Raziel's Domain

A chilled out forum where basically anything goes
 
HomePortalFAQRegisterLog in

Share | 
 

 Digimon: Adventure, 02, and Tamers

Go down 
AuthorMessage
Casa
RULES OF NATURE
avatar

Posts : 1949
Joined : 2012-03-07

PostSubject: Digimon: Adventure, 02, and Tamers   Sun Nov 30, 2014 10:31 am

Damn, Digimon holds up well. I know I am not the first person to "rediscover" Digimon (not even on this forum) but it bears repeating: Digimon is way better than Pokemon. I watched both series when I was younger, but I think I did actually stick with Digimon for longer. My memories of Pokemon only extend as far as early Johto, whereas I remembered plot beats all the way to mid-Season 3 for Digimon (guess which one in particular; hint: it's exactly what you're thinking) so I must have kept watching it.

Anyway, on a whim, I spent the last two months powering through every episode of the first three seasons of Digimon. I was watching the subtitled versions of course, because I would never be able to endure the fucking jokes that are crammed into the dub. I could handle it as a kid but not now. Plus, "Myotismon"? Get that shit out of here.

Digimon works because the stories have definite conclusions. Pokemon suffers because Ash can never really achieve anything and is constantly being reset back to zero with every new region. In contrast, Digimon is free to create storylines that develop the characters and provide meaningful closure at the end of each arc. This means that the characters grow along with their Digimon, and their victories feel earned and worthwhile. When the Chosen Children experience emotional or mental growth, their Digimon will typically unlock some new level of evolution as well, accompanied by badass theme music. 

If Digimon as a concept proves one thing, it's the power of the insert song. The music finds purchase in my cynical mind, despite the broken English and the cheesy rock, and just makes everything awesome. When the show gets it right, it's hard not to get really pumped up. And it makes the many, many, many, many repeated scenes of Digimon evolving somewhat tolerable.

I am not going to lie: the evolution animations do get grating very quickly, especially on a binge watch when you're watching multiple episodes at a time and seeing like three evolutions minimum per episode. By the last half of each season, the basic evolution scenes typically start getting cut out unless they're really important or dramatic. That makes it better, but I wish they did it sooner.  

There are other problems with the series. For instance: every season tends to begin and end on low notes.

Each season has growing pains for the first arc. The first part of Adventure is basically the same episode over and over again: explore File Island, find monster-of-the-week, everyone gets incapacitated, x evolves for the first time and removes the Black Gear that is controlling the monster-of-the-week, repeat. Things starts getting interesting when Devimon shows up, and the show only really becomes good when they leave File Island. The first part of 02 is the Digimon Kaiser arc, which would not be so bad if it didn't go on for so fucking long. And Tamers' slow pace works against it in the early episodes when there isn't as much content to deconstruct and the characters are still being introduced and characterized. Ruki's crisis of conscience in the early episodes also comes off as kind of weak, but the resulting character development makes it worthwhile.

Every season also kind of falls at the final hurdle in terms of final villains. Adventure continues past the Dark Masters, who I thought were alright because they were so brutal, and then introduces Apocalypmon, who is a really interesting concept for a villain but is killed so quickly that it doesn't have the punch should. I think, unlike the other two seasons, Adventure could have lasted a bit longer. Meanwhile, in 02, after the fairly interesting Dark Seeds storyline, BelialVandemon comes outta of nowhere and dies really lamely. 02 could have been cut down by a few episodes. The same is true for Tamers, whose final antagonist is amazing but just sticks around too long. Adventure and Tamers both make up for these issues by having incredible endings. 02 does not.

I am not sure which is my favorite season. It obviously isn't 02, although I think that season gets a bad rap, but I cannot decide between Adventure and Tamers. They are equally matched in many ways in terms of character, plot, and interest, but they are different enough that a winner can be determined. Maybe I'll figure it out by the end of this post.

