Adventure: (2020) Episode 63: The Crest of Courage

In this episode, Taichi undergoes a test to prove he’s worthy of the power he’s already busted out twice before.

As inconsistent as the crest activation suite has been, at least it’s given us varied, sometimes interesting scenarios involving helping innocent Digimon and exploring the various reaches of the world. We’ve gotten to see some old friends again, both from this series and seasons from the past. Doing something different for the main guy like a direct test isn’t out of bounds at all, but it does sap the fun out of these escapades. It also puts the entire focus on Taichi, which is never a good thing in this series. While it doesn’t do anything wrong and Taichi at least shows a little bit of life, its simple nature and the bust of a reveal at the end makes it a hard one to get excited over.

Taichi’s route to his crest has been a weird one, criss-crossing everybody else’s paths and sticking his nose in everything. Was that part of this ultimate test, showing that true courage is following the arrows blindly without asking too many questions? Absolutely not! His winding road is never commented on, nor does it alone embody any of the traits of courage Valkyriemon was looking for. Instead, we get another straight-up crest test, isolating Taichi in a world that’s all about him showing off his courage. Not even a hostage this time! The idea is fine and the visuals are strong, but it’s unfortunate how it abandons everything that came before it.

At least not everything’s forgotten. Taichi’s companion here is a simple Botamon, rescued from some hostile Goblimon. The meeting is a nice return to basics, as it reminds Taichi of his first meeting with Agumon, back when launching himself into harm’s way was a novel and admirable approach rather than a reckless default. The sentiment is there, and that counts for a little bit. Even his aquatic adventure with Seadramon evokes his first river escape with Sora. It never gets much deeper than “remember when this happened,” but it had the opportunity. At one point, Taichi wishes he could evolve like a Digimon. You’d think he’d have picked up on that being the point of this whole excursion.

While the thought is nice, it’s still Taichi we’re dealing with here, limiting how deep anything’s going to get. He seems to get what this is right away, following Valkyriemon to each challenge, working his way through them on the spot, occasionally coming up with some randomly clever solutions, and only seldomly worrying about his own safety. His more pressing concern is Botamon, but c’mon, look at him! The whole exercise just shows how difficult the crest of courage is to represent in an interesting capacity. It’s so frequently reduced to bravely confronting every problem, which is no different than everyone else this season. Showing off the fear that someone must overcome and acknowledging the difference between bravery and recklessness are the real keys to a good courage story. This is as close as this series gets to that, but it falls far short of anything good.

Taichi does pass, at least, bowling Botamon out of harm’s way, willing to take it on himself. It triggers some more silhouette power from Botamon to stop the Allomon and win the game. The prize could not be more disappointing. Valkyriemon gives us information that we mostly already knew about the holy war, the key sacrifices, and the big miracle that shows up when everyone really needs the bad guys to just go away. Yep, the great power they’ve spent all arc striving for is… Omegamon. The same Omegamon that’s already shown up twice. And long enough ago that all the intrigue over feather magic is long forgotten. The key is apparently getting everybody to want it hard enough. You know, the same way they beat Millenniumon.

Is Omegamon going to be the only decider in this final battle against the Great Catastrophe? We should hope not. It has plenty of alternate forms and potential power-ups to add something to the mix. But it confirms the fear we had back in episode two: by using Omegamon so early, it’s one fewer thing to look forward to now. This should have been the grand culmination of everyone’s efforts manifesting into some new and sexy thing to give them a fighting chance. Heck, if it hadn’t appeared earlier in the series, we’d be frothing at the bit to catch a glimpse of Omegamon here. But thanks to them playing that card twice already, all we get is old news.

My Grade: C+

Loose Data:

  • Boy that whole thing with Knightmon looked poised to turn into something bigger, like some Green Knight action. Now there’s a test of courage!
  • Why was Sora even part of this episode? I understand the desire for continuity from the previous episode, but they’ve never been all that concerned about that before and it really hasn’t degraded the show that much. Now we’re left wondering what Sora was doing this entire time while Taichi was disassociating.
  • Try not to think about the physics behind Taichi’s encounter with Seadramon. Between his ability to stop getting sucked in by treading water and his miraculous ability to maneuver that heavy log, it’s… a lot.
  • It’s too clever a move to dock too many points for it, so just remember that coating yourself with bubbles makes you fireproof!
  • There were several references to the original Digimon Adventure movie hiding in that one sequence with Botamon silhouetting his way through Agumon’s evolution line and back.
  • Taichi seems to be getting all the credit for making Omegamon happen. Even if we discount Takeru and Hikari as representative of the praying hearts and all that, where does this leave Yamato, whose Digimon provides literally half of Omegamon’s form?
  • Omegamon is described as an “existence which surpasses countless space-time,” which you just know is going to launch a million theories about this show’s connection to the Digimon multiverse. This isn’t the Xros Wars manga!

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  1. "Taichi seems to be getting all the credit for making Omegamon happen."

    To no one's surprise...

    It seems a fair bet that given we've already had Blitz and Cres, they're building up some last minute miracle in the form of Alter S in order to defeat the final boss.
    In addition to showing him defeating Zeed in the past is no doubt going to tick off a lot of Millenniummon fanboys further.

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  3. Sigh...
    Remember when OG Taichi got hit with the realisation of his own mortality and froze up at a crucial moment, allowing Datamon to get away with Sora? Can you imagine this Taichi making such a serious, but understandable, error?
    Of course not, because that would require some actual character depth.