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Manga / Digimon V-Tamer 01

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"My name is Taichi Yagami. I don't know why, but a few days ago, I found myself here in the Digimon World..."

The first serialised manga in the Digimon franchise, and also the longest-running. Digimon V-Tamer 01 contains elements which feel like an alternate universe counterpart to Digimon Adventure, which actively based elements of itself (most prominently protagonist Taichi Yagami) on V-Tamer. However, it differs wildly from its anime counterpart in art style, plot, writing, mechanics, and the fact that there's only one hero and his Digimon, as opposed to the traditional chosen many. It's a pretty large case of Older Than They Think in many respects — it did a human antagonist before Digimon Adventure 02, and it portrayed Digimon as a Show Within a Show before Digimon Tamers did. Even today, one trait unique to it is that most plot relevant Digimon have personal names (technically, C'mon Digimon did this first, only two plot relevant monsters had names but they're only three total).

Our story starts with Taichi Yagami, an avid and experienced player of the popular-in-universe Digimon virtual pets. However, Taichi has a Digimon that nobody else has, and he isn't allowed into a V-Pet tournament because he is told that the Digimon in his V-Pet isn't recognized as a real Digimon. After the tournament is over, Taichi challenges the winner of the tournament, a boy named Neo Saiba, and their battle ends in a tie — something that is supposed to be impossible. Later, Taichi is summoned to the Digimon World, specifically a desert on the continent of Folder, by a being called Lord HolyAngemon, and there he meets the mysterious Digimon in his V-Pet, Zeromaru the V-Dramon (Zero for short). Taichi and Zero travel to Lord HolyAngemon's castle with the aid of Gabo the Gabumon, and there Lord HolyAngemon begs Taichi to find the five Tamer Tags and defeat the evil Demon, who has disrupted the peace of the Digimon World.

However, Demon has brought in a human tamer as well — none other than Neo Saiba, who feels insulted by merely tying with whom he considers a weak opponent. Demon gives Neo the task of raising the Digimon that will hatch from the Super Ultimate egg Demon is raising; Neo accepts, but with entirely different intentions, if no less sinister...

See also: C'mon Digimon, V-Tamer's functional Pilot Episode; and Digimon Next, the "other" Digimon manga which like V-Tamer also has loose ties to a vaguely concurrent anime series.


