Digimon Xros Wars: The Young Hunters Leaping Through Time (still pronounced "Cross Wars") is the third and final arc of Digimon Xros Wars and is not officially considered its own season* The creators consider it a third arc and not a standalone series, but rather a part of Digimon Xros Wars. Its change of name is just a subtitle.Set one year after the end of The Evil Death Generals And The Seven Kingdoms arc, Taiki Kudou and Yuu Amano have gone on to form the Xros Heart street basketball team; joining them is the incredibly eager Tagiru Akashi, who stumbles into the alternate dimension of DigiQuartz, a world between the Human and Digital Worlds. There, Tagiru meets his Digimon partner Gumdramon, as well as three adversaries: Ryouma Mogami, Airu Suzaki, and Ren Tobari, along with their Digimon partners Psychemon, Opossumon, and Dracumon. Shoutmon and Damemon return to fight alongside their old partners Taiki and Yuu. What is the secret of DigiQuartz, and what does it mean to be a "Digimon Hunter?"The arc is different from other arcs in this season, in that there's much less focus on a plot; most episodes focus on Tagiru (and occasionally other characters) instead of just Taiki dealing with a Monster of the Week. However, there is a story running quietly in the background. The hunt right now is all fun and games, but it turns out that the DigiQuartz is spreading, endangering the rest of the world.Early sources indicated that this is partially going to be a Milestone Celebration in the vein of Kamen Rider Decade and Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger. The past leaders from previous seasons make cameo appearances in episode 68 and returned in episode 76.This is a continuation of Xros Wars, so please use the official episode numbering used by Toei, TV Asashi, and CrunchyRoll in order to prevent confusion. Remember that this is an arc, not a season, so its episode numbering just continues from where the last arc left off.
Digimon Xros Wars: The Young Hunters Leaping Through Time contains examples of:
Affably Evil: So far, the rival Hunters, even though they're all clearly jerks (some moreso than others), have been kind of worried about Tagiru facing MetalTyrannomon alone, and Airu Suzaki even hinted that they might have helped him out.
Alternate Universe: And for once, it's not the Digital World! Rather, it's an area between the two worlds called DigiQuartz.
And the Adventure Continues: Despite Quartzmon's defeat, Digimon are still lost in the real world, and our heroes run off to start the hunt anew.
Animation Bump: The dogfight sequence in episode 10 is spontaneously gorgeously animated.
The Grand Finale. While the animation for the rest of the arc was rather unremarkable, the final episode looked so much better than the rest that one almost has to wonder if Toei had saved up half the series' budget for that episode alone.
Art Evolution: It's subtle and not as drastic a switch as Digimon Savers, but there's a notable difference between Young Hunters and its predecessor's animation styles.
Also inverted: the animation gets noticeably poorer as the series neared its end. The final episode did get a big Animation Bump, however.
Artistic License - Geography: In episode sixty-seven, no matter where Kiichi takes people on Locomon, it's always nighttime, even when they've clearly crossed several time zones.
Book Ends: In a very meta-sense. Myotismon was a constant threat to the Chosen back in Digimon Adventure/02, and in 79 of this arc an army of Myotismon appear in all his established forms.
In a more traditional sense, the arc begins and ends on a basketball court. The first arc began with a game of basketball as well, making this valid for the Xros Wars series as a whole.
Call Back: The beginning of this arc opens with a basketball game, much like the first episode of Xros Wars. This serves both to re-introduce Taiki and Yuu, and to show us Tagiru... and how different he is from Taiki.
In episode sixty-three, Akari and Taiki have a conversation that is a direct call back to the same one they had in the first episode of the series, with Taiki thanking Akari, Akari repeating him and saying she doesn't want to hear it, finally ending with her scolding him to take better care of himself.
Calling Your Attacks: In addition to the use of this trope common to previous Digimon series, episode sixty features the kendo variant of this trope: calling the body part that the attacker intends to strike.
The Cameo: Taichi Yagami, Daisuke Motomiya, Takato Matsuda, Takuya Kanbara, Masaru Daimon, and their respective Digimon cameo in episode 68, signifying their return.
It's not just the leaders. As of episode 76, Mimi Tachikawa and Ruki Makino also appeared.
Carnivore Confusion: Episode sixty-one gives us Jagamon, who is attacking children who eat potato chips. Why is he doing this, you might ask? Because Jagamon is a potato monster.
Chromatic Arrangement: Shoutmon (red), Gumdramon (blue), Damemon (yellow). Sadly, their partners' Xros Loaders don't quite fit the configuration, since Tagiru's is also red and not blue. However, their shirts do match up.
The Corruption: A human's desires can both attract a Digimon and cause them to run wild in the pursuit of power, which in turn can cause that same individual to do the same.
