Blu-ray Review: Digimon Adventure Tri – Part 1: The Reunion

Manga Entertainment UK continues to provide nostalgia to the older generation of anime fans and this time it is the release of Digimon Adventure Tri – Part 1; the first instalment into a ‘new generation’ of Digimon movies that continues the story from where Digimon Zero Two (Digimon Adventure Season 2 / Digimon – Season 2) ended.

So with this being said; what can we expect from Manga Entertainment’s Blu-ray release of Digimon Adventure Tri – Part 1: The Reunion? Well let’s take a look in our review.

Synopsis:

It’s been six years since that summer adventure when Taichi Yagami and the rest of the DigiDestined crossed over to the Digital World. And nearly three years have passed since the final battle between Hikari Yagami’s group and BelialVamdemon. As the peaceful days passed by, at some point the gate to the Digital World closed. Not even the DigiDestined know what caused this, and time alone continues to pass.

Our View:

It has been sixteen years since Digimon – Season 2, otherwise known as Digimon Adventure 02, ended and now here we are in 2017 with the third instalment into the ‘original’ Digimon TV anime series; and as you would expect it is a true return to form with the original cast of characters and their beloveded Digimon partners once again gracing our screens. Of course if your first experience with the Digimon anime series is with Manga Entertainment UK’s DVD release then this wait doesn’t deliver the emotional impact one might expect from others who have been waiting all these years; but this said Digimon Adventure Tri still delivers an impact that some revitalised anime just misses out on.

Taking place several months after the events of Digimon Adventure Season 2 we find that our digi-destined heroes have become re-accustomed to their every-day lifestyle with Tai taking soccer (football) practice , Matt continuing with his band and Kari providing support to those who need it. Elsewhere however a sinister evil is lurking; an evil which will once again blend the digital and real worlds together once again. For the most part this first feature-length-installment into Digimon Adventure Tri does nothing but re-introduce us to the original group of Digi-Destined, their Digimon and tease the impending threat that lurks within the Digital World.

Naturally this is not a bad thing, as the film is entitled “Reunion” after all; but it means those hoping to see a fast-progressing-story with numerous enemies will be disappointed. Instead viewers are treated to exactly what is described, a reunion, with Tai becoming reunited with his partner Digimon Agumon during a battle with a rampant Digimon and the rest of the gang reunited with their partner Digimon shortly after. This reunion however paves the way for the a dici-destined to be revealed and a new enemy threat; one that sees the entire group of Digi-Destined stand together once again in order to save their world to which the story behind this unexpected reunion begins to surface.

As one would hope each member of the Digi-Destined, and their partner Digimon, get a fair amount of screen-time with Tai, Matt, Agumon and Gabumon reciving the most screen-time with their battles against the enemy Digimon; but alas these two are considered the ‘lead characters’ within Digimon so it is unsurprising that they would be used the most. Interestingly though those hoping to see Season 2 characters will have to wait as despite a ‘dark’ fight scene at the start of the film these particular characters do not make an appearance and are most likely being saved for a future film. Generally speaking the events within Digimon Adventure Tri – Part 1 is a return to form and it manages to recreate that Digimon experience from the original TV series; albeit with some minor differences as it has been animated with an older auidience in mind.

Extras:

Those looking forward to some bonus features will be pleased to hear that this UK Blu-ray release of the film contains two distinctive bonus features; namely a preview of the opening night in America and interviews with the English Dub cast.

It’s not a large selection of bonus materials; but compared to previous ‘feature-length-movie- releases it is a small selection of high quality content; especially the interviews with the English Dub voice actors. This particular features lasts around the fourteen minute mark and sees various voice actors (both new and old) express their feelings for the show as well as their experiences in dubbing the film.

