Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Digimon Adventure Tri Part 1: Reunion Review - Infectious Nostalgia

Written by Shiggins

Part 2 Review: CLICK HERE

You feel old yet?

Yes, Toei Animation are actually releasing 6 movies in Japan to celebrate the 15th anniversary of glorious anime series Digimon. And yes, it's quite glorious. This movie follows the continuity of Digimon Adventure and Digimon Adventure 2, so I wouldn't bother expecting Renamon or Impmon to make an appearance. However, trust me when I say you won't go home disappointed. 

And before you ask, no. There is no bus.
Note: This review is mostly SPOILER-FREE.

The premise of Tri has been kept heavily under wraps, with none of the trailers showing anything but the badass Digimon themselves, and how the characters look after the timeskip and animation changes. And really, it's hard for me to properly talk about since this is part one of 6, so upon time of writing, we've barely scratched the surface. I should also point out that due to not living in Japan, the only format I could watch it in was 4 separate episodes, that cut off at slightly odd times but since I was able to watch all this in one sitting, due to Crunchyroll following Netflix's perfect schedule route of releasing them all at once, I didn't notice any glaring issues with this and I doubt you will either.

He's back! *squees out a rainbow!*
Our story begins 3 years after the events of Digimon Adventure 2, with Taichi Yagami disappointed that none of his friends can come watch his football game. As time has gone on, the Digidestined have grown apart due to their own personal lives. Matt has a band, Izzi has work, Mimi is in America etc. However, due to a sudden portal anomaly, the Digidestined finally reunite with their partner Digimon as they have to prepare for a new mysterious threat involving "infected" Digimon. 

So what's good about this return? Well for starters, the animation. Toei Animation has a history of ups and downs, with Sailor Moon Crystal being the biggest offence to my eyeballs since that time I got bored and experimented with Bleach, but I can confirm that Tri is gorgeous and never once falters. The action scenes look beautiful, with fire and destruction bringing on impressive visuals, and unlike the plot's focus, no glitches.

While it did take me a few minutes to adjust to the way the characters are drawn now, I eventually managed to handle it, even if Matt did freak me out at first. I was actually surprised at how much I enjoyed the characters in this, as each of them got screen-time to show any real dilemmas or drama. And if you're a shipper then this series is going to satisfy you very much, as we see more than one possible relationship on the horizon. Izzi blushes literally every time he's with Mimi, T.K is supposedly going with a girl to a concert, and we hear this news when he is telling usual fanfiction partner Hikari, and Sora seems conflicted about her feelings towards Matt and Tai. It's all very subtle and carefully handled, which I appreciated since I don't want this to become a romantic-comedy with monsters in the background. 

The most adorable cameo ever.
That being said, it's not sunshine for everyone. Joe gets surprisingly thrown to the side, missing almost all the important events so far. It's not only a shame, it's somewhat insulting too. I like Joe. I want to see him hang out with the group and take part in the fights, but all he does is study in class. He's clearly struggling with classes, but that still doesn't justify the fact that the only Digimon we don't see transform in Reunion is Gomamon. 

With all that I've dropped so far, you might start to think this series is perfect, but unfortunately it isn't. And to my surprise, the most major problem I had with this came from Tai himself. Throughout part 1, he seems to be struggling with the idea of causing more destruction and has flashes of an empty street destroyed from a previous battle. Not only is this sudden worry awkwardly vague, it feels forced and exaggerated. Why is he blaming himself for something that an evil Digimon did? The lack of impact from this was my biggest bug-bear however, since I just didn't sympathise for Tai's sudden fear of hurting debris. Maybe if someone had died or at least gotten heavily injured, this might have carried more weight. As it is, it only exists to create something that's far too overdone: Tai and Matt have a fight.

"Oh Matt... I truly do love you"
Yes, if you thought they had finally grown out of that ancient cliché, you're sorely mistaken. I do hope that this means the fighting won't be as prominent next time, but it did make me roll my eyes somewhat. We know they're going to be best friends again soon, and neither side seemed entirely logical during this. I don't feel like Tai was entirely helpful in making any argument, and Matt seemed overly aggressive to the point he was like a kid again. Still, this fight did make me realise one thing: Matt and Tai are my latest ship.

Ha! Gaaaay... Please? Just a little bit?
No, I'm serious. The two of them spend a good amount of time just looking into each other's eyes dramatically, and when they have their fight, Tai angsts over this by looking at a romantic sunset and thinking about Matt. It's almost reminiscent of Naruto and Sasuke, and I honestly felt they had more of a connection together than Matt ever did with Sora. Maybe this is a result of Tumblr ruining me, or maybe we could be in for an excellent shock later on.

Speaking of surprising plot twists, I do wonder if the epilogues from the original series are still considered canon. For those who don't know, Matt and Sora get married with kids while others go and have children and ambitions of their own. Most of them are fairly vague so anything could happen, but as someone who never cared for the Matt x Sora ship, I'd like to see a change. That's just a personal grumble though.

