Tuesday, October 3, 2017

REVIEW: Digimon Adventure tri. Chapter 5 "Symbiosis"

Digimon Adventure tri. has been a nostalgic trip through the Digital World so far, and it’s almost over. After the hilarious and action-packed Chapter 4, the teenaged Digi-Destined are back for their fifth and penultimate adventure. Read on to see my spoilerific review of Chapter 5, “Symbiosis.”

So... Tai died. That’s a thing that happened. Daigo died too but no one seemed to notice that. Also, there is a 100% chance that they’ll come back to life, by that I mean they just fell down a ravine and will probably wake up there in the next one but damn. I am not going to lie, that was a million percent unexpected. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

I was honestly kinda bored throughout most of this one. It focused a lot on Meiko, which was to be expected based on the poster. The fandom has been split on Meiko and Meicoomon and I firmly land in the “Who cares about these two? Are they the main plot? Where is this going? Why are they the focus of the entire story? Don’t we already have sixteen other main characters we could focus on? Who cares about these two?!” camp. The majority of this film felt like a bunch of scenes that were orchestrated specifically to give flashbacks to their story. Even in the final (and only) battle scene, once everyone digivolves we instantly get a flashback. Some of the flashbacks are from earlier chapters, some are reused multiple times in this chapter alone. In the climax, Meiko finally gives up and tries getting the others to just kill Meicoomon. They’re all “But she’s your partner” and I’m like, “Do it!”

So chapter 5 took us back to the anime angst land from chapter 3 and I was having a hard time focusing on what was happening which was fine since almost nothing happened in moving the plot forward. Did I mention there were entire scenes about Meiko and Meicoomon? I swear they had the same conversations like two scenes in a row. Nothing fun or exciting happens until the last twenty minutes, but those last twenty minutes were so cool I don’t even care. Even when it does cut away it’s usually too Himekawa who is in her own angst land with a giant laser rifle that turns into a pistol between scenes.

I guess the plot did technically move forward as we learn that Homeostasis isn’t exactly the Good God to Ygdrassil’s Bad God. Tai himself even points out how confusing the situation is. The Digi-Destined have realized that both sides have been playing them all along.

Some fun tidbits for fanservice’s sake: Daigo’s partner was a Bearmon. Hell yeah, Bearmon! We see the Dark Ocean full of the corrupted Scubamon! There’s a 7-way split screen digivolution to Champion, followed by an 8-way Ultimate digivivolution. And they’re not even and nicely laid out like a morphing sequence in Power Rangers Dino Charge, it’s more like cracked glass which was cool. And then we got to see ALL of the Megas and finally got sequences for WarGreymon and MetalGarurumon! There is also a really long and totally pointless bit where they all tell ghost stories. But it was very clear that Matt is afraid of ghosts, so that’s cute I guess?

As we approach the final chapter, I really do appreciate how we see Meicoomon’s corruption spreading across the world. We always hear how “both worlds are in danger” all the time but that is never really clear. But here we get news reports of Digimon mass hysteria all over the world and the risk of nuclear meltdown is brought up. I’m not even sure what Myotismon’s goal was, so seeing the negative effects a villain is having on the real world so perfectly laid out is awesome.

Now that ending. I was really confused why Hikari, who was on the poster, wasn’t getting any kind of focus at all. She had some speeches here and there but so did pretty much everyone else. The poster also depicts a dark version of Ophanimon, one possible mega form of Gatomon. So we knew she was going to have some kind of “dark side” moment. I honestly thought they were just trolling us. We got to a point where there were like less than ten minutes left and Angewoman got knocked all the way back to Nyaromon. There was no way they could justify something turning her dark that late in the game. And then her brother died.

Tai sacrificed himself, ordering Omegamon to protect Matt and the uninteresting plot device girl as the ground beneath them fell apart. By the way, where are they? They jumped through a distortion and those were all over the Digital World and the Real World. Could this be somewhere on the Continent of Server? Or like… Nevada? Anyway, Tai falls down a pit and takes Daigo with him. Everyone freaks out and Hikari goes catatonic. Purple Digi-Code swirls all over her body like Dark Willow and then little baby Nyaromon passes out and turns into dark side Ophanimon who then forcefully fuses with Meicoomon to turn into a giant Cthulhu Boob Monster. Looks like this is our final battle for Chapter 6. After Cthulhu Boob Monster leaves, Meiko seems to make a temporary partnership with Koromon since Tai is totally dead forever, and Matt gives a whirling speech about fight now cry later. And then he puts on the goggles.

If you’re a fan of Meiko, Meicoomon, flashbacks, and main characters dying, you’re going to love this movie. We spend a bit too much time in angst land and some of the comedy seemed out of place. But that final sequence was so amazing I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. I really, really wish Tai would stay dead for at least half of the next chapter, but knowing the next one is supposed to be the last makes me not want to have him absent for too much of it. There are so many new questions popping up and of course plenty that have been with us since the beginning. What will become of Himekawa? Who exactly are the bad guys? And where the actual hell are the Zero Two kids?!


Let me know what you thought of Digimon Adventure tri. Chapter 5 "Symbiosis" in the comments below!