Animated Movie Reviews, Animated Movies, Reviews

Digimon Adventure Tri: Future Review

We’ve finally made it to the final installment in the Digimon Tri series! There were quite a lot of plot threads still dangling so does this one manage to finish them off? Well, it does end the main plot, but for the most part we still don’t know a whole lot about what was going on in the back end. Perhaps it’s intentional as the Digidestined are also left in the dark for the most part. So, I wouldn’t clal this a rushed ending, but I wouldn’t say it is a super satisfactory one either. It’s ultimately a fun sequel package that will have a good amount of replay value, but I do think the next follow up will likely be far better so long as it goes back to its roots. The film does end with a nice potential cliffhanger. Whichever option it chooses should work out pretty well.

So last time Tai seemingly died when the cliff caved in due to an unnatural earthquake caused by the Digi souls and the rulers. Matt is now the temporary leader and the group decides to head back to the human world once again. They’ve basically been playing ping pong across the two worlds if you think about it. Unfortunately Meicoomon has digivolved once again and is now a cosmic being that seemingly can’t be stopped. The heroes are ready to accept their end, but if they’re going to die anyway they’ll go down fighting. Even if there is a chance for victory it may have to come at the expense of Meicoomon. Is there a way to save her or will they have to sacrifice the one for the many?

One unfortunate part about having Meicoomon be so powerful here is that fact that we can’t get any real fight scenes as a result. Meicoomon’s final form is too large to really take shots at the opponents and at the same time it’s so durable that it doesn’t need to dodge opponent strikes. This leads to a bit of a stalemate where the heroes can talk to it, but don’t do much else. There isn’t really any kind of big fight here so much as we just get a quick strike. It’s too bad since the films usually had such good fights when they did show up. I suppose as the finale the thought battles were the most important part here. So lets talk about those.

Throughout the series one of the subtle debates has been if the heroes should destroy their Digimon partners if they were to ever turn evil. Their bonds of friendship are strong, but apparently not absolute. Well, Meiko has been asking the team to destroy Meicoomon if necessary but they were confident that it wouldn’t come down to that. Well, in this film quite a few of the characters decide to go ahead and do this even while Kairi objects. Kairi’s objection is rather half hearted though as she says she’ll never forgive them, but then follows that up by saying that she won’t try to stop them or anything like that. If you really think it’s wrong then you should do something. Either way it’s not really a good look for the heroes. There wasn’t much of a choice by the end of course and mainly I would blame Meiko for not trying to stop them. For the other heroes they’re basically acknowledging that their bonds to each other are more important than Meiko. Everyone’s got to make a choice and they made theirs. Meicoomon also seemed pretty corrupt from the start so maybe he was all gone but it does feel like the villains got a bit of the last laugh here as a result.

Think about it, by the end the villains managed to murder a bunch of people, they’ve convinced the humans that all Digimon are evil, and then they convinced the heroes to destroy one of their own. Now when the factions ever decide to return, whether it be Homeostasis, The Digi King, or Gennai, they’ll have quite a lot of confidence here. Gennai also gets away with way too much here. He shows up to taunt the heroes quite often and they usually just stand in watch. Case in point, Gennai shows up in this film to reveal that he let Tai and the professor live just so they can choose which one of them gets to escape. None of them even try to attack Gennai as they just get resigned to their fate. The Digidestined seem to have lost most of their fire by the end and if that was part of the villains’ plan then they really did succeed.

With Tri over and the benefit of hindsight, I think the problem here may have been that Tri attempted too many things. The writers clearly had a bunch of ideas they wanted to throw around, but there’s just not enough time for all of them. This would have worked better if it was a full TV show. I also think some parts of the plot are swept to the side, but don’t make sense if you think about them. Think of all the kids who were kidnapped/vanished thanks to the villains? We’re talking dozens to maybe even 100+ and nobody found out? The government was covering for the villains because they’re naturally evil as well, but surely the parents would have said something. The original main characters know the 02 cast as well so it’s even more suspicious that they weren’t able to find anything out. Maybe the government got the parents as well (Can’t recall if they had a cameo) but the more people you kidnap the harder it is to hide that. The 02 cast also never actually get to appear so that’s a shame for their fans.

The animation looks nice as expected. We get some fun visuals with Omnimon’s form at the end. It’s definitely a powerful moment and for most of the film the world is covered in darkness so the colors do tend to pop out. Unfortunately for the soundtrack my favorite theme didn’t show up this time. In general the soundtrack is pretty subdued but it works well enough for the scenes it is present in.

