Digimon: Digital Monsters characters. From left to right, TK, Matt, Joe, Tai, Sora, Izzy, Mimi. Digimon is owned by Bandai Entertainment.
Introduction to Digimon: Digital Monsters
Japanese anime series, “Digimon: Digital Monsters,” served as a perfect example of what happens when people with their own personal issues fight to struggle with restoration, wholeness and following their destiny.
“Digimon: Digital Monsters” is about 7 kids who were enjoying summer camp but suddenly were sucked into a portal that took them into the digital world. It is there the 7 kids meet their partner Digimon and are thrust into a destiny and purpose they were not too prepared for.
A friendship and partnership is built up between the kids and their partner digimon. Together with their digivice and crests that symbolizes each childs’ character attribute, they fight to protect each other as well the digital and real world.
The main characters in the first season starts off with Tai, Izzy, Sora, Matt, Mimi, Joe and TK.
Throughout the first season, each character represented a specific characteristic that was connected to the crest they carried around their neck.
Tai represented the crest of courage.
Matt represented the crest of friendship.
TK represented the crest of hope.
Izzy represented the crest of knowledge.
Joe represented the crest of reliability.
Mimi represented the crest of sincerity.
Sora represented the crest of love.
As the show progresses, we find out the issues and shortcomings of each of the characters. Tai, while he represented courage, was foolish. Matt, while he represented friendship, was not friendly. TK, who represented hope, was a cry baby. Izzy, while he represented knowledge, was disconnected from reality around him. Joe, who represented reliability, couldn’t rely on other people. Mimi, who represented sincerity, was beyond sincere, but insulting. Sora, who represented love, didn’t truly know or express love.
Each of the characters, whom we know as “the digi-destined,” had their greatest strengths and their greatest weaknesses in a bundle.
I liken it to that of God calling Gideon, who was in hiding, a “mighty warrior.” You couldn’t tell Gideon was one yet, but God was calling out what was in Him even though what was in Him wasn’t showing up JUST yet. Gideon would later be that “mighty warrior” when things got hectic.
Their’s multiple elements that we can pull from the “Digimon: Digital Monsters” series but for a moment I will highlight 2 things here:
Called, When You Don’t Fit The Call Yet
If you were to call me into the ranks of the “digi-destined” and give me a crest and call it something like “the crest of humility,” a few years ago that would’ve been something I would consider incorrect.
Even though I considered myself pretty humble, I had a lot of heart work that needed to be done.
Like Tai, Matt, Sora and everyone else, the following would’ve happened to me. Something awful, yet wonderful.
The purpose and the destined position would’ve place me in a position where I would have to change and become that person that I truly am. I would be challenged to change. I would run into things that would question my heart. The entire time, as we battle together to save both worlds, I would have to question if my heart was truly set to be “humble” and “self-less” as the so-called assigned crest would say I am.
Case in point, Ken, formerly the Digimon emperor, was cruel and harsh and mean, and yet later he received the crest of kindness. We learn that he forgot about who he was because of some things that happened in his past. His partner Digimon and others later remind him that the person He was was NOT the Digimon emperor. That persona was built from pain. He was made for the crest of kindness. It was the truest thing about his identity.
So, for me, if there was such thing as a crest of humility, I know I would represent it better than what I could a few years ago.
In the Bible, God calls out so many different people and Jesus does the same thing. He calls us out from the darkness and into light on multiple levels. He calls us who we TRULY are to Him, not the stuff we made up for ourselves. Often times, He will call us who we truly are in order to do the things we were destined to do.
The Enemy Doesn’t Want You To Know Who You Are
Your identity is so important! It is important for you and it was incredibly important to the “digi-destined.”
You ever notice that each of the enemies, especially the major enemies, worked tirelessly and strategically to try and keep the characters from knowing who they really were. They worked to bring confusion, battles, suffering and even separation (if you would recall the episodes on file island).
Izzy was hit with confusion when he was tricked into giving up his knowledge. Matt was hit with lies when told he must fight against Tai and the others. Tai was hit with guilt when his sister, Kari, was sick. And the list goes on!
Much like with the understanding of the Bible, the devil is interested in separating you from God and His love through His son, Jesus.
And yet, as the series went on, not only did the “digi-destined” learn more about themselves, they began walking in there true identity. They began to heal from the wounds of the past and the present and they learned to trust each other. The bad guys kept going down one after another the stronger the kids got.
Destined For Greatness
Everyone has something to bring to the table. Everyone! You too! Yes, you! Before writing this article, I’ll be honest, I thought I had literally lost my mind.
But, then, I started thinking about what this meant. This meant that even in my imperfections, even in my weirdness and geekiness, God is able to use me to reach out to a generation of others.
Cartoons and anime for me are a passion. I love watching them, drawing them, reading about them and talking about them. But I especially love talking about God and my relationship with Christ!
At first, I didn’t think the calling on my life really fit. Now, I’m learning that not only does it fit, I’m learning why.
Because, I’m a broken, destined man, destined to do the work called for me to do by my savior Jesus. After all, my identity IS in Christ.
My hope is that not only do you pull the truth of the Gospel from this article, but that you also really enjoy sitting down and thinking about how God, even now, is speaking to us through nature, through art, through creativity and is leading us straight back to the truth of His word and the Gospel as a whole.