tri. Episode 02: Reunion, Part Two

In this episode, with Kuwagamon terrorizing town, Taichi is thrilled to get support from Agumon. He's less sure what to make of the support from organized and networked calligraphy teachers.


Now that we've (finally) met our band of heroes... again... it's time for the other half of the fun. Yes, we all enjoy the characters, their interactions with each other, and the personal crises that define them. But the essence of Digimon Adventure is taking all of these and throwing them into life-or-death situations with fantastic monsters. Part two of Reunion puts a pin in most of the character developments from part one and gives us the first of the movie's two action sequences. It's still careful with all sorts of subtleties to appreciate. Only now there's not only the badass fighting, we've got drama, genuine sentiment, and far more information about Taichi than any routine high school melancholy could offer.

The impact of Digimon battles on the city's infrastructure has never gotten its due attention in the past. While prior seasons have shown plenty of it, and Tamers and Savers used them as minor plot points, it's really in our faces now. The (delightfully symbolic) damage done to and around the Fuji TV building really hits Taichi hard. He also sees the innocent people scurrying to find safety, and the smashed cell phone of someone who must have only barely made it. That phone pops up throughout the movie and might seem like an odd thing to obsess over. But think about it: it's an item that almost everybody has, a deeply personal tool that offers communication to those important to us, and a connection to the outside world... and in a way, the digital world. Revenge of Diaboromon portrayed cell phones in the same way- a digivice for muggles. Someone's digivice just got splattered on the pavement.

Once Taichi realizes that Kuwagamon is targeting him and that his digivice is about as useful as someone's phone, he does well to find a less populated, less cluttered area. For all of the grief he'll get later over running away, this is absolutely the right move. Agumon's intervention was bound to be a major moment in tri. no matter what. Just like his first appearance against the first Kuwagamon way back when, he arrives with a moment of bravery at a time when hope appears lost. Unlike that cluttered opener, it genuinely feels miraculous- the fates tossing Taichi a bone for his good deed. The emotional reunion is fast, and we can be thankful it is with Kuwagamon still there, but it hits on the biggest point- Taichi has gotten bigger while Agumon looks smaller from a high schooler's perspective.

It's not a typical fight, however, which makes the entire episode not only exciting, but full of little plot details more assuredly relevant than in part one. Both Kuwagamon and Greymon are unstable, evidenced by their occasional digitization (and listed as such on Daigo's monitor). With this we have the question of what pulled them out of the real world, where they went before entering the Digital World, and why it was nightfall when they crashed back in at the airport. Once the remaining partner Digimon join the battle, the two defeated Kuwagamon have their data sucked into the same void, while Alphamon just yanks the original himself after it looks ready to defeat Garurumon. Now these are some developments we can get behind and hope for swift answers in future movies.

We don't get a whole lot out of the five digidestined who came to the rescue. Their reunions with their partners are offscreen, which is fine as it saves time... plus most of them got equivalent scenes early in Zero Two anyway. They're all business and their fights are impressive, showing off some impressive visuals... and how much destruction these Digimon are capable of.

Instead, the focus is on this mysterious agency that rounded them all up. They're organized, they're professional, they surely have the cooperation of the airport and the police. They also have each of the kids numbered and tracked, ready to deploy them instantly but unwilling to give them many answers while doing so. That, combined with the whole “Digimon attacking and tearing up an airport” thing, has the digidestined confused and nervous... at least until Mimi shows up with sugar. Mimi just makes everything better.

My Grade: A

Loose Data:
  • The new evolution sequence is all sorts of fun (I particularly like the Digimon names in multiple international languages to compliment the usual English and katakana). One of the more noteworthy decisions is that while most of the numbers floating about are zeroes and ones emblematic of the binary code that represents all things digital, the Digimon themselves are represented in ternary- zeros, ones and twos. Possible reasons could be a hint at a possible third universe in addition to human and Digital, the warnings before the movie that threes and triangles would be significant, or even a nod to the oft-cited claim that Digimon are more than just data.
  • Other than the sky going from day to night, there isn't much sense of time elapsing in the real world. Taichi is still yelling for Greymon, even though it must have been hours later.
  • Taichi not ordering Hikari to Haneda is an early sign of how gun shy he's getting. Combine that with her inability to report her sighting earlier, there's a sense that they care so much about each other that they're getting in each other's way.
  • One pretty significant scene we're missing is whether (and how) Joe evaded the agent sent to take him to Haneda, or whether there wasn't one to begin with. Given how others with conflicts like Koushiro were happy to jump in the car and the agents weren't exactly asking, it's reasonable to suspect that nobody went to pick him up in the first place.
  • For the first time since joining the good guys, Tailmon's back to being an Adult! The whole ring construct in Zero Two was a reasonable enough excuse to nerf her, but it's great to see her kicking ass with the big guys.

3 comments:

  1. I thought that the phone that gets crushed was Taichi's phone? It would be a good reason for him to focus on it specifically, and I thought it explained why he was so careful about checking that his digivice was still with him.

    It's possible I just made that up, though.

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  2. We see in a flashback next episode that some guys did try to pick Joe up, but he brushed them off. It's implied that he didn't believe them until after he saw the report on the news, but I think it might be related more to the inferiority complex he's been showing off the whole movie so far.

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  3. Hey, history ref! Koushirou asks a waiter for Oolong tea, which was what led to his most inopportune bathroom break in Children's War Game.

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