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Western Animation / Di-Gata Defenders

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Counter-clockwise starting bottom left: Melosa, Seth, Kara, Erik, and Adam

"Great energy lay locked within the very bedrock of RaDos. The Di-Gata Stones were forged from this living rock, and engraved with the eight sigils of power - Nega, Yin, Yan, Ogama, Infinis, Dako, Sum, and Altas. The evil wizard Nazmul thirsted for the stones' power. Only the Di-Gata Defenders, legendary protectors of RaDos, stood in Nazmul's way. And even they could not stop the Megalith. All seemed lost, until a powerful spell was cast, binding the beast within four Pure Stones. Nazmul and his Order of Infinis were defeated, but... with great sacrifice. Fearing evil would rise again, the children of the Defenders were hidden away, to train for the day when RaDos would again call upon the Di-Gata Defenders."

And so goes the exposition at the beginning of the first episode of Di-Gata Defenders a Canadian action/adventure/fantasy animated television series from Nelvana that was created by Canadian animator Greg Collinson.

But many years after the abovementioned events, the magic that imprisoned the Megalith is weakening, threatening to release Nazmul's terrible creation upon RaDos once more. Now, the four children of the Di-Gata Defenders have been let out into the world and tasked with again sealing the Megalith after having spent a long time in seclusion studying under the mentorship of Professor Alnar. Trained in casting the sigil-based power of Di-Gata Stones and commanding their Guardians (magical monsters linked to the power of Di-Gata Stones), the four teenage successors of the Di-Gata Defenders - Seth, Melosa, and siblings Erik and Kara - search for both adventure across RaDos and the Pure Stones containing the Megalith within.

As they travel the realm of RaDos, the four young Stone Casters will make friends and allies (such as rogue and fellow Stone Caster Adam) while also encountering enemies. Most dire of the latter category however is the newly-resuscitated Order of Infinis, now under the leadership of Nazmul's successor Brackus and his lieutenants Flinch and Malco, who seek to destroy the children of the Di-Gata Defenders and continue their master's work in using the Megalith. And for the new generation of Di-Gata Defenders, knowing just who is friend or foe is vital if these young heroes are to succeed in their mission to save their world.

Di-Gata Defenders premiered on Teletoon in Canada in 2006. New episodes of the show were broadcast from August 2006 to September 2008, with a total of 52 episodes over two seasons. The show also aired on Fox in the United States, as part of 4KidsTV

Nelvana started uploading episodes onto Youtube through their Cartoon Power Up channel in 2021. The playlist is here!

This series contains examples of:

