A Final Farewell? Digimon Adventure: Last Evolution Kizuna

Friday, October 30, 2020

Hello, it's been a while, more than two years from the last time I've written something for my blog. To cut a long story short, I simply lost the motivation to write. I was never confident in my writing capabilities but I always wanted an outlet to express my thoughts on whatever anime I was watching at the time. Looking back at some of the stuff I've written, now that I'm in a different head space, I just think wow, there was lots of room for improvement. I had the spark at times to come back, but that spark easily faded away when priorities in life got in the way. Anyways, I'm good, and hope you all are doing well too. Although I lost a good amount of my audience over the past two years due to inactivity, I still see the emails, I see the comments on social media, I see the direct messages, so thank you to whoever still supports.

Now, on to the reason why I'm here today writing in the first place. As some of you might know that I am a die heart fan of the Digimon franchise. Growing up as a kid, Pokemon, Sailor Moon, and Digimon was the craze, and I was a big fan of all three of them. Coming off the heels of the Digimon Tri series, I think a handful of fans were not crazy about the Tri instalment, to say it nicely. So when Last Evolution Kizuna was announced some time in 2018 for the 20th anniversary of the franchise, from what I saw, a lot of fans were not that receptive to another reincarnation of Digimon Adventure since Tri did not have the best "trajectory" so to say. I for one was overall happy with the Tri series, and at that time during the announcement of the film I was ecstatic that we were getting more Digimon Adventure.

Right from the start I knew this film was going to be an emotional ride for me with that Parrotmon battle, it was an ode to how the original eight came to be, and a nod to those who watched the first Digimon movie. The art, as I was watching that fight, captured what I envisioned Digimon in 2020 should be compared to the quality Tri produced. The fluidity, the fact that no repeat stock footage was used for fight scenes, the lighting, and just the fine details made the visual experience of the movie that much better to watch. For example, I appreciated and was in awe over every time Angewomon used her holy arrow, it was always a different variation of the attack, and no animation shortcuts were used.

As we're reintroduced to the characters, you could tell that a big storyline in this film was the coming of age factor, and this push that whatever you held close to you as child will wither away as you grow into adulthood. I'll talk more about this storyline later on and how I personally feel about it, but just looking at the setting: Taichi and Yamato are in University, Jou's a medical school student, Izumi is the head of his own company, Sora's on par to be a floral designer, and Mimi has her own fashion e-commerce business. The characters we are introduced to aren't the kids we grew up with, they're adults now.

Then we have the antagonist of the movie, Menoa Bellucci, who is the push back against this "growing up" storyline in the film. Menoa wants to create a digital world, or a digital "Neverland", where DigiDestined can be with their digital partners forever. Mind you that there's a new revelation where it is revealed in this film that the bond between the DigiDestined and their digimon severs as the DigiDestined themselves get older. So this new revelation plays into this whole idea that the bond between digimon and DigiDestined break with the coming of age is just another extension to the "growing into adulthood and leaving behind your childhood plot." And to cut to the end of the movie, after the characters took me on an emotional rollercoaster, we see that the movie finishes with Taichi and Yamato's digivices erode, and the two of them burst into tears over the fact that Agumon and Gabumon no longer in existence as their partner anymore.

Now, as a very devoted fan of the Digimon franchise, I was so torn over that whole "the digimon and DigiDestined bond will never be forever and at some bind that bond will sever." I could not get over the fact that this notion was even part of the lifecycle, so to say, with the DigiDestined and digimon bond. I was torn when Taichi and Yamato broke into tears the last 5 minutes of the film, where the atmosphere made it seem like Agumon and Gabumon were gone for good, or that DigiDestined and digimon bond could never be reestablished once the ties are broken. I was staring at the clock looking at the last three minutes thinking to myself, Agumon and Gabumon are going to come back and comfort us and say it was all a lie! Unfortunately they did not come back and how I wanted the movie to end did not happen. To say the least, I was heartbroken at how this film decided to end.

If there was a picture definition of bittersweet it would be the ending scene from Digimon Adventure: Last Evolution Kizuna. I don't want to be overly dramatic, but the ending of the movie felt like a jab to my childhood heart. Going back to the whole idea of growing in adulthood theme, yes most of the time in real life we have to let go of things we held close to our childhood as we age. However Digimon is fiction, a happier ending would have made the entire viewing experience perfect. An ending showcasing that the bond between digimon and DigiDestined are forever would have been a better note the end the movie on. On bright side, maybe the bittersweet ending could be a bridge to a potential sequel? We'll talk about this later on.

It also did not help that a a few of the cast was kind of checked out during the majority of the film, specifically Sora. Jou and Mimi were doing their own thing, and Sora did not want to participate in the fighting. We saw that Sora was the first one checked out since her digivice eroded first out of the original eight, and it made it seem like she was over it and wanted to move on with her life. I don't want to harp on this too much since I don't want to paint the picture that I disliked the film, but it's weird to see that when Adventure 02 ended it painted the picture that the digimon and Digidestined bond would be pretty much long lasting, even into adulthood, and seemingly forever. So in contrast to this movie, why would that idea be flipped upside down when the original precedence was well established for twenty years. Why are we learning now that the bond between digimon and Digidestined is not seemingly forever? If you go into the politics of this film, Hiroyuki Kakudo, who was the original director of Adventure and Adventure 02, originally signed on to be part of this film, but ended up leaving due to the precedence that this film wanted to go for, was against what was already established by the end of Adventure 02. I did not look that much into the specifics as to why Kakudo left the project but the whole DigiDestined and digimon bond inevitably severing probably was the nail in the coffin for him, and that concept was not something he wanted to be introduced into the franchise, in my opinion.

