Appmon Episode 04: I’ll Get You and Your Disguise Too! Cameramon’s Halloween Scandal!

In this episode, what better way to counter an enemy that can co-opt any camera than to run around a Halloween block party where everyone has their phones out?

Now that Haru has his marching orders, it’s understandable to fear a straightforward path. Even if actual process will have obstacles, when the road to Leviathan is spelled out in such a plain fashion there’s a risk of getting too linear. Thankfully some signs of intrigue are here to break up and even distract us from the main plot. Rei nabbing one of the codes last time was a promising sign of the challenges to come. Another is a Digimon rarity: the final villain is already aware of the protagonist and taking him seriously.

We’re so unfamiliar with this sort of early menace that there’s a weird disconnect between Caméramon’s spying and what he finds: a humble little story exploiting the differences between Haru and Gatchmon. The previous two episodes, and the second half of this one, demonstrated that Haru has plenty of protagonist in him and can rise to the occasion as well as anybody. This is a pleasant return to form, as he’s back to being thoughtful and indoorsy, learning what he can about artificial intelligence to understand what he might be dealing with. A more traditional main character might blindly charge out to hunt down more plot advancement.

The conflict therefore comes with Gatchmon dying to experience Halloween for the first time. It’s cute that neither get too riled up about it since it’s so trivial (not that it stopped Masaru and Tagiru when they had similar rows), but the tiny rift in their personalities and intentions caused enough problems to leave them both scrambling to apologize. It shouldn’t have been major drama, so credit to Caméramon for turning it into one.

Choosing Halloween was a nice touch, as all the costumes and festivities means everyone has their phones out Instagramming everything. That makes it especially easy for Caméramon to track Haru and Gatchmon, even if tricking Haru into thinking Gatchmon was captured was decidedly less smart than actually capturing Gatchmon would have been. He makes up for it deploying a phone contest challenging randos to capture Haru for him and an impressive Super form in Scorpmon.

This battle is the first time the action felt intense, and the use of combat psychology on both sides is something we don’t get enough of. Scorpmon hides away using his camera network to snipe unseen, while Haru relays blind spots to Dogatchmon to help sneak up from behind. Not only does it demonstrate Dogatchmon’s improved searching ability by incorporating Navimon’s mapping function, it feels like a hard-earned and deserved victory. It comes out of nowhere, but it’s one of the sharpest fights in the series.

In some ways that works against the episode’s real goals. It was a great fight, but it was also a conclusive one ending in Scorpmon’s defeat and Caméramon’s dramatic farewell. The main points were really the Haru/Gatchmon relationship and giving us a taste of how Leviathan operates. There are signs for and against the notion that Leviathan will be a typical Digimon villain. On one hand, the “formless sentient computer program who likes to delegate” isn’t new at all, joining the ranks of D-Reaper, Yggdrasil, Yggdrasil, and Yggdrasil (counting manga and games, there’s also Yggdrasil and Yggdrasil). In that sense it’s easy to get the sense we’re not in for anything new. On the other hand, targeting the protagonist already is a rare and exciting sight! Not only is Xros Wars the only other time the final boss demonstrated a clear intent to take out the hero so soon, it’s the only other time the heroes already knew who the final boss was! Half the time it takes longer than this to meet even the first boss!

It all means a lot of early intrigue as Leviathan and its cohorts hone in on Haru. Leviathan’s “voice,” Gatchmon’s inability to talk about it, the resources at Caméramon’s disposal, and Haru’s research into AI are hopeful signs. The way his network of accomplices specifically target Haru’s App Drive lends more mystery to its nature and reinforces the question of how and why Haru got it. If some of these henchmen stick around longer than Caméramon did, we might even break out of the monster of the week loop earlier than expected. Where the previous episode made us dread the upcoming story, this one excites us.

My Grade: B+

Loose Data:
  • It ends up being pointless, but in a show where rogue AI programs are front and center, it’s hard not to view that one friendly robot taking selfies with everybody with high suspicion.
  • The dog dressed as a Super Saiyan is the greatest thing ever and I wanted more of it.
  • As annoying as Gatchmon is demanding to go outside and get snacks, Haru mostly ignores it. Until he says reading is dumb. That’s when Haru shoots him the look.
  • Those kids were getting full-on boxes full of sweets. Everyone mark down Fujimizaka as a prime trick-or-treat destination.
  • Where Ai wonders why Haru isn’t with them, Yujin correctly assumes that Haru found a new book. That’s adorable.
  • Haru evading everyone looking for him by simply wearing his goggles is such an unconvincing costume I’m hesitant to count it as an ever-popular, ever-rare case of goggleheads actually using goggles as goggles. Just borrow Yujin’s spooky skeleton suit next time.
  • Let’s take a moment to acknowledge the excitement of seeing a mystery App Driver cloaked in shadow and a scheming Mienumon before they both massively disappoint us down the road.
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  1. I largely disagree with this. I find this one of the one of the dumbest comflicts in the series. Haru could have just taken his book and watched over Gatchmon for his trick or treaking. I know it's really important that Haru is learning about AI, but making sure Gatchmon doesn't get into any trouble is a bigger thing he has to do. Haru wouldn't know everything about Gatchmon's ablities like what would happen if Cameramon had a way to block Gatchmon's searching power.

    Another thing that bother me about this epsisode is that Gatchmon break Haru's rule of not telling who he is. I find it really annoying. I found that barely anything happens until like the the eight minute mark. I feel like the writers are not exploring the relationship between them making care less about their victory. I feel like Haru barely know anything about Gatchmon beside the bear basics. How do we know about Haru's relationship with Gatchmon when he was so detact from his partner until he learns that he screwed up by the end.

  2. So this is the first Halloween episode of the Digimon franchise and it is terrible. Not only that if Haru is kind of being a jerk toward Gatchmon, but the whole thing could have been avoided by Haru just being his book with him while he watch over Gatchmon.

    Because of this Cameramon use this as a way to steal Haru’s Applidriver, but because Haru is smart he figure out that that it was a fake because he know that Gatchmon wouldn’t stop searching for a way out. I felt like they could have had Haru interact with Gatchmon a little more for him to know this then it felt like more of common sense of what Gatchmon is.

    Cameramon second plan is mostly have people to catch Haru and them getting a prize for catching him. This make me question why are these people asking themselves why they need to catch this boy to get a prize. This would feel so wrong if this was something else.

    Haru and Gatchmon do get together and go off to face to face Cameramon. However someone fused Cameramon with another Appmon and turn him into Scorpmon. Haru does hesitate of turning Gatchmon into Dogatchmon because for the first time they fail to make him for some reason, but they do make DoGatchmon and after the smart move so far in this season far they defeat Scorpmon. And I think they defeat him too easily then struggling against him.

    So we get a new villain and that is it for this episode

    So I’ll give this episode a C-