Adventure: (2020) Episode 43: Clash, The King of Digimon

In this episode, Tailmon’s unreliable memories of the area lead everyone so far off the path they end up in a Scott Pilgrim scene.

You’d have to be a real grouch to complain about this one. It’s one of the silliest things we’ve seen in a long time, and if you can’t appreciate silly you’re probably in the wrong franchise. Everybody’s in peak comedic form here, with two classic bombastic villains unwillingly sharing the spotlight, unusual Digimon behavior that confounds everybody, and a resolution ridiculous enough for a premise like this. Heck, there’s even a tiny bit of plot progression as Tailmon’s memories and the appearance of another alternate evolution hang in the air for potential development. We’re having plenty of fun, but on the heels of such dry action, and the inevitability of more, it sure would be nice to know what we’re supposed to be expecting.

When you see Volcamon and Etemon’s names featured in the same episode, you have a pretty good idea of what to expect. This is going to be loud, showy, and subtle as pantomime. They deliver right from the get-go, Etemon stepping up his musical game with some really nice beats that also propel Volcamon’s exercise routine into top gear. Together they fight for the adoration of a crowd that just seems happy to have two rock stars to cheer for. It’s a high energy moment that’s easy to get lost in, enough to make you kinda wish they didn’t have to roll in the main cast to spoil the party. On a typical week, these two have more personality than all sixteen of them combined.

Still, it’s not like the Chosen Ones aren’t doing anything productive. Tailmon realizes the recent trauma inflicted on the continent has transformed it too much for her to recognize. If there was any indication they thought were going the right way over the last eight episodes, that would have been a neat little situation. It also pulls back the random data card Koshiro found in the trash. When we’re craving any scraps of disagreement between the kids, we’ll take the little exchange between him and Mimi over whether to plug the sucker in. It’s a shame that the data on the card effectively and conveniently cancels out Tailmon’s problem. They were never going to get proper attention in all the surrounding madness, but they were things for a moment.

Since their regular personalities aren’t going keep up with the likes of Etemon and Volcamon, the easy solution becomes the Digimon acting insanely erratic thanks to the sound wave interference. And… everything’s just going to be nuts for a bit. They can’t control their attacks, attitudes change, pelts are lost, and Tailmon’s feline instincts emerge. The kids don’t get much chance to have any reaction other than bewildered, but it is telling who attempts to fight with their malfunctioning Digimon anyway. You expect that sort of thing from Taichi (and thankfully fate doesn’t let that idiocy slide this time), but Sora and Joe just revealed something.

Despite her rash stance on data input, Mimi turns out to be the one with a brain, recognizing the nature of this conflict and how it’s more about Etemon and Volcamon one-upping each other than actual animosity towards the Chosen. We haven’t seen many instances of genuine clever ruses outside of the cunning battle tactics Taichi rode into the ground long ago. Mimi turns the two foes back against each other until Palmon sees an opening and jumps into the fray, feeding off the weird rhythms to evolve into Ponchomon instead. Where previous alternate evolutions were harder to justify either because the conditions didn’t seem that drastic or we didn’t see how the situation demanded it, this is about as ideal as it gets, as Togemon wasn’t about to out-shake these guys and the sound waves were clearly messing everybody up enough to produce a weird one like this. And in an episode as ridiculous as this, the resolution should be equally insane.

Were this a one-off breather in a brief transition between big plot hits, this would be a classic. After six episodes of nonsense, the effect is dulled considerably. After 36 episodes that have felt mostly pointless due to the lack of characterization, we’ve had 7 that have been absolutely pointless due to the lack of story. So fun as it was, even a silly episode that teases us being back on track lacks power as we still have no semblance of a point. Right now, until we somehow dive into that, this whole thing is nonsense, which can’t help but deflate times like this when it’s intentional.

My Grade: B

Loose Data:

  • Etemon appearing at all is a nice throwback, but making most of his die-hard fans Gazimon and Pagumon is an extra bonus.
  • They didn’t really use it other than to justify being attacked, but the kids gaining a reputation among the neutral Digimon population is a nice touch. Only Frontier has gone anywhere near this concept. Best part is that the reputation is less as fated heroes but rather a gang going around beating up strong Digimon, which has been far closer to the truth ever since they’ve been on this continent.
  • You know who’s the real rock star in withstanding all of that noise? Komondomon.
  • Tailmon chasing one of Gomamon’s fish was adorable, but everything about her pawing the Holy Ring on her tail demands calling out.
  • Everything Ponchomon does stands on its own, but it’s relieving they didn’t try to actually have her beat Etemon and Volcamon in a fair fight, tricking them to punch each other out first. Gotta watch these sorts of things since that would be a hell of a debut episode supercharge knowing this could easily be her only appearance.

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  1. Mimi episodes are always a highlight in this show.