Usually ending theme changes mean I get to take a little break from the commentary and keep things mellow for a post. Doesn’t quite work that way when it’s a weekly show. It’s actually extra work! Suppose I shouldn’t complain after the two month break. Either way, with a new ending coming next episode, it’s our cue to look back at where the series is now and ahead to where we’re going.
The common mantra you hear when discussing this reboot is that it isn’t fair to compare it to the original Adventure. It’s not wrong: this series is clearly going for a different mood and operating with a different level of production. Adventure, meanwhile, is more than twenty years old and memories of it are often swayed by childhood nostalgia, even in recent analysis. In these parts, however, we’re all about comparing and contrasting different Digimon series, what they have in common, where they depart from each other, and what they do well or poorly up next to each other. Good thing too, because taking this series as a Digimon entry, it’s probably the best thing we’ve ever gotten. As a remake of Adventure… there’s a lot we’re still hungry for.
The biggest appeal of Adventure is watching its cast explore their own personal problems and come to terms with themselves during a long, dangerous journey in a unique world. Other series have different points of emphasis: Zero Two, for example, focuses more on how its cast deals with each other, so anyone showing up for a Daisuke deep dive will find it lacking by comparison. The reboot’s in a similar situation: most of these kids haven’t shown the kinds of personal flaws that presented such fascinating obstacles for the original cast.
Thirteen episodes in, we should be a long way away from expecting any sort of turning point or resolution. Problem is, everyone’s already capable of evolving their Digimon to Ultimate without overcoming that deep personal challenge and reaching some sort of revelation. For many, we don’t even know what that challenge is. There’s a clear connection between their original crest and the emotions running through them when they get this extra energy. But they don’t have to reach far and search themselves to find it. There’s more than enough time for this need to be pressed on them, but one fewer evolution to symbolize their victories.
But when you look at it as the newest season of Digimon, independent of these characters’ past incarnations, there’s nothing stronger. Characters both good and evil act with intent and with certain goals in mind. The action is smooth and thought out well. The story is serviceable enough to keep everybody moving. It’s more than enough to make up for an early lack of character depth. Very few Digimon iterations have dialed into its cast’s weaknesses and fears so quickly. Thirteen episodes in we thought Juri Katou was just a friendly classmate and Ken Ichijouji was beyond redemption. Put it this way: replace the reboot’s cast with original characters and replace their crest symbols with unexplained runes and if we aren’t completely satisfied, we’d at least understand the need to be patient with the pace of the development.
With the release date of Kizuna (re)solidified, expect the post covering that October 1. I’m going to lean into the Japanese version for the main review, with any comments about the dub, its changes, or its inevitable “silly dub” moments thrown into Loose Data. As always, Patreon subscribers get early (and pre-edited) access to posts and can request a special topic for me to cover. Any support you can throw me there, on Ko-Fi, or on Amazon (this link goes to the Kizuna BD!) are greatly appreciated.
Much as I love Ai Maeda, I appreciate them mixing up the endings more in Savers and beyond. It’s a nice first ending track with plenty of energy and spirit with just a little bit of emotion. The focus on Yamato is a little strange as he’s missing in four of these episodes and doesn’t talk about Takeru at all until episode 11.
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