My level of appreciation for the series is such that I am going to go into more detail for each season, because I have more specific things to say:

Adventure

Right away, one of the immediate things that is impressive about Digimon is that all the main characters are likable. I am including the partner Digimon in this as well, so Digimon achieves the incredible feat of maintaining a fourteen (later sixteen) character cast. The human children act like genuine people and they have flaws that make them interesting without making them annoying. This is not the case in the dub, if my memories are correct, where traits are exaggerated so much that they all become snarky, unlikable idiots.

That said, Yamato is easily my least favorite. Goddamn, he is such a bitch sometimes.

Like I mentioned before, Adventure probably could have continued for a little longer than it did. I certainly found it surprising that they went through all the effort to recruit Hikari and return to the Digital World, just for one more arc. I think the fact that there were so many characters meant that the season could have supported more storylines than the next two seasons (which reduced the main cast to five [and then six] and three respectively). If nothing else, Apocalypmon should have gotten more development because he is a fascinating antagonist and represents the antithesis of the central theme of evolution and growth. However, there is no denying that the final episode (except for the laughably quick defeat of Apocalypmon) was immensely satisfying and that the ending is fantastic.

The movies for the first season were both pretty good too. I'm not gonna talk about the American release of the film, which I remember desperately wanting to see as a kid but couldn't and am now eternally grateful for, because it butchered three different films and stitched them together with ska-rock and the Barenaked Ladies. The first movie was the pilot so it wasn't a traditional movie and it plays a heavy role in the main storyline. The second movie was created by the same guy who made Summer Wars, and it shows. It's nothing spectacular but I enjoyed it.

Favorite Song: Butterfly. Easy.

Favorite Character: Taichi or Hikari.

Favorite Digimon: Not really sure. I liked them all.

Favorite Evolution: WarGreymon.

Favorite Episode: Episode 21 - Taichi's return to the real world - is a clear stand out, but the episodes that immediately precede it also deserve mention. Taichi's struggle to regain his courage after his near brush with death and the aborted attempt to get Greymon to evolve stuck with me through the years, and those scenes (Taichi trying to run through the electric fence and SkullGreymon) were just as good as I remember them being.

Favorite Moment: The end of Episode 21 when Taichi says goodbye to Hikari and returns to the Digital World. That scene is damn beautiful. The ending of the season is also really amazing.

02

I don't think it's as bad as people say. It's certainly the worst of the three seasons but it's not terrible by any stretch. The first arc is fairly uninspired (but that's true for every season), and the final arc with BelialVamdemon is my least favorite because it's lame, but I think most of the hatred stems from issues with the dub. Everyone apparently hates "Davis", but Daisuke seemed alright to me. The only thing I really disliked about the new group was their Digital World outfits.

Ken's character journey from Digimon Kaiser to trusted ally was good, and I liked how Fusion Evolution felt like the natural progression of the characters forming bonds with each other. I didn't like that the old cast was essentially made useless because they all gave up their Crests and Tags off-screen. Speaking of which, I really think the season should have shown how the first generation Chosen Children (Taichi, Yamato, et al) rediscovered how to enter the Digital World. They can't control the gates (I don't think), but they still know that they can return. By the start of the 02, Taichi is going there by himself and the others have no real desire to join him, showing the novelty has worn off. Shame we didn't get to see any of that.  

Speaking of wasted opportunities: the biggest in the series with the failure of Dagomon to reappear after the excellent 13th episode. This season could have gone in a whole different direction if one of the main antagonists had been Cthulu. As it stands, Dagomon's dark realm provides more of a threat than he does, and nothing ever comes of the build up. The appearance of his ominous shadow was another scene that stuck with me for years, and it annoys me that he was just dropped.

In the end, 02 is generally good throughout. I liked BlackWargreymon, and I liked Oikawa. They were both tragic figures that made for compelling villains. Actually, the Digimon Kaiser/Ken was also a tragic figure that was comeplling; he just overstayed his welcome. Speaking of villains overstaying their welcome, Arukenimon and Mummymon stuck around for far too long. The heroes beat them down effortlessly several times but they still always managed to escape in contrived ways. When BelialVandemon finally killed them I was amazed they'd lasted as long as they had.