Continuity Nod: Episode fifty-seven features nods to the Dust Zone arc from the first arc, with the Pinocchimon from that episode returning, and the Sweets Zone arc, when Taiki recognizes GigaBreakdramon as a version of the same Digimon he's seen before.
In the following episode, Tokio, the student focused on in the previous story, is seen in the background as a member of Tagiru and Yuu's class.
Episode sixty-one has Gumdramon lead the Pagumon to the location in DigiQuartz of the same pool that Sagomon was based in the fifty-six episode.
Episode sixty-four flashback has Nene in her outfit from the first arc of Digimon Xros Wars.
Episode seventy-one has the same Gargoylemon and Piximon from Heaven Zone in the first arc policing the Digital World.
The End... Or Is It?: Is the old clock shop owner really a reincarnated and reformed Bagramon, or was he just some old guy with vast knowledge of the workings of the Digital World who thought it would be funny to mess with Taiki's head?
Enigmatic Empowering Entity: The Watchman, a mysterious old man with a Clockmon, who produces the Xros Loaders used by the children participating in the Digimon Hunts.
Evolutionary Levels: More common than before, where everyone can evolve. Despite that, it still follows what the first two arcs established - that evolution here is treated as age and the Xros Loaders simply allow them to access their future forms.
Technically this is true in the previous seasons for early digimon stages from digitama/digiegg to Baby II/Intraining but not true, but its quite as true for child and above.
Foreshadowing: Partially combined with Early-Bird Cameo, Pay attention to The Watchmaker's eyes in the final episode's segment before the Quartzmon battle. Notice how one of the eyes is glowing red through the glasses? Now which Big Bad does that remind you of?
Excuse Plot: The actual plot and characters get nearly zero development. The show is mostly just about Taigeru wondering around and solving some random kid's problem without learning anything or developing himself. Even the crossover even is just an excuse for him to defeat the bigbad without needing to improve himself. All he needs is is shonen guts and two tries and everything falls before him.
Freeze-Frame Bonus: If you pay attention, you can see Tagiru knock another player's teeth out during the basketball game in the episode 55.
In the episode in Hong Kong, Airu and Ren can be seen in the background in the tram that the boys take early in the episode. Exactly why they're there is a mystery, as they have no other appearances or role in the episode.
Fusion Dance: DigiXros is still in effect here, as Hunters can Xros their partners with Digimon captured during hunts.
Goggles Do Nothing: In addition to Tagiru and Taiki, Gumdramon's evolution Arresterdramon gets in on the act, being the first partner Digimon to sport goggles himself.
Tagiru later adds FlaWizarmon to his team, who also wears goggles.
Before the title shot, the original "Digital Monsters" logo from the virtual pets is effectively recreated.
There is also the title shot in the opening, showing many children holding up Xros Loaders with their Digimon standing in front of them. It's something of a direct homage to similar shots in the opening of Digimon Tamers.
It goes even further than that; the opening also features the shadows of Digimon passing across real world buildings, which is another iconic shot from the Tamers opening animation.
Gumdramon's evolution sequence is very similar to those from Tamers, specifically the whole "data is peeled off the Digimon's skin and replaced with the new form" thing.
Arresterdramon's evolution into Superior Mode incoporates several evolution scenes from previous series. A ring of light appears around Tagiru's arm, similar to the Digicode from Frontier, a burst of light shoots out from his Xros Loader, similar to Burst Evolution from Savers, and a blue Chinese dragon is seen, similar to Imperialdramon's evolution scene from 02.
Yet another from the opening; Arresterdramon, OmegaShoutmon, and Tuwarmon launching their attacks at the screen in succession is reminiscent of similar sequences from both the Digimon Tamers and Digimon Frontier opening.
And yet again, we have the final shot of the opening with everyone standing together in a circle... just like the end of Frontier's opening animation. This may be due to the fact that all three series share a director.
The thirteenth episode has a reference to the second Digimon Tamers movie, in the form of a plot involving a runaway Locomon and a Parasimon controlling him.
The sixty-seventh episode has a Keramon causing trouble. At one point, it mocks Tagiru through his mother's cell phone, similar to the second Digimon Adventure movie.
Jumped at the Call: Tagiru was incredibly eager to enter the Digimon Hunts from the moment he wandered into DigiQuartz.
Kids Are Cruel: Used occasionally to give the character of the week a reason to ally with a Digimon. Most noticeable in the card game episode, where some bullies pick on a kid for having weak cards, throw him from his seat so that they can take a turn, and laugh at him when all his good cards are stolen from him despite the fact that he's obviously weakened and shellshocked at that point.
Loophole Abuse: You can only bring out one Digimon per time and DigiXros only two of them. Taiki quickly figures out that he can overlook this rule by sending Ballistamon and Dorulumon to Yuu's XrosLoader and use DoubleXros to bring Shoutmon X4 to the battle.