Overall, Digimon Adventure Tri certainly won’t go down as one of my favorite parts of the franchise, it’s probably one of the weakest honestly. Still, it was an interesting experiment into what Digimon could be like if it was trying to be more Slice of Life/Cerebral instead of being more of a classic Shonen. (Honestly it probably holds up even better if you don’t think of it as a Digimon film. Think of it as standalone with no preconceived notions of what kind of fights and action should be in and you’ve got a good plot based anime film) It is a title that’ll make you think and force you to choose sides since there are usually quite a few options to choose from. Typically all you need to know is that Matt is right and Tai is wrong. I still think the first Tri film did a great job in setting up a mysterious premise and re-introducing the characters. Ultimately the follow ups just couldn’t completely cash in on this. The films fortunately do stay away from a romance angle that the various installments were hinting at. Even by the end it’s still lightly hinted at, but at the end of the day there’s a good chance we won’t see Meiko again so there’s nothing to worry about there. This is a good film to check out regardless of whether you’ve seen the other Tri titles or not, but you’ll likely be more than a little confused if you just skip to this one. I’d recommend watching them all in order.

Overall 7/10

Animated Movie Reviews, Animated Movies, Reviews

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

Animated Movie Reviews, Animated Movies, Reviews

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

Animated Movie Reviews, Animated Movies, Reviews

Digimon Adventure Tri: Confession Review

It’s time to look at the third film in the Tri series. We have no reached the halfway point folks. This one focuses more on TK as he tries to find a way to make sure Patamon is okay without the rest of the Digidestined getting in his way. It’ll be tough but he’s been through worse. Meanwhile the rest of the team needs to figure out what to do about Meiko and the trouble that the Digital World is facing.

This one picks off where the second ended and everyone is panicking. The infection is spreading rapidly and even the chosen Digimon may not be immune. The heroes may have to pull the plug on the Digital World as a whole to save it, but is it worth saving the planet if everyone has to be wiped away? The Digimon are all data at the end of the day, but they have been shown to be able to generate souls within them so isn’t resetting their data just like destroying them? Hard questions will be asked here.

While the last film focused on Joe and Mimi this one has Izzy and TK be the focus so I’ll concentrate on those two. First is TK and his controversial choice is to keep the fact that Patamon is infected from the other Digidestined since they may try to run experiments on Patamon or even delete him. The “heroes” have discussed this in the past so it’s not too far fetched. TK also does make sure to take Patamon away from the others so he is being careful not to spread the infection. Naturally the characters aren’t thrilled about this, but TK absolutely made the right choice here. I wouldn’t trust the other Digidestined as far as I can throw them. Patamon is TK’s best friend as well so that bond’s more important than letting the others down. Especially since TK and Kairi have crests that work like friendship he should be able to overcome the dark impulses that are plaguing Patamon. So, I’m on TK’s side 100%.

As for Izzy, I’m basically in the opposite boat here. He’s always the character who ends up panicking and cracking under pressure. It’s a trait that is usually associated with the smart member of the group and unfortunately he was no exception. The computer simulations start to get to him so he pushes everyone away and snaps at them. It just doesn’t do his character any favors, especially since he never sincerely apologizes about the whole thing. His mindset is the opposite of TK’s as he would likely not mind sacrificing the one to save the rest while TK sides with his partner. Different methods for trying to do the right thing, but I certainly have my preference.

This film definitely has one of the better fight scenes. I’m not sure that I would put it ahead of the epic Alphamon entrance just yet but it was great to finally see all of the Digidestined team up. It’s the first time since the show at this point and it’s definitely nostalgic. A shame they were all so outgunned though, but it’s really the heroes’ fault for not going into their ultimate forms though. They just refuse to do so and I know that they like a good fight, but the fate of the planet is at stake so they gotta take this just a little more seriously. I definitely enjoyed seeing Meicoomon in action. He is definitely a solid fighter and the design for the Digimon is definitely on point.

