The Digimon Adventure Remake Just Had Its Best Episode | Episode 8 Review

Since episode 1 of the new 2020 Digimon Adventure remake reboot series its quality has never been in question. Its animation impressed in the pilot. Its script-flipping reveal of that character in the second episode shocked and awed. Its continual dedication to both paying respect to and innovating on characters we’ve loved for 20 years are all marks of a great series.

But Episode 8 of the new series took things to a new level, with riveting action and genuinely sweet character turns, proving without a doubt that Digimon Adventure 2020 is going to be something special.

ATTACK ON DIGI

The episode sees the kids reaching their destination across the ocean thanks to the sea support granted by Joe and Ikakumon. Mimi is lovingly braiding Ikakumon’s fur — an adorable touch — when the team is blasted out of the water by forces holding down a fort right outside the team’s destination.

The Chosen Children make it to the shore and are saved by the inimitable Matt, wearing a cool-as-heck hood and cape. As if Matt couldn’t be any more cool, the show decided to turn his bad boy levels up to 11 with a cape.

The team retreats thanks to an opening Matt and Gabumon provide them, and take shelter in a cave, where Tai re-meets Matt and Gabumon. Re-meeting Gabumon in particular made for an interesting dynamic since Tai has technically met Gabumon before, just in a more advanced state as Garurumon. It’s like when you meet someone in a work setting versus off hours at a bar. Gabumon is much sweeter in this state and even has a cute reunion with Agumon, too.

MATT VS EVERYBODY

Matt sizes the team up and concludes they’re more or less dead weight, and rides Garurumon into battle in a way that made me nostalgic for Davis and Willis riding Raidramon in the Hurricane Touchdown section of the Digimon Movie — “we’re on a missiooon!”

In what can only be described as the worst decision of Joe’s young life, the sweet summer child decides that surrender is the approach to take. Joe is swiftly blasted by tank type Digimon – really no surprise there, but we at least we get a good bit about “Mimi’s” towel that Joe ruined, which is actually Sora’s towel. On top of that, the plan’s failure forces Tai and Sora into action.

TAI, MATT, AND SORA: LOVE TRIANGLE ORIGINS?

Tai and Sora try to keep up with Matt and Garurumon, and Sora comments on how amazing the new kid is. It’s here I thought “is this the show planting seeds of the famous love triangle of the original series?” Sora and Birdramon cause a distraction that lets Matt advance, but before they split up, Sora gets a cool “name’s Sora, don’t you forget it” style self introduction to Matt. She hasn’t acted this cool in her introductions thus far to Izzy, Mimi, Joe, or even Tai…could Sora think of Matt in a different light than the others? Trying to impress him? HMM…

Tai and Matt infiltrate the fortress and Greymon gives Matt and Garurumon an opening. Mid-attack, Yamato looks around to see the once cowardly Joe shooting him a thumbs up, and suddenly reflects on the fact that these total strangers are helping him. On one hand it felt like this character reached an emotional breakthrough a little too fast (he’s flashing back to events from five minutes ago!). On the other hand it also works at this pace, because it teaches Matt that people can just be fundamentally kind to each other regardless of what they do or don’t know about one another I like this a lot, actually.

Matt and Garurumon power up, that seriously stellar main action theme kicks in, and for half a second I thought we were about to get Weregarurumon as Matt’s Digimon started to light up blue. Instead we see him and the other Chosen Children finish off the battle with impressive combat animation, and the episode ends with both parties, Matt and the other Chosen Children, acknowledging that they’d be toast without the other. Matt is not running in for a group hug but he is quietly acknowledging the perks of teamwork, and it’s the exact state for where his character should be at this time.

The already thrilling episode ends with an equally exciting cliffhanger as the children find a basement in the middle of the occupied fortress town that seems to contain writing that use the language of the Holy Digimon.

More Episode Observations

  • Here’s an interesting new dynamic: Joe displays a bit of jealousy over Izzy’s smarts. “As the oldest here I must be the one to lead everyone.” I’m a sucker for characters who THINK they should be the leader — it’s why I loved Davis so much and his dislike for TK in 02 — and I wonder if we’ll see more of a feud between Joe and Izzy in the future.
  • At this point it is like a running gag to not give Birdramon an evolution scene. Birdramon evolves twice in this episode and nothing either time! The first time it’s off screen and the second time, Piyomon is dead centre of the screen and we just flash cut to Birdramon. Brutal. I’m not even a big Birdramon fan I just believe in equal rights for partner Digimon.

