Hmmmm. I personally like thinking of the different universes as completely separate (though that's hard with Ryo and the Hunters Xrossover), so I like to think that the digital world being more data-oriented this time around is just the consequence of a creative re-imagining, and a natural evolution of what a "digital world" means a couple years later. Like, the internet in 1998, when planning had to have been underway for Adventure, was very different from the internet in 2000, when planning would've started for Tamers, so I really like the digital worlds being a representation of our evolving understanding of the internet (though of course the digital world never lines up with the internet fully, and I think there's always a desire to avoid making the digital world "too" data-oriented).
Yeah, I think I mentioned how there's an in-universe explanation for why Cyberdramon's particularly troublesome, but a) the show itself doesn't mention it AT ALL (totally agree that the writing kills that) and b) it just really doesn't seem like it fits, even knowing the full backstory of Ryo. The idea that a universe-destroying mega-villain who posed a threat bigger than any threat in the anime several times is reduced to just making Cyberdramon a little aggressive? It just seems like it doesn't fit, taking a HUGE threat and reducing them to what amounts to a fairly minor inconvenience (in comparison). Things that seem like they'd fit more: maybe Ryo had to push Monodramon to his limit in the last game in order to defeat Millenniummon and made him into a soulless killing machine, maybe after the merge instead of just being a little hard to control Cyberdramon is actually willfully disobeying and does really terrible stuff. I dunno.
The writing for this scenario must've been really tricky because the scenario of the games set up Millenniummon's fusion as something that should've been a huge deal, but it could never be given that much attention in the anime since there's a LOT of backstory and he's just a side character, so some disconnect there I think was always kind of inevitable, but it definitely could've been smoother.
Hm, that's a good idea. That's what I should probably use (or "physical world"), but I'll probably keep saying "real world" at least once out of habit.
That's ok! Also, you can always edit a post if that's easier in the future.
I can see the frustration here, but I don't really fault things for not setting up really well in this regard. It's the kind of thing that when I do see something skillfully foreshadowed or set up in advance, I acknowledge it and appreciate it, but I don't think it's necessarily a flaw if something isn't fully set up in advance, unless it's the kind of thing that makes you feel that it should've definitely come up by now. So in regards to Ryo being famous and adored by Kazu, Kenta, and Takato, I think it's pretty natural that that hasn't come up (though it also feels like it should've been easy to just write a really short scene of them geeking out over tournament results or emulating one of their heroes while having a card match). But with Rika's backstory and motivation, yeah, I totally agree that it really feels like this should've come up for her before if this were such a defining moment for her, and I think it's a pretty valid interpretation of this episode to conclude that it was a big factor in her motivation to be the best.
Although I realized afterwards, that in ep 30 we see Calumon shine and activate digivolution for (non-main character) Digimon in a totally different area, so the proximity thing doesn't even make sense anyway 😖
I think my main frustration isn't that it's a general "wow, the digital world has changed a lot since we've been here", but a specific "this place looks different", which implies Renamon's been to that specific place (the wind valley with Babamon and Jijimon IIRC) and doesn't line up with how she doesn't otherwise mention anything about knowing that location. (Also, Terriermon did live there too, unless the game he came from was an entirely different space never touched on)
Woah, interesting perspective! I know I didn't know who Ryo was until he showed up in the show, even though I was deeply involved (/obsessed) in a Digimon community during the first 2/3 of Tamers, and most people I talk to I think first heard about him from the anime then later looked into the Wonderswan games. I'm also surprised—it sounds like you didn't like Ryo in the anime even back then in 2001? What kind of things made you dislike his appearance in the show back then? I'm just really curious because I feel like most people didn't realize things to dislike about his appearance until they rewatched several years later.