Anime Corner: Digimon Adventure Tri: Future Review

Blog Digimon Adventure Tri 6 Review Title

“Coming from Kari it’s probably some kind of prophecy.” – Because Kari’s always been the special one.

What’s the Story?

Tai is lost, Gatomon’s mega level has fused with Meicoomon and created a terrifying monster and the real world looks set to be absorbed into the Digital one. Things have never been more hopeless for the Digidestined, but as Matt struggles with the burden of leadership and Kari deals with losing her brother, their going to have to pull themselves together for one final battle. The fate of two worlds rests on their shoulders, but, hey, look! The 02 Digidestined have finally turned up, well, I say turned up, they at least get name checked, which is more than they have been.

The Review

Sigh. That’s my reaction to this last Digimon Tri film. When I started reviewing this series I was nervous, I knew it had a bad reputation, but, honestly, I enjoyed the first couple of movies. They weren’t perfect, but they were fun, it was great to see some of my favourite characters again and the films were taking the characters in some interesting directions. As the series has gone on though the rot has set it. I’ve talk before about the obvious budget issues this series is having, the cheap animation and the terrible pacing. This film is the apex of that. There’s more still shots and reused animation than ever before and the pacing is completely off kilter. This should be a tense, climatic battle, but instead its drawn out to the point of utter boredom as every snippet of action is swallowed up between scene after scene of talking, most of which is either stuff we’ve gone over before or dull exposition.

I should care, there are plenty of heart-rending moments in this film, Matt struggling with being the leader for a change (and maybe realising he shouldn’t be such an arse to Tai for his decisions), Kari grieving over Tai, the Digimon getting their memories back, the last sacrifice of Nishijima. Heck, Meicoomon’s last moments should have had me balling my eyes out, but they didn’t, because I just don’t care, which is really something special when I remember that I usually adore these characters. I keep thinking back to the series finale of Digimon Tamers and how tense and apocalyptic that felt, just like this film we had a giant monster threatening a city in the real world and our dear Digidestined struggling against impossible odds, the bad guy finding a way to overcome everything they tried. Not to mention that fight was stretched across several episodes and there were several scenes of just talking, but I was never bored.

I think the main problem this series has is that it’s not clear on what it wants to do. There are too many extraneous plots that go absolutely nowhere. We’ve got the whole Meicoomon plot with the infected Digimon and King Drasil’s plan for the Digital world to absorb the real one. Then there’s the government agency that is tasked with dealing with Digimon and the original Digidestined, one of whom has gone mad with grief and wants to reboot the Digital World to get her partner back. There’s whole real world being scared of and mistrusting Digimon plot, the main cast dealing with the growing pains of growing up as well as welcoming a new member. The high school hijinks and slice of life stuff, the two factions of the Digital World battling it out over Meicoomon and so on and so on. This story should easily have fill six films, but not way it’s structured.

They tried to give each film it’s own section of the plot, the first film deals with the setup, the second is high school stuff and Joe and Mimi’s development, third deals with infected digimon, fourth is the reboot consequences, fifth is the prelude to the end and the sixth is the final battle. All of that is fine, the problem is that they need to cram more into each film so that’s there’s not so much dead air as we wait for the plot to stop spinning its wheels and get to the point. In my opinion, and these just a couple of suggestions off the top of my head, the fourth film should have had a confrontation Himekawa, while dealing with the memory loss of their partners the Digidestined should have stumbled across her, learnt about the original Digidestined and there should have been a big confrontation between Himekawa and Meiko for all the horrible things she’s put the kids through. Film five should have been a fight with King Drasil so that, one, we actually get to see him, two, we get to learn why he thinks Digimon are so superior. Then the kids can side with Homeostasis, only to learn that she’s not exactly on their side either.

We don’t get any of that though and instead those plot threads are left to fade into obscurity when they should have been some of the meat of the series. They were right there and nothing is done with them! We never even see King Drasil and he’s dealt with off screen by Homeostasis and Himekawa wandered off a long time ago, so instead we’re left with exposition scene after exposition scene and boring platitude after boring platitude while the animators scramble to find enough budget for them to have another two minute fight scene. That’s what annoys me most about this series as a whole, it has so much potential and so many great ideas and it squanders the majority of them.

The Verdict

In the end Digimon Adventure Tri: Future is pretty much on the same level as the films before it. It suffers from the same pacing and budgetary issues that those films had, crippled by the fact that what should be a climatic battle is stretched across an hour and a half with endless talking and exposition stuffed between all the action scenes. This series had potential, a lot of it, there are some great ideas from giving us a peak at the original Digidestined, to showing conflict in the powers of the Digital World and our main characters struggling with growing up. All of that is squandered though, several conflicts and plotlines either crumbling away to nothing or simply reaching an unsatisfactory conclusion (seriously, could no one punch Dark Gennai in the face, even once?). There are moments in these films that have enjoyed, a lot, the aforementioned original Digidestined and I still love the second film for what it does with Mimi, but, overall, unless you’re a hardcore Digimon fan, avoid these films.

fish stamp avoid

Next month the Digital Year reaches it’s own conclusion with my 5th Anniversary celebration, my review of Digimon the Movie! Somebody please save me!

Chris Joynson, aka the Infallible Fish, is a writer, blogger and lover of animation living in Sheffield. The blog updates every Friday.  

13 comments

  1. Pariah · September 28, 2019

    To much slow pacing in the first 3 films which wasted a lot of time made it like this

    Liked by 1 person

    • neverarguewithafish · September 28, 2019

      You’re right. I do actually like the first couple of films, but there were a lot of subplots set up there that went precisely nowhere.

