First Look: Digimon Universe: Appli Monsters

appmon1title

Alternative titles: Applimon, Appmon
Anime Original by Toei Animation
Simulcast Pending

Premise

In the newest incarnation of Digimon, Toei finally catches up with 2010’s technology and makes all of the Digimon into smartphone apps.

appmon1gatchmon

Iro’s verdict: Digimon Are The ChAPPions

Before I’m drawn and quartered for that stretch of a pun, let me say that this was… surprisingly decent? I expected a massive trainwreck, but I suppose when you have as much experience as Toei for children’s proxy battle shows, a first episode is probably going to always reach a certain bar of quality. Of course, the word “Digimon” isn’t mentioned even once and it all seems way less ambitious than Adventure‘s 7-kid, 7-mon ensemble, but it would be unfair to continuously compare Appmon to the old days. The Apps = Mons concept is a decent enough one and means there are plenty of easy monster designs to whip out, and things moved fast enough that I wasn’t ever really bored. That said, there isn’t much of a character hook besides infuriatingly on-the-nose “main character” pontificating, so it remains to be seen if Appmon can keep the franchise legacy moving.

appmon1haru

Zigg’s verdict: Interesting APPenings

This was actually much, much better than I expected. Granted, I expected it to be the worst thing in the world, so it’s still not great, but this first episode at least contains enough action, humour, and over-earnest emotion to be worthy of its Digimon title. Gatchmon is bratty but stays just on the right side of the annoying/funny divide, and Harus’ dweebishness manages to be cute rather than too frustrating. I wish they’d used something slightly less on the nose than ‘main character’ but the plot sets up a nice little chunk of character development for our hero, and is actually pretty clever about finding a funny way to counter the Messagemon’s attacks. It even looks pretty decent! An encouraging start.

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