In this episode, Takuya and Koji will do whatever it takes to prevent Lucemon's revival. Unless it's something that's actually, you know, hard.
For several moments, this felt like a proper final stand. There's another big castle in which to make a strong defense. There are a lot of quiet moments where the group pauses to reflect on how far they've come or the fears they're trying to suppress. Zoe even comes close to throwing in a Yoko/Kamina moment (did I really go 46 episodes before tapping the Zoe/Yoko actress connection?). And after they fail yet again, Lucemon proves to be even nastier than advertised. For as many decent scenes as this episode has, they end up going to waste as everything in between is a mess. The ultimate disappointment is that Takuya and Koji don't lose so much as they decide that they don't really want to stop Lucemon after all and let him take the Digital World.
Ophanimon's castle is one big library defended by Nefertimon. Despite taking her job way too seriously, she concedes that she's basically just the librarian. Remember all those rumors about nobody knowing where the data is, which were apparently so reliable that it led the team to correctly assume that the market would be targeted first? The Royal Knights barge in and promptly observe that Nefertimon carries the area's data, thus making it the fastest they've been able to find it. After the initial barrage, Nefertimon asks EmperorGreymon and KendoGarurumon to kill her and take the data for themselves. This is what we call an ethical dilemma.
And this is the solution: YOU KILL HER AND TAKE THE GODDAMN DATA FOR YOURSELVES! After so many Digimon that refuse to sacrifice themselves to protect the world, we finally have one willing to die for her country! It would have been morally difficult to pull the trigger, and they would have deserved immense credit for doing so, but in refusing, Takuya and Koji lose the war. Instead, they make their jobs even harder as now they have to protect Nefertimon on top of beating the Royal Knights (which they still have never been able to do). In fact, Nefertimon points out the way they could have prevented Lucemon's rebirth long ago: find the least populated area you can take without a fight, scan it, give the data to Zoe and send her on the first train home. No matter what Takuya and Koji do against the Royal Knights from that point on, it's a guaranteed stalemate.
There's no sense going over the actual battle, where EmperorGreymon and MagnaGarurumon draw things out with hand-to-hand combat and hollow speeches. It ends with what can only be described as Lucemon yelling “get on with it!” But the prep work, where the kids split into pairs to search the castle for the data that they won't know what to do with, is interesting. Under JP's embarrassing magic act lies a very real fear of losing. His over-the-top suppression is annoying, but the feeling strikes home. Koji is aware that Koichi's wrestling with something, but they realize that despite being brothers by blood, they still haven't grown truly comfortable with each other. They love the concept of having a brother more than they fully understand the sort of relationship that goes with it. The only one Koichi can really talk to about his problem is Bokomon, who just sort of nods and says “sucks to be you.” Have I mentioned how terrible Bokomon is lately?
And then there's Takuya and Zoe. From the scene, it's fair to conclude that Zoe kinda likes him, even though it makes Sora's interest in Matt look choreographed and predictable by comparison. Takuya, however, clearly made an awkward slip of the tongue. Granted, had he actually stayed awake and she actually confessed, he probably would have been game (she's pretty enough and he's been under a lot of stress, so why not?). Don't take it as a sign that they're destined to end up together. Take it as a sign that Zoe's destined to have a multitude of terrible relationships in the future.
My Grade: C-
- It's remarkable that the Royal Knights put so much blind faith in Lucemon given how he acts. He's practically screaming that he doesn't care about anybody but himself, and his asking Crusadermon if she doubts him is downright sarcastic.
- Although having no physical form in the Digital World can mean all sorts of things, it's clear that Koichi seems to have a pretty good idea of what's going on. It's a shame he can't tell Koji, even after his brother's excitement at being able to reunite in the real world.
- Nefertimon, who at one point claims to know all there is to know, warns the kids that the Royal Knights are approaching. They show up about two seconds later. A bit more of a head's up will be appreciated next time... oh right, she's dead.
- I would be more put off by the random light show that disrupts the battle, but since it promptly put an end to the battle I actually kinda welcomed it.