In this episode, sometimes network censorship hands you lemons. Sometimes they're oranges.
Even after everything Tamers brought, sometimes there are things the network just won't allow. For some reason, the site of a giant bomb terrorizing an amusement park just didn't sit right with the fine folks at the Disney Channel. This isn't one of those cases where slyly Photoshopping out a gun or calling booze something else is going to work. BomberNanimon is pretty damn big and takes up a third of the episode. You also can't just skip the episode... that would really ruin Kristy's birthday.
The solution is to abandon all pretense of loyally sticking to the original script, change BomberNanimon into a big honkin' orange and embrace the absurdity. Thomas ends up not being confronted by an invading Digimon so much as a threat to get stuck in an episode of Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo. This Silly Dub tag is worn with such pride that it might as well be a Zero Two episode.
Which is just as well since it's only interrupting another meaningless affair with no long-term consequence. It is, however, adorable. After the forced adventures we just had, there's a ton of charm in watching Thomas try way too hard to make sure Kristy has a good day. While he's been brought down to earth to some degree, Thomas is still a fairly extreme opposite to Marcus and therefore thinks entertaining a little girl on her birthday requires meticulous planning, advanced reservations and a focus group. Many of the events would have probably gone right over Kristy's head, particularly as it's doubtful that her taste buds are refined enough to enjoy what Thomas wanted for dinner. At least he's smart enough to allow the birthday girl to override his plans and choose where she wants to go.
In this regard, it's nice to see both Thomas and Marcus taken out of their comfort zones by non-threatening reality in ways that don't invoke their brands of stubborn machismo. Marcus sees no way out of this test and is forced to bite the bullet and butter up Thomas to get him to take the job. His frustrated cutaways break things up nicely as well. For Thomas, he's thrown into another man's family and has to adjust to their pace.
Through this, it's made clear that Thomas doesn't have a normal family life. He definitely has some sort of mommy issues and may not actually have a mommy. We get the old anime trick of shading out both Marcus's dad in a picture and Thomas's mom in a flashback, which usually isn't good news. His affection for the happy, energetic Kristy is another matter altogether. Meanwhile, both Kristy and Sarah really take to Thomas (and why wouldn't they?). Kristy's already dishing out hugs and kisses while Sarah offers to pay for lunch when Thomas doesn't have cash on him. It's sweet, surely has to annoy the crap out of Marcus, and could be construed as an even more entertaining love triangle than what we had with TK, Kari and Davis.
In an episode that's really all about the adorable relationship between Thomas and Marcus's family, Citramon is probably more appropriate a monster than BomberNanimon anyway. In a way, it's like IceDevimon last season- taking a legitimate, dangerous threat in an episode that doesn't call for one and turning it into a complete joke. The potential for serious collateral damage and grave injury under BomberNanimon isn't something we should have to worry about with all the warm fuzzies going on. Citramon is completely ridiculous and the puns are flying (Gaomon deadpanning “he's tart” trumps all of them), which may not be the dub's proudest moment but may be more appropriate to the overall feel of the episode. Instead of having to watch something frightening, Kristy instead gets a clown... that Gaogamon promptly beats to a pulp.
My Grade: C+
- Citramon is described by the writers as a tribute to the Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo character Don Patch, voice actor and all. That somehow explains everything and nothing at the same time.
- Thomas accuses Marcus of never doing anything without an ulterior motive. While the sight of Marcus being nice to Thomas should be viewed with instant suspicious, that doesn't sound like Marcus at all.
- Almost as adorable as Kristy gushing over Thomas was Gaomon's reaction to Kristy gushing over him.
- Thomas giving flowers to Sarah as well was a stroke of genius. Marcus should have been instantly unsettled, but Mom is all GTFO. No wonder he struggled with the test.
- As far as that test goes, there's probably something in The Marcus Code that would explain him questioning why the big brother in the math problem doesn't just wait for his sister. Sure beats solving the problem.
- First Marcus blatantly disregards Sampson's orders with no repercussions, now Thomas does it. Not only is Sampson terrible at his job, but Thomas apparently knows this. Besides, what good would have been accomplished by waiting. Is Thomas supposed to let the park get flooded in orange juice just to let Yoshi show up and provide meager and unnecessary assistance?