*This review covers all 6 movies, but still mainly focuses on the 6th*
Speaking of "movies" these are not movies. Originally Toie was supposed to create a new 2-cour long Digimon series, but decided to change this midway and release them in an another format. What this format was officially called was "movies", but this isn't true. They are "instalments". Releasing around 4 episodes worth of content at a time in 6 different instalments.
In the beginning, this idea was seen as a pro, but folks also acknowledged it could backfire. Similar anime releases had been done in the past with great success and insane production
values. These titles include Kara no Kyoukai, Hellsing Ultimate, Kizumonogatari trilogy, and even Gundam Origin which btw ended at the same day as this Digimon series. The extra cash flow coming from separate ticket sales was enough to fund the production. I am not sure exactly what happened behind the scenes with Digimon. Whether Toie didn't sell enough or did they just do a quick cash grab without putting any shekels back into the production I do not know. What I do know is that Digimon flopped and it flopped hard.
These instalments have been going for worse since the first two which were still good and promising. This time around we don't even have an animation anymore. The series is filled with completely still pictures or alternatively still pictures where one person's mouth moves when they talk while others are frozen on the screen. The story has stopped moving now too. This is basically how it went. These numbers represent the "movies":
1) This series is definitely about Digimons. 2) This series is definitely about the characters. 3) This series is about relationships. 4) This series is about politics. 5) This series is about our main characters sitting in a circle talking about problems that don't exist. 6) This series is about feelings. --The whole structure of this series is a mess. It's completely lost and has no idea what it even wants to be.
Digimons go berserk and are apparently more powerful than anyone else now because they feel emotions. Great. The writing constantly relies on asspulls. And obviously nothing beats the power of friendship, so lets not even try to make our fights believable. Of course, even the powerups are asspulls. It's embarrassing to even refer this series as "Digimon" and compare it to the greatness that Digimon Tamers -with its philosophies- was. Not that this series didn't contain any philosophy. We have that one guy who went insane and yelled out some cheesy 2deep5anyone quotes they probably found from google's first search result for "brainy depressing" . At this point, I wish they had put all this money into World Trigger sequel movie. At least that one wouldn't have stained the reputation of an already existng franchise.
The story is practically filler in the 6th one. Collection of random clips, super extended alarm clock scene that just keeps on making noise while there is absolutely no animation even present. Just camera rolling from other still background image to another. Characters standing against completely white Evangelion scenery, the only thing separating this from a .jpeg sketch is the voice acting and video format. Everyone's favorite shipping pairs hinting canon. And of course an ending sponsored by Marvel Cinematic Universe. Amazing. None of this is what I want from my anime.
The soundtrack consists of old Digimon songs and also elevator music. They are just remixed and sound like they had a content on Youtube who can remix them the best. I am pretty sure about half of people who have ever used an audio editing program could have done the same job. The voice acting on the other hand was cool especially from the Digimon's part. Excluding Tentomon. Is the guy eating bread while speaking or does he not have a tongue? Rest of the cast are honestly too good for this show.
I didn't have any bigger problems with the characters outside the unnecessary cryings, but they are nowhere near strong enough to carry this otherwise terrible show. When it comes to enjoyment, this is where I can agree releasing these 4 episodes at a time over the years was a good idea. Marathoning all of this at once would have definitely made it seem even worse of an experience than what it was now.
*This is a review of the whole series, not just the 6th movie. Also: This review contains spoilers.*
I'm almost positive a lot of people only watched Digimon Adventure Tri due to it being a sequel to the highly popular and well received Digimon Adventure. Same old characters, same old Digimon ... no fan would want to miss that. Naturally, expectations were high.
To be fair, one could have had low expectations and still be disappointed. That's how bad the whole series is. It lacks structural integrity, thrill and character depth, it's inconsistently paced and even the animation quality is below average.
Now the premise of the story
isn't that bad to begin with. Digimon are infected by a virus which causes them to violently attack other Digimon and even humans. So far, you can at least feel some sort of danger luring the dark, waiting to be discovered.
