I'm going digital
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- Jul 10, 2016
I'm not sure I quite agree that it's Part 5 that it becomes a problem. Perhaps story-wise, yes. But I still think the problem starts in Part 3. I was partly saying her cohesion is a problem as a viewer watching a new story. We've been with the original kids from the beginning. We know their struggles and their tribulations, having watched it in 'real time' so to speak. Even if the Japanese version narrated as though someone were telling us a story about the past. But we only see her struggles in flashback; only see her integrate when things are fine and dandy. Push comes to shove and she immediately falls apart. From there, she was never quite able to get back to where she had been with the group.
During the climax of Loss, the original kids go off to fight Machinedramon and MetalSeadramon, leaving Meiko alone on the boat. It felt like they almost forgot about her. It's something that's a bit of a recurring theme. Whenever serious issues or talks occur, Meiko is rarely there. It's a clear separation and telling us she isn't actually part of the group in spirit or practice, but name only. She's never once fought with the group as a full team. She's always been an outsider, denying everyone's attempts to gently prod her into thinking differently to the point where we have the exact same conversation multiple times because she just doesn't get it the first time. Probably realistic, but not interesting to watch.
It gives the impression that Meiko was the wrong choice for taking care of such a volatile and dangerously unstable digimon. While that's addressed in the series, and Meiko herself acknowledges her fears of this, she doesn't act on it until the end of the 5th movie when she finally makes the ultimatum to destroy Meicoomon. You could boil down a lot of the issues of the movies to Meiko being a bad or underqualified partner. She comes off as mopey and someone who gives up at the first sign of trouble. She's someone who needs her hand being held through the plot, not someone who tries to push forward as an active protagonist should. That's a bit of a no-no in storytelling to have a weak protagonist who needs to be guided by the hand through the plot or else nothing would get done. I think it would have been better if we were able to see Meiko and Meicoomon participate in Chosen activities that aren't onsen or festivals and then see her fall behind when her attempts at righting the situation fails. At least she'd have tried and her cohesion into the group through the fun activities would have paid off.
I agree with pretty much everything you're saying, as I felt very similar things when watching the movies. I just think that Part 3's alienation was well-handled story wise. Despite the circumstances that inevitably make her an outsider by default, she still had varied relationships/dynamics and scenes with the other kids. And the scene in Part 4 where she walks up to Meicoomon and hugs her even through the on-coming assault, felt like that was the moment Meiko was becoming active and taking charge. Of course it wasn't; the follow-through betrays that, but I didn't have any strong issues with Meiko until Part 5, where her 'otherness' becomes incredibly overt.