Adventure: (2020) Episode 28: The Children's Fight For Survival

In this episode, Angemon and DarkKnightmon’s fight only serves to separate the entire team. Other than Taichi and Yamato, everybody’s kind of okay with this arrangement. Even Hikari!

Everywhere you look here, there are opportunities to get it wrong. The fight between Angemon and DarkKnightmon could drag out and leave everyone else in gazebo mode watching. The separation could be along familiar lines and deprive us of any acceleration in character development. The battle that does get featured once again features Taichi and is uninspiring as ever and was poised to be another miracle finish just because he decided to win at the last second. For the most part, and by the skin of its teeth, it dodges these bullets. There’s no promise it will dodge the new ones in its path and there’s little to reassure us that it can, but there’s a lot of intrigue in this current scenario.

The best thing you can say about the fight between Angemon and DarkKnightmon is it’s over fast. It’s a hard premise to swallow between the sudden evolution with no buildup and the power gap that should still exist. The black lightning makes it clear that Angemon has no way of winning this fight, and a loud, violent stalemate is the best outcome we could hope for. There are enough chaotic factors shown to be in play that one of them’s bound to be responsible for scattering everybody around the continent.

We should be lamenting the team splitting up again. Everybody has only been together for a handful of episodes in total, making the group feel more like an infrequent support team to Taichi and Yamato than a true unit. It’s hard to develop a proper group dynamic if they aren’t together long enough to establish one. But since we can’t miss what we don’t have yet, we get the next best thing: everybody’s on their own. Splitting into two teams was a disaster since Taichi and Koshiro did all the work. Now nobody’s around to pick up the slack for Sora, Joe, Mimi, or Takeru. The hope here is they’re all going to go through something allowing them to express themselves, grow, and tighten their bond with their Digimon. They can’t possibly give Taichi all of the time, right?

Even in this episode, where Taichi does hog most of the attention, we see more from the rest of the gang. Sora’s the first to try to contact everybody and get their situations. Mimi calms herself by mining for rubies on the mountain. Joe struggles to navigate hot springs etiquette with a grumpy Nanimon. Takeru comforts Patamon, weakened from the previous battle. At a point where the endless focus on Taichi and Yamato has stagnated so much, these are refreshing situations trying to pull something new from characters we haven’t seen enough of. It would take a lot of work to deny this sort of attention through the whole arc.

For now though, it is Taichi for the remainder of the time and it starts as dull as you’d expect. If a charged up Groundramon gave the whole team fits, of course Volcdoramon would be a problem for MetalGreymon. Of course, Volcdoramon is imposing only because he’s big and slow and gushes lava everywhere. It makes for a good challenge but not an entertaining one, the entire time spent with MetalGreymon trying to get through his defenses in a monotonous slog. The only satisfying outcome to it would be MetalGreymon losing. It sure felt like it was going to be yet another miraculous save from Taichi.

The miracle came elsewhere, however, and for once it’s not out of nowhere! In a season of random feather magic, distant interventions, and Taichi being Taichi, it’s kind of nice that it’s something simple as a reassuring connection between siblings providing the spark. Hikari actually being there, and actual contact, makes a world of difference. Another WarGreymon tease is a takeaway that foreshadows his inevitable appearance and gives at least some meaning to the fight.

Reminding us of Hikari’s weird powers also adds a little more weight to her kidnapping. So is the fact that they take a rare moment to pause and illustrate how Hikari’s always had moments of spacing out, noticing things that weren’t there and probably knowing things she shouldn’t. Her total complacency at SkullKnightmon taking her plays off her vagueness just right. She could just not be quite aware of what’s happening. She could be seeing something compelling her to let this play out. Either way, it leaves Taichi alone and screaming in an otherwise deathly silent forest. There are so many ways this can go wrong, and every reason to believe they will, but it’s the first time in awhile we’re actually curious to see how this plays out.

My Grade: B

Loose Data:

  • I hate talking about power gap. We should know better than to expect this stuff to supplant what serves the story, doubly so when it concerns Digimon originating from Xros Wars. That said, DarkKnightmon gave both MetalGreymon and WereGarurumon fits. We know Angemon and his higher forms are generally OP, but him even keeping it close is a real bad look for those two.
  • The random feather waking up Taichi was uncalled for. Was that supposed to suggest they’d all be dead without it?
  • When we appreciate everyone for showing us something after being separated, that doesn’t extend to Yamato. For someone who professed to be freaking out about Takeru being stuck at home during the blackout, he’s way too composed and comfortable with him being alone in the Digital World.
  • A forest is a fine place for Taichi and Hikari to land. Volcdoramon is a reasonable opponent to run into. Volcdoramon in a forest just doesn’t work well together. At the very least the forest should be ablaze at the end of that fight, more than the extent the next episode teases.

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  1. I thought the feather thing was the aftereffect of Angemon casting Retreat, like the last of the power of that move fizzling out.

  2. This reboot really feels like it goes around in circles at times. Gang meet up, gang get split up. Meet a really powerful opponent who effortlessly thrashes the partner Digimon, who still keep going regardless. But at the last moment some convenient miracle allows them to effortlessly thrash the aggressor.