Review – Digimon Tri: Reunion

Digimon Tri: Reunion 

Digimon Adventure Tri: Reunion is the first chapter of a six-part film event following on from the events of the first two seasons of the hit 90’s TV series, Digimon Adventure.

The first part of the event, titled Reunion, sees the original Digi-Destined preparing to graduate high school and start their careers in the real world – with the exception of TK and Kari who are both still in middle school. But although most of the gang attend the same school they still struggle to all get together and hang out due to their different interests. Tai is still really into soccer and now plays for the school team, Izzy is a software developer, Matt is in a new band, Sora and Joe are both busy studying, while Mimi is travelling abroad in America. Besides playing soccer for a team, what Tai really longs for is to be reunited with his friends in the Digital World – longing for adventure and excitement outside of the pitch, so much so that he hasn’t given any thought to what he’s going to do after graduation.

The gate between the human and Digital World closed three years prior to Reunion leaving the Digital-Destined unable to see their partners – but a sudden rift between the two worlds appears and a rather menacing Kuwagamon enters the human world wreaking havoc in the city. After giving the rogue Digimon some chase, Tai is reunited with his partner Digimon Agumon, who also came through the rift to help stop it from destroying the city.

Agumon swiftly Digivolves into Greymon as the battle escalates (ah, nostalgia) and locks horns with Kuwagamon, before carrying the fight over to a near by airport via another rift between the worlds. It quickly becomes apparent to Tai as he watches the battle unfold that this is the real world and real people can get hurt, or more likely killed. In the original anime Tai was the fearless leader, the one everyone turned to for direction on their adventure – but in Reunion our once fearless leader is burdened with indecision and the fear of being responsible for any casualties petrifies him. He’s becoming more and more aware of what’s around him and how any wrong move can bring serious consequences. This chapter focuses heavily on responsibility and show’s Tai learning to deal with it and the choices he has to make together as a team and not himself. He’s growing up. He’s leaving school. He has to sit exams. He has to choose a career path. But he’s avoiding all of it. I’m convinced he’d go back and live in the Digital World the rest of his life if he could, battling other Digimon and living life with minimal worries.

But of course learning responsibility isn’t the only part of growing up, as we’re shown in Reunion. From the beginning it’s obvious to the viewer that a few of the Digi-Destined have grown attracted to each other. Izzy realises he likes Mimi after she arrives back from America after years of being apart and an obvious love triangle between Sora, Matt and Tai has begun – something that was only slightly hinted at in the original series. The love triangle is something I can see becoming another point of conflict between Tai and Matt in later parts of Digimon Tri, but I’m hopeful it isn’t too much of a focus.

In short, Digimon Tri: Reunion is the first part in what can only be referred to as a love letter to Digimon fans everywhere. The animation is beautiful, it brings back the original characters and lets us see them grow further as adults while also providing that monster action you loved when you were younger.

Bringing back shows from childhood can be risky, but it’s apparent Tri is going in the right direction to provide the conclusion fans were looking for long ago.

Digimon Tri: Reunion is available on Collector’s Edition Blu-Ray and DVD now.

Anime, Fantasy | Japan, 2017 | 12A | 22nd May 2017 (UK) | Manga UK | Dir.Keitaro Motonaga

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Courtney Speirs

Animation Editor and dog enthusiast. Favourite directors are Spike Jonze, David Lynch, Wes Anderson, and Paul Thomas Anderson.

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