Digimon Adventure: 2020 Episode 3, “And To The Digital World” wraps up the prologue mini arc with a stunningly animated albeit far too short fight scene that serves as the inciting incident that transports our heroes to a new but familiar world. Once again, the Digimon Adventure: 2020 series teases old school viewers by revisiting locales and story beats while doing so in cheeky, formula-breaking ways that keep us on our toes. You can watch the video review here!
Omegamon Cleans Up
Episode 3 picks up immediately after the events of Episode 2: Omnimon / Omegamon has been forged thanks to the mysterious Divine Intervention related to T.K. and Kari, and now has sights set on the enemy Digimon. In a stunning but all too short fight scene, Omnimon vaporizes the opponent with a finishing blow strikingly similar to the way that Diaboromon was defeated back in Our War Game.
I must admit to being surprised that the new series opted to wrap up this retelling of the Our War Game arc in about two and a half episodes. When Episode 1 ended, I theorized that the entire season would be a stretched out retelling of the events of Our War Game that would allow for the likes of Sora, Mimi and Joe to slowly be introduced, in order to take part in a climactic season finale battle.
Instead, it seems the new series decided to treat the Our War Game incident as a replacement for the Greymon vs Parrotmon battle that primed the Digidestined for their future adventures in the Digital World. Setting my expectations aside, this is a pretty clever way to loop the extremely popular Our War Game plot into the series as soon as possible. It’s just too bad that it felt as rushed as it did, considering most fans’ biggest issue with the original film is that it could have been longer.
Tai, Sora, Joe and Izzy: Happy Campers
After the battle, the redirected missile which blows up safely above Tokyo creates a power outage that the characters hypothesize results in Tai being booted back to the real world. He and Izzy reflect on the last hour and here we get to see a genuinely sweet moment with these two characters trading compliments. We’re reminded that only about an hour has passed since these two first met, and already they’ve faced more adversity than most friendships will see in a lifetime! The characters then remind each other — and the audience — that summer camp is just around the corner.
I completely adore what the show does in these next few minutes. These showrunners seem obsessed with playing with our expectations, and I love it. We see Tai and Izzy arrive at camp, and we’re even treated to short glimpses of Joe and an introduction to Sora! It’s here that I thought “okay, now is when the events of the original series will start to play out beat-for-beat.” Then, one minute later, Tai and Izzy are on a bus heading back into the city! No camp incident?! It’s like the new show is intentionally out to make folks like me who think they can predict this show look like dummies.
I also want to note that the camp scene includes a great moment of theorizing where Izzy and Tai try to figure out just what exactly Agumon and the other Digimon are. Izzy proposes that they’re perhaps the end result of Artifical Intelligence that only continues to grow more intelligent. It’s only a theory, but the fact the new series is interested in discussing — and hopefully one day defining — what exactly these Digital Monsters really are is immensely exciting.
And Then, To The Digital World.
A few days or weeks have passed since the Tokyo Digital Crisis incident. Governments and journalists have written off the missile attack as an error by the U.S., and everyone has essentially moved on. That is, until a new power outage hits a portion of Tokyo and is predicted to escalate into a full on blackout covering the entirety of Tokyo. The kids’ Digivices suddenly start glowing, Tai and Izzy realize this must be another incident related to the Digimon. Tai rushes to meet Izzy, Sora spots and follows Tai, and then suddenly…
Our young heroes find themselves in a stunning, somewhat pixelated but entirely fantastical Digital World. Tai is greeted by Agumon, and the episode ends.
I had previously written that I had hoped to see the new show attempt to show us a true Digital World rather than just the bland Cyber Network like the one in the first two episodes. It seems my wish was granted here: the small bit of the Digital World we’re treated to is peaceful, bright, and absolutely stunning.
The question remains whether or not Tai, Sora, and Izzy will be able to easily hop between the real and Digital Worlds or be trapped inside. In other words, are we going for an Adventure 01 or Adventure 02 relationship to the Digital World. At this point I feel like any more theorizing on my part is a moot point, so I’ll refrain from trying to predict what these wacky showrunners are thinking.
“And To The Digital World” continues a streak of promising storytelling, beautiful animation, and balancing familiarity with changes. The abridged retelling of Our War Game is somewhat disappointing, but less so when you view it as a substitute for the Greymon vs. Parrotmon fight that was the original inciting event for the chosen children’s foray into the Digital World. Between the reveal that Matt lives outside of Tokyo, the Joe tease, and the introduction of Sora, we’re starting to meet our future team.
And To The Digital World: 9/10
Digimon Adventure: 2020 is slowly starting to look like the original show fans know and love, while simultaneously and head-scratchingly looking like something brand new. It’s an exciting time to be a Digimon fan.