Read how I Prime Reacted to the first tri.
I didn’t do any updates between the last movie and this one. I tried to not keep up. No teasers. No trailers. Wanted to watch this fresh. I saw this poster
which was a spoiler, but beyond Imperialdramon, expected fare. I heard everyone’s going to a hot spring to welcome Meiko. I HATED that. That isn’t going to be five minutes. It telegraphs fanservice and time-wasting when the last thing we saw was Alphamon wrecking the city. This promotional poster certainly didn’t help.
Is that what Digimon’s been reduced to? Welcome party at a bathhouse? They have more important things to tend to. If this were Adventure, they’d probably be having strategy meetings and figuring out the plot. For all that tri. pretends that it’s mature and out to develop characters, they had more character as kids than they do here and that was in the absence of slice of life rubbish. They’re heroes and even if they lost their way at times, they grew up and took on the responsibility of saving two worlds. Where is all that?
Maybe I’m being too hard on tri. I was pre-judging at the time. Perhaps the fanservice and filler won’t be THAT obvious.
Digimon Adventure tri.: Determination is the most disappointing thing since Digimon Adventure tri.: Reunion. This is going to be one of “those” reviews where everything is so bad every step of the way that I have to comment on almost all of it.
We open with what might be one of the worst teases in recent memory. Destroyed Digi-Eggs? Berserk Ogremon? Elecmon? Whoa, Leomon! And they’re in Primary Village? Holyangemon, Batman! Is that KEN? In Digimon Emperor-like clothes? This is so exciting! I can’t wait to see what happens!!!
This first “episode” was disgusting. You can skip everything except the part before Butter-fly plays and when Ogremon arrives and miss nothing. This bathhouse nonsense is full of manservice, irrelevant dialogue, and hijinks for two year olds. If I were being really fair, there’s some exposition. The agent pair are exes. Who cares? Meicoomon is a Champion. Who cares? We learn where Meiko moved from. Who cares?
Why did the agents even go to the bathhouse? And coincidentally on the same day as the Digidestined? Yes, they said there might be an attack. Said attack takes place completely independent of the bathhouse stuff. So, guess what? We did not need to watch it.
Ogremon shows up and the humans use special guns which… work on him I guess? Then Leomon comes in to take Ogremon back. The agents can predict where infected Digimon might show up so they can increase security for those areas.
The second “episode” starts with… school festival stuff. Ugh, how many generic anime clichés are they trying to rack up here? Well, maybe they won’t do something obvious like a maid café.
… I was almost right. Luckily, we cut to an action scene. Izzy tells Mimi to wait, but she decides to send Ogremon back.
Um, no. You don’t know that’s your Ogremon. Put in a few seconds of Ogremon shifting back or have Mimi try to reason/talk with him. These two had a connection. Use Ogremon properly or don’t use him at all. And this is the last we see of Ogremon proving my point.
Togemon holds off Ogremon as a news helicopter films this. Mimi hopes this will show people there are good Digimon since Japan has magic amnesia that made them conveniently forget all the worldwide Digimon-related events in Adventure and 02.
Instead of using a targeted Needle Spray against a grounded Ogremon, Togemon decides to jump in the air, spin, and spray in 360 degrees. This knocks the helicopter into a lake and hits everything EXCEPT Ogremon who simply runs up and smacks Togemon away. Oops. You see the Needle Spray in the opening song? Maybe you should’ve done that instead of adding EPIC SPIN!!!
The other Digidestined arrive, but there’s a police barrier. Oh, no! Police barriers are our one weakness! Guess we’ll just stand here like idiots. Leomon shows up to pull Ogremon back again nodding to Mimi letting her know it’s their Leomon.
Izzy scolds Mimi for taking action. He acknowledges her good intentions, but relates her actions to her ego. He’s right in a way, but what if she did wait? Without engaging him, Ogremon would’ve ran off. And we saw what happened when the others arrived. Izzy didn’t pre-summon the Digimon or anything. They just stopped at the police barrier. What exactly was Mimi waiting for? Let’s write out the police barrier. Having a giant cactus fight Ogremon wasn’t okay, so what were you guys going to do? Have a giant cactus, wolf, dinosaur, bird, and bug fight Ogremon? What would’ve changed?
