Digimon Adventure: Last Evolution Kizuna Discussion Thread

Digitama

Ain't got no mojo...
Show User Social Media
Hide User Social Media
Joined
Oct 9, 2020
Messages
15
Location
Saudi Arabia
Taichi and Yamato in kizuna i think being the number one powerful in humans, they were not only able to fly with their partners, but they were also able to beat Eosmon!!
 
Last edited by a moderator:

ZakRhyno

Ain't got no mojo...
Show User Social Media
Hide User Social Media
Joined
Nov 25, 2009
Messages
4
Age
2019
So I finish watching the movie, so I have two questions.

A. Other then Sora's Memorial Story I saw there were a few more, did they ever come out or what is the status of them?

B. Did I see Sora's Digivece semi-stone in the movie?

C. At the very end of the credits what was that paper on the desk saying?
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Vande

V-Tamer Vande
Staff
Admin
Show User Social Media
Hide User Social Media
Joined
Sep 9, 2006
Messages
16,907
Location
England - Sheffield
A) They will be released to the backers, i think we only got Sora due to how it linked to Kizuna

B) I think I did.

C) It's Taichi's Theisis on how Digimon and Humans can Co-Exist.
 

ZakRhyno

Ain't got no mojo...
Show User Social Media
Hide User Social Media
Joined
Nov 25, 2009
Messages
4
Age
2019
A) They will be released to the backers, i think we only got Sora due to how it linked to Kizuna
ahh I didn't know this, why where there backers?

B) I think I did.

C) It's Taichi's Theisis on how Digimon and Humans can Co-Exist.
Ahh I wish I could read what it says, I interested in what he wrote. >_<
Do you think they be another Digimon Movie with Season 2 and the Season 1 team coming back with their Digimon?
 

Digiforlife

I'm going digital
Show User Social Media
Hide User Social Media
Joined
Apr 27, 2017
Messages
536
Location
New Zealand
A) They will be released to the backers, i think we only got Sora due to how it linked to Kizuna
ahh I didn't know this, why where there backers?

B) I think I did.

C) It's Taichi's Theisis on how Digimon and Humans can Co-Exist.
Ahh I wish I could read what it says, I interested in what he wrote. >_<
Do you think they be another Digimon Movie with Season 2 and the Season 1 team coming back with their Digimon?
There could be but it all depends on whether Toei wants to and there is still room for sequel before 02 ending. If they do make a sequel please bring Last Evolution's diretors and staff back too...
 

BlankShell

I'm going digital
Show User Social Media
Hide User Social Media
Joined
Apr 30, 2017
Messages
570
I finally watched it, and I'm bawling.

Okay not really, but this was an amazing film. But also as, like, a film. Directorially, there were a lot of intriguing quick cuts like you see in more modern anime, and the intensely character driven focus didn't divert from the sheer spectacle of the thing. Really, it's an incredibly impressive movie.

The animation was top-notch, but nowhere moreso than the original Parrotmon fight; aside from being an amusing throwback to the original film, it showcased everything they were putting into it, with the various angles, effects, and the way they would incorporate the kids in the fight.

The villain was perhaps a little obvious, but also there not necessarily being a villain (if Tri's ultimate villains were the weaknesses of the kids, here the main enemy is time itself) worked as well. They ended up walking the fine line of complexity; it's not just about growing older or growing up, it's how you adapt to changes, and how you fight for what matters.

If I have any complaint... it's that they did Sora extremely dirty. She gets all of like two lines that's just moral support. I'm glad she's the focus of a memorial short, but yikes there were some missed opportunities there. I see some comments that her Digivice had already turned to stone? I didn't see it so I should rewatch it, but that would have been a great opportunity to dive further.

Really, I could not praise this movie highly enough, and that they managed to pack in so much history while also being a smartly written, acted, directed, and animated film is award-worthy in and of itself. I'm actually sad I didn't get to see it in theaters, but maybe some day. Safely.
 

Fenrys

Ain't got no mojo...
Show User Social Media
Hide User Social Media
Joined
Nov 27, 2019
Messages
44
It's, in fact, pretty well explained why Menoa lost Morphomon at 14. Being a genius, she skipped grades and went directly to university.
You're right, sorry I forgot that detail.

Gennai and co are only ever specifically mentioned as giving the Digivices and Crests to the Season 1 kids. We don't know where Daigo and Himekawa's group got theirs from, nor do we know where the multitude of kids from Season 2 got theirs and same for Meiko and Wallace/Willis. I believe Azulongmon had something to do with the Season 2 Digivices, but could be mistaken.

Menoa and Sora both lost their Digimon without fighting because of how quickly they matured. Their maturation is what limits their potential

Fortunately the Season 2 epilogue is canon, so we know that this isn't the end, it's just the end of them being partners as they were. We know they meet back up, we just don't know the circumstances of how
Azulongmon referred to the ones who sent the Digivices as the "harmonious ones" who I just assumed were Gennai and his team but Season 2 was light on explanations so who knows. Was the original Japanese any clearer?

I might be overthinking things, but I saw Sora as a bit of a hypocrite in this movie, unwilling to risk her last moments with Biyomon, thus forcing Matt and Tai to fight harder and run up the clock faster. I understand she lost Biyomon before the final battle and has mostly left this part of her life behind, but as the former carrier of the crest of love, I would've thought she wouldn't leave her friends to handle this major crisis by themselves. I keep thinking, what if the low point, where Tai and Matt are doubting themselves, was caused by Sora losing Biyomon right in front of them? What if, despite that, Sora still tells Menoa to stop and pleads with Matt and Tai to fight through her tears? Or maybe, she doesn't, what then?

This movie made me think of this sombre English cover of Butter-fly.
The “harmonious ones” refers to the original digimon belonging to the pre season 1 chosen children (the group of 5 that Daigo Nishijima and Himekawa were a part of). They were Azulongmon, Baihumon, Ebonwumon and Zhuqiaomon. There’s only 4 because the 5th digimon (tapirmon, who was Himekawa’s partner) was used as a sacrifice to seal the Dark Masters pre season 1
 

Golden_Fate

I'm a Maniac
Show User Social Media
Hide User Social Media
Joined
Nov 23, 2014
Messages
174
So, I finally got my bluray copy. I had purchased the subbed version of the PSN on digital release day, but I waited until my physical copy to watch the dub with friends and it was a great experience. If they were going to wait until any movie to start using Butterfly, I'm glad this is it.

I thought the dub was quite good, and the performances quite good across the board.

Yamato - A much better recast than Vic's was. I don't think Vic really embodied the character very well, it doesn't help his Tri design was like...so bad.
Mimi - I was nervous to hear someone other than Philece voice this character, but I'm a little ashamed to say I liked it quite a bit more than Sampler's performance in Tri.

The 02 Gang was over all quite good. Davis and Yolei (I can't get used to typing Yolei...) gave me no issue to listen to, and I even liked Cody's voice despite my burn out on all things Bryce Papenbrook. Hawkmon was very fine, probably the best 'voice match' of any of the recasts, while I thought Robbie Daymond's interpretation of the Armadillomon stage's were much better than the original voices, which I imagine people will disagree with.

The script was great, definitely had a familiar flavor. I could definitely feel Jeff Nimoy's influence and I really feel like it helped make some of the previous recasts 'click' better. One notable example to me is Gatomon. There was something missing from that performance in Tri for me, she acted too child-like and innocent, and just getting that little bit of dub sass in there made the character really pop back into place for me.

"What do you say, Gatomon?"
"Just one thing, 'Meow'"

The perfectly placed "prodigious line" was also fantastic, they really saved it for the best point!