While I'm on the subject, before BelialVandemon kills Arukenimon he tortures her in a unspecified manner (the scene is carefully staged to never show anything below Arukenimon's shoulders). To me, this unspecified torture is implied to be some kind of terrible sexual abuse, considering he does "something" to her that she specifically hoped he would not, something he thinks is "fun", and something that is so awful that it forces the Chosen Children to avert their eyes in horror. There's some subtext where Arukenimon admits she's thought about BelialVandemon doing "something" do her but that whatever he's doing is not how she imagined it. BelialVandemon then follows up by using his sharpened tail to do "something" again that makes her screech in agony. I thought it was crystal clear what was happening, but I did quick search online and couldn't find anything discussing it. I'm not sure what to think now, maybe he's just stabbing her the normal way and I'm horrible.

In any case, BelialVandemon ends up being destroyed in a really underwhelming way (although Daisuke's resistance and determination to fight while everyone else cowers is a cool part). To make matters worse, the ending epilogue is really awful. Fucking Yamato the astronaut, what?

The films for the second season were okay. The first one with Wallace was strange and I didn't like it very much. The second one was much better and serves as a much better send-off for the 02 than the actual epilogue does, so I'll just pretend the epilogue doesn't exist.

Favorite Song: Target ~Akai Shougeki~ really grew on me. It's no Butterfly, but it stomps all over the other 02 songs.

Favorite Character: Hikari, I guess. Daisuke actually might be my favorite of the new generation.

Favorite Digimon: Shit, I dunno. Veemon?

Favorite Evolution: Magnamon. Shame we only saw him once (not counting the film).

Favorite Episode: Uhhhh...

Favorite Moment: Uhhhhhhhhh.... Wow, okay, maybe this season isn't as good as I thought. I guess I liked when Takeru beat the shit out of the Digimon Kaiser. Most of the scenes involving Blackwargreymon were really good, and Oikawa's story was excellent as well. I'll throw in Daisuke standing up to BelialVamdemon by himself.

Tamers

Tamers is much slower paced than the previous two seasons, owing to its focus on deconstructing the Digimon genre. It's much more cerebral and psychological for a show about talking monsters that fight each other has any right to be, but it generally works. I think it could have been cut down a bit, maybe by a couple of episodes, because the pacing does suffer as a result.

This introspective element provides the show the means to explore darker themes than the previous two seasons, which were hardly sunshine and rainbows to begin with. Tamers certainly deals with much more mature subject matter than Adventure or 02, but it does so with purpose rather than simply to be darker and edgier. It takes the tropes of the genre, takes them to their logical extremes, and applies them to a "realistic setting". Children running around and fighting evil monsters with monsters of their own like its a game is not a good thing, and the adults in Tamers are quite rightly horrified that they have to rely upon children to save the world.

Tamers works especially well because the three main characters are so good. Takato could so easily have been an infuriatingly weak-willed protagonist in a less competent show, but here his bouts of hysteria are generally justified and his growth into a confident Tamer is excellent. Jianling is definitely the cool-headed big brother of the group (which makes sense, considering Xiaochung), and Terriermon is awesome. Ruki is easily my favorite character because, despite the contrived tiff with Renamon early on, she develops the most of the three characters and learns to trust and care for other people. Also, and I say this unironically, Rukato is canon. That is the only time I'm going to mention shipping in this post.  

The culmination of the character's development is the Matrix Evolution fusion that combines Tamers and their Digimon into a Mega level Digimon. I think this is thematically appropriate and it is a brilliant character and plot device, censored child nudity notwithstanding (although I swear I sometimes see vague genitalia on the boys, and Ruki's nipples are visible in some evolutions). I know the nudity makes some people uncomfortable, but I like the symbolic significance of them being reduced to pure data and fighting along with their partners. I am glad for the genital lens flares though.

