Monday, September 19, 2016

Digimon Adventure Tri: "Reunion"

Last week I went with my brother and a couple of his friends to a Fathom Events showing of Digimon Adventure Tri: Part 1, Reunion. I knew this 15th Anniversary event was happening (heck, I’d already watched part one and two on Hulu) but it was a different experience watching it dubbed. So today I’m going to review “Reunion”.

The Digimon and the Digi-Destined return!
Digimon Adventure Tri happens 3 years after the battle between the Digi-Destined and MaloMyotismon. It’s been over a year since the Digi-Destined have seen their partners, because of the gate being closed. However, distortions have arisen that have let infected Digimon into the Real World, so the original eight Digimon partners make their way to the real world to help their human friends. The destruction and danger in the Real World makes it hard for Tai to be willing to fight, but with some “gentle persuasion” from Matt he gets into the battle to stop Alphamon from destroying a new Digi-Destined Meiko. In the final battle of “Reunion”, MetalGarurumon and WarGreymon DNA digivolve into Omnimon to fight off Alphamon, who escapes back into a portal.

Being a hardcore Digimon fan as a kid (and having rewatched each season in the last several months—I’m nearly done Season 5), this was a great addition to the show I watched a child. Original voice actors returned for many of the Digimon and Digi-Destined, including Tai, Agumon, Gabumon, Sora, Izzy, Tentomon, Mimi, Palmon, Gomamon, and Patamon. Granted, they could have recasted the voice actors just fine, like with Matt and Joe, but having the original voice actors made it even better.

One critique about “Reunion” is the slow start. My brother pointed this out, that while it was still worth seeing, it was slow. We got only a couple main battles. Everything else was standing around, slow, character-based action (or lack of action). Granted, my brother didn’t know at the time that it was part one of three; he was expecting one movie and that’s it. Seeing this movie as a third of the overall story makes it a little easier to handle. Still, it was slow. Even just the moments leading up to Tai coming back into the battle and getting Agumon to digivolve were painfully long.

On that note, I think many people at the theater went in with the wrong idea. When the show ended suddenly at the end of the battle with Alphamon, I saw several people (including my brother) who were confused. If you watch it later, keep in mind that it’s three parts. I’ve watched part two in Japanese (with English subtitles) and it’s similar as well. It’s not the typical Digimon action that we grew up with. It’s more character based and we’re looking at a lot of growth over the three 90-minute movies.

I was very glad that they didn’t retcon Digimon Season 2. Since Season 2 was less popular than the first season (and since the build-up showed no indication of including Davis, Yolei, Cody, or Ken) I was worried that they’d try to replace season 2 with this. However, as is evident with the small clips of Davis, Cody, Yolei, and Ken disappearing and also TK and Kari having their D-3s, this series does indeed happen after Season 2, after the defeat of MaloMyotismon.

Finally, one thing I found interesting with Tai in “Reunion” was his reaction to all of the destruction. His aversion to fighting and the media’s frustration with the good Digimon reminded me of “Captain America: Civil War” and the vigilante lawsuit in “Daredevil Season 2”. There’s destruction and danger as a result of the heroes saving as many people as they can. Fortunately, we didn’t see any human deaths as a result of the fights in Digimon Tri, but the possibility of human beings getting hurt in the fight was addressed and it was one of Tai’s primary concerns.

Matt and Tai may never stop fighting, but they're always
there for each other. #friendshipgoals
Overall, it’s worth watching. I don’t know exactly what plans there are to release the dubbed version (I only barely heard about the Fathom Events airing at Comic Con), but the Japanese versions of part 1 “Reunion” and part 2 “Determination” are currently available on Hulu with English subtitles (part 3 will be released later this month, so I expect it’ll be on Hulu shortly after).

Did I mention brand-new Digivolution sequences?

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