We all know about the trainwreck that is the last 02 episode by now: Takenouchi Sora is a fashion designer. Ishida Yamato is an astronaut. They have produced two children through an unconfirmed marriage/divorce.
Digimon Adventure and 02 have been over for some years, now. So this should have given me ample time to get over it all and accept the Sorato ending, right?
Well, partially. I'm no longer angry -- canon doesn't make me angry, canon just makes me say "screw canon" and write/draw whatever I want, anyway. I am, still, however, completely mystified as to why Sorato even exists, especially now that I've had some time to think about it. It still sets off alarm bells in my head.
I do not object to Sorato on shipper's terms. You're talking to a woman who very happily ships Mimato, of all things, and all sorts of other mad stuff. I have no problem with people shipping Sorato nor with Sora herself. I do not believe she's a slut or a whore or a cocktease or any of that other revolting bile that many a Yamato site likes to throw upon her. She's not my favourite character by any stretch of the imagination -- she borders on kitschily sweet in 02, but she doesn't annoy me (in fact, Miyako annoys me more than Sora). I'm not going to belittle or mock anyone who enjoys the pairing. That's just plain bigoted stupidity.
On canon terms, I definitely have a problem with Sorato, because of the way it was executed, because of the mess it made of Sora's character, and because it makes very little sense to me.
Firstly was the way Sorato was "crowbarred into the last few episodes", to quote Clare Ishida from the long-gone Lost Temple of Ishida. Neither Yamato nor Sora seemed to have the slightest romantic interest in each other, or, to be honest, the tightest of friendships, either. Sora was much closer to Taichi than she was to Yamato, and I was not the only person in the world who thought that perhaps there was a little puppy love going on between the two of them (and I don't even ship Taiora). Toei's official website even mentioned that Taichi and Sora's relationship would be something to keep an eye on as the series progressed.
So where exactly did the Sorato come from?
This is where my first beef comes in: the execution of the relationship. There was no lead-up to the Yamato/Sora relationship, no developement, nothing. Even keeping in mind that this is Digimon and not something of a higher animation calibre, it still doesn't quite work. Despite being a children's cartoon, Digimon's shining point was the fact that its character developement was wonderful. So Sorato being as haphazardly thrown in as it was is plain odd. Even in the post-ending drama CDs, Sorato is shoved in with a very awkward sort of placement, like a PS someone is trying to fit into the main body of a letter already written. Yamato's shouted "Sora, I love you!" in Michi E no Armor Shinka is wildly out of character.
A popular whine that lots of shippers had about Mimato, the pairing so beloved of those "stupid dubbies", was that Mimi and Yamato had scarcely any interaction whatsoever. Neither did Sora and Yamato. When a canon pairing starts making less sense than Mimato, something is definitely amiss.
Secondly we have Sora's complete character bypass, which I go into more detail about here. Towards the end of 02, Sora went from being a strong, confident young woman to a demure, girly, "yamatonadeshiko" type -- and this is exascerbated when she is around Yamato.
If Toei hadn't given her character a full 180, would I have been able to see Yamato and Sora together? No. Because even with the 180ness, Sora still becomes someone else entirely around Yamato: like some kind of damsel-in-distress. She is not by nature this way (or so we'd been told up until the tail end of 02). In real life, this would be the a sign of what is to be an unhealthy relationship.
How would prickly Yamato put up with that? He's not the most polite of gentlemen, and he's not one to be gentle with other people's emotions (despite the needing a lot of gentleness when it comes to his own emotions). Sora wouldn't deal with that, too well. Sure, she's not Mimi (although I think 02 Mimi would handle Yamato WAY better than Sora), but she still gets stupid about some things, like any other girl her age does -- see Bokura no War Game! for instance.
Thirdly, and the biggest problem I have with Sorato is the "25 years later" scene. As I touched on here, while it is excruciatingly obvious that Sora's daughter and Yamato's son are definitely from their union, they are not presented together. They are not confirmed as married, or even as a couple -- if they were so, why are they not shown together, as a family, like the Ichijoujis (Ken, Miyako, and their three children) were? This makes no sense whatsoever, unless Toei are insinuating that they are separated/divorced. Considering that Sora's parents are all but separated themselves, and Yamato's parents are divorced, what kind of statement are Toei trying to make? That children who come from broken homes will undoubtedly end up divorced themselves? What rot.
And finally. People are going to hate me for this one.
This is not Toei's fault, but you know what else makes Sorato so unappealing? A certain section of its fans, of course.
Now, I am sure there are plenty of level-headed, pleasant Sorato fans out there, who don't have their heads up their fundamental orifices and superiority complexes to boot. I just wish I knew where you were hiding, because all I ever run into are the militant Sorato Nazis with no sense of humour, and those kinds are ruining it for the rest of you.
Sorato Nazis: yes, your couple is canon. I present this to you: so fucking what? Seriously. This does not make you a better fan than me. It does not make you smarter, more attractive, or better in bed than the rest of us peons who ship Yamato with someone else. No, honestly. It doesn't. It does not make your opinions more valid than anyone else's. It doesn't give you the right to sneer down your nose at someone who doesn't hold the same beliefs as you. It doesn't mean, God forbid, that you "won". It doesn't mean anything except that your couple is canon.
And I am still, ten years later, more than happy to ignore it.