A Reflective Look-Back at Digimon: Part 2 - Digimon Zero-Two

Part One - Digimon Adventure

The act of franchising can be scary. It implies that the property in question was popular enough to warrant a successor, even if it didn’t need it, and the end-result is usually unpredictable. Sometimes, like with Toy Story Trilogy, skepticism meets the undeniable truth that, yes, there was a genuine story to tell. But more often than not, especially when those involved in franchising are business executives and toy manufacturers, the end-result becomes a hollow and lifeless mess that strives to one-up its predecessor without understanding what’d made it work in the first place. Such is the case with the follow-up to the ever-popular Digimon Adventure, Digimon Zero-Two.

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Digimon Zero-Two, or Season 2 of Digimon: Digital Monsters, premiered in Japan on April 2nd, 2000 and on Fox Kids in the West on August 19th of the same year. Unlike the previous season, this one was a huge hit almost instantly, holding the highest ratings on both sides of the Pacific Ocean in franchise history and even being looked at by many as the franchise’s best entry. Not surprisingly, my 10 year-old self was instantly sold at the thought of this new iteration, even if I initially thought the protagonist’s name was Matt all-over again. I must’ve really had a fancy for Matt...


Anyway, while my past self adored this show to death, save one section that never really hooked me, time has, sadly, not been kind to my outlook. See, I had the pleasure of re-watching Digimon Zero-Two, along with the rest of the first four seasons, a few years back, except I made the mistake of watching it last. As such, I realized how awful it really was, even with the nostalgia factor. Watching again recently has dulled my frustrations somewhat, but...well, let’s be honest: Digimon Tamers came after it for a reason.

This’ll be a harder iteration to discuss because, unlike its predecessor, it doesn’t flow well. Digimon Adventure, for all its shortcomings, had a genuine and cohesive story to tell about the fight against evil. Digimon Zero-Two, conversely, is an example of too many cooks in the kitchen. The show had two head writers, not one, and their sub-writers and scenario planners were known for their behind-the-scenes disputes. But even outside of production problems, of which there were many, the show still had a bad habit of haphazardly tossing out ideas at a dartboard in hopes that they’d hit a bull’s-eye. In other words, the show was a “bloody mess”.

So here’s how this’ll work: I’ll still discuss the story and my thoughts surrounding it, but I’ll also be throwing out some of my most pressing questions in hopes that maybe, MAYBE, someone can answer them. Granted, I’m positive that at least half don’t have answers. They’ll be numerous, often angry, but I feel that it’s the only way that this can be written effectively. Besides, it’s cathartic to rant sometimes, especially when it’s something you care about. Here goes nothing.

Digimon, Digital Monsters – Opening #2

The first point I need to make, even before discussing the plot, is its background history. Judging by its prologue, the show takes place three years after the events of the first series in 1999, hence the name “02”. But if you look at the way in which it was presented, you got a sense that the production team began scripting and animating this show as early as Episode 38 of said season. Yes, the animation quality was slightly more refined thanks to budget increases, but that makes you wonder why Toei, i.e. the ones responsible for this franchise, didn’t wait until Digimon Adventure was completed before starting it. But we’ll chalk that up to time constraints, so moving on!

The story began with an opening action montage, akin to something straight out of the first Star Wars movie. In it, we saw several Digimon running from a kid in robes and fancy glasses, i.e. “The Digimon Emperor”. It seemed as though he was enslaving Digimon left, right and centre to use as slaves via round hoops he called “dark rings”, which were, in turn, fuelled by black, pointy towers known as “control spires”. His name, as well as his back-story, was a mystery, but that was irrelevant. Even as a kid, this was an interesting idea, although it raises my first question:

Q1: How did this kid get here?

If you’ll recall from the last season, the portal to this world was supposed to be closed. Granted, you can argue that the emperor’s new Digivice, which was far more advanced than the original model, could override the portal and let him in, but even then I smell a plot contrivance. But it’s the least of my questions, as we soon saw Tai’s Digimon beckoning for his help. Sure enough, Tai got in somehow. Hmm...

Q2: How did Tai get in?

Here’s the first LEGIT question I have. Unlike the emperor, Tai had no reason for being able to get through the portal. His Digivice wasn’t anything fancy, nor was he particularly crafty, so it didn’t make sense. But whatever, he noticed an unusual-looking egg that, upon touching it, released three beams of light that went through a computer and reached three unsuspecting, Japanese middle-schoolers: Davis, a fellow soccer player on Tai’s team, Yolei, the resident computer club captain, and Cody, a shy and fidgety boy whom Yolei walked to school with on a daily basis. And, of course, we had TK and Kari at that school, because the plot said so.