The only things that kinda irked me was the 'Never World" change from 'Never Land' but I'm sure there's some legal issues that made this happen. And sadly, Menoa just loses a little charm without her bi-lingual dialogue. It would have been neat if they had made her Canadian (She was inspired by Anne of Green Gables, right?) then they could have used Canadian-French in it's place! Though that might have ended up a little cringe.

I also wasn't incredibly blown away by Joshua Seth's performance in general. I'm happy he did it, but I often felt like his delivery wasn't matching the physical emotion his character design was expressing. Too subdued. Particularly during the fights.
As well, Robbie Daymond never really filled Michael Lindsay's shoes as Jou to me - too....ordinary every man. Didn't really stand apart.
 

Vittorini

Ain't got no mojo...
Show User Social Media
Hide User Social Media
Joined
Oct 11, 2020
Messages
4
Age
28
Location
France
I had the chance, 20 years later, to see another Digimon movie in theaters and it was a wonderful experience. I’m truly happy and grateful we could have this little gift after such a crazy year and I’m so glad everyone was able to see it one way or another.

Sure, the nostalgia played a big part but this movie is an amazing and wonderful piece of art. The animation, the topics, the fights, the humor, every aspect of this movie was great.

Seeing Digimon finally moving forward while bringing back everything we love and some kind of hope or faith in the future, it was more than welcome.

I can’t wait to see what’s next for our heroes !
 

VanChizzle

I'm going digital
Show User Social Media
Hide User Social Media
Joined
Nov 13, 2012
Messages
490
Location
Canada
IMO Last Evolution Kizuna was everything that tri. should've been. The action scenes, animation, pacing... for me it was all there and superior to any of its predecessors. When projectiles are being fired and they still miss you just know you're in for a good fight. Loved the animation quality, which was expected of a film serving as the final send-off to a beloved series. There were a lot of obvious callbacks to Adventure, 02 and previous movies (specifically 1-3) which was nice to see. Although somehow, once again, the new female character turns out to be a former Chosen and the villain all along because of past trauma involving losing her partner Digimon while her male associate turns out to be the good guy. Hmmm...

I think Kizuna did a lot better in terms of building up drama than any previous movie we've seen before, especially right around the part where it led you to believe Kyotaro was the bad guy and Menoa was still good. The lead-up to both revealing their true intentions at the exact same time across two different scenes was nice; it was a lot like something you'd see in a movie or TV show with a bigger budget. Really liked the soundtrack as well - not just the use of Butter-Fly or Bolero. There was a particular moment when the big reveal occurred and Menoa had that creepy look on her face where I thought the music worked really well. Likewise when Yamato stumbled upon Kyotaro's collection of intel, which really built an atmosphere of suspense. I almost thought the guy would pop up behind him at any second with a gun in his hand. Another highlight was when the soundtrack faded to soft piano when Agumon and Gabumon evolved into their new Bond of Courage/Friendship forms. Man, in fact just listening to the OST again gives me chills. The theme for Neverland is so haunting... even more so when you realize that Menoa's theme uses the same leitmotif. But I also love that they paid particular homage to the original Adventure soundtrack by re-using some of them in some big moments, especially the first time they battle Eosmon.

Couldn't help but notice that Gennai - as usual - told them about something direly important only at the last possible second because reasons... even though in this case it actually makes sense lmao. Just keeping with the overall trend of withholding any and all information unless the world is ending. If you didn't already think that Homeostasis viewed the Chosen Children as nothing more than child soldiers to be disposed of at its convenience after what happened in tri., this should've sealed it. Is this series trying to say that fate can be a cruel thing? Looking back, I was a little surprised that Sora wasn't crying after we see her Digivice having petrified, since that meant Piyomon had already vanished.

One thing I didn't quite get was why the FBI had been chasing after Menoa for years before this moment. Like what exactly had she been doing before now to have warranted their attention all this time? Also, did Eosmon's little smile right before it died at the end imply that it had been Morphomon all along, but just in a different form/configuration? It certainly seems that way, seeing how Menoa suddenly remembers the very last words Morphomon ever said to her before vanishing ("We'll always be together"). Even though she was wrong to try and imprison other Chosen for their sake, this is awfully sad nonetheless.

Nice to see the 02 kids not being ignored this time and actually having some role to play, even if the info they dug up on Menoa/Kyotaro ended up being a total red herring for purposes of drama. Still wonder if Imperialdramon Paladin Mode could've defeated Eosmon (Ultimate), as they had that avenue available to them if absolutely necessary. It also makes you question why we never saw a Jogress evolution at all. Not even one Paildramon sighting?! A little disappointed we never got to see WarGreymon and MetalGarurumon too, but oh well.

Was really happy to see Wallace appear at the end - and even more so to see Lopmon beside him. Feels good to get confirmation that 1) he's canon to Adventure as a character, and 2) his partner was eventually reborn after all. Also, despite the ambivalence about Meicoomon, to me the fact that Meiko was even trapped in Neverland to begin with was a clear sign that she's back. If Meicoomon was permanently dead I highly doubt her partner would be there in the first place. What's the point of 'saving' a Chosen if their partner's already gone for good? This would hint at another change from the canon established in tri.: Meicoomon's implied rebirth suggests that Toei's retconning the rule about Digimon staying dead if they die in the Human World.

Not gonna lie, I teared up pretty hard when Agumon and Gabumon disappeared right as their partners were about to answer. Though I'm not sure if the two butterflies shown onscreen were literally meant to be the two Digimon floating away, I thought they were rather symbolic. That harmonica hit me right in the feels too. In a way, it seems Agumon's disappearance ultimately helps Taichi realize his life goal, which should lead to him eventually becoming a diplomat going by the topic of his thesis.

One major point of curiosity for me still is whether the whole 'Human-Digimon bonds disappear as we grow up and lose our limitless potential' concept was one of the things that led Kakudou to leave the project, since he cited differences between Kizuna and what had already been established previously in Adventure. Anyone else think this is the case? After all, it clearly goes against the 02 epilogue where everyone in the world eventually gets a Digimon partner.

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed LEK. I actually think this is the best entry since Our War Game - to me it's right up there with it. It's too bad we haven't seen many films of this quality prior, though hopefully this is a sign of things to come with regard to the franchise's other properties (e.g Adventure 2020, maybe Tamers one day even if it's far-fetched ATM). According to this spoiler thread that came out back in February on Twitter (https://mobile.twitter.com/nia_narqissa/status/1223919134108340226/photo/4), if the producer said that it's not totally impossible that there could be a possible continuation to Kizuna, part of me wonders if that cliffhanger ending is a way for Toei to hedge their bets by leaving enough ambiguity for a future story, just in case there is a sequel... Fingers crossed.
 

Jaybird C

I'm going digital
Show User Social Media
Hide User Social Media
Joined
Jul 20, 2017
Messages
428
One major point of curiosity for me still is whether the whole 'Human-Digimon bonds disappear as we grow up and lose our limitless potential' concept was one of the things that led Kakudou to leave the project, since he cited differences between Kizuna and what had already been established previously in Adventure. Anyone else think this is the case? After all, it clearly goes against the 02 epilogue where everyone in the world eventually gets a Digimon partner.
It's certainly the chief suspect of the affair, given that the separation problem is has no basis in any preexisting material and the ending of the movie is irreconcilable with the officially-in-continuity 02 epilogue without fundamentally undercutting the entire premise of DALEK in the first place. You can't bridge them without gutting one or the other.
 

