Mitsuo Yamaki (山木 満雄 Yamaki Mitsuo?) is a major secondary character in the Digimon Tamers storyline. He figures within the earlier part of the series as a troubled anti-heroic vigilante who is defeated in his plans by the very forces and tools which he used in his mission to rid the human world of the Digimon. He then becomes a valuable ally of the Tamers in their efforts to save both the Digital World and the Human World from the destruction committed by the D-Reaper.
While his sinister, black-suited exterior seems to present Mitsuo Yamaki as little more than a basic G-man, his ever-present shades hide the mind of an electronics genius. Yamaki was responsible for designing the Hypnos system, which keeps a constant watch over the Earth’s electronic communications network, secretly monitoring and recording information and acts as section chief to the organization named for his creation. Yamaki apparently also worked on other government projects before. When Hypnos became aware of Digimon existing autonomously within the network, protocols were immediately established to deal with these Wild Ones, as they were code-named, as they began to Bio-Emerge into the Real World. Yamaki, a stiff man of few outward emotions, grew to hate the creatures, viewing them embodiments of chaos and disorder, a danger to humanity, as well as mere faulty programs. He has been shown when frustrated to possess a tremendous but well controlled temper that makes him appear somewhat unhinged when his rage begins to show. At nearly all times, Yamaki maintained a very calm persona, rarely displaying any emotion.
Later on, he realizes that his attempts to exterminate the Digimon have only made the Real World more vulnerable, and grows to accept that Takato's approach is a more successful method, as some Digimon are peaceful. He is also able to maintain faith in the Tamers even when things got tough during Megidramon's rampage and the D-Reaper crisis. He usually defers to Takato, recognizing him as the Tamers' de facto leader, and even begins showing concern for the children's safety.
When the Wild One known as Guilmon bio-emerged, Yamaki instructed a tracer to be kept on him, to see what he would do. The following day, after Guilmon had battled Renamon in Shinjuku Park, Yamaki headed up the team that examined the battlefield and found a Modify Card lying on the ground.
Yamaki and his Hypnos underlings continued to observe the Bio-Emergence of other Wild Ones, only to have the Tamers and their Digimon defeat them. While on another field mission, Yamaki was called back to headquarters by Tally at the request of his superior, the Chief Cabinet Secretary, to fully explain the nature of Hypnos. The secretary made it clear that Hypnos was to remain a secret from the public and that all Digimon connection to the Real World was to be eliminated. That night, when Guilmon slipped into a warp between Earth and the Digital World, Hypnos picked up the signal from the tunnel under the park and Yamaki, in direct defiance of orders from above, uploaded his Yuggoth deletion program into the Hypnos system and had Riley target the tunnel with it. The Tamers just managed to rescue Guilmon before the Yuggoth struck.
When a Devidramon Bio-Emerged and flew over the city in clear view of the populace, Yamaki viewed the Digimon’s audacity as a personal insult. There was little action that could be taken, however, but when Growlmon destroyed Devidramon, Yamaki charged Riley with inventing a cover story for the incident.
Hypnos was unable to stop IceDevimon from bio-emerging but seemed to have more luck with Musyamon, who was apparently destroyed by Yuggoth. It was not to be, however – Musyamon’s data survived and his voice was heard in Hypnos headquarters, declaring his desire for revenge. He reappeared the following day and destroyed Yuggoth when it attempted to target him. Yamaki headed for the Shinjuku Guard Rail, the site of Musyamon's bio-emergence. He observed the battle from afar as Takato, Henry and their Digimon defeated Musyamon. Yamaki was subsequently able to identify the two boys by name and tracked them down to deliver a warning – stop playing their dangerous game. Jeri's arrival distracted the boys and Yamaki departed, only to have Henry pursue him but, unsurprisingly, the boy failed to catch him. That evening, he observed the Tamers' battle with Harpymon and decided that it was time to end things.
Yamaki confronted Takato face-to-face once more as he and another team of Hypnos operatives captured a DarkLizardmon that Takato and Guilmon had just defeated. During the examination of DarkLizardmon, Yamaki pushed the scientists to increase the intensity of the scan, destroying DarkLizardmon’s form and then instructed them to delete her remaining data. In a subsequent video conference with the government operatives above him, Yamaki persuaded them to allow him to activate his Juggernaut program (Shaggai), which tore open a vortex between the Real World and the Digital World and began pulling Digimon through it, returning them to where they came from. Yamaki and Takato faced off once more but Yamaki simply walked away from the boy... only to be informed that an anomaly had infiltrated the Juggernaut, allowing something to come through from the other side. That "something" was Mihiramon, the tiger Deva, whose appearance on Earth tested Yamaki’s sanity, as he took out his frustrations on Henry, throttling him – only to deem him not worth it. Staggering away, Yamaki returned a short time later, having organised a military strike. Attack choppers opened fire on Mihiramon atop the Hypnos towers, to no effect, but then, Growlmon matrix digivolved to WarGrowlmon and destroyed Mihiramon, much to Yamaki's surprise, forcing him to realize that the kids viewed the situation as more than just a game.
