After going through a number of reboots with different characters, it seems the Digimon franchise finally realized that nothing could beat the original. I have no idea why it took them 15 years to realize that, but I’m glad the franchise decided to continue Digimon Adventure and Digimon Adventure 02 with six films that serve as direct sequels under the title Digimon Adventure tri. The first film in the new series, Saiki, was a reunion for the beloved characters of the original, and it was all I could’ve asked for!
Saiki, the first in the six-part film series, started three years after the events of Digimon 02. While the original DigiDestined were still friends, they grew up and got busy with their own lives. It felt relatable because people do end up drifting away as they age. You remain friends, but it becomes harder and harder to get the whole group back together.
The most changed character in the film was Taichi Yagami, the leader of the original DigiDestined. I understand that some fans might think he was being a wimp when he kept on refusing to fight, but for me it looked like character development. When the original characters were in DigiWorld back in Digimon Adventure, they fought without hesitation because they knew there wouldn’t be any collateral damage. However, giant-sized Digimon can easily cause a lot of destruction in the real word, and that was clearly shown in the film. Humans felt helpless against them. That’s what made Taichi hesitant when it came to battling, because he feared every fight might end with the deaths of innocent civilians on his hands.
The first film was also full of wonderful nostalgia. I can’t begin to explain in words how I felt when I heard the title song I grew up with. Seeing all of the familiar characters again made me engrossed in the story from the start because I already felt for them. I knew them since they were kids. I cared for their safety and wanted them to win during the events of the film.
There was also a lot of mystery surrounding the plot. The DigiDestined from Digimon Adventure 02 were shown being defeated by a powerful Digimon, and mutated Digimon started to come into the real world. The stakes are higher this time around because it took everything the main characters had to defeat fodder Digimon during battle. I can’t even begin to imagine how powerful the main villains would be when they eventually show up.
The animation was a lot similar to the original series and it added to the charm of bringing back the old crew for another adventure. A new character by the name Meiko was also introduced. She was revealed to be a DigiDestined as well. She came across as a shy character to me and with eight fan-favorite characters already present she will need to work hard to standout.
I’m a bit disappointed that the studio didn’t decide to release the new adventure on a weekly basis and instead opted to release it as six films. Making fans wait for years for a new adventure and then asking us to wait some more for the second film, Ketsui, to be released on March 12, 2016 just feels unfair. I don’t want to wait that long!
Being a huge fan of the character Takeru and his Digimon partner Patamon, I was also a bit disappointed those two didn’t get a lot of screen time when it came to battles. Patamon’s evolutions have always been the strongest of the group in the original series, and I hope this continues in the subsequent films as well.
If you have been wondering, Saikai has already had an impressive opening at the box-office and I hope the success continues for the franchise. While Pokemon has its charm, Digimon is able to tell stories with darker themes. The threats the characters face in Digimon makes you fear for their safety. The series has matured along with the audience in contrast to Pokemon where the main lead Ash Ketchum refuses to grow even a year older since his debut back in 1997.
Did you watch Digimon Adventure tri: Saikai? How did you feel about seeing the original gang together? Let us know.
Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.
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