It might be in a slightly unexpected state, but Digimon is back! The original series getting it’s third season over a decade since the second season/series aired back in the early 2000s. There is a lot of lead up one has to discuss before even getting to this first ‘episode’ itself. So feel free to skip past the images below to the next section if this bores you. First technically this is the first movie of 6 that will basically be the third season for the original series. But those movies are broken up into 4 episodes. So in the end the third season will basically be a 2 cour show. That is a bit short for Digimon standards which over the years have often hit the 50 episode mark. However, that is just the realities of the day. Not even the new Gundam series is going to have 50 episodes and that franchise almost always does.
The other odd thing is just how this show came to be. Honestly I lost a lot of hype leading into this episode based solely on how Toei handled it. First it was going to be a full TV series aired last spring/summer, then it was turned into movies of some kind of length. Not to mention how they revealed info for this (an online click campaign where they artificially raised the amount of page hits needed before an ‘egg’ would hatch revealing info) just bothered me with how they wouldn’t reward excitement but punish it with adding the hits needed in the middle of an egg’s campaign because people were clearing it too fast. Then of course came the fact that when I first saw the art style….I was not a fan. I’m still not a fan for some characters (Kari doesn’t look great to me), it at least does look better in motion.
In the end I’m going into this with little information since I basically forgot about it for months due to my levels of annoyance. And luckily….the first episode was great! I’m still not big on the character designs as a whole, but this was Digimon and it’s back. The first cast of the show getting a chance to return in a big way. I’m basically going to cover the first movie in this post, but will be writing up each episode (as it was released via CR) as I go. So feel free to take your time getting through this.
So yeah, an episode happened along the way too XD. The nostalgia bomb is just huge with this thing. I’ll also apologize ahead of time that I’m mostly sticking with the dub names. This is the Digimon cast of my childhood and for years the dub was all I ever saw. I just can’t go with the more correct naming at this stage. I’ll try for some characters, but it may be a bit of a mixed result. Forgiveness asked ahead of time. So, again we’re just getting right back to it and catching up with this cast after years have gone by for them. It’s kind of amazing just seeing them again. Sorry, there may be a lot of nostalgia gushing here. Everyone is just doing their own thing and I think that separation is part of the theme of this first episode. The focus stayed on Tai for a good amount of time and just seeing how he’s adapting to things. The leader of their group in the first season basically can’t get anyone in his group to go to his soccer game. Not to mention clearly being cut off from Agumon and the rest of the digimon as well. Kind of feel for the guy on that front.
Of course part of it is his own doing. He held up on asking Sora, the one person who was pretty quick to be up for it….last. But I can kind of get why. He sees Matt asking Sora to his concert and clearly there is something going on there. Understandably he probably feels uncomfortable around those two since there are some feelings for Sora in this guy. Thus it’s kind of funny cutting to Sora being flustered at trying to handle both these issues. She wants to go to Matt’s concert and she wants to go see Tai’s game. There’s no doubt that she cares about both these guys and is kind of stuck in a tough spot. To the point where she declares that she won’t go to either XD. Even giving Izzy a call later, probably trying to seek his advice on what to do about these guys.
An interesting bit was the early scenes that seemed to show the season 2 cast (outside Kari and TK) getting annihilated by something. Of course personally I’m all for it. I didn’t like how season 2 just shoved the original cast to the side as if older characters can’t do the job anymore. That’s part of why Tri is such a huge thing. It’s going back to the original digi destined and letting them handle things. Something big is going on here. Just seeing Kuwagamon flying around is enough to send everyone into a panic. Nothing good is happening when that troublesome bug starts buzzing about a city. And clearly the second season’s cast isn’t going to be around to handle this.
But that’s more the end of the episode. The majority is showing how everyone has their own lives going on. Tai is dealing with soccer, Sora…has her love triangle situation I suppose, Matt his new band (he needs to work on naming), Joe with his exams, etc. There is just a lot going on right now. This incident should be the trigger to all of them coming back together and facing whatever is ahead.
This time we got to head straight into the first conflict of this new season. Certainly fitting that the first threat for the cast to face is Kuwagamon. The first threatening digimon they ran into in the original series. Although this one is far more powerful than what they encountered back then. In the psat the entire group of rookies was able to put up a good fight against him and get through it without evolving at all. But this guy? He was overpowering their champion level digimon in a one on one fight. Greymon held up well, but in the end lost the fight. Their win here came because the others were able to go with a 2 on 1 style attack. That was enough to win the day, but it was still a brutal conflict.
