[personal profile] bookofholsety

oh goddamnit, toei. you cannot be serious right now. you're leaving us on such a colossal cliffhanger for six goddamn months? really? it'd be easier and less excruciating to just murder me right now. yeah. just fire a toy digivice out of a cannon at high velocity and let it wreck me. you're already half-way there so just commit to it already

anyway, you know the drill. here be spoilers. if you haven't watched it yet, go fix that on crunchyroll right now, then we'll talk. alternatively, don't, because this is one hell of an excruciating cliffhanger

oh, and my thoughts on part 1 are back over here

the composition of tri part 2 is kind of inherently weird. on the surface it looks and feels a hell of a lot like the film equivalent of a filler episode. the first seventeen-ish minutes, aka almost an entire episode under crunchyroll's release model, is dedicated to that heavily-advertised onsen sequence, which has no shortage of Goofy Filler Shenanigans, and then the main plot of the last half of the film revolves around a school festival. kind of a worrying sign given that the biggest problem by far with xros wars hunters was that it threw itself into filler hell to the point of completely forgetting to have a plot, but the odd thing is, i have a hard time rationalising any part of tri part 2 as being filler

i mean, of course i'd say that. i like the thing, so of course i'm inclined to defend its Not Filler Honour. but even so, one thing stood out to me as i watched it. the runtime of each tri part isn't exactly long for a movie, but they did a remarkable job of keeping it packed pretty densely and keeping most shenanigans with a broader purpose. the onsen sequence alone manages to touch on quite a few things: it reinforces the ongoing state of conflict between taichi and yamato, it introduces jou's issues which permeate the rest of the movie, and it gives a nice, long look at meiko and meicoomon's adoption into the chosen children group and how they're starting to relate to the others. even the incredibly silly side part where piyomon and meicoomon inadvertently get lost in the onsen's laundry adds to that a bit. it's all incredibly silly and the film didn't necessarily need any of it, but it actually did a very nice job of working within the broader picture of the movie

speaking of which: that's right, the important part. mimi and jou's issues. now, just about everyone had an absolutely superb character arc in adventure (hell, hikari is the only one of the eight i can think of who didn't), but mimi's arc during the dark masters arc and jou's arc starting just before that were absolutely superb. jou's does a fantastic job of building on that basis: he is under a huge amount of pressure, being crushed between the looming responsibilities of academia and adult life, and the responsibility that comes with the whole digimon thing, and it's kind of heartrending to see him crack under the strain of the digimon stuff and develop full-blown anxieties about getting involved and to see it blow up his relationship with gomamon

the real star of the show, and the one with much more screen time, is arguably mimi. here, she plays a bit more heavily on an element of her more spoiled and selfish tendencies, something established very early on in adventure but which eded up not being that big a deal as it and 02 wore on. here she's given a sort of arrogance and recklessness as part of this: her refusal to follow koushiro's commands to lay low during the ogremon attack, and her determination to exonerate the partner digimon in the eyes of the public ends absolutely horribly. even the fillerish school festival subplot plays heavily into this when the rest of her class, meiko aside, turns against her for being so bullheaded about her idea for the festival. the narrative also makes sure to not present it in a one sided "mimi fucked up" sort of way, as early on a comment she makes to meiko comes across as a pretty solid justification for this outlook of hers. it's not resolved quite as well as jou's, but seeing her struggle to come to terms with it was done pretty well

the weakest link and most infuriating part of this episode's story is easily ken ichijouji. i recall seeing some criticism back when the teasers came out about how it'd be less than ideal to have him lapse kaiser persona back, given that it would undermine his superb redemption arc in 02 and how he continued to struggle with the results of his time as the kaiser up to the very end of the series. which is fair enough, of course, but i wasn't too worried. i figured that it was against his will because of the infection going around, and that once they sorted him out, we'd probably get heavy repentance from him similar to 02. maybe not ideal, but what the hell. anyway, frustratingly, not even that happened. just about everyone clearly recognises ken when he shows up (even maki who, as a character new to tri, hasn't been seen meeting him before), and they recognise the imperialdramon he commands, but there's not a single word about how they know ken and imperialdramon. there's no hangups or shock about how ken has apparently gone evil, and even after imperialdramon is defeated (which looked suspiciously like an outright death) there's no sign of v-mon or wommon at all, or any mention of how they might have just killed some old friends. when ken just vanishes, not a word is spoken about that, either. something's clearly not right with him, but you wouldn't know if you asked the cast of part 2

it's disappointing, to say the least, to see takeru and hikari apparently forget literally half of their adventures like this. the closest we get is takeru and hikari, after the defeat, wondering why they appeared with no acknowledgement that something more specific might be wrong. it's doubly disappointing because earlier on, something like this does in fact happen with ogremon. mimi and palmon recognise ogremon as the ogremon, aka their old reluctant friend from adventure, and make a point of trying to stop him in his infected state without killing him. this was a lovely touch, but it's so frustrating to see proof that toei can, in fact, do it without extending the same courtesy to ken

unsurprisingly, daisuke, miyako and iori are still nowhere in sight. which is doubly baffling, since imperialdramon was always half daisuke's

on the other hand, his new kaiser outfit's pretty neat. very nice, more mid-late-teenish refinement of the original design

on a related note, there's the final plot twist: meicoomon. they did a pretty good job of executing it, both with successful foreshadowing in both part 1 and 2 about how something isn't quite right with meicoomon, and with the way that revelation played out. it looks pretty bad for meicoomon, but at the same time i feel like it was framed in such a way that you get the feeling that it's not entirely meicoomon's fault and that they didn't want this either. honestly, my only real gripe is that this is one hell of a cliffhanger to end part 2 on, which would be fine if we didn't have to wait until fucking september for the resolution

honestly, there's not much more to say that wasn't already said about part 1. the animation is still pretty damn good and a continues to be a huge relief after the sailor moon crystal and dragon ball super disasters, and i think i spotted fewer rough parts than in the first film. that said, it leads to a situation i don't think anybody expected: the stock evolution footage is actually animated worse than the actual movie (which is made especially clear when the obvious cg in the ikkakumon evolution sequence ends with a horrendously clunky pose). i'm just glad the perfect and ultimate evolution sequences stick with traditional animation, or at least are a lot better at hiding their cg, though palmon's are still pretty rough

it was a relief to see that the rosemon fanservice wasn't quite as bad as i dreaded. that one shot from the teasers was still shite and there's a fair bit of jiggle physics in the evo sequence, but it was nowhere near as overwhelmingly bad as mervamon or savers!rosemon, so that was nice

also, kouji wada knocked it out of the park yet again. the japanese version of adventure already had a fantastic soundtrack, and tri continues to do amazing things with it

in conclusion, holy shit how is tri managing to be so good. literally everything seems stacked against it - its lateness, its fucked distribution model, the nature of modern toei, how not that many people give a rat's ass about digimon anymore - but it's acquitting itself so much better than it should be. god, the next six months are going to be painful, but i'm still convinced that the end result will be very much worth it

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