Written by Jonathan Wojcik with the aid of With the Will, Digimon Wiki and Wikimon


Before we get to the biggest villains of Frontier, we may as well stop to say something about the comic relief sidekicks of the series, who unfortunately don't have much of a role beyond that. Both are child level, but Bokomon is supposed to evoke a little old man, and the two act as partial guides to the digital world for our main kids. Their personalities are based on Manzai, a Japanese comedy routine that's been around for at least a hundred years or so, and consists of banter between a "funny man" who makes insufferable puns or simply misunderstands everything and a "straight man" whose role is to just keep getting angry about it. It can be funny, obviously, anything can depending on how it's done, but it's probably a whole lot funnier when you're there to witness it live.

In anime and manga, the manzai comedy style has been consistently pulverized into the ground without any real nuance, and translates to character A being weird in some way while character B melodramatically screams a word-for-word description of precisely how character A is being weird. I didn't even realize that this reaction in itself was supposed to be the punchline itself when I was younger, and kind of thought anime writers just didn't think we would get a joke without explaining it to us. I'm not even an anime fan, really, I've seen maybe ten complete animes in my life, give or take, but my brain kind of just tunes out and skims over this type of humor by now.

I'd have honestly expected these two to reveal some sort of amazing power or significance at the very last minute of the series, but no dice. That in itself is another cultural divide; in most Western media we're trained to think something inoccuous is always going to have a surprise relevance, but in anime, that sort of twist is slightly rarer and a weak sidekick character more commonly just stays that way. Bokomon and Neemon do, however, get their fair share of important dialog and character moments beyond their comedy antics, and after the adventure wraps up, it's Bokomon who tasks himself with recording the history of how a band of humans saved the digital world.

I'll give them threes, because honestly, I almost always like the useless sidekick critter in a given series to at least some degree.