Hallyu, the Korean cultural wave

121018 Kim Sangwoo

Today, Korean culture is catching the world as a whole. From tiny characters printed on notebooks to rhythmical popsong ‘Gangnam style’ resounding in Time Square, Hallyu is flowing throughout the entire earth. Almost all Koreans, as well as me, are proud of this large-looking popularity of Korean culture around the world. For the general Korean public, it is really hard to disbelieve the enormous fame of Korean culture that was exaggeratedly reported by Korean media. However, even though most Korean media inform the aspect of Hallyu grandiloquently, it is not clear that this boom truly gives positive effects to a widening of culture of its motherland, Korea. Even in cases of K-Pop, Korean soap operas, and Korean dishes, it is obvious that Korean culture wave has some problems to deliver the genuine Korean culture to the world.

Above all, K-Pop, which has played a significant role in the Korean wave, is not enough to convey Korean culture. In fact, Korean pop songs are nothing but a tiny part of Korean entertainment culture. K-Pops are produced by several specific entertainment management companies, composed by several specific songwriters, choreographed by several specific choreographers, and performed by several specific idol stars. Receiving attention from Korean public is almost impossible for a tenderfoot pop singer in Korea. Although there came some audition programs for scouting talented Koreans who want to be a Korean pop star, it is still really hard to become a successful Korean pop performer without joining and exercising in a famous entertainment management company. In contrast, if one, luckily, selected its entertainment company well, then he or she could become a really famous K-Pop performer, even if he or she has quite low ability for doing the performance as common pop stars. This fact concludes that Korean pop songs could not represent the genuine cultural level of Korean people. Differently put, Korean pop culture, which is consisted of selected performers from selected companies, does not exemplify the whole Korean culture. In addition, K-Pop even does not have an aspect of accurate musical culture. General famous Korean pop songs have nothing but addictive tunes, which mean they do not have demanded musical worth. What is more, those songs are composed by songwriters, not idol stars. What Korean idol stars do is just doing a choreography made by a dancer, and singing a song made by a songwriter. Showy choreographs with addictive melodies and cynically-pretended raps that are performed by handsome boys or glamorous girls are just enough to catch a normal guy’s mind. For me, it is not the part of the culture of my country, but just a business for commercial purpose. Since K-Pop industry is aside from considering musical value, it is insufficient to play a role to build an appropriate musical culture even in Korea.

Moreover, Korean soap operas, which are very effective to convey the culture of Korean daily life, are pursuing commercial success and limiting their ability. The commercial structure of Korean soap operas is really freakish so that it restrains the development capabilities of Korean soap operas. There are many examples of failure of completing the series due to the bankruptcy of the producer company. Producing a series of Korean drama in Korea is really time consuming and cost demanding. There are litigations from several Korean actors and actresses to the producer company for taking their appearance fee. In fact, half of income from broadcasting dramas is from advertisements that appear at the end scene of each episodes of a series. Because the commercial base of Korean soap operas is weaker than other part of Hallyu, Koreans whose job is related to drama businesses are taking damages from working for a soap opera. Since it is extremely difficult to achieve a commercial success in Korea, several soap operas with modern settings tend to rely on the popularity of star-studded casts and not care about cinematic qualities. In some specific cases, some famous K-Pop performers who have very low ability to do performing, ruin the whole business of drama so that a huge damage occurs. To make short, since the drama business in Korea seeks for business success because they are commercially weak, Korean soap operas are not enough to convey Korean daily culture to the world.

Last but not least, Korean cuisine needs more investments and studies. Because most of Korean cuisine is not yet be able to commercially produced, the worldwide awareness of Korean dishes are currently low. Even though there are a lot of Korean dishes that attract people’s attention such as tteokbokki (spiced rice cake), dakkangjeong(sauced chicken balls), or galbijjim(soybean sauced pork), not many people in the world are aware of Korean dishes. Excellent Korean menus such as kimchi or bulgogi are already praised highly by supreme chefs from Europe. Pedro Subijana from Spain and Thomas Buhner from Germany, who got three stars from Michelin evaluation, complimented the dishes on their nutritional values and balances. Especially, bibimbap received the most tremendous complements from the cooks. However, Korean dishes are not sufficient to convey Korean culture to the world since not so many Koreans are interested in the subject.

To sum up, I think Hallyu is not enough to spread the genuine Korean culture through the world. Take note of Korean pop songs, which are not appropriate to represent the whole musical culture of Korea. Also look at Korean soap operas, which only pursue commercial success and result in low cinematic quality. Only if all Korean people are aware of the true conditions of Korean cultural wave, get out of blind pursuit of wealth and fame, and endeavor to introduce the authentic Korean culture to the world, the genuine ‘Hallyu’ would resound through the world and demonstrate the superiority of Korean culture.

 

References

Doobo, S. (2006). Hybridity and the rise of Korean popular culture in Asia. Media, Culture & Society, 28(1),
25-44. doi:10.1177/0163443706059278

Eunkyoung, H., Woosung, C., & Gabshin, H. (2008). A Study on the Relationships Among Hallyu (Korean
Wave), National Image, and Corporate Brand Equity. Conference Papers — International Communication
Association, 1-17. Retrieved from Communication & Mass Media Complete database.

Kim, K. (2006, February 7). Hallyu, Cultural Coexistence or Imperialism? The Korea Times, pp. 1-3. Retrieved
November 18, 2010, from the LexisNexis database.

Lim, L. (2006, March 26). South Korean Culture Wave Spreads Across Asia : NPR. NPR : National Public
Radio : News & Analysis, World, US, Music & Arts : NPR. Retrieved November 21, 2010, from http://
www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5300970

Topic: Does familiarity prevent people from developing or maintaining respect for others?

 

2012 11 26

10b2 Kim sangwoo

 The preponderance of struggle between imagination and reality has manifested itself throughout society and in life. It is really difficult for us to respect people who are familiar to us, and we truly respect only people whom we do not know. Put differently, familiarity certainly prevents people from maintaining respect for others.

