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Reviews Anime / Digimon Tamers

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04/13/2012 19:51:21 •••

Ambitious attempt at maturity for kids

If nothing else, Digimon Tamers is hands down the most mature title in the franchise. The three main characters are more nuanced, and feel like real 10 year old kids. Their characterization is subtle, and the way they change is not overly pronounced or given to "character of the day" format. The little moments they have, as they learn to cope with what "evolution" (read: growing up) really means, are little, but they are substantial, and serve to make Takato, Jianling, and Ruki my favorite Digimon heroes ever.

That serves itself well to the main characters, but while it's admirable, Tamers' maturity is sometimes not as balanced as it could be. Most notable is the idea that the Devas are not evil but merely doing what they think is right, and that good and evil is not absolute. It's an interesting moral, but it doesn't work, because only one of the Devas is shown to have any redeeming qualities. If there was more work on differentiating their morality from humans, it might work, but their ultimate purpose is only as monsters of the week.

Tamers is pretty much the same as other titles in the franchise as far as production values go—it has animation that ranges from decent to awful, a good soundtrack with AWESOME battle songs, and good voice acting with occasional bouts of greatness (Hiroshi Takahashi's Beelzebumon is a personal favorite). It does however, have probably the greatest fight in the entire franchise with Dukemon and Beelzebumon.

All in all, I really like Digimon Tamers and consider it probably the most well-written show in the franchise. That writing sometimes struggles against its nature as a kid's show, but even with its flaws (and Toei's really poor subtitles), it deserves a watch.

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