Adventure: (2020) Episode 48: The Attack of Mugendramon

In this episode, the gang wasted so much time on side quests both their allies and the enemy got on with the main story without them. Time to play catch up!

Oh right, there’s a main plot! And when the show focuses on it, it can be very flashy and dramatic and all the things that we forgot existed about it. Now that we’re seeing the plan to revive Millenniumon come to fruition and the sudden return of characters we actually enjoyed, there’s even some interesting stuff happening. And Hikari is in peak form, with some fantastic reactions to the carnage in front of her, especially hitting her brother. But as with last time, putting the weight on Taichi himself continues to poison everything, as it turns into the same old routine once he decides to take over. The ending offers some hope for advancement, but it still comes off as a great premise marred by the show’s horrid buildup.

If anything underscores just how interminable the break was, it’s the scramble to remember everybody suddenly showing up in ElDoradimon. Leomon’s team shows up completely unharmed, ignoring that we’ve been wondering for twenty episodes. Lopmon’s back after seventeen, preaching urgency (in the episode’s funniest moment). A bunch of other random Digimon from episodes past are there too. Good luck remembering them. It’s good to see everybody again, but given how the most appreciated returns are from a time long, long ago, it’s a depressing reminder of how little’s been accomplished lately.

Another returning character is the entire Cloud Continent, making a dramatic reappearance as a big lumbering mass waiting to be destroyed for the sake of progress. While the good guys were wasting time getting lost and going for 100% completion, the bad guys kept trucking along gathering data for Millenniumon’s revival. This arrives in the form of Mugendramon, manufactured with freshly harvested data. The Vademon state that the prioritized data is from the ancient Digimon that first destroyed Millenniumon, and there are plenty of arresting visuals of data flowing through Mugendramon’s tubes and a callback to MetalGreymon losing it against DoneDevimon. There are a lot of good ideas surrounding Mugendramon. Too bad when he ends up fighting he’s just… Mugendramon. You’ve seen him before.

As such, the battle goes basically how you’d expect. The Champions and Ultimates are dispatched easily, MetalGarurumon can’t power through, and everything’s predictably a disaster. WarGreymon getting overwhelmed doesn’t come as a surprise either, but what makes it effective is how it’s seen through Hikari’s perspective. Her relationship with Taichi may not be as awkwardly codependent as the original series, but it’s still family and an outburst like that remains justified. As does instantly spurring Angewomon into action for a miraculous recharge. The character moments are going to take a back seat to the action in an episode like this, but Hikari shows that it doesn’t have to be completely jettisoned even when the major draw is two Digimon slamming into each other.

Taichi, of course, is solely focused on the Digimon slamming into each other. He gives a nice speech about making sure the team continues ahead to FAGA while he holds off the enemy that had been utterly destroying him. If he’d been built up successfully as a character—hell, even if this was a blank slate character we’re just learning about—we’d be impressed at his sacrifice. Being this Taichi, it’s too late for us to be suckered into believing sacrifice entered into his head at all.

For starters, it’s a rehash of episode ten. There was some character tension back then, and we did get the sense that Taichi understood he was putting himself at risk. But he skated through MetalTyranomon, and every other battle since then, just fine. Here, Mugendramon had to be defeated completely and Taichi was all about that. Only someone with the hubris and selfishness he showed last episode would think that’s possible after the thrashing WarGreymon received. While we acknowledge that he recognized that conditions were ideal for an Omegamon appearance and held it for later, it’s hard to give too many points for only capitalizing on one miracle instead of banking on a stronger one.

The rest goes according to script. Angewo… er, WarGreymon slices through Mugendramon in a typically flashy way with screaming, possessed Taichi the big hero again. Mercifully, the Vademon had a backup plan, launching what’s left of Mugendramon towards Cloud in self-destruct mode. Taichi and WarGreymon are stuck along for the ride. The ensuing explosion is massive and Hikari again has a phenomenal reaction to it. That certainly counts for a lot: Hikari watching her brother’s possible death has always led to fun times. As for the rest of us, we’re just shrugging our shoulders, muttering “it’s about damn time.”

My Grade: B

Loose Data:

  • We’ve been wondering for all this time whether Leomon and company survived and how. They just shrug it off on their return. When even the characters themselves say they “somehow” made it through, you know the writers gave it absolutely no thought.
  • While it’s nice to see everybody back in the picture, it has to be pointed out that they do absolutely nothing in this episode. They could have been left out completely, with Tailmon covering the little exposition they did, and they wouldn’t be missed.
  • Mugendramon’s appearance makes Yamato recall his aura appearing during the DoneDevimon battle (twenty-four episodes ago). It’s appropriate enough and you’re kidding yourself to think it’ll amount to much, but it does raise the question of what exactly Yamato (or anyone witnessing an evolution) actually sees during all that.
  • Yes, there’s a section of the battle where they threw their Champion-level Digimon at Mugendramon. When they’ve all got Ultimates. No, these kids are not smart.

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  1. The only positive thing I can say about this episode is atleast Mugendramon put up a better fight then in the original. Though I wager this is just so they could advertise the Amplified figure.

    Otherwise I have zero investment in this hollow bond they are trying to sell between Hikari and her brother, or further Wargreymon wank.

  2. Hikari is prolly the only character with a semblance of anything going on outside Patamon, Joe, and Mimi (Maybe 2020 Tailmon, but she seems cursed to be exposition-bait).

    That said I'm tired of people seething about Taichi when only him and the Deus Ex Machina siblings amounted to something, just like the original. Yeah I'll say this show is a bit flanderized/too simplified but that's how its always been (for better or worse; proto-Colonized Dark Masters and Imperialdramon really don't matter as "victories").

    1. I'm tired of people bringing down the original show in order to feebly handwave 2020's glarring faults.