Digimon Adventure: Last Evolution Kizuna is the final chapter for the original DigiDestined, and after two decades, the franchise continues to impress (see our review here). Ahead of the official release of the film on Blu-ray, DVD, and VOD, we were able to speak to the longtime franchise producer Yosuke Kinoshita. He provided a little insight into the final installment of first-gen Digimon and their partners, an exciting cameo for fans of the previous Digimon films, and how the Last Evolution Kizuna alters the highly debated ending of Digimon Adventure 02.
Bleeding Cool: Something that was really exciting for longtime Digimon fans was a very brief cameo from Willis. At a glance, it looked like he appeared alongside Terriermon (Gummymon) and Lopmon (Kokomon) — was this reference a genuine nod to him still being recognized in this timeline?
Kinoshita: The story portrayed in this movie is based on the same timeline as Digimon Adventure, Digimon Adventure 02, and Digimon Adventure Tri. So it was inevitable that Willis and other DigiDestined all over the world would make an appearance. I did want Kokomon to be there as well as Gummymon as our answer to the ending of the Digimon Adventure 02 movie The Golden Digimentals.
BC: Was this particular ending the film meant to be the final chapter, or is there still room for more story with this group of DigiDestined?
Kinoshita: We think of the film as "Tai and his friends' last adventure," and as such, it is recognized as the final chapter. However, they are still only 22 years old, and as depicted in the last episode of "Digimon Adventure 02", their lives will continue on as they advance in age. It can be said that as long as they live, so will their stories. However, these are not the only DigiDestined, so in that regard, I think there is still an infinite number of adventures to look forward to.
BC: We witnessed two new evolutions from Gabumon and Agumon, was there a specific idea behind this bold new level?
Kinoshita: A "Partner's mental growth" is a trigger of the Digimon's evolution. I think each Digimon changes to their new appearance as a reflection of when their partner human makes a new decision. We look forward to hearing what fans will take from each new evolved form upon watching the film.
BC: It was extremely exciting to see the Digimon Adventure 02 group return, and in the original epilogue of that series, we witnessed a time leap. Was this film meant to rewrite the ending, or is it still something that could lead to that conclusion?
Kinoshita: Per the last episode of Digimon Adventure 02, being that the year 2028 is specified, it should be maintained for this new story. However, a major component of the overall premise is that anything can and could happen, given that everything up to this point had yet to be drawn to life.
BC: Growth has always seemed to play a major role in Digimon, especially in the newer adaptation. Is there any specific direction you envision for the future of a more mature-themed Digimon universe?
Kinoshita: I find that getting older isn't always the only growth there is. We have depicted important life themes since Digimon Adventure in 1999. That is something we have never changed, and I don't think it would be "Digimon" anymore if we did. Whether a character is an elementary school or university student, the truly important things in life never change, do they?
Digimon: Last Evolution Kizuna will be available in both sub/dub starting September 29, courtesy of Toei Animation. Are you ready for the end of an era as we know it?