- Release Date
- February 21, 2020
- 1 hr. 34 min.
- TYO Animations
Digimon Adventure: Last Evolution Kizuna is a 2020 Action Adventure anime film from the Japanese animation studio TYO Animations. When this film was announced, it not only peaked anime fans’ attention but adults who’ve grown up with this franchise. This is the franchise’s last adventure with these characters; a twenty-year-long story is finally coming to an end! There is no need to mention the pressure for the writers and animators who worked on this project; they already knew that it could leave a terrible mark on such a beloved anime series if they messed up. Can a film set that has itself up for an epic last adventure be as good as everyone hopes it to be, or will it potentially ruin what makes this series so heartwarming to its longtime viewers?
As the Chosen and their partner Digimon live happily together in the human world, Taichi Yagami and Yamato Ishida, alongside their friends, dedicate themselves to maintaining this hard-earned peace. Though united by innate responsibility, everyone has already started to take their first steps toward a future beyond being a Chosen Child. After all, everyone must grow up and become something of themselves one day.
However, this new journey is interrupted by the appearance of Menoa Bellucci, an American professor specializing in Digimon research. She bears news of several Chosen Children from around the world being found unconscious, with their partner Digimon nowhere to be found. Menoa’s investigation indicates that a new breed of Digimon is behind the alarming phenomenon: Eosmon, who hides within the internet’s depths. To succeed in the most consequential mission the team has ever encountered, the team must endeavor through the growing distance between them and band together one last time to save the world of Digimon.
Suppose one has been a fan of the original series or any of the many series within this franchise. Then, this story will be a positive for any of them. However, this film’s story is very well written for some people who didn’t grow up with Digimon or were more into Pokémon. The pacing is better than many other adventure series and films, which was not shocking since the film is a milestone. Another good aspect of this story is that it is an excellent standalone film, and it isn’t necessary to watch the previous installments. If someone has only seen the original series or the current one, this film won’t alienate their viewership, which was a smart move on the writer’s part.
One surprising aspect of this film is how modernized it was while also keeping up with the old vibes it came with. Some films try too hard to keep up with the modern-day, and in doing so, they lose the magic that viewers fell in love with them in the first place. Digimon Adventure: Last Evolution Kizuna is one of those rare finds that tweak everything, but it remains the same. Recreating the old material within this film nearly twenty years later is outstanding, especially when modernized and entertaining. This is what potentially makes or breaks this film for the older viewers who grew up with this franchise and for newcomers experiencing this anime for the first time.
Though no film is perfect, this film had a few significant problems even through rose-tinted glasses. For instance, the plot is a bit generic, and though it is still credited as an original concept, the story was rather dull at times. Though it comes to this movie’s level of maturity, it’s rather child-like, meaning the characters are grown, yet they don’t seem all that mature. Writers need to understand that these characters are no longer children and should be shown as new characters, like their adult counterparts.
Having those problems mean nothing compared to the two most significant issues within this film. The first being that it had the same gimmicks as another anime film Summer Wars, being entirely online and even the Evil Being taking over. Having similarities is not bad as many movies and series take many similar approaches to one another, but this film is nothing like that. The driving force behind Digimon is an identical plot to Summer Wars regarding the villain, dark details, and even the basic structure are similar. Having too many elements seems to be a complete rip-off of a film eleven years earlier.
Though if that can easily be overlooked because it’s just speculation and similarities. However, what can never be given a pass is something that has to do with terrible writing. The film leads to this big farewell moment in the end but never does anything with it. The viewers who didn’t grow up with this series would be and should be equally mad at the outcome of the film. Sure it was a bitter-sweet moment that was touching and, of course, makes the viewer cry, but it is over in an instant before the viewer even realizes it. If the viewer wants an emotional goodbye that the story was leading up with, they’ll be entirely disappointed in the result they are given.
Though looking for a film with beautiful artwork, this is hands down a proper choice to have. Digimon Adventure: Last Evolution has some of the best art that one could see regarding a long-lasting anime franchise film. The bright and cheery art style within The Digital World, while at the same time being dark and cold, is crafted beautifully yet not too extraordinary. The characters’ designs are unique, but many fans will know and love keeping the classic Digimon look still intact. However, if only one aspect gets the viewers’ attention, it would have to be the way the artists crafted the scenes during lull moments. When nothing is going on, there isn’t any action going on, and it’s just the characters its one of the most beautifully stunning pieces one will ever witness within this film.
One of the best parts of any long-running franchise that stems from childhood is that the original voice actors come back to reprise their roles, and this film did not disappoint! Having these voice actors brings an extra level of nostalgia for the childhood memories within the viewers, but it is also an excellent addition to newcomers. The music within the film was also a nice touch that isn’t too overbearing and adds ample depth to the emotional factors, but still a lovely piece to have added. This film could have used one epic moving piece to push it over the edge into teardrop city.
For longtime fans, this will be a no-brainer to watch. It’s an ending to a twenty-year story that is beautifully made. Though for viewers who aren’t fans of the series but remember the show, it would still be an excellent choice to watch due to its engaging art style and world-building. This film is nowhere near perfect, but it also doesn’t try to be. It doesn’t try to hide behind nostalgia and pretend to be something it’s not, which is very respectable. Some major franchises try to stick with the same old thing, and it gets boring at times. This film, however, consistently stayed entertained and easy to enjoy. This film is heavy, and even though some may not have grown up with the series, the emotional level is still there. Sometimes childhood memories aren’t as good as we think they were, but for viewers who haven’t experienced them, then they’ll enjoy watching this just as much.
Cody Senpai is the creator of BakaNow, an anime review website that specializes in spoiler-free reviews for everyone. He is an avid anime watcher who has traveled to Japan numerous times to not only experience the culture and history but also to build friendships with people through a common interest. He is an avid animation fanatic from birth and even went on to major in communication to help share the importance of the stories we love to watch and listen to. Cody lives in Denver, Colorado and loves to do anything adventurous.