The series continues to make two things clear: that the tamers are now the least interesting part of the story and that an improved soundtrack goes a long way. Consider the opening scene at the school, which has a rather spooky atmosphere, or the final scene, which gets one prepared for the next episode with a grandiose score. In the dub at least, "Digimon Tamers" has come a long way in the quality of its music, more so than the previous seasons, and should have been exemplary to the English dubs of future seasons. Too bad Disney didn't pay attention.
Most of the progress is seen in the Monster Makers subplot, from which we learn a little more about the mechanics of the D-Reaper. I didn't particularly care for the news reports, though. It's good to see these people show some responsibility by explaining the situation, but they don't really tell the audience anything new and once a representative of Hypnos makes some announcements they start to feel intrusive. The only parts I kind of liked were the footage of Dolphin. He doesn't say anything that wasn't already revealed in "Shibumi Speaks", but he comes across as a likable guy. There's also a really good moment between Yamaki and Riley, who actually come across as a believable couple. I particularly liked Yamaki's apparent sense of responsibility for the situation, something that the Monster Makers should have demonstrated in a more personal manner. Frankly, Yamaki's experiences and learnings with trying to control the network carry far more weight than the Monster Makers and their antics with artificial intelligence, which is why he's one of the better characters in the series. His ideas on the Ark are notable and will be important later.
In sharp contrast, and in a particularly irritating example of feigning progress by repackaging material, the tamers attend a meal with their parents. This scene, with most of the parents together, would have been acceptable right after "Homeward Bound", but now just feels redundant. The fact that they would not force their children to refrain from fighting, despite their own disapproval, was already communicated more effectively in "Reunion", and that objective for this subplot completely upstages the fact that these parents are giving what support they can. Takato's parents are a little too supportive if you ask me, especially since the last time they talked to him he blindsided them by running off again right after they were relieved to see him return home. It's overall one of those developments that feel more obligatory than earned.
The final scene is pretty strange, as it contains the enigmatic Alice, who disappears just as quickly as she appears and is never referred to again. It's a rather perplexing way to give the tamers the power to bio-merge. But, man, that background theme is awesome!
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