I approached Digimon Tri — a continuation of the beloved Digimon Adventure from my youth — like any faithful Digimon fan.
At first, I was in it just for the ships.
Digimon Tri isn’t a poor adaptation. In fact, it’s a great continuation of Digimon Adventures that captures most of the essence of the original and plops it into an older but still familiar cast. Their dynamic is noticeably different because they’ve aged and, most importantly, there’s a sense that if it wasn’t for the reemergence of their digimon partners and yet another blurring between their everyday lives and the digital world, some of them wouldn’t even be friends anymore — certainly not close friends.
Above all else, I found this to be especially realistic. As Digimon fans, we have our own idea of which characters we want to end up together when they get older — especially since the series provided us with such neat pairings supported by just enough subtext to feed our imaginations. What I’ve seen of Digimon Tri — the first two movies — continues to give us this subtext, sprinkled among realistic examples of how these characters would interact and feel now that they’re older. It’s not always pretty, and I’m firmly in the camp that it shouldn’t be. Rarely are problems resolved as easily as they are in collective fanon.
That being said, returning to a beloved childhood property after so long is weird. My return to Digimon Tri felt almost awkward, like I was peering into these kids’ lives again without their permission. They had moved on with whatever they were doing, and I had moved on in the real world, occasionally sparing a few moments to think back on Digimon the franchise and say to myself, “Yeah that was a fun time.” I wasn’t yearning for a new Digimon series, but when I heard about Digimon Tri, I was excited. Watching it has been a bittersweet experience. I’m glad that the characters in the series moved on, but there’s still that childish part of me that just wants to see Joe and Mimi somehow have a relationship.
More than anything, I feel old, even though I’m happy that it was made.
I’ll now leave you with a few stray notes on what I’ve seen of Digimon Tri thus far:
Yamato (Matt) and Tai (Taichi) are the most convincing “ship” in the series.
Mimi Tachikawa is amazing. I loved her narrative arc where she realized her own selfishness. I loved that she was self-aware enough to work through it and come out a better person. I love her fashion sense and attitude.
The scene where they lock Matt and Tai together in one ferris wheel booth and Mimi chronicles it with continuous cell phone photos is the best scene in Digimon Tri.