      Like

  2. ospreyshire · April 9, 2020

    Ouch! Looks like the finale for Tri didn’t work out so well. Any plans to see Last Evolution Kizuna movie or the Digimon 2020 remake?

    Liked by 1 person

    • neverarguewithafish · April 9, 2020

      Crunchyroll has the remake and its airing in the UK so I’m definitely watching that. As for Last Evolution, I’d love to see it, but I’m stuck waiting either for a cinema release (which I won’t hold my breath over}, or a DVD. No sign of any streaming options in the UK either, but that’s just typical.

      Liked by 1 person

      • ospreyshire · April 10, 2020

        No way! That’s pretty cool. Sorry to hear that about the UK. Are there just not as many movie theater releases of anime movies there or streaming availability in general?

        Liked by 1 person

      • neverarguewithafish · April 10, 2020

        Steaming is generally okay, but it’s hard to find a lot of older titles and some big franchises. Put it this way, One Piece only started streaming on Crunchyroll here in the past couple of months, its been available everywhere else for years.

        When it comes to cinemas we seem to be more behind the curve. We’re starting to get more films coming through, but a lot of the time you’ll only get one showing at one cinema chain.

        Liked by 1 person

      • ospreyshire · April 11, 2020

        Alright. I’ve been noticing that in America whenever I talk about or review older anime since they aren’t streaming (I have rented or own DVDs to do that though) since I’ve heard people not hearing about some of them. One Piece just started streaming in the UK? WOW…

        I see. Most of the good movies I want to see aren’t near the movie theaters by me except the occasional limited release, so I hear you right there.

        Liked by 1 person

      • neverarguewithafish · April 11, 2020

        The US has way more anime releases than over here. A lot of older anime that people talk about never got an airing over here, though I’m willing to accept that I just didn’t know where to find them when I was a kid, but even then some stuff just isn’t licensed over here.

        Another example, outside of a couple of dvds of the original and the first movie, there is no legal way to watch Cardcaptor Sakura that I am aware of. Even when it got a new dub, that has never been released in the UK,

        The same thing happens with cartoons, stuff like Teen Titans and Gravity Falls have had DVD releases in the US, but never in the UK. The DVD I own of the Justice League cartoon were originally released for region 4 (Australia and there about), but they luckily work on region 2 (Europe) players. Otherwise I wouldn’t be able to watch them either without signing up to DC universe.

        Liked by 1 person

      • ospreyshire · April 11, 2020

        I can certainly see that when it comes to the US anime market. Granted, there aren’t as many distributors as there were back in the 00s, but you still have licenses being bought left and right. Okay, that makes sense about the issue of older anime.

        Really? I wasn’t aware of that with Cardcaptor Sakura in the UK.

        That’s weird and you would think they would have DVD sets available in the UK or other countries, too. So does the UK emphasize any British works first before the American or Japanese stuff gets imported over there?

        Liked by 1 person

      • neverarguewithafish · April 12, 2020

        There’s the paranoid of me that thinks its just anything animated stuff that struggles to make it over here. We get plenty of US shows, anything that’s a sitcom or a drama series is usually guaranteed to appear on our shelves. Maybe it’s that I notice it more when animated works don’t turn up over here because that’s what I’m interested in, but I’ve never seen the same problem with live action stuff.

        I can’t think of any British stuff that is emphasised over US, or any other countries stuff for that matter, I’d say they’re all given roughly the same weight until we get to animation again. I don’t think the UK has that big of an animation industry. When I think of a lot of cartoons that I grew up with or that are airing now, a lot of them are imports from elsewhere. A lot of our kids shows are live action, and the mostly UK-produced animations I can think of are for little little kids (with the odd exception like Thunderbirds and Doctor Who). It’s weird now that I think about it, there must be some better examples of UK animation out there somewhere, but none are coming to mind.

        Maybe that’s why we get left out, companies don’t think they’ll make enough of a profit or no one wants to import it. That’s actually kinda depressing.

        Liked by 1 person

      • ospreyshire · April 12, 2020

        I wasn’t aware of that when it came to what gets imported or not. I knew there were American shows and movies shown in the UK, but I wasn’t sure about the balance when it came to live action vs. animated works. That really is a double standard. Could part of this be how British media sees animation?

        Okay. I was wondering about that. That’s so weird how animation isn’t brought up that much. Sure, England does have a reputable scene when it comes to live action movies, indie cinema, and documentaries (side note: I’ve reviewed more British documentaries than any other country like how I’ve reviewed more Japanese animation than other nations), but I know they have the possibility to make animation happen for different genres and demographics. Come to think of it, the only British cartoons or animated works I can think of at the top of my head are Watership Down and Redwall. Isn’t is strange that I can name more Irish, French, or even Nigerian animated works than British ones? That may be something I have to research.

        That is depressing. There should be some kind of British animation renaissance and studios stepping up to the plate to create new stories.

        Liked by 1 person

      • neverarguewithafish · April 12, 2020

        Definitely. I’m hoping there’s a whole subsection of UK-based animated works that I’m just forgetting, but all that keeps coming into my head are little kid’s cartoons and Doctor Who animated reconstructions. In the meantime I’ll just have to get that renaissance started myself, now, how do I set up my own animation studio…

        Liked by 1 person

      • ospreyshire · April 12, 2020

        Yeah. I’m sure there are UK-based animated works around, but maybe they just aren’t promoted as much. I know there has to be more than just the little kid’s shows or animated takes on Doctor Who.

        That would be awesome if that happened. See if you can find out about those hidden British animated works and figure out a way to make an animation studio. Give it your own stories, unique style, and characters. Maybe it can be the talk of England as you usher in SheffAni (Sheffield Animation) over there.

        Liked by 1 person

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