In early 1997, during the tamagotchi craze, the first Digimon appeared, as a sort of preview, in a Japanese magazine called Young Jump. In April of the same year the Digimon concept (that of digital monsters living on the network) was introduced, and on June 26th, 1997, the first Digimon tamagotchi, called the "Digital Monster", was released. Later that summer, the C'mon Digimon manga was released, and in November, due to the overwhelming popularity, of the toy, the original "Digital Monster" tamagotchi was re-released in four more colors, and in December a second version of the "Digital Monster" was released in two colors. It was all shot off from there.
In 1998, the Digital Monster Ver. 2 was re-released, with two new colors, and the Digital Monster Ver. 3 went on sale with four different colors. The first Digimon event was held, the D-1 Grand Prix, Digital Monster Ver. S Digimon tamers was released, a fourth and fifth version of the Digital Monster tamagotchi came out, as well as the first Digimon Pendulum, and the first real full-length manga, Digimon Adventure V-Tamer 01.
From 1999 to 2003, the Digimon World games for major consoles came out, the first Digimon movie was released, and shortly after the Digimon Adventure television series was aired (followed by Digimon Adventure 02, Digimon Tamers, and Digimon Frontier and more movies), more V-Pets, as they were called, came out, Wonderswan games, and toys based on the show. A card game also came out, plus CDs featuring music from the show.
Because of the extraordinary popularity of Digimon in Japan, it brought over to many other countries, including the US, where it was nearly as popular. Although the show so far has ended, new Digimon products continue to be released in Japan, America, and other regions, including new V-Pets, new movies, and new cards. The show itself also continues to be aired on US television. It is believed that in the near future a new series will be released...
Digimon itself, however, is more than just tamagotchi and television shows. It's about digial monsters, living on the network, that live and die with their Tamers.