Subzero Ice Punch (Digimon Adventure Episode 9)

(For the previous essay click HERE. To go back to the beginning click HERE)

The introductory episode and the character-introducing codas are now behind us. We know our protagonists, The Digidestined and their Digimon partners, and we know the antagonist (at least for this arc) Devimon. Last time, Devimon revealed himself to the Digidestined and destroyed File Island, rending it apart and sending its landmass as islands into the distance.

Tai and Agumon arrive on an ice-covered island and find a collection of mailboxes lined up on the shore. These odd items are still popping up all over the place, but their purpose and/or reasoning for being there have not yet been established. A plausible suggestion could be that since this is the digital world, electronic objects manifest themsleves in it. This would explain the telephone booths, the telelphone wires, the refrigerators, cable cars, vending machines, and Andromon’s factory. But how do we explain the mailboxes and road signs? There’s a strong possibility that I would tell you if I knew, but I barely remember this episode or the rest of the series from when I watched them in my youth. Signs of civilization?

Nevertheless, Tai and Agumon shrug off the mailboxes and wonder aloud about their current disposition. Agumon asks, “Where will we end up Tai?” Tai is incredulous and responds, in effect, how should i know. We then discover that Agumon has never left File Island. File was his birthplace, his home, his entire world. And Devimon has destroyed it all in one fell swoop. It seems that not only the Digidestined must undergo a period of uncomfortable and difficult changes (and grow in the process), but the Digimon must now experience a similar odyssey of the mind and heart.

They meet Frigimon, a normally docile Digimon who is now infected by the black gears, shortly after their arrival to the island. They defeat him and destroy the gear. He offers the use of his subzero ice punch attack to create a frozen ice bridge to the next island. Here they will find Matt and Gabumon, and the core emotional weight of the episode.

Matt and Gabumon have been marooned on a snowy island, just like Tai and Agumon were previously. Matt is searching frantically for his brother T.K. who he imagines must be extremely scared and lonely without the others. He braves a fierce blizzard and succeeds only in getting a cold. Gabumon discovers a cave and attempts to get Matt warm by setting a fire. He goes off into the blizzard, assuring Matt that he will search for T.K. while Matt rests and regains his strength. Matt decides to go searching for T.K. again anyway, showing a distinct lack of trust in Gabumon. He only further succeeds in worsening his cold. Gabumon, whose trust has been somewhat betrayed, again nurses Matt back to health, even yielding his own Garurumon pelt to keep him warm.

The following morning, Tai and Agumon find Matt and Gabumon. Matt, now healed, nurses a sick Gabumon while Frigimon goes to collect herbs and food for the group. With its use, the Digimon will be able to Digivolve and fight off another gear-plagued foe, Mojyamon, later in the episode.

This episode seems especially light-hearted compared to some of its predecessors. However, there is a still a theme running throughout: Trust. In the initial fight against Frigimon, Agumon cannot Digivolve. So their best bet is to run a gambit. Tai will distract Frigimon, kick the curled-up Agumon like a soccer ball over Frigimon’s head, and then Agumon will latch on and attack the black gear in Frigimon’s back directly. The convoluted plan works because the two trust each other.

Matt, on the other hand, trusts only himself to find T.K. and ends up only hurting himself and his Digimon. However, Gabumon’s friendship with Matt and his willingness to go the mile (to go to the mat) for him leads Gabumon and Matt to bond more closely. Gabumon’s care for Matt also puts Matt’s mind at ease because he realizes that T.K. has his own Digimon partner, Patamon, who will look after T.K. just as Gabumon has for Matt. (I will find a way to streamline the names and decrease confusion in later entries.) Matt ends the episode on a positive note by claiming that if they can trust one another, then they can fight and surely defeat Devimon.


After a while,

The Digidestined Cody

[For Part 10 click HERE]


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11 responses to “Subzero Ice Punch (Digimon Adventure Episode 9)”

  1. mattdoylemedia says :

    He could just be making use of the things that he finds. Like a Digi-Womble.

    • theboronheist says :

      What’s a womble?

      • mattdoylemedia says :

        Ah, of course. I forgot that they didn’t get too far overseas. Wombles were the titular characters of an old UK stop-motion show. Basically, they were pointy-nosed, anthropomoprhic creatures that lived on Wimbledon Common in London, and, as per their theme song, ‘made good sue of the things that they find’. Basically, they gathered things that they found on the Common and recycled it in creative ways.

  2. mattdoylemedia says :

    This was one of my favourite episodes of the first season, largely due to my love of Matt and Gabumon. I remember being surprised that the pelt was removable as a kid.

    • theboronheist says :

      Yeah! That pelt thing threw me for a loop because I didn’t remember it. I looked at some conceptual art of Gabumon without and it’s a little derpy.

      • mattdoylemedia says :

        The question i still have is … did he get it by slaying a Garurumon? That’d be imrpessive!

        • theboronheist says :

          Only problem there is that Digimon disintegrate when they’re defeated. Tentomon says that he sheds his skin at some point. Maybe Garurumon sheds his skin. But he’s supposed to be a mammal Digimon, so idk XD

          • mattdoylemedia says :

            Shredding is an interesting idea. It’s certainly less macabre than skimming a Garurumon without killing it. Maybe it’s like a Summer and Winter coat?

            • theboronheist says :

              Gabumon is still weird if so. He’s a lizard that wanted to stay warm in colder climates, so he stalked his idol Garurumon until it dropped its fur, then collected it and made a pelt of its own. Bizarre

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