December 5-6, 2020
Sydney Showground Olympic Park
Written by Cristian Stanic
It’s a debate as old as time itself – what’s cooler, Digimon or Pokémon? If you’re still on the fence, perhaps Digimon Adventure tri. will help you decide.
tri. has already been out for some time in Japan, with the final episode being released later this year, but it’s taken a long time for Australian fans to get the local release they deserve. Dubbing and licensing takes time, but with episodes 1-3 happily available online via Madman, we can finally talk about this great show, and the three main reasons why you should check it out.
tri. was announced on the 15th anniversary of Digimon, as a series of six film-length episodes which follow on directly from Digimon Adventure 02. Set three years after 02, (which is four years after the original series), it follows the DigiDestined as they learn to move on with their lives without their Digimon friends.
It’s always interesting to go back to a series that was originally meant for kids, and look at it through an adult lens, and tri. handles the subject matter very well, with the appropriate maturity. When the team reunites with their Digimon again for the first time, it’s heartwarming.
If you’ve watched all of the original series, it feels just as much like you’re seeing old friends as the characters in the show. Having evil Digimon invade the real world also echoes the very best parts of the original show – specifically, the Myotismon arc and the AMAZING movie where Diaboromon tried to eat the internet! Remember that? It had Smash Mouth, Barenaked Ladies, and Fatboy Slim on the soundtrack! Peak early 2000s. If that’s not a recipe for success, we don’t know what is.
The old cast
If you watch the show in English, it’s an absolute treat to hear about half of the original DigiDestined return to their old roles. For the humans, Joshua Seth, Colleen O’Shaughnessey, Mona Marshall, and Philece Sampler return as Tai, Sora, Izzy, and Mimi respectively.
For the Digimon, Tom Fahn, Kirk Thornton, Melodee Spevack, Jeff Nimoy, Anna Garduno, Mari Devon, Dorothy Fahn, R. Martin Klein, Laura Summer and Dave Mallow return as Agumon, Gabumon, Birdramon, Tentomon, Palmon, Togemon, Lillymon, Rosemon, Gomamon, Patemon and Angemon respectively. Hearing the old voices again is a hit of the best kind of nostalgia.
Something the old Digimon series did exceptionally well was that despite being absolutely hilarious (thanks, Saban), it managed to be very emotional, focusing on a broad variety of themes across all its characters. Every single character went through an emotional journey and was totally changed by the end.
The show had a lot to say about responsibility, finding the courage to stand up to adolescent insecurities, finding an identity for yourself… even searching for your purpose in the universe? Yeah, the Black Wargreymon arc was weird. tri. looks to be continuing this trend of developing the characters in a meaningful and thought-provoking way, and we can’t wait to see what happens to them next.
Pokémon can keep Gotta Catch ‘Em All – we’ll always have the Digi-rap.