Tag Archive | friendship

Zoe’s Unbeelievable Adventure (Digimon Frontier Episode 26)

(Catch the previous episode review HERE. To go back to the beginning click HERE)

Thus far, the Earth, Wind, and Flame Areas of Sakkakumon’s interior matrix have all been disabled as the Digidestined previously entered each and destroyed the champions of those domains. In this episode, three more Areas will fall to the pressures of the Digidestined. The first of these Areas to go is the Thunder Area, which Takuya enters. There he finds a Parrotmon whose defeat is child’s play for Agunimon at this point. The big bird is defeated quickly, its Fractal code is digitized, and Takuya exits the Thunder area for another battle in a different sector of Sakkakumon’s interior.

J.P. likewise makes quick work of his Ultimate-level Digimon Cherrymon within the Wood Area. It seems that Sakkakumon’s champions may have once been worth their salt in battle against the Digidestined, but he has largely waited too long and allowed his enemies to grow too powerful. As the Digidestined now understand themselves to be a part of the Digital World, they can harness more of their power than ever before and thus even an H-Spirit Ultimate-level equivalent like Beetlemon finds it extremely easy to take down someone like Cherrymon just as he found Volcamon a weak opponent previously, and Koji and Tommy found their opponents Karatenmon and Asuramon relatively weak. After the battle, J.P.’s regard toward friendship is resolved and he feels that his Digidestined partners really are his true friends. This emotional confidence allows him to escape Sakkakumon and rejoin his friends Bokomon, Neemon, and Tommy outside of Sakkakumon.

Finally, the central focus of this episode is Zoe’s battle with Ranamon within the Water Area. Therein, Ranamon has been waiting for Zoe’s arrival so that she can prove which one of the two is most powerful, and thereby most deserving of praise as the most beautiful Digimon in the Digital World. She enlists her fan club of Armor type Honeybeemon to ensnare Zoe in one of their traps, but the Honeybeemon are so clumsy that they keep accidentally catching themselves in the traps instead. Each time, Zoe arrives and H Spirit Evolves into Kazemon to save the Honeybeemon from their own machinations. And though Kazemon remains none the wiser about the true motives of the Honeybeemon, they come to believe (or beelieve?) that Kazemon is actually a good person, a Legendary Warrior of superior moral standing than Ranamon who they find to be cuter than Ranamon to boot.

There is a narrative arc throughout this episode that consistently refers to the Snow White story. Initially, Ranamon becomes obsessed with defeating Zoe/Kazemon asap because of Mercurymon’s magic mirror. She calls to him and asks who the fairest of all the Digimon in the land truly is to which he responds that Kazemon is obviously the fairest in all the Digital World, and furthermore that her Beast Spirit form Zephyrmon is surely the strongest in the land. This lights a fire under Ranamon and influences her create a poison apple, which she hands to her Honeybeemon fan club with orders to give the apple to Zoe.

Although the Honeybeemon have come to adore and appreciate Zoe, they make a cold calculation, believing that Kazemon would not win in a fight against Ranamon anyhow. So they hand the apple to Zoe, which throws her into a stupor under which she begins to reflect on her school days and the fact that she could find no real friends back then. Everyone thought she was a snooty, stuck-up girl who purposefully tried not to conform or fit in with her classmates when the truth was that she was merely an individual who found such conformity impossible. Ranamon tells Zoe that she has no friends in the Digital World either and that her Digidestined teammates actually dislike her and talk about her behind her back. It is interesting to note here that Zoe has the exact same doubts and fears as J.P. regarding the authenticity of her friendships and as such, they are character types who really resonate with one another. This may be why J.P. and Zoe are the closest of all the Digidestined in Frontier.

Fortunately, Zoe awakens from out of her poisoned stupor by realizing that her friends must really enjoy her presence, that they are true friends indeed. She Spirit Evolves into her H Spirit form as Kazemon and proceeds to battle with Ranamon while the Honeybeemon continue to cheer on the latter, somewhat reluctantly. At a crucial point in the battle, Kazemon slide evolves into her Beast form as Zephyrmon as Ranamon does likewise and becomes Calmaramon. The outcome is as expected as Zephyrmon beats Calmaramon, but she also manages to take both of her Spirits and to digitize her Fractal Code in the process, which leaves only Mercurymon and Duskmon out of the original five Legendary Warriors of Darkness team.

Zoe and the Honeybeemon, resolved in their emotions and happy to be within each other’s presence and in the presence of friends, beam back down to the surface outside of Sakkakumon. There, Zoe, the trio of Honeybeemon, Bokomon, Neemon, J.P., and Tommy reflect upon how six of the ten Areas of Sakkakumon have now gone dark, but Koji and Takuya are still nowhere to be seen. And as they are still within the interior matrix of Sakkakumon, they alone must fight through the remaining four areas. These areas are Ice, Light, Darkness, and Steel. And presumably Darkness houses some antagonist at odds with Koji’s designation as the Legendary Warrior of Light, potentially even Duskmon himself. While the light and ice regions are probably somewhat uncontroversial, the Steel Area probably houses Mercurymon himself as the Legendary Warrior of Steel. If so, the Digidestined are just a few rooms away from defeating one of their last foes before reaching the Rose Morning Star and battling Cherubimon down the line.

It seems friendship is the theme of these Sakkakumon battle episodes as all of the Digidestined have some doubts about it. Doubts about whether their comrades are true friends or merely friends of convenience. Back in the real world, all of the Digidestined, except for Takuya, had no real friends and as such, they are all wary of whether their newfound partners will someday forget them or forsake them. A friendship or a new love is a miraculous encounter that is rare and beautiful and ought to be cherished and nurtured, coddled and protected. And for those who have given up on friendship or love, this encounter can throw one for a loop, can turn the wary into the waylaid and the wise into the foolish.

 

With love,

The Digidestined Cody

[Continued HERE]

The Dark Heart of Friendship (Digimon Frontier: Episode 25)

(Catch my previous episode review HERE)

After the defeat of Volcamon in the Earth Area of Sakkakumon, Bokomon and Neemon can see that one of the Legendary Warrior of Steel’s ten sefiroth eye nodules has gone black, meaning that this area no longer contains a champion and our Beast Spirit Legendary Warrior of Evil is 10% defeated. As all five of the Legendary Warriors of Light have been nabbed by various arms and dragged unwillingly into different eye sectors, they may soon defeat up to 60% of this titanic maze-like Digimon and ready themselves once more for the journey toward the Rose Morning Star where Ophanimon awaits their arrival.

