Did Sora's mommy issues sour you to the concept of family problems interfering with the duty of a digidestined? Izzy has a whole different kind of mommy issue, and it sets the bar awfully high. While the episode doesn't add a whole lot to the overall story arc, the unique kind of angst we get out of both Izzy and his mother has to be one of the highlights of the first season.
One problem with the way Sora's issues were presented in episode 26 was that we only got one point of view. Sora wanted to play in the big game and Sora's mom said no and now Sora hates everything, Sora, Sora, Sora. It was clear from the get-go that there was another side to the coin and the issue was pretty much resolved when Sora saw it from her mom's perspective. Here, it's a little more complicated as we see things from both Izzy and his mother's point of view.
In fact, in a brilliantly subtle display, we see Izzy's mother in this episode before we see Izzy. And she is beaming with pride as a fellow mom tells her of how well behaved Izzy is compared to her little brats. And he is! He's just a perfect gentlemen, happy to be home and endlessly respectful and gracious towards his parents. Yet Yoshie (yeah, I'm calling his mother Yoshie now- that's her name... look it up!) is wracked with guilt because she has a secret...
Izzy, meanwhile, tries to continue being the perfect son, but this becomes a problem as he's suddenly forced to do a lot of stuff without his parents knowing. Sneaking Tentomon into the house, installing a lock on his bedroom door, lying about having a friend over, trying to get away from the dinner table to sneak food to Tentomon... these are unbecoming of him. So now he too is wracked with guilt because he has a secret...
It's a nice little parallel we have going on here that all trails back to Izzy accidentally discovering that he is adopted, while his parents aren't ready to tell him yet. Finally, we get the complete flashback originally teased way back in episode five. I discussed then how Izzy yearns to know more about the world because he knows so little about himself. Now we get the flip side of it. His parents are naturally suspicious of all these shady activities, particularly the locked door. However, Yoshie doesn't want to know more, because she hasn't revealed everything to Izzy yet. Izzy, who was listening in yet again, is stunned when she says he needs to make his own mistakes. This is family tension done right.
Long story short, Tentomon's assessment of Yoshie is spot on: she's a great mother, and pretty hot too!
Just in case the love, consideration and suppressed distrust in the Izumi household is too fluffy for you, it's contrasted nicely in this episode by the Kamiya household, a completely normal family in seemingly every way. While Izzy trips over himself to compliment his mother's cooking, Tai absolutely gorges on rice, turning to his mother only to ask for another helping. This was before the dub settled on its running gag of Tai's mother (Yuuko!) being a health food junkie.
Other than bringing Kari back into the fold, not much is accomplished here. Tai suspects that she could be the eighth child, but she doesn't have a digivice. No... the family cat batted it out the window, where both ended up onto a truck, which crossed paths with Raremon, who tore through a nightclub to get to it. Kabuterimon stopped Raremon, while Izzy and Demidevimon chased after the digivice. Neither were successful as a bird flew off with it. Hence the major wrench both sides have with this eighth child hunt- the beacon leading to her is a small, inanimate object that animals apparently love. Good luck finding her now!
My Grade: A-
- Apparently the communicator used by Myotismon and Demidevimon was purchased at Batman's garage sale.
- I'm confused: was Tai suddenly bursting into tears and hugging his parents some sort of ploy or a genuine show of emotion at being reunited with them after so long? The latter makes more sense, but it's so abrupt and underplayed that it's hard to tell.
- When we first meet Yoshie, it's nice that the animators helped us identify her by putting her right in front of a room with her son's name on the wall- Koushiro.
- How exactly does Izzy install a lock on his door, a process that would require an electric drill, without his parents finding out?
- I'm not sure what's used in the Japanese version, but the music piping in during the nightclub sounds an awful lot like Mimi's Japanese image song Itsudemo Aerukara.
- Gennai installs an analyzer and a radar on Izzy's laptop... along with annoying screensavers? He may be the first elder sage-type to intentionally install malware on an ally's computer.