Digimon Adventure: Last Evolution Kizuna is finally available for North American fans to enjoy. Toei Animation was kind enough to send me a screener, and I quite enjoyed it. I haven’t watched Digimon in over a decade, let alone the first two seasons, which this one is a continuation of. I remember a fair amount of the seasons like the characters, but some of the finer points I have forgotten. That being said, this was a fun movie for anyone who’s ever been a fan of the first two Digimon seasons. I’ll do my best to keep spoilers to a minimum.
I really enjoy the different animation style that Last Evolution Kizuna has. It doesn’t feel as stylized as Digimon: The Movie back in the day, but feels like there are some similar influences. It’s a more polished style than the show from roughly 20 years ago, and the updated character designs are perfect. Everyone looks like how you’d expect when they’re in college or further. A little bit of the film felt like catching up with old friends.
The story is pretty good for Digimon. I won’t go into it for fear of spoilers, but it’s predictable, but still fun. The villain hits a lot of the tropes like the hair brush bit, and it’s a lot of fun. I do also like how they include the new Digidestined from Season 2 without having them taking too much focus. There are also some amazing callbacks that fans will recognize, like the whistle. The characters have grown up with many of their fans and it’s a lot of fun to see. I do wish that some of the characters other than Matt and Tai had been a bit more prominent.
My biggest complaint is that Digimon Adventure had seven main characters and the movie focuses on two. Yes, many of them got pushed to the side to focus a bit more on Matt and Tai, but all seven were important. Unfortunately, Last Evolution Kizuna quickly becomes all about Matt and Tai. The other characters are in it to varying degrees, but everything revolves around Matt and Tai. In the final fight, most of the original Digidestined are together fighting and instead of showing us all these Digimon working together to fight, it focuses on the Matt and Tai story. Yes, it’s important to focus on the main story, but I would’ve loved a bit more fan service with the other Digidestined including having them go above freaking Champion level (with the exception of Gatomon who starts as a Champion and always goes to Ultimate to the point where she just comes off as extremely weak outside of the first few episodes with her). Show me MagnaAngemon, Zudomon, Lilymon, etc. Did the other Digimon ever get to Mega level? That would’ve been fun to see.
One thing I do want to quickly mention that may be a little too spoilery (skip the paragraph if you’re worried) is the final evolution of Agumon and Gabumon. The two go past Mega level and become more humanoid. Honestly, I thought they had fused with Matt and Tai, and it reminded me of Digimon Frontier. In fact, I thought it was going to kind of tie in to the fourth season of Digimon, but then I saw Matt and Tai riding the Digimon and realized I was a little off.
Last Evolution Kizuna is a perfect love letter to Digimon and its fans. Even if you haven’t watched the show in over a decade, there’s plenty to enjoy, and it’s not hard to get sucked back in and maybe even shed a tear. It’s ok to grow up, just don’t forget everything and everyone you used to love. If you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to go rewatch Digimon.