(Check out my previous Digimon Frontier episode review HERE)
Ranamon and Mercurymon are back at their hideout in the Old Castle licking their wounds and mapping out a new plan of attack. Whereas Ranamon is a bit annoyed that they retreated from battle last time, Mercurymon saw it as a necessary evil because of the fact that the Digidestined have finally learned about their connection to the Digital World as Legendary Warriors and are now able to harness the power of nature to their advantage tactically. Elsewhere int he castle, Duskmon sulks while reflecting on why he seems to be kinship or affection for Koji who ought to be just another stumbling block in the way of fulfilling Cherubimon’s desire to rule the Digital world totally and utterly. He also wonders aloud who Koji is in relation to himself as he seems to know Koji for some reason.
The Digidestined, after having shaken off the three remaining Legendary Warriors of Darkness in the Dark Continent, are back on track toward the Rose Morning Star. and they seem to be more joyful than usual as J.P. takes command as the team leader at the head of the party for a while and the others rib him playfully for being so boisterous. And then the ground opens up beneath the Digidestined team as Sakkakumon appears above and entraps the Digidestined within his web of emotional mazes. This new Digimon is the Beast Spirit evolution of Mercurymon, which disputes my claim in the last episode that he didn’t Spirit Evolve again because he didn’t have a second form. Instead, it turns out that Mercurymon’s second form is not ideal for battle, but only for mind tricks like the ones he is about to play with the Digidestined.
Bokomon and Neemon manage to escape the fall into Sakkakumon’s interior labyrinth of fleshy walls and bowels while their friends become subject to the prying of gooey hands that threaten to grapple with them at any moment and throw them into various areas of Sakkakumon’s 10-part eyeball Sefiroth matrix structure. The first to fall into a trap is J.P. who finds himself within the Earth Area of this matrix. We will later learn that each area represents one of the ten legendary warriors, and it is unfortunate for J.P. that he falls within the Earth Area of all places because of the ineffective power of electric elements possessed by his Legendary Warrior Spirits on ground-type enemies.
J.P. immediately finds himself in the company of an Ultimate-level Digimon called Volcamon who manages to convince J.P. for a time that his friends really only tolerate him because he is a Legendary Warrior and they need his strength. J.P. is able to get into a proper frame of mind relatively quickly and realize that Volcamon is merely manipulating his emotions to make him more susceptible to defeat in battle. He Spirit Evolve into Beetlemon and defeats Volcamon. However, by absorbing his Fractal Code, Beetlemon gains a new problem: the data was cursed with an emotional bug that manifests as a shadow version of himself. The fighting field rises up high into the air and manifests cables around its perimeter like a wrestling ring.
Outside of this battlefield, the rocks in the Earth Area transform into reproductions of the facades of J.P.’s friends who berate him from the sidelines and encourage the ShadowBeetlemon to crush him. J.P. thinks back to his time in school when he would get other kid’s attention by doing cool magic tricks and by offering them chocolate and other candy. J.P. was, like class clowns, a kid who desperately wanted and needed attention from his peers. But more than anything else, he wanted friends who would enjoy his presence without all of these accoutrements to his personality like games, magic tricks, and bribery with food. J.P. was popular, but had no close relationships in the Real World, and for a time he confuses that past reality with the current reality of the Digital World where he does have real friends in his comrades.
Those comrades have been searching everywhere for their friend during this ordeal and eventually find the eye into which J.P. fell earlier in the episode. They enter it and get J.P.’s attention, and cheer him on from the sidelines as all good friends would. J.P. Beast Spirit evolves into Metal?Kabuterimon, while his shadow does likewise and the two trade blows with their normal attacks until J.P. realizes that this tactic won’t work. He switches gears and uses his most powerful attack, which destroys the shadow but threatens to harm himself in the process. And somehow, he manages to make it none worse for the wear as his real friends surround him with concern about his well-being, which makes him realize that he really has made some important, lasting friendships in the Digital World (as well as one that could prove to be of great romantic interest in later life: Zoe).
The Digidestined escape from the Earth Area of Sakkakumon’s interior, but are then accosted by the hands within once again. All five kids are dragged off into different regions of Sakkakumon’s Legendary Warrior elemental Sefiroth matrix where they will no doubt undergo their own trials and tribulations in the following episode. Sakkakumon is an interesting Legendary Warrior in this regard as his powers go far beyond the physical (as he is actually quite brittle in his Beast Spirit form) and are instead about mind games and slowly driving his enemies to madness or self-doubt. This move set corresponds well to Mercurymon’s cerebral speech patterns and attitude, and it also serves as a cool way to break up the constant dynamic of a series like Digimon with all of its attendant shonen tropes like a new enemy appearing that is too powerful to defeat until the protagonist/s gain a new power.
