Digimon Adventure tri. is More than Nostalgia

By Mitchell Lineham

Digimon Adventure tri. is so much more than nostalgia. The 6-movie collection is a celebration of the series, and it continues the same mature trends that the original show, which began in 1999, did. In a world where the public are fully aware of Digimon, it’s up to the Digi-destined to fight their biggest battle yet – to not only save both worlds, but to prove that not all Digimon will wreak irreversible havoc.

It might be easy to dismiss tri. as an easy grab at those who are still deeply nostalgic for one of their favourite childhood shows, but tri. is the evolution of that. It’s always dealt with consequences, life, death and the relationship being humans and monsters, and tri. takes those themes to the next level. The stakes are higher (although Our War Game! has severely high stakes), and there is so much at stake between the two worlds and the Digimon and Digi-destined themselves.

There’s meaningful, permanent death, a devastating sense of loss and an undying hope in the face of the team’s most horrific battles. The darker, mature tones were unlike anything seen in most children’s TV back in the 90s, and it’s safe to say that tri. stays true to the series’ roots.

The movies move from strength to strength with several twists and turns reminiscent of the original two Adventure seasons and, as you might recall, they’re very different to Tamers. It’s clear why tri. shares the “Adventure” subtitle, because not only does it follow on the story of those two groups of Digi-destined and their partners, but mostly because it follows the tones and themes set up.

Toei Animation have kept in mind that many of the fans tuning in to the movies will be the same ones that grew up with it as children, and so growing up is a strong theme explored here that hadn’t been explored so deeply before. This new theme may be the most nostalgic one of all, as we fully understand just how much these characters have grown. You may not be happy with all the decisions made – Tai, Matt and Sora is always going to have people butt heads – but tri. really does hit the bittersweet struggle of leaving childhood behind.

Another theme, which is something you might become more familiar with as you get older, is guilt. Tai is facing an internal debate with whether or not he wants to fight off the invading Digimon because he’s so much more aware of how much destruction comes from it. He knows that he has to fight, and there’s really no other choice, but he’s reluctant to do it as he might do something just as bad as the invading Digimon’s intentions. Toei Animation has taken great care in keeping true to Digimon, and in making it evolve in the same way that its audience has.

The final movie, Digimon Adventure tri. 6, will release on DVD and Blu-Ray this Winter. Don’t worry though, because a new movie, which takes place several years after, has been revealed!

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