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|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Yukio Kaizawa|
|Written by||Sukehiro Tomita|
|Music by||Takanori Arisawa|
|Original network||Fuji TV|
|Original run||April 7, 2002 – March 30, 2003|
|Island of Lost Digimon|
|Directed by||Takahiro Imamura|
|Written by||Sukehiro Tomita|
|Music by||Takanori Arisawa|
|Released||July 20, 2002|
Digimon Frontier (Japanese: デジモンフロンティア Hepburn: Dejimon Furontia), commonly referred to as Digimon 4, is the fourth anime television series produced by Toei Animation based on the Digimon franchise. Unlike the first three series, the main characters, the Digidestined, do not train Digimon to fight for them but instead merge with ancient spirits known as "Legendary Warriors" to become Digimon themselves, which was similar to the climax of Digimon Tamers where they merge both the Digimon and the human to become the Mega form themselves.
The series aired in Japan between April 7, 2002 and March 30, 2003, with an English-language version, produced by Sensation Animation, airing in North America between September 9, 2002 to July 14, 2003. It was the last season to use the Digital Monsters title as subsequent series, beginning with Digimon Data Squad, began using unique localized titles.
In the events prior to the series, a group of ten Digimon—creatures from the "Digital World", a parallel universe that originated from Earth's various communication networks—sacrificed themselves to defeat an ultimate evil that threatened their world. These Digimon—collectively known as "Legendary Warriors"—created artifacts from their data, the twenty "Spirits" (ten Human Spirits and ten Beast Spirits, one of each for each element), before leaving the Digital World in the care of the three special Digimon—the Celestial Digimon, Ophanimon, Cherubimon and Seraphimon. However, Cherubimon betrays them and begins a reign of terror. To counter this, Ophanimon summons five children from the human world into the Digital World to become the "DigiDestined".
- Takuya Kanbara (神原 拓也 Kanbara Takuya) (voiced by Junko Takeuchi and Michael Reisz with Dave Wittenberg), the leader of the group. He uses the Human Spirit of Fire to become Agunimon (Agnimon) and the Beast Spirit of Fire to become BurningGreymon (Vritramon). The combined spirits allow him to transform him into EmperorGreymon.
- Koji Minamoto (源 輝二 Minamoto Kōji) (voiced by Hiroshi Kamiya and Steve Staley), one of Takuya's friend. He uses the Human Spirit of Light to become Lobomon (Wolfmon) and the Beast Spirit of Light to become KendoGarurumon (Garmmon). The combined spirits allow him to transform him into MagnaGarurumon.
- Zoe Orimoto (織本 泉 Orimoto Izumi) (voiced by Sawa Ishige and Michelle Ruff), the only female member. She uses the Human Spirit of Wind to become Kazemon (Fairymon), and the Beast Spirit of Wind to become Zephyrmon (Shutumon).
- Junpei "J.P." Shibayama (柴山 純平 Shibayama Junpei) (voiced by Masato Amada and Steven Blum), the oldest of the group. He uses the Human Spirit of Thunder to become Beetlemon (Blitzmon), and the Beast Spirit of Thunder to become MetalKabuterimon (Bolgmon).
- Thomas "Tommy" Himi (氷見 友樹 Himi Tomoki) (voiced by Kumiko Watanabe and Brianne Siddall), the youngest of the group. He uses the Human Spirit of Ice to become Kumamon (Chakmon), and the Beast Spirit of Ice to become Korikakumon (Blizzarmon).
- Koichi Kimura (木村 輝一 Kimura Kōichi) (voiced by Kenichi Suzumura and Crispin Freeman), Koji's brother. When his parents divorced, the brothers go separate ways. He uses the Human Spirit of Darkness to become Löwemon, and the Beast Spirit of Darkness to become JagerLoweemon. As Cherubimon's servant, Koichi ends up being possessed. He uses a Human Spirit to transform into Duskmon, and a Beast Spirit to transform into Velgemon.
The five DigiDestined find their respective Human Spirits and merge with them to "Spirit Evolve" into Digimon themselves. However, while finding each of their Beast Spirits, they encounter five other Legendary Warriors, who serve Cherubimon. After defeating them (JP, Zoe, Tommy and Takuya, each destroys one, and another loses his Beast Spirit to Koji and is destroyed by his allies for being useless), Koji notices that Cherubimon is using Koichi to turn against them. Takuya and his friends free Koichi, restores his power, and allows him to join them.
As the story progresses, the DigiDestined rescue Ophanimon. However, she sacrifices herself to save them. Ophanimon upgrades Takuya and Koji's D-Tectors, with the last of her strength to allow them to Unity Spirit Evolve. After defeating Cherubimon, the DigiDestined learn that the true mastermind is the very evil the Ancient Warriors sealed away within the Digital World's core, Lucemon.
