In this episode, a woman's worth is measured not by her beauty or the kindness in her heart, but in how many fanboys she has.
If we're going to dedicate another episode to Zoe, we might as well have her take out Ranamon in the process, because we're at the point where we just want this thing to be over with. As fun a character as Ranamon is, her insistence on treating Zoe like a rival beauty pageant contestant is annoying. That she ends up losing to somebody about as tough as a rival beauty pageant contestant hurts her stock as well.
Shady a character as Mercurymon is, it's hard not to believe that Ranamon knows what she's doing inside Sakkakumon. She's there as one of the sphere bosses, hopefully to give the kids a harder time than Parrotmon and Cherrymon do (those two being textbook examples of token opposition). Instead of gearing up for a fight, she's admiring herself in the mirror. Mercurymon goads her into action by claiming that Kazemon is prettier. Only then does Ranamon do what she's supposed to do and utilize her resources to defeat her enemy.
By resources, of course, we mean the three Honeybeemon that got sucked into all this. These fanclub members aren't as sophisticated as the Toucanmon in their trap-laying, opting for your usual cages and nets. What they lack in sophistication, however, they make up for in stupidity as they get themselves caught in every single one of these traps, relying on Kazemon to set them free. She's happy to do so, but she doesn't seem to wonder whom all these traps are being set for. The Honeybeemon, while initially skeptical, begin to suspect that maybe Zoe's not all that bad.
But that's where their role in all this ends. While they end up liking Zoe, it doesn't mean much when they're still forced to betray her. After that, they're mere cheerleaders as Ranamon and Kazemon duke it out. Are we supposed to believe that whom they fawn over is the difference between winning and losing? Given Zoe's past, she might consider it a big deal that she has somebody in her corner, but what good is it when they're bumbling fanboys instead of real friends?
Just because Zoe's nice to the Honeybeemon doesn't mean she treats them much better. Even at the end of the episode, they're still her fanboys. Zoe doesn't try to sway them from this mindset and convert them to honest friends. She accepts the blind adoration from them, and JP as well. Considering JP's problem is that he tries to make fans instead of friends, this should be a point of emphasis.
If the Honeybeemon don't learn their lesson, Zoe certainly doesn't. In her “nightmare” flashback, we learn that the reason she doesn't have friends at school (along with the previously discussed unwillingness to adapt) is that her classmates are bitches and she's occasionally a bitch right back to them. When confronted with this, much like JP and Tommy did when they had to face their faults, her reaction is basically, “yeah... I gotta work on that.” Mercurymon scheme of infusing all of them with suppressed angst doesn't work that well with this season's lot.
So if Zoe doesn't learn anything, and the Honeybeemon don't learn anything, how about Ranamon? As she's a villain, she's not about to star in a morality tale, but surely Zoe will exploit Ranamon's vanity and use it against her, right? Nope! It's a pretty standard fight in the end. Given how ugly Calmarimon is and how self-conscious Ranamon is about that, Zoe could have had the Honeybeemon mock her to the point where Ranamon refuses to slide evolve, even as Zephymon kicks her ass. While Ranamon is jealous at Zoe being prettier and stealing fans away, rather than dismiss the importance of such trifles, Zoe's only response is, “that and I'm nicer too.”
My Grade: C
- Better Know A Sephira! Zoe's epic final battle with Ranamon takes place in Netzach, the victory sphere. It's about having the tenacity to overcome obstacles and achieve your goals. Self-explanatory. Takuya and JP's pit stops are in the Chesed and Malchut sphere, representing kindness and the physical world respectively. Um... also self-explanatory! Moving on...
- Finally, it seems to have gotten through to these kids that they can spirit evolve to handle all sorts of meaningless tasks like freeing Honeybeemon from cages. For some reason, Zoe even continues her nature hike as Kazemon.
- In his analyzer screen, Cherrymon is said to have evolved from Woodmon, a Digimon that we haven't seen this season. Not only that, but historically we were introduced to Cherrymon before Woodmon. It's like introducing yourself as a friend of somebody you're less famous than.
- As little as he did in this episode, it was a cute touch giving Cherrymon the same voice he had in Adventure.