Reviews Comments: 02's rollercoaster of doom

02's rollercoaster of doom
02 is one of the most extreme rollercoaster rides you will ever see in the digimon franchise. When it is good, it is really good. But when it's bad, its really, really, REALLY bad. Dagomon and the dark ocean, Owikawa's backstory, the digimon kaiser and many other parts of the story stand out as great ideas. But what connected all these great ideas, the actual episodes, ranged from mediocre to insultingly awful. The plot holes and inconsisties are obscenely abundant (even more-so in the original japanese). Character growth and interaction, the bread and butter of the original adventure, has all been abandoned in favor of a one hero per episode attitude. The amount of seemingly-important elements that got introduced only to be forgotten (like the four gods, blackwargreymon's sealing the barriers, dagomon and the daemon core) is simply ridiculous.

This would also be one of the few anime where I'd recommend the english dub over the original japanese version, mostly because it fixes quite a few plot holes and because it doesn't ask the viewer to take it seriously. The japanese version does have the best music in the entire digimon franchise though.

In the end, would I recommend this series? I'm not sure. If you've seen the original digimon long ago and don't have much connection to it, this series may be worth a watch for the few good moments. In all other cases, I'd recommend against it.


I disagree that any part was good, let alone really good. There is a list of Bad Writing tropes, and Digimon Zero Two has most of them.

comment #11726 LeithSol 4th Dec 11
I mostly agree,for one it's not meant to be taken seriously

Though I disagree that the this an exception where dub beats sub,the original dub was also superior in many ways becuase it didn't take itself too seriously (and because Richard Epcar,David Lodge,Joshua Seth,Wendee Lee each did more for the characters they voiced).

Also the Daemon arc was clearly foreshadowing the purpose of the Dark Spores.

The real problem was that they kept TK on board and had that instantly wrote everything into a corner becuase of Magna Angemon's Story Breaker Power. Seriously they didn't need to have Imperialdramon become fighter mode when Magna Angemon should've easily trounced Skull Satamon. So they made him less powerful most of the time,but if they just gave TK limited appearences,it could've been used for a good Worf Effect.

Also Yolei was insultingly horribly written,just as hot headed and arrogant as Davis but without any of the guts ["Omigosh I can't kill deese widdle digimon becuase dey have hearts,oh noze"] and far shallower [Remember the penultimate episode]. She doesn't at all resemble the Crests she got [they ironically fit Cody better,and she ironically fits Knowledge better].

But I did like how they went for a one-arc type of season rather than the multi-arc type. Ken,Oikawa and Black War Greymon (and to a smaller extent Davis,Kari and Cody) were all brilliantly written characters.

The worst part is more that Leomon,Piximon,and Pumpkinmon never returned,leading to Fridge Horror of these characters being Killed Off For Real.
comment #11730 terlwyth 4th Dec 11
You should check out the other review. I'm afraid Davis isn't as well written as you think. Agree about everything else though.
comment #11740 qtjinla15 4th Dec 11
I only watched the Jap version. It was bad. Don't really want to watch the English version even if it is better. Daisuke, Myako and Iori all either bored or annoyed me, they barely used the few Digimon I thought were pretty cool, Arukenimon and Mummymon have got to be the worst villains in the entire franchise, and the plotholes were just infuriating. I do agree that they had some good ideas and that they were implemented terribly. The worst parts were seeing the characters I loved from the original pushed to the sidelines (except for the younger two, and even then, Hikari didn't interest me near as much as Takeru), and that GOD AWFUL ending arc. It wasn't even just the Distant Finale, the world tour thing just took away every sense of specialness or wonder to Digimon. So I'd recommend against 02 entirely.
comment #11741 DeviousRecital 4th Dec 11
I disagree that any part was good, let alone really good. There is a list of Bad Writing tropes, and Digimon Zero Two has most of them.

That is just straight up irrational hate for the series. Of course there was good in this show: it had the freaking Digimon Emperor!
comment #11752 ManwiththePlan 5th Dec 11 (edited by: ManwiththePlan)
No, that is justified hate for the writers.(Series? Its part of a series, not a series of its own.) Did you even look at the Bad Writing trope page?