The second movie focuses on our characters and tries to give them a bit of backstory and personality, which could have been important for the course of the story. However, in the third movie, the story suddenly blows up. Buzzwords like "Homeostasis" and "Reboot" fly in. What was once a mission to stop the infection of Digimon is now a mission to stop the digital world from being rewritten, which would cause all Digimon to lose their memories. The digital world is still rebooted at the end of movie. In the fourth movie we learn that the big bad guy behind everything is Yggdrasil, a god-like being that wants to create a new world where Digimon and humans cannot interact anymore. Also Gennai has somehow been manipulated by Yggrasil to be evil. What we were told in third movie (that Digimon lose their memories after a reboot) also seems to have exceptions, as Meicoomon has mysteriously retained her memories. In the fifth movie the digital world suddenly begins to destroy the real world. In the last movie, the apocalypse has set in and our DigiDestined are trying their best to fight Ordinemon, an entity that could have originated from Neon Genesis Evangelion. They are losing badly, but of course, with the power of friendship, even the mightiest foe poses no threat. So the story ends with Meicomoon being finally put to rest and suddenly all problems are gone.
The characters aren't exactly "bad", but they are only average, one-dimensional and they all have seen more development in Digimon Adventure. Meiko is just poorly written. Her contribution to the overall plot is about 0. I'm not a hater because she wasn't part of the original 8 DigiDestined, but it's hard to accept her because she's a shallow character that is of nearly no relevance at all.
On the enemies' part, things look a bit different. They are almost all lacking motives, something that I feel is absolutely necessary for a good show. As a viewer, I should be able to comprehend the heroes as much as the enemies. Sadly, Digimon Adventure Tri rarely gives us insight. Like, why did Himekawa hide information from the DigiDestined? What was Yggdrasils ultimate plan? What sparked his decision? You don't come up with the idea to destroy the human world just because you're bored.
The soundtrack is mediocre, unremarkable and generic. Two of the better tracks are the Tri version of "Butterfly" and "Brave Heart", but even they are just remixes from Digimon Adventure. "Butterfly" has been used in like 3 different versions in the last episode alone. I like this track, but why not be a bit more ... creative?
The animation quality is also only mediocre at best. Especially in the last movie, so many still images are used, that you get the feeling that there's no animation at all. It makes the movie look poor with a low production value. I also expected a much better choreography of the Digimon's moves, because you know ... it's 2018 (or at least 2015).
There are some additional things that bugged me, for example:
a) The absence of logic in the final fight. There were some game changing moves pulled out of thin air, just to have a happy ending. How should I be able to feel the thrill of danger, if it's clear beforehand that our DigiDestined will overcome every obstacle?
b) Digimon only act a plot devices, rather than characters. Something I liked about Digimon Adventure back in the days was it's emphasis on both the human world, digital world and the human characters and Digimon alike (think about the Ogremon vs. Leomon conflict). Nothing of that remained in Digimon Adventure Tri.
Fans will probably like the returning characters and their Digimon partners, as well as the new mega evolutions we never got to see in action when we were kids. Aside from the fact that the story isn't entirely trash and the characters are at least average, I have very few other positive things to say about Digimon Adventure Tri as a whole. Sadly, I can't recommend it to other people, not even fans of the original Digimon Adventure.
Once upon a time (2 years ago but whose counting) I gave the first two Digimon tri movies the benefit of the doubt. I had faith that Toei would answer my questions and create a satisfying follow up to their beloved original two seasons. I was wrong.
Digimon tri is trash. Absolute trash that only exists so Toei can grub some money out of a franchise that's been on the decline for over a decade. The first movie pulls you in with a good balance of fanservice and some intrigue surrounding the 02 cast going missing and it all sharply goes downhill from there.
Meiko feels like
some 13 year olds attempt at a Digimon OC which fits since this whole thing comes off as someone who didn't like 02's bitter fanfiction. Honestly if you took her out of the movie and made Meicoomon some random Digimon nothing would change plotwise.
As for the Season 1 crew, non of them really change or develop at all through the series. If anything they regress at points just so they can rehash character growth they had years ago. And let's not even talk about how not only is the 02 cast shafted offscreen for the entire 6 movies but noone in the Season one cast ever concerned about their friends/comrades who have been missing for weeks, maybe even months.