Q3: Why are TK and Kari suddenly important characters?

It sounds unfair to be picking on the two youngest Digidestined from the previous show, but they were never that interesting to begin with. They weren’t developed much, unlike the other kids, they barely contributed to the plot...and now they were important characters? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against the idea of having characters return from a previous season, but-as we’d later discover-the writers of THIS season had no clue what to do with them. Kari was still Jesus-incarnate, while TK, who was fun when he was 8, was now the epitome of a perfect individual who can never do wrong. It’s like growing up with your two favourite cousins as kids, reaching puberty, seeing them acting more responsibly and realizing that, oops, perhaps you over-estimated how interesting they really were.

But that’s not all...

Q4: What’s up with these new kids?

I’m referring to these three:

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Pictured: Little Miss Firework (left,) Mr. Moron (top) and Captain Straight-Face (right.)

Again, I’m not against new characters. And, to be honest, I used to love these three until two years ago, when I re-watched the show for the first time since 2001. But Yolei, Davis and Cody were really weak replacements for the original kids. Yolei, being a blend of Sora and Mimi, was a love-stricken pre-teen who acted on impulse and always spoke her mind. Davis, being a blend of Matt and Tai, was incredibly sociable and hotheaded. And Cody, being a blend of Izzy and Joe, was a curious kid who frequently needed to overcompensate for his lack of presence. But while those traits can be endearing in small quantities, especially since everyone has them to an extent, these three were dialed up to obnoxious extremes. Yolei was embarrassingly spastic, Davis was a moron and Cody...well, I like Cody, but he saw the world through black and white glasses, with everything being extreme versions of good or bad.

So these were our new Digidestined: Yolei, Davis, Cody and the returning presence of Kari and TK. I wouldn’t even be annoyed had they developed, since the original kids also had weird quirks, but they didn’t really. They either stayed the same way as they were at the beginning (Davis, Kari,) alternated between regression and progression (Yolei, TK) or developed really poorly (Cody). And we spent 50 episodes with them. Joy!

Anyway, as the new Digidestined began combating the emperor’s plans, the show began falling into a really stilted pattern: the kids, in a really cool “loading sequence”, would go into the Digital World via computer, use their newfound “Digi-Eggs” to bypass the emperor’s control spires, knock down said control spires, free the local Digimon and allow the older kids’ Digimon to Digivolve to Champion and protect the area. This wasn’t inherently bad, as Digimon Adventure followed a formulaic pattern too in its early episodes, but a problem came with that. In the first season, the battles were a culmination of 15-17 minutes worth of character development. The kids would explore their world, converse with one another, be split up, have focus episodes, the likes. The battles, all of which were never mind-blowing because of budgeting limitations, were short bursts of well-earned pay-off to those patient enough to endure. In short, the show used the “if you eat your veggies, you’ll get your pudding” method to make it feel special.

I can’t say the same about Digimon Zero-Two. In this show, perhaps due to internal strife, it was the reverse: the fights went on for 12-15 minutes, while the character development was the reward. To my 10 year-old self, this wasn’t an issue. I had a short attention span back then, so I couldn’t sit through a lot of non-action in an action show. But as I got older and re-watched the show, I began to realize how much of a missed opportunity that was. Sure, it would only get worse as the episodes progressed, but why treat your target audience with such blatant disrespect? The franchise wasn’t known for its great action scenes, and challenging kids is the best way to-ah, it’s Digimon, who gives a crap?

Sorry, my frustrations got the best of me.

To the show’s credit, it’s not like the early episodes weren’t trying to be good; in fact, I distinctly remember the whole “Who is the Digimon Emperor” ordeal being played up during Fox Kids’ promotions of the show. It turned out that he was a prodigy named Ken Ichijouji. Ken was brilliant in physics, mathematics, sports, community service, pretty much anything you can think of. The kids were so taken aback by how nice he was during their initial introduction in Episode 8 that the big reveal was a huge shock (Yolei took it particularly badly, for obvious “pre-teen” reasons.) And as someone who had to watch these episodes out of order as a child, it was a big shock to me too. But that’s all I remember about the first 8 episodes as a kid anyway, which leads to my next question:

Q5: What’s the big draw here?

Keep in mind that the original Digidestined were trapped in the Digital World for 28 episodes. As such, you had an obligation to attach to them. In Digimon Zero-Two, however, you had five middle-schoolers who could travel in and out of the Digital World at will, making the stakes involved in saving it optional and pretty low. For TK and Kari, who had been in the previous iteration, I can see why they’d volunteer, as the Digital World was practically their second home. But Davis, Yolei and Cody? I slowly warmed up to their attachment over time, but at the beginning it didn’t do much to sway me.

