Anime original by Toei Animation
Streaming on Crunchyroll
In the near future, holographic technology has become omnipresent and part of everyday life. With that has come a new urban legend about ‘hologram ghosts’. At Hazakura Junior High School, students are being attacked by a mysterious ‘sewn-lip man’ and it’s up to first-year student Hiro Amanokawa to get to the bottom of things.
Given how…questionable quality control has been on the Digimon franchise as of late, I was surprised by how enjoyable this debut episode turned out. There’s nothing too revolutionary here, but a pleasing focus on fun character bits and a surprisingly strong adherence to the ‘ghost’ aesthetic makes for a very watchable kickoff. Hiro seems an engaging protagonist who’s pretty switched on, and ‘Japanese Digimon cartoon’ might be one of the few genres in the world where setting the story in a boarding school is a genuinely new twist on the formula. Most importantly though, Gammamon is adorable. It’s hard to have too much faith in the crew behind the franchise at this point but I’m interested enough to give this a few more episodes at least.
Being better than Adventure 2020 is about as low of a bar as you can get, but this passes it handily. While Ghost Game is reminiscent of the (not great) Appmon in several ways – including its AR hologram angle and general vibe – I’m pleasantly pleased with its tighter focus on ghosts and urban legends and such. Investigating new digital mysteries is a workable hook for a lengthy kids show, and there are plenty of vaguely Halloweenish Digimon out there to use without too much reaching. Sure, maybe it’s Yokai Watch lite, but I’ll take anything at this point.
I was pleasantly surprised by this! Not only is it a new twist on the Digimon formula, but it actually is what its name implies it to be. Sure it might look like the second coming of Yokai Watch but episode one didn’t hold back on the horror angle, with Clockmon literally sucking the life out of children. Very excited to see where we go from here, and for the Sukamon episode we better be getting. Also Gammamon is a cutie.