In this episode, however, we are only privy to the goings-on around Tommy and Koji, who have fallen into the Flame and Wind areas respectively. In the previous episode, J.P. just happened to wander off from his friends and fall into the Earth Area, which just so happened to be his weakness as the Legendary Warrior of Lightning. For Tommy, he too has managed to find himself in the heart of enemy territory as the Legendary Warrior of Ice who is most susceptible to flame. As Koji has already gone head-to-head with Darkness in his battle against Duskmon previously, he is thrown into the Wind Area instead, though he may later have to fight against the darkness within himself after all in the Dark Area of Sakkakumon.

Tommy, while alone in this hell-like region where flames and plumes of fire and lava come spurting out of the ground at irregular intervals, finds himself all alone and vulnerable. He reflects on past talks with his older brother Yutaka (who is voiced by the same voice actor as Tai in the English dub). At home, Tommy was babied by his parents constantly and given just about anything he wanted. Yutaka realized that his parents were potentially harming Tommy emotionally and often tried to talk to Tommy about it, relating to him that the outside world becomes harsher year after year once you become a teenager. Yutaka meant to tell Tommy to toughen up in the hopes that no one would take advantage of his childish manner and so he could get some real friends at school one day, but Tommy thought his older brother was merely mocking him and being mean because their parents seemed to like Tommy more as the baby of the family.

Within the Flame Area, an Ultimate-level legendary Digimon named Asuramon (from the Hindu god of fire and destruction, if I’m not mistaken) appears and attacks Tommy. He immediately¬† begins calling out for his friends, the other Digidestined, which makes him realize that he does rely on others too often and maybe needed some of the harsh talk from his brother to become stronger-willed. Asuramon disappears, and a cloaked figure approaches who claims that he has scared off Asuramon for the time being. This Digimon is large and scary, but claims to have Tommy’s best interests at heart and wishes to become his friend. He purportedly leads Tommy to his friends and even brings him water to drink from time to time, which allows Tommy to wallow in reliance upon another for a time.

When it becomes apparent that this Digimon is not leading him back to his friends or to the exit of this world, and is instead driving him onward to progressively hotter, harsher climes until they reach the top of a lava mountain, Tommy asks his friend where they are really going. The ‘friend’ responds that he needed to go to the mountain first to grab something before bringing Tommy back to his friends on the outside world, but Tommy is not fooled. He understands that a true friend does not think of things in a tit-for-tat mode and instead is willing to help the other, even disproportionately if necessary. The friend reveals his true face as Asuramon and Tommy Spirit Evolves into Kumamon, and then eventually Slide Evolves into Korikakumon to defeat his relatively under-powered foe. When Tommy steps out of the Flame Area and into the eye portal to escape, he no longer holds any doubts about his older brother’s good intentions and he feels himself to now be emotionally resolved of his past problems. This feeling of wholeness and lack of self-doubt transports him out of Sakkakumon entirely and onto the shores of the precipice over which Sakkakumon floats. Most importantly, Tommy is back with Bokomon and Neemon.

Concurrently with the events described above, Koji finds himself within a grove in the Wind Area where those with a control of the air can dictate the battle. As he wanders about, a voice calls out and taunts him before appearing as the Tengu-Prince Digimon Karatenmon. This Digimon takes its appearance from a particular Oni in Japanese mythology that lives high in the mountains called the tengu who are associated most closely with the syncretic Buddhist-Shinto religion of Shugendo. and like that mythological beast, this Digimon is garbed in the ceremonial clothing of the Shugendo priesthood.

(A little aside, but about three years back, I spent a week at a little village called Dorogawa at the foot of Mt. Omine near Nara, Japan. This mountain is considered one of the holiest in Shugendo practice and is extremely difficult and treacherous to climb as it requires the use of ropes and chains with which to leap over precipices. As the climb is still forbidden to women and there were girls in my group, we instead made the climb up the secondary mountain of the region and performed cold water ablutions in 20 degree weather at the local Shugendo temple. The people of Dorogawa have a running tradition which states that they are not mere mortals, but are instead the mixed progeny of Oni and human beings. It was a great little place with amazing food and culture that I hope to visit again one day.)

Karatenmon continues to berate Koji from the trees and only descends for battle once he Spirit Evolves to Lobomon. The big bird wishes, like all Digimon in the service of Cherubimon, to defeat Koji and take his Spirits for the cause. And like all of his fellow Ultimate-level Digimon throughout Sakkakumon, he uses some mental games to his advantage in the fight. This time around the target is Koji’s lone wolf attitude and, displaying some mysterious knowledge about Koji’s inner life like all the previous enemies of this domain, he knows that Koji retains some sort beef with his mother who presumably left his father and him behind. Unfortunately for Karatenmon, he only succeeds in enraging Koji into Slide Evolving into KendoGarurumon and taking him out with an onslaught of attacks that makes overkill seem too light a word.

Koji exits the room, but Karatenmon’s words still weigh heavily on his heart, and as such, Koji remains within the complex of Sakkakumon generally. Three lights have now gone out in the outward eyes of Sakkakumon and he is 30% beaten. One can only surmise it is a matter of time before the others come to grips with their demons, defeat their foes, and make their way to the Steel Area where Mercurymon may be waiting as a last boss within Sakkakumon, a last boss whose defeat I surmise will be the end of Mercurymon as a Legendary Warrior.

 

Ciao for now,

The Digidestined Cody

[Continued HERE]

Alone, But Never Alone (Digimon Frontier: Episode 24)

(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

[Continued HERE]

The Odd One Out (Digimon Frontier: Episode 08)

(Catch the previous episode review HERE)

In the final moments of Episode 07 of Digimon Frontier, Zoe, J.P. Bokomon and Neemon’s makeshift log-raft washed up on the beach of a territory unknown to any of the group. They quickly find a walking path through a field of seemingly endless cereal grains wherein J.P. musters up a brave face and resolve for the long trip ahead only to later complain about the length of their journey through this maze of plants. Zoe looks down upon J.P. for his emotional oscillation and because the big lug seems only to care about food and sleep. Thus sets up the beginning of Episode 08, which will take us along an adventure with the half of the Digidestined gang not followed in the previous episode. The goal: another character development arc.

