In this episode, Impmon tries going up against a Deva and fails like the little bitch he knows he is.
Like most of the characters in the series, we've been generally ignoring Impmon. He's been his typical antagonistic self for the last few episodes, popping in randomly to insult or attack the main cast. Lately it's been pretty clear that he's a pitiful creature with nothing better to do, clinging to our heroes in a desperate effort to feel like he belongs somewhere. This round goes to show that Impmon is even more pitiful and even more desperate than first thought.
After scaring off some ganguro chicks fawning over Calumon, he finds himself in a digital field with a Deva before Rika and Renamon show up. For all the talking Impmon's done about how the tamers' Digimon rely on humans who keep them as pets, he gets a dose of his own medicine when Indramon mocks him for carrying the stench of humans and his inability to evolve. These are pretty sensitive topics that infuriate Impmon, but Indramon ducks out because it's too early in the episode for a battle.
Angry and frustrated, Impmon does what he always does- petty property destruction, theft and assault. He even steals ice cream from a little kid just to be a dick. The police arrive with a full armed response. It's a bit excessive, but since they can only brandish guns on this show when pointed at non-humans, they're getting their kicks in while they can. Renamon bails him out and demands to know what he's doing.
This scene, which is sneakily excellent and crucial to the series as a whole, frames Impmon's character in a way that takes him from annoying snot to tortured soul in an instant, accidentally confessing that he does have human partners. Renamon is the perfect sympathizer in this, having starting this journey with the sole purpose of getting stronger, patiently waiting for her partner to come around before realizing that Rika was actually more important. Impmon's partners, however, fought over him constantly and drove him away, derailing his quest for power before it ever got started. He finds himself determined to prove that he can get stronger and evolve without them, ridiculing Digimon with partners in an effort to convince himself that he isn't completely hosed.
Of course, he is completely hosed, with no hope for evolution without his partners and no chance of securing any other companionship as he's too stubborn to associate with “pets.” It's a lonely place for a character to be in, and the full scope of his dilemma, along with its tragic resolution, is what makes Impmon one of the richest monster characters in the franchise. When Indramon reappears, Impmon insists on fighting him alone to prove to himself and everybody that he isn't as weak as he looks. He nearly dies in the process.
On top of all this, Henry and Takato are deep in thought as well. Henry's sensei explains the legend of the Devas from Sanskrit- 12 benevolent deities who fought the Asuras. Yes, benevolent. For all the trouble these Devas are causing, Henry's sensei preaches that who's good and who's bad all depends on perspective. He uses eating a gallon of ice cream as a metaphor, which must make him related to Cody's grandfather.
And Takato? First, after Jeri observes that he seems a bit stressed out, he remarks that he just wanted a Digimon friend and didn't mean to get this deep into the conflict (somewhere out there, Kyubei is wagging its tail). Amazingly, he's also the first person to recognize the connection between Calumon and evolution, even if Calumon has no idea what he's talking about. How this slipped past everybody else, we'll never know, but thank God somebody noticed!
My Grade: B+
- There has to be some city ordinance against kids playing in a fountain with pets, but Kazu, Jeri and Kenta are all laughing it up with Guilmon in the water. When Takato considers joining in, Henry makes up an excuse. Rika just leaves without a word.
- As the Devas use the hole created by Juggernaut to enter the real world, Yamaki is able to intercept and translate their binary code signals. He mocks their primitive communication methods but doesn't get anything useful out of them.
- Renamon wins the Impmon scene quickly when she turns around an insult to Rika by (correctly) pointing out that even Rika could kick Impmon's ass.
- There's also that random weird kid that shows up out of nowhere playing with Guilmon, but I'm sure he's not important.