Once the secret was out with Ken’s identity, he set up permanent shop in the Digital World and expanded his influence. And here’s where I realized a sad truth re-watching the show: Ken was more interesting than our new heroes. He had motivations for what he did, he had lots of screen time to himself, he was introspective, he was intelligent, he was self-motivated, and this was all as the Digimon Emperor. Ken, as the show would later reveal, had layers to his personality, all of which were fleshed out beautifully and remained consistent even after his defeat in Episode 21. I’m under the impression that the writers were more passionate about him, only fleshing out everyone else because, well, they needed a show.

Ken’s next objective was simple: find a Digimon partner...that wasn’t his bumbling and useless servant Wormmon. Because Ken had blocked his virtues, Wormmon was useless, so he set his sights on Tai’s Digimon in hopes of getting him to become MetalGreymon. Of course, being evil caused a malfunction, so he kept getting the SkullGreymon issue from the previous season. He eventually rectified this problem via a newer version of his dark rings, i.e. “dark spirals”, which led to the first high point in Episodes 11 and 12. If we can ignore how Davis’s out-of-character reluctance to accept the Digi-Egg of Friendship padded the battle, something that was resolved really clumsily too, then I guess you can consider this 2-episode culmination awesome.

Then we got this really, really weird filler episode in Episode 13, also known as “His Master’s Voice” in English:

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*Sigh* Yeah...

Q6: What’s the point of Episode 13 again?

The premise was simple: after several days of waking up from nightmares in cold sweat, Kari went to school one day feeling sick. She passed out in class, headed to the schoolyard to regain her composure and vanished to a world inhabited by a dark ocean and a mysterious lighthouse. There, she met a group of tortured Divermon, all of who wore the emperor’s dark spirals. So she freed them, whereupon they transformed into mysterious, shadow-like monsters that wanted her to help defeat their undersea master. It’s then that TK arrived to save her and they left, the episode ending on a cliffhanger with a mysterious creature rising from the sea.

Are you confused yet?

I didn’t get this episode when I was 10. As an adult, it boggles my mind even more. I know that Chiaki Konaka, who’d become the head writer for the succeeding season, was in charge of this episode, but what was its point? Did it serve a purpose to the grand story? And why place it at Episode 13, which is when anime shows have their first big climax? These all fit under the umbrella question I posed above, but it’s another example of how little an identity the show had by then...outside of constantly acknowledging that Digimon Adventure was the superior series.

Anyway, from here we went back to the main plot. In Episode 14, the group travelled to Digitamamon’s restaurant, discovered that he was responsible for the conflict in Episode 23 of the previous season, had a whole “are you evil or not?” debate with him and, ultimately, discovered the Digi-Egg of Sincerity. It was a cute episode, complete with the introduction of an American Digidestined, but it wasn’t memorable. In fact, Cody’s issue with water two episodes later, while forced and padded, was a much more memorable because of its high-stakes scenario of being trapped underwater with limited Oxygen. But even then it wasn’t anything to write home about, despite the Digi-Egg of Reliability being pretty cool.

The first arc hit its stride in Episode 17, which was pretty much another acknowledgement that Digimon Adventure was a better show. The episode revolved around the older Digidestined celebrating the 3rd-year anniversary of their trip to the Digital World, going around Japan to visit the places where they fought Myotismon’s goons and discovering that a mysterious ghost was heckling the TV station where Matt and TK’s father worked. It was only once they investigated that they realized that it wasn’t a ghost, but the spirit of Wizardmon. I didn’t catch this episode when I was younger, but, save for revealing an important plot-point, I don’t think I missed much. It wasn’t terribly memorable, it was a shameless plug for a much better season and Wizardmon’s reveal, though touching, felt forced. It’s not like paying homage to what came before you is bad on its own, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire did it brilliantly in one of its scenes, but since the show was already struggling it didn’t help much.

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It was a touching scene, but not for the reasons intended.

Editor's Note: Ha, I get it!

This brings me to my next question:

Q7: Why waste an entire episode with pointless fan-service, even if it reveals an important plot-point?

The arc finally came to a conclusion in Episode 18, when the new Digidestined headed to the Digital World under the guise of a camping trip while Tai, Matt and Izzy went camping for real and fed information to them via Izzy’s computer. While in the Digital World, we had an episode of Yolei being reckless, followed by three surrounding Ken’s newest creation. He’d been piecing together an Ultimate Digimon from parts of other Digimon ala Frankenstein’s monster, whom he’d named Kimeramon. While retrieving the last piece from the remains of Devimon, the first villain from the previous show, TK, in a bizarre move, decided he couldn’t handle Ken being irresponsible with the powers of darkness and went to confront him directly.

