“And To The Digital World”
Taichi and Yamato team up with the mysterious new Digimon in a race to save Tokyo from being blown to smithereens.
This is a bizarre episode, both in content but more importantly in terms of pacing and what it means for the story of Digimon Adventure: going forward. There’s nothing wrong with it per se but it’s a sometimes jarring reminder of the uncomfortable fusion of elements that this new show is trying to achieve, and how sometimes that can result in something as bitty as this installment.
I think my first big issue here is the appearance and use of Omegamon (although he’s not named in the script). This is a pretty hefty, full sized role, way more than just a brief tease or cameo, and I’ll once again raise the question of where you go from here. Is Omegamon going to appear in every fight from now on? I doubt it, and I’m pretty sure the script will write off this as the product of extraordinary circumstances, but you’ve still completely broken the basic escalation that Digimon shows are always built around, as we climb up through the various evolutions and forms.
The fight itself is underwhelming too, and I think the lack of dialogue might be the cause. I suspect that this is another attempt to invoke Our War Game! in which Omegamon’s battle was also largely silent, but there it worked as a climatic moment of two friends entirely in tune with each other and their support the world over. Here, Taichi and Yamato are virtual strangers and entirely new to the whole Digimon battling thing, and yet there’s not a single exclamation of surprise? It makes the entire affair curiously weightless, and there’s not really any sense of tension or triumph.
It’s also curious that the big climactic battle takes place before the halfway point of the episode, leading to a back half which desperately feels like a scrabble for content to bridge the fight and the episode-ending revelation. The interplay between Tai and Koushiro is cute but it’s mostly surface level without much meaningful character depth. I’m not sure why the diversion to camp is necessary either – presumably it’s because the original show took place at a summer camp, but then what’s the point in duplicating that for a single scene before we’re back in Tokyo again. If it’s just for the sake of homage, then it’s an unnecessary homage which doesn’t really add anything to the viewing experience.
I don’t want to end on a negative note so I will say there’s stuff I liked about this episode! Even if I complained about the lack of depth, the continued focus on the Tai/Koushirou dynamic is admirable and represents an underrated strength from the original. I like the idea of moving Yamato out to the country too, which should help emphasise both the emotional and physical distance from his younger brother. And hey, Sora shows up for a few seconds and she seems pretty cool based on what we get. Most importantly though, we finally get a glimpse of the real Digital World and it looks wonderful – blue skies, blue sea, weird monsters and all sorts of oddities. Let’s hope that now we’re here our adventure can kick into high gear.
- Joe makes a brief appearance in the camp scenes and, true to character, is a real killjoy.
- This episode still looks decent, but it’s a clear step down from the visual pyrotechnics we saw in episode 2. I’d expect this to be our baseline level going forward.
- Like the vast majority of shows this season, Digimon Adventure announced it was going on hiatus after this episode. We’ve currently no idea when it will resume but rest assured coverage will begin again when the show does.
- Seriously guys, watch Our War Game!, it’s great.