Oh and... Digimon that are just giant robots are boring. Only Omnimon looks cool as a giant robot. The rest just like Gundams.
I was watching this with Claydragon and he spent the entire time mentioning references to past series, such as relatives, Tai studying languages and more. The series seems to be littered with subtle callbacks to Adventure 1, and I think that's a good idea as it shows these writers do care enough about the series to write for it respectfully. 

One major thing to note is the first few minutes, that seem to hint at something new that will impact the future plot. However, I was lost almost immediately. It's very confusing, and having to wait until the next films come out for it to be answered is just a recipe for pissing me off.

Did... this series just turn the goggles into important Sonic Goggles? So cool!
Speaking of things that seem minor right now, the clothing. Right now, the characters are mostly sticking to casual or school uniforms, and that's really not appropriate for Digimon. They always had unique outfits and designs, so I'm really hoping Part 2 will end with the gang going into the Digital World in clothing that suits them. School uniforms are boring. I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news there, but they are.

On a final note, the climax itself is a combination of amazing and meh. The music throughout is fantastic, and the long-awaited appearance of Omnimon is a treat, but the fighting is somewhat rushed. If the series had more time, I think it could have really given better introductions and dragged it out just a bit more, but I'm happy with what we got. 

"No awkward song choice to ruin my epicness this time, bitches!"
In conclusion, fans of Digimon have nothing to fear. It sounds great, looks great and is written in a manner resembling greatness. While Tai himself is acting a bit odd, possibly due to homosexual tendencies, the rest of the cast are delivering light-hearted drama and heart appropriately. Would I have liked to see more of Agumon and the gang? Yes. Would I have liked the final battle to be longer? Yes. However, none of that is enough to stop me wanting to watch more of a series I thought long-gone. If this is the beginning of a new era for Digimon Adventure, then sign me the hell up.

Rating: 4/5 

Character of the Movie: Omnimon, because he is Omnimon. Fear him. Worship him. Love him. 

Best Part: The Digimon finally return in full glory.

Worst Part: That utterly confusing introduction regarding possible future events.

T.K's desire to do nothing in this but dress like a hipster makes me uncomfortable.

Shiggins:[Admin]   .
Born under the stars of the Dark Gods, Shiggins owns the power of the Great Eye and is utterly magnificent in his omniscience. If you dare to discover more about someone as great as him, then go ahead. And to all my friends and family members, YOU are wrong and I should be disappointed! Not the other way round!,. You can find out about him or ask him stuff on ask.fm/shigginsishere or go to his tumblr page http://otakugajeel.tumblr.com/


  1. hey just saw it and put a review abotu this on deviantart and coincidentally enough I gave it a 4 out of 5 too for the pretty much the same reasons XD I'm like oh wow so i'm not the only to think this about Tai and other stuff you mentioned though i didn't think too much about the yaoi of Tai and Matt which wow now that i look back on it you're kinda right there. I was more focused on the fact Sora may want both Tai and Matt at the same time

    Caboose voice(red vs Blue): AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW.....I don't get it.

    as for the "future events" yeah that was my concern too i was like whoa. kind of a dark ominous beginning there.yet no one out of those 8 mentions where they are.

    1. They're so adorably gay! They stare at each other, barely talk to Sora, enjoy a romantic moment in a ferris wheel together, argue for no real reason... It's adorabibble!

      Sarge voice: Shut up, Blue!

      I was trying to figure it out, and I think it might be something to do with the first ever Digimon... or is it a Digimon God? Or something brand new by the Government? Or... Or.... uh... (jumps through window)

    2. Caboose: *looks out the window* Did i win?

      well either way you can't deny Sora probably has some kinky threesome fantasies going on right now lol

      by the way on the...65% chance likelihood of this getting dubbed and with how far dubbing has come along do you think it's a good idea or bad idea for america to keep altering and editing things for Tri like they've been doing? you can't really deny that Tri is a bit darker than the previous times they've appeared up till Diaboramon's revenge and also seems to be putting some emphasis on the concept of real world consequences hence Tai's constant hesitations in part 1.

    3. Tell Sora to get lost. She had her chance to have Tai when we all shipped them two together, but now it's Matt's turn to be with Tai. You lost it, Sora! Along with your hat!

      Well, first of all, I really want it dubbed. And secondly, I think the audience of Digimon has grown up enough for them to take the darker route and keep things how they are. It's like how Toy Story 3 was dark, but Toy Story 1 wasn't. I'd prefer it if Digimon acknowledged that younger audiences can handle the darker stuff, and we supposedly-adults-but-not-mentally can take it in stride too.

    4. yea it's what i thought too but i don't think saban will even go for it. he's altering precure to glitter force for god's sake.

    5. precure to glitter force? Wha....?

    6. if you don't know then forget about it. not really a relevant thing to put on this topic.