By: Denise Salazar
On March 12th, the second installment of the Digimon Adventure Tri. six-feature film series, “Determination,” released globally. Packed with serious fan service, character development, and jaw dropping battle scenes, these four episodes did not disappoint. What’s evident from “Determination” is that this series has taken a much darker and mature route, presumably to help cater to its now grown, young adult audience. Without further ado, let’s recap its top 5 “wow” moments!
5. The Ships
T.K. x Kari
Although their interactions were kept to a minimum this time, the writers managed to squeeze in a few cute scenes of the DigiDestined Angels. The two shared bickering as well as a slight embrace when T.K. saved Kari from a terrible fall after sliding across the bath house. (That skinship, though.)
Mimi x Izzy
The first Digimon Adventure Tri. movie, “Reunion,” threw us a curve ball by bringing up the fact that Izzy had developed a crush on Mimi. Throughout “Determination,” he had been quite explicit in showing his feelings. For instance, during the school festival Izzy blushes fervently and gushes over a photo of Mimi’s cheerleader outfit that he comically rushes to the school to see in person. Oh, innocent Izzy.
Mimi x Meiko
In the last movie we were also introduced to Meiko, a meek girl and new DigiDestined. Although Mimi is able to hit it off with anybody, the two share many instances of a strong, blossoming friendship (?), such as matching nicknames – Mimi and Meimei – and Meiko’s flustering over Mimi’s straightforwardness (i.e. with multiple giant hugs and their dancing duo performance at the school festival).
Tai x Matt
Move over, Sora. You are no longer aboard this ship! From being half-naked and alone in a sauna to riding together in Matt’s moped, the sexual tension between the two was nothing to ignore. The majority of their interactions together consisted of intense stare downs rather than actual dialogue. Just embrace it, guys.
Honourable mention goes out to Leomon and Meicoomon.
4. Internal Battles of the DigiDestined
A recurring motif throughout the Digimon Adventure Tri. series is the emotional conflict experienced by the DigiDestined in trying to redeem their “crests” or embodied core character traits when faced with burdens of reality.“Reunion” focused on Tai’s internal dilemma of needing to defeat the Infected Digimon, but wanting to protect the city and its people. This demonstrated his struggle in representing the Crest of Courage.
In “Determination” the focus is placed on Mimi and Joe. While Mimi’s egocentric personality prevents her from embodying her Crest of Sincerity, Joe’s refusal to fight with the others prevents him from embodying his Crest of Reliability.
An implication of experiencing these self-doubts is that it manifests into the weakening of their Digimon. This is first seen in “Reunion” where Tai’s hesitations weakens Omnimon’s fusion. In “Determination” this is evident in Togemon’s failed attempt in her battle with Ogremon as well as Gomamon’s inability to digivolve.
Moreover, the writers didn’t approach this concept lightly. Specifically with Joe, we are shown how strongly he feels about not wanting to fight, or basically abandon his role and responsibility as a DigiDestined, when he begins to breakdown and cry. As a result, Gomamon is left feeling unwanted and, thus, decides to leave his partner. As the DigiDestined struggle with their identities, duties, and desires we are left to observe that although fictitious, the issues they face and how they handle them make these characters seem almost real.
3. The Digimon Emperor
Alas, after much speculation, and donning a much more chic looking outfit and hairstyle, the Digimon Emperor has been revealed to be Ken Ichijouji. The shocked reactions by the DigiDestined, especially those by T.K. and Kari, raises many questions.
If they already know that the Digimon Emperor is Ken, implicitly saying that they have saved him from his former persona once before, why has he reverted back to it? Also, does this mean that they remember the rest of the Digimon Adventure 02 kids like our golden boy, Davis? One thing that I look forward to in the upcoming episodes is to hear the Emperor speak about all of this and more* for himself.
*i.e. his snarky comments
2. Mega Digivolutions
As mentioned before, whenever the DigiDestined struggle with themselves, their internal conflict directly affects their Digimon. A good thing, though, is that this also occurs for the opposite. In their battle with Imperialdramon, Joe and Mimi find themselves right in the nick of time, allowing Gomamon and Palmon to mega digivolve to Vikemon and Rosemon. I thought Zudomon and Lilymon were dope, but these two are BADASS. Their fight with Imperialdramon was no joke either.
If their appearance got you just as worked up as I was, keep in mind that Digimon Adventure Tri. won’t stop there. We should expect to see more mega digivolutions in the future!
1. Meicoomon and the Black Digivice
Don’t you hate it when the character you love, the character you’re rooting for, and the character you’ve already grown attached to ends up being the bad guy? Yeah, me too. Whether or not her true evil form was finally awakened or that she is simply a victim to all of this (I’m hoping for the latter), there is no doubt now that Meicoomon is involved with the Infected Digimon.
Despite her adorable feline-like features, one can’t help but wonder of her peculiar design, such as her X-shaped pupils. Throughout the series we also see Meicoomon being triggered and frightened by the sight and remembrance of Infected Digimon. It is not until Meiko’s digivice turns black that Meicoomon becomes evil and ultimately kills Leomon. (RIP, Leomon. You did not deserve to die…again.)
Digimon Adventure Tri. “Determination” was an emotional rollercoaster, to say the least. While some questions were answered, many more were created. One important character I did not mention on the list was Maki Himekawa. Her relationship with both Ken and Meicooman is unknown, but her smirk following Leomon’s death will forever be ingrained in my mind. With all that’s been given to us so far, I believe that it’s fair to say that Digimon Adventure Tri. is doing everything right.
The third installment, “Confession,” will be released in Summer 2016! If you have any questions or interesting fan theories, please feel free to leave a comment below!