Even if you likes the Digimon Emperor, can you say that he could not have been better?

comment #11770 LeithSol 5th Dec 11 (edited by: LeithSol)
I agree that the in this case the English dub was shockingly better than the original dub. The original dub had such bad writing that the fact that it took itself so seriously only made the series worse, because frankly it was hard for anyone to take some the events in the series seriously. Its pretty obvious that (some of) the staff thought that they had produced a quality anime series regardless of the actual content of said anime
comment #11777 TheTropeEater 5th Dec 11
Did you even look at the Bad Writing trope page?

I did, and I do not believe the series had all of those tropes.

Even if you likes the Digimon Emperor, can you say that he could not have been better?

Not really. Ken in general was one of the few things that was written (almost) 100% right and the first story arc with the Digimon Emperor was easily the best in the series before things got really bad.
comment #11813 ManwiththePlan 7th Dec 11 (edited by: ManwiththePlan)
The Digimon Emperor arc started off great,but it stayed on too long,it should've been only 7 episodes like the Digimon Adventure pilot arc and then let a new villain or Man Behind The Man guy in like Episode 8 did with the original series.

Instead it ended up mostly being Filler crap with a "Hero of the Day" attitude. The best part was easily the Destiny Stone arc for the reasons of exploring the character dynamics the most (even if most of it was contrived),restoring the old Story Breaker Power of TK's Digimon by Magna Angemon standing toe to toe with Black War Greymon and then have Shakkoumon deflect all Black War Greymon and even defeat him. Also Black War Greymon's character was arguably written well to. The conclusion of that arc was brilliantly done to.Only Arukenimon and Mummymon doing nothing was a problem.

But that's still better than all that June stuff or anything after Agumon gets captured (well except for the one where Wizardmon returns or where Submarimon comes out)

comment #11814 terlwyth 7th Dec 11
Then again, the Digimon Emperor arc was the only one with a coherent sense of organization. After it ended, things just got messy, and it felt kind of rushed.
comment #11815 DeviousRecital 7th Dec 11
^ Exactly.

it should've been only 7 episodes like the Digimon Adventure pilot arc

Correction: The first arc of Digimon Adventure was 13 episodes long. The first 7 episodes were NOT part of some entirely different "pilot arc" just because the Big Bad hadn't showed up yet: it was all part of the File Island arc. They were on the same place and things were still left hanging (the black gears, the "real world" traps, and Patamon hadn't digivolved to his Champion level yet).

And quite frankly, the Digimon Emperor was set up as far too major a villain (the first human villain in the series!) to be done away with after just 7 episodes. That would just be a waste and this series had WAY too much of those already.

The best part was easily the Destiny Stone arc

I couldn't disagree more. The Destiny Stone arc was easily my least favorite part of the whole series for a number of reasons.

Also Black War Greymon's character was arguably written well to.

Black War Greymon? Written well? HUH? I got sick of that character with each episode he appeared in. Jesu Otaku nicknames him "Angstymon" for a reason.

But that's still better than all that June stuff

You mean Jun Motimiya? Aw, I liked her okay...
comment #11817 ManwiththePlan 7th Dec 11 (edited by: ManwiththePlan)
^^ Actually considering how most of the Digimon Kaizer episodes was in fact filler, if you take out all those filler episodes, the arc actually isn't that long. In fact a lot of episodes really have nothing to do with him. The Digimon Kaizer and his arc really began to overstay his welcome sometime after episode 16. It only really needed to be 13 episodes, its not epic to have nothing but fluff and also no sense of urgency to defeat him. Its really not comparable at all with Digimon Adventure who had filler at the beginning of the story to establish characterization, but once Devimon was introduced and put the chips on the table the series had a constant sense of urgency until he was defeated. he really wasn't set up to be a major villain just the first villain (though if you really want to get into Ken's just a copy off the first villain of V-Tamer and the videogames— which were humans).
comment #11833 TheTropeEater 8th Dec 11
^ I think part of that is because after the Metalgreymon thing, Ken took a break from being the out-and-out villain and just stayed in his lair creating Kimeramon. But I didn't find much wrong with the episodic feel most of the arc had, especially seeing as things just got worse when the series tried to tell a deeper story.

