First Impression: Digimon Adventure tri
I am a big fan of Digimon. In fact, this franchise is the reason I write about anime in the first place. It all started a long time ago, in a small hut far away in the Norwegian mountains, where a girl of only fourteen had nothing but her laptop to keep her company. Ok, perhaps that was a bit of a dramatisation, but my god, was I obsessed with Digimon back then. I would spend hours searching the web for fan art, I knew the names of every single character, human and digimon, in English and Japanese, and who knows how much time went to reading the fanfiction. So when I heard about Digimon Adventure tri, I was freaking hyped.
It’s hard to say what target audience the creators had in mind when deciding to bring back the original franchise. By the looks of the trailer alone, one can tell the difference in art style, which suggest a more refined anime than the kids’ show we once watched and loved. Children today are unlikely to have seen the first and second season of Digimon, and we who have have grown up and into adults, leaving our childhood fantasies behind. And yet, they decided to go through with it. One thing I’ve noticed though, is that the people who are fans of Digimon, regardless of their age, are loyal fans. Perhaps the creators were aware of this as well.
Now, I’m watching Digimon Adventure tri on Crunchyroll, which has turned out to be somewhat of a problem for me, without even considering the content of the anime. The fact that Crunchyroll has divided the first movie into four episodes to show their audience, was a mistake in my opinion. I’ve watched the first two “episodes,” and here are my thoughts.
The problem with the episode division, is that it cuts off the anime at points that seem unnatural to the viewer. There is no three-act structure to these episodes (as you would find in a normal anime episode), naturally because the structure is in the overall film. So when the episode ends and the theme starts playing, something feels very off. There’s no resolution, not even a cliffhanger, it seems more like the episodes are separated at completely random points. By doing this, the viewer is interrupted in their watching experience, and personally, I found it unsettling and hard to get back into the anime in the next episode.
That being said, there are so many great things about this anime. My very first thought was that it looks breathtakingly beautiful. The art style is much more mature as the DigiDestined are now in high school, while also leaving a trace of childhood that we have envisioned. There’s Sora’s frustration over her two best friends, and the playful relationship between Hikaru and Takeru. Not to mention the hilarious band names that Yamato comes up with.
The renewed version of Kouji Wada’s Butter-Fly sounds stunning. Again, it has gone through a maturing transformation, making it just right for us young adults who have now grown too old for the original version.
Not much is revealed of the story yet, but so far I’ve gathered one significant change. While the original series’ plot was serious in that it endangered the characters many times, it was still a kids’ show and made up for it in colours and style. In Digimon Adventure tri, these dire situations are taken to the next level, and there is a much darker tone set over the world. We see this clearly through Taichi’s point of view at several points, as well as in the choice of mis-en-scène (I’m very sorry I don’t know the common terminology).
Overall, it’s a good start, and I have high hopes for the future. It was hard to have any expectations at all when very little information was revealed about the anime in the first place, but it certainly has set the bar high for itself. Hopefully, the third instalment of Digimon Adventure will continue to be amazing.
What did you think of Digimon tri?