Something definitely is going on here. Of course they have learned in the past that a ‘level’ isn’t absolute. With enough time and experience two digimon of the same level can have very different levels of strength. But this is pretty darn shocking. They could very well be in for a tough fight ahead. Although you wouldn’t ask for anything less than that.
On another positive side, both the evolution and the music worked great. Now of course I watched the dub a lot more than the subbed version, but the ‘combat song’ still works its magic for this show. Just seeing the digimon evolve with so much time and effort put into it was nice to see. The combat definitely had a great deal of impact to it and just felt more effective thanks to the music going along with it. It really had a “hell yeah” kind of feeling when you saw Greymon leap into the fight against Kuwagamon. It was shocking that he couldn’t win, but just the immediate impact of that fight was excellent.
This was just full nostalgia gold here. Though I’d have to think this would be amazing for even people who watched the original series lately. The fight going through a digital plane and eventually making its way to an airport. Just seeing the cast in action again was well worth it. These are the moments and surprises that you just dream and wait for as a fan of a series.
It was very much Tai to do what he did this episode. Despite not having any idea that Agumon would appear he still tried to lure Kuwagamon away from innocent people and limit the damage. Very much the guy whose defining characteristic as a kid and going forward was his courage. Of course it could have ended in tragedy, but it was still a brave move to make. A lot of people could have died if Kuwagamon was allowed to just casually fly around.
Another pretty key thing was just seeing this organization that was shuffling the kids around. I’m not surprised that a government or international organization sprang up after the invasion from Myotismon in the past and the whole second season. There’s just no way that governments would ignore attacks by monsters after all. Though just what this organization thinks about these kids who basically have this much firepower is a bit less certain. They don’t mind making full use of them though to stop threats like with the Kuwagamon. I’m sure the next ‘episode’ will shed some details on what is really going on here. Definitely a curious group.
This was definitely a much more aftermath focused part of the film. Of course after such a big incident you kind of need a chance to step back and figure things out. Everyone needed a chance to just try to understand what is going on here. Not a bad part of the whole thing, but probably not the most exciting either. It was good for the whole group to come together though for probably the first time in a long while.
Though I will say part way through this I had to think “wait what about Davis and company?” I mean during the initial assault by Kuwagamon it was fine to lose track of things and not think about it. But, certainly after having time to reflect they should at least have been mentioned. It’s not like the series is pretending the second season never happened. After all TK’s digivice is still in it’s season 2 form. So all that stuff happened. Maybe the fourth episode will shed some light on it.
Of course the focus on Tai was pretty darn key here. I did wonder for a while just what was eating at him and making him hesitant about this whole affair. Maybe being older isn’t just a thing for the show but the characters as well. There was a big invasion by Myotismon in the past, but Tai is older now. The injured and the damages are now much more real to him. He can accept there is another side of it. They were doing their best to stop a threat, but a lot of damage still resulted from that struggle. It’s understandable that he’d be worried about whether their fighting will eventually lead to someone getting killed. Not wanting that blood on their hands and the hands of their digimon.
It’s a tricky situation really. The media is definitely being scummy in trying to ramp up fear to get better ratings and coverage. But…is their stance all that crazy? For the public the situation is that once again monsters have suddenly appeared and all this chaos resulted from it. How are they to know that some of those creatures were fighting to prevent further harm? The bigger issue is that all of this is still a secret and the result of that is people making poor assessments of the situation based on limited information.
A fun thing though is how the show is a bit more realistic than it might have been. When the cast were kids it seemed simple enough to dress their digimon in stupid disguises and that would be fine. But now Izzy has a much more….effective solution. Having the digimon able to go to and from a server allows them to be nearby and traverse more easily than hiding them in backpacks or in disguises.
There of course is much shipping to be had as one might expect. People have done nothing since the original series than ship people like crazy. It feels they are setting things up pretty straight forward. Quickly taking care of any potential Joe and Mimi concerns which hooking him up offscreen to someone XD. The obvious Izzy crush is obvious. I’m fine with it. Not the craziest pair in the world. The brilliant nerd and the popular girl isn’t all that odd at this point in time. Not after all these people have been through together. While the first two seasons seemed to lock up the idea of Matt and Sora….this seems to be leaving it much more open to a love triangle. Sora being pushed to figure out what she wants to do here with being pulled between these two.
