Digimon Adventure Tri: Coexistence Review

We’re now nearing the end of the Digimon Tri series. It was definitely fun to see the heroes back again in these adventures. That being said, with this film the series is really turning into more of a total seinen as opposed to a shonen. It was always like that to an extent with the more faded color scheme and theatrical animation approach as opposed to the vivid hype of the average anime, but at least the plot was super engaging and we did get hype fights. Coexistence does throw in a fight at the end, but most of the mysteries are starting to lose their allure and this installment has the slowest pacing. It’s still a good film, but mainly because it’s part of the franchise.

Last time Meicoomon went on a rampage and the Digidestined were unsure as to what to do. Fortunately the Digimon runs out of there and the heroes are run out of the Digital World shortly after. Now that they’re back in the human world they know that they need to get back to the Digital World to end this once and for all. Until then though they have to try to reconnect as a team and remind Meiko that she is one of them now. Can their bonds be forged anew or is it too late for the team?

As I mentioned, this film is really mostly about the dialogue. That’s not a problem as this is true for most of the Tri films. I think what works against this film more than with the others is that a good amount of the dialogue isn’t all that interesting. Ironically the worst scenes are typically the ones with the Digidestined as they all try to cheer up Meiko. She spends a great deal of the film crying and feeling sorry for herself. She ultimately comes up with the wrong decision as well as she tells the group to destroy Meicoomon. So much for being friends forever right? Meicoomon is going off the deep end, but even so she needs to hope until the end.

Then we have Tai still being scared and afraid to fight. I’m ready for him to finally get past that. By the end of the film he’s maybe changed, but we won’t really know since the next film will have them back in the Digital World and he doesn’t care about the collateral damage there. At least he did agree that they won’t destroy Meicoomon so that’s a start. Matt is still the main voice of reason here and he should be the leader. Meanwhile Kairi gets a bit of a bigger role as Homeostasis uses her as a vessel to talk to the heroes. It is one of the main factions in the film and finally steps in here. I’ve been waiting for it to show up so that was pretty neat. It has a good voice for sure.

The best part of the film is naturally when all of the factions finally meet up in the end. You’ve got Omnimon from the Digidestined side, Alphamon from back in film 1, Jesmon, and Meicoomon. Alphamon had a great fight in the first film so it’s definitely great to have him return. Jesmon’s been in the background throughout all of the films as well so him stepping in was definitely appreciated. Then Meicoomon’s been getting stronger as well so it makes for a very satisfying final fight. It is a little sad that the other DigiDestined can’t even really contribute at this point, but only super mega Digimon can really do anything at this point. It’s definitely a great way to start wrapping up the film since you always want to have at least one big fight in the film.

This war of factions is also the most interesting part of the film. The King of the Digital World is at odds with Homeostasis and then you’ve also got Meicoomon. This is the part that I want the series to focus on. It’s also interesting that nobody’s really worried about the 02 cast yet. I’m wondering if they’ll appear in the next film or if they’re just doomed at this point. It would be sort of funny in a way if they just don’t appear or even get referenced in the next one. It’s a bit dark, but really shows how the fandom just moved past them. The Adventure 01 cast is what everyone wants.

We’ve also still got the subplot of the government lady who lost her partner a while back. I feel like her plot may have ended here although it’s a bit ambiguous so she could still return in the next one. She definitely really cracked on the way to trying to see her old Digimon again though. At least she packed a gun. It’s a pretty interesting scene that is a bit tragic, but at the same time it’ll likely bring her to the reunion she was hoping for.

With kids still being missing from across the planet I’m waiting for the news to hit the public. By this point I’d expect the armies to start mobilizing and for the armies to step in. That’d make for a pretty cool development although that may end up being too many plots to have juggling around. Right now it’s all been left to the task force but with Digimon appearing all around the world it can only be so contained. It looks like the next film will be in the Digital World so either we’ll have a subplot with that or when the heroes take out the threat at the source it’ll knock the rest out.

The animation is pretty consistent with the last ones. The fight scenes definitely look really good. The rest of the aspects of this animation aren’t quite as solid as it’s all just very washed out, but it’s good enough overall. I also think the soundtrack is fine. The best theme from the first few films doesn’t return here unfortunately, but we’ve still got enough energy to go through the action moments. Hopefully in the final film we get to see the Dub Evolution theme as a nice tribute or something like that.

Overall, Coexistence does suffer a bit from the series fatigue here. It’s the second last film so the writers are saving all of the big events for the next title. As a result this one is really biding for time compared to the last few. I’d consider this the weakest of the Tri series, but overall it’s still a good film. Parts of it may drag a bit (Meiko breaking out her southern accent and then dropping it again) or even come close to being boring, but the final fight does help to raise the film back up and I do think the final part should give a more satisfying conclusion. Hopefully we get a longer fight in the final battle as there should be a lot of action. Quite a few villains/factions are still on the loose so I’m expecting them all to pull out everything they’ve got left. After all, they won’t get a second chance to do so.

Overall 6/10

Digimon Adventure Tri: Loss Review

It’s time to look at the 4th film in the Digimon Tri series. This one finally has the gang head to the Digital World, but what does this mean for all of the ongoing plot lines so far? Well, they’re basically gonna get dropped for this film so we can focus on character introductions. This was a bit of a dicey call and I can certainly see how this would be the weakest installment yet. It basically just feels like filler for the most part and choosing to lead with a grainy low budget intro was…interesting to say the least. The scenes in the intro were interesting, but I wanted my high budget animation!

So the film starts off by showing us the school agent back when she was a kid. Apparently she had been one of the chosen ones (Or not chosen depending on how you interpret the speech) along with the teacher guy and she had to watch the elders appear for the first time as they sacrificed her friend to save the world. Well, now she has found a way to bring him back, the reboot! Meanwhile Tai and the others are in the Digital World, but their Digimon haven’t gotten their memories back as expected. It’s no big deal since they all get along…with the exception of Sora and her Digimon. Can they reconnect in the middle of this crisis? They better get their act together soon because Mega level Digimon are after them!

Sora is the main focus here as she goes through her personal dilemma. Was I on her side or not? Well, here’s the situation. The gang has arrived in the Digital World but their partners do not recognize them. The humans knew that beforehand but they held out hope that the Digimon would just remember somehow. Sora is no exception and since her Digimon wants nothing to do with her she takes it pretty hard.