McGann

Completely digital
Show User Social Media
Hide User Social Media
Joined
Jul 10, 2016
Messages
611
It's certainly the chief suspect of the affair, given that the separation problem is has no basis in any preexisting material and the ending of the movie is irreconcilable with the officially-in-continuity 02 epilogue without fundamentally undercutting the entire premise of DALEK in the first place. You can't bridge them without gutting one or the other.
My interpretation of the rule was that you lose them for a while during your early adulthood while you're establishing your life, but can regain the connection (ie: reconnect with your inner child) during later life. Also, I can't believe I never noticed that the abbreviated form of Kizuna is DALEK! o_O
 
Last edited:

Tippy

Ain't got no mojo...
Show User Social Media
Hide User Social Media
Joined
May 25, 2013
Messages
42
Age
32
I just bought the DVD at Target yesterday and I'm very excited to see it for the first time! I've been very careful about avoiding spoilers so I admittedly have not read much of this thread. It's so tempting to watch it now, but I still need to get through Digimon Adventure Tri. I've heard you don't technically need to have seen Tri to still enjoy Kizuna, but I like to watch things chronologically anyways. I'm looking forward to hearing Matt's real voice again, since in Tri they cast Vic Mignogna instead and it's just... it bothers me. But yeah, just popping in to celebrate adding this one to my collection!
 

SnowWarren

Ain't got no mojo...
Show User Social Media
Hide User Social Media
Joined
Sep 30, 2020
Messages
5
Age
31
I just bought the DVD at Target yesterday and I'm very excited to see it for the first time! I've been very careful about avoiding spoilers so I admittedly have not read much of this thread. It's so tempting to watch it now, but I still need to get through Digimon Adventure Tri. I've heard you don't technically need to have seen Tri to still enjoy Kizuna, but I like to watch things chronologically anyways. I'm looking forward to hearing Matt's real voice again, since in Tri they cast Vic Mignogna instead and it's just... it bothers me. But yeah, just popping in to celebrate adding this one to my collection!
Sorry to disappoint you, but Matt still doesn't have his original voice actor, Michael Reisz, in Kizuna, but it isn't Vic either. Nicolas Roye plays Matt and he's fine.
 

Tippy

Ain't got no mojo...
Show User Social Media
Hide User Social Media
Joined
May 25, 2013
Messages
42
Age
32
Sorry to disappoint you, but Matt still doesn't have his original voice actor, Michael Reisz, in Kizuna, but it isn't Vic either. Nicolas Roye plays Matt and he's fine.
Oh no. I must've read some wrong information somewhere. That's a bummer, but oh well.
 

Jaybird C

I'm going digital
Show User Social Media
Hide User Social Media
Joined
Jul 20, 2017
Messages
428
My interpretation of the rule was that you lose them for a while during your early adulthood while you're establishing your life, but can regain the connection (ie: reconnect with your inner child) during later life. Also, I can't believe I never noticed that the abbreviated form of Kizuna is DALEK! o_O
That might just be how it works out whenever they revisit this, but it's still a giant subversion of the drama to change it from permanent separation to temporary absence.
 

BlankShell

I'm going digital
Show User Social Media
Hide User Social Media
Joined
Apr 30, 2017
Messages
570
My interpretation of the rule was that you lose them for a while during your early adulthood while you're establishing your life, but can regain the connection (ie: reconnect with your inner child) during later life. Also, I can't believe I never noticed that the abbreviated form of Kizuna is DALEK! o_O
That might just be how it works out whenever they revisit this, but it's still a giant subversion of the drama to change it from permanent separation to temporary absence.
I can understand the perspective, but my take on it isn't that the point was the loss of childhood/innocence, it was meant to be an interrogation of why you refuse to let go of your childhood; of why you reject the reality of growing up at all. Menoa didn't lose Morphomon because she "grew up too fast", she lost her partner because she couldn't be present in her own life and appreciate the bonds she had.

Similarly, Tai's issue isn't that he didn't know what he wanted to do (he says as much in the beginning, at least in the dub), it's that he lacked the conviction in part because of what chasing his dream would mean; the admission of growing up and growing apart is what he didn't want to face. (It's perhaps a little convenient that Matt encounters the exact same issue at the exact same time, but I chalk it up to those two being far more similar than they want to admit.)

And then on the other hand you have Joe, who (somewhat as a result of the way his education is structured) understands and is confident in his life path, and that security is what allows him to have Gomamon with him despite being older.

So I get the idea that having the 02 epilogue still be "canon" could undercut the ending of DALEK (I can't believe that acronym...), but I think the idea is less about the tragedy of maturity, it's that being mature means knowing what you're fighting for, and why. I like the idea that there will always be a little ray of hope somewhere, but it's up to you to look for it.
 

Golden_Fate

I'm a Maniac
Show User Social Media
Hide User Social Media
Joined
Nov 23, 2014
Messages
174
It's certainly the chief suspect of the affair, given that the separation problem is has no basis in any preexisting material and the ending of the movie is irreconcilable with the officially-in-continuity 02 epilogue without fundamentally undercutting the entire premise of DALEK in the first place. You can't bridge them without gutting one or the other.
My interpretation of the rule was that you lose them for a while during your early adulthood while you're establishing your life, but can regain the connection (ie: reconnect with your inner child) during later life. Also, I can't believe I never noticed that the abbreviated form of Kizuna is DALEK! o_O
I mean, I can't help but feel Menoa herself managed to regain that connection through her research. Eosmon smiling at he end was meant to imply she was Morphomon the whole time, right? That's how I interpreted it. So she wasn't gone forever and neither are their Digimon.
 

Theigno

Supper Mοderator
Staff
Show User Social Media
Hide User Social Media
Joined
Jun 5, 2013
Messages
2,570
Age
27
Location
ɯoɹɟ
A rather comprehensive critique of Kizuna

[Note: All this was written without me having read the novelization, any of the cast interviews, listened to the audio drama or engaging with other side media related to Kizuna (with the exception of the Sora memorial short). While auxiliary media can be interesting, I would argue that all that truly matters initially is what actually ended up on the screen. The movie deserves to be dissected on its own first, before other influences are allowed to color the overall perception. I might write a follow-up, once I've read all side material. For the same reason I also stayed away from most discussions about the movie but I inevitably picked up a few general reactions to it]

The movie is first and foremost a triumph of style. It's a very pretty, featuring some of the best animation in the franchise so far, save for perhaps the first two Hosoda movies.
It is however completely choosing style over substance. It goes for MAXIMUM spectacle and MAXIMUM melodrama with little care about actually making sense, properly exploring its characters' thoughts or fitting into the setting.
I guess for many people just seeing their favorite characters (minus Sora) having a big high budget Adventure trumps all such concerns and criticisms and those people might as well stop reading now.

When Digimon Adventure tri came out it was sometimes accused of (somehow) needlessly pandering to nostalgia. Kizuna is basically Toei jumping out of their seats shouting "You haven't seen anything yet!", because Kizuna is, perhaps not exactly cynical, but very much shamelessly pandering to all forms of nostalgia, a firework of references with little attempt at originality.
The exact amount of shamelessness in play depends on how much you believe that the story's own ambivalence towards nostalgia makes up for its own content.
I for one don't believe that a movie that claims to warn about the dangers of nostalgia while also almost completely relying on that same nostalgia as its main selling point is any more virtuous than any number of kung fu or action movies that are filled with adrenaline pumping, exciting action (clearly why anyone actually wants to see them) and then attempt to backpedal by including some message about "actually fighting is bad".
That is not to say that those sort of films can't be fun and entertaining but it's hard to take claims about their profound philosophy and lessons seriously when the execution itself never truly commits to the point it claims to make.