Enough about that one aspect that I was not a big fan of, on to something that I enjoyed viewing was the inclusion of the 02 characters. Remember when Tri made it seem like they did not exist at all? Yea, I do too. So the fact that Iori, Ken, Miyako and Daisuke were involved in the film was a good move because it felt like in Tri, the 02 characters were made to feel like they never existed. The 02 characters didn't play the biggest role, the focus was mainly on Yamato and Taichi, but nonetheless the Digimon fan within me was very happy to see that they were included in this movie.

But I think my favourite element of the movie was the nostalgia aspect. If you're not a long time Digimon fan, you might not understand this point, but it's a real treat to see an old series get a reincarnation of itself two decades after it ended. The grade schooler in me just jumping with joy when I was viewing the "updated" evolution sequence from rookie to champion, and from champion to ultimate with Agumon's evolution line. Then for fans who have been following the series for quite sometime now, that whistle scene where Taichi snapped the DigiDestined out of their hypnosis, was a direct throwback to when Taichi was a toddler blowing the whistle to wake Greymon up. And if you didn't catch it, Davis was also in this film for a slit second, which is another nod to the nostalgia aspect that I loved.

Overall I really loved the film. It sounded like I despised the storyline of the movie, which I harped on for the majority of this review, but I really did love the entire film despite that small thorn. As I was saying, it's a treat to see an old series get another adaptation of itself. Yes we're in the reboot era, but if you look at it from a wider lens, or quantitively, not that many series get a chance at another iteration. So any form of a Digimon Adventure recreation is welcomed by me, I'm ready to support whatever form it may come in. And despite how Last Evolution Kizuna ended, it will never take away from how I was presented at the end of Adventure 02 that Digimon are lifelong partners, they will never go away!

One final thought, my fingers are crossed and I hope that there's a sequel to Last Evolution Kizuna in the making, because look carefully at the ending sequence, you'll notice that all of the 02 characters are still partnered with their Digimon, where the older generation are seen without them. Yes, it's a long stretch but I'm hoping we get another film with a slightly better ending, and based on the ending sequence maybe a sequel with a focus on the 02 cast.

If you've read up to this point, thank you so much for taking the time to read my thoughts on Digimon Adventure: Last Evolution Kizuna. I've been gone for a long time here, and this blog holds a special place in my heart, it's something that I don't see myself ever letting go. I do want to write more but the frequency of how often I'll be writing, that I do not know. I still watch anime, that has not slowed down, but I will try my best to air my thoughts into the web when I feel inspired to do so. As usual, please if you can leave your thoughts on the film in the comments below, or send me an DM on instagram or tweet me at animdecoy, and I'll see you again hopefully very soon.

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  1. What I am still pondering is when Master Jeni (excuse any misspelling) appeared in Tai's room and said that the bond will break "unless you have some potential."- Where in the ending of the movie we saw Tai's thesis statement suggesting his potential into adulthood. So perhaps the precedence set in the finale of Adventure 02 still exists, just far into their future. As of course, the bond breaking explicitly implies that Tai and Matt have no future potential. Which would be one helluva downer.
    I liked the plot established and found it personally motivating. Childhood doesn't vanish, it simply has to be put on pause-at least temporarily- to reach your true potential. In a world where we don't grow up, we have no potential. I feel that's the pushing statement of the bond breaking. They have to let go of their childhood to reach their potential-a childhood bond which is established again at the end of Adventure 02. Agumon says himself he's sure they'll meet again someday. And they did, just very far into the future.
    (I'm working on my own review as well, and yours was an excellent read! Kudos.)

    1. To further this with some conflicting evidence- Tai and Matt seem to be the only ones of the original DigiDestined who are uncertain of themselves and their futures. They are uncertain about their potential. And they're the only ones to visibly lose their Digimon and the bond. Meanwhile, when we see all of the other Originals, their Digivices aren't indicating any breaking of the bond (via the rings). And they're also well into knowing what they want to do , as stated by Tai when he and Matt are drinking in the early part of the movie. So I don't think the bond breaks with age, otherwise they'd all have had the rings. For example, Izzi is a president of his own company, well grown up, yet Tentamon remains by his side.
      This adds to the suggestion that it was Tai and Matt's uncertainty about their future which limited their potential and led to the bond breaking.
      (Note: I've only seen the English Dub and none of the short OVAs; so I'm only basing this on that pretext)

    2. Thank you for the reply and kind words. Sorry for the delayed response as I don't maintain this blog frequently.

      I totally get where you are coming from! "Childhood doesn't vanish, it simply has to be put on pause-at least temporarily- to reach your true potential" - I agree, could not have said it better myself.

      The ending visuals showed a different story to your theory, where you see the 02 cast with their digimon partners, but the original cast (minus Takeru and Hikari) are without, though I could be interpreting it differently. Unless I missed it, Tentomon is missing from the ending sequence. But I like your idea on the idea of uncertainty of their future being the determinant of what keeps that bond intact, you might be onto something!

      Thank you again for reading, and taking the time to write. So sorry for replying months later. If you wrote your thoughts in an article, I would love to read it. Feel free to email, or tweet me what you've written on the movie.



Hello. My name is Victor and welcome to my anime blog where I share my thoughts and opinions on the different anime I watch. Enjoy your stay here and let's talk anime!


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