As J.P. tires and begins to appear at the end of his rope, all his stamina completely used up by the long walk, a Tsunemon appears on the path ahead from without the surrounding grain stalks. The little guy is surprised to see human beings before him. So surprised in fact that he forgets himself and allies long enough for his pursuer, a motherly Togemon, to find him and carry him off back toward the Digimon School with his fellow Baby and In-Training Digimon schoolmates. But not before the Digidestined speak with Togemon, hear of the school and the promise of food if they are willing to teach the children at the school about the Human World, and eventually give into the pressures to follow (J.P. being the prime motivator in this course of action as the promised food is a much-needed provision in his current ragged state).

Once the group arrives at the Digimon School (wherein both Bokomon and Neemon, as well as all Digimon , were once reared), they find it to be a haggard, dreary little hut bustling with eight little Digimon (including Tsunemon). Among the throng include Digimon who should be familiar to all Digimon fans who have watched the previous seasons of the show like Yaamon, Kapurimon, and Tsunemon, but also Digimon shown in the anime for the first time in this episode including Jyarimon, YukimiBotamon, Zerimon, Conomon, and Nyaromon. However, one of these little Digimon does not fit in with the others: namely, the aforementioned Tsunemon who dislikes being at Digimon School so much that he attempted running away and was only foiled in his escape by his bewilderment at running into the humans.

Many events unfold that slowly give the Digidestined crew a sense of why Tsunemon is an outcast amongst the otherwise tightly nit group. When YukimiBotamon first meets the humans it is terrified, but Tsunemon merely responds that he was brave and never scared even when he first met them on the footpath. His braggart nature turns off his peers. In the classroom later that day, Tsunemon is stuck in the corner of the room away from the rest of his peers and when snack time arrives, he refuses to eat with the others. During a soccer match later that day, he sees an opening to score a goal for his team, but Kapurimon rushes in to prevent Tsunemon from getting an opportunity to headbutt the ball and hurts himself in the process. Finally, J.P. attempts to mend the situation by bribing Tsunemon’s classmates to play with him by using candy bars and none of the little Digimon take the bait, even then.

All the while, Zoe chafes at J.P.’s increasingly harebrained attempts to discern why Tsunemon’s classmates avoid him like the plague. But Zoe also feels emotionally similar to Tsunemon and eventually reveals some of her past to J.P. We learn that Zoe lived abroad for years in Italy and finds herself uninterested in the things her classmates back home found appealing. Because she is a pretty and stylish girl, all of her classmates initially wanted to be her friend, but her choices not to engage in what she thought to be activities or purchases unfitting to her tastes led her would-be friends to regard her as snobbish or stuck up.

After Tsunemon is rebuffed by his classmates who won’t even fall for J.P.’s bribery scheme, he runs off and accidentally falls into a pond. Zoe, following after the little guy to reassure him to try again to fit in with his friends, also falls into the pond. However, she is the one most taken by surprise and thereby finds herself in danger of drowning. Tsunemon then unveils his power to Digivolve into Gabumon and saves Zoe. He reveals that the others in his class saw him Digivolve one day and thought his resulting Rookie form somewhat monstrous and scary due to the abrupt change and size differential between himself as Gabumon and their smaller forms. Because the others did not have the ability to Digivolve, they viewed Tsunemon with suspicion as one who was different, and thereby to be feared, rather than one who is unique and to be cherished as a potential friend.

That night, a storm passes through the Digimon School territory, which threatens to wash away the very class building by virtue of its ferocity and abundant corresponding rains. The lightning terrifies J.P., who reveals that as a person he is much less brave than when in his Digimon form. Yet, something must be done quickly. Zoe chides J.P. for his cowardice, which manages to spur him onward. J.P. and Zoe both Spirit Evolve and then head off in the direction of the School House where Beetlemon dislodges a large boulder and places it in the path of the raging waters as Kazemon uses her wind attacks to divert the remaining water around the building. Finally, Kapurimon is picked up by the heavy winds from the storm and swept away toward a small sapling where he hangs on for dear life. But a log comes barreling toward him and threatens to wash away and drown the little guy. Only Tsunemon can help, and he Digivolves into Gabumon to do just that.

After the storm subsides, it is clear that Tsunemon’s schoolmates now consider him one of them. It is also clear that Zoe has much more respect and adoration for J.P. after he took up the helm of responsibility and saved the day. The Digimon at the School create a wind-powered landboat for the Digidestined crew’s use to arrive at the Forest Terminal. and by an unlikely stroke of luck, Takuya, Tommy, and Koji find themselves parachuting down from the floating island they investigated in the previous second and landing just inside of this boat in the final moments of the episode. ‘

Many elements of this episode strain credulity for me, and I cannot find a good reason why Beetlemon/J.P. couldn’t have established his respectability in Zoe’s eyes in a situation that also furthered the plot. Or why Zoe couldn’t have revealed some of her backstory in an episode with more thematic weight in the larger narrative of Digimon Frontier. The tale always goes that Adventure 01 and 02 are the best nostalgia kicks in the franchise, Digimon Tamers is the best and most critically acclaimed series, and Frontier is the first to really show narrative fatigue. I have never watched Frontier in its entirety (as I will endeavor to do in the following weeks and months), but the first eight episodes of the total 50-episode series (or a total of 16% of the show) has thus far been found wanting in my estimation. I can only hope things are on the up and up from here on out.

 

Ciao for now,

The Digidestined Cody

[Continued HERE]

Shadow Of The Beast King (Digimon Tamers: Episode 48)

(Check out part 47 HERE)

The new Hypnos building is currently in danger of being absorbed by the D-Reaper Zone any day now. But they are working as fast as they can to modify Grani and help the Tamers in the fight against the D-Reaper to the best of their abilities. While studying Grani’s data, they come across his memory banks and realize they can view footage, from his perspective, of the Digital World on the day prior, just before Grani bio-emerged into the Real World. And what they find is distressing to say the least. 40% of the Digital World has now been totally deleted, though Zhuqiaomon is seen briefly, still fighting back against the D-Reaper and holding onto what’s left of his world, but just barely.

Furthermore, the D-Reaper as begun to appear all over the world in any area with a communications hub. Yamaki rallies everyone to keep working as hard as they can. And in the meantime, he has Riley install the Yuggoth program within Grani as a Yuggoth Blaster attack, which will later come in handy, big time.