 There is no doubt that the power of imagination and expectation is extremely stronger to move one’s mind and thoughts, and familiarity prevents people from making expectation about someone. I, for example, truly respected the headmaster of my middle school before I passed entering interview of KMLA. As I listened to the speech that my school’s headmaster gave every Monday, I truly respect him as a leader of my middle school and all the teachers in the school. His voice was sweet, deep, and powerful. I made a great deal of imagination about how he acts and talk in his everyday lives. I thought, he may always consider for all the students in his school, and think about how he develop the quality of education for students. However, all of those expectations broke up at the moment I met him after I passed the entering interview of KMLA. His words were not that much respectful nor shiny. But, I found him driving after his dignity and status, by talking to him for a while. His way of speaking revealed his genuine interests. As a result, the familiarity between me and my headmaster kept me from maintaining respect for him.

 The absence of information might cause more plentiful imagination. Take note of Fermat, who is one of highly respected mathematicians nowadays. After I noticed he lived his life totally like a gambler, I found myself wondering about his genuine personality. As a result, I lost my admiration toward Fermat because I got new information about his life and got closer to him.

 On the other hand, one could argue that if a person truly has a respectable mind and attitude, then familiarity with the person might not give any effects to one’s admiration of the person. But one certainly wonders how much would one disappoint with the respected person if the one had too much expectation about him or her. There is no limitation in one’s imagination after all.

 In conclusion, several examples of mine clearly demonstrates that imagination about one’s genuine personality may keep one from developing admiration for a person, if one gets familiar to the person and the true nature of the person is disclosed. People who are respected very much until today are the ones who interested in getting far from publics, like Fermat.

Argumentative Essay 1

Topic Serious sex offenders, particularly those who prey on little children, should be chemically castrated or turned into eunuchs.

 

121018 Kim sang woo

 

One little girl, who was peacefully sleeping next to her siblings and parents, lost her bright future and was thrown to the hell not long after few hours. She was raped and violated by a 25-year-old man who was exceedingly drunken. According to investigation of police, he held up her with coverlet and brought to the place under the bridge to commit his outrageous crime. However, the judgment of the court is not that harsh, considering opinion of human right protection group which argues the council has to be respectful of the criminal’s human right. While I believe the supreme court of Republic of Korea has to increase the magnitude of punishment for the sexual offenders, even more than giving chemical castration.

Chemical castration is a way to decrease sexual desire of a sex offender by giving injection every three months. The drug that is used for chemical castration is cyproterone acetate, which could cause some side effects such as reduced body hairs, loss of muscular mass, and other feminizing effects. Humanitarian groups are arguing that these adverse side health effects violate a sex offender’s right to procreate. They claim that this method is the same with human guinea pig experimentation that was used during the world war, intended for colony people. However, the purpose of castration is to punish criminals and prevent additional crimes that would be committed later. It is neither the physical castration that absolutely violates human right, nor the death penalty that could make our society more danger. The effects of chemical castration on human body are scientifically proved, so it is compiled from authentic sources, and also is free from dangerous situations. The purpose of the chemical castration is not to examine the effects of the drugs that are used, but to punish criminals and prevent additional crimes that would be committed later.

There are exact reasons why the offenders have to be chemically castrated. First, if we think in a perspective of ethical side, they deserve to be chemically castrated. They snatched one’s entire life which could never be returned, and the court is giving them a very light, nothing serious punishment. 4 year imprisonment! The victim would bring crimson wound on its heart and body forever, not for a little while. If the victim is died by the criminal, then the bitter pain would be laid on its parents, siblings, and friends’ heart, forevermore. Would the criminals genuinely regret their sin by spending their time less than 4 years in affluent comfortable prison? It totally doesn’t make any sense. I agree with the argument of the opposite side. If the court gives them the death penalty or something more painful than that, it is the violence of the human rights. It is correct. However, when it comes to chemical castration, which is totally safe from additional disease, I believe it is strongly appropriate as a punishment for the sexual offenders. They have to be punished powerfully, so that they could truly regret themselves.

Moreover, chemical castrating is a kind of therapy for the offenders, which could help them to control their sexual desire more easily. According to the previous experiment that was conducted by national medical laboratory, receiving the drugs of chemical castration could reduce one’s sex drive, compulsive sexual fantasies, and capacity for sexual arousal. If we consider the inferential statistics that includes a correlation between chemical castration and percentage of control for offenders’ sexual desire, which has been inferred by Oregon, U.S., we could clearly see the fact – chemical castration is perfectly effective for controlling sex offenders’ mental illnesses. The percentage of castrated offenders’ second conviction was zero percent, while usual offenders’ was about 20 percent. Also, the ratio of the normal sex offenders who violated sexual compliance law again was over 20 percent, but only 1 percent of chemically castrated offenders broke the law. This fact shows us that chemical castration not only helps sex offenders to increase their controlling ability of their insane sexual desire, but also prevent additional crimes that could be committed after they get out of the prison. It is the only way for a sexual offender to be a normal person and start its new life, the only way for giving respect to the human right of it, and the only way to recover this sexually-contaminated society.

Where is the human right? Do we have to be generous to a beast who threw one innocent girl to eternal pain? We have to increase the magnitude of punishment for the sexual offenders, to chemical castration and even more, in order to prevent following sexual crimes and promote public peace. Thus, I strongly assert that the supreme court of Republic of Korea must induct the chemical castrating punishment for punishing sexual offenders, so that we would take care of our children, our healthy society, and our nation’s bright future.

Argumentative Essay 2

Israel must forsake their desire to attack Iran

 

121018 Kim sangwoo

 

The international circumstances are uncommon. One small state that was built up less than 100 years ago tries to make the whole world to have another world war ahead. The little state is called ‘Israel’, which is the only Jewish country in the middle-east. Historically, Israel has been struggled to survive among Muslim countries by lots of means. It invaded marginal states plenty of times, raised several territorial disputes over many other Islamic countries, and triggered the Middle East war four times. As a result, Israel could almost reach the goal – consolidating the foundation itself. However, what Israel pushes ahead this time is never making sense and would never provide any benefits to it; Israel plans to attack Iran in order to keep them from researching nuclear program.