I’d say that part of the problem on her end was that she was rushing the whole thing too much. You can’t expect to become friends with someone again over night like that. Granted, part of the reason why she got such expectations was because the others did the same thing so quickly. Naturally she gets a little jealous about the whole thing and since she is used to bottling her feelings up, Sora doesn’t do a great job of handling the situation. Naturally this is all leading up to the fact that I was not on her side. Not only should she not blame Tai and Matt at all, but her issue doesn’t even seem as big as the others. If she didn’t get emotional every time Biyumon yelled at her she would be in a far better position.

Now lets talk about more serious dilemmas. Unfortunately this is the first film to really get wonky when it comes to the power levels. It is quite noticeable even if you don’t usually focus on things like that. Gabumon is able to cancel out an energy blast from a Mega level Digimon despite being only a rookie. Then another rookie is able to stun the Mega. At that difference in power the attacks shouldn’t even be noticed. Rookies can rarely even damage champions, a mega is too much of a stretch.

This is definitely an issue that I would say falls with the writing. The film appeared to be trying to create a sense of danger and suspense for the heroes and figured that putting them in such a dangerous position was the way to go. That was not actually the case though because the writers went too far so when the heroes make a comeback or delay the inevitable like in those scenes it just doesn’t work. The film should have just not used a Mega right off the bat or the heroes should have kept their ultimates. That would have made a difference.

As far as the soundtrack goes, it’s only natural that this film could not top the last 3. That’s because this is the first installment not to feature the excellent danger theme that I always like to see. You can’t just cut out the best theme in the series like that. We also don’t have the techno intro but we have other insert songs at the ready here so it seemed like a fair trade. It’s still a reasonable soundtrack but one that is now missing a little impact. The animation continues to be consistent here. If you liked it in the first 3 parts then I don’t believe that this would change here. The fights are solid and the landscapes are on point. The character designs/animations may still be a little pale but as they don’t have their iconic costumes I suppose that it can’t be helped.

As far as Dark Jedi goes, the film does its best to make him as unlikable as possible. He goes through the trope of licking one of the heroes for shock value and to make sure you know that this guy is batty. So much for being the calm and collected mastermind right? The FBI agent is also going downhill fast as her final scene already negates her sob story. The other agent is certainly taking his time figuring this all out as well. I’m just ready for Alphamon to show up and start wrecking everyone again. Having the King of Digimon show up soon would also be a lot of fun.

Unfortunately this movie didn’t bode well for Meiko and Meicoomon either. Both of them panicked under pressure when the going got tough and made the villain’s job quite easy. The other Digidestined should also be blamed to an extent as they totally ditched her without any good reason. The whole point of the mission was to protect her and yet they left to go on their victory lap. Really? That also seemed very plot convenient. Also, the heroes had many chances to attack Dark Jedi (They even knew to call him Dark Jedi pretty quickly) but they kept just not doing so. At some point you have to step up and make an attack. Only Joe actually tried here and naturally it didn’t go well. I appreciated the attempt though. If the heroes had knocked him out that could have helped the situation quite a bit.

So while this film could have certainly be handled better, you’ve still got to give it credit for building a compelling story. The universe around the characters still feels nice and mysterious the whole time. The villains operate in the shadows so most of the residents in the world don’t even know what is happening. While certain scenes can be frustrating, at least you do care about what is going on. I’ll give a more thorough breakdown of the various plot lines and such in the final film so hopefully it is able to tie everything together.

Overall, This installment seemed to be buying for time to an extent. If you didn’t know any better you would almost assume that there was some kind of change in writers behind the scenes as the story definitely seems to be changing directions. That’s not a bad thing per say, but hopefully they do have an end goal in mind as I still have quite a few questions that need to be answered. Even if there may be some missed opportunities by the end of this series at least the plot is still engaging and I don’t expect that will change. Naturally if you saw the first 3 films then I’d recommend checking out this one. If you have not, then maybe you could jump on here and still enjoy the film as it’s a reasonable jumping on point but you will be missing some context which will make the scenes less emotional.

Overall 7/10

Digimon Adventure Tri: Determination Review

It’s time to look at the next Digimon Tri adventure. It’s been quite a while since we saw Alphamon handle Omnimon. Naturally this volume has a little tension between the main cast which is liable to stick around for the duration of the series. This one focuses on Joe and Mimi’s struggles while the others try to just have a good time without worrying about the fate of the planet for a little while.

After Tai held back against Alphamon and caused the heroes to almost be destroyed he has lost his competitive spirit altogether. He doesn’t even want to confront Matt about this since he isn’t even sure how to word his argument. The Digidestined decide to distract themselves by throwing a party at school. Still, ready or not the Digimon aren’t about to wait for the heroes. Ogremon surfaces and the infection rate in the Digimon World is growing rapidly. What was thought to be a natural disease may in fact be all part of a master plan.

As I mentioned Mimi and Joe are the main characters here so let’s talk about them. First we have Mimi. She’s always been very outgoing and while she used to be more fashionable than practical she has also developed a tough personality. That said, she has started to intimidate her classmates who decide to sabotage her school party idea by not participating. Mimi’s teammates also reprimand her for trying to fight off one of the evil Digimon on her own.

For the first issue, I wasn’t a fan of the costume that Mimi wanted to use for the dances and it’s reasonable to assume that not every student would be comfortable wearing it either. We find out that Mimi never asked anyone about wearing it beforehand either so she was a little short sighted there. Of course, the students didn’t have to immediately turn this into a fight so they were being confrontational for no apparent reason. Mimi maybe took it a little harder than she she should have but she did cause that issue.

As for fighting on her own, she definitely made the right call there. The others told her to wait for backup but what about in the meantime? Ogremon wasn’t going to wait and he could have caused a lot of damage on the meantime. Also, backup never even came since the cops stopped the kids before they could get through. The chopper getting hit by the needles was just being careless. Mimi probably should have seen it but I wouldn’t put any blame on her then. If a villain is attacking you definitely don’t have time to wait for backup. That’s when you’ve gotta step up and show why you are a hero. Long story short, Mimi’s obstacle here is that she is very confident and impulsive which are both fine traits and she is certainly doing well.

