Adventure: (2020) Episode 36: Operation Satellite Sniper

In this episode, Koshiro waits until the very last minute to deal with his pet crisis in order to make sure BlitzGreymon gets a random cameo.


We interrupt your undersea hunt for the remnants of the closest thing we have to a main villain for something completely different! With the story having some direction and the intriguing Tailmon drama, the show’s flashed promise of getting its act together and giving life to these characters. So naturally it derails everything for a balls-to-the-wall action fest filled with a gratuitous Digimon appearance to appease the fanboys, a lot of screaming, and the ever-popular countdown clock of doom. All to resolve the subplot they’ve tried desperately to get us to care about the last several episodes. A surprise bit of character introspection at the end spares it from being a complete waste, but even that is riddled with problems.

For someone who claims to have always preferred solitude, Koshiro sure couldn’t shut up about the International Space Station. While the occasionally amusing cut ins to Yamato, Joe, and Mimi gradually slowed down and stopped completely, every episode had to be interrupted with an update on a situation that was very far away and nobody could do anything about. Tokyo’s destruction should automatically arouse concern in anyone, but that concern is taken for granted. The characters never internalize it, nor are there shots of family members looking up in worry. With most of the real-world cutaways inside control centers, and after several previous over-the-top crises diminishing its impact, it might as well be threatening to blow up the moon.

Koshiro takes his sweet time waiting for Taichi and company to get out of the water, high-tail it over there, admire the scenery, speculate on who won a fight between ancient Digimon fossils, and listen to a long explanation of the pillar of light and why it connects to the network. If he only told Taichi “we need to go up there and fire a crack shot in the right spot at the right time,” MetalGreymon would be in the air before he finished. Even still, the only reason time becomes an issue at all is because the path goes through hostile locals again. BladeKuwagamon and MetallifeKuwagamon aren’t there to stop them from executing their plan. Most of the enemies encountered over the last ten episodes have been along this line, and in moments painted as critical as this one, it makes the show feel especially rudderless.

Even worse, they can’t even beat this token opposition! Considering how little trouble they’ve had rolling over some tough enemies, three Ultimates, Pegasmon, and Tailmon struggling against MetallifeKuwagamon and company is embarrassing. Especially when they keep two more evolutions in their pocket. That’s what makes BlitzGreymon’s appearance so meaningless. The idea of the environment affecting how a Digimon evolves holds some promise, but Koshiro poses it as some Darwinian mutation uniquely designed to get them out of this jam. Trouble is, there’s no reason to accept they were actually in a jam to begin with, at least not one that WarGreymon (and Angewomon) couldn’t have gotten them out of just as easily. Without that, BlitzGreymon’s appearance screams gratuitous cameo, just as shameless as Masaru and Taichi running in the last time MetallifeKuwagamon caused problems. The real concern should have been over random environmental effects making their evolutions unpredictable. To them, BlitzGreymon should be a cause of concern, not celebration.

Taichi makes the tactical decision to hold off the pesky residents and leave the actual shot to Koshiro. This shift in focus, and the introspection that goes with it, is the most redeeming part of the episode. Even then, the introspection is misplaced. His claim of being the quiet observer rather than the active participant in life echoes his introduction, but in no way recognizes the Koshiro we’ve experienced all this time. We’ve never seen Koshiro hiding in the corner of his class, or hesitate to speak up, or interact with his classmates or family in any way. When he’s not online being the information dealer, he’s been the same headstrong action kid all of the others are.

In fact, his constant interruptions about the crisis the last several episodes suggest someone who insists on being heard, and he’s already taken point and solved multiple problems on his own without feeling this kind of pressure. If they really wanted to call out his alleged unwillingness to deal with something by himself, they would have leaned harder on the fact that he wasted critical hours forcing Taichi to derail Tailmon’s shard hunt for a mission Koshiro had every reason to think he could have done on his own! Once again, we see everything wrong with the series on full display. Even with some promising elements like the prospect of the  environment forcing alternate evolutions and whatever was going on with those fossils, the priority on nonstop action and showcasing certain Digimon will always make even well intentioned character spots fall short.

My Grade: D+

Loose Data:

  • Tailmon isn’t wrong about battles happening for reasons other than good vs. evil, but it doesn’t suit her portrayal as this hardened paladin fighting for the light. Better to give this kind of commentary to someone like Piyomon as a throwback to the days when she used to do all the explaining, and let Tailmon stick to the fights that really are black and white.
  • In a mission that Koshiro says that the closer they get, the better chance they have, but time is preventing them from getting closer, he spends an ungodly amount of time explaining the situation. From the moment Taichi asks “Koshiro, what’s that” to evolving Agumon, they waste almost three and a half minutes. And in the end, Taichi didn’t care about any of it other than the actual objective.
  • One reason why it’s hard to buy the threat MetallifeKuwagamon faces is that while he’s certainly a nuisance, his lasers hit MetalGreymon and Garudamon several times and seems to have minimal effect on them.
  • The International Space Station weighs 450 tons and is the size of a football field. If we accept that it didn’t burn up in the atmosphere, there is no way it smashes into Tokyo Bay without causing a massive tidal wave, a searing fireball, and a blast large enough to shatter every window in Tokyo and probably level some buildings. It’s better than the alternative, but don’t pretend that wouldn’t have a devastating impact on the city.
  • On top of all that, at the end of the day they still destroyed the International Space Station! That is considered the single most expensive object mankind has ever created!
  • It’s suggested that the specific landing point was destined to be Odaiba. Of course it was.
  • This is now three miracle interventions in a matter of days. The suits that are watching all this have to be just as suspicious about what’s solving all these problems as they are about what’s causing them.
  • Knowing this series, it’s about even money right now that a future network incident will in fact threaten to blow up the moon.

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1 comment:

  1. "it might as well be threatening to blow up the moon."

    I swear this is a reference to something, but I cannot for the life of me figure it out.

    "Even with some promising elements like the prospect of the environment forcing alternate evolutions"

    I find it interesting how the Data-Virus-Vaccine trichotomy sometimes materializes in the anime. It's mentioned in the original Adventure series, and I've heard some people say it's hinted to be a subtle influence on the fights in Tamers, but it otherwise rarely seems to come into play. Full credit that having digivolutions for different attributes would be a fascinating mechanic.

    Does remind me a bit of the Dark Spires in Zero Two, though there it prevented all conventional evolution, and in any case was implied to have something to do with the Dark Ocean, another world entirely. An internal world limitation is something new.

    Actually, having a virus like BlitzGreymon on their side does, as you point out, have worrying implications, especially given that Mugendramon/Machinedramon was already implied to be a viral alternative, and we already have Patamon being forced into an alternative evolution with Pegasmon/Pegasusmon. Factor in Tailmon/Gatomon's whole business with DarkKnightmon, and we might actually have something subtle building up here.

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