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Reviews » Blu-ray Reviews » Digimon Adventure Tri.: Reunion (Blu-ray)
Digimon Adventure Tri.: Reunion (Blu-ray)
Shout Factory // Unrated // May 16, 2017 // Region A
List Price: $24.97 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Chris Zimmerman | posted June 17, 2017 | E-mail the Author
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Digimon Adventure Tri:

Nostalgia is running rampant amongst anime, with renewed interest in Sailor Moon, Dragon Ball, and Berserk piquing the interest of fans that may have distanced themselves from the art form. When first announced, these series were met with anticipation and enthusiasm, only to struggle to live up to the hype that is built up in everyone's minds. With the industry churning out new takes on old favorites to mixed results, it's understandable that many a fan are apprehensive about the treatment of their childhood favorites.

Despite its popularity, Digimon was never considered amongst the top tier of anime. Even at its height, the series struggled with having unfair comparisons of being a Pokémon knock off leveled against it. It didn't help that the series was seemingly held in contempt by a minority who saw it as an attempt to sell Tamagotchi (virtual pet) clones. Was there a really a demand for a follow up to a franchise that had hit its peak during the early 2000's?

Digimon Adventure Tri doesn't break from the mold of Saturday morning fare from which it is most favorably remembered. Rather it is a return to the innocent days of simpler times. Digimon was not like other shows; its characters felt real, balancing practical goals and responsibilities in a real world setting while still finding themselves fastened with the task of defending a foreign world. The English Dub was also a marked departure from anything that had been brought stateside at the time. While Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball were massacred as a means of introducing them to younger audiences, Digimon was spared the butchery.

Picking up three years after the second season, Digimon Adventure 02, Digimon Adventure Tri's opening minutes lends itself to a slice of life atmosphere, finding a more mature Digi-destined crew having moved on with their lives and prepping themselves for life after high school. With the gate to the Digital World closed, Tai reminisces about adventures past while the rest of the group have seemingly moved on with their lives. Meanwhile, a freak incident resulting in multiple electronic devices malfunctioning heralds the arrival of an infected Kuwagamon to wreak in the human world. With both the Digital world and the real world intersecting once more, the Digi-destined assemble once more to unravel the mystery behind the gate's breach.

Because this release is the first of a planned six films, little happens in the way of advancing the plot. The Digi-destined reunite and learn of the existence of an enigmatic organization harboring a mysterious agenda. Toss in a few Digimon battles and the first film wraps with the set up for the next film complete. Despite the characters growing older, there is little in the way of development that doesn't reflect what we saw in the previous animated series.

Still, these are minor critiques as the film sheds whatever chances it has at targeting a greater audience and zeroes in on what fans of the franchise have come to expect. There are the callbacks to romantic pairings previously teased. Tai and Matt still find themselves at odds in their familiar friendly rivalry of who is the alpha in the group, and Mimi is still the outspoken diva of the group. Successfully capturing the spirit of the series from which it is spawned, this is a love letter to the franchise, carefully crafted to appeal its fanbase.

The Bluray

Video and Audio:

Shout Factory's release of the film is a solid effort. The stylistic choice in the designs of the characters older appearances blends well in the more naturalistic environments thanks to the greater attention to detail accompanying a films budget. Digimon always sported a brighter color pallet, which the film replicates exquisitely in high definition.

Most of the original voice cast also make their return to the series sounding as natural as ever, slipping back into their characters with relative ease. Picking back up so long after the series ended, the actors deserve kudos for not only capturing the nuances of their characters, but also observing how they have aged and matured.

Worthy of note is Shout Factory's inclusion of the familiar theme song over the main menu which is a nice touch.

Extras:

As much as the film is a story of reunion, this is reflected in the special features. Interviews with the English voice cast delve into their feelings on returning to the franchise, and a brief look at the screening make up the bulk of extras.

Final Thoughts:

Despite higher production standards, Digimon Adventure Tri delivers more of the same in what is an obvious love letter to the franchise. While not ground breaking in the slightest, the film was never meant to set standards beyond appeasing the franchises fanbase. Offering a taste of greater things to come, the film is enough to whet fan's appetites until the next installment lands.

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