And who wasn't set up as a major villain? Ken? He was an evil Chosen Child, how is that not major? The first villain doesn't always have to be just a Starter Villain like Devimon was.
comment #11837 ManwiththePlan 9th Dec 11 (edited by: ManwiththePlan)
^^Which again took up too many episodes, which were filled with our heroes doing absolutely nothing. The whole arc just didn't have any real planning beyond Ken actually being the enemy, and his back story, which lead to the over usage of filler episodes which were again unnecessary. And yes they could have given Kimeramon an appearance much earlier and in far fewer episodes. Bottom line is that arc had way too much fluff and not enough substance.

Also Ken originally wasn't a chosen child, check his back story for more information, that was something that the writers made up last minute, (quite like much of this series), to explain his joining the main cast. And yes Ken was a starter villain, just because the writers couldn't agree on who to put next and extended his arc, doesn't make him any less so.
comment #11838 TheTropeEater 9th Dec 11
Ken got his crest at the last minute, but he always had a digivice and an obvious partner digimon in Wormmon. In episode 3, he claims that "Only those who are chosen can enter this world!" Davis asks "Then why are YOU here?" Ken responds with "Because I am a Chosen Child!" Crest of Kindness or not, Ken was the Evil Counterpart to the Chosen Children, which made him an important enemy.

I'm sure the next Big Bad after Ken was meant to be Dragomon, but that got scrapped and we got Arukenimon, Mummymon, and Angstymon instead. Ugh.
comment #11843 ManwiththePlan 10th Dec 11
BLACK WAR GREYMON was a far better character than those stupid Divermon anyway. That arc had everything I hated about Tamers,confusion if you miss a minute and drab. Although I have to admit Dragomon definitely would've beat Arukenimon and Mummymon.

All the Digimon lacked any Grey Morality until Black War Greymon,Ogremon was close but at the end of the day it was Honor Before Reason. Besides the heroic sacrifice more than makes up for it.

The Destiny Stone Arc had no Filler in it at all,it was fast-paced,the characters became at least good at synthesis and showing other sides even they couldn't get Digimon Adventure style development.

The drop in quality begins after Black War Greymon fights Azulongmon and seeing the Dark Masters die again and he goes into how the Digi Destined had to give up the crest powers. The next episode was an alright filler episode with the debut of Imperialdramon,but then came that stupid World Tour Arc which ruined all the specialness of Myotismon and Odaiba.

The Daemon arc should've been the immediate successor to the Destiny Stone Arc and that should've lasted far longer than it did,instead of using it to foreshadow what the spores do and only to do that.

No one will deny that Ken was an important enemy,but so was Devimon,all Starter Villains are important by nature they get people on their toes. Besides Ken thought it was all Video Game Cruelty Potential anyway,so that discredits what you said about him being a counterpart.
comment #11844 terlwyth 10th Dec 11
Well obviously Black War Greymon was better than Divermon but that's not saying much seeing as the Divermon were just one-shot lackeys. That doesn't mean he and his arc was a good substitute for Dragomon, though.

There were numerous things that came in the Destiny Stones arc that I just HATED; Black War Greymon doing unreasonable things in his obsession with finding a strong enemy to fight, the Dark Ocean coming back in but then being completely ignored, the fact that Arukenimon and Mummymon WANTED Black War Greymon to destroy the Digital World even though their boss' plan was all about going to the Digital World!, TK's Wangst over Angemon's death and the exploitation of darkness that came the fuck out of nowhere, and the awful, awful insistence by Azulongmon that only the crests of Hope and Light have power outside of what's in the kids' hearts even though the finale of Digimon Adventure established the exact opposite already! And for all people's complaints about the Digimon Emperor arc, this is the one that really felt slow to me because it got to the point where it was the same damn thing every episode: Black War Greymon destroying Destiny Stones and the good guys failing to stop him until the very last one. It's a similar problem to the Royal Knights arc from Digimon Frontier, only not quite as boring.