Confronted like a baws! (Courtesy of B as in Boom.)

TK’s fight with Ken was one of the show’s highlights, and it’s aged well. But it brings up yet ANOTHER issue:

Q8: Where’s this side of TK coming from?

If you’ll recall from my previous article, TK’s Digimon partner defeated Devimon and died. But if you’ll also recall, he’d turned back into a Digi-Egg afterward and reverted to his Baby state. The fight with Devimon had no long-term consequences, and, while the show tried giving weight to it in hindsight, TK didn’t seem effected by it at all. So why was this suddenly an issue? And this wasn’t a one-off moment either; the show kept bringing this anxiety back to the foreground in future episodes.

Whatever, it was awesome.

With Kimeramon in the foreground, Ken started using him to terrorize the Digimon of the Digital World for fun. But he also began hearing taunts from Devimon’s voice, taunts that turned into real threats once Kimeramon turned on him and started attacking his base. So Davis went to go shut down the base, discovering that the engine room was a special Digi-Egg known as the Digi-Egg of Miracles. It turned his partner into Magnamon, made for a final confrontation with Kimeramon...and then Wormmon caved, giving Magnamon the power to defeat Kimeramon once and for all. After 21 episodes, Ken was defeated for good.

But it wasn’t over. Frustrated over his defeat, guilt-ridden over his realization that he’d been messing with living creatures, confused over his new crest and saddened over the death of his Digimon, Ken slumped into a feverish depression and straddled off. It turned out that Ken had lost his brother in a freak accident, something that was expanded on two episodes later, and he became the emperor to escape that. But Wormmon’s death only aggravated his troubles, so he returned home and fell into a feverish sleep, again to be elaborated on two episodes later. For the time being, however, Ken was defeated, which leads to my next question:

Q9: Why did it take so long to defeat Ken?

I get it, Ken isn’t a Digimon. Special care needs to be taken with human villains. But Ken’s shtick lasted 21 episodes, and the pacing of them was egregious. For relative figures, Digimon Adventure had already gone through two arcs AND its solo character episode by its 21st episode. In contrast, Digimon Zero-Two was done its first arc at almost halfway through the show, and this was with the help of extensive padding. The good news is that it was now over. The bad news was that this was the point at which the show would gradually get worse, as the remainder of this episode, and the entirety of the next, was nonsense.

Yeah, Episode 21 ended on Matt being forced to ride home with Davis’s older sister, who was almost as dumb as he was. It was painful. The next episode was a long-winded attempt to get Davis’s Digimon to Digivolve to Champion, since that was now possible. It worked...but at the cost of another problem:

Q10: Why doesn’t Digivolving mean anything anymore?

In the previous season, Digivolution happened at the end of an episode, usually via a well-earned fight. You didn’t merely have the battle, you had plenty of character growth before it. But Davis’s Digimon Digivolved without much effort, and he learned nothing. He simply faked danger several times, finally got into real danger at the end, had his Digimon Digivolve to save him and shrugged it off as kinda cool. In short, it was dumb.

Fortunately, the next episode was awesome. I’ve already covered it extensively on ScrewAttack, so I won’t retread, but I’ll say that it’s still my favourite episode in the franchise. It gave Ken’s back-story, redeemed him and ended on a heartwarming note. I’ll only reiterate that the dub for this episode was awful, even worse than Episode 21 of the previous season. The reason is because, while that episode was mostly quiet and uneventful, it at least had action in its finale. Episode 23 of this season was strictly character-based, so it required absolute subtlety. It didn’t have that. Also, Sam’s voice actor was awful.

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It’s a pretty heavy episode, so be cautious.

After this brilliant episode, the show got...complicated. Or, rather, more complicated. It started out fine, the kids began taking down Ken’s control spires and fixing his mess, but then we were introduced to a mysterious lady who could turn said control spires into Digimon. Of course, this wasn’t known right away, so when a Digimon not wearing a dark ring attacked Cody, he asked why and his Digimon Digivolved to save him. Again, like Davis, for no other reason than the show demanding a fight. We learned nothing new about Cody in Episode 24, and while his Digimon’s Digivolution was more justified than Davis’s in Episode 22, it was still a wasted opportunity. Oh well!

That’s when Ken showed up and ordered his Digimon, now at Champion mode, to destroy it. It’d take another episode to convince them of his true motives, by which Yolei’s Digimon became a Champion once she realized them, but it also raised another question. As if there weren’t enough already:

Q11: Why is the show doing a modified version of the Digimon Emperor arc now?