It really does feel like the writer hates season 2 and is really only barely willing to acknowledge it exists.
And let's not forget the "villain" Dark Gennai who is absolute trash. Despite this series clearly wanting to tug you in by doing bad things to these characters you care about they give you the most cartoonishly evil bad guy I've seen in a Digimon series. I could take Leviathan from Applimon more seriously than this shmuck.
But worst of all is the homogenization of the Digimon partners who all basically became the same overly childish, loud, and obnoxious group of sidekicks since the fucking Minions. Ya know, except for the brief few minutes where the movie needed to remind you that Biyomon "caaaaaaaares about Sora".
The story comes across as super muddled too cramming in things like Homeostasis, universal reboots, amnesia and a very unsatisfying rendition of the "original Digidestined" that were briefly mentioned in the original show. It's almost like this was meant to be a full TV show that got ponded into a movie series mold in order to scrape a few more dollary doos out of it. Also, Crunchyroll's awful choice to then awkwardly chop those "movies" back into episodes in order to scrape together some extra ad hits is also egregious.
The soundtrack really pales in comparison to the original show too. While the Butterfly and Brave Heart remixes are fine, Brave Heart gets dropped completely at some point leading to really unfitting evolution/battle scenes with Butterfly draped over them.
There's also some very heavy plotholes with the story. Like Agumon having memories of the OG special from before season 1 despite it being stated in season 1 that that was a different Koromon. Or the part where they need their memories to hit the Mega stage despite Biyomon and Patamon doing that already without their memories.
There's more I could say about how much this movie does wrong in my eyes but I think I'll leave it here for now. Tri as a whole gets like a 3.5/10 from and this last movie gets a 2/10.
This is based on my assumptions.
Initially, I was expecting to be a longer series but not a 6 piece. If you take a look, Both DA and DA02 had 50+ episodes while this is halved.
My biggest issue is that, they rather limit to a 6 piece movie so everything will rush itself at first, and then bait you with a possible installment due to the open end, it's very unorganized.
Imagine if being an actual continuation from the open end, it would likely be worse as everything was thrown out into the first 6 already.
Perhaps if Toei had given the series much more time
instead of just 6 movies at once, the characters and story would have been way better given proper pacing. [The worse is that, this was an anniversary project, it feels like they're betraying fans expectation with this as a result to milk this to my opinion]
Onto the review!
Yeah honestly the story went downhill (messy too) since and to my opinion after the 3rd movie. A lot of things like the character build ups were neglected, I would say maybe it's because of the pacing? There's only so much you can fill with 6 movies while bringing out too many things. Things will be skipped. 6 for the story because it's still watchable as long as you're not focusing on details.
Not much different, the evolution is obviously the same since the first movie. Regarding the still images people were mentioning, I feel like they're just trying to emphasize on the atmosphere but I really don't mind it. ['cause I've seen worse and this isn't really a justify cause but lol]
I believe they've focused on Butterfly a lot due contribution to the deceased artist or so I believe which is fine to my opinion. They still have other tracks which I did enjoy, and the voice casting was great, so I kept this as a 7.
Honestly I might want to give 5 for the original characters they've brought up in this series. They didn't give much explanation for why all these things happen, and thankfully they actually remembered to relate back the the 02 crew (barely).
The Adventure cast, well there's not much to comment on, they've just left the bonds the same since the original anime, so I felt this was the only good part that hasn't sunk (especially since the 3rd movie's reboot scene and this data restoration scene). Again, I believe they brought up too much for the limited space they have so potentials couldn't be achieved.
Enjoyment: 8 [This movie only]
I love the main Adventure cast and they kept to it at the very least, even though the plot was messy, I simply love it. I've still teared up a bit throughout the entire movie, and I had some good laughs, especially Patamon's bit.
Overall: 7 (6.5 for the main focus)
I won't recommend if you're the type to focus on the actual plot, or for the entire franchise. Rather, it's hard to recommend unless maybe you're not the type to care. I understand people's resentment to this movie series however to me... Well this is simply a childhood title that I can't really abandon even if it drags itself through the mud.