Here, the Digidestined must trust in their intellects, and strike that in their hearts to escape this enemy and continue their pursuit of the Rose Morning Star whose rays symbolize the salvation of the Digital World.
Ciao for now,
The Digidestined Cody
The gang is almost all together again. Just Sora and Biyomon remain absent. Since Tai’s return to the Digital World she has been helping them discreetly through various obstacles set by DemiDevimon to prevent them from reaching their full potentials by activating their crests and Digivolving to the Ultimate level. This is seen as a threat by DemiDevimon’s master, Myotismon, because he is currently strong enough to take them on and defeat them, but presumably not if they can all become Ultimate-level Digimon like himself.
The dynamics of this arc have been pretty consistent with that of the first Devimon arc in that the Digidestined have been collecting their new power objects and one by one reaching higher levels of power and circumventing the big bad’s lackeys all the while. I can’t remember what happens to Myotismon and if the Digidestined are able to defeat him the same may as with Devimon, by reaching T.K. and Patamon’s newest level of power. But I do hope they change it up a little bit.
The gang is unaware of Sora’s location, but Mimi remembers Sora coming to her in the night to help her realize what a selfish person she had become while in the Gekomon Palais and Agumon remembers hearing her voice warning him against eating the mushrooms of forgetfulness. While trekking through a forested area, Flymon appears and attacks the Digidestined, who are seemingly powerless to stop him. Izzy remarks that Flymon is a virus type Digimon, which is as of now a meaningless bit of information. The only other time anyone has mentioned viruses in the series so far was when Datamon dropped a virus into the dark core of Etemon’s network and made it go haywire. Is being a virus-type Digimon merely being an evil Digimon? An infected Digimon who is normally good but has succumb to the effects of a virus? Or one that has an evil virus it can spread? Something else? I’m still not sure.
Birdramon appears, defeats the evil Digimon, and thereby alerts the Digidestined to the nearby presence of Sora. They run through the brambles till they happen upon Sora trying to run away from them. They ask for an explanation, but get little in the way of a good one. It seems that DemiDevimon told her about their crests and that each one has a particular name and quality that activates it. When Tai is brave, his Crest of Courage allows Agumon to Digivolve into MetalGreymon. For Matt, the trigger is friendship. T.K. has the Crest of Hope and Joe the Crest of Reliability. Mimi has the Crest of Sincerity and Izzy the Crest of Knowledge. Sora’s own crest is the Crest of Love. (An impressive arsenal of powers against the forces of evil that are often figured in the show as postmodern forces) And she feels that she is incapable of love, has always thought herself incapable of love. And DemiDevimon made it worse by claiming that he knew she would never be able to make the Crest glow.
Sora’s fears about her inadequacy led her to run from her friends. She didn’t want to be a burden who was unable to Digivolve to the next level and help out her teammates. but she worked in the shadows to help them any way she could nonetheless. Her friends try to reassure her that DemiDevimon is only a liar and that she will be able to activate her crest when the time arrives, but she isn’t convinced.
The next sequence is a little bit odd. DemiDevimon appears and attempts to inject Sora with his Demi-dart tranquilizer, but Biyomon protects her and takes the shot herself in the process. A hellish chariot erupts from Myotismon’s lair, driven by the Ultimate-level Phantomon and pulled by Devidramon, it careens across the night sky, framed by the full moon. The chariot doors open wide and a coffin falls through the night air, exploding open to reveal the vampiric Digimon Myotismon. His Grisly Wing and Crimson Lightning make quick work of the Digidestined and their Digimon. All except for the woozy Biyomon that is. She pleads with Sora to let her fight and Sora concedes, realizing that love can be care and come in the form of worrying about one another’s safety. The Crest of Love glows and emits energy that Biyomon uses to reach the Ultimate level as Garudamon. She uses her Wing Blade attack to distract Myotismon, grabs up her friends in one gigantic talon, and flies off to safety.
The episode is a little bit heavy handed in how it approaches its theme of love, but is redeemed by the first clear presentation of our new big bad Myotismon and his mysterious henchman Phantomon and Devidramon. Plus, with Garudamon’s Digivolution, this episode makes four Digidestined Digimon who have reached the Ultimate level (including MetalGreymon, WereGarurumon, and MegaKabuterimon). The Digidestined are now all back together for the first time since the battle with Etemon and the Myotismon arc can really begin!
The Digidestined Cody