As for Joe, I can’t say that things are going very well for him. Throughout the film he decides to ignore everyone being in danger so he can keep on studying. There usually isn’t anything wrong with hitting the books but when it comes at the expense of putting your friends in danger then that’s when it has definitely gone too far. He may not like the hand that he was dealt but the fact remains that Joe is one of the only people who can defend the world from the infected. He has to step up to the plate. He finally does by the end which is good since I had enough of his moping. Debatably the worst part is that he knows he is to blame for most of the film but keeps on making the wrong choices anyway.

The film ends with a pretty solid cliffhanger to get you hyped for the 3rd film. It’s gonna be hard for any of the films to top the ending was it was just perfect. It helps establish the threat and leaves the heroes in a bad spot. Considering that this series is a 6 part epic, it’s always good to have a stinger like that. I didn’t elaborate on most of the other characters, but they’ll all get their moments coming up in the future films so I’ll look at them in more detail when it’s their turn. Naturally the final review in the series will likely be the biggest as I’ll wait until then to discuss the route the series went and if it addressed all of its different plot lines. I do like how mysterious the series is acting right now, but we are certainly going to need a solid payoff to keep up with that.

As expected the animation is pretty solid. The fight scenes are on point and it’s always nice to see the Digimon cut loose at the end since for the most part they don’t get too much action here. Once in a while the human characters tend to have a derpy look on their face when chatting but that’s likely a stylistic choice. I’ll still take the bold and colorful art style of the actual show over it but I have no real faults with this style.

The soundtrack is mainly the same as the first one and is as solid now as it was then. The danger theme that pops up in the climax of this film as well as the last one is still the best one in the film. It does a good job of making the atmosphere more tense and epic. I also still do like the Tri into theme which is a techno version of the original. The Digievolution theme is iconic and I’m sure fans are glad they kept the original but I’d sure love to see the English version here. That theme was awesome!

Digimon Tri is more about the plot and drama than the action so as mentioned earlier there isn’t much fighting here. Fortunately the writing is on point so that isn’t really a concern. I do think it may make the film a tad bit trickier on re-watches, but for initial viewing you’re definitely going to be caught up on the suspense. At the end of the day most of the main characters are likable which is also helpful. Currently Tai, Joe, and Izzy are probably having the toughest time of it, but they’ll have their time to get more screen time. Well, Tai and Izzy at least. Joe already got his moment, but it seems to have ended the part of his character arc that I didn’t like so he can only go up from here. I’m definitely ready to see the heroes take on Alphamon again now that they have their fighting spirit back.

Overall, Tri part 2 is pretty solid. It’s a fun movie that doesn’t really do anything wrong. I may disagree to an extent with how the characters judge some of their decisions (It was good Mimi jumped in) but the film never gets heavy handed with trying to get you to agree. You’re left to decide for yourself if the character made the right call and I’m certainly all for that. I’d definitely recommend checking this movie out. Of course, you should probably watch the first film to get a better handle on what’s happening here. As this is a direct sequel there really isn’t any way around that. In this film it is literally a part 2 that starts off right after part 1 soooo…go watch part 1 first.

Overall 8/10

Digimon Adventure 02: Revenge of Diaboromon Review

Our War Game was definitely a great Digimon movie and my personal favorite from the collection. Making a sequel to that one makes a lot of sense and Diaboromon was a really cool villain so I was glad to have him back. Unfortunately, they only gave the sequel around 30 minutes to work with which limits this movie to a noticeable extent. It is still a fun film, as a result, there just isn’t a lot of time to do just about anything. It’s very rushed, but we do get 2 big fight scenes so that’ll do. Considering the players in the actual battles, it still has more stakes than 2 out of the last 3 Digimon films.

The film starts off very quickly as Diaboromon returns and decides to wreck havok on the world once again. Luckily, the DigiDestined have learned of his plot so the main characters of the first two seasons have a meeting on what to do about this. They ultimately decide to send in Omnimon to take care of Diaboromon while the other characters handle the rookie Digimon that are infesting the city. Sounds like a good plan, but can Omnimon really win? After all, he only beat Diaboromon the first time because they used emails to slow Diaboromon down from the inside. Otherwise, Omnimon was much too slow to do anything about the villain, which continues to be a bit of an issue for him here. Davis may have to step in if things get dicey!

The film has no time to waste so that’s why things happen very quickly here. As with the last encounter, some of the Digidestined are a little too busy to help out, but most of them are ready this time. TK and Kari are probably the most useful characters aside from the main 4. They may not have super strong Digimon at their disposal like the others (They don’t want to use their strongest forms or haven’t mastered them I assume since they go with the standard modes) but are still able to give Diaboromon a good tackle and dodge his array of lasers for a good amount of time. They handled the situation well and I would have liked the other members to have helped out as well. Perhaps in Tri we will finally get to see the whole team help out.

I’m still not really a huge fan of the animation style used in this film. It’s a style that has been used for most of the Digimon films at this point and makes all of the characters very wavy. It makes for good explosions, but also makes the movie lose a lot of its color. For example, just about everything and everyone are faded out as opposed to the bright colors from the original TV show. It looks more like Seinen character designs as opposed to Shonen or Kodomo. It’s not necessarily bad of course, but the humans lose a bit of their individuality and I’d just like to see more color introduced.

I also think that it could possibly be linked with how Omnimon looks a lot weaker here than he should. He’s portrayed as extremely slow to an extreme level. It may be because of how the Digital World works in the film universe, but it definitely didn’t make him look all that impressive. In the human world he was a bit faster though so it may not be an animation/directing thing and just Digital rules that came into play. Imperialdramon got to show his stuff though and the hyped Paladin Mode was fun to see. With the raw power of a quadruple Mega, he should definitely be a force to be reckoned with. In Cyber Sleuth he had the ability to take out an entire team of 12 Megas in a single shot so even today he is considered to be one of the strongest of all time.

The final fight scene on Earth is quite good after all. The shots of Diaboromon’s true form slowly approaching were handled well and his rematch with Omnimon was good. It’s a shame that his fight against Paladin Mode only lasted a few seconds, but this is where the short length of the film really came into play, similar to the Janemba DBZ film. It also shows how strong the form is of course as it would look less impressive if it was more of an even fight. I’d still take Omnimon over Imperialdramon in a fight any day, but both of them are strong fighters since Imperialdramon has his humanoid mode. If he was stuck in Dragon form, things would be pretty tricky for him.

