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The series' main problem is the cast of unbalanced Character Development with the Tamers, which is terrible considering how the past two seasons managed to effectively tell every kid's story. Characters like Kenta and Suzie either get their Digimons haphazardly or mostly shoved into the background with little to add to their background beyond their base personality. Then there's Ryo. I'm aware he stars in his own games (which apparently explains why he came out of nowhere), but his flawless confidence and experience made him an annoying Canon Sue. He was so...sudden.
Still, this is my favorite season of Digimon because they took the formula from the first two and twisted it into something different and non-traditional for the franchise. The characters that do get developed are magnificent and likable. Takato isn't a Shonen-ish cocky jackass, he's a sweet and meek kid who grows to be a hero. Henry starts off as a pacifist who realizes he wants to fight for the people he loves. Rika (my favorite character) turns from moody loner who views Digimons as nothing but battlers to a compassionate Team Mom-ish girl. What is most shocking is Jeri's story who meets Leomon in a comedic format before his tragic Heroic Sacrifice opens her depressing past. Some of the Digimon gains development or possess charming personalities that I prefer over the first two: Impmon who creates mischief on humans because of his (unintentional) mishandling from his Tamers, yet secretly missing them regardless, Terrimon's jokey self to Henry's Straight Man, or Guilmon's child-like presence to an exasperated Takato. Heck, even Yamaki, first seemingly a villain turns to be something much less straightforward then I initially believed. Each of them are intriguing in some form to compensate my complaints on the first paragraph.
The final battle isn't an all-out brawl, but it's more strategic form of defeat works wonderfully. The "villain" in question isn't a generic "Grr, destroy the world!", it's merely a computer program gone wrong that does what it is programmed to do. It's highly effective, if not due to its Nightmare Fuel nature. The animation is darker and more atmospheric, yet reminds colorful, and the overall story paces well. All in all, I love it because it's different then the usual norm.
I mostly agree with everything you said, although when councerning Suzie, it's a bit too much to expect great depth from a seven year old, as well as from the 2 twins. Regardless, I think they were a bit scared of both overwhelming the viewer and rushing the character development, which rarely is as progressive as it should be. I also believe this season above all others could have handled a sequel, but I don't really mind since the ending is flawless.
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