Adventure: (2020) Episode 30: The Mega Digimon, WarGreymon

In this episode, WarGreymon! To welcome him along, Taichi thinks back to his moments of glory… from the original series and the prequel movie.

Given how completely different this series is from the original, it’s important to judge it based on how it stands on its own. We don’t compare this Taichi’s lack of depth to his 1999 counterpart, but rather his lack of depth compared to every human character between then and Appmon. This should work in the show’s favor, since character is its biggest failing and the original Adventure’s greatest strength. That becomes harder when the show itself demands that we recall the original series. WarGreymon’s debut tries to provide some introspection and character building, and for that it deserves credit, but when it leans so heavily on the imagery we picked up in 1999, you have to say it’s cheating a little.

Judging it on its own merits independent of the original series, one thing is perfectly clear: Taichi has done absolutely nothing to deserve WarGreymon. He can’t win a fight on his own, he has apparently completely forgotten that his sister was kidnapped, and the only plans he is capable of concocting involve flinging himself headfirst into extreme danger. The latter two are on full display as they escort the Woodmon and that one conspicuously silent Lopmon through a cave to hypothetical safety. Realizing that there’s nowhere to run in a cave (except, you know, further through the cave), Taichi decides to hold off the oncoming horde of Allomon outside. Why outside instead of the rear of the convoy? Because it’s more dangerous that way. Sora clearly hates this plan.

While we wait for Taichi to get in over his head for the tenth straight episode, the only other kid we see is Koshiro, monitoring yet another crisis in the real world that only he seems to know about. The fact that he acts like satellites out of alignment aren’t a big deal on their own should disqualify him from having any intelligent take on this situation, but he discovers that the satellites are aligned to all crash into the International Space Station. That going down would provide the kind of cataclysmic disaster that rises to the level of an actual problem. The ISS crashing to Earth is the sort of scenario you’d enjoy watching in a Michael Bay movie. In Digimon, in an arc in the Digital World, when there’s every chance only one kid’s going to be able to do anything about it (possibly without his Digimon), it’s an impersonal distraction we collectively roll our eyes at.

Back to Taichi, his incredible brilliant strategy of waiting outside draws the attention of a Parrotmon, the most obvious nostalgia play in an episode filled with them. Take away our emotional ties to the original’s prequel movie and Parrotmon is just another forgettable enemy. In fact, the nostalgia is gone as soon as Parrotmon evolves to Crossmon. A random enemy using the dark lightning to evolve to Mega is a big deal, not that we’d notice with Taichi and MetalGreymon treating it as another day in the office, at least until they’re beaten. But even that’s becoming routine. Parrotmon’s presence still invites us to recall the Taichi in the past and our memories of cheering for him. It’s a dangerous trick: the Taichi in the prequel movie actually did something about his sister riding off with a destructive Digimon.

The saving grace is the way the episode at least recognizes the need to pause for a moment and let Taichi reflect on his relationship with Agumon before this episode’s random miracle. We get some quiet, and we get into Taichi’s head where he’s confronted with the Crest of Courage, his memories of fighting alongside Agumon, and the teammates counting on him surviving this. This too relies on our knowledge of the original series. On its own we have no idea what that crest represents or how evolution even works in this series. Remember that every Digimon season powers evolution differently. The original Adventure powered evolution through each kid’s reflection of themselves. That certainly isn’t what’s going on here. At best, you’d say it’s the relationship with their Digimon, but that was the magic in Tamers. Tamers actually developed the bonds between the kids and their Digimon, with concerns and conflicts, especially right before new evolutions. This would be a pale imitation of that.

Once Taichi comes out of it, the ensuing winning sequence is done well enough. The new evolution theme is fantastic and the evolution sequence is more grounded, foregoing the CG fireworks to reflect its place as just the next tool in line. It’s appropriate for the moment, while also not depriving us of the fanservice of the occasion. This is the moment to enjoy a little indulgence, and it does come through. It’s just weird timing and especially shallow execution, even as we appreciate the effort.

My Grade: B-

Loose Data:

  • Garudamon makes a big show of finishing off all the Megadramon. Which is not a great way to sell the idea that they have to go through the cave because of all the enemies they’d encounter if they tried to fly over.
  • If Koshiro’s been in contact with somebody in the real world that he trusts, you’d hope he’d be passing on everything he learns so he doesn’t have to deal with it himself.
  • There are enough closeups of Lopmon that we can take it as a safe assumption that they’re going to be important. That should have been the case last episode too, but you can’t be too sure with these writers.
  • This time the Digimon we’re scratching our heads over is Vegimon. He’s clearly coordinating the attacks against Taichi, but… why? We’ve been under the impression that all these enemies are just hunting the weak. There’s been no indication that SkullKnightmon has allies and is launching an offensive against the kids or that Vegimon is in any way in league with him. Something that would be nice to establish before you show a random Digimon bossing around others twenty times his size.
  • Taichi reflects that he has a vague recollection of what happened in the DoneDevimon fight. He and Agumon play it off as sheepishly admitting that they might have lost control a bit, as if that whole thing wasn’t a horrifying experience that should be taken as a warning of the devastation they’re capable of.

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  1. I'm so bored with the favouritism the franchise keeps showing towards Wargreymon.