Keep in mind that it began with the kids toppling control spires and freeing the captive Digimon of Ken’s control. Now the kids were defeating monsters created from control spires in Champion mode. Given that we were halfway through and STILL sticking to formula, that was a bad sign. And it’d only get worse, but that was a ways off. For now, it was disappointing.

Anyway, the show threw its first monkey wrench into the picture with a dumb and pointless episode where Ken’s base was set to explode. The only way to stop it, surprise, was with his crest. But it didn’t work, and the crest would later re-appear in his room, so...

Q12: Why even have this episode at all?

Okay, the introduction of a DNA Digivolution was a cool idea; I’ll give the show that. Remember how I mentioned in the previous article that Digivolving had many possibilities outside of its six stages? Armor Digivolving, used at the beginning of the show, was one of them, but this was cooler. DNA Digivolution allowed for the strength of two Digimon in an Ultimate’s body, so kudos for that.

But outside of guilt-tripping Ken into the eventual bond with Davis that let it happen, Episode 26 didn’t really advance the story. It only worsened once Izzy explained his theory behind why DNA Digivolution was a suitable loss for the tags and crests from the first season, giving us this pointless back-story:

A year after defeating Apocalymon, the original Digidestined were called back to the Digital World to “defeat the powers of darkness”. The only way to do this was to release the powers of their crests. The downside was that their Digimon couldn’t reach Ultimate form, as they-STOP!


Q13: Wasn’t the portal to the Digital World supposed to be closed?

Q14: Weren’t the original Digidestined’s tags and crests destroyed by Apocalymon?

Q15: Also, why were they called to defeat evil if it’d already been destroyed?

You know what’d have been more convincing? Izzy explaining that Apocalymon had destroyed their tags and crests, that their fight with Apocalymon was, therefore, a one-off and that their Digimon could no longer become Ultimates anymore because of it. Then again, I’m being too smart for this show.

In case you’re wondering what my childhood thoughts were on these episodes, I didn’t have any. Save the brilliant Episode 23, which Fox Kids hyped like h*ll, I didn’t have much of a memory of them at all. Guess that shows how memorable they were. But then again, they weren’t terribly memorable two years ago either, even confusing me like no tomorrow. And now? Um...eh?

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To be fair, this guy was pretty cool.

Anyway, the mysterious lady from earlier got fed up with the kids, so she invited them to a giant house in an attempt to kill them. The kids took the bait, discovered that she could control bug Digimon and, upon finally confronting her once in Episode 28, realized that she was a shape-shifting, Ultimate, spider-like Digimon named Arukenimon. She was joined by another Ultimate with the same powers named Mummymon. It turned out that Arukenimon was a sh*t-disturber, while Mummymon was infatuated with her, so the two began a new plan of attack involving 100 control spires.

Thus, BlackWarGreymon, aka, “God, kill me now!” was born.

Now, the idea behind the character wasn’t inherently bad either, much like many of the show’s ideas. BlackWarGreymon’s shtick was that he’d gained sentience, so, upon defeating the kids, he wandered off in search of a life’s purpose. The problem was that he was, to put it bluntly, a whiney prick. BlackWarGreymon spent close to eight episodes moping about how he deserved better, whether or not he had a heart, what his life’s purpose was and, hey, even if destroying the Digital World would bring him piece. He’d temporarily return in the final arc of the show, but I’ll cover that when I get there. For now, his existentialist whining got so bad that he slowed the show to a near-crippling halt. H*ll, even Tai’s Digimon thought he was ridiculous, leading to one of the best dub lines:

“If my mom had a mustache, she’d be my uncle.”

In other words, he was telling the big lug to lighten up.

With BlackWarGreymon keeping Arukenimon and Mummymon busy, the show took another detour with the Dark Ocean. The premise centred around finding the tail ring of Kari’s Digimon, which had been missing since Episode 1, and led to Kari, Ken and Yolei getting trapped in this dark world. The episode was shameless, only meant to fill a weekly schedule, but other than showing that Yolei lacked a filter when it came to words it allowed for her and Kari’s Digimon to DNA Digivolve. So it wasn’t a total waste of time.

Moving back to what little existed of the main plot, the show threw in another monkey wrench with “The Destiny Stones”. These seven stones held the Digital World together, and-sure enough-they attracted BlackWarGreymon’s attention. He started destroying them in hopes of “meeting a worthy adversary”, leading to four of the most painful and repetitive episodes in the season. Seriously, even as a kid they were boring. Yes, there was a lot going on. Yes, the explanation of what happened when they were destroyed was neat. Yes, Cody standing up to BlackWarGreymon was cool. But they only served to pad the show further, stopping once BlackWarGreymon’s “adversary”, one of the four gods of the Digital World, intervened and told him to stop it.

So yeah...

