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After watching Digimon Adventure this year, it stood out as a great anime, plot and character development wise.
I was excited to start watching the next season, but then I realized it took everything good about the first one and threw it out the window.
To keep things fresh, we are introduced to a new cast of heroes, who are blatant knockoffs of the previous ones. You'll know they are knockoffs, because the anime will shove it in your face. Daisuke is literally introduced by reminding the audience of how much he's like Taichi; he plays soccer like Taichi, he wears goggles like Taichi, he's mentored by Taichi and he's even given Taichi's goggles by the end of it. His digimon also evolves by having flashbacks about Agumon's previous evolutions.
These characters are awful. None of them are ever developed, despite that being the very foundation of Adventure 01. They're not given any reason to be on the show, and because they barely develop, most of their evolutions feel massively unearned. But rather than being a 1:1 copy, they are given "unique" traits to differentiate them from the main cast: Daisuke has an annoying stalker crush towards Hikari, Miyako is insane, and Iuri is just dead inside. We do get a bit of character development with the addition of Ken, but he's the only character worth a damn in the entire season, and even that doesn't last a few couple of episodes.
There's also a blatant level of inconsistency and disregard not only for the previous season, but for show itself. Plot points are established, then never mentioned again. Why are Digimons still treated like nobody knows they exist? Why are the original children so useless without their devices if the finale established they never needed them in the first place? What is the Dark Ocean and what is its connection to the Dark World? Why does Ken flip-flop so much in motivation? Was he evil because he thought Digimons weren't real? Because he was jealous of his brother and went insane after his death? Because he was brainwashed? Don't expect to get any coherent answers from the show, and don't even get me started on the crests.
But you know what? All of this could be forgiven had the writers actually attempted at creating some kind of tension and level of threat, which this show has none. While Kaiser is a well-developed character, he's extremely boring to watch as a villain. It speaks volumes when every single main character gives more of a shit about having a picnic, being concerned with going back home to their parents or taking a math test than stopping the main villain, he is that much of a non-threat. And you know what? His arc takes 20 freaking episodes to conclude, most of which are just filler and amount to nothing. Don't even bother with the other villains, they just exist to milk the show even further.
Honestly, I'd recommend to just watch the recaps at the start of every episode to keep up with the canon and skip this season, it's not worth it.
Ironically, it sounds like you mostly watched the earlier, comparatively better parts of the show, before the wheels really came off and all semblance of structure was lost in favor of wildly freewheeling nonsense that jerked from one potential new main plot to another. (Note: I do not disagree. I do not have very fond memories of this show in hindsight.)
I wouldn't even recommend the recaps. I still remember this season finale being so sappy and silly that even as a little kid, I didn't like it. And they'd brought back my favorite villain from the original show too! It's just not a good evolution of the previous series.
...That said, while I missed large portions of the next season and could still tell what was going on, meaning it was probably absolutely laden with filler, I did manage to catch most of the "key" episodes to keep in the loop, and I have extremely fond memories of the finale. I even rewatched that finale years later (though still not recently) and was pleasantly surprised to find that it still held up, so I can at least recommend the next season. And hell, if the original Digimon Adventure wasn't too filler-y for you, the next one probably won't be either.
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