As you could see, Israel’s proclaimed basis and goal of attacking Iran is not logically proper at all. What Israeli say is that the nuclear research of Iran is threatening Israel in the side of security. Nevertheless, if you concentrate on the precondition of this situation, you would find that Israel already possesses nuclear weapons with the strongest military power in the Middle East. Even though the United States generally restrains the countries which tries to develop nuclear weapon technology, Israeli have not been halted, and still utilize the weapons to survive among Muslim nations. In this context, Israel doesn’t have any just cause to assault Iran, since Israel’s movement is interpreted as no more than an ‘international ostentation and emphasis of their power’ with the second hand’s eyes. Even the United States of America disagrees with scheme of Israel. As example of World War II, the U.S., which has the most enormous and extensive weapon market, would produce their profit by selling huge amount of war material on the pretext of maintaining neutrality. If Israel goes to war with their current grounds, they would never achieve their purpose of fight, but only would fill powerful nation’s belly with numerous soldier’s blood.

In addition, Israel’s attack to Iran is the action of shifting responsibilities of future of the world totally to all the other countries. In current situation, Iran inexorably has to carry forward their research on nuclear weapons, since it is the last means of survival to them in the threat of Israel holding nukes. If Israel attacks Iran, Iran might rather attempt to develop their technology more quickly in order to protect itself from the assault, prepare for the upcoming war, and would desperately seek for countries which could become their allies. Even if U.S keeps their side in the middle of two countries, the war involving enormous loss would arise and whole world would have to cost it. The cost might be too big. All nations would be compelled to participate in the war, a huge amount of people who have completely different race, culture and nationality would fight each other without any cognition of their war’s purpose, and most of the soldiers would end their lives triggering meaningless bullets toward their enemy. Yet, the situation would be irrevocable.

Some people say Israel has to carry out the military action on Iran. They argues that if Israel does not go through with attack, Iran would continuously progress researches on nuclear weapons, and that might become a huge menace to the international society. However, we cannot beg the question that Iran is trying to seize the power with their nukes, and that Israel would be on justice’s side. Nobody knows, Israel may use mutual rancor between them and other Middle East countries to grab the power in Mideast area. It may be better to leave this matter which powerful countries have to solve. We cannot even predict whether Israel’s preemptive attack would bring about more tragedy than Israel’s abandonment of attack, or not. Decision of U.S. brought disastrous death of numerous, innocent Japanese citizens.

In conclusion, Israel has to make a wise decision by considering what I’ve mentioned. Above all, Israel must argue more reasonable grounds of their attack, to prevent meaningless deaths of guiltless people. Next, Israel has to develop their capability up to the degree that they could take the consequences of the war, so that they won’t impute it to all countries on Earth; if they are about to decide their attack. The only clear thing in current conditions is that, Israel must be judicious and be determined to the ramification.

My Poem

A Forspent Flower

 

 

121018

Kim sangwoo

 

 

Flower flowing in a breath of breeze

scatters its petals such color of cheek

 

Once the storm comes n’ say ‘Hark, thee sweetie,

thy relucent finger – ‘tis raising me greedy

Thou vailst ’em hitherwards, ‘ey would never wilt

Betimes, bethink, dost thine belief’

 

Wetted with fear, pitiful flower, pathetically weep n’ whimper-

‘Wellaway, prithee not care ‘bout thine eager for my pelting finger

Promise thee I would needs buss on thy thin hair

If thee set me free from this – ‘tis making fluster’

 

But stiff-hearted wind storm did not even listened

And suddenly there, rain was robustiously dousen

Breaking bourn, tumbling trees, and chafed grass-green

Oh, forspent poor flower did forgave to flight

Oh, forspent poor flower did forgave to flight

Does Hallyu play a role to widen genuine Korean culture?

                                                 121018 Kim Sangwoo

 

Today, Korean culture is catching the world as a whole. From tiny characters printed on notebooks to rhythmical popsong ‘Gangnam style’ resounding in Time Square, Hallyu is flowing throughout the entire earth. Almost all Koreans, as well as me, are proud of this large-looking popularity of Korean culture around the world. For a general Korean public, it is really hard to disbelieve the enormous fame of Korean culture that was exaggeratedly reported by Korean media. However, even though most Korean media inform the aspect of Hallyu grandiloquently, it is not clear that this Korean culture boom truly gives positive effects to widening culture of its motherland, Korea. Even in cases of K-Pop, Korean soap operas, and Korean dishes, it is obvious that Korean culture wave is not that much beneficial for spreading genuine Korean culture.

Above all, K-Pop, which has the widest range of its fan region, is not enough to convey Korean culture. In fact, Korean pop songs are nothing but a tiny part of Korean entertainment culture. K-Pops are produced by several specific entertainment management companies, composed by several specific songwriters, choreographed by several specific choreographers, and performed by several specific idol stars. Receiving attention from Korean public is almost impossible for a tenderfoot pop singer in Korea. Although there came some audition programs for scouting talented Koreans who want to be a Korean pop star, it is still really hard to become a successful Korean pop performer without joining and exercising in a famous entertainment management company. In contrast, if one, luckily, selected its entertainment company well, then he or she could become a really famous K-Pop performer, even if he or she has quite low ability for doing the performance as common pop stars. Therefore, Korean pop culture, which is consisted of selected performers from selected companies, could not represent the whole Korean culture. In addition, K-Pop even does not have an aspect of accurate musical culture. General famous Korean pop songs have nothing but addictive tunes, which mean they do not have demanded musical worth. What is more, those songs are composed by songwriters, not idol stars. What Korean idol stars do is just doing a choreography made by a dancer, and singing a song made by a songwriter. Showy choreographs with addictive melodies and cynically-pretended raps that are performed by handsome boys or glamorous girls are just enough to catch a normal guy’s mind. For me, it is not the part of the culture of my country, but just a business for commercial purpose. Since K-Pop industry is aside from considering musical value, it is insufficient to play a role to build an appropriate musical culture even in Korea.

