Hello and welcome to Project Nitsuj. As we all know Pokémon was a huge success in the late 90s and early 2000s and because of that there were a lot of other shows trying to ride the coat tail of its success. One of the shows that came the closest was Digimon. While Digimon never reached the fever pitch as Pokémon, the series did gain quite the following in and out of Japan. Truth be told, I always found Digimon to be the better of the two shows. While Pokémon was more successful from a marketing standpoint, I felt that Digimon had the better stories and characters. There were a number of different seasons, but everyone admits that the first two seasons had the best characters and stories and even though the second season wasn’t as popular as the first season I did enjoy it. After the second season, each season would take place in an alternate universe. Some were good while others were bad, but it was clear as day that everyone liked the story and characters from the first 2 seasons the best and wanted to see a sequel to their story but after years of waiting it seemed like we would never get one until 2015. Celebrating the 15th anniversary of the series, Toei Animation (DBZ, Sailor Moon, and One Piece) announced that they would be making a 6-part movie series called Digimon Tri that would serve as the direct sequel to the first two seasons of Digimon with new animation and the original VAs returning. The first movie came out in the fall of 2015 with the final one coming out in the spring of 2018. Naturally, fans were excited about this series and at the end everyone admitted that they liked it but had a number of complaints and problems with the series. Are we being overly critical or does this series really have a number of problems that stop it from being great? Well let’s get digital, this is my review of Digimon Tri. Also, for the record, I’ll be using the dub names of the characters. I grew up watching the dub as I’m sure a majority of you did.
The first movie opens up with Kari waking up Tai (good God, they actually look like humans) and him rushing off to school for soccer practice. Now this series takes place 2 years after the events of the second season of Digimon so they’re all in high school with Tai not really sure what he wants to do in the future. Not only that but we see the group isn’t as tight as they used to be because they’re all busy with their personal lives (there’s also the whole nobody seems to know what Digimon are thing. How? These things have invaded the world 4 times already and one of those times they appeared everywhere. I know the world government likes to keep things under wraps but when something appears 4 times, I think it’s time to let the world know). Tai and Matt have a soccer game and concert going on the same day and they hope some of their friends can make it but everyone’s busy except Sora who tries to go to both, but she knows it’s impossible (aren’t you dating Matt? Go to your boyfriend’s concert). Izzy’s treating his parents to a lunch for their anniversary, Joe is studying for entrance exams (that boy studies more than kid Gohan), Mimi’s in America (where apparently we speak good Japanese. Yay), Kari’s going to a friend’s party, and TK will be at Matt’s concert for the debut of his new band Knife of Day (I’ve heard stranger band names).
While everyone is off doing their own thing, electrical disturbances begin happening all over the city (hotspots or in this case digi-spots) and Tai’s soccer game gets interrupted with the appearance of Kuwagamon who’s been responsible for the disturbances going on in the city (and so it begins again. Actually, why did the Digimon go away last time? We have portals now, use them. I know Davis, Yohlei, Cody, and sadly Ken are missing but still, Kari and TK). Kuwagamon finally materializes in our world and starts going on a rampage destroying stuff and causing a panic (I see they got realistic with the Digimon attacks. Good). Tai leads Kuwagamon out of the urban area where he gets cornered and just before he’s about to get eaten his digivice glows and out pops Agumon (wow, you actually look a real dinosaur now) who clocks Kuwagamon with 2 fireballs (rookie showing off). Agumon digivolves into Greymon (he’s a motherfuckin’ T-Rex) and takes on Kuwagamon where they fight in and out of digital space until they land at the airport. Tai gets a ride from his teacher Nishijima (I see you haven’t been doing your homework Tai) and drives him to the airport where Greymon gets beaten by Kuwagamon who is much stronger than last time. Luckily, the others (minus Joe and Mimi) arrive with their digimon (this is some reunion) onto the scene as do two more Kuwagamon (this is quite the infestation). The Digidestined manage to beat two of them while the other one gets squashed by a giant hand (it’s the Master Hand from Smash Bros.). Mimi also shows up (fashionably late but still good to see her again) and will be staying for a while because of her dad’s work and Gomamon goes to visit Joe. The next day comes where the news has no idea what Digimon are (this is the fifth time you’ve seen them what the hell? Is this like the Matrix where a guy could be flying across the city and nobody bats an eye at this?). The group goes to school and tries to talk to Nishijima but he’s not there, so they go to class where a student transfers into Tai’s class named Meiko a shy and cute girl who seems to be interested in Tai (possible love interest to distract us from the fact that Matt and Sora are a couple. Nice try). They all meet up after school where we find out for some reason the portal to the Digital World stopped working about a year ago and that the digimon that came through these new gates are mutated digimon that are stronger than they were previously. Izzy believes the digimon were able to enter our world through space distortions which affected electronic devices (that’s all interesting but I think you guys are dancing around one important issue. Where’s Davis and the others? No, seriously, not once does anybody ask where Davis and the others are. I know outside of Ken nobody really cared for the season 2 cast but they exist guys, we have to accept this). The media bashes the digimon and Tai begins acting weird but won’t say why which upsets Matt and he decides to bail on the group (again. Try not to get tricked by talking trees this time) and Joe drops the bomb that he has a girlfriend (lies I say).