It’s pretty neat that now most of the kids in the world know about the Digidestined. It should make their work a little easier if they don’t have to hide the fights each time. Plus, since emails can slow down the villains, having the aid of the other kids can really be useful. Most of the adults will probably still be left in the dark since they can’t really comprehend the world of Digimon, but that’s okay. It made for a really fun plot in season 3, but it would need a lot of screen time once again so it would deserve its own movie if the series ever gets that plot.

I think it is safe to say that Tai is the best character here. He’s pretty serious the whole time and doesn’t hesitate to go into battle. Matt’s a close second though as he is also ready for action and has matured a lot over the years. He even acts as the leader a bit although Tai will always be the true commander of the team. Izzy helped out a bit from his end as well with a little aid from Yolei. Of course, the whole situation was Yolei’s fault as well so she was really trying to fix her own mistakes at that point. Mimi and Joe didn’t really get to do much, but at least Joe lent his bike to Davis and Ken so they could make it in time to help out. Ken and Davis were solid characters as well. I definitely agree with Davis that he should have been allowed to go and help from the get go. If Diaboromon had to deal with 2 Mega level Digimon at once, there is a chance that he never would have made it to the human world. The small Digimon weren’t really causing all that much damage anyway so they would have been fine even if they had been left to their own devices. Ah well, they got to prove their worth in the end after a rather long run to make it.

The soundtrack is all right here. As with most of the Digimon films, it takes a rather serious, Godzilla esque tone for the music. There was a nice quick theme that played near the end during the battle on Earth though. I remember that one being pretty solid. I do miss my classic English Dub Digimon evolution theme and hope to see it a bit in Tri or some kind of remix at some point, but I know it can’t always be around.

Also, one thing I definitely like about this film is the fact that the Digimon just hang out with everyone in the real world. I never liked the fact that they were forced to part ways at the end of Season 1, but the films helped to correct that. Now, the Digi Destined can hang out with their Digi partners whenever they want. Even when the Digimon go back to their world, you know that they can always come back to hang out as well. It also gives the humans more options since they can quickly summon a Mega to defend themselves if an enemy suddenly attacks the human world. Otherwise, they’d be defenseless and that would certainly be a problem. The season 2 cast is still basically defenseless without Davis and Ken (I don’t count TK and Kari) so they shouldn’t go too far. I’m still interested in how the 02 cast could lost in Tri, the main two members are fairly tough. Ah well, we’re getting closer to Tri so the mysteries will start to become clear.

Overall, Revenge of Diaboromon was a good way to bring back the fan favorite villain. I’ve always considered him to be similar to Broly in that sense as he is one of the only movie villains to return and it always takes the full cast at their peak in order to stop him. Without the season 2 guys, the DigiDestined would have been doomed against Diaboromon and his new power. He had the complete edge in the Digital World thanks to his army and in the real world his new form’s durability was quite impressive. Omnimon’s attacks couldn’t make a dent in his armor. It was a fun way to say good bye to the original cast until the new Digimon Tri movies. I do wish that the film could have been longer and I’d like the movies to start adding a little more color. It doesn’t have to be a lot all at once as a gradual effect will do, but I like my sharp colors. However, the film still holds its own and I’d put it in second behind Our War Game.

Overall 7/10

Digimon Data Squad Review

For a while now, I’ve talked about how Cardfight Vanguard is my 2nd favorite show of all time behind Yugioh GX. Well, I’m going to have to back up a little there because I actually overlooked this show for a while. Data Squad is really the title that has earned second place so Cardfight will have to lower itself to the 3rd spot, which is still pretty respectable. This is definitely the best Digimon series and it hit all the right notes. There aren’t really any major negatives here and it could have gotten a 10 if that spot wasn’t already taken.

The series starts off with a main character who is very different from the former protagonists. He’s always looking for a fight and he beats up whole groups of villains with ease. He picks a fight with an Agumon and he manages to get the match to a tie. He learns that a Digimon group wants to take Agumon back to the Digital World…by destroying him. Marcus (The main character) doesn’t like this and he defends Agumon. Eventually, he joins the group…which was an interesting decision, but I’ll get into that later.

The plot really begins when a little kid by the name of Keenan appears. He was raised in the Digital World so he’s a little wild and the humans decide to eliminate some of the higher ups. Things get pretty hectic and there is a traitor around so Marcus and his team find themselves up against a Mega Level Digimon. This arc is mainly about exploring the Digital World and then the big Digital War against a certain scientist. This arc is very long and it takes up the first 30 or so episodes. There are a lot of twists and turns so I definitely didn’t describe the whole arc, but that’s the jist of it. (You can even divide the arc into mini arcs depending on how you look at it. Pre Arc, Digital World/Keenan Arc, and then Kurata War Arc)

That arc was great, but the next one was just as intense, if not better. It’s a lot shorter though, but the Royal Knights have assembled. The Digital King has ordered them to destroy the human world so Marcus and his allies will now have to fight the toughest Digimon in existence. The irony is that they are supposedly knights of justice so the final bosses actually aren’t villains this time. (Although I’ll still call them villains since they have decided to destroy the Earth. That basically makes them villains right?) It’ll be their toughest fight yet! Before I really talk about the show, let’s look at the characters here, since they are a large factor in why the show is so great. (For the most part)

Marcus is the main character of Digimon Data Squad and he is definitely as epic as you may expect. He’s like Ichigo Kurosaki or Yusuke Urameshi. He’s always looking for a fight and his confidence is unwavering. He doesn’t blindly follow the government and he’s a very loyal friend. He protects Agumon from the Data Squad members even though he had only known him for a few minutes. Marcus even manages to get some good hits in on Thomas when the latter decides to attack Marcus. Marcus also isn’t your average Digi tamer since he can fight on his own.

He has a pretty unique ability that lets him gather Digital DNA in his fist when he strikes a Digimon. Later on, he learns how to harness that power on his own, which makes him just about unstoppable in a fight. He can punch through just about anything and his blows even affect Mega level Digimon. It’s pretty awesome and it lets me take him seriously. It’d be tough for the average main character to talk as big as Marcus since he doesn’t have the physical strength to back it up, but Marcus can. That’s a critical point and Marcus never goes downhill. He may make a mistake or two as the series goes on, but he’s typically consistent in his wise choices. He’s easily one of the best main characters of all time. On a side note, Marcus switches his outfit for the final arc of the series and it’s pretty great. I’ll admit that I had been waiting for that one to show up since I find it to be a lot cooler than his original get up. Just another factor to help him out even more.