Moreover, Korean soap operas, which are very effective to convey cultures of daily life in Korea, are limiting their ability by setting the background in the play as far different from everyday life of Korean public. Most soap operas that made a hit in Korea usually have a special concept about the main character’s background, such as royal family of Silla or Chosun, wealthy family of current Korea, a secret organization of Korea, or a family that is undergoing abject poverty. Since usual Korean soap operas take drastic settings, they tend to fail to convey the aspect of daily culture of Korea. In case of historical dramas in Korea, they explain the structure of national organization of ancient Korean countries well. Main character is commonly a person who has a dream to overcome the social position of old Korean states, and settings are based on the historical facts of Korea. However, although Korean historical dramas introduce ancient Korean cultures well, they are not related to current Korean culture, and this point is the worst weakness of Korean historical dramas. On the other hand, in case of soap operas that has modern settings, relies on popularity of its actors and actresses so that they do not care much about the background and plots. In some specific cases, some famous K-Pop performers who have very low ability to act, ruin the whole business of its drama so that a huge damage is taken. Besides, the commercial structure of Korean soap operas is really freakish so that it restrains the development capabilities of Korean soap operas. There are many examples of failure of completing the series due to the bankruptcy of the producer company. Producing a series of Korean drama in Korea is really time consuming and cost demanding. There are litigation from several Korean actors and actresses to the producer company for taking their appearance fee. In fact, the half of income from broadcasting dramas is from advertisements that appear at the end scene of each episodes of a series. Because the commercial base of Korean soap operas is weak than other part of Hallyu, koreans whose job is related to drama businesses of Korea are taking damages from working for Korean soap opera commerce. Thus, since the drama business in Korea is very weak at its commercial sides, Korean soap operas are not enough to convey Korean daily cultures through the world.

Last but not least, the Korean cuisines need more investments and studies. Because most of Korean cuisines are not yet be able to commercially produced, the worldwide awareness of Korean dishes are currently low. Even though there are a lot of Korean cuisines which have capability of attracting people’s mind such as tteokbokki (spiced rice cake), dakkangjeong(sauced chicken balls), or galbijjim(soybean sauced pork), not many people in the world are aware of Korean dishes. Personally speaking, I thought that Korean dishes are better for health than dishes in U.S. after I went to the United States for school trip. .Most cuisines in U.S was too salty, spicy, or too sweet. I could understand why most Korean people are skinny by contrasting food culture of two countries. Korean dishes are not sufficient to convey Korean culture to the world since not so many Koreans are interested in the subject.

To sum up, I think Hallyu is not enough to spread the genuine Korean culture through the world. Korean pop songs are not appropriate to represent the whole musical culture of Korea.

 

 

The revision of my letter to the congress (replacement of the essay about the first CNN news)

Revision – What I want to say to the Korean National Assembly

 

I want to let the congress to do two important things if I have power that is enough to control them.

Above all, I want the congress to reduce the fixed number of each classes of every elementary school, middle school, and high school so that Korean students would receive education with higher quality. Then, more occupation in schools would solve the problem of unemployment in Korea. The teachers would pay more attention on their students’ anecdotal relationship in the classes, so students would be able to get more interests and concerns from their teachers. Actually, some people think that this would give some bad effects on our students because it would suppress freedom of the students’ lives, but I believe the teachers in this current society (which becomes selfish or egocentric) have to concentrate on their students’ social interaction in their classes.  In Addition, less student-classes would make the ‘real education’ possible in Korea. Students would be able to focus on teachers’ lectures deeper and try to participate in the class activity if there’s less students in one unit of class. You might ask a question that ‘would less students around a student make him or her more concentrate on study?’ My answer is YES. There are several researches about the relationship between concentration of a person and the number of other people around him or her. Those results show us that less-student-classes would bring a lot of positive effect on our educational society. With the aspect of current education in Korea, which force students to study harder and harder in the cage-like bustling classes, students keep losing their interests on study and it would make our nation’s future with no expectation.

Secondly, I want to let the congress give more chances and benefits to the poor, so that the poverty would be removed in this nation. Getting rid of the huge gap between classes is the essential thing to make all the civils in Korea get rich and to develop the international impact and dignity of Korea. Also, the equality is one of the main elements of the democracy, so the congress has obvious reason to conduct this plan. The actual methods to achieve this goal are two. Firstly, charging more taxes on the rich people would make more equal society possible. Now in Korea, the poor people are getting poorer and the rich people are getting more wealth. By using Nobless Oblige, tolerance of the elite people in one society, we would solve the problem of this occurance in our nation. Moreover, the congress have to develop and activate the contribution system of our society. It would make the previous idea applied in this society more effectively. There are some opposite opinion that the Nobless Oblige insists the groundless argument. However, I believe that the wealth in one nation must have been allocated to every member of the society by unexplainable rule, and the people who got higher status have to use their power and wealthness to accomplish the society that everybody gets equal rights and chances.

digicode

Digicode, a remarkable language of the Digital World

Digicode, a remarkable language of the Digital World

Some people urge that strange symbols that represent satan or evil appear in digimon creatures, such as pentagrams, and emblems of satan. However, that theory really does not make any sense. It is the fact that some strange alphabets appear in several part of the show, but the meaning of the letters are not evil. They are the ‘digicodes’. Each digicode represents each Japanese and English alphabets.

