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12/17/2011 13:06:33 •••

Steam will come out of your ears

Digimon Savers is tied for second among my favorites of the Digimon series (with Adventure), and for good reason: it contains all the things that make me giddy inside.

Right out the gate, you see what kind of series this is going to be. The first episode naturally contains our hero, the extraordinarily Hot Blooded (he could give Kamina a run for his money) Daimon Masaru meeting his Digimon, an updated version of Agumon. How do the two meet? Punching each other in the face. And that's after Masaru takes down a whole gang of thugs. Eventually, Digital Accident Tactics Squad Officer Yoshino takes the two back to her boss, Captain Satsuma, and he eventually decides to join and help prevent further Digimon incidents in the real world.

The characters are much, much better than the cardboard cutouts Frontier contained. Masaru is very reminiscent of Domon Kashuu, and he's in a Mons show. Hilariously, he has to punch a foe to evolve his partner, Agumon, who complements him in this regard of course. By contrast, Blue Oni Touma is disproportionately stoic, though his obedient partner Gaomon has a bit more energy. The Chick is the sarcastic and relatable Yoshino, who has a Cloudcuckoolander of a partner in Raramon, and finally, there's the energetic Ikuto and his eager Falcomon, who we meet later on. Where this show really shines, however, is in its side cast. Satsuma may be my favorite character in Digimon, period. I also love how the side cast has a much larger emphasis on people related to the heroes rather than just random Digimon or humans, like the other Digimon series.

The show starts off fairly episodic (with a two parter here and there), picks up an arc around episode 11, and never looks back. The villains are all well done and thoroughly entertaining, though the last one is a bit odd. The animation style is crisp, clear, and dazzling, and the music's pretty nice as well. Props to Believer for being my favorite Evolution theme other than maybe EVO.

All in all, while Digimon Xros Wars perhaps better captured the aesthetic of the Super Robot Genre, Savers better captured the spirit. Being the highly dynamic and thoroughly awesome show that it is, it comes highly recommended.

12/15/2011 00:00:00

Eh, I find this to be an okay series with alot of good and bad points that are often clashing with each other. I love the main cast of Marcus, Thomas, Yoshino, and Ikuto (I shall not call him Keenan) and Commander Sampson was indeed awesome. The digimon were great (though I'm not a big fan of Lalamon, her character and design don't appeal to me), supporting players like Marcus' family and the DATS Bridge Bunnies were likable, and the action was usually entertaining in all episodes. And while I may have had some problems with how he was ultimately handled, Kurata must get credit for being a REALLY good Love To Hate villain; the best at it since Myotismon and the Digimon Emperor.

What was bad, though, was real bad; the series overall is filled to the brim with alot of common Shonen tropes and cliches, even if some of them were done well. The first 11 episodes were filled with spotlight stealing antics from Marcus and Agumon, with Thomas and Gaomon getting occasional spotlight and Yoshino and Lalamon getting next to none. But the final arc was, as Yoshino would put it, the worst. The foreshadowing of the seven deadly sins and the inclusion of Belphemon indicated the Demon Lords being the final enemy of the series but nope, it was Yggdrasil. Freaking Yggdrasil, who did NOT make a good villain seeing as he was a rip-off of both the D-Reaper (digital entity that wants to exterminate humanity) and Lucemon (angelic villain with Mona Marshall's voice in the dub and who has the Royal Knights working for him, and the Royal Knights STILL don't make good villains either!). And there were alot of stuff that was stupid (Ikuto's inexplicable Hulk Speak, Thomas and Yoshino getting their temporary amnesia undone offscreen, Kurata's reliance on digimon for his ultimate plan and his motive shift to trying to take over the world) or ultimately pointless (Saberleomon in general, Thomas' fake betrayal, Agumon dying and coming back with his memory still intact).

Ultimately, I guess it was a little better done that Digimon Adventure 02, but for me, it was only a little. But until that stupid Yggdrasil arc, it was at least an entertaining ride.