But let's start at the beginning, that is to say at the Parrotmon fight.
It's an immensely impressive and energetic intro, but even during this early scene Kizuna shows its tendency to milk any spectacle to the point of absurdity.
Note how a single Digimon, that we know can be taken on by Greymon alone, suddenly requires the strengths of four Digimon, three of them Perfects, to even immobilize it. They are a lot of very cool shots and the scene is choreographed well but as it goes on it just seems very strange how indestructible Parrotmon is and why Angewomon suddenly has terrible aim (You could argue that they were going easy and trying not to hurt it but that is difficult to reconcile with MetalGreymon firing his Giga Destroyers right into Parrotmon's face.)
Now perhaps another approach to explain the situation would be to assume that the duration of the fight could have been foreshadowing that the Digimon partners are already growing weaker, as their bonds start to diminish.
There are a few reasons why I think this is not the case:
For one Greymon did seem to manage to physically overpower Parrotmon… it's just that none of his follow-up attacks had any effect.
The other part is that with no one being aware of the upcoming separation and the weakening of the bonds, that downgrade should be very notable to all characters involved.
It's not like when Yamato accused Taichi of being careless there was any mention of the fight being about five times more difficult than it had any right to be, even though that would have been a pretty good point to make.
I think it is fair play to not spell everything out for the audience. It is not fair play if it requires the characters to straight up ignore stuff that is going on in front of their eyes that should seem strange to them as much as to the audience.
In this sense the interpretation that the length of the fight was not the result of diminishing bonds makes the movie look better in retrospect.

One of the first key visuals that truly interested me in the movie was Taichi wearing those square and somewhat cyberpunk looking VR-goggles, but unfortunately only a single shot of them remained in the movie but that one shot is worth talking about, because to me it says a lot about the general feel of the film.
The VR goggles seem to be portrayed as an evolution of Koushiro's distortion detection technology in tri, but it's a prototype so Taichi doesn't want to bother using them. The scene works well in establishing that Taichi still has his familiar shortish temper and less than graceful handling of technology but is also a bit off-putting because by now exists solely as a reference to (semi) scrapped design concepts. Outside of that context it really doesn't work.
In any other story if there is a glimpse at a specialized gadget in its prototype stage, you naturally expect it to become important later, perhaps with some of the kinks worked out. You would also think that when your main enemy is a Digimon stealing people's souls and is heavily implied to do so mainly by jumping through people's smart phones and other electronics, having a device for detecting analyzing Digimon data could come in really handy for tracking it down (it's not unlikely that this could have been part of the original concept)… But instead a cameo is all we get. That is the overall problem with pandering, because it's basically showing the audience something just for the sake of showing it and not for the sake of the narrative.
And there is lots and lots pandering in the movie and it started to get annoying within the first few minutes, which has to be a new record. One full length evolution sequence copied shot-for-shot from the original is a nice reference, a second full length evolution sequence copied shot-for-shot from the original less than three minutes later just looks desperate.

But as mentioned earlier, the visuals are what really makes the film shine. One of the most interesting stylistic choices is the lighting on the characters, which is made to look very bright and "solid" which most of the time looks really neat. Sometimes however, it looks like everything is weirdly overexposed. The overall design of the human characters is nicely detailed and doesn't look as generic as some of the concept art made it seem, although it is still strange that the characters don't actually look older than they did in tri... but visualizing age differences is something that most anime styles struggle with.

After Parrotmon is defeated we get to a couple of scenes that have to be the most memorable part of the movie for me. This early part, following Taichi and Yamato, really works well in evoking a feeling of existential unease, as we watch those characters live lives that are not hard or awful but just generally unfulfilled. Most conversations they have end up being somewhat awkward, but it's the sort of awkwardness that creates valuable tension for the audience.
The framing and lighting is also spot on and many of the shots of Taichi and Yamato being on their own say as much on their own as their conversations.
However, the rest of the movie has no time for things like building atmosphere or giving characters time to actually process their thoughts; if there's some point to be made, or some instance of symbolism, you better believe some character is going to point it out directly, preferably at full volume.

If there is something to criticize about those scenes and their general theme, it has to be the awkward (negatively this time) non-existence of proper world building, the Adventure universe's stubborn reluctance to acknowledge that having saved the world multiple times and being partnered with a monster possessing basically god like power could least somewhat impact the characters' life in general.
When the writers have to finally admit that by now, yes, some other people should know who they are, they try to turn it into a mere curiosity, the sort of "oh, you're famous" response that would seem appropriate had their fight against Diablomon witnessed by countless people around the globe been nothing more than a viral video, rather than a conflict with nuclear annihilation at stake.

Having the characters feel demotivated and directionless like so many young adults feel, even if stylistically it is executed with skill, kind of relies on them ignoring that they are simply not like those many other young adults. They belong to a tiny majority of people on the planet, with insight into other worlds no one knows about, controlling powers no one else can control.
And it's not like no one else knows or believes in Digimon, that excuse has sailed a long time ago.
So why are companies and all sorts of organizations and governments not kicking their doors in, begging them to work for them, with the help of their partners?
Think about the difference a super powered monster like WarGreymon or MetalGarurumon could make for a fire department, for a construction company for any sort of job that involves dangerous environments that are actually only dangerous for humans. If there is a point in there about Taichi and Yamato explicitly not wanting to rely on their partners, it is never addressed. And with the Digimon basically portrayed as unchanging and infinitely loyal pets as opposed to actual characters themselves, the very concept that they would have something better to do or just want to lead their own lives simply does not seem plausible (The attitude of not involving Digimon with their normal lives could have made at least some sense if the countdown was a known factor but… well it wasn't).
At this point the growing number of chosen should really be something the world is aware of (they don't seem to hide their identities either), and perhaps also that everything from the military, general infrastructure, even the economy is going to be heavily impacted if Digimon start to play a bigger role in society. At the same time chosen children are still rare enough that there aren't a lot to "choose from", anyone in japan potentially trying to get some Digimon power on their hands would end up dealing with one of the Adventure characters.
Even if the characters are still in university they should not be completely unaffected. It is strange how "Digimon research" is portrayed just a weird isolated field of study when a lot of scientific fields, physics, computer science, biology, philosophy and countless others should desperately want to get their hands on beings whose existence basically necessitates revising a lot of existing science.

All in all I can't shake the feeling that the movie is awkwardly trying to postpone anything that has to do with Digimon becoming more relevant to the characters or the world at large.
"Let's not bother with that at this point", it seems to say. "Everything is still normal. Stuff will happen eventually but not yet, somehow."

Anyway, after this enjoyable interlude we are brought back into the main action of the plot, which in quick succession introduces us to new characters, the main enemy Digimon and a surprising new natural law of the Adventure universe.
I'll get into the new characters later but for now it should suffice to say that it is pretty damn obvious that something weird is going on with Menoa, given that in a setting where Koushiro and Gennai exist there isn't really any room in the narrative for another benevolent, exposition providing genius unless there's more to the character.

Now let's talk about Eosmon. in general it makes for an okay villain, but the impression is tarnished by the movie's endless visual references to Our War Game, always reminding you how the unpredictability and playful viciousness of the Diablomon line was just more interesting than a barely emoting puppet.
Overall Eosmon's design is themed around being some warped sort of cyber-angel, more specifically angels as presented in the Rebuild of Evangelion movies, which share Eosmon's preferred method of communicating via a pitched chorus of distorted ethereal sounding voices while the use of teleporting shields resembles the ever more elaborate AT Field shenanigans seen in 2.00 and onward.
The fights against it are entertaining, and Eosmon's creative use of summoned platforms adds another interesting dimension to its tactics. Overall the action scenes are all looking great and mostly avoid the chaotic and sometimes confusing choreography style of the later tri parts. There are still a few slip ups, mostly involving the CG rendered Omegamon which looks good most of the time but gets a few close up shots where the detail on his head is really lacking.

With that out of the way, we can finally get to the big reveal, the timeout, or countdown or whatever it is officially called.
My general impression boil down to this: It is something that could have been called interesting or even daring if it had been better executed and didn't basically come with the implied promise that it would soon be negated in some form.

