I feel like the creative team for this series don’t care much for Joe, which is unfortunate. I don’t want to find him annoying because he was one of my favorites in the original series (and no, it wasn’t because he has blue hair)… but he’s making it very hard in this series. Where is my adorable coward who just wants to look after everyone? What happened to him??? Please tell me I’m not the only one who thinks he’s super different from the original. Him believing so hard that he’s the leader is just aggravating and a bit obnoxious.
Mammon is the Ultimate level boss this episode with its henchmen of Frigimon- excuse me, Yukidarumon. And I’m sorry, but I can’t take Yukidarumon seriously because of how cute they look. So seeing them try and look intimidating just makes me snort. Though I guess it was rather terrifying that it actually caused a slow freeze to happen on Sora. Where’s Agumon when you need him? Apparently being chased by a herd of Kiwimon, but that is not the point!
While Sora is in a very precarious situation, Mammon and the Yukidarumon are out searching for the kids after causing an avalanche. Joe was assigned to pose as a distraction to let Yamato and the others get away so they can tend to Sora’s condition. And I do appreciate that Joe took on the mission to play decoy out of concern for Sora rather than being driven to be a leader.
Thanks to Joe’s distraction, Yamato was successfully able to get Sora away to safety on the other side of the river and set up a fire to melt the spreading ice virus. Unfortunately, Mammon was pretty determined to chase down Joe, going as far as to make a freaking ice bridge for itself over the river. What are you, Elsa??? It was a freaking nice bridge too. Like, it could have just froze the water over and made a path that way, NOPE. This try-hard made an ice path AND a freaking bridge over it. Mammon would be great as an architect lol.
I am liking how the partner Digimon are helping and pushing the kids to grow. And out of all the kids, I do feel like Joe needs A LOT of growing to do despite being the oldest out of them. Gomamon is a great foil to Joe who supports him in what he believes he’s good at (even though I’m a bit iffy in helping inflate his ego as the “leader” of the group) and pushes him into coming out of his shell a bit more while also reminding him what the most important task is at hand. And I felt like it was great character growth to pass off on Yamato’s offer to help and handle the situation all on his own even if he’s terrified. Which ultimately allows Ikakumon to evolve into his ultimate stage, Zudomon and easily wins the battle against the Yukidarumon and Mammon.
But man, the animation and cinematography was pretty subpar and lacking this episode. Which is a shame because I really do like Zudomon. He has such a strong design and Thor may be my favorite Avenger lol. It was disappointing that his fight wasn’t animated all that much and depended more on frames that didn’t move that much. Though I do admit that his evolution into Zudomon was pretty lit. That’s where all of the animation budget went sadly.
I also do like that this episode encapsulates what Joe’s strength is. He’s reliable and will carry out any assignment given to him. Honestly, as of right now, Joe makes a terrible leader, but that doesn’t mean he can’t be one in the future. Though from what I saw of him in the original series, he’s definitely more of a great support character, doing well in looking after others, which supports his overall goal to be a doctor. Though he really needs take a peg or two down on his ego. I swear he didn’t have that big an ego in the original…
This episode was a little disappointing but it wasn’t bad. Just okay. I’m just sad that Joe kind of got the short end of the stick in terms of character and animation. However, from the looks of things, it may get pretty interesting now that Taichi, Mimi and Koshiro have somehow ended up back in the human world. I’m curious to see what will happen since it looks like it won’t be taking on the same vibe as the original did when Taichi was suddenly sent home. Which is a shame because that episode was so freaking good. But we’ll see how this series handles it. And I’m still waiting for my boy Takeru to appear.