Patamon's World > Tai's Digi-pinions > 4 For 4: Best Loner
4 for 4: Best Loner
by Mac McFearson
One is the loneliest number. ...Eh, not so much. Funny
changes. Not too long ago distancing yourself from others, and having
an "attitude"---particularly a one of "don't talk to me, don't
me, don't think about me"---got you labeled as a freak or a threat to
go Columbine by just about everyone. Now-a-days that kind of persona
has been glorified by the entertainment industry as one of strong
silence. Now it makes you 'cool' in the sight of most, and only
shunned by a select few. Now you've got more people trying to be the ever cliché personality type 'lone wolf' than the prom king. So in this installment of Four For Four, we will look at those who have been heralded by many and grown as much fanfare as any type of character for simply being what they are---Loners.
Note: In my opinion there no was specific loner for 02. No Ken doesn't count. Neither does Takeru. So, since Matt is Adventure's Loner, and he did appear in 02, he will count as one contestant, for both seasons. Let me clarify, there will be three places in this list, not the customary four. There won't be Matt Adventure in one spot and Matt 02 in another. I will judge Yamato for his appearances in both Adventure and 02 and place him accordingly. Onward.
3; Kouji Minamoto
Yes, we start things off with number three---as I stated above. With that in mind let me say that everyone in this list is well respected by the writer and I'm sure the major fanship subject of many. Especially Kouji [Look at the PW banner]. That's why it was particularly tough to separate these three candidates. Kouji bounced around from 1 to 3 in my head multiple times. What made the difference was the advantages of the others, not the shortcomings of Kouji, because honestly there aren't many. Kouji, has got some great classic Loner traits as well as some original aspects that give him originality that is usually lacking in Frontier contestants. Kouji takes care of the Loner basics easily, and since you well know what those things are [some stuff I mentioned in opening to some extend, and stuff, you just know is "loner stuff"] I won't run through them but instead go straight to the more unique look at Kouji. For one his tendency to [seem like?] he didn't care about the others early on intrigued me. That characterization of Kouji made us look at him more as an individual character more than as just a character blending into the grand scheme of things. The only character who had that feel to him more than Kouji in the first four years of Digimon [notice I can't say digimon's "history" anymore; cause this story ain't done yet] was Ken.
Another aspect of Kouji is how a strong a character he was. Although Koji [I had to throw that in there just to get on JA's nerves] wasn't exactly one to try and take much of a leadership role, he wasn't about to sit back and let Takuya just do whatever without having a voice of opposition every now and then. And that's good. The personality of a goggle boy can most times be one of making decisions lacking in sound judgment. Kouji was a balance to that. And yet, it was in a way that wasn't just to compliment Takuya, but again, making his own unique image that much more visible.
Lastly we have Kouji's relationship with his brother. Although this isn't completely original because of Matt and Takeru [and the fangirls go wild!], it's still a nice touch. It balances his personality. It shows a different aspect of Kouji. That is just excellent. For a Loner, Kouji is actually one of the most multidimensional characters you'll see in Frontier or any season before that. Lastly I'd like to say it's been an absolute pleasure working at PW, since I haven't put Kouji at number one on this list---JA will almost certainly fire me now. I wonder if Lelola is hiring… [JA comments: I like Kouichi better anyway! XD]
Ruki "Rika" Makino
" Thus, we came up with the idea of making 'the girl' a character stronger than anyone else, and paired her with a powerful digimon" --- Chiaki J. Konaka, story developer/story editor for Digimon Tamers
The words that come from the man who had more to do with what Tamers was than anyone else truly describe Ruki as who she really was. But it was the evolution, both in development and on screen, that made her one of the most interesting and unique characters in the first fours years of digimon.
Ruki's strength is her most memorable trait, the thing we think of when we think or "the girl" of Tamers. The only girl to fit the Loner tag [even if that wasn't intentional]. She brought something incredibly different to digimon. A character who was as strong and independent as any, ever. And all from a girl who at heart wasn't " hard" or dark at all. While Ruki was certainly a strong character, she wasn't rough, or raw. If anything, at most times she was rather mature for her age and dare I say sophisticated. For the first time ever in Digimon there was a character who fit the patterns of a good anime character, yet was so unique. Someone who was storng, yet had a softer side that took time to draw out and be seen. A character like the digimon audience had never seen. She---by far more so than anyone else---personified and defined what Tamers really was. Classic, yet unique. More mature and serious than any other season, yet still occasionally showing a softer, goofier side.
The first parts of the Tamers series are what put Ruki in this list more than anything. Her tendency to create space between herself and the others [often by whatever means necessary], is a defining aspect of a loner. While Ruki is a great character, she isn't the ideal Loner. And that's okay. She put a unique spin on the character genre. And as I said, the early parts of Tamers including the distant personality, the front of the apparent coldness towards others, it made us able to really call Ruki a Loner. With or without that, however, we would always be able to call her a great character.
Yamato "Matt" Ishida
Nothing like the original. Except for the best. In this case we have both. While Matt being the original Loner had to do with him being number one of this list, it isn't the sole reason, neither is it the most significant. Matt is where he is on this list largely in part because of just who is Matt is. A strong captivating character who---regardless of when or where is showed up---wrote the rules on what a Loner is in the Digimon universe. The distance between one's self and others, the inner turmoil, the suppressed "softer" side. Matt did all it first, but most importantly, he did it best. Don't believe me? Go watch the last the parts of Adventure [specifically 44-54], that's some brilliant stuff. It got us a deeper look at the first Loner of Digimon. And from then on we simply, expected to get a deeper look of every other Loner. It's that kind of stuff, stuff Matt did that we just now expect from each and every Loner. It's defining that character genre. That's why Matt is number one.
So far no mention of 02. But honestly that part of Matt's history can't be ignored. It had as much to do with him as anything. It showed us a more mature, wiser, Matt. Now we saw more of the Matt we only saw splashes of in Adventure. The one who---no matter what it may have seemed like at times---did indeed care greatly about well being of the group. The Matt who did more to think about the safety of the Digidestined then Goggle Boy, Tai did. The one who could mentor and help if needed. But yet still, Matt was Matt. Never really changing, just growing up. Still a Loner, but more of a leader than any other Loner ever was. That kind of balance is something, that in all of the Loners, is only seen in Matt. Best. Complete. Original. Enough said.
Best Loner in the Digimon Quadri-Series: Yamato "Matt" Ishida.
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