Continue reading

Term paper – Digimon

Term paper 1

Topic – Digimon

 

121018 Kim sangwoo

10b3

 

Ⅰ. Introduction

 

             There must be a type of sympathy between people who are born around the same age. In my childhood, specifically “the Digimon project” (a concept that includes all commercial business based on the idea of Digimon, such as Digimon TV shows, Digimon card games, and Digimon gift characters) swayed all little boys, girls, juveniles, high-schoolers, and even some adult fans through the world. The spreading effect of Digimon project was magnificent, indeed. Everyone knew about Digimon cards, Digimon games, and the Digimon game instrument named a Damagochi, which allowed one to raise a Digimon creature. Digimon animation features were translated into over 20 languages, and many items related with Digimon project were being exported enormously. For a while, even 40% percent of gift characters in Korea were connected with Digimon project when the animation’s popularity was on at its peak (100). In this way, Digimon project was very powerful, so that it had many kinds of effect on the children who lived in that era. That influence cannot be ignored, because the early age of a person forms his or her elements of fundamental characteristics. In this paper, I would like to think about what consequence did the Digimon project gave to the children of the era and decide whether it was positive or not. Also, I want to analyze certain factors of the success of Digimon project, compare those factors to other animations and confirm whether or not those factors are generally significant.

 

Ⅱ. History

 

            The main concept of Digimon project was invented by Akiyoshi Hongo, who created the original virtual pets, but many things about him is still unknown. Many people suggest that Akiyoshi Hongo is just a pen name of someone who contributed to invent the main idea of Digimon such as Aki Maita, the creator of the Tamagochi, or Takeichi Hongo, the president for Bandai the toy making firm.

In 1997, Tamagochi, a small egg-like game player was released. With that instrument, users could receive an egg called Digitama on its little square screen, and after a while, a creature named Digimon(Digital monster) came out of the egg. There were a lot of different type of Digimon creatures and the allocation was totally random so users could not expect which Digimon creature would be theirs. To enjoy the game, users had to feed them, play them, cure them, let them sleep, wash them, and clean their Digimon creatures’ room frequently. Then, one unsuspected day, their Digimon creatures will be evolved. By connecting their instruments to wireless communication system, users could let their own digimon creatures fight with another Digimon creature that was charge of another person.

The introduction of Tamagochi toy was successful among elementary school children, specifically boys, and an edited type of the Tamagochi was gradually invented by the toy and game player making company Bandai. Therefore, there formed some popularity about Tamagochi and Digimon project among children in Japan. The Toei animation co., an anime production company, planned to make an animation series being inspired by the concept of Digimon based on the Tamagochi concept, and soon the legendary animation was invented. On March 6, 1999, the ‘Digimon Adventure’, short film for a movie, aired in theaters located in Japan. Unexpectedly, the company could got a huge amount of income, and the company started to make a story board of animation series ‘Digimon Adventure’ that followed the fame of original movie of theater version. After a month, ‘Digimon Adventure’, the television show for children, aired on Huji TV, and the popularity of Digimon project began.

 

Ⅲ. Background

 

             Because there was an amazing plot and background, The Digimon project (in this part, especially the Digimon TV shows) could succeed, earn huge amount of funds, and give a lot of effect on children around the world. I’d like to introduce story and background of the concept of Digimon TV shows briefly, so that we could suggest the reason why the Digimon TV series became a hit by understanding the animation totally.

             A digimon (digimon creature) is consist of a group of data. A digimon could be divided into three types- Vaccine, Data, and Virus. Vaccine type digimon creatures have stronger character than those who have Virus type, Virus types are more powerful than Data type, and Data types are usually more intense than Vaccine types. They live in the ‘Digital World’, apart from the Real World, and those two worlds are usually not connected except in the situation when the Digimon World is in some crisis. In the fourth TV animation series of Digimon, ‘Digimon Frontier’, there specifically described D-Terminal which connects the Digital World and the Real World by trailmons, specific kind of digimon creatures that were created based on railroad train. However, at the end of the story, terminal is disrupted by evil digimon creatures. Human could go into the Digital World if there appears a kind of gate between those, but Digimon creatures could not move to Real World. However, if there is some manipulation from an external power, people in the Real World could see Digimon creatures in their world, making a disturbance. As usual, people who saw Digimon creatures in the Real World would think that they are monsters, and only some of them including people who are “DigiDestined” know the exact existence of Digimon creatures. ‘DigiDestined children’ means the main characters who could fight together with their partner digimon to save Digital World in the story, generally were chosen because of their characteristics.  When a digimon creature appears in the Real world, electronic devices that were located near by the digimon creature starts to act abnormally. This concept explains very well that Digimon creatures are consisted of digital data.

In ‘Digimon Adventure’, the first TV animation series of Digimon project, there explained life cycles of a Digimon creature. In usual, Digimon creatures live permanently. When they use all of their power, without relation whether they exhaust their energy naturally by time or receive critical damage from outside, they would become a digitama, drift through the air to specific place where digitamas are taken care, and restart there life again. Digimon creature that has become digitama and grown up again, must forget memories from their previous life because they got small injury on their main database. If a digimon creature’s data is completely destroyed by external impact or internal damage of its main database, it dies. In Digimon TV series, there are not described any digimon creature that was totally died to let audience, usually children, notice the dignity of life. Exceptionally in one episode, an evil digimon creature is died by its master, but by making main characters be shocked because of the death, the show could keep its audience from being forgetful of the importance of life.

             To explain more deeply the life cycle of Digimon creatures, a digimon creature hatches from an egg called Digitama in Japanese, Digi-egg in translation. There are a lot of colors and patterns on each type of Digitama. However, it is not fixed that some kind of Digimon creature should have certain type of Digitama. After hatched from a digitama, a digimon creature grows by a process called ‘Digivolution’, which gives them more power and changed (generally bigger) appearance, but they could not maintain that digivolved form because it needs energy to digivolve and keep it. Therefore, most digimon creatures live their life with their original appearance. There is the fixed evolution tree of Digimon creatures. Digi-egg – Fresh(Baby I) – In-training(Baby II) – Rookie(Child) (-most Digimon creatures keep their appearance in this stage) – Champion(Adult) –Ultimate(Perfect) – Mega – Super Ultimate and further. Also, there are specific names for each digivolution. Digivolution is a formal name for a process when a digimon creature in child form evolves to adult form. Evolution starting from Champion appearance to Ultimate form is called Super Evolve. A word Matrix Evolution is used to describe Ultimate-to-Mega digivolution.