Yamaki was, unfortunately, powerless to stop further Devas using the Juggernaut to enter the Real World. He took action by reuniting the Monster Makers, the original programming team that created Digimon, including Henry's father, Janyu, in order to learn more about Digimon and, in doing so, how to destroy them. Prior to this reunion, the horse Deva, Indramon, bio-emerged and Yamaki attempted to stop him with an underpowered Juggernaut activation. It failed, but Indramon decided it was time to leave. Subsequently, a strange binary code communication found its way through the Hypnos computers – the Devas communicating with each other – and Yamaki laughed at the simplicity of it. The Monster Makers were then brought together, only to have the meeting coincide with Indramon's reappearance. Yamaki took the chance to explain the mechanics of Digimon Bio-Emergence to Janyu but military strikes on the creature proved fruitless, meaning it was once again WarGrowlmon who stepped up to destroy the Deva.
When the gargantuan pig Deva, Vikaralamon, bio-emerged in Shinjuku, Yamaki took it personally – such a massive scale event couldn’t be hidden from the public and it was his responsibility to stop it. The Juggernaut program was once again activated, at full power. Despite the pleas of Janyu, Vikaralamon – and the Tamers' Digimon – were caught in its power. However, the monkey Deva, Makuramon, chose that moment to reveal himself, using the binary code language to communicate directly with Hypnos and warn them that they were getting in his way. He instigated an implosion that crashed the Juggernaut data stream and destroyed a substantial portion of the towers. In a fit of frustration, Yamaki attempted to force some of the technicians to stay but no one in their right mind would listen to him and everyone evacuated. Out of loyalty, as well as would later be revealed love, Riley stayed by him but when he realized there was nothing that could be done, he silently told her to leave. Yamaki remained in the building as it was consumed by an explosion. Vikarlamon was ultimately destroyed by WarGrowlmon's Atomic Blaster attack with help from Takato lending his strength to him.
Yamaki survived the attack but for him, the outcome was perhaps worse than death—the Digimon had apparently won and he was fired. Wallowing in self-pity – and cigarettes – Yamaki was snapped out of his funk by Riley, who convinced him that there was still some good he could do. The Tamers had planned to enter the Digital World to rescue Calumon from Makuramon's clutches (and by extension Zhuqiaomon, whom the Tamers merely knew as a sovereign(English)/god(Japanese) to the Digimon) and Yamaki gave them a comm device before they left so they could stay in contact with him. He had changed sides to join the Tamers because he realized they had been able to do what he couldn't and he could do some good by helping them out in their quest. He even mentions to Takato how much he envies him (Japanese).
Unfortunately, the Tamers soon discovered that the device didn't work in the Digital World – except during a storm created by the hasty re-activation of the unstable Hypnos and Juggernaut system by the Head of National Security. Hoping to use the Juggernaut system to finish the job that Yamaki had started, they reactivated the digital weapon and it began to wreak havoc once again on both the Real and Digital Worlds. With the Juggernaut Core still unstable after the attack on Hypnos HQ by Makuramon the system ran out of control and put the Tamers in the Digital World in grave danger. The Chief Cabinet Secretary himself, opposed the move. When the system began to run out of control, Yamaki and Riley were called in to put things to rights. They quickly showed up to stop the system before any serious damage could be done. Yamaki—and by proxy, his team—were fully reinstated after saving everyone and shutting down the Juggernaut again. With his government privileges restored, he and the Hypnos were free to use all their resources to help keep track of and aid the Tamers in the Digital World. Subsequently, Yamaki called the Monster Makers and all the kids' families together to explain the situation to them. During the meeting, he received another message from Takato and Henry.
Not long after, when Janyu took Suzie to play in the park, Yamaki met with him there and they discussed the history of the Digimon project – but were powerless to stop Suzie from being pulled into the Digital World, where she was reunited with her big brother and the other Tamers, as well as meeting her very own partner. Yamaki even theorised that the reason she was choosen to go to the Digital World at all, was because she had a child's power of belief.
Events in the Digital World proceeded apace, as the Tamers battled Beelzemon and Zhuqiaomon, lost Leomon and discovered Biomerge. Meanwhile, on Earth, Yamaki made all of Hypnos's facilities available to the Monster Makers to construct an "ark" that would bring the Tamers home. Guided by Yamaki via the comm device, Takato led the Tamers back to the surface layer of the Digital World and onto the ark. An attack by the deadly D-Reaper on the Hypnos central processor almost derailed the rescue attempt but the Monster Makers were able to harness the processing power of computers all over the planet to make it work. Yamaki was so impressed by their sheer skill and ability that he even became calm enough to set down his lighter (something he was not normally able to do). The ark materialised in Shinjuku Park and the Tamers with it.