Conclusion

From start to finish this episode never lets up. Other episodes have impressed and rarely dragged but this episode solidified the show’s commitment to action, stellar animation, and most importantly, character building. It was oddly touching to see Joe and Mimi shoot thumbs-ups Matt’s way despite their sheer horror; to see Sora confidently introduce herself to the new kid; to see Tai accept that he doesn’t need to be the leader in every scenario, letting Matt take the lead; and at the end of it all, seeing Matt thank them all.

Digimon Adventure: 2020 is doing something special, and every Digi fan should be watching.

10/10 


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IS DIGIMON ADVENTURE 2020 GET AN ENGLISH DUB?

Digimon Adventure: 2020 Episode 7 Review Reaction – That Boy Is Joe Kido

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Episode 7 of Digimon Adventure: 2020 was one of my favorite episodes of the new series, nailing the introduction of one of Digimon’s most real characters in this Joe Kido centred episodes.

With Mimi and Palmon recently recruited, the kids work their way towards the sea and happily realize they’re closer than they thought: Tai, Sora, Agumon and Birdramon volunteer to scope out the ocean from the air, only to get rocked by a cannon-shooting sea based Digimon, Gesomon. Just when thinks are looking dicey they’re saved by Gomamon, who is once again voiced perfectly by Junko Takeuchi, who’s played Gomamon since 1999 and — fun fact — also voices Naruto.

Once back on land, Gomamon explains that he knows all about chosen children and their mission, because he has a partner of his own. In this scene with things calming down, we’re treated to an amazing steel drum variation on the show’s adventure theme that I loved hearing. It really complimented the scenery with its beach vibes. Moving passed that there’s no easy way to be the replacement for internationally beloved songs like “Butterfly” and “Braveheart” , if you can accept the new show’s music for what it is, I think it’s actually proving itself to be pretty fantastic.

Back on plot, we find out Joe knows about his responsibility relating to the Holy Digimon, but resents the burden as he’s already devoted his summer to studying to middle school entrance exams. Anyone familiar with the character knows that Joe and studying go hand in hand, but I thought the show knocked it out of the park showing the turmoil this young kid is and just how destructive societal and familiar pressure to be the best can be. I mean we actually see Joe punching a log and slamming his head against the wall. It was kind of heartbreaking and really…real.

Still, the kids have a mission to accomplish and if Joe won’t help then they decide to improvise without him. I love the shot of the kids here, it remind me of some of the classic key art for the 1999 version of Digimon Adventure. Gomamon is wiling to join, offering some rookie level sea support. Gomamon is quickly overwhelmed and washes up on shore where he’s saved by Joe, who’s been watching from the sidelines.

Gomamon finds the exact words Joe needs to hear: what you need to get done in this world, you don’t have to do alone. It couldn’t be more true — heck, Joe was only able to do the studying he crammed in before the other kids’ arrival because Gomamon was on security and supply gathering duty for him. Joe decides it’s his turn to help Gomamon and triggers his evolution into Ikakumon.

We see a great Ikakumon transformation, a new short Togemon evolution, and here is where I should note that again Birdramon gets nothing! Poor Birdramon. Maybe one day.

The ensuing fight scene once again impressed the heck out of me for not being a simple “power up and then instantly win” match. Ikakumon is not able to wreck Gesomon in one shot, or anything like that. It’s just that Ikakumon’s presence gies the team some well needed ocean support, but the goal is mainly to have Ikakumon drag Gesomon onto the land, where Togemon and Greymon are in their element and can take it from there.

Just the fact that the Digimon are fighting as a unit, playing to their elemental strengths and weaknesses, is really cool to me, and something we don’t get to see that often.

They win — no surprise there — and Joe agrees to join the mission, mainly because the sooner they care care of this whole Tokyo power outage the sooner he can get back to studying. It’s bittersweet, but Joe has a sense of humour and autonomy here that highlights this journey he went on in this 20 minute episode.

