Almost everything gets remade, rebooted, and/or re-imagined these days but I really did feel puzzled when a new Digimon Adventure was announced. We could debate the necessity of it all we want but I think we can all agree that if you really had to press the reset button, it’s awfully soon to do so. Just a month and a half ago, Last Evolution Kizuna hit the theaters in Japan and wrapped up the original continuity (as far as we know). Now, you’re telling me they’re doing it all over again? And I thought Batman and Spider-Man reboot themselves too often.
But how is Digmon Adventure: (2020)? Well, it’s different. That much is for sure. The setting has been moved forward to 2020 which is understandable. Technology, and especially the internet, is so much integral to our lives than it was twenty-one years ago and considering what Digimon is about, it’d be weird if the staff didn’t update accordingly. It feels a little weird seeing familiar faces use smartphones and tablets, especially since they’re actually going to still use Digivices, but it’s hardly unrealistic since real kids the same age as them have access to that stuff nowadays.
The story also doesn’t start the same way as the original Adventure. You have Taichi (Yuuko Sanpei) packing up for a summer camp which is where the original show started but the reboot immediately deviates from that when Taichi finds out his mother and sister, Hikari, are trapped on a train going haywire. From there, he is suddenly teleported to the Digital World, meets Agumon (Chika Sakamoto), and teams up to save the train from crashing. Most of the DigiDestined just make cameo appearances here, save for Izumi (Yumiko Kobayashi) who is reintroduced as Taichi’s upstairs neighbor and Yamoto who appears at the end of the episode with Garurumon. I’m guessing the staff are going for a slower and more gradual setup for this Adventure. Kids who are new to Digimon will probably not mind that all but for longtime fans who know who’s who, it does feel a little silly.
For the most part though, I don’t mind that the story is playing out differently than it did in the original. If anything, that makes the reboot more interesting to watch and less redundant to exist. I imagine the writer(s) will keep the most major aspects of everyone’s arcs such as Yamoto and Takeru’s parents’ divorce and Izumi being adopted. There’s a couple of hints in the OP and ED and the writer(s) would be so stupid to dare change any of that.
I did find myself enjoying the premiere by its own merits. Taichi and Agumon’s friendship will never not be charming and that’s made apparent again here as Taichi puts his trust in Agumon to save the day and even pitches in the fight on a couple occasions. The action itself feels awfully intense which I owe to the fact that it’s just those two characters fighting the bad guys and the explicit consequence of Taichi’s family actually dying should the pair fail to stop the rogue Digimon of the week. That makes it all the more satisfying and exciting when Agumon manages to evolve into Greymon, an otherwise very familiar design (albeit very nostalgic as well). I don’t know if I’d call the fight animation Toei’s A-game (gotta save some money for Precure) but it is pretty solid here.
As odd and maybe even unnecessary as it is to have another Digimon Adventure, I wouldn’t mind it so long as it’s good. And to the reboot’s credit, it’s made a pretty good first impression.
OP: “Mikakunin Hikousen” by Takayoshi Tanimoto
Okay, I do love that they brought back the spinning and kept the 4:3 aspect ratio too.
ED: ‘Kuyashisa wa Tane” by Chiai Fujikawa
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Watch Digimon Adventure: (2020) on Crunchyroll