Adventure: (2020) Episode 31: A New Darkness, Millenniumon

In this episode, Lopmon finally speaks, giving us a plot dump of information, most of which we already had. All is forgiven when they revive a bunch of fluffy bois.

It’s not the slowdown we wanted, but diving back in time for another look at the ancient war serves a few useful functions. It identifies the enemy, which cements Millenniumon’s role in everything before his inevitable return. The glimpses of Angewomon confirm Hikari’s role in the war to the characters. It’s also a reset to remind us what’s happening in the world and what needs to be done going forward. Much as it feels like one, Lopmon doesn’t give us so much a plot dump as a recap, sort of like the ones in Frontier that go on forever but only have like 10% new information. Little is accomplished on its own and there’s a stark lack of intrigue in this scenario, but we have a clear direction going forward now. For that, it can’t be called a waste of time.

Getting a reminder of the ancient war is technically helpful. It’s been a while since it’s come up and it’s such a driving force in the story. Everything from the Holy Digimon to Devimon to the human world network sabotages stem from it. That said, it’s also a reminder that the ancient war is really boring. Good fought evil and good won, leaving its power hidden away until worthy heroes can claim it again. I know… yawn, right? Lopmon adds in a couple names like Cherubimon and Valdurmon and puts more of an emphasis on Angemon/Seraphimon and glowed-out-but-obviously Angewomon/Ophanimon. Last time this came up we compared it to Frontier’s lore. But Frontier focused on distrust and suspicion within the camp of angels. This is way less interesting.

One of the actual revelations is identifying Millenniumon as the original ringleader in the ancient war. Millenniumon, of course, has a long and convoluted past in the original Adventure universe, hovering around the periphery as someone who should be absolutely terrifying if given a moment in the limelight, with the ability to destroy timespace and undermine canon like none other. Here… he’s just the main historical villain. Lopmon suggests he won’t even be the final enemy these kids encounter. There’s no question he can pose a significant threat and give the kids a lot to sweat about, but for his proper debut beyond that vague whiff of him in Zero Two, he doesn’t come across as anything special.

The real value of the episode, therefore, comes not in its actual content, but putting the current picture into focus. It’s not always pretty: they’re making it especially clear that Yamato, Joe, Mimi, and honestly even Koshiro and Sora don’t matter in this season besides extra bodies for the war. But WarGreymon’s arrival signaling a catalyst to Millenniumon’s forces really waking up and spurring into action, Hikari being the partner of the second Holy Digimon, and moving with a clear purpose to find both of them stops the flailing the story had been guilty of since Devimon’s defeat. It’s not the most intriguing direction and finding Hikari should have always been high on the priority list, but it never hurts to know what should be happening now.

Everything else in the episode continues the same trend: it’s flat and uninteresting, but it also serves to cement our grasp of where we are now. The Bakemon reflect the threat Millenniumon poses, even if it’s impossible to take them seriously even with their spooky apparitions and evolutions to actual dangers in MetalPhantomon and Gokumon. WarGreymon is attainable, going to be a regular recurrence, and shouldn’t be regarded as special every time he shows up. Hikari is still with SkullKnightmon and there’s something funky going on there. And the show is really desperate to get us to care about the ISS situation, even though it’s so detached from everything else and utterly laughable that Koshiro’s the only person in the world who seems to care about it. None of this is in the least bit compelling, but it’s important for the overall picture, a recap in real time.

Really, the only thing to earnestly enjoy about the episode itself is the debut of Komondomon. But those good doggos make up for a lot. 14/10.

My Grade: B-

Loose Data:

  • You can tell there’s been no thought put into how evolution functions this season outside of vague miracles. Taichi just remembers being frantic and desperate to survive while Lopmon says something about about “fearless bright courage,” which is only half right in Taichi’s case.
  • We should be more critical of the randomness of Lopmon suddenly getting their memories back just seeing WarGreymon, but memories do get triggered off random cues like that. If we can allow Hajime to get his memories back on the smell of burnt eggs, we have to give this a pass.
  • Cherubimon refers to Seraphimon and Ophanimon as Holy Digimon but not themself. That’s… one departure from Frontier, I guess.
  • One bit of consistency to appreciate is the notion of “power beyond control” surrounding Millenniumon. That’s a core tenet all the bad guys so far seem to be pursuing.
  • Much as we laugh at Taichi and company never getting hit by laser fire aimed directly at them, but now he and Sora get swept into a literal firestorm and come out completely unscathed.
  • Taichi pieces together very quickly that Hikari’s destined to be partnered to the second Holy Digimon. Thank God, because I don’t think we could have tolerated any sort of concocted suspense over that. It was ridiculous enough in the original series.

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1 comment:

  1. Wow. They really shat on Gokumon in this reboot. What a total waste of a cool Digimon. >:(