It all ends up ending, but it’s always special when a story ends on its own terms. This allows creators to make their point as strong as possible. This is what makes the bittersweet tone of Digimon: Latest Kizuna Evolution so heartbreaking.
A recently released plot synopsis for the upcoming film suggests it will be a final farewell to the characters from Digimon Adventures – and sounds like an emotional punch to anyone who grew up with the original series.
THE ORIGINAL DIGIDESTINÉ
The original DigiDestined was the group of reluctant young heroes for the first season of Digimon. Seven tweens – Tai, Matt, Sora, Izzy, Mimi, Joe and TK, as they were called in the English versions – are suddenly taken out of their summer camp and dropped off in the bizarre digital world, a place full of strange creatures, dangerous places and mysterious powers.
There they were linked to a particular Digimon (Agumon for Tai, Gabumon for Matt, Biyomon for Sora, Tentomon for Izzy, Palmon for Mimi, Gomamon for Joe and Patamon for TK), who became their protectors. Learning to work with each other and with their monstrous new friends, the DigiDestined were able, over time, to unlock new powers and forms for their Digimon.
Together, they succeeded in saving the digital world from the doomsday threats of multiple universes. They were even eventually forced to protect the Earth itself from an invading Digimon army led by the evil Myotismon. During these fights, they recruited the eighth DigiDestined, Tai’s younger sister, Kairi, who had missed camp due to illness, and her partner Digimon Gatomon.
The second series focused on DigiDestined’s second group after a multi-year jump, with only TK and Kairi remaining in the main cast. But the original DigiDestined and their digital friends stayed on the sidelines, even witnessing combat on occasion. They returned to a more important role in Digimon Adventures Tri, a revival that brought the DigiDestined together to try to resolve conflicts between Digimon and the rest of humanity. But now it looks like the creators of the franchise are ready to let things end once and for all with Digimon: Latest evolution, and they make sure it hits where it hurts.
THE FINAL ADVENTURE OF TAI & AGUMON
The synopsis suggests that Tai is somewhat out of touch with the rest of DigiDestined. He goes to college, while the rest of their friends continue to help calm human relations and Digimon. But as the chosen children approach adulthood, a timer goes off on their Digivice. When it is exhausted, the bond between the humans and the Digimon partners will be severed. The process is only amplified by using the Digimon in combat, which means that any battles that await DigiDestined come with an added layer of threat. The synopsis even promises that by the end of the film, this will be the “last adventure for Tai and Agumon” – and possibly the other DigiDestined, too.
This means that the series seems to incorporate the ending into its very concept. It’s about growing up and tidying up childish things – what the movie entails includes Digimon himself. This is explicitly billed as Tai and Agumon’s last adventure (along with the rest of DigiDestined), at least for a while.
The promise that the battle will weaken their bond makes matters even worse, given how heroic the group has become. Digestines and their connection to their partners are defined by the strongest emotional aspects. It all fuels their individual heroism – they use their positive traits to literally empower their Digimon to save the day. During most battles, he is a real strength. But here, their heroic nature will make them unable to stay out of battles to protect innocence, which means they’ll likely lose their bonds sooner. Doing the right thing is going to cost them, in a very real sense, one of the things they care about most.
If that wasn’t enough to hit you where it hurts, the story outline also specifically addresses the idea of growing up and having to say goodbye to parts of your childhood. For a whole generation of fans, the digital world was a place of pure imagination, absurdity and adventure. It’s basically the anime equivalent of Toy story 3.
But, in a more positive way, it also gives the franchise a place to really end the story with a meaningful finale, as opposed to something like Ash’s endless stopped state of competition in. Digimonthe direct rival of, Pokemon. It ties that sense of finality fans will experience with the film to the emotions of the characters themselves, giving everyone involved one last moment together.
It might even end with the DigiDestined going on with their lives but their Digimon finding new human partners, symbolizing how their universe and characters can live with new generations of fans.
Digimon: Kizuna Final Evolution will screen in select theaters across the United States on March 25.
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