While the break from filler is something of a relief, one sudden twist in the plot doesn’t turn around the string of lackluster episodes. It’s a nice twist, with a ton of foreshadowing in the relentless wolf imagery and Offmon’s reaction to it. It restores some of the show’s lost momentum and leaves us wondering what’s going on and what is he capable of doing to his friends. But most of the time spent building up to the big battle is directionless and unnecessary, especially since the battles themselves don’t offer much. It’s a lot of uninspired padding distracting us from the meaningful takeaway at the end.
This is another case where the main story might have been better off if the episode wasn’t trying to reach a significant point. Add a proper conclusion tying them together and there’s enough in the old “gang takes a trip and wackiness ensues” routine when combined with the horror stories connected to the resort and Tripmon steering them the wrong way. It would have been another round of filler to complain about, but the storytelling would have been tighter and those elements of the episode could have been far more interesting. There are several scenes here with nothing to do with Offmon or Tripmon that aren’t tied to anything, don’t go anywhere, and aren’t all that entertaining.
Doing that would also need more wackiness. What we have now doesn’t fit the mood this resort should be trying to evoke. After the amusingly hellish trek to the place, the joke should be that Tripmon is leading them to a haunted dump of a vacation spot. Granted, it’s not as nice as the intended destination, but once they get there it’s… kind of dull and not maintained very well? It might only get two stars on Yelp, but it’s not a disaster. They all enjoy the hot spring, the food’s decent and Gatchmon and Musimon are oddly invested in the Definitely Not Game of Life. There’s a gag about the innkeeper being deliberately ominous and Eri buying random trinkets to ward off supposed evil spirits, but there’s no payoff behind any of it. It all just sort of happened, instantly forgotten once Offmon takes a nature hike.
Clearly all of this was just something, anything, to build up Offmon’s anxiety leading up to the big finale. Both Offmon’s issues and Yujin’s earnest but unproductive efforts to help are portrayed with a nice gentle touch, and we cut away to it enough to know it matters. We all know something deeper is going on with Yujin, but now we’re realizing how circumstances of Offmon’s arrival were a little off. Him being an introvert is natural and endearing and at least Yujin respects that, so it takes a while for him to recognize that there’s something bigger at work here. Seeing wolves everywhere and fretting over his inevitable new form makes it pretty clear what’s about to happen.
Not that it works to make this all part of Sateramon’s grand scheme. Apparently the idea was to get them to burn their Ultimates against Tripmon first and then waste them from short range. First off, this assumes they’d be dumb enough to do something this unnecessary. We all give Taichi credit for holding troops in reserve during the LadyDevimon fight, so criticizing Haru for this strategic misstep is fair. The real issue here is this plan could have been executed with any old infected Appmon running amok in town and didn’t require dragging all the kids to this resort. He could have used that to do a lot more than a routine feint.
Either way, it tees up Offmon’s evolution a little too conveniently. Him going feral even before becoming Shutmon is interesting and frightening even if it was a little easy to predict. Even if it doesn’t help this episode, it’s a nice set-up for future developments. Too bad they forget to develop them.
My Grade: C
- At some point while getting approval for this trip, Anezaki had to tell someone higher up that Eri wanted to take not her peers in Appliyama 470, but three random boys she “worked with.” And they said yes without asking follow-up questions.
- That boxed lunch scene was pointless and not funny, but Offmon getting a “big boy box lunch” is too cute for words.
- What was funny was the stupidly long hike having an ominous narrow log bridge that’s begging for someone to take a dunk… then a moat they have to wade through anyway.
- They really think the old lady mistaking them for an old theater troupe gives them license to keep their Appmon out. Even though the Appmon leave their “costumes” on in the water. Including Gatchmon’s helmet, as established a while ago.
- The Ultimate evolution sequence when run through the Duo goes all-out with its dubstep sound effects, including random airhorns. It’s cringy and hilarious. Astora loves it… which suggests they can actually hear all that.