In this episode, Taiki is pursued by his biggest fans- Akari, Tagiru, and a dangerous Digimon who draws life force out of celebrities... even the dead ones.
Does anybody else get the impression that this series could have been a lot of fun if someone other than Tagiru had been the main character? It wouldn't necessarily be good by any stretch, but if the characters are likeable enough, even a run of filler like this can become enjoyable. Putting the terrible main stories aside, if they involved people we cared about, all the bonding, silly interactions and occasionally clever fighting tactics would make it worthwhile. The plot of this episode is as idiotic as anything else we've run across. When it pays attention to Taiki and guest stars Akari, it's far easier to tolerate.
It also proves that Taiki is a more interesting character when Akari is in the picture. His habit of overworking himself and collapsing should be one of his biggest trademarks next to “hottokenai.” It never came up in the Death Generals arc, which was by far the most strenuous stretch of his adventure. Given Akari and Zenjirou's late contribution, it would have been nice to see Taiki gain a better appreciation for her pillow. Whenever Akari's involved, he's more fallible, more human and, much to Tagiru's amusement, more awkward.
This is where having someone as annoying as Tagiru make things more fun. As a newcomer to the group, he assumes Taiki and Akari are an item and is tactless enough to push the subject to the point where Taiki probably wanted to punch him in the face (for those keeping score at home- no that doesn't count). It's trademark Tagiru, but mostly harmless; you see random background characters doing the same thing. When he's not the center of attention, he's not really a problem. His insistence on tailing them on their outing makes him the center of attention, but his abuse of DigiQuartz is amusing. At least it would be if everybody else wasn't abusing DigiQuartz so terribly.
Taiki and Akari aren't an item, but are at an age where they're wondering if they're supposed to be. While Tagiru still thinks the Hunt is a merry little adventure, Taiki's reluctance to tell Akari about it or get her involved suggests that he knows how dangerous it really is. While it's noble that he's trying to keep her safe, it also fails to give her any credit. Akari as a hunter would lend some integrity and compassion to the job, which is sorely needed with the likes of Ren and Airu running around. Furthermore, her experience with Digimon and willingness to get her hands dirty if necessary would make her a potentially great hunter. Thrown into the mix against SuperStarmon, she handles the action very well, as she always does. The only way to roll with Taiki is to keep up with his pace, and she knows this.
At some point, however, we have to look at the actual story, which might stand among the most ridiculous this season. SuperStarmon's trap for Taiki is convoluted, as is the implication that he's done this for all sorts of famous people... including some who have been dead for decades. Gotta wonder how much energy he's really getting from the Bruce Lee doppelganger. For all his scheming, he sure doesn't know how to handle preventing Taiki and Akari from escaping while facing an attack from Tagiru and Ryouma.
Ryouma might draw some raised eyebrows for his willingness to help Tagiru and casual conversation about Taiki with the clockmaker. But putting himself in the best position to hunt SuperStarmon and making nice with the gamemaster seems like typical, self-serving stuff and shouldn't be suspicious. Yuu's the one doing the really fun stuff, using a dummy to fool everybody while he rescues Taiki and Akari. After helping Taiki engineer a DoubleXros to summon Shoutmon X4, he even has Tuwarmon in position to deliver the knockout blow and win the hunt. It's a pretty sneaky move that impresses Ryouma and infuriates Tagiru. Tagiru absolutely should have punched Yuu in the face.
My Grade: C+
- The shootball that Taiki is so good at is a type of slider unique to Japanese baseball. It features in the Tom Selleck movie Mr. Baseball.
- Akari is surprised that Taiki still carries his Xros Loader around, but she still carries her pillow even though she doesn't see him all that often.
- If the convenience store wasn't supposed to have that particular prize available, why did they have a promotional sign for it? Also, how about Yuu knowing off hand what sort of giveaways stores of a certain size are capable of running?
- Was there anything as pointless and showy as those monster bracelets? It doesn't seem to take a whole lot to suck people into DigiQuartz, so why bother to explain and sell this giant ugly Apple Watch?
- While you ponder how SuperStarmon actually acquired all his specimens, look at the fake names for some of the real people. Apparently Niki Odama is the canon US president in Xros Wars.
- Poor Zenjirou. Akari and Nene get entire episodes and Kiriha straight-up steals one, but all he gets is one measly scene where he's as annoying as ever. Still, like Akari, why shouldn't he be made a hunter?