A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Digimon Adventure: Last Evolution Kizuna is an anime adventure in which the Digimon kids (the DigiDestined) from the '90s have grown up and must now stop a rogue researcher. For kids who grew up on the show Digimon Adventure, this story about the series' characters settling into adulthood and careers will have many poignant moments. But you can expect cartoon violence: The opening scenes are a throwback to '90s battles, and there are plenty of fights with lasers, explosions, and destruction throughout. One of the characters has a handgun. Also, one of the young adult characters keeps a collection of riseque/adult images hidden in his apartment; when it's discovered (nothing graphic shown) and asked about by his Digimon, he's ashamed and mortified. Characters drink wine and beer.
What's the story?
In DIGIMON ADVENTURE: LAST EVOLUTION KIZUNA the DigiDestined are growing up and beginning to settle in to careers and adulthood. Tai discovers that there's a timer in his Digivice that counts down the time until his time with his faithful Digimon companion Agumon will come to end, and this parting is directly related to growing up. Meanwhile, the DigiDestined realize that their work isn't complete when they learn of a "mass coma phenomenon" in which healthy people faint for seemingly no reason, and those fainting are also DigiDestined. They meet a researcher named Menoa Balluci, who, with her assistant Kyotara, are trying to solve the mystery of an unidentified Digimon. The DigiDestined soon learn that Menoa hasn't told the complete story, and when they discover that Menoa is trying to create a purgatorial alternative digital "Neverland" reality where no one has to grow up and they can be with their Digimon forever, the DigiDestined must rescue the kids who have already been trapped by Menoa so they can grow up and make their own ways in the world.
Is it any good?
This is a bittersweet coming-of-age story that manages to transcend the expected anime battles and action. For those coming into the movie without knowing all of the ins and outs of this particular anime universe, the movie's heady themes of life and death, growing up and moving on, and making your own way in the world are poignant, universal, and relatable. The comments on avoiding and escaping the "infantilization" of contemporary pop culture should come through loud and clear, as much as it may pain some to let go of their childhoods.
Of course, there's plenty of action to go with all the insights into the human condition. The third act seems like a near-constant barrage of fiery explosions and sparkly prismatic beams flashing to and fro. But unlike so many other movies that try to blend themes with action -- anime and otherwise -- Last Evolution Kizuna finds a successful balance. It's poignant without being sappy, and the "Where are they now?"-style closing credits, with images of the DigiDestined working straight jobs in various career fields, adds another layer of sweet sorrow for the superfans. For everyone else, the movie works on its own terms.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the themes addressed in Digimon Adventure: Last Evolution Kizuna. Why is coming of age such a popular theme? Why do the characters have a hard time letting go of their childhoods?
This movie is the conclusion of the popular Digimon franchise, a franchise dating back to the '90s. How does the movie show how the characters have grown up, and how does this mirror the audience who grew up with the characters? What does the movie seem to be saying to them, specifically?
Can this movie be enjoyed on its own terms by those who aren't (or weren't) superfans of the franchise? Why or why not?
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