Sometime later Tai and Matt (still mad at each other. You two are such a couple) go to talk to Nishijima who reveals that he’s a member of this organization which has been monitoring Digimon activity (they’re like the M.I.B only they monitor digital monsters). They’ve been monitoring these distortions for quite some time and have been doing their best to keep them under control but the stronger digimon which they call infected digimon (creative name) seem to be getting through which is why they called the Digidestined for help. The infected digimon have been infected with some virus which causes them to lose control and run wild as well as get a power upgrade. As of right now they don’t know what’s causing this or how to stop the infected digimon so all they do is push them back before they can cause damage. As for how they knew about Tai and the others, they had help from Gennai (so he talks to adults who know little to nothing about the Digital World as opposed to kids who know a lot about the Digital World and have saved it on numerous occasions? Sounds logical). While all this is going on Izzy asks TK’s help in picking out clothes to impress Mimi (the nerd and the princess. I ship it) and the girls go out eating with their digimon. Tai has some character development where we see the reason he’s been acting so strange as of lately is because he’s scared. He finally sees all the damage he and his friends have caused in their battles and is now afraid that if their battles get any bigger they’ll get innocent people involved in the crossfire (such is the price for the saving the world Tai. Actually, on a serious note this is a pretty deep moment for Tai as it shows that he’s matured as a person and leader. He realizes that he can’t just go off and fight recklessly like he did when he was a kid).
The next day they go to Izzy’s office (the Izzy cave as I like to call it) where Tai tells the others (minus Joe) what he learned from Nishijima and Izzy shows off his newest creation a virtual cyberspace (aka pocket dimension) which they can use to call their digimon anytime they need them. They meet up again on Saturday where Izzy presents Tai with his new goggles which allows him to see distortions in space (he made the goggles useful. Izzy truly is the MVP of this show). They begin looking for any major distortions where they meet up with Matt where it seems he and Tai are still bitter with each other (stop fighting you’re making the fangirls cry). They run into Meiko who’s looking for her lost cat, so they decide to help her out a little bit before she decides to search on her own. They then go on a Ferris wheel to get a larger view of the area where Tai and Matt get stuck together in one cart and are forced to talk to each other where Tai reveals his worries on whether what they’re doing is right or if they’re causing more harm and damage (oh please, you guys can’t be worse than Hollywood). Tai finally sees a major distortion and the group rushes to the area where the citizens are told to evacuate and a large digimon appears (which looks a freakin’ Gundam). This large creature of death is Alphamon a mega-level digimon and was the one who squashed the last Kuwagamon (we finally see the Master Hand’s body and I have to say I’m impressed). He’s there tracking down a digimon named Meicoomon a cat-like digimon (that might have beaten Gomamon in terms of cuteness) and who’s the partner of Meiko who we find out later is a Digidestined. The group comes to Meiko and Meicoomon’s rescue and fight Alphamon in their champion-level forms (you’re seriously fighting a mega-level digimon with champion-level digimon? This is not going to end well for you. I know it’s been a while guys but let’s be real here). Tai continues to hesitate and not fight (no~ he’s becoming Shinji from Evangelion. This is why Sora chose Matt over Tai) until Matt finally gets through to him and Tai fights. They bring out Omegamon (the alpha vs the omega) and manage to force Alphamon to retreat (scene here: https://youtu.be/zi9mdD4AqYQ) and they meet the newest (yet useless) member of their team.