The animation continues to look fairly solid. The film got to show off its effects a little more here with the climax and all. The colors in the Digital World are always nice and it’s fun to finally be away from Earth. Naturally the stinger is certainly not quite as epic as the last film’s, but it’s a pretty good reveal for the villain. It’ll be interesting to see what the whole master plan is. Right now we don’t know a whole lot so the motives could be just about anything honestly. World domination, conquest, or just a desire to see everything get wiped out and reset. That seems to be a common cyber goal so I wouldn’t put it past this guy. The soundtrack is essentially the same as the last 2 films so it’s still pretty solid. As always the danger theme in the climax is the best one, but the insert song is also catchy

The writing is solid as you would expect. The mystery continues and all of the characters continue to stress each other out. I feel like Tai is definitely getting closer to regaining his fighting spirit. I think one more good talking to will likely convert him. That’s definitely a good thing because we really need the old Tai back if we want to win. Matt mentions how having the other Mega level Digimon being awakened will help since they may not need Alphamon, but at the end of the day he is still their best weapon. Normal Mega level Digimon aren’t even close to as strong as Alphamon. Also, the heroes never even use their Mega except for at the very end so I doubt we will be seeing them all that much. This film was longer than the first 2 which is good since it was able to fit so much in that way. The pacing is solid all the way through so don’t worry about it dragging on or anything like that.

I would like to see the DigiDestined take a more active role against the government though. So far they just accept everything they are told and aren’t actively trying to fight off the infection. (Aside from Izzy who is trying to find a cure) The heroes should be shaking people down and finding out answers. Starting with the people monitoring them makes sense since the government is currently keeping a whole lot of information from them. I suppose this won’t be an issue going forward since the heroes are finally back in the Digital World. They should have a lot of experience here so I’m looking forward to seeing them really make a dent in the villain’s plans and also figuring out the answers to all of their questions. Also, Tai seriously can’t complain about city destruction now that he’s off Earth right?

Overall, Confession does a good job of continuing the adventure. It makes a good case for possibly topping the first film. Those two are pretty neck and neck at the moment. The first film has an edge in having the single best sequence out of all the films when Alphamon arrives, but the third film got to jump into the plot a lot faster without needing to take time for introductions. It’s a tough call of course and I look forward to the next 3 films making that decision even tougher by keeping up the quality. It’s definitely been nice to have the Adventure cast back for so long with these 6 films and they aren’t going anywhere for a while.

Overall 8/10

Animated Movie Reviews, Animated Movies, Reviews

Digimon Adventure Tri: Reunion Review

After quite a few years, Digimon has returned to the big screen. It’s been fun watching all of the seasons and getting caught up with the franchise. I still have to finish Fusion at some point, but beyond that I have seen all of the shows and most of the movies. Tri beings the main cast back to the mix for a new adventure. I’d say that Part 1 is mostly used as a nostalgia trip ala Battle of Gods and to set the stage for the bigger fights yet to come. If Resurrection F is any indication, Digimon’s also going to ramp up the intensity of the series goes on. That being said, it already has a more serious tone and actual stakes compared to DBZ. (Thanks Beerus…) The film is very strong and only has 1 real flaw which I shall get into.

It’s been a few years since the DigiDestined saved the galaxy. They let the Season 2 cast handle the fights at this point and go about their everyday lives. Even if they wanted to help out, they are no longer able to use their Digivices and have no way of reaching the Digital World. The gang have all started to lead their own lives so even though most of them attend the same school, they don’t get to chat much except to exchange pleasantries. That changes when a Kuwagamon attacks the city and the government quickly shows up along with everyone’s Digi partners. The team beats back the threat, but it seems to only be the beginning of a larger threat. Can the team shake off the rust to defend the planet or will they have to call it a day and try to locate Davis?

It’s always good to start a film off with some kind of excitement. Build up is great and all, but you need a preview of something intense. Tekken Blood Vengeance started off with a quick motorcycle chase/fight scene and Yugioh 3D started off with Jaden defending the country from monsters. Tri doesn’t start off quite as intense, but we do get quick flashes of what is happening in the Digital World with the 02 cast, which was cool to see. I’m glad that it was thrown in there as it helps to set the stage from the get go. I’m mildly skeptical on the team getting wrecked so easily, but at the same time…they never were as strong as the 01 cast!

The animation is pretty solid and definitely a lot better than I had been expecting. While it’s not quite as colorful as the original show, I do think that the animators put a much better effort into the fight scenes and character designs this time around. (Compared with the previous Digimon movies) The energy attacks all look great and we do get a nice extended fight scene between Alphamon and the DigiDestined. I should add that this scene was also my favorite moment in the film. I love seeing a villain take on an entire group and while the difference in strength was considerable, it’s not like everyone was fainting from a single tap. They still put up a good fight. The battle of Super Megas didn’t really get to happen much, but that will likely happen in the future. I wasn’t really expecting Alphamon to do much in this film anyway so I was pleasantly surprised to see him get in on the action so soon.

