In this episode, Arukinemon's gonna try that “create a Digimon that can kick your ass” thing. After all, it worked so well when Ken did it.
One of the most surprising trends I've noticed going to Digimon panels at conventions over the last year is just how much affection fans have for the BlackWargreymon arc. Apparently, nobody can resist the concept of an existentialist gigantic monster. That or the last few episodes were so bad that an interesting, character-driven episode like this one is a breath of fresh air.
Given the big guy's debut, it may be a weird place to start talking about romantic entanglements. Previously, I've only discussed the characters' love lives in passing. For those looking for more in-depth thoughts on that sort of thing, Christmas is coming soon. However, this episode stands out as the moment Davis comes to the sad conclusion that Kari is out of his reach. While it's painfully obvious that TK is hopelessly entrenched in Kari's friend zone, there's still the matter of their habit of sneaking off on their own for dubious reasons. This time it's to fetch drinks for the whole group, and they refuse to let Davis tag along. He's drawing certain conclusions and gets depressed by the whole thing. His look of resignation and sadness makes you feel pretty bad for the guy, whether or not you're completely disgusted by the notion of him macking on Kari.
Yolei's attempt to cheer him up this time does not involve anything suggestive, instead trying to address the stubborn rift between Ken and Cody. No matter how well they worked together the last two episodes, they still hate the concept of it. Davis tells them to team up against an allegedly bothersome control spire, which they do, only to realize that he was just blowing smoke. That makes things twice as awkward and Ken walks away. At this point, Yolei gets seriously pissed at Cody. They need to get seriously pissed at Cody more often. This boy does not play well with others.
Camp Bad Guy is pretty awkward too, as Mummymon's puppy-like devotion to Arukenimon would be cute if it weren't coming from someone who looks like Mummymon. The way Arukenimon treats him, it's kind of cute anyway. She's in no mood for frivolity after getting her ass kicked last episode and ponders a way to defeat the digidestined. Knowing that one control spire creates a Champion and ten creates an Ultimate... how's about a hundred? Yep- Mega.
BlackWargreymon's introduction is something epic. He takes forever to fully form and the kids know he's gonna be frickin' huge. The digidestined's attack is derailed when Pegasusmon and Nefertimon arrive a hair too early and are absolutely rocked, taking TK and Kari down with them in a blaze of violence. When Ken gives a flippant response to Yolei's distress e-mail, Yolei rides to him to make a more direct request. Remember way back in season one when I said Mimi slapping Izzy upside the head would have made an episode better? Yolei slaps Ken upside the head and it totally makes the episode better. She drags him back for a DNA evolution, which still doesn't help.
With the digidestined digidevastated, Arukenimon commands BlackWargreymon to finish them off, at which point he refuses. Uh oh. It's the same lesson as Kimeramon- don't create what you can't control. BlackWargreymon recognizes the futility of attacking weaker opponents and goes off to find something closer to his equal. Arukenimon is left with nothing but a bigger headache.
In short, the good guys are all unhappy with each other, the bad guys are all unhappy with each other and there's yet another wild card in a scenario with too many players at the table already. Works for me.
My Grade: A-
- Given the prior experience the kids have had with vending machines and other similar artifacts from the real world, why is TK so confident that the thing will actually dispense drinks?
- This dichotomy between TK being in Kari's friend zone and them sneaking off all the time is really confusing. Is there such a thing as “friend zone with benefits?”
- While it seems that Davis is realizing the futility in pursuing Kari, he may be starting to notice the persistent sexual tension he has with Yolei. He has this random blush when she's coaxing him out of the tree, and cops a feel when he tries to get her to stop yelling at Cody.
- The moment where Veemon, Yolei, Hawkmon, TK, Patamon, Kari and Gatomon all nearly choke on their drinks when Davis suggests that Cody and Ken should start acting their age may be one of the greatest spit take scenes in anime. Actual spit takes are pretty passe, but trying to avoid it by nearly choking to death is a riot.
- For someone as intimidating as BlackWargreymon should be, does anyone else find it odd that he's drawn to be smaller than ExVeemon in this episode?