There are times when you just have to throw up your hands, shed any notion of what a competent Digimon story looks like, and enjoy whatever weird ride the show takes you on. There’s a lot to potentially be bothered by with something like this, from continuing to ignore the main plot, to insisting that Joe remain a cartoon exaggeration rather than an actual human, to the odd and persistent mood shifts caused by a befuddling story. If the main draw of Adventure: has been the intense story and wicked action, this is a catastrophic departure. But since that hasn’t been working anyway, we’re just going to sit back and enjoy this one because it’s adorable as all hell.
The main issue with the Frontier Burgamon episode that we’re all going to draw comparisons to was that it was clearly meant to be filler, but the story itself was quietly very serious and under-served by the silliness going on. There is no such confusion here: they are going for total nonsense here and offer up an appropriately pointless story. Potamon is addicted to the restaurant’s French fries, but they’ve been pulled from the menu, leaving him quite… salty. His hangry fury evolves him to Jyagamon and leads to a rampage.
Potamon’s foodie in crime Joe manages to remain a complete joke even with all the cute things they give his character. Even in giving him a little depth in the first thing he’s shown a passion for beyond studies, he still comes off as hapless. It’s a testament to his limited character that snacking on French fries between cram school sessions deepens him. It really sounds more like a nice fan headcanon than a broad expansion of his personality. Still, it’s effective enough to create a bond with Potamon that justifies getting Jyagamon under control rather than just killing him. This Joe is fun to watch and he gets plenty of moments, but gets us no closer to taking him seriously.
Even with the inane premise, poor attempt at transitioning to the action, and continued refusal to give Joe anything meaty, it coasts by on its sense of fun. Goes to show how much more enjoyable things are when the characters are allowed to enjoy themselves. Real nonsense happens often enough in the franchise. But in seasons most known for it like Zero Two, Frontier, and Appmon, it tends to be hit or miss based on where they are in the story and how much we’re itching to get back to the heart of things. In this series, we’ve know what the heart of things looks like. We’re in no rush to get back.
My Grade: B
- It’s very weird for a show, especially a Japanese one, to romanticize the idea of the highway rest stop. I’m enough of a road enthusiast to welcome it.
- Palmon hits on a nice callback to Mimi talking up avocado burgers in episode 16. Feels like it’s been forever since then.
- Like many of Mimi’s accessories, the boxes this restaurant uses are made of leaves. Apparently it’s the most versatile packaging material around.
- Let’s not think too hard about Potamon/Jyagamon’s obsession with eating fried potatoes.
- While we appreciate any opportunity to include Lunamon, the carwash subplot really was one of those tacked on things that you just knew would come back around to tie into the main action somehow. But again, we got some cute bits out of it so we’re not complaining.
- While it’s hard to care too much about anything happening in this episode, it is strange that they don’t explain why a burger joint would stop selling fries, even if no one eats them. Implications throughout the episode suggest they’re either not in demand, they don’t have the potato supply to support it, or they’re managed by the same people who run Taco Bell.
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