Appmon Episode 08: A So Not Groovy Disaster?! Astra's Funny Video Plan!

In this episode, a corporate-backed rival video channel threatens Astora’s superiority and drives him to go lowbrow and record flatulence symphonies. To be fair, we have seen even less mature responses to this sort of challenge.

The fact that we can’t offer a synopsis without including the term “fart music” will dock it a few points, but it’s at least reassuring that there’s a solid story here. It means there’s enough punch in Tora’s character to hold one together, even early on before we dive too hard into the family stuff. While it’s fundamental, Tora faces a conflict, feels pressure, makes mistakes, and ultimately gets his head back together with Musimon’s help. It’s even wrapped in an episode trying to touch a few different side points. Not that successfully, but the effort is appreciated.

The “fame vs. passion” yarn is old hat, but spinning it through both Definitely Not YouTube and one of its young stars makes it feel fresher. It’s integral to Tora’s character that he’s happy with what he does and follows his groove making videos. At the same time, he also feels the pressure of thousands of subscribers that can dislike his video, leave rude comments, and walk away. Not to mention his classmates that adore what he does. Given how his circumstances limit his time and budget, passion’s the only thing that can carry him. Yet that’s terribly easy to lose in a slump, especially when Sayjirou’s seemingly infinite resources and connections take him places. Torajirou gets desperate and strays off course, and we’re on our way… to fart music.

Digimon had been doing fairly well tamping down the lowbrow bodily function humor after Adventure and Zero Two, so that’s an unwelcome return. But this is an eleven year old we’re talking about, peak comedy for them. It also makes it painfully obvious that Tora is scraping the bottom of the barrel for ideas. Faced with such big-budget competition it was either this or launch an annoying, widespread “Subscribe to Astora” meme. Musimon isn’t convinced this is groove-compatible, but Tora’s shopping spree to produce and capture the farting in high fidelity calls forth Recomon. Recomon is a full enabler, encouraging everything Tora says. Almost like he’s repeating back what Tora wants to hear without judgment. You know, like a recording app.

Eri’s plotting with Perorimon may have been a better concept than this, but at least this one’s allowed to develop. With Musimon gone and his flatulent fugues getting the response they deserve, Tora doubts his plan. He gets a video of Musimon doing a bad freestyle rap on his own, calling back memories of their first video. It was lame, it was lo-fi, nobody liked it, and it was pure Astora. It’s the kind of resolution we wished we had in the Perorimon episode. Even the Halloween spat between Haru and Gatchmon would have been better served with a natural conclusion rather than one a common enemy forces on them.

While Tora and Musimon reconciled on their own anyway, this week’s enemy still fueled the problems behind the scenes by manipulating Astora’s videos into unwatchable nothings. When it spreads to other videos and becomes a widespread problem, it’s the first chance for Haru, Eri, and Tora to team up against a foe! Except Haru and Gatchmon get tied up by Definitely Not Spiderman and a dirty mid-sequence edit throws off Eri and spoils her App Fusion. Tora and new fusion Mediamon meet insanity in kind by becoming a sci-fi picture and blasting Dogamon away with the entire force of the Battleship Yamato. Haru and Eri sit in the seats and eat popcorn.

Between Astora’s Apptube dilemma and attempted solutions to it and the ridiculous Dogamon fight, it’s one of the most bizarre looks out of of Digimon, possibly because it looks like it’s pretending to have some grounding in the real world. But it is an acceptable story, and even rounds out with a few interesting sidebars. Eri and Tora’s meeting results in a massive personality clash. Really, the two present themselves far too alike to get along, the kind of amusing friction we haven’t seen since Daisuke and Miyako. The mysterious Mienumon that captured Scorpmon’s chip was behind Sayjirou in a plot to drive Tora away. This suggests that she infected Dogamon as well. We’re supposed to get creeped out by Leviathan already on top of our trio. But with so much at her disposal, we instead have to wonder why she’s not setting her sights on bigger disruptions to humanity. We’ll be asking ourselves that many times through her run.

My Grade: C+

Loose Data:
  • Is “sitting in front of a favorite food for 30 minutes without drooling” actually a thing and why is there any entertainment value in it?
  • Eri’s so high on herself during her first argument with Tora that her head is too high to be in frame. It’s a wonderful visual gag.
  • While the father friction isn’t part of the conflict, using the shishi-odoshi to signal the end of Astora’s workout video and Musimon mentioning that more than one video a day ran afoul of the compromise with Dad is a nice reminder.
  • Yes, Recomon only being encouraging and repeating what Tora wants to hear seems appropriate for a recording app, but anyone doing sound editing on their own has no doubt yelled “why is it sounding like that?!” a million times listening to playback.
  • While the first failed App Fusion was because of Gatchmon and Navimon disliking each other, the second was Eri getting punked out. It would be really nice if there were actual rules in place for what sort of circumstances could bring Sukasimon out.
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