▲                           An example of digivolution tree, especially agumon, partner digimon creature of Taichi the main DigiDestined in ‘Digimon Adventure’.

 

There are several special types of Digivolution. Dark Evolution is contaminated form of digivolution, appeared when someone let a digimon creature to digivolve forcefully. A digimon creature on Perfect stage made through this procession would be virus type, and act evil. This digivolution was first appeared in ‘Digimon Adventure’, when the main character Taichi coerced his partner digimon creature, agumon to digivolve. When two different digimon creatures evolve together by forming an appearance characterized partially from each side, it is called DNA evolution, jogress in Japanese. It was one of the main ingredients of ‘Digimon Adventure 02’ which were developed from the previous series, ‘Digimon Adventure’, so that more percentage of audition for the second series could be possible. Armor Digivolution is a procession when a digimon creature digivolve with a digimental which gives special power to it. This concept was also the main ingredient of the second TV show series, ‘Digimon Adventure 02’. There described over 10 different digimentals in the show, and each digimental has its own crest that gives elemental power to the user digimon creature on it. In ‘Digimon Tamers’, the third TV show series of Digimon project, showed special form of digivolution that could mix a digimon creature’s soul and its tamer’s soul

to make a greater and stronger power, which was named Biomerge evolution.

▲   Left – an example of Armor digivolution. Veemon, the main partner digimon creature of ‘Digimon Adventure 02’, could armor digivolve with three digimentals.

▲   Right – examples of DNA evolution.

 

It could emphasize the main concept of the third series of Digimon project that the real consensus between a tamer and his or her partner digimon pet could make ultimate energy for fighting. The fourth series of Digimon, ‘Digimon Frontier’, suggested the ‘Spirit evolution’ as its main ingredient. DigiDestined children of Digimon Frontier don’t have their partner digimon, but could spirit digivolve to Digimon creature themselves using Spirits. Spirits are the relics which have the power of Ten legendary warriors who had saved the Digital World from destruction by the great fight between human form digimon creatures and beast form digimon creatures. There are ten kinds of Spirit scattered and hidden in place after place in the Digital World, each kind have their own characteristic such as fire, light, thunder, wind, ice, darkness, earth, water, steel, and wood, and there are two spirits which have same characteristc, the human form and the beast form. Thus, there are actually 20 numbers of spirits.

Digivice is the device which connects the DigiDestined children and their partner Digimon creatures, derived from the original idea of Tamagochi. In ‘Digimon Adventure’ and ‘Digimon Adventure 02’, Digivice is used for letting their partner digimon creature to digivolve. Digivices in ‘Digimon Adventure’ have same transparent color, and shaped like the first version of Tamagochi. In ‘Digimon Adventure 02’, however, gave its five main characters different colors of digivices each other. When their partner digimon creatures want to armor digivolve, digimentals that were saved into the digivice of digidestined children comes out of it and applied to the digimon creature. To be new from the previous series, the third series of Digimon TV show ‘Digimon Tamers’ showed D-Arc which have a groove on one side of it so that it could read the special card when DigiDestined children (in this series usually told as ‘Tamers’) use some card to give an effect or extra attacks for their partner Digimon creatures. This action of Tamers is called Digi-modify, Card Slash in Japanese. ‘Digimon Frontier’, the fourth series of Digimon TV shows, had its own concept that the DigiDestined children in this story could spirit evolve to digimon creatures themselves, so the firm made an idea of the D-Tector, known in Japan as the D-scanner, to let DigiDestined children keep their Spirit into their D-Tector and use it anywhere when they want to digivolve. DigiDestined children could take evil character’s Spirit and be taken their Spirit by the enemies, and this concept made the story of ‘Digimon Frontier’ be possible. This show described that the D-Tectors were originally DigiDestined children’s cell phone, but transformed by digital power when they took on a trailmon and decided to go to the Digital World.

 

Ⅳ. Stories

 

  1. Digimon Adventure (1999)

 

This is the first TV show series of Digimon story. There are 7 DigiDestined boys and girls who came to the summer camp, and soon whisked to the Digital World, told as a parallel world of the Real World. In the Digital World, Each Digidestine meets their partner digimon, and start the adventure to save the Digital World. Later, each character discovered a crest that each belonged to a person, such as the Crest of Courage for Tai, the Crest of Friendship for Matt, and the Crest of Love for Sora, which allowed their digimon the digivolve into their Ultimate form. The group consisted of seven original characters. The children are helped by a mysterious man/digimon named Gennai, who helps them via hologram. The Digivices help their Digimon allies to Digivolve into stronger creatures in times of peril. The Digimon usually reached higher forms when their human partners are placed in dangerous situations, such as fighting the evil forces of Devimon, Etemon and Myotismon in their Champion forms.

            

  1. Digimon Adventure 02 (2000)

 

With most of the original characters now in high school, the Digital World was supposedly secure and peaceful. However, a new evil has appeared in the form of the Digimon Emperor (Digimon Kaiser). This new villain is different – he’s a human just like the DigiDestined. The Digimon Emperor has been enslaving all Digimon in sight with Black Rings and Control Spires and, to make things worse, has somehow made regular Digivolution impossible. Three new children are chosen to save the Digital World and, along with TK and Kari, make up the new generation of DigiDestined. In this new series, Digital world prepared five Digi-Eggs with engraved emblems and appointed those to five new DigiDestined (with original members T.K. and Kari), which enable the new evolutionary process, dubbed Armor Digivolution. This new form of evolution helps the new DigiDestined to defeat evil lurking in the Digital World. Eventually, the DigiDestined defeat the Digimon Emperor, more commonly known as Ken Ichijouji on Earth, (who is more or less a rival to Davis) only with the great sacrifice of Ken’s own Digimon, Wormmon. Just when things were thought to be settled, new Digimon enemies made from the deactivated Control Spires start to appear and cause trouble in the Digital World. To atone for his past mistakes, Ken joins the DigiDestined, being a DigiDestined himself, with his Partner Wormmon revived to fight against them. They soon save countries including France and Australia from control spires and defeat MaloMyotismon (BelialVamdemon), the digivolved form of Myotismon (Vamdemon) from the previous series. They stop the evil from destroying the two worlds, and at the end everyone has their own Digimon partner.

