Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Suddenly, the End of the World

And now, back to me nattering on about Digimon Xros Wars. (Sorry about the massive number of images; I've gone a little wild over the fact that the image uploader works so much better than the old one, which is silly because I've barely used the new uploader until recently.)

One of the reasons I like Xros Wars is because the villains show signs of serious competence. Late on, it's revealed that one of the major villains, DarkKnightmon, is the reason that the heroes' power exist at all-because he was interested in obtaining power through the human ability to enhance Digimon. (More on this another day.)

And then there's Bagramon*.

He comes across as a bit lazy, because he doesn't do much through the course of the series... until he suddenly intervenes about halfway through to capture the MacGuffins that the heroes have been collecting and send a group of them back to the human world. He does this with nearly no warning, from the equivalent of half a world away. In other words, the heroes gathering said MacGuffins made things easier for him, because he could grab them all in one fell swoop.

And it turns out that it didn't matter to him that they defeated the generals he'd set up to harvest negative energy (created through the suffering of Digimon), either-defeating them apparently gave him as much or more negative energy than he got without. So it's kind of justified laziness-it didn't matter what he did, he was still going to get what he wanted.

He's so unafraid of the protagonists that he starts giving them a speech when they show up. Their response (well, the lead Digimon, Shoutmon's response) is to come at him with everything they've got immediately. Unfortunately...

...that doesn't end well, and he knocks the protagonist Digimon out of their strongest combined form essentially by just squeezing their face. (The casual attitude with which he does this, by the way, immediately sold me on him as a character. "Eh, be quiet, I'm talking!")

You see, he's never once felt threatened by the protagonists, because he can rip holes in space virtually at will with his "superdimensional" powers. This is how he so casually defeated them in their last "encounter," after all.

The whole reason he didn't bother directly intervening in their approach on his headquarters? Because he figured that their ability to defeat his minions meant they were worthy to watch him bring about the end of the world. One character realizes, because they hadn't before, that Bagramon had personally been responsible for the theft of their MacGuffins and banishment to the human world, and his observation leads to this:

Boom. Just like that, Bagramon initiates a world-ending attack on the human world.

*In the Xros Wars manga, Bagramon is essentially an expy of the Paradise Lost version of Lucifer, rebelling against a god that he sees as unjust. (Which is kinda funny, because his name comes from a goofy anagram of "Gabriel.") Part of the reason for this is because he didn't understand why some Digimon, such as his brother DarkKnightmon, were born evil. Now, the manga isn't in the same continuity as the anime-in fact, one character's little brother is replaced with a little sister who seems unconnected storywise to the brother for some reason**-but it actually feels like its characterization of Bagramon is mostly consistent (from what I've read of it-I know the manga only through reference sites). Which is interesting and a bit strange, because it's one of the few cases where characterization is consistent between the two. The reason it feels consistent? Because of the relationship between Bagramon and DarkKnightmon. But more on that another day...

**The only character traits this character has in common with the character she replaced are 1) being the younger sibling of one of the protagonists, and 2) having the strongest power to fuse Digimon, which doesn't actually seem to mean very much most of the time, and being kidnapped by DarkKnightmon because of it... and incidentally using the younger sibling as a hostage to manipulate Nene, the older sister. Oh, and she apparently steals her sister's Digimon partner, whereas the brother she replaced had an interesting story about believing he was in a video game and thus cutting loose, because he had never been able to stand hurting people, and ended up killing numerous Digimon in the process, smiling the whole time because he believed they were essentially imaginary. And then he finds out the truth, and then his Digimon best friend dies. Ouch. His cross-universe sister who replaced him? She's got quirky hair. You guys could have at least given her elements of his story (or even, I don't know, given her a new story) instead of just writing those out. Sheesh.

-Signing off.

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