Plot: Taichi faces off against two of Neo’s aliases; Sigma and his Piemon and Mari and her Rosemon. Meanwhile, Neo takes his newly evolved Arkadimon and his army of evil Digimon to Holy Angemon’s castle to start a war.
Tie ins with the anime include seeing Piemon (Piedmon), though he’s obviously not the same Piemon. We also have Igamon, who was a minor enemy in A02, and Rosemon, who is the Perfect/Mega level of Lilymon/Togemon/Palmon. We never see this evo in the first anime, but she is in Tri.
This volume starts out very strong, but the second half is lackluster. The first half is the battle against Sigma, a masked boy who speaks through a computer voice, and his Piemon. This battle is incredibly interesting and intense. They cover all of their bases with this one by having it take place in a fascinating and threatening environment, making Piemon a huge threat and having Sigma end up being fairly relatable by the end.
Sigma’s a very shy boy who never had any friends, and he puts on a mask and talks through a computer in order to stay hidden and protect himself from others. Despite this, he commands a very powerful Digimon in Piemon. Not only that, but he also controls his own dimension in which he can read all of Taichi’s commands and instantly counter them by manipulating the space around them.
He’s definitely a tough opponent to beat, and his final resolution, in the battle anyway, was very good. I hope he decides to become an ally in the future, but that may not be possible considering something that happens to him in his last scene. I won’t spoil it, but it’s basically another show of Neo’s utterly heartless nature and leaves Sigma broken in his wake.
The second battle is against alias #2, Mari and her Rosemon. Mari is a Net Idol who is pretty airheaded, and the same can pretty much be said of Rosemon. In their initial attack on Taichi and Zero, they make all sorts of stupid mistakes, like Mari steps on the thorns Rosemon spread on the ground, then she takes off her shoes and steps on them again. Then she unleashes sleep gas on them and accidentally makes her and Rosemon fall asleep too. Really, she’s a complete joke for most of her debut until she reveals that she’s nearly killed a new ally, Igamon, in order to stop him from sending a message to Holy Angemon.
Then we, through a series of ridiculous events, find out that, surprise, she’s been faking being a weak idiot this whole time and is actually super evil and mean. Well, they make it out like that, but I don’t find her to be nearly as much of a threat as Sigma was. Rosemon has the ability to control Digimon with her Rose Whip, but it’s quickly broken through external pain. Through some help from Igamon, they take her down rather easily.
The only reason this battle is even worth paying attention to is because, when Mari’s faking being an idiot, she and Taichi actually make the scenes pretty entertaining and funny. The battle itself, however, was just extremely disappointing both on its own and as a follow up to Sigma’s battle. Nothing interesting or shocking happened, and the whole intention of it from the very beginning was, laid out in literal black and white, stalling tactics to keep Taichi away while Neo and his army approached Holy Angel Castle.
When Mari’s not being an idiot, she also loses everything entertaining about her. She’s a bitch, sure, but she’s not a memorable or entertaining bitch.
And that’s volume 4…….Oh wait, we have a BONUS to go over!
There’s a side story included with this volume that melds with Adventure 02. The season two group is fighting a powerful Digimon called Parallelmon who has the power to shift between dimensions and absorbs tamers. Most attacks on it are useless since his abilities allow him to break apart and absorb them. Daisuke is sent to manga!Taichi’s Digital World and has to face Parallelmon together with him in order to send him back to his dimension.
Daisuke, however, is feeling like his friends aren’t really his friends since they don’t seem to listen to him and appear to like Takeru much better. I won’t spoil the whole thing since it’s a great side-story, but it was a fantastic Digimon concept, story and even character arc for Daisuke.
This impresses me since Daisuke isn’t exactly my favorite Digimon character. Manga!Taichi’s personality meshes well with Daisuke’s and it was a great idea for them to meet up. They crammed a lot of connection and friendship development between them in a short amount of time, and it worked very well.
We also got Manga!Taichi explaining the significance of the goggles to Daisuke, stating that Anime!Taichi would only give those goggles to someone who is very dedicated to their friends. (I could nitpick that considering that that had nothing to do with Taichi giving him those goggles, in the anime anyway. But eh.)
All in all, the first half of this volume was really awesome and the second half was just meh. The side story was fantastic and the cliffhanger of Neo attacking Holy Angel Castle were also really great, but I can’t help but admit that the Mari parts, at least post-screwing around, were the weakest part of this volume.
Recommended Audience: This volume stays on the more violent end of the spectrum but still nothing really bad enough to earn anything above a 7+
Next volume, Neo has reached Holy Angel Castle, and Taichi still has one Alias to fight before he can get there. Will the Castle and every Digimon in it be destroyed while they wait for Taichi?