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Metroid: Other M - The Other Mouth


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What The Egad - Digimon Tamers: Of Parenthood and Personhood (Part 01)

  LiveJournal seems to be having a problem embedding the video. If it does not show up here, click on this link:


  Parenthood is a prevalent theme throughout Science Fiction, a theme following similar tropes that have been set forth by other story mediums featuring the rise of self-aware artificial programs.  The prevalence of this theme begs the question what ideology is being set forth by its presence in our modern-day media.  In other words, popular culture has been drawn to this particular theme for a while now.  For example, The Matrix, Battlestar Galactica, Mass Effect, and the Terminator series to name a few.  All of those stories tend toward a certain point a view about robots and their creators in a manner akin to children and their parents.  Digimon Tamers would most likely not be put into the same category as those other mediums because its ties to a toy-making franchise for children would give it the appearance of being superficial and immature. However, this not the case—Digimon Tamers places a unique spin on the thematic concept by tying the AI generation to a group human children.  These human children unwittingly become the pseudo-parents to a lost generation—AI constructs that were, for all intents and purposes, disposed of by their original creators.  The human children are then thrown into an incredible adventure alongside their Digimon partners and take a journey into adulthood as a result of their experiences.  Closely related to the aspect of parenthood is the subject of personhood—or specifically the fundamental substance of these digital monsters outside the limitations of their predetermined status laid upon them by their original partners—the people who created them.  The importance of these themes will also be expressed not only In their positive affect in the overall storyline of Digimon Tamers, but also in how those themes allude to modern-day cultural ideology to the benefit of the audience.

  Our progression into both themes begins on a rather humble note—that of a young boy, Takato Matsuda, utilizing two very powerful proverbial weapons—pen and paper.  Takato draws up some mysterious schematics for what, in his mind, would be the perfect Digimon partner.  Think of this along the lines of Geppetto laying out plans for the creation of Pinocchio.  Looking at this allegorically from a thematic standpoint, Takato might as well be  asking for the perfect child to be dropped into his life.  One should trust that this allegory will make much more sense when dealing with Takato’s parents in addition to the parents of the show’s other primary protagonists—Jenrya Lee and Ruki Makino.  The initial reaction to Takato’s doodling is also extremely ironic to the true nature of things to come as Takato’s homeroom teacher, Miss Asaji, points out Takato’s neglect of his current responsibilities.  In all reality, the occasion of Takato simply missing a class will pale in comparison to the enormous impact that taking care of Guilmon will have on his life.  Indeed, even as Takato writes his letter of apology for neglect while in detention, he also completes his design for what will soon become the greatest responsibility he will ever procure.
  Surrounding Guilmon’s birth, there are a few scenic details that carry on throughout the show and add to its mystique, giving more leverage to interpretations about the theme parenthood.  Specifically, there is the idle construction site which Takato, dirtying himself in the process, makes a heartfelt effort to access in order to find the treasure that lies within.  Moreover, consider that every Digimon emergence into the real world, including Guilmon’s, is accompanied by a sudden burst of energy, as if a giant water-balloon had popped leaving milky-white haze in its wake.  What’s being painted here is a rather crude symbolic representation of birth—done ever-so-subtlety under the perimeters of children’s television.  Interestingly, much of this symbolism is in chiastic accordance with Chiaki Konaka’s choice death symbolism—the Lovecraft-inspired horror named the D-Reaper.

  Obviously, the first priority for Takato is to somehow integrate Guilmon into human society, a task which proves extremely trying as Guilmon’s presence is accompanied by a mixture of pain and fear alongside very few joyous moments.  Takato and Guilmon’s first adventure together does not take place within the confines of a stylized battle, an oddity to be sure, as one might assume such an ordeal would be appropriate due to the nature of the Digimon franchise.  To the credit of how well-written the show is, the lack of violent conflict becoming defining aspect of the show’s protagonists contributes to the idea that Digimon are able to exist outside their predetermined status—they’re people just like their human partners and are no longer subject to being shackled to cards or a video games.  Takato’s initial dilemma in dealing with his allegorical progeny is simply getting Guilmon to stay put.  There’s an ironic twist put on the whole ordeal as one realizes that Takato’s running about his school in search for Guilmon was preceded by Takato’s own failure of neglect which landed him in detention only a day earlier.  However, this time he’s being punished by God rather than by men.  Of interest and further accompanying both themes is that of Guilmon insertion into human society filtered through Takato:
  <Reference: Digimon Tamers, Episode 02>
  This is the first conversation between Takato and Guilmon, and it serves as Guilmon’s indoctrination into a particular role set by Takato.  Many assumptions are wrapped up in this scene, the bulk of which will be deconstructed over the course of Tamer’s preliminary story arc.  Moreover, the deconstruction process takes place in the lives of the other children and their Digimon partners in addition to Takato and Guilmon.
  Notice that Guilmon is hereby referred to by his creature title, and he is not given any specific name that might be appropriate due the circumstances of his real-world materialization nor any recognized person status.  Confused, Guilmon begins to refer to Takato as “Takatomon”, and he is quickly corrected.  Clearly, Takato wants to differentiate himself from Guilmon in this manner, yielding insight as to Takato’s mindset concerning Guilmon.  What’s even more interesting is that Guilmon continually refers to himself in the third person, most likely owning to his understanding about how names and titles work.  Then, there is the donning of the leadership goggles and Takato’s announcement that he shall become a Digimon Tamer—all ending with Guilmon cocking his head to the side, further befuddled about the entire affair.  Obviously, Takato’s presumptions are all based on a fantasy—the card game he was playing with his friends—when reality is staring him in the face!  The entire scene is interesting in that, if any of this were put into legal terms, then Takato has basically coerced Guilmon into servitude or slavery based on the mere fact that it is the presupposed purpose of Digital Monsters.  This all implies that Takato has no qualms about treating Guilmon like a non-person, but more terrifyingly that Takato approaches that aspect with absolute innocence.

