In this episode, endangering hundreds of innocents and leaving them to die somehow makes Christopher look awesome.
The first time anybody saw Christopher Aonuma, everyone's first thought was the same- a derisive snicker and the understanding that he was the token rival character. While we usually need this archetype around, Christopher was so obviously positioned to take this role that at first glance it appeared trite. After all, the likes of Matt, Koji and Thomas have left some massive shoes to fill. While the show's structure has made it difficult to keep up with Christopher regularly, the season's unique story is also what allows Christopher to step into those shoes and then some.
He has Matt's repressed emotional drive. He has Koji's cold pragmatism. He has Thomas's stern troop command. Throw them all together and it's hard to see what makes Christopher stand out. Everything from his hair to his clothes to his dismissive attitude scream rival. Initial encounters were very standard, where Christopher ends up helping, either by accident or asking for some payment. In other words, they've been on the same side without acknowledging it or going so far as to actually get along. Then Christopher went and got involved in a bad deal with Team Midnight. Then another one for good measure.
Now, we finally see what Christopher adds to the rival equation that none of the others are able to express: utter disdain for anything that can't help him. The only precedent for that is Rika, who showed utter disdain for pretty much everything. But, with a lot of help from her partner, she came to realize that it's an unproductive attitude destined to limit her ability to grow. She was forced to change pretty early on. In this world, that's the sort of dynamic, ambitious thinking that can take you places!
Certainly, the sort of behavior is frowned upon and Christopher will surely have to correct it later. For now though, who can argue with results? Christopher has more code crowns than Mikey, and gives himself a great chance of taking Blastmon's. He's a uncaring asshole to be sure, but how great is it that the show, this far in, can afford to make one of its precious few human characters this nasty? Even at her worst, it's hard to see Rika abandoning all those adorable Digimon. At least Renamon would object.
That's another big takeaway here. We've long suspected that Christopher's Digimon were on the same page as him, and this is proof. Greymon and MailBirdramon have a similar mindset. When they're trapped in Disc Zone's underbelly, Christopher expects them to figure it out themselves, and they understand that that's how Blue Flare rolls. Furthermore, they're not refusing to work with Shoutmon because of team pride (which is usually the case when scenarios like this happen). It's because they doubt that he has anything to offer. Once he proves he does, they have no objection to him. Greymon does step out of line in helping Shoutmon topple Bulbmon, but he's willing to roll the dice and take the risk of facing his general's wrath to do Shoutmon a solid.
That's as far as he and Blue Flare go to help the Fusion Fighters and the collapsing Disc Zone. While Mikey doesn't like it, Christopher is probably smart in getting out of there, even though he's responsible for the problem. Mikey is hampered by his creed and stuck in an unwinnable situation. The code crown is gone and the local Digimon can't offer a lick of help, so there's nothing to be gained here. While Mikey's urge to help has burned him before, it's the first time it's staring him in the face. It freezes him as he sees no elegant option to save the locals. Suddenly, things get complicated. Suddenly, things get real. Suddenly, things get interesting. All thanks to Christopher.
My Grade: A-
- They made it clear that Nene wouldn't be accompanying the Fusion Fighters all the time, but she's already magically gone by the time Mikey is transferring.
- Few zones get a background story, and after hearing Disc Zone's that's kind of a shame. A data collection area rendered obsolete by the march of technology is pretty clever.
- I don't remember seeing Blue Flare's flag before, but Mikey seems to recognize the conspicuous icons hovering in mid-air. Mind you that's about as realistic as someone in-world identifying a stranger in an MMO by the floating handle above their heads.
- Christopher says he wants to remake the Digital World a such a way to reward the strong. First off, it's hard to picture the other non-Shoutmon contenders having very different designs. Secondly, that's pretty close to the way it is now, isn't it?