It's also a mechanic that comes completely out of nowhere and seemingly contradicts the epilogue the movie claims to work towards.
The only potential hint of such a mechanic existing in the setting were Oikawa's ramblings about the digital world rejecting adults from entering it but Oikawa himself was also one of the better arguments against any sort of limit concerning Partner Digimon when he got one himself.
The cursory explanation of the phenomenon in general leaves open quite a few nagging questions.
At first it might seem that because this initial explanation was provided by a character who turned out to be a villain, we didn't get the whole story, that there is a more layered approach waiting to be revealed later. But this never happens. Perhaps this could have been on purpose, to leave the door open for some or other exceptions to these laws that might allow them to get their partners back but that would be a bizarre and insulting case of "actually we lied for the sake of sentimentality".

One of the first natural questions arising when thinking about the concept of partnerships being bound to potential is: How is potential even defined? How practical or psychological should that statement be approached?
Kizuna as a story seems to treat it as a psychological matter but there are plenty of factors that influence potential that are independent of choices.
Let's take the classical tragic example, imagine that there is a chosen child around middle school age, who's a pretty decent student but who especially enjoys sports and is in great physical shape in general. And let's assume they get hit by a car.
They survive in a wheelchair but clearly a lot of potential simply no longer exists. Any career in sports is off the table. Quite a few parts of life are much more restricted now. Of course they can still manage live a good life but does this very practical diminishing of future choices in their life weaken the bond with their partner? Are they going to lose their Digimon are few years earlier now because they lost potential even though it wasn't based on any choice?
Does the system just not count it because it wasn't based on their choices? Did the system already know the accident would happen and was that already taken into account in their "base" potential? (This does not seem likely because if the system knew the future, "potential" wouldn't really apply; People would only have a single potential road they could go down, the one the system already calculated for them).

A similar question could be asked about social circumstances:
Exhibit a would be a female chosen child from an upper-middle-class or even upper-class family in a democratic first world country, with access to good education and at least a reasonably non-discriminatory job market. Lots of possibilities here.
Exhibit b would be a female chosen child in some backwards country (not naming any names) where women are denied education and basic rights and are forced into traditional roles of housewives basically subservient to their husbands. Not as many possibilities there.
Would the chosen b have a much weaker bond to her partner compared to chosen a because they are simply much less likely to to be able to make as much meaningful choices and actually develop towards meaningful potential?
It's doubtful we will ever find out, simply because it's unlikely that this issue will actually ever be acknowledged.

But even if we go back to the parts that Kizuna decides to acknowledge about the situation, there are still parts that don't seem quite coherent.
Starting from the very top, that Taichi would be one of the first Chosen to be "timed out" even though he's also one of the least committed to moving on (which he freely admits) doesn't make sense.
Tentomon Should have disintegrated years ago. It's such a big deal that Menoa skipped grades but holy shit, Koushiro skipped a hell of a lot more. He had a fancy business office while still in high school, he is a CEO. He has moved on his life so goddamn far that most adults are probably not going to catch up to him their entire lives.
Even if he wasn't at Menoa's level back then, but he had Tentomon for 8 more years. 8 years that involved battles and Ultimate Evolutions (Menoa was never implied to be involved in either of those things) which on their own more than bridge the gap between them, if it worked for Taichi.
But Sora is first. Because she's "getting serious about flower arrangement". Really?
(At least the credit sequence implies that the other older chosens' Digimon vanished soon after the events of the film)

Oh and we have Gennai show up to explain, very unconvincingly, that they weren't told basically because "You don't talk about death". The characters (and by extension the audience) are not expected to question it because it comes from Gennai, but the analogy simply doesn't work.
Because even if is something humans don't like to admit, even if it is something that most people won't or even can't fully comprehend, people are certainly aware of the concept death, even if just in an abstract and biased way. No one is actually shocked by the statement "you'll die at some point", no one goes to a cemetery wondering why old people like to spend so much time in the ground. No, this is something that was hidden deliberately.
But the weird thing is... the Homeostasis doesn't even really have anything to gain by hiding it from the chosen especially if it's not their design.
Sure, maybe the chosen would be pissed if they were told it earlier. But maybe they'd take some time to train up some successors among the other chosen children because once they are all gown up and the Zero Two crew's Digimon go poof within the next two or three years, whenever the next force of darkness arises the Homeostasis will have to make due with a bunch uncoordinated newbies who all speak different languages with partners who can't make it past the adult level.
The audience knows that it's not going to happen because (somehow) everything will be reversed and the epilogue is still in play but none of the characters could know this including presumably Gennai so it should have been worth a thought from their perspective.
There's also the question if the Holy Beasts are affected by any time limit bound to their partners.
If yes, Baihumon should have suddenly keeled over the moment Daigo got his college degree or something, not really a plot hole considering he hasn't shown up in the story, but it would make the Holy Beasts even more unreliable protectors of the world than they already seem to be.
If no, this implies that there actually is some way the Homeostasis can declare a partnership void, preventing the timeout from occurring… which makes Gennai's claim of ignorance a bit doubtful.

And I'm reaching a bit ahead here story wise but since it's in the end another complication dealing with the timeout, I feel it belongs into this section:
None of the characters seem bat an eye at the revelation that Menoa was a chosen in 1997, which basically implies that this is somehow not an uncommon occurrence.
Previous Adventure material established that the world wide process of random chosen children mostly occurred after the massive Digimon sightings in 1999. Anyone chosen before that, like the original eight or the very first chosen tended to be someone the Homeostasis chose for a very specific reason.
Even when tri introduced Meiko as an additional chosen from around that time, her role as Libra's "safeguard" explained both the reason for her having a partner and the reason why the Homeostasis would want to keep her away from any of the previous conflicts. [Side Note: what does the revelation of the time limit imply for Homeostasis' intentions when it comes to Maicoomon? If Libra was actually something important for the Digital World, why put it in a situation where it could just vanish? Was the idea less keeping it safe and more killing it in a very slow and indirect way?]
But for Menoa there is no indication why she was chosen, or where she was during any of the previous events. She just shows up and doesn't really fit in with the bigger picture. The only comparable case is Wallace; A character whose main defining trait throughout Adventure was not fitting in anywhere.

But let's assume that those sort of special cases are actually not special, that at least since 1995 the Digimon Partner Fairy was going around, handing out Digitama to children everywhere, even if there was nothing to do for them. But if there are more chosen from before 1999 running around, at same age or older than the protagonists, perhaps even Daigo and Maki's age, and with everyone now connected with Koushiro's network (and years ago already through Takeru's blog) some chosen or other should already have experienced that timeout already, maybe not as soon as Menoa but within the last few years plenty of chosen should be at the same level of maturity and readiness for real world responsibility as Taichi and Sora, which is not that high of a bar to meet, especially in countries where it is more common than in Japan to not go through college before entering the adult world of work and responsibility and so on. The surprise factor really only worked under the assumption that the situation was as it was originally shown in Zero Two, where all international chosen seemed to be either around the age of the Zero Two group or younger, and even that is pushing it for the previous reasons. And so the two most vital additions the movie introduces are also the most problematic. Either Menoa's existence should have been a big deal, or the countdown shouldn't.
And also somehow nothing is made of the fact that a Digimon made it on the front page of a 1997 Newspaper, a time when no one should have known about their existence. Especially since it's not just some background detail. What did the Photographer think he was photographing exactly? Especially since Menoa doesn't seem to go for the "stuffed animal" angle with Morphmon pretty obviously standing up and supporting itself.

But again, I'm getting ahead of myself. Chronologically speaking we're only now getting to the part of the movie that mostly deals with Yamato being incredibly suspicious of Menoa's assistant. And if I'm honest, just the general predictability and contrived feel of this mystery section of the movie has to be weakest part of it, and it's probably more annoying than all the previous questionable world building because at least there I had the feeling that the writers were trying to be ambitious while the whole whodunnit part just feels pretty lazy.

