Data Squad Episode 32: The Sacred City's Last Stand!

In this episode, the closest thing the Data Squad has to a clock-punching employee gets fired up because her challenger considers himself a clock-punching employee.

There's a fan conspiracy theory out there that claims the Bio-Hybrids were created as a way of mocking Frontier's concept of humans turning into Digimon. It's a lousy theory. The Bio-Hybrids, while they don't last all that long, are legitimate henchmen that put up a credible fight. Besides, for all of Frontier's flaws, its spirit evolution concept was the least of its problems. The comparison between the two groups is worthwhile, however, as it was the first-hand experience being Digimon that made the Frontier digidestined so fiercely determined to save the Digital World. They were, after all, citizens of the world the way no other human character (except for Keenan, perhaps) can claim to be. The Bio-Hybrids are in the same position, but all fight to destroy the very beings they become.

Ivan is the most stark example of this given his lack of secondary incentive. Kouki is a punk itching for a fight and Nanami seems to enjoy making a hobby out of inflicting pain, but Ivan is just there to do his job, and has no specific beef with either the Data Squad or the Digimon. In fact, he harbors a “secret” crush on Yoshi and loves the kind of power his Digimon form gives him. His sole incentive is to make enough money to provide for his siblings back home. This makes him the most fascinating of the three Bio-Hybrids, and the perfect counterpart to Yoshi.

The three Bio-Hybrids are the splitting images of the Data Squad. There's the one who's in it for a fight, the one who wants to test their genius and maybe alleviate their boredom, and the one who's just there for the paycheck. Marcus is the central character and we don't need Nanami's help to appreciate Thomas (although she certainly seems to have influenced Thomas's thinking given how lost he looks this episode), but Ivan does wonders in helping us understand what Yoshi's character should have been about. She'll go down as one of the least interesting main characters in the franchise, but Ivan offers clues as to the hidden depths of her character and what could have made her stand out.

In spite of some dubious camera angles and the childish sexual harassment she has to face (which, amusingly, does more to piss off Lalamon), Yoshi gets more riled up about Ivan's claim that this is strictly business. And she's right- previous human villains have all had either an emotional incentive for their misdeeds or were bored, intelligent and/or susceptible. Ivan's doing all of this evil for nothing more than money, failing to see the kind of damage he's causing and how disappointed his siblings would be if they knew how he was supporting them. Yoshi is on fire as she points this out, doubly so when you realize that she too is just an employee. If more had been done to cement her punch clock status and if she truly had to choose whether or not to rebel against Hashima's DATS rather than instantly become an enemy of the state (and it's clear here that she would have), there'd be a lot more to like.

Still, it's a pretty good glimpse into the kind of awesomeness Yoshi's capable of, and what could have been. She and Lalamon wisely realize that engaging Ivan is good strategy as it prevents him from leading the other troops. She raises her game in the heat of the moment, getting enough of a charge to wipe out Bio-Supinomon. She takes out a Gizumon XT with a freaking barrel. She even saves a Tanemon in the middle of all that! Add in her verbal undressing of Ivan and her snide observation of how ridiculous the battle is at first and it's all quite impressive. If only she was capable of it full time.

And yet, the space oscillation charge still goes off and Eldradimon is sucked into the real world. Marcus and Keenan's offensive maneuver backfires as they have to scramble to avoid getting stranded. Even when Kurata loses, he wins.

My Grade: B+

Loose Data:
  • There's a great moment of symmetry in completely separate scenes. When he sees the water recede, Marcus leaves it to Thomas, trusting that he'll take care of it. Later, Thomas elects to return to Eldradimon to help Yushima defend the city (interesting that he says Yushima and not Yoshi), trusting that Marcus is handling his business fine.
  • Gwappamon takes out a Gizumon XT. Much as we love Gwappamon, he's just a Champion and really shouldn't be able to kill those things that easily.
  • You know Yoshi's on fire when she rejects the idea that she's merely distracting Ivan and instead wants to be the one to take him down entirely.
  • Ivan's transformation into Bio-Supinomon looks terribly painful, far worse than what Nanami had.
  • What's with the odd spellings of these new Bio-Hybrid forms? Bio-Rotosmon is obviously meant to be Lotosmon (itself a corruption of Lotus) and Bio-Supinomon should have been Spinomon. It's not so much a silly dub thing as a “one of the translators forgot to turn on spell check” thing.
  • During Yoshi's rant against Ivan, she expresses her disgust at not only him, but says she wants to get rid of his kind. That can be taken in several different ways, from utter ass-kicking to slightly genocidal.

1 comment:

  1. Ivan has to be the only character in Digimon who, while being utterly hilarious at the beginning of a fight, then swiftly becomes one of the more tragic. The bit with the photograph was really sad, as was Yoshi's realizing how weak-minded he was.