How does Digimon discuss depression in its plot line?

This article will show how the 2000s show Digimon tackled the theme of depression in its plot line. It will explain how depression became a part of the story, and the traits depression brought to the character.

How does Digimon discuss depression in its plot line? 

Digimon is a show that has always been thought of being similar to Pokemon, but differently from it, Digimon proposes itself to tackle a range of darker topics. The third season of the show, called Digimon Tamers, is viewed by fans as one that brings the darkest topics.

In it, the characters have to face real challenges, to save the life of people they love. And even though some of the episodes seem to be a little lighter, there is also some part of the show that gets extremely dark. And depression is depicted mostly through the character Jeri.

She seems to be a happy girl, always smiling, walking everywhere holding her puppet, and she has a little crush on Takato. But beneath that exterior, lies sadness, and some deeply traumatic experiences.

Throughout the third season, the viewers begin to realize that she is extremely lonely, and feels like she doesn’t belong. To deal with that, once she discovers that Digimons are real, she wants one as well, since she sees the other characters have fun with them. 

Aside from that, she gets a feeling that caring for the Digimon can also be something that will give her purpose.

This lack of purpose may be the first sign that she is struggling with depression. When someone is depressed, they can lose interest in things they love, all sense of joy, and purpose. Leading their life to feel empty.

At some point, she is walking in a park, and she comes across a Leomon. Her first thought is that he is there for her, and she keeps chasing him around, and at some point, she gets a digivice, and they become partners.

When this happens, the viewer gets a little sense of hope that now Jeri’s life will be a little better, after all, she has been through. And it is at that point of the story, that we learn what has happened in Jeri’s life that has made her depressed.

She comes from a broken home. When she was around 4 or 5, her mother died. And besides dealing with the pain of losing her, she had to see her father struggling with this horrible loss as well. In dealing with his grief, he became distant and was unable to show any affection towards Jeri, because she reminded him of his deceased wife.

After a while, Jeri’s father gets married again. And she feels that her stepmother is trying to erase the memory of her mother. This is not true, since she is often very warm towards Jeri, who often coldly treats her.

To deal with her pain, she develops a coping mechanism in which she distances herself from reality, and starts to talk through her puppet. That new personality of hers doesn’t need to deal with anger or sadness. 

But this surely can’t go on forever. And as she begins to open herself up to people, and Leomon, she will have to deal with more difficult times.

Beyond all that suffering that she has already experienced, closer to the end of the third season, her beloved Digimon Leomom is brutally murdered in a battle. And from then on, her emotional state only gets worse.

She begins to distance herself from others, and will barely say a word until the journey through the digital world in which they are has ended. And because she is so quiet, when she gets replaced by a puppet her friends don’t even realize.

While she is captured by the D-Reaper who is feeding on her sorrow. And causing her to feel as useless, and empty as she has ever thought she was. When her friends try to save her, she has such a deep sense that she is worthless, and she is so hopeless, that she tells them they are better off leaving her there.

It seems that, in the same way as most people when they are going through major depression, Jeri is feeling that there is no reason for her to keep on living. Her life and even her future don’t speak a word to her. And by the final episodes, we see her hitting bottom.

Until she is rescued and gets a chance at getting better. But this outcome may not be the most important thing when talking about how Digimon portrays depression in its plot line. The most relevant part of all of this is how a child show manages to find a way to talk about deep and serious feelings.

Surely it was all made in a way that is palatable to children, so they can relate to how the characters feel. And even though they never name Jeri’s condition as depression, showing that this spectrum of emotions exists, can help them learn more about it, and lose the stigma around mental illness.

By touching on these uncomfortable subjects Digimon probably left a mark in the memory of many 2000s children.  And those may have learned, from a very young age, how important it is to rely on friends, have a supportive family, and have people that believe you are worth saving, even when you don’t believe in that yourself.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): How does Digimon discuss depression in its plot line? 

Is a cartoon discussing depression a good thing? 

Yes, it is extremely positive that cartoons, movies, and tv shows start to discuss matters such as depression, and other mental health issues. By doing so, they will allow people to become more aware of what it means to be depressed.

It can help people understand that depression is not the same thing as common sadness, an. by knowing that, they can understand that it requires a different treatment than when someone is sad.

Aside from that, having a cartoon, such as Digimon, talking about depression, helps break the stigma that exists around the condition. From the kids that are watching it, to their parents, everyone will understand that depression can be the result of a traumatic situation, and when going through it, the person can lose their will to live, as was shown in Digimon.

But it also shows what are some of the most important ways to help a person with depression to cope. Shows how social support is important, and how it will help people begin to believe in themselves once again.

Can you get depressed from watching a sad show?

No, it is not likely that you will get depressed by watching a sad tv show. It is a fact that watching a sad show can cause you to experience sadness and even some other emotions. But it is not something that will cause you to be depressed at once.

What it can do is, if you are already depressed, it can cause you to be filled with some more negative emotions, making your symptoms more intense. But it doesn’t mean you should never watch sad things, rather, focus on how you are feeling at the moment, and if you feel that the sadness the movie will bring will be too much, you may want to avoid it.

What are the forms of depression? 

Depression can happen in four ways. It can be mild, moderate, major, and even persistent. The first one, as the name says, presents itself with mild symptoms. And those will only go on for a few weeks, making it harder to diagnose. But to treat mild depression, people will often mostly need to change their lifestyle.

Moderate depression is a little more intense, and it affects the person’s life. It will also go on for longer, and to treat it people will usually go to therapy, and some of them will need medication.

Moderate depression, also known as clinical depression, is the most intense form of depression and can last a few months. During that time, the person will experience the common symptoms of depression so intensely that they may find it impossible to do the simplest things like getting out of bed.

But aside from the common symptoms of depression, the person with major depression can also experience hallucinations, and even become delusional. To treat it, people will need a joint treatment of therapy and medication. This is also required when someone is going through persistent depression.

That form of depression is one in which the episodes can go on for as long as five years. During this time the person may experience swings between mild symptoms, and major depressive symptoms.

Does depression have a cure?

No, depression doesn’t have a cure. Rather than that, mental health professionals will say that depression will go into remission. That is because there is a genetic factor to depression, which can’t be changed even after you go through treatment.

But when you go into remission, you will be able to regain control over your emotions. Aside from that, you will have an interest in things once again and will be able to feel joy. And even though that is wonderful, you should still keep an eye on your mental health, since it may be the only way to prevent future relapse.

What are the most common symptoms of depression?

Depression can cause the person to experience intense sadness, and lose interest in things, even the ones they used to love. Aside from that, it causes the person to feel less energetic, and have trouble with their cognitive functions, making it harder to focus, and bringing problems to their memory.

A person with depression may feel more fatigued, irritable, ashamed, and guilty. Their sense of self-worth and self-esteem will go down, and they will feel empty, helpless, and hopeless. Not only that, depression will change your eating and sleeping patterns and make you fatigued.

In some cases, depression can lead people to self-harm, and even to have thoughts of death or suicidal thoughts. It is important to keep in mind that not everyone will manifest depression the same way but to be diagnosed with depression, the person will have to experience some of the symptoms for more than two weeks.


This article showed how the cartoon Digimon portrayed depression as part of its plot line, and how the characters that were depressed were portrayed.

If you have any questions or comments about this article, feel free to write them in the section below.


Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!