So, what's the boy behind those beautiful blue eyes like?
Well, firstly, as Lunatic Mimi put it on her (now long since defunct) site, "saying Matt is 'sensitive' is like saying that tabasco sauce is 'warm'." I couldn't have put it better myself. Yamato is probably, along with Ken, one of the most complex characters in all of Digimon. You can't exactly put him down as a nice person...'cause he has his nasty streak and short temper. You can't say he's just a jerk either, because he cares deeply, to the point where he can twist and turn and hurt himself. Yamato's feelings are like still waters -- they run deep.
Ishida Yamato was, along with his younger brother Takaishi Takeru, Yagami Taichi and his little sister Yagami Hikari, Tachikawa Mimi, Kido Jyou, Izumi Koushirou and Takenouchi Sora, one of the eight "Chosen Children" or "DigiDestined", who were sucked into the Digital World one summer. Their mission: destroy the evil in the Digital World to prevent it from spilling out into the real world.
Yamato was, undoubtedly, the loner of the group; however, it was his own choice. Harbouring a lot of hurt from the past and a lot of stress from the present, namely, having to suddenly be a full-time big brother to Takeru all of a sudden, he turned inwards and kept to himself as much as possible. He often distanced himself from the other children, chilling out by playing his harmonica.
This was probably what caused Yamato's conflict with hot-headed Taichi, the leader-by-casual-default of the group. Taichi was, in a reckless way, open and friendly, and was rather annoyed when he couldn't find out exactly why Yamato was as closed-off and easiled riled as he was. Naturally, Yamato and Taichi fought, but at the same time, a slow, yet strong friendship was striking up. Through Taichi, Yamato learned that he could open up and trust someone else with his feelings, and through Yamato, Taichi learned to be patient and cool off his head. Yamato learned that he could make friends...as was proven by his crest, the Crest of Friendship.
Yamato found his crest in a well outside Piccolomon's training grounds, the same time Koushirou did. It glowed for the first time when Yamato and Jyou were forced to work at Digitamamon's diner. Jyou risked his life to save Yamato, and Yamato finally understood the depth of his feelings for his friends -- he trusted them, he needed them, and he, too, would risk his life for them. The crest glowed, and Garurumon digivolved into WereGarurumon.
Yamato is a very, very sensitive young man. He's apt to be hurt by things he takes too much to heart; for example, when Takeru escaped from Pinocchimon's mansion unaided, that was a terrible blow for Yamato. Along with Takeru's earlier remark that his big brother didn't need to look after him so much anymore, he could take care of himself, Yamato was hurt, felt useless, and ran away. Being in such a vulnerable emotional state, it was the perfect opportunity for Jyureimon, one of Pinnochimon's henchmen, to manipulate Yamato's mind. He told Yamato that he could never stop feeling like a "third wheel" to the group without defeating his rival, and that his said rival was Taichi. This, of course, was not true, but Yamato started a fight with Taichi, and between their Digimon. The fight was cut short when Hikari was posessed by free-floating data, and the Chosen Children were shown the Digital World's past and the reason for their being called into the Digital World. When they returned, Yamato decided it was best for both him and the group if he went his own way for a while.
Although he seems like a self-centered jerk at times, Yamato is not without compassion and he does care deeply for his friends, and this was proven in the next chain of events. During his time away, he seemed to be moving down a perpetual tunnel of darkness. In all actuality the tunnel was not real, only an illusion constructed of Yamato's negative emotions -- self-doubt, fear, uncertainty, lonliness and so on. However, in the end, Gabumon came to Yamato's rescue once again, assuring him that this wasn't the end of it all, and he was not the terrible person he thought he was. When Yamato finally, REALLY believed those words, the tunnel vanished, leaving boy and 'Mon outside it. He met up with Jyou and Takeru, and finally, the brothers were reunited. Sora was there also, but she had gotten lost in the same pit of negative emotions. Yamato and Jyou helped talk her out of it, and the four friends set off to find Taichi. They did so, and Yamato admitted to Taichi that he was his best friend -- and together the team got ready to whoop Piemon's ass!
In 02, Yamato has done the absolutely unthinkable and grown up :P He's still the same old Yamato -- cool, calm, collected -- but he's a lot more open and relaxed now in other people's company. He's formed a band, Teen-age Wolves, with some school aquaintances and is the bass player and, not surprisingly, lead vocalist. He still plays his harmonica, however -- in "Holy Night, Great Assembly of Digimon!", he plays for Gabumon while they enjoy supper together.
Yamato passes his crest of Friendship on to Motomiya Daisuke in 02, which I find extremely interesting. Daisuke is like Taichi in more ways than one -- hotheaded, determined, works at a million miles an hour. Initially, Yamato and Daisuke did not get on well. Daisuke thought Yamato was a jerk, Yamato thought Daisuke was an immature, disrespectful kid...which probably wasn't far from the truth, but no one's perfect ^_~ However, after working out their few differences, Daisuke and Yamato get on quite well. Interesting, ne?