I’M AN EMOTIONAL WRECK. Yes we are still stuck in filler purgatory, but at least we got QUALITY this week. Why are all the Hikari/Tailmon dedicated episodes just so good? While we didn’t really get any character growth, the plot and circumstances in this episode was top notch. I’m a huge sucker for forming bonds between a kid and a giant monstrosity such as The Iron Giant for example (which also kicked me in the feels real hard). So seeing Hikari form a bond with the giant walking forest of a Digimon, Petaldramon just sky uppercut me with feels.
The kids stumbled upon a moving forest which ends up being Petaldramon who is in a life or death battle with an unknown Digimon that is sucking the life out of forests and plant life. And just from that, this episode felt very Gibli-esque with the whole episode revolving around forest life and also the title felt extremely reminiscent to Howl’s Moving Castle, Hikari and the Moving Forest. Those black bug things also looked very similar to the dust bunnies and soot sprites in Totoro and Spirited Away respectively. Either way, this episode felt very whimsical.
It was nice to see yet another Frontier Digimon and I always found it fun to see former antagonists being portrayed as protagonists in series. Whether it’s because of a change or just an alternate universe. Though I’m glad that it didn’t talk or I would have the Brooklyn accent from the English Dub clouding my judgement lol. And I admit it was very sweet to see Hikari befriend and want to help Petaldramon after it saved her from those black bugs earlier. Especially when it responded to Hikari’s gratitude by healing her injuries and giving the group food. Petaldramon is also kind of cute in a way, especially after it established a bond of gratitude with Hikari… which made its battle with Entmon all the more heartbreaking.
Entmon is like the polar opposite of Petaldramon as its body is made up of decaying wood and looks quite similar to that of Skullgreymon as it looks like a skeleton-like creature. Not to mention it has bugs flying out of its body, reinforcing the decaying theme it has going on. With how big it was, I expected it to be a Mega, but was actually an Ultimate. Though from the series’ ongoing theme of making Ultimate Digimon stupidly large, I guess it fits in with the size scaling.
But wow, the typical Digimon brutality comes back with a vengeance when Entmon just stabs Petaldramon through the torso. I honestly wasn’t expecting that and I actually shouted: OH NO!!! Petaldramon just befriended Hikari, don’t make him die like this! And because for the sake of convenience, Entmon basically created a domain expansion to force a one v one against Petaldramon and keeping the other kids out. And because she was the only one who didn’t fly out, I was just yelling at Hikari to send Tailmon in to help because I became stupidly attached to this large Digimon after just meeting it and I didn’t want it to die.
Hikari too seemed to grow a large attachment to Petaldramon and while Angewomon didn’t particularly help in the fight between the two giant monsters, she at least gave Petaldramon a slight boost to give the Digimon a second chance of sorts. And man, seeing it give everything it had to defeat Entmon hit me right in the feels, especially when they had a scene where Hikari was crying and reaching towards Petaldramon. Kick me while I’m down why don’t you.
And boy howdy did I get emotional when Petaldramon sacrificed itself to defeat Entmon, basically becoming like those Digimon Fossils several episodes back. I actually teared up. I legit did not think that Petaldramon was going to straight up die, especially since we haven’t witnessed a friend Digimon die before. I’m not counting Angemon since he is a partner Digimon and not one of the Digimon they made friends along the way. It was such an emotional build up and I was honestly really sad to see Petaldramon go. However, its sacrifice was not in vain as its fossilized body was creating a new forest for the Digimon that lost their homes to Entmon. And while Hikari’s crest isn’t Hope, the ending definitely felt like it gave both her and the other Digimon hope that Petaldramon ensured a brighter future for the newly developing forest.
This episode was great and I didn’t expect to get as emotional as I did. I think it also helped humanize Hikari a little more since she hardly ever seemed to emote, but she actually showed a bit more emotion this time. Her bond with Petaldramon was really touching and the writing for this episode felt a lot stronger than the past several filler episodes. It just shows that they can tell a compelling story if they wanted to. Rest in peace Petaldramon. I only knew you for an episode, but you shall be missed.
Next episode is going to be quite exciting because the other boy is finally getting a mega! Though I wish they didn’t put the names of upcoming evolutions in the freaking title so it’d be more of a surprise.