Adventure Episode 08: Evil Shows His Face

In this episode, Devimon, Ogremon and Leomon act out an old samurai movie, stilted dialogue and all. Tai and them just stand around in their underwear watching.


All right, clearly this episode will be all about TK, climaxing with Patamon's epic evolution into... wait... sorry kid, the plot just showed up.

While the rest of the team scales the mountain (which was exactly what Tai wanted to do in the first place until Matt objected), they show that overdue dismay about being trapped on an island. But who cares about them, right?

It's a very disorienting episode as we suddenly are thrust into the timeless, legendary and incredibly overblown rivalry between Leomon and Ogremon. It's kinda funny... if you enjoy dialogue that sounds like it belongs in an old samurai movie. Or the Star Wars prequels.

Or the Mortal Kombat movie, because Devimon totally pulls a Shang Tsung here and unites Sub-Zero and Scorpion as slaves under his power. In all, he's a pretty stock archvillain- looks evil, sounds evil, acts evil, and is just generally out for conquest and destruction. Quite possibly one of the most boring archvillains in the show... which kinda makes sense seeing as he's the first one.

Damned if he's not smart though. He sets Leomon and Ogremon on opposite ends of a narrow ledge to surround these kids, primarily as a test drive to see what they're capable of. He stands at the top and watches the battle, interfering only once to start an avalanche because he's just a dick like that. It paints him as a shrewd, cunning villain... never mind that he lets the kids go even after all their Digimon go back down to Rookie in exhaustion. He needs to set the trap and catch them in a moment of weakness... even though they were all clearly in a moment of weakness right there.

Our heroes then stumble upon a mansion and, despite half of them expecting a trap, they all eat, bathe and sleep in comfy beds. Yes, yes, amusing bathhouse scene, bare bottoms cut from dub, Gomamon's a perv, blah blah blah. The angel painting on the wall was classy, providing TK and Patamon a much-needed moment and some obvious foreshadowing. Still, while everybody was leery of the place in general and half-expected to get poisoned eating the food... nobody took issue spending the night there? And did no one wonder why there were seven beds in one room, but no beds anywhere else?

Long story short, they fall for the really obvious trap. Devimon announces his presence and sends all the beds flying. Tai, who got up to use the bathroom, has to stand against the evil mastermind alone in his underwear. Considering this is the big bad making his grand entrance and explaining how the black gears were his doing... that probably could have been planned better. If you want to have all the kids naked and helpless flying around on rocket beds, that's cool. Tai just looks ridiculous.

The digivice single-handedly removing Leomon's gear was a little suspect as well, but at least it leads to more stilted dialogue from him and Ogremon. Plus Leomon makes the dramatic move to get Tai to safety and hold off the bad guys. Leomon's cool like that. Shame Devimon just goes and corrupts him again.

So here we are- a primary villain for the first arc of the first season of Digimon. Shrewd, perhaps a little too shrewd for his own good, but the kids are underpowered, underdressed and isolated. Not exactly the ideal way to go about it, but at least we're getting somewhere.

My Grade: B-

Loose Data: 
  • There's a weird dub continuity error at the very start of the episode where Joe replies to Matt, despite not traveling together. When starting off an episode, don't do that to us!
  • After Meramon, Monzaemon and Unimon, you'd think the gang would accept that good Digimon can be corrupted and not just assume that Leomon will be friendly.
  • Silly a joke as Tai's awful map was, you have to hand it to the show for bringing it back not once but twice in unexpected, ridiculous spots.
  • Sora says she won't sleep on the ground even though she spent last night in a cave. And yes, it was Sora, not Mimi.
  • From a comment Izzy made last episode, they've been in the Digital World for five days. And yet some of them suggest that their families may have given up hope already. Given the widespread familial angst, I wonder if that would be true for anybody... from any season.

7 comments:

  1. "It paints him as a shrewd, cunning villain... never mind that he lets the kids go even after all their Digimon go back down to Rookie in exhaustion. He needs to set the trap and catch them in a moment of weakness... even though they were all clearly in a moment of weakness right there."

    Man, I never really noticed that before. Now that I think about it, Devimon should have offed the kids easily. He dodges Leomon's attacks with ease and can move through solid walls. He had the kids utterly in his power and could have killed them all in their sleep.

    I mean, I'm not complaining that he chose to separate them instead, but it is one of those fridge logic moments when you suddenly realize there's a plot hole. Man...

