As soon as I saw the first few seconds of the episode I literally went: Oh boy, Cars, but Digimon. After last episode’s fantastic execution, I was pretty disappointed with this episode. Compared to how the previous episode handled its content, this episode felt pretty weak. Yamato’s crest is friendship, so of course his spotlight episodes are going to focus on that aspect. But how this episode handled it just didn’t feel convincing to me.
The kids stumble upon a race track where they find Machmon doing laps by himself, inspiring Gabumon to run and race with him. However, this isn’t just a normal racing track, but Digimon used to use it as a test of speed but attacking the other also occurs. And while it seems Machmon is adhering to these rules, he was being controlled by Parasimon. It was kind of a Deal with the Devil kind of situation since Parasimon would grant Machmon great power and allow him to reach the top of his speed, it also meant living with a parasite in his body that would control his body and mind. Not to mention because of this influence, he was forced to kill his own friends and all challengers, leaving him in solitude and depression.
Gabumon wanted to race Machmon fair and square and it was a very cute character moment of Gabumon loving the thrill of racing and inspired by Machmon’s speed. However, it ended up being more of a rescue mission rather than a race. Yamato and Gabumon devised a plan to try and save Machmon from Parasimon. Especially when it turned out that Machmon planned to commit suicide to put an end to his turmoil and the parasite inside of him so they really were running against the clock in a sense.
Machmon is an interesting character but we were mostly told of his struggles and turmoil without ever actually seeing what he went through. And while it was touching that Gabumon wanted to save Machmon from his pain, it just didn’t feel convincing enough to me. There wasn’t enough time in an episode to really convey the necessary emotional punch in my opinion. Especially with how quickly Garurumon and Yamato became friends with Machmon. In the end, it was a good attempt but fell a bit short for me. Though I will admit for a character that doesn’t seem like he can emote that much, they did a great job showing what Machmon felt through his eyes.
And here, we finally get Metalgarurumon’s debut. However, I really didn’t like the fact that Metalgarurumon was introduced in a filler episode. The last episode hit me with so feels, but this one just didn’t do it for me. The episode seemed to have been written as if Yamato and Gabumon really bonded with Machmon, but it didn’t feel like that to me. Yes, Yamato’s speech about not giving up and overcoming your past and present is a fantastic message, but it wasn’t really accompanied by anything to make it more meaningful. Like, if they showed Yamato relating to Machmon by being in solitude and showed a bit of his backstory, MAYBE this episode would have come across better. Or if Gabumon knew Machmon beforehand and were actually old friends of sorts. That may have made their bond a little more believable to me.
But everything just felt so rushed this episode and it felt like Metalgarurumon’s evolution just didn’t mean very much in the scheme of things. It just ended up feeling like another evolution, which it shouldn’t be because this is a freaking MEGA evolution. This evolution is supposedly the peak of Digimon evolution and for it to just be thrown into an episode that didn’t have any plot relevance just felt like a big waste. Heck, the mega evolution would have had MUCH more meaning if it happened back in episode 38 where Gabumon was about to be sacrificed. They had the meaningful background and everything there! The premise was strong, but the execution felt pretty lackluster.
Also I can’t help but notice that almost every Digimon episode post I make, my feelings for it are the complete opposite of the majority of watchers. Guess I’m just continuing my streak of controversial opinions lol. So take my rant with a grain of salt if you will. I’m sure people have a lot of different opinions on this episode.