The second piece of bonus content provides a ‘quick glimpse’ at the opening night in America. Ironically it is nothing special as it is simply various clips of the night (mostly PR and voice actors drinking and socialising) with some basic music in the background. Bizarrely this feels more like a fan-made night out montage rather than a piece of promotional content; but it gives us a glimpse in to the world that we don’t usually get to see.

Sadly these are the only two pieces of bonus content included on this UK Blu-ray release; so those looking for any promotional trailers, be it in English or Japanese, will be disappointed to learn that they are not here on this UK Blu-ray release.

Specs:

Media: BD50
Region: B
Running Time: 1:35:26
Video: MPEG-4 AVC
Audio: DTS-HD 5.1 (English) & LPCM 2.0 (English & Japanese)
Subtitles: English (White/Grey)
Resolution: 1920×1080 (1080p)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Frame Rate: 23.976 fps

Overall:

Digimon Adventure Tri – Part 1: Reunion brings everything we enjoyed about the original TV series and revitalizes it with a fresh new story, beautifiul animation and a wounderful soundtrack that further expands the Digimon universe. The story – as a whole – may still be shrouded in some mystery but here within this first part we become reacquainted with our favourite characters, discover that a new threat is about to start and see some beautifully animated fight-scenes with some old favourite digivolutions. It’s not a blast from the past it’s a new animated feature with our old favourites and it is simply great throughout.

Speaking of nostalgia some fans will be excited to learn that most of the original English Dub voice cast return to repraise their roles from the original TV Series; but unfortunately this creates a slight disconnect from the prior Digimon TV series. Those who have been watching the TV series and then jump in to this film will notice that some of the character voices have changed, especially for Matt and Kari, which creates a disconnect from the overall experience. From my perspective I had great difficulty trying to watch the English Dub and instead opted to watch the series in Japanese with it’s English subtitles. It’s not that the new English Dub voice actors are terrible its just that having new voices for characters i’ve known for nearly two decades was extremely difficult to bear.

Disregarding this ‘personal issue’ the English Dub also has some other ‘note-worthy’ issues; especially on this UK Blu-ray release. For starters the opening animation features a new variation of Butter-Fly however while the Japanese audio track plays the entire song throughout the opening sequence the English Dub audio track only plays half of the song; with the remainder being a remixed ‘TV Dub’ of the Digimon song from the original English Digimon release. Another issue with this Blu-ray release is that only one subtitle track is present and as such any on-screen-translations (or song translations) are not displayed when watching it in English. That is; unless you turn the ‘full’ English subtitles on which solely should be used for the Japanese audio track. That’s not all either; as when the English Subtitles are displayed during songs only part of the songs translation is displayed. This is due to characters talking during that part of the song but in traditional Blu-ray releases both the text and song translation would be displayed at the same time; with song translations displayed at the top of the screen and dialogue text at the bottom.

It is an ‘archaic’ way of producing a Blu-ray and it is safe to suggest that Manga Entertainment UK have authored their own releases of Digimon Adventure Tri – Part 1: Reunion which as a result has lead to this rather ‘mixed’ release. Sure enough the picture quality is fantastic and it features both 5.1 and 2.0 audio tracks (for both English & Japanese languages) but it is disappointing that these subtitle issues occur – even if they are just minor. On the whole this Blu-ray release of Digimon Adventure Tri – Part 1: Reunion is as expected and while it is a shame about the subtitles (and the lack of any Japanese promotional materials) it is a release that would make a worthy addition to your Digimon collection.

Score: review-stars-4

Digimon Adventure Tri – Part 1: The Reunion will be available on DVD and as a Collector’s Edition Blu-ray from the 22nd May 2017 within the UK.

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About Scott Emsen
Scott is the Founder and Executive Editor of AnimeBlurayUK but in the past he has worked on ZOMGPlay and was once a Community Moderator for the Nokia N-Gage forums. Based in the UK, he loves anything related to Games & Anime and in In his spare time you'll mostly find him playing on one of his many gaming consoles; namely the PS Vita or Xbox One.

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