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Analysis

Digimon Adventure 2020 Finishes The Prologue

And here we are again! Welcome to my review and analysis of episode 3 of the Digimon Adventure 2020 reboot! If you need a quick touch-up on what this is, what I’m doing, and what a Yamato is, you can find that here. If you missed last week’s review, that’s over here.

You’re all up to date? Great, then let’s get started!

Finally, an accurate depiction of the internet

The Spoiler-Free Review

When last we left off, Tokyo was facing nuclear annihilation from the world’s not all that cute anymore cyber-terrorist, and only two pre-pubescent boys and their new monster friends were able to save it. In the attempt to do so, their opponent evolved to a higher level, and due to… I’m gonna go divine intervention, the two boys courage’d and friendship’d so hard, they fused their Digimon friends together and also went super Saiyan, apparently.

The hair was already half-way there for both of them, to be fair

With only very little time to go (the doomsday countdown vanished for some reason), the freshly evolved Omnimon gets down to business and destroys the Diaboromon rip-off and then finds a way to stop and destroy the missile, too, saving the day and also all of the greater Tokyo area, if not Japan. They never quite specify how strong that nuclear missile was, after all.

With that taken care of and his family save, Taichi is transported back to the real world, and tries to make sense of what happened with his new friend Koushiro, before they finally actually do get to go to summer camp.

The only way to deal with nuclear missiles and also something you can do online

I’m not sure how spoiler-free that actually was, but considering the entire fight takes 5 minutes without the opening but with the summary of last week, I dunno, the focus of the episode was not on the fact that the world will not end in episode 3. The fight scene animation was a little slower than before and less dynamic, but still worlds ahead of the original Adventure – not that that’s hard to accomplish.

Tokyo might have been saved, but all of it was also blinded that day.

The Spoiler-ific Analysis

Well. This episode was weirdly paced, wasn’t it? You can tell they just wanted the money shot of Omnimon at the end of last week because honestly, if you’d cut out some of the fighting last week and a few still shots this week, you could have had this dealt with then and this episode could have featured actual camp shenanigans and maybe introduced more than one character.

I will say that I appreciate it that unlike in the movie we are ripping off, the missile wasn’t just suddenly disarmed. Like, in the Digimon movie, it hits the bay, but doesn’t explode. And while I know from the personal experience of being evacuated once or twice that a surprising amount of American bombs that are dropped actually never go off, that did feel like a bit of a cop-out. This one does go off. They just… Redirect it somehow.

Omnimon Aircraft Radar Mode

It’s a bit of a jarring and unexplained shift right there. Koushiro can just suddenly project the images from his upgraded super tablet PC thing into the network where the fighting happens. The decision to blow up the missile is one that Taichi just… Suddenly makes. I mean, it’s reasonable, but assuming you can do that from within the internet with your monster knight pal and projections is… Well. I’m gonna go for a cheap joke and say quite courageous of him. Maybe this works on the rules of that in-between realm in 02 (is 02 finally allowed at this party?) and Taichi’s wish to be able to do that made it so.

This. Worked.

That doesn’t account for how the missile was also redirected and flew straight into space before it exploded. Omnimon shot it dead on the map Koushiro had on his tablet, it didn’t physically push the little missile icon into the other direction and hurled it off into space. It just went kaboom.

I mean, far be it from me to demand logic and realism in a series about children getting sucked into the internet to fight cyber terrorism monsters with their own digital monster pals. And far be it from me to expect all the answers in episode 3 of however many episodes we are going to get. There’s no official number anywhere I can find it so far, but at the pace we’re going, we’ll need at least three more episodes to introduce all the kids that get to do something, maybe one or two to explain what is going on with Hikari and Takeru, and then like two to defeat some sort of villain, so we’re most likely not getting out of here in under 10 episodes.

Be that as it may, what stood out to me was not only just how the things on Koushiro’s PC were just interactable within the network, but also, how after they had finally dealt with not!Diaboromon and also the missile, this happened:

A nice little victory screen. Unfortunately, he unlocked no achievements and didn’t get any loot, but hey. This was just the tutorial after all.

So given that we know nothing about the logistics of it all, I’m just going to assume that whoever makes transportation between the network and the real world possible, sent the digivices and made them awesome, and lets it rain feathers indoors, also designed this to be a lot more like a game than the original Adventures series was. The larger implications of this are a little disturbing, and I for one am hooked to see where this goes.

Something else I briefly want to talk about before moving on to character beats and the actual plot of the show we are now apparently getting to, is to again mention how closely involved the kids are with the fighting.

They are on these shoulders and on these shoulders they shall remain.

