In this episode, the barrier between worlds weakens and Taichi poofed away before everyone’s eyes. Best thing you can say about the team’s mentality is they haven’t split up yet to get stuck in a restaurant, castle, or dimensional void. That’s an improvement!
As well as Coexistence positioned all the characters for a smooth finish, it also left several plot angles left to resolve and several questions left to answer. Our Future benefits greatly from the former, following the exact course laid out for it while only surprising us with a few details on how it executes tri.’s climax. The question becomes how much time it spends ticking off the required boxes along the way and how much it stops to explore what’s actually happening. In the end, the movie invests as little as possible on the mandatory elements, decides one wasn’t mandatory after all, and instead commits itself to the same sort of careful character work that makes tri. so great. But just as the last one to leave gets stuck with the check, the lack of love for all the essentials that have piled up since movie one is a stark reminder of tri.’s main problems.
The first part is all character, dealing with none of those required boxes. That makes it an antsy opener knowing there’s now twenty fewer minutes to face what must be addressed, not helped by prolonged visuals of the worlds swallowing each other and Hikari’s distorted flashback. It still hits hard, as the nasty sight of Taichi’s fall plants that seed in her head that she may have to go through life without him. The mere thought alone, even without definitive proof, was dark enough to allow Meicoomon to absorb her partner. Like she always does, she muscles through as long as she can before finally giving in later in the real world, forcing everyone to acknowledge that whether or not they believe Taichi’s dead, they do have to face this world-destroying threat without him. And most of them remember how well things went last time they tried to navigate all this without him. Of course, that’s foreign to Hikari.
Like last time Taichi ditched them, the first step is wandering aimlessly through the desert and the second is Sora deciding the team should fracture to ensure someone’s looking for Taichi. What’s different here is we can see just how poorly Sora processes this. She sees Yamato committing so hard to following the Taichi playbook and chasing the next battle, while knowing what he really wants is to return those damn goggles. While Yamato insists on continuing to fight, he’s patient enough to let her pour out her true feelings, struggling to accept the worst possibilities or dwell on just how many they just lost. It’s not only a huge deal that Sora can openly express her problems, especially at a time when nobody else is, but that Yamato realized she was hiding something and gave her the opportunity.
Yamato ends up hearing a lot of this as Hikari’s meltdown brings down the whole room and forces everyone to confront the real possibility. It threatens to be a mass spiral when Hikari blames herself for the mess. Watching this, Meiko gets a taste of what she put the team through last movie and almost breaks down again before the other girls put a quick stop to it and insist on looking ahead. But everyone suffers, especially Takeru and his deep concern for Hikari. As de facto leader, Yamato has to take in all of it.
He’d be the first to admit he’s not ready for that burden. Yamato freaked out when Taichi’s growth led him to ask harder questions. Yamato never wanted to be asked harder questions. He had enough trouble answering the ones to get him through the first time. The remaining movies showed Yamato trying to accommodate this new maturity without having to go through it himself. Now he has no choice. All of Taichi’s reservations about making decisions on imperfect information and endangering others smack Yamato in the face with Ordinemon about to destroy everything and no clear way to stop her. He has his meltdown in private to avoid crushing morale further, but thankfully Gabumon is there. Not that he has any specific answers, but that’s not what Yamato needs. He just needs Gabumon there. And he promises he always will be, ready to pull Yamato out of whatever cave he falls into next.
My Grade: B+
- Say what you want about post-reboot Piyomon, that attitude sure paid off interrupting the scene of Sora and Yamato. And since it’s post-reboot, she has no knowledge of their past history. Not that we do either, but at least we’re on the same page.
- As much attention as we felt needed to be paid to Mr. Mochizuki and his desperate efforts to keep the Digimon invasion under control, it’s fun that the remainder of the movie makes it clear the one to focus on is Hackmon. It’s maybe not the most necessary scene, but a reminder of Hackmon’s stark refusal to let humanity have any say in this crisis sets the tone for what’s to come. It’s also a confirmation that Mr. Mochizuki may bury himself in his work sometimes, but in the end he really does just want to know his daughter’s safe.
- Koromon crying out for food was another obvious and slightly lazy way to break up the angst. What makes this time a little more egregious is the potential to go a little deeper than that. Digimon don’t do so well in the real world without their partners, and addressing that with Koromon would have been nice. His off-screen evolution to Agumon is also arguably a sign of hope that Taichi is still alive. The sudden way it happened isn’t unprecedented and doesn’t technically break any rules, but it warranted a mention.
- While it’s reused from the last movie, the Digimon snooping on everyone’s private conversations is both silly and sort of not. These guys are still coming off the reboot and while their bonds with their partners have been renewed, all the responsibilities that come with the job may not be. Seeing their peers in action in intimate conversations with their partners (plus Meiko in Agumon’s case) is not just a curiosity, but also potentially instructional and reassuring that they’re all capable of the same.
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