Speaking of controversies, I haven't checked but I imagine that Ryo gets a lot of flak in the fandom for being too perfect. He certainly has all the attributes I would traditionally associate with a Mary Sue: he appears out of nowhere, he is more naturally talented than Ruki at the card game, he controls a super badass Digimon that only he can handle, he gets a lot of time in the limelight, and everyone (except Ruki, who only develops a begrudging respect for him) loves him. However, none of this really bothers me, because, while he is certainly talented, he never does anything that really matters. He's kind of just there to fill out the numbers and fight the mooks.

Impmon's character development is often talked as one of the highlights in Tamers, and it is undoubtedly an impressive journey. I'm not quite as enthusiastic about it as some of the other reviews I've read, because I think there was a bit too sudden a leap from "pitiful figure who wants to be powerful" to "makes a deal with a devil for power and turns evil". Impmon had the support of the main characters the pretty much entire time and they looked out for him even though he was a loud-mouthed pest. If they had been more neglectful or distant to him, it would explain why he willing to kill them in exchange for the power to become Beelzemon. As it stands, it seems contrived and I can't empathize with his decision. I think there needed to be one more step between getting beat down by Indramon and selling his soul, specifically involving the main characters seemingly doing him harm. Impmon's redemption is great though.

Juri's depression following Leomon's death is one the central elements of the story and for the most part it works very well. The D-Reaper's assimilation of her memories and characteristics is some real dark shit and Juri's mental breakdown is for the most part sympathetic. The show does fall into the trap that Juri eventually becomes an object of audience frustration when she refuses to snap out of it and her friends continue to suffer while they fight desperately to save her (and, at one point, she actively refuses to be rescued). It is unfair to really call that a flaw in the show when it is a fairly accurate representation of how toxic depression can be, but it still contributes to the extensive length of the storyline.

The D-Reaper was a great villain that just lasted a bit too long. It had too many forms and minions, and it was constantly interfering with yet another tentacle attack or transformation to stop the main characters from rescuing Juri, and it grew tiresome after a while. However, like Adventure, any flaws with the final antagonist is eventually forgiven because of the subsequent ending, which is absolute brilliant.

The season 3 movies are so-and-so. The first was fairly mediocre and I don't really have anything to say about that other than it happened during the Deva storyline at some point. I preferred the second film because it Ruki was the main character, even if it was pretty short. That said, the second film ends on kind of a downer compared to the actual season, and it makes me wish that there were more stories about the Tamer group. Like really badly. Sniff.

Favorite Song: This is the hardest one. Tamers has a fantastic soundtrack that you should listen to here. I will settle on One Vision because it is the cheesiest of cheesy rock.

Favorite Character: Ruki. She owns bones.

Favorite Digimon: Terriermon.

Favorite Evolution: Dukemon.

Favorite Episode: I struggle with this one. I can't think of any particular episode I can single out as a favorite.

Favorite Moment: Tamers has a bunch of great scenes. Leomon's death is fantastic, as is Beelzemon's later use of the Fist of the Beast King. I would argue that every single Matrix Evolution is amazing; and the beginning of Episode 45 with the triple Matrix Evolution is especially great. The ending is really fucking good as well. Two months of my life went watching the three seasons, and the ending of Tamers is as perfect a send-off as I could have hoped for for the show.

While writing this, I kind of settled on Tamers being my favorite season. I think Tamers edges out Adventure, despite its slower pace, because it uses the groundwork laid by Adventure (and 02) to do something new with the genre. The two season share many of the same qualities: a great cast, great character development, great music, good villains, a generally coherent and interesting story, and great endings, but Tamers just stands out as the winner to me. Or maybe I like it more because it's fresher in my mind. We'll never know.

