Digimon Adventure tri.: Determination Review

Digimon succumbs to pandering fanservice in this disappointing installment.

This Digimon Adventure tri. review contains spoilers.

Digimon Adventure tri. Movie Two

What happened? The first Digimon Adventure tri. movie was a triumph. Tai was the focus, but all the characters got some time to shine. The plot was a natural outgrowth of what came before. Everything rang true. A solid mystery was set up. The stage was set to kick the overarching plot into high gear. Digimon had grown up.

What I didn’t realize was that it grew up into a horny 15 year old fanboy who gets off on cheerleaders and girls with glasses.


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So hey, remember how in the last review I had a section devoted to each of the characters? That isn’t happening here. This film was supposed to be a Mimi and Joe focus film. It was going to be great. The two characters with the least development in the original series would finally get the spotlight. Instead, the film “focuses” on our new character, Mei.

Okay, that could have worked. We use her reactions to the team to learn more about them as she befriends Mimi. But no, the film is way too concerned with making her fuckable. That’s clearly more important than ingratiating her into the team. So we get wacky bathhouse shenanigans and a school festival where she’s embarrassed about being in a cheerleader outfit.

Look, I know Digimon is not above some strange fanservice. I think we all remember THAT episode in season 4. But it’s never been this blatant. It’s never taken up this much time. A fun one off episode about the kids messing around in a hot spring is acceptable in a fifty episode season. It isn’t in what’s supposed to be a movie. It’s padding. It’s filler of the worst kind.

It only serves one real purpose. To try to get us to like Mei and Meicoomon. Problem is, the writers mistake “getting to like her” as “wanting to fuck her”. Wanting to fuck someone is not character development, it’s bullshit pandering. Digimon is above that. I know saying that a show meant to sell toys and video games is “above” something is hilarious, but come on. Digimon’s main drawing point was always the characters. Remember Ken’s arc in season 2 where he sought redemption for all his actions as the Digimon Emperor? That arc still resonates to this day. It was about something human, wrapped up in a fun world of digital monsters. Mei doesn’t get anything close to that. She gets to be a fetish object with some yuri subtext because ANIME FANS AMIRITE?

Speaking of Ken, he might be back! Yeah, the full Digimom Emperor getup is back. Is it Ken? Is it someone else? We have no idea! Determination decides to just keep laying on mysteries instead of answering any questions. The biggest mystery of all though? Where the hell are the season 2 kids? We saw them at the start of movie 1. We assume Ken is back now. Why don’t any of them mention Davis, Yolei, or Cody? Especially when Imperialdramon shows up? It makes no sense. Last time I hand waved their lack of mention. Here it’s inexcusable.  This is all starting to make no sense.

Oh hey, Mimi and Joe. I guess this was their movie or something. Mimi is stuck with the same fanservice bullshit given to Mei. It’s horrific. Her only real time to shine is when Ogremon attacks in the real world for the second time and she wants to prove Digimon can be good to the world at large. As much as I could complain that Digimon have saved the world multiple times by now, I can understand why the population at large would still be afraid of them.

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Joe is the only character who is even close to having a competent arc in this film. He wonders why he has to fight. Why they were chosen. Why can’t those who actually want to fight, fight? Why does he have to do it? He has all these plans, all these dreams. This isn’t what he wants anymore, but he’s constantly pulled back into it. The scene between Joe and Mimi when they discuss still being Digidestined takes on a new meaning when you use the Japanese phrase, “Chosen Children”.

The movie never gives a satisfactory answer to this intriguing plotline. Kari and Mimi just give him a quick pep talk and it’s all good. He didn’t need a reason to fight? Gomamon is his partner? Yeah, it makes no sense. Who cares about giving Joe some depth? We can show Rosemon’s boobs! WITH JIGGLE. Because let me tell you, this movies animation budget is bargain basement, but we can animate the jiggle on Rosemon’s boobs. Ugh.

Did anyone else notice the cheap animation throughout the film? The first film had a few shaky scenes to be sure, but it was nothing like this. Take for example the cheerleader bit with Mimi and Mei. They get ready for the performance… Then it’s all done in still images. It’s lazy. It takes you completely out of the film.

The movie did continue the Tai/Matt confrontation but it feels glossed over. It doesn’t progress. They just kind of look angrily at each other… Until the end when they give each other a smile. So is it all resolved now? Who knows? BOOBS ARE MORE IMPORTANT I GUESS.

And Leomon dies. Because of course. Did you expect anything different? He’s murdered by Meicoomon, who’s actually evil! DUN. DUN. DUNNNNNNNNN. See what they did there? They made you like Meicoomon so they could pull this reversal! Wasn’t that so worth an hour and a half of pointless pandering? No, Digimon. No, it wasn’t.

This movie is garbage. It sinks Digimon to the new low standards of the anime industry. I’ll give them a point for at least having some dude fanservice, but it’s suspect when they’re all underage!

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Besides the attempt at an arc for Joe, I liked two other things in this movie.

1) Izzie’s outfits. This guy has no ability to dress himself. I’m still waiting for the lobster costume.

2) Matt’s band has changed their name to “World On The Knife”. I hope they change the name every movie. That was legit hilarious.

If you’re a hardcore Digimon fan, you’ve probably already watched this. I’m so sorry. I wish I could get my two hours back. This film just pissed away all the good will the first movie earned. Movie 3 better figure itself out quickly or Digimon is doomed to fade away into obscurity. Again

Shamus Kelley remembers Leomon. He died. Follow him on Twitter!


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0.5 out of 5