Nov 20, 2015
Stark700 (All reviews)
Ah Digimon. Almost anyone who grew up watching anime will heard of this from somewhere. Even if you haven’t, Digimon is a series that was well-known when it first debuted. (and still is!) The franchise was introduced to the world that focuses on entities, known as Digital Monsters. These creatures are made of data that exists in their own parallel world known as the Digital World. However, their universe also crosses over the real world where chosen humans (known as Digidestined) are partnered with certain Digimon to fight against evil.

First things out of the way, this movie takes place after the second season also known as Digimon Adventures Season 2. Previous knowledge of the franchise is important to gain a better experience from watching the movie. This is because the kids that we’ve known from the previous seasons are back but also grown up. Their high school years takes them with a youthful development over their characters. And while all this seems normal at first, the story quickly turns abnormal.

The story itself is consistent with the premise and overall style of Digimon Adventures. Contrary to Digimon Tamers, it retains a lighthearted mood in the real world. Thus, expect some amusing comedy coming from the cast. We meet the main characters including Taichi, Yamato, Izumi, Mimi, Joe, etc. What I find appealing about them is that although they changed physically, they still retain their personalities and are the characters that we can continue to adore. Their relationships with one another implies there’s a growing feelings between a few pairs; in other words, beyond just childhood friendships. At the same time, the characters show what they’ve learned and are open minded with one another. That same can be applied to the Digimon partners as they still remember who they are and relationships remain strong despite the time skip. And that’s another prominent aspect of Digimon I really find enjoyable – the relationship between humans and non-human characters. It emphasizes how they can co-exist despite their different nature. And it also shows why exactly friendships can be so important between them no matter how long time has passed.

Despite the fine developments of the overall movie, there’s still problems I found that should be addressed. The introduction of a new female character is something that can be controversial especially since her personality isn’t anything unique. In the role of the movie, her presence lacks anything memorable for the role she plays. Speaking of characters, there’s some other prominent characters from the second season that seems to be omitted from the movie. The presence of a secret organization can be a fragment of what some fans can remember from Digimon Tamers. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to be anything unique about them and in fact looks stereotypical. And finally, there’s a lack of coherence about the main threat of the movie. I mean, it’s hard to tell in the end what the characters are fighting for or against. Perhaps this could a better focus for the sequel.

Originally, I had some issues with the animation style after seeing the previews. However, I can say with confidence that the movie lives up to its promise to deliver action. Whether it’s in the real world or in digital style action, the performance is aesthetic and retains smooth choreography. In addition, the Digimon are also well designed with their original features. The parts with the Digi-evolution can be a mixed bag though when examined carefully but still is decent in overall terms of quality. The easiest part to notice is the different art style produced by Toei. It does have some lack of the old school feel when compared to the original series. After all, the kids have grown up and they have developed both mentally and physically. From my standpoint, the way the characters are designed can be easily attached to once you get into 10 or so minutes of the movie. It hardly is bothering as the movie itself retains the feel of what Digimon really was.

It’s more than a nostalgic trip. Digimon Adventures Tri: Saikai (Reunion) is here to remind us that the franchise is still going strong even after all those years of childhood memories. The Digidestineds are back from who they were before and their partners are here to kick some ass as well. What can be improved for the continuation (Chapter 2) should be the storytelling about the antagonists. And in addition, the new female character needs a bit more of characterization. But for now, this is definitely worth waiting for. After 15 years of Summer vacation, the kids are back.