Adventure: (2020) Episode 21: The Tide-Turning Update

In this episode, with Takeru free and hopping through suspicious craters on his own, it’s up to Taichi to pull the win out of his own ass this time.


It’s both a blessing and a curse that the action flows so smoothly from one episode to the next. We enjoy the continuity and everything staying meaningful and the plot moving forward, especially here as they reach the destination they were told to seek out all the way back in episode five. At the same time, SkullKnightmon taking Angemon’s digiegg creates a thread that has to be followed, with no time for Yamato and Takeru to celebrate their reunion or to get Takeru up to speed on what the hell world he just fell into. Given how the story fails to progress past the castle gate and the one big development is an indication of bad times to come, we’d much rather have those instead.

We generally excuse this when the action is meaningful enough. Rescuing Takeru is important whether or not we care about Takeru. There is nothing meaningful about this fight, just a token summoned opponent getting in their way. Splashmon does his best, the miasma adding extra danger to an already unique and challenging attack pattern. But MetalGreymon and WereGarurumon use conventional tactics to fail to beat it, which don’t cut it. Not when battle creativity has become one of the show’s biggest assets and not when you recall the sort of wild manipulative insanity Taiki used to beat him in Xros Wars. There’s nothing inspiring here. Splashmon is too good an enemy to use in this situation, and the heroes aren’t ready to rise to the challenge.

In desperation, Taichi tries to pry MetalGreymon out from Splashmon’s clutches and triggers a new mode that instantly ends the battle. It’s worse than it sounds. You gather we’re supposed to be impressed at Taichi getting in there, harming himself in the process. Thing is, Taichi’s been riding with Greymon on the front lines for the entire series. Just because he actually suffers this time doesn’t mean he’s taking any more of a risk now than he has this whole time. His dramatic speech isn’t even out of concern for his partner. This isn’t Haru diving into a virus-filled pool out of concern for Dogatchmon. Taichi just wants to save the world. Worst of all is you just know this extra weaponry is going to be used as a psuedo-evolution for everybody, and if this is any indicator we still won’t get the character development that’s supposed to go with it.

But that’s what Takeru’s for, right? Now Yamato might have emotions and more to think about before making decisions! Or maybe now that he got what he wanted and can ensure his brother’s safety, he doesn’t care about the rest of the mission. Or… maybe he’s going to barely register Takeru’s presence and stash him away at the first opportunity to go fight the bad guy like always. And despite leaning into the over-protective, worrying tendencies we’ve had teased this whole time, when he hears Takeru wandered off on his own in a hostile environment and accidentally released the monstrous ElDoradimon, Yamato only pats him on the head and says good job.

Takeru doesn’t even get the kind of telling introduction Taichi and Koshiro got in episode one. He doesn’t say much of anything, nor do we get into his head as much as his actions should demand. His strange obsession with a giant crater compels him to a perilous climb on his own, where he reaches the barrier sealing a giant eyeball that responds to the digivice, which he rolls with. So what we’re gathering is that he’s a very vague little child, barely aware of the situation around him, preferring to defy common sense to follow odd compulsions rather than actually think about what’s happening. Doubt it was intentional, but the vibe we’re getting is either he has some sort of mental health issue, or he’s a straight-up cryptid.

We don’t want to diminish what’s going on in the real world. It’s far more encouraging, as Joe and Mimi show their commitment to the cause before surprised relatives and Koshiro and Sora watch the network going to hell all over again. But Joe and Mimi are just fleeting moments. What they do is good, but it will take extended time with their families and actual tension before they’re where they need to be. The Algomon returning and swarming around Calamarimon as they reroute a tanker to plow into a port is nicely ominous, especially with a bunch of Rookie Digimon the only ones there to stop it. It’s not enough on its own, but it does keep our hopes up. What’s going on the Digital World sure don’t.

My Grade: C+

Loose Data:

  • They don’t do a whole lot, but it was nice to see Falcomon and Spadamon return to help Taichi and Yamato out. It’s more to affirm that they’re still around and still will be around in the future, but those are positives.
  • We’ve been informed about Mimi’s wealth, but actually seeing her estate helps orient us immensely. It’s also so stark having Mimi’s grandfather, this new and awe-inspiring figure, sitting at the table with her parents, the exact same pair from the original series.
  • With Taichi’s mom barely aware of his absence, it’s good to see Sora and Joe’s mothers actually being worried and nagging them for disappearing for three days in a crisis. And what does it say about this family that Shin had a bugout bag already prepared for the moment Joe showed a hint of independence?
  • Piyomon and Tentomon have to carry Palmon through the network, but Gomamon glides on his own.
  • The Strait of Malacca with the hijacked tanker is between Malaysia and the island of Sumatra in Indonesida. No word yet on whether the tanker is targeting a cursed Masaru on holiday.

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