Digimon Adventure Tri (Chapter 1: Reunion) – English Dub Review

In 1999, the world was introduced to a digital journey unlike any other in the colorful anime Digimon: Digital Monsters. For the 15 year anniversary, the creators announced a long awaited sequel to Season 2 with the new Digimon Adventure Tri as a 6 part movie series releasing around every 5 months for the next chapter, and last November in Japan, Chapter 1: Reunion premiered in theaters. Audiences across the globe could watch it online if you were unable to make it to Japan, but the viewing was limited to your own TV monitors and sound systems for North America –until now. Canada and the the U.S. have premiered an English dub for limited theater showings. View the screening list here. 

This past summer, after Chapter 2: Determination premiered in March in Japan, it was announced that U.S. and Canada would be getting an English dub with a lot of voice actors from the original U.S. dub from 17 years ago! With most theaters screening only one showing, it definitely became a rare opportunity to see this adventure on the big screen.

Watch My Real Life In L.A. Journey to Tri

Digidestined as I may be, I researched the theaters earlier this week and found that Harkins Theatres 16 in Cerritos, CA had multiple showings, more than most theaters – and it just happened to be a a quick ride from my work to see it. I may have missed the premier event, but I got to experience Tri in all its glory on the big screen. This is also the first time, I’ve seen a Digimon movie in theaters as I didn’t become a fan until mid-Season 3 (Tamers) which is an amazing season I might add) when the season 1 and 2 movie premiered before then with Digimon: The Movie and the seasons following being also very unique and imaginative. 

Before I give you my review of the Dub, I just want to say to all you Pokémon fans playing Pokémon Go all summer that if you don’t know anything about Digimon and choose to be indifferent and stuck in the other “Mon” mindset: You are missing out on a colorful (and at times) very dark and imaginative experience. Pokémon is all about natural life and Digimon revolves around our digital Era and what can evolve within anything in a digital capacity including the internet. If you’re using something digital in any form right now, give this show and these movies a chance. 

Digimon has inspired and moved me in several ways since I was 14 years old. I have even implemented sound ideas into our debut feature Obliquity: Imagery of the Unknown in regards to a colorful and eerie visual story-telling journey.

Here’s my review:

Digimon are back again! With 6 seasons and the new Digimon Universe show that just premiered in Japan, there’s no doubt that this series is making its comeback. When the opening song, which is like a mix between the Digi-Rap and some sort of trippy electronic trance jam, it was clear that this was going to be a whole different journey. I watched the sub in Japan, but to experience it in full screen clarity gave it a whole new depth and I honestly forgot about a lot that has happened in this chapter. That being said, the big screen was an awesome experience and the English dub was pretty spot on to bring all those nostalgic feelings to a DigiSurface.

Now if you don’t know the story, without any major spoilers, Digimon Adventure Tri takes place around 3 years after the apocalyptic battle with MaloMyotismon and the unity of the Digi-Destined on Earth after season 2. The ones called upon again are the main 8 chosen children (with nods to the 4 in season 2 who have somehow disappeared.) There is a new character also that becomes implemented named Meiko. 

Wild Digimon are entering a world and we learn there’s an infection going around. Digimon are emerging out of created ‘distortions’ to enter our world and boy do they do damage to the city! Before you know it, civilians and reporters are blaming all Digimon, even good ones, as the Digi-Destined try to save our planet from this impeccable new threat. Watch exclusive new clips!

What made this movie such a fun ride for me was the explanation of the new goggles, the fact that Digimon can travel through monitors now, and the switch between Matt and Tai’s view on saving the world was pretty thought-provoking. We also get some unique new evolution sequences (Angemon being the best on the big screen – the light beam made me all tingly) plus, some pretty intense battle sequences. This is not to be missed on a big screen. 

What didn’t work for me was the way the infected Digimon distorted – or regrouped – as the graphics seemed too blocky at times, even though it emphasizes that they are digital makeup. After a second viewing in theaters, I was more forgiving.

Harkins Theatres 16 also gave out two items, a Tai and Agumon signed cut out saying “To our U.S. DigiDestined I hope you enjoyed the new adventure!” and a rare English Digimon Adventure Tri poster with synopsis on the back and images from the movie. 

Buy the posters here (quanities limited):

Digimon Adventure Tri U.S. poster – http://www.ebay.com/itm/222273868942

Tai and Agumon signed card – http://www.ebay.com/itm/222273874419

I must say, I hope they release this movie soon to Blu-ray. The mystery behind Hackman, “The One”, and the end leave a lot to be desired. Now with Digimon Adventure Tri – Chapter 3: Confession and the announcement of Chapter 4: Loss for a February release in Japan, one may hope for these movies to continue to have English dubs. Let’s show our support for one of the greatest franchises of all time Digimon: Digital Monsters!

– A. RORY Tran

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