So, quite a turn of events for me, as originally I thought the next review I'd be posting here, was my Bleach review, but after writing it out, things got in the way, and the posting of that review got put on hold... I'm not even sure I know where I saved that review to... heavens, don't tell me I'm going to have to re-write it!
In addition, I have also written out a review for Bakemonogatari, which also includes a brief review of each other part of the Monogatari series, again, that review has found itself to be put on hold, but I know where I've saved my write up of that review to, it's just going back to it.
I actually wasn't originally planning to review Digimon Adventure -tri-, as I wasn't too impressed with the first movies, and tried to watch the previous movie, but didn't get that far, so I had planned to do some sort of comparison between it and Appmon, when I got round to reviewing Appmon.
I quite enjoyed Appmon, as I felt it had a Digimon Tamers feel to it, and as such, enjoyed it start to finish, whilst I found the first half of Digimon Adventure -tri- to be a bit of a slog; too many questions, not enough answers.
With this movie, we're now at the turning point of the series, we enter into the second half, and things start to pick up. However before we talk about the movie this review should actually be about, let's look at the story so far... for -tri- anyway, as I'm probably not going to do any proper reviews of the previous movies:
Reunion: The chosen children find themselves drifting apart due to normality, but are thrown back together when infected Digimon start appearing in the real world.
A government organisation has been set up to deal with the infected Digimon, but the infected Digimon are increasing in strength, and thus need help from the chosen children.
Taichi, Yamato, Sora, Koushiro, Mimi, Takeru and Hikri return to the fight, joined by new allies, Meiko and Meicoomo, Himekawa and Nishijima, whilst Jou is torn between joining the fight, and study.
Determination: The government organisation set up for dealing with infected Digimon continues in its efforts, whilst the chosen children continue with normality again, in way of a hot springs trip, the school festival, and for Jou... study.
When they're drawn back to the fight again (even Jou, this time), Mimi and Jou awaken further evolution in their partners, with Lilymon and Zudomon evolving into Rosemon and Vikemon, when the children find themselves up against what appears to be Ken, back as his Digimon Emperor persona.
Confession: The chosen children struggle with the change that has occurred in Meicoomon, and the infection continues to spread, now infecting the partner Digimon; the entity "Homeostatis" possesses Hikari, and mentions a plan to reboot the Digital World, to remove the infection.
The partner Digimon take on Meicoomon, but they succumb to infection, one by one; AlturKabuterimon evolves to HerculesKabuterimon, just before the reboot is enacted, and forces all the partner Digimon back into a distortion; unable to forget their partners, the chosen children decide to return to the Digital World.
So... now that we're all caught up, on to the main actual event:
In the past, the first children to go to the Digital World battled against the Dark Masters; on the brink of defeat, at the hand of the Dark Masters, Homeostatis possesses one of the chosen children, a young Himekawa; Homeostatis awakens a new evolution in four of the five partner Digimon, whilst the fifth serves as a conduit for the power of the others, to defeat the Dark Masters.
In the present, the chosen children and their partner Digimon are getting to know each othera again; the partner Digimon seem to be mostly accepting of the chosen children, however Pyokomon feels Sora is being too friendly towards her; the children encounter Meicoomon, who is still in adult form, and appears to still remember Meiko; Meicoomon runs off after seeing Meiko not in the group; Taichi gives chase, but Meicoomon disappears into a distortion that opens up.
So for the first half of the movie, we're still being presented with questions, and no answers, but that's somewhat OK, as he movie goes "look, pretty shiny thing",with the intention of making you forget about questions without answers for moment, as it gives you an answer to an even older question than the ones that you had when you started watching -tri-... we're finally introduced to the original chosen children (and their partner Digimon)!
Previously the original chosen children and their partner Digimon were seen as merely silhouettes... and that these silhouettes were actually just those Taichi and Agumon, Takeru and Patamon, Sora and Piyomon, Koushiro and Tentomon, and Yamato and Gabumon; placeholders probably, as there were no plans to explore this around the time the series was released.
