This Digimon Adventure tri. review contains spoilers.
Digimon Adventure tri. Movie Six
A lot of the overriding problems with Digimon Adventure tri. can really be summed up in the treatment of season two kids. If you’ve been reading my reviews since the beginning you’ll be familiar with my near constant questioning of where the hell they’ve been this whole time.
Well this movie finally answers that question and, like every other “resolution” it doesn’t feel earned, it’s lackluster, asks more questions than it answers, and is beyond confusing.
So the kids were on life support because they discovered Yggdrasil’s plans. Okay cool. How? Was Davis (six movies deep and still using dub names? YOU BET!) looking for a good price on the best noodle carts? Was Cody being a whiny little punk? We’ll never know I guess because this movie doesn’t care.
Just like it doesn’t care about all the Dark Ocean foreshadowing from movie five, Alphamon from movie one, or answering why the hell Gennai was working with Yggdrasil. Was that even really Gennai? Why did he continue take on the look of the Digimon Emperor? Uh, what about Himekawa?
I could go on. This movie’s plot is beyond messy. It’s at least forty-five minutes longer than it needs to be with much of its run time taken up with an endless Meicoomon fight that never conveys any sense of threat. There’s all this confusing talk about the real world being rebooted or whatever but it never matters much. I never felt like anyone was in any serious danger.
The movie tries to save itself with beat you over the head moments of nostalgia but no amount of silhouetted flashbacks, random Wizardmon, Devimon, or Butterfly remixes can save this.
Our Future had a lot to wrap up and explain and it did what every single movie of tri. has done, especially since the fourth. Introduce new mysteries without resolving enough of its ongoing ones. Hell, they left this movie off on a cliffhanger! Gennai is still out there and might bring back Daemon or Diaboromon? Really?
I could try and piece all of the clues together and try to make sense of the Yggdrasil and Homeostatis plot or the parallels between Meiko and Himekawa but I’d be doing more work than the writers. Fans should not have to do guesswork and create handcanons to make the movie work. I should not have to sit here with a flowchart to figure out what the plot or themes of this movie series was.
It feels like every movie in this series was made independent of each other. Sure there are cool scenes and moments in all of the films but when viewed as a whole they don’t thematically tie together. They don’t even emotionally tie together.
Tai’s whole arc about possibly not wanting to grow up is set up really well in movie one and only paid lip service until the very end of this movie. Kari’s whole thing about being a light child or whatever is made out to be a big deal and then casually tossed aside. Why can no one in Digimon ever figure out the power levels correctly?
There were a few bright spots in this movie. Matt’s scene where Gabumon pledges his loyalty to him was super adorable and touched on an idea I wished this and the other films had explored. Why do the kids have to give the Digimon up? Even if the human world won’t accept them can’t they work to change that?
My other favorite moment also had to deal with Matt and the totally out of left field justification for why Matt ended up as an astronaut in the season two epilogue. I genuinely thought tri. was just pretending the season two epilogue never happened but who knows, maybe the whole secret mission of tri. has been to make every single part of that epilogue work in canon.
Digimon Adventure tri. could have been something special. It had the potential to be. Movie one set everything up brilliantly. It established a strong arc for Tai and gave everyone else smaller arcs that could have paid off throughout the series. Movie two badly stumbled with its awkward fan service and established just how much these films would focus on Meiko and not our main characters.
Movie three recovered and really tugged at your heartstrings, with a strong focus for Izzy and T.K. Movie four the wheels started to come off as more mysteries piled on. Movie five flew off the rails and now movie six has crashed and burned.
I can only hope that if a sequel series is released we return to the character focuses that made Digimon such a fan favorite in the first place. Don’t just neglect a whole season’s worth of characters (okay, you can neglect Cody), give us time with them not spouting off pointless anime platitudes.
Don’t introduce seven huge mysteries. Focus on one big mystery and leave the rest of your time devoted to the characters growing and changing. Otherwise you just leave the audience unsatisfied and feeling like they wasted their time.
Also, bring back the Digi-Rap for any future English dub. Digi-see, Digi-hear, Digi-know it was comin’?
Shamus Kelley is a pop culture/television writer and official Power Rangers expert. One day we’ll see the Power Rangers Arbor Day special in Digimon canon. One day. Follow him on Twitter!