You’ve seen the rest now let us see the best. Yes you knew it was coming how could it not Yamato “Matt” Ishida is without any doubt the Greatest DigiDestined. However unlike the others Matt is oftentimes misunderstood and mischaracterized by many; one can easily cheer for Tai’s exuberance, or Izzy’s intelligence, or T.K.’s compassion and kindness (not to mention rockin’ Digimon) however Matt’s qualities are of the more subtle variety which although not as prominent are the DigiDestineds keys to success.

In many ways Matt doesn’t fit into the rest of the group and is thought of as a loner or as one person (Zarnyx) puts it “too cool for school” however this is not the case. Matt doesn’t choose to stand alone his solitude is forced upon him as the weight he carries is far greater then the other DigiDestined. You see he doesn’t only need to look out for himself he needs to look out for his Brother too, as the other DigiDestined travel and enjoy themselves Matt must keep a watchful eye on a brother he just found again. Matt’s unique place in the group is defined by one of his clearest traits his emotional intelligence and maturity, due to the fact the group is led by an emotional hot head in Tai circumstance forces Matt to take the roll of mediator and at times combatant to effectively cool Tia down for everyone’s betterment.

As Matt comes out of his isolation as the series progresses we see somebody that is far more complex then previously realized. He is deeply caring, protective, and loyal and his greatest weakness is also his greatest strength he cares too much. This often times causes him to take too much weight upon himself which at one pivotal moment of the series forces him into seclusion to understand his own motivations for a period of self reflection and introspection. Indeed Matt is who we all at times wish we were and who when times are tough wish we had next to us. If Matt at times became angry or distressed it was never for rash and pointless reasons it was always because he failed to do what he must. However even in those moments of weakness he always persevered showing the true strength of a hero.


With all this in mind it is no wonder Matt is blessed with the Crest of Friendship despite the fact it was a surprise even to him that he received it. That is because the best of people never know their own worth because like a true friend he puts others before himself never once having a selfish thought. It is these strengths why he is integral to the social cohesion of the team.

However there remains one key reason why he is so important and it clear time after time in Adventure Tai Kamiya. There is no doubt Tai is the leader of the DigiDestined but it must also be said he’s not very good at it. With his hot head he rushes into danger without a second thought often times endangering everyone else in the process (SkullGreymon anyone...). However as the leader many fear to challenge him, this duty falls to Matt. If Tai is fiery emotion Matt is cool logic Ying to Tai’s Yang. Matt exists to put the breaks on bad decisions because of Matt Tai never once went too far to finally end the group with his poorly planned schemes. Some may view this a timidity or inaction but it is not it is caution a skill many lack and who are far worse off for it and a group without caution is often not a group for long.


Matt is the best because he is stronger then everyone else not physically (although that is a toss up) but emotionally because he had to be. Matt played the role nobody wanted to play, he was the adult because circumstances forced him to become it. It is no coincidence the MOMENT Kari was introduced Tai quickly started acting more like Matt because for the first time he had the same weight on his shoulders. It is easy to be a leader, a hacker, a child because they didn’t have the weight of responsibility. Matt did, but even through all the turmoil and challenges from Devimon all the way to Piedmon Matt continued on keeping people together. Matt’s gift wasn’t courage, kindness, or intelligence it was friendship the one thing which NOBODY alive can live without. You may dislike his at times cocky attitude or overbearing personality but at the end of the day you know without people like Matt we cannot function.

Matt was the glue that held the DigiDestined together because he never sought glory even though it often found him, he never wished for responsibility but he gladly took it on, really his only wish was to protect his brother and his friends and in the end he succeeded. Matt is a selfless hero putting aside personal ambition for the greater good that is why Yamato “Matt” Ishida is the greatest DigiDestined.


You’re reading TAY, Kotaku’s community-run blog. TAY is written by and for Kotaku readers like you. We write about games, art, culture and everything in between. Want to write with us? Check out our tutorial here and join in. Or follow us on Twitter @KoTAYku.