Also, spoilers a plenty!
Oh and the newbies from the second series MIGHT all have been murdered horribly, it’s still up in the air.
tri is in a way an unforgiving experience. If you are not the kid who grew up on Digimon, who knows your WarGreymons from you Kuwagamons, who has at least a working knowledge of how this world works, you are going to miss HEAPS. It’s not welcoming to newcomers in a way that could be detrimental. If you are at least passingly familiar to the original series, in my opinion this movie is bloody golden.
The fact I don’t have an orange dinosaur to make me feel it’ll all be okay is a CRIME!
Unfortunately the heavy focus on these two protagonists sidelines the others. Each gets a little bit to work with but it is very much a two man show at this stage. One character though is actually deeply compelling by the lack of attention. Joe, the oldest of the group, is desperately trying to become a doctor and failing miserably at cram school. While he is as happy to see his digimon Gomamon as the rest, he is also the least involved. While Taichi may be doubting his cause, he’s still making an appearance. Joe is actively avoiding things. With confirmation that our focal characters for the second movie will be Joe and Mimi, expect this to be dealt with in short order.
One thing Digimon always did well was enjoyable villains. tri’s villains are silent but serve as a solid base from which to work from. First and most significantly are the infected digimon. These are digimon infected with some unknown virus that drives them insane and makes them disturbingly powerful. While they only briefly appear in the second “episode”, their presence appears to be the overarching threat for the series and I hope to see further development. The second major villain I think we can guarantee will be developed and to say his inclusion was a jaw dropper is an understatement.
Well that escalated quickly.
For those not in the know, that is Alphamon. Alphamon is one of the most prominent digimon in the wider fiction and has never appeared in the anime before. Alphamon is also so powerful literally the only opponent that could challenge him is one that could take out thousands of the most powerful digimon (for context, Agumon’s strongest form WarGreymon has enough durability to literally ignore the attacks with the destructive capacity of a nuke. And he’s only like…8 feet tall or something) and do it without difficulty. Including him as the final opponent is almost mind boggling.
Digimon Adventure tri: Sakai (Reunion) is not perfect. There are animation issues here and there, and some problems with pacing (to do with the movie being structured like the opening 4 episodes of a 26 episode anime). Nostalgia makes me forgive those things. What nostalgia can’t do is make me not recognise that tri is well crafted, engaging, exciting and filled to the brim with possibility. I’m not sure if I could recommend this to a newbie to the franchise but I wish I could. If anything, spent a day reading a few wiki articles to get the jist and try it out. As an old-time fan, I cannot tell you how glad I am that not only was this made but it was clearly made with a will to produce a quality viewing experience.
Roll on el numero dos!