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Digimon: Digital Monsters (Season 3) - A Dark Turn in the Digimon Universe

Digimon: Digital Monsters Season 3 (known as Digimon Tamers in Japan) is the third anime television series of the Digimon franchise, produced by Toei Animation. The series takes place in a setting separated from the preceding series, Digimon Adventure and Digimon Adventure 02, where the characters utilize cards from the collectible card games. Digimon: Digital Monsters Season 3 aired in Japan from April 2001 to March 2002. The English-language version by Saban Entertainment aired in North America from September 2001 to June 2002. A manga adaptation by Yuen Wong Yu ran from April to October 2004.

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Digimon (short for Digital Monsters) is a Japanese media franchise by Bandai encompassing virtual pet toys, anime, manga, video games, films and a trading card game. Digimon are monsters living in a parallel universe that originated from Earth's various communication networks. Originally released in 1997 as a series of virtual pocket pets, Digimon were designed to be a fighting version of the Tamagotchi. In this sense, Digimon have always been digital pets that you can raise and battle. In March of 1999, Digimon launched an anime TV series which expanded overseas and has accounted for much of the brand's worldwide success.

The plot of Digimon: Digital Monsters Season 3 follows Takato Matsuki, a fan of the Digimon card game. Takato finds a Blue Card, which transforms his card reader into a D-Power. His original Digimon creation, Guilmon, materializes into real life when his D-Power scans his drawings. Takato meets Henry Wong and Rika Nonaka, two other children who are partnered with Terriermon and Renamon, as well as Calumon and Impmon. As wild Digimon began roaming Shinjuku, the Tamers defeat them and defend the city. Using their D-Powers, the Tamers can Digi-modify through scanning cards or help them Digivolve. After each Digimon is defeated, their Digimon obtains their data.

Due to its differences from the first two Digimon series, Digimon: Digital Monsters Season 3 received mixed reviews when it first aired in the United States in September 2001. In comparison to the first two series, it displayed darker undertones in its plot. According to English-language dub voice actor Dave Wittenberg, the new series possessed "an element of seriousness" that was not present in the first two series. Additionally, some parts would be better understood by older viewers due to the introduction of more difficult concepts. Jacob Chapman of Anime News Network notes that This series is by far the most terrifying, and at certain points disturbing season of Digimon ever produced, due to Konaka's Lovecraft-fueled influence. Regarding this, Konaka believes that Calumon and Terriermon were able to tone down the grim and serious atmosphere of the occasionally tough scenes throughout the series.

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