Thomas is the rival in this series. He is probably the best rival in the franchise so that’s pretty cool for him. Chris (Who looks a lot like Thomas) is a decently close second though. Thomas is rich so he has used his resources to become a very skilled agent. You could say that he is similar to Bruce Wayne in that respect. He has trained in the art of combat and he is skilled enough to take on a champ without all that much effort. To top it off, Thomas is also a genius. You can see where the Bruce Wayne comparisons come into play right? He’s a pretty fun rival although he’s meant to be very annoying at first. He always plays by the books, which means that he’s just a government lackey at first with no real character development. He gets better with that as the series goes on and he’s a very good character by the end. As a rival, he’s perfect for Marcus.
Yoshino is the main heroine of the series and she’s a pretty tough agent. Before Marcus rode into town, she was the squad’s premier agent since Thomas was typically away on official business. She managed pretty well on her own for all those years even though she doesn’t always look very impressive on screen. She’s pretty likable and I would place her over all of the heroines in the first two series and the one in Frontier. I think Nene and Rika are cooler though so she’s basically in the middle. That’s not bad and she’s about as good as I expected her to be. Maybe a little more so, but just barely. She gets the job done and while she tries to stop Marcus from going on his cool adventures, she doesn’t turn traitor like you night fear and rat him out to the big boss.

Agumon is a pretty good partner for Marcus. He’s technically cooler than the original Agumon, but there’s something about the classic one that makes me hesitate before putting this one higher on the totem pole. The other Agumon just had more heart I suppose and it’s hard to forget him. That being said, this Agumon is pretty good and he’s always ready for a fight. He certainly has his arguments for Marcus, but he’s typically a dependable ally to have. He regards Marcus as his leader so he acts as if he’s his minion for the most part. That just doesn’t apply to meal times where he can go all out. I always knew that it would be tough to pass Agumon’s original Digievolution route, but this Agumon actually succeeded in that task. I like all of the Shining Greymon forms and they really look great. The animators did a good job of bringing these forms to life and we even get to see the Burst Mode in all of its glory.

Gaomon is Thomas’ partner and he’s pretty good. He has the same voice as Might Guy, which can be distracting since it makes it hard to take Gaomon seriously. That being said, he’s still a pretty likable Digimon. Gaomon is definitely loyal to Thomas and he’s always ready to fight. He makes for a nice rival to Agumon. Gaomon also knows how to fight on his own even if his trainer is not present, which is a pretty big advantage over the typical opponent. His evolution forms are very good and I like just about all of them…although his champion form isn’t great. His ultimate and mega forms make up this.

Lalamon is Yoshino’s partner and she is definitely the worst partner from the main three. She can’t really fight that really hurts Yoshino’s chances of being a great fighter. Her champion form is no match for a random Digimon with no experience and it she loses in her first big fight. Lalamon gets her moments as the series goes on of course, but she never reaches the heights that the others do. Her strongest forms still aren’t as impressive as Agumon and Gaomon’s. You can argue that the same thing happened to Renamon’s Mega form since it was no Gallantmon, but at least it was still as impressive as Henry’s ultimate form. Lalamon definitely can’t say the same and she’s too much of a pacifist. She definitely could have used some development.

Keenan is definitely one of the worst characters in the series and I definitely wish that he had been cut out. His whole gimmick doesn’t make any sense. He was raised in the Digital World so his English skills are pretty broken. This means that he ends up talking like Tarzan, which is already a pretty annoying cliche if you ask me. “Me am Keenan” is an example of what a typical line from him is like. Why does this not make sense? Well, all of the Digimon can speak perfect English. I’ve never heard them make a mistake and they barely even use slang. So, Keenan shouldn’t have a problem with the language. Moreover, he’s just really annoying. He doesn’t know whether he should choose to side with the humans or the Digimon and this ends up with him not really being loyal to either side for a while. Marcus has to constantly defeat him until he finally sees the light. Once he is a hero, Keenan is still pretty annoying and I never liked him from start to finish.

Falcomon is Keenan’s partner and he’s not much better. He talks tough, but he’s rather weak. The only impressive moment that he has is his very first appearance and that’s just because the writers were trying to give him a lot of hype. It doesn’t really work and it doesn’t make him likable. Falcomon seems to be the intelligent and refined character from the way that he speaks, but he doesn’t have any really cool moments. It also helps that most of his Digi Evolutions aren’t that good either.

Commander Sampson is the leader of the D.A.T.S group and he can definitely be pretty iffy at times. As it is, I’m pretty suspicious of the group’s overall goal and he’s their leader so that doesn’t help his case. He talks tough to be sure, but he’s a part of the system so he has to listen to his higher ups at times. He’s a decent leader, but he’s definitely not my kind of character and I always side with Marcus against him. Kudamon is Sampson’s partner and he’s decent as well, but not always. He’s pretty skeptical of Marcus and he’s usually the voice of doubt. He does get to fight towards the end of both arcs so he is definitely strong. He’s still not my favorite Digimon, but he’s decent to have around. He beats the knights and the shell Digimon.
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Homer Yushima is a fisherman who knows more than he lets on. It’s safe to say that he’s one of the most annoying characters in the series. He constantly taunts Marcus, but he is somehow able to avoid the hero’s punches. This guy could get 100 plot twists and I still wouldn’t like him. He’s just too cryptic and you know that he’s probably doing it on purpose. He could have helped out more if he decided to join the action instead of just fishing all the time.

Merukimon was one of the cooler opponents in the series and he was one of the first Mega level Digimon to battle the heroes. He’s rather large, but he’s still humanoid so that gives him points in my book. He has super strength and some good energy blasts at his disposal so he can give any fighter a run for their money. He rules the Digital World, or at least a fraction of it. Merukimon believes in peace and he tries not to go to war with the humans, but his subordinates and evil humans make this rather difficult. I don’t care for how his character arc ended since I just don’t see him losing so easily, but he had a pretty good run. He’s definitely a Digimon that you can respect.

Gotsumon is Merukimon’s right hand man, but he’s a pretty treacherous opponent. He wants a war to start between the Digimon and the humans. He will do just about anything to start this and I mostly just disregarded him as a comic relief character. That changed when he evolved into Meteormon and had some of the best speed feats of the series. It’s no stretch to say that this guy could be a match for Superman and I gained a lot of respect for him. Now, having a lot of power doesn’t mean that you’ll instantly become a likable character, but I can safely say that it did wonders for this guy.

