This is the fourth Digimon season and its second spin-off. Most of its elements have remained the same so please read my review on the earlier seasons before reading this one. I will only be mentioning the differences amongst them.
The production values are of the same quality as the third, although they are far more bright and cheery, thus missing a lot in imposing atmosphere. I also didn’t like the new music score much.
So once again we have a whole new cast of heroes. The scriptwriters tried to go back to the basics by trying to repeat the overall plot of the first season instead of going for another dark version like the third. The reason is that they received rather negative feedback by the target audience who found dark and tragic stories to be out of their league. As much as I liked Tamers, I must admit that it was not for the average little kid who wants cool action and monsters. And so we get a slight variation of the original arc, with the kids roaming alone the Digiworld.
The thing is, the scriptwriters didn’t only try to tribute the original but also to simplify it even further. This is apparent early on by the fact the kids are actively aware that they have a destiny to fulfill and a bunch of legendary monsters to gather in order to do that. They are not very scared of being stranded on an alien world since they have a reassurance of sorts. This also holds back a lot from an emotional conflict that could have led to some interesting character development. Meaning, they remain as nothing but boring stereotypes in an already stereotypical scenario that was further dumbed down to the point you don’t care.
To understand how bad it felt, imagine that most allied Digimons are treated as nothing but spirits that appear only in battle. Not only they don’t have a personality but also don’t even travel alongside the kids to further help us sympathize with them. And it’s not like the kids needed all the spirits in order to win; most of them were of the same strength regardless of how hard it was to find them. They just waste most of the episodes looking for them just because a stupid prophesy said so and for only purpose to further weaken the importance of the initial Digimons. As for those who are alongside them all the time, they can be quite annoying. Especially the bookworm Digimon and its stupid friend were amongst the ugliest and lamest choices for supporting characters.
As for the way they travel from one area to another, they always use ugly looking trains to get there, which is a stupid idea after awhile. Why don’t the villains just blow up the railways to stomp their progress? Why don’t they ambush them in the train stops if they know trains follow linear routes? This was not an issue in the earlier seasons where the journey was done mostly by walking or flying.
They also went overboard with the Judeo-Christian references, since the Digimons are now modeled mostly out of lame manihaistic angels and demons. And the plot twist is supposed to be the major villain being able to use both light and darkness techniques; owwww how interesting… not.
In all, a very passable season altogether and the weakest one up to the time it came out.
And now for some excused scorings.
ART SECTION: 6/10
General Artwork 1/2 (average production values)
Character Figures 1/2 (generic)
Backgrounds 2/2 (basic but fitting with the feeling of the series)
Animation 1/2 (basic)
Visual Effects 1/2 (basic)
SOUND SECTION: 6/10
Voice Acting 2/3 (corny but fitting with the feeling of the series)
Music Themes 2/4 (average)
Sound Effects 2/3 (ok I guess)
STORY SECTION: 5/10
Premise 1/2 (typical)
Pacing 1/2 (mostly formulaic but does have its plot twists)
Complexity 2/2 (collector’s urge)
Plausibility 0/2 (none)
Conclusion 1/2 (cheesy)
CHARACTER SECTION: 5/10
Presence 1/2 (generic)
Personality 1/2 (cheesy)
Backdrop 0/2 (almost non-existent)
Development 1/2 (predictable but it’s there)
Catharsis 1/2 (predictable but it’s there)
VALUE SECTION: 4/10
Historical Value 2/3 (very famous franchise)
Rewatchability 1/3 (low because of too much repeated plot)
Memorability 1/4 (a weaker version of the first series)
ENJOYMENT SECTION: 1/10
Art 0/1 (looks crude)
Sound 0/2 (sounds boring)
Story 1/3 (good ideas but handled in a childish and predictable way)
Characters 0/4 (blunt archetypes)
A weaker version of the first series.