Ken? A newcomer? Who is this familiarly dresses menace smirking over the destruction of a field of Digi-eggs in the latest trailer? We speculate the possible identity of Digimon Tri: Determination’s new Digimon Emperor in order of the most rational to outright craziest candidates.
Likely: Ken Ichijouji
Although Ken had the dark spore that once turned him into a dark ruler of the Digital World removed at the end of Adventure 02, the original Digimon Emperor / Kaiser is still our most likely suspect. At the beginning of the first episode of Digimon Tri, Taichi seemingly had a vision of the 02 kids – minus T.K. and Kari – being defeated by Alphamon. Maybe this new threat infecting Digimon like Kawagumon can also infect humans, and has taken control of the 02 team after besting them?
It’s not the first time humans have been controlled by Digimon, after all, as the surprise ending of Digimon Adventure 02 was that Myotismon had possessed Yukio Oikawa and been living inside of him. Plus, What looks like an infected Imperialdramon has been spotted facing off against the Digidestined in the Determination trailer, so it would make sense for Ken to be commanding him.
Possible: A Newcomer
It’s entirely possible Toei Animation and co. are throwing us for a loop, and this new Emperor / Kaiser looking character is someone totally new. Perhaps he’s a Kylo Ren type, trying to ‘finish what the original Digimon Emperor started.’ Or maybe we’re just analyzing things too hard and his similar choice of clothes is just as coincidence? Personally I don’t buy it, but let’s not rule out the possibility that this is a new villain.
Maybe: Sam /Osamu Ichijouji, Ken’s Brother
Ken’s older brother Sam was said to have died prior to the events of Adventure 02, causing Ken to turn towards the darkness in his grieving. With that in mind, this possibility does seem a little out there, but let’s try and make a case for it:
We know that Ken actually inherited his Digivice from his brother, who would frequently make trips to the Digital World and leave Ken jealous. What if somehow, Sam never really died but instead got trapped or intentionally stayed in the Digital World? Having a human die, especially the relative of a central character, especially a child, always struck me as incredibly dark for a kids’ show. Maybe Digimon Tri is trying to tie up a loose end they never got to address in 02 by having Sam / Osamu return and letting Ken confront that reality?
Crazy: Tai / Taichi Kamiya
Several astute fans have been quick to point out that this villainous looking figure shares a similar facial structure and almost identical hairstyle with series central protagonist, Tai / Taichi. If this was in fact the case, the biggest question we need to ask is ‘why would Tai go bad?’ Here a couple possible reasons:
- Afraid of the damage Digimon can cause on the human world, Tai decides it best to keep the two worlds divided and tries to rule over the Digimon to ensure they can’t cross over to the real world.
- Perhaps this scene is some kind of dream or hallucination Tai has of where he could end up if he follows down the same path he’s on.
Frankly, I’m not so sure how believable this one is, but the resemblance is definitely notable. A story arc of Tai turning towards evil and needing his friends to redeem him would be an unexpected place for the Tri series to go, though. But would Agumon ever stand for it?
Bonkers: Davis / Daisuke
When Ken transformed into the Digimon Emperor, his hairstyle changed completely from that of his real world form to resemble his brother Sam, who he admired greatly and wanted to be. Part of Davis / Daisuke’s character has always been a desperation to live up to the legacy of the original Digidestined leader, Tai/ Taichi. What if Davis has assumed the role of this new Digimon Emperor and his hair changes to reflect the person he wishes to be – Tai?
Plus, we know Imperialdramon has a bond with two very specific people: Ken and Davis / Daisuke. If Ken is somehow not involved, but an infected Imperialdramon is still wreaking havoc, surely there could be only one other possible accomplice: Davis.
Those are the only possibilities we could dream up, but what do you think? Is it as simple as Ken just with a slightly new character design, or something as crazy as Davis or Tai taking on the mantle of the Digimon Emperor? We’re sure to get our next clue this September when Digimon Adventure Tri: Confession hits theatres in Japan and Crunchyroll worldwide.