Back when Sora was first introduced, her inclination for action and instant rapport with Piyomon were appreciated, but came with reservations about the direction her character arc would take. Fast forward thirty-six episodes… and nothing has changed. This is a spiritual successor to that episode, establishing her good communication with Taichi, willingness to fight for causes she believes in, and a lot of fun moments where she gets to kick some ass. Thing is, we’ve seen all of those already. What we haven’t seen yet is a good indicator of what they’re doing with this character. Like the earlier episodes focusing on Mimi, Yamato, and Joe, the lack of any development in otherwise enjoyable and much-needed spotlights is frustrating and feels like a wasted opportunity. But like episode four, we’re so enamored with this iteration of Sora that we’re not sure how much we care.
This creates a dilemma. Original Sora’s development from petulant wannabe tomboy to loving mom friend experimenting to find herself is a striking and well crafted character arc, even through recent entries tri. and Kizuna (or at least its Memorial short). But looking at the end product, an embrace of femininity when her earliest perceptions were an antithesis of it can come off as disappointing and regressive. After the first arcs of Adventure, it’s shocking she surrenders the “coolest girl” crown to Mimi so decisively. It’ll be hard to topple reboot Mimi in that regard, but Sora’s antics here make it competitive, at the expense of anything interesting about her character. It lacks any nuance, it doesn’t develop, it’s heavily exaggerated… and it’s a hell of a lot more entertaining that what the original Sora becomes.
As much fun as she is to watch, the failure to capitalize on the opportunity to do something with her can’t be given a pass. Her original development reinforces that. Not because we should expect or demand she progress in that direction, but that we know how easy it is to progress her in any direction. Her unsatisfying landing point even offers an added urge to see her take a journey that doesn’t sacrifice her fire. But to take that, she needs flaws to overcome, and the fact that she hasn’t shown any (at least none presented as flaws), can’t be ignored because we like watching her kick a soccer ball.
Really, this would have been fantastic as an earlier episode, especially when it was Taichi and Sora running the show more or less on their own. It’s the kind of story that defines a relationship rather than embellishes and progresses one, which is the point we should be at. We love seeing Taichi and Sora’s rapport, but we’ve loved it from the beginning. While the added attention to it is appreciated, it doesn’t add anything new and looks out of place when the entire team is together and excuses have to be created to leave the other six on the ground.
My Grade: B-
- Wait, so Sora is not only playing, but she’s also the official? I’ve heard of calling your own fouls, but that seems questionable.
- He’s probably had it with him, but this is the first time Joe’s bugout bag was mentioned directly. And Sora raided it to get a whistle.
- All the speculation about the floating island and not one of them wondered if that might be a fragment of Cloud Continent still hanging up there.
- Pomumon is inspired by fruit, so being able to be converted into one makes as much sense as anything in the Digital World, but it’s vague how that same process also works to convert Taichi and MetalGreymon.
- This episode is masterful at cute background stuff, particularly Takeru and Hikari playing volleyball with the Digimon while Yamato and Mimi have their silly fruit juice argument.
- Bold of them to disrupt an evil fruit conversion operation, then taking a bunch of fruit home with them under the assumption that it’s all fair trade and not made of other Digimon.
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