In this movie, with everybody too hesitant to speak and everybody else too hesitant to ask questions, no wonder all the pressure’s on Izzy to sort out the answers.
In the same way Determination was about learning to come to accept who you really are while everyone else is trying to pull you into a different direction, Confession is about accepting the truth and telling everyone else what you don’t want them to hear. Most of the main players here are hiding something. TK, Meiko, Maki, Daigo, Patamon and eventually all of the Digimon, and even some less obvious cases like Matt are holding something in. Izzy (and Sora... and probably Kari) are only hiding the toll all this pressure is taking, but that too is significant as it makes it harder for them to accept help. While the dub doesn’t have as many glaring errors as Determination, there are a few inconsistencies that make it feel less reliable in terms of unraveling the mysteries. Still, hearing it in English adds a better context to the hesitations and frustrations the characters experience, and two additional movies help fill in plenty of blanks.
While it’s easy and justified to be terribly annoyed by it, the story goes out of its way to conjure obstacles to prevent anyone from asking too many questions. There are social stigmas in place, measures of respect towards elders and strangers, and of course Mimi getting in the way of anyone trying to get to the bottom of all this. This is one place the dub doesn’t help. It’s not as explicit that TK and Kari were trying to contact Davis, Yolei, and Cody. Tai apologizes to Meiko for Izzy’s conduct rather than try to open up another round of questioning. Maki’s uncertainty over how her D3 works should prompt even more suspicion. Given the opportunity to better solidify why certain questions weren’t asked, the dub makes it even murkier.
What it does make more clear, however, is the masterful job Maki does using this fog to her advantage. When Matt comes calling, a scene that once felt like Maki gave him the run-around becomes the opposite: she gives him a ton of classified information about what they’re dealing with. The bombshell that the digidestined are all under constant surveillance numbs Matt and helps keep him from pressing on the Ken issue. Her justification to Daigo plays straight to what he’s most sympathetic about- keeping the children at ease by withholding another problem to panic over, and making sure they don’t turn on each other by hearing about Meicoomon’s role in the infections. It works too: while Daigo claims he would have been more forthwith had he known about Meicoomon, he still keeps them in the dark about the disappearances.
Everybody’s insistence on keeping their cards to themselves contributes to Izzy’s gradual meltdown. The easy assessment is that Izzy is naturally inclined to become so consumed with what’s happening that he loses his grip. He is, of course, but his friends don’t help. Not only does Mimi prevent him from talking to Meiko and Matt lets Maki play him, but everybody is looking to him to deliver the answers. Tai and Tentomon may be Izzy’s biggest allies in the group, but their primary method of reassurance this movie is telling other people Izzy will figure it out. Taking his obsession out of it, what kind of pressure does that put on the kid?
Now that we’ve seen the fourth and fifth movies, we now understand how vital it was that Confession sold TK’s inability to talk about his problem. Patamon is so heartbreakingly chipper throughout this ordeal, determined not to let anybody feel sad for his sake. This helps convince TK that hiding it is a good idea, no matter how painful it ends up. When it becomes clear how catastrophically stupid that was, TK has a better understanding of how easy it is to fall into the trap. This ends up being pivotal when Meiko begins to open up about her equally catastrophic secrets. Without TK explaining his mentality in making his mistake, it’s hard to imagine them being quite as sympathetic about hers.
My Grade: A
- Once again, Beau Billingslea and Paul St. Peter make uncredited appearances. Most recognizable is Beau as one of the airline pilots and Paul as the messenger during the blackout.
- Boy, Mr. Mochizuki got a gruff voice! He sounds instantly unlikable in the dub, which is strange coming off Coexistence where you start to accept him as an honest, if a little cold, researcher.
- Looking at his eventual role at the end of Coexistence, you gain a better appreciation for Matt in these early movies. While the actual scenes remain awkward, knowing what they’re building up to makes it easy to understand why he’s being shown pushing Tai so hard in Determination and reassuring him here. You sense that Matt’s mental stability is tied directly to Tai’s, and with his disappearance the only way Matt can keep it together is to become Tai.
- We all love Meiko’s close relationship with Sora and Mimi and the dub makes it even closer. Meiko has a serious blush when she asks Sora to lunch, and Mimi now makes a drawn-out smooching sound when kissing Meiko on the cheek.
- One of the more significant errors in Confession is when Izzy realizes the source of the origin. Originally, he identifies it as Meicoomon. Here he says it’s Meiko. While that would be a hell of a plot twist, we’re chalking that one up to silly dub.
- There’s also some grunting from the previously unvoiced Alphamon and Jesmon, while all of Hackmon’s (mostly meaningless) lines are gone.