In a well written scenario there could have been at least a slight element of doubt about the identity of the villain.
Even fiction on the level of generic Shounen anime has realized by now that a villain hiding among other characters needs a motive, some sort of indication of purpose, preferably hinted at before they drop their act. Kizuna does a good job with it in Menoa's case, with each new revelation about her character also revealing part of the reason for her villainy.
The problem with Yamada is that he movie never gets around to establishing anything about him. He's rude and acts shady. But without a believable motive you can't fool the audience into taking the bait and get invested in the possibility of him being the main villain, the fact that he receives the same (lack of) characterization as your typical side character tells us what we need to expect of his role.
And so the attempt at misdirection fails and the chunk of the movie devoted to literally everyone becoming more and more suspicious about him becomes nothing more than obvious filler while the audience waits for the characters to finally notice that they are following the wrong lead.
The main purpose of this particular plot thread seems to be less to contribute anything relevant to the story and more about giving the Zero Two characters something to do, to justify having them in the movie in the first place (and I guess many people are satisfied by that alone).
Never mind that we end up with a scenario where the FBI is trying to catch a suspected criminal genius with an agent who they provide with an identity so obviously fake that even a bunch of random college students figure out the ruse within a day or so.

Governments in general seem to get the short end of the stick as far as the story is concerned; After tri made the sensible point that of course the chosen would be monitored, somehow the Japanese government has just completely stopped keeping an eye on them to the point that a rogue university researcher can just abduct them in broad daylight like it's nothing. And the FBI's single guy (or maybe two guys if we count the contact with the gun) is never actually helpful to the situation for the sake of plot convenience.
For starters, what was acquiring a gun meant to accomplish in the first place? If he suspected that Menoa controls Eosmon and if he has been researching Digimon for a while he should be aware that he might as well have gone to a toy store for a water gun that would held the same amount threat to her, especially if, as he somewhat implied, Menoa already figured him out.
Certainly just telling the people who would actually have the tools to take her down if she doesn't manage to ambush them would have been a smarter move (doubly so if Eosmon's consciousness stealing is tied to mental preparedness).
But no, the film goes to ridiculous lengths to milk the "suspicious" assistant for drama, descending into complete silliness during the actual "twist" scene, where Yamada has absolutely no reason to act as weird and suspicious as he does, no reason to wave his gun around, chuckling menacingly while Gabumon is about to blast his face off… and then he makes all suspicion go away by flashing his badge. Because it's not like the protagonists were screwed over by another similar character a few years before.

After the extremely unconvincing mystery is solved, over a third of the remaining movie is dedicated to Taichi and Yamato's big confrontation with Menoa and the final (or not so final) farewells to Agumon and Gabumon.

Menoa is, as it turns out, basically a rehash of Maki. For both of them the loss of their partners triggered a descend into obsession and madness, the main difference is that Maki did not care who she screwed over in order to get her partner back, but Menoa was a little bit placated by the creation of Eosmon and decided to externalize her obsession to everyone around her. That Menoa has this sort of twisted empathy is what makes her and Maki not strictly interchangeable.

The arena for our final showdown is neverland where all the captured chosen spend their time suspended in isolated childhood bubbles, hallucinating for all eternity.
Visually (like the rest of the movie) it is a striking view of blue flying mountains over a dark void, a fittingly apocalyptic frozen land, suspended in stasis. But thematically I was hoping for something more… actually tempting?
The problem with this neverland as a concept is how it just kind of beats you over the head with how regressive it is. The lack of subtlety basically cripples the core metaphor and instead of "testing" the characters about some very specific theme it's actually only testing if they have at least one brain cell left inside their skulls.
A handy test for "big" themes, metaphors or statements in fiction is viewing them from a pragmatic angle: If a theory is applicable to basically anything, chances are it's not actually saying anything interesting, or at least nothing practical.

You wouldn't want to be a billionaire if it meant being suspended in an isolated billionaire bubble, hallucinating for all eternity.
You wouldn't want to be a movie star if it meant being suspended in an isolated movie star bubble, hallucinating for all eternity.
and so on and so forth.
At least BelialVamdemon's illusions were shown to offer more interactivity.

The point is, Neverland blows the theme of arrested progress so out of proportion that it barely resembles what it was supposed to achieve in the first place and isn't really a seductive offer for anyone's who's not a hardcore Zen buddhist. Some of that is probably intentional and works well for illustrating Menoa's degenerated extremist mindset but the problem is that the movie kind of seems to want there to be some sort of ambiguity about the other characters' supposed "choice" to stay in neverland, and this attempt is simply laughable when their situation is so obviously terrible. And that in turn takes the wind out of of any of the supposedly big decisions Taichi and Yamato have to make, the situation offers little to illuminate anything specific about Taichi and Yamato's actual thought process because to any sane person the solution is obvious from the start.
But the question was never if Taichi and Yamato are sane or not. It is supposedly about how they deal with loss and growing up and from that perspective they are not exactly getting challenged.

Imagine someone presented you a person tied to a chair and told you, if you kill that person you could have the special limited edition Blu Ray of Kizuna. You are told that whether or not you kill the person for the Blu Ray says a lot about the kind of Digimon fan you are. But does it really?
Due to the complete lunacy of the proposition it says very little about anything at all.

By getting caught up in its one-track metaphor the movie also fails to get the most of the effects of Menoa's plan from a broader perspective. There would certainly be people who would welcome all chosen children being kept in indefinite stasis as a matter of security. Once again, we are talking about forces beyond human control, one kid who can't get his feelings under control could cause a dark evolution and level a city, and just having a few hundred of them spread across the globe isn't really making the situation any safer. It is another missed opportunity brought about by focusing on too small a scale when the scenario should have much wider ranging implications and consequences.

While I did try to steer away from general discussion of the film, I caught some bits and pieces and one point that I did see come up a bit was the question if Meiko's cameo means that Maicoomon was reborn or not.
To me the situation is quite clear: Eosmon's ability to recreate dead partner Digimon is not a thing and basically just something people pulled from nowhere without proof.
First, none of the other Digimon we saw in neverland were illusions. The Digimon physically disappear from the human world, and they just as physically show up in neverland. If Eosmon could recreate Digimon partners from memories, it could have recreated Morphmon for Menoa, and she could have the paradise she wanted without needing to externalize her madness to other people.
Secondly: As far as we've seen Eosmon never attempted to approach Sora. If Eosmon could recreate any Digmon partner then Sora should appear to Menoa as the perfect victim, someone who has just lost his partner, still processing their loss, someone who should be most grateful for a chance to join neverland. And sure, it's reasonable to assume that having "naturally" outgrown her role, Sora might be able to resist Eosmon (if there is indeed any actual choice involved in being taken which is debatable) but this is an inapplicable out-of-universe argument, it's something that the writers and the audience know, but not the characters and if anything Menoa is defined by her inability to understand why Sora might not agree. Despite Menoa claiming that Eosmon is attracted by desires, in practice it is shown to be basically completely indiscriminate about who it attacks.
And nothing of the sort seems to have happened off-screen; I don't believe the movie handled Sora well in any way but an encounter with the villain happening and just not being shown would be unthinkably silly (I do believe a scene like that could have added for Sora to do and give some actual purpose to her situation).
Anyway, it seems clear that Sora wasn't a valid target anymore at this point and that once a partner is gone, it's really gone and Eosmon can't do anything about that with or without memories.
This in turn means that in all likelihood Meiko still is an active partner of an existing Maicoomon at the time she was captured by Eosmon.

