Zero Two Episode 38: A Very Digi Christmas

In this episode, a massive attack on the city and an epic counteroffensive get completely overlooked because Sora wants to get laid.


In spite of my general lack of discussion about romance, I was a pretty big shipper back in the day. Yes, even TK/Kari, despite my systematic deconstruction of that pairing. Being hopelessly entrenched in the Tai/Sora camp, I was, like many people, pretty distraught when it was revealed that Sora would be hooking up with Matt instead. So now, years later, it's quite a surprise to learn that the episode that drops this little bombshell is actually really freakin' awesome.

The start of the episode does a great job getting us back to the real world and preparing us for the new arc. We're introduced to Oikawa, a creepy-looking guy who acts even creepier in a scene with, of all people, Nancy Takaishi. Using her is a stroke of brilliance as her combined senses of journalistic inquisitiveness and motherly concern make for a perfect reaction when he warns her of an impending problem that her boys will get caught up in. There's also a random scene with Hiroaki Ishida, which is never a bad thing.

Ken also overcomes his hesitation about accepting the other digidestined as friends, gathering the nerve to invite them over and making his mommy oh so happy. After some initial fun, they're forced to respond to a control spire and a whole army of Digimon invading Odaiba. A unified team of old and new kids team up to stop them in grand fashion, with everybody getting their hits before the DNAs appear to finish the job. The episode ends with the shocking sight of control spires all over the world. What could possibly derail such massive loads of epic?

No bones about it- it's a surreal scene where Tai's nervously trying to ask Sora out, while she's nervously gathering the courage to confess her feelings to Matt. It ends up being a very elegant moment as Tai sucks it up and pushes her towards Matt, a hint of melancholy in his voice as she goes in. The kicker, of course, is that all of this is completely out of the blue. There had never been any hint of affection between Matt and Sora before. But for that matter, let's face it, there hadn't been any between Tai and Sora either.

The notion of Tai and Sora digging each other is very much an illusion borne from circumstances in season one. They share several moments in the season, which does not automatically make them a compatible couple but creates the impression that they're supposed to be. For example, Tai rescuing Sora from Datamon looks really romantic, but would he have done anything differently were it somebody else? He's not just going to leave them behind (after all, you can't spell Taiki without Tai!).

What's really crazy about the scene is that this is the second time the dub added dialogue to imply romantic affection, only for the poor guy to get completely shot down as a result. The first was TK's big “care too much about you” line in episode 13, with Kari's look of horror putting that to a quick halt. Originally, Taichi never asked Sora out, instead just piecing together that she was sweet on Yamato and nudging her forward. The dub makes this scene extra-tragic as we learn that not only was Tai fond of Sora all along, the holder of the Crest of Courage wasn't brave enough to make a move until it was too late.

It's hard to buy the argument that this territory should not have been broached and simply left to the fanfic writers. The argument should be that if everyone's set on writing fanfic about it, it should have been broached earlier. Really, a little romantic tension and perhaps even a love triangle would do much to add to the drama. Sadly, there's only one season with actual romantic tension that impacts the story in a significant way. Of course, with a fox like Rika in the picture, who the hell ships Takato and Jeri?

My Grade: A

Loose Data:
  • Like the Shakkoumon evolution previously confirmed TK and Cody's mutual understanding, sometimes it doesn't take a dramatic moment to change how people feel about each other. Ken and Cody never had a big reconciliation and still weren't sure how the other felt, but Ken was still happy to invite Cody and Cody was still happy to accept. They patched things up gradually over the last few episodes without realizing it.
  • They went through a lot of trouble to work around getting Palmon to Mimi, but they were smart enough to incorporate the time difference between Tokyo and New York.
  • Once again, points to the dub for using a song that sounds like Matt's band could actually perform it. Great as it is, Yamato's season two image song also has a phantom horn section.
  • As perfectly acceptable as it is for anyone to fanboy over a true man like Hiroaki Ishida, I have no idea why I enjoy scenes with his three co-workers at the TV station. They just make fun bystanders, plus one of them drops a Woodstock reference.
  • Yes, Davis suggests that they play strip poker and yes, it somehow got past the censors. Don't question it... just enjoy it.
  • Awesome as it was to see the old kids in action again, the real clincher about this battle was the concerned looks from Hiroaki, Jun and Yolei's sister Momoe. Seeing a pure comic relief character like Jun show serious concern for her brother hits pretty hard.
  • At the end of the night's festivities, Tai ends things with an incredibly appropriate line, telling Davis “Take it from me, you'll never learn about women.”

