Spoiler warning: this review discusses specific plot events from Digimon Ghost Game episode 11, as well as the preview to episode 12.
Last week gave us our first real spotlight on Kiyoshiro and Jellymon since they joined the team, and unfortunately it was a flop. Nothing new was established in terms of their character arcs or the overarching plot, and as a result the whole episode felt pointless. This week the focus shifts to Ruli and Angoramon, but do they actually come out of the episode as changed characters?
So what’s it about?
Courtesy of Toei Animation, here’s the official preview for Digimon Ghost Game episode 11 – “Kamaitachi”:
Courtesy of Crunchyroll, here’s a plot synopsis:
A mysterious wind is causing all sorts of damage around town, and things are tense between Ruli and Angoramon. Ruli suspects that Angoramon is hiding something from her. Will they be able to patch things up before it’s too late?
You can catch up on our coverage of the series thus far with our reviews of past episodes.
Flawed figures, good characters
Finally, some interpersonal conflict! As the episode summary notes Ruli and Angoramon’s interactions are strained this week, ripening the situation for tension, drama, and actual character development. While Jellymon has certainly yelled at Kiyoshiro plenty it’s always been in a very childish fashion, so this week feels like the first time we’re seeing actual conflict between members of the core cast.
It’s especially nice that said conflict takes place between Angoramon and Ruli because frankly they’ve been the least developed team members thus far. This week, however, they steer the plot and we get to see what a day in their lives away from Hiro looks like. In Ruli’s case there’s a lot of photography and prepping web content involved. There’s an undercurrent that she might not be entirely happy or considerate of other people but she still maintains a social life and puts effort into the things she cares about.
Angoramon, meanwhile, has a whole second life away from Ruli and the rest of the team. He spends a lot of time talking with other Digimon that have manifested in the real world, and it’s nice to see for several reasons. First, it’s great to see more chill and innocent Digimon just going about normal lives outside the weekly fights. Second, we get a sense that Angoramon is actually developing relationships with people beyond just his human partner. Given how focused Digimon anime traditionally are on the human children, we seldom get to see protagonist Digimon talking without humans involved. It’s refreshing.
Both Angoramon’s conversations with Ruli and his meetings with other Digimon also contain the key source of tension here: Angoramon’s lack of tact. He frequently makes comments that could be perceived as rude, but are likely just him speaking frankly and in some cases actively trying to help others. Unfortunately he ends up sounding condescending and belittling, which is a very interesting conundrum for one of the heroes to face. I can’t recall any other Digimon partners ever having this degree of social ineptitude, which creates the opportunity for a fresh new sort of character arc going forward.
Of course, the writers had to fit a physical fight in somewhere and the villain of the week is Reppamon. It’s a delight to see him since his design is just beautiful. It’s derived from the yokai this episode is named after, so his inclusion also feels in line with the series’ supernatural bent. With all that said, the most interesting fight he has isn’t with Angoramon but with himself.
Reppamon’s tail has an eye design on it, and in Ghost Game that eye is real and indicative of a second consciousness. His tail has a separate personality from the rest of his body, and discrepancies in their desires lead to danger for the humans around them. It’s a neat twist and one that allows Ghost Game to resolve the conflict with its old faithful: open communication between all parties involved.
The wrap-up and looking forward
All in all, this is quite an enjoyable episode. The conflict between Angoramon and Ruli brings out the worse sides of both, but they feel like more dynamic characters as a result. Reppamon is also a highlight due to his sheer visual beauty, and the fight against him has a notable surprise: Angoramon doesn’t evolve. After TeslaJellymon’s debut last week, it seemed like a given that the Ruli-focused episode would include Angoramon’s ascension to Champion.
Instead, we get to look forward to it happening in another (presumably) Ruli-centric episode in the future. More time in the spotlight, more opportunity for her to grow as a character. It’s unlikely that’ll happen next week though as the preview doesn’t show her much and it looks like we’re just getting another monster of the week encounter. The monster in question is Weedmon though, so I’m looking forward to some weird vegetable antics.
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