Ikkakumon’s Harpoon Torpedo (Digimon Adventure Episode 7)
So far all of the Rookie-level Digimon have reached their Champion levels, that is all of the Digimon except for Joe’s Digimon Gomamon and T.K.’s Digimon Patamon. Joe has been a complainer and a worrier for the majority of the previous episodes, but he is about to divulge a little bit more about himself, his motivations, and his character in this episode of Digimon Digital Monsters.
The Digidestined have reached an area of the Digital World with a cold climate after weeks of wallowing in sweat in the scorched, telephone ridden deserts and tropical forests of irrelevant road signs. Joe complains about the cold and suggests that they turn back before it becomes too cold for them to camp out. Everyone else in the group, even his own Digimon- Gomamon- tell him to lighten up. Hang dog, dejected and feeling emotionally isolated from his carefree companions he says that “it is always better to be safe than sorry,” and reminds them to “think first” before acting. These opening scenes, or codas, at the beginning of the past five episodes and at the beginning this one have come to be expected, but serve a strong narrative point in introducing each character. The writers use the character’s actions, attitudes, and speech as ways to build character development instead of introducing them through narration (the weakest form of character or story development, which talks down to an audience more often than not).
Carrying on the theme of earlier episodes, they find a few odd and out of place phenomena. First, a series of boiling hot springs in the tundra standing. Second, an unplugged refrigerator filled with eggs! Having not eaten since before entering Andromon’s factory, Tai and the others immediately start collecting eggs to cook and consume. Joe chides them and warns that the eggs might not be safe for human consumption and that even if they were, they would still be stealing them. They would be thieves! The others convince him to eat the eggs, as food hasn’t been forthcoming and, in the event that their owner catches them eating the eggs, they could explain that they were desperately in need of food.
Joe relents and joins the group by helping to cook the eggs. As they sit around a campfire, they talk about all the great things they had back home when they had eggs. They talk about eggs with ketchup, eggs with jellybeans, eggs with all kinds of odd ingredients. This talk annoys Joe doubly by reminding him of his homesickness and the comforts of home, while also setting himself apart from the others. He eats eggs in a sensible manner, with salt and pepper. It seems that everyone is more wild and reckless than he is.
Later, the Digidestined tease Joe about not being able to have fun. Gomamon calls him a “stick in the mud.” He tries to resolve a fight between Tai and Matt about ascending an unwieldy dangerous mountain: Infinity Peak. But he just muddles the conversation and nothing gets accomplished. These and other examples show how careful Joe is and later we find out in his own thoughts how he takes the burden of responsibility for his younger friends upon himself: the only cautious one of the bunch. This sense of responsibility leads him to ascend the mountain by himself, though Gomamon discovers him sneaking away from the camp that night and decides to follow along and help him out.
They find a wise, old Digimon- Unimon- on the mountain who they intend to speak to for more information on the peak and their whereabouts in the Digital World. That is, until the mountain opens outward and black gears are released from inside. One infects Unimon and there is again, a fight on their hands. Tai and Sora awaken to find Joe missing and go to help, but to no avail, they cannot defeat Unimon with their Champion-level Digimon’s special attacks. Instead, Unimon’s defeat and subsequent freedom from the black gear takes a bit of bravery on Joe’s part. The resulting dangerous position he is put in spurs on Gomamon’s reaction and subsequent Digivolution into Ikkakumon to defeat Unimon.
Joe’s show of bravery is uncharacteristic and earns him respect among the other Digidestined. He bonds with Gomamon along the way up Infinity Peak and they learn to trust one another. Again, the forces- not of good per se- but of trust in each other, of bravery, and of sentimentality in the face of evil save the day.
Smell ya later,
The Digidestined Cody
(Continued in Part 8 HERE)