The summary for movie four perfectly describes the movie we should be getting. Sora and Piyomon are struggling to link up the way they used to, leading to Sora breaking down and the others unable to help. We’ve had some pretty strong angst so far from Taichi, Joe, Mimi and Takeru, and it’s a great time to get some from the master. We’ve needed Sora’s character to be properly revisited since season one ended and the way it’s set up suggests a good thoughtful breakdown.
This same summary also includes goodies like Meiko coping with her inability to act and Daigo discovering a secret about Maki. Both great! Meiko’s been supporting the characterization of the main digidestined for three movies and is now in position to step up and develop her own. More information about Maki will help make sense of her odd tendency to look like a villain while never actually doing anything villainous (if she is somehow a villain, she’s so bad at executing her plan and so bad at covering it up that it almost ruins the whole series). We should just be happy Daigo’s involved at all.
So yeah, really encouraging summary. Then the trailer happened.
You watch that thing and you’ve got some nice bits with Sora’s struggles and Daigo. Seems fine... until MetalSeadramon is fighting Ultimates, our Gennai character looks insane, and suddenly here’s Meiko in the Digital World?? For starters, they’re giving way too much away again. But MetalSeadramon and a manic Gennai-type spell trouble.
We’ve got a bunch of really interesting plots dangling right now, and the sight of MetalSeadramon in the trailer and Mugendramon on the poster are potential distractions that don’t seem to tie into any of them. The Dark Masters were great and all, but we don’t need to see them again. Not when we’re trying to figure out what’s behind these infections or the truth about Meicoomon or what Maki’s planning or who Gennai-type is or... there’s probably something else I’m forgetting. The Dark Masters could be the secret behind one or more of these, but is that at all satisfying? After the climax of Zero Two, we all dread tri. introducing another incarnation of Vamdemon. But featuring any of the Dark Masters as villainous masterminds is the same sort of tiresome stunt that made the Zero Two climax so annoying to begin with. Hey, that’s what I forgot! Meiko’s dad!
The real tightrope is with this Gennai-type. Now, we know Piemon has a history with Gennai-types and that weird ball thingy he inserted into the genuine article that never got explained. And if he wanted to get the Dark Masters back in control of the Digital World, a reboot could be a crafty way to do it. It’s all very viable, but still troublesome. First off, pulling the mask off the Kaiser to reveal Gennai was a great twist; to then pull off the Gennai mask to reveal an actual bad guy is a bad Scooby Doo parody. At the very least let us think he’s real for a little bit! For the reasons above, let Maki think so too. But Piemon controlling/being Gennai-type means you also have to explain why he took the particular actions he did in Determination. Like letting Meicoomon go... or not attacking the digidestined on sight when he saw them during the Ogremon battle. Not that there aren’t possible answers, but they need to be clever and logical and... let’s just say that’s not Piemon’s strong suit.
On another note, when we last checked in we said we weren’t reviewing Appmon on here until there’s an official English release. This is still technically true, but to tide you over for now, there are shorter articles for each episode on our Tumblr page. Individual links will be on our Appmon page as we get around to updating it.
Still disappointed that they burned their entire ending animation budget on I Wish. At least this one’s cute and symbolic. The first original song in tri. is pretty potent stuff, and exactly the kind of song you’d get from Yamato. Although the context of the movie makes it clear he’s singing about Gabumon, not Taichi. Sorry.