Man… this was a NOSTALGIA trip. I watched Digimon back when it was airing in english and I remember liking it a lot. Not as much as I loved Pokemon, but I still enjoyed it. When I first heard about this new revamp, I wasn’t too keen on it because they’ve been milking the heck out of the Adventure series since Tri and boy was Tri a devastating train wreck. After how bad Tri was, I thought I was done with Digimon because I felt like I just couldn’t trust Toei with good writing anymore. But judging from this first episode, it SEEMS like they’re stepping up a bit.
I more or less thought this would just be a retelling of the same story from the original, just with nicer animation. I was half right. Turns out, they just took the old characters and set them into the current year of 2020 and practically created a completely new setting. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. They actually did a lot of things I liked and enjoyed for this new alternate telling of Digimon Adventure. A big change right off the bat is what is indicated in the opening. From the looks of it, it looks like this series is going to be pretty Tai- excuse me TAICHI centered. I’m so used to referring them to their dubbed names, but since I’m watching it in the sub, I guess I’ll have to refer to them by their original names. It just feels weird since I grew up with their dubbed names though lol. I apologize in advance if I accidentally relapse into using their dubbed names.
ANYWAYS, a big difference in that opening had to be that the other Digidestineds looked to be more side characters compared to how they were portrayed in the original Digimon Adventure. Sure, Taichi was still the main character of the series, but he didn’t feel like he was the biggest focus and the other kids had their moments to shine just as much as Taichi did. So I hope that will still be the case. Though I am kind of worried since this episode was a VERY heavy Taichi episode.
Unlike the original setting, Digimon Adventure: (2020) is set in the year 2020, hence the title with upgraded technology and the like. All of their technology was linked to the net or in this case, the Digital world. The setting honestly reminded me of Megaman NT Warrior, if anyone remembers that series back in the early 2000’s. And while it’s an interesting concept, I kind of miss the fantasy world that basically paralleled the real world in the original series. (Yes, Digimon definitely counts as an isekai) I am curious as to how they will tackle this new concept and how it’s all going to play out since we don’t know if the kids will be stuck in this world or they’ll be able to go in and out between the two worlds like they did in Adventure 02.
While we didn’t get introduced to all of the kids (which I’m slightly bummed about but at least we got flashes of them), however, I do like that they took the time to start developing the preliminary friendships such as the one between Taichi and Koushiro. I didn’t know that they were close friends from the original series, until they were constantly shown together, but even then, it kind of felt like it just happened. However, in this first episode, it showed them meet for the first time and slowly start to form a friendship, which I liked. Especially since we really didn’t know too much about the kids’ relationships at first. When I first watched the original series, I just assumed they all knew each other and were friends, but that wasn’t the case. Some of them just ended up meeting for the first time at summer camp, which I didn’t catch as a little kid. So already, this has been an interesting experience watching this series with a fresh coat of paint.
The mood of this episode went from pleasant and light-hearted to series REAL FAST. We first get to see Taichi packing for summer camp and then meet Iz- Koushiro, only for them to find out that electronics are going haywire in the city along with the train systems, which just so happens to be where Taichi’s mom and sister are. The scene where Taichi and Koushiro are at the train station and Taichi jumps the meter… that was such a good scene. I love how they didn’t tell you “it was because he had courage,” they just showed it with his soon to be crest pulsing in the background and the sheer determination he had to save his family. It was such as a great cinematic shot with foreshadowing and a great portrayal of character.
And things really diverge into different territory when Taichi gets sent to the Digital World… alone. In the original, all of the Digidestineds were sent to the Digital World together so I’m wondering what’s going to happen to get all the kids into this world. Anyways, the Digital World is A LOT different from how it was portrayed in the original since it is now only the network that runs through the human world rather than a fantasy world. But it could prove to be more when we move locations as it seems like they’re going to be traveling all over the world. Kind of like the World Tour arc in 02, but probably just through the net. Again, big Megaman NT Warrior and Battle Network vibes. Even more so when it shows that virus Digimon were attacking the train station and the area around it, causing the technology to go out of control.
The meeting between Agumon and Taichi was really cute but also heartfelt that it was because Taichi risked his life to save him as Koromon (can’t forget that it means “brave little warrior”) and boy was the music GREAT in that scene. When Agumon started fighting the virus Digimon, it was made very obvious that the animation in this series is SO MUCH BETTER than the original and I’m living for it. It’s so much more dynamic and detailed. Like the different line qualities with the subtle movements to show impact was great. I also appreciated that Taichi was actually helping Agumon fend off the virus Digimon instead of just sitting on the sidelines cheering him on. Though it was pretty weird when he started running alongside Greymon into the fight. Like dude, what can you even do in this situation lol.
While Agumon was taking care of the viruses, Iz- Koushiro was able to get into contact with Taichi (just like in Wargame) and somehow seemed to know a lot of things a little too quickly. Which is probably my only really big complaint. I know Koushiro is supposed to be a smart kid, but even he had to adapt to the things around him and didn’t understand it all in the original. But maybe it’s because this is the net and not a completely different world? In any case, by destroying the viruses in a certain area, allowed the technology that was malfunctioning earlier to work normally and of course, the last place that had to be dealt with was the area that controlled the trains, which were on a crash course with one another. However, despite Agumon having destroyed all except for one of the viruses, it freaking double digivolves into what I assume is its Champion stage since Agumon couldn’t even hurt it, which meant that he had to digivolve into Greymon to defeat it.
And man, the Digivolving sequences is so much more EPIC now. I like it so much more than the original spinning and immediately transforming. It’s like the ultimate digivolutions except they’re transforming as they fight and it honestly blew me away with the amount of animation that went into it. This new way of Digivolving definitely made the moment so much more exciting and just full of hype because wow it was great. I do hope they keep the Digivolutions like this and not default to the old way of digivolving, but we’ll have to see.
Thankfully with the newly evolved Greymon, they were able to stop the virus Digimon and prevent the trains from colliding with one another, saving everyone who were on the trains, including Taichi’s mom and sister. Though while they were able to put a stop to this one incident, Koushiro somehow finds out something is going wrong in the US and I guess is sending Taichi and Greymon to go deal with it? Hold on boy, a lot just happened, things you guys didn’t even think were possible. Let’s just back up and reflect a little bit before we go super hero. But before anything could be said or done, Matt- Yamato shows up on an already digivolved Garurumon. And judging from the ending, Yamato may be the second lead since the ending was super Yamato heavy. An interesting contrast to how the opening was very Taichi centered while the ending was very Yamato centered, so I guess we’ll just have to wait and see how this all plays out.
I honestly really liked this first episode. It gave us a completely new look into this alternate retelling and while we’re all familiar with the characters, I’m interested to see where they’ll take the plot. The setting, the worlds… all of them are so different from the original so I have no clue what they’ll do. The music and the animation absolutely blew me away. I wasn’t expecting them to be THIS good. While the animation is always top notch in the first episode compared to the rest of the series, I do hope they won’t slack too much in the coming episodes. As a kid, I don’t think I necessarily had a favorite character, I just liked all the monsters. So I’m excited to see who will grab my attention as an adult. This was such a great introduction to a new series with characters we already know and I’m excited to see where they’ll go with this new setting.
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