Adventure Episode 23: WereGarurumon's Diner

In this episode, a snafu in accepted currency leads Joe and Matt down the dark path of indentured servitude and the seedy underworld of restaurant operations.

So what has Matt been doing all this time, other than neglecting his baby brother? Why, he's helping Joe work off an unfair dept perpetuated by a crooked restaurant staff! What else would he be doing?

This is kind of a strange episode since it looks so silly on the surface. Another victim of Demidevimon, Joe is forced to work off a restaurant bill not because he's broke, but because the restaurant uses a different currency. While in the original version, Joe was trying to pay with yen, the dub gives him digidollars (where he got that and why Vegiemon won't accept what would have to be the official Digital World currency, who knows?). Either way, it's ridiculous. I'm otaku enough to admit that I've been to Asian stores that charge in yen. They gladly accepted my dollars and the reverse should hold true as well.

The cavalcade of silliness continues as Vegiemon capitalizes off Joe's clumsiness to add to the sentence, which only leads Joe to make more mistakes. When Matt shows up, threats on Joe's safety wrap him into it as well. Demidevimon works his charm to suggest that Joe is making mistakes on purpose to keep Matt around. This makes no sense, but it again demonstrates his brilliance, using Matt's evident frustration to sow the seeds. And hey, we got another harmonica scene out of it.

As bizarre and as flawed as the concept is, beneath the surface it really emphasizes both Joe and Matt's good sides (i.e. their crests). Joe knows he's in a completely unfair situation, but was determined to work it off instead of an easier alternative like skipping out during the night or beating the crap out of Vegiemon. Even as he gets another day older and deeper in dept, he's reliable enough to not want to owe somebody.

Matt's also clearly conflicted by his need to get back to TK and Joe's need for help. Even as Joe irritates Matt to no end, trying his patience to and past the breaking point, Matt doesn't want to leave. Matt's still uneasy about this whole team thing, but he's certainly giving it his best effort.

He's certainly unhappy with the whole arrangement though, even when Tai and TK show up to rescue them. By now, Matt's convinced that Joe's sabotaging them (which still makes no sense) and ends up in a fight with Tai because that's just who Matt fights with. Yet again, Demidevimon screws up the entire operation with his mere presence. Had he kept his distance and not let Agumon see him, the plan continues and perhaps even draws Tai and TK into the kitchen.

But no, he has to stick around and gloat, Matt realizes he's been had and the battle ensues. Joe rescues TK for what will not be the last time and Matt is determined enough to save Joe in return that his crest is activated. After a really sappy speech about how Matt needs support from all of the other digidestined, his Digimon evolves to Ultimate and WereGarurumon mops everything up all by himself.

This episode continues an emerging pattern with these Matt episodes being a mixed bag. On one hand, Matt is such a compelling character because he, more than anyone else, is aware of his own faults from the beginning and is determined to overcome them. On the other hand, these faults are often exploited so poorly that it comes off as forced, as we saw here. At least now we know who taught Tai how to cook.

My Grade: B-

Loose Data:
  • Matt and Gabumon saw Frigimon, Kokatorimon and Monzaemon climbing a ridge. Three Digimon that his peers had to fight- one of them not even controlled by a black gear. Let's follow them just for the hell of it!
  • Maybe it's the lack of a face, but it was hard to really buy Digitamamon as an effective restauranteur, what with the lack of arms, hideous legs and a creepy Peter Lorre voice. Would you eat at a place run by that guy?
  • You know Sora, if you're really determined to help out on the downlow, you could do a little more than replacing a cinder block here and there. Especially assuming that you've been hanging around there as long as Demidevimon has.
  • Last episode was the first sighting of the swan boat, this time we get the first use of the “Hey Digimon” backup song. It's a nice break from constantly using the theme song, but not a very good action song.


  1. "Maybe it's the lack of a face, but it was hard to really buy Digitamamon as an effective restauranteur, what with the lack of arms, hideous legs and a creepy Peter Lorre voice. Would you eat at a place run by that guy?"

    I got the impression Vegiemon was the face of the restaurant and Digitamamon was the one who worked behind the scenes. In any case, it fits with the whole food-based Digimon vibe, and I don't think prejudice is that abundant in the Digital World so long as you're not obviously evil, like a Devimon type.

  2. I'll never understand all the hate directed at "Hey Digimon". I'll admit that it isn't exactly battle music (I'll reserve that for a very sweet dub of "Brave Heart") but it doesn't deserve it's rather poor reputation. I'd personally take it as the theme song over the regular theme (but "A World for Us All" trumps them both).

    1. I agree, actually. It was never meant to be a "battle music" - it's a victory song. That's why it never played for long stretches of battles like "Brave Heart" could, but only when the fight was close to being won or resolved. If you know what it signifies, that makes some moments like Myotismon swatting away MetalGreymon's attack or Piedmon taking down two Megas all the more shocking. It also was well placed at the end of the series - the Digital World is saved, and that's the ultimate victory. (I'd personally take the regular theme song over the Data Squad theme song, though - that one is so forgettable. "A World For Us All" and the Fusion theme song are the best, IMHO.)

  3. This is another episode I really enjoy. Matt had been given the shaft in terms of character development and usefulness in the first half of the Server arc, but this brings him back with a vengeance. I just adore how, despite putting on the front of a lone wolf, he really really values his friends and is awkward about keeping his feelings in check when they start to run wild. That bit at the end where he's actually blushing about giving and receiving thanks is so Tsundere-like. As for his issues with Joe, I actually thought it made a lot of sense - in his stress and frustration, Matt projected things onto Joe, things that are, ironically, more to do with him than Joe. He doesn't truly like being alone and is grateful for friends' company and support, but he internally pegs that as being Joe's problem, which is why he thinks Joe might not want to be left alone in servitude so he'd screw up Matt's work just to keep him around. The part where he starts to fight with Tai, though - THAT was pretty forced, I'll give you. But hey, at least Joe got to be really awesome again! He risked getting the life squeezed out of him just to save a child who he knows matters so much to his friend. What a guy!

    No sooner did he get cast as DemiDevimon did Derek Stephen Prince get to role of Digitamamon and this performance is even more odd. Maybe I'm missing something, but how does one get Peter Lorre out of a talking egg with glowing eyes and dinosaur legs? And the scariest part is that it actually sounds pretty close to the original voice this time! But all the same, Digitamamon's a great character that I'm glad we got to see return and reform in 02.