In this episode, a bunch of training dummies somehow just don't draw as much anger out of the trio as the Bio-Hybrids do.
With the digivices busted up, the Data Squad are stuck seeking out Spencer in hopes he can fix them. Returning to a place they had already been to, perhaps hoping he was out of the office the first time, they instead find BanchoLeomon, who starts them on a training regimen. It's not all that harsh, but it's not all that effective either. The breakthrough comes out of dire necessity more than anything that was actually planned. While it's an easy, poetic way to net three Mega forms in one go, it's a little convenient, a little contrived, and offers a one-size-fits-all solution to a challenge each of the three should be approaching differently.
The episode plays like a training montage, only without the actual montage. They were bums at the beginning, they're champs at the end... don't ask too many questions about how they got there so quickly. The challenge BanchoLeomon throws down is for them to destroy three training dummies with their bare hands. What he intends to teach is both the power of human emotion and the human mind's ability to control it. How the hell is the assignment in any way connected to the lesson?!
DNA Charge is about a human getting fired up for a battle and channeling that energy through their digivice into their Digimon. The first thing BanchoLeomon does is separate the humans from their Digimon. Then he makes them stand off against a bunch of props that don't cause any animosity. Marcus and Thomas get frustrated, but how is that supposed to compare to their partners and an entire race being annihilated? The only explanation is that BanchoLeomon was trying to make the task as annoying as possible, forcing the trio to spend so much time punching dummies that they eventually get so worried about their defenseless Digimon that they burst. It would be a pretty elaborate ploy that relies on the three to lack faith in their Digimon's ability to take care of themselves.
The Digimon? Until the Bio-Hybrids show up, they're fine. They play hopscotch, chase around a Botamon... they kill time. They trust that their partners will figure things out because they don't want to think about any other possibility. It's the right mindset to have, and it's not the mindset BanchoLeomon is encouraging. The only thing he can be planning is that the Data Squad begins to fear that they will never get out and that their Digimon are doomed. Fear is not the best emotion to be playing off of when it comes to evolving giant monsters. Just seems like that has the potential to go badly.
The Bio-Hybrids do bail out BanchoLeomon, presenting not only a credible threat, but enough damage to the cabin to show the three what their Digimon are up to. Only the sight of their Digimon trying to stand their ground, doing what they can to buy their partners more time, generates the necessary response. All BanchoLeomon does from there is tell them to control it. There had to have been a more expedient way to do that.
The whole thing is also too Marcus-centric to work right. With Keenan on his off-screen vision quest, we're looking at three teams we can really dive into. In Tamers, each of the three Mega evolutions was borne from a unique situation and emotion. That might be a bit much to expect for a series that goes for a broader perspective, but the least they can do is give each team its own problem to overcome. Why not have things that make the most out of Thomas's logistical brilliance or Yoshi's diligence? This is suited for Marcus and Marcus only, and Thomas and Yoshi should be able to master their own creeds without being forced to adopt The Marcus Code. In fact, it was downright awkward watching Thomas and Yoshi screaming, especially when Yoshi wasn't even punching dummies. Takes a bit more to convince us that Yoshi's the Super-Saiyan type.
My Grade: B-
- While the good guys are learning how to be properly angry, Ivan and Nanami are chillaxing and wondering what Kouki's deal is. That was probably an intentional parallel, but seeing them in “off” mode like that is fun.
- It's observed that the building hanging off the outcropping has mysteriously disappeared, but nobody seems to care or question it.
- It is pretty sad that not even company folks like Yoshi and Thomas know what the DNA Charge is, despite having used it this whole time, but how well does any season's cast know about the power behind evolution at first?
- After explaining to the Digimon that their partners must go it alone, BanchoLeomon quips that he doesn't have enough chairs. It's a hasty ad lib thrown into the dub that gives you serious Zero Two vibes. Also, he doesn't have any chairs as Yoshi would surely be using one while not fighting the dummies. Silly dub.
- Give Marcus credit: at least he called BanchoLeomon out for his stunt. The other two thought it was incredibly useful training from a skilled sensei. The other two were wrong.