Izzy, he knows his tea, all tea, apparently.
What’s the Story?
The Digidestined have returned to the Digital World, but while everything may look like it once did, that doesn’t mean that things are the same. For one their partners have no memory of them or their past adventures and, while the Digidestined do their best to reconnect, there are darker machinations at work. The infection, the distortions and even the reboot have been part of a wider plan, and as the architectures of this scheme finally step into the light, the Digidestined find themselves in a desperate situation.
That was better, I won’t say it was exactly good, but it was a lot better than the last outing for this film franchise. For one we’re finally starting to get some answers and if you’ll permit me a moment to geek out, the original Digidestined! I’d completely forgotten they were a thing since they’re pretty much a one off reference in the first series, not only that, but their partners become the Sovereigns! Honestly I nearly died from the first five minutes of this film and it makes me cry that it managed so much world building and excitement and sheer nostalgic glee than the rest of the film put together.
I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s the pacing that is killing this series more than anything else. For something that has ‘Adventure’ in the title, there is precious little of that. We’re back in the Digital World, we get to see all the old favourite locales and we’ve even got a couple of Dark Masters dropping by for a fight and what do the cast of this film spend most of their time doing? Sitting around and talking! Don’t get me wrong the original Adventure had plenty of sitting around and talking, but it all felt relevant and kept the sense of apprehension, because these were kids who were lost with no idea where they were or how they were going to fix it. They talked to find a solution to their problems and that kept the story moving forward. Here when the characters have a conversation it all feels far too relaxed. Yes, the characters know more of their situation now and they all chose to come to the Digital world, but they have no way to get back or communicate with the real world. There should be more of a sense of urgency here and there just isn’t. I swear you could take away half this film’s running time and you wouldn’t miss a thing.
In fact it’s only the last act of the film were things really pick up because the villains have finally started doing something (half the fight is spent watching digivolutions cycles, but I’ll complain about that later). Still, it is a positive. We now know more about the villains and what their eventual end goals are, we even get a sense of the greater conflict in the Digital World, though I’m still not entirely sure how exactly Meicoomon fits into everything. I get part of it, she’s still infected and that will somehow lead to her destroying the Digital World and separating humans from Digimon, forever, somehow. Okay so we still need some more explanations on that front, but I guess I’m glad we’re just getting a better idea of what everyone is after here.
Speaking of things to be glad about, Meiko, I mean she’s still kind of boring, but if we can get more of the assertive Meiko and less awkward Meiko then I may just end up accepting her as part of the gang, which honestly sounds harsher than I mean it to. She’s still in the non-character area for me, but she’s slowly edging her way out of it, if we get a few more character moments with her I think she’ll be fine, though that brings up the pacing again. With how low key and relaxed this series, you’d think we’d spend that time on some decent character moments and while Matt gets a nice little moment admitting that everyone’s putting a bit too much pressure on Tai, and Sora gets some good moments dealing with her partner not remembering her and not wanting anything to do with her, but that’s all, moments. Honestly I feel like more time should have been spent on that for all the Digidestined, if you’re not going to ramp up the plot to get us excited, at least ramp up the emotions.
I said I enjoyed this more than last time, right? I think that’s another problem with this series, it’s fine at first, but the more I sit here, writing reviews, the more the think about this series, the more annoyed I get. The high school was fun for a couple of films, but now the series just feels like it’s stuttering, its not hitting me in the feels like it should. Maybe it is the budget, because this series is clearly struggling in the funding department, there’s been a lot of still shots and cheap animation in the previous installments, but we’ve hit a whole new level with this outing. So I have to ask, why is this six films again? I know it was planned out as a, what, twenty-six episode series or something like that, but they’re clearly stretching the series and the budget here. Why couldn’t this have been a trilogy? The plot would move faster, we’d have more money for epic fights and heartbreaking scenes, I just don’t get it.
One last thing to mention, I know the whole Ken running around in his Digimon Emperor get up was solved last film, but it looks like that plot thread has finally run its complete course and all I can ask is, why?! Why did Gennai disguise himself as Ken? What was the point? The Digidestined would have had exactly the same reaction to Gennai turning evil as Ken. ‘Wait, there’s our former friend, why’s he acting like a bad guy!’ ‘I don’t know, let’s send him a message and just shrug when we don’t get a reply.’ It’s not as if Gennai is trying to trick the gang because he pretty quickly drops the disguise right in front of them. So. What. Was. The. Bloody. POINT?! Ken better show up at the end of this series and tell us he’s been on holiday in Bermuda or something or I’m going to be even more annoyed.
All in all, I seem to have ranted more than I was expecting to with this review. There are good parts to Digimon Adventure Tri: Loss, the first five minutes expanded the world so much and I genuinely love them, also I did enjoy the moments with Tai, Matt and Sora and it was great to see all the mega digivolutions again. Those are just moments though and overall, while the story finally feels like its going somewhere, its doing it at too slow a pace for my taste. Maybe next time will be better, we live in hope.
Chris Joynson, aka the Infallible Fish, is a writer, blogger and lover of animation living in Sheffield. The blog updates every Friday.