In a time where unprecedented climate change, mass deforesting, and air pollutants are killing off the world’s bee population signaling major alarm from ecologists everywhere, we’re sure not if Digimon Adventure Episode 13 is leaving kids with the best message. Namely, that bees are the scary bad guys! Now to be fair, we don’t actually think kids nor adults are going to think too hard and not all the bees in this episode are presented as evil! In fact, some of them are quite nice and cute. Maybe there’s just a sad irony in it all, or more realistically there’s a sad irony in a writer thinking there’s a sad irony in this kids anime episode about nice monsters fighting off some bee monsters in the forest.
Following last week’s episode, which for our money has been the best in the Digimon Adventure reboot so far, Digimon Adventure Episode 13 follows the half of the cast that split off last week. Sora, Yamato, and Joe are on their own as an assault from some particularly menacing wasp shaped Digimon leave them stranded in a forest. Knowing by the end of this episode Sora’s partner Piyomon would reach their ultimate level Digivolution, as that’s been the formula for the last few episodes, I was hoping we’d get some good character moments with one or both of them. Episode 12 did wonders with a one-off story for Mimi and with Sora basically getting snubbed in this year’s Digimon Adventure: Last Evolution Kizuna film she deserves the spotlight.
She gets just a bit of characterization, just about a third of the way through Digimon Adventure Episode 13. A low ranking Combimon falls out of a tree and is at first quite worried Sora and her friends are going to attack it. I actually had a small bodily reaction to the pain and fear that crossed its face, somehow evoking a sadness within me! Not bad for a kids show. She quickly reassures the bee Digimon that they mean no harm, and Combimon goes on to explain that the big bad Cannonbeemon has been making the Combimon do their dirty work. It’s a situation that leaves the kids and the viewer feeling bad, these bees being basically forced into both evil and slavery.
Unfortunately after the touching scene with this battered Combimon pal, Digimon Adventure Episode 13 slips back into being just average. Joe and Yamato pitch in with their Digimon helping to fight off the waves of metal wasps before the final showdown. As predicted, right at the nick of time, Piyomon digivolves into Garudamon for the first time and makes quick work of the tyrant cannonbeemon who’ll do no more enslaving of the helpless Combimon. It all plays out exactly as you’d expect, which is fine for a kids show, but other episodes have had their monsters of the week fights depicted with a bit more flare. All in all though, this one’s worth it for the Combimon above just trying to do its best.
You can watch Digimon Adventure Episode 13 on Crunchyroll now.