A new week, a fresh badge of Animini! We take it from the top and start again with Digimon Adventure. Where last week’s episode ended up to be one of the weaker episodes in the series, this episode is arguably it’s counterpart.. with some very interesting choices and development. I still stand by my point that a series as Digimon doesn’t have to be nearly as good as it is! Yet this show ends up constantly surprising me!
Last episode we saw the group encounter the black Miasma. It is in the way of the direct path of the stronghold the group is going for. Since the group HAS to make it to that location they split up to make sure at least one group will most certainly reach it’s destination. For this random names have been drawn. Tai-chi leads group one followed by Koshiro and Mimi and Yamato leads the second group with Joe and Sora tagging along. Now I am not sure how random this is as both groups have .. A flyer, a geek, a girl, and a powerhouse… but sure! It will be interesting to see Yamato and Sora interact. This weeks episode focusses on the adventures of Yamato’s group…(who would have expected it with that episode title) .. the group has to cross a Desert…. They quickly find out small ADORABLE little digimon are being attacked by dragonfly digimon that can summon dust devils.. but also a creature that is lurking beneath the sand. While the Dragonfly’s get killed by whatever is beneath the sand the group realises that this monster.. might have the strength of an ultimate.
Taking shelter after being mostly outclassed the group discovers that more Digmon here are refugees from the evil creature that is known as Scorpiomon Apparently they attempted to flee towards a digmon called Leomon.. who is known as a resistance fighter taking up the fight against those responsible for the black Miasma.. and with that we get a huge reference and potentially later story point! I love Leomon! Sora and even Joe want to escort these little guys to safety but Yamato argues they are dead weight and will slow them down too much for their journey. When Sora insists on saving them he leaves the group! Gabumon tells him he should reveal his secret to the group.. but Yamato keeps on walking. Sora and Joe end up in a fight with Scorpiomon and end up on the losing side, just to be saved in the last moment by Garurumon. Seeing his Digimon in trouble.. and Gabumon being all Yamato says he needs.. makes him think of all the bonds that have strengthened him.. even those of his allies. He realises the power in friendship and this allows us to see WereGarurumon for the first time as the second chosen one gets his ultimate. The fight is won and Yamato reveals he used the group as bait and never planned to abandon his friends. He then tells the group of his secret.. he has a brother named Takeru (TK) who is his reason for fighting.
Where to Start?! This episode was amazing! Mimi has an adorable moment with Palmon, when it is revealed that Mimi can’t climb once again showing this show goes out of his way to diversify the group. They can’t all do the same thing. The idea to pair her up with Koshiro and Taichi to which in the original story she has the “least” connection is also quite interesting. Seeing Sora and Yamato travel together is interesting for a whole other reason!
It also makes sense to let Taichi go for the shorter ..but more uncertain route while letting Yamato have the longer but more controllable route. The way Yamato uses the group as resources yet cares makes his crest of friendship (even though they do not need to collect the item) so much more interesting and earned this time. The way Gabumon is the primary instigator and the group in general.. more so then his relation to Taichi .. works! Sora having the crest of love makes her a perfect defender of the innocent and Joe wanting to be a doctor not being able to turn out these creatures in need of help and overcoming his fear yet again shows amazing commitment to these characters. Everyone is so much more fleshed out and this episode gives everyone a small moment yet again.. though pushing Taichi a bit aside.. which is perfect because the show needed that.
The music and the cinematography of this episode is amazing as well. The Ultimate battle theme was amazing and with the choreography of the battle added it really lifted the excitement of this episode. The show is being quite creative with how wounds work on digital characters as well. While not new to the series it is really used well here! I was also really happy to see Bearmon/Kumamon .. one of the available partners Digimon from Digimon World 3 and while I usually go with Kotemon in that game, I was very happy to see him acknowledged. The show isn’t afraid to dig into the expanded library of the current Digimon world! The mention of Leomon is great as well! I look forward to seeing more about that! The show does something quite amazing in terms of visual references and other little easter eggs and snippets of knowledge and this episode had some really good ones. I think it really showcases a great love for the franchise that at times is palpable and here it most certainly is. If the makers had a Biyomon I am sure it would be a Garudamon already!
So here I am fangirling about Digimon a lot, do I have any negatives? Well I guess I would have liked to seen a stock footage digivolution of anyone but Gabumon or Agumon.. but it doesn’t matter THAT much, that Digivolution animation still is really amazing and the way the show manages to make it feel hype and much more choreographed in the battles.. rather than the more stand alone digivolutions of the original. Still there is some favouritism here and once again it shows it’s colours. Now this is a Gabumon focussed episode so this is no real gripe.. but I have to mention at least something. Another thing is why Takeru is hidden in the shadows. I know some people haven’t seen him yet.. but we only see a Silhouette when his brother remembers him.. which just feels odd.. you know what your brother looks like.. most of us watching probably will know as well.
Another small gripe I have is how these new Digivices work. Besides evolving your Digimon they can also power it up, which I think is a neat feature. Yet the animation for powering it up also uses this glowing ring in a similar fashion that Super-Evolution works. In this episode Birdramon gets a filled ring and it results in her getting a super powerful attack.. a Moba player would call it an “ultimate” I would have liked to see it a bit more visually distinguishable.. The digivice has several segments of “led” lights that light up in subsequent order and if they move fast enough and all are lit at the same time.. stuff happens. Whatever the stuff is. I would have loved it if digivolution used that pattern while powered attacks had a single segment glow up in increasing intensity.. or several.. but at least something that conveys a difference so we can get what is coming next. That would make this show even better!
So it should be quite clear that with negatives like those that this episode will get a high grade. I oftenly found myself leaning into the screen in excitement! This show captures that childhood spirit but at such a high pace that almost every episode feels rewarding and this Episode packs more punch that most of the previous episodes and I am not even that much of a Yamato person. I bet you all can guess my favourite character quite easily! Based on the cliffhanger this week I might be in for a treat next week! So if I wasn’t exicted enough this episode also gave me next week to look toward too a perfect ending for a nearly perfect 20 minutes.
Thus it should come as know surprise that this one will get the highest grade in my flavour meter. While not flawless it comes darn close, and while I would love to see an episode of peace and calm.. it just isn’t that type of show. It is something I disliked in the past but if the action is done like THIS and they keep making smart choises I certainly will not mind.