by Christopher Farris,
How would you rate episode 25 of
Digimon Adventure: ?
After last week's surprisingly strong showing by Digimon Adventure:, I was honestly expecting things to trend downward, but I certainly didn't think that would be so literal! Out of basically nowhere, this week's entry sends Taichi, Yamato, Takeru, and their adjacent monster friends plummeting through the sky atop the hapless Eldoradimon for virtually the full length of the episode. We don't get any immediate explanations for this development, and its seemingly massive implication – that the continent they've been journeying on for the full series so far was in fact floating high above the clouds of the actual Digital World – was somewhat worryingly glossed over. The actual makeup of this version of Digi-World has a lot of ins and outs we're not privy to, which could make for some interesting adventuring and exploring in the mystery-uncovering manner that was so compelling in the old series. But instead, there's scarcely time for our basic boy squad to even consider it as they stumble from one level of the world to the next with all the grace of their encounters with escalating boss fights.
It's probably not a sign of great storytelling when you have multiple characters throughout an episode echoing the sentiment that they have absolutely no clue what's going on or why anything's happening at this point in the plot. The kids falling for a long time alongside a giant turtle is technically an interesting setup as far as the next stage of inevitable peril they have to deal with is concerned, but with little time spent trying to explain why it happened or what this means for the broader implications of their future objectives, it just comes off as somewhat intense time-killing. We're even teased with the point that Yamato is going to need to explain to Taichi about Agumon's berserker rampage as Mugendramon, but we can't make time for that examination either, obviously. So the series just sees fit to throw a horde of Mamemon at the crew out of nowhere to intensify the situation even more, then see how they'll get out of this one.
It's as if the show is trying to consolidate the leftover parts of the previous narrative by dropping everyone straight into the next stage of their journey. Leomon and his pals return, presumably to provide a little guidance and direction moving forward, and with Agumon and Gabumon temporarily indisposed he even gets some cool moments of action. The animation for all this of course isn't approaching what we got last week, but it's at least functional for such an ambitious setpiece to base a whole episode of action around. There are fleeting moments where you get the sense the people running this show worry they might have written themselves into a corner, before coming up with basic conclusions like Leomon fighting Eldoradimon midair using the highly technical method of punching him in the face. I just feel like bringing in all these components could have made our heroes successfully surviving the fall feel like a more impressive feat in the hands of series composers with just a little more ambition than moving from one big fight to the other.
There's more sense of momentum than for the B-Team over in the Real World, anyway. Despite DoneDevimon finally seeming to be, well, done, the electronic infiltration is still continuing for – you guessed it – reasons no one has any clue about. At this point we're told the ship-hacking scheme that's been plodding along in the background for weeks now could lead to a full-blown international incident, with Koshiro and crew no closer to actually resolving it in spite of overcoming their own ongoing fights. Their Digimon are dropped into a confrontation with yet another new batch of monsters called Zurumon, which we're assured are definitely, seriously, for real this time the source of the issue. But as much as I want to see these characters keep being included in the show in any way possible, I can't shake this sense of being strung along with ideas made up as they go. Hikari just kind of wanders into frame in this one, insinuating the magical plot powers she shares with Takeru might get the spotlight to resolving this phase of the conflict, but there's really nothing to that yet apart from the characters existing around each other still staring at Koshiro's computer screen. Though there is some entertaining banter between Joe and Mimi this week, so I'll grab onto that as a bright moment.
Otherwise what we get in this one is the same procession of "stuff just kinda happening" that we've come to expect from Digimon Adventure:. I hoped for explications of how this world actually works or character examinations of their current motivations, and instead I get a silly resolution of saving a massive turtle from falling by knocking enemy Digimon over and cushioning it atop a pile of corpses. Devimon's defeat last week may have been a momentous turn for both Taichi and Agumon (and this episode even opens with a quick recap of the entire series so far like we're cleanly kicking off some new story arc), but it doesn't feel like we've actually reached any turning point with either of the separated character crews, as the Digital World team is still just bumping into new boss fights every twenty minutes, while the Real World team spins their wheels stuck on this same hacking plot. We, like the characters, may have no idea where this is going anymore, and I guess the most to hope for is that we'll all just get there eventually.
Digimon Adventure: is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
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