What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about Digimon Adventure “Zudomon’s Iron Hammer of Lightning”! If I’m being honest, this episode was the one which had me concerned the most. I already knew I was going to enjoy the other Digimon and DigiDestined rising to the occasion to claim their ultimate forms, but Joe is a whole different thing to jump into. When you are familiar with the kind of character he is in the original run, there’s always something to fear about the way he is going to be characterized in contrast to the others.
This is not to say that with his initial introduction episodes back, that we didn’t see new potential in the role he plays. We saw potential in Joe and this was just another week to continue proving that this is a character of value. Where they succeeded this week was playing into the fact that Joe is the self-proclaimed leader of the group. To say that means you have to let your actions speak for themselves when it matters most. It didn’t take long for this half of the group to run into trouble again, and it was the kind of situation which really threw most of them outside of their comfortzone. Mostly Joe who had to really dig down and be courageous. Well, let’s rephrase that. This was his time to be reliable, which lead to an exciting scene for Joe and Gomamon who consistently defied a situation where the odds were not in their favor.
That said, Gomamon was just as good because their partnership is based on a give and take between encouragement and reliability. It was endearing that Joe could have a Digimon like Gomamon who was always in his corner to give him that confidence boost to go through with the things you know he didn’t have in him to do on his own.
As the enemy and obstacle for this episode, Mammon and its several Yukidarumon were a force to be reckoned with. Like last week they set up a solid encounter by playing the numbers game with the DigiDestined. You could just throw that one ultimate Digimon at them, but that doesn’t accomplish much if all they have to do is team-up on that one Digimon, or digivolve to match their power. Adding numbers to their force, on top of creating obstacles through the use of terrain enhances the challenge which they have to overcome.
Now while I was satisfied with the animation for Ikkakumon digivolving into Zudomon, I was just a bit disappointed with what seemed like a lack of detail put into his rendering. He looked a little too simplistic in terms of textures which were missing from his exterior.
Small things stood out to me this week which was worth recognizing. The first was the danger which the DigiDestined are not immune to. When it comes to Digimon, the big thing is that it is the Digimon who are doing the fighting, and while they do that? The kids are still vulnerable to any attack which is not specifically targeted towards their Digimon. This was a good week to show that no one is untouchable. From the promo and images, you could tell that it was going to be Sora who suffered an injury at the hands of this enemy Digimon. Aside from this, it was great to see that with this half of the group they are also still pushing the importance of using these Digimon for their respective strengths. Garurumon for fast travel on land, Birdramon by air, and Ikkakumon by sea. It is refreshing that they have wasted no opportunity to make this an adventure which rewards you for not just roughing it.
With most of these episodes we do still see what the others are up to at the same time. While things did get a bit goofy with Taichi, Koshiro, and Mimi, I loved the twist to their path by the end of the episode. Mainly for the fact that this new mission does not require the DigiDestined to be anchored to just one world.
Through the conclusion of Digimon Adventure “Zudomon’s Iron Hammer of Lightning”, we have now made our way through the group, and everyone has now achieved their ultimate form. This Joe right here is a big step up from the character he was in the 90’s series, and I hope he is allowed more opportunities down the road to continue growing.