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This Week in Anime - Is the Digimon Reboot Worth Watching?




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SaiyamanMS



Joined: 05 Oct 2006
Posts: 292
PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2020 5:59 pm Reply with quote
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I think this is Omnimon by the way, but don't quote me on that.


I can and I will quote you on that! More seriously though, Omnimon is his official name in the dub, but in the original Japanese version he’s Omegamon.
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Everlasting Coconut



Joined: 22 Jul 2019
Posts: 35
PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2020 11:41 pm Reply with quote
I loved how tightly packed and well-paced the first episode was, and honestly I wouldn't have minded if the fight against the big boss ended in episode 2.

So far I'm liking this new reboot. I like how it's taking a very different route from the original, and the animation has been great.

That said, I don't think this show has much to offer to newcomers in terms of story or character, at least not in these first 3 episodes, so it'll be interesting to see if it attracts any new fans.


Last edited by Everlasting Coconut on Fri Apr 24, 2020 3:50 am; edited 1 time in total
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DuskyPredator
It...it's not like I post for you or anything!It...it's not like I post for you or anything!


Joined: 10 Mar 2009
Posts: 13729
Location: Brisbane, Australia
PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2020 2:47 am Reply with quote
It felt like a total troll when it left these hints about a summer camp, which is like what I remember had the team sent to the Digital world in the original, but then have nothing happen other than introduce Sora and a quick glance at Joe. Mimi had not even been shown yet.

Also, the movie that had Omnimon (or whatever it's Japanese name is) and the whole war game thing that took up this first arc was what introduced me Mamoru Hosoda that I recognised when I eventually watch TGWLTT, and liking his other stuff. Been a while but I feel like those probably could hold up, regardless of the fact I am really only familiar with the English dub edit.

I am pretty sure I had a dumb look on my face during the bits I could tie back to that movie. Also the original Digimon sprites showing up, which is nostalgia of that brief time Digimon were not banned in school and mine happened to have a habit of winning fights and the opponent would happen to die soon after.
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Actar



Joined: 21 Nov 2010
Posts: 1008
Location: Singapore
PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2020 5:54 pm Reply with quote
There are definitely some positives to this new reboot, like the amazing animation and how they're not introducing all of the main cast at the same time, but I personally feel that there are many glaring issues with these first three episodes that many are glossing over. Among many other things:

- It's a watered-down retelling of Our War Game (the movie that functioned as a culmination of an entire season's worth of storytelling), which, by the way, already had a great retelling in the form of Summer Wars. No one caught the similarities?
- The heavy focus on plot/action leaves zero room for our characters to breathe. There is nothing necessarily compelling about these characters that have been presented to us in these first three episodes. We have close to zero emotional investment in these (supposedly new) characters and are expected to care for them when they are in a tight spot? Not to mention, it's especially hard to empathize or relate with characters that hardly have any (realistic) reactions to anything.
- The stakes are very artificially generated and the viewers are not treated to any form of satisfying catharsis. Omegamon functions as an unearned, consequence-free deus ex machina in order to build up mystery and suspense, but comes off as a rather lazy way to easily and quickly resolve a threat that was poorly built up. Notice that in Our War Game, even after becoming Omegamon, they still needed to figure out how to defeat the big bad guy? Omegamon was just a means to an end, not the end in and of itself.
- Due to all the above, there was hardly any time to develop a relationship between the humans and their digimon partners as well. It is not surprising that Taichi didn't really seem to care about Agumon or curious about Omegamon or anything after returning to the real world.
- At this point, I'd argue that, other than perhaps foreshadowing the miracle with Omegamon, these first couple of episodes didn't have any storytelling beats or plot points (introducing characters, explaining what the digital world is, working together to defeat a bigger foe, etc...) that couldn't have been integrated into the upcoming episodes, but spaced out to have included more character interaction.

In my honest opinion, these problems stem from the fact that Toei wants to both remake the series for new audiences and pander to older fans at the same time. Even though this show has been billed for new audiences, I highly doubt there's anything in this show that new audiences will find appealing. Frankly, I would have dropped this show if it weren't Digimon. However, even as a huge Digimon fan, these first three episodes have shown me nothing that I haven't seen (already done better) before. Even if we assume I'm horrendously biased because I'm an nostalgic old fart and we completely discount Our War Game, Summer Wars has managed to do what this reboot hasn't done (a whole DECADE ago, I might add) - take the premise of Our War Game and reboot it for a brand new audience without doing away with interesting characters, well-built up stakes and satisfying emotional moments.

Now, my worries moving forwards:

- Taichi seems to be the main focal point of this reboot (like say Araragi from Bakemonogatari), where all the character interactions revolve around him. While this can give the show more focus, it might significantly take away from opportunities for the other characters to shine. (This was already a big issue with the original.)
- Being forced to fend for themselves was one of the biggest impetuses for a lot of the conflicts and self-explorations, reflections and realizations in the original show. Being able to travel freely to and from the digital world (not confirmed yet, though) might remove a ton of those opportunities.
- The stakes were set way too high in the first couple of episodes. From here on out, everything might seem super trivial/mundane or ridiculously over the top.
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Everlasting Coconut



Joined: 22 Jul 2019
Posts: 35
PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2020 8:21 pm Reply with quote
Actar wrote:
The stakes were set way too high in the first couple of episodes. From here on out, everything might seem super trivial/mundane or ridiculously over the top.


I'm totally fine with getting low-stake stories for a while as long as they give us some solid character writing to go along with them.

Other than that I agree with pretty much everything you said.
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RakuenOokami



Joined: 02 Sep 2009
Posts: 24
PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2020 6:11 pm Reply with quote
Actar wrote:
Omegamon functions as an unearned, consequence-free deus ex machina


I think that just about sums up my thoughts perfectly! Anime hyper I think I agree with everything Actar said. I haven't seen the 3rd episode yet, but my greatest fear with introducing Omegamon so early on is that they will go the way of DBZ. Each enemy will be increasingly stronger until they're well beyond ridiculous levels! I pray they tone it down going forward and leave him as a big 'wow' for the opening plot arc and make it a part of the show to try and figure out how to get to the Omegamon level of power again.

Sadly, I always assume reboots won't be drawing in many new fans, (unless they're really good) so I really only look from the perspective of an old fan. In terms of animation, I don't think I've ever seen the kids and Digimon look so good. In terms of story-telling, it's clear they have some new ideas, and I'm willing to see if those are any good or not. In terms of character development, all Digimon seasons have put extreme focus on the main two characters (aside from Tamers and some of the most recent ones increasing that number to three). I can't say I'm holding out hope that 'Digimon Colon' will be any different.

I am a little sad that the theme songs didn't really sound like old-school Digimon music. Obviously Koji Wada will not be performing, but he, Ai Maeda and Ayumi Miyazaki really gave Digimon music a distinct feel. These new songs sound like they could be from any anime. Not bad, just not what I think when I hear 'Digimon music.' I was at least hoping for a remake of a classic song like 'Brave Heart' or something, even if it was only orchestral.

And they should have realized: You can't improve on 'Summer Wars', so don't try to re-make it.

(Were any other hardcore Digi-fans laughing when the reviewers made a joke about Koshiro's parents?)
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