 

  1. Digimon Tamers (2001)

 

 Actually, the ultra fame of the Digimon Project starts to decrease gradually from this series of the Digimon TV show are released. The main concept of this version is ‘the Digimon Card Game’. Also, in this series, digimon creatures could keep their existence in the Real World, because the power of the D-Arc(the form of Digivices in this series) protects the digimon creatures from external evil forces of the Real World.

 

  1. Digimon Frontier (2002)

 

  1. Digimon Savers (2006)

 

  1. Digimon Xros Wars (2010)

 

Ⅵ. Effects of Digimon

 

In the first TV show series, also known as the Digimon Adventure, there described a story of Takeru(the littlest boy of the first generation of DigiDestined) and his partner Digimon, angelmon. He becomes a digitama while he protects his partner from the attack of devimon, the chief of evil digimons. The little audiences would notice the importance of self-sacrifice dropping some tears on their little faces while watching this scene.

Like above, Digimon stories gave a lot of positive effects on children globally. I would like to list some of the positive consequences which ‘the Digimon project’ gave to the kids around the world.

 [1] Positive effects to the children

  1. Helped children develop their susceptibilities
    1. Cute and creative creatures

Generally, the appearance of a digimon creature is cute. As the digimon creature evolves, its feature gets more creative and complex. Because the basic concept of the Digimon stories is each digimon creature, the audience must be given effect by the appearance of them. By watching various kinds of digimon creatures, children would stimulate their sensitivity.

  1. Personal conflicts between characters

In Digimon TV shows, the main characters gather their power and ability to defeat the enemies, but sometimes, they fight each other because of small difference in their opinion. While seeing the variance of emotion of the main characters, the audience would be able to understand how to clear up some dispute between friends, and would notice the importance of friendship.

  1. Gave moral lessons and helped the little audiences build their moral standard
    1. Anecdotal stories of the Digidestined children

Most of the Digidestined children of successive generations have their specific personal stories.

In ‘Digimon Adventure’, Tai tends to protect his younger sister Kari too much because once he let his sister be at a crisis in the past. Matt, older brother of Takeru, still has the memory of the moment when his parents divorced, so he starts to self-alienate himself as his brother Takeru grows up to be a man. Sora, a boyish girl who is belonged to her school’s soccer club, has traditional and conservative family. She had a lot of disputes with her mom because of her boy-like characteristic, but by facing and experiencing many accidents in the Digital World, she starts to understand her mom and love her. Koshiro, an intelligent boy with less sensitivity, started to have troubles in relationship after he noticed the fact that his parents are not his real parents. Fortunately, by adventuring in the Digital World with his friends, he begins to open his mind to others. Joe, the oldest boy in the first generation of DigiDestined children, was forced to study by his parents in order to become a doctor when he was in the real world. However, after he experienced a lot of things in the Digital world, he decided to be a doctor in the future himself.

The Digidestined child who has the most special personal story in ‘Digimon Adventure 02’ is the Digimon Kaiser. He threatened the second generation of Digidestined children by using black rings at the previous part of the TV show, but he is actually a Digidestined kid too. He had an older brother who excelled in every subject, so he was very jealous of him. One day, his brother died by an accident. After his perfect brother was gone, Joe was caught by the dark power of the Digital World, and became the Digimon Kaiser himself although he was selected to be a Digidestined child.

In ‘Digimon Frontier’, each 6 children have their peculiar stories. Kanbara Takuya went to the Digital World on his younger brother’s birthday. When he is beaten by Duskmon, he regrets his action of coming to the Digital World, and really misses his family. Koji Minamoto has a step-mother, and he doesn’t feel comfortable to her, so that he never called her ‘mom’. But after the fact that Duskmon(Koichi Kimura) is his twin brother and he is living with Minamoto’s real mother was brought to light, he visits his real mother in the hospital and admits that his step mother is also his mother. On the other hand, before came to the Digital World, Koichi Minamoto noticed that he has a twin brother according to his grandmother’s last word, and started stalking his twin brother Koji. He noticed that Koji has affluent house by following him. After that day, he started envying and hating Minamoto and his father who abandoned Koichi and his mother. On the day that the Digidestined children of the fourth generation came to the Digital World by taking on the trailmon in the secret railroad station, Koichi fell on the stairs while he stalk Koji, and his soul went to the Digital World by extraordinary digital force. Junpei tried to attract his school mates by performing magic show and giving chocolates. However, on rainy day, he saw that no one wanted to use his or her umbrella with him, and got discouraged. After he experienced a lot of accidents in Digital World, he found the fact that a real friend is made by interaction and conversation, not by attraction. Izumi, an independent girl who studied abroad, was alienated by her school mates in Japan. On the day of school trip, she helped one of her school mate when she fell down. The girl promised to cook together at cooking time, but at the time, she broke the promise because of her friend’s disagreement. However, she learned a lot of things in the Digital World. Tomoki, the youngest child of the fourth generation of Digidestined kids, was bullied by his friends. The actual reason why he came to the Digital World is also bulling. However, he learned the power of courage and leadership in the Digital World. When the children who bullied him in the Real World came to the Digital World and faced danger, Tomoki digivolved and protected them. After the Digidestined children came back to the Real world, he made friends with the bullies.

Most of the anecdotal stories of the Digidestined children are related to the problems of parents and family. By this, children whose parents have problems could take heart. In order to let the children admit that their parents have a problem, all of the Digidestined children who have step-parents or divorced parents begin to understand their parents after they went to the Digital World.