Q16: Why waste time with The Destiny Stones?

With BlackWarGreymon out of the way, as well as Cody and TK’s eventual DNA Digivolution being unexciting, this god, i.e. Azulongmon, revised Izzy’s earlier back-story with more back-story. The whole segment, again, was shameless padding, so I won’t get too much into detail. Essentially, the original kids releasing the powers of their crests allowed him and his brethren to be freed from the bondage of The Dark Masters from the previous show, only to be chained up again by Ken’s control spires at the beginning of-WAIT, WHAT?!

Q17: Since when could the control spires chain up Digimon gods?

There’s more here, including how the new Digivices work, but I won’t cover that. Basically, it was yet ANOTHER waste of time. Besides, Izzy had a similar conversation about these new Digivices with Ken a few episodes earlier.

Arukenimon and Mummymon then decided to head to the real world and take over from there. They set up more control spires, unleashed a horde of wild Digimon all-over the world and began a series of episodes called the “Digimon World Tour”. The premise involved travelling the world, helping Digidestined from different countries fight these Digimon and proceed to head home. As a kid, I remember these episodes vividly, to the point that they were fun to discuss with one of the kids in carpool. In hindsight, they’re offensive, with the segment in Russia being the most embarrassing. But I’m done reasoning with this show.

Around this time, we got our true villain: Yukio Oikawa. Oikawa had been investigating the Highton View Terrace incident from the first show in order to enter the Digital World. His method for entering was through a group of lonely kids that he’d kidnapped during the world tour episodes, and he planned on using a spore planted in Ken’s neck, i.e. the one that gave him his powers in the beginning, to do it. This led to a three-part episode involving a group of tricksters known as the Daemon core-of which, save a great joke involving trains, I won’t discuss because it’s shameless too-fighting the Digidestined while Oikawa explained his plans to Ken. Also, Daemon’s defeat via the Dark Ocean was pretty dark.

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By the way, Chiaki Konaka didn’t write these episodes. Someone else did.

Now it was time to play the waiting game. After BlackWarGreymon’s return to the real world for answers, we got a brief exchange between Ken and one of the kidnapped children. The girl, Nariko, was in the optimal position in that her spore was about to bloom early, causing her to become overly emotional and shriek in pain. The only way to fix this was to have Oikawa remove it manually, which didn’t sit well with the Digidestined. It also, surprisingly, didn’t sit well with Cody’s grandfather, who up to now had only a minor character, yet wanted to become Oikawa’s friend. See, Cody’s late-father, and his late-son, was a policeman who’d taken a bullet for a politician. He was also Oikawa’s best and only childhood friend, as well as the reason he wanted to go to the Digital World at all. This news temporarily got to Oikawa, until we learned that something else was controlling him.

Fortunately, BlackWarGreymon came to stop Oikawa from killing Cody’s grandfather, absorbing the blast and using his leftover energy to seal the gate at Highton View Terrace permanently. As a kid, BlackWarGreymon’s sacrifice made me cry. As an adult, I didn’t care. Sacrifice requires interest to be meaningful, and BlackWarGreymon was too boring for me to give a damn. His sacrifice also ended up being pointless.

The next episode began with the Digidestined waiting for Oikawa at Highton View Terrace, i.e. where the portal to the Digital World would be opened. As the dark spores children began waiting for him to arrive, the Digidestined figured that, fine, let them try. BlackWarGreymon sealed off the portal to the Digital World, so-wait, it worked? They got in? Really?!

Actually, they didn’t. And this is where even fans of Digimon Zero-Two began to get confused. Everyone wound up in a buffer dimension, although the reason had nothing to do with BlackWarGreymon at all. It actually had to do with that magical card sequence from Digimon Adventure, as Oikawa had used the wrong card for his last space. Why?

Because Myotismon.

I don’t think anyone was prepared for this, especially Oikawa. All he’d wanted was to go to the Digital World, and this was a slap to the face. So when Myotismon was revealed to be the orchestrator of everything this show, from Oikawa’s villainy, to Ken’s emperor phase, it was an interesting twist. As a kid, it was awesome. I’d always loved Myotismon the most of the original show’s villains, so meeting him again was always welcome.

As a more skeptical adult, it was forced. I have a theory surrounding plot twists, in that a good twist must: a. make sense in the story’s context; and b. actually progress the story in a good direction. The twist fulfills criteria a, but b? It was iffy, especially given how messy the show was already. His trickery was in character, and it made Oikawa even more tragic, but it didn’t sit too well with me.

