before joining with the beast.
More than Mind Control: Thomas again. C'mon, it's practically a contractual obligation in this franchise. Kurata blackmailed him using his Ill Girl sister. He made up for it by showing he was intending to backstab Kurata from the beginning.
Motive Decay: At first Kurata's goal is the elimination of all Digimon. Then he suddenly decides, screw that: he wants the cliched "world domination" too! This is debatable, however, as Kurata's motivation also derives from his jealousy and inferiority complex towards Masaru's father, so total control probably would be something he'd want to achieve through digimons' power.
This also applies to Yggdrasil, whose main motive in destroying Earth is to save the Digimon,however when the Digimon and humans work together and stop the worlds from colliding,it instead calls to reboot both worlds.
Offscreen Moment of Awesome: The fight between Spencer Damon and BanchoLeomon. All we see is the two of them performing a Punch Parry with an erupting volcano behind them...then it cuts to them both in the same position that Marcus and Agumon were in at the end of their fight in episode 1.
Oh Crap: Kurata, when ShineGreymon digivolves to Burst Mode. Kurata has an entire string of progressively larger Oh Craps from that point on as things get worse and worse for him.
Open Minded Parent: Sayuri. She doesn't even mind aiding and abetting the Data Squad when they are classed as criminals by the public.
Orcus on His Throne: Justified with Merukimon, who does this out of necessity. The drawback is that he has a lying messenger.
Palette Swap: Gotsumon digivolves to Meteormon, who is basically the same digimon with a white color scheme. He gets way more powerful though. Yoshino lampshades this in the dub.
The Power of Friendship: An integral part of the Empathic Weapon nature of Digimon is that they fight at their strongest when the bonds between Digimon and human partners are strongest. It is also the inspiration for fighting the biggest battles, when the team must make a collaborative effort.
Reasonable Authority Figure: Kurata pretends to be this during his first appearances, 'saving' the trio from SaberLeomon, opening the digital gates during the Digimon invasion, and persuading the director of DATS to begin negotiations with the Digimon leader Merukimon. But even here there are warning signs, as Commander Sampson and Kudamon point out later in the episodes 23 and 26.
Robotic Reveal: King Drasil's final form is a computer program that handles human-to-Digimon interactions. It then concludes that they cannot coexist and tries to start all over again, yelling Does Not Compute as it does so.
Sacrificial Lion: This time, it's SaberLeomon AND BanchoLeomon. Yes, you're reading it right, they did it twice. Merukimon, Baronmon, Eldradimon and even ShineGreymon also become victims of this trope, the first three to the data-deleting Gizumon species, and the last one to the corrupted Burst Mode.
Sealed Evil in a Can: Belphemon's Digi-egg was discovered and captured by Kurata during his second visit to the Digital World. He took it back and incubated it until it hatched into Belphemon Sleep Mode, and then fed Belphemon digital energy until he could use it as leverage.
For the English dub, several Digimon names were improperly translated, like LoadKnightmon, BioSupinomon, BioRotosmon, and ElDradimon. Jeff Nimoy stated that Toei themselves asked for these names to be used, even if the Digimon already had dub names.
Stock Footage: The digivolutions and digivice charge, as well as several flashbacks used as filler.
Straw Vulcan: Thomas is The Strategist, Marcus is the Leeroy Jenkins. 'Raw power' versus 'strategies' is explicitly stated by Marcus to be the dichotomy they represent. Marcus keeps winning, often by what looked like a plan but which almost always relied on luck (hence Idiot Hero). This is one of the reasons Thomas does not take to Marcus at first, and it is still visibly affecting him thirty episodes later.
Stupid Sacrifice: Baronmon stands on a wall, yelling out to the ships not to hurt Eldradimon, and gets shot in the back by a Gizumon XT. Even assuming the ships could hear him over that range, what made him think they'd comply, and why did he feel the need to expose himself to attack?
The Other Darrin: One or two cases in the English dub of the video game "Digimon World Data Squad" due to being done before the TV series. (There's also a few other differences, such as the use of "Digisoul" like the Japanese version instead of "DNA".)
This Cannot Be!: Yggdrasil says this in response to having a gigantic hole punched through him by Marcus and Agumon, defying his calculations.
Transformation Sequence: This is sometimes abbreviated. The double-warp digivolutions skip the Champion and Ultimate levels and head straight for the Mega level.
Turtle Island: Eldradimon is a walking fortress large enough for many Digimon to make their homes on his shell. At one point Thomas stations him in the middle of a lake so that they have a protective moat around them. At another point, Eldradimon ends up at sea.
Undying Loyalty: Gaomon to Thomas, though it was also because he knew Thomas' secret intentions. The Royal Knights, until the persistence and power of the heroes convinces them that their master is not the Big Good they thought he was. Craniamon is the first to change his mind.
Unspoken Plan Guarantee: Zigzagged Trope, as some spoken plans work early on in the series, but in general the unspoken ones tend to be more successful (and the spoken ones less successful) as the series progresses.
Untrusting Community: The citizens of Eldradimon's sacred city did not trust the heroes at first. This is a symptom of the Digimons' general distrust of humanity. Indeed, even the human community regards Digimon and pro-Digimon supporters as suspicious and potentially dangerous, which results in the heroes getting bad publicity (see above).
Very Special Episode: A confectioner falls prey to a Gambling Addiction in episode 11. Subverted when the incident makes the heroes start realizing why digimon are appearing in the first place.
Villainous Breakdown: Kurata has a huge one during the Final Battle with him and Belphemon. First he starts raving in fury about how the Daimon family keeps on standing in his way and belittling him. Then when things turn against him, he goes from a Smug Snake to begging for his life as he realizes he's no match at all for ShineGreymon Burst Mode and Marcus, who is about to punch his face in. Afterwards, he completely snaps and pretty much seals his own fate.
Yggdrasil has one after the Royal Knights turn on him, pretty much going insane and deciding to let both worlds be destroyed and start over. Agumon blasting a hole through his One-Winged Angel form and Marcus punching his lights out convinced him he was wrong and snapped him out of it.
Villains Never Lie: Kurata manages to convince Thomas into believing that he will cure his sister if Thomas cooperates with him. Subverted when Thomas reveals that he never believed Kurata in the first place, and was merely pretending to do so in order to undermine Kurata's plans to control Belphemon and turn his sister into another Bio-Hybrid.