Repeating the last scenes of the previous movie, we see the chosen children return to the Digital World to meet their partners for the "first" time, again -Hikari is an exception though, as she actually first met Tailmon in the real world-; a bit of a nostalgia trip, with similar events ensuing, but with a bit of role reversal with Sora and Pyokomon.
As with the last two movies, we see more Ultimate evolution, with a completely brand new evolution, with Garudamon evolving into Phoenixmon, and a "meh, it featured in a movie" one, with Holyangemon evolving into Serphymon, which actually seems to be what the production staff was thinking, given how underplayed it is in this movie.
Holyangemon and Angewomon evolving in the Golden Digimentals movie may even be looked upon as being non-canon, given the fact that Serphymon and Holydramon (or Orphanimon) do not appear in the penultimate episode of 02; the fact Plotmon's Puppy Howling stopped Mugendramon's attack amused me - is Plotmon that OP?
In these movies, Digimon apparently cannot be reborn if they did in the real world; this seems to be a dark new twist... as after all, it's hinted that Wallace's other partner Digimon comes back to life, which happens in Golden Digimentals, which actually just mentioned in the paragraph above - more proof that the movie is non-canon?
Score: 8/10 - finally being introduced to the original chosen children is a major upside, and the role reversal between Sora and Pyokomon was good too, and Plotmon being OP was hilarious, but the downsides were the inconsistencies regarding what appears to be pre-established canon.
The animation in this series is not like the animation style used in the original series, or the movies, but then the animation used in the original series may not work in an anime made now, and the animation in the movies were kind of simplistic, and the colours were watered down.
Things have been given quite the overhaul from those that featured in the original series and movies, with different choice for character design, and new animation for evolution sequences; the animation or rather handling of the character models during the CG evolution sequences can be a bit weird, with even weirder post-evolution poses.
With this movie, we see the other Digion Adventure ending, Keep On receive a remix; the animation, whilst not a copy of not a copy of that in the ending from the original series, it does have some parts that invoke memories of that original animation.
Score: 7/10 - as I feel the animation goes between good and bad, which is possibly due to the different animation styles.
The music is a mix of classic music (remixed) and new music; some of the new music, whilst good, doesn't seem to fit in with the style of Digimon, in my opinion; as mentioned in the previous sectin, we see a remix of Keep On with this movie; as with the version from the series, it is sung by Ai Maeda, who was also the seiyuu for Mimi in the original series.
Score: 8/10 - as I feel that the new music doesn't quite fit with the style of Digimon, and the remixes of classic music sometimes doesn't have the same punch as the original versions did.
The possible love triangle between Taichi, Yamato and Sora continues, but now with Meiko now thrown in the mix; Taichi an Yamato appear to care for Meiko, as shown in the previous movies, so it brings an interesting dynamic to the series, although given the epilogue for 02, we know some things are unlikely.
Hikari has developed a teasing streak, often towards Takeru when he shows any indication he's a "player"; Koushiro has developed an interest in Mimi; Jou is quite surprising at some times, such as during the battle with Mugendramon, jumping at Dark Gennai, and running to catch a falling Sora.
Himekawa is explored more in this movie, explaining the reasons behind her unseen smirks in the last two movies; Himekawa's smirks are easier to see than the one from Alyssa Zaidelle in Final Fantasy XIII-2 - and she would have gotten away with it too, if it wasn't for those meddling kids and their damn mog.
Dark Gennai is pretty weird, what with the face licking; don't know if you'd consider Yggdrasil a character or now, but whilst featuring in other Digimon series, Yggdrasil now makes an apperance in Adventure.
Score: 9/10 - some character development, some explanations of character motives, but Dark Gennai causes Digimon Adventure -tri- to just miss out on Gold for Characters.
With the fact most of the movies directly follow on from one another, I have to wonder if it would have been better for Digimon Adventure -tri- to have been released as a series, which was the original plan for it.
If you watch Digimon Adventure -tri- on Crunchyroll, you do get to experience how it would feel as a seires, however whilst the editing was pretty solid at dividing up the first couple of movies as episodes, it feels clunky in the later ones.
The later movies may "suddenly" cut to the ending, repeat the last scene of the last episode in exactly the same way at the start of the next episode, or feature two "title sequences", one being in the series styled opening, and the other in the movie "opening".