  • Action Girl: Mel and Kara, with the former being a wizard who can cast without the use of Di Gata Stones.
  • Affectionate Gesture to the Head: In one episode, Kara's guardian, V-Moth, goes missing, and Kara is convinced she's been captured. Mel ruffles her hair, saying, "We don't know that for sure."
  • After the End: It's revealed near the end of season 1 that the Megalith has actually been sealed by more than one group of Defenders in the past, but the containment spell devastated RaDos each time, eventually resulting in the mostly-barren wasteland seen in the show's present.
  • Agony of the Feet: happens to Mel in the episode "Cast-Aways", when a heavy rope is dropped on her foot.
  • Amazing Technicolor Population: People who are possessed by Ethos have blue or purple skin.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Mel.
  • Amnesiac Villain Joins the Heroes: Happens with Brackus in season 2. Once he regains his memories he immediately starts scheming to take over RaDos.
  • An Arm and a Leg: In Season Two Lady K'tahsh implants a stone in Seth's right hand sending a powerful monster after the Defenders. In battle with the monsters Seth orders Brackus to destroy his arm to save the Defenders. The resulting spell turns his forearm into a petrified stump.
  • Ancient Conspiracy
  • Animesque
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Kara can be this to Erik at times, and she occasionally bugs Seth and Mel too.
  • Applied Phlebotinum
  • The Atoner: Brackus tries to be this. It doesn't work.
  • Badass Adorable: Kara's small, but don't underestimate her.
  • Battle Bolas: Adam has a spell called "Black Bolas" which creates black bolas to restrain the enemy.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Although they each have their flaws, the defenders are all good-hearted and genuinely heroic kids. But pissing any of them off is a bad idea.
  • Big Bad: Lord Nazmul and the Megalith (Season 1) and later, The Ethos (Season 2).
  • Big Brother Instinct: One of Erik's defining traits is his protective attitude towards his sister Kara. Mel and Seth also watch over her.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: Kara's guardian V-Moth is a giant wasp that can shoot sonic blasts from her stinger.
  • Big Eater: Seth.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: In the season one finale it's revealed that Zad works for the Ethos and only helped the Defenders so that they would unwittingly release them.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Rion, Seth, and Eric, respectively.
  • Body Horror: Nazmul looks like he's been Stripped to the Bone and apparently has no limbs anymore.
  • Bounty Hunter: Snare.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Rion
  • Butt-Monkey: Erik, somewhat.
    • On the villains' side, Flinch.
  • The Chosen One: The Defenders, of course.
    • This stops in season 2, and Rion becomes the sole Chosen One.
  • Combat Tentacles: Seth's "Twisting Chaos" spell causes four tentacles to sprout from his back. They can be used for combat, increase his mobility and detach from him to restrain enemies.
  • Combination Attack: The "Warrior Henge" where four stone casters form a back-to-back square and blast all their standard stone's energies at a target.
  • The Cutie: Kara.
  • Dark Action Girl: Lady K'Tahsh.
  • Dark Lord on Life Support: Lord Nazmul.
  • Darker and Edgier: Season 2, although season 1 wasn't exactly lighthearted either.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Rion, despite his Superpowered Evil Side, is still a hero. This also applies to Seth, whose spells mostly involve dark energy.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Eric, especially at Seth's expense. Mel too. Even Kara has her moments.
  • Dreadful Musician: Mel loves music, but she's a terrible singer.
  • Dude Magnet: Mel has both Seth and Adam crushing on her, and even Rion in one episode (although he was under the influence of a love potion at the time).
  • Eaten Alive: Malco does this off-screen to a bird that landed on its head (complete with Sickening "Crunch!") in "Cast Away".
  • Enemy Mine: Seth and Snare team up together to escape from Ogama-Gor despite the fact Snare fully and openly intended (and intends again) to capture the group.
  • Expressive Hair: Kara's hair weirdly droops when she's sad, and bounces up when she's happy.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: One episode has a character boiled alive in lava. Another is stabbed to death.
    • There's also Kara's demise in season two. The Defenders are attacked by a monster from another dimension, and Kara uses an extremely powerful spell to defeat it. Unfortunately, the energy required is too great and ends up destroying the poor girl's physical body. Though the scene itself isn't graphic, Kara screams in agony throughout. Oh, and she's only twelve years old.
  • Fortune Teller: Madame Leizel
  • Frog Men: There's a race of humanoid frogs known as amphitigons.
  • Fusion Dance: Omniaxor merges with Kragus so that the latter does not die.
    • Seth, Mel, and Rion gain the ability to merge with their guardians.
  • Gadgeteer Genius Erik, just Erik. Techno-geek is an apt nickname.
  • Goldfish Poop Gang: Malco and Flinch. The former is actually pretty strong, but isn't too smart... Unless he gets possessed, however.
  • Grand Theft Me: Nazmul attempts this on Kara. ...and successfully takes over Malco, though it doesn't last. The Ethos can do this too.
  • Handicapped Badass: Kara is unable to walk without her power boots. She is just as capable a stone-caster as the rest of the defenders.
    • Seth becomes this in season 2 after sacrificing his arm and getting a new mech one that gives him greater control of his spells. He is also shown to be a strong and resourceful warrior even without his mech-arm.
  • Handsome Lech
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Kara's death in the season two episode "The Di-Gata Redemption."
  • Human Aliens: The people of Ra Dos
  • Hunting the Most Dangerous Game ("Hunter and the Hunted")
  • I'm Not a Hero, I'm...: Seth has many of these moments.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Kara at times, due to her age and lack of maturity. One notable example is after Mel learns she is a wizard and is obviously confused and unnerved by the revelation. Kara doesn't pick up on this and instead teases Mel, asking her if she can turn Eric into a frog.