  • A Taste of Their Own Medicine: The last thing they will ever taste. Every time Metamorphmon changes shape, his damage recovers. His strategy is to tire out the enemy and then kill them with their own move at full power.
  • All Up to You: While being called to bolster the losing side of a war leads to Taichi and Zero having a constant shortage of allies, it is sometimes subverted because that side has not been completely wiped out yet so they still get help from time to time.
  • Art Evolution: From its predecessor C-mon, whom the whole franchise did this to really. The very first scene highlights it, with Taichi even commenting on seeing a real Greymon.
  • Art Shift: Constantly, as demonstrated above. One panel, you may see higher-detailed art and properly-sized characters for more serious moments, the next panel, everyone is now Fun Size and dancing comically. And it works very well as one of this manga's various quirks.
  • Artistic License – Biology: Lord Tricera, is a cannibal even though the animal he is based off of is a herbivore. In the virtual pet game of course, the Triceratops monster could be gotten from the Tyrannosaurus one and kept the same dental structure so the comic can't take too much blame.
  • Awesomeness Is Volatile: In Ryo's cameo chapter, Taichi and Ryo exude so much hot-bloodedness that the sheer heat overwhelms Vikemon, an Ultimate-level Digimon (if an ice-element one).
  • Batman Cold Open: How the first chapter, and a few others, start up.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: Taichi and Zeromaru are protagonist version, and they are very silly, even while fighting sometimes. They prove to anyone who has the misfortune of fighting though that they are very good at it.
  • Black Blood: Usually; some of the color pages have red blood but not in any large amount.
  • Book Ends: The series starts with Taichi being turned down from entering the D-1 Grand Prix because V-dramon is not a known legitimate Digimon, and it ends with Taichi being turned down from the D-1 Grand Prix because UlforceV-dramon is not a known legitimate Digimon.
  • Brains and Brawn: Zero is kind of dumb, but smart enough to follow Taichi's orders. That's all that's really needed.
  • Calling Your Attacks: At first they don't, then they do, then they go back to not doing it. Even if the attack isn't called there will be subtitles to let you know its name.
  • The Cameo:
  • Canon Immigrant: Though the story first showed up in a magazine dedicated to Ryo where it wasn't needed, when integrated back into V-Tamer 01 proper the comic took time to explain who Ryo Akiyama was, which is more than can be said of the shows.
  • Captain Ersatz: The Taichi of this story was developed concurrently with the one in Digimon Adventure as per an agreement between V-Jump and Toei Animation that they would share a main character named Taichi Yagami. Although the one in Adventure is ultimately a different character with a different backstory and personality, he shares many character traits with the one in V-Tamer.
  • Character Development: Lots; even the guest characters got when they showed up! (Some might even argue that Daisuke and Takuya were developed more here than they were in their own anime series ...)
  • Comic Books Are Real: The God of the Digimon World purposefully made it difficult for humans to come in contact with it, seemingly advising the monsters to only bring them in if there was trouble they were needed to solve. Demon implies this god was human, possibly more than one, but it is unclear how many really know about Digimon.
  • Computers Speak Binary: Zeroes and ones are brought up a lot, they are the basis of the title! They are the foundation of the Digimon World, through which all things in it are expressed, though a Jijimon implies the mutation that gave rise to Lord Demon was caused by something else. Demon nonetheless controls the monsters of the Digimon World by manipulating their zero and one sequences to bend their emotions to his whim, while Neo Saiba seeks to reformat the entire world to his liking by reducing every structure on it to its base ones and zeroes.
  • Cross Counter: The moment that finally does in Vikemon. Really, it was the entire reason that chapter was drawn in the first place, Vikemon was likely an afterthought.
  • Cue the Sun: justified, powerful Digimon cause storms to start when they fight each other
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: UlforceVeedramon Future Mode Vs. Demon Super Ultimate form. Demon is killed in one strike.
  • Cyclops: Cyclomon, Deathmon and Parallelmon. Not just one, all are fairly large, not unlike the beasts from Greek myth.
  • David Versus Goliath: Veedramon is a pretty small Champion, so this happens a lot. Less often with AeroVeedramon, who is pretty big.
  • Defeat by Modesty: This is actually the method Demon's first "assassin" uses to try and stop Taichi and Zero.
  • Determinator: Taichi and Zero, the latter willing to be bloodied and broken until the opponent is defeated.
  • Dinosaurs Are Dragons: Rather than meeting other dragon Digimon at the valley of the dragons, only dinosaurs are encountered.
  • Dolled-Up Installment: The Italian version of the manga comic tries to pass it off as a sequel to Digimon Adventure.
  • Double Knock Out: Taichi and Neo's first two matches end this way. The second could objectively be called a victory for Taichi and Zero but the characters don't seem to see it that way.
  • Eldritch Location: The entire Digimon World is computer code but appears Earth like when viewed by humans, unless they make an effort to see what it really looks like.
  • Elite Mooks: Angemon for the good guys, Boltmon and Neodevimon for the bad guys.
  • Enemy Scan: The Digivice 01 extends it to allies and other things too. Also, Metamorphmon's laser translation.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The last time in pretty much the entire franchise this is averted. Instead of just being called by their species' names, Digimon actually have their own individual names and nicknames.