The choice of Ultimate evolution in this movie was strange, as Piyomon goes from bird to birdman to bird; it seems like a reversion, but then Gabumon has even more reversions - biped, quadruped, biped, quadruped, biped (as Omegamon).
There are some things I didn't feel were done well in these movies... some of them are actually things that we've seen in other Digimon properties previously, and I feel they were done better in those previous properties:
Introduction of a "shadowy government organisation" - Digimon Tamers had Hypnos, which I felt were a much cooler organisation than the Incorporated Administration Agency, even if it has the cool factor for having a much longer name, like S.H.I.E.L.D., and additionally, you have Digimon Savers and DATS (Digital Accident Tactics Squad), but they aren't too "shadowy", once you get to know them;
Flights are affected due to encounters of the Digital Kind - Digimon Tamers did it in their first movie, and again, I feel it was better... to some extent, you could say even Adventure did it, in Our War Game, but I don't recall if flights were affected in the same way;
Behold the purple mist - how the infection is illustrated appears to have differed between the first movie, and later on, as originally an infected Digimon would go full body glitch, and break down into blocks, before reforming, but later is just changed to purple mist;
Illogical battle strategies - apparently no-one ever thinks to fight power with power, as it's a case of "hey, this guy's an Ultimate level Digimon, shall we evolve to Ultimate too?", "nah, Adult will be fine!", "why are we being overhelmed?", "why isn't anyone just whelmed?" (reference: Young Justice - Series 3 yeah!);
Not enough acknowledgement given to the missing chosen children - Daisuke, Ken, Miyako and Iori are not around, but no-one appears to be batting an eyelid about this, even when Ken appears to turn up back in his Digimon Emperor persona... they recognise him, but no-one voices questions as to why he's the Digimon Emperor again.
With the way things are (with that last point), it feels like Digimon Adventure -tri- is in an alternate universe to the original series, where similar events to the original series happened, but the bell inside St Stephen's Tower is Big Bill, not Big Ben, etc. (reference: The Prisoner, although Number 6 never slid into a parallel world)!
Going back to this movie's ending, whilst searching online for the ending, to compare the full version of this ending, and the full version of the original ending, I found a couple of interesting, possibly fan made videos, which mirror the storyboarding of the original ending, even more so than the original -tri- version.
That said, there is one bit in these videos that do not mirror the original ending at all, where it actually mirrors part of Ashita wa Atashi no Kaze ga Fuku, which is the first ending for 02; it appears that they could not find any animation that could mirror the walking/flying/running off into the distance part of Keep On.
I'd recommend checking it out, so here's the link, as it didn't seem to want to embed:
The video even addresses the evolution duality of Angewomon, as it plays the opening twice, but with a slight difference the second time round; in the first playthrough Angewomon evolves into Holydramon, which lines up with the Golden Elementals movie, whilst the second playthrough Angewomon evolves into Orphanimon, which lines up with PSP game based on the series.
There is another video, which is quite similar to above, but features a spoiler to the next movie, and this time features the new animation three times, the old animation twice, the new song three times, and he old song twice:
The first playthrough is new animation and new song, the second playthrough is new animation and old song, the third playthrough is old animation and new song, and the fourth playthrough is new and old animation and song being played side-by-side.
Going back to the endings to 02, I found another video that appears to suggest there's a -tri- verson of Itsumo Itsudemo, which is the second ending of 02... definitely something I'm going to have to investigate at some point.
Images come from my photobucket and cubeupload accounts; photobucket keep adding restrictions on free accounts (now going as far as not being able to host on there), so you'll start to see more of the images uploaded through my cubeupload, rather than photobucket.
However uploading aside, images were originally from: fanpop, booru, zerochan, tumblr, Hero wikia (or perhaps Villain wikia), Digimon wikia, randomc (always a good blog for anime), Final Fantasy wikia, and some other locations, but I didn't make a note on them.
This just in: I can't add up! Just realised when looking at the scores for another review I made that 8 x 4 =/= 36, that's 9 x 4; 8 x 4 = 32, so I've just re-adjusted the overall score.