Adventure: (2020) Episode 51: The Mystery Hidden Within the Crests

In this episode, a research consortium pulls the team aside and forces them to wonder about the crests they’ve been ignoring since the very beginning.

In case you needed any more proof that the fight against Millenniumon was a fleeting and relatively insignificant moment in the series, consider how quickly everyone moves on to other business. Without a moment’s hesitation, with barely a second thought, everybody is ready for the next thing. It’s as if Millenniumon was never the cataclysmic battle the show spent twenty episodes assuring us it was. As a way to set up the next arc, this could be far worse. There’s a promise of another major clash, a mystery to investigate, and a genuinely interesting development poking out from the background. But its entire premise underscores just how badly the kids refuse to consider their own situation and complacently ride the rails the world puts them on.

Even if we the audience know the adventure isn’t over, it would have been awfully nice if the kids themselves believed it a little longer. They get their moment on the hillside to relax for a minute—they’ve earned that—but before they get a chance to really ask the question, Garbemon buzzes them with their next instructions. Mimi’s rightfully annoyed at the interruption, but everyone’s quick to end their break and pop off to the next thing. For all that we’re supposed to believe they’ve gone through, there’s no sign of weariness, no thoughts of going home, and only the tiniest echoes of hope that this was the end. This isn’t the only season guilty of ignoring this (Xros Wars even doubles down when only Akari seems to show trip fatigue), but it’s another missed opportunity to humanize the kids a little before returning to business.

Garbemon leads them to an impressive research facility, populated by scattered cameos and Wisemon from Xros Wars. But rather than experimenting on the kids ahead of Millenniumon’s revival, they’ve been hard at work investigating data and hosting the giant crests hovering over an altar. The result of their research? Absolutely nothing. They spin that as a positive, a known mystery they’re curious to have no data on, suggesting that it goes further back than recorded history. It’s a legitimate mindset, but it also takes away any purpose beyond translating whatever future discoveries the kids are bound to make. Oh, and making the kids actually think about this stuff for once.

It’s amazing how little thought the kids have put into where they are and what they’re being dragged through. The crests have consistently appeared before them to boost their power at opportune moments, but not a single one of them has given it a second thought. Koshiro dismissed them as some sort of ID tag, despite bearing no resemblance to the written Digital World language he’s encountered before. Even then, he didn’t bother bringing it up until now. Given the power that they surely must have recognized is attached to those symbols, why should they be so surprised to see them on ancient pedestals? Why wouldn’t they want to understand the significance of them, especially when they’re unique to each individual and the reward is maximizing the power they generate? That’s power they should have needed against what they should have believed was the ultimate enemy.

Considering how much Millenniumon had been hyped, they’re not that shocked to know there’s something worse beyond him. Clearly they noticed how easily he went down too. The Great Catastrophe is too vague to think about right now, but the fact that the Soundbirdmon are back and unleashing attacks speaks to… something relevant. So is the sudden inability for Patamon and Tailmon to evolve. It’s a good thing there are interesting tidbits in all that, because there was nothing special in that fight with the Kirby knockoff.

There’s also something kind of interesting about the compasses all pointing in different directions. It’s the first time the show suggested the kids’ paths are supposed to be different. It acknowledges that they’re different people, their crests mean different things, and they’re going to behave differently to reach their full potential. Because after fifty episodes, they haven’t yet. They’ve been almost entirely uniform in their thinking, with no disagreements in sight. So that lack of foundation makes it easy to be cynical about this gesture. You’d be inclined to dismiss this as an excuse to split up the party again.

My Grade: C

Loose Data:

  • How embarrassing for the kids that they hadn’t questioned the crests at all while Garbemon gets a glimpse at one and immediately recognizes its significance and drops everything else to research it.
  • Given its previous usages in the franchise, the mad Yggdrasil vibes coming out of this research facility are awfully strange. No points if it turns out that was intentional.
  • The return of the Soundbirdmon is very notable as it harkens back to the Devimon faction, potentially independent from the Millenniumon camp. Two different enemy camps would have been kind of fun if they had clashed for more than five seconds and if we hadn’t long forgotten about the Devimon camp.
  • Between the focus on the mountain of unsortable junk data at the facility Burpmon spitting out Garbemon because he doesn’t like garbage, you would have thought the solution would be using the unappetizing junk to deter him from eating the fighters or their attacks. But no, it was using whatever they had lying around to stuff his pie hole! He’ll eat junk just fine; Garbemon was just a red herring.
  • It took them ten episodes to drive from the area around the hot spring to FAGA. It took them half a second to get from FAGA to the research center. Watch how little time it takes to get from the research center back to the hot spring.
  • Actually, how weird is it that Joe’s solution to Patamon and Tailmon’s inability to evolve is to take them to a spa treatment at an notoriously unwelcoming hot spring?

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  1. But as we all know by this point. Taichi is the only one that will truly matter in the end. And that any 'personal journey' the rest of the kids partake this late in the show will amount to glorified padding.

  2. Taichi will win in the end/be the only one who actually matters but I'm unironically interested in whatever sillyness Mimi and Joe will bring us. That or Koshiro fully discovering the plot.

  3. Sigh. Remember in the original series, when the kids seriously considered just staying on File Island where it was safe instead of answering Gennai's call? Or when Tai was genuinely torn between going back to the digital world to help his friends, and wanting to stay home and return to his carefree life?
    It was moments like those that really made the characters feel real; and made their ultimate decision to keep fighting that much more heroic.

  4. i have a crush on burpmon