I don't care that they cut out the naked asses in episode 8. I don't care that they made some douchebag into Sora's cousin in episode 30. I'm looking past all the name changes, corny jokes and hesitance to acknowledge that all this is happening in Japan. I recognize that there are changes, but I am not a dub hater.
But for God's sake, Myotismon doesn't “condemn Pumpkinmon and Gotsumon to his dungeon in Digiworld.” He kills them. He totally destroys their asses. He gets pissed off and feeds them to his goddamn bats. Hopefully their digieggs made it back. Gotsumon shows up again in Frontier and he's lucky he didn't die there too!
In a vacuum, this normally wouldn't be such a big deal. Dubs have been covering up deaths since that one pilot in Voltron. And it would make for a pretty shocking moment. The episode until that point had been pretty light-hearted, mostly thanks to the efforts of the free-spirited duo. Other than a manufactured TK/Patamon fight, it was a fun romp through Shibuya. Then Myotismon shows up and, with little TK watching, destroys these two not with some generic attack but with goddamn bats. It's definitely nothing to sneeze at. Pumpkinmon and Gotsumon hold a special place in fans' hearts for all these reasons.
The problem is that replacing “killed” with “condemned to a dungeon” just doesn't fit the context. Again- the goddamn bats. This isn't gate of destiny here. Then there's the way Matt absolutely flips out afterwards. It sustains the episode's sudden intensity and it's really startling to see pure anger out of him as opposed to the pent-up frustration we're used to. It just doesn't feel right when it's over a mere “condemning.” Furthermore, we just came off of an episode where Gatomon had a claw to Kari's neck and was just about to pull the trigger. It's even reiterated at the end of this episode that Gatomon wants another chance to “get her claws into” Kari. Oh, and how many crosses will Mimi end up planting for the good Digimon that sacrifice themselves between now and Piedmon?
Everything else in this episode is more symbolic than eventful. In many regards, it's a well-disguised filler episode. TK yells at Patamon for appreciating a moment of brotherly bonding. There's something interesting about TK being self-conscious about it, but Patamon gets upset and flies off, only to calm down and realize that flying off in downtown Shibuya was a pretty stupid thing to do.
It's also the first time Myotismon gets pulled into a fight since he arrived in the real world. WereGarurumon really brings it too. Given that the eighth child hasn't turned up and several of his troops are dead (hmm... no shying around those kills), his meticulous planning is starting to show some weaknesses.
The final big moment, of course, is Angemon returning after his death twenty episodes ago. It's worth noting that it comes out of a moment of grief for TK, not hope, as he laments the two slain innocents, WereGarurumon struggling and Patamon nowhere to be found. But whatever- Angemon's back!
It's also symbolic that Myotismon kills Pumpkinmon and Gotsumon. It symbolizes that he's a dick.
My Grade: C+
- Hey, it's not even season three and we have ourselves a Serial Experiments Lain reference! Almost every episode of Lain starts out with this sequence of a crosswalk, a stoplight and random city/crowd shots. Now watch how this episode starts.
- There's some pretty good Japanese cultural stuff in this episode, such as the dubious pachinko parlor Pumpkinmon patronizes, the dolled up girls that seem to be native to Shibuya, and the statue of Hachiko that is well-known as a popular meeting spot... hence Patamon thinking he'll meet TK there.