  • Intangibility: The Phase Stone is a champion stone that allows its caster to walk through walls.
  • Kid Hero: Well, Kid Heroes; none of the Defenders are past their early teens.
  • I Am Legion: Ethos!Malco refers to himself as we, since he's being controlled by three Ethos at once.
  • An Ice Person: Mel casts ice-based spells.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Rion has a tendency to impulsively rush into battle without input from the other Defenders.
  • Living Battery: The whole plot of "Escape from Ogama-Gor" centers around capturing people to turn them into this.
  • Lizard Folk: The bounty hunter Snare and brainwashed civilian Ronnie have scaly skin and tails.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: The corrupted stone in "A Flaw in the Ointment" causes the desolated happy valley to seem like paradise.
  • Lovable Rogue: Adam
  • Magic A Is Magic A: Use of the Sigils and their upper level, the Power Sigils.
  • Magic Is Feminine: Most characters on the show can cast spells using small, dice-like stones. Mel and Kara, the sole female Defenders, are the only ones with mystical powers unconnected to stonecasting; Mel can cast spells without stones while Kara's body is a natural conduit for Di-Gata energy, a fact which makes her a target for the Big Bad who wants to possess her body.
  • Magic Misfire: Casting a Di-Gata spell while unfocused or with incorrect sigils will cause the direction of the spell to go wild, possibly harming the caster.
  • Many Spirits Inside of One: Three different Ethos possess Malco at once.
  • Matchstick Weapon: The twins in "Ms. Fortune" have a spell that shoots alight with green fire.
  • Merging Mistake: Happens between Seth and Kragus late in season one. The merge causes Seth's right arm, chest, neck, and cheek to be covered in stony armor and gives him super strength. They are eventually separated by the Megalith.
  • The Mole: Brackus in Season 2.
  • Mouthy Kid: Rion.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Seth is horrified to learn he let Arboth be destroyed so his arm could be restored, while under the influence of infinimatter poisoning. He immediately reverses the process and destroys the machine that healed him.
  • Mystical White Hair: Mel has light blue hair, but it is so pale that it sometimes appears completely white.
    • Rion has hair so blonde it's almost silver.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Congratulations, Defenders, for vanquishing the Megalith once and for all! Unfortunately, this removed the sealing on the Ethos.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: Malco's shields are fused to him allowing him to shrug off minor spells and survive both the "Warrior Henge" and the Nova Stone.
  • Oblivious to Love: Played with. In the past Brackus and a princess named Torash were in love. However when the Ethos invaded their land, Torash was kidnapped and presumed killed. In reality she was just turned into Lady K'Tahsh . Brackus still carries a torch for her, although she has no memory of it.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: Mel's guardian Draykor is a winged, bipedal dragon with ice powers that is smaller than a human.
  • Our Liches Are Different: Lord Nazmul is effectively a lich, held together by magical technology and seeking a new body before his current one falls apart.
    • Season 2 introduces Kor-Yinan, who was cursed with undeath by the Wizards of Yan for attempting to betray humanity to the Ethos.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Kara is far more powerful than her small stature and young age would suggest. Rion could also count.
  • Playing with Fire: Several of Eric's spells involve fire.
  • Rag Tag Bunch Of Misfits: The Defenders.
  • Redheaded Hero: Erik and Kara, though the latter is more strawberry-blonde.
  • Rock Monster: Seth's guardian Kragus is a giant that forms from the ground.
  • Runic Magic: Magic in RaDos is cast by using stones with the sigils of power engraved on them.
  • Science Wizard: Both Erik and Flinch are skilled stonecasters as well as scientists and inventors.
  • Self-Damaging Attack Backfire: As a young child Kara damaged her legs when she miscast her brother's stones.
  • Shout-Out: The gate to Ogama-Gor with its robotic guard embedded in it right down to the way it opens up is very reminiscent of Jabba's Palace front door.
    • The device that turns people into Dako batteries from the same episode looks straight out of the torture device in The Empire Strikes Back.
    • Speaking of Ogama-Gor, it's an orderly Shining City that's actually ruled by a fascist government in a chaotic Crapsack World. Visitors can only enter for up to 24 hours at a time. Vault City much?
  • Snake People: The Mortagarians an aquatic race that slither upright.
  • Snakes Are Sinister: Brackus' guardian Anaconduit is a giant snake with a cobra's hood and rattler's tail, capable of conducting electricity.
  • Sour Supporter: Downplayed with Eric. He often expresses skepticism or doubt when it comes to Seth's plans, but goes along with them regardless and remains loyal to the team.
  • Spoiler Opening: The second season's intro spoils several plot points; them being Malco's possession by Ethos, Seth and Mel's guardian-merge forms, Seth's mech-arm, and Erik carving the primordial sigils.
  • The Starscream: Brackus wishes to usurp control of the Megalith from Nazmul and become the supreme ruler of Rados.
  • Tall, Dark, and Handsome: Seth.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: Rion learns near the series finale that he has some Ethos genes inside him, as part of his birth into becoming the weapon made to destroy the Ethos.
  • True Blue Femininity: Mel. She isn't especially girly, but she's definitely more feminine compared to Kara, and her colour scheme is blue.
  • True Companions
  • Tsundere: Mel can be this at times.
  • Two Girls to a Team: Mel and Kara are the two girls on the team until Kara's sacrifice in season two.
  • Unexplained Recovery: It is unexplained how Brackus escaped the Dark Realm.
  • Vicious Cycle: It eventually turns out that the Megalith had actually been sealed more than once, with the magic containing it growing steadily weaker each time. The current Defenders decide to kill it and fully break the cycle once and for all.
  • Weather Manipulation: Kara's spells are based on wind and lightning.
  • Will They or Won't They??: Mel with both Seth and Adam.