It's a series built around seeing Digimon in battle mode
Digimon Adventure: — the 2020 reboot that took the "Digi-Destined" from the turn-of-the-millennium classic and filtered them through a story that was more focused on action and adventure — has wrapped. From the onset, it had been a goal of Toei's creative team to overhaul the way battling was portrayed in a Digimon series and I'd say they were pretty successful. If anything, I'll remember this series for giving me some of my favorite scenes of combat in the entire franchise. To celebrate its finale, I'd like to go over five memorable action scenes that encapsulate the best of what the series had to offer.
The first three episodes paid obvious homage to Mamoru Hosoda's film Our War Game!, almost serving as a standalone trilogy before rocketing our characters into the Digital World proper. However, it did set up the stakes of the fight scenes pretty well, granting them a sense of brutal and animalistic physicality. Greymon bit, clawed, charged, laser-blasted, and tail-whipped his way through battles, as did Garurumon, setting us up for a series that took full advantage of the "monster" half of Digital Monster.
One important part of any good fight scene is the layout of the battleground. Whether it's the empty block in the arena that became a field of lonely desperation for Gon when he dueled Hisoka in Hunter x Hunter or the limitless Mirror World in One Piece that gave Luffy the chance to pull out all the stops against the nearly invincible Katakuri, the location not only helps with the atmosphere of the fight but influences the characteristics of the combatants. Here, assaulted by multiple bug monsters in a cramped stone labyrinth, the Champion-level Digimon had to be clever in their maneuvers. It's perfect for Togemon, though. Any space to punch in is a good enough space for her.
Angered over the fact that Taichi had been swallowed by DoneDevimon, MetalGreymon evolved into Mugendramon. Ripping into his foe uncontrollably (reminiscent of the way SkullGreymon lashed out against his former friends in the original series) it was a pretty barbarous scene for a creature who, just a little while ago, was the very ambassador of courage and Digi-goodwill, Agumon. Mugendramon has served as a foe across multiple Digimon games and anime series, and seeing it be the "dark" evolution of MetalGreymon was a treat.
It's not too uncommon, in any Digimon series, for an episode to be capped off by a glorious new evolution followed by a swift victory thanks to the upgrade in power. Digimon Adventure: had already become known for its lavish evolution sequences, but I think my favorite in this new series was WarGreymon's.
It had been teased since the beginning, with the monster's silhouette being shown in the OP and being seen again at the end of the battle with DoneDevimon. But here, we got the full transformation and then, of course, the enemies realizing that maybe they shouldn't have tangled with the big dinosaur and the goggles-wearing fourth-grader in the first place.
In the best-directed episode of the entire show — courtesy of Nozomu Shishido, assistant director of Dragon Ball Super: Broly, director Episodes 2 and 24 (among others), and director of Adventure:'s final installment — we get a kind of animated dynamism that manages to stick out as worth celebrating and makes the most of the otherworldly designs of the Digimon. In a post-apocalyptic-looking wasteland, Rebellimon makes a last-ditch ride against the imposing Boltmon, and in doing so, discovers the meaning of his life. Of course, the meaning of his life is to "keep fighting but figure out what you're fighting for." But let's be honest — it's the 2020 reboot of Digimon Adventure. It would be weird if the lesson wasn't "Just keep on battling, dude."
And that's that! Hopefully, this list inspires you to check out Digimon Adventure: if you haven't. I've had a really fun time writing articles about this series over the last year-and-a-half and this is as good a time as any for those that missed out to gorge themselves on the whole thing. But as has been the moral of every Digimon series before it, we all gotta grow up and move on someday. Of course, moving on means usually going to the next Digimon series, so I'm sure I'll see you there, too.
Daniel Dockery is a Senior Staff Writer for Crunchyroll. Follow him on Twitter!
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