Remember how Adventure introduced all seven main characters and partners in the first episode and it was utter chaos and they never did that ever again? Appmon does the opposite: waiting until episode five to add a second pair to Team Protagonist. You’d think a wait like that would be difficult to sustain, but after the compelling plot developments last time, it’s a little disappointing to kill the momentum for a rather conventional character introduction. But Eri and Torajiro have to show up eventually so let’s get through this.
Early episodes of Adventure and Frontier used a string of evolution debuts to spotlight each cast member, which was more organic but didn’t work so well thanks to distractions from the full ensemble and one partner’s first evolution being a key plot moment. This is a more narrow-minded introduction similar to Touma’s in Savers that focuses on just two questions: who’s the new kid and how do they interact with the main character? Like Touma, this attention isn’t necessary when Eri presents as big a personality as she does. Not only is she an idol, but she sells a brash, arrogant persona that stands on chairs, proclaims herself the center of the universe, and threatens to punch out anyone who dares question her. Okay, maybe Touma’s not the right Savers character to recall here.
Clearly her idol persona will wear thin fast. Haru and Gatchmon are bewildered by it after they sneak onto the TV set. But after they sneak into her green room (because teenage girls deliberately evoking fixations that could get unhealthy don’t need security), Gatchmon discovers it’s an act and that she’s far more reasonable. Just as last episode emphasized the contrast between the two, Haru’s ability to disarm her and be non-threatening ends up complimenting Gatchmon using his bold attitude and powers to get information. They get past idol Eri and find real Eri quickly.
The real Eri is where it gets complicated. Raised by a single mother, she was just a lonely latchkey kid passing the time by marveling at idols until she finds her App Drive. Her question, asking if she wants to make someone smile, unleashes Dokamon and convinces her to take a shot at being an idol herself. But fast forward to present time and while she’s clearly made good on her dream, she’s completely neglected Dokamon, keeping him un-realized and encased in several bags to drown out the sound. For six months. It says a lot about Dokamon: he really is that loud and still adores Eri in spite of this, even willing to defend her when Gatchmon calls her out. But not only does this make it harder to accept that her App Drive and its one simply question is what spurred her into pursuing this line of work… Gatchmon’s right: that’s a terrible thing to do to your chosen partner.
Previously, it was easy enough to enjoy the exaggerated effects of corrupted Appmon because the apps were pretty ubiquitous and used by pretty much everybody. Everybody texts, takes photos, looks up directions, and has stupid games they forgot they downloaded. Dressmon’s a harder sell, a fashion app that looks like a typical dress-up game but is apparently used by professional wardrobe departments at TV stations. But once you get past the increasingly far-fetched societal chaos, an enemy like Dressmon is a colorful foe with a variety of oddball attacks. Changing everybody’s clothes and attacking with exploding needles and binding threads is a nice change from the usual projectiles/magic/slashing we’re used to. And Dressmon presents a tidy way to disable Gatchmon and force Eri and Dokamon to step up. The new pair of characters certainly have our attention and we’ll come to love Eri in time, but that’s because of one central trait that isn’t discussed at all. It’s hardly putting her best foot forward.
My Grade: B-
- Gatchmon freaks out when a little spilled juice gets close to the App Drive. The worry over incidental damage to a digivice’s wiring might be the freshest idea in the whole episode.
- Haru raises a very good point wondering why Gatchmon didn’t know there were other App Drivers and it’s just sort of waved away.
- So that L Corp managing Eri’s idol group (among other things) with the logo suspiciously similar to Leviathan’s can’t possibly have any bearing on the overall plot, right?
- Of all the things for Eri to be impressed with about Gatchmon, it’s that he has a catchphrase. You can tell we’re working with a professional.
- Amazing how Gatchmon can pull up data even when it wouldn’t be on the internet. Haru’s crush on Ai and Eri’s persona being an act wouldn’t exactly be discoverable on Reddit.
- Dokamon’s loyalty to Eri is adorable, but his admiration for Gatchmon as a big brother type is sweet as well. And Gatchmon sells out for it completely, much to Haru’s amusement.
Enjoying Digimon: System Restore? Support the site by buying me a Coffee!