Grab your Digivices for a roller coaster of Nostalgia and Thrills in Digimon Adventure Tri!
The Digivolutions is up and running! Digi-See? Digi-Hear? Digi-Know it was coming? A Digidestiny starts today! Let me hear you say… DIGIMON! As cheesy as the “Digirap” is, you didn’t care at the time and my guess is if it made a come back in the English dub, you would welcome it with open arms with a cocktail at the door.
Digimon has returned for a new series and to celebrate the 15th Anniversary we are given Digimon Adventure Tri, set 6 years after the events of the original adventures and staring the original DigiDestineds.
Digimon Adventure Tri started development as a traditional TV series due to start showing in Spring 2015. But undisclosed development issues pushed the revival back to Fall 2015 in the form of movies split into 6 parts. Doing so it gives Tri higher production values, a more mature story, but its not without it’s issues.
When Digimon Adventure Tri was first announced over a year ago, it was met with applause and worry. Would the creators be able give this aging franchise a new lease of life?
Taichi and the rest of Adventure 01’s DigiDestineds are back and are in their High school years. As our heroes grow, so does their perception on life. Everyone has matured. Koushiro (Izzy) has a crush on Mimi and is looking at ways to impress her. Joe is struggling at school and if you were a fan of the original, that would come as a surprise to you. As much as they want to, the gang are finding it more difficult to be able to hang out anymore with the commitments attached to growing up pushing them even further apart. This gives each character a 3D personality you can relate to with a believably strong chemistry you would expect from some close childhood friends.
But why are our original heroes the center of attention once again? Besides being an anniversary project? In the opening sequence we see silhouettes of Adventure 02’s protagonists (excluding Takeru (T.K) and Hikari (Kari)), fall by the hand of a mysterious Digimon with their fate currently unknown. Classic Digimon foe Kuwagamon suddenly appears in Japan along with other strange phenomenons. Taichi reunites with Agumon just as Kuwagamon is about to attack our Hero and fends it off. The relationship between the two instantly brings a tear to your eye to finally see them back together. The fight continues to the Airport where Taichi discovers the other Digimon have also arrived back and are returned to their friends. A battle ensues and after we discover the existence of a new government agency tasked with researching Digimon and the infected Digimon that are appearing in the real world. It is not yet clear why they are researching Digimon but there are hints that there is more to the story than simply research.
Everyone still has the same character traits they are known for and even if you are new comer, you wont feel confused as to which role each of them plays and it even shows more mature themes not seen when they were kids.
During his encounter with Kuwagamon, Taichi develops a fear of fighting, after realizing he is causing more destruction and pain to those he is hoping to protect. The movie does a good job of showing his newly found fear but its difficult to justify with the absence of actual victims. One of the major aspects to make him feel this way is a crunched cell phone which makes think of his sister and if she was the person that was hurt. However everyone comes out unscratched or at least no one is shown to be hurt. We even see everyone that was on a overpass, which collapsed, leave perfectly fine. Which makes it difficult for us to feel Taichi’s pain as much as the creators would like us too.
We are even introduced to a new Digidestined girl, Meiko Mochizuki and her Digimon Meicoomon who appears to be an infected Digimon. Even though we don’t spend much time with Meiko, she comes off as easily likable and the gang all seem to welcome her to the group with open arms.
The first thing that strikes you when you begin watching, are the visuals. This is a very gorgeous movie, everything pops, very small details with “blink and you miss them” moments, makes this world feel alive again. You can tell the creators have given their all into making this the best Digimon series in a long time.
The music, as you would expect, is good. Everything flows flawlessly, the pieces give a real sense of urgency when needed and the beautiful Orchestra cover of the main theme Butter-Fly will send shivers down your spine when you hear it but apart from that nothing sticks out enough to make you want to buy the official soundtrack.
Unless you live in Japan, chances are, you are more than likely to have watched Part 1 in episodic format on Crunchyroll (thanks by the way). Why this decision was made is beyond me and is one of my major complaints. Because of the pace the movies tend to follow, episodes 1-4 don’t flow all that well. Episodes end so abruptly that you risk getting annoyed by the opening and ending theme songs and ad breaks as it gets in the way of the action, or lack of it at times. There doesn’t appear to be any real attempt from the editors to make each episode its own distinct section of the story and in doing so messes with the flow in more ways than one. Tri currently doesn’t have the same energy its predecessors shared. Each episode from earlier incarnations always had you on the edge of your seat. Here I’m on the edge of my seat to hit “Play Next Episode” to get some of the good stuff.
We have to wait for Part 2: Ketsui (Determination) to be released in March 2016 anyway so why split it into episodes? It doesn’t help that Part 1 is naturally slow paced saving all the good stuff for future parts leaving us surrounded by mystery. The nostalgia factor however, can only do so much and thankfully we still have 5 more movies to see the story play out.
This movie, and I’m sure the Entire Digimon Adventure Tri series, is pure fan service and a decent one that plays with your heart in Act one. Although it does have it’s issues, those issues can easily be solved as the story continues with the 5 movies set to come out.
Digimon Adventure Tri – Part 1 – Reunion is clearly being created by people who know exactly what the Digimon adventure is all about, while also giving their fans a story that doesn’t feel like a simple cash in on nostalgia. There is enough to keep Digifans new and old alike happy but the long wait for the next movie (or next 4 episodes) is going to be torture.