Anyone who grew up with Pokémon in the 90s will no doubt have heard of, if not been a fan of, the Digimon Adventure cartoon and it's incredibly catchy theme song. If you need a refresher: Digimon is a 1997 Japanese virtual pet franchise which spawned an anime, manga, video games, films and a trading card game.
The original Digimon Adventure series
Digimon Adventure ran 54 episodes from 1999 - 2000, and had several sequels, spin-offs and films proceeding it. The narrative follows seven children named (in the English dub) Tai, Matt, Sora, Izzy, Mimi, Joe and T.K. (the younger brother of Matt) who are transported from their summer camp to a dimension called the 'Digital World'. They each are gifted a small electronic device (called a DigiVice) and befriend a creature (the Digimon - short for Digital Monsters - there's a theme here).
When faced with threats, usually larger monsters, they discover that they can use the DigiVices to transform their Digimon into larger, more powerful forms to fight. They travel across the Digital World to find a way home, learning along the way that they are the "DigiDestined", chosen children compatible with Digimon who were brought to the Digital World to help combat the evil Devimon, whom they eventually defeat.
However, Devimon isn't the only threat to the Digital World, and so they face off against further enemies in their search for the Crests (personalised artefacts which will make their Digimon more powerful). Another enemy later emerges in the vampire-like Digimon Myotismon, who is searching the human world for the eighth DigiDestined child - Tai's sister Kari - whom they eventually unite with and together, overcome Myotismon.
They then go on to battle the Dark Masters, learn the truth of why they were chosen as the DigiDestined and battle the most dangerous enemy of all - Apocalymon, who intends to destroy all of existence.
At the conclusion of Digimon Adventures the children return to the human world and the Digimon (with whom they have formed a strong bond) remain in the Digital World. In the direct sequel series set three years later, Digimon Adventure 02, the two youngest members of the group - T.K. and Kari - join up with another group of DigiDestined to face a new threat in the form of the Digimon Emperor.
Digimon Adventure tri.
Digimon is as fun, off the wall and as wonderfully cheesy as you would expect a turn of the millennium children's anime to be, and for many people the original series sparks a serious point of childhood nostalgia (I know it does for me). It's got everything you could want: friendship, family, fighting monsters, ridiculously-named creatures and epic scale battles both in the Digital World and on the streets of Tokyo.
Last year Digimon Adventure tri. was announced as a celebration of the franchises 15th Anniversary. Though initial speculation was that this new series would be a remake of the original, it will in fact form a 6-part theatrical sequel series, with the first instalment Saikai (Reunion) to be released 21st November 2015 in Japan.
Digimon Adventure tri. will be set six years after the end of Digimon Adventure (so three years after the second series), and will feature the eight original DigiDestined protagonists, now high-school age, reunited again with their Digimon partners to face a new threat to the Digital World (presumably whilst dealing with the usual teenage angst and juggling high-school).
The approximate length of the six films will equate to roughly half the run time of the original series, so there's plenty of scope for adventure and multiple villains to appear over the new series run. There's no news yet as to when the proceeding films will be released though, so they may well all function as individual narratives rather than following an overarching collective one.
The art and design has taken on a more cutesy, polished modernisation for the film-sequels (as you can see in the above trailer) but it looks pretty sharp regardless.
With fifteen years since the original series ended there's plenty of pressure on the franchise not to disappoint, and we can only hope that it builds upon the nostalgia of the original rather than steamrollering over it. Time will tell.