When the plot synopsis says “go to Appmon cemetery to rescue captured friend,” your imagination isn’t going to stray towards the silly. That’s more or less what we end up with here, and maybe we shouldn’t be so surprised. When you’ve got Cloud and the Ultimate 4 obstructing the path to Yujin, this was always going to lean more towards an introduction of its own short arc. The silliness not only pads it out, it reinforces Cloud and Leviathan’s intentions with this operation, and it gives us a breather before some intense battles. It serves a genuine purpose in the long run, but it can’t help but feel a bit hollow now, and even a smart set up for the episodes to come don’t suggest they’ll be all that good.
The most intelligent thing the episode does is give us a reason the Ultimate 4 doesn’t just bum-rush the four App Drivers again in one quick show of force. It also spares us the debate over whether that approach would be better than dividing everybody up one-on-one again. Leviathan wants to know how strong buddy Appmon are when powered by the Duo and therefore gives them a chance to show their stuff. It’s useful data for Leviathan: if Minerva has the power to throw App Drives at kids whenever it wants, you can bet it’ll try again if this group falls.
Even if there’s no logical reason for there to be one, putting a time limit on Yujin’s survival is another smart move. After some previous overkill, Haru’s realized they need to conserve energy whenever possible, using Ultimates only when necessary and hoping their Standard Appmon can take care of smaller threats. Leviathan doesn’t care about the power levels of Standards. Now that there’s some urgency involved, the kids can’t waste time dawdling over lesser opponents and will go full power to crush everything in their path quickly. That haste could lead to tactical mistakes, especially knowing how driven Haru will be. Their impressive show here against the four revived villains drains the battery and offers useful data points to the enemy. It’s going to spell a bad time for some of the Ultimate 4, and we can question whether that’s worth the sacrifice, but at least it all adds up to acceptable justification for the forthcoming battles.
At the same time, justifying the next few episodes doesn’t do a ton for this one. The concept of a place for obsolete Appmon is a good one, but the episode proceeds to contradict the need to have a place for obsolete Appmon. Not that everyone has a pressing need for a compass on their phones, but both the last episode and this one reinforces a notion that Appmon don’t ever really die. The journey the kids took last time was more about getting new App Drives, and Fakemon uses the data from three vanquished enemies (rounded up to four) to sort of bring them back. Rei calls this place more of a sulking ground for less useful Appmon, which is far less captivating. A real discussion on what happens to obsolete and discontinued Appmon would have to involve the likes of Maripero and Ropuremon (an old RPG game everyone hated) and who wants that, really?
There’s no hiding the fact that Mienumon, Sakusimon, Scorpmon, and Sukasimon were just here for a curtain call. Given how much personality they all had, and how only Mienumon stuck around long enough to get annoying, it’s appreciated. We get enough antics from them, one more haiku, and an adorable group selfie, but everybody else knew they were here to get clobbered. It got Leviathan its data, and more importantly kicked the arc off without having to burn one of the Ultimate 4. The kids even have time to proceed down the World Map and reach Bio Manor. Rei dismisses the other three and immediately gets to the point about Hajime. That’s promising both for the hope of progression for that subplot and that we won’t have to burn an episode fighting each one.
My Grade: B
- While we got a glimpse of his commanding presence in his fight with Globemon, Charismon really sells himself as an effective leader. Leviathan prizing data on the Duo’s abilities could put the Ultimate 4 as a disadvantage, but Charismon sells it as giving them the chance to express themselves and make the kids suffer. When he catches Fakemon trying to backstab him, he doesn’t dismiss is as the cheap sight gag it is and promises that Fakemon would be a worthy successor should he successfully kill him.
- Presenting Callmon, Compassmon, and Jishomon as bitter apps sulking in the graveyard (with particular spite towards Messemon, Navimon, and Gatchmon) is pretty funny and might set up a nice parable on the progress of technology, but doesn’t really hold water. Remember, they’re not the embodiments of rotary phones, compasses, and printed dictionaries, but rather the apps replacing them. Everybody still has the ability to use their phones as a phone even if texting is usually preferred, compass apps appeal to the same niche audiences that would have a need for a real compass, and dictionary apps rank just fine on the app stores. It’s a cute idea whose execution doesn’t hold up.
- Dost I detect the slightest jab at cancel culture at the obsolete Appmon calling Rei’s insensitivity “problematic” and ‘harassment?” Nothing’s sharp enough to pick apart, but Rei implying such terms were too current to be in Jishomon’s dictionary makes for an underrated burn.
- Which was groovier, a bunch of zombie Caught-Up Mans doing the dance from Thriller, or Musimon punching one of them out with his ears?
- Massive shout-out to the subtitles for highlighting the ridiculous “Thrilling Ultimate 60 Minute Tour” with rainbow colors.
- In case using Scorpmon’s sniper rifle as a selfie stick wasn’t brilliant enough, the four of them criticizing the picture and wanting to take another one was just the chef’s kiss.
- Remember how Oujamon got paired off with Beautymon for no reason other than “girl fight?” This episode’s guilty of that too. Gatchmon and Hackmon get appropriate rematches with Scorpmon and Sakusimon, but Eri never had any special animosity towards Mienumon (that hate was very much one-way traffic). Meanwhile, she and Haru were the only two to get Sukasimon via failed fusions. Astora never had to deal with him, but had just as much reason to want Mienumon fried again.