Adventure: (2020) Episode 55: The Digimon School Under Attack

In this episode, Mimi learns that the true meaning of sincerity is shutting up and quietly tolerating a toxic situation she doesn’t enjoy.

For all the things Mimi has provided us this season, straightforward isn’t usually the fitting word. Oh, she speaks her mind plenty and carries with her all the elements that power her crest, as we’ll surely see once they finally get around to explaining them. But Mimi approaches situations from a weird place with weird logic brought on by her weird upbringing. Which makes her tricky to discuss as while her character still has the same depth issues as everyone else, her quirks are one of the most consistently entertaining things about the show. At least when she has a semblance of command. Turns out when she’s the one being bossed around, everything goes, disappointingly, right according to script.

Mimi returns to the original kingdom where she and Palmon first planted roots to find a school dropped on top of it. There, her former servants learn to be strong, pure, and beautiful in order to evolve, like some old timey finishing school. Mimi and Palmon join on a lark, only to discover that Babamon’s methods are relentless and abusive… like some old timey finishing school. The instruction of “strong” here is evident through the lap running, target practice, and evasion drills. There’s no sign of how Babamon teaches “pure” and “beautiful,” which actually goes a long way to explain BanchoMamemon.

Problem is, if you’re promising instruction that drills down on three traits and only deliver one, you run into trouble when the other two are what defines the featured character. No question Mimi is strong, and no question Mimi gets stronger through Babamon’s training, but that’s not why she’s special. All eight kids and their partners are strong. It’s the purity and beauty part that should be leading Mimi forward. That would be the symbolism of each kid being pointed in different directions, if there is symbolism to be had. Being genuine, openly speaking her mind, and being a badass ladyboss should be the part of her that’s rewarded. She isn’t picking up any of that in Babamon’s training. Instead it leans more towards her learning to stay quiet and enduring her clearly unfair situation. Doesn’t seem all that pure to suffer when her genuine response to the training was to bolt at the first opportunity.

What you end up with is a case where we’re told that Mimi needs to train to become strong and pure and beautiful, but the training regimen doesn’t match up and we’ve seen instances where she demonstrates those traits far better. Until BanchoMamemon shows up and lets her strut her stuff, she’s more passive and compliant than she’s ever been. Her participation isn’t an act of resistance—Babamon still genuinely want her students to succeed—but rather an inconvenience she knows she can power through. There’s never a doubt that Mimi’s strong enough for that, but based on her other characteristics, why does she think she has to?

As a result, her Mega evolution doesn’t feel like something she gained this episode. Once BanchoMamemon shows up and starts terrorizing everything, Mimi’s back to being Mimi, dominant and sharp-tongued and ready with a speech on why her opponent is missing the point. Other than a boost to her evasion, she isn’t any more capable than she’s always been, so it’s hard to see what exactly she learned. Perhaps Babamon drilled into her head the marks of a good Mega evolution, but those are things Mimi already had, would have been picked up before training started, and traits more applicable to Rosemon rather than a general principle.

The straightforward story is especially underwhelming with a character who’s anything but. As pointless as his appearance is, it might have suited Taichi and Agumon better, at least if the markers were changed from pure and beautiful. As it is now, it’s the third straight episode where the lead pair are compelled to appear, even as they contribute next to nothing. The end result is feeling like he’s part of a formula, one without regard to what makes these characters work or making the lessons consistent with what we will inevitably learn about their crests. The show is better with Mimi’s presence than without it, but rather than maximizing her potential in her big evolution episode, it instead feels inhibited.

My Grade: C

Loose Data:

  • This school must have sprouted quickly since the idea of general Digimon evolving without divine influence wasn’t really a thing until Devimon showed up. That was sort of his entire thing.
  • What was written on the form Mimi signed? If it was anything involving making her three-day education compulsory, you’d think her grandfather’s wisdom would have told her to read the damn contract. If not, she could have easily gone into contract lawyer mode and pointed out how it didn’t make her attendance mandatory.
  • The terms strong, pure, beautiful and genuine are all bandied out so much, and it is nakedly tied to her crest attribute. Thing is, Digimon has been pretty set on translating her crest as “sincerity” as per the English dub. Given the subtle differences between sincerity and the original meaning of the crest, this would have been the opportunity for the translators to smooth those over. It would certainly help connect the traits in this episode with the one the crest is supposed to symbolize.
  • Babamon paints the target practice as taking aim against villainous Digimon. How did Agumon feel about targeting Greymon as an enemy?

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  1. I'm going to be Devimon's advocate here and say that I haven't really cared much for Mimi or her antics outside of Episode 12. The fact that Rosemon basically just turns up more as an afterthought only reinforces how little the writers care. It would have been better to link back in some manner to Lilimon's debut.
    If anything, Babamon's 'lessons' should have triggered a dark evolution. As it is she gets off scott free with no real fallout or appologies. Just some cheap humour at Mimi's expense built around another hollow plot.

  2. This was the Colon equivalent of 02's episode 14 where Mimi's character was butchered for the sake of the plot. At least this time around she didn't say "There are no evil Digimon" like an idiot.

    1. Ha yeah, I remember that one. I like A. R. Pulver's sardonic comment about that ep:

      "...if Mimi's right then you have to wonder what kind of screwed-up childhood Piedmon had."

  3. No idea why people praise this version of Mimi. Or (somehow) find her better than the original. When she has no character beyond serving as shallow comic relief...