16 comments:

  1. was'nt this the first time ken laughed?
    im not sure if its the same in the english version because i've been watching the japanese version with english subs. But i thought that itwas worth a mention.

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  2. What's your deconstruction of the TK/Kari pairing?

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  3. I think that TK and Kari share (potentially) the deepest and most intense relationship in the series.

    While they may not have been given a flat-out romantic relationship, as most fans would have desired, they clearly understand and care about each other in a deeper sense than the other digidestined. They began by saving the world together and then saving the digital world against the Dark Masters. They are the two youngest and so they naturally gravitate towards each other, culminating in running for their lives from the sadistic Piedmon. TK also promises to Sora and Tai that he would forever take care of Kari when no one else cans, and he becomes strong to give her strength when she is scared to go on.

    Four years later their friendship is rekindled and they spend most of the time in this season acting as a separate microcosm of the team, going off or sharing in mini adventures together. Their bond grows and it is shown throughout the series how much they care about each other, specifically TK for Kari during his times protecting her (A New Digitude,Guardian Angel, His Master's Voice, Opposite Attract). His Master's Voice is the most obvious example of the depth of their reltionship, but go back and examine screenshots from various episodes. TK looks out for Kari and she looks to him for comfort and guidance (second only to her brother Tai).

    While I personally am disappointed the writers never fully developed the relationship between TK and Kari, I think there is enough information and evidence to say that TK and Kari are soulmates; while their relationship is not romanticized throughout the series, it is deeper and more intense than a simple love story. They trust each other more than anyone else, they rely on each other for strength, look out for each other, and protect each other.

    Thoughts?

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    1. Agreement...apparently they are married in the japanese version and they say they kissed in episode 13 (but I think thats just a rumor)
      also TK wasn't compleatly shot down after the 'I care about you' line... at the end of the episode Kari does recipocate the same thing and even the Japanese version hints at the romantic feelings they possibly have for each other... with Gatomon say 'feelings...these feelings could bridge worlds' and Kari calling for TK
      But I also think the japenease version harps more on the strength of their friendship than a romatic relationship (TK's critisim of Kari is something only friends that close would dare say) remeber there 11 in the sub and 12 in the dub
      But I think they do have the most fleshed out relationship in the show (only just Riveled by their bonds with their brothers)

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    2. Nope, they never married and they never kissed. It wasn't intended to be canon in the first place. Because people don't necessarily marry their best friend, and neither do they develop feelings so early. If Tk had saved Kari from a terrible fate in older years, then it may be possible. But they were kids when piedmon for goodness sake. All they were thinking about is saving their friends, which a normal kid would be thinking about. If they decided to fall in love just because of an incident that occurred when they were so young... It would be weird. That's my opinion anyway

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  4. "Of course, with a fox like Rika in the picture, who the hell ships Takato and Jeri?"

    People who prefer Rika with Henry. Which actually makes a lot more sense than Takato/Rika does.

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    1. Except when Rika pairs herself with Ryo.

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    2. Yeps, I think Rika has a crush on Ryo. How sweet, except she's not the flirty kind, which must mean she's serious about it. Even scarier.

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  5. It's great to see the old kids in action. I loved how their winter clothes were color coordinated with their digimon, and Tai's jacket even had dinosaur paws on it. But how does Izzy have the same imac four years later?