12/15/2011 00:00:00

To be fair, the choice to use Yggdrasil likely came for the promotional manga NEXT, and even then, I'm fairly sure Digimon was using that name/idea even before the D-Reaper. I believe they were using it back when something related to Digital Monster X was published, but I never paid attention to those.

The Royal Knights were handled much better here given that we saw all of them, and because they were used to more effect than just "beat the heroes up because we need filler". The ones we encountered all had personality among them.

As far as I can tell, the original doesn't have Ikuto speaking strangely. Touma and Yoshino got their memories back offscreen for Law Of Conservation Of Detail, I'm guessing. It took Masaru about an entire episode, and did we really need to trawl through two more episodes of that? I think Kurata's use of Digimon was fairly clever for several reasons. If you value human life more than Digimon, why risk them in battle when your enemies use supercreatures that humans clearly stand no chance against? And, for that matter, doesn't it serve your own end better if you manipulate the subject of your hate into destroying your other enemies? It's win-win on your side.

Belphemon took one burst mode Digimon to defeat it in its strongest form. Not sure the other Demon Lords would have been as much of a challenge once the whole team recieved Burst Modes. And finally, I feel that they probably couldn't resolved the Myth Arc built up around Masaru's father near as well if they'd sent things off into multiple directions using the Demon Lords.

Where was Saberleomon in this show? I don't remember him at all. This show contained BanchouLeomon, who is freakin' awesome. Best use of a Leomon form in a Digimon anime, hands down. And what's more, thanks to the somewhat ambigious ending concerning Subaru, he could have actually subverted the "Leomon always dies" joke and survived. If Subaru did, so could he. But we'll never know.

12/15/2011 00:00:00

^ I got who Yggdrasil was and where he came from, I just don't think he's a suitable villain, let alone the Final Boss. I would rather the Royal Knights be good guys too. The ones in this show were Bad Ass but I didn't like them as enemies.

Ikuto talks like Tarzan in the dub, whereas in the original he just spoke a little strangely. The memory loss thing could've lasted two episodes for everyone rather than just one. And while I can sort of understand Kurata's methods, it just baffles me why he put so much value on Belphemon to the point of merging with him, though I could just chalk that up to desperation and insanity on his part.

And I'm sure they could've found some way to wrap up Banchouleomon/Marcus' dad while still using the Demon Lords. Yggdrasil's existance was already alluded to but there was never really anything indicating that he'd be a bad guy, so his whole decision to destroy all humans came the f*ck out of nowhere. It would have been better if they'd gone with what they had built up already.

Wow, Saberleomon really was that forgetabble, huh? If you can recall, Saberleomon was a rival to Merukimon during the second story arc who tried to take more extreme measures with attacking the human world. He got killed off in the episode that properly introduced Kurata. So yeah, a Leomon died already, making Banchouleomon's survival more plausible.

12/15/2011 00:00:00

Oh yes, I remember now. The Mercurimon arc I remember very little of. And you did get that not all of the Royal Knights were bad, right? Some did try to help Masaru keep the worlds from colliding. I'm not sure how Yggdrasil was alluded to, but IIRC Yggdrasil was simply trying to protect its own existence as per its programming. When Belphemon destroyed the boundary, it saw that only one world could survive, so it chose its own. It wasn't out of any real ill intent like the D-Reaper was, so its not a complete ripoff, though I can totally see how you would view it as one. But it's been a long long while, so I may be shoddy on the details.

12/16/2011 00:00:00

I would rather the Royal Knights be good guys too. The ones in this show were Bad Ass but I didn't like them as enemies.

Actually as shown in Digimon X Evolution, Digimon Frontier, and background story, the thing about the Royal Knights is that they're actually Knight Templar, most of the time they think what they do is actually good, that the means justify the ends and or that because they're Royal Knights that whatever they do doesn't have implications, in a way it's more interesting than the Demon Lords who were probably going to be Card Carrying Villain like the dark masters, that's why their limited to one for series.

12/17/2011 00:00:00

^ I get the Knight Templar thing but I just find the Royal Knights to be dull villains. I personally prefer Card Carrying Villain types like the Dark Masters and the Demon Lords in this franchise 'cause they're alot more fun.

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