So now the six Digidestined defeat two Royal Knights, Dynasmon and Crusadermon, who were sent by Lucemon to scan all of the Digital World's data to complete his rebirth. Takuya and Koji defeat the knights and SkullSatamon (who also serve Lucemon), but not before they destroy and scan the whole Digital World and free Lucemon (who scans the Royal Knights after the DigiDestined defeat them, allowing him to Digivolve to a more powerful form than he was before). When Lucemon destroys the Digital World's moons, he opens a portal to the real world. He is confronted by the DigiDestined who try to attack him with a multi-hit tactic, fighting together as a complete team. However, Lucemon ends up killing Koichi (who sacrificed himself to save the others). Forming the ultimate Legendary Warrior Digimon Susanoomon by combining all the spirits in Takuya and Koji, Lucemon is defeated and scanned. However, all of his evil transforms into another form of Lucemon, one of pure evil, which tries to go to the real world. Having almost given up, the spirits of the ten Legendary Warriors come to life, along with the spirits of Ophanimon, Cherubimon and Seraphimon. Together, they all form a seemingly more powerful Susanoomon, and destroy Lucemon (at least the evil part of Lucemon) once and for all, giving the Digital World its data back, ultimately restoring its true form.
The children return to the real world and find that an hour has not even passed since they left. They find Koichi, who they discover was only in the Digital World for having been in a coma by falling down from the stairs. Koichi wakes up at the hospital and the D-Tectors heal him, before reverting into cell phones. They live happily ever after by having the events of the Digital World change them forever.
Toei Animation announced the production of a fourth Digimon series in February 2002 and set it to start in April, as the previous series, Digimon Tamers, would end on March 31. Digimon Frontier was conceived by Fuji TV's Go Haruna, Yomiko Advertising's Kyōtarō Kimura, and Hiromi Seki. The series was directed by Yukio Kaizawa, who had previously worked on some Bikkuriman shows and certain One Piece episodes. It was chiefly written by Sukehiro Tomita, while character designs were done by Katsuyoshi Nakatsuru, who also did them for the original series and Tamers.
The series aired in Japan for 50 episodes on Fuji TV between April 7, 2002, and March 30, 2003. An English-language version, produced by Sensation Animation and recorded by Studiopolis, aired in North America on UPN, ABC Family, and YTV between September 9, 2002 and July 14, 2003. The dubbed version featured an original soundtrack, original sound effects, changes to character names and edits pertaining to violence and other scenes thought to be inappropriate for younger audiences. The series was originally scheduled to air on Jetix in the United Kingdom (following on from Digimon Tamers). However, the series was put on hold and was never broadcast by the time the channel ended in August 2009. New Video Group released a complete DVD box set of English-dubbed Digimon Frontier on September 10, 2013 in the US, and a DVD collection with all Digimon shows up to Frontier on October 22, 2013. Out of fan requests, the UK got a release of Frontier on October 29, 2018.
In addition to the television series, a film adaptation titled Digimon Frontier: Island of Lost Digimon was produced. It had the same writer, composer and character design from the TV show, but was directed by Takahiro Imamura. The film premiered at Toei's Summer Anime Fair on July 20, 2002 along with three other productions. Although the fair was deemed a box office failure, earning 800 million yen (US$6.8m)—whereas last edition earned 2 billion yen—, the film alone grossed half of it, 460 million yen. The film aired on American Jetix on November 27, 2005, and reruns were broadcast on Toon Disney in 2007.
The opening theme song used for the series which was first broadcast in Japan is the song "FIRE!!" by Kōji Wada. Two different songs were used for the end themes, one for the first twenty-six episodes, and the other which covered the rest. For the first ending theme, the song "Innocent ~Mujaki na Mama de~" (イノセント〜無邪気なままで〜 Inosento ~Mujaki na Mama de~, "Innocent (Remain Innocent)") by Kōji Wada was used. The second ending theme song was entitled "an Endless tale" which was done by Kōji Wada and Ai Maeda. In addition to the theme songs four insert songs were used for the series these include; "With the Will" by Kōji Wada, "The Last Element" by Ayumi, "Salamander" by Junko Takeuchi, and "Oreta Tsubasa de - With Broken Wings" by Spirit Shinkers. The English adaptation of the anime uses a single theme song called "A World for Us All" by Christopher Horvath. The end theme features a remixed version of the opening theme. In addition to the single theme song, one insert song entitled "Digivolution" by Deddy Tzur and Inon Zur is present.
This audio drama takes place during and after their adventures in the Digital World. The children find a mailbox and decide to write letters to the people they care about, expressing things that they normally cannot say.
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- English translation of Digimon Frontier CD Drama