  The validity of Takato’s presuppositions are put to test when, just three episodes into the show, he is challenged by Ruki Makino and her partner Renamon.  At that moment, Takato realizes that he’s not quite cut out for being a Tamer, and he also knows that he could lose his new friend forever.  Subtlety, the dialogue contains hints of Takato referring to his own naivety:
<Reference: Digimon Tamers, Episode 03>
  On a side note, it was only two episodes earlier that Takato’s friends had this to say to him when he told them about a prophetic dream he had:-
<Reference: Digimon Tamers, Episode 01>
  What is being conveyed here is the idea that Takato is having to grow up a lot sooner than would suit his biological age.  That is allegorically illustrated by Guilmon’s coming into the world with an adult-like body despite a very child-like intelligence.  Remember that Takato even sketched him that way, so in a sense, the apple doesn’t fall very far from the tree when it comes to his father-like relationship with Guilmon.  Takato straight-up asked for this mantle—he put the goggles on his head and gave into delusions of grandeur.  When it came to blows with the likes of Ruki, why is Takato so quick to abondon those delusions straightaway, making every effort to excuse Guilmon from the fight?  This strikes of the importance of the day’s events prior to his encounter, when he was running around his school searching for Guilmon.  Imagine Takato heading straight into battle right after convincing himself he was ready for this—there’s a chance he would have been more apt to accept the challenge and have the fight devolve into a Pokémon-esque flesh-and-blood struggle.  However, the recent experience with almost having lost Guilmon amidst the grounds of his school had most-likely served to shake Takato’s core, no doubt being fresh in his mind as Ruki challenged him.  His concern is taken from potentially winning a theatrical battle to the prospect of losing a child who he was just beginning to establish a relationship with.  Ultimately, Takato’s having to cope with all these things is extremely unusual for somebody his age—a rather tragic set of variables to be sure.
The theme of personhood also begins to impact this episode quite heavily as well, compounding the ultimate problem with the fundamental existence of these Digital monsters.  Ruki responds to Takato’s objections rather poignantly:-
<Reference: Digimon Tamers, Episode 03>
  Ruki’s assertion here leads back to the question about whether or not these creatures’ predetermined nature—their programming—affects their person status.  Obviously, Ruki does not regard Renamon as her equal—merely a tool used for her own personal entertainment.  Moreover, we discover that Ruki is ready and willing to do bodily harm not only to Guilmon but even Takato himself!  All in all, this is just a taste of how far-removed Ruki’s perspective is concerning these creatures and how it has also affected her own humanity as a result.  As another tribute to how well-written this show is, all of these things are shown and not outright told to the audience.  Therefore one can clearly begin to discern between right and wrong based on character actions.  Fortunately for Takato, Jenrya Lee—the boy Takato met earlier while searching for Guilmon--suddenly arrives along with his partner Terriermon, marking the very first coming-together of this trio of would-be-heroes.  Jen managing to put a stop to the fight while testifying to a point of view opposing Ruki’s:-
  As another testament to the show’s writing, the issue concerning personhood doesn’t yield to any clear-cut assumptions on either side—Ruki’s or Jen’s—meaning that there is no direct confirmation that either one is correct in their assumptions.  In fact, the issue itself comes packed with multiple perceptions, owing to the character-driving assets the show boasts.  For instance, it is revealed that Jen’s father actually shares Ruki’s sentiments concerning the nature of Digimon—although his views are actually grounded in what he believes are fundamental aspects of science:-
  <Reference: Digimon Tamers, Episode 04>
  The implications of those statements are quite terrifying.  In a way ways, Jen’s father might as well be justifying the future incursion by the deities of the Digital World as well as the D-Reaper invasion.  There’s also an underlying assumption that, somehow, humans are far-removed from the cycles of nature.  The admission that, although all the attributes of natural selection have been assigned to Digimon in accordance to wild beasts, the affairs that Jen is worrying himself about exist within the perimeters of a video-game.  One should recall the original two scenes introducing Tamers, the first depicting a fleeing Culumon witnessing a battle between two other denizens from the Digital World followed by a simple card game between two children at a school playground.  The cards faces are eerily similar to those of the two monsters we’d just seen grappling with each other in a fight to the death.  The most discomforting aspect about the first few episode going into Tamers is the subliminal realization that the game is a façade and reality reigns supreme.  Indeed, while Ruki may feel confident at first, believing in that fantasy and going about ambushing random people for a fight like the world is her very-own Pokémon game, what recourse does she have when that entire façade suddenly breaks down?  Divine retribution comes in the form of a supreme move of role reversals wherein Ruki becomes a victim of her own antics and Jen—a pacifist—unwittingly becomes the aggressor.  The irony is complete when Taktao, the one lacking experience and the original victim of Ruki’s earlier advances, orders Guilmon to save Ruki from being gunned down.  Ultimately, the entire ordeal serves as one small step toward waking Ruki up to the fact that she’s very far-removed from reality.  Moreover, Takato—serving as a proxy for the audience’s perspective—is allowed to discern between the other two children which will give ground to his eventually conquering their hearts and leading them toward a higher cause.
  There’s more to come on this subject, broad as it is, but there comes the question about what all this means in the entire scheme of things—meaning, outside the cartoon itself and relating to the lives its audience-members.  Life’s mysteries can be explored in very interesting ways through film and television, which is why Digimon Tamers—in  retrospect—is such an exceptional a cartoon.  Its writing never really played by the rules of a regular toy franchise by shoving superficial nonsense in the faces of its audiences in hopes of cheaply and shamelessly promoting itself —granted special animation sequences took the reigns of that particular aspect quite often throughout the show.  Arguably, the cards and electronic devices featured in the show appear to be the exceptions, but the fact that they’re used in conjunction with the themes begs a different viewpoint.  Part of modern-day lifestyle is to rely on technological apparatuses such as television, phones, and computers—all viably represented by the toys of the Digimon franchise like the Digivice.  Therefore, Digimon Tamers intrinsically utilizes such technological aspects in ways that are discernable within the story element outside simply try selling toys that look like those constructs.  Technology paints the world in ways that its users come to accept as a facet of everyday life.  Each of the children, Takato, Jen, and Ruki, have grown into particular worldview, but their lives must change now reality was thrown into their faces in the forms of their Digimon partners.  Ultimatley, what will be learned is that the franchise as it exists in the show actually serves as a cover for the shadow organization Hypnos, pulling the wool over society’s eyes while it’s people make every attempt eliminate a lost generation of children—the Digimon.  A prime example of writer Chiaki Konaka’s insight into a fine-tuned, socially-engineered technology-savvy society, is obligatorily illustrated during the third episode, wherein Takato discovers that the best place to hide Guilmon is in right in plain sight:-
<Reference: Digimon Tamers, Episode 03>
  In 1954, Dr. Seuss published a book named Horton Hears a Who! The book told the story of an elephant who discovers another world resting on speck of dust—a world inhabited by microscopic creatures.  Those creatures then rely on Horton—the only one to acknowledge their existence—to protect them from harm.  Horton happily agrees to do so, all throughout the entire book proclaiming that "even though you can’t see or hear them at all, a person’s a person, no matter how small."  Unfortunately, Horton would later be hounded by all manner of jungle inhabitants insisting on destroying that speck of dust simply because Horton believes people live there.  The book deals with an aftermath scenario—a future brought about by the result of bad ideology, faithlessness, and a loss of compassion.  Digimon Tamers, on the other hand, deals much with the world before such an aftermath has occurred—the spreading of ideology toward a false conclusion of an undeniable truth.  That undeniable truth is that, beyond the façade of the video games and card games, there are living breathing creatures from another world.  Our human protagonists Takato, Jen, and Ruki are just beginning to acknowledge what their purpose will be outside that façade, ultimately defining them as pseudo-parents to a lost generation of children who were forsaken by their previous generation due to the nature of the beast (a literal metaphor made in heaven given the show deals with real monsters alongside human beings).

  <End Part One>

Digimon Adventure 02: Diablomon Strikes Back "In Retrospect"

The transcript...more or less:

Diablomon Strikes Back is basically the Adventure 02 equivalent to Our War Game.  It’s a simple movie and it stays within the confines of its own roller coaster ride.  In fact, that’s an apt comparison—Diablomon Strikes Back is like a theme park attraction.  You ride it, enjoy it, get off and move on.  Now I could just pass it off as being a guilty pleasure, but there’s something about this film that I believe worked most effectively in respect to the simplicity in which it was executed.  That something is that this film was only thirty minutes long!

 So why is it having such a short length so effective, you may or may not ask.  Well, some of you might be familiar with the movie Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen by director Michael Bay or the newest Star Trek film by director J. J. Abrams.  There are numerous criticisms for those movies, mostly dealing with how, to quote Shakespeare, it was “a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

 Well, that’s basically what Diablomon Strikes Back boils down to.  However, time is the key difference between Diablomon Strikes Back and those other two films I mentioned.  Breaking it down as far as film longevity, Diablomon Strikes Back is actually extremely effective considering the simplicity of its story in relation to how long the movie is.  It doesn’t pad things out unnecessarily nor does it invent secondary plots or characters for a contrived appearance of originality.  The film doesn’t last long enough for you to realize that you’re basically watching nothing!  It doesn’t add anything to Adventure 02, but at the same time it doesn’t take anything away from it.  All in all, Diablomon Strikes Back could very-well be considered just a glorified filler episode of Adventure 02.

 The film spends just enough time with each and every Chosen Child to reiterate their base functionality in Adventure 02—obviously focusing on the Adventure 02 main cast more then characters from the original Digimon Adventure.  Some of the lines exist merely to give us context for we were familiarized with from the show.  I normally have a lot to say about these things, but this movie actually surprised me in being very humble about it—enough that I don’t believe much more can be said than that it was fun!  I enjoyed myself!

 I will say one last thing, however before I let this one go. I did find one line in particular, delivered by Ken Ichijoji, to be quite humorous—in an ironic sense.  He tells Daisuke, “Don’t you always get some incredible power when things are going really badly?”  And before Daisuke can respond, Jou arrives on a bicycle to help them out.  I can’t help but wonder whether this was a deliberate breaking of the fourth wall, as if Ken was nodding at what Daisuke would become in the latter half of Adventure 02.  Like I said about Long Title, Daisuke is once again relegated to the status of human being in this movie—and it suits him!  Jou’s arrival is the unspoken answer to Ken’s question.  In this movie, Daisuke has no incredible power when things go badly.  In this movie, Daisuke had to rely on the aid of a friend in order to pull through.  In this movie, Daisuke is just a child like everyone else!  In the end, it wasn’t just Daisuke and Ken who conquered Diablomon.  Rather, the entire world was saved once again thanks to the combined efforts of the Chosen Children working as a team.  If anything, that is the collaboration that should have defined the Chosen Children, it would most definitely have been more appreciated than what was thrown into our faces in the finale.


Digimon Hurricane Touchdown!! / Supreme Evolution!! The Golden Digimentals "In Retrospect"

The transcript...more or less:

Digimon Adventure 02: Digimon Hurricane Touchdown!! / Supreme Evolution!! The Golden Digimentals (AKA, “Long Title”).  Might I add, “Long Film” to that as well?


I’ve seen both the English and Japanese versions of this film and I’ll be quite frank in saying I have no desire to see this film ever again—no matter what the version is.  Now I don’t say that because Long Title is essentially a bad film by any means—I say this because it is an extremely frustrating film to watch.  Now, some films can be frustrating in a good way, like the Matrix—a film that I had to see a few times in order to figure everything out, but because I was given enough leeway to care about what was happening I was completely willing to see it again.


Long Title is just way too chaotic and just plain confusing.  It was also longer than it needed to be for the type of story it was telling.  While I couldn’t figure out what was going on half the time, I wasn’t given any leeway to really care about what was going on either.  Part of the reason for that is technical, having to do with the music and the length of the movie itself, but it’s also based on the suspicion that if I ever got to Long Title’s baseline problems, I’d probably discover there was nothing there but an excuse saying, “We’re sorry about all these mistakes, but we really needed to milk the franchise.”


