I had the intuition to include Digimon Adventures as a must-watch edutainment in alterschoolindia.com. While I have already made a document comprising what it teaches, those values feel too generic – they are mostly something people learn while growing up. So, why do I feel Digimon Adventures to be so great?
Adventures episodes 15-16. What is that feeling one gets when one becomes the most powerful person in the team? Even the positive feeling – the feeling of feeling obligated to protect others no matter what, the feeling of losing belief in the weaker members of the team and wanting to do the things by yourself. The episodes 15-16 deal with it.
In episode 18. Taichi learns the value of courage – not being afraid of trying in spite of failures. This doesn’t feel any great when you aren’t discouraged. It’s only when one is discouraged that one can feel the power of courage.
Episode 19 – Taichi acts as the “leader” in the truest sense – cheering up Sora: the only member left behind – the only member yet to get her crest. (Even in real world, isn’t it the case, that someone will always be the last?)
In Tri, we see Taichi developing a sense of care for those who are not even close to him. We see him reflect more. Do most people behave that way, even after growing up? AFAIK, nope! Should more people behave this way? Yes!
As stated somewhere, he puts the group before anything else. That’s the crest of friendship. In Adventures, Picodevimon served as a plot device for the character growth of everyone other than Taichi.
In episode 23, he learnt to believe in his friends. Again, it’s difficult to see the point of this episode unless your friend really pissed you off, and you still choose to believe in him. How well does that apply to real life? Sometimes, yes – when your friend has no bad intentions.
What does it mean to believe in your friends, and is it non-trivial to believe in your friends? Is it impossible to find friends in read life? There are times when “friends” happen to do something wrong – and that causes you a significant discomfort. If the friends are true friends that wrong would have been unintentional – and it is, still, up to you to decide which friends are true.
With Picodevimon driving the plot, (as also stated explicitly in Tri) Sora behaves as the “mother” of the group – wanting good of the group, but staying behind the scenes.
Do people behave that way after growing up? In my experience, yes! People behave this way, particularly when there’s no threat to their “images” – as someone who happens to be successful in some field, it gives a sense of satisfaction to help people who are “quite below” you with regards to that success metric; it doesn’t feel that satisfactory to help people who are “just below” or better than you. It feels good to mentor others “behind the scenes”; it doesn’t feel that great to help.
In episode 26, another thing that Sora realises is her mother’s love for her. Should people realise that before growing up – before leaving their house? Yes! This ought to be realised in the early adolescent years themselves – those will be the last few years when the child spends much time with their family. Being able to see through the eyes of your parents is welcome! Do they realise it already – about the ages of 12 or 14? I don’t know! I think no – it takes ages of 16, 18 or even older to know your parents.
Revisiting this episode 26 really makes one feel that in Tri, they redid the character development. Sora had already realized that there are people who love her. The character development in Tri does feel to be forced!
Koushiro is the most curious person of the group. Episode 24 deals with a bit of religion (that which roughly translates to “eating the forbidden fruit in the garden of Eden”) and science (curiosity). (Really, no offense intended – curiosity is essential for survival; think about the dinosaurs who were never curious!) This episode seems a bit out of context. But then again I haven’t thought about what could act as a good replacement for it.
I just can’t get my head around what sort of things one can learn from Mimi’s development in episode 25. Perhaps, she didn’t develop much Adventures, as compared to Tri. It’s in Tri that we see her develop better.
Edit: There doesn’t seem to be much character development in Adventures with respect to Mimi, however, her crest of Sincerity/Purity is remarkable. It took more than a year into college about what diplomaticity means in the professional world. I admit that we also had a lesson in High School “Conversations and Dialogues” that did shed some light on the nuances of communication.
It turns out that there is a small minority of people who tend to say their heart out. However, communicating with most people is very complex, when you need to also address their beliefs, their care for you (as also not even making you feel worried), [over]confidences. It would have been great if the world was a simple place to communicate.
In fact, I hypothesize that almost all conflicts result from lack of proper communication and cooperation – this applies to both the social and corporate world.
In episode 36, the crest of Reliability does shine; yet the character development feels forced. In Tri, the development is better, but still feels forced. Even then, there’s not much to say about Reliability. It’s just about being reliable – which may not always be easy.
Takeru (and Patamon) is (are), indeed, the Deus Ex Machina of the group. As can be found in discussions over reddit, courage and hope go hand in hand – courage starts it all; hope carries it forward. Again, like several other times, one can’t really comprehend hope unless one is put into a real peril.
But really, I wonder if it helps in severe depression. In mild depression, I admit having been helped by being struck one morning by hope. That was enlightenment! I doubt it would help in sever depression.
- From Taichi we learn courage. We learn some aspects of leadership as well.
- From Yamato, we learn to not be pissed off by “true” friends. (Who the true friends are is left to the reader – Digimon never deals with the concept of deceit, and is simple minded in that respect.)
- From Sora, we realise the love of the people around us; in particular, our parents.
- From Koushiro, we learn to be curious, and not give away our curiosity (in fear of going to hell!).
- From Mimi (in 02/Tri), we learn to be sincere.
- From Joe, we learn to be reliable.
- From T.K. we learn have hope, particularly, in the worst of times.
Yes, the lessons from Koushiro sound silly – yet, people do get pulled into organizations like Iskcon or even terrorism, giving up their curiosity!
This post on reddit explains the crests.
And we haven’t even got into the siblings with divorced parents, adopted children, interaction between parents and children, when children are getting out of their comfort zone. To parent: care for your child; but let them face some amount of danger; it’s essential for their growth.
So, would I recommend Digimon?
- To a 10-16 year old? Definitely!
- To someone over the age of 16, may be! I think it should be shortened. The first 14 episodes are nothing much.