Matt complains about Joe not coming to help. Even with all of you who did come, you didn’t do anything anyway. Would’ve wasted Joe’s time. If they lost and Joe’s help would’ve turned the tides, this is justified but as it is… Shut up, Matt.
So to summarize: Mimi stepping up to prevent Ogremon from rampaging = bad. Joe not helping also = bad? Then what’s good?
We see Joe’s parents for the first time. No Jim though.
Back to school, some girls reject Mimi’s cheerleader café outfits. Why they decided to bring this up now instead of the initial meeting where no objections were raised I can’t explain and neither could the writers.
Mimi runs into Joe and we have a legitimately good scene. Conversations like this is something tri. needs more of. Badly. They’re opening up to each other about their problems which is more than I can say for the others who barely talk to each other or can’t because we have to sit through stupid nonsense. If there were more scenes like this, tri. would be so much better. I don’t know how this scene made it into a script with the overwhelmingly important bathhouse and school festival stuff, but give that guy a 401k.
Joe tells Mimi that taking action regardless of the result, is better than the nothing he’s been doing. He questions how long he and the others are tied to being Digidestined. He’s conflicted on heroing or his personal life/future. I’m definitely more invested in Joe compared to everything else in tri. While most of his scenes are just him in his room or staring at his phone, I really wanted to see what motivates him to fight again.
Gomamon starts staying at Izzy’s safe room thinking he’s in Joe’s way. The next attack is at the school festival so the agents increase security. Meiko wears the cheerleader outfit anyway and tells Mimi how she was happy because of it. Mimi realizes she should just be herself. Izzy gets an anonymous email in Digimon language. “Those who desire true power must know the darkness, and go beyond.”
The agent pair walk around the festival talking about kids growing up or not growing up. It ties into the theme I guess, but seems so sloppily handled. It’s obviously talking about the Digidestined but at the same time, I barely know those characters much less these two. I don’t even know what each character’s individual plight is where in Adventure, they were for the most part crystal clear. I know we’re far from done, but really. What can you tell me about TK? Sora? Kari?
Then we’re treated to awful zooming in/out and shifting around still shots of some cheerleading performance which is a testament to how much the animation team cared about this part.
The Digimon want to go to the school festival and Leomon takes them. Uh-oh. Looks like those adorable rapscallions are up to no good. Tomfoolery ahead. Say, you know who would’ve liked the festival? The 02 kids. It’s too bad TK and Kari didn’t invite them or we might’ve found out they were missing this whole time.
What the hell is this?
Biyomon’s expression says it all.
Tai runs into Matt who confronts him about their issues. Just kidding. Tai runs away. How long are they going to drag this out?
Onto more important things.
Meicoomon JUST won a contest where you can eat anything for free. If you were already seen in the contest, there’s no suspicion if you were to walk around.
Kari runs into Joe who just had an argument with Gomamon. He starts yelling why it has to be him and he wants a reason. Kari decides to stand there like an idiot and say nothing.
Agent lady leaves Meicoomon out in the open and walks off to buy it food. What was the purpose of the contest if the prize medal and free food is literally forgotten minutes later? Which means the contest was more unnecessary and skippable crap.
A distortion opens and agent lady seems real upset that she left Meicoomon alone. Ken takes Meicoomon into the distortion. Leomon arrives and gets infected which is pointless because he doesn’t go full infected and simply dies later. Leomon, Palmon, and Gomamon enter the distortion and see Imperialdramon.
Ken and Imperialdramon get no lines and nobody tries talking to them. Is this a thing in tri.? Non-speaking villains even in the forced action climax at the end? It’d really help us out of we knew why they were doing what they’re doing.
