Ever since the “Digimon: The Movie” (though technically a segment from a later short film), each “Digimon” movie has introduced a new DigiDestined unrelated to the main characters who become the focus of the story. Lui is the best of these since Willis from the first movie — and has a brief cameo here!
Keeping in line with the franchise’s tradition of tackling how loneliness and isolation in kids can have rather ominous repercussions later in life, we see that Lui’s childhood was one of neglect and abuse. Granted, he is no Ken Ichijouji who tries to conquer the DigiWorld as an emperor, but it still messes him up. So when Lui gets his DigiEgg, he doesn’t set out to save the world or go on a grand adventure but is instead just beyond excited to have a friend who cares for him and protects him. Even in the present, Lui makes for a complex and interesting counterpart to the other DigiDestined. For his part, Ukkomon wants nothing more than to see his partner happy, and that’s where things go wrong.
Though not strictly a horror movie, there is some effective psychological horror at play here, and even some body horror that answers the question, what if Cronenberg made a “Digimon”? The result is pure nightmare fuel.
More than anything, Lui’s story presents an important and nuanced exploration of the importance of communication. The film interrogates the relationship between DigiDestined and their Digimon partners, and what always distinguished this franchise from, say, “Pokémon” when it came to its dog fighting. The film has an important message about how making assumptions about others’ feelings rather than asking for others’ intentions sets up a series of horrific tragedies.