It has been 6 years since the Digidestined set foot in the Digital World to save it from the clutches of evil. Now, our Digidestined have grown up and are experiencing normal life and its struggles; all is peaceful and seems like it will remain that way for a long time. But then, a fateful day arrives where a Digimon emerges and creates mayhem! What could be the cause of this? What does this mean for our Digidestined? Welcome to Digimon Adventure tri. (Sakai).
Story & Characters
The first part of Digimon Adventure tri. has a lot to offer as a sequel; the film is a nostalgia rush for those who watched Digimon Adventure as a kid, especially for those who have watched the Japanese subbed version. The first quarter does well with the story by starting off slow and showing how our Digidestined are doing 6 years after they were in the Digital World. The film also showcases the Digidestined trying to make plans to get together again, but their daily lives get in the way of that, which shows that things have changed for them. They are not the same happy-go-lucky kids that can play around together all the time anymore; growing up in life has given them priorities now.
The film sets up the main conflict of the story well at first, but things start going downhill after the conflict arises. The infected Digimon attack is something that causes destruction, but….it doesn’t feel quite real and impactful enough to showcase that what has happened is terribly serious. Had the attack been one of many, it would have made more sense, but given that this is the main source of Tai’s inner struggle, it leads to inconsistencies within the story that can throw off some viewers.
Speaking of inconsistencies, the timing of the Digidestined meeting up together in one place feels a little rushed, since it feels as if they met up for the sake of progressing the plot. Despite that, the meeting does bring along some fun battle scenes, which is pure nostalgia and excitement for older viewers. After the first attack happens, the characters begin making plans in case of more attacks, leading to Tai getting new goggles. One cool thing is when they show that the Digimon can enter a virtual reality through any interface. Overall, the story is not bad, but its uneven pacing and plot points can impact one’s enjoyment value. The setups in this film are strong, but what happens during the attack is what hurts the story.
For our cast of Digidestined, seeing how they have grown was a treat and reminded me of how I have grown from a child into an adult. The film does a good job of getting the cast involved with the conflict and its aftermath as well. There is also conflict within the group (Mostly between Tai and Matt) about how to face the issue of the infected Digimon attack. Again, their conflict and bickering is not as impactful due to how the film showcased the attack earlier, plus Tai’s feelings towards the matter don’t feel too strong either. On the bright side of things, the film also shows how the people outside are taking the attack by having news media and citizens react badly towards it. We can see how this is affecting the Digidestined and how the Digimon themselves are responding to it, which shows that the attack does have SOME impact, despite its inconsistency. However, if you think this film is full of nothing but tension, then that is not the case. There are plenty slice of life moments and even comedy among our cast; Joe mentioning that he has a girlfriend, which shocked everyone, was funny.
Art & Animation
Given that it’s Toei Animation and their frustrating track record, the art looked gorgeous for the most part. The color palettes gleamed with beauty and even the background sceneries were eye-catching. Even so, there are a few issues with the art in some areas where there is action going on, or when the animation is trying to be fluid but doesn’t maintain it. Speaking of animation, it looks decent despite being sloppy at times. This mostly happens during fight scenes between Digimon or whenever background characters are running. The film does reuse the evolution animations too much to either stall for time or save budget, which is standard Toei Animation practice. The art and animation is at its strongest with closeups of characters, objects, and the final battle with Omegamon. Again, knowing that Toei Animation has a track record of having uneven animation, the work done on Digimon Adventure tri. is good, but could be better.
When it comes to the music, people who have seen the Japanese subbed version may appreciate the soundtrack more than those who watched Digimon dubbed. Tracks like “Butterfly” and “Brave Heart” return in remastered format, which sounds great and sets the mood for the film nicely. Even the background orchestrated soundtracks that play during the tension sound good and tracks that play during battle scenes fit the mood well. There are even slice of life tracks in the film too, which matches the tone of moments where our cast are chatting idly or grabbing a bite to eat. The timing of the soundtrack is the most important factor in all of this, since the songs are used in the right moments, such as “Brave Heart” playing during the battle with Omegamon.
Final Thoughts & Score
Overall, I thought the film was good. Not only did it bring nostalgia, it set up a strong enough plot to consider it a nice sequel, despite the inconsistencies with the story. The actions scenes were mostly enjoyable to watch and the music was good as well. With the art being stronger, my main gripe with the film would be the animation. It’s only fluid on important moments instead of staying fluid throughout the film. I only hope for it to improve during the next films. To sum it all up, if you love Digimon Adventure, then you will like Digimon Adventure tri. (Sakai). With the second film, Digimon Adventure tri. (Ketsui), coming out this Saturday, I am ready to see more and cannot contain my excitement!
- Nostalgia Rush for Digimon Fans
- Gorgeous Art
- Action Scenes are Fun
- Some Story Inconsistencies
- Animation Quality Dips
- Questionable Reusing of Scenes
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