In this episode, downtown Tokyo proves to be just as perilous as the Digital World, with crazy subways, babies, crowds and hunger pangs. And yes- the infamous hitchhiking scene.
Even with the dub's cuts, this has to go down as one of the funniest episodes in the franchise. While last episode had everybody adjusting to the real world, this time the kids are pretty well acclimated and it's the Digimon left to struggle with their new surroundings. The kids just have to deal with navigating Tokyo, which is a challenge for anybody their age with limited coin.
At least the children know what they're supposed to be doing. They know the Tokyo subway is chaotic, but they are able to navigate a route, buy tickets and wait behind the yellow line. The Digimon have no idea what's going on, and make mistakes such as jumping in front of a subway train, believing a monster is emerging from the tunnel. I'm not going to be too hard on Koromon and Tsunomon for this mistake, since in season three this actually happens.
As an added complication to their mandate to stay quiet and motionless, the Digimon also have to deal with annoying onlookers, such as the baby that yanks on Yokomon's stigma and will not let go. The horrified looks on Motimon and Patamon's faces say it all. When Yokomon finally yells at the baby, Sora has to play ventriloquist to cover it up, then lie and say her Yokomon doll is available at the next stop... which unloads the train. Second complication- after everybody falls asleep, Patamon thinks he has to stay quiet instead of telling them they're at their stop. Oops... suddenly they're in Shinjuku. While you're in town, say hi to the Tamers crew!
Although Izzy is able to adjust the route, everybody is so famished that they decide food is a bigger priority than reaching home. In fact, food is a bigger priority than staying together. Joe and Izzy end up lost in the throng of people and narrowly avoid a run-in with one of Myotismon's goons. After reuniting, they find themselves broke and forced to use dubious means to get to Odaiba.
In the dub, Tai tries calling for a police vehicle, Matt chickens out, Joe and Izzy succeed at hailing a cab but fail to promise money, while Sora's douchebag cousin Duane pulls up and offers them a ride.
In the original Japanese... just watch it:
You don't even need subtitles. It's one of the funniest damn things in the franchise.
I understand the logic in cutting out some of these scenes: we don't want to encourage the kids to hitchhike... and that woman preying on Matt was really scary. But honestly, kids watching that scene would see that the only people that would pull over for them are some cougar chick who really likes 'em young, and some Jersey Shore castoff driving a van normally reserved for sexual predators. That's the best hitchhiking deterrent you could ever create!
Anyway, Duane “The Situation” Takenouchi plays deafening music, treats the boys as luggage and flirts with Mimi. There's probably a date rape drug in the gum he gives the girls (which they wisely pass off on their Digimon). And yet he has the audacity to freak out when Koromon takes a crap in his van! In a shameful scene that is somehow still funny, Sora attempts to take the rap while Duane blames Joe. In the process, Izzy's knocked over a bridge, Tentomon saves him and Gesomon shows up to raise hell. Ikkakumon stops him but as a result, people start to take notice of the monsters appearing in town. The digidestined ride Ikkakumon the rest of the way home, but they do give their location away to Demidevimon. That's probably a bad thing.
My Grade: A-
- Hey, there's an arbitrary shot of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, better known to Digimon fans as creepy Hypnos tower! Premature Tamers reference number three!
- I love the random Wizardmon sightings. And that Demidevimon called Myotismon “Malignant One.”
- It says a lot that the innocent bystanders refuse to accept all these monster sightings until they are directly confronted with them. It's either all in their heads or a movie shooting or a figment of those wackos over in Highton View Terrace. Can't be real, right?
- Look what I found! This site, bearing the classy name Odaiba Memorial, has side-by-side comparisons between shots from the show and real-life locations. This page features the Hikarigaoka (Highton View Terrace) area and the train station, but the site has many of the major locations from the first two seasons, along with a map of Odaiba. The animators certainly did their homework.