In this episode, for learning the valuable lesson that you don't need a Digimon partner to have a positive effect on society, everybody gets a Digimon partner!
Zero Two certainly has the most unique finale. There's no arguing that. For a season that goes all over the place, the ending reaches out to some distant galaxy, finds something completely out of the blue and just flies with it without a care. As far as anime endings go, it's not bad. Seriously, it's not. In fact, none of the seven seasons have bad endings. They aren't always great, but for the most part every season gets the ending it deserves. This, it could be argued, is the lone exception.
There have been three recurring themes this season, particularly over the last few episodes: the power of positive thinking is not to be overlooked, free will is not to be taken for granted, and sometimes it really sucks being a digidestined. The first one's obvious, but the last two are key. As each bad guy is exposed as a puppet of another, Ken struggles to release himself from his past and even the original eight digidestined are called upon to sacrifice their powers and/or accept different tasks, Davis, Yolei and Cody are the only characters with any semblance of free will. TK, Kari and Ken spend the entire season trying to take back their lives, going to some dark places in the process.
It's very appropriate, then, that MaloMyotismon draws strength from the pessimism of the helpless dark spore children, and Davis and the other digidestined realize that the battle hinges on them taking a different outlook. The children's negativity stems from them losing hope and confidence and the digidestined convince them that they have the ability to do whatever they want and follow their dreams no matter what they are. It doesn't matter that they aren't a digidestined as long as they have dreams... what a great message! Now all the kids watching at home can understand that they don't need to have a Digimon partner as long as they set goals and have the freedom to pursue them.
Except then all the dark spore children, after just being told that they can be perfectly happy without Digimon... get Digimon. This gives the collected digidestined the extra nudge of energy needed to defeat MaloMyotismon, yet completely undermines the entire point. Much as the kids seemed to accept that they could be happy without Digimon, they were sure thrilled when those digivices appeared in their hands! Ideally, the children would have been able to contribute to MaloMyotismon's destruction even without a digivice, emphasizing hopes and dreams rather than contradicting it with the prestige and responsibility that comes with being digidestined.
It's an inconsistent conclusion, but at least it delivers the big moments. The older digidestined, determined to join the battle, hike all the way back to the camp where everything started. Seeing everybody's families joining them for support was an appreciated nod, especially given the role family plays in the series. As little as the international digidestined did, their role in the finale was appropriate, and added the right amount of size and scope to the final battle.
Then there was Oikawa. After serving as a vessel for MaloMyotismon, his body's all done. It's appropriate that as everybody celebrates the victory, Cody's the one concerned about him, determined to make sure he gets into the Digital World before he dies. Oikawa doesn't quite make it but meets his long-awaited partner, which makes it all worth it. It's nice that, without words, the digidestined realized that Oikawa was just clinging to a dream the whole time, only to be corrupted in a moment of grief. Despite fussing as they did with BlackWargreymon, they are able to mourn his death this way. Still in the dream world, Oikawa wishes for his body to help restore the Digital World so it can be as perfect as he had always imagined. It's a beautiful final image, and a perfect final image to leave with.
If only it was...
My Grade: Incomplete
- Not to ruin things with logistics, but how exactly did the five older digidestined and everybody's families get up to the campsite? That had to have been a hell of a convoy. The answer, incidentally, is HIROAKI ISHIDA! I had to get one more in... it'll be a while before I can mancrush on Spencer Damon.
- Izzy postulates that BlackWargreymon sealing the Highton View Terrace gate did more harm than good since it necessitated the massive road trip. All that and BlackWargreymon was inconsequential after all.
- It was a mystery how the international partner Digimon reached their digidestined in the first place. Even bigger puzzle- when and how did they get back into the Digital World?
- Davis admits that his biggest dream in life is to own a noodle cart. With aspirations like that, can you really be shocked that he's so content that MaloMyotismon's illusion didn't work on him?
- Before you ridicule Davis for that, there are tons of other anime characters who dream of owning a restaurant, so it's not that crazy.
- Despite all the love and good feelings going around, ultimately the final blow is delivered when all the positive energy manifests itself as a BIGASS GUN for Imperialdramon.
- Did we really need Gennai to show up and explain the whole tail ring thing? Did we need Gennai to show up at all? His brief bout of moderate productivity around the World Tour arc does not change the fact that he was pretty damn useless through this whole run.
- Oikawa's body turning into butterflies is not only a beautiful and symbolic send-off, it also evokes the season one opening song, where the singer wants to become a butterfly so he and his love can fly away from an unhappy world.
- Before you leave unhappy comments about neglecting the epilogue, we're saving that for its own post. It needs its own post.