The Swiss Family Digimon (Digimon Frontier: Episode 16)
The Swiss Family Robinson is a classic novel, which this episode’s title references. The story of this book is one of a schooner, which is shipwrecked somewhere near the isles of the East Indies. A family onboard decides to craft a makeshift raft out the remainder of their ship on which they sail to a nearby island. There, they work together to collect as many supplies as possible from the ship, including a wide array of livestock and food stuffs they were lucky to have. They build shelters and explore the island until they come to understand it’s ecology well enough to sustainably use its resources and to thereby live for as long as possible there until being rescued at the book’s end (though, notably, a few amongst their number decide to remain on the island).
The tale is a Christian allegory expressing the socialist ethic at the core of Jesus’ message: to share all resources amongst one another fairly to live a harmonious, communal existence without simultaneously pillaging the earth of its resources and instead being good shepherds and retainers of the world’s store and goods. As expected, this episode of Digimon has very little to do with such a message or ethos, and is instead so named merely as a pun on the fact that the Digidestined build a raft in this episode, despite its construction’s purpose being totally different from that of the aforementioned Robinson family from Switzerland.
The Digidestined are still searching for the wily Toucanmon who nabbed their D-Tectors during the last episode. J.P. and the other Digidestined boys are also reflecting on just how creepy they found Calmaramon to be and how they hope profusely that Zoe’s Beast Spirit will not be similarly monstrous and scary to set one’s upon. All the while, the Toucanmon recline on a cliff-side high above the Digidestined, where they debate what to do with the D-Tectors now that they have become disillusioned by Ranamon’s vicious Beast Spirit and have thereby revoked their memberships to the Ranamon fan club: Begone thot! They decide that they may be able to sell the D-Tectors to other members of Ranamon’s club who have not yet seen her new Beast Spirit form, and thereby fly off to a nearby island to deliberate once more upon the best place to seek out a buyer.
Zoe and the others see the Toucanmon flying through the sky towards the neighboring island and decide to swim off in pursuit. However, a group of Gomamon surround the Digidestined and warn them to return back to shore as there are a series of powerful whirlpools near the other island’s approach. These Gomamon explain that they once lived on the other island, but after a mysterious earthquake these whirlpools appeared that threaten to drag anyone who swims near them beneath the waves. What’s more, a few of their friends were still on the island at the time and have no way to escape. Zoe offers the Digidestined’s aid in returning the Gomamon to their island and into the fins of their friends once more. To do so, they construct a raft to approach the island, which is sturdy and big enough to avoid being pulled beneath the whirlpools.
All this time, Calmaramon has been back at her hideout training herself to master her Beast Spirit Evolution so that she can defeat the Digidestined once and for all. It comes as no surprise then that when the Legendary Warriors of Light approach the shore, a tidal wave appears and Ranamon within it who immediately attacks the crew. Zoe Spirit Evolves into Kazemon, but it once again no match for Ranamon who is within her element at sea as the Legendary Warrior of Water. Kazemon is dragged into a whirlpool, but finds a mysterious glowing light that leads her to a large clam shell that opens to reveal her Beast Spirit of Wind. Zoe emerges just as Ranamon attempts to destroy her friends, and then Beast Spirit evolves into Zephyrmon.
Unlike Calmaramon, Zephyrmon is physically attractive and far from monstrous. All the boys, and especially J.P., swoon as Ranamon goes on a tirade about how this new form means nothing because Ranamon still has a fan club who admires her beauty and Zoe has no such club. The argument is petty so Zephyrmon ignores it and instead begins to fight Ranamon who is forced to Slide Evolve into Calmaramon. Calmaramon has a new attack that involves spitting out acid ink toward her enemies. She directs this at the Gomamon and unarmed Digidestined below, which prompts Zephyrmon to block the attack and thereby take the hit. Her weakened state allows Calmaramon to capture Zephyrmon within her tentacular appendages and transform the mise-en-scene of the battle into an eldritch conflict between the sea peoples and the sky peoples.
Luckily, the other Digidestined have realized Calmaramon’s true weakness: her vanity. They insult her with a tirade of verbal abuse about how creepy she looks and thereby manage to distract her long enough for Zephyrmon to escape her grasp and begin her own attacks anew. Calmaramon decides to use her most powerful spinning top attack to diffuse the situation, but it seems she has still been unable to control this power and instead spins offscreen into the distance, once more finding herself ineffective through lack of control.
The Gomamon thank the Digidestined for returning them to their friends: finding the Beast Spirit of Wind stopped the whirlpools. And the Digidestined reflect on Zoe’s beauty in all her Digimon forms as well as her awesome ability (not unlike J.P.) to almost immediately control her power within her Beast Spirit. Finally, our crew questions the native Gomamon about the current whereabouts of the Toucanmon and are told that they left during the previous battle and were presumably heading toward the continent. Specifically toward the Autumn Leaf Fair: a trader’s market where they are planning to sell off the Legendary Warrior’s D-Tectors to the highest bidder.
Ciao for now,
The Digidestined Cody