Plot: Taichi and Zero finally go head to head with Neo and Arkadimon, but even though Zero looks like he might be able to topple the powerhouse Digimon, Arkadimon retaliates with a new trick of its own – the Dot Matrix; an ability that allows it to turn energy into data and absorb it. Arkadimon destroys Zero’s arm, then his wing and finally skewers him through the chest.
Zero starts dissolving into binary code, and they rush him to Holy Angel Castle to see if they can save him. HolyAngemon, Leomon, Hideto and Omegamon and other powerful Digimon decide it’s time to evolve and confront Neo and Arkadimon themselves.
Meanwhile, Zero is somehow managing to fight off being completely destroyed, but he’s losing strength quickly. The other Digimon from the area, many that Zero and Taichi have helped over their time in the Digital World, give their energy to Zero to help him fight.
Omegamon nearly destroys himself trying to attack Arkadimon. He’s unsuccessful in damaging him, but it wasn’t a total loss. The Dot Matrix was an invisible attack, and no one could see where it was coming from. Omegamon’s attack allowed them to finally see that the attack was coming from Arkadimon’s torso.
Zero manages to get himself back to full strength with the help of all of the Digimon, and he and Taichi rev up to take on Neo and Arkadimon one more time. But, will it be enough?
Breakdown: The big battle is here, and it’s pretty good so far. I didn’t expect Zero to be down for the count in this volume, but we only have one more volume left so maybe I should’ve expected them to be down and out at least once this time around.
The Dot Matrix is a terrifying ability for a Digimon to have. Zero was only able to survive, supposedly, because he was an Ancient type and could hold his code together while the other Digimon gave him energy to recover. However, if it hit another Digimon in a vital area, they’d certainly be dead. And since Arkadimon absorbs the data, they wouldn’t be able to come back.
The scene where the Digimon give their energy to Zero to help him recover was very touching, and Omegamon nearly sacrificing himself was also emotional, even though he really didn’t die. We finally have some small moments where Neo seems like he might be caught off-guard, but he ultimately comes out on top time and again with that dumbass cocky grin on his face.
Neo’s falling further and further away from any sort of chance at legit salvation in my eyes, and that chance was already insanely slim. Wanna know the real reason why Zero had the opportunity to recover? Because Neo told Arkadimon to purposely use a slower version of the Dot Matrix to have Zero slowly vanish so both him and Taichi will suffer longer. Screw this guy so hard.
We also have another bonus chapter, this time with Taichi teaming up with Ryo.
If you don’t know who Ryo is, I don’t blame you. For a quick refresher for purely Digimon anime fans, he’s the guy that suddenly gets introduced in Tamers when the kids go to the Digital World. The one that basically becomes Rika’s love interest kinda?
He’s not purely a one-off random character, though. He’s actually a pretty popular character due to his prominence in the Wonderswan game series for Digimon.
Wonderswan and Wonderswan Colors were basically Game Boy Advanced right before Game Boy Advanced was a thing. They were released by Bandai in 1999 and were the last pieces of hardware to be created by game and gaming hardware designer Gunpei Yokoi before his death. They were never released in America, possibly due to oversaturation of the market at the time in regards to gaming consoles, and only a handful of the games, like Final Fantasy, Gundam titles and Digimon games were released in English.
Even in Japan, the handheld console just couldn’t compete with Nintendo (Which is a little ironic because Yokoi designed the original Game Boy) and Bandai not only stopped production on both devices in 2003, but they also bowed out of the console wars altogether.
The Digimon games created for the Wonderswan crossed over with Adventure, 02 and Tamers, the last of which Ryo also made a long-standing cameo in, so technically Ryo is the only character to be canon in all three original Digimon series. I should note that this does NOT mean all of the Digimon series take place in the same canon. From all I’ve gathered so far, it seems like the most logical conclusion is that all of the Digimon series take place in different dimensions, barring Adventure and 02, obviously – Ryo just has the ability to jump through dimensions.
Ryo, like Taichi, is rather hotheaded and confident while also being heroic and proud. Because their personalities are so similar, when Ryo enters their dimension, he gets along quite well with Taichi but quickly gets into a ‘Who will save whom?’ contest with him. Their hotheadedness somehow weakens the enemy Digimon they were fighting, and before they can even start an actual battle the Digimon is somehow vanquished by their pride.
I was really underwhelmed by this bonus chapter. There was no nice lesson to learn, the story wasn’t interesting, the resolution is bullshit, quite frankly, and it was just boring. They bring up Tamers in this chapter but don’t take the opportunity to bring in any of the Tamers. I never played any of the Wonderswan games, and I never cared much for Ryo in Tamers, so I was pretty divorced from this plot as it was, but what they did with it was less than I expected.
All in all this was a good, but not fantastic volume. We’ve only got one more volume to go through, so here’s hoping we have an amazing finale!
Next volume, it’s the big final battle! Will Taichi and Zero find some way to achieve victory over Neo and Arkadimon?
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