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    1. Think Puppetmon.

      Devimon probably just wanted to toy around with them BEFORE destroying them. Get it? Most villains like doing that, once they're sure that they can win.

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    2. He actually DID want to kill them all in their sleep. Their lives were saved by, of all things, Agumon needing to take a dump.

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  2. I think Devimon's reason for not offing the Digidestined at the mountainside was because of an unknown factor: Patamon. He wonders to himself why Patamon hasn't digivoloved and that seems to make him want to exercise caution. I don't know if Devimon knows at this point what Patamon is capable of becoming, but from his dialogue later in this episode he seems to be under the mistaken impression that the Digidestined are some super-elite tactical team sent to bring him down. Or at the very least, that they know more about why they're here then they actually do. He might believe that they are keeping Patamon in reserves in case a stronger enemy appears. They pull this sort of strategic stuff later in the season, but right now he's giving them way too much credit. So Devimon waits and puts them in a situation where he knows they're all too weak to fight back, Patamon included. His biggest mistake this episode is scattering the kids across the island pieces rather than killing them right then and there when he DOES have them all weak and helpless. Which may come back to the "wants to toy with them" villain mentality.

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    1. Actually, a lot of that is dub only. In the original version, Devimon doesn't make any note of Patamon not evolving (though he does state his fear of him doing so in episodes 12 and 13), and he was under no delusion that the DigiDestined were specifically looking to destroy him and free the island from his control. So simply put, he was never interested in going in for the kill immediately - he wanted to lure them into a trap, thus in a state and place where he wanted them when he killed them (probably an ego thing). Notice that he was planning on him, Ogremon, and Leomon killing them all in their sleep, but didn't count on Tai and Agumon getting up to go to the bathroom. Yeah, of all the things that could save their lives...

      I do like that the dub specified that, when killing them didn't work out, he planned to "scatter them throughout the Digi World" but due to Leomon breaking free of his control and potentially fighting back, he had to drop them all down below the ocean instead.

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  3. Devimon's a strange character, really. He's got a kickass design and a great devious voice (in the dub - Devimon's original voice actor's performance is atrocious and unfitting for the character, IMHO) and he's one of the more competent, efficient, and insightful villains in the series. But on the other hand, his characterization is as bland and generic as it gets for a bad guy, barely gets any screen time outside of this first appearance and his last appearance, and for all his competence, he's not very smart or thorough in his premeditating and scheming, as has been pointed out repeatedly. As far as villains go, he's just okay. Definitely a great starter Big Bad, though - appropriately strong, imposing, and evil, as he should be.

    And this episode is where the series' underlining myth arc of the Digidestined (Chosen Children) and there purpose for being brought to the Digital World begins. We finally get not one but two truly evil Digimon in Devimon and Ogremon, and a great character in Leomon. The scene where the kids talk about being away from home while in their beds is one of my favorites in the whole series - it's so down-to-earth and hits you hard with how all these kids are really feeling about this strange experience they're sharing. And that ending...wow. The File Island arc has come to it's second half now and shit has started to get real, though unfortunately it only leads to a whole 'nother pattern of the two of the Digidestined working together on a split part of the island before they start drifting back towards the main island land where Infinity Mountain is. This is a very formula dependent arc, it seems.

    The dub script for this one was mostly very good...up until the climax and ending. The moment with Tai and Agumon in the bathroom made no sense here, Tai and Devimon's lines were gotten all wrong (Devimon originally told Tai that he and his friends were the Chosen Children in a dramatic reveal and then revealed that his power had corrupted the gears that run File Island, which is where the black gears come from, and he says he's used them to take over File Island but plans to conquer the world beyond the sea next. This leads Tai to realize that the world really is bigger than just this island, and Devimon replies that he won't live long enough to see any of it.) with black gears apparently being a thing that Devimon "calls forth to do his bidding" and Devimon thinking that the Digidestined are putting on an elaborate act of being lost kids. Worse is when Leomon got purified by the Digivice's light - the darkness inside him is now a black gear apparently, and Agumon feels the need to tell us what we can clearly just see on screen!

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  4. Oh yeah, and "old samurai movies" is probably exactly what the dub script writers were spoofing when they wrote Leomon and Ogremon's lines. I guess the whole "rival warriors" thing lends itself to such cheesiness.

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