Even so, I still cannot determine whether I liked or disliked this film.  Now, that actually might sound strange to you considering all I’ve just said, but that’s actually another part of what’s so frustrating for me about it.


Let me see if I can explain.  TV usually tries to address just about every aspect about every medium of entertainment, covering just about everything about anything.  Sometimes TV Tropes can have a very negative effect on a movie-going experience because the viewer will no longer go to movies with the intention of simply enjoying oneself.  Rather, he or she will have learned to nitpick just about everything and completely forget about the enjoyment factor altogether.  Part of the reason I take such an objective stance on the things I talk about is because I want to divorce myself from that mind-set.  If I liked or dislike something, I want to know why I liked or disliked it.  If it contained certain tropes within its context, I want to know why those tropes were utilized and whether or not they were appropriate or not.


Long Title is frustrating to me because I don’t know how to feel about it at all.  I don’t feel as if anything even tried to work one way or the other with this film—a lot of stuff just happens and there’s almost no rhyme or reason to it.  The story progresses, but I don’t really get the thought process that got us from point A to point Z.  You know, I actually forgot the fact that this movie was supposed to be in any way related to Adventure 02.  I even started to lose track of the fact that this was a Digimon movie.


Let’s talk about the characters, shall we?  Huh…the characters…there’s actually not much to say in that department.  The Chosen Children from the original Digimon Adventure play about as big a role as Princess Peach does in many of the Super Mario games—their entire purpose in this film is to be kidnapped and rescued and that’s it!  Sidelined once again, I see—more apt to say they were shoved into a corner.  Actually just about everyone is thrown into a corner in this film except for Daisuke, Wallace, and Wallace two Digimon partners.  Every scene between the fights basically serves as a time to get to know Wallace and his Digimon partners or see Wallace and Daisuke interact with each other.  Meanwhile, while that’s going on I’m asking questions like, “What’s happening with Hikari and Takeru?!”  This film spends no investment into their characters; they only appear briefly at the beginning of the film and then show up at the last minute near the end to provide Daisuke and Wallace with a Deus ex Machina.  What a waste.


And it’s not even those two who get shafted—Miyako and Iori have almost nothing to contribute to this movie either, and their Digimon partners only serve as pummel fodder for our main villain.  Miyako just serves as a turn-on for Wallace.  And Iori…I don’t even want to call this kid “Iori” as the few lines he’s given in the context of this movie really don’t coincide with the character who was established in the Adventure 02 television series.


But that’s just another problem with this film—none of the characters are in any way related to the characters we were familiarized with in the television series.  I wouldn’t have such a problem with that if these characters were given a new degree of development apart from the series that actually worked in the context of this movie.  But with the exception of Daisuke and Wallace, nobody else is allowed any time in the spotlight.


Speaking of Wallace and Daisuke, one thought kept on rolling around in my mind as I watched them interact.  Why wasn’t their relationship in this movie ever implemented between Daisuke and Takeru during the Adventure 02 television show?


I actually came to like Wallace as this movie went on, and I think some of that came about as a result of Wallace actually being allowed to bump heads with Daisuke over the current situation.  Oddly enough, Daisuke actually doesn’t trust Wallace from the get-go.  That’s ironic because wasn’t Daisuke the one who was most eager to trust Ken after the Digimon Kaiser’s dethroning?  Now, you might think I’d have a problem with this inconsistency, but I actually don’t!  This is the Daisuke Adventure 02 really needed to keep in tone with—distrustful and easily aggravated.  There’s a moment where Daisuke is finally able to comprehend with what Wallace is going through—not through some telepathic empathy magic (like between Daisuke and Ken), but when Wallace finally explains everything to him in terms that Daisuke is able to understand.  While the moment is over-dramatic, I think it makes sense and serve as the most character development for Daisuke that I never saw in the Adventure 02 television show.  For a brief moment, I believed Daisuke was an actual person—a child trying to understand the world around him.  It’s too bad that Wallace’s fears of losing Chocomon were misplaced if you consider that Digimon are capable of reincarnation.  This moment would have been more legitimate if the writers had made Chocomon’s death permanent, but apparently, in this movie, if Digimon dies in the real world it can still be resurrected.  How?  I do not know.


Ultimately, those details just contribute to a mere frustration, not like the disdain I had for Adventure 02.  Part of this is due to the fact that, while holding the Adventure 02 title, this was really a story about Wallace and his relationship with his two Digimon partners.   Even though Daisuke is thrown into the forefront with Wallace in this movie, he was simply along for the ride and didn’t completely steal the spotlight from Wallace.  This creates an odd dilemma, because while I disliked what the movie did with the characters from the television show, I was somewhat intrigued by the story of Long Title.


More specifically, I was sincerely interested in Wallace and his two Digimon partners.  That’s the real clutch of this movie, actually.  Obviously, fans of any television series wouldn’t expect to see an entirely new character take the stage away from all the original characters.  Looking at it from that standpoint, Long Title isn’t so much a bad film as it is a general disappointment.  Withstanding all the confusion and longevity of the film, however, the story isn’t so bad and Wallance and Terriermon are quite endearing in their own right.  I’d say the best way to go into this film would be to drop all expectations based on the Adventure 02 television show, and instead try to enjoy Wallace’s story arc involving Terriermon and Chocomon.  There’s little else to enjoy in this film, unless you want to count the very quick appearance of Seraphimon and Holydramon.


I liked Wallace because, unlike the rest of the Chosen Children in this movie, he was given an arc and we got to know him as the film continued.  I also liked how Terriermon was given prominence as a character and not just as Wallace’s Digimon partner—he wasn’t simply standing around waiting for the next signal to evolve.  He becomes involved on a very personal level in Wallace’s life.  Considering this is a feature-length film and not an entire television series, the movie does exceptionally well in what it was given concerning Wallace’s arc.  It’s good that they added aspects like his phone conversations with his mother as well as those flash backs detailing his past.  It just helped to establish what kind of a person he was.  For all that Wallace’s story arc is worth, I can’t say that I entirely disliked this film.  I certainly didn’t enjoy enough to see it again, but at the same time I was not utterly displeased.


On a more technical level, the animation in this movie was quite fantastic, surpassing the stuff that the original Digimon Adventure and Adventure 02 were made of.  But that’s to be expected considering the budget of a feature-length film versus an entire television show.  That was the same case with the first two Digimon movies, and it was no different here.  The music, on the other hand, was highly misplaced and at many points failed to coincide with certain scenes in which it played.  At many points in the film, I was simply bored to death and I think a major contributor to that boredom was the fact that the music didn’t amp up the anime.  Now I personally consider that to be extremely ironic because I believe Adventure 02 had of the best music of all Digimon shows including Tamers and the original Digimon Adventure.  A lot of excitement really could have been pumped into this movie had Target, Break Up, or even Bolero been played in place of many of the action sequences.


That’s all I really want to say about this movie.  There’s obviously more I could say, but this movie didn’t strike me as warranting that much importance.  Like I said, I don’t have any desire to see it again, and if I ever do it had better be to riff it with a friend or two.

Tommy "Oikawa" Wiseau

Thanks to RoseNoir90 for the idea!

Digimon Adventure 02 In Retrospect (Part 7, Transcript B)

Episode 49:


Let us begin with the Mind Illusion…Oh, the perils of the Mind Illusion!  So BelialVamdemon traps everyone in a realm where their greatest desires become a reality.  But, what is this really accomplishing in the show?  This a real cheap shot, as far as all of Adventure 02 is concerned, because the audience need no longer think about what’s going on in the introspective realm of our protagonists—it’s played out before us in 3-D.  Whatever depth our characters had before is lost because the show is doing all the thinking for us by giving us this simple window into the hearts and minds of the Chosen Children.  Except for Daisuke of course, but that’s only because there’s no depth or reason for his character in the first place.  That need not be inferred, the show practically admits that Daisuke is basically a walking, talking, hot-blooded vegetable anyway.


I won’t go into much detail about the visions themselves, but I will say that Takeru and Iori’s visions are highly unnecessary if you paid any attention to their character development throughout Adventure 02 anyway.  As for Hikari…well, I believe that Hikari’s vision is too simplistic for the type of person she is.  I won’t knock it because it doesn’t make sense, but then again wouldn’t that desire be a secondary desire that all the Chosen Children shared anyway?  As for Miyako, well, what can I say?  I mean, what can anyone say?  Remember when I said that Miyako doesn’t really have a character, well this instance is somewhat the factoid that puts a lid on that point.  Was there anything about Miyako’s character that would lead us to this conclusion?  Miyako’s greatest desire is to be a selfish, gluttonous pig!  Ken’s vision plays out like a broken record.  It all makes sense, but once again it’s highly unnecessary.  All in all, the writers really should have allowed the audience to figure these things out for themselves.


