Spoilers for Digimon Adventure Last Evolution Kizuna!
When I was a young anime fan who had never heard the word “canon” I remember obsessing over why characters in my favorite shows would never acknowledge the adventures they had just went on during their big screen outings, or talk about the friends they made along the way. “Why does nobody ever talk about Frieza’s brother, Cooler?” I’d ponder. “Are we ever going to bring up how Ash is the chosen one?” I’d shout at my TV screen.
But of all the movie exclusive characters I always wanted to see more of, one double Double-Digi-Destined American teen stood above them all: Willis from The Digimon Movie.
After watching the movie in theatres, I patiently watched Digimon Adventure 02 every Saturday morning waiting for someone to say “remember that time we hung out with that American kid and helped him get one of his Digimon back?” But it never came, not even when Davis used the Golden Armor Digi Egg he had used just a few months back alongside Willis and Terriermon!
Fast Forward to when Digimon Adventure continued in 2015 through the Tri series. I watched with my eyes glued to screen for any mention of Willis, seeking the endorphin rush of a good easter egg. But nothing, at least not that I can recall, save for some fan theories about Willis being in the fifth pod.
With Last Evolution, the moment that we saw the 02 cast key art, I thought there was perhaps a chance. Next came the information that the 02 cast’s part of the story would actually take place in America. Now I thought there was no way this movie billed as a love letter to hardcore Digimon fans — that involves the cast of characters who directly interacted with Willis, set in the same country where he’s from — could possibly not acknowledge the character.
So, does Digimon Adventure: Last Evolution Kizuna feature Willis in any capacity? Spoilers below, last chance to close this page if you want to go in blind!
I’m not joking, it’s spoiler time, baybeeeee,
Yes, I am so happy to report that Willis (Wallace in the Japanese version of Hurricane Touchdown) does in fact have a cameo in the new film, alongside both of his Digimon, Terriermon and Lopmon (Kokomon’s rookie form.)
In Kizuna, we actually get two Willis shoutouts! One near the beginning of the film and one right at the end, following the climactic battle that saw Taichi and Yamato’s Digimon face Eosmon.
Willis Scene 1:
Izzy / Izumi is talking to a new character about Digi-Destined all over the globe, and mentions his digital contact list of Digi-Destined. There is a quick shot of Izzy’s screen and among the list of contacts is in fact the name Wallace (this is the name the Japanese version of the movie used for Willis).
Willis Scene 2:
This one is also short but infinitely more satisfying. Throughout the film we see Digi-Destined around the world being put in a coma, and after Taichi and Yamato’s victory against Eosmon, many of these characters wake up. We are shown Digi-Destined from around the world waking up and greeting their Digimon. Among these scenes is one that shows a young man, blonde, walking along the beach with a joyful Terriermon and Lopmon playing and hopping all around him.
That’s right: although the end of The Digimon Movie implied a happy ending for the trio of Willis, Terriermon, and Kokomon, we never actually got to see Kokomon return to Willis’ side in the rookie form of Lopmon. Finally, 20 years later in our real world and 8 years later in universe, we’ve got on screen confirmation that the trio is together and safe.
But wait, it gets better! Willis, Terriermon and Lopmpon aren’t alone on this beach. There are at least two other humans alongside them each with a Digimon of their own. Willis has found his own Digi-Destined friends! It looked to me as though these kids were slightly younger looking than Willis, who appeared to be taller than his last appearance 8 years prior on the timeline, though wearing that same outfit except with pants instead of shorts.
Is it possible that Willis, Terriermon, and Lopmon are training these new Digi-Destined? Or were the trio protecting these kids the same way Davis, Yolei, Ken, and Cody were protecting Digi-Destined children in New York City?
For The First Time in 20 Years, Digimon Adventure has given us a check-in with the fan favourite American rival of Davis and star (sort of) of The Digimon Movie. We honestly couldn’t be happier about it.
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