In the second movie we see the city is slowly starting to rebuild after the Alphamon attack and the group has decided to use this time to relax at the hotsprings (oh nice. Or we could use this down time to search for Davis and the others. Still ignoring them I see). Everyone goes except Joe who has to study (aww~ Joe you could have invited your girlfriend and shut everyone up) and I have to admit this is the most pointless part in the movie series. The only thing of value from this trip is that we get to meet Himekawa who works for the same group as Nishijima and the two used to date (Nishijima you dog) and the girls busts into the boy’s side of the baths in order to find Biyomon and Meicoomon (scene here: https://youtu.be/nw2v5Ji3ViY). After the trip, Ogremon appears in their world infected but gets pulled back to the Digital World thanks to Leomon (oh hey he’s back, how long till he dies?). At school everyone is getting ready for the school festival where Mimi’s class will be doing a café and Mimi convinces the class to make it a cheer café in order to make it exciting (Baron: Make it a bunny café instead. (Corbin): Yeah, we’ll dedicate it to Hugh Hefner). Since no one openly opposes this idea it gets greenlighted and Mimi gets put in charge of designing the uniforms with Meiko volunteering to help out. While eating some fries (save some for me they look delicious) they find out that Ogremon has returned and Mimi hoping to change the media’s opinion about digimon goes with Meiko to fight Ogremon. While fighting Ogremon one of Togemon’s needle attacks hits a news helicopter (okay seriously, why does she use that attack it never works?) and Ogremon gets pulled back into the Digital World by Leomon.
The group meets up where Izzy berates Mimi for her selfish actions that not only made the digimon look bad but it also put others in serious danger. There’s also Matt who’s mad at Joe for not showing up and abandoning the team again (what’s up with that Joe? You’ve always been a team player). Even Gomamon calls Joe out on his behavior but Joe just says to leave it be. Sometime later Leomon shows up in the real world totally fine and uninfected and tells the group that infected digimon are also appearing in the Digital World as well. Izzy now theorizes that the infection caused the distortions rather than the opposite and that someone or something is causing them. Back with Mimi the girls at school come up to her and tell her they refuse to partake in the cheer café calling her a jikochu (someone who is self-centered and annoying) because she told them what to do rather than ask them and they won’t stand for it (Shizuku: If that’s the case, why didn’t they just oppose her idea in the first place? (Nitsuj): Because Japan has a different outlook on confrontation. In America, if we have a problem with someone we say it to their face or write about it on social media. We don’t like to tiptoe around the issue, we prefer to just get the problem out there and resolve it even if it means arguing with each other. In Japan, it’s the opposite. They don’t like to fight with each other and are taught to address their problems with each other in a more discreet way as opposed to just outright tackling the issue. Mimi may have been born in Japan but her personality really is like that of an American girl and after being in America where people think along the same lines as her and prefer to face issues head on only to come back to a place where it’s opposite, you can bet this was a culture shock for her).
After this confrontation and snapping at Meiko and Sora, Mimi takes a walk down by the peer where she runs into Joe and they have a heart to heart talk. For Mimi, it’s realizing that she’s self-centered and needs to pay more attention to the people around her. For Joe, his situation is similar to Tai in that he’s struggling with what he wants to do with his life. Joe, has always been the big brother of the group (because he’s the oldest) and will reach adulthood before the others. Because of this he feels that he has to leave the part of him being a Digidestined behind because that was something he did as a kid and in his mind being an adult means leaving behind what you liked as a child (which is totally untrue and BS). This is why Joe has been avoiding the others and not showing up to fight. He knows this is a cowardly move, he knows he’s letting the team down, and he hates himself for it but in order to get on with his life and become an adult this is something he has to do no matter what (even if it means abandoning your best friend?). Gomamon decides to stay in the Izzy Cave believing he’s become a hinderance to Joe (Mira: Aww~ that’s so sad. Come stay with me. (Nitsuj): You just want to cuddle him) and Izzy receives a digicode from an unknown sender and tries to crack it.
