Sunday, April 19, 2020

REVIEW: Digimon Adventure: Ep. 3

Last week's episode of the Digimon Adventure reboot was... controversial. A sudden character reveal coming out of nowhere surprised fans and caused a schism in the fandom the likes of which I have never seen before. Okay, that's an overexaggeration. Anyway, let's get to the review of this week's episode: And to the Digital World.

After the big hype appearance of Omegamon at the end of last week's episode, this episode was mostly boring. Izzy was like, "Who is that?" and then Omegamon fought Algomon... and then the fight was over. Algomon didn't multiply or keep changing the password on the missile. People from around the world don't join in to help. There's no doomsday clock.

They just fight. Again: Digimon is not about battles, so when there's a single fight between two underdeveloped characters that isn't even interrupted by dialogue - the whole thing just kinda happens before your eyes. Remember this isn't even the same Algomon who attacked the trains.

I guess it's neat that defeating the enemy doesn't stop the missile. Instead, Omegamon has to do some nonsense to stop it. But when I say nonsense, I mean nonsense. In previous versions of this story, the doomsday object was either disarmed or rerouted to a safe distance. Here, they somehow turn it around so that it flies back into space and explodes in the lower atmosphere. Fun fact: that's not how missiles work.

After the missile crises is dealt with, Tai returns to the real world and reunites with Izzy. The U.S. military releases a statement about the missile and then everyone moves on and almost instantly forgets about it. This certainly captures the present day Internet's tendency to move on quickly.

There's a brief conversation between Matt and TK. We don't actually see it and can assume it's a phonecall - but since this is 2020 I kinda wanted to see a skype call. This scene confirms the theory that Matt doesn't live in Tokyo like before - instead, he appears to live out in the country.

Then: summer camp. Yay! After a brief cameo by the always wonderful Joe, Tai introduces Izzy to Sora. Here it's confirmed that, as with the original series, Tai and Sora are childhood friends and in the same class. I'm not the biggest Sora fan, but I always liked the dynamic these two shared so I'm glad it's one of the things that's carried over.

Then... summer camp ends? I guess? The campground is mostly made up of tents so it can't be a day camp, right? Did we just go there to meet Sora and then skip 4 weeks? 

Back home, Izzy says something about the Net and apparently Tokyo is going to experience a city-wise blackout. Something like that would be cataclysmic in 2020, so naturally Tai jumps to action... and heads to the train station where Izzy is for some reason.

On the way to adventure, Tai passes Sora who follows him and as he meets up with Izzy and jumps into the Digital World. Tai reunites with Agumon, gets a glimpse of the larger world of Digimon, and then the episode ends.

While I found the whole Omegamon sequence completely boring, the rest of the episode was only a somewhat boring. I love the relationship between Tai and Izzy, but their discussions about the Net felt repetitive. Izzy said something techy, Tai asks him to ELI5, then Izzy obliges. This happens almost every time Izzy's on screen.

The rest of the episode perked up, but it was mostly scenes that tease other characters. I clapped when Joe appeared, but by the time I was done clapping he was gone. It does the job of getting me excited to watch more, but the main content of the episode didn't do much for me.

A few quick things you may have missed:
  1. A camp visor Sora wears has the same butterfly emblem as her shirt. We can assume that the butterfly is the logo for their summer camp. Cool.
  2. Izzy's messaging icon is a pineapple, a reference to his old laptops. Double cool.
  3. The lights that go to the Digital World at the end are in two groups of three. Blue, green, and grey (Matt, Mimi, and Joe) and then orange, pink, and purple (Tai, Sora, Izzy).
  4. At the very end, a pair of Koromon flap their ears and fly away...

Digimon Adventure: is available on Crunchyroll. You can find the first episode here. Crunchyroll Premium subscribers have access to new episodes ad-free and in HD the same day they air in Japan for. Without a subscription you'll only have to wait a week for new episodes and watch them with ads and in SD. Premium subscriptions are about $8 a month.