Following the same pattern for the third straight entry doesn’t suggest quality. It usually hints at stagnation with little development: another Holy Stone destroyed, another Deva beaten, another loss to the Royal Knights. Here it’s another kid and their partner reaching evolution and another piece of the Digital World puzzle revealed. Again, there’s nothing remarkable here and Mimi’s introduction could have been more disruptive. But the action holds up, and more importantly so too does the psychology instructing everyone’s participation in this action. For now that holds us over until the honeymoon ends and we begin to expect bigger things from the the group dynamic and the characters themselves.
As with each of the children we’ve met so far, Mimi leads with her strengths. She cares for an entire village of Tanemon and takes her guardianship seriously against the persistent Tuskmon threat. And all this because Palmon befriended her and introduced her to them. There’s even a little history behind it as she takes after her grandfather, chairman of a company out there helping assist with the blackouts. At the same time, she’s also insistent on her ways, relishes being called queen, and prioritizes her Tanemon kingdom over the world as a whole. As far as making us love a new character, it’s hard to argue with Mimi starting in midseason form rather than revisiting her difficult early days.
At the same time, early Mimi helped feed into the interpersonal tension that’s noticeably lacking here. Between this Mimi, Koshiro, and Sora, Taichi’s party has some of the most agreeable and cooperative members of the team. To the episode’s credit, Mimi’s initial entrapment and refusal to abdicate her throne leads to just a bit of disagreement. It’s not a lot, but at this point we’ll take the scraps we get, tiding us over until Joe and Yamato join the team. They should add some variety and temperament to the group and hopefully make things a little spicier.
While we wait, we can enjoy the action sequences that continue to impress. Helping it along even further is the presence of a enemy captain that can strategize a way to achieve a specific objective. It’s a little odd to be complimenting Ogremon’s tactical skills (Tactics Ogremon?), but he’s doing more than plowing a wave of enemies at the kids. When the first two Tuskmon fall into one of Mimi’s traps, he adjusts and sends the rest around, sending Coredramon to back them up from the air while he goes underground with Drimogemon. This in turns demands a response, with Greymon meeting the flanking Tuskmon at a chokepoint and Birdramon dealing with Coredramon. The tactics aren’t anything advanced, but it’s light years ahead of what we’re used to.
Drimogemon’s sneak attack still calls for the traditional sequence leading to Palmon’s evolution. Even that feels more potent when he lays out Palmon while she aggressively protects Mimi. It’s too early to say how close she was to actually dying, but the fading and distortion marks clearly dangerous territory (and something to keep an eye on in the future). The ensuing flashback is important in establishing how Mimi’s concern for Palmon goes beyond her natural sympathy and stems from Palmon helping orient Mimi to this new world when she was lost and alone. The flashback fulfills its purpose for this, but it sure would have been nice to linger on that longer. It would have had to go elsewhere in the episode, but imagine actually showing one of these children lost and alone and afraid of what this world represented.
The introduction to Mimi, Palmon, and Ogremon are the important takeaways here, but the episode continues to peel back the mysteries of the world. Or, rather, Koshiro does in this case, discovering for himself that as you get further down the network, time moves faster relative to the real world. This is a standard mechanic (at least in three prior series), but the reveal here freshens it up. The gradual shift is clever and logical knowing the layered layout of the network. It also explains why the Algomon fight was closer to realtime. It also turns that 72-hour window into a manageable deadline that could stretch for an arc, maybe even the whole series, while still forecasting some crunch time tension later. Best of all, at the expense of a shocking reveal when they get back in the real world, Koshiro discovers the information on his own. Never hurts to reward the kids’ ingenuity with more information. Even if some aspects of the characters remain lacking, they are all more active participants in the story, and that’s a great sign early on.
My Grade: B+
- Much as the hungry Agumon joke gets overused, the one time where the situation clearly calls for it here, when Sora and Taichi are equally famished, only having an obnoxiously loud stomach growl seems strangely underplayed.
- Mimi refers to Palmon as her butler and everyone just overlooks that like it’s not a massive distortion of the child-Digimon partnership. Such is the power of Mimi.
- Once again Agumon and Piyomon discuss what they know about another Digimon because they’re not strangers to this world and know the basic reputations of their neighbors.
- Taichi’s concern about time not syncing up was a little unwarranted since it makes the situation less urgent. There being a difference in itself might be a reason to freak out, but Taichi hasn’t freaked out at anything yet and this would be a weird place to start.
- Not quite sure I’m ready to accept a conglomerate so massive it has its hands in both consumer electronics and heavy industry is completely benevolent the way Tachikawa Industries is presented. This would be the ultimate example of hiding character flaws in their introduction!
- Evidence of Taichi rolling with everything is referring to Mimi as “queen” even though she has nothing to back that up and she’s being a little pompous giving herself that title.
- So on top of being relegated to servants 72 and 73, Taichi and Sora are essentially nothing more than honorary Tanemon, complete with head sprout? Such is the will of Mimi.
- For the second straight episode Greymon gets a full transformation sequence (that already feels too long) while Birdramon just shows up and, let’s be real, kicks way more ass.
- Togemon breaking Drimogemon’s drill and Greymon busting Ogremon’s horn are some pretty sweet damage markers you don’t usually get in Digimon.