Digimon Xros Wars II Episode 1
What this is about: Watching all of the anime shows so you don’t have to! For more information about me and my reviews, click here for details on what I am reviewing.
Series Premise: Digimon Xros Wars II, or “Digimon Xros Wars: The Young Hunters Who Leapt Through Time” is a weekly anime television series started in October 2011, the most recent sequel in the long-running Digimon game/manga/anime franchise. Set one year after the end of the last episode, a young boy named Tagiru travels to an alternate world of Digi-Quartz, where he meets up with other Digimon hunters.
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Spoiler-free Series set-up: Tagiru Akashi is a boy who has much more heart and spirit than he has talent or ability. After humiliating himself on the basketball court with his teammates Taiki and Yuu as part of the “Xros Heart” team, he sees a fluctuation in space/reality, and gets sucked into another world called “Digi Quartz”. There, he sees three young Digimon Hunters take down a big monster, and thinks it is incredibly cool, and wants to become a hunter himself. Rebuffed, he returns to the real world, where he meets a strange old man who hands him an “X Loader”, allowing him to travel to the Digi Quartz world, where he teams up with an equally gung-ho Gumdramon.
My Impressions: One of the head-scratching mysteries since I started posting reviews of various anime shows to WordPress about half a year ago is that my review of Digimon Xros Wars has consistently remained by most-viewed blog post by a very wide margin (as in 2-to-1 or more over second place in the rankings). Not only that, but I thought it was one of my weaker reviews, and I really only half-assed it because I didn’t care about the show itself.
At the time, I tagged it as the first episode of the second season of Digimon: Xros Wars…which is sorta-kinda not true. Instead, it was really a continuation of the first season, titled simply “Digimon Xros Wars”, which ran for 30 episodes between July 2010 and March 2011. After a month break, it returned as “Digimon: Xros Wars: The Evil Death Generals and the Seven Kingdoms” for another 24 episodes, with most people continuing the numbering of the episodes from number 31.
And now, we have another “season”, which some people have dubbed as “Digimon Xros Wars II”, or “Digimon Xros Wars Season 2”, and the true title is “Digimon Xros Wars: The Young Hunters Who Leapt Through Time”, and picks up in October, a mere week after the end of the last season, and some people continue the episode numbering scheme with number 55. (With me so far?) It is this episode, whether you call it “Young Hunters Episode 1” or “Digimon Xros Wars II Episode 1” or “Digimon Xros Wars Episode 55” this is being covered here. One thing is for certain, though: it truly is a new story this time, starting up one year later in the Digimon timeline, and with a new main character.
Given how thoroughly I panned the first episode back in August 2010, and snarkily panned the Death General Episode 1 (or 31, if you prefer), let’s just say that I was not exactly looking forward to this brand new season. I expected it to be nothing more than a simplistic kiddie show, just like its predecessors and just like all the other similar pre-teen boys action/adventure game-related shows out their (Cardfight Vanguard, Bakugan, Yu-Gi-Oh, etc). Add to that the increasingly annoying habit of adding “-Mon” to the end of everything with an endless list of different stupefyingly contrived monsters, and I was prepared for the worst.
And given those rock-bottom expectations, my verdict is…it’s not the worst thing in the world. I admit that my eight-year-old self would probably be really jazzed about the idea of warping into some sort of alternate reality that looks like a ruined version of Earth and fighting monsters. Mind you, the main character, Tagiru, is exceedingly annoying — the kind of boy that thinks that if believe hard enough and try hard enough, then anything is possible (verrrrrrry similar to the mouth-breather that is the main character in Yu-Gi-Oh: Zexal. Or the whats-his-name main idiot character in Naruto). His teammates, Taiki and Yuu, who apparently are main/major characters in the previous seasons, appear much more reasonable and level-headed. Also, the three aloof Hunters that Tagiru meets appear to also be somewhat interesting. I would really hope the gosh-wow-act-before-you-think Tagiru will grow out of his adrenaline-fueled stupidity very quickly, because it’s already annoying.
Worse yet, Tagiru is teamed up with a pint-sized creature named Gumdramon who has a similar ADHD-riddled personality. Oh, and they apparently have some sort of special ability…sigh. Oh, and yes, they continue the aggravating habit of naming everything with a “-Mon” on the end. And oh, yes, they still travel between worlds and capture Digimon with that silly-ass looking electric shaver-shaped device.
But if I was a little kid, I might find it all really cool and interesting. After all, when I was seven I thought the Dukes of Hazzard was the coolest thing on television EVAR (god help me), so who am I to judge what the knee-biters out there think? But I do know this: for me at least, and I would probably think for anyone whose balls have dropped, this is just yet another kiddie show that’s not worth the effort in watching. Not the worst of the lot…but that’s not saying much.
The verdict: – thumbs down for me.
- Preview commercial on Youtube.
- Info resources:
- If you like this, you might also like: Just about anything Pokemon or Bakugan Battle Brawlers.
Sampling of Online Reviews:
- “Digimon Xros Wars is an entirely different show now. For better or worse, I’m not certain, but it’s definitely a refreshing change! I’m liking the character designs, animation, dark atmosphere, insert songs, and the human world activities…It’s just going to take a while for me to get used to this guy.” – Meeping Anime
- “This episodes introduces a new low for the digimon franchise. Before, you could still give it credit for originality. With this though, it has given up all pretense and just flat out stated that it aims to be a pokemon rip-off. I could still get behind the first Xros Wars as an experiment, but with this, the creators came with an even more blatant premise, an even dumber male lead and no semblance of progress whatsoever. Potential: 0%.” – Star Crossed Anime Blog
- “I think this series actually has the potential to be the best Digimon series yet. But we’ll have to wait and see. I think any Digimon can can enjoy this, especially if you’ve already watched Xros Wars.” – Joeker Straight Flush
- “Two episodes into season 3 of Xros Wars now…and I’m not sure about it yet. First of all, the whole concept of “hunting” and catching digimon as if they were pokemon came out of nowhere and was not present in the previous two Xros Wars seasons. “> – Mainichi Anime Yume
ROUND ONE RESULTS FOR THE FALL 2011 SHOWS:
Thumbs-up for Round One: Un-Go, Chibi Devi, Working Season 2, Bakuman Season 2, Mirai Nikki, Shinryaku Ika Musume Season 2, Ben-To, Chihayafuru, Guilty Crown, Phi-Brain, Last Exile: Fam the Silver Wing, Fate Zero, Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai, Hunter x Hunter, Tamayura Hitotose
Thumbs-down for Round One: Morita-san wa Mukuchi Season 2, Kimi to Boku, C3: CubexCursedxCurious, Mobile Suit Gundam AGE, Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere, Majikoi Oh! Samurai Girls, Shakugan no Shana Final, Mashiro-iro Symphony: The Color of Lovers, Persona 4: The Animation, Maken-ki, Cross Fight B-Daman, Digimon Xros Wars Season 2
Coming up next: High Score, Infinite Stratos OVA, Kyousougiga, Hidamari Sketch SP, Sengoku Paradise Kiwami, Gdgd Fairies, Sora no Kiseki, Boku wa Tomodachi OVA, Lupin III Movie, Ao no Exorcist Special, Queen’s Blade Visual Book, Deadman Wonderland OVA, Toradora Special, Dragonball Z Episode of Bardock, R-15 OVA, Hoshizora e Kakaru OVA