  • Expy: Quite a few characters in the Digimon anime series seem quite like expies of V-Tamer characters. The clearest are Ryouma Mogami, Airu Suzaki, and Ren Tobari of Digimon Xros Wars: The Young Hunters Who Leapt Through Time, who are partially expies of Neo, Mari, and Fujimoto respectively, and V-mon of Digimon Adventure 02, who is basically V-dramon as a Child-level Digimon (and in some works canonically evolves into V-dramon). On the opposite end of the spectrum, this manga has been acknowledged by Word of God as drawing plenty of expies from C'mon Digimon — Taichi is based on Kentaro, V-dramon is based on C'mon's interpretation of Greymon, and Neo is based on Shinichiro.
  • Fanservice: In the pre-chapter pages of Takuya's cameo chapter, the authors decided to make up for a scrapped plotline involving a Plotmon by throwing in a fully-body drawing of Angewomon.
  • Fear Is the Appropriate Response: The residents of the net surf village are unapologetic when Taichi accuses them of being wimps for not standing up to Lord Marine.
  • Foreshadowing: On nearly every other page. Some of it doesn't pay off, due to time constraints.
  • Fusion Dance: Introduced here including the fusion sequence that would become the most common way to get an ultimate level monster for awhile.
  • God: According to Gabo, God does not want humans in the Digimon World but has allowed monsters to let them in if they want to invite them. If Demon is to be believed, "God" may have been a group of humans.
  • Goggles Do Nothing:
    • Initially played straight, but then subverted by Taichi, who uses the goggles when riding on Zero's back in flight like a pilot would.
    • Played straight by two of the guest stars.
  • Gratuitous English: Alias III at first seems like a logical nickname (computing alias), but judging by how they use "alias" it's clear Neo was looking for "allies". He lucked out as far as symbolism is concerned. Alternatively he didn't care, because "alias" sounded cool.
  • Guile Hero: Taichi in spades. Almost a requirement for him to survive in this manga. Especially in a series where most of the antagonists are strategists themselves.
  • Haunted Castle: By the remains of a village the undead inside destroyed.
  • Heel–Face Turn: All three members of Alias III. And Neo himself in the end, after realising what a jerk he's been.
  • Heel Realization: Happens to the above examples as well. Not all at once, unfortunately, there's still a little in fighting before good sense prevails.
  • Heroic Build:Common among Ultimate level monsters.
  • Hidden Eyes: There are a lot of instances where someone's eyes should be visible but simply are not drawn.
  • High-Altitude Battle: For the tag guarded by a Cherrymon.
  • Hot-Blooded: The cameo chapter with Ryo parodies this for laughs... A Vikemon, a Digimon of the(supposed) highest level, is overwhelmed and defeated by the sheer heat of Taichi and Ryo's hot-bloodedness.
  • An Ice Person: Demon's second assassin makes use of Cryokinesis, but each time only make things worse for him, leading to his defeat.
  • I Let You Win: Omegamon took Zero's Dragon Impulse on purpose and didn't let Hideto jogress Warg and Melga, because he realised that Taichi and Zero really were good guys.
  • Ignored Enemy: Gabo is worried that Demon's second assassin will be a tough fight but everyone else ignores him. Trying to take advantage of their distraction only makes things worse for him and by the time Gabo figures out how to beat him he doesn't even bother sharing his observations.
  • Imagine Spot: Taichi has many, and shares one with Gabo at one point.
  • Innocuously Important Episode: A part of monster anatomy that will become heavily discussed and plot important later is initially brought up in a throwaway gag involving a Starmon.
  • Kick the Dog: Neo Saiba does this constantly, partly to remind us that he's gone off the deep end, morally speaking.
  • Lean and Mean: The Alias three partners are smaller than the rest of the ultimate levels, but are all stronger than the muscular Perfect Level Zeromaru and kind of want him dead.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Neo accuses Zero of being one. As it turns out, Daisuke and Takuya are worse. Zero has a little patience.
  • MacGuffin: The Five Tags. Monsters cannot directly touch them, but they have no special properties beyond that, and that property is quickly made irrelevant anyway.
  • Man Behind the Man: Did you honestly think Demon would be the real villain of this series? Actually, he is.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Neo Saiba. Or at least he thinks he is. Demon is the real manipulator here.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Maru means zero. Taichi (or Yagami) end in I, which means when they are mentioned together in all caps it references that the two have a 100% winning streak (the ichi of Taichi also means "one").
    • Rei's name translates into companion but it can also mean "naught" or "zero". Her brother is Neo, which is an obvious anagram of one-Tamer 01.
    • They also have a lampshaded connection to the binary code (computer language made of zeros and ones).
  • Mighty Glacier:
  • Mobile Menace: Alias III and Neo. Taichi has been set on a specific path his guide will inevitably return him to while the hostile humans have much more room to work with. Especially before he gets all the tags.
  • Morphic Resonance: Metamorphmon can usually be told apart from the monsters he imitates by his eyes, which are always off. Otherwise they are identical in form and function.
  • Multiarmed And Dangerous: The kuwagamon at Holy Angel Castle, A Gesomon and an Octomon swimming around Net Surf Village, a Kabuterimon at the castle of illusion, Lord Marine guarding a tag, Lord Vamde and the man eating bug monsters.
  • Multiple Head Case: The Deltamon at the Valley of the Dragon has three, the Candlemon has two and a giant flier in Neo's charge has two.
