MP (militarypenguin) wrote,

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Digimon 02 rewatch complete

I really loved this season as a kid. For a long time I regarded it as even better than the first season and "All great, just went downhill after they beat Daemon." I'd seen some comprehensive and fair takedowns of the season as extremely flawed, but I still had my nostalgia to fall back on, and I did think it had "good" qualities that went overlooked or simply didn't work for others. How did it hold up on rewatch?

Not very well, unfortunately. Even disregarding the finale (which wasn't terrible, it just didn't feel earned--I'll get in more to this later) and the epilogue, the show, from the very beginning, was already showing its fair share of problems. Some of them may have been a result of the dub, but given the negative reactions I've read and seen from those who watched the Japanese version, I doubt the dub is solely to blame.

I still enjoyed it enough to power through it at more or less the same speed as I did the first season, but where there were flaws, they where glaring. This season aired a mere week after the first ended...and it shows.

  • The new kids accept their roles and get attached to the Digital World too quickly and too easily. It was impossible for me to take their anger at and determination to defeat the Digimon Emperor seriously when I couldn't believe they could accept their roles and understand this new world in such a short span of time. The writers likely wanted to get the ball rolling as soon as they could, but given the amount of episodes that follow that are little more than fanservice to appease the fans longing for the old team, I don't see why they couldn't have hit two birds with one stone and just had the Emperor do his dirty deeds while the new kids learn about the world and why it's important for them to protect through experience and knowledge of kids from the old team.

  • It's been brought up numerous times in criticisms of the season that allowing the kids to go to and from the real world kills any sense of danger the kids from the first season didn't have the luxury of. Despite this, I think there was still potential for exciting situations; the show simply had a bad habit of never taking advantage of them. They're either killed in as short as one episode (Kari being left behind in a dangerous territory of the Digital World, Ken being taken by Oikawa), or aren't conveyed as a threat clearly enough (the impending doom of the worlds as the Destiny Stones are being destroyed, the fact that the Emperor's rule had so little impact on the world that the kids literally have a fucking picnic one episode).

  • The new kids' reluctance to kill evil Digimon during the Daemon Corps arc. It's ridiculous, contrived, and might have made for a believable conflict had the kids not already reached the conclusion during their battle with BlackWarGreymon that they'd have no choice but to kill if something was threatening the world.

  • Why did Izzy have to hide the Digimon from his mom when she'd already seen them four years ago? Why did Tai and Kari (presumably) keep quiet about it from their parents too?

  • The reason Yolei received the Digi-Egg of Sincerity. It's already a given that she's always been a sincere person who speaks her mind and this episode it's somehow the lesson she learns. (For the record, I checked the original Japanese to see if it made any more sense. It didn't. It's exactly the same as the English dub.)

  • Aside from being the first one to have the new Digivice (thus be able to fight in the Digital World) why did Tai assign the responsibility of leader to Davis, who was completely new and inexperienced to this world? (They needed a goggle kid and "YOU WERE REALLY BRAVE OUT THERE" ARE NOT REASONS.) 

  • Remember when Kari brought up the possibility of different DNA Digivolutions? Remember when that was never brought up again? It's a shame, because it would have led to exploring some interesting bonds between the kids. It would have been a great opportunity to resolve the conflict between Cody and Ken, or elevate Davis's crush on Kari (that disappears without a trace) and Kari's annoyance at him to them mutually respecting each other as friends. So much potential for character development!...but I understand they had their budget issues and there's only so much they can pack on their already-packed plate.

  • The fucking Dark Ocean yeah, I don't need to beat this dead horse of a topic again do I? I don't, but I will anyway because that scarring disappointment has still not healed. It was creepy, atmospheric, gave that much-needed sense of threat the season was lacking in, and also would have been a great opportunity for further character exploration and development. (I also think DNA Digivolving would have been great to bring in here with Ken and Kari's connection to it, as well as bring in some interesting themes about darkness and light, but I digress.)

  • Daemon was badass and deserved a far bigger role than what he got in the story; if they tied him in with the Dark Ocean there could have been a hell of a finale. In fact, even as a kid I think I was anticipating just that, or at least the Dark Ocean as the final stage of battle. Still not over it.

  • Arukenimon's demotion from mysterious, ominous villain to the reveal that she's just one half of the Digimon's Team Rocket incarnation was something I felt mixed on as a kid and still feel mixed on today.

  • The show's habit of dropping and picking up interesting plot threads whenever it felt most convenient (T.K.'s anger, the fucking Dark Ocean.)

  • The final battle against MaloMyotismon was cheesy and over the top, but I think having the hopes and dreams of all the children conquer him was appropriate (and thematically similar to 01's ending), it just didn't feel earned because all of the kid characters outside of Ken were horribly static, and only showed significant changes when the plot demanded it.

  • I-I think I'm done for now.

Looking forward to finally completing Tamers!
Tags: digimon
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