Ain't got no mojo...
Show User Social Media
Hide User Social Media
- Feb 22, 2021
My first post here, but you succeeded in taking me back to those days...I was around on the forums when we were getting weekly RAW episodes of Tamers, straight from Japan, and I can't honestly fully explain the feeling (effect?) that Tamers had on the fandom then.
At that time we were fresh off Zero Two, with the joyous celebration of the Million Points of Light episode, and with its wacky, but endearing epilogue. It ended so light and hopeful. Almost too chipper for some.
But then came the teaser art for Tamers. Seeing those posters... all the theories about Impmon, Calumon, and only three kids? The art style was sharper, and Renamon and Guilmon were sensational designs, and we were in the real world... what!? And what's with these cards... how does this all work?! We were desperate for answers. Also keep in mind this is early internet era, dial-up for many. So getting information and episodes was very difficult.
And then the episodes came in. The Japanese RAWs were jaw-dropping for most of us. We had no idea what was happening. Feral Digimon emerging from the fog, those simply gorgeous and visceral evolution sequences, the mystery of Calumon's role in Digivolution. And then the Devas! It wasn't like we could binge watch, and Tamers was exceptionally good at Pay-Offs, both visual and narrative.
And the new takes on many staples always kept us on our feet. Digivolution that wouldn't wear off, Partner Digimon 'choosing' their Tamers. We had no idea what to expect. And remember, this was before Frontier, and Xros Wars, and every other seemingly random "Digital World" concept they were running with. When they finally prepared to enter the Digital World it was truly an expedition that did not disappoint, and the danger was constantly being felt in a way Adventure/02 never did. Meramon being trampled for example, but even before that we has Gorillamon and Henry, IceDevimon, and Impmon and his self-esteem issues. Not to mention Jeri. This really was uncharted, and it felt uncharted.
For me anyways, this is what I remember most. The feeling of something truly refreshing and unpredictable, in a world that had lasting consequences.
I mean... by the time ZeroTwo got going there was nothing that I found particularly surprising or innovative in the Arcs. We had Dark Ring Digimon, then Dark Spiral Digimon, then Control Spire Digimon, then multi Control Spire Digimon... not to mention the "we can't kill real Digimon" nonsense (Tamers put a bullet in that one quick). And the round robin of predictable digivolution cycles, coupled with a Monster of the Week was also tiresome, "Ok. This has to be the one for Hawkmon to get his second Armor".
To go from that, to something steeped in mystery... and Jesus! I forgot to mention Hypnos and Yamaki and his danged lighter. The whole thing channeled Evangelion, which was very timely. And the Darklizamon episode... damn. We never had a solid human antagonist up until this point that was not cartoonishly villanous (Digimon Kaiser), or half-baked (Oikawa).
And lastly, many of us who really tout it were also teenagers at it's original run, and it was truly the Digimon that felt like it grew up with us and didn't patronize us.
And that's my 1am rant. The love for Tamers had many factors. But I believe it was the perfect mix of coming off ZeroTwo with something that was grounded, was less episodic, had good character and Digimon design, had an plot that was relevant through the entire series, and was released at a time where kids had to wait a week between episodes just to discover the tiniest bit more about this new, fascinating, and unpredictable take on a familiar series.
I remember all the hype EVERYONE felt when those posters came out.
Mind you, Tamers wasn't my cup of tea. I blame that on the Devas Arc, but you managed to capture the general feel PERFECTLY!
I'm more of a Adventure 01 expanded universe and Frontier kind of guy, but yeah, everything you said to a T!