Monster of the Week: Episodes are playing out rather similarly to Digimon Savers in this respect - a Digimon is causing trouble in the real world, and the Power Trio have to go hunt down and capture said Digimon to put a stop to its shenanigans. No longer in effect as of episode 22.
Mundane Made Awesome: Parodied in one episode focusing around a card game where, during a card battle, Yuu repeatedly screams "Another ULTRA-RARE CARD!" only for Tagiru to follow with "AWESOME! ...Right?".
Nerf: Xros Loaders in this series are much more limited than they were in the previous series, only able to reload one Digimon at a time and only able to DigiXros up to two at a time. However, DoubleXros and GreatXros are still effective, allowing Yuu and Taiki to bring forth Shoutmon X4 and later Shoutmon X7 with Kiriha and Nene.
Ocular Gushers: In episode seven, Pagumon ends up producing these... with them pouring out of Tagiru's Xros Loader.
Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Episode 5 sets up a badass fight where Taiki takes on Ryouma and Ren one-on-two... then the plot goes off to follow Yuu, Tagiru, and Airu, and the epic offscreen fight is never referred to in the rest of the episode.
Omake: Continuing from Xros Wars is the "Digimon Introduction Corner", which spotlights a different Digimon at the end of every episode, followed by a "joke" DigiXros between the subject of the segment and another Digimon.
Taiki, Yuu, and Tagiru make up one for the protagonist Hunters; same goes for Shoutmon, Gumdramon, and Damemon.
Ryouma, Ren, and Airu meanwhile serve as the rival trio, along with their partners Psychemon, Dracumon, and Opossumon.
Progressively Prettier: The returning characters when compared to their Xros Wars designs. note After the huge Art Shift with Savers the animators returned to using the same art style as Adventure and Frontier. Nonetheless they were trying too hard, making Taiki and co. look derpy at best. Especially Nene, who is now a bombshell in comparison.
Redemption Demotion: Justified for the hunted Digimon since most of them were leeching energy from humans before their "redemption" or have a similar excuse not to be as powerful later.
Red Herring: In a poster, the Xros of Arresterdramon and Dobermon was shown fighting alongside the past heroes' Digimon against Quartzmon. Despite this, said Xros was actually never used in the show a second time after is debut.
Sequel Hook: In the final scene, the old watchmaker reveals himself to be a reincarnated Bagramon... somehow and implies that he's searching for his brother, DarkKnightmon, somewhere in the world.
Ship Tease: Episode nine is pretty much dedicated to teasing Taiki/Akari. Tagiru even plays the role of Shipper on Deck for them.
Theme Music Power-Up: Much like the various Shoutmon forms and army themes in the previous series, Tagiru, Taiki, and Yuu and their respective digimon individually have their own.note "Tagiru Chikara" for Tagiru, "We are Xros Heart" for Taiki, and "Shining Dreamers" for Yuu.
Theme Tune Cameo: In episode ten, Nene sings portions of "New World" and "Stand Up," the opening songs for the second half of the original Xros Wars and the current season respectively.
Tickle Torture: A swarm of Zenimon and KoZenimon does this to the Watchmaker in episode 23.
Time Skip: This series takes place one year after the previous series.
Surprisingly, the returning characters from previous seasons don't get any Transformation Sequences, instead, we get to see how their evolutions would look in reality. Even then, there are still nods to their respective transformations, such as Agumon doing a flip before Warp-evolving into Wargreymon, Veemon and Stingmon flying through the air while blue and green streams of light follow them, resembling strands of DNA, Imperialdramon blowing up a VenomMyotismon immediately after evolving, Takato falling on top of Guilmon slowly, and Takuya being covered in silhouette.
Unusually Uninteresting Sight: In the middle of a kendo match, Taiguru and his opponent are visibly whisked away into DigiQuartz. After resolving the plot there, they return to the same spot and manage to persuade the referee to continue the match as though nothing happened. Indeed, most of the plots don't seem to launch investigations despite people turning into trees or disappearing for days at a time, and to drive it home, during the trading card game episode, players who were pulled into DigiQuartz seemed to be more concerned that their cards were being stolen than they were about the fact that they were just dragged into another dimension.
Voodoo Doll: Airu makes one of Yuu after failing to capture Cutemon from him.
Warrior Therapist: The main trio use a variation of this trope to resolve the incidents in the early episodes, addressing the emotional problems of the people who accidentally summoned the Digimon and subsequently taming the Digimon. This approach seperates the main trio from the rival trio, who only care about hunting Digimon.
Whack A Monster: Episode seven has this portrayed, literally, with Gumdramon (complete with tail hammer) and the mole-like Jagamon.
Xtreme Kool Letterz: Once again, Xros Wars instead of Cross Wars, and accordingly the Xros Loader and DigiXros (again, sometimes rendered by fans as "X Loader" or "Digi X").