Anyway, Myotismon extracted the dark spores and revealed himself as a Mega known as MaloMyotismon. He then thanked Arukenimon by torturing her to death, followed by Mummymon when he vowed revenge. I probably shouldn’t have felt too bad, as their personalities were ripped from Jessie and James of rival series Pokémon, but they were fun baddies so I got teary-eyed. Actually, come to think of it, if Arukenimon and Mummymon were Jessie and James, did that make Oikawa Giovanni? Hmm...this show has given me a lot to think about...

Arukenimon and Mummymon’s sudden obliterations made the Digidestined tremble with fear. In an ironic twist, Davis didn’t care. He was too shallow and hotheaded to be concerned, so he snapped them out of it. Aware of this, MaloMyotismon decided to play dirty with the kids and use their greatest desires against them. Fantasy logic, don’t question it. Besides, this world could turn wishes into reality, so it made sense for a change.

The wishes themselves were always a bit of a mixed bag, even when I was younger: TK’s wish to be with his family, for instance, was justified, especially given his family’s situation in this show’s universe. Ditto for with Cody, who wanted to see his father again. Ken’s desire, to be beaten for his crimes and reunite with his dead brother, was especially clever, and further proof that he was the best written of the new kids. But Yolei and Kari’s dreams? Yolei being an only child so she could eat to her heart’s content was dumb, while Kari living in a perfect world of humans and Digimon was so stupid it-wait, am I over-thinking Digimon Zero-Two again?

 photo miyako5B15D_zps78384062.jpg
What sane person would trade his or her family for food?

In another twist of irony, Davis rescued everyone from their fantasies because, well, he didn’t have any real problems. I didn’t get how that worked as kid, but I do now: Davis was a shallow idiot, so there wasn’t much to mine from him. He then told everyone to use the power of this world against MaloMyotismon, which led to every possible Digivolution so far (save Magnamon,) and a big battle. My only issue was that the kids had to shout their wishes instead of think them, as well as that Yolei’s declaration of strength was pretty lame, but that’s nitpicking. But anyway, the world ripped open to show the Digital World, giving MaloMyotismon the power he’d always wanted to blacken the real world.

I call bullsh*t on this next point, however.

Q18: How did the rest of the world’s Digidestined get into the Digital World, especially given BlackWarGreymon’s sacrifice?

It was cool seeing everyone suddenly enter it, don’t get me wrong, but it didn’t make sense. What DID make sense, however, was how MaloMyotismon was defeated. After Davis had had enough of the dark spore kids and their whining, he got them to be honest about their dreams by being honest about his. Since MaloMyotismon was powered by dark energy from said kids, having that deactivated through happiness was a perfectly logical end result. He then got blasted away by the power of everyone’s Digivices, this time for good.

With that over, Gennai, having made himself younger earlier on, returned Gatomon’s tail ring and explained some dumb nonsense about how it’d created all the evil in the show. I’d add it to my list of questions, but it’s not worth it. Besides, I still have the epilogue to deal with, which came right after Oikawa, too weak to go on, sacrificed himself to rejuvenate the Digital World. What a hero! (No really, what a hero.)

Okay, NOW it’s time for that epilogue. But first, listen to it for yourselves:


Forgive the lack of an embed, but the video was disabled by the user. TIME TO TEAR THIS BABY APART!

Q19: Why is TK a novelist?

No context given, but it’s another example of how screwed up this show really is. TK was always a diplomat, not a chronicler.

Q20: Why does everyone have successful jobs and happy-go-lucky children?

Life isn’t that simple, writers. Next!

Q21: Why is Tai a diplomat?

That job should’ve gone to TK. Tai was more of a guidance councilor than anything.

Q22: Matt’s an astronaut?

Wildly out of character for him. If anything, he’d fit in as a musician, as he was always into music even in Season 1.

Q23: Sora’s a fashion designer?

She was NEVER into that, she was always a sports person. Maybe a soccer or tennis coach, but this was ridiculous!

Q24: Mimi’s NOT a fashion designer?

Again, being a cook was wildly out of character. Being a fashion consultant wasn’t.

Q25: Yolei’s a housewife?

Her marriage to Ken made sense, and I’m not opposed to her being a housewife if it fit here, but Yolei was a computer expert. I’d even be fine with her going for the title of mechanic; it’d at least have made more sense!

Q26: Davis is a famous ramen seller?

Nope. Ramen cartels are like hotdog stands; you can’t set them up like you would fast-food chains. Maybe if he owned a fast food chain himself; but Davis was never that intelligent to begin with.

Q27: Matt and Sora are married?

It’s unrealistic to expect two 14 year-olds to be dating forever. But even if the writers had always wanted to pair the two from the beginning, hence their relationship in-show, Sora being paired with Matt is like pairing Hermione Granger with Neville Longbottom from the Harry Potter series: it doesn’t work. Sora and Tai, who actually had chemistry, would’ve made more sense.

