Yesterday, Zarnyx attempted to persuade you into believing that Digimon Adventure’s lead character, Tai Kamiya, was the greatest DigiDestined. I’m here to show you why that’s wrong. Enter, Takeru “T.K.” Takaishi.

T.K. is the younger brother of Yamato “Matt” Ishida. Standard to the Digimon world, the story involves very serious, and real, matters. Their parents divorced while T.K. was relatively young, and the brothers were split between the parents, with T.K. living with their mother, and Matt going with their father. This is a major event that originally hindered the brothers, but eventually lead to their own personal growth.

Let’s touch upon that personal growth first. When we first meet T.K., at the beginning of Digimon Adventure 01, he is timid and much younger than the other members of the group. He clings to Matt’s side, both out of fear and familiarity for the situation, but because he also grew up largely without him. He spends much of his time trying to impress his brother, putting up a brave front, and trying to hide any of his more embarrassing emotions (though, if I found out I was stuck in a strange world with mostly strangers and monsters out to get me, I might spend a night or two crying as well). Over time, and throughout the group’s adventures, T.K. is able to open up to everyone, and what was once a mask of bravery is now his true face.

His responsibility and kindness has saved each of the digi-destined, and his hope is the guiding light that keeps them consistently marching forward.

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As you all know, each of the DigiDestined also has a Digimon partner. Each of the Digimon’s evolution is a metaphor for their human counterpart and reflects the hardships that they overcome, individually and together. T.K. is partnered with the adorable, wing-eared, Patamon. During a critical moment, Patamon is able to digivolve into Angemon, the strongest of all the Champion Digimon, and sacrifice himself to defeat Devimon and save the group and the Digital World. This represents T.K.’s own evolution, finally shedding his protective persona and fully realize his own independence and potential. When Angemon is reborn as a Digi Egg, T.K. too is reborn as a significant player in the destiny of both the digital and physical worlds.

His growth in personality across the two original seasons is the constant that keeps the DigiDestined linked. He works with Kari as the bridge between the older generation of DigiDestined and the newbies.

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Although in Digimon Adventure 02 T.K. wasn’t as flashy as his classmate counter parts (seriously, Davis? A fur-lined flame jacket and Tai’s old goggles? Try hard, much?) he still had a subtle sense of style. Much like Z and her Tai goggles, I rocked a pretty sweet T.K. bucket hat... That’s right, bucket hats can be sweet!

T.K. represents growing up, hope for the future, and the responsibility required to keep friends together. This is why Takeru “T.K.” Takaishi is the greatest DigiDestined.

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Evan Chambers is a fellow video game connoisseur (specializing in the Nintendo variety). He occasionally writes other articles and reviews that you can find here, and sometimes he tries to Twitter, at @EvanChambers.