The next day, at the school festival Himekawa and Nishijima are on the scene at the possibility of a distortion taking place and Mimi receives a surprise from Meiko who’s wearing the outfit Mimi thought up wanting to show her support. This gives Mimi the courage to say screw what people think of me (I’m right there with you girl) and dresses up with Meiko where they perform at the café together impressing everyone. Even Izzy who shows up after receiving a picture from Himekawa. At the request of the digimon, Leomon also takes them to the festival as well (this is either a good thing or a bad thing) where they enter a costume contest to win free food and Meicoomon wins (she’s too cute~. Or he I’m not sure of Meicoomon’s gender). Once Joe finds out that Gomamon is at the festival he rushes there to see him where the two argue on the roof as Joe expresses his frustration on why he has to fight even though he doesn’t want to or has a reason to (Joe, people are rarely called to fight these days. But when they are they must answer that call) which is why Gomamon ran away so Joe wouldn’t have to fight. Gomamon wants Joe to admit that he’s afraid to fight but he refuses and walks out on Gomamon (dang, a digi-vorce). Meicoomon gets kidnapped by Ken who has reverted back to the Digimon Emperor (hey Ken. How’s Davis and the others?) and goes into the distortion (well, I tried) followed by Palmon, Gomamon, and a slightly infected Leomon. They catch up to Ken and are forced to fight against Imperialdramon (dark version) where he’s just too strong for them. Kari talks to Joe who was about to leave who tells him to stop caring about being a child or an adult. Gomamon is his partner and he should do what his heart tells him to do (I think I like the abriged speech better). Kari’s talk manages to reach Joe as he realizes he doesn’t need a reason to fight and runs back to the others to fight. Sensing Joe is there, Gomamon evolves into his mega-level form Vikemon (which is like a cross between a Viking and walrus. Not gonna lie, that’s kind of cool). Palmon also gets in on the action after Joe tells Mimi she’s fine the way she is and this gives her the strength to make Palmon evolve into her mega-level form Rosemon (Rule 34 is going to have field day with this one). With their combined power and Leomon fighting off the infection, they manage to defeat Imperialdramon (wow, you just killed one of your strongest allies and friends without getting an explanation from them as to why they’re doing this. If there was any indication that they don’t care about the other Digidestined, this was it). Ken gives Meicoomon back and the group returns back to the real world where we end on the big twist of Meicoomon being infected and killing Leomon (this time in the real world meaning he’s dead permanently. What is with the writers’ sick obsession with killing Leomon?). Not only that but it turns out Meicoomon is the source of all the infected digimon and distortions.
The third movie starts off with airplanes in Tokyo being forced to make emergency landings because their equipment keeps malfunctioning thanks to Meicoomon. We cut to Nishijima where he’s mad at Himekawa for not telling him about Meicoomon being infected (because she’s a villain). Back with the Digidestined, Kari and TK go to Ken’s house but nobody’s there (what about the others?). Meiko is still upset at how her sweet and innocent Meicoomon killed one of their friends (permanently this time) and is now an infected digimon whose whereabouts are unknown. Izzy questions Meiko about Meicoomon to see if she noticed anything odd but she’s too distraught to talk. A few days go by as Meiko takes time off from school with summer vacation around the corner, Izzy works hard at trying to figure what’s causing the infection and how to stop it, while everyone else does their best to go about their daily lives. Sora goes to visit and comfort Meiko and Joe goes to check on Izzy where he’s able to get Izzy to rest after going days without sleep.
TK comes to visit where the digimon come out of the pocket dimension and Patamon bites TK showing signs that he’s infected (fun fact, Patamon has fangs. I did not know that). TK keeps Patamon’s infection a secret from him and the others out of fear that if they know Patamon is infected that’ll have to put him down (and TK has already lost Patamon once and we all know how traumatizing that was for him). He takes Patamon home which makes the others jealous, so they all reach an agreement to take their digimon home with them and look after them carefully. When TK returns home, Patamon tells him he knows he’s infected and wants to be taken down when the time finally comes (scene here: https://youtu.be/rWA-NUTbh7k, and I have to admit this is a pretty emotional moment. TK is possibly going to lose Patamon again and there’s nothing he can do to save him. Just how he felt useless as a child when Patamon sacrificed himself to defeat Devimon he once again feels useless here as a young adult who still can’t help out his best friend despite how much Patamon has done for him). He receives a visit from Matt who knows something’s bothering him (big brother senses) but TK plays it off. Later on, the Kanto region has a huge power outage (where surprisingly nobody rioted. I mean, I’m happy there wasn’t a riot but still, if this had happened in real life there would be panic in the streets). Once power comes back on an ominous message shows up which talks about the end coming and digimon soon being free (man, talk about a vague message. This guy makes less sense than an Ultimate Warrior promo).
