Saturday, 30 April 2011

Blog - "Digimon"

So far, I've detailed two rather intellectual programmes, if I do say so myself. Six Feet Under and Bones are both about exploring the human condition, and I plan to continue that theme, in a way. My next programme though, is a little different.

Some of the most popular films, television shows and stories revolve around the infamous 'coming of age' story, and this is most often told to those younger than the people coming of age themselves. With that in mind, let's have a look at the first season of Digimon: Digital Monsters.

Digimon follows the story of seven children, who become eight later during the story, who find a gate to the Digital World. In the Digital World, digital data, such as that transferred over the internet, evolves and gains a life of its own, as information often does. The children interpret this world using ideas and memories that they are familiar with, such as snowmen, dogs and dinosaurs, as well as a monkey Elvis impersonator.

The most obvious and remarkable thing about Digimon is how obviously rooted it is in science. It holds up to close scrutiny very well, after a little examination. Much like Silent Hill, the world is prone to interpretation, while the science behind the digital constructs is quite solid. It won't be foolproof at all, but there are plenty of lessons there.

Then, we have the characters, and this is what is truly impressive. Each of the main characters have clear and defined character traits and abilities. Their arguments are caused by their differing personalities, and the psychology behind their reactions is entirely plausable. This isn't Pokémon, where you have one entirely flat character and then a pervert and a girl. These are believable characters where you can find parallels.

The two lead characters of Tai and Matt, for example, and two very different personalities. While Tai, the natural leader, shows clear optimism, guides using a courageous example and goes into every fight ahead of everybody else, Matt is the opposite. He encourages people to play to their strengths, is more of a realist and fights mainly as a supporting offensive. Their digital monsters are, in fact, a solitary balancing figure in their lives. Tai's is just as courageous, strong and eager to battle. Matt's is primarily just a friend to him, since his honest and somewhat pessimistic character often makes him difficult to get along with. The truth is that all leaders need this counter-balance.

The coming of age part is very well done due to how the group dynamic develops. At first, they all show similarities, hold together as strongly as possible and all is very obvious and clear in their development. When split up, the reality comes out, and, depending on the people that they're with, certain characters move to compensate, while others do not.

There does come a point where you realise, quite suddenly, that everybody's own story has developed right under your nose, and they're all going off in their own way to pursue it.

It's quite an emotional finale too. Like a lot of stories of a similar ilk, such as Dragonball Z, you have a bad guy, then another bad guy, then another bad guy. Ultimately, this is supposed to be the most interesting stuff. It doesn't work that way though. The different characters traits will offer you a parallel, and you get drawn in.

For me, of course, it's Matt. I love him.

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