Joe is such a compelling character and so much more than “the nerd in the group” or “the scaredy cat” and I’m thrilled that the new show not only recognizes that but spends the time on it. This is a 8/10 episode for me. It would be higher if it had larger movement towards the larger plot, but as a “forming the band” episode before advancing the Holy Digimon plot, I thought it was as good as it could have possibly been.

 

 

Digimon Adventure: 2020 Episode 5 Review Reaction- Holy Digimon

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Digimon Adventure 2020 Episode 5, Holy Digimon, offers fans a whole new history of the Digital World for this show and sets up what looks to be the show’s central plot moving forward.  Mega level teases, strategic Digimon battles and a new Digivolution that is equal parts awesome and hilarious make for an essential episode.

Picking up immediately after the events of Birdramon Soars, Tai, Sora, Agumon and Piyomon reach this rainbow mountain and trigger communication with the statues of ancient Digimon after Tai reads and touches mysterious glyphs.

The kids learn about the history of this show’s Digital World and simultaneously, long time Digimon fans learn once and for all that the story of this world is in fact different than Adventure 01. Long ago the forces of evil and good collided. Six familiar mega level Digimon fought for the side of good and won the battle, before being reverted to eggs and more or less scattered across the Digital World like Dragon Balls.

It seems like the Agumon, Piyomon, and Tentomon that we’ve met this far are in fact the same Digimon who foughts as megas all those years ago, seeing as Agumon had an involuntary emotional response to hearing this story. Now, dark forces are back and it’ll take the power of human kids to help those old warrior Digimon get their strength back.

Overall, I’m pretty into this setup. It’s a little black and white for my liking — good and evil Digimon fought and now they’re fighting again — but we do have to remember that we’re adult fans of a new kids’ show. The plot isn’t made to wow us and it’s going to skew simpler.

I would love it if they went nuts and later revealed that this great war with mega level digimon was somehow a reference to the events of Adventure 01. Maybe there was a reboot of the Digital World or even somehow a reboot of the human world and that’s how we can explain how the events of 01 really happened in this universe even though this Tai is ostensibly a different Tai from the first show, living in a different time period. But this would all be super meta and difficult to pull off, and again I just don’t think a kid’s show is going to go for something like that. But I would love to see it. I digress. I’m spinning out into theory video territory here — I can definitely do a “my theories” or “how I’d write Digimon Adventure 2020” video if that’s something you viewers are interested in, but for now let’s focus on the content in front of us.

So after this exposition, the kids are ambushed by a small army of Digimon seemingly controlled by Songbirdmon — which, is probably a completely normal sounding name for Japanese viewers but comes across a little silly in English. Here is where something amazing happens though, in my opinion: the ensuing battle is not just a simple fight where whoever Digivolves first wins. There is strategy involved in this battle related to physical location as the Digimon intentionally pin down the kids, who can’t make a concentrated attack because they’re caved in and surrounded by all sides.

I did not expect something like this from Digimon. It felt like a tactics game, like Fire Emblem (or Digimon Survive maybe?) where your spot on the map is more important than your attack power alone. Team A (Sora, Tai, Piyomon and Agumon) conclude that they need Birdramon to pierce through the barrier so that Greymon can land a decisive blow from a better vantage point. It’s really smart and it was genuinely satisfying to see the chosen children contributing to the battle with their heads instead of just letting their monster friends do the fighting.

Elsewhere, Team B (Izzy and Tentomon) have an ambush of their own to deal with. Tactics takes a bit of a back seat here in favour of playing up an emotional connection between Izzy and Tentomon. I have to say, I don’t necessarily remember this from Adventure 01 but in recent years I’ve been loving the unique bond these two have, as seen in Tri and now here. There is a sweetness to Tentomon not observed in the other Digimon; Tentomon and Izzy both seem like outsiders of the group and Tentomon seems protective of Izzy in a way that is really endearing.

That protective nature manifests itself in a Digivolution, one that is absolutely hilarious to me: we get to see Tentomon midway through evolving to Kabuterimon, which is basically this swollen jacked bug man. It’s gross and I love it. It reminds me of the Ultra Beasts from Pokemon Sun and Moon. Kabuterimon kicks all kinds of butt, the kids confirm their commitment to the newly discovered mission, and once again the episode end shortly thereafter.

