This is the one where Iori gets his Digimental of Sincerity (Reliability in the dub, and "Faithfulness" in the subs I'm using, but I'll be calling it Sincerity). There are a few things I like here, for example when they're trying to get Iori to pick up the Digimental and he gives a bunch of other excuses first before finally admitting to them (and himself!) that he doesn't think he deserves it because he just told a lie. Also, it's funny how Daisuke and V-mon are the only ones who don't catch on to the rigged game of straws. One thing I think could have been handled better is Jou's lesson for Iori about good/bad lies. It seemed sort of hand-wavy, like "Eh, sometimes lying's okay," where I think the more truthful lesson is that the essence of a "lie" has more to do with malicious intent than literal correctness. I think we need different words to distinguish "malicous lies," "benevolent oversimplifications," "telling a factual truth with malicious intent to deceive," etc. I may be asking too much from a fifteen-second scene in a kids' show, though. Crest fits Iori perfectly, definitely a better justification offered than with Friendship and Purity. That aside, Submarimon's special attacks look like the weakest nonsense ever. Shooting air and water while underwater, seriously?
I think there were four evolution sequences in a row, which is pretty shameful. I forgot about ShogunGekomon's hair; that makes more sense.
The plot bunny's been going pretty slowly for what I think is an okay reason: Pokemon Moon. :) I'm doing a blind Nuzlocke and coming up on the Elite Four. And on Tuesday Final Fantasy XV comes out, which probably won't help matters.
Episode 15 also has some of the worst animation I have ever seen. It doesn't look too bad in screenshots, but when it's in motion, it's really bad. Also, you can tell that this is a filler episode by the amount of evolution sequences. Between those and the amount of times the Digimon Analyzer came up for this episode, it's filler for the filler episode. Storyline couldn't even fill twenty minutes.
With that ending scene, I think Miyako was just annoyed that Daisuke first joked about cutting of ShogunGekomon's hair, but now he's being all serious. That's the way I take it, but I'm looking at screenshots instead of rewatching the episodes. (I'm still getting through Data Squad.)
How goes the tending of that plot bunny? My Ryo-less rewrite of my Digimon fic is going along...okay. I had to scrap my idea for chapter two, and skipped that to work on chapter three.
Thanksgiving has stuffing and Zero Two has filler. I prefer Thanksgiving.
This is the one where they go to the Edo-themed town with the Gekomon, Tamamon, Floramon, etc. It's basically the Wild West episode but not as weird. I guess there's a little character work here, though. We see a sliver of Hawkmon's (Shurimon's) honor code in how he and Igamon keep fighting even after the tower goes down, but feels more like a fleeting, isolated moment than actual development. I suspect Japanese viewers might get more out of this episode with culture-specific references/jokes; for example there's this bit where they say goodbye and Daisuke speaks in what I assume is formal, period-appropriate mode. Miyako calls it "embarrassing," so maybe he's getting it hilariously wrong? Hard to tell when you don't speak Japanese. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Stop watching? Heck no, I'm committed now. Especially now that you tell me all that insane stuff I had totally forgotten about Michael and his family I have to keep watching.
I think that's exactly why they gave Miyako Love and Purity, and to that, I shrug. For what it's worth, Miyako is outspoken, assertive, and self-driven in a way that flies in the face of the traditional Japanese feminine ideal, so I'm inclined to give the writers a pass for some lingering biases in how they write girls. I wish they'd thought a little harder about what the crests really mean and why their first instinct might be to give the new girl the old girls' crests, but at least they were trying (probably).
As for what Purity means for a Chosen Child in particular, I have some thoughts on this but they hinge on episodes yet to come and I want to rewatch them first to make sure I'm remembering right.
Saw you like'd my plot bunny. :) I'm trying to outline it right now. Really, really want to get it right if I go through with it.
I thought your VM was going to begin by telling me that Zero Two was just so stupid that you stopped watching it.
Michael is a weird character. His father is a famous actor who is also white with blond hair and blue eyes (and apparently named "Michel J. Barton" if the movie poster for "Shoot the Darkness: Hell's Target" puts the staring actor in the first spot of the listing). As you said, he speaks fluent Japanese. Why that came about is a great mystery, along with how Mimi met him. Does she regularly meet the children of world-famous movie actors?
It's been a while since I really sat down and looked at what Purity could actually mean for a Chosen Child to have. I still think that Iori should have gotten Purity, but only because I don't want to follow the idea that Miyako gets both Love and Purity just because those are the "girl" qualities. But yes, the dub made more sense for this episode.
