In this episode, Lucemon is not only a selfish, sadistic megalomaniac... he's also a total kill stealer.
It would be easy to say the Royal Knights episodes are entirely skippable. How great would it be to pretend that after the disastrous opening battle, the kids just hop to a different moon, watch helplessly as the Royal Knights finish off the Digital World, then head up to engage the kids because Lucemon demands 100% completion. Think of all the crap we wouldn't have to watch! If only it were true...
There's no doubt that a few of the episodes could be glossed over. That nonsense at the Village of Flame was a complete waste of time, for example. But the little development we got from the last few episodes pays off big time here. After moving at what seemed like a snail's pace for so long, we look around and realize that the entire landscape has changed, even ignoring the obvious part about Lucemon being here now. Not only have Takuya and Koji slowly gotten stronger, the bad guys are now having doubts about their mission. This is a frightening combination.
The idea of determination pushing the good guys to victory is used so often that it's not even worth discussing. Get angry or loud or righteous enough and you can accomplish anything... we get that. It's not that often, however, that we see the reverse holding true at the same time. It's hard to argue that the Royal Knights being zealous was the key to their dominance early: they were just bigger, faster, stronger and smarter. Now that things appear a little more level, willpower makes a difference. When confronted with the actual revived form of Lucemon, it's harder to stay loyal. Not when everything about him oozes deception and selfish intent. He's a flippin' Demon Lord! Witness his reaction when Crusadermon just wants to make absolutely sure that he'll hold his end of the bargain. Lucemon berates her for doubting him while simultaneously making it pretty clear that he has no intention of holding his end of the bargain. To then have to face a stupidly resolved EmperorGreymon and MagnaGarurumon... despite having never lost to them before, you know what's going to happen and you know it's going to be ugly.
At the end of this massacre is what must go down as the most diabolical kill steal in anime history. It's not the only kill steal, but it might be the only one with that many experience points on the line. Lucemon's original form is plenty nasty- this wicked little shota boy with no patience for dissent. This EXP boost allows him to level up into his Chaos Mode, and now we've got a fighter who means business.
As he's pummeling EmperorGreymon and MagnaGarurumon so hard it fractures the whole damn moon, he goes off about how creatures secretly don't want free will, and would rather have a superior being lording over them. This is a pretty heavy concept, and one with a lot of added weight given the way the season borrows elements of Judeo-Christian mythology... or at least John Milton. There's no mystery that Lucemon is meant to represent Lucifer as a fallen angel, so this discussion of free will has all sorts of crazy elements worth critiquing. Satan's never been a big fan of serving a perceived tyrant, so it's fascinating that Lucemon's promoting this very thing. Being a tyrant, of course, is totally cool by him.
On top of that, you've also got the rebirth of the other two Celestials, free of the memory of their mistakes and thus free to move on together. It's an encouraging, happy sight and we should do the same. While this doesn't excuse the crappiness of the Royal Knights arc, it does resolve it very well, and deserves credit for doing so. Now let's hope this Lucemon thing gets handled a lot quicker.
My Grade: B+
- It's clear that JP and Zoe are getting pretty sick of Takuya's positive attitude. World's destroyed, they're stuck on the moon... it's just a little sparse, it's still good! It's still good!
- Digimon are just hatching and already at In-Training level? That's some powerful formula those digieggs are getting.
- Tommy says all they need is a new plan. Takuya's plan is to fight until they win. Meet the new plan! Same as the old plan!
- The episode was pretty solid, but the clip show was uncalled for. It was quite awkward that Takuya was telling it all to the revived form of Ophanimon, as if to say “you dragged me into this, you bitch.”
- The final battle with Dynasmon turns into a spirit dragon beating a spirit wyvern. I don't care how lousy Dynasmon was as a character; that's pretty badass.
- Remember all those times Takuya learned a valuable lesson about not blindly charging at a seemingly invincible opponent? Takuya doesn't!