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'Digimon Ghost Game' episode 15 review: 'The Fortuneteller's Manor'
Toei Animation

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‘Digimon Ghost Game’ episode 15 review: ‘The Fortuneteller’s Manor’

Outer demons aren’t enough to spur strong character development.

Spoiler warning: this review discusses specific plot developments from Digimon Ghost Game episode 15, as well as the preview to episode 16.

Digimon Ghost Game has hit its stride as of late. The last two episodes were both fantastic, delivering poignant portrayals of grief that highlight why this franchise is so beloved. Does the high quality streak continue this week?

So what’s it about?

Courtesy of Toei Animation, here’s the official preview for Digimon Ghost Game episode 15: “The Fortuneteller’s Manor”:

Courtesy of Crunchyroll, here’s a plot synopsis:

There is a mysterious fortuneteller going around the city granting people their wishes, but something sinister is happening underneath the surface. Mika wants her fortune told, so she asks Ruli to help her find the nomadic diviner.

You can catch up on our coverage of the series thus far with our reviews of past episodes.

Evolutions and character spotlights

We’re fifteen episodes in and Angoramon has finally evolved to the Champion level. One might think that SymbareAngoramon’s debut would entail some focus and illuminating character development for Ruli, but sadly that’s only half-true here.

'Digimon Ghost Game' episode 15 review: 'The Fortuneteller's Manor'

KingKazmamon. (Bandai)

Ruli is definitely the star of the episode. The two male thirds of the core trio barely appear at all; instead we follow Ruli and her friends as they search for a mysterious fortuneteller and stumble upon a world domination plot involving illusions and human petrification. Though Ruli’s friends aren’t particularly dynamic characters, they have some endearing moments and it’s nice to see what Ruli’s life is like away from the boys.

The problem is that, though we spend a lot of time with Ruli, we don’t actually learn anything new about her past or motivations. What is her family life like? How did she end up with this specific group of friends? What are her anxieties? What are her biggest goals? The episode doesn’t even raise these sorts of questions, much less answer them. If there’s one trait Ruli’s actions this week exemplify it’s a willingness to act bravely on behalf of her friends, but that’s just standard action hero behavior. It’s not actually grounded in anything specific that would help solidify her own unique role in the cast.

'Digimon Ghost Game' episode 15 review: 'The Fortuneteller's Manor'

I’m evolving? But why? We didn’t do anything! (Toei Animation)

This lack of introspection could perhaps be forgivable if Ruli’s relationship with Angoramon developed instead, but it doesn’t. The evolution to Champion isn’t built up to at all. Angoramon doesn’t even appear in most of the episode as Ruli just hangs out with her human friends instead. Though SymbareAngoramon looks very cool he doesn’t get much time to shine for a variety of reasons. One is that Hiro and co. show up at the last minute to help, thus making it a group battle and not one focused on the new evolution.

The battle’s other main problem is that its animation just sucks. The characters essentially stand around whipping up crude-looking wind attacks with no sense of force or impact. It’s easily one of the least impressive fight scenes in the series to date, and far from what one would want out of a new evolution’s first appearance. All in all SymbareAngoramon’s debut manages to feel unearned despite how late it is and boring despite how cool he looks. There’s just nothing gained for either his or Ruli’s character.

Villainous animation

'Digimon Ghost Game' episode 15 review: 'The Fortuneteller's Manor'

A few cuts to demonic orbs just doesn’t cut it. (Toei Animation)

It’s notable that most of the episode before the fight scene looks quite nice. We get to see what Ruli’s room looks like and the stylistic decor is very cute. There are also lots of lovely shots of the sky and most of the characters are consistently well-rendered. The main exceptions are Phelesmon and his Boogiemon henchmen, who cycle through several different face shapes each. The petrification scenes also look silly; there’s just no suspense or horror in the way they’re paced. Nonetheless, most of the episode is fairly crisp and pleasing pleasing look at. I also have to shout out a brief shot of Gammamon pulling a sled like a reindeer. A mascot’s responsibilities for cuteness never waiver, even in other characters’ spotlight episodes.

Back to the topic of Phelesmon, he’s a terrible villain. There’s just no personality there, and nothing about him makes a good foil for Ruli or Angoramon. He’s generically evil and motivationally speaking his plans are exactly the sort of generic irredeemable villainy that Ghost Game has strived so hard to avoid. When the time comes for the fighting to end he just leaves for no reason, vowing to return later even though the protagonists weren’t a match for him in the first place. Here’s hoping he never finds his way back on screen.

The wrap-up and looking forward

'Digimon Ghost Game' episode 15 review: 'The Fortuneteller's Manor'

Cherrymon! And Shellmon too! (Toei Animation)

Most good streaks come to an end, and Ghost Game’s crashed and burned this week. The episode starts off quite decently but just gets worse and worse the longer it stretches on. Fifteen episodes is a long time to wait for one of the core Champions to show up, and this wait wasn’t worth it. Next week’s preview features the camp queen Cherrymon, so hopefully his inherent silliness will be much more satisfying than this week’s disappointment.

'Digimon Ghost Game' episode 15 review: 'The Fortuneteller's Manor'
‘Digimon Ghost Game’ episode 15 review: ‘The Fortuneteller’s Manor’
Episode 15 - 'The Fortuneteller's Manor'
Inconsistent animation, bad villains, and a lack of character development make this episode one to skip.
Reader Rating0 Votes
0
It's nice to see more of Ruli's daily life with her friends
Most of the episode looks pretty good until the final fight
Gammamon looks really cute pulling that sled
There's no meaningful character growth for anyone involved
The battle animation is incredibly disappointing
The ending feels time-mandated and doesn't even try to wrap up satisfactorily
6
Average

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