I've also heard that there is going to be a 15th year anniversary story featuring the Adventure cast, so I'll keep an eye out for that. I don't really have any interest in watching any of the other seasons of Digimon. I think these three seasons had a specific nostalgic appeal to me, whereas the new seasons are completely foreign and thus bad. Plus, I've heard they suck anyway.
Back to top Go down
Talking Sock
Big Daddy Boss
avatar

Posts : 9255
Joined : 2008-08-11
Age : 26
Location : Down Under

PostSubject: Re: Digimon: Adventure, 02, and Tamers   Sun Nov 30, 2014 11:51 am

Casa wrote:
Favorite Evolution: Dukemon.

Dookiemon?



Spoiler:
 

_________________
Back to top Go down
Skip
Australianus
avatar

Posts : 10299
Joined : 2009-07-02
Age : 26
Location : Just Under Down Under

PostSubject: Re: Digimon: Adventure, 02, and Tamers   Sun Nov 30, 2014 12:31 pm

Casa, you bastard, you've made me kind of want to rewatch Tamers. It was always my favourite season, and in reading this I realised how little I remember about the show in general. The nostalgia is powerful.

I watched a bit of the 4th or 5th (really not sure which, and can't be bothered googling) season years ago with my younger cousin, it almost felt like a parody. The main character evolves his Agumon by charging around and punching other Digimon in the face. There was also a cool boxing dog Digimon, so that was sort of interesting.

_________________
Superbuu3 wrote:
Or just play streets of rage 2 repeatedly because in that game they tell the story with their fists and in some ways that is the true meaning of Christmas.

Back to top Go down
Talking Sock
Big Daddy Boss
avatar

Posts : 9255
Joined : 2008-08-11
Age : 26
Location : Down Under

PostSubject: Re: Digimon: Adventure, 02, and Tamers   Sun Nov 30, 2014 12:57 pm

I agree, I would love to play a Digimon-themed mafia game some time.

_________________
Back to top Go down
Mishimi
Deck Hand
avatar

Posts : 30
Joined : 2012-05-09
Age : 36

PostSubject: Re: Digimon: Adventure, 02, and Tamers   Sun Nov 30, 2014 1:10 pm

Digimon in general >>>>>>>> Pokemon.
Back to top Go down
Golden Boy
Style Icon
avatar

Posts : 9301
Joined : 2008-07-31

PostSubject: Re: Digimon: Adventure, 02, and Tamers   Sun Nov 30, 2014 4:04 pm

Best minor character:

Back to top Go down
Casa
RULES OF NATURE
avatar

Posts : 1949
Joined : 2012-03-07

PostSubject: Re: Digimon: Adventure, 02, and Tamers   Sun Nov 30, 2014 8:18 pm

I'm pretty sure the dubbed version of Tamers had Steve Blum play every character. Every single one.
Back to top Go down
Casa
RULES OF NATURE
avatar

Posts : 1949
Joined : 2012-03-07

PostSubject: Re: Digimon: Adventure, 02, and Tamers   Mon Dec 01, 2014 5:10 am

I found out today about "Message in a Packet", the canonical CD Drama epilogue to Tamers that details what happens after the end of the third season. Spoilers because it is devastating.

Spoiler:
 

I'm sad now.
Back to top Go down
Talking Sock
Big Daddy Boss
avatar

Posts : 9255
Joined : 2008-08-11
Age : 26
Location : Down Under

PostSubject: Re: Digimon: Adventure, 02, and Tamers   Mon Dec 01, 2014 5:19 am

It's only canon if you choose to believe it is canon.

Spoiler:
 

_________________
Back to top Go down
Casa
RULES OF NATURE
avatar

Posts : 1949
Joined : 2012-03-07

PostSubject: Re: Digimon: Adventure, 02, and Tamers   Mon Dec 01, 2014 6:23 am

Reminds me of:



If I had time and wasn't recovering from the crushing depression of Message in a Packet, I would rewrite the above image with relevant text and edit Takato, Ruki, and Jian's heads onto Crono, Marle, and Dalton's respectively.
Back to top Go down
Dr. Faust
Spartan
avatar

Posts : 1700
Joined : 2009-05-14
Location : Who cares?