  1. Importance of friends

Actually, the main topic of the Digimon TV shows is the ‘importance of friends’, when we consider the relationship between a digidestined child and his or her partner digimon creature as friendship. Partner digimon creatures always fight for their digidestined children. Also, during the adventure, Digidestined children learn how to communicate and cooperate with their friends to survive in the Digital World. If one of the Digidestined children is in danger, rest of the children fight and struggle to rescue him or her.

In ‘Lord of the Flies’, a novel written by William Golding, drifting children in the island gradually lose their reasons and kill each other. Comparing to that story, plots of the Digimon TV shows are very nice and moral.

  1. Moral lessons from many battles against the enemies

In every episode of fighting against the enemies, there’s always some kind of conflict between the children. When the conflict is dissolved and the children unite their efforts, the enemy would be beaten. By watching the procedure of reconciliation, the little audience would understand how they could keep their social relationship with others.

  1. Crest, Digi-eggs, and Spirits

There are always appeared some special objects that represent different characteristics of each Digidestined children of each version of the TV shows.

In ‘Digimon Adventure’, 7 different crests are given to the children. The crests of courage, friendship, love, sincerity, knowledge, reliability, hope, and light represents traits of Tai, Matt, Sora, Mimi, Koushiro, Joe, Takeru, and Kari. The crests enable the partner digimon creatures to digivolve to the Ultimate form.

In ‘Digimon Adventure 02’, 9 different digi-eggs appear and are given to the children. The Digi-eggs of courage, friendship and miracle is given to Daisuke. The Digi-eggs of love and sincerity is given to Miyako. The Digi-eggs of knowledge and reliability is given to Iori. The Digi-egg of hope appeared for Takeru, and the Digi-egg of light appeared for Kari. At the latter part of the show, the Digi-egg of kindness is given to Ken. The Digidestined children’s partner digimon creatures could armor digivolve using the Digi-eggs.

In ‘Digimon Frontier’, 20 different Spirits exist in the Digital World. Ten Spirits (fire, light, ice, wind and thunder spirits. Each kind has two types – human type, and beast type. For example, there are two types of fire spirits – human spirit of fire, and beast spirit of fire. The rest are earth, wood, water, steel, and darkness) are given to the Digidestined children. Fire Spirits(both human type and beast type) for Takuya, Light Spirits for Koji, Ice Spirits for Tomoki, Thunder Spirits for Junpei, and Wind Spirits for Izumi. The Digidestined children could digivolve to the specific digimon creatures by using those Spirits. The Spirits are scattered in the Digital World, and each Spirits appear when each Digidestined child find his or her courage or their genuine characteristics through dangerous situations.

  1. Form a large sympathy between children of the era

Specifically, ‘Digimon Adventure’ made a hit with a huge range of sympathy. It also made a perfect topic of conversation between children in the world, and gave a fantastic dreams and hopes.

Although Digimon project gave a lot of positive influences on children, some people say that the project had bad effects on children. They say, the great fame of the Digimon project keeps giving evil consequences to their kids, so the broadcasting station has to stop carrying Digimon TV shows on their channels now. I would list the causes and reasons that they use to support their opinion, and refute those with reasonable rebuttal.

  1. Strange symbols

Some people urge that strange symbols that represent satan or evil appear in digimon creatures, such as pentagrams, and emblems of satan. However, that theory really does not make any sense. It is the fact that some strange alphabets appear in several part of the show, but the meaning of the letters are not evil. They are the ‘digicodes’. Each digicode represents each Japanese and English alphabets.

 

  1. Violent fights

 As a said before, the Digimon TV shows are based on a life-respectful idea. Even though the digimon creatures fight each other by using physical violence, the purpose of fighting is to protect their human friends from the enemies. Also, no digimon creature dies in the show. They are just ‘revived’ to the other good digimon creatures. When a digimon creature vanishes all of its power, it becomes a digitama, and revives to another digimon creature.

 

Ⅶ. Factors of success

 

Following success of Digimon, a huge amount of related gifts, character items, game players and disks, CDs of anime OST and extra drama of Digimon series, doujinshi, comic books, and card game cards were made and spread all around the world. This also made much more people to notice the existence of Digimon, its popularity as well.

Until now, I explained about the contents and effects of Digimon. I believe that those could help us to analyze the factors of Digimon’s success. To categorize the causes, I want to let them become more reasonable.

  1. Stories about adventure of unknown world and importance of friendship
  2. Concept about digital devices
  3. Anecdotal stories of DigiDestined
  4. Creative creatures, Digimon
  5. Same concept, but totally different contents for each four series
  6. Marketing
  7. Export
  8. Related items

 

Ⅷ. Conclusion

 

The great hit made by the Digimon project gave nice and cool effects on children. It helped children develop their sensitivities by showing them a lot of cute and creative digimon creatures. Also, it gave moral lessons and helped the little audiences build their moral standard by putting diverse kind of personal conflicts between characters and various anecdotal stories of the Digidestined children. Therefore, the audience could notice the great importance of friends, earning moral lessons from many battles against the enemies. I believe that many violent action TV animations which promote children to be violent must follow desirable aspects of the Digimon TV shows. When animations make positive effects on all of the children in the world, the children who have nice moral minds in their heart would build ‘the Real World’ on this society.

 

Ⅸ. References

 

“Digimon [Digital Monster]” Naver encyclopedia. N.p., n.d.. http://100.naver.com/100.nhn?docid=760827. 6 April. 2012

 

“Digicode” Digimon Wiki. N.p., n.d.. http://digimon.wikia.com/wiki/Digicode. 7 April. 2012

 

Golding, William. Lord of the Flies. New York: Penguin Group, 2006. Print.

 

Nerz, Ryan. Digimon: The Official Character Guide. New York: Harper Paperbacks, 2000. Print.

 

“FILM IN REVIEW; ‘Digimon’ ‘The Movie'” The New York Times 6 October 2000, English ed.: 16. Print.

 

“Digimon: the Movie (1999)” The New York Times 27 May 2011, English ed.: 3. Print.