Frontier Episode 36: Ice Ice Baby

In this episode, Takuya and Koji are incapacitated and the only prescription is more cowbell.

Early in Tamers, there was an episode all about IceDevimon creeping on Rika. He's notable for having all the personality of a child molester and gave us all the icks long before D-Reaper entered the picture. Frontier somehow saw this as a challenge- to take a much less interesting scenario involving the same Digimon, but nevertheless strive to make him even creepier. Mission accomplished. Welcome to Digimon, where the only answer to a monster with an unhealthy fixation on Rika is Christopher Walken.

It's not even a good Christopher Walken impersonation! It's certainly no better than Digitamamon's Peter Lorre or Cherrymon's Marlon Brando. Digimon voices that impersonate assorted celebrities is a longstanding tradition and one of the charms of the dub. Rarely is it worth talking about. But this is so perfect that it's a little frightening. It's truly a match made in hell. IceDevimon is a seriously disturbed monster; Christopher Walken is Christopher Walken.

The brilliance of this voice is that it takes the sting out of an scenario that can't afford to be as dramatic as it actually is. It's really nothing more than a silly footnote that happens to take up more than half the episode, in spite of the clear danger and the enemy so disturbed even Cherubimon wanted him out of the picture. The Cherubimon battle is the important part. While they may rival him individually, EmperorGreymon and MagnaGarurumon together are shown to be more than capable of giving Cherubimon fits. Cherubimon grows wilder and more desperate, resorting to tactics such as targeting the unarmed B-Team and eventually getting to the point where he just shoots his lightning willy-nilly in hopes that it will hit something meaningful. Unified Spirit Evolution has given the good guys the upper hand and Cherubimon runs off to lick his wounds. That's the important thing to take away here.

Really, IceDevimon is nothing more than halftime entertainment in this boss battle, which is totally inconsistent with the danger he poses. This is a pure sociopath who revels in the pain of others, kills for fun and mugs his way through the whole encounter. His joy for cruelty should have us absolutely despising him, to the point where we'd actually be angry that he enjoys such an advantage over the digidestined early in the battle. But give him a Walken voice and the whole thing's a hoot. We don't really dwell on just how nasty this guy is because we just naturally expect that somebody with a Walken voice is going to have something up his ass. Perhaps a gold watch.

The other reason we're not supposed to put too much stock into this battle is that it's so transparently designed to give the B-Team one last moment of glory. IceDevimon freezes Takuya and Koji's D-Tectors because he wanted to save the real challenge for last. What we're left with struggle to handle his freezing attacks, save for Kumamon due to elemental resistance and Loweemon because he needs to get worked into the action more.

By the time they all get freed up and slide evolve into their beast spirits, you realize that even as they'll never be remembered as the greatest fighters of all time, we're still going to miss seeing these guys as part of the regular roster. Korikakumon has this weird size/agility combo, MetalKabuterimon packs a real wallop (on anything that stays still for long enough) and JagerLoweemon looks just cool enough that you wish you could see more of him to get a better sense of his abilities. Zephyrmon's still crap, but she does contribute to a variety of effective combo attacks. It's ultimately this impressive use of teamwork that defeats IceDevimon, and, while not more powerful, it's certainly more entertaining than anything we ever see out of EmperorGreymon or MagnaGarurumon. Call me crazy, but in this late stage I kinda would rather see these guys serving as my weapon of choice.

My Grade: B+

Loose Data:
  • While Koji's still fairly stoic as MagnaGarurumon, Takuya just acts like cock of the walk as EmperorGreymon. “I'll do my best, and my best is awesome!” How much would you pay to hear Nathan Fillion say that line?
  • How resigned are the B-Team to their fate? They actually blush when Takuya says they're not totally worthless.
  • JP's line of not thinking he'd ever be happy to “see something I can't eat” just hits the wrong note on so many levels.
  • Wait... did Korikakumon just teleport? I just he just teleported... can he do that?
  • IceDevimon appeared to trap Koji and Takuya in that little fortress of solitude, yet Koji was able to shove Takuya out of it. If that was all it took, why were they worried?

1 comment:

  1. What about Etemon's Elvis impersonation?