is back with another more mature movie about the older DigiDestined, this time for the members of the Digimon Adventure 02 anime. As a fan of the original anime growing up (and not just because one of the members is named Cody in the English dub version), I was excited to check out this film and see if it could hold up to the hype of the Digimon tri movies. Oddly enough Digimon Adventure 02 The Beginning t did, but not in the way I expected.
To make it clear from the start without any spoilers, if you go into this wanting to see a lot of story about Davis, Ken, and the like, you might be disappointed. Digimon Adventure 02 The Beginning takes a surprising approach to its story. It focuses more on the new character, Lui, than anyone else.
Outside of a couple of action sequences, this is Lui’s story; not the second group of DigiDestined. The vast majority of the film centers around his life, Digimon partner, and backstory. This may seem like a poor choice, but it works extremely well. Lui’s story broke me in a way I didn’t expect from a Digimon movie.
It hit a bit too close to home with its twisted and mature themes, which feel so different from other Digimon content. You should certainly bring a tissue or two for this one, as it doesn’t hold back at all. In fact, it has some of the darkest themes out of anything in the franchise to date. Worse still, without spoiling anything, it dives into some wild territory.
I would almost liken this movie to a mix of Erased and Made in Abyss. Yeah, I get how wild that sounds, but you’ll understand when you watch it. There is some seriously wacky and disturbing imagery which happens in this movie. If you can go all in on the idea of this being a movie about a previously unknown DigiDestined character, you’ll have a fantastic time.
But if you truly want to see more of Yolei, T.K., Kari, and the like in their older years, you might be disappointed. This is also to say that the action is a bit held back in this film as well. This is very much a story-first movie with a lot of philosophical and deep parts. In this way, it pushes the franchise forward in a welcome way.
I honestly hope this is the first movie of several to come about the Digimon Adventure 02 group. This feels like a solid jumping off point for a movie series to focus on these characters more. In addition, it can dive even further into the extraordinary revelations this movie presents.
Here’s hoping this is truly the beginning, not the end at all, of seeing Davis, Veemon, Ken, Wormmon, and everyone else as older teens. Toei Animation somehow continues to show it can iterate and improve upon the series with fresh ideas. If Digimon Adventure 02: The Beginning is anything to go off of, I look forward to what’s next.
Digimon Adventure 02: The Beginning releases in moviein North America on November 8, 2023.
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