Eri needs to send Mienumon a thank you card for all the good PR she’s handed her on a silver platter. First she sent a silly meme viral that only increased her publicity and got her credit for dealing with it with poise. Now she gives her a rigid training regimen designed to grind her into the ground. What this is for—discouragement, degradation, utter rejection of all things idol and Appmon—who knows? But this time Mienumon has the misfortune of playing right into Eri’s wheelhouse. As immature as this scheme is, especially compared to previous beauties, it shows us just how far Eri will go to achieve her goals and cementing her place as one of the franchise’s more inspiring characters.
We love Eri not because she’s the punch-happy pistol she pretends to be, but because she’s striving so hard to become that. When the opportunity to climb the idol ranks and get senpai to notice her presents itself, she fully commits. Even before Coachmon presents himself to properly break her, she’s out there jogging her butt off and ready to dive into a river in the middle of winter to boost her lung strength. She sees Coachmon’s excessive training as a lucky break. While Dokamon is shocked at Coachmon’s bluntness and disrespect, Eri welcomes it and commands him to bring his worst.
It’s a good thing we’ve already established Eri’s motives in becoming an idol because popularity is too hollow a dream to be supported by this kind of work ethic. It’s a factor when Eri hears about the chance to perform in front of a packed stadium with the Appliyama elite, but this elite includes her personal idol Izumi Kagurazaka, who not only inspired Eri to become an idol, but gave her just a little push at just the right moment. This gives her quest a more human side to it, standing as an equal alongside someone she both admires and owes. It’s easy to get her mixed up with the potential allures and showiness of idols, so keeping her mission personal makes it easy to root for her and her unrelenting drive.
Coachmon sure discovered this! To defect in his first real action is a strange direction for him to take, not exactly Tailmon gradually coming around after stomping over everybody in her first appearance. It’s fair to have assumed he was going to be another Sakusimon, serving as a midboss when the time was right. But it’s a fun surprise, and not impossible to fathom even with as little as he’s done so far. His banter with Mienumon often involved playful criticism of her brand of cruelty, so why shouldn’t he find Eri’s raw dedication a more admirable subject to train and follow?
Really, the only point of contention here is that Mienumon still can’t focus on what’s important. In the last few episodes, Mienumon nearly sent an overflowing monorail plummeting to its doom and used an OS rollout to infect close to a billion phones, stealing market share away from her biggest competitor. Yet here comes the mere chance that Eri could catch a break and climb in her career—the one that has nothing to do with App Driving no less—and Mienumon has to stop what she’s doing and destroy her. One minute she’s Mercuremon playing the long game, the next she’s Ranamon being threatened by another pretty girl. Ranamon was barely a sufficient foil for Izumi (er… the Frontier one, not this one); that’s nowhere close of being worthy of Eri.
It’s even worse when she’s got something like Weatherdramon in her arsenal. It’s a potent double threat: an Appmon that can influence weather forecasts in reality can cause some havoc, and one that can actually influence the weather in an AR Field would be a hell of a support player messing everything up for our heroes. But no, Coachmon uses it for exactly his specified purposes, and Mienumon uses the infected Weatherdramon to punish Coachmon. Coachmon becoming Dosukomon’s Ultimate partner is another neat surprise, but Weatherdramon never had a chance. Oh, and it was also the final Infinity Stone. Give Mienumon credit for thinking on the fly and nabbing it before they can stick it in the gauntlet, but even putting herself in that position was unforgivably sloppy after such a good run.
My Grade: B+
- Once again, Mienumon is laughably ignorant to the fact that she herself controls the corporation that owns Appliyama 470. In theory, she should be able to override any and all decisions, including Eri’s employment status.
- So we have to talk about the weird disconnect of Coachmon being rendered in CGI like all the other Super level Appmon prior to this, but suddenly 2D when he’s actually doing something. It probably works better given his interactions with Eri (including a full embrace), but that speaks more to the disconnect of the CGI animations in the show, which usually isn’t a problem.
- Haru and Astora don’t do a lot this episode, but Astora no-selling Eri’s lie that she knew about the announcement and couldn’t tell anyone and Haru insisting that they don’t just drop the fact that Coachmon was a Leviathan agent more than fill their share of comic moments.
- For all her hard work, Eri loses the chance at performing in a rock-paper-scissors match against Elena. It’s comically unfair and anti-climactic, but also kind of perfect. Not only does it spare us a lengthy distraction as Eri actually competes for the spot (with no chance of wrapping that up this episode), it actually makes sense that with so many girls there would have to be a way to cull the roster down to a select few before their talent becomes a consideration. Maybe they take a good long look at the next twenty or so down the list, but after that it should take a bit of luck to even get noticed.