Inside the Kernel Sphere of the D-Reaper’s consciousness, Calumon finally succeeds in awakening Beelzemon Blast Mode who fights against his restraints and tells Jeri that he will do his best to release her from her prison. As he begins to break a few of the cords wrapping him up within the sphere, it repels him from its innermost core into a larger, secondary protective core, which starts to sprout. Outside the perimeter of this sphere, a new D-Reaper agent begins to form: the ADR-09: Gatekeeper. This agent functions as a potent base defense, which will prove very difficult to pierce.

From Hypnos, the Tamers can see that Beelzemon is trapped inside this secondary core. All six kids exit the building and Kazu and Ryo’s partners Guardromon and Cyberdramon end up fighting off a veritable horde of ADR-04s while the other Tamers Biomerge Digivolve into Sakuyamon, MegaGargomon, Gallantmon, and eventually Ryo gives Cyberdramon a break to Biomerge into Justimon himself. Kenta and MarineAngemon round out the team, though they will do nothing to help out in this particular battle, and only Suzie is left behind. Henry is overly concerned for her well-being, as an older brother ought to be. But he forgets that she too is a Digimon Tamer and may be needed in this world-historical evental clash of forces.

Once Yamaki re-initializes Grani, he is sent out to join Gallantmon who flies off toward the ADR-09 just as Beelzemon breaks free from without it. The two supplemented Mega-level Digimon fight together and launch their most powerful attacks directly for the ADR-09’s defenses, which end up having absolutely no effect. What’s more, the ADR-09 fires back with its own laser attacks and serrated projectiles that weaken our heroes handily. Back at Hypnos, Yamaki has found a way to use satellite feed to interact directly with Takato inside of Gallantmon. At first, this revelation that the Tamer shave been physically fusing with their Digimon partners is upsetting and freaks out the parents of the Tamers. But as they come around to the idea and realize that their kids might be more safe in these forms than if they were just running around near the D-Reaper in frail, child bodies, outside of Hypnos, the video feed is being sent out over the TV networks in town.

As Takato is practically naked inside of Gallantmon, and all of his classmates, friends, family, and teachers, not to mention random strangers, are watching the feed, this could proves pretty embarrassing down the line for him. For now, Takato is too caught up in battle to think about this and is instead emboldened and strengthened by the experience as all of these people throughout the city cheer him on in his fight against the ADR-09. The new development also gives Yamaki the opportunity to alert Takato to the tactical improvement recently added to Grani’s arsenal. After Beelzemon throws everything he has at the ADR-09 in a last ditch attempt to break it down, and loses his toy pistol (a gift from one of his two Tamer partners), Takato finally initializes the Yuggoth Blaster and destroys the outer layer of defense around the Kernel Sphere.

Back on the ground, Kazu and Kenta have become overwhelmed by a glut of ADR-04s that are now surrounding them. Lopmon decides that she can no longer stand by and watch her friends be defeated. She leaves the Hypnos building, Suzie gives her the strength to Digivolve to Antylamon, and then she uses her first Modify Card: ‘Radiant Glow.’ The extra energy gives Antylamon the power to defeat the ADR-04s closing in on her friends.

Finally, back at the Kernel Sphere, Takato tries to get Jeri’s attention, tries to tell her to trust Beelzemon just this once, despite his past behavior. But she cannot comprehend why Beelzemon, of all people, would want to save her. Eventually, she comes to her senses and realizes that Beelzemon has turned over a leaf, as it were, and decided to repent for his past actions. His first action of repentance being freeing Jeri and attempting to save the world from the D-Reaper, which would more than make up for the comparably small quantity of suffering he wrought back when he was a servant of darkness and of the Digimon Sovereign Zhuqiaomon. Jeri asks for Beelzemon’s help and the demonic Digi-dude digs deep within himself and uses the Fist of the Beast King attack, Leomon’s special, to brute force a whole in the Kernel Sphere’s defenses.

This development surprises Jeri so much that she becomes confused and imagines, for a moment, that Beelzemon is actually is Leomon, returned to aid her in her current predicament. When she re-realizes that this being is not her Digimon partner, but instead the one who destroyed him, and who can only use Leomon’s past ability on account of his past destruction of said Leomon, she becomes enraged and refuses to go with Beelzemon, who has reached within the Kernel Sphere to grab her hand. The bubble closes before she can come back to her senses for a second time and take his hand. And just like that, the situation is once again hopeless. To complicate matters, the ADR-09 begins to reform and sends a barrage of sharp objects directly into Beelzemon’s back in an effort to finish him off for good. Can he survive such a barrage, or will he be deleted just like so many Digimon were deleted at his hand?

 

Ciao for now,

The Digidestined Cody

[Continued HERE]

No Mon Is An Island (Digimon Tamers: Episode 37)

(Catch part 36 HERE. To go back to the beginning click HERE)

Beelzemon has been defeated and seems to have learned a lesson in humility in the process, ultimately becoming resigned to the darkness within himself and shuffling off from his old Tamer pals to wallow in self-pity and punish himself for all the evil he hath wrought as a servant of the Digimon Sovereign Zhuqiaomon. Speaking of the Mega-level Phoenix Sovereign, the Tamers now stand before the bridge to his castle uncontested. 11 of the 12 Devas have been defeated, one has been converted to the side of the Tamers by realizing her destiny as Suzie’s Digimon partner.

Now, all that is left to do is to battle the Sovereign who created the Devas, which led to the disruptions between the planes of the Digital World and the Real World. Jeri is still too depressed over losing Leomon to go with the others into such inhospitable domain and be of any help. Henry is afraid for his little sister’s safety, especially as Lopmon has seemingly lost her ability to Digivolve for the time being and cannot protect her sufficiently if Zhuqiaomon targets her. As such, Henry forbids Suzie from going along on the journey to the Sovereign’s castle. Kazu, Kenta, and Guardromon volunteer to stay behind to watch the girls and make sure that Suzie is safe, while Takato, Henry, Rika, their Digimon partners, and Lopmon- who believes she may be able to reason with her previous master- head off toward the castle.

Once the gang step onto the bridge, a bubble engulfs them and transports them rather quickly toward their destination. Along the way, Rika wishes she could talk with her mother and grandmother as she misses them and is unsure of whether her and her friends will be able to complete their mission safely and successfully. Takato tells her for the first time about the messages he and Henry sent to her family, ensuring them of her safety. Takato and Henry had been so preoccupied with fighting Beelzemon and Devas over the course of the past day that they had no time to alert anyone to their past adventures in different planes after being spirited away by a Data Stream, or of their complex conversations with Shibumi Mizuno, the architect behind the Blue Cards, the Arks, and a co-creator of the Digimon and the world in which they reside.

