There are a couple episodes in every season that are pretty much pointless and silly. Maybe a minor plot element is resolved, like Joe and Sora getting turning around, but episodes like these you have to turn off your brain and try not to delve too deeply into them. Unfortunately, this project is about delving into every episode, so we'll have to try to muscle through this with a straight face.
It's sure hard to watch with a straight face, however. There's a lot of ridiculous in this one. Let's recap: we have Devimon's attempt at recapping the events leading up to the episode, Ogremon sailing through the ocean in a sealed (but presumably not air-tight) crate, Sora managing to reel in Joe and Gomamon with a makeshift fishing pole, Joe's impersonation of a leader, Gomamon and Biyomon escaping their cell, Joe and Sora arguing while being chained to a slab, and Joe forcing Sora to help with his mantra. The important thing is that it doesn't involve throwing crap.
While there's plenty of things that are groan-worthy, it still doesn't make the episode painful to watch. I caught myself shaking my head several times in the episode, but usually with a grin. It isn't up there with the later episodes filled with drama, action and plot, but damned if it's not a fun watch.
There are even a few important character notes. First off, Gomamon has a serious side! When his marching fishes appear to be making process against Ogremon, his speech about the small and meek uniting to fight the big and powerful is played completely straight and is actually inspiring... at least until Ogremon repels them in one blow. After saving Joe with Sora's lifeline, Gomamon is completely serious in believing that Joe needs an infusion of confidence and asks Sora to let him lead the team.
And Sora says yes! She clearly has absolutely no faith in Joe's leadership skills, second-guessing him and making snide comments behind his back. Also, she is fully capable and willing to take charge herself. Yet she sits back, plays the part of the subservient girl and lets him wear the goggles. For someone who's never been all that keen on honoring traditional gender roles (yet), it's startling that Sora would play follower just to support a teammate. Even when it seems likely to get them all killed.
Joe, of course, has no clue what he's doing and tries to put on a good show as leader. His is a very unnatural bravado, but it clearly does exist. He just needs someone or something to put him up to it once in a while. In that regard, Gomamon's therapy worked... even when it does almost get them all killed.
The Bakemon debacle is silly and amusing and doesn't need dwelling on. It is what it is. The important thing is that it generates a number of fun character moments and gets us two kids closer to a confrontation with Devimon. Six down, one to go!
My Grade: C+
- While Matt and Tentomon freaked out over finding everybody else, Sora stays calm and goes fishing for some much-needed food (and personal time) for herself and Biyomon. Biyomon's annoying singing probably sabotages that effort.
- Say what you want about the way “trick or treat” is used, there are some excellent one-liners in the dub. Best one is Joe's “I'm allergic to pain.”
- Nice to see the old anime bit with the bubble representing a sleeping Bakemon. Nicer to see Gomamon aim for it to wake him up. Although Bakemon's bananas look pretty nasty.
- Sora's floppy hat makes a really good, hollow sound when beaten. Excellent acoustics on that sucker.
- This could mark the first time one of the kids actually killed a Digimon. I say could since it's unconfirmed if Bakemon was actually killed... or even if something incorporeal like Bakemon could be killed. Either way, defeating Bakemon seemed to be what took care of the dark gears on that island... which makes no sense.