Yeah, I know, I’ve gushed about Taiki a lot already, but it really bears repeating. See, the Gogglehead is usually my least favorite part of any season’s lineup. I’m not the biggest fan of the hot-blooded hero tropes to begin with, and Digimon is often especially bad about presenting these characters as selfish, idiotic numbskulls rather than the team leaders they’re supposed to be. Taiki won me over immediately for NOT being that He’s a rare Gogglehead who’s actually believable as a competent leader, which is ESPECIALLY important given the whole Army General gimmick of Xros Wars. Yeah, he can still be a numbskull at times, but even then he always comes across as selfless rather than selfish, which just makes him that mush more endearing as a protagonist.
…yet I also feel like Takato is a better character. As much as I like what Xros Wars did with Taiki, he’s still an extremely simplistic, straightforward character. Takato, on the other hand, is much more nuanced and complicated, undergoing a much greater development over the course of the show. If Taiki is the idea embodiment of the Gogglehead, then Takato is the ultimate subversion of all those tropes: meek and shy instead of aggressive and confident, less of a leader and more the linchpin in a team of equals. As long as it’s done WELL, a trope subverted is a lot more interesting than that trope competently played straight, and while it’s a lot harder to pull off, I think Takato absolutely succeeds at that.
…part of me wants to tack on that I don’t dislike Haru from Digimon Universe either, but I still haven’t seen enough of that show to really make a decisive call either way.(This is the part where I include a link to more Conventional Wisdom comics and also beg for donations on Patreon)