Ghost of a Chance (Digimon Adventure 02 Episode 17)

(If you missed the previous recap blog, check it out HERE. To go back to the beginning of this series click HERE)

This is the first episode of Digimon Adventure 02 that doesn’t take place, at least in part, within the Digital World. It begins with Television filmmakers working on cutting a new nature documentary. but every time they run the footage, a shadow appears on the screen. What’s worse, is the shadow is in a different place every time. We are not originally privy to why this is important for the plot of the episode or even how these characters are relevant and instead the scene transitions to the computer lab at the Digidestined kid’s middle school. Davis wants to go to the Digital World to slow down Ken’s progress taking it over, but Kari and T.K. have an anniversary date in their calendars. It has been three years since the Digidestined defeated Myotismon and everyone is planning to meet at the park near the TV station where it all happened.

Before the event, T.K. goes to Matt’s place to hang out and catch up with him. While they are eating lunch together, their dad shows up looking dejected and worn out. He relates that at the TV station where he works (there’s the relevance) everyone is stressed and freaked out. Some of the staff have apparently even quit due to the presence of a ghost within the TV tower complex. There are dark shadows on all of the monitors, which means that their materials cannot go on air yet and broadcasting deadlines have to pushed back. Plus, many people feel the presence of ghostly apparitions following them throughout the building. In a cut to scene at the TV tower, we see that the problems with the nature footage being unusable in their current form are continuing, but even the sound department is having difficulties as all of their tapes play back ghostly noises and heavy breathing.

After Matt and T.K. leave the apartment, they wander around town, slowing moving in the direction of the TV tower. As they do so, they inexplicably remember their friends Gotsumon and Pumpkinmon from their adventures in Digimon Adventure 01. The two diminutive Digimon were destroyed by Myotismon because they preferred to have fun and joke around with Matt and T.K. rather than attempt to destroy them. The viewer is, at this point, cued to believe that the ghosts in the TV tower have something to do with these two Digimon.

Izzy is at Tai and Kari’s home along with the other young Digidestined kids (minus T.K.). He discusses the new requisition of the computer lab at their school for detention use and the newfound access problem this creates for the Digidestined to the Digital World. Izzy believes that the D-3 may have the power to turn any computer terminal into a portal (something we realize in the first few episodes of the series, which are months in the past within the series continuity). Izzy asks Davis to use his D-3 to try and access the Digital World. The attempt pays off as a Digi-portal opens there and then. But just as the gang attempt to enter into it and test the process out, Tai and Kari’s mother comes in the front door. Everyone’s shoes are in the front hallway and she knows that the other kids are visiting, so they cannot just disappear into the Digital World at this moment. At least now, the Digidestined kids have better access to the Digital World and consequently, more of fighting chance to defeat the Digimon Emperor.

The group leaves and heads off in the direction of the park to rendezvous with the others for the anniversary of Myotismon’s defeat. Once there, the older Digidestined gang shows up, including Mimi who presumably made the expensive trip from New York to Japan just for this occasion. As the older kids explain the significance of this date to the younger group, a shadow appears outside of the TV tower and people within run away from the building, which prompts the 5 Digidestined and 6 ex-Digidestined to jump into action and enter the building. The shadow circles around the large observatory room in the tower whilst moaning out Gatomon’s name. The ghost rises from the ground before Gatomon’s feet and shows itself to be the spectre of Wizardmon.

Wizardmon then recites a long prophecy on the future of the Digidestined and Gatomon: “Your great enemy, you cannot beat him as you are now. your enemy is not just the Digimon Emperor, but a much greater darkness.” At this point, the verdict should be in for the viewer of the episode. We have seen the memories of Gotsumon and Pumpkinmon, the ghost of Wizardmon, and the day is dedicated to celebrating the defeat of Myotismon: The great enemy is some new form of Myotismon who has returned from beyond the grave.

Wizardmon continues, “It cannot be defeated by strength alone. You must return the one wrapped in darkness to his true self.” I’m just spitballing here because I do not remember much about the future events of this series beyond this episode,  but I believe that this refers to the need to return Ken to his former self as a Digidestined and as a force for good as he once was in his fight against Millenniummon alongside Ryo Akiyama.

“Kindness will release the golden radiance. Kindness alone will not prevail Gatomon. the golden radiance is also necessary.” The eight Crests are Courage, Friendship, Reliability, Knowledge, Sincerity, Love, Hope, and Light. But theoretically there are more crests, which means that there are more Digi-Eggs that correspond to these potential Crests. In the Digimon Adventure 02 movie Digimon Hurricane Landing!!/Transcendent Evolution!! The Golden Digimentals, we are shown new Golden Digi-Eggs that Digivolve the Digidestined partner Digimon to the equivalent of Mega level Digimon. The Crest of Kindness must correspond to Gatomon’s Golden Digi-Egg, which will be the one to defeat Myotismon. At least this is my theory so far in the series.

Finally, Wizardmon tells the Digidestined that they do not have much time left and he departs unwillingly from his friends, which ends the haunting of the TV tower and the stress it created for Matt and T.K.’s father. Normally, when a Digimon is destroyed, that Digimon’s data is reconfigured and the Digimon reappears as a Digi-Egg within the Primary village in the Digital World. But Wizardmon was destroyed within the Real World where he takes up physical space not as data but as a concatenation of molecules and particles with mass like everything else. Because of this, upon death, Wizardmon seems to have become subject to the metaphysics of the the Real World within the Digimon Universe and has reappeared as a ghost because his work was left unfinished and his sacrifice did not result in the total destruction of Myotismon. This metaphysics is closer to Shinto notions of the afterlife and tells us that the Digidestined must defeat the risen Myotismon for good in order to free Wizardmon from his ghostly form permanently.

How Wizardmon knows that Myotismon is not destroyed totally, we do not yet know. But we can surmise that since Myotismon was defeated within the Real World, that he too exists as a ghost of some sort in the Real World and may have been steadily gaining more power over the past three years. If this is so, then it makes sense that a spectral denizen of the in-between world (the Dark Ocean?) like Wizardmon would have Myotismon’s growing power on his radar. Ghost of a Chance is the second best episode of Digimon Adventure 02 at this point in the series and points to the potential for growth of the series in the coming episodes both dramatically and philosophically. This is the type of thing I’ve been waiting for and can really sink my teeth into as a reviewer of the series and I hope you’ll continue to follow along as the coming episode reviews and recaps become denser and more in line with my wheelhouse.



The Digidestined Cody

[Continued HERE]

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