Digimon Adventure tri.: Symbiosis Review

Time to return with a Digi-Dynamic force in Digi-Land for the newest Digimon Adventure tri. movie.

This Digimon Adventure tri. review contains spoilers.

Digimon Adventure tri. Movie Five

Finding the Digimon Adventure tri. movies enjoyable is really going to hinge on whether you like Meiko as a character or not. For everyone who hasn’t caught my previous reviews of this series, I don’t. I feel like she’s a waste of time that we could be using to focus on our other characters. I’m not opposed to adding new characters (I think Himekawa especially is fascinating) but Meiko just eats up so much time that our team feels like an after thought.

With this movie the whole plot has swerved to focus on Meiko and Meicoomon and I just couldn’t get into it. Mostly because it’s mired in the biggest problem of Digimon Adventure tri. Too many mysteries with no answers in sight. It was cool to set up all these mysteries in the first half of this series but now we’re only one movie away from the end. You can’t keep adding more mysteries on top of what we’ve already got. Oh sure, Ygdrasil and Hackmon and all these groups are apparently now revealing their plans but it just leads to more questions.

Who are the Digidestined really fighting against? What’s the deal with evil Gennai? How does Kari (yes, still using dub names!) figure into all of this? While I’ve always loved a good Digimon info dump episode is the final tri. movie really going to sacrifice that much time to explaining all of this? I’m sure the answers will be interesting but I wish they had been spread out through these movies. Or I guess we just won’t get some answers, which I’m slowly starting to worry will be the case. Ugh. 

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Most of the tri. movies (except for Reunion, which I still consider the best one) have suffered from serious pacing issues but this was one was a slog to get through. Things sort of evened out about half way through the third part but before then it was just so much of… well not much happening. While I appreciate downtime with our characters it seems really strange they have this huge reveal at the end of the second part only to forget about it for awhile just so they can tell ghost stories.

Taken out of context it’s a totally great bit. Matt’s afraid! Joe’s biggest fear is test scores. The Digimon are all scared to death while Agumon is just eating. It’s the kind of zanyness that wouldn’t feel out of place in the original series. The problem is that it’s totally misplaced. This isn’t the time for a wacky comedy bit that has seemingly no bearing on the plot. The world is ending around you guys!

Lest you think I didn’t like anything in Digimon Adventure tri. Symbiosis, fear not! Of course I loved everything to do with Tai. While his character arc has been a bit muddled since the first film (where it was at its strongest) we return to Tai’s thoughts on growing up. He wishes he could have just stayed as a kid where he saw things differently. 

However, Agumon points out he can still do whatever he wants to. Just because you’re an adult doesn’t mean you have to see the world differently. You can still approach it in a similar way to when you did as a kid.

The movie doesn’t do much to put this idea into action but it’s still an intriguing one. Will the ultimate resolution to tri. be Tai solving all the various plotlines through a childlike outlook? Would that line up with other parts of these movies which seemingly condemn not moving on from childlike things? Is it finding a balance between both the child and adult outlooks on life?

Tai seems to be taking a more adult look at things, what with putting aside fighting at one point because he knows the fate of the whole world is at stake and they can’t rush in. At another he’s ready to kill Meicoomon because… Well they don’t really justify that very well. Cause they’re all partners? WHO KNOWS!

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Another element that absolutely tickled me was anything to do with Himekawa. It was heavily implied she did all of this, she caused all of this panic, just so she could save the world with Tapirmon again. Just like when she was a kid. That’s super messed up but it really ties in with Tai’s struggle of trying to go back to the way things were only taken to a bigger extreme.

When Tapirmon doesn’t show up she’s taken away by creatures that look they’re from the Dark Ocean. If you’ve been following these reviews you know I’ve been waiting for the Dark Ocean to find its way into this series. It was one of the most fascinating episodes in season two and if it’s going to somehow be tied into all of this I’m super down for it. I just hope we have enough time to explore it.

Oh, speaking of season two we have yet another movie where the season two kids aren’t mentioned. COME ON. You guys know they’re missing! I mean okay, I don’t think anyone will miss Cody (sorry guys, he was annoying as hell) but what about the rest? Another question that will need to resolved in the last movie. Man, that one will have a lot of ground to cover.

Let me just say, Tai and Kari’s Mom was the absolute best in this movie. She said she was going to make food for them and called to check in on Agumon and Gatomon. THAT IS ADORABLE. Although don’t trust that food, team. It may look delicious but I’m sure she made it all with liver or something.

Digimon Adventure tri. Symbiosis has a few good bits but overall it spends too much time complicating its already convoluted mysteries or treading water. This series really needs to hit it out of the park in its last movie or all the promise from Reunion will have truly gone to waste.

Shamus Kelley is pretty sure Tai’s mom has still never used flour to cook anything. Follow him on Twitter!

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2 out of 5