Hopes are renewed, willpower is strengthened, and the illusion is broken.  And there’s BelielVamdemon standing in the corner of our Picasso dimension.  Apparently, he’s just been standing there for the past fifteen minutes without taking advantage of the Chosen Children in any way while they were dreaming.  And get used to that, folks, because BelielVamdemon’s priorities become quite idiotic as these two episodes progress.


We then learn that this Picasso dimension has special properties—apparently it transforms emotion into raw power.  That sounds interesting and all until you consider that the Digital World works exactly the same way.  The difference here is that this dimension seems retroactively clone Digimon in the evolution process.  I don’t know how to make sense of that, but it’s pretty much what takes up whatever time the latter half of Episode 49 has to offer—one big montage of just about every evolution in Adventure 02.  The dialogue is very noticeably becoming more and more robotic at this point.  Nothing flows naturally anymore, rather everything sounds like it was written out word-for-word on a sheet of paper.  We also get a gaping plot-hole in this sequence coming in the form of one gigantic error in logic that simply cannot be missed.  I suppose if you’re caught up in the moment of things and have failed to turn you brain on, then maybe you would miss it.  But, here it is:


Apparently BelielVamdemon couldn’t entrap Daisuke in the same illusion that he trapped the other Chosen Children inside because Daisuke has no worries or desires.  How do we know this…do you even have to ask?  (*cough* expositional dialogue *cough*) Daisuke has just admitted to having no worries or desires whatsoever, but then he says, “I have only one desire: to defeat you, BelialVamdemon!”


If that’s the case, why wasn’t that his illusion?!  Maybe that was his illusion after all!  Perhaps everything that’s happened so far is all just an illusion that Daisuke’s pint-sized brain conjured!  If only it were…


Anyway, two of the Imperialdramons throw a combined Positron Laser blast at BelialVamdemon, ripping a hole in the Picasso dimension and into the Digital World.  Umm…what…?  There’s absolutely no explanation for how that happened—a gaping hole appears between this Picasso dimension and the Digital World after a double Positron Laser.  Why does a double Positron Laser have the ability to cut a hole into another dimension, yet it has only grazing effects on BelailVamdemon’s body?!


Okay, well…I guess we’re in the Digital World now.  So, what are you going to do, BelialVamdemon?  Well, he absorbs the residual darkness floating around that Digital World and…wait, why is there residual ‘darkness’ floating around the Digital World?  Where did it come from?  Why is it there?  You know, those mushrooms from the Super Mario Bros. would make just as much sense now!  (Keep in mind what he said about controlling the powers of darkness to his liking now that he’s in the Digital World.  The writers render that little tidbit moot in the next episode.)  So, now that BelialVamdemon has effectively become the most powerful thing in the universe, obviously he takes this opportunity to destroy the Chosen Children and their partner Digimon right there on the spot with those powers of darkness he just conveniently acquired!


…oh, no, wait!  I’m sorry, I completely forgot—BelialVamdemon is an idiot!  His first priority is to stick both arms into the air and…cover the earth in darkness…?  Apparently this is all part of his plan to unite both worlds in darkness so that he can be lord over everything.  Hikari says that he said the same thing three years ago and that nothing has changed since then.  Except three years ago he prioritized in trying to eliminate that which threatened his progress!  I’m guessing he never recovered his base intellectualism since becoming VenomVamdemon.


Episode 50:


Episode 50 is a last-ditch effort for the writers to insert something vague with the appearance of profundity as if they wanted to say, “See?! See?! This show actually had a meaningful message!”  In the end, however, that message is just insulting.


We left off with BelialVamdemon shrouding the earth in darkness.  So what adverse effects does this darkness have, eh?  Earthquakes?  Typhoons?  Hurricanes?  Volcanoes erupting?  Human sacrifices?  Dogs and cats living together?  Mass hysteria?  Nope, nothing of that nature!  Everything is just darker, that’s all.  I suppose that would be a mild inconvenience to anyone who happened to be sunbathing at the time…


Okay, okay, I do realize that if the sun stopped shining for an extended period of time the earth wouldn’t survive, but that’s the problem with this threat.  It’s not immediate, which continues begs the question why BelialVamdemon made it his first priority over simplu killing the Chosen Children when he had the chance.


Anyway, remember all those children that Oikawa implanted with Milleniummon’s data?  You know, those children who were sitting right there while the Chosen Children were fighting BelialVamdemon?  (Kinda makes you wonder why he didn’t use them as hostages…but whatever.)  They’ve awoken from their stupor and now, of course, they’re just frantic!  I mean, guns are a blazing outside and BelialVamdemon is covering the earth in darkness!  These kids are obviously as terrified as can be, I mean they’re witnessing things few people have ever witnessed or will ever witness again…and…oh, wait, they’re just standing there….and watching…and they don’t even care…



These aren’t children, they’re robots.  You want to know how a real child would act in this situation?  Watch Shiuchon’s reactions in Digimon Tamers during the Beelzebumon fight.


Daisuke’s hot blood is beginning to steam and suddenly the entire world bends at the sound of his prepubescent voice!  He says that if they work together, there’s nothing they cannot accomplish.  That’s debatable—but in this case, if that were true, the Chosen Children would never have gotten into this mess in the first place!


Until now, I had been saving one particularly huge complaint about continuity—another gaping plot-hole that has a lot to do with how the original Digimon Adventure relates to Adventure 02.  As I address this particular complain, I realize now how many things I seemed to have overlooked in the duration of this In Retrospect.  For example—the fact that the Chosen Children somehow gave up the power of their tags and crests in order to maintain balance within the Digital World when it had already been established that the true power was not in the tags and crests but within the Chosen Children themselves.  Plus, Apocalymon destroyed their tags and crests anyway, so they shouldn’t even have them to being with.  The reason I overlooked that was because it was just one drop of water that fell through this gaping plot hole.


Ever wonder how Daisuke, Miyako, Iori, Ken, or any of the new children who we meet during the World Tour arc ever became Chosen Children in the first place?  All in all, it really has nothing to do with what the original Chosen Children were told in Episode 45 of the original Digimon Adventure.  In exchange for eradicating that previous establishment, what we are left with is an explanation that is vague and confusing.  What it ultimately amounts to is the fact that there really isn’t anything special at all about the Chosen Children.  Seriously, nothing at all—the writers have essentially thrown the original Digimon Adventure in the trash with this one.


“But wait,” You say, “The Chosen Children have Digimon partners, right?  That’s really what makes them special, right?”




Refer back to I what Ken said about his parents’ love in Episode 48.  That never comes up again in Episode 50.  As far as Daisuke is concerned, it’s all about how the children relate to themselves.  That’s right! Forget about your parents, children, it’s how you feel about yourself that truly matters!  But, does that mean if Ken felt good about being the Digimon Kaiser it would therefore give that status and the things he did legitimacy?  Not at all!  But, let’s not mention that because it makes too much sense!


Daisuke then says something that actually made my jaw drop!  It is, hands down, the stupidest line ever to be uttered by anyone in Adventure 02.  He tells the implanted children, that there’s nothing special about being a Chosen Child or about having a Digimon partner!  I have to say that Daisuke takes the cake with that one!  This would be like Satoshi from the Pokemon anime telling everyone that you don’t need Pokemon in order to become a great Pokemon trainer!


To add more idiocy to the scene, Takeru now wants to tell these children that the Digital World is based on dream fulfillment!  If you just believe in something and feel really good about it—then you’ll receive it!  Wait, wait, wait!  Just stop this, stop this right now!  Since when does the Digital World work this way?!  The answer is, it never did, but now it needs to work this way so that writers can make an apt and rather sleazy comparison to dreams coming true if you believe in them.  Indeed—Digimon Adventure has just adopted Jiminy Cricket’s motto, and I guess the Digital World is now subject to the whimsical nature of childhood dreams because…the real world works that way?!


No, the real world does not work that way!  In the real world, you can’t just believe in something and expect good things will always happen—you actually have to work at something, and work hard and long at it in order to achieve anything.  And there’s always a chance that even if you do work hard and long, you still might not ever achieve that which you’ve been dreaming of.  What’s more, supposed you were fortunately enough to achieve a childhood dream—then you’d be expected to work even harder to sustain it.  You know, maybe that’s why Daisuke set his standards so low.


The real world is not like YouTube, where you can search for something and are then rewards withh instant gratification.  In many cases even the internet is limited in that potential.  But does Adventure 02 elaborate on any of that?  Well, barely...very insignificantly do they mention “hard work.”


Of course, nobody asks what “hard work” entails in this case.  After all, we really need an excuse to turn these kids into happy blissful ignoramuses in order to defeat BelialVamdemon.  Why this defeats BelialVamdemon is anyone’s guess, because after all didn’t he say that he was no longer subject to that kind of powers now that he was in the Digital World?