    I can't remember if it made it into the English movie, but Our War Game had some Tai/Sora shipping (as I saw it). Tai couldn't get a hold of Sora because she was insulted by his gift of a hair clip.

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  6. This episode is pretty good I'll admit. But it makes me want to nuke something. By my count there are only a couple pieces of Sorato evidence (outside of the epilouge), and that's only if you think very liberally. First piece of "evidence" is Matt telling Tai to give her space back Sora's Crest of Love (which was fairly out of character for her), Matt (and Joe) saving her from the cave-thing, this episode (which at the same time only adds another piece of evidence to Taiora), and Matt's saying Tai knows how he feels about Sora in Owikawa's Shame (I've watched every episode at least a dozen times each and I don't even know how Matt feels about her).

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  7. rewatching Adventure and 02 has made me realize something, Sora chose Matt because Tai comes off as a weird loser when not saving the world. Adventure Tai prefers to sleep in trees instead of hanging out with his friends, and also enjoys talking about them behind their backs. He will get physical if he runs out of words. As a younger kid he'd rather play with his sick sister than with any of the other kids who live in the building-with disastrous results. By 02 he's some teen who carries a digivice daily, clinging to the hope he can go back to the place that made the audience ignore his outcast tendencies. He apparently spends his time playing in a soccer team full of 12yr olds, and he also seems to enjoy watching them play, enjoying the fact one of them has a clear mancrush on him. While everyone has picked up a hobby he just goes to school goes to his room. Matt on the other hand, speaks his mind, is not afraid to cry, is a local rock star, is an Ishida, and will do his best to change his haircut, Though I personally am on the taiora camp, and think he's the best goggleboy in the franchise, without the world to save Tai is a very boring kid, with really no future. As an anonymous poster said "I think that Tai is secretly an otaku" though I see him as the bad Japanese version, not the fun comicon loving US one. In short he's a non possessed Oikawa- without the tragedy (though if something happened to Izzy I think he'd turn full Oikawa). Hopefully Adventure III will give him some better non-plot revolving qualities.

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  8. Wonder if Tri will pair Tai with someone else.

    Also did not expect you to be a Rukato guy. Ship only exists through awkward late Tamers crap and a non-canon movie. Moreso the latter.

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    1. Nope, that was sarcasm. I never understood the popularity of Rukato (which was a thing well before the late stuff/non-canon movie). And I'm speculating now that Tai and Mimi could easily become a thing in Tri.

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    2. I suspect it's just the usual laziness where everyone tends to ship the main female with the season's goggle-boy. It works fine in Adventure (I always prefered Taiora to Soratoo too); awful in Tamers (especially because Jurato is pretty much canon), magnificently in Frontier, and I never watched anything beyond Frontier so you tell me.

      02? I'm not touching that one. First you have to sort out which female is the "lead", and either way, you're going to get a shipping war.

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    3. To Cyber:
      Marcus (season 5) didn't need to be paired up. He was too busy being a badass.

      Taiki aka mikey (season 6) could have gotten paired with either Akari or Nene, though I'm cool with both. One his best friend, the other just seems like a good ship

      Tagiru (season 7) is the reincarnation of Davis, so you can guess that. Besides, there weren't any girls worth mentioning in Hunters.


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    4. To anon...

      It seems it would be that bespectacled transfer student girl from Tottori (it was revealed she is named Meiko) who is going to be Taichi's ultimate endgame. She's going to be assigned to Taichi and Sora's classroom in DA tri, she's 17 ys old and her digimon (Meikuumon, a Fennekin-esque mon) was seen following Taichi's steps in the OP (recently leaked by Niconico).

      Going with this shipping bullshit. We get Zero two's epilogue is still canon, so, Sorato is still canon, and still we are getting new shippings like Koumi and Jyou with an unknown girl (it's not the new bespectacled girl afaik), there will be Takari tease too, and Taiko has already the meikuumon connection bc of the OP.

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