Kazemon Kicks It (Digimon Frontier: Episode 04)
(Catch the previous review HERE)
Like all of the Digimon series hitherto, Digimon Frontier’s first few episodes are all about powering up our Digidestined to handle any situations they might run into. For a series wherein the most important elements of the story come later in the season when the machinations of antagonists and the specific world-building and metaphysics of the land become apparent, this is a necessary evil. Nonetheless, it would be cool to see a group of Digidestined enter the Digital World and struggle through harsh situations without any aid for at least a few episodes. Such life or death peril could certainly speed along my least favorite element of narrative at least: character development (often merely an excuse for screenwriters with no skill in economy). But I digress.
Because we are still in the phase of Frontier wherein the protagonists are picking up their first offensive artifacts, their ‘Spirits’, not much of consequence occurs in this episode. Koji’s train ends up depositing him at a station near the Soyokaze Village: a now decrepit wasteland whose past opulence is evidenced merely by the presence of a large world-tree and world-weary Floramon. These depressed denizens despair at their town’s loss of vitality since the arrival of Cherubimon drove the Mushroomon Brothers to evil, and more specifically to the destruction of all of the greenery in the Village.
Elsewhere, Takuya and his crew travel by foot along the tracks toward the Forest Terminal. They meet a fork in the tracks, the left of which veers off toward the Soyokaze Village and the large world-tree. The right veers off toward the cruel desert, but is the direction that they were counseled to follow at the denouement of the previous episode. Zoe, J.P., Bokomon and Neemon decide to head left and use their common sense to reach Soyokaze Village where they meet up with Koji before he departs on his own to investigate the barren trees in the forest surrounding the Village. Zoe and her gang eat lunch with the Floramon and hear tell of their situation with the Mushroomon. Their vittles for this meal consist of a stew created by absorbing pears and other fruit within the Venus Fly-trap-like head compartments of the Floramon, which creates a fermented, presumably sweet stew much to the children’s liking viscerally speaking. Though the very thought of this stew’s formation is a little sickening to say the least.
Takuya and Tommy find no end to their travels along the desert tracks. However, the world does fragment eventually, creating an earthquake that leaves the two no path forward for exploration. As such, they return back along the tracks and toward the Soyokaze Village where they will reunite with their friends after the events of the story, thereby missing out on seeing Zoe finding her ‘Spirit’ and doling out a beating to the Mushroomon Brothers.
As for that narrative, it begins as Zoe offers up J.P.’s services as a digger of holes for planting of flowers, the digging being much too vigorous for the petal arms of the Floramon to achieve unassisted. The Mushroomon Brothers do not take kindly to this assistance and arrive to destroy the work. All the while, Koji, who had previously heard them speaking in the woods, hides behind in the forest to assist the other Digidestined is the need arises. J.P.’s D-Tector alights on the H Spirit of Wind within a hollow of the world-tree of Soyokaze Village. But in the time of need, this spirit flies past J.P. and toward its true owner, Zoe. She Spirit Evolves into Kazemon and defeats the Mushroomon who then fuse together to form the Champion-level Woodmon.
This new Digimon’s defenses are particularly well suited against the air-based attacks of the Legendary Warrior of Wind, and as such, Kazemon is defeated. Luckily, Koji’s spirit evolution Lobomon has no such problem and is able to defeat Woodmon, absorb his Fractal Code, return the Mushroomon to their senses as good friends to the Floramon, and finally release the Fractal Code to restore all greenery to the Village. Koji decides not to stick around any longer however, and instead heads off toward the Forest Terminal as advised by the voice of his D-Tector.
The episode ends shortly thereafter as Takuya and Tommy arrive, having missed everything. J.P. stands aloof from the rest as the only Digidestined of the core group who still remains unable to Spirit Evolve. Based on the name of the following episode, this dearth of ability will not last for very long.
As this review is pretty short, I’ll explain a bit of lore to those relatively new to the series. A central question to everything that has occurred thus far in Digimon Frontier might be this: How can the children fuse with the ‘Spirits’ of the Legendary Warriors in the first place? The question seems straightforward enough, but relies on quite a few assumptions and pieces of knowledge that one needs to unpack before tackling it head on.
First off, Digimon do not typically die forever. Instead, when they are defeated they return to the Digimon nursery as Data where they re-form as DigiEggs that can then be nurtured and hatched into weak Baby-level Digimon. These then gain experience, become In-Training Digimon, Rookies, Champions, and so on, until they once again reach the strength of their former glory. This should be the case for the Legendary Warriors no matter how long ago they defeated Lucemon. As such, there are a few possibilities as to their inability to restore themselves as Digimon. First, Cherubimon has destroyed the Digimon nursery. Second, the Frontier Universe has no Digimon nursery and operates based on different rules (e.g. Digimon ceasing to exist in their current form once being defeated totally). Third, Lucemon has returned and bound the Legendary Warriors in their current forms to prevent them from returning. Four, the Legendary Warriors bound themselves in line with some prophecy that they must unite with the power of human beings to defeat the new evil on the rise in the Digital World.
The first option is possible. The second probably isn’t because Bokomon said that Cerberumon would probably be back even after he was defeated by Agunimon in episode 01. The third makes little sense because if Lucemon were able to defeat and bind the Legendary Warriors, it would be a much better option to destroy them totally, rather than leaving behind artifacts of them that could be used to fight against Lucemon once more (a caveat here is that Lucemon may have overlooked this possibility). Finally, the fourth possibility is also just that.
Next up, the Digidestined are able to fuse with the Legendary Warriors because each child has some link to each warrior based on their character and because they are destined to do so. This is why other Digimon are unable to harness the Legendary Warrior’s powers. The Digidestined can literally fuse with the Data of the Legendary Warriors because of the Technology of the D-Tector and the fact that humans in the Digital World are no longer flesh and blood, but have been transformed into Data themselves. This is coincidentally why Tai and Matt could fuse with their Digimon partners inside the net in Digimon Adventure: Our War Game!, but not in the real world in Digimon Adventure 02: Revenge of Diaboromon.
Ciao for now,
The Digidestined Cody