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Thread: Digimon 02 In Retrospect

  1. #1
    I come from the net Jay Ukyou's Avatar
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    Digimon 02 In Retrospect

    So I was recently linked to WhatTheEgad 's Digimon Adventure 02 "In Retrospect" series, where the man discussed and dissected the problems that Adventure 02 presented to the series.

    In general, it is a great series and you should all watch it for a critical look at Zero-Two if you haven't already.

    In fact, go watch it now. I'll wait. It's on Youtube and Blip.tv
    http://www.youtube.com/user/WhatTheEgad
    http://whattheegad.blip.tv/posts?vie...ve&nsfw=dc

    Done? Long, I know. But awesome, right?

    Anyway, I wanted to discuss some of his points because I found them interesting or debatable. And since he so happily encourages us to think critically about our favorite childhood TV series, so too I would like to think critically of his review.

    First of all, I notice that he's quick to throw around words like 'plothole' early on in his review, but later videos ammend this to 'poor planning' or 'execution issues' or 'pacing problems'. My assumption is that halfway through doing the videos he realized that the original Japanese series borrowed so heavily from non-US-released materials that filled in most of the assumed 'plotholes' that he had to change his focus from pointing out plotholes (of which there are some, but not nearly as many as most assume if you include Bandai's supplementary materials) to pointing out why the series was so artistically less satisfying than Adventure season 1.

    I agree with his second assessment, obviously. Zero-Two has pacing problems and characterization issues all over it. However, while there are some plotholes (Oikawa's influence on Ken becoming the Kaiser comes to mind), there aren't really enough to get upset about if you realize that the intended audience of the show is Japanese children who are familiar with the toys and games released by Bandai. Basically, since Zero-Two is a big commercial for Bandai media, most of the really interesting plotholes are answered in Bandai media.

    Now, of his complaints about characterization, I mostly agree. The new characters have a bad habit of retreading the stories of the season 1 characters, only in a much cheaper, less realistic manner. Miyako, while not as bad as Egad portrays, is a particular offender here. To be honest, from my perspective as an elementary school teacher living in Japan, Miyako acts the most like a Japanese elementary school student of all the characters, and I can't fault the Japanese writers for that, despite how much I wish they'd have reigned her personality in a bit and focused her to actually give her character a purpose. This is where I agree with Egad, since good story-telling isn't just making a character who acts like a real elementary student, it's giving the character some kind of purpose and room to grow.

    His other major gripe was Daisuke, which is a bit of a sticking point for me. While his development was *not* handled very well, I don't feel like his development wasn't handled *at all*. It feels more like Egad is looking at Daisuke's character from a different perspective than he was intended. Egad looks at Daisuke from a very American point of view - that the hotheaded idiot part and all-forgiving empathetic part of Daisuke's personality cannot possibly coexist. But in Japan, this is actually a fairly common trope. Being stubborn and a lovable idiot is directly tied to the ability to be emotional and forgiving. Both are seen as parts of the same concept of naivity, but as either a positive or negative aspect. This is why I personally find it believable that Daisuke is able to quickly forgive Ken and quickly get over his crush on Hikari and even get through BelialVamdemon's illusion. He's naive and embraces that naivity. Sure, it gets him into trouble when he makes snap decisions, but he also lucks out and sometimes a quick decision really was better than no decision at all. A flawed person, but not a bad character as a whole.

    I want to elaborate in particular on Vamdemon's illusion, which seems to be a big sticking point for many people on Daisuke. While translations are iffy all-around, the first thing that Daisuke says when Vamdemon asks why his illusion didn't work is that his biggest desire was to fight Vamdemon. True, taken at face value, this can mean that Daisuke has no real desires, yes. But my first impression was that since Daisuke was a hotheaded idiot, his biggest wish (to fight Vamdemon) just happened to coincide with the reality right in front of him. He had grown enough as a person (or had forgotten enough of his problems, depending on how you want to look at it) to sincerely -want- to fight his enemy more than solve his own selfish problems. Since reality was more desirable than any dream world, Daisuke broke through the spell. At least, that's my kneejerk interpretation.

    This doesn't excuse Zero-Two for sloppy character-writing and poor pacing and for leaving out vital information from the games, but I think it does provide another valid way to view the same scenes that Egad reviews much more harshly. (Sidenote: Although Egad's proposed Zero-Two plot setup would have been much cooler anyway.)

    -ucchan
    Bat-Guilmon's utility belt is mostly full of bread.

  2. #2
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    Re: Digimon 02 In Retrospect

    Ya know, as much as 02's plot holes grind my gears, to me it remains the best 50-some odd saturday mornings I've ever had.

    As for Miyako, I'd much rather watch a show that's realistic to it's personalities than one that would inflate the depth, maturity, and knowledge base of a character just to ensure the story was interesting. My best advice for future conundrums of the sort: don't write a story with a japanese school girl in it if you aren't prepared to make her act like one. Go Miyako for stickin to the stereotype!

  3. #3
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    Re: Digimon 02 In Retrospect

    [quote author=guilmon93950 link=topic=15537.msg198902#msg198902 date=1292737421]
    Ya know, as much as 02's plot holes grind my gears, to me it remains the best 50-some odd saturday mornings I've ever had.

    As for Miyako, I'd much rather watch a show that's realistic to it's personalities than one that would inflate the depth, maturity, and knowledge base of a character just to ensure the story was interesting. My best advice for future conundrums of the sort: don't write a story with a japanese school girl in it if you aren't prepared to make her act like one. Go Miyako for stickin to the stereotype!
    [/quote]

    This pretty much sums up all of my thoughts. In fact, I don't even mind the plot holes so much. It WAS a kids' show after all.

