Well, at least the episode title's clever. It's no Princess Karaoke, but it also doesn't play off “darkest before the dawn.” So hooray for that.
It's easy to try to accentuate the positives going on here. Babies are adorable. The reunion of the ten human spirit forms is pretty cool. Zoe manages to find a way to be useful. And for the second straight episode, nobody dies! At the same time, all these things do very little to lift an episode that continues the run of formulaic rubbish. Instead, it's depressing to realize that these bright spots likely mean that future episodes in this arc are going to be even worse.
The Village of Beginnings is awkward to begin with. It's basically Primary Village with a new name, a new caretaker (who is far more likable than the incompetent Elecmon in season one) and a new distribution system that enlists several Trailmon to play stork. Which raises the question- why not just call it Primary Village? I get that each season tries to re-envision the Digital World, but taking the exact same concept that's been done before and passing it off as new isn't going to fool anybody. Call it what it is and give us our nostalgia. It's not like this season's ever shied away from throwbacks in the past.
Any hope of trying to understand Dynasmon and Crusadermon is rapidly deteriorating. It's one thing to accept that these two believe that Lucemon is the answer to the world's problems. Add in Crusadermon's ulterior motive and it works pretty well. It's the fact that they seem to relish in the idea of turning the Digital World into a lifeless wasteland that becomes hard to swallow. Even if Lucemon converts the transmitted data back into something resembling a landscape, it's still dead. Dynasmon claims clones will be more welcome than babies, despite priding himself on passion and emotion. Crusadermon values beauty, yet she's turning the world barren and gray.
The lack of fresh ideas is apparent due to all the stalling tactics. The conversation of motherhood is natural, and Koji trying to imagine his mother caring for him and Koichi together is appreciated, but the impromptu clip show is disappointing. There are moments where it's acceptable to pause and reflect on what it means to have a Digimon form. In the middle of an unrelated conversation at a time when battle is not imminent isn't one of them. The notion that they consider their first spirit evolution a second birthday would be very interesting if the series did a better job developing the idea of their Digimon being a completely new identity. It simmers just under the surface all season, but never comes close to being fully realized.
Once the Royal Knights show up, it's business as usual: Takuya and Koji get beaten to a pulp while the others handle the evacuation. The remaining four spirits combine with the eggs of the fallen four warriors to give Mercurymon, Ranamon, Arbormon and Grumblemon a welcome cameo and an inspired moment where all ten produce one combined attack, suggesting power in unity and the notion that despite past differences, they're all on the same side now. Imagine how great it would have been if that had amounted to anything, instead of Dynasmon gathering the data anyway and flying off triumphantly. Suddenly, this crowning moment of awesome became a waste of time.
My Grade: D+
- Takuya asserts that Worm wouldn't let anything happen to the other kids. Now let's be honest, if there was one Trailmon that was reckless enough to endanger its passengers, it's gotta be Worm, right?
- Swanmon is pissed off at the intruders, but she calms down and welcomes them lovingly with nothing more than an explanation. Charming lady. What's stranger is that the gang seems astonished that the only adult Digimon in the area is the caretaker.
- Is anyone else bothered by the number of In-Training level Digimon still hanging around baby camp?
- Zoe refers to Angler by name, as if he's the only Angler type around and they've met several times before. It's pretty safe to assume that is not the case and that this is either a new one or at least one that hasn't gotten a bath from them.
- Dynasmon is so angry at Takuya's “blasphemy” that he goes into wyvern mode again. Given what happened last time he tried that, pissing him off is almost a viable strategy.
- The combined attack from the ten warriors is the first thing that fazed the Royal Knights. Given how badly EmperorGreymon and MagnaGarurumon have been faring, why the hell didn't somebody think to track down the four eggs and take them with? Just because something is impressive doesn't mean it's not repeatable! The insistence of Takuya and company to go it alone and not seek out additional support is one of the most frustrating things about their journey.