Just judging from all the Digimon that appeared in the first few minutes I was like: Oh this is going to be another Sora episode for sure. These are literally all the Digimon that appeared in all three of her focus episodes. This episode was… interesting. It wasn’t bad, but just like so much of this series, it had a good premise, but it ultimately fell short and felt underwhelming. I do think they had an interesting thing going, but the pacing just felt too fast.
Taichi meets back up with Sora and initially everything seemed pretty chill with the Digimon trying to create a new village in a place that is supposedly blessed by a benevolent guardian. Unfortunately, when the Digimon wakes up, it acts like it’s fighting an unseen foe.
Now, the thing that bothered me is that Sora somehow gains this new ability to see the memories of others. Why was this not demonstrated earlier on in the series? Why was it just brought up now???
Unless I just don’t remember it happening… It makes sense considering her crest, but the fact this wasn’t established or hinted earlier on. Sigh… this crest arc continues just being a storytelling mess.
The good part of the episode had to be the very brief flashback of Shakkoumon trying its absolute best to protect the Cupimon from what I can only assume was the Catastrophe back in the day. I am an absolute sucker for the notion of someone sacrificing themselves for the sake of others. So when they showed just how much the Cupimon most have loved Shakkoumon to sacrifice themselves to save it despite Shakkoumon being their protector, that hurt. I wish we could have seen more of their relationship, but due to the constraints of the episode, we were only allowed a very short flashback for them. But with all things considered, I think it was still a good way show just how much they cared about each other in a short amount of time.
When Hououmon brought up the memories of the Cupimon within the land, showing Shakkoumon just how much it was loved, I legit teared up a little. Made all the more impactful when Shakkoumon actually started sobbing, which broke my heart a little more. And while Taichi commenting how fighting isn’t always the answer was nice, it just… feels kind of forced with how late in the game this has come up.
Again, fantastic premise and would have absolutely nailed the emotion if it wasn’t constrained to just one episode. I also kind of wish we saw this Digimon earlier in a flashback or something in a prior episode. Overall, this episode was fine, but it left me feeling a bit underwhelmed. And while the Shakkoumon conclusion was good, the entire episode felt kind of hollow for me. Maybe it’s because we still aren’t being given depth to the characters and why things affect them so deeply so everything. I feel like if we got a little more of a connection of why Sora wanted to help Shakkoumon, making it more personal for her, this episode would have probably done so much better. But as it is, it’s just kind of fine.
Now, this episode wasn’t bad, but we have three more episodes in the series and I’m like: WHY ARE WE HERE??? This last arc really be testing my sanity and patience with just how terribly everything is paced. It does not feel like we’re in the end game, it feels like we’re just getting started. I feel like I would have appreciated this episode a bit more if it were earlier in the series.
Taichi and Sora stumble upon an abandoned castle where one of the Digimon who fought in the War was waiting. On a brief silly tangent, when I saw this Digimon, I didn’t know its name and completely guessed that it was something along the lines of Valkyrie-mon. And boy was I surprised that I was actually RIGHT. While its name was Valkyrimon without the e, I still can’t believe I got it 95% correct without even knowing its freaking name. Something about it just screamed “valkyrie” and was I hyped over getting it right on the money.
ANYWAYS, apparently Valkyrimon wanted to test the kids… or I guess more specifically Taichi, which I found a bit irritating. Taichi’s character is put to the test to see if he could be trusted with the responsibility of the world. And while that is nice and all, I would have wished that ALL of the kids were put to the test instead of Taichi being singled out as the only “chosen one” despite there being eight of them. Not to mention I feel like this doesn’t really touch on anything we didn’t know about Taichi before. We already knew that Taichi would go above and beyond protecting somebody even without before having Agumon to back him up. Though I have to admit that some of the things he did during the trial just felt way too unbelievable. Like that part where he took the log and lodged it into Seadramon’s mouth. Even if it was underwater, you cannot convince me this 10 year old was able to pick up a log like that.
I know I’m a broken record, but I feel like this test would have been so much more impactful if we got to see just WHY Taichi is as courageous as he is and if we knew just why he acts like such a shounen protagonist. We still only know the kids on such a surface level and it drives me crazy because it feels like their potentials are being wasted. Each kid had such an interesting character arc that helped grow them as characters. The original series always took their backstories into account in how they acted and how those actions would lead into conflicts. So it’s a big shame as to how bland all the characters feel compared to the original.
As soon as he found that Botamon I was like: Oh, that is definitely turning into Agumon at some point during this trial. It was rather cute to see them bond as Taichi did his absolute hardest to protect the little guy. Not to mention Botamon is just a cute Digimon in general from the sounds it made to blowing bubbles at Taichi to cheer him up. Though I still can’t believe Taichi used its bubbles to help him run through fire.
When Botamon unsurprisingly evolved all the way to Greymon, the scene felt pretty reminiscent of the first Digimon Adventure Movie. Not to be confused by the butchery that was the American Digimon First Movie, but the twenty minute short film that was the very start of Digimon. And then it became EXTREMELY reminiscent of the movie when Greymon was leaning down towards Taichi before de-evolving back down to Koromon and gave him a hug and kiss. All things that happened in that short film. And just seeing that made me feel emotional for a moment. Now if only this scene was more emotionally charged, I would have possibly broken out into tears.
Taichi ends up passing the test to no one’s surprise and Valkyrimon sheds some light on the great power that helped them win the great war. And honestly, I’m not sure how I feel about Omegamon having already made its appearance. On one hand, it was cool that he appeared so early on, but on the other hand, it kind of detracts from his future appearance because now we’re expecting him to appear now. It is also rather annoying how it focused on how it was TAICHI’S qualities that brought forth the great power, promptly feeling as if the other Chosen kids were swept to the side. I know Taichi had a lot more focus in the original as well, but I don’t remember it being this egregious and obnoxious.
Overall, I feel like this episode would have made more of an impact if we were given more backstory on Taichi (and the other kids) and if this happened earlier on in the season. So it just left me contemplating why we’re just getting this now after EPISODES of filler. Yet another episode where it feels like they had some good ideas, but because of favoritism and the series’ terrible pacing, the episode just ended up feeling kind of hollow and unproductive. There was no character growth despite the test being set up as such while also telling us about a great power that we already knew of. Three more episodes and the pacing still feels like a slog… I don’t see how this series can possibly wrap up nicely.