Note: Review copy provided by Manga Entertainment.
Title: Digimon Adventure Tri The Movie Part 5: Kyōsei/Coexistence
Anime Studio: Toei Animation
Publisher: Manga Entertainment
Genre: Adventure / Fantasy / Sci-Fi
Released: July 30th 2018
Language: Japanese / English
Running Time: 88 mins
Extras: Interview with Johnny Yong Bosch
An enraged Meicoomon digivolves to Meicrackmon and leaves through a distortion. Hackmon proceeds to reveal the truth: Homeostasis, which is trying to maintain the world’s harmony, has now personally declared Meicoomon a danger for becoming too powerful, and is attempting to get rid of her. The arrival of the rampaging Meicoomon starts the countdown to the real world’s collapse. A series of abnormal phenomena occur all over the place. The Digimon who appear through the distortions were waiting for this time to come… The DigiDestined are cast out of the Digital World and after returning to the real world are persecuted by the people. Finding themselves alone and unaided, they desperately search for a way to fix the situation, whilst a grief-stricken Meiko can’t hear her friends and Digimon calling out to her. The adventure now evolves once again…
NOTE: Though I grew up with the dub version of the original series, I’ll be using the Japanese names here as I watched the subbed version of this film.
So, if you didn’t know already, I’m a huge Digimon fan. As such, when the Tri movies were announced, I was absolutely stoked. Sure, I preferred Tamers to the original two series, but I had a lot of fun with the original and zero two kids growing up, so I had high hopes for the movies. I thought that the first was a really good start, and while parts two to four had their faults, I still enjoyed them. But what was the penultimate chapter like?
Let’s start with the thing that’s been a consistent high part with these films: the animation. In particular when it comes to the action scenes, the quality has been ramped up well beyond the various series ever since the first Tri film, and that remains true here. The Digimon have never looked better when thrown into action, and we get to see a good variety of them here, ranging from the heroes’ partners, right up to the high powered Alphamon and Jesmon. Even if you’re not a fan of the franchise, there’s no denying the quality of the battles here. It’s fantasy action with a sci-fi edge at its best.
I was also happy to see the story return to Taichi’s questioning of what it means to grow up. His more adult view of the consequences of the children’s actions in the first film was a really great touch, and it was great to see him continuing down this line of thought here. What was really interesting was seeing the parallels between him and Himekawa. The general feel here was that she may be responsible for a lot of what’s happening, and that her actions are born of a purely selfish desire to partner with Tapirmon again. When compared with Taichi’s struggles to lead in an adult manner and make the difficult decisions that he needs to, it offers an interesting take on what happens adults don’t do what needs to be done and accept the consequences. And boy are there consequences! And not just for Taichi, but the rest of the team too. Primarily, this relates to Yamato and Hikari, both of whom will now have very different roles as we move into the final film.
There’s also a touch of the original series I the third part of the film. You see, the kids take some time out to tell ghost stories. What transpires is zany in the same way that the first two seasons had a tendency to be, which is something that hasn’t manifested too much in the movies up until now. Yes, it’s a bit out of place in the middle of all the seriousness, and the time could have been spent explaining some of the mysteries that have been barely touched on, but I appreciate the nostalgia of it all. It also serves to perhaps lure you into a sense of security before slamming the final moments of the film down on you.
Meiko and Meicoomon also get a lot more time again in this chapter. If you aren’t a fan of the pairing, then you may struggle here. From a personal standpoint though, I like them both, so to see a few more layers added to their overall story was welcome. And let’s not forget the return of the denizens of the Dark Ocean. The story arc about Hikari and the Dark Ocean in zero two was fantastic, and I’ve been wondering if it would figure into this particular storyline here.
Though that does come with a downside. Much as with the ghost story section, the Meiko moments add to the mysteries rather than explain too many of them. Did you wonder why we have an evil Gennai now? Or were you wondering where the zero two kids had gotten too? Well, you’re going to be disappointed again. These plotlines are still without a resolution in sight, and there aren’t even really any big hints towards potential answers here.
And therein lays the most persistent fault with Digimon Adventure Tri. The pacing has been all over the place for a while now, and the result of that is that different parts of each chapter can feel as thought they’re a little rushed. As a consequence of this, a lot has been left open that I worry won’t get a full resolution come the final film. The natural time constraints associated with the format means that at least some things will need to be dealt with in a quick-fire manner in the finale, or else we’ll be faced with mysteries without answers.
So, Digimon Adventure Tri 5 is not perfect. That doesn’t mean that it’s not worth your time though. If you’ve enjoyed the previous installments at all, and you like Meiko and Meicoomon, you’ll have plenty to enjoy here. And if not? The film features a hefty helping of top notch action and some fantastic story progression for both Taichi and Himekawa. All in all, this was a fun way to set up the final film. 4 out of 5.
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