Kari runs to find Joe and tells him what she should’ve told him earlier. Her reasoning seems so weak and as a resolution to Joe’s problem, it’s bleh. I was expecting more and it’s not like Kari needed to be the one to tell him this. I think the writers just rolled a die and had her do it instead of having him figure it out or having Mimi do it.
I got chills seeing Joe’s Digivice turn black. I was never more excited watching either tri.. There it is. An Ultimate at last! The sequence itself seemed a bit lazy. The original seemed more grand than simply cutting to Zudomon. Strangely enough, this doesn’t have that awkward CGI like the Champions. That’s okay. Zudomon’s going to make this more interesting.
You can’t just do that for no reason.
Next you’re going to tell me your secret is that you’re always angry. For all that dumb shows for kids have things that happen because the plot requires them to, this is unacceptable. Attaining Mega doesn’t just happen. There were always reasons given. And what happened to Warp Digivolving? In Adventure, they’d get knocked back to Rookie just to do that. All of this more than anything shows how the team working on this has their priorities all wrong. This is so rushed.
You can argue that Joe wanting to fight again and “resolving” his plot made Vikemon happen. How Mimi unlocks Rosemon was slightly better. Well, first we get this awful-looking thing because Mimi yells.
Then Rosemon because… a Wizardmon did it. And that chest jiggle? I see those animators have their priorities straight.
For both of these Digivolutions, I just did not care. Hardly any build up or reason. I felt nothing.
They defeat Imperialdramon because the plot required them to even though in Adventure, Wargreymon and Metalgarurumon got criticized by Piedmon in their first fight for being newly Digivolved Megas with no experience. Well, we need this action climax to work out for our heroes, so they beat Imperialdramon’s Fighter Mode effortlessly.
As an aside, the movie poster lied to me. Doesn’t help that there was this second poster which was awesome.
Wouldn’t you have liked to see these two alongside their Digimon? Why is that so hard? Having Tai and Matt there prior to and for Omnimon’s birth really made it special. This is cementing the theory I had last time about how they want as little interaction between the Digimon and Digidestined possible because the Digimon are afterthoughts compared to Tai’s soccer game, slice of life bathhouse, and the school festival. Joe and Gomamon got some moments, but that’s one in eight.
Izzy brings up the anonymous email he got saying it might be a prophecy for obtaining Megas. Yeah… remember the last prophecy you guys got? You solved it first and risks were taken to make it come true. This is one line and not only has it not been figured out, it had nothing to do with what happened.
Meicoomon Digivolves(?) and kills Leomon. *Insert Leomon dying cliché joke* Did you care? I sure didn’t. When Leomon died in Adventure, it was a legitimately sad death and helped Mimi regain her will to fight. Let’s recap what Leomon’s done here.
So why should I care that he’s dead? Because Kari screamed “NOOOOO”? He died in the real world which means he won’t be reborn too. The rest of them aren’t taking this too hard. Makes sense. You guys didn’t even interact with Leomon beyond his exposition. He was reduced to messenger and bad comedy. Of all the things to lift from Digimon, the Leomon cliché is the best you can do? And even then, you fumbled it.
Dun-dun-dun. She says Meicoomon is the cause for the distortions and infected Digimon. Agent Lady’s behavior is confusing. She seemed legitimately surprised seeing Ken and him capturing Meicoomon. Was she putting on a show? For who? The audience? This bad execution doesn’t make sense otherwise.
So as you can see, I did not like this. I wasn’t exactly kind to the last movie, but it was the first one. There was more to go and perhaps with things set up, the story and characters could start moving along. Nope. There was also a noticeable dip in quality for the art and animation
which goes to show how much effort went into this project. It doesn’t help that all the school and bathhouse stuff was time-wasting padding nobody needed to see. What did those have to do with the story or moving the plot along? That time could’ve been better spent. This disappointed on so many levels.
This is getting a bit long so I’ll end it here. But here’s another post where I go more into detail as to why this failed. There’s a lot more to say.
Next tri.’s out in six months. I have about as much hope for that as we’ve seen from tri. TK…