SaberLeomon is an ally to Merukimon although they don’t always get along. His abilities are considerable and he definitely isn’t going to let the humans get away with doing what they please. He launches an attack on the human world and it’s a pretty epic episode. He’s clobbering the heroes and even Commander Sampson is forced to suggest a retreat. Marcus won’t have any of that, but it’s definitely a pretty cool moment. His end isn’t satisfying as with Merukimon’s fate, but he gave us a great battle and he had a cool personality. He’s like your average Shonen Jump rival and that’s always a good thing.

Gizumon is a robot that Kurata built and he’s part Digimon I believe. It brings up the good ole question of whether a human can build something to surpass anything. We saw in DBZ that Androids can be created who are stronger than Super Saiyans and now we have a robotic Digimon that can surpass a Mega. A single blast from this fighter can disintegrate most Digimon. It’s a little too overpowered if you ask me and it’s really hard to swallow this fact. I don’t think that it can beat a true Mega so it’s tough to see it beating up the heroes. Its speed and power are simply off the charts, but it has no true character development. It’s design is also lacking somewhat in coolness. I wasn’t a huge fan of this thing, but it’s definitely tough.

Belphemon is one of the big foes to appear in the series, but only for a very short amount of time. For the most part, it’s sort of Belphemon, but not really. Let’s just say that he’s not in full control of what he’s doing for about half of his screen time and then his time is pretty limited when he does show up. He’s definitely as cool as ever when he does appear though and I’ve always liked him as a villain. His design is basically perfect for an antagonist since he can fight in any style. Whether short range or long range, his attacks are guaranteed to deal some major damage.

Kurata is one of the most annoying villains in the series and he could be one of the worst in the franchise. He’s made to be a very unlikable character since he’s despicable in just about every way. If that was the aim of the writers, then they certainly succeeded. There just isn’t anything likable about this guy and you’re just waiting for him to be crushed the whole time. The only problem is that he lasts for quite a long time. He’s around for over half the series, which is a pretty impressive feat for a villain. The only other villain that I can think of from the top of my head who has achieved this (In a series with at least 26 episodes and two different arcs) is Aizen, but I’m sure that there are others. He is a brilliant scientist and inventor, but those just aren’t good enough reasons to actually end up liking the character.

Nanami is one of the three humans who have the ability to change into a Digimon. It’s a very handy ability to have and these fighters have an incredible theme that plays whenever they transform. Nanami is a genius so her rival from the main characters is naturally Thomas. She’s definitely a great fighter and her speed is really off the charts. Unlike Kurata, Nanami is a villain that you won’t mind rooting for since she is pretty interesting. I can’t bring myself to root for her since I’m a much bigger Thomas fan, but she isn’t an unlikable villain. It’s also cool to see her have a strategic battle with Thomas…even if she should have won that battle.
Kouki is the next member of the trio and he’s easily my favorite one. He’s Marcus’ rival so I suppose that this makes sense. He’s always eager to battle and his personality is similar to your average Shonen Jump Protagonist or eager rival like Grimmjow. He doesn’t really have any bad scenes and it’s nice to see someone else jump in to fight instead of it just being Marcus all the time. Their punch in the Digital Wormhole was a nice way to start off their arc and he grew on me pretty quickly. I’m hesitant to say that he was the best villain in the series, but I’m thinking that there is actually a strong possibility that he is. Kouki is just great!

Unfortunately, every group has its weak point and this one is no exception. Ivan is the third member of the group and he’s easy the worst one. He’s not very smart and he’s always trying to flirt with Yoshino, but failing epicly. He doesn’t really know how to think yet so he just says all of his thoughts out loud. This results in wince worthy scenes were you just have to hope that he’ll be quickly defeated. His super forms also aren’t quite as cool as Nanami’s or Kouki’s. I could definitely do without this guy and Yoshino deserves a better rival.

Craniamon gets the biggest role from all of the Royal Knights. He has the most impressive fight and he is probably the most likable member as well. He fights with a shield and a double edged blade. (Not really a sword though) His shield is said to be unbreakable so getting past him is very tricky. His one on one fight with Marcus and Agumon was one of the better fights in the series. He eventually learns that it is not right to follow a leader without any questions and his character development definitely carries him to new heights. Not only is he one of the strongest Digimon in the franchise, he’s also one of the more likable ones.

Unfortunately, the rest of the Royal Knights don’t get the same treatment. They have a cool moment where they all show up at once, but they don’t get a lot of development after that. In fact, most of them don’t even get to have climatic fights like Craniamon. Gallantmon looks pretty great in his appearances, but maybe a little too great. The heroes don’t really have an answer for him so one character is forced to make the ultimate sacrifice to turn this into a stalemate. Gallantmon doesn’t return until the very end when the fights are over.

Dynasmon is still a pretty cool figure, but all of his feats were in Frontier. The producers didn’t decide to challenge this and he is mostly relegated to the sideline. Likewise with Magnamon, whose role is very small. It’s interesting to see Magnamon since I’ve always considered him to be of a weaker tier than Royal Knights level. Good for him, but he is probably the weak link of the team…maybe. UltraforceVeedramon could be his rival in terms of power, but I have to say that he just looks a lot tougher. He would have had a really good fight I’m sure and his fans were probably disappointed.

Leopardmon got his own fight at least and his portrayal is…interesting. He’s the only Royal Knight that you could probably call pure evil. Might makes right according to him and he seems rather insane. I hope he is kicked off the team by the others and I have to wonder how he made it in the first place. This guy just seems a few graham crackers short of a smore if you know what I mean. He looks decent, but he also looks a lot weaker than the average Royal Knight.

LoadKnightmon is pretty lucky since he got a big role in Digimon Frontier and then he got a major fight against Thomas in Data Squad. I actually do like the design since it’s very robotic and stream lined. LoadKnightmon looks like he can be a real threat and it’s the kind of design that you might expect from something like Eureka Seven. He definitely doesn’t disappoint while in battle. This is why an extra 5-6 episodes for the series would have been good. If all of the Royal Knights had gotten big battles like LoadKnightmon and Craniamon, the ending would have been even more satisfying.

Omnimon is a perfect example of this since he is easily the strongest Royal Knight. (In theory anyway and I think it’s a safe assumption) He really should have gotten to fight since that would have been really cool. Marcus could have had his ultimate mega form battle with Omnimon and it would have been a battle for the ages. That was a missed opportunity, but I suppose that every show misses a chance somewhere along the line. Hopefully we get that fight someday.

