Appmon Episode 29: Buddies No More? Gatchmon Leaves Home!

In this episode, Gatchmon feels crowded out by Offmon’s arrival and runs away from home. Dokamon follows to manipulate Eri’s emotions and Musimon does it for the lolz. So… not the most convincing after-school special.

If you’re expecting anything to happen here, you’re going to be disappointed. There isn’t even a malicious app causing trouble for an easy action sequence. Despite the attempt at a feel-good story, there isn’t even any character development to speak of. Even if Haru doting on Offmon becomes a recurring thing (it doesn’t), it isn’t resolved so much as it proves that Gatchmon chose a poor way to try fixing it. The story we’re presented with is cute, emphasizes a type of character interaction we don’t see often enough in Digimon, and manages to show how the App Drivers care without rewarding anyone’s bad behavior. But it’s also a lot of nothing, in a series that’s already wasted enough time, and coming right when things seemed to be ramping up.

Turning the obsession with Offmon into an actual plot point is clever. He’s been the center of attention since his arrival. We see Haru and Eri holding Offmon, trying to earn his trust and tolerating his skittish reactions, so what’s Gatchmon’s reaction to this? It’s not a defining character trait the way it is for someone like Shoutmon, but he’s never been the most level-headed. It’s  good to see his temper catch up with him. He goes from annoyed to furious when Haru gets angry at him for not sharing his treats (when we say “angry” in regards to Haru, we mean mildly disappointed). Therefore we burn an episode following Gatchmon, and later Dokamon and Musimon, who join him for terrible reasons.

They ruin all the emotional weight of Gatchmon’s actions, but having Dokamon and Musimon along for the ride holds the episode together. We don’t ever get to see the mons out on their own without their kids, so this cute little adventure is a rare treat! It’s a glimpse into the cool dynamic the three of them have, with Gatchmon as the team leader, Dokamon as the naive follower, and Musimon as the reckless youth. They’re three idiot friends getting into trouble and we’re happy to see them isolated in their own story.

Even without rogue Appmon illustrating our over-reliance on technology, the story weaves in how the internet affects our lives for better or for worse. Watson tweets out a blurry picture of Gatchmon, which puts a target on their backs and alerts both Astora and Occult Hunter J to their whereabouts. Gatchmon helps Sota find his way home by turning the vague recollections of a preschooler into viable search results. He consults definitely not Yahoo Answers for advice on his predicament with Haru… and gets results worthy of definitely not Yahoo Answers. None of this makes the episode any more useful, but lets credit it for committing to one of the show’s central themes.

Sota is such an obvious parallel to Gatchmon that it’s not even worth commenting about. On one hand we should probably criticize such a lazy story device. On the other hand, it’s also clean and simple and doesn’t offer any reassuring conclusions for Gatchmon other than he done messed up. Sota’s parents don’t instantly fawn over him the way Dokamon envisioned Eri doing for him. They explain their worry as calmly as they could in the situation and wait for him to start bawling.

The ending can’t decide whether it wants to go sentimental or avoid the cliches that would entail that. Haru and Gatchmon are quick to apologize to each other, but around them? Eri not only doesn’t smother Dokamon like he fantasized, she lands her first successful Big Bang Punch. Astora and Musimon treat the whole thing like a joke. Offmon tries to apologize, but it comes across as a giant “sorry not sorry.” Gatchmon isn’t amused that the source of all the trouble doesn’t have to learn a lesson. Even he recognizes that this one added up to a whole lot of nothing.

My Grade: C

Loose Data:
  • Gatchmon actually tries to equivocate the time he fell onto a sleeping Haru with Offmon’s nervous nibbling. Even in an episode following his perspective isn’t all that sympathetic.
  • Completing missing the concept of running away, Dokamon suggests going to Astora’s house and Musimon suggests Yujin’s.
  • This might be the first time Watson tries to do something and isn’t foiled in humiliating fashion. His picture is blurry as hell, but it does succeed in going viral like he imagined.
  • The vast amounts of internet content to entertain a small child and Musimon and Dokamon can only think to show Sota videos of their buddies.
  • So… Occult Hunter J is an utterly insane character and wasted with just one appearance. He and the caught-up man need a spinoff series or something.
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1 comment:

  1. So Hunter J the poacher from pokemon has been reincarnated as a paranormal investigator.