As for the soundtrack, it was solid as well. I was never crazy about the Japanese version of the Evolution theme, but thanks to the movie transitioning it into an insert song, I liked it more this time around. Alphamon’s theme for when he takes on the heroes was also very well done and was easily the most Epic theme in the film. I’m hoping that it can return for the sequels. Tri also remixed the original opening to Digimon by adding electronic elements and more of a rap feel to it. I liked the actual beet and it’s a theme that should help pump you up a bit. It probably would have been better without the lyrics though. It has a bit of a mysterious feel to it so the 02 clips meshed well.

The writing is good and the film is already adding a lot of plot lines that will be investigated more in the future. One example of this is the government. I’m glad that they are playing more of a role here because there is no way that they shouldn’t be aware of Digimon by now. The events of the first two seasons should have certainly sent in some warning bells and luckily we find out that the Government has known about all of this for quite some time now. They were fairly well prepared as well even if they should probably not be so secretive. None of them appear to have any Digimon yet either so in a fight all they can do is talk a good game. I look forward to seeing them appear more in the future.

Lets talk about the heroes now. Izzy’s usually my least favorite member so we’ll start with him. He’s still not really my kind of character, but at least he’s dependable. He tries to help Sora out with a problem even when he’s fairly busy and Izzy always makes time to help the gang out even when others (Joe) put other matters ahead of saving the world. He builds the gadgets that help the team out quite a lot here so he’s already contributed a lot. He just needs to grab a Mega Digimon and he’ll be set to help out in the fights a little more.

Mimi’s easily the most outgoing character here as she has grown even more vocal than in the TV show days. While she may be a little too oblivious to the fights and villains running around, at least she keeps the team from taking themselves too seriously. I could do without all of the teasing that she directs at Izzy, but beyond that she’s a good character. It’ll be good to have her back in the city with the others so she won’t have to keep catching planes to make it in time for the fight scenes.

Joe is back to the school mission and that’s where things start to get a little hazy. If he misses the test, then his future plans may not go too smoothly, but if he doesn’t help the others in the fights then his friends could die. Clearly Joe should make the latter call, but unfortunately he has a very tough time deciding. It’s not as if he is a power hitter or anything like that, but he should definitely let school take a back seat now. He hasn’t let it get toooooo far yet, but he’s quickly heading in that direction.

TK looks very good here and is definitely one of the more likable members. He’s the only person who was able to attend one of the events (Although Sora would have probably, possibly made it) and he helped Matt out a lot the entire time. His new design works pretty well and it’s still cool to see that he and Kari still have the new Digivices that are a little more high tech. Since he has some of the closest ties to the season 2 cast, I expect him to get a bigger role as the series goes on.

Kari also looks good here and she has a solid new design as well. The roles have definitely reversed with her and Tai now as she has to look after him since he tends to forget his lunch of panic a lot. Hopefully she is able to help him realize how far he has fallen over the years. I also have to say that her friends seem to have Birthday parties quite a lot, but Kari is probably popular in school. Unlike the other DigiDestined, she always seemed to have a lot of friends. Since she has a better 6th sense than the other members, she’ll probably be really useful soon as well.

Sora’s role is pretty minimal compared to some of the other characters here. She tries to be a peacemaker between Tai and Matt, but that’s always a very hard thing to do. Helping the new character get adjusted to the tough world of Digimon is also tricky. Mainly, Sora just needs a good action scene and the rest will fall into place. She’s definitely a solid character though and I’d say that she’s better than Mimi, Izzy, and Joe.

Finally, we’re at the two main characters. Let us start with Matt. He’s easily the best character in the film and he’s eager to fight. Matt does get a little exaggerated in the film like trying to punch out two guys who were talking bad about Digimon, but it’s always good to defend your friends. At least he’s a guy who will stand by you. From the start, Matt decided that the DigiDestined should proactively try to find the new villain organization and put a stop to them and he doesn’t hesitate to jump into the fray either. Tai would have died twice if not for Matt’s quick action. I liked him a lot in the show as well, but I believe that Tai ultimately won the battle there. In this film, it’s not even close. Matt definitely cares a lot about helping out and doing the right thing, even if he keeps up the tough exterior.

