Season 2 starts off as a decidedly mixed bag. The cast might have been shaken up but the first bunch of episodes feels like they are adhering to the formula of the previous season, and the characters suffer as a result. Take the character of Davis for instance. In the episode in which he gets his second character upgrade the character acts in a way that he hasn't before and won’t again for the sake of the moral of the episode. It feels completely forced. One of the other new characters, Cody, suffers from much the same problem. Furthermore, while the Season 1's humour was hit and miss it did provide the show with a goofy charm that is missing here.
Once the show hits its stride these problems do fall away to an extent. To its credit, Season 2 makes up for some of the failings of its predecessor. In Season 1, the villains were never really expanded upon as they could be, and with some exceptions the actual fight with them weren't satisfying. Season 2 makes up for this problem by having fewer villains who benefit from greater individual focus. In Digimon Season 1, the final villain came almost entirely from out of left field and was dispatched as quickly as he had arrived. In Season 2, the villain is one that has been built up by the show prior to his appearance. Unlike Apocalymon, he manages to tie into the events and themes of the show prior to his arrival.
Later episodes of the season even make up for the earlier ones in terms of character development. The friendships forged over the course of the season feel genuine and subject to the highs and lows as regular friendships. The character arc of DigiDestined Ken, in particular, is everything in his later episodes that it wasn't at the beginning of the season. We see him develop in a character over time and learn from his actions in prior episodes through genuine growth rather than through a forced epiphany contrived in a single episode.
Digimon Season 2 both fails and succeeds as a follow up to the original season. The overall quality isn't quite as good, thanks in part to a less humorous vibe. However, its best moments stand out as a marked improvement over what came before. Digimon: Digital Monsters Season 2 stumbles at first but manages to correct its faults in time for the show to be worth watching by the end.
DIGIMON: DIGITAL MONSTERS SEASON 2 / CERT: PG / DIRECTOR & SCREENPLAY: VARIOUS / STARRING: BRIAN DONOVAN, TIFANIE CHRISTUN, PHILECE SAMPLER, DOUG ERHOLTZ, LARA JILL MILLER, DEREK STEPHEN PRINCE / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW