The Digimon are officially back (in the United States). Crunchyroll has posted the first episode of Digimon Adventure Tri, a new series starring the popular Digimon characters from the original two Digimon Adventure anime series. The episode went live last week, with the first episode available to watch for free on Crunchyroll's website. Three other episodes are available for Crunchyroll subscribers.
For those unfamiliar with the Digimon franchise, the anime stars a group of human kids paired up with "digital monsters" who live in the Digital World. Using special "Digivices", the "DigiDestined" could "Digivolve" their Digimon into increasingly powerful monsters. Although Digimon was initially criticized as a knockoff of Pokemon, the show gained popularity during the early 2000s, especially in the United States, where it aired during the Fox Kids block of Saturday morning cartoons. In addition to two Digimon Adventures series, several spinoff series have been produced, featuring a constantly evolving cast of colorful and powerful monsters.
Digimon Adventure Tri stars Tai and Agumon, Matt and Gabumon and the rest of the original DigiDestined and their Digimon partners as they face a new set of threats in both the digital and real world. Tri is set three years after the second Digimon Adventures series, with the original DigiDestined now in high school and slowly drifting apart. The "D3" generation of DigiDestined (who appeared in the second Digimon Adventures series) also appear in the new series.
Digimon Adventures Tri was announced last year to coincide with the fifteenth anniversary of the original Digimon series. Although Digimon Adventures Tri will be released in Japan as a series of six full length theatrical movies, it appears that Crunchyroll has split the first film into traditional 30 minute episodes. The episode is available to watch with English subtitles only.