Better and Egg Than an Egg Shell (Digimon Frontier: Episode 13)
(Catch the previous review in this series HERE)
Better half an egg than an empty shell. Before watching this episode of Digimon Frontier, I thought it prudent to find out if the title had something to do with another piece of media of which I was unaware. Especially insofar as the past few episodes have all made reference through punned titles to pop culture references, unfortunately to lesser effect than any such title shave been put to use in previous Digimon series. Somehow, despite being an American from the South, I had not heard the phrase from which this title derives. Though the meaning is clearly something similar to ‘a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.’ Though the former proverb tells us to cherish the things we do have as we could have nothing at all, and the latter reminds us that it is better to hold/have an experience than to just observe it from afar. The meaning in this episode, however, is little more than a pun on the events therein, but a pun that actually makes sense within the context of the episode unlike the punned titles of the previous two episodes.
The Digidestined finally make their way to the Forest Kingdom, which they find mysteriously clouded by a deep fog. There are tracks for Trailmon to traverse all along the path followed by the Digidestined, but there are no Trailmon in sight to bring them to the Forest Terminal itself. However, there is a ramen shop near a sign directing them toward the Forest Terminal, which affords the group an opportunity to rest and refuel before continuing onward. What’s more is that the shop owner is a friendly Deramon who offers the weary travelers their first meal free. Unfortunately, Deramon has a faulty cookbook or horrible taste and therefore the food tastes horrendous and no one can even scarf down one bite despite how hard they try and despite how much their stomachs cry out in hideous gurgles for nourishment. The Digidestined insult Deramon by telling him the truth about the quality of his vittles, which enrages him enough to respond back that they ought to just go into the Forest Terminal: a domain from which he has never seen a single soul return.
The Digidestined are just about to leave and head in the direction of the Forest Terminal when they receive a message on their D-Tectors redundantly advising them to immediately head toward the Forest Terminal. So they do so, but we learn throughout the montage of sequences in which the Digidestined use their D-Tectors to find the correct path forward, that so too are Grumblemon, Ranamon, Mercurymon, and Arbormon slowly traversing this path, following the tracks of the Digidestined all along the way. Eventually, the path leads our diminutive protagonists to a large Castle where they are greeted with hostility and caution by Sorcermon who believes them to Cherubimon’s lackeys. Fortunately, the misconception is quickly cleared up and the Digidestined are revealed to be humans bearing the powers of the Legendary Warriors of yore who are not in fact in the service of the Dark Lord Cherubimon, but are instead being called toward their destinies by the voice of Ophanimon through their D-Tector devices.
Sorcermon next leads our friends into the inner chamber of his impressive domicile wherein Seraphimon is found encase within a crystal that is dissolved upon the Digidestined aiming their D-Tectors toward him. This event or encounter apparently passes all conditions in a prophecy once told that Seraphimon would be freed from his bondage by a group of humans. We learn furthermore that Seraphimon was entombed therein because he was close to defeat by Cherubimon, was saved by Ophanimon, and was left here to regain his strength in a place that Cherubimon could not track down.
Seraphimon himself eventually comes to and learns that the human children who freed him are actually bearers of the Spirits of the Legendary Warriors. He relates the ancient tale, which Bokomon made apparent to us once before, in which human type Digimon and beast type Digimon fought against one another and led the world to ruin. Lucemon appeared and managed to bind them and restore peace to the world as it benevolent dictator. But absolute power corrupts absolutely as they say, and so Lucemon became a true dictatorial presence of malevolence until the ten Legendary Warriors appeared, defeated him, and restored peace once again. The Legendary Warriors appointed three Champions to protect the order of the Digital World. These were Seraphimon, Ophanimon, and Cherubimon. The latter of the three eventually turned evil and you know the rest of the story. But the most intriguing part of this narrative is what has been left out. Namely, why exactly it was that the 10 Mega-Level Legendary Champions were unable to rule the Digital World and protect the peace themselves. Perhaps, the world may never know (or it might come up later when I rewatch that Digimon Frontier film I vaguely remember from the days of my youth).
Seraphimon advises the Digidestined to return back to their world now that he has been revived and should be able to take up the pressing battle himself. It’s a good thing that the Digidestined are hard-headed and refuse to do so, because, as we saw in the first episode of the series, an H Spirit Legendary Warrior Evolution is equivalent to or stronger than an Ultimate-level Digimon. Furthermore, a Beast Spirit Evolution is so much stronger than an H Spirit Evolution that it can take on and defeat at least five H Spirit Evolutions with no problem and is thereby at least on the level of Mega. Cherubimon is a Mega and he has five lackeys: 1 of which (Grumblemon is stuck as an H Spirit), the other 4 of which either have B Spirits or can find them. This means that the worst case scenario for Seraphimon in such a battle would be he and Ophanimon (if he could track her down) versus five Mega level Digimon of at least his strength level. These are not good odds!
Just as Seraphimon begins to plead with the children to leave this potentially life-threatening situation, Grumblemon and his goons enter the room. Immediately, the Digidestined Spirit Evolve into Beetlemon and Kumamon (J.P. and Tommy’s best option currently) and Agunimon and Lobomon (Takuya and Koji’s biggest derp moment in the entire series thus far). Because neither Takuya or Koji made the smart decision to transform to their Beast Spirit Evolutions as BurningGreymon and KendoGarurumon, they are in a four to four battle against opponents with the same power levels. However, Cherubimon’s forces have more experience fighting individually and as a team and thereby overwhelm the human Legendary Warriors and Sorcermon as he attempts to prevent Grumblemon from reclaiming his Gigasmon Beast Spirit from Takuya. Seraphimon manages to hold off the four aggressors, but is ultimately defeated when his attack is reflected by the metal mirror of Mercurymon, the Legendary Warrior of Steel.
Mercurymon then absorbs Seraphimon’s Fractal Code, which forces Seraphimon to revert back to a DigiEgg. Zoe nabs the egg, Sorcermon hits a secret wall switch when the team is backed into a corner, and everyone escapes to the secret Forest Terminal where a Kettle variant of Trailmon awaits them. However, Sorcermon gives his life to stay behind and distract the evil Legendary Warriors for as long as possible to ensure that the others make a clean getaway.
And then, just like that, the title of the episode makes sense. The kids have Seraphimon’s egg and were able to get it before the others destroyed it and rent it asunder into a mere shell. The hope now is that the Digidestined will be able to track down the voice in their D-Tectors and ask her to restore Seraphimon to his former glory as a necessary and formidable ally in their battle against Cherubimon. My second hope is that they will never again bring a knife to a knife fight by Spirit Evolving into weak H Spirit forms when they have the option to bring a gun to the knife fight and Spirit Evolve into their B Spirit Evolutions instead. But hey, that’s just wishful thinking.
Ciao for now,
The Digidestined Cody