Great episode! I don't have all that many things to comment on, I think? (Watch, I'm going to ramble for years and prove myself wrong.) Everyone brought up really interesting points during the podcast, and most of my watching was just "ooooh, cool new season!! O:" and trying to absorb info about the world and plot haha.
I enjoyed the discussion of the Tamer/Digimon relationship as having aspects of parenting, sibling-ness, and friends. I was definitely all ready to chalk it up as mostly a parental-type relationship, for a lot of the same reasons Jeff mentioned, but when you guys brought up the idea of how the characters/your own family interactions shape your view of what might be parental vs familial vs friendship, I realized that it might just be because I'm an only child! So I don't have a personal/relatable idea of what sibling vs parental interaction might be like.
I like the idea of Henry-Terriermon being more brotherly/sibling-ish, and the Rika-Renamon dynamic is super ""interesting"" too. It definitely seems like Rika is going about being a controlling parent-type figure towards Renamon, but since Renamon reads/sounds to me as older (relative to the other Digimon/kids), and especially her lines talking about protecting Rika and how she's not actually alone, that also read as a somewhat parental interaction to me? :S Or at least a mentor type relationship. Sort of as if an older figure (parental or otherwise) is trying to guide a kid who thinks that they're super smart and in charge of everything, but without appearing so controlling/authoritative that the kid rebels out of spite or to reinforce their image of being in charge.
I'm not sure if it's worth noting that both Kari and Rika get female (insert typical Digimon gender disclaimer here) Digimon partners that seem older/wiser than they are. I definitely remember Gatomon doing the protection/somewhat mentor thing with Kari in Adventure, but I don't remember it being as big of a thing with them in Adv02.
I also liked Jeff's questioning of whether the Digimon had those personalities innately, or whether the Tamers' expectations/personal feelings and philosophies projected onto the Digimon and shaped them into the personalities that they're shown to have! Same with Henry's wondering what the Digimon came to the Real World for, since they were 'made' for fighting in the Net/DW. No real thoughts or ideas about that yet, but I'm hoping we get to see more about either issue!
I was a little taken aback by the comparison of Takato to a harem anime protag, but I can definitely see it. Could also be that Ashley & Asher's dislike of/meh-ness about Takato and harem protags could be for similar reasons? Either not fitting into the narrow mold that the creators assume is the audience 'everyfan' (and hence feeling sort of a dissonance with or alienation from the character) or just that the protags aren't super fleshed out (in order to leave room for the audiences to project themselves onto the protag) and that could be boring/obvious to them??
Ugh, and yeah the ridiculous boy club/girl talk thing was just........ really gross, and very disappointing to see. :\ Not completely unexpected, obviously, but still frustrating. And then the weird hitting on Rika in the street?? Stay classy, Digimon dub. (And it is mostly the dub, which is baffling. There is no reason to add this stuff in, but a writer somewhere just sat back and was like "Oh hey, you know what will be funny to children?? Sexism, definitely.") Also, on a sort of related note, Renamon's battle banter is kind of... weird to me? Like it makes me mildly uncomfortable, but I can't really pin down why. Like when she's taunting her opponents, and stuff like "Is that all you've got, big boy?" and such. It sort of reminds me of early Gatomon's voice, with that weird kind of sultry vibe?? Or maybe I am just being entirely too sensitive about Digimon voices, who even knows.
On a more pleasantly surprised note, I was happy to see them break the trope that the main character's digimon is the first to digivolve. And not only that, but it's not even the first time that Terriermon has digivolved, as pointed out by our oh-so-lovely flashbacks. Though Gargomon is absolutely terrifying in Episode 3. I went back and watched the eps in Japanese after English, and it's even weirder honestly. In English (iirc) Gargomon had some silly quips while crazily shooting everything up, which lessened the impact for me? It seemed more like he just couldn't control where he was aiming - more like he still had Terriermon's consciousness, and was just being a little clumsy and couldn't control himself. But in the Japanese there's no dialogue - just creepy child/bunny laughter for the entire time Gargomon is happily shooting up the cars and almost killing children! Sort of horrifying.
So I went back and watched the episodes in Japanese to see if there was a more straightforward explanation of where the "Tamer" term came from. Also (as a disclaimer), I watched the Japanese version without any subs (because I couldn't find them), so I'm usually only ~85% sure on stuff - some of the more tech/formal language goes over my head unless I really sit down and think about it. If anyone wants a transcript+translation of any particular lines I'm more than happy to give it a shot though! I know this isn't a translation comparison podcast, so I'll try to keep it short, but I can't help but point out some details that stuck with me.
There's no introduction to the Tamer term - it's introduced pretty much the same way in both versions. Takato just sees Rika in the dream sequence and goes "Woah, a Tamer!" For what it's worth, I assumed the same as Airdramon when watching the dub - that it was just something Takato&co picked up from their universe's Digimon franchise.
I really like that Henry is half-Chinese in the Japanese version. I know there was mention of non-Japanese ethnicities and minorities on another one of the podcast eps (mentioning Shaman King among others iirc), and it's a pretty interesting topic. Neat to see a little representation there, though I don't know if it really goes anywhere or not later in the series. It also sort of leaves the "Momentai" thing kind of hanging in the dub though, since you lose that bit of context. Though I have no idea why Terriermon would even know that phrase in the first place??
Renamon doesn't talk nearly as much, most noticeably in battle. She's also missing the lines about "Rika, you only think you're alone" and "I've gotta protect her!" and stuff like that, which is sort of sad to lose that characterization of her (though I do agree that the "you're not alone" line was really kind of cliche and bleh).
The biggest thing that seemed clearer to me was the mess of flashbacks from Episode 4. From what I got from the Japanese, I think what happened is that Gorillamon opened a gate from inside the Digimon game that Henry had, through the Internet, and got to the Digital World? Where he then started to kill and absorb all the random Digimon's data. Which would explain (somewhat) the jump from pixellated graphics (the game) to the normal anime style (the Digital World) on Henry's computer.
And some last random points: The tweet from the character designer does say that he took it from "guilty," but not of being a Virus type, but just of being too strong? Like.. it's a sin to be that strong, and that's the kind of image he had in mind when designing Guilmon. (罪なくらい強いってイメージだった) Seems like a weird naming reason to me, but I'm not a character designer, so! Hearing the 02 kids voices as random characters is really throwing me off. Especially Davis as the narrator. At least Kari and Yolei's VAs sort of try to take on different personalities for the characters they are playing? But the narrator........ is just Davis. Also... I do actually like Jeff's forays into Tokyo geography/landmarks, though it's probably just 10% nostalgia and 90% because I am a Gigantic Nerd. And yeah, I'm with DotYawn on this one, bring on the random references! It's always fun to recognize nods to other media hehe. I think way back in S1 Asher at some point made a Homestuck reference/pun, and I was just "O: !!!!!!! yesss" And I definitely giggled at the SU Kindergarten reference you guys slipped into one of the more recent outro segments.
Omg I did ramble on forever! /)~(\ Sorry!! In general, I'm enjoying Tamers so far! I didn't find these first episodes super boring or anything, though it's (more or less) my first time actually watching them.