Back to Nature, Back To Battle (Digimon Tamers: Episode 16)
The episode opens with a vignette of Rika giving Renamon an energy drink (It may have been a beer in the original Japanese language version of the episode). Renamon thanks Rika and reflects on how this energy drink, which was given to her supposedly to get her energy levels back up to normal after so many consecutive battles, is the first gift she has ever received from her partner Tamer Rika. This is the only time that the two are featured in this episode and as such, it’s a bit out of place.
For the rest of the episode, Henry and Takato go on a school camping trip with their classmates, which explains why Rika is absent as she goes to a prep school for rich kids. Henry sneaks Terriermon on the bus by putting straps around his arms and wearing his partner Digimon like a backpack, and Takato has his friends sneak Guilmon onboard while he diverts Ms. Asaji’s attention for a few minutes asking her assistance in repairing his camera. When the entire class is boarded, Guilmon hides under the legs of his partner Takato and friends in the back of the bus and we fins that Calumon has come along for the ride as well and has been hiding in a bundle of backpacks as if another one amongst them.
The drive to the camping site seems fun enough as the bus comes fully loaded with karaoke, which Kenta takes advantage of to annoy his fellow classmates with a horrendously-performed rendition of a generic pop song. Once at the camping grounds, a Digimon bio-emerges in the sky far above the woods. Hypnos tracks it, but can do nothing to prevent the Ultimate-level Bird Deva Digimon, Sinduramon, from appearing. Henry and Takato initially ignore the Digimon as it is of minuscule size and destroying what they perceive to be a mere Rookie-level would disrupt their fun at the camp site, as well as potentially disturb their classmates, and in the worst case scenario, could even end up bring the trip to a close prematurely.
That night, Sinduramon absorbs all of the electricity in the city, from afar, and subsequently grows in size. The next day, Impmon shows up at a forest stream where Terriermon, Guilmon and Calumon are swimming around under their Tamer’s supervision, but far enough from the regular student camping grounds as not to elicit unwanted attention (Ms. Asaji somehow seems not to notice the absence of Henry and Takato). Impmon makes fun of the Digimon for following the orders of their human counterparts and hiding away from the rest of the kids just because they are told to do so. Impmon’s tracking down of the Tamers and their Digimon is not, however, a mere ploy to make fun of them. He wants to swim with them too, wants to make friends with them and have companions to play with, but he hides his feelings and only decides to join the others after some prodding by Henry.
Sinduramon shows up again, at his current, much larger size, but doesn’t threaten to attack anyone. Unlike his mammalian and serpentine counterparts, Sinduramon is a real bird brain who doesn’t seem to care about fighting, and instead only roosts and collects energy. He doesn’t even seem able to speak. However, a strange owl that appears in the trees behind Takato and Henry can, and does speak, about his loyalty to the Bird Deva, to ‘he who drinks of the light of man’ (a thinly veiled metaphor for electricity) and ‘expands himself to look like a right big chicken’ (this is all said in an extremely exaggerated, badly pronounced southern accent bordering on stereotype, but humorous enough). Henry asks the owl why he would want to be ruled over by a Digital chicken, to which the owl responds, ‘because he is the Deva!,’ before flying off. Weird.
Henry and Takato leave the big chicken behind instead of engaging him right there and then in battle, but later Henry will realize what the owl’s metaphor meant. There is a large hydro-electric dam nearby that provides much of the energy for the city and he reasons that Sinduramon will make that his next target. After finding Guilmon and Terriermon, Henry and Takato run off once more, this time toward the dam, where they do indeed find Sinduramon who is planning to absorb all of the dams energy and consequently become bloated with energy, and therefore extremely powerful and large, even for your average Ultimate-level Deva.
Terriermon Digivolves into Gargomon and Guilmon Digivolves into Growlmon in an effort to nip this problem in the bud before it develops into one too big to handle, a herculean task. At first their attacks have no effect at all on the bird’s extremely tough outer shell, but eventually the two Champions coordinate their attacks and aim for Sundiramon’s most vulnerable spots. Gargomon lands a Gargo Laser attack on the bird’s exposed head, then a physical attack in which he cold cocks the jive turkey with a machine gun fist. Growlmon jumps behind Sinduramon during all of the commotion and squarely lands a Pyro Blaster on the back of its head, the force of which launches him into the water below. Being filled with electrical energy, the bird’s contact with the water conducts all of his power right back into him and the goose is cooked in the process, making the current tally three Devas down and nine more to go. 25% ain’t half bad, it’s only a quarter bad, or er.. good. I’ll stop.
Hypnos, meanwhile, has been monitoring Sinduramon since his arrival in the forests nearby. And again Yamaki seems to have no clue what happened when he is defeated and drops off of their radar, even though he has seen the Tamers defeat two Ultimate-level Devas just in the past few days. Furthermore, he was keeping tabs on Henry, Takato, and Rika at some point in the past, meaning that he should know that Takato and Henry have gone into the mountains on a school trip to the area roughly near where Sinduramon first appeared. But somehow Yamaki knows none of this, and cannot even make an educated guess about who saved his ass again this time. But that’s technocratic pride for you. Even after dozens of examples of the strength of these kids, he still can’t bring himself to acknowledge that they are able to do what he is not: defeat Ultimate-level Digimon and return them back to the world from whence they came.
The Digidestined Cody