Snakes, Trains, and Digimon (Digimon Tamers: Episode 15)
The Digimon Tamers bond has become stronger than ever before and for the first time ever, the three are hanging out together in their leisure time to discuss the nature of the recent disturbances in their world. Takato and Guilmon even make a team war banner with chibi versions of their faces, the faces of their partner Digimon, and of Calumon who they realize by now has some positive effect on their Digimon and can often be the key to Digivolving them to ever higher levels.
The scene transitions to a vignette within the subway system of the city. A police officer escorts a drunk man out of the subway (which is translated for the English dub into an encounter between the officer and a man who is sick because he ate a sandwich from a vending machine, even though children are not idiots and American youth would not be badly served by their animation if realities of life were pictured and broached within them). A thick fog akin to a Digital Field begins to emanate from far down range in the tunnel and moves slowly toward the station platform. Some sort of Digimon is present within it. the officer recognizes the danger and gets the hell out of there as fast as possible (while dragging the drunk with him, of course).
The next day, Takato wakes up Henry at 6:30 a.m. by calling to ask if he wants to patrol the city with him. It’s a Saturday, so Henry makes an excuse to get out of doing it. Rika similarly wants to avoid running around town aimlessly with Takato on her day off, but has a better excuse as she and her grandmother have already planned to visit the theater to watch a Noh play: A traditional form of Japanese theater that is artful and transcendentally styled, symbolic and extremely powerful philosophically-speaking, but which is also very slow and incomprehensible even for modern Japanese speakers as the performers use stylized classical language. From personal experience watching the Noh theater in Kyoto, I can confirm that most people fall asleep during the performance whether foreigners or Japanese, and many more would if complimentary highly-caffeinated tea was not provided for free during the intermission. Rika attends the event and only manages to remain awake by thinking about unrelated topics, like the burgeoning relationship as partners between Renamon and herself.
As Takato leaves his home to head toward the park and rendezvous with Guilmon, he finds a group of classmates (including his friends Kazu and Kenta, and his crush Jeri) standing outside. They all know that he is a Tamer and politely request that he bring them to meet Guilmon, which he does. And just like that Takato’s plans for a day of serious work patrolling the city and defeating aberrant Digimon is scrapped in lieu of fun in the park with Guilmon and his friends. Impmon will also arrive there and make fun of Guilmon for playing with human beings and acting like a human being. But the true feelings of Impmon are clear: he wants to play with them too, he wants to have a friend to move through this world with and enjoy life with. Just not Ai and Mako who were too rough with him and too young to appreciate personal space and boundaries.
After the play, Rika and her grandmother return home using the subway. There, the Digimon in the Digital Field makes himself apparent. His name is Sandiramon, a large Ultimate-level Snake-type Holy Beast Digimon who is one of the Devas like Mihiramon before him. Renamon battles with him as Rika tries to determine his level and type with her D-Power. Once Rika realizes that Sandiramon is an Ultimate, she uses her Digivolution Modify card, Digivolves Renamon into Kyubimon and tries her best to stave off defeat by the much stronger opponent.
Henry has left home for the day to complete a few personal errands. His train collides with Sandiramon on the track, but together with Terriermon and a ‘WarGreymon Brave Shield’ Modify card, he and his partner work to protect those within the train and evacuate them before Sandiramon vaporizes it. He next Digivolves Terriermon into Gargomon and assists Kyubimon in the fight. Rika and Henry both attempt to call Takato, but they have no phone service underground. And in an odd turn of fate, the one guy who was most gungho about going out and fighting Digimon that day is away from the danger in a park, playing with his friends.
Luckily, Impmon left the park a while back after feelings of frustration about his desires to join the others became too much for him to handle. He somehow managed to wander into the subway terminal where Rika and Henry are battling the Snake Deva and decides to warn Takato that his friends are fighting for their lives while he just plays around in the park (making sure in the process to frame this helpful disclosure as a way to make fun of Takato and Guilmon). Takato realizes that the simplest and quickest way to reach them and help is to dig straight down into the subway from where he is currently standing. He Modifies Guilmon with a ‘Digmon’s Drill’ card, advises his overzealous classmates in the park not to follow him as they could be in mortal danger if they chose to do so, and himself follows Guilmon as he burrows deep within the Earth and into the subway.
Once there, Takato Digivolves Guilmon into Growlmon and uses a modify card leant to him by Kazu mere moments prior and strengthens Growlmon with a ‘Power Plug-in.’ The three Champion-level Digimon work together and manage to defeat the Ultimate-level Sandiramon who, as he lay dying, tells them all about his identity and purpose: ‘I am one of the twelve Devas sent by the sovereign one.’ He tells the Tamers that he will be avenged by his brothers, the Digimon who ‘refuse to be Tamed by mere humans’ intent on ruling both the real world and the Digital World.
Sandiramon’s energy is used up completely and he evaporates into data, leaving the Tamers to reflect on the fact that they now have ten more Ultimate-level Digimon to take on in the coming days and weeks, and they may potentially even have to battle more than one at a time. But because Growlmon can Digivolve through Matrix Digivolution to the Ultimate-level, any Digimon fan knows that so too will Kyubimon and Gargomon be able to do so in due time. Which means the Digidestined will probably have no problem dispensing with the Devas. This so-called ‘sovereign one’, however, may be a different story.
The Digidestined Cody