In this episode, people assume that space is a vacuum incapable of supporting life, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint it's more like a big void of wibbly-wobbly spacey-wacey stuff.
There's no zone in play here, nor is there any sign of AxeKnightmon or Christopher. On the surface, it's pretty straightforward, where Mikey's friends are under attack and Mikey has to escape one debacle in order to save them. After an exciting run of entanglements with Midnight and the Bagra Army, it could be seen as a bit of a letdown. It's more complicated than that, however. In Wisemon, there's an overt lesson, but for once it's actually a thoughtful one that's appreciated. The most important thing the episode offers, of course, is a nice reset to lead us into the home stretch.
We're calling this a reset because it's a way to set the table for the adventure going forward without resorting to a plot dump or recap episode. It certainly has elements of those types of episodes, but without all the annoying flashbacks or exposition to poison it. That's the value here, more than the unimpressive Arukadhimon attack or Wisemon joining the team. None of that matters when we're finally getting to see Bagramon, particularly his interactions with the three generals.
The best thing we can say about him? First impressions aren't always that accurate. He's big, he's intimidating, he has a deep voice, he commands his minions with authority, and he relishes in his own evil. None of that is particularly interesting. It's Cherubimon all over again. Eventually, Cherubimon turned out to have a backstory that made him interesting enough, but at first glance there's not a lot to get excited about. His three lieutenants vying for a senior post, on the other hand, are still top notch. Tactimon and Laylamon are both fighting for a larger share of code crowns, a nice interpersonal battle It's also proof that as pitiful as Mikey's count really is, at least he's had an impact denying them. And that Mercurymon would have been awesome here.
On top of that, we also know how many code crowns there are, how many each team has, and how many are left. Tactimon is curious that Team Midnight hasn't bothered to collect any, suggesting that AxeKnightmon has more important things to worry about, which should scare the hell out of everybody. It also provides the only intriguing thing about Laylamon's scheme this episode- victory over Mikey would put her above Tactimon in the standings.
Other than that, there's not a lot to like about this Arukadhimon character. Laylamon decides to let Mikey live long enough to see his friends die, which should disqualify her for promotion right there. Normally this is the part where Jeremy and Angie fend off the attack long enough for Mikey to return, but they're utterly useless and the only point in their scenes is highlighting their utter uselessness. It's depressing. At least second-stringers like Knightmon and the PawnChessmon get some service time.
Good thing Mikey's exploits are amusing. He's spared by a wandering Wisemon, who travels through the void in a capsule that's bigger on the inside, learning everything he can about all the alien zones. Really, the only difference between him and the Doctor is everything. While he wants to observe and learn, he refuses to actually travel to any zone and mix it up with the locals. He assumes that Bagramon's victory is inevitable and is even excited to see it, never pondering the dire ramifications. Pursuit of knowledge is all well and good, and we hope he will continue providing it in the future, but actually caring about the subject material is important as well. Maybe he can explain how both the humans and the Digimon are at risk of being atomized in the void of space one moment, then swimming through it consequence-free before the end of the battle.
My Grade: B-
- While it's proof that Mikey is totally hopeless when it comes to relating with girls, it's hilarious that he attributes Nene's intense fatigue to Jeremy being a creeper. And that Jeremy's response is continuing to be a creeper.
- The Digital World having 108 zones is not an arbitrary number at all. The number 108 is a deeply spiritual number in Buddhism, and as such is scattered all over various anime and video games.
- Bagramon states that he wants to rebuild a Digital World in his own evil image. That sorta ruins the effect of having different armies fighting for what they believe is a just cause. If Bagramon acknowledges that he's evil, how's he getting decent folk like Dorulumon signed up?
- Wisemon's explanation of how the human world has only recently begun interacting with the Digital World might be the simplest, most elegant, most delicious (mmm... pepperoni) origin story yet. It's also another example of setting the table by observing that the human world is at risk too.
- Sparrowmon calls the digicards by their original Japanese name digi-memories. I find both names bland/stupid so no points awarded either way.
- Points however to Mikey for recognizing that there's no need to actually kill Arukadhimon and retreating at the first opportunity. Arukadhimon continues to force the issue, but that's his problem.