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    I've been meaning to ask you this for quite some time: Who's your favorite character and/or Appmon in Digimon Universe? All of the characters are just amazing, so I'm really curious to know who you liked the most! ^_^

    Beg your pardon, I've been compulsively shouting that at everyone I encounter today (not really, but I'm pretty stoked all the same). Here's my actual reply to your message:

    I hope the sequel is an adaptation of Kim Stanley Robinson's Red Mars with Yamato and Gabumon added to the cast. For real though, my feelings on whether more Digimon Adventure is actually a good thing will depend on how confident I feel about its quality moving forward after I watch tri part 6. To have the whole thing fresh in my head and give it a fair shake, I've been rewatching it in English; going to see part 5 in the theater on Thursday. My overall opinion is still that tri has had an astoundingly poorly conceived and structured narrative, probably worse than 02 in that respect. I just hope that ep. 6 gives me some answer to the question of why Takeru and Hikari have not asked at any point, "Should we text Daisuke or those other friends-for-life of ours?" If the writers wanted to ride solely on nostalgia for Adventure, even retconning 02 would have been a better idea than taking this bizarre middle road. And that's not even getting into all this Yggdrasil, Homeostasis, and Evil Gennai nonsense. Having not rewatched 4 & 5 yet, I do not remember who's trying to destroy which world(s) or why. That means the series is too obtuse for Digimon. If I wanted an anime that impenetrable I'd watch Garden of Sinners again and at least get some thought-provoking ideas and actual animation out of it.

    That kind of turned into a mini-review of Tri, whoops. Hope they have a better budget and find better writers for any sequel(s). And don't worry, more 02 reviews are coming! (getting close to the end, too!)
    Lol, that's awesome.

    Sometimes I wonder, "Am I overthinking Digimon?" and then I remember, "No, of course not, there's no such thing as overthinking Digimon."
    Went to the ballgame today, and you'll be happy to know your Mets beat my guys. :P I'm not complaining though because I got to see the 23-5 game last year. And at least I have Digimon to cheer me up, see serebii convo
    I'm actually really glad to hear that if they're providing some help. Speaking of which, if you're ever looking for a beta-reader for your 02 rewrite, I'd be interested. Anyway, the review train (review Trailmon?) rolls on today:

    Episode 29:

    This episode features the slowest Dokugumon of all time. Seriously, here's everything that happens in the time it takes Dokugumon to fail to reach Iori, Daisuke, and Ken: Iori gets paralyzed from indecision, Daisuke and Ken convince him to use his free hands to call for help, Iori slowly types a message to Miyako, Miyako responds, Iori slowly types a separate message to Hikari and Takeru, they respond, Iori notices AC unit, tells plan to Daisuke and Ken, Ken soccer-passes a chunk of wood to Daisuke who kicks it at the AC unit, AC unit turns on, warms up, and blows away the web. And the whole while they keep cutting back to Dokugumon slooooowly making its way to them. It's ridiculous. Something that's not ridiculous is the gambit where they cancel out the flute's sound with a giant computer. Cool, creative, and actually kind of educational. Back to ridiculous, Mikako and Shurimon can effectively disarm Arukenimon with giant pepper-shakers. It was pretty metal how Hikari and Takeru got her with live wires afterward, though.

    Anyway, the main thing in this episode is the first real appearance of Jessie and James Arukenimon and Mummymon. The question of, "Can we kill an evil Digimon if we have no way of stopping it?" comes up again and this time it's not a fake-out (Arukenimon isn't a dark tower). It's still a missed opportunity because when the question comes up Arukenimon isn't actively doing anything like trying to destroy a dam and drown folks, so the stakes that made the question interesting and suspenseful the first time aren't really there. Then Mummymon comes in, beats them silly, and the writers get to punt on the question yet again. (Shouldn't Hikari and Takeru be like, "You know, we killed Vamdemon ****ing dead and don't regret it at all, so..." ?) Back to Iori's character arc, he's key here in coming up with the computer idea, even though it's Miyako supplying the actual technical skills. So +1 Knowledge Points to Iori but +3 to Miyako. This also looks like the real turning point in his attitude toward Ken after Ken saves him from falling, and this time when he talks about who owes whom it seems more in line with his code and less nasty. Last thing, I forgot how skeevy Mummymon is, eesh.
    Pardon the 02 episode review, I just didn't think your profile page was long enough. Btw, if you haven't checked out BlazingAzureCrow's Digimon Adventure Abridged, it's pretty damn funny. Definitely the best attempt at an abridged Digimon I've seen.