Rika chides Takato for not telling her sooner about all of this information. And she becomes even more annoyed when he lets it slip that in the message to her parents, which he sent them as if he was Rika texting in her tone of voice, he included hearts at the end of the message. This feature of the texts is pretty uncharacteristic of Rika, and would normally alert at least her grandmother to the possibility that the sender of the messages was not Rika herself. However, under the extraordinary circumstances and the sheer length of time since Rika and her family have connected, a change in her behavior seems warranted, and would probably alert no suspicions, though the touchy feely nature of the text would ruin her street cred for sure if it got out around town.

When the group finally arrives, they can feel the sheer presence of Zhuqiaomon as an oppressive force before they even spy him. Lopmon attempts to reason with him once he reveals himself, but the Sovereign merely refuses her request to abstain from fighting the humans and their Digimon partners, and instead asks her to return to him as a Deva to help in the fight against the humans once more. She refuses and Henry gets fed up and tells Zhuqiaomon to release Calumon. The Phoenix, naturally, refuses this request as well, referring to Calumon as merely the ‘Catalyst’ and revealing his purely instrumental relation to the Digital Construct turned Sentient Being.

At this, Henry readies himself for battle and spurs on his friends. The three Tamers activate their Matrix Digivolution abilities and bring their partners up to the Ultimate level as Taomon, Rapidmon, and WarGrowlmon, though all three together have little effect upon their adversary and Rapidmon is rapidly losing energy on account of his earlier injuries incurred during the battle with Beelzemon. Henry pushes his friend too far, which results in Rapidmon de-Digivolving into Terriermon, and almost being lost forever, destroyed by Zhuqiaomon’s constant barrages of fire. At the same time, Lopmon is almost hit by a blast from Zhuqiaomon, Suzie is alerted to the danger on her D-Power from afar, which lights up and flies her quickly to her Digimon partner, and she arrives in the building at Lopmon’s side.

The need to protect his friends, his Digimon partner, and now his little sister, spur on Henry to fight his hardest. He Biomerge Digivolves with Terriermon into the massive MegaGargomon and finally gives the Phoenix Sovereign a taste of his own medicine with a series of attacks that result in the complete destruction of the castle and in Zhuqiaomon being bludgeoned down deep within the earth. The two de-Digivolve back into Henry and Terriermon, and the gang decide it’s now time to find their friend Calumon to free him from his quarters as a prisoner to Zhuqiaomon. However, just seconds later Zhuqiaomon ascends from his crater, appearing completely unscathed, unharmed, and raring to go once again.

The scenario seems hopeless, and it strains credulity to imagine a scenario in which the Tamers could even potentially win against such a creature who could take a full barrage from a Mega-level Biomerged Digimon like MegaGargomon. Even Gallantmon’s help and Taomon’s assistance seem as if they would have little effect on a Super Mega-level Godlike being like Zhuqiaomon, especially when he is within his domain, on his own turf so to speak. But the Tamers power of will, of belief in themselves and their ability to overcome adversity have not failed them yet, and hopefully won’t do so in the foreseeable future, especially in the next few minutes.

 

Ciao for now,

The Digidestined Cody

[Continued HERE]

Give a Little Bit (Digimon Tamers: Episode 35)

(Catch part 34 HERE. To go back to the beginning click HERE)

The episode begins with Janyu leaving home for Hypnos to do as much damage control as he can after Megidramon’s appearance in the domain of the Digimon Sovereign. As he departs, it comes to our attention that he has explained Suzie’s disappearance to his wife pretty badly, telling her that she has gone to Hong Kong with Henry to visit the Digital World. She knows better and has apparently even had a prophetic dream in which she saw the two together in the Digital World, despite not knowing about the place as of yet. She begs Janyu to tell her the truth, but he refuses to do so and promises to tell her at a later date as the conversation would take some time and he has little to spare at the moment.

Back in the Digital World, Megidramon has launched the full weight and strength of his draconic frame toward Beelzemon, pinning him down and threatening to consume him if he relents for a moment in holding the Dramon back. However, the joke is on Beelzemon as even Megidramon’s saliva is a weapon, the acidity of which burns through Beelzemon’s slick, high end retail leather jacket, pants, and gloves.

As Megidramon gets increasingly angry, the Digital Triforce on his chest begins to glow and pulsate revealing itself to actually be a Hazard Symbol. As the Digital World’s domain of the Digimon Sovereign becomes ever more unstable, earthquakes begin to riddle the landscape and break the ground apart into small pieces. The Tamers and their Digimon partners do the best they can to avoid falling deep within the earth. Hypnos, Yamaki, and Janyu are unable to alleviate the situation in any way, shape or form as of yet, and as Yamaki seems to be optimistic about the children’s chances of fixing it on their own as chosen ones by the Digital World, Janyu laments his lack of speed in developing the Ark (based on Shibumi’s schematics) to get them out of there.

Ryo and Cyberdramon watch the events from afar, but sense that their power is not enough to combat either the Mega-level Beelzemon or Megidramon, and as such, they remain on the sidelines. Makuramon, however, decides to take this time with Beelzemon pinned down by Megidramon as an opportunity to berate him and win the battle already. However, his insolence backfires as Beelzemon extends an arm, crushes the skull of the Monkey Deva, and absorbs his data, becoming strong enough to hold off Megidramon more easily in the process (and leaving one Deva, the Dog Caturamon, left to defeat).

Taomon and Rapidmon attempt to join in the fight and help Megidramon defeat Beelzemon, but their aggressor merely uses Makuramon’s orb technique to trap the two within bubbles, which none of their attacks are successful in breaking. Henry and Rika use their ‘Alias’ Modify Cards to return their partner Digimon back to their Rookie-level forms, which frees them from the orbs in the process, cedes their extra Ultimate-level data to Beelzemon-making him much more powerful in the process, and making the two Tamer partner Digimon useless in the ongoing battle. With all of this new strength, Beelzemon’s power level surges to near Super Mega levels and he knocks out Megidramon with a series of blows and kicks and sheer brute force.

The disturbances in the domain of the Digimon Sovereign and the attendant ones on the other planes of existence, stabilize with Megidramon’s unconsciousness. Yamaki and Janyu take this to mean that the children neutralized their enemy and really were able to do what Hypnos could not, once again. Yamaki, ecstatic, decides to cede the resources and facilities of Hypnos over completely to the goals and purposes of Janyu and his friends. But back in the Digital World, Takato is in a state of shock. He apologizes to Jeri for turning Guilmon into such a monster through his rage (though Guilmon’s rage was coincident with Takato’s and at least half to blame in the end equation). She doesn’t respond and merely stands, mouth agape, D-Power running a static screen, never again even with the possibility of being rebooted.

