In this episode, Izzy says nuts to all that danger business and enters a cheat code to make Tentomon digivolve. We also finally learn some things about this joint.
For an episode that still falls within the “basic introduction to character and corresponding Champion Digimon” template (only two more to go!), this one had some serious meat to it. It's the first time we get some actual information about the Digital World, the first time we get an angsty flashback and the first utterance of the word “prodigious.” As an added bonus, the first time Izzy uses it, it's actually a correct descriptor instead of a catchphrase.
We've had episodes for Matt and Sora... technically Tai if we're sticking with the formula. We've gotten a snippet of info on Matt's story, but all we saw of Sora was how she interacts with Biyomon. Nothing about why. Izzy's episode cuts right to the chase, explaining away his thirst for knowledge with a brief but sharp flashback: he wants to know more about everything because his parents are denying him information about himself. Pretty heavy stuff for episode five, and the look on Izzy's face when Tentomon draws that memory out is something else.
Last time, I said that Sora and Biyomon are a little farther along in understanding this whole partner thing than anyone else. No better evidence than the way Tentomon talks to Izzy here. There's a sense of both boredom and admonishment when Izzy insists on processing every bit of data there. Izzy only reacts when Tentomon is seemingly suffering due to it. Granted it turns out to be the cheat code that lets Tentomon digivolve, which may be a little counter-productive to the message: the same focus on cracking the code that distanced Tentomon proved to be what pushed him to the next level. That's not quite how it should work, but Izzy does have a habit of breaking the game on a regular basis.
In the process, he stumbles upon the big secret: the Digital World is a manifestation of data. Good thing that's cleared up! Nice work! Shame he doesn't mention it beyond a frantic cry as he rejoins his teammates. We'll have to get more in depth on this in the future, lest we forget the big action sequence where Andromon tosses around Greymon and Garurumon. It's commented that Andromon is stronger than both of them put together (he's an Ultimate, but we haven't gotten into such terminology yet), but it's mostly that Andromon is adept at throwing one into the other at every turn. Izzy and Kabuterimon finish him off.
There's some other fun stuff in this episode as well. I like it when the team is split up, even voluntarily like this. It lets each character breathe a little more. Team Matt/Mimi/TK was under-utilized, spending most of their time watching the assembly line assemble and disassemble widgets, but Team Tai/Sora/Joe was fun. The facial expressions, physical humor and Tai's crane action provided some good stuff. Not bad for a boring introduction episode.
My Grade: B
- Remember what I said about Gomamon being one of the more useful Rookies? I take it back. Agumon and Biyomon didn't really faze Andromon, but at least they had something to throw at him. Can't any of those fishes give themselves up for the cause?
- The “stay still” gag last time was inverted this time to “why are we standing here frozen” as Tai comments negatively on their actions while he's doing them. It almost breaks the fourth wall to the point where it feels like an Abridged dub at times... or Samurai Pizza Cats. Silly, silly dub.
- I don't mind when the team forgives the monster of the week and moves on, but openly befriending the de-possessed mon that just tried to kill you is weird. It made sense with Meramon as the Yokomon consider him a mountain guardian, but being all buddy-buddy with the Andromon that just randomly woke up and went immediately into kill mode? Even stranger is that this “lasting friendship” carries all the way to season two... after he goes into kill mode again!