    Episode 28:

    I was going to say, "this is the one with the giant-house and the bug digimon," but apparently it's the first one of those as it ends on a cliffhanger (which, of course, the next-episode-preview confirms will be resolved very quickly. Also, it reminded me that Spider-Lady's name is Arukenimon, which will be "revealed" next time). Not a ton to say about this one; the action isn't impressive and the music helps unusually little. A lot of stretches with no music that make what should have been exciting scenes drag. And they brought back one of the weird, not-very-good tracks from the first 02 movie and put most of it over Digmon's evolution sequence for some reason. I don't think it works. Speaking of Digmon, Iori continues to prove that he has no business with the Crest of Knowledge. After fighting a bunch of INSECT digimon after they noticed the weird flute music, which then took control of STINGMON, Iori fails to make the connection with the SPIDER ON SPIDER-LADY'S HAT and has Armadimon evolve to Digmon. THEN he notices the insect-connection when it's completely obvious instead of just pretty darn obvious. I don't think is splitting hairs, either; I had to jump back in confusion because my brain told me they'd already realized the flute's insect-powers after Stingmon lost control. Use your freaking brain, Iori. More on Iori, he goes out of his way to try to make Ken think he'd have let him drown if he didn't owe him for Stingmon saving him from Thunderballmon earlier. He's taking that never-forgive shtick pretty far, there.

    I said there's not a lot to say here, but who am I kidding, I'm never out of things to say about any episode of Digimon. Ken shows some reluctance to do jogress evolution again on the grounds that it must put a lot of strain on the Wormmon and may "shorten his lifespan." This raises so many questions, like do digimon naturally age? I know in some of the series there's the odd same-level-as-the-others-but-somehow-old digimon (I know Frontier has one), but they're so obviously there to fill the village-elder archetype. The mental and physical age of a digimon always seems to be intrinsic to its species/level at the moment. Perhaps their bodies can waste away and die of natural causes but not age per-se. Accumulated errors in their data? That makes sense from a technical perspective and it's not dissimilar to cancer in humans/animals. Does repeated digivolution/degeneration give digimon digi-cancer? And the most obvious question is, haven't various digimon these kids have known (including Wormmon) died and been born again with memories intact enough times for them to get numb to the idea of digi-death yet? Perhaps that's asking too much of children, and I don't want to be "that guy" overanalyzing the show beyond all reason. Ken's point works fine as dialogue, but I'm not inclined to give it a total pass because I'd bet ten bucks the subject never even comes up again. tl;dr: What "lifespan," Ken?
    Episode 27:

    This episode is a great example of just how rudderless the early post-Kaiser episodes are. It's been 6 episodes since Chimairamon's defeat, and the stakes are just so low. Sure, there's some personal drama involving Ken and his reluctance to forgive himself and join the team, but without a convincing enemy it lacks any urgency. Spider Lady does not work for me so far; she has one trick and it's anemic unlike Devimon's black gears and not even entertaining like Etemon's Elvis schtick. Contrast with Adventure, where in episode 27 Myotismon (the show's best villain) and his army pass through to the real world to kill the eighth child, and how in even in the periods between main villains the show never entirely loses its stakes; they're either still stranded in the Digital World (post-Devimon) or stranded and falling apart (post-Etemon).

    Okay, as for this episode itself, stupidity abounds. All of Paildramon's long stalemate with Ookuwamon is shown to be inane when he wins easily by using his primary attack, which he uses 2 more times in short order before degenerating. Animating Daisuke and Ken running and talking in lockstep and having Miyako declare "They kinda make a perfect pair," is ridiculous, because their similarities end at "try to do the right thing" and "play soccer." And it could not be more obvious that the writers thought of the whole "they exhausted their crests (which are non-physical and innate to their innermost selves, remember Apocalymon) to remove the distortion" thing shortly after the Kaiser arc was completed. They realized they now had the same problem that they fixed with the Dark Towers: there was no longer any reason WarGreymon and MetalGarurumon couldn't just defeat the new enemies. And wasn't the whole point of the final battle of Adventure that the true power of the crests could never be removed from them? The show has an official answer to that question in this episode: "Eh, maybe, we'll see." Hacky, hacky, hacky.
    Watching the dub? Oof, good luck. I watched all of Adventure dubbed with my real-life friend a while back and it was a struggle at times. Enjoy the non-stop-talking and ubiquitous added references to food! (I don't think it was until well into the Tamers dub that they went one episode without mentioning food. The Tamers dub showed a lot of restraint, relatively speaking.)

