Digimon Adventure Our War Game Review

It’s time for another Digimon review! This film’s definitely a classic and I’ve probably seen it 10 times or more at this point. It’s certainly the film that I think of whenever I see Digimon and now I can say that I’ve seen it dubbed and subbed. Naturally, the dubbed version wins out, but both versions are good in their own rights. Diaboromon will always be remembered as one of the best villains in the franchise. (Also due to Rumble Arena 2)

Tai and friends haven’t really kept in touch lately, but the DigiDestined are forced to join up again when a computer virus threatens to destroy the world. It’s hacked into electronics all around the country. Tai and Izzy were luckily already at home when this all happened, but Sora, Mimi, and Joe are currently busy. Matt and TK are ready to help though so the four of them will have to be enough to stop Diaboromon!

As per usual, the dub tries for a lighter, more intense angle on the film while the sub tries for a super serious and solemn approach. Typically, the music is what really illustrates this. Unfortunately, there are no good themes in the subbed version as a result. I wouldn’t call them bad per say, but none of them work as battle themes. Meanwhile, the dub keeps everything very fast paced, but you’ll also have to get ready for health drink jokes and the like.

I was never a fan of the animation for this film and it’s a step down from the Hurricane special for 02. The humans just look very, I guess you could say sludgey. It’s like what happens when you overly streamline a character. It can almost be disorienting since the character’s physical forms don’t seem to be too physical. It’s what I like to call the anti-theater effect. See, I’ve mentioned in the past how the theater effect can be awesome. It can make the colors really stand out and the fights awesome, but the opposite effect is what’s seen in many American films. Just think of any theater based American film, I’ve never seen one that actually had very good animation. They all try to be lifelike and as a result, they unfortunately succeed. Luckily, this doesn’t stop the fight scene in Our War Game from being good.

This was the debut of Omnimon and that was certainly a lot of fun to see. He was the series first Super Mega (Officially he’s just a Mega but when 2 Mega Digimon fuse I can’t consider the result to be just another Mega) and he certainly out ranked Diaboromon in power. We haven’t gotten to see Omnimon fight all that much in the franchise since then, but in Digimon Savers we saw that he’s still a powerhouse and I’m sure that in the new movie series he will get some big fights. Most of the other Digimon didn’t get to do a whole lot here, but it was a quick film so there wasn’t a lot of time to include them.

It also resulted in a pretty epic scene where Diaboromon attacked during the evolution sequence, which is probably a great speed feat since I assume that it’s almost instantaneous. I liked the subplot of how kids sending email to Izzy and friends was slowing down their Digimon. It makes sense since they had to rely on an old computer to power up their allies this time and rerouting their emails to Diaboromon’s account makes sense since that is actually a pretty easy feature to do nowadays. No plot hax there, which is how it should be.

As always, Tai’s a pretty hardcore lead character. He’s even able to infiltrate the Digital World like an old pro. I’ve never been much of an Izzy fan and I’m still not, but at least he booted up the computer for Tai to save the world with and showed up unlike some of the other DigiDestined. The other members really need some kind of communicator so they can always be in contact. The main member who looked bad was actually Kari since she picked up the phone, but didn’t want to leave the party. It was a case of international security so she absolutely should have showed up. Nothing should have prevented her from making it back even if she may not have been able to help all that much in the end.

One thing that I actually did miss in this film though was the fact that the humans and Digimon were separated by the screen. Fighting in the Digital World or in the Human world together as a team is always more exciting and especially when the human characters can fight as well like Marcus. In a way, it’s more like Megaman NT Warrior this way, but the separation prevented emotions from running quite as high and the stakes from getting a little more personal.

I like to think that this film is what got most of the characters so popular. Diaboromon and Omnimon certainly hit it off big after this and I’d still say that both of them are some of the most popular Digimon around. I’m hoping that Diaboromon appears at some point in the new films since that would be pretty neat. At the moment, Our War Game is definitely the best Digimon film at the block so it sets the standard for the others to follow and the line that they hope to surpass someday.

Overall, Our War Game is a solid Digimon film as always. It’s a little light on action, but it’s a short film overall so there’s not a whole lot that they really could have added on that note. I recommend either version, but the dub first and foremost. Maybe even watch both since the film has a decent amount of replay value. I’ve probably seen it over and over enough times to keep me satisfied so I don’t need to see it again for a long while, but if you’re looking for a film with monster fights, this is your best bet. Until then, I’ve got Tri to look forward too as well as the Diaboromon rematch film.

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