I fail to see how the World Tour ruined all the specialness of Myotismon and Odaiba. That happened years ago, and the entire world was already attacked by digimon when the Dark Masters sent them there and everyone saw the final battle with Apocalymon, so they (or at least they SHOULD) know all about digimon by now.

I won't say anything about Daemon. We all know he should've been a bigger villain than he ended up being.

How the heck does Video Game Cruelty Potential discredit the Evil Counterpart thing? If anything, the fact that he doesn't see the Digital World and digimon as living things makes him even more the antithesis of what the Chosen Children are.
comment #11845 ManwiththePlan 10th Dec 11 (edited by: ManwiththePlan)
You guys are using dub terms I'm unfamiliar with (though, having seen 02 only once or twice, I wouldn't be surprised if I forgot something). So I must ask, by "Destiny Stones", what are you talking about? And where were the Ogremon and Hangyomon? I don't remember them being in the series at all. Shows you how interesting they were. And when did the Dark Masters come back?

The problem with the World Tour had nothing to do with Vamdemon and Odaiba, it was that it cheapened the very idea of Digimon. Out of their asses, now suddenly everyone could have Digimon instead of a few special kids we wished we were. What's so awesome about having a special bond with a virtual super monster if everyone has one?

Also, the Odaiba incident combined with the World Tour and Mimi's friend Michael points out a significant plothole: why do Daisuke and friends need to hide their Digimon in the early parts of 02 if everyone in Japan learned about them that day and lots of other people have them too? I'm sure they'd be overlooked.

comment #11849 DeviousRecital 10th Dec 11
So I must ask, by "Destiny Stones", what are you talking about? And where were the Ogremon and Hangyomon? I don't remember them being in the series at all. Shows you how interesting they were. And when did the Dark Masters come back?

The Destiny Stones were the stones Black War Greymon kept destroying, Ogremon was in the first series but not this one, the "Hangyomon" were Dragomon's underlings from the Dark Ocean, and the Dark Masters were only aluded to by Azulongmon.

Out of their asses, now suddenly everyone could have Digimon instead of a few special kids we wished we were. What's so awesome about having a special bond with a virtual super monster if everyone has one?

To be fair, it was only a select bunch of foreign kids during the World Tour. It was that dumb as Hell epilogue that stated that "everyone" could now have Digimon partners.

Also, the Odaiba incident combined with the World Tour and Mimi's friend Michael points out a significant plothole: why do Daisuke and friends need to hide their Digimon in the early parts of 02 if everyone in Japan learned about them that day and lots of other people have them too? I'm sure they'd be overlooked.

That's been pointed out ALOT: it's a plothole that destroys the whole set-up for the series. It's also why Daisuke and the others didn't know what the Digital World and Digimon were at the start of the series but then they later explained that they'd seen the incidents with Myotismon, the Dark Masters, and Diabolomon before. The fuck was up with that?
comment #11851 ManwiththePlan 10th Dec 11 (edited by: ManwiththePlan)
@ The man with the plan And Ken was incorrect for saying so as Ryo wasn't a chosen child and neither was he when he first entered into the digital world.

