The central internal conflict sure looks like it has a lot of meat on it. Tailmon is haunted by the ghosts of her past existence. There’s a darkness within her threatening to come out and endangering everything she cares about. She fears evolution as it invites the possibility of corruption. Her mission necessitates colliding headfirst with the same darkness that created these scars in the first place. These are all tried and true Digimon angles, explored in successful, satisfying ways in past seasons. They’d fit right into the scenario this series presents, with a ton of potential given how much of Tailmon’s story we’ve already established. What we get of it is plenty intriguing, so it’s a shame Hikari seems to hug it out of her before it ever gets a chance to blossom.
What we’re left with is a promising bit of angst about someone grappling with her identity and potential for destruction. Now we’re talking! Setting aside the questions about how Tailmon came to become SkullKnightmon, we can think of it as a Koichi/Duskmon situation, someone forced into becoming something awful and struggling to pick up the pieces of what just happened. Where her concerns take an interesting turn is realizing SkullKnightmon’s appetite for destruction stems from somewhere inside her. It links the obvious distance between hero and villain, it’s consistent with her ferocious drive to stop Millenniumon again, and it’s something she can justifiably worry about emerging again. As poorly as DarkKnightmon’s end was and as dubious an idea as Tailmon being him remains, this is one of the meatier concepts the show’s given us so far.
This had all the makings of a story worth bringing to a boil slowly, maybe not even right now. Let her scars creep up slowly, a fleeting moment here or there in unrelated battles. As they continue, others begin to worry, and perhaps she’s too ashamed or stubborn to admit anything’s wrong. Then let it come to a head, where the resolution is trickier than a simple speech from Hikari. As solid a moment as it was for her Ultimate evolution, it would been better suited building up to her eventual Mega form.
That’s worth noting because while the situation itself was executed too early and too quickly, there’s nothing wrong with Angewomon appearing now. Introduce a different situation requiring Hikari to soothe Tailmon and we’re good. Now there always is a possibility that Tailmon isn’t completely free of the essence that brought out SkullKnightmon and it will continue to pester her as we continue along. But it’s hard to believe we’d be that fortunate. We’ve had promising plot threads before, most notably Taichi and Greymon losing control over themselves in the fight against DoneDevimon. They’ve always been abandoned too quickly. Until we see one actually develop into something powerful, our only source of contentment is that Tailmon’s situation was resolved at all.
My Grade: B
- At this point, we’ve been so used to seeing new or obscure Digimon show up to torment Taichi that it’s a little disappointing when it’s someone conventional like Anomalocarimon or Ebidramon. When he evolved to Gusokumon, the immediate reaction is to shrug and call it fair enough.
- There was a fleeting hope that Chikurimon would demand tactics besides Greymon smashing the bad guy into oblivion. The solution was Tailmon taking care of them in order to let Greymon smash the bad guy into oblivion.
- It’s important to specify that while we certainly have questions about how exactly Tailmon sacrificing her life to defeat Millenniumon resulted in her becoming a puppet to his revival, there are enough potential answers out there that not only can we be patient about the possibility of one, it’s not even essential. If it’s never spoken of again, blame it on the Vademon cult.
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