Tiny Digimon spontaneously generate in front of all the children because…I guess the Digital World works that way now.  Oh, and third-degree Digivices magically materialize as well, even though we learned that manufacturing them and matching them to their respective humans takes time and effort based on their…ahh, screw it!  And before you can say, “Deus ex Machina,” BelialVamdemon dies, eradicated by a Giga Death cannon that creates a pretty rainbow-colored ring in its wake.  No new dimensional rips are created as a result of the explosion, just in case you were wondering.


Gennai arrives at the last minute and hands Tailmon back her Tail ring.  How he came by it and why he never returned it sooner?  I’m not even going to try to figure that one out.  Gennai also explains how the Picasso dimension worked and why it was there in the first place (Gennai always withholds valuable information at the last minute, doesn’t he?)  Basically the Picasso dimension is the reason why the Digital World exists in the first place. The Digital World came about as a result of human emotion and digital information crossing the barrier of the Picasso dimension and creating a new world and creatures within it...


I really don’t know what to say, especially when we discover that the Dark Ocean is basically a big coalescence of negative emotions.  Essentially, that would mean that Demon now has access to the jackpot of all dark power, thanks to Ken banishing him into the Dark Ocean.  And what are the repercussions for having now torn the barrier between the Picasso dimension and the Digital World?  You see once you break it down to the science of how all this is supposed to work, you actually lose something in the process.  All the magic in and of the Digital World has been sucked out, and at this point, they’re just asking for a gaping plot hole.


Ken then reassures us that no flowers will ever sprout from the heads of the implanted children ever again, as long as they believe in such and such.  Oh, it’s that easy, huh?  Not one of these kids is going to lapse back into his or her depression?  The funny thing about that is, the answer is actually no, begging the legitimacy of the original depression if it is so easily overcome and done away with.


Now… what’s Iori doing while all this is going on…?  Oh, right!  Oikawa was still in the Picasso dimension.  Apparently, he’s on the verge of death because BelialVamdemon sapped all his strength from him—but that’s okay because apparently he gets to see his Digimon partner who’s spent the last…oh, boy how many years has it been…?  Waiting for him?  Upon seeing the Digital World for the first time, Oikawa realizes that the Digital World has seen better days…so he decides to turn his body into butterflies that…I won’t even finish the sentence.  Deus ex Machina once again everyone, and a Happy New Digital World.


And now for the epilogue…Oh, the perils of the epilogue!  This is yet another reason I hold such disdain for Adventure 02.  Remember when the original Digimon Adventure left itself open for a possible sequel.  Well, we aren’t left with an avenue for an Adventure 03—the epilogue for Adventure 02 basically kills that hope in a heartbeat.  All of the children are now adults, completely removing any mystery or intrigue about what happened to them after the events of Adventure 02.  The writers once again fill in the blanks for us, without any thought as to what could have been inferred or surmised based on what we had already seen.  So there’s nothing to talk about and nothing to look forward to.  Long story short, we should never have been allowed to see the children as adults.


I won’t go into major detail about what everyone becomes in the end, it’s all nonsense and I honestly don’t care for the most part.  I’ll make a few exceptions, like Ken and Iori, only because I find their careers rather humorous when you think about a world where every person young and old now has a Digimon partner.  With Ken as a police detective and Iori as an attorney, one wonders what new kinds of crimes are being committed in a world coexisting with Digital Monsters.  I also wonder if Ken still carries around that corrupt Digivice of his, and whether or not he’d ever be tempted to use it again.


Also, apparently Ken married Miyako.  Most likely she slapped him into accepting the proposal.  Need I say I noticed no chemistry between them?  It’s funny that the epilogue just tell us they were married without any details about a budding relationship or anything like that.


I’ve stated time and again I have no interest in shipping any of the characters, but that’s not to say that I don’t realize why shipping exists.  It exists because…well it goes hand-in-hand with the fact that fans wanted to determine their own happy endings—which is ironic because the epilogue even tells us to go realize our dreams.  So, without a doubt, Ken and Miyako’s marriage was a really gutsy and downright despicable move by the writers.  They might as well have hung up a sign during the epilogue saying, “Haha, suckers!” For all this is worth!


Oh, and Daisuke made the cover of Time magazine, which will apparently still be a successful magazine in the year 2027.  What’s funny about the picture is that while Daisuke is apparently world famous because of his Ramen business, V-Mon is actually standing in front of him on the cover of the magazine.  Based on this, I question whether or not Daisuke would actually have been as successful without V-Mon or his involvement in destroying BelialVamdemon.  Do I have a problem with that?  Nah, but it makes you wonder whether or not Daisuke truly would have been able to realize his dreams if V-Mon had never fallen into his lap in the first place.  After all, Daisuke did say that there was nothing special about himself or the fact that he had a Digimon partner.


In closing this In Retrosepct, I’d like to quote YouTube user magicalboredom on the epilogue:


“The epilogue can go die in a fire. The whole world getting Digimon partners is a recipe for massive chaos and death, the Chosen Children's professions came out of nowhere, and the ships should not have been touched on at all. . . the feminist in me also hates the fact that the women all get "feminine" jobs.”


Adventure 02 ends by telling us to live our dreams and create our own future.  In a way, I am realizing one such a dream.  I made this video series entitled Digimon Adventure 02 “In Retrospect” and while that has now become a reality as this video closes, that which I desired in retrospect has yet to become a reality.  And it probably never will.  But I can always hope.



Digimon Adventure 02 In Retrospect (Part 7, Transcript A)

If I know anything about the finale and the epilogue of Adventure 02, it is that they are both generally hated or majorly disliked by Digimon fans of all shapes and sizes.  And for good reason too!  Whether you were a shipper who’s coupling details were eradicated by canonical material or and eager fan who wanted to see whether or not a possible Adventure 03 was around the corner, Adventure 02 manages to step on just about everyone’s toes as it concludes.


We need a little backtracking into our train-wreck, so I will begin with…


Episode 46:


The title of this episode, “BlackWarGreymon Versus WarGreymon” is a big let-down, and I’ll get around to telling you why very soon.  The Chosen Children are currently searching for Oikawa and the children he had kidnapped, using leads given by Ken’s father and Takeru’s mother.  Meanwhile, the implanted children have begun to show signs of change.  They’ve begun to act in almost the exact same way Ken was acting when he was the Kaiser, I mean the parents even compare their children with Ken (as if it weren’t already obvious.)  The Chosen Children find the names and addresses of the implanted children.  But, what exactly were they planning to do once they found the children?  They’re just going to talk? Well, I suppose I cannot fault that tactic anymore, being that Daisuke is running on hot blood and everything.  Actually, talking does not work in this case, so we’re left to turn to Plan B.   The problem with Plan B, however, is that there is no Plan B!


What?!  So, if talking doesn’t work then you just leave them alone?!  No, no, no!  There ten to twenty little Kaisers in the making here, so I say it is time to beat down the doors and get the kids’ parents in on this!  If the parents don’t believe the Chosen Children, then at least they have their Digimon partners as proof they’re telling the truth!  And so what if you reveal your true identities or the existence of their Digimon partners?!  The parents of these “mini-Kaisers” are already involved because of what Oikawa did to their children!  So, by all means, telling the parents should have been the next logical step!  Sadly, logic seems to have taken the last ride out of town.  Instead of warning the parents about the impending doom their children face, the Chosen Children just decide to spy on the kids from afar being that they cannot find a way to remove Milleniummon’s data from them.  Because stalking these children is a much better plan than revealing themselves to their parents?


Meanwhile, Oikawa is hiding up in the mountains when a meteor comes crashing down in the forest nearby.  Only, it’s not a meteor—it’s BlackWarGreymon.  He’s still searching for a world that will accept him, and I understand completely.  Of course, I dealt with that issue by making videos and blogs on the internet.  Considering he doesn’t have those luxuries, I wonder if he has ever thought of trying out for talk-radio or network television.  Come to thing of it, I don’t have the luxury of being over nine feet tall nor do I have the ability to conjure and throw gigantic balls of destructive energy with my hands.  It is sad to think that with all his philosophy, BlackWarGreymon has no imagination whatsoever!


By the way you’re not going to believe the explanation as to why BlackWarGreymon is even there in the first place.  For the situation they’re trying to contrive for this episode, it’s as bogus an explanation as any.  Apparently the amount of power Qinglongmon gave back to the original Chosen Children—power that Agumon admits was very small—was power enough to throw the entire Digital World out of balance after it was given away!  Well, if that’s the way the Sovereign Digimon want to govern their realm, I guess I won’t question it—it is their realm after all.  But, wow, it takes that much to throw the entire world out of whack?! And only to be brought back to normal when…well, I’ll get around to that particular detail when the time comes.