But like I said before the writers came up with that last minute to justify Ken joining the main team, despite the fact that them doing so in that manner created a plot hole. Heck Devimon was important too (certainly more so than Etemon) but he wasn't the main villain either.
comment #11864 TheTropeEater 11th Dec 11
^ IIRC, the digivice that came out of his brother's computer and took him to the digital world in the first place was always meant for him. If he wasn't a Chosen Child, he was at least close enough to one if he got his own digivice and digimon partner long before he joined the team. And also, I pay more attention to the backstory that's put in the show itself, so I don't give a damn about Ryo.
comment #11865 ManwiththePlan 11th Dec 11 (edited by: ManwiththePlan)
That's another big problem with 02: unlike the other series (except for Tamers where it concerns Ryo), 02 is the only season that isn't self-contained, and it really suffers for it. I have no desire to trawl through the bland video games just to learn Ken's poorly-alluded to backstory.
comment #11867 DeviousRecital 11th Dec 11
^ Me neither. I'm of the opinion that 02 was more concerned with being a series of bigger and better artistic value, poorly thought-out ideas, and "cool" gimmicks, than with plot and character, and that is it's biggest failing overall.
comment #11869 ManwiththePlan 11th Dec 11 (edited by: ManwiththePlan)
The whole thing feels like a poorly written Fix Fic. The new characters don't really relate to each other or to anyone else. Characters and events are offten derailed to fit an episode, only to be re-derailed in another episode. Things in the plot rarely make sense, and when they do, its usually by mistake. In the end, Digimon Adventure did not need a sequel at all, and we are worse off for it.
comment #11898 LeithSol 14th Dec 11
In the end, Digimon Adventure did not need a sequel at all, and we are worse off for it.

I actually agree there. The new cast (Davis, Yolei, Cody, Ken, Oikawa, Jun, etc) could've stayed, TK and Kari could've just as well been all new characters, and the former chosen children could've been cut completely and it probably would've been a better series because they wouldn't have previously established canon to screw around with. A reason I'm still skeptical of the current Xros Wars sequel is because I don't think keeping Digimon in one continuity for more than one series really works well.

comment #11901 ManwiththePlan 15th Dec 11 (edited by: ManwiththePlan)
Its hard not to be bitter about Digimon Zero Two.

There are tropes that I would not bothered me in other shows, but hate in Digimon 02 for how those tropes interact with everything else.

comment #11929 LeithSol 16th Dec 11
On the subject of the digimon kaiser arc being too long, I kind of have to agree. Or at least agree that it could have been shorter, while maintaining most content. There are 3 episodes that could have been cut entirely (episodes 6, 12 and 15), the dark ocean story should have been put elsewhere (Probably early in the arukenimon arc, to show that the dark towers weren't just limited to the emperor, and to put it closer to its continuation in ep 31) and the final confrontation could have been told in a less episodic format, cutting it down from 4 episodes to 3. This would make it 16 episodes long. If you really want the first finale in episode 13 (like is common in anime), some other eps could be combined (as some episodes existed solely for single plot points), like having the first dark tower fall in ep 3 rather than ep 4(cutting ep 4), putting Cody's character moments from ep 5 in ep 16 (cutting ep 5) and having andromon from ep 7 appear at Ken's side in ep 8 (cutting ep 7).
comment #11953 ijffdrie 19th Dec 11 (edited by: ijffdrie)
Black War Greymon is one of my favorite digimon, so there's that. Ken was a really good character and i liked most things involving him. I guess Dagomon was okay, and Daemon was cool. Other than that, and possibly a few cool Digimon forms in the veemon/wormmon line, there wasn't a lot to like. The new humans were either bland or annoying, and the stupid pointless character derailment sucked butt.
comment #12029 azraelfinalstar 23rd Dec 11
I enjoyed it. It was flawed, but not as bad as all that. I suppose part of the reason I don't mind it being so flawed is that it gives fanfic writers more to work with, which has and always will be something I appreciate about fiction. Not awful enough to warrant universal scorn, and still be enjoyable, but not so good that fanfic seems like Canon Defilement.

For those of you saying it would have been better not being made at all, I can't help but sense a little bit of irrational nerdrage. It's just a show; furthermore, it kept interest in a franchise that would have otherwise probably petered out, and paved the way for the creative freedom that lead to Tamers. It's not as if it changes any of the events that happened in Adventure, and it's entirely possible to disregard it without damaging the integrity of the first series.