The fighting was not over. The D-Reaper had pursued the Tamers back to Earth via Hypnos and engulfed a large portion of Shinjuku in its mass. Yamaki, Riley, Tally and the Monster Makers were forced out of the Hypnos towers and had to operate out of one of the organization's vans. Later, they established a temporary base in the Tokyo Opera Tower and Yamaki, Riley and Tally went to the Matsuki bakery to meet with the Tamers and then watch as they battled one of the D-Reaper's Pendulum Feet Agents.
As everyone made their own plans for dealing with the situation, Yamaki was offered a moment to reflect on his actions. Riley realised that he was blaming himself for everything that had happened. She tried to console him, telling him that he was just the first man who had tried to control the network – the uncontrollable. Yamaki laughed, telling her he had no intention of being the first in a line of fools. During a subsequent battle between the Tamers and more of the D-Reaper's Agents, Yamaki was shocked to receive a message on his comm device from the ark, asking for instructions – the Digimon core code used to create it had made it sentient. It now resided in the Digital World, low on power. Yamaki turned to Daisy for her help in establishing a connection with the ark. She succeeded, redesigning it into Grani. Later, when another battle broke out, Riley was able to hack into the D-Reaper’s signal and utilize its ability to view through layers of data, revealing to everyone that the Tamers had actually merged with their Digimon. Yamaki was overcome with shock at the revelation and blamed himself for allowing the conflict to reach this point. He quickly regained his composure, however. He hit upon the idea of using a satellite to directly communicate with Takato and direct him to use Grani’s Yuggoth Blaster on the D-Reaper.
The end result of the battle was that the D-Reaper evolved into the Mother D-Reaper, forcing everyone to retreat to the Tsukuba Communications Research Centre. There, Yamaki co-ordinated Operation: Doodlebug, the final plan to defeat the D-Reaper. When the Tamers returned to Shinjuku to face off one last time with the D-Reaper, Yamaki, Janyu and Dolphin directed Henry to activate the Juggernaut within the D-Reaper’s portal between the Real World and the Digital World and to reverse the flow of the vortex, pulling in the D-Reaper and reverting it to it’s original harmless form – but Yamaki was forced to conceal the truth, that the Juggernaut would also devolve the Tamers’ Digimon to their own destruction. In a final voiceover he commented that perhaps humans and the D-Reaper were not as different as we liked to believe, viewing the D-Reaper simply as a "misguided program that thought it was doing the right thing", but since the D-Reaper was defeated by humans and Digimon coming together perhaps there was hope for humanity.
Some time later, as Takato reflected over the events that followed the D-Reaper’s defeat, Yamaki and Riley were shown being served in the Matsuki bakery.
Some months later, when Locomon made his disruptive appearance in Tokyo, Yamaki quickly took control of the situation. Commandeering control of the railway lines for the city and co-ordinating with Riley and Talley back at Hypnos HQ, he was able to manipulate tracks and points to keep Locomon clear of occupied lines and steer him towards Ichigaya station, in hopes of sending him back to the Digital World through a warp that had opened there. Unfortunately, that was precisely where Locomon wanted to go, since Parasimon, a spider-like Digimon controlling him, used the warp to summon a massive swarm of his kind to Earth.
- The UK’s official Digimon comic (Panini) briefly delved into Yamaki's history at one point, revealing that his father was a strict disciplinarian, who imparted to Yamaki his desire for order and control, which is what made Yamaki the man he is today – driving him to create the Hypnos program to monitor the actions of people all across the world and keep them in check and explaining his hatred of Digimon, which he views as disruptions to the natural order. However, while the UK comics are officially sanctioned, their story content is not approved by any Japanese creators, so this information does not strictly apply to the anime.
Notes and references
|Main characters:||Takato Matsuki | Henry Wong | Rika Nonaka | Ryo Akiyama | Jeri Katou | Kazu Shioda | Kenta Kitagawa | Suzie Wong | Ai and Mako|
|Digimon:||Guilmon and Grani | Terriermon | Renamon | Cyberdramon | Leomon | Guardromon | MarineAngemon | Lopmon | Impmon and Behemoth | Calumon|
|Allies:||Omnimon | Mitsuo Yamaki | Monster Makers | Digimon Sovereigns | DigiGnomes | Alice McCoy and Dobermon | Minami Uehara and Seasarmon | Takehito Uehara|
|Villains:||Hypnos | Monster Makers | Deva | Mephistomon | D-Reaper | Locomon and Parasimon | Millenniummon|
|Relationships:||Takato Matsuki | Henry Wong | Rika Nonaka | Jeri Katou | Ryo Akiyama | Kazu Shioda | Kenta Kitagawa | Suzie Wong|
|Other media:||Battle of Adventurers | Runaway Locomon | Digimon Tamers 1984 | Message in the Packet | Brave Tamer | Digimon Medley | Digimon Battle Spirit / Ver. 1.5 | Digimon Rumble Arena | Digimon Adventure|
|See also:||Digimon | Digital World | D-Power | Digi-Modify | Digital field | List of episodes|