A Hunka Hunka BurningGreymon (Digimon Frontier: Episode 11)
(Catch my previous Digimon episode review HERE)
First things first: the title of the American dub of this episode. The Digimon franchise has never been particularly interested in taking itself seriously here in the West, but at least they have managed to come up with episode title variants that tend to make sense or work as puns within the context of the episodes. Yes, there is an Elvis song entitled ‘Burning Love’ in which he sings the famous line ‘I’m just a hunk, a hunk of burning love.’ which has been widely heard as a ‘hunka hunka burning love.’ And there is a character called BurningGreymon in the episode (though I understand this is not his Japanese name even when translated). And maybe there is a quick shot of Etemon in a Village that the Digidestined visit in this episode. But the pun is a real stretch, and I feel a little stupid entitling a review on my blog with that name, damnit!
Now that I’m done venting (though still experiencing cognitive dissonance and general mental discomfort), to the story. In this episode, we learn that the Digimon Frontier Universe differs from past incarnations of the Digital World by more than the children fusing with Legendary Warrior ‘Spirits.’ Namely, magic or ritual. As Grumblemon mumbles to himself and complains about KendoGarurumon near the beach where he washed up after his defeat in the previous episode, he reaches into his pack and pulls out a vial of some mysterious liquid, which he pours out over the ground to enervate the earth-material with a soul and thereby creates a Golem called Golemon. Not only can this pawn help Grumblemon to reach the Digidestined quickly by traveling underground, but it is a Champion-level Rock Digimon with few weaknesses beyond Wind and Water, the former of which was Zoe’s ‘Spirit’ that is now in Grumblemon’s control, and the latter of which has no corresponding Legendary Warrior yet.
Meanwhile, the Digidestined are reclining once again in a forest glade where they are discussing their next moves. J.P. is adamant that they should track down Grumblemon and defeat him once and for all, and as soon as possible, in order to return Zoe’s ‘Spirit’ to her. While Tommy is ambivalent and Zoe is letting the others call the shots this time around since she has no firepower and thereby no fighting potential in the group, Takuya and Koji think they ought to head toward the Forest Terminal where they might find more Beast Spirit artifacts, which would help them to fight Grumblemon later. Hell, they might even track down Zoe’s Beast Spirit of Wind in the process and make the point of retrieving her old spirit moot. As the crew cannot come to decisive answer about what their next move should be, Bokomon intervenes and suggests that they seek out guidance in this matter by visiting the nearby Fortuneteller Village.
And once there, they find themselves surrounded by at least 30 types of different Digimon from the Baby to Champion levels. This is to be expected in most large Digimon towns. What is troubling is that they find around 11 Ultimates, 2 Megas, and 2 Armor Digimon who are technically able to either match or defeat Digimon like Grumblemon, but who are more interested in hocking their wares and selling bogus prophecies and premonitions as false seers. Among the three Digimon that approach the Digidestined in the street to tell their fortunes are Gekomon (a Champion), Vademon (a powerful Ultimate), and Sepikmon (an armor Digimon), but each has an obviously insufficient method for telling fortunes that is based around pure chance or at worst, bs. Luckily, Bokomon knows the one true seer in town: Shamanmon. Bokomon leads the Digidestined team to him and there they learn from this little mystical Goblimon variant Digimon that danger is ahead along with a great test of their will and of their friendships that will also require them to understand and affirm their own identities.
Just then, an earthquake occurs and the Digidestined run out into the streets to find Golemon and Grumblemon terrorizing the place. Takuya, J.P., and Tommy Spirit Evolve into Agunimon, Beetlemon, and Kumamon respectively. Koji attempts to Beast Spirit Evolve, but he is stopped inexplicably by a large magic circle drawn up by Grumblemon that freezes Koji in his tracks. Without KendoGarurumon, the Champion-level Golemon actually stands a chance seeing as Beetlemon’s thunder attacks and Agunimon’s fire attacks are ineffective to rock, and Kumamon (though mildly effective as an ice type) is essentially a supporter who is too weak to knock out even a Champion-level with brute force, let alone a rock type one. The three use their combined efforts, however, to launch a simultaneous assault which forces Golemon back underground and out of the battle. This is all to no avail however, as Grumblemon merely Slide Evolves into his Beast form as Gigasmon, defeats all three of the Digidestined, and even manages to swipe Tommy’s H Spirit of Ice, leaving two Digidestined completely ineffective in battle and Koji stuck within a paralyzing magic circle.
Suddenly, a light emanates from within the rocked palace of Shamanmon and the Beast form of the Legendary Warrior of Fire emerges as BurningGreymon who forces Golemon to the surface world once more, destroys the rock golem totally, and then effortlessly drives of Gigasmon. As this new Digimon is extremely unwieldy and dangerous, the Digidestined slink off and try to escape. That is until a voice from within BurningGreymon calls out for help. Agunimon recognizes it as the voice of Shamanmon and the little ogre explains that when the earthquake happened, it crumbled the back wall of the palace and revealed the B Spirit of Fire, which Shamanmon touched and was immediately possessed by. Agunimon attacks BurningGreymon while Shamanmon uses his total force of will to restrain the spirit from counterattacking, and eventually, Shamanmon is freed and Agunimon is able to scan the B Spirit into his D-Tector.
Unfortunately, the B Spirit overwhelms Agunimon and forces him to morph into BurningGreymon and attack his friend Beetlemon. Koji sees that he is the only one able to restrain Takuya right now and as such, he quickly Spirit Evolves into KendoGarurumon to face off against his ally.
The episode draws to a close here as two of the Digidestined now have the unrestrained power of Beast Spirit Evolution while two others have no evolutionary options whatsoever, and J.P. is still stuck with just the one Spirit. As the group closes in on the Forest Terminal, they now have the firepower to defeat Grumblemon and take back their ally’s ‘Spirits’ if this first obstacle of learning to control the Beast Spirit forms can be surmounted.
Ciao for now,
The Digidestined Cody