But not before two great teases! We get to see a series favorite villain, Devimon, as well as the iconic pink cowboy hat and the girl it belongs to, Mimi. Looks like next episode will see Mimi joining the party (which, side note, I’m now realizing sounds like we’re watching a fantasy RPG, and I’m okay with that).

Overall this episode succeeded in telling us a bit more about this world while building a path for our lead characters to walk down for the foreseeable future. It’s interesting to note that T.K. and Kari’s angel Digimon were NOT present in the flashback to the ancient Digimon battle that showed mega levels of the other kids’ Digimon. This makes me think there will be some exciting twists having to do with their roles in the story. I’m looking forward to seeing how the show deals with two holy Digimon joining the ranks of the 6 hero Digimon of the past.

8/10 – Digimon Adventure: 2020 “Holy Digimon” sets up what we assume is the end goal for the next handful of episodes, if not the rest of the series. With satisfying world building and smart action that goes beyond the “punch harder” trope, this episode succeeds.


Why no images in this article? Consider this review an experiment. Since April 2020 someone is issuing DMCA takedowns on all of our articles related to Digimon. This means all ads are removed from the web page, and we are removed from Google search results. We can only assume it is due to the use of screenshots from the episodes, which should be completely safe under fair use rules. It is very likely the license holders issuing these takedowns, but it is completely unjustified. We intentionally did not include screenshots from this episode to see if this article still gets blacklisted. If so, we’ll be able to confirm the entity issuing DMCA takedowns is simply scrubbing our site for the word “Digimon” and demonetizing all content covering the series. It’s extremely unfortunate. 

Digimon Adventure: 2020 Episode 4 Review – Birdramon Soars

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After what feels like ages, Digimon Adventure 2020 is back in business. The Digi train has left the station and finally viewers get to explore the new Digital World teased  at the end of Episode 3.

Birdramon Soars finds itself in a tricky spot as far as expectations go. It is the first episode after a two month hiatus that was unplanned and out of the studio’s control. It is also essentially the first episode of a new mini arc, meaning the events of this episode were never going to reach the highs of Episode 3, which was the conclusion of mini arc 1.

With all that said, Birdramon Soars mostly impressed me with its realization of the Digital World, a jaw dropping Digivolution sequence, and time for Sora and Birdramon to…well…Soar.

Animation Concerns After The Hiatus

I do have one concern with this episode, though, and that was with some moments of animation that didn’t feel all that animated. Let’s just rip the band-aid off and cover that before exploring what I loved.

Early on viewers are treated to sprawling shots of this shiny, bright Digital World, which I adored as establishing shots…until Digimon in motion were included. For some reason these monsters didn’t feel like they were moving in a space — they felt like PNG files dragged across a background in Photoshop. I don’t consider myself an animation snob, but there was little to no animation on the creatures themselves and it was extremely hard not to notice.

Later on in the episode the same thing happened to Sneimon – the Digimon flies out of the shot but instead of flying it looked like clip art was dragged out of the crop area.

I’m curious to see if we’ll get more of this in future episodes or if it will prove to be an anomaly. Is this the first time we’re physically seeing the side effects of the mandatory work from home period animation studios were forced to take? OR, was episode 4 always going to take a hit? It’s always possible and fairly common for shows to pour their budgets into the first few episodes and the final couple episodes of a season to grab audiences from the start, so maybe episode 4 was always destined to look a little worse than episode 3.

Agumon Shinka

One thing that didn’t look worse was the phenomenal Digivolution sequence that Agumon is treated to in this episode. Between the original 01, Tri, and this, I think Adventure 2020 may have just given us the best evolution sequence we’ve ever seen. I can’t wait to see the other partner Digimon get this treatment, and I’m even more excited to see what Champion to Ultimate will look like!

As for the episode’s plot it’s fairly straight forward, and honestly a nice slowdown after the dramatic heights of the Tokyo Digital Crisis arc. The kids have 72 hours before a region wide blackout hits Tokyo, and have to work their way towards a colourful mountain that seems to hold the answers. Sora, Tai, Agumon and Piyomon craft a raft, and in a delightful moment Sora justifies why she wears that helmet-hat thingie, deeming it necessary to wear a helmet for this dangerous raft ride.

