Jou is one of the most under appreciated characters in Digimon.
He is steady,
responsible, and reliable, traits that are necessary to survive in the Digital World.
Jou is the youngest of three brothers, Shin being the oldest, Shuu being the middle. Just to clear
up any confusion, Shin is the shorter one, with rounder face and glasses, while Shuu is the taller
one, with more oval glasses. Yes, Shin is the oldest even though he might be the shortest Kido brother.
Jou also (apparently, as neither are actually shown,) has a mother and a father. Nothing is
mentioned about Jou's mother, so I'll just make my own assumptions about her.
Jou's father, on the other hand, we know something about. He is the one pushing Jou to become
a doctor, and the one forcing the structured, ordered life on Jou. From this, I can make
some assumptions about the rest of his character. Mainly, he's a hardass that has every
aspect of Jou's life planned out for him. Very structured, very rigid, very ordered; everything
must go according to plan. However, I do believe that there's lots of love in the family,
even though there's a whole lot of pushing, too.
I'll say this right now: I'm so much like Jou it's not even funny.
Jou is very responsible, always doing whatever it is that needs to be done. This takes two forms,
as he not only does what he himself thinks needs to be done, but he also does whatever someone
else tells him needs to be done. In that sense, Jou can be considered a "yes man," doing whatever
he is told to do. In that regards, Jou is also a rule follower, never doing something that might
be considered wrong, always going by the book, always keeping it safe. Now, contrary to all this,
I do believe that Jou will stand up and do what he believes to be truly right, even if that means
breaking a rule or disobeying what he was told to do. Of course, that usually doesn't happen,
as he usually just sticks to the status quo, but I do think he's capable of it.
Going along the lines of responsibility, Jou is prepared for just about
anything. Again this takes two
forms, as he not only becomes the atypical boy scout, thinking ahead and planning for everything,
but also that means he at least thinks about what the worst case scenario is, if not expect it. This
leads to his sometimes overly pessimistic nature, and also his excessive worrying.
Going deeper, I think the main reason explaining his pessimism and worrying
is that his
self-confidence is surprisingly low. He oftentimes doesn't think he can meet the expectations
that's been placed on him, that he won't be able to do what people tell him to do. Ultimately,
this most likely derives from having low self-esteem. He thinks that no matter how hard he
tries, it just won't be good enough.
The reason why Jou studies so much is not because he likes studying,
but because he feels he
has too in order to meet the expectations of his father. Even though he is fairly smart,
he knows that he must study to get the very high grades his father expects of him.
The feeling of having to do what what is required is behind just about
Jou does, from having a clean room, to making sure everyone is safe. He feels
that he is the one who has to do these things. He is the one responsible.
Is it any wonder why he received the crest of Seijitsu?
Jou in Season 1
Jou doesn't have the best role in season 1. He spends a lot of the time worrying or complaining
about this and that, and is generally fairly pessimistic. (And just to make this clear, in the
Japanese version, Jou never complains about having any allergies.) He mainly does this because
he feels responsible for everyone's safety, arguing that he's the oldest. I will say this,
however, that if it weren't for Jou's thinking ahead and sense of responsibility, the Chosen
Children would've never lasted that long in the Digital World. ^^
Also, Jou is very much part of the supportive cast, so he just doesn't
have very much screen
time devoted to him. Jou, along with Koushirou, are the two male supporting cast members,
but, really, Jou's more twards the third rung when it comes to actual character development.
Which means we don't even get to see his parents.
Jou in Season 2
The problem with Jou in season 2 is that he's hardly ever around. This is primarily due to the fact
that he is in the honor roll at his private school and goes to a cram school on top of that, thus he
really doesn't have the time to hang around like Koushirou or Taichi does. With all that
schoolwork, it's a wonder that we get to see Jou at all.
The changes in Jou between 01 and 02 are obviously one of the greatest
among all the older Chosen
Children. First off, he grew out his hair and became quite the drool worthy bishonen.
More importantly, his self confidence, as well as his self esteem, has gone up, thus he doesn't
worry as much as he used to. He also does things more for himself, which also raises his
self confidence, as he doesn't pressure himself so much by trying too hard to meet other
people's expectations. However, make no mistake about it, Jou's life is still ruled by Seijitsu.
In the dubbed version of Digimon, Joe keeps the crest of Reliability. In the Japanese version,
Jou is the keeper of the crest of Seijitsu. The thing is, though, seijitsu can be translated
to mean several different, albeit related, things. And no, not one of them directly translates
into reliability. Despite that, Reliability is still a good word for Joe's crest. Let me explain.
To start off, there is no real direct translation of seijitsu.
Meaning, there really isn't a word
for it in the English language. Thus, that's why we have several translations of it, including faithful,
sincere, truthful, fidelity, integrity, etc. As you can see, there really is no word in the English
language that can directly express what seijitsu means. But that's okay.
The reason none of that matters is because the best English word for
Joe's crest is not the "direct"
translation of the Japanese crest, but rather, reliability. To explain this, let us look at the incident
that made Joe's crest react, as that is when the trait of the crest is being demonstrated most by
the holder, regardless of what the crest is. In Joe's case, it's when he rescued T.K. from drowning
in Tokyo Harbor, even though doing so greatly put his own life at risk. This is a fairly obvious
example showing just how much Joe feels responsible to those under his care. I think the long winded
version of Joe's crest is doing things out of a sense of duty, or to put it another way, doing
things because one feels they have to. In other words, people can rely on Joe to do whatever
needs to be done. Thus, Joe's crest really is best described in English as Reliability.