After finishing the novel and writing up my spoilerfree review last week, it’s time for my Digimon Adventure: Last Evolution Kizuna Novel Review (this time there are spoilers, so be aware of that).
In this post I’ll get into more, spoilery details about what worked and what didn’t in the novelisation of Digimon Adventure: Last Evolution Kizuna.
As with my spoilerless review of the novel, a brief disclaimer before I begin: I read the Japanese novel so I may have missed or misread some points as Japanese is not my native language. I have also not seen the movie as it doesn’t release here until March 7th 2020 at the earliest, so I’m basing my Kizuna NOVEL review solely on my reading of the novel, hence the inclusion of the word ‘novel’ in the title.
My Digimon Adventure: Last Evolution Kizuna Novel Review
Last reminder, spoilers are incoming! Bookmark this Digimon Adventure: Last Evolution Kizuna novel review post and close the tab/window now if you haven’t seen the movie or read the novelisation!
The opening scene is a great and nostalgic opening which lays down the overall setting of the story and introduces the new mechanics in addition to existing characters. Parrotmon being involved adds to the nostalgia, as we’ve surprisingly only seen him a few times ever.
I honestly can’t wait to see the opening scene in the movie, as this was probably the best scene in the entire book and I’m excited to see the action of the scene animated as we are reunited with the cast.
Another thing I liked and was honestly surprised by is the fact that Miyako is introduced fairly early on in the novel (chapter 1!) as she is mostly in charge of the Digimon Community and there have been reports of people with partner Digimon falling unconscious, so Miyako, surprisingly, has the biggest role out of the other 02 chosen.
If you’re feeling that I’ve been too positive in my Kizuna novel review so far, don’t worry, my positive points end here.
Imura and Menoa are introduced, who are asking for the chosen’s help to work out what’s going on with the chosen children around the world.
From this point on, however, the story just becomes a strange amalgamation of ‘Our War Game’, ‘Hurricane Touchdown’, and ‘Tri’, and the only time it’s not completely stale and irritating is ‘Our War Game’, but that’s only because, from the promotional screenshots I’ve seen, this appears to be a fairly decent aesthetic choice.
Also, from this point, Agumon, Gabumon, Tentomon, and Patamon are chosen to fight Eosmon and if you hope to see any other Digimon or chosen in this movie – sorry.
We also learn that the time that the chosen have with their partner Digimon is in fact finite and evolutions shorten this time. While the risk that the children lose their partners is emotional for the viewer, it’s also fairly meaningless if we assume the epilogue, which the story appears to be working towards, is canon. Meaning that the entire ending feels emotionally manipulative and fairly empty overall.
During the events of the novel, the Adventure chosen also fall unconscious one by one (except for Takeru and Hikari because they’re forever grouped together, apparently) and their Digimon appears to be missing. Mimi is first (because it’s a Digimon movie and Mimi has to be vacant during it) and the rest soon follow, except for Sora, who is off arranging flowers as she’s quit being a chosen, as we saw in the memorial short, which takes place prior to the events of the movie/novel.
Speaking of unconscious characters, the Adventure 02 kids manage to remain conscious (they slept enough in Tri) and are in New York the entire time either eating Ramen in the first half, or fighting copies of Eosmon and protecting other children with Digimon in the second half.
In the climax, we learn that Menoa is actually the bad guy (*gasp*) and Imura, which isn’t his real name, works for the FBI and was investigating her (this is fine and original enough). Menoa has kidnapped the chosen, reverted them to children, and is keeping them on their own islands in a dimension she’s created because she’s also a genius now. Apparently.
If you’re wondering why having the Adventure chosen revert to their younger selves and are kept in some strange dimension, that’s because this has happened before in the Japanese version of ‘Hurricane Touchdown’.
It would have been nice for Menoa to be a criminal genius due to a dark spore or something and have that explained, but no, she’s just a genius.
So why is Menoa evil? Well, she was a chosen from the late 90s (a year or two prior to Adventure) who had her partner for five years until her partner died and disappeared in front of her.
If you’re wondering why a villain’s motivation stemming from her partner Digimon dying and now she’s insane, that’s because that was exactly what happened in Digimon Adventure Tri, except this time, nobody is sent to the Dark Ocean as Menoa is arrested and seems to be apologetic.
Taichi and Yamato realise that they must evolve their Digimon to save everyone, even if it means losing their Digimon, so they evolve their Digimon into special ‘bond’ forms which isn’t Jogress/Biomerge/Spirit Evolutions and overall look incredibly dumb in my opinion. The evolutions are called ‘Agumon: Bond of Courage’ and ‘Gabumon: Bond of Friendship’ and I really hope we never see ‘Bond of X’ ever again and we don’t get another Adventure sequel.
At the end of the story, Agumon and Gabumon disappear as both Taichi and Yamato are able to realise their future dreams in regards to their occupations and are both determined to meet their Digimon again, because we need another Adventure movie, apparently.
In relation to Digimon Adventure Tri, the events of the series are touched on so little I was beginning to suspect that Tri never happened until Meiko was seen in her own island in Menoa’s Neverland. Don’t worry, if you don’t like Meiko, this is her ONLY mention or appearance! That’s right, fans of Meiko AND people who hate Meiko will be disappointed! Everyone loses!
Speaking of Tri characters, Maki and Daigo, unless I missed something, are never mentioned. So I guess Maki is still insane in the Dark Ocean (Dark Ocean, also never mentioned again) which is good to know I guess.
Gennai appears as good Gennai, and, again, unless I missed something in my reading, evil Gennai isn’t addressed or explained or whatever and his rant at the end of Tri wasn’t sequel bait for Kizuna. Apparently.
As I said in my spoilerless review, Kizuna shows that the writers of any Digimon story only have about three or four ideas and rarely try anything new, and this is increasingly obvious throughout Kizuna where everything feel like it’s been done before, making everything seem fairly pointless.
The overall message of ‘growing up’ is emotional and well told, but I feel that it was already fairly touched on in Tri, and overall, told better in Sora’s memorial short than in Kizuna.
My rating of 2/5 stars that I gave in my spoilerless Kizuna novel review obviously hasn’t changed, but it might when I am able to see the movie, however, I’m not too optimistic as I have gripes with the overall store feeling reused, stale, and fairly lack luster.
Well, that was my Kizuna novel review with spoilers! I’m still looking forward to the movie, even though my overall thoughts so far are negative, I’m hopeful to be proven wrong when the movie releases here in less than two weeks.
I’m sure the movie will have stunningly animated action scenes and I’m sure the soundtrack and voice acting will be heart wrenching and emotional, but as for the story, well, it’s not great.
Have you read the novel or seen the movie? What were your thoughts? Let me know in the comments!
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