There will be tears as Digimon Adventure Tri returns with Part 2: Ketsui (Determination). *SPOILER FREE
Last year Digimon returned with a new adventure with some old friends. The original cast of characters that you remember from your childhood, returned in a more mature setting. Although it had it’s issues, Digimon Adventure Tri – Part 1 – Reunion was a reminder for every digimon fan why they fell in love with the francise in the first place. Part 2, Ketsui (Determination) unfortunately hasn’t improved on what Part 1 offered and in some degree, is worse.
Now don’t get me wrong, Digimon Adventure Tri Part 2: Ketsui is still an enjoyable movie. But if you go into it thinking it’s going to be moving at a faster pace from the first, then you will be disappointed. There are plenty of elements here that will make all Digifans out there drool in excitement. We are still establishing the story and the new characters, but there are some issues I have that I worry won’t be resolved going forward.
Digimon Adventure Tri Part 2: Ketsui, takes place days after the events from the first movie (or the 4th episode if you are streaming on Crunchyroll for the offical English Subs). The city is rebuilding itself and normal citizens are now more aware that these “Mysterious Creatures” are responsible for the destruction. More anomalies keep appearing around town and an old foe appears to be up to his evil ways once again.
Part 2 really doesn’t have much of a main story here. This is purely a character establishment and character building OVA. We get to see a lot more of new Digidestined, Meiko Mochizuki and her partner Meicoomon who is surprisingly a Champion Level Digimon. Despite this, Meicoomon often acts very childish and gets herself into trouble on a number of occasions. Meicoomon cares very deeply for Meiko and Meiko equally returns that affection. Meiko comes of very shy but extremely likable to her classmates and to the audience. Despite not having a ton of time to get establish them fully, we are given just enough to feel emotionally attached to these two and that’s helped with the fact the writing staff do a great job with the drama and characters.
As I said, this is a character establishment and character building OVA. The issues Taichi established in Part 1 are only glimpsed at here and there but nothing appears to be wrong with him, yet there needs to be. Even though Taichi doesn’t have the spotlight through the majority, there needs to be a sign of him relaying these thoughts in his head. Especially since there are hints this could affect the plot in some shape or form. I’m hoping it does, because if this subplot is dragged out throughout the entire 6 films and nothing significant happens, a ton of people are going to be pissed if this is just resolved with a slap over the head and him being told to just “Get over it!” like a guy getting stood up at the prom.
But what we do have is exceptional writing for the stars of Part 2, Mimi and Joe. Joe continues to study for his exams and tries drowning out everyone around him… even Gomamon. Without trying to spoil anything, Gomamon feels like he is a burden to Joe and the two begin slowly drifting apart. Joe fears that he needs to start acting like an adult and the pressure of life, school and the responsibilities of being a DigiDestined is wearing at him in a very upsetting way.
Mimi is also dealing with the fact that her actions have put civilians in danger and her “shut up and lets go” type of attitude, doesn’t always go over well with those who it involves. Nothing as emotionally impacting as Joe’s story but it certainly does make you rethink about how vulnerable some of the most happiest of people are. It’s a shame this doesn’t really do anything to the plot. Immediately after learning this life lesson she goes back to the way she is. Which isn’t bad, I love this character but it makes you wonder, why even bother? Just to have an excuse to have Palmon evolved into her Ultimate form? Very poor execution.
Just like Part 1, the visuals and sound design are excellent here. It’s well drawn, everything is distinguishable and the animation really pops. It’s a shame they got lazy in this Part. For a couple of minutes during the Cafe Cheerleaders scene with Meiko and Mimi, the animation went into slideshow mode with the camera panning and zooming to try and make it obvious that person in the corner of the screen is clapping or mimi is moving her body in a dancing scene. It’s distracting, especially considering that most of this OVA is well animated… apart from… I’m sorry I have to bring this up but… what is the point of animating Rosemon’s breasts?! Fan service? I don’t care? To show she is moving fast? I don’t care about that either. What I do care is if you are going to animate them, have more than 2 frames of a 4 second piece of animation, or don’t animate them at all. I never thought I would see the day when I would be writing about, boobs not having enough movement in anime. And it’s not because I’m a pervert… I SWEAR! It’s because, they took the time to try and add this piece of shameless fanservice and they make the animation look cheap because of it. Thankfully the sound mixing is once again flawless.
One criticism I had with Part 1, was the pacing for the entire length seemed very slow. I had it down as a necessary evil to reintroduce us to this world and establish a story. Now I have fears that the other parts will be just as bad as Part 2 in that regard. It’s been made public that we will be seeing every digimon’s Ultimate form bit by bit. However in order to do that, something needs to happen to create a chain reaction to allow for it. Which is fine, but Part 2 gave us some brilliant drama and moments of the “feels” kind and sacrifices it’s pacing for it. The first three quarters is building up to the finale fight. But the finale fight is so rushed it was almost like being teased for a large bar of chocolate only to receive 1 piece of waiting.
When it was time for Joe and Gomamon’s redemption moment, I felt like I earnt this part of the movie because I was emotionally invested. But then Mimi is like; “Can I do it too?” and we basically get a; “Sure, whatever”. Yes, her and Palmon has been built up to get the same treatment but I feel like the writers forgot it had to happen so quickly wrote it in. Joe’s explanation for why Gomamon never ultimate evolved seem believable but Mimi didn’t do anything to bring on this newly found ability besides realising it is possible to ultimate Digivolve.
This whole pacing worries me, we still have 4 more ultimate digivolutions to get through and the next 2 movies will possibly be similar to this instalment. Regardless of these issue, I still found myself enjoying the entire thing. I cried, smiled, laughed and got excited at the right moments and I’m sure any other Digifan out there will do the same.