Finally, as Beelzemon makes clear his next goal to defeat and absorb the four Digimon Sovereign themselves, he approaches Megidramon to absorb him, and crucially, to absorb the data of his first Mega-level opponent, which might give him the power to take over the entire Digital World (though Megidramon’s instability would probably transfer to Beelzemon in the process and make him even more neurotic, unwieldy, and evil, and potentially even unconsciously so). As he approaches Megidramon, Takato stands by his side and manages to awaken his friend, who regains his composure, loses his berserk frenzy, and becomes the old Guilmon we all know and love.

Next, Takato is mentally transported into a liminal realm in which he remembers his time designing and drawing Guilmon before being transferred to a dark red territory wherein hundreds of Guilmon’s with static facades and bodies rotate around him. He calls out to his friend and a red path is laid out before him through sheer force of will, which leads him directly toward the real Guilmon. And the next thing we know, the two are back in the Digital World, Megidramon having reverted back to Guilmon and seemingly standing no chance against the approaching Mega-level enemy.

As Beelzemon shoots his pistols toward the two, Guilmon manifests a Megidramon tail momentarily and manages to swipe away the otherwise potentially fatal attack as if just a minor Rookie-level barrage. A green light engulfs Takato and Guilmon as the two endeavor to reach the Mega-level organically, through human Tamer and partner Digimon recognizing fully the validity of the other’s existence. They wish they could fuse together and fight as one, and just like that, through the power of their wills and the bond of their hearts, the two engage Biomerge Digivolution, becoming the Royal Knight Gallantmon in the process and keying themselves up to strike their lance deep within the heart of their opponent Beelzemon, who now appears to be a relative pushover.

 

Ciao for now,

The Digidestined Cody

[Continued HERE]

Rabbit Transit (Digimon Tamers: Episode 33)

(Check out part 32 HERE. To go back to the beginning click HERE)

As Takato, Henry, and Terriermon transport rapidly through digital space in the Digivice Ark, they find themselves unable to figure out where the machine is headed. The Ark seems to be piloting itself and may be headed straight for the domain of the Digimon Sovereign if Shibumi programmed it to do so. Henry, however, comes to a different conclusion and speculates that the device is piloting itself, though it is also guided by the laws of the ‘Digital Space-Time fabric.’ He doesn’t really elaborate on the concept, which is vague and adds little to the conversation over their current predicament beyond having the negative effect of confusing Takato and Terriermon more than ever before.

Terriermon tells Henry and Takato that he misses Suzie and is immediately poked fun at by his friends for wanting to go back to her despite Suzie’s proclivity to dress him up in ridiculous doll clothing. Back in the Real World, Suzie misses Terriermon as well, but tries to put on a brave face for her parents. Janyu has fashioned a Terriermon doll for her, though the stuffed Terriermon just isn’t the same. When her father passes through the living room, she gains his attention and convinces him to bring her to the local park to play as a gambit to hopefully take her mind off of Terriermon and her bigger brother Henry’s absences.

Once there, Yamaki appears and begins to ask Janyu about Shibumi. Yamaki has gathered that though Shibumi was a part of Janyu’s college coding group, he never quite fit in all that well. Janyu explains that this was true, as Shibumi was so much smarter than the rest of them, he was operating on his own level. He was almost too brilliant, which led to some eccentricity on his part as he worked toward the goal of creating ‘an artificial intelligence, which could exist and evolve independent of any human control.’ The rest of the group were ambitious, but knew that Digimon were not real. Shibumi was driven by a madness not to prove they were real, but to make them fully real, to cede to them life, autonomy, and moral weight. through this effort, Janyu came to believe that Shibumi was playing god and attempting to create life itself.

As the two continue to converse about Shibumi, his goals, and the current possibility of tracking him down when he can apparently disappear into a puff of smoke at the drop of a hat, Suzie continues to wander about the park. A light appears to her and guides her toward a large slide, which she climbs up. As Janyu begins to broach the topic of the Blue Card that Shibumi designed, a Digital Field manifests itself at the top of the slide, and the Ark in which Terriermon and the others are being transported can momentarily be seen. Suzie sees Terriermon through a transparent glass window at the bottom of the Ark, which prompts her to continue her ascent, eventually being drawn into the Digital World through the Digital Field’s portal, which itself manifested because of the Ark’s passage through the Real World on the way to the Realm of the Digimon Sovereign. Janyu notices her predicament too late to do anything about it and begins to blame himself for his carelessness. But Yamaki just tells him that if the Digital World drew Suzie within it, it did so with some purpose in mind, and she will be fine there.

When Suzie arrives, she finds herself within the Realm of the Digimon Sovereign. A Tapirmon passes by her and she begins to chase the Rookie-level Digimon about, only losing him once he enters his burrow. A group of DigiGnomes approach Suzie, but soon fly off and away from her, leaving her once again alone, and more and more annoyed with the situation. A Champion-level Kiwimon runs by her, snagging her coat as he attempts to attack her with his beak, which results only in the coat becoming caught on his face. After shrugging off the apparel, he attacks Suzie, but misses with his Kiwi missile, and is chided by Suzie for being so rude. Kiwimon runs away too. Finally, a bundle of data tumbleweeds approaches Suzie. She touches one and is mildly burned by it in the process, leading her to realize that this space she has arrived within is a dangerous, hostile, and unfriendly place.

Later, after walking a piece, she finds what appears to be a pond. But upon closer inspection, there is only a waterfall across from a sheer cliff making the water inaccessible. Atop the waterfall is a palace of sorts, within which most likely reside the Digimon Sovereign. The South Bridge and Gate are guarded by a giant Rabbit Deva named Antylamon whose external appearance immediately interest Suzie and reminds her of Terriermon. She approaches the Deva, who is not hostile as she recognizes that this little girl is no threat and is merely lost. The two develop an immediate affinity and eventually Suzie convinces Antylamon to help her find her friend Terriermon. The two run off in the nearby digital fields until exhaustion sets in and as Suzie runs along to find food for the two, Antylamon secretly departs the scene to return to her post as guard at the South Bridge.

