Fusion Episode 18: Welcome to the Jungle Zone!

In this episode, while AxeKnightmon and Nene continue to carry out their scheming, Lilamon is busy shipping Jeremy and Angie. Nice to see the show acknowledging its fanfic community!

Silly breather episode! Significant, intense plot development! DIGI-FUSE!!

All right! Every so often the show does fuse something besides Shoutmon. Fusion is getting pretty good at these kinds of episodes, recognizing the need for something light-hearted after all that Lucemon business while still advancing the plot without sacrificing any momentum. While Lucemon was the center of attention in Sky Zone, the introduction of AxeKnightmon was the biggest takeaway. It's vital that he continue to have a presence in the next zone, lest we forget that.

At the same time, we need another break. Yes, episode 15 was a chance to come up for air, but Sky Zone became so chaotic that it's hard to consider any of its episodes a relief. Plus part of the reason that didn't seem so dramatic was the lack of a major threat. Instead, the Jungle Zone doesn't downplay the level of danger involved. Instead it just makes light of it. It's ridiculous that the Fusion Fighters enter the zone in midair and take a few moments before remembering the laws of gravity. The subsequent madness makes you realize that Fusion executes ridiculous very well.

The sight of Jeremy frantically clutching Angie sets up Lilamon and her ridiculous obsession with the two. If Sora clutching Tai on the raft in episode 14 of Adventure is any indicator, the way Jeremy holds on to Angie would be seen as a sign of romantic interest if it were anybody other than Jeremy and Angie. Lilamon does it anyway. It's pretty brilliant: Lilamon interpreting two scared kids holding each other in the jungle as lovey-dovey is perfectly credible because we all do the same damn thing.

We shouldn't assume that Lilamon was intentionally designed to make fun of ship-obsessed fans, but it certainly works! She analyzes each of their words and interactions, picking out anything that could be construed as romantic and twisting it as such. Totally unfair... but if you think Kari has any romantic interest in TK (or Izzy towards Mimi or Takato towards Rika or so on), it's no different.

Honest romantic angles, those that transcend silly crushes or surprise hookups, are drastically lacking in every season but Tamers (even that was a silly crush that became critically important to the plot and probably reciprocated), leading us to want it enough to imagine seeing it in every situation we can find. At least Lilamon's somewhat justified given the key to entering the Hidden Sanctuary. Her behavior is really only insane because it's quite the crack pairing. Jeremy and Angie's relationship angles are quite firm: Angie's hopelessly devoted to Mikey (which we'd all be shipping if he respected her at all) while Jeremy fails miserably trying to get the girl all the bad guys want.

Speaking of Nene, for all the development Sparrowmon got last episode, it's not making Team Midnight any softer. While Sparrowmon herself is showing reservations about their tactics, Nene remains all business despite her horrible experience last episode. Clearly, AxeKnightmon's running the show, but the human face of their operation does little to to make them humane. Cozy as they were to the Bagra Army last time, she's clearly not working with Tactimon or Kongoumon here. It's telling that Nene's alliance with Christopher falls apart because he's not ruthless enough. And if the Hidden Sanctuary only opens up upon a demonstation of love, sneaking in when it opens to help the Digimon you crippled totally perverts the system. While the Fusion Fighters are goofing around, Team Midnight's making plot happen. It's not a bad system at all, actually.

My Grade: B+

Loose Data:
  • Feels like it's been a while, but finally a fun and unorthodox digifuse as Dorulumon, Starmon and the Pickmon fuse into a helicopter to save Mikey. This is something we need to see more often, especially in place of a digicard or someone else rescuing him.
  • Pro Tip: If you're trying to introduce a new character and get us to show any interest in him, don't give him the same voice as Neemon! You're not fooling us again!
  • All this talk about hypothetical relationships and it's almost obligatory that Beelzemon throws out an “it's complicated.”
  • It seems like forever since we've seen Tactimon, but it's good to see that acknowledged in his surprise over how strong Shoutmon's gotten.

1 comment:

  1. Did you know that Neemon and Zudomon share the same voice actor? It's Michael Sorich, look it up if you don't believe me.