  • Mundane Utility: Apparently inverted, if you really believe the primary purpose of the digivice 01 is for non verbal communication.
  • Mutants: Not all of them are evil but each and every last mutant monster is antagonistic to some degree.
  • No Body Left Behind: With the exception of Metalgreymon, for some reason Digimon who self terminate leave behind eggs of the same species. Those killed in battle do not. There seems to be another way Digimon get eggs to maintain their population but we're not shown how. Regardless, this topic has Lord HolyAngemon and his allies fretting for the Digimon World's future, especially after Demon starts the war.
  • Not So Similar: Neo ensures everyone that Arkadimon can't be compared to any other monster, especially not to Zero. Hideto ensures Taichi that he and Neo aren't so different.
  • Numerological Motif: Zero and one are from which everything in the Digimon World is made up, so they get referenced frequently.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: According to Gabo, they are the data of Digimon who were improperly deleted. Only a couple are actually seen.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: This is the role of Gabo, Pal and Pul, and Igamon.
  • The Power of Friendship: In Daisuke's cameo chapter, he gains the Digimental of Miracles by calling out to the tamers absorbed by Parallelmon, who in return manage to send their strength to him through their Digivices. Much asskicking then ensued.
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad: The Alias III.
  • Rapid-Fire Typing: Sigma and Neo do this to a degree that surprises everyone else
  • Running Gag: The one time the franchise-wide one is averted, if only because V-Tamer predates it: Leo the Leomon survives.
  • Self-Deprecation: Izawa Hiroshi and Tenya Habuno present themselves as Super-Deformed cosplayers whenever they have to explain some developments outside of the confines of the plot itself.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Smoke Shield: Not everyone is lucky enough to come out of them undamaged though it is still played for drama in a cliff hanger at least once. The characters learn to exploit them towards the end.
  • Spell My Name With An S:
    • Magnum Crash or Magnum Clash?
    • Gotokuji, Goutokuji or Gotojuki?
    • Ulforce/Alforce makes a lot more sense, thematically, if spelled Urforce
  • Star Fish Aliens: Digimon in this comic appear to humans as forms they can understand, they're entirely made of data, lack internal organs and many external organs are for show instead of use. Flying digimon don't need wings to fly for example, but wings may be used in special attacks.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: What's that? You need to hold your breath underwater? Well that's no excuse for ignoring somebody speaking to you.
  • Those Two Guys: Well, does two Digimon, one guy and his sister, count? Pal and Pul certainly fit the part regardless. They're friends with a secondary character before the main one, but eventually Pul wants Taichi's autograph.
  • Toilet Humor: Not a whole lot of but there is, for example, a prankster Sukamon who claims to be made of shit.
  • To Serve Man: A trio of insect like Digimon practice this policy, which makes it strange when they think they can get a favor from Neo later.
  • Translation Matchmaking: It is also known as Digimon Adventure: V-Tamer 01 and Digimon V-Tamers, following the titles of two famous Digimon works that got official translations.
  • The Unfought: A trio of monsters leaving Demon's castle near the end. They were supposed to be part of a quirky mini boss squad called the genome digimon but were cut out of the final edit.
  • Upgrade Artifact: The Super Ultimate Digimental, possibly the most powerful in the entire franchise.
  • Victory Dance: As shown above, Taichi and Zero have a signature dance.
  • Villain of Another Story: Shinichiro Josaki, the villain of the first piece of Digimon media, C'mon Digimon, makes a cameo appearance at the start. Two of the three crossover monsters of V Tamer also have absolutely nothing to do with Lord Demon. Millenniummon from the Wonder Swan games also gets a mention but does absolutely nothing here.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Neo's sanity spends most of the story hanging by a thread, but he completely loses it when Zero evolves into Ulforce Veedramon instead of being destroyed from abusing dragon impulse, and then manages to resist Arkadimon's god matrix, ranting about him and Taichi being bugs and how he refuses to accept an unpredictable world. Turns into a Villainous BSoD when he sees Rei try to kill herself.
  • We Can Rebuild Him: There was an entire factory dedicated to this before Lord HolyAngemon shut it down.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Neo Saiba, ever so much. He seems like a colossal prick, but he has genuinely noble intentions, just taken way too far. He's doing it all for his sister Rei, who is incapable of walking in the real world, and wants to make a world where nobody can get hurt ever again. Turns out Demon was playing him like a fiddle the whole time. Hideto Fujimoto is also like this at first for pretty much the same reasons, mostly out of sheer guilt over the accident that cost Rei's legs. There is a completely straight example though.
  • When All You Have Is a Hammer…: Zero firmly believed his basic move could see him through everything so long as Taichi developed a good plan for it. Unfortunately, he was in the wrong franchise for this kind of thinking. Most of the other characters realize the problem quickly enough.
  • White Hair, Black Heart: Both Neo Saiba and Shinichiro Josaki, though you would have to read C-mon to know that about Shin.
  • You Had Us Worried There: Zero and Taichi's plans often bring about these responses from their allies, who for example aren't told when Zero feigns injury.
  • Your Size May Vary: Besides the above mentioned art shifts, Digimon tend to be smaller here than in the shows.

Alternative Title(s): Digimon Adventure V Tamer 01, Digimon V Tamers