Monday, September 12, 2016

Life Lessons from Digimon

I debuted my sixth cosplay a week and a half ago at Comic Con. Though I was kind of struggling with the anime hair, I felt pretty good about my cosplay as Matt Ishida from Digimon. I can’t say it was one of my most popular cosplays, but it was great to hear compliments from those who understood.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been a fan of Digimon since I was little and despite its popularity lacking in comparison to Pokemon, Digimon had some deep storylines and wonderful character development, even in its worse seasons. So for today I want to share some lessons that I’ve learned from watching Digimon.

Anyone can be brave: Each season tends to have at least one smaller child that joins the group. In Season 1 that’s TK and Kari. Season 3 has Susie, Henry’s younger sister. In Season 4, Tommy gets pegged as the cry baby. Each of these children bring themselves to fighting, despite their fears. Taking the example of TK, he was easily the youngest of the group for most of the season, until Kari joined them. Early on he was the cry baby of the group. In “DigiBaby Boom” while TK is separated from the other kids by Devimon, he bursts into tears because he’s scared. Later in “Forget About It”, while separated from his brother, he is emotionally volatile, because he feels abandoned. However, as the story progresses, TK becomes braver. His bravery leads him to crossing the bay on Zudomon on “City Under Siege” and being a powerful force in defeating Myotismon (“Wizardmon’s Gift”), VenomMyotismon (“Prophecy”/”The Battle for Earth”), Puppetmon (“Playing Games”), and Piedmon (“Piedmon’s Last Jest”). He shows that despite his fears (which persist even until the end) he is able to stand up and fight the dark Digimon.

Sometimes you have to make the tough call and do what’s right: In the show there are various characters who refuse to fight and defeat Digimon, because of how much they value life, but in the end they’re forced to do so in order to save innocent lives. In Season 1, Mimi refuses to fight (“Playing Games”), in Season 2 Cody and Yolei refuse to destroy dark Digimon (“Dark Sun, Dark Spore”), and in Season 3 Henry refuses at first to even let Terriermon battle (“It Came From the Other Side”). However, each of these characters recognizes that fighting is imperative in order to save lives. With the example of Henry, because of the darker nature of the season, Digimon do not get reborn, like in the previous seasons. As a result, Henry is reluctant to let Terriermon fight, both to keep his friend safe and to avoid the loss of the opponent’s life. However, when an innocent child is put in danger, Henry has to make the hard decision to let Terriermon digivolve to Gargomon and fight (“Much Ado About Musyamon”).

Anyone can change: Every season I’ve watched has some enemy turned ally: Gatomon in Season 1, Ken and Wormmon in Season 2, Impmon and Lopmon in Season 3, Koichi in Season 4, and Keenan and Falcomon in Season 5. Ken’s transformation from Digimon Emperor to Digi-Destined is one of the major plot points of the season. Not understanding that Digimon were living beings, as opposed to video game characters, Ken made horrible mistakes in the Digital World. Even until the final battle of the season (“The Last Temptation of the Digi-Destined”), Ken struggled to forgive himself and let go of the terrors he caused as the Digimon Emperor, despite his good heart and his strong compassion.

There’s goodness in everyone: Similar to the previous point, it was brought out that some dark characters had good hearts, despite their actions. In Season 4, Koichi appears first as Duskmon (“From Dawn to Duskmon”) before it is revealed that he’s human (“Stuck in Sakkakumon With You”). The Spirits of Darkness that had been given to him by Cherubimon corrupted him and let his resentments take him over. However, after being freed (“Ne’er the Twins Shall Meet”) he’s given the purified Spirits. Though still of darkness, his pure heart makes him even stronger as Lowemon.

We choose our own destiny: Just like the principle of agency in the Gospel, Season 3 of Digimon touches on the concept that the future isn’t set. After Jeri’s partner Leomon dies, she begins to believe that her fate is to be miserable. However, during the fight with the D-Reaper in the Real World, Jeri and the other Tamers become convinced that misery and destruction are not inevitable (“Jeri Fights Back”). It’s because of this internal strength that the Tamers are able to defeat the D-Reaper and save both worlds.

We’re stronger together: Just like Digimon often merge together to fight, like Omnimon in “Digimon: The Movie”, the DNA Digivolved Digimon in Season 2 (“United We Stand”/”Opposites Attract”/”Stone Soup”), the Bio-Merged Digimon in Season 3 (“Give a Little Bit”/”No Mon is an Island”/”Song of Sakuyamon”/”The D-Reaper’s Disguise”), and EmperorGreymon and MagnaGarurumon in Season 4 (“Takuya and Koji’s Evolution Revolution”), we are taught in the LDS Church that we are stronger together. In fact, that’s why we meet as Saints, to strengthen each other and to connect to a power greater than ourselves (D&C 6:32).

See life from another’s point of view: In Season 3 and Season 5, there are distinct storylines where Digimon invade Earth and do the wrong things for the right reasons. In Season 3, the Devas were trying to get back the power to save their world, which just happened to be inside Calumon. In Season 5, Merukimon sends Digimon to attack the Real World, because he felt like he was under attack, due to the Digital Gate being opened. However, it was a misunderstanding (for the most part) and it was only a small part of the human population (Kurata) who was a threat to the Digital World. Similarly, in our world, there are a lot of opposing voices, a lot of words on television and the internet, and many people yelling back and forth. Too often I get distracted by the things that don’t matter and I forget to try to understand people.

There are some other lessons from Digimon that I’ve thought of while rewatching it, but I’m going to save those ones for another post. If you grew up watching Digimon, let me know which character was your favorite and what you learned from them.

PS: The first part of Digimon Adventure Tri will be airing at select
theaters across the country this Thursday. Check Fathom Events for more
info. I'll do a review on it next week.

No comments:

Post a Comment