At some point during all of these events, Terriermon registers the voice of Suzie from afar and decides that they need to turn the Ark around, which it does automatically as if responding to the wills of its occupants. When Makuramon appears on the scene and spies Suzie, he tries to capture her as a prize for the Digimon Sovereign. Suzie yells out and both Antylamon and Terriermon’s Ark come flying to her aid. Antylamon and Makuramon are natural allies as members of the Devas, but Antylamon feels the urge to protect Suzie as a stronger call than that of alliance with Makuramon. As she begins to fight Makuramon, the Ark arrives, drops off Takato, Henry, and Terriermon, and dissolves into thin air, leaving behind only a momentary quake and sonic boom.

However, the help of the other Tamers is not needed as Antylamon quickly scares off Makuramon herself. As Henry analyzes Antylamon on his D-Power, registers nothing, and eventually comes to the realization that the final Deva was a rabbit like Antylamon, he becomes afraid for his sister who is standing right beside her. Suddenly, a light orb floats down into Suzie’s hands, turns into a D-Power, and Antylamon is absorbed in a funnel of red light, which de-Digivolves her down to her Rookie-level as Lopmon. It seems that Suzie too is a Tamer, and luckily, the Tamer of a Deva, which means that 9 have been defeated, 1 converted, and only 2 are left to fight: Makuramon and Caturamon!

 

Ciao,

The Digidestined Cody

[Continued HERE]

Digital Beauty (Digimon Tamers: Episode 18)

(Catch part 18 HERE. To go back to the beginning click HERE)

Episode 18 of Digimon Tamers is all about beauty and power and the dynamics between them. It opens to Rika and her mother sitting inside a modeling agency. Rika’s mother has plans to introduce her daughter to the world of modeling and has set up a provisional shoot. But Rika strains against the process, wants nothing to do with it, and only grits her teeth and bears it for as long as she does out of feelings of filial piety. But eventually, during the shoot, after the photographer compliments her on her natural beauty and tells Rika that she’s just like her mom, Rika runs away.

The trigger for her to lose her cool was the comment about similarity between herself and her mother. And although Rika’s mother is a relatively flippant type who isn’t around all that often as her schedule keeps her busy, she doesn’t seem to be a bad mother. Rika has become more outgoing as the series has progressed, has made friends with her fellow Tamers, and even treats her Digimon as a partner and a friend now, but she has still been unable to open herself to those presumably closest to her: her family. And as her father has never been mentioned, I suspect some traumatic event in her past that makes family life unbearable for her. Add to this the current absence of Renamon who has left with Vajramon to learn more about the Devas, and it makes Rika’s outburst at the photoshoot pretty relatable.

As the episode commences and Takato, Henry, and Rika search for Renamon on their D-Power scanners, Rika’s grandmother chides her daughter for bringing Rika along to a photo shoot she didn’t explicitly ask to go to in the first place. Later, a model who is the talk of all of the other girls in her agency swims in a local gym, leaves, walks down city streets, and turns down dates by cell. She is popular and sought after within the local modeling scene and is becoming the next big thing, but she has another job, which is more important to her: she works at Hypnos. The girl is revealed to be one of the two who operate the tracker under Yamaki’s guidance and is named Riley. As she heads to work, she asks herself how the Tamer kids are able to do what Hypnos cannot in defeating ‘Wild Ones’ after they bio-emerge. Just as she passes Rika in the street, she is wondering about the identities of the children, which makes for a fun visual irony (as does a scene in which she enters Takato’s parent’s bakery to buy food), but is hard to explain rationally as Yamaki does know the whereabouts and identities of Henry and Takato, and would of, had he assigned a tracking detail to them, known about Rika as well. He may be keeping this information to himself, however, at which point Riley’s questioning makes a bit more sense.

A signature of a Digital Field begins to develop at Hypnos after Riley arrives at work. The Digimon bio-emerging are of high levels and look set to appear within the National Sports Arena. As they do so, we see Vajramon and Renamon, finally back within the real world from their trip to am in between space wherein they apparently lost all track of time and were not able to even begin their conversation. Vajramon compliments Renamon on her looks and her manner of composure and moving, which he compares to ‘poetry in motion.’ Renamon tells him to cut the bullshit and get to the point and he explains that he wants to recruit her into the Devas as a follower of the Digimon Sovereign. He also unveils the plans and purpose of the Devas, which is to destroy all human beings and take over the real world for the Digimon Sovereign who will make them into veritable feudal lords. He claims that the Digimon Sovereign will not abandon them like their human creators did in the past.

Elsewhere, the Tamers finally get a read on Renamon’s position with their D-Power scanners, and head off in her direction to find her. They meet up along the way on their bikes and once they arrive, must stop Vajramon from stomping Calumon into a pancake. Growlmon and Gargomon save the little guy and begin to fight Vajramon head on. When Renamon Digivolves into Kyubimon and does likewise, Vajramon is dismayed and feels as if the trust he put in her was all for nought. He becomes a veritable tank of a Digimon and seems invincible in his rage, despite three Champion-level Digimon taking him on at once. Even power-ups and Modify cards have little effect as neither a ‘Power Plug-in’ on Kyubimon and Growlmon, a ‘Hyper Speed Plug-in’ on Growlmon, or a ‘Energy Plug-in’ on Gargomon do anything to damage the Ultimate-level Ox Deva.

Just as all their efforts begin to seem truly hopeless, Rika pulls a random Blue Card from the card holder on her waist. She uses its enigmatic power (the power of the coding genius behind the pseudonym ‘Shibumi’) to Matrix Digivolve Kyubimon for the first time into Taomon, and then her partner wipes out the big, dumb and rather forward ox once and for all with her Talisman of Light. With five Devas down, there are seven more to go, but this Digimon Sovereign behind their arrival may still prove too much to handle if at least one of the three Tamers cannot Digivolve their partner Digimon to the Mega level before then.

The enigmatic nature of the Blue Cards is something worth discussing for a moment here. Henry’s card was obtained by accident as Kazu’s friend Jeremy thought it was a fake and traded it to him. After a full day of tracking down the first kid who had the card, Henry found out that it was dropped, purposefully by a mysterious man (possibly the Shibumi who appears within the binary of the card’s data). But the cards used by Takato and Rika so far are regular cards that transformed into Blue Cards mysteriously through the force of their wills. If Shibumi also is the creator of the Digimon Card Game in the series, then he could have modified all Digimon cards to transform into Blue Cards under certain conditions, and this would require us to accept a bit of mysticism in the series’ metaphysical structures.

