The most remarkable thing about this movie is just how inconsequential it is. It is a direct sequel to Our War Game, which is the most important of the movies, but like most sequels, it's a shell of its predecessor. In fact, it wasn't dubbed until four years after Zero Two wrapped up, aired in a series with the Tamers and Frontier movies. Some Digimon fans don't even know it exists.
At the same time, this movie carries some sentimental value with me as it's the first piece of Digimon media I watched subtitled. And while its lack of significance is its biggest weakness, in many ways it's also its greatest strength. It flies under the radar, offering a quick little adventure that is so pointless that not even the characters seem fully invested in it. Half the fun is that the characters themselves realize that this movie is inconsequential.
The threat of Diaboromon releasing a swarm of Kuramon into the real world shouldn't be taken lightly, but the digidestined don't get all that excited about it. Especially as it begins with the new kids getting the awful task of rounding up the Kuramon as Tai and Matt enter the internet to slash up Diaboromon again. Once again, Sora, Joe and Mimi are conveniently written out of the action. To a man, the expression on everyone's face is “oh God, why do we have to do this?” It's pretty funny, actually.
TK and Kari go in to help out and while they successfully destroy Diaboromon, Yolei inadvertently allows more Kuramon into the real world, all heading to one rendezvous point and dragging Veemon and Wormmon away in the process. The Kuramon combine and hatch into Armageddemon and, after failing to beat it, Omnimon transfers his power to Imperialdramon to secure victory. That's all well and good, but most of the movie is centered around running and futility as Davis and Ken scramble to get to this rendezvous point and everyone else looks on helplessly, still not entirely convinced this thing is for real.
The inspiring moments at the end are done well, such as the crowd parting to let Davis and Ken through to kick some ass and the masses returning the Kuramon to the internet via their cell phones. The real flourishes, however, are the meaningless character moments thrown in for giggles. Yolei fusses over her new school uniform. Davis is mobbed by hive mind children. Yolei claims to be hounded by paparazzi. Davis wants to charge in after Kari, with Ken calmly stopping him. Joe gets one meaningful scene and ends up stealing a bicycle. Pretty much everything Mimi does is one big yes.
Full plot details are somewhat unclear, but that doesn't really matter. The most important thing this movie offers is our final glimpse of these characters, not counting a few walk-on cameos in Hunters. In that sense, it's actually cool that it took so long to come over. Showing it immediately after Zero Two's conclusion wouldn't have meant much, but seeing the band together again after four years feels special.
It's not in the dub, but the ending credits of the movie feature several still frames of each of the characters, all at their most adorable. Izzy sleeping while Mimi stacks books on his head, TK and Kari being cute together, Yolei and Cody sleeping, Matt and Tai wanting to sleep while Sora's itching to hang out with them, Joe returning the bike to that girl (I like to think he scored digits), Ken and Davis sleeping (notice a pattern?) and one last shot of the whole gang with the trolley from season one. While the Zero Two epilogue can leave a bad taste in our mouths, that last picture is the actual final image of the kids from Digimon Adventure. It's a great way to go out.
My Grade: B
- The gap between Zero Two being dubbed and this movie has some interesting ramifications. A few characters, most notably Tai, have new voices. It's the first time head writer Jeff Nimoy was back at the helm after leaving the show somewhere around the World Tour arc (he must have taken the Matt/Sora thing pretty hard). He returned for this movie and Data Squad. Also, due to legal stuffs, this movie uses the music from the dub of Frontier... which isn't a problem since Frontier's dub music is so much better.
- For some reason, the Japanese series logo shows up in the dub, the first time this happens. The second Tamers movie (but not the first) does the same thing, while the Frontier movie uses a version of their Japanese logo with the offending katakana removed.
- Davis's cell phone has a cute little Matt strap. The Japanese version makes it clear that he's borrowing the phone from his sister, but this is not stated in the dub, so questions may arise. Also, why isn't this phone strap available in real life? I want one.
- Some of the shots of people watching the battle online appear to be recycled from Our War Game. If not, they are very convincing recreations.
- Right before the big cell phone hoedown, there's a really weird moment of tonal convergence where we hear Tai blowing Kari's whistle, Matt playing the harmonica and train crossing gates (likely symbolizing the end of season one). Not sure what that was about, but it's pretty cool.