In this episode, as the current situation gets more and more dangerous, the cast of Digimon takes out its frustrations by obliterating Palette Town.
We have certain expectations for what's a movie is supposed to cover by the closing credits. There should be a big escalation and resolution of the central conflict. Any inner torment the main character is going through should be either overcome or managed. When it's part of a series, you need sufficient reason to watch movie two. The ending of the first tri. movie hits all of these. The team has a massive fight against Alphamon, Taichi is forced to suck up his fears and get his hands dirty, and we're sure as hell itching for part two. Thing is, when it comes to actually appreciating all of these, they all end up sort of playing against each other.
The build up to the Alphamon fight is everything we should expect. Thanks to Koushiro's sudden mechanical prowess, the Digimon are all available at a moment's notice and Taichi has a powerful tool that can detect distortions. This tool is a neat way to re-introduce goggles to the new series. With the original model safe and sound on Daisuke's head off in some distant unknown hellscape, it's an excuse for Taichi to wear a new pair. It also makes up for Adventure being the only season not to have its goggle boy use his goggles as goggles.
While looking for distortions, they run into the two other characters central to the build-up- Yamato and Meiko. Yamato's issues with Taichi's hesitation is fascinating not because he's worried, but because he's so much more worried than everybody else. The others all saw and heard the same thing as him, but not only is he the only one calling Taichi out on it, he takes it personally. Remember that Yamato had to learn to respect Taichi the hard way. Because of his personal issues, he understands how everybody on the team has to fulfill their role and trust everyone else to do the same. That starts at the top. Seeing Taichi so indecisive throws everything Yamato previously learned into doubt, especially as the rest of the team refuses to question or even notice it. The more Taichi falters, and the more the others tolerate it, the more Yamato questions how useful this team thing really is. And he remembers what happened the last time he did that.
Meiko, meanwhile, is pure innocence. She's a fresh digidestined, nervously happy about the vets welcoming her in and showing her the ropes. It's sweet to see the team, especially Sora and Mimi, greeting her with a smile. To contrast that, we have to ask serious questions about Meicoomon. Her ability to somehow be at every hotspot in the movie is downright Culumon-esque. Alphamon squarely has his sights set on her and her distortion-red aura. Not only is poor Meiko caught in the middle of this, she has Maki's attention as well.
Maki's reaction to Alphamon raises an even more troubling realization: we don't know who's good and bad yet. She values Alphamon highly, either as a useful resource or a top target for elimination. Alphamon is targeting Meicoomon and the digidestined that try to protect her. But remember that Alphamon ended the Kuwagamon attack, while Meicoomon may have had a hand in starting it. There's a lot of questions that we can look forward to in future movies.
At the same time, this uncertainty makes it hard to enjoy Reunion as its own entity. Taichi does overcome his issues... albeit in a brutally drawn out sequence that wears itself out squeezing every last drop of drama out of his hesitation. Even after that, and all the (typically suggestive) scenes of Yamato supporting him, in the end all they have to show for it is a crater that used to be called Palette Town they created trying to fight someone they can't be sure is the real enemy. Judging by the post-credits shot, all that indecision still remains, and the relationship between the two guys is still strained.
So it's hardly a satisfying resolution to Reunion. That's why taking it as a movie versus an episode (or series of episodes) makes all the difference in how we receive it. You can't forget that what we just saw was Philosopher's Stone (the Harry Potter movie... although it certainly has its revival/rejuvenation abilities). Imagine what Deathly Hallows will look like.
My Grade: A-
- Takeru posting on a site that seems to be connecting international digidestined is interesting for the information he's giving (Kuwagamon's name) and not giving (specifics about infections and distortions). File it under “stuff that will matter later.”
- Look at Gabumon, taking the lead again when he fears his partner's getting too detached. He's still the MVP in terms of partner management.
- As much as the goggles alerted the digidestined to the distortion, the park seemed to be on top of it and giving evacuation orders before they were even there.
- Rather than go into all the details about whether or not Taichi and Yamato should have been able to get their partners up to Ultimate and fuse them into Omegamon, let's ask this instead- why wasn't anyone else? Big brute like Alphamon up there and they should have all jumped to Perfect first thing if they had the ability.
- The post-credits scene is such an ominous bookmark. Joe might have gone from busy to utterly dismissive. Taichi's just as doubtful as he was, Yamato's patience is still thin... and now it's clear that Sora is going to have a say in all this before it's over. She might be tested as much as anyone.