Then of course you have the random girl who has made her debut in Tri. It does seem like this Meiko girl is going to be a player in the events ahead. I’m sure she’s going to be part of the digimon side of things, but probably also a romantic player as well. I mean while the original cast was 8 people it was 5 guys and 3 girls. You can’t even that out. But with Joe having a girl friend….that only leaves Tai or Matt without any potential partner at the end of the day. Now I don’t think the world requires everyone to have a love interest…but it does seem like they are going there. It will be something to keep an eye on.
Well the last episode was an interesting one that’s for sure. Yet again…no sign of the season 2 cast. I’m not sure what approach this third season is taking here. The season definitely happened in the story. The digivice for TK was clear evidence. But otherwise…nothing. How is it that none of them have even been mentioned yet? If they go another movie without any mention I’m definitely going to question this oddity further. People joke about films that are so bad that you don’t mention they exist…but when you have a connected story that doesn’t quite work. You have to deal with it existing.
I suppose another odd thing was the lack of dialogue in the fight in the second part of this episode. Digimon aren’t Pokemon. They can actually communicate. So it’s a bit odd having everyone from Birdramon to Wargreymon just staying utterly silent. Even Omnimon had nothing to say during this conflict. Here’s hoping they let the cast have a few more lines next time. The music is great and I approve of it, but it doesn’t have to overshadow or replace any potential dialogue.
So yeah, part of this was basically Tai dealing with his own doubts and the realities of the situation. Again it’s kind of a graduation for the show into a more mature age. Tai is facing the realities of having digimon battling in the middle of a city. There is going to be massive damage no matter where this fight originates. The more powerful the enemy the more serious the consequences. Certainly Matt is right that they can’t just duck the issue. If they don’t fight then a lot more people are going to die and get hurt. They can’t just sit idly by and do nothing about it.
The issue is what they can do. Taking the fight to the digital world does seem to be an eventual plot point. If they fight here the consequences are going to be severe. Not that there won’t be consequences to fighting in the digital world, but it’s at least less congested.
Overall it was a solid way to leave off this first film. They’ve had some battles and also had to deal with the realities of the situation. It’s the case for all of them, struggling with reality and what they should do here. Joe especially struggled the whole time. He was thrilled to see Gomamon, but has a lot on his plate here. He’s really struggling with his classes and may be aiming just too high. Despite dedicating himself so hard….he’s not getting the results. I kind of wonder what the results will be for his personal journey here.
Maybe less of a surprise was Meiko being a digidestined herself. You knew she was going to be part of this and this is a good way to bring her in. It seems like she and her partner are related to what is going on, with that mysterious digimon stalking him in the later parts before Alphamon attacked. Seems like a nice enough girl and likely to be a key figure for future events.
OP [Butter-Fly] by Kouji Wada : (A+)
I can’t really complain about the OP, it is a nice one. The song has a lot of energy to it which you’d hope for in a new digimon series. The visuals are really sharp which I appreciate. Just a lot of focus on the main cast which makes sense. Showing off the characters, digimon, and some evolution. Can get the feeling as per the norm there will be a lot of Tai vs Matt stuff going on here. These two are good friends, but also contrast often. It’s rare that they tackle an issue in the same way and in unity. The focus on the government figures as well is a reminder that this will be a digimon series that is more in tune with modern issues and consequences for these battles.
ED [I wish] by AiM : (B-)
The ED is alright. Honestly it might not end up my favorite mostly since visually…it’s pretty weak. With a kind of pixel look at the main cast and their digimon. Symbolically it is a reminder of how time has passed. The digimon get older and evolve and the same has been true for the kids. They’ve all gotten older and changed. This group of 9 will be the core of the show. The song is ok, not honestly that appealing to me but tastes vary. It’s just…kind of forgettable of an ED.
So in the end….I’d say this as pretty fantastic. I do have some nitpicks about the second season cast and the lack of dialogue in the action, but it’s not huge right now. Honestly I didn’t like the second season, but I feel like it has to be acknowledged as being in existence. You can’t ignore the consequences and characters in that show. We will see what happens in the second film. I do wish this was still a tv series so I could cover it weekly, not in bursts in-between several months. But that is reality. We’ll have to wait until February/March for the second film and the next batch of episodes. Let’s hope it leaves as strong an impact as this did. I’m just glad to have a show that was so huge for my childhood back for another season.
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