In this episode, Nene and Christopher struggle to appreciate Mervamon and the hefty assets she brings to the team.
So they basically gave her a sports bra. Eh, I'll take it.
Actually, the additional coverage of Mervamon reduces a pretty significant distraction and allows us additional coverage of what's actually happening. Robot Master #3 still fails to introduce any real plot development (not counting the events after his defeat), so we have to again rely heavily on the scenario itself and our heroes' reactions to it. Thankfully, and almost accidentally, we stumble onto a winner.
For starters, it utilizes the gathering and harvesting of negative energy. This is actually pretty important, since it's essential to Bagramon's endgame plot, the primary objective of each Dark General, and the only legitimate reason for them to harass the folks in their land. Zamielmon (voiced by Digitamamon) and his “digihoney” not only helps achieve this, but creates a tactical advantage against a more stubborn local resistance than the first two generals faced. The way Stingmon describes it, it's deliciously cruel too- draining Digimon nearly to the point of death for his digihoney, then letting them recover in misery until they're healthy enough to repeat the process. Adding Ignitemon (voiced by Tommy) to the fold supplements this while adding the big punch that really makes the episode work.
It certainly isn't due to Mervamon (voiced by Mitsuru Kirijo) and her relentless determination and insistence on the direct approach. This isn't a new or particularly interesting characteristic; it's little more than Takuya with giant breasts. It's the way each of the three generals react to her differently that's pretty cool. Christopher can't take somebody else giving orders and bails. He can handle a couple episodes working with Mikey, but Mervamon shakes things too much and he's off. Mikey's willing to put up with her for the sake of the mission, lovable boy scout that he is.
This time around it's Nene, however, that carries the emotional load. She's more rational than Christopher, but it doesn't mean she's happy with Mervamon's bossiness and reckless behavior. Her initial disagreement with Mervamon is refreshing simply because she's being disagreeable. Under AxeKnightmon she was mysterious, then obedient, then just sort of sad. Under Mikey, she has worked pretty well with him without any bickering. Seeing some bite from her is fun.
Of course, it only really picks up when it's revealed that Mervamon and Ignitemon are brother and sister. Let's not worry about how two different types of Digimon can be brother and sister for a moment, because this drama totally works. Usually in this situation, the good guy is the hesitant “I don't want to fight you type” while the bad guy is all in. Ignitemon is only fighting to avoid the wrath of Zamielmon and isn't all that invested in it, while Mervamon is ready to kill her brother for the sake of Honey Land.
If there's one thing that really sets Nene off, it's siblings fighting. This prompts her to intervene... although we should all be asking why they weren't intervening already. She snatches Ignitemon from the middle of the battle and puts him in a timeout (seriously, she sets him down and he doesn't really do anything from there) while new fusion JetMervamon takes care of the rest. Ignitemon, spineless wimp that he is, changes sides again as Nene explains the situation with Ewan. The parallel between Nene and Mervamon is readily apparent, and even a little obvious, but it's solid storytelling. With this concept that we're in, it's good to see that sort of effort.
My Grade: B+
- Despite not really making much of an appearance in the first few episodes, Ballistamon and Dorulumon pop up right from the get-go. It's very arbitrary, but these two get such great lines so they need to do it more often.
- Lilamon's return is appreciated only because she makes sure to ask what happened to her OTP. It's important to be reminded every so often that Jeremy and Angie still exist.
- One moment Cutemon is totally in love with Mervamon, but the next he's as annoyed with her attitude as everybody else.
- I wasn't a big fan of Mervamon swearing that she would delete Ignitemon. Not only is it extreme that she's already at that point, but the dub's use of “delete” instead of “kill,” while neither inaccurate nor nearly as bad as euphemisms in other seasons, really takes the punch away.
- While the Mervamon censorship was mostly unobtrusive and Rika and Zoe had nude transformation sequences make it on air, Nene's digifuse sequence was almost entirely cut out. This says more about how much fanservice they snuck into Nene's digifuse sequence than anything else.
- Zamielmon shouting “lame” as he retreats strikes me as hilarious for some reason. Certainly better than a spiel about planning his vengeance.