Okay, now we’ve reached the bottom! Even after Deusmon had descended and the operation started, you knew it could get worse. Even after Leviathan emerged in the real world, you knew it could get worse. Now? There will be bumps in the road over the last two episodes, but this is our low point, as Leviathan noms down everyone’s Appmon. Honestly assessing the situation at large you wonder if this should be in contention for being as dark as Digimon ever gets. Really that’s only true in one sense: Appmon actually shows us the grim impact on the townspeople.
As visually intimidating as the sight of D-Reaper towering over Shinjuku is, we still have to use our imagination to appreciate the impact of an entire metropolitan area displaced. Even the series that will show sheltered citizens, building damage, or busted cell phones shy away from human life. There’s no time to evacuate Shinjuku once Leviathan shows up, leading to more chaos than we’ve ever seen before. Once the first attacks spread and claim victims, the panic adds an unprecedented level of intensity. Massive crowds freak out, flee for safety, crush transportation bottlenecks… and a lot of people get sucked up and disintegrate. We’ve seen this sort of mass assimilation before—Quartzmon does something similar at the end of Hunters—but actually showing the full range of the devastation is the secret to maximizing the effect.
Getting the bystanders involved also raises the main cast. Eri and Astora respond in horror to the sight of a mother and her baby dissolved into data, while the worried crowd realizes their Appmon are the good guys and cheer them on. The battle with Deusmon has a clear philosophy as he negates the prior advantage the good guys had by forcing them to protect civilians. They use a bit of ingenuity and planning to turn the tide and gain the upper hand, enough at least to feel satisfied with a sense of victory before Leviathan follows up with the next phase. Remember how we got the impression Leviathan wanted the God grades to show up? That’s because it’s hungry! Being the gourmet it is, it’s only content eating the finest choice of Appmon. For all the work Eri, Astora, and Rei put in, Leviathan’s even stronger and the App Drivers are left struggling to find any source of hope.
At first glance, Haru and Gaiamon appear to fit the bill. It’s always an inspiring sight when we hit the end of a series and the gogglehead is totally dialed in. Takato is scary, Masaru is intimidating, hell the whole Adventure team during the Apocalymon fight is a rush. What makes Haru so impressive here as he stands against Rebootmon owes much to his humbler roots. The progression from episode one to episode fifty is more stark than other protagonists who didn’t need as much of a push. It’s also about his mentality and why he’s fearless. It’s not because he’s certain of his victory. His confidence instead comes from the knowledge that this is the only path for him. He knows exactly what he needs to do to stop Leviathan and come closer to saving Yujin. There’s no guarantee he will, but fear is not part of the plan.
That confidence makes the ending more hopeful than it has any right to be. Rebootmon pops up after being defeated (shocking, right?) and locks Gaiamon in a tenuous position where Leviathan swallows both of them. The others are properly devastated. Haru isn’t. He and Gaiamon share a nod as it happens, and Haru stands resolute, insisting that it isn’t over yet and keeping faith. And he’s so damn determined we’re stuck believing him! It’s the only glimmer of hope in the episode, really the only thing we have to cling to. The whole thing is a long, straightforward plummet leaving this as our only cushion at the bottom. Last time we were disturbed because Leviathan planned for everything. Now we’re a bit weirded out that Haru feels like he has any sense of control.
My Grade: A-
- If you ever wonder how society is able to resume regular life after witnessing these insane monster fights, just look at the myriad of justifications people concoct to try to accept seeing Leviathan in the sky.
- The roaring not only marking humanity but also shattering glass and denying anyone in their downtown offices places to hide is a nice little extra bit of foresight that you get from an artificially intelligent villain that’s had this planned for a long time.
- Seriously though, mom and baby disintegrating… they are all in here and I love it!
- Gotta love people figuring out that Poseidomon, Ouranosmon, and Hadesmon are the good guys and cheering them on. That doesn’t happen often enough and provides a nice mini-Revenge of Diaboromon moment.
- Yujin’s directive of not only stopping Haru but breaking his spirit is interesting. Not in a villainous “he can’t die yet” kind of way, but in figuring out how Haru’s mental state contributes to Leviathan’s victory plan.
- Another nice touch they show is Leviathan switching off the entire network, denying both a military response and broadcasting any emergency communications. People are stuck scattering on their own.