Time jump epilogues sound like a great idea. They offer closure, tell the audience what happened to all their favorite characters and serve as a reminder that lives don't end just because the story does. There's always an after. Truth is, they are damn near impossible to pull off. Often they end up too predictable and everything happens as you would expect, which is not only unrealistic but adds nothing to the narrative. There are also cases where the future is so unexpected that you're more likely to wonder how the hell all this came about, completely forgetting about the actual ending and the message contained within. That's what's going on here. The Zero Two epilogue is probably the most notorious three minutes in the franchise. Therefore, we are breaking it down with an entire post.
Before we get into the digidestined and their dubious career paths, the most troublesome part of this future is that everybody knows about the Digital World and has a Digimon partner. This will be a complete disaster. Because when they say 'everybody,' that also includes the assholes. Assholes that may use their Digimon (who may very well also be assholes) for nefarious purposes and create a negative impression of Digimon in society. Hell, Gennai spent half the season hacking out information about the Digital World so people wouldn't know about it. Now the secret's out and private investors are free to turn it into a theme park.
The real meat of the epilogue, of course, is the fate of the twelve digidestined. With some of these, unexpected doesn't begin to describe it. Instead of pondering the message about keeping your dream alive or how awful it will be when the Digital World is parceled to the highest bidders, we're left shrugging our shoulders over how some of these careers came to pass.
The good news is that Joe, Izzy, Mimi, Kari, Ken and Davis are just fine and dandy. They ended up doing just what we thought they would. Not that we expected Davis to become a noodle magnate prior to this episode, but if that was really his boyhood dream, he sure rocked it. TK, Tai and Sora's careers actually make a lot of sense too. TK's following in his mother's footsteps and would be the ideal scribe, being the only digidestined to participate from start to finish. Tai's leadership ability and tendency to figure out the best plan for dicey situations would help in the political realm. Sora's fate as a fashion designer also confirms that the tomboyish scamp we met at the beginning of season one was actually nothing more than a rebellious phase. Once she realized her mother didn't hate her, Sora mellowed out and stopped fearing her feminine side. Fashion design lets her be creative while still doing something her mother would deem acceptable.
I got nothing for Matt, Yolei and Cody though. Those three are just screwed up. Cody, Mr. Ethical, becomes a lawyer. A defense attorney even, whose main job is to make sure criminals get off easy. The cases where he helps the legitimately falsely accused are few and far between. How long before he develops a drinking problem? Yolei, Miss Go Get 'Em, is apparently a stay-at-home mom, married to Ken... even though they never really had any lovey-dovey interactions other than Yolei crushing on him like she crushed on every other guy in the show. There's no way she'd be content as a housewife and I doubt she's even capable of a monogamous relationship. And I don't even know where to start with Matt being an astronaut. Maybe he listened to too much David Bowie.
It's not the slap to shippers and fanfic writers the way people say it is. If anything, it's a treasure trove of story ideas as we attempt to explain all this crap. And yes, the total package does have an inspirational feel to it. It's just... an astronaut? Seriously??
My Grade: B-
- The epilogue takes place in the year 2028 (2027 in the Japanese version... don't ask) and there are little snippets of future technology here and there, especially in TK's office. TK's using a speech-to-text program on his computer and has a holographic monitor that disappears when he leaves the room. His office door also vanishes when Takuya walks in.
- Um... yeah... the big fanfic I wrote used this canon ending and gave names and personalities to these kids. I will be using their names from that here. Not as a cheap plug... that's seriously what I still know them as and just calling him “TK's son” instead of Takuya seems really weird to me.
- Some have speculated that Matt and Sora didn't actually get married as it wasn't stated explicitly the way Ken and Yolei's nuptials were. This is debunked by the fact that Matt's son looks like Sora and Sora's daughter looks like Matt. While I suppose it's possible they were born out of wedlock, are you really such a stubborn shipper that you'd picture that fate for those kids? They're the offspring of Matt and Sora; little Michi and Kori are gonna be angsty enough as it is!
- Unfortunately, that also means I'm forced to consider Mimi and Michael canon based on Tony's looks.
- We all understand the circumstances of Kari's partner defaulting to Champion while everyone else's defaults to Rookie. But why the hell is that passed on to her son? All the other kids have In-Training forms (except for the baby, who gets a Baby), but Adam has a Salamon. What's so special about him that he gets a Rookie?
- Yolei, outgoing and enterprising young woman, ends up settling down as a housewife... no indication that Ken was any more special to her than any of the other guys she's crushed on... daughter appears to be the eldest of the next generation. Yeah... Ken knocked her up.
- Mima asks Papa Cody if she can sue if she gets tagged it. As a defense attorney, presumably an ethical one, wouldn't he frown upon frivolous lawsuits? He should not tolerate that kind of language.