King Drasil is the ultimate boss and his power is basically unlimited. It’s good to see that he can physically fight though since it would have been easy to have made him a high above being. His first form is pretty cool and I also liked his final mode. It wasn’t totally humanoid, but it was close enough so that he could still fight in close quarters combat if he had too. This guy got a lot of hype so it was fun to finally see him once and for all. It was a nice way to end the series.

Spencer Damon is Marcus’ father who vanished prior to the start of the series. He was apparently a nice guy and we learn more and more about him as the series progresses. Like Marcus, he can use digital data to amplify his attacks and do some real damage. He seemed to be even stronger than Marcus since his strength may have been on a planetary level. It’s a shame that we never really get to see him fight seriously on screen. The only time where we come close is in a flashback and the match is mostly off screen. This is one guy who could definitely hold his own series and it would have been cool to have seen him a little more before the series finally ended.
BanchoLeomon is a mysterious Mega Digimon who helps the heroes from time to time, but I definitely didn’t care for him. He’s pretty skilled and he’s a pure hand to hand fighter, but he’s just not my kind of character. An example of this is when he locks the main characters in a hut to train and then he refuses to let them out until they complete their training. You expect a strict instructor in these shows, but he goes too far. See, the Digimon partners of the main characters were getting blown away by some villains at the time and the heroes knew that they couldn’t last much longer. Knowing that, BanchoLeomon still refused to let them out and he didn’t mind letting their lives be snuffed out. Marcus quickly did something about that, but I never let BanchoLeomon off the hook. As far as I am concerned, he’s evil and someone who needs to be stopped.

Now, is D.A.T.S. is evil or just severely misguided? They decide that they have to destroy Digimon as quickly as they appear in the human world so that they don’t cause panic in the streets. Destroying a Digimon merely reverts them back to their baby form though so they aren’t really dead. That being said, you still wonder about this since they’re basically shooting first and asking questions later. The show tries to help them out by explaining that all Digimon go crazy when they go into the real world by mistake so they can’t be reasoned with. That being said, Mega Level Digimon seem to be an exception and likewise with the partners of the main humans. D.A.T.S. was quick to attack Agumon so it makes you wonder how many other heroic Digimon were taken down. They naturally mellowed out since Marcus joined (Since he makes sure to keep them on the side of justice) but it makes you wonder just how good they are. Governments and military groups never seem to be trust worthy in TV shows and this is no exception.

I think that Kurata probably gets away with a little too much during arc 1. He takes down a whole lot of Digimon and he basically forces them to retaliate. You really can’t blame the Digimon for wanting to destroy the Earth since the humans are constantly trying to harm them. Unfortunately, the heroes are ready to stop them so it’s a dicey predicament. The Digimon are in a no win situation since they can decide not to strike back and watch as their allies are defeated or they can attack and get bested by Marcus. So, you can definitely sympathize with these guys and it’s one of the only reasons why you can accept the Royal Knights deciding to destroy Earth. That being said, they are supposed to be completely just heroes so you expect more out of them. Also, where were they when Kurata was attacking the other Digimon? With their extreme speed, they should be able to help out a lot. I’ll assume that they were in statis or something.

Data Squad’s animation is definitely sound. It has a Shonen Jump feel to it that the other series just didn’t have. The previous installments looked good of course, but this one is just that much better. Tamers also had some good animation so it can hold its own, but I’d go as far as to say that Data Squad easily surpasses every other Digimon show in terms of animation. It helps that the fights are really intense here so the animators can take advantage of that of course. I’ll talk about the battles in a short while. Needless to say, the animation really shines throughout the series and especially during the final arc.

Another factor that was in the show’s favor is definitely the soundtrack. Digimon is a franchise that is very well know for its great soundtracks or at least in the English dub of each series. Data Squad takes it up another notch as at least 90% of its themes are fight related. Only 1 other show has managed to pull that off in the past and that was Yugioh GX. You can already tell that Data Squad is in some pretty good company here. From the cliff hanger music to the tense themes, Data Squad just nails them all. Even the “previously on Digimon” scenes become epic as the show plays a great battle theme. There’s never a dull moment in the series and the soundtrack really solidifies that fact.

The action scenes are another thing that separates this show from most anime. The battles are pretty reminiscent of DBZ and they’re very high tier. Digimon Frontier actually started this off since their fights felt like classic DBZ scuffles, but this show just takes it to the next level. The strongest fighters in this series are easily stronger than Frontier’s. (Don’t get the wrong idea, Frontier’s strongest fighters are still immensely powerful, but they would not be able to win this fight) The action scenes are intense regardless of how high tier they are though as the first fights with Marcus against rookies and champions are still exciting. This is thanks to the soundtrack mixed in with the animation. The hand to hand certainly helps since those fights are always excited. Brawling action is great to mix in with beam fights since it makes the battles that much more dynamic. We even get a classic scene where someone catches Marcus’ punch, which is an impressive feat in itself. As far as the power levels go, the top fighters from this series could take out many fighters in Naruto, Bleach, One Piece, and maybe even some DBZ fighters. Don’t underestimate these Digimon!

I already mentioned that this is my 2nd favorite show of all time so it probably goes without saying that it beats the other Digimon shows. That being said, they put up an admirable fight. As of this post, the Digimon rankings go: Digimon Data Squad–Digimon Tamers–Digimon Adventure–Digimon Frontier–Digimon Adventure 02–Digimon Fusion. The last two spots do tend to shift around sometimes though as it’s really close. Digimon Adventure 02 had the better writing, but the songs were terrible so it’s a tough call. Data Squad wins in characters, fight scenes, soundtrack, and animation so it’s basically got all of the areas covered. Like I said, it’s just about perfect.

If I had to mention a negative aside from Keenan, it would be that the ending is a little rushed. All of the Royal Knights should have gotten a chance to have a real fight. The series really could have used the extra 4 episodes to reach 52 so that they could fight. 4 episodes would certainly be enough or at least it would be enough to satisfy me. There’s a lot of action that you can fit in those 2 hours. It wasn’t to be though and when a little pacing problem is the show’s biggest concern, you know that you’re doing pretty well. The show gets by without resorting to fanservice tactics, which is another check on its overall score.

