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Digimon Adventure (2020) Episode #01 Anime Review

4 min read
This episode hits all of the right notes of a Digimon series.
© Akiyoshi Hongo, Fuji TV, Toei Animation

What They Say:

Tokyo Digital Crisis

Taichi Yagami and Koshiro Izumi are two boys preparing for their kids’ club camping trip when Taichi’s mother and sister are caught in a cyberattack occurring in Tokyo. Taichi fights to save his family with a mysterious life form.

The Review:
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)

This is a reimagining of the Digimon Adventure series meant to celebrate the franchise’s 20th anniversary. This episode gets off the rails with a strong start. It quickly establishes the fact that this show is its own thing but still has some nods to where it started from. I have been a fan of Digimon Adventure since it started so there are some parts that I can’t help compare to the original but this episode shines brightly. 

I admire the approach this series is taking in introducing the cast. In the original series, all of the cast are introduced from the beginning and the characters are familiar with each other. This series is going to take its time to introduce and flesh out its cast and builds the bonds that were pre-established in the original series. I welcomed this change as this brings out more opportunities to see the children in a new light and different ways to experience change. This presents an easier method to get to learn about all the children.

This episode introduces Taichi (Tai) and Koshiro (Izzy) as they are getting prepared to go on a camping trip but are interrupted by a strange phenomenon that creates trouble for Taichi’s mom and sister. They go try to help Taichi’s family but discover that a Digimon is causing trouble in the real world by causing trains to go off their route. Taichi meets Agumon for the first time and they team up to fight the virus Digimon. 

Yamato (Matt) also has a small appearance to set up his role in this series. It appears that Yamato’s personality has changed a bit from the original series and I am intrigued to see how he progress in this series. 

Taichi won’t pay his fare and doesn’t care about the rules.

I had to take a minute to wonder if some of the jokes made in this episode were intentional in making references to the coronavirus. Koshiro makes a remark saying he would need batteries and water in case of an emergency. Taichi has a scene where he takes out gloves to help Agumon and fight with the virus Digimon. It doesn’t feel like these jokes were originally made to reference the coronavirus but have unfortunate luck due to these unstable times.

The new evolution sequence is magnificent. It used to be that Digimon digivolved in a special sphere that somehow took place outside of time. Digimons are now evolving in real-time as the battles are taking place. I also liked how their evolution is visually depicted when Agumon is turning into an orange giant and attacking the virus Digimon and then fully turns to Greymon. 

The score that is playing as Agumon is battling the virus Digimons for this episode captures the sensation of the battle and creates a wonderful aesthetic.  

I feel the nods to the original series work out perfectly if you grew up with the original series but still work if you’re coming in new to the series. At the beginning of this episode, Taichi and Izzy are preparing to go on a camping trip, whereas in the original series they already are on their summer camp trip. There are other nods in this episode but those go too far too into spoiler territory so I won’t mention them but these are spottable to fans of the original series. But there are also new aspects that will be a fun surprise. This episode features a runaway train and I wonder if this is a reference to the film Digimon Tamers: Runaway Locomon which features a runaway Digimon who is shaped like a train.     

When Taichi is entering the Digital World, I am reminded of how the protagonist in Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth enters the Digital World and how these two entrances are so similar to each other. Each Digimon series tends to borrow an aspect from another series and it seems this series is starting to heavily borrow some aspects from others. 

In Summary: 

This episode hits all of the right notes of a Digimon series. This episode makes it very clear that is a new beginning for the Digimon Adventure series but is also paying homage to everything that came before. One method the series is doing to depict this new change is by taking place in both the digital world and the real world. The decision to introduce the characters one by one is a good choice because it would be easier to get to know them more personally. It has an excellent soundtrack that manages to superbly depict the raw emotions of each moment in this series. 

Grade: A

Streamed by: Crunchyroll

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