Taichi and Greymon fight an enemy in the water while Sora and Piyomon fight the Sneimon in the sky. Sora demonstrates courage and love climbing up the Sneimon’s leg to free Piyomon, and their connection results in the birth of Birdramon. We’re treated to a killer bit of music by Takayoshi Tanimoto, and the episode more or less ends.

Conclusion

Birdramon Soars was a fine addition to the new canon of Digimon Adventure 2020 episodes. It presented concerns in the early half with clip art level animation at times, bu redeemed itself shortly after with an unbelievable transformation scene and a stellar fight with Birdramon. Episode 5 teases a bit of world building with Holy Digimon that looks promising; we’ll see next week if the history of this Digital World is similar to the original shows, or if they’re going for something completely new.

7/10 – Digimon Adventure: 2020 “Birdramon Soars” takes things slow, letting viewers soak in the new series’ Digital World, and allowing Sora and Piyomon to form a believable connection.


Why no images in this article? Consider this review an experiment. Since April 2020 someone is issuing DMCA takedowns on all of our articles related to Digimon. This means all ads are removed from the web page, and we are removed from Google search results. We can only assume it is due to the use of screenshots from the episodes, which should be completely safe under fair use rules. It is very likely the license holders issuing these takedowns, but it is completely unjustified. We intentionally did not include screenshots from this episode to see if this article still gets blacklisted. If so, we’ll be able to confirm the entity issuing DMCA takedowns is simply scrubbing our site for the word “Digimon” and demonetizing all content covering the series. It’s extremely unfortunate. 

Digimon Adventure: 2020 Episode 2 Review – War Game

Digimon Adventure: 2020 Reboot returns with an episode that is likely to be more divisive than last week’s pilot: fans craving a shakeup of the Digimon Adventure formula will love the episode’s willingness to break the mold, while those who were concerned about the first episode’s breakneck pacing will be dizzied by how much happens here. Warning: full spoilers ahead!  Continue reading “Digimon Adventure: 2020 Episode 2 Review – War Game”

Is Digimon Adventure: 2020 Reboot Getting An English Dub?

The 2020 remake of Digimon Adventure: is officially here, at least for Japanese viewers and those who watch with English subtitles. But one question fans who grew up with the English voices of Joshua Seth, Jeff Nimoy and the like are dying to know is, will there be an English Dub of Digimon Adventure: 2020? Continue reading “Is Digimon Adventure: 2020 Reboot Getting An English Dub?”

Amazing Digimon Movie Fan Art Sees DigiDestined Girl Gang

My favorite part of the North American Digimon Movie was the middle section where the Adventure 01 kids reunited with their Digimon to stop Diaboromon’s internet takeover. But while it was always cool seeing Tai, Matt, T.K. and Izzy in action, a full half of the DigiDestined team sat this movie out! One Reddit user wanted to fix that.

Over on /r/digimon, reddit user sindorman shared an incredible piece of fan art that sees the female chosen children logging onto the internet to join in on the fight. The artist managed to perfectly capture Mamoru Hosoda’s take on the early internet, even giving the girls’ Digimons that glossy internet filter we saw on Agumon and the others 20 years ago.

digimon-movie-kari-sora-mimi

“As a kid i always wanted Mimi, Sora and Kari to come help fight Diaboromon,” sindorman told fellow Digimon fans on Reddit.  “But since that never happened, i figured i’d have to draw it myself.”

As a kid i always wanted Mimi, Sora and Kari to come help fight Diaboromon, but since that never happened, i figured i’d have to draw it myself 😌 from digimon

Just imagine: TK and Kari’s angel Digimon pairing up! Mimi telecommuting in from Hawaii! Tai and Sora hashing out their beef from the movie over…2000s FaceTime!

Of course, Digimon redditors loved the art, but couldn’t help but point out one person missing. Poor Joe! If we imagine Mimi, Kari, and Sora joining Tai, Matt, Izzy, and T.K. then that means Joe was the only one of the Adventure 01 DigiDestined not in attendance.  Poor Joe can never catch a break.

It’s a shame the “Our War Game” movie had to be so short, because we’d have loved to see all these DigiDestinedDynamics play out on screen in the battle against Diaboromon. If only Hosoda had a second chance to tell the story in Our War Game…oh wait.

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