Digimon Adventure 2020 – Episode 4 and 5 [Anime Episode Review]

Welcome, everyone, to my continued weekly review series for the 2020 reboot of Digimon Adventure! Despite being a little wary going into it, I was pleasantly surprised by the first three episodes of this run. Now that the show is airing again, I’m looking at episode four and five. Where they as much fun as the first three? Let’s find out!

Episode Four: Birdramon Soars

Much like with the original run, this was a step towards the rapid-fire introduction of the various Chosen Ones and their Digimon partners. Here, as you might guess from the episode title, we’re focussing on Sora and Piyomon.

The episode started out with Taichi’s digivice translating a stone slab that read ‘Children, come to the place where the light leads you’. This gave them a beacon to follow, and Taichi, Agumon and Sora set out. During their travels, Piyomon ran through the bushes and leapt into Sora’s arms. She was being chased by a Snimon. This turned into a short battle, and our heroes escaped.

From here, Koshiro makes contact to confirm that he’s met Tentomon and that the power outage in the real world is spreading. Tokyo will be completely powerless within 72 hours. Hopeful that they’ll find answers at their destination, Taichi and Sora build a raft and they – along with Agumon and Piyomon – got moving.

On the way, some rapids provided a brief moment of peril, then a Coelamon turned up and attacked. Agumon evolved to Greymon to tackle the problem, and Snimon snuck in and snatched up Piyomon. Sora grabbed onto Snimon and tried to get Piyomon free, resulting in both of them falling. Once Piyomon grabbed Sora’s hand, she evolved into Birdramon. The battle ended quickly with our heroes prevailing, and we cut back to Koshiro and Tentomon. They got eaten by Whamon to end the episode. Seriously. Nice cliffhanger, right?

So, where do I begin? There were a bunch of movie references here. The whole opening scene with the dinosaur-like Digimon was accompanied by music that felt very similar to the iconic Jurassic Park theme. Meanwhile, when Coelamon attacked in the water, the music was more Jaws-esque. Honestly, I enjoyed that.

The story itself was simple. Long-time fans of the franchise will know that Adventure tended to do things this way, so the quick introduction to the characters on an episode-by-episode basis will continue for a few more yet. I’m fine with that, largely because while I thought the pacing I the original Adventure was a little mixed, I like the nostalgic feel of it here. On top of that, the episode did do a little to push things along, both by referencing the ongoing issues in the real world and by giving us the first glimpse at a prophecy.

On top of that, I thought Piyomon was absolutely adorable in her debut. Her and Sora’s interactions were simple but great, and both came across as very likeable.

The only real issue I had with this episode was another throwback to the original run: a lazy moment in the animation. You see, there was an old school moment where a Digimon – in this case, Snimon – was on-screen running an animation loop. The looped animation then just slid across the screen. The disappointment here is that the series is really beautiful to look at so far, so to see that trick used was a major let-down and really stood out in a bad way against the rest of the most dynamic movements. This was the first episode since the lockdown though, which may have been part of that, so I’m giving it a pass in this instance.

Episode Five: The Holy Digimon

We picked up with our current main team at their destination: a temple. Taichi’s digivice translated another slab, this time reading ‘Feel my words’. He touched the slab and the statues surrounding them lit up. We got a backstory about a war between light and darkness, and Piyomon and Agumon started to cry, as they remembered this feeling. We learned that a new darkness would appear and that this will lead to the ones who will resurrect the brave warrior’s souls will rise to meet it.

Meanwhile, Koshiro and Tentomon were still alive. Whamon was attacked by a bunch of Tylomon, and the action started moving back and forth. Orgemon turned up at the temple and commanded a bunch of Dokugumon to attack, leading to the spiders webbing up the entire place and trapping the main team. Tentomon tickled Whamon’s tonsils and he and Koshiro escaped, but Koshiro doesn’t want to leave Whamon alone and so they headed back. Agumon and Piyomon tried to figure out how to break the webs.

Koshiro spotted a Soundbirdmon making a whistling noise – the same noise that was echoing around the temple – and the Tylomon attack, trying to eat him. Tentomon was unable to tackle them at his current level, and evolved to Kabuterimon.

Back at the temple, Piyomon evolved to Birdramon and tore through the webs, and Agumon evolved to Greymon to tackle the Greymon. We jumped back to Koshiro who figured out that the Soundbirdmon was controlling all the Tylomon, so Kabuterimon blasted it, causing the Tylomon to disperse. The others escaped their new foes too and when Koshiro made contact to explain what he noticed, Piyomon mentioned seeing a Soundbirdmon too.

We ended with Orgemon telling his comrades to follow the Children, got a shot of Devimon, and then briefly saw Mimi and Palmon.

So, this was a fast-paced one. There were some nice touches here visually, with the mention of the brave warriors being accompanied by silhouettes of each of the Chosen One’s Digimon’s most powerful individual forms. I also liked that Agumon seemed to have no memory of becoming Omnimon, that leaves some nice intrigue. The brief glimpse of Devimon was also suitably menacing, and the Dokugumon are as creepy as ever.

I didn’t spot anything like the Snimon trick this time around, and generally, I thought this was a good story episode. Yes, e had plenty of focus on Koshiro and Tentomon, but we also had a good little explanation of the prophecy and gave the heroes a goa to reach for: finding the Holy Digimon.

 

Overall

Minor issues aside, I enjoyed these two. It’s interesting in a way because while some things have improved since the original series, other things are still in place that I’m not as fond of. I will say though, that while this doesn’t feel like it will surpass Tamers for me, there’s still plenty to enjoy here. My hope is that it continues to build on the lore and, once we’ve finished introducing the main leads, things settle into a nice rhythm.

But those are just my thoughts. What did you think of these episodes? Let me know in the comments below.

 

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