Also apparently Agumon still has some residual power leftover from when Qinglongmon returned the power of the tags and crests to the original Chosen Children.  So, does that mean that Agumon didn’t hand over his power to Imperialdramon in Episode 43 along with the other partner Digimon?  No, that detail is thrown into the fire because, after all, everyone wants to see this epic fight between two WarGreymons, right?  I mean, forget making sense, I suppose now it is all about who can defeat who…


Agumon evolves into WarGreymon and fights BlackWarGreymon while Hikari chases Oikawa.  The fight and the chase are both very enjoyable to watch in and of themselves, even if they are short lived sequences.  However, the fight comes to a moot point when Daisuke decides to send Imperialdramon in to deal with BlackWarGreymon personally.  So, in all reality, the episode should have been entitled “BlackWarGreymon Versus WarGreymon and Imperialdramon.”  In the aftermath, we get a very…odd (?) scene.  I say “odd” because apparently BlackWarGreymon has been defeated, but he is just lying on the ground looking a bit winded while Agumon, Wormmon, and V-Mon have all returned to their Child forms.  Now, I do realize they’ve just defeated BlackWarGreymon, but couldn’t they at least make him look a little more beat-up or wounded?  I’m guessing the animation department is getting about as lazy as the writers are.


Once again, BlackWarGreymon starts complaining about how useless he is and that he would have been better off killed.  The other Digimon give him some “friendly” advice which, roughly translated, amounts to, "Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die."  I find it ironic the in the same breath that they tell BlackWarGreymon that while life is meaningless without pain and suffering, they also tell him to live carefree.  To answer a fool according this his folly, living a carefree life would also entail not caring about the pain and suffering that comes with it.  Thus, a carefree life would be just as—if not more—meaningless as the state in which BlackWarGreymon is already in.  How can one truly live carefree if pain and suffering exist in world anyway?  And how do these Digimon, after everything they’ve been through, come to this inane conclusion?  Really, what they should have told him was that he should just join their cause and help them in the fight against evil.  The Digimon just seem to want him to be all about sunshine and flowers, when its obvious that BlackWarGreymon isn’t interested in that—it’s not in his nature.  Therefore, why not focus his sense of “fair play” into something reasonable and meaningful?


Episode 47:


Milleniummon’s data has begun to “sprout” from the children Oikawa kidnapped.  (This begs the question why that never happened to Ken, but whatever.  I think its best I don’t ask those kinds of questions now, as the writers seem to be making stuff up on the fly.)  So, Oikawa goes flower-picking and encounters Iori in the street.  I actually like what Iori has to say to him in this encounter, it runs with what I believe should have been told BlackWarGreymon.  What’s more I can believe everything that is coming from Iori’s mouth because of the influence of his late father coupled with wisdom of his grandfather.  This is where good character development actually pays off.  Iori acts like unto his father at this point, he takes a stand for what’s good against that which is evil.  That moment is enough for Oikawa to realize who Iori is: the son of the late Hiroki.


Now, while I can take solace in the fact that Iori’s character development pays off, we then cut to a long string of exposition from Oikawa.  Umm…why are we suddenly interested in Oikawa?  This exposition mostly amounts to Oikawa talking to…his laptop computer about the relationship he had with Hiroki.  One of the most ridiculous aspects about Oikawa’s character is that Adventure 02 was trying to set up Oikawa as a tragic figure.


I’m sorry, but do we really have time for this?  Are the writers really going to set up another tragic figure when we have three episodes remaining in this show?!  I guess there’s no wonder the exposition is so elaborate and ridiculously played out.  We can’t waste any time in trying to pull the audience’s heartstring about Oikawa, can we?


On a side-note, Archnemon and Mummymon start questioning their own existence.  But that won’t amount to anything anyway because they’ll be dead in the next episode!


Anyway, as one of the flowers starts to bloom Everybody gets into position for a short standoff, with Oikawa grabbing the implanted girl and the Chosen Children trying to fight through Archnemon and Mummymon.  After the standoff, Oikawa manages to completely absorb the dark energy from the sprouted flower before he throws the girl back at the Chosen Children.  Iori then appeals to Oikawa’s better nature, reminding Oikawa of his past relationship with Hiroki.  The next few scenes are mix of confusing and useless as they play out, but here’s the summary:


BlackWarGreymon suddenly arrives because…some stuff did something to something else.  They all talk (yadda, yadda, yadda),  Iori’s grandfather arrives (yadda, yadda, yadda, yadda)…Oikawa = good, then Oikawa = bad, then Oikawa kills BlackWarGreymon!


Episode 48:


The Chosen Children are still spying on the implanted Children.  Hikari says something about thing becoming worse and worse.  Is she talking about what’s going on in the episode, or is she referring to Adventure 02?  Oh, and Koushirou’s mother also comes along and suggests that she go notify the parents of the implanted children about what’s going on.  What’s more, Ken explains that plan might actually work because his seed stopped sprouting when he realized his parents loved him…


Is information being handed to us on a need-to-know basis?  The writers wanted the plot to go somewhere, yet they couldn’t find some way to work around the fact that this information was never relevant to the previous episode when the Chosen Children were going door-door trying to talk with the “mini-Kaiser” kids?  Oh, keep what Ken said in mind when we get around to Episode 50.


Oikawa arrives…again.  Somehow, he completely avoided detection from the Chosen Children until he happened to be standing right in the midst of the implanted children!  How in the world did you miss him?!  Anyway, that’s everyone’s queue to move into their respective positions…again…and our train wreck continues…


Oikawa reveals his master plan—he wants to go to the Digital World.  And apparently, he can do that because…he has a laptop computer that somehow utilizes the same cards Taichi had used to open a door into the Real World in Episode 28 of the original Digimon Adventure.  Where did he get those cards?  What’s funny is that he actually tells the Chosen Children that now that he’s leaving he will answer any question they have.  Personally, I’d like to know how he came by those cards—but more importantly, why is Oikawa obliged to answer any questions these children have anyway?  Of course, Oikawa isn’t really answering their questions; he’s answering the audience’s questions.  While I don’t mind having some questions answered, why are the writers just dumping all this information on us in one go and in this manner?  Perhaps it was because they spent little-to-no time explaining things in the show itself, now was as good a time as any?


So, Oikawa succeeds in opening a gate into the Digital World…or so he had believed!  In reality, the Digital Gate sends him into…a Picasso painting…?  When Chosen Children arrive in this…Picasso dimension, it is revealed that apparently Vamdemon had been possessing Oikawa’s body the entire time.  (Dun, dun, dun!)  More exposition follows, and here’s another summary:


Vamdemon died in the original Digimon Adventure, but he didn’t really die (?) because he possessed Oikawa because Oikawa was sad but Oikawa wasn’t really sad because he hated Hiroki (?).  Finally, he let Vamdemon posses his body so that he could fulfill his lifelong dream to enter the Digital World.  Oh, and Vamdemon also mentions that he created the Evil Rings by inverting the data of Tailmon’s Holy Ring.  I don’t know why he added that part, as it really doesn’t matter now because Digimon Kaiser is no longer using the Evil Rings anyway!


So, Oikawa barfs up a clone of himself, only that clone is actually Vamdemon partially reinarnate.  Then Oikawa then he collapses, leaving Vamdemon to absorb the rest of the flowers from the implanted children, ordering Archnemon and Mummymon to hold off the Chosen Children once again.  I’d ask why Archnemon and Mummymon are following Vamdemon’s orders considering all that’s just happened, but I really don’t care.  Say “hello” to BelialVamdemon, and say “goodbye” to Archnemon and Mummymon.


Ladies and gentlemen, I’m drawing line in the sand at this point.  As I watch Takeru, Hikari, Miyako, Iori, and even Ken tremble in fear while Daisuke charges into battle, I can’t help but wonder once again, “What happened to this show?  Why did everything have to turn out this way?  How could this happen?”


Those questions come in a very different light than when I began the Adventure 02 “In Retrospect”.  I know some have remarked on how they believe these videos are useless.  Many choose not to give a care about those questions, much less desire to know the answers to them.  Yet, I do take solace in the fact that I have inspired others to think about things in a different light—to look at Digimon Adventure in an entirely new lens.


Despite its humble origins with the plastic toys and the miniature electronics, I’ve always firmly believed that Digimon Adventure shaped up to be quite an amazing show altogether.  And I, like so many other fans of that show wanted Adventure 02 to be just as good.  There are some shows that leave their audiences greatly unsatisfied because of a poor ending, but for Adventure 02 I wasn’t left sitting simply unsatisfied.  I felt like I had been manipulated and robbed!  And I’m not just speaking from the standpoint as an adult who recently saw the original dub, I had the very same feeling ten years ago when I watched Adventure 02 on Fox Kids.  Ten years ago, I hadn’t the words to describe that feeling, but now that I am older and more learned, I can!


I find it ironic that Adventure 02 established that the candidates for Milleniummon’s data were children who felt like they had an emptiness inside that needed to be filled.  Because Adventure 02 left a small sense of “emptiness” within me, and I’m still waiting for it to be filled.  (Thank God for Digimon Tamers.)


