New connections are forged with old alleys in Digimon Adventure tri. 4: Soushitsu (Loss) * SPOILER FREE
Following Meicoomon’s rampage and the Reboot, Taichi and the others leave the real world and head to the Digital World. With their Digimon partners no longer able to remember who they were, they once again try to forge new connections. It’s emotional, it’s exciting and it’s the best movie in the Digimon Adventure Tri saga yet.
Thankfully, most my complaints about the previous entries don’t seem to be present here. The pacing is perfect, the animation (apart from one of the 3D rendered digivolutions seems off) is solid and the writing is strong.
Unfortunately for Sora, Biyomon is the only Digimon reluctant about reconnecting. Naturally Sora thinks of others before herself and she now has distrust in her heart making that connection seem even further away. Sora tries to stay strong throughout, but even those with strong wills break every now and then.
The Digimon Adventure series was always about a “Coming Of Age” or a “Right of Passage” in some regard, but what Digimon Adventure Tri does so well, especially in the 4th entry, is show that it isn’t as easy as simply growing up. Being who she was before doesn’t work like it has with the others and you feel her pain because of it. Sora has had ties with Biyomon since the beginning and for the first time she needs to earn that friend’s respect.
In Part 3, Mei was too broken to do anything about her suffering friend. She was ashamed and felt the need to run from her problems because she couldn’t face it. She forced herself to support her friends but she couldn’t do anything. When Mei and Meicoomon reunited here, she accepted all her inner demons and faces her long-time friend. Even though Meicoomon tries rejecting Mei, they know their bond is stronger than their terrible past, leading to some touching moments.
It’s these moments here, that Digimon Adventure Tri continues to shine. These characters are no longer the young kids we grow up with, but they are soon to be adults who suffer more that they would as kids making for more grounded character development.
We also get to see some of Gaigo and Maki’s backstory, but without spoiling anything we get an insight as to what Maki has been acting strangely. I hope we get to see more their story because you can certainly begin to see their story is going to have a dramatic and emotional effect to the plot.
During one of their confrontations, the gang gets split up and sent to different sections of the Digital World. Plenty of fan service here and even a reunion with old Digimon friends. But what made this interesting was who got split up with who. Most of the Digidestines were separated from their partner Digimon. This led to some exciting possibilities and great interactions.
The pacing here is nothing short of perfect. The story built up nicely and the actions was plentiful… just a shame it couldn’t end with a reasonable conclusion. I have no idea what prompted or forced Toei Animation to change the format of Digimon Adventure Tri, but it is blatantly obvious this series started out as a TV show and not a Movie Saga.
I have mentioned this is my past reviews in the Saga, but this is the first time I have been genuinely annoyed because of it. Movies 1 to 3 may have had issues adapting to the format but at least you could say they were its own contained story. Something you knew is going to end on a cliff hanger but satisfying enough to say; “That’ll do pig… that’ll do”. Part 4: Soushitsu (Loss), just ends in the middle of a confrontation and for a movie this is unacceptable.
I often get angry comments in my inbox saying; “You can’t review an episode of a TV show. Of course, it’s going to have cliff-hangers and pacing problems because a TV series needs to be told as a whole. So, you can’t judge it on it’s individual parts”.
Don’t get me wrong I can understand where these people are coming from. However, it was released as a movie series and needs to be judged as such. Back to The Future and Star Wars are perfect examples of how a movie series can be done. They ended on Cliff hangers, they had perfect pacing, they were all written as a series and not just individual movies, yet they all ended their part of the story. You felt satisfied to finish it (except Star Wars Episode 1, that was just garbage) because it was its own contained story.
Ending the way it did is standard practice for a TV show, but when you have to wait 4-6 months for the next movie, it’s too abrupt and you will leave feeling extremely pissed. Not pissed at the fact you have to wait (trust me I’m used to it by now), but how sharply it ended.
Now that’s not to say the climax wasn’t exciting because it certainly was, even it was short. Their fight with Machinedramon was one of the main fights, but it was over before we knew it. Without spoiling too much, the final fight with Machinedramon was 1/4 fighting and 3/4 digivolutions. After the 5th evolution you begin to get tired and just want to see some action. A wasted opportunity.
Despite this I was on the edge of my seat the entire ride as this was the most existing entry yet. After Part 3 I wasn’t as hopeful, but Part 4 surprised me and it was great watching it.