Another point I've heard made about the movie, and that I just can't help addressing, is the notion of Menoa skipping grades having some sort of negative moral implication for her. It's just baffling to me how anyone could come to that conclusion, this interpretation is almost offensive in its lack of empathy for the social struggles common for children in Menoa's position. All she gave up were potential years of frustration, of being unable to connect to her peers, living in an environment where she wouldn't be able to challenge herself and where her gifts were unlikely to be truly appreciated.
So she managed to get out of this predicament. And this is setting a bad example for… who exactly? And what is there to actually criticize? Nothing, really. And the movie seems to agree, if the line "What you've chosen was not a mistake" is taken to be indicative of the of the general attitude of the story. If there were aspects of criticism in the writing, this view, that people with special needs are doing themselves some disservice by acting according to their needs instead of keeping their head down and sticking with the herd, is something that could have only originated in the unquestioning collectivism of Japanese society.
There's also the point to consider that growing up as a matter of cognitive psychology and neurology is not really something based on conscious choices; Sure, attitudes change but that change is only made possible by the development of the mind and the brain, not the other way around.
What happened was that Menoa acted under the influence of a system she didn't control (her brain and body) when another system that she also couldn't control (The digital world's partner system) suddenly acted up and pretty much told her to fuck off.

But to clarify, while I think nothing back then was something Menoa deserves to be blamed for, the following descend into denial and madness is pretty much completely on her.
We also arrive at the biggest flaw of Menoa's character in general: It makes no sense that Menoa could go on about how "only she" knows the experience of losing her partner when every single one of the protagonists (and most likely every other chosen child in existence) lost their Digimon partner during the reboot in tri just a few years ago. They might have come back a while later but there was definitely a time, where literally everyone went through what Menoa went through, even if it was only temporary. Her whole messiah complex is hard to take seriously from that perspective.
And like mentioned before, it's also never really made clear how seriously we can take Menoa's assertion that everyone she brought to neverland secretly wanted to go there. The crucial moment when a consciousness is taken is never shown, we never really see anyone make any choice and inside neverland itself everyone just seems like a zombie without any personality… so that makes all talk about choices pretty questionable. If the ambiguity here was intentional it was clearly the wrong choice in the grand scheme of things because actually knowing that the decisions were not entirely faked would have been the one thing to lessen the sense of overall over-the-top denial of reality that makes the rest of her rambling ineffective and cartoony.

So Menoa is nuts, Taichi and Yamato are not. A back and forth of more well animated fighting ensues, culminating in the titular final evolution.
From the moment they were first revealed, the Bond forms sure were some of the more divisive parts of Kizuna.
I honestly like the designs, they are certainly strange looking but the strangeness has a purpose. They are uncannily human because they were born of an uncanny amount of human influence, even compared to the other evolutions. They represent a Digimon/human partnership pushed to its absolute limit, and so close to the dissolution that their evolution was something that wouldn't naturally happen at all.
And that which transcends what is natural has every right to make you feel uneasy when you look at it.
But as much as I appreciate their designs, I really don't think they were utilized very well because they simply didn't get to do much. Each of them got to blast out one normal and one extended attack, throw two punches and that was it. For the big finale of a movie like this, their "fight" was completely underwhelming.

The scene was further hurt by another factor: The music, which ranged from pretty good to serviceable throughout the whole film failed at the crucial moment of the final battle. It wasn't just that it didn't enhance the scene, it was downright distracting. It sounded like the sort of schmarmy pop song you'd hear at the end of one of Makoto Shinkai's fantasy romance films when there's kissing happening instead of blasting. Yes, parts of the "fight" went for a more redemptive feel but they would have had more than enough time to transition from a more straightforward action piece to something more melancholic considering how long they dragged out delivering the final blow on Eosmon and Menoa's kinda sorta redemption, again one of the movie's more formulaic moments.

After that, the big farewell scenes for Agumon and Gabumon. Like the scenes of Yamato and Taichi's ordinary life in the first third of the film, they are executed well, with lots of moody lighting, decent dialogue and also the fact that the characters did not find a way to keep their partners because they are super special was a good move for the story.
But it is the wider context that makes the effect questionable; If this was truly the end of Adventure as we know it then yes, it would have been a great goodbye but looming in the distance is the epilogue and it seems like there is every intention to still have it count. This puts those last scenes into the very awkward position of making some grand point only to advertise its eventual irrelevance at the same time.
And all we know is that the epilogue will somehow happen. But "This will happen because we know it happens" is not good storytelling. Good storytelling means that there are reasonable connections between events. There is currently no good reason or mechanic in play that would bring their partners back (assuming that what we see in the epilogue are indeed the same individuals), that wouldn't be completely far fetched weirdness.
And the point isn't that weird or far fetched scenarios are outright impossible; The digital world is weird enough that it would be possible that all Digimon could randomly turn into hamburgers but this possibility doesn't make it any less of a bullshit scenario if it happened in a story. Part of the author's purpose is to navigate the system of fictional elements making up the setting and ensuring that, even if those elements could enable random nonsense to happen, the end result is something that is actually sensible.
If the only "justification" anyone can come up with (that isn't completely circular) is some sort of magical thinking and "you just have to believe they'll come up with something", then well, I don't remember joining any religion, so it just means that the writers have dropped the ball and try to offload it on the audience.

At this point some people might claim that I expect too much and that the writers don't need to explain everything. It's true, they don't. And I am completely fine with not every detail being explained and there are indeed parts of the film that are not exactly explained and that I'm still completely fine with.
One could for example argue that Menoa approaching the Koushiro and the other chosen as openly as she did and siccing them on Eosmon herself was putting her plan unnecessarily at risk while also providing the chosen with a connection between her and Eosmon.
I believe that it is reasonable to assume that the true purpose of that operation was to get access to Koushiro's computer and try to steal the list of chosen children (but he had the list on his phone, so that approach failed), and that the Eosmon that was trapped was just one of the many decoy Eosmon from Neverland and nothing would have actually happened if Omegamon managed to defeat it. The "salvaged" consciousness data would have been fake junk code prepared in advanced that Menoa could insist on "researching" herself, although that is the more risky part considering Koushiro would probably want to be kept in the loop if he felt that they actually accomplished something.
But I do genuinely feel that we know just enough about the characters and their motivations to be guided to that conclusion without explicit exposition.

In the end this is about a perception of trust. Did the writers think this through, and trust the audience to figure out the answers they had in mind, or are they simply stacking up "dramatic" events while hoping the audience wouldn't figure out the discrepancies?

Perhaps a similar issue regarding audience expectations can be found in the way the movie treats its main theme and subtext in general, an approach that I would basically call "preaching to the choir". The tactic boils down to setting up a point, then defending it against an cartoonishly warped antithesis, and finally ending on a general and very open ended affirmation of a standpoint most of the audience already agrees with.
The desired effect being that the feeling of general agreement and familiarity would create the impression of having watched something truly insightful. But it really wasn't, because in the end you're not really being told anything new. While maybe you could interpret a bunch of lessons into it, it becomes more of an exercise of projection into the symbolic equivalent of a Rorschach test. But even if it was intentionally designed as such you have to ask yourself how much of the resulting interpretations can actually be credited to the movie itself.
I am not bringing this up because I personally expected any insightful point to be actually made, which would be a rare occurrence in general, but rather as a counterpoint to people who will inevitably act as if it did.