    Episode 26:

    I'm not a fan of this one, mostly because of some real head-scratching moments. The first is how after Koushirou directs them to the old flying fortress, it's Daisuke who somehow looks at the thing for a few seconds and comes to the conclusion that the Crest of Kindness was acting as the (ballast? pressure valve?) for its dark energy reactor or whatever. Not to dump on Daisuke, but why didn't one of the smart kids figure this out? They spent so much airtime a few minutes ago on evolution sequences, so couldn't they have made this exchange 15 seconds longer and involve some actual deductive work to diagnose the problem? The next head-scratcher is when Tailmon's like, "I sure wish we could evolve to Perfect level, which the audience is just now learning we can't," and Takeru's all, "Yeah, that's too f***ing bad, also that we can't explain the situation to them even a little right now." I think I remember the BS reason they had for this, and I believe it gets explained next episode. Lastly, "Angemon's attack is only effective against dark types!" Why aren't dark towers dark types, again? One thing I liked: Wormmon answering the phone. Another good thing: the new "Jogress Shinka" song actually syncs up in a really cool way with Paildramon's animation. New ending credits this episode are an improvement in both song and animation over the first, imo, although per tradition it 100% spoils the upcoming evolutions. Imperialdramon splitting the clouds is cool. One last complaint I guess is that the juxtaposed Daisuke/Ken and XV-mon/Stingmon conversation took a lot of air out of the fight it was technically in the middle of (what was Ookuwamon waiting for?). The stuff they're talking about makes sense, and it's what Ken needs to hear on his road to self-forgiveness, but the scene just didn't feel revelatory or dramatic enough for the new evolution for some reason. Eh, maybe I'm just not in the right mood.
    I think I heard about it, but I wasn't interested in going. After the disaster that was 4 & 5, I can't muster much enthusiasm for anything Tri anymore, though they did do a damn good job with the first movie's dub.

    Speaking of Digimon (which is something I love saying and wish I could say more often), the Great 02 Review Slog continues. We're halfway there now!

    Episode 25:

    This is the one that introduces Aquilamon and makes explicit spider-lady's habit of turning dark towers into pseudo-digimon. What stuck out to me the most about this episode is how much more interesting the new kids' feelings about Ken are when compared to Hikari's and Takeru's. Both of the returning chosen children take pretty predictable stances: "Let's hold off and monitor the situation," and "Ken's changed but he's not necessarily a good fit." These are measured, mature, and boooorrring takes. Contrast with the newbies: Cody's personal code is about perfection, not forgiveness, so he's holding onto his anger which is still illustrated in furious kendo. Daisuke's emotions run hot in whichever direction they take, so he's just as invested in bringing Ken to their side as he was in defeating him now that the crest proves that he's "on the same team." (It's a very sports-like attitude and thus perfect for Daisuke: of course yesterday's enemy can be today's friend). And Miyako has an honest dilemma: She can never agree with how Ken had a digimon killed in the last episode, but at the same time she has an obvious crush on him and is dying to find a reason she can forgive him in good conscience. She's pulled towards Daisuke's defense of him and the argument for killing in defense (with a stylized but hokey bit of photoshopping) because of this yearning to believe in Ken as a person, even as on the surface she sticks to her moral compass. It adds an element of emotional relief when it turns out that there wasn't a moral dilemma after all, which makes up a bit for how it's a total narrative cop-out. I don't remember whether this question of "is it okay to kill digimon in defense" comes up again in the show (didn't they do that a bunch in Adventure, even to digimon that weren't exactly evil incarnate?), but as it stands it's not great writing to set up a big moral question within the team and then render the actual question moot.

    tl;dr: Hikari and Takeru are pretty boring, especially in this episode. Also, why could everyone hear Mimi from the computer room? Is she just that loud?
    There's no stopping the Digimon 02 review train. All aboard!

    Episode 24:

    This is a middling episode in my book: not stupid, but not particularly well-executed either. There are some important things covered, like Spider Lady's introduction (her name escapes me), Ken's getting re-acclimated to not-a-supervillain life, and Iori's continued anger towards the defeated Kaiser. Oh, and Ankylomon first shows up in what felt like an unusually flat action scene to me, except for some of the Stingmon animation. Good things: Iori's face after Ken has Stingmon save him, but kill a digimon in the process. There's a moment when he doesn't know what to make of it before he settles on the same judgment he had going into the episode. I'm left wondering how much more of a dent Ken would have left in Iori's mind if he hadn't killed the Thunderballmon (which he was right to do, but the viewers don't know that yet). Also good is kendo as metaphor for Iori's singleminded, angry refusal to see Ken differently now.

