By: Denise Salazar
On November 21st, the first installment of the six-feature films for Digimon Adventure Tri. was released as four episodes streaming worldwide. Let’s talk about the top 5 noteworthy moments that “wowed” both the 90’s fans and new audiences! To make things easier for us North American kids, I’ll be referring to the characters by the English dub versions of their names. (Gomenosai.)
Let’s talk about the art and the clothes.
Sixteen years later and still under the studio of Toei Animation, the Digimon franchise continues to present its unique charm. Focusing more in the Tokyo environment rather than the Digital world, the art style offers us detailed slice of life views of Japan, including the high school, neighbourhoods, the big city, and more. I think it’s focus on the current Tokyo setting is rather fitting in the Digimon universe as people being on cellphones, computers, and laptops are much more common now than in the past. It almost sheds light on the fact that we’re probably already living in a “Digital world.” The characters have also received a dramatic change in their appearance as they are given more sharper and proportioned features compared to the original anime (i.e. no more giant heads and feet), creating a more mature look.
Turning to fashion, the Toei studio made sure that the DigiDestined kept up to date with the latest trends. It was refreshing to see them wear different clothes and not the same thing every day like TV show characters often seem to do. It was interesting to see how each character’s clothing style fit with their personality. Matt sported a hipster-like look to match his rocker attitude, Mimi wore flashy clothes to highlight her outgoing and bubbly personality, and Izzy created his own software program to see which style of clothing suited him best!
Omnimon was there to save the day! This character’s presence in the show was great because it solidified that the 2000 Digimon movie was canon. Plus, the fact we’re seeing series badass Omnimon only four episodes in means there are bound to be tons of new surprises and Digivolutions in store for us.
Another instance of the original movie (or movies – our North American Digimon Movie was actually three Japanese shorts combined!) holding significance in Tri is Izzy’s sweet bachelor pad, I mean, office. Our wonder boy claims that he got it with the help of his “American friend,” which hints us at the possible existence of our dear friend, Willis!
3. Pairings and (literal) bromance
These four episodes left us with many new and old (OTP) pairings so let’s put these in a mini list!
1. Sora x Tai vs. Sora x Matt: the OG’s
Of course, we have the love triangle between the main three DigiDestineds. Beginning in the first episode, we see Sora having to pick between attending either Matt’s concert or Tai’s soccer game, but decides to go to both due to indecision. Later on, when a bunch of the crew go out for food, Mimi puts her on the spot by pointing out that both Tai and Matt have become quite handsome. Season two showed that Matt and Sora became a couple, but this tells us that the poor girl may still be stuck between the alpha and the beta male of the pack. (Although Matt should be the alpha, ’cause, you know, wolves…I digress.)
2. T.K. x Kari – the DigiDestined Angels
Our two babies. With no Davis currently in the picture (sorry, Davis and Kari shippers!) we can see a good chance of these two DigiDestined Angels getting together, right? Right? Apparently not. Judging from the amount of phone calls he makes and receives from his “girl friends,” T.K. seems like a real lady killer. While walking home from school, he does tease Kari about the possibility of her being jealous, but being the cool headed girl she is she simply brushes it off. Lovers or just best friends, they are still playful with one another and still super cute!
3. Mimi x the underdog IZZY???
Hear me out, I always thought Mimi and Joe were a thing, but this is even better! This is huge. When did our little computer savvy, too-smart-for-his-own-good Izzy become interested in girls?!
4. Matt x T.K.
Matt: “Your girlfriend?”
T.K.: “Don’t worry. I still love you the most.”
5. Tai x Matt
Alas, the not-by-blood brothers. A lot of tension was seen between the two starting from the schedule conflict with Matt’s gig and Tai’s soccer game to Matt’s determination to fight and Tai’s internal struggle with causing destruction. The two match in competitiveness and in being hotheaded so it is to no surprise to see them arguing over something. Nevertheless, from flashbacks of holding hands to linking arms to keep each other’s feet on the ground, the dynamic duo have never looked closer.
2. Theme song – oh the nostalgia.
Although the North American release of Digimon was licensed under Saban Entertainment and received a separate English theme song, avid fans are sure to recognize the original theme song, “Butter-Fly” by Koji Wada. I remember hearing it for the first time in the Philippines when I was younger and thinking “Wow! This is so much better than our version!”
The revised studio version of this track gives you goosebumps from the nostalgia and the cleanliness of it. Comparing the two, the original version had more of a “punch” with the opening guitar riff, whereas the newer version sounds lighter and more refreshing. Another reason why Tri.’s opening theme can hit you hard is because it immediately starts with the chorus (going right for the feels, eh?). Don’t even get me started on the new outro/breakdown at the end of the song. Just listen to it.
1. Season 2: Digimon Adventure 02
Before tri was released, many fans wondered if the season two universe would be included in the story, or treated as if it never really happened. Luckily, we see our beloved season two DigiDestined Davis, Yoli, Cody, and Ken at the start of the first episode! However, much to our surprise we see them being defeated, leaving us to lean closer to our digital screens and furrowing our brows.
In the later episodes, it is revealed that T.K. and Kari do have their season two Digivices which, although confirms season two’s existence, still leaves us with questions. Why isn’t anybody talking about the 02 kids? Did Alphamon defeat them and trap them in the Digital World? Why weren’t T.K. and Kari fighting alongside them?
The next installment of Digimon Adventure Tri. comes out March 12, 2016. Keep your fingers crossed for an English dub and pray that they can bring back the original cast!