And by "get my thoughts down" I mean "gush about Kari."
I really, really, really love Kari. I can't stress that enough; she's enamored me since I was ten (f-fourteen years...), and that flame hasn't gone away. I've talked about it at length here and here and re-watching has given me more things to talk about.
It's, again, hard for me to talk about why I love Kari, because she has many traits that normally wouldn't draw me in, but there's something inexplicably endearing and endlessly fascinating about her. I love that she's a normal little girl from a normal family but she's also otherworldly in a way her friends and family aren't. I really love how her parts in the story mesh with this--her instant connection with Koromon, her acceptance of Gatomon as her partner, her being used as a vessel for a spirit to communicate with the Chosen Children, her Light power manifesting into a supernatural force when she sees Digimon suffering. It's arguable that the latter two occurred for the sake of moving the plot, but it's so fitting given what we know about her. She's so in tune with the Digital World in a very natural, genuine way that it almost feels like she's part of it.
I do wish she had more of an active role this season (I'd be content with an AU about her, Gatomon, and Wizardmon's adventures), but I also love what we got and the mystery left behind. I was puzzled by the lack of explanation (or reaction from others) given about her sudden, serious change in personality when her Light power suddenly took over during the Machinedramon arc upon re-watch, but I also like how it leads in to the Dagomon episode in 02 (...if only it went anywhere).
God, I love Kari.
I do have other thoughts, however!:
- The Myotismon arc is still the absolute best of the arcs, but it's unfortunately marred by the most damning addition ever made: the choice to include "Hey Digimon" at least once per episode, no matter how ill-fitting its placement. It's jarringly distracting and almost ruins many otherwise great and exciting moments. While its mere existence is far from enough to kill the arc, I still couldn't stop imagining how much more improved it would have been had they stuck with the usual battle music.
- Related, "I'M BANISHING YOU TO DIGIWORLD." This didn't fool me as a kid, as I remember Myotismon outright killing them, I'm sure it didn't fool many other kids, and Wizardmon is killed just a few episodes later so...why? It's also pretty maddening given Matt's reaction afterwards. "HE BANISHED THEM TO THE DIGITAL WORLD! I'm...gonna...get him for that......?"
- I remember the Etemon arc being a lot longer as a kid, most likely because it was the least exciting of all the arcs, save for the last couple of episodes. Re-watching, I was surprised at how quickly it went by. Still the weakest arc, but just the right length.
- Conversely, I was surprised at how much longer the Dark Masters arc was this time around. This is entirely because a good chunk of it is devoted to Puppetmon's section and good god does it ever overstay its welcome. It has its moments and Puppetmon is a fun villain, but he's hardly much of a threat, and the lackeys he throws at the kids are kind of pathetic. (Mimi catching a piece of Digimon shit and throwing it at them, however, is still fantastic.)
- Wizardmon. Still the best Digimon. Followed very closely after Kari as my favorite character in the series.
- I love Gatomon too, though I was a little sad to see some of her initial darkness and sass be snipped away once she became part of the team. It's expected for her personality to have some turnaround now that she's freed of the years of torture and servitude Myotismon subjected her to and finally gets some release and relief from finally finding her partner (who is, in direct contrast to Myotismon, gentle and kind), but I would have liked to have seen at least some of her sly nature and knowledge she had as one of the "evil" Digimon emerge once in a while. I still love her though, she's a cool cat.
- Wizardmon/Gatomon 5ever... ;_;
I also downloaded the original Japanese version, which I'll be watching in between episodes of 02, and I'm hoping it can clarify the following that made me go "huh" in the dub:
- How did Matt's dad know Gabumon? Was this some slip-up in the translation?
- In the Dark Masters arc, Leomon says he can't control his evolution, implying that it's leading up to some answer, but we're never told why.
- Any further clarification of Kari's power in the Machinedramon arc.
- I swear I had more of these.
On to 02!