Now neither of these two started shooting lasers or sword fighting, but I do find it a little funny that they just stayed on these shoulders for the entire fight. No matter how much floating around and quick dodging Omnimon had to do. Gravity is optional, and super Saiyan aura supersedes it all, I guess.

Now in the original movie, Omnimon was also slow as all hell because people kept sending in e-mails in support of the DigiDestined and their fight, which was very much a public broadcast on the internet at the time. Something dial-up in the year 2000 just could not handle, so movement was sluggish and eventually slowed to a crawl before Koushiro redirected all the fan mail to Diaboromon and slowed it down. Watch this movie or this part of The Movie. It’s great.

In this version, though, the fighting is a lot more fast-paced (and not televised) and puts the kids much more into the line of fire. Literally. I believe in dodging tentacles and all and having a strong stance on those massive shoulders, but, uh, this?

They’re directly in the blast, and it does nothing. So are Digimon attacks just not harmful to children, but children punching them does actual damage? That’s. That’s weird. And kind of messes with the stakes if we never have to worry about the childrens’ safety during these fights going forward. Assuming it’ll still be a feature in future fights in other places.

But oh well, that’s that on that, Taichi and Yamato are forcefully removed from the network, all of Tokyo is blinded, and Taichi and Koushiro are now best friends and try to make sense of it all.

Basically also how I feel about this.

Honestly, most of what they talk about seems more like semi technically accurate babbling, and Taichi is already kind of obsessed with going back into the network again while Koushiro tries to figure out the technological aspects on this. At one point, Taichi even complains about the fake news on the internet saying the US shot down its own missile. My point is that they share a lot of dialogue and hang out during the entire episode. Even at summer camp, even though they’re in different grades. We only get like one scene at camp and one scene of these two sitting on a bus next to each other, but still.

I’m not too sure what to make of this. Is Koushiro now the immediate best friend because they did this cool thing together, or does Taichi just not have any other close friends? I want to say the former because he is way too casual around being friends with other kids, which makes it even more adorable that he now hangs out with this socially awkward kid so much. And also, Koushiro is now finally getting the respect he deserves.

D’aaawww

Taichi never stops praising him and his computer skills. It’s cute. I like it. It’s also different from the original, in which Taichi eventually learned to work with Koushiro, but people mostly made fun of him for trying to solve all their problems with a computer. Until he did. Like, the original tried to play up the relationship between Taichi and Yamato a lot, but Taichi and Koushiro shared more scenes and a lot more dialogue and also just got along better. And while Yamato was emotionally vulnerable around Taichi a lot, the only time Taichi ever opened up was when he was alone with Koushiro.

So while we are at summer camp, we meet more characters!

Look at him go!

Jou, for example, is in the very first shot where he yells at underclassmen for not chopping vegetables correctly. He’s the team leader, you see. He’s responsible for everyone, and also for the curry having evenly and properly chopped vegetables when feeding a camp full of elementary school students.

Oh, oh yeah, and also, we are introduced to Sora, the coolest and most amazing girl ever.

I might know you, but I can’t say that I recognize you.

She appears just at the right moment to catch Koushiro’s tablet PC when he’s distracted by Jou in the background and stumbles. Taichi catches him around the waist, by the way. Koushiro knows who she is because she’s so amazing that she’s even known in the lower grades, and when she is called back off-screen by random girls, Taichi explains that not only are they in the same class, but also that they go way back.

Huh. So that’s the only pre-existing relationship we’re going with, is it? I see what you’re doing, show.

Camp lasts for presumably three-quarters of a day, and once they’re all back home again with no group excursion into the digital world, we see a new Digimon appearing in the network, and blackouts start happening all around Tokyo. Which are a problem, but not quite up there with, you know, having a nuclear missile fired at you.

Also, the internet still works, so it’s not a REAL crisis

Koushiro and Taichi talk about it when their digivices are starting to glow, and taking that as a sign that the new Adventure is starting, Taichi runs off to meet him at the station, passing Sora on his way there. There’s a big stumble and then we get a light show, and then all my prayers are answered and my dreams come true.

THERE IS AN ACTUAL DIGITAL WORLD! Praise be. Agumon introduces us to that concept, we see a few other dinosaur-themed digimon, and then the episode is over. Oh, and Tai and Agumon seem to be alone in this area, BUT ARE THEY? Let’s look at the light show!

So there’s individual lights of different colors in here. And I’m sure I’ll blow exactly nobody’s mind when I point out they correspond to the crest colors. Like, we have a blue light for Yamato, and green light for Mimi, and a gray light for Jou, who are apparently all coming in together. I wanna know how that happened.