    One trivial thing that bugs me: the adult-level evolution sequences somehow look worse than in Adventure. It's little things, particularly how the digimon are drawn at a more level angle that doesn't jibe with the disk-things they stand on. Also, the part where they zoom into the camera doesn't have quite the same snap to it; it feels too smooth and slow. I know this has basically nothing to do with the true worth of the show, but speaking from experience the minutiae of things like transformation animations are really important to young kids.
    *insert yearly traditional thank you message*

    Thanks! :D Good to hear from you as well, btw :]
    Did somebody say, "More Digimon?" No? Oh, my mistake. Well, here's more Digimon anyway:

    Episode 23:

    More tonal whiplash in 02, as we go from great-and-serious to dumb-and-silly and back to great-and-serious in the span of 3 episodes. I forgot how mature and abstract this episode was for a kids' show; for now I'll say it's a tie with 21 for best episode. There are a lot of really good ideas here tied together very neatly: older (smarter) sibling envy, parental guilt over imposing expectations, perceived agency in a death you had no control over, and guilt/mourning leaving one open to dangerous ideas. The last one is particularly creepy, as the mystery email tells Ken what he wants to hear (that death is freedom for Osamu, which absolves him of guilt), and uses it to plant the core idea of the Digimon Kaiser in him (the Digital World is a place of no consequences where he can be equally free, and specifically can enjoy being as powerful and cruel as his brother seemed). The visual connection between Osamu and Ken's Kaiser persona is clever and effective. It works particularly well in the red-lit scene where Osamu chastises Ken for using the digivice.

    More good visual work in this episode than I remembered. Standouts are the bubble-effect used as a transition to the headspace, and juxtaposing the shot of Ken looking with hurt longing at his parents sitting with Osamu with a near-identical shot of Ken watching his parents grieve over Osamu. It's directed more like an NGE-for-kids episode with the internal monologue and the abstract story-boarding. And here I thought there wasn't any of that until Tamers. There's probably more I could say about what's going on in this episode, but I'm getting tired.

    Dark Ocean comes back, which is cool I guess? Makes me confused on where the Dark Ocean is and what exactly it's supposed to be thematically. I think Konaka had sort of a cosmic-horror-separate-from-the-digital-world idea, but now it's looking more like regular-evil-digimon-thing.
    Wow, it took all of one episode for Adventure 02 to get stupid again. Talk about your tonal whiplash.

    Episode 22:

    So this is the one where V-Mon first evolves into XV-mon, and boy is it silly in a bad way. There's one part that's funny enough and it didn't bother me, which is when the smaller-digimon-disguised-as-a-larger-digimon gambit falls apart and Davis is all "Sorry guys" and they just roll with it. The rest of it just seems to fill space, and lord knows that was a larger pee-stream than I ever needed to see coming out of a digimon. One thing I never noticed before but now really bugs me is comparing this episode to the SkullGreymon episode in Adventure. Both feature the goggle-head pulling reckless stunts to get his partner to evolve to a new level. In Adventure it goes horribly wrong, Agumon suffers trauma for Taichi's hubris and impatience, and it's one of the highlights of the show story-wise. In 02 it goes wrong for laughs, none of his friends give a sh*t (also for laughs), and nobody learns anything except wash your hands when you pee. For all the jokes that he's the butt of, Davis seems to live a charmed life when it comes to avoiding trauma for his boneheaded-ness. Maybe there's something to that, but if there is it ain't working in the show.

    PS: I watched the latest tri a while ago, and like you I remember very little of it, lol. I think I liked it more than the previous one because the last fight in it got pretty freaky?

    Hope you had a Merry Christmas/Happy Holiday/What Have You!
    Aw at no cake. But chocolate bars are good!

    What did you think of ORAS's main story? There is some stuff to do but I do miss the likes of Battle Frontier and smaller things like the berry mixing minigame. :<

    It is weird, haha. I still have some non-thesis work to do (like turn a chapter into a paper which is currently going through edits/feedback from co-authors) but I can relax and play games and read stuff and etc. And also look at more job apps to do.

    Also more gatherings with friends now!
    Yeah, things were going downhill quite fast really and both my physical and mental health got somewhat compromised, so I needed to sort everything out. The last part of 2016 was a bit harsh personally and since then, everything just got worse. But you know, everything gets worse before getting better! And thanks a lot, same for you :)

    That's really good news! getting a license is really important, it can even get you jobs actually. I would like to know what are you studying now, you sound happy about it! I need a job really, but it would make studying quite hard for me, so I'm trying to see what I get in order to balance both. I mean, I need the money, but I won't study for 10 years, haha.

    I'm sure you'll sort those problems out, if it means anything, you can ask for my Discord and message me there if you ever need anything!
    Hopefully I'm not too late here, but happy birthday Asty!! ^^

    Also, the text in your signature caught my eye... If my memory serves me correctly, are those lyrics from the Digimon Universe opening? :D (I love that series soooo much, haha.)
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