Much of what I have to say after this point in the review will most likely come across as nitpicking the show in general, but that’s pretty much all the finale and the epilogue are fit for because there’s just so much wrong with them.


Digimon Adventure 02 In Retrospect (Part 7)

I am still working the transcript. I'll probably be finished with that by Thursday or Friday.

Digimon Adventure 02 In Retrospect (A Brief Follow-up)

While I am in the process of writing Part 7, I might as well address a few of your comments...

Thank you, rad140, for your input on this occaision.

Digimon Adventure 02 In Retrospect (Part 6)

The transcript...more or less:

(There’s a lot of information included in this transcript that actually is demonstrated on the video itself.  You might want to follow along in the video a bit, if you get confused by any of the writing within this part.)


I like to think of Ken Ichijoji as being the “centerpiece” of Adventure 02.  He starts out as one of the story’s antagonists only to become something of a MacGuffin in that latter portion of Adventure 02.  Right from the get-go Adventure 02 set out with a brand new threat to be overcome, coming in the form of the Digimon Kaiser.  While the original Digimon Adventure sat quite comfortably over a substantial body-count of various evil Digimon, now a new challenger approaches in the form of a human being.


Adventure 02 gave us a new enemy—another Chosen Child!  Admittedly, this was probably the best idea that the writers had come up with, especially right off the bat.  No longer are the Chosen Children dealing with generic run-of-the-mill Digimon baddies; now they’d be going toe-to-toe with one of their own!


Adventure 02 had a very strong beginning because of the mystery of the Digimon Kaiser.  At first, I had believed that he was a Digimon in disguise, utilizing the Evil Rings much like Devimon had done with the Black Gears.  But then we find out that he really is one of the Chosen Children and that the Digimon Kaiser was actually the alternate ego of a child prodigy!


Imagine Ken as being the most effective internet troll ever—able to anonymously strike at the Chosen Children as the Digimon Kaiser in the Digital World but appearing as this handsome, athletic, and intellectual celebrity in the Real World.  However, Ken can only keep up such a charade for so long until he is overthrown.  Episodes 19, 20, 21, and 23—probably the best in the Adventure 02 series—depict the fall of the Digimon followed by an entire episode devoted to Ken’s introspection after his defeat and the death of Wormmon.  Admittedly, I personally think that Ken’s transition from Kaiser to non-Kaiser status occurs rather quickly, it serves its purpose well.  A new Ken Ichijoji is born, making his name in the latter half of Adventure 02.  Despite the major flaws fruitless plot ideas abounding in that half, I must say that it was both interesting and highly gratifying to watch as Ken turned a new leaf and become a new person.  It was the highlighted mark of Adventure 02.


Out of each of the new the Chosen Children, Ken is probably the most memorable, because Adventure 02 was more or less his story—his playing ground. (Until the end, however, where it dramatically switched over to Daisuk…for some reason.)  I’d even go as far as to say that Ken is even more memorable than Hikari or Takeru.  As I said before throughout Adventure 02, Hikari and Takeru really only have their past history to draw from—but the writers really didn’t work with them enough to make them substantial characters.  Adventure 02 is serves as the ground for both Ken’s backstory and his main story.  Adventure 02 defines and redefines Ken.  I really wish it had done the same for the other Chosen Children, especially for Hikari and Takeru.


I know some have stated that Hikari is a Mary Su, displaying many of the characteristics that I assigned to Miyako in Part 2 of this In Retrospect.  I disagree: if anything, Hikari has been substantially weakened and played down in Adventure 02.  For example, there’s the fact that Tailmon loses her Holy Ring which means that Hikari’s partner is now one step below par to everyone else’s Digimon partner.  There’s also the fact that Hikari often relies on Takeru, especially in Episode 13 where she’s placed in a situation where she becomes completely helpless.


That being said, while Hikari actually has elbow room in Adventure 02 because she was in the original Digimon Adventure, I don’t see how she’s experienced any character growth throughout Adventure 02.  Granted she’s a very different person coming into Adventure 02 from the original show, but the only justification for that is that she’s had about two years to mature.  Two years that we are not privy to.


Takeru is in the same boat as Hikari in this matter.  I will note that there were moments like in Episode 13 where he speaks harshly to Hikari, or in Episode 19 when he personally confronts Ken and starts pummeling him on the spot that we see a very…interesting side to Takeru.  Sadly, one cannot righty interpret the reasoning behind those lapses in Takeru’s better judgment because the writers never turned them into anything substantial.  Granted Takeru does seem to rectify his past actions, but having Takeru actually be introspective about current situations is a rarity that I believe would have made for some well-needed character tension.


And you very-well know what I think about Miyako and Daisuke, but for good measure, I’ll just say that Miyako and Daisuke have no advantages and no reasons for being memorable characters because their characters go through absolutely no development during the course of Adventure 02, and any changes that do occur are extemporaneous moments of nonsense.  (I’m talking about you, Sage-like Daisuke, the boy who is suddenly able to come up with copious amounts of platitudes on the fly.)  Seriously, whenever Daisuke not being a jerk, it’s like he’s a walking Public Service Announcement.  If anyone has any room to talk during the finale, it would be either Hikari, Takeru, or Ken.  Actually, it should be Ken who speaks up during the Finale because Adventure 02 was all about him…more or less.


I mean, think about it: Adventure 02 chronicles the rise and fall of the Ken Ichijoji’s reign as the Digimon Kaiser, his vie for redemption as he works through his guilt and despair, and his resurgence as a Chosen Child as he fights those responsible for leading him astray.  He is the only character whom we get to see change throughout the season, and as I’ve said before he is probably the only reason Adventure 02 is worth watching at all.


You know, instead of just generalizing Ken’s development, praising it and leaving it there to shine, let’s look at him in comparison to the rest of the Chosen Children.  In doing so, I’ll give you a better idea about his development versus that of the other characters.


Insight into Ken’s past chronicles a steadfast relationship with his older brother Osamu, which was cut short by a fatal car crash that Ken felt responsible for.  Guilt and despair seem to follow Ken wherever he goes, yet he rises as a stronger individual for all happens to him over the course of the show.  Adventure 02 also details Ken’s relationship with his parents who served as an integral part to his development as his treatment of them gradually changes as time goes on.  If only the writers had done something similar for the rest of the children!  You know, get to know the families in order to get to know the children.


For example: why does Daisuke play soccer so well?  I mean, what drives him as a character?  Soccer is obviously not his passion as we find out in the finale, so it’s just a skill he happened to develop, but did the writers intend for that skill to impact Adventure 02?  Or is it just something he happens to be good at for no reason at all?  The fact that some of the original Chosen Children were good at soccer played into their roles, but in Adventure 02 it was just a means to mediate an encounter with Ken in the Real World.  After that, I guess we’re supposed to assume Daisuke just gave up soccer in order to pursue his ramen fetish.


I also the question about where Daisuke gets all his spunk, or where did those long-winded platitudes near and in the finale come from?  Remember when Taichi acknowledges Daisuke actually says something “good” for a change in Episode 43?  Why does that need to be acknowledged?  If the writers had done their job in establishing Daisuke as being a responsible person concerned about the well-being of his friends, no acknowledgement would be required.  Like I said, it’s like he’s reading excerpts from a motivational speech that got mixed into Adventure 02’s scripting.  Maybe that could have been explained if we found out that his mother or father had been public speakers or something like that!  Or maybe a relative he looks up to, like an uncle?  I dunno, anything would have been better than nothing!  The most we get from Daisuke are interactions he has with his sister—which aren’t too glamorous anyway.  I do realize that brothers and sisters often get on each others nerves, but why is that all we ever see when those two interact? 


As for Miyako, well, I’m still cannot draw much from her other than that she happens to be computer savvy.  However, her being computer savvy never amounts to anything more than just a skill Miyako happened to have and was able to use.  Koushirou was also computer-savvy, but the writers actually used that to make his character more interesting.  You see, Koushirou had a tendency overanalyze things, much to Tentomon’s frustration, especially in Digimon Adventure Episode 24 when Koushirou gives up his inner heart in exchange for a state of absolute clarity.  (Hmm, sounds like what happened with the Adventure 02 writing team.)  However, what about Miyako’s familial involvement?  Why is so little revealed about the relationships she has with her siblings or parents?  Wouldn’t that give us a better idea of the kind of person that she is?


Iori’s development, on the other hand, is…interesting.  I want to put him under the same category as I did for Ken, but he just doesn’t stand out as much as I think he should.  That’s not his fault, however, as the writers did seem to put more thought into his development than that of Miyako or Daisuke.  I liked the scheme played throughout all those skirmishes that Iori has with his grandfather.  They pay off to let us know exactly what Iori is thinking about and how he feels.  Also, he actually has a skill that plays a role in his character development.  As a bonus, we get to know him through his grandfather.  But the reason I didn’t devote an entire video to him is because…there’s just not enough there.  I wish there was more about him that I could go over, but let it suffice to say that I hold no contempt for him whatsoever…even if I do begrudge how the new Chosen Children were indoctrinated.