And looking through the screencaps of the episode where Daisuke's in New York, I completely forgot how American they made Michael's father. They gave him a cowboy hat and he's dressed up like a Texas ranger. Michael's whole family doesn't make sense.
It is with deep regret that I come to inform you that after episode 13 Digimon Adventure 02 immediately returns to being stupid. :(
This episode contains the most glaring plot hole so far, which is why didn't the new Chosen Children remember about Digimon from the global disaster three years prior? Miyako even knew Diablomon's name! (Despite being a plot-hole this is also good detail-work as we first saw Miyako in Our War Game.) All that dumbness aside, the main event is Miyako getting the Digimental of Purity. This is a weird case where the dub writing honestly made more sense: Miyako got the Digimental by being sincere about an unflattering truth about herself (she doesn't trust ugly-looking folks). I guess the moral here is that sometimes Purity makes you shallow? This episode isn't making me rethink my stance that Purity and Knowledge should have been swapped between Miyako and Iori.
A few more little things: seeing Digitamamon getting shuriken'd in the eyes made me squirm. It looked way more brutal than it actually was considering Digitamamon is made of space or something? As for Michael, I'm always amused to see depictions of Americans in Japanese media. It's really something that Mimi's friends with a an American middle-schooler who can carry $87+ in cash with him and speaks fluent Japanese (I was wondering for a second if he might have Japanese parents and is just drawn like any other anime character, but his combination of name, hair, and eye color suggests he's probably supposed to be white. Analyzing ethnicity in children's anime character design is serious business). It would have been a truly inspired touch if Betamon said "digivolves to" instead of "shinka," call it a missed opportunity. Also, Digitamamon's attack should have at least broken Mimi's ribs.
I have lots of positive words to say about Lost Boys, so I'll want some time to consolidate my thoughts on it.
And huh, I didn't realize it'd been that long since I watched an episode. Card can wait; I have a lot of words to say about the Dark Ocean, too.
There is so much going on in this episode that it's utterly baffling how little it has to do with the rest of the show. I'd forgotten all about the stuff with Hikari's hangups over Taichi: she feels helpless without him, and subconsciously feels that she's a disappointment to him (see also in Adventure when she apologizes to him after falling ill when she's like four). Correspondingly, there's Takeru's frustration with the fact that she's so emotionally dependent on her brother--as opposed to on him, which possibly introduces an unrequited-love angle to their relationship. To my knowledge none of this character development ever comes back. Then there's the Dark Ocean itself. Where is it? What is it? Why is it? I seem to remember that later the Dark Ocean is shown to be what corrupts Ken's digivice, but going by this episode Ken and his Digivice would seem to be foreign to the Dark Ocean, which is controlled by Dagomon. Speaking of Dagomon, what are his followers if they're not Digimon? Also, they want to mate with Hikari so that their offspring can defeat the "new god" Ken, which is the creepiest damn idea in all of Digimon, including Tamers.
The most frustrating thing about all this is that this episode is basically a blueprint for what they could and should have done with Hikari's character (so what follows is less canon and more my understanding of her character as extrapolated from this episode). Hikari is a medium, which makes her the most suitable for the nebulous and supernatural Crest of Light; but in this episode there's a flip-side to that. Her closeness to the world of Light also makes her closer to the world of Darkness, perhaps even more so than Ken is. In these sorts of stories it's never the middling, gray-toned characters who are in the most danger of becoming corrupted and powerfully evil; it's always the purest, brightest ones. This idea runs particularly deep in Western culture, where demons are commonly understood to be fallen angels. To someone like Hikari the choice between good and evil is tangible rather than abstract, and the sensation of the two sides spiritually and physically pulling her is frightening. And perhaps the new pull from Dagomon--which is similar to but distinct from the pull from the more conventional evils--is where it all starts to be too much for her. Perhaps the pull from the good side is starting to feel just as nauseating as the pull from the bad (see the negative feelings she has regarding Taichi and Takeru in this episode). Will Hikari ever truly be her own person, free from visions/being possessed/impossible expectations, or is this her fate? There's a mountain of potential here, and from what I remember they totally squander it and Hikari goes back to being a boring Mary Sue with episode 14.
I haven't even mentioned yet how tense and atmospheric this episode is compared to what came before it. Why oh why couldn't Chiaki J. Konaka have been involved with more episodes of 02 beyond this one? Just contrast this with the episode that immediately precedes it and think about what might have been. In some universe the final antagonist of 02 was the Cthulhu-stand-in Dagomon, or God-forbid Dagomon's Ultimate-level form. Now there's an apocalyptic showdown I'd be interested in seeing.
tl;dr: This is the most interesting and probably the best episode of 02. Only 37 more episodes until Konaka returns to save Digimon from itself! :D
I can't find where you mentioned it, but weren't you reading Lost Boys by Card? I wanted to know what you thought of the book, since it's one of my favorite Card books, even though I can't reread it. The ending kills me every time.
