Episode 19 of the Digimon Adventure 2020 Reboot, Howl Jyouken threw a lot at us longtime fans as we got to see Leomon, Velgrymon from Digimon Frontier, and got a better understanding of what Devimon’s plan in this new series.
Off the bat we learn that Sora, Izzy, Joe and Mimi are out of the Digital World and back in the real world. Like, for real this time. After just being in a FAKE real world, something about this felt a little off, like I couldn’t fully trust it or be happy about it — heck even the kids seemed to feel that way! I suppose my biggest concern is that we might be seeing these characters take a pretty big backseat for the next handful of episodes as the new series becomes the Tai and Matt show. We’ve always known these characters were going to be prioritized since they got their fancy evolution animations and whatnot, but it feels like a waste to cast aside your other characters especially after all the hard work that went into exploring their personalities between episode 9 and 15!
So long as they can hold some role in the real world, like as real world correspondents I think it will be okay. We’re already seeing some of that as at the end of the scene we shockingly saw Sora and the gang bump into Tai’s mom with Kari. We unfortunately didn’t get to see the rest of their conversation after Tai’s mom went to grab the car – I would have really liked to know if Kari recognized them from when she saw Matt and Tai on screen during the recent battle, or if Sora would tell her more about the situation. Hopefully we pick up the conversation next week and it’s not just that we cut to the next day or something.
Also, Tentomon and the others are missing! I can’t say I saw that coming when the kids entered that little wormhole in the sky. If the kids don’t even have their partners to do battle with it really will feel like the Tai and Matt show, so we’ll have to see what the show has planned as far as how the kids will find their lost Digimon.
But back in the Digital World, Tai and Matt are overwhelmed by this mechanical monster called Valvemon before they’re saved by fan favorite Leomon and his crew. Leomon informs Matt that Neamon and the others from episode 11 are safe, and this was a nice characer moment seeing that Matt was genuinely concerned for those little Digimon even if he didn’t show it too outwardly. Leomon, Tai, and Matt unite to infiltrate the Valvemon in an effort to find out what Minotarumon and his crew were seeking and take it from them. Here I must confess I wasn’t blown away by the episode, I got a bit of deja vu with this entire sequence, infiltrating a mechanical digimon fortress was way too much like episode 13 with cannonbeemon, especially with both heavily featuring matt and gaururumon. It has this Star Wars ‘enter the Death Star’ vibe that I have mixed feelings about since we’ve done it twice.
I will say however, Agumon riding Garurumon was super cool. I questioned why Agumon wouldn’t evolve himself at first, but my assumption is that Greymon would be too big for the passageways. I actually like that a lot if true, as Agumon riding Garurumon and shooting baby flames is somehow cute and metal as hell. A dragon riding a wolf shooting fire.
The good guys reach the centre of the fortress and have a little showdown with Minotarumon and his buddy. Leomon goes one on one with Minotarumon and I legitimately wondered if we were going to see Leomon perish in one episode. Not that I didn’t think he could handle himself but going off the Star Wars vibes I thought this might be an Obi Wan vs Vader on the Death Star moment. I’m glad it’s not and I want to see more of new Leomon, but for real, the countdown is ticking. Wouldn’t that be a shakeup if Leomon survives this series?
At any rate, there’s a cool shot here of Matt and Tai collaborating in their fight patterns that I like a lot and before you know it the battle is wrapping up. Leomon pulls an All Might vs All For One against Minotarumon, throwing a Jyouken with his left fist before reminding his opponent he has a second fist and blasting him to bits.
As he’s glitching out Minotarumon shares some information that is pretty useful: he wasn’t an inherently evil Digimon nor was he corrupted like others with the Soundbirdmon…he decided to follow Devimon because he seemingly believes in Devimon’s goal which he vaguely describes as evolving the Digital World into a new era. It’s super ominous and it cements that the little eyeball thing we saw last week is not a lackey of Devimon but something Devimon is feeding and growing, possibly even worshipping. That’s going to be our big bad for the series, folks.
The storage tank containing the “cargo” opens up and we find out it’s actually Matt’s younger brother T.K. or Takeru. I have to imagine if you’re Matt, you’re this overprotective older brother, seeing your kid brother not only in the dangerous digital world but trapped in this cryo-tube, would be a total nightmare. And the animation and voice acting really showed a truly disturbed Matt. It looks like next week Matt will be giving everything he’s got to rescue TK.
One last thing we have to mention before the video ends! We see working for Devimon a Digimon you might know from Digimon Frontier, VELGEMON. This is sort of a big deal and I’ll tell you why: in Frontier, Velgemon is a spirit evolution or a fusion evolution, it’s one of the Digimon that is actually a human like Takuya being Agunimon or Koji being Lobomon. I don’t necessarily think the new series is going to reveal that Velgemon is actually a human on the inside but his presence is very intriguing. Just like when Neamon and Bearmon showed up it truly means no Digimon is off the table. Will we see Terriermon? Renamon? Anything is possible!
This episode is a mixed bag for me: I’m thrilled that they’re taking the story in a completely different direction from Adventure 1999; I loved the new story bits and the inclusion of Velgemon, but I’m not so thrilled about the fact that the structure of this episode was so similar to episode 13 where matt and friends infiltrate a giant fortress like Digimon. I am also concerned about Sora, Izzy, Mimi and Joe being booted from the digital world and the show neglecting these strong characters, but I’ll have to give it one or two more episodes before making up my mind since there could be something cool brewing with them meeting Kari and with their missing Digimon. Episode 19 is a 7/10 for me personally.
What are your thoughts! What do you think about spirit fusion digimon appearing? Oh, and can you folks help me out: does anyone know that Digimon that was seen with Devimon alongside Velgemon? I didn’t recognize it personally but many of you viewers are massive experts on all things Digital Monster. Let me know in the comments and subscribe to catch my episode 20 review next week!