That might sound harsh, but I believe if you take an objective look at what Taichi and Yamato experience during the movie, it just kind of breaks down into a bunch of fist clenching and teeth grinding before they just decide to go with the flow. Watching this, I don't exactly feel I've learned any new information about them as characters because their reactions are just so completely generic.
They are told they will lose their partners. They don't like it and have a bunch of sad feelings about it. Yes, not surprising.
After not finding any way to reverse the process, they kind of get over it. Good for them. Most people manage to kind of get over losses, or else the world would be filled with whiny idiots (perhaps it is but don't remind me of that).
The specifics are what could have made it interesting. But in the second half of the movie there is barely any time for the characters to actually step back and process what all of this truly means to them. What did their relationship with their partner mean to them, what exactly did they lose, what did they gain in return and what are their new perspectives?
Emotions are shown, but not actually explored. Time is running out, and circumstances hurry them along.
The force of external circumstances, this necessity, is a part of the point but the problem with it being the main focus is that "sometimes you have to make hard choices and those choices are usually not nice enough to wait for you" is a lesson we saw Taichi already learn in tri, where it was also presented much better because back then he had to deal with dissenting opinions that were decidedly non-manipulated. It doesn't seem like Kizuna had much to add, which is a shame. There was room for more profound realizations but instead of transcendence, all we find "It is how it is". Is this wrong as a conclusion? No. But just because it's true doesn't mean it's actually interesting.
It could be argued that their state of mind was left open to interpretation on purpose. I argue this would be boring and basically a way to escape from having to make a definitive statement that might not agree with a part of the audience. Characters that act as the canvas the viewers can project their views on can work, but they are awkward if they are supposed to drive the story. "You decide" is not really that satisfying, because I already know how I think about the topic, and what great fiction manages to do is to make you empathize with the feelings of characters that think differently than you do, that are not just mirrors.
Again, leaving things to the audience is fine. But I do have an issue when what is left to the audience is actually the only actually engaging part about the situation.
...so much for pathos.

Now let's talk about the mysterious Aurora that pops up at the start and seems like it is a big deal... only to be ignored for the rest of the movie outside of a single other scene. It seems like a missed opportunity to just have this sort of phenomenon hanging around without it having any influence on Eosmon and Menoa's actions beside a flash of inspiration a few years earlier, and it seems too widespread to simply exist for the sake of justifying the Parrotmon fight at the start. Visually it acts as a bookend, just as an aurora signaled the beginning of their adventure in episode 1 of the anime, here it signals the end. But this doesn't explain what it means practically.
Could it represent the influence of some higher power? Was Menoa partially manipulated? It would make her much less interesting, but Zero Two pulled the same stunt on Ken before, making him much less interesting, so I don't think it's completely off the table. If that is the case the aurora could be seen being placed in the movie for the sake of sequel bait. There's more going on, and if the story is continues we might find out what it is. This could work out if and only if there is indeed going to be a sequel, otherwise it's just another loose end in a movie that already has way too many of them.

And that's about it. In conclusion the movie is decent but it struggles when it comes to most of its ambitions.
What remains is something that I would most fittingly compare to Movie 4, Revenge of Diablomon. A good time, with some very nice visuals and fun character moments but with lackluster story and imagery borrowed from better and/or more iconic entries in the franchise.



Addendum on color symbolism
[I originally had my observations on the use of color sprinkled in together with the rest of the review, but as the amount of text grew and most of it turned to out to be rather critical, the occasional mention of "they are still doing really neat things with colors" started to sound strangely dissonant, perhaps even dishonest. But I really do want to convey how great and effective the visual style was throughout the movie, it's the one thing it never struggles with, its big saving grace, and presenting it in its own section highlights the point much better.]

So let's take a look at color and lighting throughout the whole film.
The first part of the movie, the Parrotmon fight, starts out with bold colors and almost exuberant lighting, a yellow and golden sheen covering everything. The overall theme emerging here is that obviously the lighting references the attitudes of the characters. Because even as they are fighting, they are clearly having a great time, they are in their element as chosen children and this is, or at least reminds them of, their golden times. But the golden times don't last and in fact we don't see this kind of lighting for most of the movie, it is reserved for only a few truly special moments.
Instead, after the fight is done the lighting changes into a more neutral mode, there is no longer any specific dominating color for a few minutes (And this style predominates in other more "neutral" conversations throughout the movie). The color comes back when Taichi and Yamato start to realize the truth about their situation, that they are soon about to enter a new stage in their lives. The accompanying colors are red and orange, they are colors of change. There are still hints of yellow and gold, the promise of potential greatness, but the red is also dark and threatening, a sign of coming danger and conflict. The reddest part of the movie is the first confrontation with Eosmon, it is pure conflict with just a splash orange novelty, reminding us that things are not exactly as before.
After the Eosmon battle there are a few neutral scenes as the characters try to figure out what happened, but the most colored scene during this part, Taichi showing Agumon his apartment, is once again drenched in orange, change has become inevitable and some has already happened.
Neutral lighting also predominates in scenes with the Zero Two characters who are not yet as caught up in the conflicts of change as the older chosen. From time to time they get a few splashes of oranges as their lives have changed as well but it is rarely as intense as in the other scenes, they are not quite at the same stage.
About halfway through the movie the third and most ominous color is introduced, a cold blue. If red and orange is the approaching change then blue is stasis, it is indecision and resignation. Of course it is especially associated with Menoa but it also pops up in other scenes in which characters are confronted with situations that they don't want to face. Taichi's conversation with Gennai is lit in blue and so is the conversation of Taichi Yamato and Koushiro in the bathroom. But the characters are not completely enveloped in it. In Taichi's scene with Gennai there is still a hint of red from the dusk, and in his scene with Menoa he is consistently framed in orange whereas Menoa is always on the blue side of the shot. Oh and most scenes of Yamato's investigation are heavily desaturated, perhaps because Yamato tries to distract himself from dealing with any "colored" themes.
Blue is of course the main color of neverland, in a clear contrast to the red of the first Eosmon fight. When they finally manage to push Menoa to her limit, red enters the pallet again, her fusion with Eosmon is accompanied by a flash of purple and makes purple veins grow throughout the landscape. It is a form of red, vital energy, a form of change, but it is still infused with blue. In contrast to that, when Taichi and Yamato trigger their final evolution the resulting glow is golden like the sunlight in the movie's first minutes, for the final time they are connecting with everything that accumulated during their partnership.
The last scenes with Agumon and Gabumon, are dyed in the colors of inevitable change yet again, as the blue of the sky transitions into red and orange.
And then there is the last scene before the credits, which again uses a lot of the golden lighting from the movie's beginning, a new time of hope, but there is a last change: The light is now filtered through cherry blossoms, gaining a new pinkish hue. It is still a form of red, a sign of more change to come, telling us that the character's lives are still in flux, but it is no longer the deep and dark red that is warning of danger; Now fading into white, the concept of change has lost its ominous edge.
 

TheMatrix

Red shirt
Show User Social Media
Hide User Social Media
Joined
Jun 14, 2020
Messages
63
Age
30
For me this movie was very strange because it was about growing up and leaving ones childhood behind, however for me personally I came back to Digimon after a long adolescent and teenage years. When I was 13 I slowly started to drift away from Digimon even tho I held unto other somewhat childish interest like Star Wars, Superheroes, fairy tales. It was not until I was 29 that I really started to return to my old friend by watching Digimon Tri and then later rewatching the old Adventure series and then watching Tamers for the first time which came out after I started to move away from Digimon.

So for me it is kinda the opposite to what the last evolution symbolizes. It was not until I had gotten really old that I was able to reconnect with my old childhood friends if you will. I guess it all comes back to an old qoute that always brings tears to my eyes and I think is quite appropriate given that it is from an author who also made a series about children going to a fantasy land were time moves differently.

“Critics who treat 'adult' as a term of approval, instead of as a merely descriptive term, cannot be adult themselves. To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence. And in childhood and adolescence they are, in moderation, healthy symptoms. Young things ought to want to grow. But to carry on into middle life or even into early manhood this concern about being adult is a mark of really arrested development. When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.”

― C.S. Lewis
 
Last edited:
Top