You are probably sitting there, at your computer, boggling. “Digimon?” You are asking incredulously. “Did I read that right?”
Let me begin with the beginning. The first season of Digimon is really the story of a little girl, called Hikari in the Japanese original and Kari in the English language version. There are some older girls in the series, Mimi and Sora, but they don’t interact as much as one would hope. But in the second season, Hikari and Sora have a kind of relationship, partially through themselves, partially through their Digimon. I personally did not see what they has as a “relationship” if you know what I mean, but many, many people did. There is a fair amount of Kari/Sora stuff out there, if you care to look for it.
But what I really wanted to talk about was the third season. Known here in America as Digmon Tamers this season came on TV and went and barely left a trace. In every way, this Digimon series was the *best.*
Right off the bat, the main female lead, Rika in English, Ruki in Japanese, pinged every gaydar alarm I have. She’s tough, she’s intolerant, she’s an ice queen, she wears utterly butchy clothes. She’s better at the Digimon game than anyone else (they call her the “Digimon Queen”…uh-huh…) in the story. Inside that icy exterior, of course there is a fragile and lonely (read: codependent) girl. Her mother is a top model and only wants Ruki to be cute and doll-like, ignoring the obvious signs of babydykeness in her daughter.
Ruki’s Digimon is “Renamon,” a fox-creature. If you know anything about female fox spirits, this will make you smirk, since foxes are reputedly very sexual. At first Ruki only thinks of Renamon as a fighting animal – Renamon lives to serve, like all good butches – so fight she does.
As the series goes on, Ruki is worn down by Renamon’s loyalty, friendship and ultimately, love. From about 1/4 into this long season, Renamon and Ruki are *so* a couple, it’s rather frightening at times. Their conversations sound like actual conversations lesbian couples have…it’s a little creepy really. ^_^
Renamon digi-volves into progressively cooler forms. From Renamon, she becomes the nine-tailed fox-spirit Gyuubimon, the short-lived Viximon, and the way very cool and mystic Taomon. But it is in her final form that she and Ruki really, quite literally, merge. Together they become Sakuyamon, a priest-warrior female fox-humanoid thing. Trust me, it’s pretty cool. :-)
In order to leave to fight the final battle, Ruki is forced to “come out” to her mother, about herself, about Renamon…and her mother accepts her for who she is (and buys her a great big clunky belt buckle for her dykey belt, a sort of ritual acceptance of her daughter’s inevitable butchiness. ^_^)
The end of the series is, IMHO, tragic. Ruki and Renamon do not live happily ever after. I was really bummed at the end, as Renamon and the other Digimon are forcibly devolved and sucked back to the Digi-world, leaving their human friends alone and crying hysterically, but determined to get back to the D-World to find them again. Sob…
So, yeah, the ending sucked, but overall this was a really good series. By far and away the best of the whole bunch. Ruki and Renamon are an incredibly well-played couple…and I have to hand it to the American voice actors – they didn’t even suck. Mari Devon’s gruff Renamon was as close to on par with Orikasa Fumiko’s Renamon as I could hope to expect from a dub and Melissa Fahn was pretty spot on an angry babydyke Rika.
Now, if only they would release it on DVD – I’d so buy this series….
Character – 9
Story – 9 (Really…this was a decent story with a real plot…and the kids’ parent weren’t totally clueless, etc. etc.)
Animation – 7
Music – who can tell? The American version uses some heinous made-up theme. Bleah)
Yuri – 8
Overall – 8
Seriously. It may be a kid’s show and all about dumb monsters…but Ruki and Renamon rock and the story’s not bad. ^_^
2013 Update: You can now get the entire season of Digimon Tamers on DVD! (Dub only.)