As for Tai…well, he’s the worst character in the film. The change happens very suddenly as well so it’s rather odd. He’s thrilled to see Agumon and is eager to fight off the Kuwagamon. Unfortunately, Agumon greatly overestimated his abilities and got wrecked. Mix that in with the collateral damage and Tai decides that fighting evil in order to protect the innocent is not a good thing to do. It’s better to just let the villains run wild and leave it all to the cops. Needless to say, this is a pretty terrible attitude to have and you’ll wonder if this is the same self-less leader from the TV show. It gets very extreme as he even refuses to help a teenage girl when she is being attacked by Alphamon. If Matt hadn’t stepped in, she would have been vaporized. It was impossible for Tai to come back from that and all of his arguments with Matt are his fault. Matt was in the right every time and his demands weren’t even that harsh. He just wanted to fight the villains to minimize damage to the city, but Tai refused to fight even when the villains were around. That’s pretty sad and I’m hoping that Tai will get past this, but it looks like that could take a while.

Meanwhile, Meiko is the newcomer to the group. She’s super timid and has a hard time fitting in with the rest of the group. She’ll likely get better at it as time goes on..before regressing in part 3. It was cool to recognize the voice actress from the Madoka series and I admit that it is the main reason why she is okay so far. Otherwise, she’s certainly not my kind of character and her Digimon needs to be a little stronger if it wants to hold its own here. Not to mention the fact that it definitely seemed to be avoiding her so she should try to get to the bottom of this.

Alphamon made for a great villain. He doesn’t talk, but the design is really sharp and he certainly has a lot of power to back up his plans. He ran away awful quickly, but maybe part of his plan is to keep chipping away at Tai’s confidence. If so, then it’s a really well thought out plan. He’s automatically the best Digimon villain from the 01 line although if we count 02, then it gets tricky. Black War Greymon and SkullSatamon (Close enough) are still so awesome. I’m glad that Alphamon is the main villain so far and the proper rematch between him and Omnimon will be pretty hype.

I also like Kuwagamon so it was fun to see him get involved. He got a nice power up thanks to the virus and was able to hold his own and defeat the DigiDestined champions. In a 1 on 1 match, he proved to be too powerful for any one of them to handle. Granted, they could have used their Ultimates to defeat him, but plot hax and writer logic couldn’t have that. I imagine that they will be back to using Ultimates at will in Part 2 to handle the next threat. Kuwagamon probably won’t be back, but it was great to see him modernized. Even the design felt a little more humanoid this time around.

As a minor thing, I found it odd that Tai wasn’t wearing the goggles so he could locate the incoming threats even though that was the whole point of them. He only put it on by chance because Matt asked him about it and that’s when he saw the monsters. Yeah, Tai was really slipping this time around. I also think Tai and friends should have gone off in search of the 02 cast right away since the threat was so big. Based on the Part 3 preview, they took a long while to begin searching for them. Maybe they just didn’t think of it since the whole thing was so sudden, but you can use all the help that you can get in a situation like this. Especially with Mega Digimon involved, collateral damage is going to happen regardless, but having a lot of allies will help with that.

I got to see this English dubbed version in the theaters thanks to the limited time release. The intriguing part was that after the movie, they showed a full recap of Part 2 to spoil the whole thing and then the first 8-10 minutes of Part 3. Based on Part 3, Izzy’s character is going to go down the drain, but hopefully Tai’s will go up to counter that. What happens in Part 2 is easy to guess anyway, but hopefully there are still a few unexpected wrinkles in there that the recap wouldn’t bother to mention. I suppose I can probably forget about seeing a cool Alphamon fight in that one though. I’m expecting Part 1 to beat Part 2, but Part 3 could possibly match it depending on how far along the plot we are at by then. You can tell that quite a lot of things have yet to happen or be explained so the series has potential to do just about anything it wants at this point. The sky’s the limit.
Overall, My only real gripe with Tri was the fact that they completely butchered Tai’s character. He’s nothing like the the character that I liked in the show and seeing him fall to this level is pretty sad. I can only hope that he will get better as soon as possible. I definitely recommend this film to all Digimon fans and to anyone that likes a good action film. We only get 2 real fight scenes this time, but they’re both at a good length and the rest of the film works on building up the stage for what will happen soon. We finally also get to see this franchise’s take on how the universe was created along with the Digital World. The lore can finally be complete on the wiki. The film goes by in the blink of an eye and the pacing never really slows. IT definitely has a lot of replay value and I can safely say that Tri does a great job of bringing the old gang back. It may be a while before I see Part 2, but I’ll be eagerly awaiting what Tri has in store.

Overall 8/10