Monday, October 5, 2020

Our Final Digivolution: Adulting

“Is it true we have to say goodbye when you grow up?” - Agumon

The year was 2010. I had just returned to college life after being a missionary. As a young adult I had this idea in my head that I had to let go of fandoms that I had enjoyed growing up. So my Yu-Gi-Oh cards sat in my parents' basement and my Nintendo DS and my Pokémon games disappeared to who knows where. I started getting into other franchises, but it was time to move away from my childhood favorites.

Coincidentally that year was also the setting of the new Digimon movie that was finally released on digital last week (on DVD and Blu-Ray this week). Spoilers ahead of course. Here we go.

In Last Evolution Kizuna, during another Digimon attack, Tai and the other Digi-Destined discover that their time with their Digimon partners is limited and quickly running out. Menoa, a Digimon researcher, tells them that it’s because they’re not kids anymore; children are full of potential and that’s where Digimon partners get their power. As the kids grew up, they lost that unlimited potential.

Throughout the movie you can see evidence of this, as more adult situations are used, like when Matt and Tai go out for a beer. We also hear it in their words, as Sora distances herself from being a Digi-Destined, as Tai focuses on finishing his thesis, and as Matt thinks about grad school. There’s even an unnamed Digi-Destined who complains about how hard adulthood is.

I spent years thinking I had to give up Digimon or Pokémon to be considered an adult. But what if that’s just the problem the Digi-Destined had. There’s this idea not unique to me that to be an adult we have to think a certain way or like certain things to be truly grown up. But it robs us of our potential.

Like the movie said, children have limitless potential. They’re creative, imaginative, loving, forgiving, selfless (for the most part), and so many other things. But why does that have to be unique to children? I believe we can get that childlike nature back. 

As I’ve spent the last nine months getting to know my daughter, I want to be more like her. She’s curious about everything. She loves to play, laugh, and explore. Her little nine-month-old brain finds joy and excitement in every little thing. Talk about potential! Imagine if I could apply those traits to my personal and professional lives!

The journey may have ended for Tai and Matt at the end of the movie, but the Digimon Adventure 02 epilogue is still canon. That means that the story isn’t over. Somewhere in the future we could still get a story about the Digimon partners coming back.

It’s all about potential. We saw a bit of that as Agumon and Gabumon rose to their new forms in the final battle. If Tai and Matt can muster the energy to create that digivolution, I fully believe they will bring their partners back (even if it's off-screen). And if they can bring their partners back, you can find that childlike potential again today. It’s not unique to children… we’ve just forgotten as adults. We're adulting now, but that doesn't mean we need to give up that childlike joy and wonder. If anything, we have more potential now as adults if we can use our maturity and growth in combination with the joy and wonder we had as children.

I highly recommend this movie for any Digimon fans past or present. With any luck, this movie will get enough success that we can get that sequel that I'm craving.

No comments:

Post a Comment