Q28: TK and Kari AREN’T married?

Again, two 11 year-olds dating forever is unrealistic. But TK and Kari were practically destined to be together from the start, as evidenced by multiple clues in-show.

Q29: The Digital World will always be in danger?

Not according to this ending, it won’t!

Q30: Why does this epilogue exist at all?

I’ve heard defenses that this was Davis’s greatest wish fulfilled, but, once again, Davis was never this clever. It’s almost like my version of the epilogue to the Harry Potter series: it’s shameful, lazy and craps on everything established prior. Actually, given that Harry Potter didn’t do the latter, this might actually be worse.

And I guess now’s better than ever to address the show’s biggest plot-hole:

Q31: Why is the Digital World’s existence an on-again, off-again secret?

I know why they did it, they wanted to keep the mystery of the Digimon intact, but it was never consistent.

Finally, here’s my BIG question for the show as a whole, taking into account everything I’ve discussed prior:

Q32: Why does Digimon Zero-Two suck so much?

What the h*ll went wrong? Yes, there were plenty of good ideas here. But The Amazing Spider-Man movies had plenty of good ideas too, that doesn’t mean they didn’t suck! You can dress a turd in a tuxedo and a top hat, tape it to a bridge made of popsicle sticks and show it off at an art convention, but that doesn’t excuse the fact that, creativity aside, it’s still a piece of sh*t. I feel angry and sad that something I used to love went sour this quickly. I feel the same way MovieBob did about The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and this guy does about Avatar: The Legend of Korra, except worse. I still can’t believe that I loved this show as a kid, and that the promos for this season hold up better than it ever could. This is my Spider-Man 3, my Batman & Robin and my X-Men Origins: Wolverine, to name a few.

In fact, I don’t ever want to see anything bearing the Digimon name after-

Courtesy of Osama bin Goomba.

-On second thought, perhaps there was still hope left for this franchise after Digimon Zero-Two. Stay tuned for when I discuss its follow-up...next time...


  1. I would prefer TK as the astronaut instead of matt.

    1. It's still out of character for him. TK was known for settling disputes, not stargazing...

    2. then who would fit astronaut, not izzy because he would not being physical enough, and I still dont see TK settling disputes, it would be to boring for him and out of character, i thought novelest was fitting because it makes sense for him, he makes stories of his adventures from the digital world, i say the creators got that one correct.

    3. Regardless of semantics, the real issue is that the show was never consistent in setting up any real character. That's probably why it bothered me, since we get no hints early on at all that TK was interested in writing. Maybe Izzy, but not TK...

  2. To me, Digimon Adventure 02 is Spiderman 3, Batman and Robin, and X-Men Origins: Wolverine of Japanese Anime for the same reasons Current seasons of Pokemon Anime are one and there's at least 2 ways Digimon 02 shares it's failings with modern seasons of Pokemon Anime: Digimon 02 treats the rest of 8 Original Digidestined that aren't Takeru and Hikari just like recent Pokemon seasons treats any main characters that aren't Ash himself, and Digimon 02 and current Pokemon makes everyone forget that the Monsters themselves aren't the only Superpowered beings in the universe either from giving both Ash's Aura Powers and Hikari's Psychic powers limitations that surprisingly contradicts their previous showings(sure for former)

    1. Interesting point, although I still thought Spider-Man 3 was decent...

    2. I still thinks Spiderman 3 is farily decent and as I grew up, the 17th episode of Digimon 02 are eventually become the only Digimon 02 episode that I can really stand since the character designs of 8 Original Digidestined(especially when they wears their outfits from that episode) are my personal favorite(to the point it's now become the whole reason I love Digimon 02) for the same reason I like KH2 versions of Sora, Riku, and Kairi than I like their KH1 counterparts or I like Advanced Generation clothes of Ash and Misty better than their Original Series clothes (since I finds KH1 versions of Sora, Riku, and Kairi as well Original Series outfits of Ash and Misty too old school for me)

    3. Interesting. The only episode I can stand of Digimon Zero-Two now is "Genesis of Evil", although only in the sub version. I guess it's preference, though...

    4. Oh yeah! due to both Digimon 02 and Pokemon Anime universe's writers refusal to makes any of it's humans anything more powerful than a Normal Person(at least through something other than high-tech exosuit or Gameplay and Story segregation) some people, notably those that did massive crossovers treats Digimon and Pokemon(especially when former are universe where first 2 seasons and Tri while latter are universe where Anime that stars Ash sets) unlike any other anime/animesque universes, even when they're got same genre with Pokemon or Digimon, this stressed me to death.


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