However, if Shibumi does not work in this capacity, then the other Blue Cards are completely enigmatic and the metaphysics of the series is one in which the will has the literal power to transform elements of society as if a coding force that can ‘hack’ the ontological boundaries of the real world. The notion was one that series writer Chiaki J. Konaka explored in detail in his series¬†Serial Experiments Lain.¬†Hopefully later episodes in the series will better disclose, instead of only hint at, the real ontological structure of the universe within Digimon Tamers.

The episode ends with Rika congratulating Renamon on how cool her new Digivolution is, and her finally being able to Matrix Digivolve to the Ultimate level in the first place. She thanks her for defeating Vajramon and for being willing to go with him to find out more information about the Devas, despite how little was actually divined in the process. Rika departs, but not before telling her friend that she is pretty cool and looks heroic standing there atop a telephone pole in the moonlight. The change in Rika toward openness and friendship is refreshing and its hard not to hope that she will continue to develop in the coming episodes.

 

Ciao,

The Digidestined Cody

[Continued HERE]

Snakes, Trains, and Digimon (Digimon Tamers: Episode 15)

(Check out part 14 HERE. To go back to the beginning click HERE)

The Digimon Tamers bond has become stronger than ever before and for the first time ever, the three are hanging out together in their leisure time to discuss the nature of the recent disturbances in their world. Takato and Guilmon even make a team war banner with chibi versions of their faces, the faces of their partner Digimon, and of Calumon who they realize by now has some positive effect on their Digimon and can often be the key to Digivolving them to ever higher levels.

The scene transitions to a vignette within the subway system of the city. A police officer escorts a drunk man out of the subway (which is translated for the English dub into an encounter between the officer and a man who is sick because he ate a sandwich from a vending machine, even though children are not idiots and American youth would not be badly served by their animation if realities of life were pictured and broached within them). A thick fog akin to a Digital Field begins to emanate from far down range in the tunnel and moves slowly toward the station platform. Some sort of Digimon is present within it. the officer recognizes the danger and gets the hell out of there as fast as possible (while dragging the drunk with him, of course).

The next day, Takato wakes up Henry at 6:30 a.m. by calling to ask if he wants to patrol the city with him. It’s a Saturday, so Henry makes an excuse to get out of doing it. Rika similarly wants to avoid running around town aimlessly with Takato on her day off, but has a better excuse as she and her grandmother have already planned to visit the theater to watch a Noh play: A traditional form of Japanese theater that is artful and transcendentally styled, symbolic and extremely powerful philosophically-speaking, but which is also very slow and incomprehensible even for modern Japanese speakers as the performers use stylized classical language. From personal experience watching the Noh theater in Kyoto, I can confirm that most people fall asleep during the performance whether foreigners or Japanese, and many more would if complimentary highly-caffeinated tea was not provided for free during the intermission. Rika attends the event and only manages to remain awake by thinking about unrelated topics, like the burgeoning relationship as partners between Renamon and herself.

As Takato leaves his home to head toward the park and rendezvous with Guilmon, he finds a group of classmates (including his friends Kazu and Kenta, and his crush Jeri) standing outside. They all know that he is a Tamer and politely request that he bring them to meet Guilmon, which he does. And just like that Takato’s plans for a day of serious work patrolling the city and defeating aberrant Digimon is scrapped in lieu of fun in the park with Guilmon and his friends. Impmon will also arrive there and make fun of Guilmon for playing with human beings and acting like a human being. But the true feelings of Impmon are clear: he wants to play with them too, he wants to have a friend to move through this world with and enjoy life with. Just not Ai and Mako who were too rough with him and too young to appreciate personal space and boundaries.

After the play, Rika and her grandmother return home using the subway. There, the Digimon in the Digital Field makes himself apparent. His name is Sandiramon, a large Ultimate-level Snake-type Holy Beast Digimon who is one of the Devas like Mihiramon before him. Renamon battles with him as Rika tries to determine his level and type with her D-Power. Once Rika realizes that Sandiramon is an Ultimate, she uses her Digivolution Modify card, Digivolves Renamon into Kyubimon and tries her best to stave off defeat by the much stronger opponent.

Henry has left home for the day to complete a few personal errands. His train collides with Sandiramon on the track, but together with Terriermon and a ‘WarGreymon Brave Shield’ Modify card, he and his partner work to protect those within the train and evacuate them before Sandiramon vaporizes it. He next Digivolves Terriermon into Gargomon and assists Kyubimon in the fight. Rika and Henry both attempt to call Takato, but they have no phone service underground. And in an odd turn of fate, the one guy who was most gungho about going out and fighting Digimon that day is away from the danger in a park, playing with his friends.

Luckily, Impmon left the park a while back after feelings of frustration about his desires to join the others became too much for him to handle. He somehow managed to wander into the subway terminal where Rika and Henry are battling the Snake Deva and decides to warn Takato that his friends are fighting for their lives while he just plays around in the park (making sure in the process to frame this helpful disclosure as a way to make fun of Takato and Guilmon). Takato realizes that the simplest and quickest way to reach them and help is to dig straight down into the subway from where he is currently standing. He Modifies Guilmon with a ‘Digmon’s Drill’ card, advises his overzealous classmates in the park not to follow him as they could be in mortal danger if they chose to do so, and himself follows Guilmon as he burrows deep within the Earth and into the subway.

Once there, Takato Digivolves Guilmon into Growlmon and uses a modify card leant to him by Kazu mere moments prior and strengthens Growlmon with a ‘Power Plug-in.’ The three Champion-level Digimon work together and manage to defeat the Ultimate-level Sandiramon who, as he lay dying, tells them all about his identity and purpose: ‘I am one of the twelve Devas sent by the sovereign one.’ He tells the Tamers that he will be avenged by his brothers, the Digimon who ‘refuse to be Tamed by mere humans’ intent on ruling both the real world and the Digital World.

Sandiramon’s energy is used up completely and he evaporates into data, leaving the Tamers to reflect on the fact that they now have ten more Ultimate-level Digimon to take on in the coming days and weeks, and they may potentially even have to battle more than one at a time. But because Growlmon can Digivolve through Matrix Digivolution to the Ultimate-level, any Digimon fan knows that so too will Kyubimon and Gargomon be able to do so in due time. Which means the Digidestined will probably have no problem dispensing with the Devas. This so-called ‘sovereign one’, however, may be a different story.

 

Ciao,

The Digidestined Cody

[Continued HERE]

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