If you read Chaiki J. Konaka’s notes on Digimon Tamers, you’ll discover just how important family was to the storyline and the characters.  He admitted to having been moved by the scenes involving Takeru and Yamato's parents in the original Digimon Adventure and felt the need to address the question of the parents' position in all that was happening to their children.  And you’d think that with the Chosen Children participating in life-or-death battles every day, the experience might draw them closer to their families, right?  That was happening all up and down the Vamdemon arc with the original Chosen Children, yet, Adventure 02 has the new children deliberately lying to their parents or going behind their backs.  Is there any reason for that secrecy?  Ken’s reasons are understandable at first because of his guilt, but what about the others?  What reason do they have to keep secrets from their family members or from the school faculty for that matter?  Well, the problem, you might say, is that the parents would freak out and restrict the children from doing such and such.  And later maybe some military organization would walk in and take control of the situation.  But my question at that point is, would that really be such a problem?  After all, isn’t that what happened in Digimon Tamers?  I’d say such tension would strengthen the overall plot rather than weaken it.


Speaking of plot, let’s look at the mechanics of Ken Ichijoji’s character in relation to the overall story arc—it’s inner workings.  Talking about that will also allow me to demonstrate what I’m personally looking for in any story arc (whether it be Adventure 02, Tamers, or anything else.)


*the following information is demonstrated in the video*


Here’s a line that represents the entire story arc of Adventure 02.  Here is where the story begins, and here is where it ends.  In the beginning up until about the middle of the show, we have the Digimon Kaiser arc.  From the middle of the show up until the end, we have our plot overload including Ken’s period of redemption.  The middle of the line is a point within the story that adds a third dimension to the line creating the climax (the highest point in the story arc.)


The original Digimon Adventure had a few climaxes, ranging from Taichi’s brief return to the Real World after defeating Etemon, to Wizarmon’s revelation about the eighth child, to the confrontation between Taichi and Yamato in the Dark Masters arc.  For Digimon Tamers, it was the entire confrontation between the Tamers and Beelzebumon.  The climax of Adventure 02 is when the Digimon Kaiser is defeated, leading Ken Ichijoji to go through a time of introspection as the show begins anew.

As you can see in comparison to outlines for Adventure and Tamers, Adventure 02 lacks a symmetrical pattern.  It’s highly unbalanced and lack of balance means lack of story stability.


*end demonstration*


(This is one the major reasons I believe that these shows change some of the beginning and ending themes, the writers are shifting gears in the establishment of latter half of the show’s story arc.)


Now while I’ve said that Ken’s story arc is quite endearing in its own right, I still think it suffers a bit from the flaws of the overall Adventure 02 story, especially toward the plot overload section.  I think the writers should have added some symmetry to the show to help make up for how quickly Ken’s undergoes his transition from Kaiser to…non-Kaiser.  Of course, that might have been the point, for dramatic effect having Ken come to an instant and devastating realization of his evil ways instead of having his realization come at a gradual process.  And Ken did seem to become slightly aware of the doom that awaited him even before Wormmon died—it was after he downloaded Devimon’s data for Kimeramon.  He even struggled a bit about the implications of killing the other Chosen Children when he realized that the Digital World might not adhere to the rules of an MMO, as he seemed to believe it did.  (Well, maybe for Miyako it did, but not for Ken.)


*begin demonstration*


Now, what do I mean by “symmetry” ?  Well, it’s pretty self-explanatory, right?  But it can get quite complicated depending on how detailed your story is.  By symmetry, I’m talking about a chiastic structure that would give every action a reaction and would add a conciseness to the story overall—no more inane nonsensical plots leading nowhere.


I suppose that if I were so bold as to re-create Adventure 02, this is the outline I would follow.  We have fifty episodes devoted to the entire show, so let’s divide that into four sections.  One, two, three, and four.  Each section would incorporate 12-13 episodes.  Section one would mirror section four (AA), while sections two and three would mirror each other (BB), and in the middle we would have our climax resulting in a very simple, poetic scheme (ABCBA).  We want this structure to be simple, after all, because Digimon Adventure 02 is  meant to a children’s cartoon.  (For those of you who think I’m crossing a threshold here by adding poetic structure to this cartoon…well, don’t worry…I know perfectly well what I’m doing.)


Section one would depict Ken as the Digimon Kaiser, mirrored by section four in which he becomes the fully redeemed Ken Ichijoji.  Section one ends with the fall of the Digimon Kaiser, shaking Ken’s resolve, but not completely dissuading him from the choices he made when he was enslaving and using other Digimon.  (Remember, we want Ken’s change to be gradual, not all-of-a-sudden.  Gradual is more realistic and it give you more time for character development.)  Moving onto section two would involve the Demon Corps. and maybe even BlackWarGreymon to boot.  Inserting the Demon Corps. and BlackWarGreymon into the equation at this point would be beneficial.  The Demon Corps. would go after Milleniummon’s data and BlackWarGreymon would grind on Ken’s guilty conscious about at all the evil he had done when he was the Kaiser.  (This is based on the idea of BlackWarGreymon as a rogue Agumon subject to Ken’s Evil Ring experimentation.  I’ve completely removed Kimeramon from this story arc.)  The scheme in section two would be would be to establish a working relationship between Ken and the other Chosen Children, with Ken sitting on the fence about whether or not to join them.  Ultimately it would take the death of Wormmon to fully persuade him that he was in the wrong, a death brought about by a fight between BlackWarGreymon and Magnamon.


Reflecting on the mercy that Juri Katou showed Beelzebumon in Digimon Tamers, have a scene where Magnamon has BlackWarGreymon on his knees and Ken offering him mercy, despite what happened to Wormmon.  And that would bring Adventure 02 to a climax, leading into Section 3.  Section 3 mirrors section two in that Ken is placed on the other side of the fence, yet now he has to redeem himself, and what better opportunity to do that than either to engage the last vestiges of the Demon Corps. or to go ahead and bring on the denizens of the Dark Ocean!  Devote Ken’s portion of Section 3 to his making amends to Wormmon and his parents, and then having him proving himself to the other Chosen Children.  Finally, lead off section 4 with Hikari being captured by Dagomon who now threatens to cover both the Real and Digital World with his ocean.  While saving Hikari is left to Takeru, Ken would be the one who ultimately defeats Dagomon (with the help of the reformed BlackWarGreymon, of course.)  Thus, he is no longer remembered as the Digimon Kaiser who enslaved the Digital World, but as the Chosen Children directly responsible for saving two worlds.


*end demonstration*


There’s one more tangent I want to get off on, before I haul off toward the Final and the Epilogue of Adventure 02.  It’s about my assigning all this structure to what many of you believe is just a silly cartoon for kids.  Why should bother so much with this?  Well, if a cartoon is generally meant for kids, is there an automatic assumption that its content is or should be less than good or well-thought-out?  Forget about comparing Adventure 02 to the original Digimon Adventure or Tamers, why would anyone overlook so many major flaws in any storytelling medium and simply wave them off saying, “I don’t care if it sucks because it’s aimed at kids.”  I’m not judging this to be the mindset of the writers of Adventure 02—it’s just something I’ve picked up from comments about this In Retrospect series in relation to Adventure 02.


Are children’s cartoons built on the assumption that kids are stupid?  No!  Or, at least, they shouldn’t be!  The assumption should be that kids are generally simple-minded individuals who lack maturity, not intelligence.  A cartoon aimed at children should subtract from complex story elements rather than subtract from elements that are fundamentally vital to storytelling itself (including a well-developed plot along with well-developed characters.)


The reason I’m giving this subject any thought or analyzation is because, as far as the original Digimon Adventure or Digimon Tamers is concerned, the writers seemed to generally care about storytelling.  Regardless of the fact that their story was based on something as mundane as a virtual pet you’d casual hang on your keychain, the still made a great story!  I can only guess that the mindset going into creating the original Digimon Adventure was, “Hey, if we’re going to do it, we might as well do it well.”  Whatever the mindset really was, I have determined that something had definitely changed or departed from how Adventure 02 was written in comparison to it predecessor.


I started out the Adventure 02 In Retrospect saying that I didn’t know who to blame for this outrage.  The truth is, I don’t want to go around pointing fingers, that was never the point of this In Retrospect.  I wanted people to know what was lost and what needed to be regained.


Without all the gusto of a nostalgia critic or the rage of angry nerd, here would be my review of Adventure 02 in one sentence:  Adventure 02 lacked the good storytelling that made its predecessor so endearing, substituting plot and good character development for artistic gimmicks and fruitless ideas.


Even if that review comes across as too nugatory, think of it as aiding in your appreciation for what succeeded Adventure 02.  Somewhere along the way, Chiaki J. Konaka stepped up and combined both artistry and great storytelling to create something epic.  And remember, Tamers was just as much a children’s cartoon as Adventure and Adventure 02 were.



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