There’s a lot to gush about as Appmon begins its second half with some serious fireworks. Sateramon makes his proper entrance, and it’s about as perfect a debut as an arc villain could get. Yujin becomes the newest App Driver, being too cool for words as he saves the day with his adorable buddy Offmon. There’s quirk, there’s comedy, there’s technological mayhem, it’s everything you want from the show. But for all the joy it brings, there are a few knocks, the biggest of which is the price it pays to move the story in a new direction.
Let’s get the little niggles out of the way quickly. It’s weird to be back in the real world dealing with a random destructive Appmon of the week again after the excitement of the Mienumon chase and the introduction to Deep Web. Tubumon’s method of victimizing Eri and Astora never finds a comically healthy medium. It’s either dreadfully crude boasting of their farting prowess, or escalating Eri’s love life to the point where she’s on her honeymoon. And Yujin hawks the new App Drive Duo a little too aggressively, almost bragging about how much better it is than the original, even though he has never seen the original and even we don’t know the difference yet. His run-in is textbook—almost a little too textbook—and while it sets up major drama down the road, it doesn’t hint at it here. For now, all we can do is lament Haru losing what could have been a unique, complex, story angle.
As the only character with no distractions in his life, Haru’s friendship with Yujin and Ai offers the chance to flesh out his story and give him something else to think about. His life outside of Appmon hasn’t suddenly stopped, and we were just starting to realize how Haru’s adventures can take a toll. When Haru abruptly cancels his date to rescue Eri’s Twitter account, Yujin is practically begging Haru to open up about whatever he has going on. Yujin sees that Haru’s in something deep, and the way Haru won’t talk about it concerns him. Haru, meanwhile, is dying to tell Yujin, certain the news would be welcomed with the same support and encouragement he got from Ai, but also realizing Yujin’s support meant endangering him. It’s so rare when a Digimon hero really wrestles with the implications of telling his friends and family what’s going on, and even more rare when the friends and family notice. Appmon did so well to give it such emphasis, and so poorly to resolve it for Haru without him lifting a finger.
Jarring as it is to suddenly be back home dealing with mundane app chaos, at least the chaos brings it this time. Not only do Tubumon’s antics hit home with an inspired Twitter-based moveset, the show does well to explain how quickly tweets can blow up in someone’s face. To raise the stakes a little, he’s not an innocent Appmon infected, but a henchmen for Sateramon, a bigger villain who actually has a reason not to show himself: as a long-range GPS app, he can track and predict movements from space with such accuracy that subjecting himself to enemy attack is just something he wouldn’t do. His dismantling of Globemon seems logical and is appropriately threatening.
His foil turns out to be adorable little Offmon, perhaps not the sort of Appmon buddy we may have expected to pop out of Yuujin’s new App Drive. Midseason entries have a way of showing up on the same power level as the existing team, but Offmon actually feels like a starter. He’s smol, uncertain, and takes forever to charge up his main attack. His shutdown ability was the perfect way to cut off Sateramon without violence, and his tepid nature lets Yujin practice his gentle encouragement on someone. Convenient as it was, both he and Yujin will make wonderful additions to the team, especially with all that sinister foreshadowing still in play. It just would have been nice to force Haru to resolve his boyfriend issues first.
My Grade: B+
- While the show uses stand-in “Appter” instead of actual Twitter, posting to it is consistently referred to as “tweeting,” which, by definition, applies exclusively to posting to Twitter. And it’s not hard to see what inspired Tubumon’s design.
- The subtitles didn’t show it, but the location in Eri’s Appter profile is “The Center of the Universe.” There were, erm, a few other things the subtitles didn’t show in that sequence…
- Haru waits for Yujin near a definitely not Hachiko statue. That’s the famous dog statue in Shibuya that Patamon visited in episode 33 of Adventure. In Appmon the dog’s name is, naturally, Fido.
- Between Haru’s excitement and impatience waiting for Yujin, how much they had to work to set it up and the flying cherry blossoms everywhere, it’s no surprise Gatchmon wonders if it’s a date. He’s just saying what we’re all thinking!
- If there’s one funny thing that came out of the fart jokes, it’s Haru and Gatchmon actually thinking Eri was capable of the… skill Tubumon posted on her behalf.
- Pretty sure Tubumon is the first time Eri actually tries to Big Bang Punch someone. He blocks it… because Twitter.