Appmon has a weird way of making episodes where nothing happens feel consequential. The action here is totally meaningless and the information only fills in the blanks from last time. But what we learn provides a dark undercurrent to the excitement of a new team member, uneasy implications to the situation that the previous episode had neither the time nor room for in either its time or atmosphere. It didn’t deserve its own episode, but it’s nice to be able to dissect it on its own. Also doesn’t hurt that the padding is some of the funniest content we’ve seen.
Let’s start with that because it’s stupid and ridiculous and works better than your typical Appmon hijinks. Offmon is a nervous wreck when Yujin brings him down to Ai’s Room of Requirement. When his anxiety gets the better of him and he nearly blows up the place, Ai goes full yandere to prevent disaster. The room has a secret hallway, stairwell, and exit that Ai never knew about. Astora thinks the caught-up man is just a comedy legend. Musclemon’s dramatics lead to the kids dismissing him and walking away, and the fourth-wall breaking obsession with power level is just the sort of absurdity that’s a perfect fit for Appmon.
Even if it’s a transparent sell to kids along with the Seven Code band, the Gatchmon snacks, the Digimon card game and every digivice ever, the App Drive Duo still feels like an important upgrade. It’s shallow, but all of Musclemon’s antics sell the idea that the Duo infuses more power when connected to a strong driver. Yes, compared to Warudamon and Sateramon, it’s disappointing to be back to weekly weaklings, but Musclemon’s comedy not only works on its own, but makes us hyper aware of those power meters decorating the transformation sequences. Now they’re tangible objects to admire, advertise, and smash in frustration. They’re hard not to notice!
Yujin’s energetic introduction and Offmon’s bursts of cuteness generated enough of an emotional responses let sit. But now that the fireworks are over, we need to get down to the questions: when did Yujin get an App Drive? How did he meet Offmon? Why does he instantly get the upgraded App Drive model and the “I spent a whole arc collecting the Seven Code Appmon and all I got was this lousy watch” watch? As it turns out, they were served to him on a plate. Literally. Conveyor belt even! The circumstances are now even more suspicious as they were when Haru and company got theirs, and timing it right as Yujin was feeling all moe about Haru makes it even more dubious. This is the right way to treat it. Even as the characters are busy reacting to the adorably unstable Offmon, we’re taking a hard look at Yujin’s story, even the parts that parallel Haru’s, and realizing things don’t add up.
The culmination of the episode’s real drama is the fateful question Yuujin received, asked in the middle and answered late. In a weird way, it’s not the hardest question: we can believe he cares enough to give his life for his friend. Haru is deeply touched by the gesture, but not surprised by it. The concern here is that the App Drives have a way of holding their drivers to their answers. They demand that Haru lead, that Eri bring others joy, that Astora acts on his feelings, and that Rei seeks help. We now know that it will, in kind, demand Yuujin prove he would die for Haru. It’s a nasty bit of foreshadowing that will hover over Haru and Yujin’s relationship until it inevitably comes to pass. Naturally, this is when we get the reminder about Yujin’s red-eye, along a creepy home scanner and an even creepier mother who picked up on something he said earlier in the AR Field. With Yujin on the team, Haru’s as happy as can be, and they’ll have plenty of special moments down the line. But this is our notice that at some point everything will go horribly wrong.
My Grade: B+
- Yujin’s inability to be fazed by anything is sort of sweet around Haru, kind of weird in a crisis, and the cutest when it involves Offmon eating his head.
- The only thing creepier than Ai talking Offmon out of blowing up the opium den is her immediate positive reassurance when he swallows his own attack.
- The secret exit that Ai insists she knew nothing about is a large conspicuous doorway with a mailbox.
- It’s not the first time we’ve seen people stupidly reliant on their apps to tell them what to do, but this time Musimon actually calls out their stupidity.
- As with everything surrounding Yujin, Rei’s disconcerting glare is very concerning. But hey, at least he’s alive!