    And on that note, ukyouluvr, your thoughts on Daisuke? Really helped me with mine on him. I've ALWAYS liked him, regardless of the hate, but that cinched it. He's not my favorite hero or anything, but knowing that, or hearing it rather, certainly helps.

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    I come from the net KaenKazui's Avatar
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    Re: Digimon 02 In Retrospect

    A kid with no ambitions on his own it not realistic in my point of view. As well as a kid not feared of big monsters... And a kid, that has absolutely no problems in his live.
    No, the fact that Daisuke is stupid and childish doesn't make him anymore realistic. Plus: Due to that childishness he doesn't fit the universe. He seems (as well as Miyako) like someone with mental problems, compared to the Adventure-kids. Because everyone was so overly grown up. It doesn't matter therefore wether or not it might be more realistic in reality, because he had to fit the series universe of Digimon Adventure - not the reality.

    [quote author=Seventh link=topic=15537.msg198906#msg198906 date=1292743672]
    This pretty much sums up all of my thoughts. In fact, I don't even mind the plot holes so much. It WAS a kids' show after all.[/quote]
    You don't know how much I hate this statement. Just because it is a kidsshow it doesn't matter whether or not it is filled with plotholes and inconsistencies?
    Kids want to be taken serious, too, you know?
    Kids' shows might have other mainthemes, but they should be worked out as well as series for youths and adults.

  5. #5
    Junior Commander Soluble Toast's Avatar
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    Re: Digimon 02 In Retrospect

    I really enjoyed watching that. I agreed with a lot of what he said and his insight into things was interesting at times. Watching it made me realise how much I probably would've enjoyed 02 if they used the Demon corps/Dagomon as the main antagonist of the 2nd half of 02.
    The Kaiser arc really was far too long and took up too much of 02's time, eventually creating a clusterfuck of plots in the 2nd half. Simpler really is better in this case.

  6. #6
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    Re: Digimon 02 In Retrospect

    [quote author=KaenKazui link=topic=15537.msg198917#msg198917 date=1292748400]

    You don't know how much I hate this statement. Just because it is a kidsshow it doesn't matter whether or not it is filled with plotholes and inconsistencies?
    Kids want to be taken serious, too, you know?
    Kids' shows might have other mainthemes, but they should be worked out as well as series for youths and adults.
    [/quote]

    you seem to have a certain vendetta against Digimon Adventure 02, well not that I particularly like 02(I rate it below Adventure and Tamers), but seriously Seventh was right - it's just a kid's show. The chances are the kids back then probably enjoyed watching Imperialdramon kicking his enemies' asses, rather than them scrutinizing every plot detail to match for plot consistencies.

    Of course, a good anime/manga should try not to have plot holes, but your expectation of 02 is too high it's almost similar to expecting top class quality from the mainstream shounen manga such as One Piece, Naruto and Bleach. You said that Kids should be taken seriously, but my question is, how many actually care back then?

    To be honest, the very first time I watched 02 on my TV when I was a kid, I didn't care about those minute details. It was the second time when I rewatched the series during my late teens, which I actually analyzed the plot holes and such from the show. Well, the difference between a kid and late teen, I won't elaborate on that.

  7. #7
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    Re: Digimon 02 In Retrospect

    Actually, 02 bothered me as a kid too, but I never understood why. I just knew I didn't like it as much as the previous season (though, I always wondered why the Dark Ocean never finished).

    Anyway, I don't really know if I agree with just because it's a kids show it's allowed to have plot holes or story flaws. I mean, it's not exactly common for kids shows to have plot holes in the first place. Is it even common for Digimon in general to have plot holes, even though the animes are always on a tier above other toyetic shows? Even if it's for kids, and a bit of a kids mindset is needed to enjoy these kinds of shows, that really shouldn't be an "out" for the staff behind the show itself.

    But, I won't deny that I never dropped the show unlike the other really long toyetic anime series, so...I guess that counts for something.

  8. #8
    I come from the net KaenKazui's Avatar
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    Re: Digimon 02 In Retrospect

    It simply depends on how big the plot holes are. Zero Two overdid it.
    Even as a kid I noticed stuff like "What the heck happened with the crests? That's simply not possible the way the explain" and "Why was Ken in the digital world for not that much time why it should have been weeks (in the flashback)" and, as much as I loved the idea of the international chosen I always wondered how and why they were chosen. Even when I first watched it.
    I might even have dropped the entire series, if I hadn't seen Tamers first...

    But just because it is a kids' show it doesn't mean that it is okay to be inconsistent and stuff. Kids are not stupid, you know?

  9. #9
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    Re: Digimon 02 In Retrospect

    Well, not insinuating that kids are stupid, on the contrary kids are getting smarter and smarter nowadays. The fact that it is a kids show means that I can somehow be more lenient, close 1 eye and forgive the 02 management team for the plot hole infested series. Had this been a more popular series whose targeted audiences include late teens and adults, you can be sure I will be very harsh and critical to the series and management for such a poorly written script.

    After all, I don't think most kids will tend to over-analyse things that happened in the show as compared to teens or adults.

  10. #10
    I'm a Maniac
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    Re: Digimon 02 In Retrospect

    To me this movie which I've seen four times is just a way to push Imperialdramon PM into the Digiverse. It has nothing to do with good plotting and what not. When I first saw this movie I could tell the plotting was thrown together instead of deeply laid out like it was in the first movie. As for the characters, many characters had very little screen time and seemed to be irrelevant. The only characters that got decent screen time were Tai, Matt, Davis, Ken, and Izzy. Possibly even Mimi...

    The first movie with Diaboromon made it helpful for new viewers to watch and understand the concept of Digimon and what was going on. In Diaboromon Strikes Back you had to be a long time Digimon fan in order to understand what was going on.

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