At school Kari receives a call on her cellphone which is turned off (now, any normal person would throw the phone down and scream saying “dahhhhh~, the devil has my number”. But since Kari is a Digidestined she’s used to strange things happening to her). She answers the phone and soon gets possessed by some unknown entity we will come to call Homeostasis (the best way to describe this being is the Digimon god). While the kids are at school the digimon stay in the Izzy Cave with him still trying to figure out the infection. Worried that they’ll become a distraction, they decide to leave and once outside Patamon tells them he’s infected and wants them to kill him should the time come. Their talk soon gets interrupted by Homeostasis who tells them that if the infected digimon aren’t stopped the infection will not only destroy the Digital World but it’ll stop all electronics in our world from functioning (and the great prophecy of 2000 will come true). In order to prevent such a catastrophe a great sacrifice must be made and before Homeostasis can say what it is, Kari passes out. Himekawa comes in to catch her and she explains that the great sacrifice is a reboot. Returning the Digital World to a point in time before the infection occurred (sort of like a recovery point on your computer). However, this comes at the price of the Digimon. If the Digital World reboots then so do they, meaning they’ll revert back to a time before they met the Digidestined (or in this case, it’ll be like they never met the Digidestined to begin with). Himekawa hypothesizes that Homeostasis will enact the reboot if Meicoomoon appears again meaning the group has to defeat Meicoomon or the reboot will happen. Himekawa decides to take Kari to the hospital while the digimon prepare for the worst-case scenario and decide to spend precious time with their partners. While that’s going, Izzy finally figured out what caused the distortions, someone messing with the binary codes of our digital devices and overwriting them into an unknown numeration system that Izzy can’t figure out (2s! So many 2s! It’s an IT guys worst nightmare). Tentomon tells Izzy about the reboot and starts coming up with a plan to save the digimon.
Meicoomon finally reappears back in the real world and the Digidestined go to face her (yeah, this fight confirms that Meicoomon is a girl or at least has characteristics you would associate with a female). They try to push Meicoomon back into the distortion, but she keeps trying to get out and as the fight goes on everyone starts to get infected and attack each other. Izzy shows up and reveals his counterplan to save the others is to backup their data using a more enhanced version of his pocket dimension. Agumon and Tentomon are the only ones still not infected so it’s up to them to get the others into the cube before the reboot happens (looks like Homeostasis got tired of waiting). Despite their best efforts Agumon and Tentomon can’t fight everyone off while also fighting their own infection. Agumon eventually succumbs to his infection and digivolves into Wargreymon which forces Tentomon to evolve into his mega form Herculeskabuterimon (the most badass bug I have ever seen). Using all of his strength he manages to push all the Digimon back into the distortion just as the reboot is about to happen (scene here: https://youtu.be/IWNnL3gWC94, it was a complete defeat). A week passes, and everyone decides they want to see their Digimon again and decide to go to the Digital World. Nishijima tries to talk them out of it saying that the portal is unstable and there’s a good chance they won’t be able to come back should they go (didn’t bother them the first time). Himekawa agrees to help them and tells them to meet at the spot of the reboot tomorrow. Meiko decides to stay behind saying that everything was her fault (what? No, it’s not your fault). She reveals to TK that Meicoomon was already infected when she got her (you, daughter of a bastard! You knew your cat was carrying a dangerous virus and you let her run around? This is your fault). She expects TK to curse her but instead he doesn’t and tells her it’s what they do now that counts. But Meiko wants to take the easy way and instead of move forward and try to fix her mistakes, she wants everyone to be angry and curse her for what happened (you are a very strange girl). The next day comes and group manage to open a digital portal in the sky (probably the best one they’ve done since season 1). They arrive safely in the Digital World (which is looking very HD. We clearly should have done this reboot a long time ago). They soon find themselves in the middle of a fight between Alphamon and a new digimon Jesmon (a Digimon completely made out of swords. No, not covered in swords, he is literally made out of swords). They manage to escape them unscratched (well some things never change. Every other second something is attacking them, and they run away screaming) and find their digimon in their in-training forms playing with the whistle Kari gave to Gatomon at the end of season 1. At first the digimon are afraid of them but when they see they’re not dangerous they slowly start to approach them. We then end the movie on a cliffhanger when we see Himekawa is also in the Digital World and she’s talking to Ken who it turns out was really Gennai.
Holy shit Gennai has joined the dark side. Let’s stop here for today as around this time fans had so many questions running their minds. Thanks for reading and I’ll see you next time on Project Nitsuj.
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