Frontier Episode 34: Operation: Free Ophanimon

In this episode, a long trek to hear the same backstory about Cherubimon we already heard... except now it's the director's cut!


People who don't hold Digimon Frontier in high esteem, when trying to praise it in an effort to be polite, often discuss how great the mythology is in the series. Lord knows I do. And it's true: the continued chain of wars leading to uneasy peace, the affirmation of the way power can corrupt, the obvious Judeo-Christian allusions... what's not to like? Well, if the series was Record of Legendary Warrior and documented the entire span of Digital World history (and somehow had Deedlit), it would be a winner. Instead, this epic history is used as background text for our current story, where the only surviving remnants of the past are a villain who has lost all nuance and a captive who is probably more culpable than she's letting on.

Yeah, while the current form of Cherubimon is still rather dull, even with his hope that Ophanimon falls prey to Stockholm Syndrome, Ophanimon adds a few interesting details to the story. By “adds,” I mean she gets to the good stuff after rehashing everything we already knew (probably necessary given how long it's been since Seraphimon told it, but drags on in an episode that already has too much padding). By “interesting,” I mean that the system of governing established by the Celestials was fatally flawed from the beginning and Ophanimon is partially responsible for Cherubimon's corruption.

Lucemon rose to power after bringing peace to a Digital World ravaged by war between human and beast Digimon. So we have two races that have historically seen hostilities. Safe to say that there still might be lingering tensions going on, and Frontier's movie was all over that. Population-wise, you have to imagine that the Digital World is either evenly split between human and beast or that the beast Digimon are in the majority (do a quick survey of all the various species, and remember that the likes of Zephyrmon are still considered beast). Now tell me who thought it was a good idea to put two human Digimon and only one beast Digimon in charge.

Cherubimon's big issue was that he perceived the laws and traditions that Seraphimon triumphed as human constructs that weren't a good fit with beast Digimon. Now picture him seeing the two human Celestials meeting privately (Ophanimon says they were just talking, but she was awfully defensive about that) afterward to discuss what's to be done about this Cherubimon. Yeah you bet he's gonna take that the wrong way. He's certainly to blame for allowing himself to getting corrupted and going off the deep end about this, but this whole thing was doomed from the start.

That said, while that story is very captivating with all sorts of angles, it really doesn't have much bearing on Takuya and company, who are just there to fight the current incarnation of Cherubimon, so corrupted that the only sign of his past self is his desperate attempt to get Ophanimon to side with him. Cherubimon pretends that he wanted the digidestined to get this far so he could have all the spirits to himself, but he certainly threw enough obstacles in their path (the other warriors, Duskmon, the illusion of himself) to make that disputable. He basically gave away ten spirits and gave them a preview of his power in order to make them think he didn't want them getting this far.

Everything else is just the digidestined getting from point A to point B with little trouble. The fact that the Phantomon were even able to pose a threat is more embarrassing than anything (these are the same Digimon as the one that died barely getting scratched by Angemon's attack in Adventure). I'm less interested in the fight with Cherubimon as I am with this Oryxmon fellow. Random nice guy in the heart of Cherubimon's operation just taking care of his end of the building. Yet he's happy to help Cherubimon's enemies without question and Patamon instantly trusts him. He's probably got a pretty good story too. Shame we're stuck on the Takuya & Koji channel.

My Grade: B-

Loose Data:
  • The march music through the cavern to the Rose Morning Star is quite nice, and would have been even better were there a dramatic battle in this episode.
  • If Cherubimon really wanted the Legendary Warriors to bring their spirits inside, why would he have Phantomon guards threatening to seal them away in a glass ball for eternity? For that matter, after the Phantomon swiftly seal away five of the kids, why didn't they at least try to nab Loweemon? They used a conventional attack, which he dodged and countered. That whole battle was pointless.
  • The solution to the Celestial power imbalance is in these Hybrid evolutions Patamon brought about. Have something that is neither human nor beast on the council as a mediator and for God's sake don't have any backroom meetings with him.
  • Why does Cherubimon possess five of the spirits and Seraphimon and Ophanimon have to split the other five? If they're really attempting a balance of power, Cherubimon gets three, Seraphimon gets three, Ophanimon gets three, and there's one more to rule them all and in the darkness bind them. Because that's always fun.
  • Ophanimon says only the “pure of heart” answer the call to board a train? How, then, did those jerkasses that show up later end up here?

3 comments:

  1. I think the balance of power is about the balance between the human and the beast Digimon, not between the three. At least, I think?

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  2. "Pure of heart". Yeah, right. Forget those four morons, judging from everything that's happened up until now there's something to be said about the current bunch that got hold of all the spirits (and whatever anyone might say about their purity of heart, at least one of them has their mind in the gutter).

    If you ask me 'pure of heart' probably just meant children in general. Or at least, any kid rich enough to own a cellphone and dumb enough to answer a spam call.... or to follow one of them and end up falling down a flight of stairs.

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  3. If the pic with Cherubimon is any indication (look how hurt he looks) when he sees Ophani- and Seraphimon talking, Zoe may have been right that that he may have loved her. The whole Law issue may have caused tensions, but his feelings towards Ophanimon probably drove him over the edge.

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