PostSubject: Re: Digimon: Adventure, 02, and Tamers   Wed Dec 03, 2014 10:00 am

Skipio wrote:
I watched a bit of the 4th or 5th (really not sure which, and can't be bothered googling) season years ago with my younger cousin, it almost felt like a parody. The main character evolves his Agumon by charging around and punching other Digimon in the face. There was also a cool boxing dog Digimon, so that was sort of interesting.
Must be the fifth.
I'm watching the 4th (Frontier) these days, and nothing resembling punching to level up is included.
Back to top Go down
Kaio
Internet Celebrity
avatar

Posts : 13829
Joined : 2008-07-31
Age : 27

PostSubject: Re: Digimon: Adventure, 02, and Tamers   Mon Dec 15, 2014 1:45 am

thnx casa

Back to top Go down
Baal
Shut Up and Jam
avatar

Posts : 26838
Joined : 2008-07-31
Age : 26

PostSubject: Re: Digimon: Adventure, 02, and Tamers   Mon Dec 15, 2014 3:54 am

Digimon is good

_________________
Back to top Go down
Casa
RULES OF NATURE
avatar

Posts : 1949
Joined : 2012-03-07

PostSubject: Re: Digimon: Adventure, 02, and Tamers   Mon Dec 15, 2014 4:02 am

Hikari and Sora literally have the same face.

I'm excited for Digimon Adventure Tri and desperately hope it is really successful, because it means this is more likely to happen:



Please Toei-sama, give me closure.
Back to top Go down
????
Butter Bomb


Posts : 646
Joined : 2012-03-26

PostSubject: Re: Digimon: Adventure, 02, and Tamers   Mon Dec 15, 2014 5:16 am

Baal wrote:
Digimon is good

Digimon is great.
Back to top Go down
Talking Sock
Big Daddy Boss
avatar

Posts : 9255
Joined : 2008-08-11
Age : 26
Location : Down Under

PostSubject: Re: Digimon: Adventure, 02, and Tamers   Mon Dec 15, 2014 5:30 am

Empirewild wrote:
Baal wrote:
Digimon is good

Digimon is great.

We surrender our will as of this date.

_________________
Back to top Go down
Casa
RULES OF NATURE
avatar

Posts : 1949
Joined : 2012-03-07

PostSubject: Re: Digimon: Adventure, 02, and Tamers   Mon Dec 15, 2014 10:01 am

There it is, Sora. The cleverest thing you'll ever say and nobody heard it.
Back to top Go down
Talking Sock
Big Daddy Boss
avatar

Posts : 9255
Joined : 2008-08-11
Age : 26
Location : Down Under

PostSubject: Re: Digimon: Adventure, 02, and Tamers   Mon Dec 15, 2014 11:34 am

D'oh!

_________________
Back to top Go down
Kaio
Internet Celebrity
avatar

Posts : 13829
Joined : 2008-07-31
Age : 27

PostSubject: Re: Digimon: Adventure, 02, and Tamers   Tue Mar 10, 2015 11:02 pm

Back to top Go down
Casa
RULES OF NATURE
avatar

Posts : 1949
Joined : 2012-03-07

PostSubject: Re: Digimon: Adventure, 02, and Tamers   Thu Mar 12, 2015 4:23 am

still a lot of same face

I hope Daisuke is in it
Back to top Go down
Talking Sock
Big Daddy Boss
avatar

Posts : 9255
Joined : 2008-08-11
Age : 26
Location : Down Under

PostSubject: Re: Digimon: Adventure, 02, and Tamers   Wed Jun 29, 2016 5:47 am

Tri is getting dubbed. Can't wait for the new DigiRap.

_________________
Back to top Go down
Sponsored content




PostSubject: Re: Digimon: Adventure, 02, and Tamers   

Back to top Go down
 
Digimon: Adventure, 02, and Tamers
Back to top 
Page 1 of 1

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
Raziel's Domain :: Entertainment :: Anime and Manga-
Jump to: