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 Adventure 02 Hurricane Showdown Review

Time for the first film with the new Digidestined. Apparently I gave this film a solid 7 the last time that I saw it. Well, it’s going to be the opposite of the first Digimon Adventure film, which I gave a 6 originally, but bumped up to a 7 after re watching it. While it’s possible that the dub could maybe get a 7 due to all of the high energy action, the extra 30 minutes didn’t do it enough favors and I feel like another 6 is pretty fair for this one. It drags on quite a lot and Willis is easily one of the worst Digimon humans in the entire franchise. Yes, I just went there!

The plot actually changes depending on the version so let’s go with the subbed for this one. The original Digidestined have been systematically defeated (sound like Tri?) by a new Digimon that has come into being. Granted, it wasn’t a fair fight as this Digimon moves very quickly and can quickly vaporize any human that it wants into a digital space. Davis and friends find out that something is wrong when TK and Kari have a face to face encounter with the monster. It all traces back to this American kid named Willis who likes to remind the others that he’s American as often as possible. That sounds pretty realistic, but he’s unfortunately a terrible character who never knows when to stand down. He annoys everyone to no end. Still, can Davis and his friends really stop this powerful fiend!?

So, like last time, the sub takes a more serious tone than the dub. Willis is surprisingly a little more annoying though as he constantly flirts with Kairi over and over again. Davis does a good job of putting the kid in his place though. Willis is able to speak in Japanese and American, but in an interesting moment, he speaks to his mom in Japanese. Sorry writers, but in America, you would never speak in Japanese. It’s just not happening. It would be like me living in Japan and speaking to my parents in English for the lolz. I just don’t see it happening. The original version of the film is significantly longer than the dubbed cut. In some ways this is good as the Digidestined being defeated was cut out of the dub and that wasn’t a cool move. I want to see Tai and friends even if they looked terrible and supreme amounts of plot hax got in the way of them doing anything useful to help out their friends. One issue that hurts the sub and may be impossible to get around at this point is that the soundtrack is just not exciting. I’m not sure how the franchise plans to get around that, but maybe it’s just for the Adventure films. I’m interested to see what themes they chose for Tri and I’m hoping for some fast paced tunes. If not, the rest of the film being solid enough can negate that, but it would still be an added bonus.

In the dub, there are more one liners and epic moments from Davis and friends. Some sad moments mixed in there of course and the dub doesn’t mind keeping in the romance with Davis. It’s one of the things that really brings the film down. Without that, the film could have been strong enough to hold its own with a 7, but that’s definitely not happening now. It’s a true shame if you ask me. So, while the dub was more exciting, it does come at the expense of about half of the film, which you would miss otherwise so it’s a tough call. Hardcore fans will likely prefer the sub for that reason. I’m going with the Dub, but it is a little closer than with the first two Digimon Adventure films. I still remember how the dub music got so sad for the fight scenes in the show. Even if they would simply be slow paced and more subdued in the sub, that would probably beat those insert songs from the anime.

Willis is the new kid and I’ve already hinted that he’s a terrible character. He doesn’t represent the average American all that well if you ask me. It’s good that he’s so close to his mom, but that’s his only good quality. He openly flirts with every girl that he meets and he also doesn’t want to own up to his mistakes. He’s even fine with letting his friends get beaten up or rolling over and dying instead of facing his old friend. When a friend goes down the wrong path, then it’s time to help them see the error of their ways. It’s not time to get stomped into the ground with no resistance. Terriermon had the right idea from the start and you feel bad for him for having such a sad trainer. That Digimon actually steals the show and I’d say that he’s easily the best creature in the film. He’s not afraid to fight when necessary and he’s got a lot of spunk. Reminds me of the Terriermon from the third season and I have a feeling that this one inspired the new version. Willis is just not a decisive character and he’s certainly not a very brave one. He will go down in history as one of the weakest willed tamers in all of Digimon and that’s a good thing. In fact, I may have to introduce him to the battle section of this site, but that’s neither here nor there.

Davis is a character who’s typically very likable since he’s headstrong and determined. Unfortunately, his infatuation with Kari holds him back. He’s not even subtle about it in the dub although he’s a little better in the sub in that regard. He’s a solid trainer and while Davis can get overly emotional, he can fight like Terriermon and doesn’t back down like Willis. For the most part, Davis is a good leader for the group and probably the only one who’s qualified for it. Kari likes to mess with Davis and while that is only apparent in the Dub, I’d say that it seems to be in character. Her vague visions continue to not be very useful, but at least it helped everyone get into action. TK was mostly a spectator here like the rest of the Digidestined members, but at least he was around for moral support.

I definitely didn’t like Endigomon though. He’s not my kind of villain at all. He wants the good ole days to return, but he needs to get his eye sight checked if he can’t recognize his best friend after just a few years. Cmon…this guy can’t be that bad right? Also, the point of finding his friend was to turn him into a kid again, not to destroy him. Endigomon’s plans were just terrible and he didn’t think anything through. That’s why I didn’t like him. A plan should at least make sense and if I’m to sympathize with a villain, then he can’t contradict his goals. If he didn’t try to hurt Willis, then that’s a different story since I’m okay with him trying to deage Willis without consent. That’s legit for a villain and it’s a goal that you can sympathize with, though mileage will vary for each viewer of course. The other Digimon like Veemon were cool though, but as mentioned earlier, Terriermon is the best by far.

The animation is pretty solid here. It’s not using the slippery movie style from the first two films so the explosions are less flashy and the energy attacks don’t look as good, but the actual characters look much better. It’s a trade off like that. The fight scenes can still hold their own against the average film’s though and it’s times like this where you can sometimes tell that it was from Toei like DBZ. Veemon’s fire form made for a good battle although he should have easily won that battle. If you ask me, the heroes have fought way stronger opponents than Endigomon so this whole mission should be a breeze for them. I know that we have to give the villains some hype, but it was too much. The film also shouldn’t have had Angemon and Angewoman evolve because by all accounts, they should be virtually unbeatable. Magna Angemon was taking on Black War Greymon in the show. His Mega form should be able to utterly annihilate Endigomon with a simple energy blast or maybe a punch if he wants to go medieval. Seriously, throwing those guys in just wasn’t worth it. Especially if it was to give Willis some more hype in the end.

Overall, This film is a perfect example of how filler characters can really hurt a film. We’ve seen it many times before in other franchises so it’s no surprise, but this is the example that you’ll want to use when in a debate about filler characters and what they bring to the table. This film would be an easy 7 without Willis and his shenanigans. He’s just such a poorly written character. The fight scenes and soundtrack (dub) are solid and the animation holds its own. When you think about it, this is still a solid film in its own right even if it made some mistakes. I’d still recommend it to any anime fan who wants a quick adventure with some fights and excitement. I don’t expect we’ll ever see these guys outshine the original Adventure cast though and that’s a good thing!

Overall 6/10