Lionheart (Digimon Tamers: Episode 34)
Here we go. The second in a series of sick jokes by the writers of Digimon that never ceases to pull at out heartstrings.
A mysterious voice begins this episode of Digimon Tamers and tells us that long ago there was a light deep within the domain of the Digimon Sovereign, which ceded Digimon the strength to Digivolve. One day the light disappeared, ‘until…’ Next, we see Calumon, the source of this light, as he falls deep down into a pit in the Digimon Sovereign’s domain and lands within an orb that contains him, traps him within. Calumon feels as if he has been within this enclosure before and will later receive an explanation about the situation from the Dog Deva Caturamon. He explains that Calumon is not a Digimon like his friends. Rather, he is a source of Digivolution, which seems to have suddenly and without explanation become corporeal and aware, and eventually took on the form externally of a Digimon before escaping, and thereby preventing the Digimon Sovereign from using his powers any longer in the battle against dire beings attempting to take over both worlds and throw them out of balance.
Leomon and Jeri, Kyubimon and Rika, Guardromon and Kazu, Kenta, and Growlmon (who did not Digivolve to Champion-level in his last appearance and should not even be able to do so without the aid of his Tamer partner Takato- chock it up to a continuity error) wander still through the digital desert. As they do so, they wonder aloud at how Digimon come to the Real World. Leomon doesn’t quite remember how he got there, while Kyubimon arrived seeking the most skilled Tamer who could help her to Digivolve, and Guilmon came into existence in the Real World and never resided in the Digital World beforehand (Guardromon still hasn’t been to the Real World and consequently has nothing to add to the conversation). Jeri expresses her admiration for Rika who is such a great, strong Tamer, and in the analysis, finds herself wanting. However, Leomon tells Jeri that she has a Lion’s Heart and is kind, and is therefore, every bit as deserving as Rika to be a Tamer.
In the domain of the Digimon Sovereign, Takato, Henry and Terriermon, and Suzie and Lopmon are still standing around, trying to analyze the situation at hand. Some DigiGnomes appear and head toward the castle of Zhuqiaomon as if they wish the Tamers to follow them. But Henry is too worried about his sister’s well-being to bring her into harm’s way and Lopmon has not enough strength to fight the Digimon Sovereign as her power to Digivolve derived from them and she is currently unable to surpass the Rookie-level until her and Suzie develop a stronger bond. Henry asks Lopmon, as a Deva, if she knows anything about Calumon and she tells him all about how Calumon is the key to Digivolution, how his power is needed by the Sovereign to protect the worlds, and that the Deva were created to retrieve him as quickly as possible and restore him to the domain of the Digimon Sovereign to this end.
Takato still wants to save his friend Calumon from eternal boredom and subservience to the qualms of the Digimon Sovereign and decides that if he and the Sovereign truly share aims, he should be able to go and speak with Zhuqiaomon directly, which he endeavors to do. Unfortunately, Beelzemon arrives astride his Behemoth bike and challenges the group to a fight before Takato can begin his journey to speak with the Sovereign. Henry quickly Digivolves Terriermon into Rapidmon, but even his Ultimate-level attacks aren’t enough to get past Beelzemon’s defenses and Rapidmon’s Chrome Digizoid armor can’t withstand the attacks of Beelzemon. With Lopmon unable to Digivolve at all, and Rapidmon quickly being beaten to a pulp, Takato feels increasingly helpless and calls out to Guilmon. The sound carries over to Guilmon, and to Jeri, and a Data Stream windstorm starts up just in time to carry his friends from the digital desert to the domain of the Digimon Sovereign.
Once they arrive, Takato tries first to talk down Beelzemon’s aggression and to remind him once more of the times when they were friends, when they roamed about the Real World together and he was the fun-loving, albeit devil may care, Impmon. Beelzemon, however, is too far gone and decides to fight his old friends anyway to gain as much strength as possible. Kyubimon knocks him off of his bike and burns his arms with a Rapid Wheel attack, which do little damage in the final calculation. As he attempts to blast her into oblivion, Growlmon launches Pyro Spheres to no avail, and finally Leomon grabs Beelzemon from behind. He tells him that physical power is not the same as strength of character and that without the latter, he will never feel fulfilled or truly happy, that he will always carry a void within himself.
Beelzemon breaks his bonds and responds by punching a hole straight through the solar plexus of Leomon, which is lights out for our friend (who is not coincident with the Leomon of the Adventure Universe, but nevertheless dies sacrificing himself for his friends and for the greater good as his death will later weigh heavily on the heart of Beelzemon and help turn him back toward the light). Leomon’s last words are addressed to Jeri and tell her to be brave and to keep her lion’s heart. As we watch, we hope to the end that Beelzemon will not absorb his data, which would prevent Leomon from ever returning as a DigiEgg (if such things exist at all in the Tamers Universe- I haven’t seen one in any of these first 34 episodes of the series). And of course, Beelzemon does absorb him.
Jeri’s sadness and Beelzemon’s coldness throw Takato and Growlmon into states of berserk fury and visceral calls for retribution. Growlmon Matrix Digivolves into WarGrowlmon with little effort and begins to do some minor damage to his Mega-level opponent before Takato orders him to Digivolve to Mega himself. Calumon senses the enormity of what he is about to produce, but cannot stop the Digital Triforce Hazard Symbol on his forehead from emitting a powerful red light of Digivolution, which subsequently enters WarGrowlmon and transforms him into his aberrant Mega form as Megidramon. Hypnos registers the disturbances and vast data convergences on that particular digital plane and sense a potential complete network shutdown as Megidramon’s energy throws the balance of that world out of whack. And then, as the monstrous Megidramon readies himself for battle, Takato’s D-Power cracks, falls from his hand to the ground, and shatters into many pieces.
Ciao for now,
The Digidestined Cody