Then on the bottom, you can’t quite see the orange light for Taichi, but it’s there, and also a red light for Sora and a purple light for Koushiro. They were all somewhat close together when they were taken to the digital work because Sora saw Taichi run past her and apparently figured hey, these groceries in my bag can wait, let’s see what he’s up to!

One final thing I want to talk about is Hikari. This will not be the last time I say that sentence. So while she seemed somewhat aware of things going on in the last episode when she caught the feather and looked vaguely worried, this episode, she just. Knows.

She just intrinsically knows that Taichi was the one who saved her, even though he never mentioned a word about that. It’s weird. Taichi’s weirded out by it. I’m weirded out by it. Their cat, the spawn of satan itself, is weirded out by it.

Yes, the original Adventure also contained an episode with a radical change in animation style that featured Hikari being all-knowing and creepy, but the movie in which she had met Koromon before had at least been out already and would be referenced, uh, 8-ish episodes later. This prequel movie has been replaced with the Omnimon prologue for all we know so far. And also.

Just before this, she says goodbye while Taichi runs off after telling her to stay put with their mom. The music is all sinister. The feather is haunting her. Just off-screen, Hikari might be living in her own personal horror movie for all we know. It might involve Cthulu, assuming 02 is allowed at this party.

What Comes Next (Eventually)

So, with the global situation being what it is and the animation industry in Japan being what it is, turns out the next episode is not finished yet. And will not air next week because the staff members are all in lock-down, hopefully. Which means I won’t have anything to write about, if it wasn’t for the new character designs I have joked about ever since this started.

It will be your turn. Soon.

Technically, this already would have been the place for it, since most of what I’ll have to say will be about Sora who has also undergone the most changes, funny that, and Sora finally had a line this episode. And a few full-body shots. Jou also had a line, but like, we didn’t even see his full face.

So next week, I’ll write a short run-down on the character design changes, what works about them and what doesn’t, oh my god, does not work, and then, we’ll just take the new releases as they come.

Oh, yes, also, the actual preview for that episode in the distant future featured Sora in the digital world, riding a raft with Taichi, being hugged by Biyomon, and the title is about Birdramon and shows them fighting a Snimon, so that’s the plot for you right there.

Previews just be like that sometimes.

Random Remarks

  • During the finale of the fight in the first five minutes, the triumphant music played is an instrumental version of the opening. That is absolutely an epic thing to do, but like. In episode 3? Really? I haven’t grown emotionally attached to this one yet. It’s not iconic like Butter-fly. And also, let’s hope that just like Omnimon, this will only be back for the most final of fights this season.
  • Other than that, the Omnimon fight had almost no dialogue. It was eerie.
  • The fight ended with not!Diaboromon bursting into sparkles. Are these absorbable? This and also the way the new enemy emerged into the network look like Tamers references. Tamers is allowed at this party.

    Drink it. Drink it for power.

  • Koushiro already has some sort of DigiAnalyzer on his PC, one that could not analyze Omnimon. And we don’t get the cool stat screens for all the Digimon, either.
  • The rate at which new Digimon appear also shows very clearly that this show has kind of given up on trying to sell you toys. They’re selling the characters now.
  • Yamato got very close to having no lines this episode, up until we saw him calling Takeru and promising they’ll see each other during summer break.
  • Yamato seems to live in the countryside, in the same village half of Your Name took place. Another excellent anime movie y’all should watch.
  • The fact that he lives in a rural area is something we already knew from the ending theme, but this confirms it. The house we see also looks just like the one his grandmother lived in in the second Digimon movie. You know. The one I’ve been talking about all this time.
  • So am I to assume that Yamato’s dad, who worked at the TV station that aired Digimon, was used for a showdown during Adventure, then destroyed and used to kick a vampire in the groin, and then reappeared for a call-back episode in 02, has been written out and won’t be a semi-official party member ever again?
  • Or they realized that it is a little weird that 11-year-old Yamato had to cook for himself and his dad and now the divorce settlement has him live with his paternal grandmother. Who admittedly didn’t look like she’d be better at feeding the boys in that movie she was in.
  • In Taichi’s wise words: It’s all a mystery!
  • If no other content comes along, I might take a look at the parents in Digimon and how they’re mostly kinda bad at being parents which results in pretty horrifying implications sometimes.
  • The fight animation might not have been quite as dynamic as in previous episodes, but can I just say that everything, especially the shots of Tokyo, are still nothing short of gorgeous?

 

Images courtesy of Toei and Crunchyroll
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Jana should be studying for her law degree right now. She prefers to obsess over pop culture instead.

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