Every show has a moment where things get real. That moment where the show jumps from good to great or from mediocre to good depending on the title. The moment where the show peaks and that happens towards the end of arc 1 in this title. When the 3 humans who can biomerge into Digimon appear, that’s when Data Squad went from great to elite. It’s an intense scene and you won’t be able to tear yourself away from the screen when that happens. On a bright note, even the filler episodes are pretty entertaining. The boxer episode comes to mind and there were no big stakes, but it was still a pretty great episode. That’s because the writing for this show is pretty consistent.
Speaking of which, the ending leaves a lot of room for possible sequels. It would be great to see a certain character who’s returned join in on some action and Marcus is only just beginning to unlock his full powers. I would have liked a sequel to this show since the possibilities are really endless. Adventure is finally getting a sequel though so maybe there is still a chance for this show. As far as endings go, Data Squad’s is pretty great and it certainly beats most other titles in that regard. (Naruto)

Overall, Digimon Data Squad is just about perfect. It’s a show that has a lot of replay value and nearly everything went its way. The pacing is pretty good and the animation is sure to help you enjoy the fights a lot. The soundtrack is easily 5 star material and Marcus makes for a great lead. Keenan may not be a good character, but you can definitely overlook him on this epic experience. The show is ironically a few episodes shorter than the other seasons, but that’s okay. Over 40 episodes is still enough time for you to get used to the characters. I definitely recommend this show to any anime fan and especially if you are looking for a title with a lot of fights. It’ll be tough for any show to pass this one and that’s why my top 3 shows of all time are virtually set in stone at this point. 1. Yugioh GX. 2. Digimon Data Squad. 3. Cardfight Vanguard. Everything else can fight for the remaining spots on my top 10. Check this show out and tell me what you think! I’ll have to wait a while before I see Marcus in action again, but that should be pretty epic!

Overall 9/10

Digimon All Star Rumble Review

After all these years, Digimon has finally gotten itself another fighting game. I had a lot of fun back in the day playing Rumble Arena 2 and I just barely missed out on the original one. This is essentially the Rumble Arena 3 that we’ve been waiting for all these years and it’s definitely worth it. The game didn’t get a whole lot of publicity before it came out so hopefully the sales are still strong since this could be the start of a new series!

The game actually has a small plot. It’s not much of a story, but it certainly beats not having one. Essentially, a tournament is starting and a lot of Digimon want to enter it to win. They don’t know exactly why they want to enter…it’s almost like it’s destiny! They follow their primal instincts and quickly get ready for the fight of their life, but is there something more to this tournament? Then you pick the fighter that you want to play as and you’re set. I naturally played the game with Agumon the first time around, but I’ll beat it with everyone at some point for that shiny Platinum trophy!

The roster is pretty small considering that it’s a PS3 game. I think they definitely could have doubled or tripled the character selection, but with a limited budget I suppose that it would have been difficult. What would have helped is if they let some of the Mega Level Digimon be playable from the Get Go. I have unlocked all of the characters except for 3 starters and I do not have access to nearly any of the alternate Mega Digimon. Those will likely pop up along the way in the Story Mode paths. Counting all of those figures, the roster looks a lot better.

The gameplay is like Rumble Arena, but it’s in 3D. I suppose that you can picture Naruto Ninja Storm as an example. It’s a 3D playing field and you have your standard attacks, power attacks, and your projectiles. You can mix and match to make various combos and the goal is typically to defeat your opponent. (Although other modes feature games like capturing the flag so vary up the action) Once your meter is charged you can transform into an immensely powerful Mega Digimon. Once you’re in that form, you’re basically ready to rock and roll!

There are also items of course and they can really change the course of a battle. One of the items makes a twister form around the player. Another one lets you turn the opponent into a ball of living slime and the best item in the game allows you to instantly Digivolve. You cannot begin to compare that to any of the other items because it is so great. A thunderbolt is probably the second best item as it does some serious damage and it also stuns the opponent. It’s like a double effect for the price of one!

Surprisingly, the game actually goes up to 4 players. I don’t know many people who actually have 4 remotes, but it’s great that we are actually given the option. It’s certainly something to consider and I do have 3 remotes over here so at least I can go almost all the way. Every fighting game gets more and more fun as you increase the amount of players. It’s just common video game logic! Things get more chaotic and it will definitely test your mastery over the game.

The computer A.I. is decent, but it’s not great. You should be able to crush the hard difficulty level with ease after a handful of battles. Ah well, that’s not so bad since we have multiplayer mode and the computer is not downright easy either. I’m sure that a case can be made for it being just right.

The graphics are very bright and it works pretty well for the game. It may not be the most stylish game, but you would never mistake it for a last gen title. All of the character models are sharp and they really stand out no matter which stage you are on. I’m satisfied with the amount of stages as well as there are around 10-12 of them. Some of them even have gimmicks like a fog that will damage your fighter if you go near it.

The soundtrack is pretty nonexistent. I suppose that it would have been pretty tough to have had a pretty memorable one alongside everything else, but it certainly would not have hurt. There aren’t any real battle themes either, which is odd considering that it is a fighting game. How awesome would it have been to have had the Digimon theme song for the first few seasons included during the battles? That would have definitely been a lot of fun!

Surprisingly, there is no online capabilities in this game. I’m fine with that since it’s not the kind of game where I would play online a whole lot, (Madden and Smash Bros are really where I have fun online. Other than that, I typically stay local) but it’s still pretty surprising. Maybe they just didn’t think that enough people would be playing it right away to warrant a purchase of a few servers to run it on.

Some of the trophies are a bit of a grind, but none of them are really that hard. Waiting for the 50 hours to show up on your PS3 may be the toughest part or collecting the Digi cards, but it’s only a matter of time. The toughest trophy to get skill wise is probably beating the game with every character, but I’m sure that you’re up to the task. I only need 13 trophies left so that should be a breeze.

Overall, Digimon All Star Rumble is a solid addition to the Digimon franchise. The campaign mode is very short, but the multiplayer mode makes up for it. This gives it infinite replay value and that’s more than enough for you to be content. While the character roster may be pretty limited we do get fan favorites like Agumon and Guilmon. Old timers may be disappointed that some of the Season 1 stars were cut out, but maybe they’ll make the sequel. I’m sure that they would since a sequel would likely fill out the rest of the spots for the main characters from season 1 and season 3. No guarantees on season 2 of course, but those guys likely wouldn’t be missed quite as much. This is definitely a title worth obtaining if you want some solid action!

Overall 8/10