I’m an anime nut! This is the first time I’m addressing anime content on the site, and what better IP to break the seal than with the one that got me started back in 1999.
Yes, I am Digimon> Pokemon any day of the week! The latter was a cartoon show that served primarily as a commercial for the video games. Digimon, however, was a series that felt like an animated Goonies. Sure, it was plagued with coming out after the similarly named Pokemon, but it was something original! I swear!
Anyway, originally released in 1999, Digimon has been around for twenty years and, according to Toei Animation, will take its final bow with the upcoming Digimon Adventure Last Evolution Kizuna.
Intelligently, the classic anime remained committed to being a period focused series. Not only did the original premiere in 1999 but the series premieres with the chosen children at summer camp on August 1, 1999. From there the future installments revolved around 2002, 2005, and the final film will be set in 2010.
As a childhood fan, how do I feel about the teaser trailer and final film so far? Well…
1: But you’re finally getting to the sauce!: What makes this interesting is that for an IP focused around digital monsters, this one-shot movie will be the only of over 100 episodes and six feature films to take place in the modern digital age!
The teaser trailer confirmed that Taichi and the gang will be knee-deep into the age of smartphones which, of course, creates some kind of influence over their connection to their digital companions… I’m excited to see what new tricks they have to show old school fans; especially since it will be showcased using the original art of Katsuyoshi Nakatsuru and Kenji Watanabe. Yet, ya’ll going to introduce all these upgrades and force it through in one film…?
2: One movie=Bad Idea: This brings me to another big concern. It is no secret that the series of Tri films were not well received by fans. Sure, there are people that enjoyed them just fine. I can still go back and see glimpses of things I had fun with, and I will always allow them to sit on the nostalgia boat. However, they were objectively a mess.
If they struggled THAT much to represent the eight kids in SIX feature films, how are they going to possibly do the OG eight any justice in a one-shot film? Also, not just ANY one-shot film, THE FINAL FILM TO FEATURE THESE CHARACTERS EVER.
I am shocked the goal is not to milk this for all its worth as Toei seemed to do with the Tri series. Yet, alas, one film and one film alone. Perhaps it has a chance to satisfy if it’s a two-hour movie, but we won’t hold our breaths.
3: Where Does the IP go from here?: Lastly, I find it a curious move to bury the original cast after this premieres next year. Despite the quality of the Tri movies, there was no doubt that they were a success at the Japanese box office. Not to mention that the Digimon panel at Anime Expo 2019 was popular to say the least.
Beside the successful dark elements of Tamers, the Adventure series has been the only real powerhouse success of the franchise. Is it wise to age them out and have them take their final bow so abruptly? Could this evolve into a series of films as opposed to just one?
Alas, I will keep zero expectations. The only thing I know for sure is that the message of the series for a while has been–we all have to grow up and know when it’s time to move on. It’s not 1999 anymore folks!
When the final adventure premieres next February you can bet I will be there to say my final goodbyes to Taichi, Yamato, and the gang.