Tamers Episode 31: Kazu's Upgrade

In this episode, some milkshake brings all the eight-headed snake monsters to the yard.


There are a few different ways we can approach what is by far the most ridiculous dub edit in Tamers. We can dismiss the edit and acknowledge that Orochimon is a raging alcoholic and raise a leery eye at Jeri's comfort in serving beverages she is not old enough to consume. We can also play completely ignorant and pretend that they were harmless milkshakes all along. We are, after all, working off the dub here.

Or we can do neither. We're calling them milkshakes, but treating them like they're drenched in schnapps and anybody that obsessed with them is due for an intervention. The doctor is in!

This feels like one of those Devimon-arc Adventure episodes with a one-off plot culminating in a level up for one of the kids... if it were after hours and dealt with slavery and controlled substances. Rika, Jeri, Kazu and Kenta fall into a territory where Orochimon is forcing a colony of tone-deaf Gekomon to produce infinite quantities of milkshake for him (incidentally, this is how Anheuser-Busch got started). Good thing the Gekomon had a distillery on hand that wasn't being used. Champion of Justice Andromon insists on fighting Orochimon, with no results and plenty of collateral damage.

Lost in the whole milkshake nonsense is the neat little parable going on here. On one hand you have the Gekomon who aren't thrilled about brewing barrels of sudsy, ice-cold milkshake but realize that disobeying Orochimon makes their lives even worse. This is the path of least resistance, and in a world like this, little guys like Gekomon should consider themselves lucky that bullies have a use for them. Orochimon could just kill them all and absorb their data. Andromon, meanwhile, has no incentive to help the Gekomon. He just perceives oppression and is determined to fight back, much to the chagrin of the Gekomon. Who's really right here? The guys who have successfully carved out a role, even one less fulfilling, or the guy unsuccessfully trying to liberate them from said role for his own fulfillment?

It's not such a puzzler for Kazu, who takes a shine to Andromon's determination and insists that he get medical attention. Once he does and he devolves to Guardromon (which should make sense but never really happens outside Tamers), Kazu stays with him while the others abandon him for the less important matter of chasing Jeri's kidnapper. That's good enough to net Kazu a digivice. In many regards, the lack of attention paid to their fast bonding leaves Kazu on the short end this episode, other than him finally becoming a tamer and all.

Really, it's sort of a Jeri episode. Admonished earlier by Rika for being soft, Jeri has to prove her mettle serving milkshakes to Orochimon, who must have smelled the lactose all over her. Somehow he knew that she moonlighted as a serving wench, and she bravely plays the part, putting her experience to use. Is anybody else bothered by the fact that a twelve-year-old girl is receiving generous tips from gentlemen drunk off their gourd from too many milkshakes?

And yet, her strategy of over-serving Orochimon until he passes out, and even Operation: Trojan Cask, backfires because milk makes you stronger! It does a body good! Duh! The episode sells the ingenuity and bravery of the good guys, then wipes out all the advantages they gain. With the playing field leveled, Jeri shrugs and pulls a Ryo, using a badass modify card to deliver a one-hit KO. It's an awesome way to win, but it would have been even more awesome had the tamers' strategies actually paid off. I bet Jeri's plan would have worked great had she served him sake or something.

My Grade: B-

Loose Data:
  • Staying in the “dub edits that secretly make the episode more cohesive” department, originally Ruki was pissed off that Juri was calling her “Ruki-chan,” which implies youth and familiarity, neither of which are appropriate in this setting. Changing it to a “man up” speech pays off when Jeri is under duress and has to.
  • Usually Kazu is considered the more annoying of the dynamic duo given his mouth, but while he's off getting a partner the legit way, Kenta's horning in on Takato and trying to partner up with Guilmon. Guilmon takes marching orders only in the best interests of the whole group, but damn that's a dick move!
  • As we move along and start to get repeat visits from familiar Digimon with different voices, it's worth noting that Leomon was given the same voice he had in Adventure, but Andromon did not. It's a curious decision given the respective (yet significant) roles of these two characters, especially since their personalities aren't all that different from their Adventure counterparts (while not as bombastic, Andromon is shown to be quite the Champion of Justice in the Dark Masters arc and Zero Two).
  • Did Jeri seriously just say, “What would we do without you, Leomon?” She's practically asking for it!

3 comments:

  1. There's no doubt that Kazu's annoying. I can't stand his habit of syayng the word "dude." In fact, I loathe his way of being funny. And I don't need him to keep Digimon amusing.

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  2. Before I brushed up on my Japanese mythology I thought nothing of the Milkshake....and then I brushed up on my Japanese mythology. Realizing the episode plays homage to the Story of Susanoo in which he got the 8 headed serpent Orochi drunk with sake. to then chop off all 8 of his heads. There must be something Good in those Milkshakes

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  3. So ... if it was milkshake, not alcohol, did they cut out the scene where they treated Andromon's wounds with it? I don't think milkshake would be very effective in disinfecting wounds.

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