In this episode, MadLeomon dies, putting to rest the popular myth that he was ever a competent general.
With only three main kids and way too much on the docket for a Tamers-style deconstruction of all of them, we recognize that we're going to have to look elsewhere for interpersonal squabbles. Angie has inexplicably dropped her insistence on leaving. Jeremy is busy trying (and failing) to not look totally overwhelmed by everything that's happened. So it's clear that these two are going to be pretty limited, especially when it comes to challenging Mikey. To take up that role, we must look to the latest in a long line of blond kids perennially unamused by the antics of goggleheads. Matt, TK, Thomas... meet Christopher Aonuma!
His introduction is supposed to be intimidating, popping up from a high place, looking down on Mikey as he coldly produces an unorthodox digifuse to serve as a threat. Greymon and MailBirdramon are bigger than any of the base components on Shoutmon's team, and tinted blue as if they were in a game of Team Fortress. Christopher offers to help save Jeremy in exchange for fealty, promising that they will never amount to anything without him.
To sum it up- kind of an asshole, particularly in the way he treats his Digimon. This attitude affects Mikey greatly, to the point where he establishes a creed of unity and teamwork among his army. He is determined to achieve his goals the right way, without Christopher's help. That's all well and good, but he jumps to two conclusions far too quickly. One is that Christopher's conduct is not befitting a respectable general. The second is that he's any sort of a threat.
Oh, he looks like a threat! He certainly carries himself as if he was one. But if he's really determined to force Mikey into joining Team Blue Flare, he picked a terrible time to do it. He needs to do it when Mikey's back is truly up against the wall, and this just doesn't fit the bill. Jeremy's in a precarious position to be sure, but it's nothing that this army isn't capable of handling. Mikey makes it harder on himself by pulling a Zoe/Yoshi and forgetting that he has a flying Digimon on the team, forgivable since we haven't seen much of Lillymon (insert dub censorship joke here). But did anyone really believe Mikey wasn't going to handle this? If this was Christopher's idea of a perilous situation that needs his intervention, he has a very low standard for perilous situations.
Mikey also finds Christopher's leadership unforgivably cruel, which is a big assumption in such a short time. We've seen kids take an authoritarian tone with their partners before- Rika, Ryo, Thomas... Matt on his bad days. Save for the occasional existential crisis, their partners have accepted this. Who's to say that Greymon and MailBirdramon aren't willing to fully submit to their general's intensity? Gaomon was all about that. Only Golemon seemed bothered by Christopher, but he hasn't gotten the paint job yet so he might be new.
As impressed as Christopher and Nene were with Mikey's ability to lead Shoutmon, Ballistamon and Dorulumon against MadLeomon, this enemy's not particularly competent. Rather than let the other troops soften and overwhelm Shoutmon's army, he absorbs his cohorts at the first sign of defeat to create one single entity. This allows Mikey to concentrate the big guns in the form of Shoutmon X3 and wiping out MadLeomon without much trouble. It was a comparatively easy win compared to the accolades Mikey received for it. Hell, he even trusted Jeremy with his plans, so it couldn't have been too difficult.
My Grade: C+
- As much as it's played for laughs, having a team name and flag seems a lot more important this season than Kazu and Kenta's joke of a banner in Tamers.
- The legend of giant bamboo shoots rising out of the ground is either completely random and confusing or an obscure Japanese legend and confusing. Either way- confusing.
- Jeremy's “not today” speech has a bit of an Aragorn feel to it. Nice to know he indulges in fantasy movies as much as fantasy games. And how exactly does Drimogemon's death compel the bamboo shoots to retract?
- Mikey digifuses Dorulumon without his permission. Can he really do that?
- Mikey settles on Fusion Fighters, which is a totally generic and uninspired name, despite attempting to be a message against Christopher's methods. The original name, Xros Heart, intimated this far better. I promise to keep things dub-centric so I won't be calling them Xros Heart (thought it will be forever tied to the Tai-Izzy-Sora-Kari-TK group in Adventure), but I may occasionally call them the Angry Parakeets.
- Jeremy instantly being in love with Nene is even more pathetic than JP's crush on Zoe. The real question, however, is why Angie's so uptight about his fawning. She shouldn't care who Jeremy arbitrarily decides is his OTP.