I also have to disagree that the English dub is better. It may have solved some plot problems (I don't know which ones, since the review failed to specify them), but it introduced some characterization problems in their place. Namely, with the one character who is universally acknowledged as one of the strongest in the franchise: Ken Ichijouji. The original Japanese took him more seriously, true, but I think he deserved to be taken seriously. His Heel Face Turn, and subsequent personality change, made far more sense in the Japanese, where elements of his softer nature shone through from the beginning. The dub took all of those subtleties and flushed them down the toilet, making it not at all surprising that many fans simply assumed he had a split personality.

And finally, that brings us to the one thing that 02 did better than Adventure: it made its villains compelling and layered. I can forgive it many of its faults simply because Ken and Oikawa are such memorable, well-developed villains.
comment #12289 ungelic 14th Jan 12 (edited by: ungelic)
^ Ken and Oikawa are great, but I don't think they entirely make up for the failings of Arukenimon and Mummymon (who were never taken very seriously most of the time), Blackwargreymon (who got real old real fast), Daemon (an awesome villain who was utterly wasted), and Malomyotismon (the really anticlimactic Final Boss).

Also, I liked the way Ken was dubbed because Derek Stephen Prince's performance made it work no matter what was actually written in the script.
comment #12298 ManwiththePlan 14th Jan 12
Well, I didn't say I could forgive all of its faults. I rather liked Arukenimon and Mummymon, and I didn't have any particular problem with Blackwargreymon aside from the fact that he was boring. But I tend to simply disregard the last arc of the series entirely. It's not awful enough to spoil the first half of the series for me, but it's still pretty damn awful.

As for DSP...well, I loved his performance when I was younger, and I still appreciate how well he did in spite of some of the awful changes that were made to the script. But he just sounds so...old. I've worked with 11-year-old kids, and it seriously weirds me out to hear what is obviously an adult voice coming from what's supposed to be a pretty young child. Of course, that's purely YMMV. It's still a point in favor of the original dub for me.
comment #12333 ungelic 15th Jan 12
^ If by "disregard" you mean Fanon Discontinuity, then you can't do that if the last arc had Oikawa in it. I'm sorry, but you just can't. You yourself said he was a memorable, well-developed villain and considering that the last arc was the only one he was really present in...

Romi Paku has the more natural sounding voice for a kid character and also gave an incredible performance but I enjoyed DSP's take all the same, moreso if I just pretend that Ken's a little older than 11 years old.
comment #12336 ManwiththePlan 15th Jan 12 (edited by: ManwiththePlan)
Except I totally can. I just replace the ending arc with head!canon. :P
comment #12340 ungelic 15th Jan 12
^ I'd much rather keep the last arc as it is except I'd put the Daemon Corps in there earlier on and if Daemon can't be the final villain, then at least something better than Malomyotismon. And no epilogue, of course.
comment #12349 ManwiththePlan 16th Jan 12 (edited by: ManwiththePlan)
@ungelic Actually saying that it would be better not being made at all isn't really nerdrage considering that the original writer for Adventure didn't want it to be made in the first place (the two writers who wrote for 02 were around for Adventure but they just did singular episode scripts)—Also the staff wasn't happy with the result of the series (they only liked Ken and Oikawa).

comment #12360 TheTropeEater 16th Jan 12
Digimon Adventure was a self-contained story. There was nothing left for it to do. The last evil digimon was killed and the secret of the digital world exposed as well as permanent damage done to landmarks such as the Rainbow Bridge. Each of the character arc's was completed, and it ended in the best way possible. That is to say, the story ended but you the viewer could always return there in your fantasies.
comment #12516 LeithSol 26th Jan 12 (edited by: LeithSol)
Ha, am I the only one who genuinley likes this season?
comment #13834 Soniman032 14th Apr 12
^ I like this season too, but I fully acknowledge it's flaws. It's a cluttered up, inconsistent, total mess of a series that tossed around creative artistic differences, poorly thought-out ideas, and gimmicks. But it's at least an entertaining ride nonetheless.
comment #13835 ManwiththePlan 14th Apr 12 (edited by: ManwiththePlan)

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