I'm still looking forward to your thoughts on episode 13. (I even went out and bought the complete works of Lovecraft to figure out what it's all about!)
This is the wild west one. It's certainly not good, but it manages at least to be weird. There's absolutely nothing to say character- or plot-wise, so I'll just highlight some of its weirdness: 1) The animation is even cheaper and jankier than usual, but they still try for some visual humor, like Miyako and Iori sneaking into school with Poromon and Upamon stuck under their shirts (because looking like pregnant elementary schoolers is way less conspicuous than looking like they have stuffed animals). 2) Fox Kids was probably immensely relieved that for once the obvious replacement of milk for beer was present in the original Japanese cut. 3) A lot of the music is wild-west-style, and I think it was only used in this episode which would be a head-scratching use of budget for such a cheap show. 4) Episode 11's preview for this episode is cropped wide-screen to look more like an actual Spaghetti Western (Ramen Western? *gets shot*), but the episode itself is full-screen, which makes me wonder if they wanted to air it cropped but the idea got axed.
No worries re: disappearance--you've got to put life first. And I'm hardly one to complain about people disappearing suddenly. >_>
Btw, I think I'll resume my rewatch of 02 next week. This week I'm trying to slap together a draft for the collaboration thing with Art & Design since apparently they're short on stories and needed to extend the deadline.
Hey thanks, you're a champ! :D Looking forward to your thoughts.
Sorry for the sudden disappearance. Life got in the way. Even though I did still have enough time to start watching Digimon Data Squad.
Between episode 4's need to have Miyako held back to have her D3 looked at and episode 11's need to have Miyako held back to sort through her feelings (which did take a very short time), it seems as if Zero Two is a prime example of the saying that the need of the logic is second to the need of the plot. There's a lot in Zero Two that could be looked at in that way. There doesn't even need to be big plot changes to fix the logic.
To do this they try to make it look like the issue is that Daisuke's unwilling to put himself in harm's way, and it doesn't work at all.
Especially in the context of episode 8, where Daisuke offered himself to the Kaiser in exchange for his friends. So not only was this episode apparently written by someone who didn't pay much attention to Adventure, it was written by someone who didn't pay much attention to characterization from three episodes ago.
And yet people argue that Zero Two doesn't have any plot holes.
This is the Lighdramon episode, and by golly is it dumb. There's a coherent idea or two in there, but everything's so clumsy in execution, starting with Taichi and Yamato being all "let 'em fight!" and claiming that their old fights were what made them friends. Were they even watching their own show? Those fights between them were an obstacle and they nearly got everyone killed. The fights were a manifestation of their competing egos, and it wasn't the fights themselves that resulted in a reduction of those egos. I get the impression that this episode was written by someone who didn't pay much attention to Adventure. Here's what they handled okay: A deficiency in Courage made Fladramon degenerate, and an expression of Friendship made Lighdramon strong enough to destroy the Evil Spiral. The bigger problem is how muddled the buildup to that is. The situation is that Daisuke doesn't want to fight MetalGreymon because he's worried about hurting him, and the writers have to somehow bend that into being the result of Daisuke lacking Friendship. To do this they try to make it look like the issue is that Daisuke's unwilling to put himself in harm's way, and it doesn't work at all. In the end the moment where Daisuke awakens the Digimental feels more like they wrote themselves into a corner than it does that Daisuke actually changed in some way to awaken it. I remember scratching my head when I was seven years old at this episode, and now I understand why.
This is the first one with MetalGreymon, and a lot of little things felt off to me. It's not a big deal, but there's this one bit where Daisuke practically body-checks Hikari just so he can talk to Taichi face-to-face. More importantly, the subplot with Miyako staying behind wasn't handled well at all. The idea's a good one, which is that she's disturbed by how there's suddenly so much more at stake, but then it's resolved in ten seconds with no real impetus for it, and in the end we find out that they probably only staged it this way so that Yamato could arrive later than everyone else. This raises the question: why not have Yamato there from the beginning? That way he can challenge Taichi about holding back against MetalGreymon during the fight, and then when he punches him after the fact it will have more impact; both for the punch itself and for when Taichi admits Yamato's right. Also, I believe this is the first moral correction in 02 that's delivered via a strike to the face. I'm going to keep score since I recall this happens in 02 a lot: 1.