As doing so during a currently running series defeated the intention of allowing us a breather, we’ve been slacking off on the catch-up posts that used to happen around every ending change. There wasn’t much to say anyway. By the time the second ending theme ran its course, we’d sniffed out the fatal flaws of the Adventure reboot. A lack of quality wasn’t the issue. Digimon has had plenty of subpar material over the course of twenty-plus years. You can even argue there’s plenty of quality in Adventure:, just invested in places we’re not used to in Digimon, ones that don’t add much besides another shiny, empty thing to gaze at for a few seconds. But as we gaze one more time, we realize the real killer was the lack of anything compelling to think about. Which is a real problem since that’s primarily what we do here.
Back in episode four, even as we were enjoying the hell out of Action Girl Sora’s rebirth, her instant rapport with Piyomon stood in such stark contrast with original Sora’s early reticence that we wondered where the angst was going to come from. It was the first clue that the mother issues that defined her character twenty years ago would be scrubbed and abandoned, leaving… well, Action Girl Sora and nothing else of consequence. Other signs, like the way too early debut of Omegamon and the minimal development involved with the first couple rounds of evolution foretold a show that was going to be light on the one thing Digimon Adventure excelled at: endearing characters working through genuine problems making them seem like real people. The longer the series went, the more that concept felt abandoned, and the harder it was to root for these cardboard cutouts of the Adventure kids.
The result is a series chock full of exciting action sequences, a serviceable enough plot, and not a lot of thought behind it. It spends most of the first half as an intense, relentless, exhausting escalation of battles… then takes its foot off the gas in the second half to meander its way through two arcs where nothing of consequence happens outside the climactic fights. You’re likely to get smoother pacing watching every episode on shuffle. Worse, within these two extremes is a shocking dearth of meaningful message to discuss. Digimon isn’t worth all this blog space because it stands above other shows like it, but rather because its depths give us so much to talk about regarding childhood, technology, relationships, evil, loss… nothing of the sort gets any thought here. A few interesting concepts sneak in through Patamon, Tailmon, and even Negamon towards the end, but nothing explored to its full potential. We’re left with precious little to sift through except pondering how empty the series feels compared to everything else Digimon has offered us.
The next series, Digimon Ghost Game, already shows signs of promise. In just their introductory bios, the three leads offer up more character, family background, and flaws than the entire Adventure: octet gave us in sixty-seven episodes. Given the ratings the reboot pulled, it was easy to fear that the future of Digimon would be the same hollow action fests. So far Ghost Game appears to be resisting the temptation, and deserves discussion. Unfortunately, for several reasons, it won’t be here. The window between Saturday night episodes and Monday morning posts is becoming too much of a burden, especially with a five year old that actually likes to do things on weekends. I’ll still post my thoughts on Twitter and maybe even quick reactions on Tumblr the way I did for Appmon’s initial run. Like Appmon, I may even come back for full retrospective Ghost Game posts. The blog was always meant to be retrospective after all.
So for now, we close up shop after a hell of a ten years. Our mission of writing something for the six seasons of Digimon kept getting extended as the franchise reinvigorated itself and kept on going, a testament to the endearing nature of the show that made us write about it in the first place. Thanks to everyone who helped out through Patreon, Ko-Fi, or Amazon, or even for leaving a comment, especially in the early days when Digimon was still on the verge of regaining its momentum. You can still catch me on Twitter and Tumblr, along with the With the Will podcast (I’ll also be discussing the final episode on Podigious in a few days!). And Nexusworld is all finished now so you have two novel-length adventures of multi-season madness! Twitter will be the best place to catch news of any future endeavors, whether Digimon or not. Until then, enjoy Ghost Game!
Digimon Adventure: Ending 5: Dreamers
Figure I slack off on talking about the ending themes in the season with the best ones (that third one is so cute!). This one’s a little generic, but it’s boppy and fits Digimon so well. The endings are nice in that they’re a little less Taichi-centric than the opening or the show itself, and only the first one tries to elevate a character the series doesn’t justify elevating. Dreamers is one those songs that makes me realize I should listen to K-Pop more.
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