Today we begin something a long, long time coming. Technically even moreso than my daily Pokemon reviews ever were, since I do believe I may have actually heard of Digimon very slightly earlier than I ever knew what a Pikachu was. The various 'mons sort of exploded onto the scene all at once back in the 90's, and my most formal introduction to Digimon was this ridiculous commercial promising a radder and badder alternative to the then wildly popular Tamagotchi.

These virtual pet gizmos, however, never did grab my childhood attention enough for me to actually get one of my own.

Instead, it was the original dub of the Digimon Adventure anime that would actually reel me, offering more complex characterization, higher stakes and compelling story progression when compared to rival Pokemon, and I know every anime ever made has forty trillion people who will tell you it's just SERIOUSLY so good, like, SO good, you've gotta see it, but I swear to god, Digimon Adventure is SERIOUSLY so good, like, SO good, you've gotta see it. It holds up.

I'm already all over the place with this, I know. I guess what I'm saying here is that I was really, really big into the Pokemon video games, but equally big into the Digimon cartoon show. I loved the pocket monsters, yes, and still do, but the digital monsters, with their fully sapient characterization and wacky range of personalities, always felt just a twinge more fun as characters themselves, and their adventures always so much realer, so much more intense than Ash Ketchum getting swindled by Jessie and James in fake mustaches again.

We are not, however, here to review a cartoon series, but here to review monsters, and Digimon has more of them than just about any other "mons" series out there, though this is where we run into our first major dilemma.

Now, originally, I had an explanation here as to why I would NOT be attempting to review every Digimon in existence, as I knew I couldn't keep that as enthusiastic as my Pokemon reviews.

This is for the simple fact that, unlike Pokemon, the overall design style of Digimon underwent a dramatic and almost absolute shift sometime after the first couple of hundred monsters, from gnarly organic beasts like Cyclonemon (left) to sleek, shiny, highly accessorized action figure guys like Susanoomon (right), and for me personally, the vast majority of these newer characters all sort of end up feeling exactly the same.

Yes, it's true. When it comes to Digimon at least, I am nothing but a no-good, lousy, rotten genwunner, and I was not at all looking forward to reviewing five hundred different anime dogs in slightly different battle armor...but now, years later, I've had to re-edit this very intro to reflect the fact that, yes, I went ahead and attempted to review everything that qualifies as a Digimon, whether I liked it or not.

Unfortunately, this also brings us to our next major dilemma, which is how in the absolute bloodiest hell anyone is really supposed to sort these geeks.

When I reviewed Pokemon, it was a straightforward matter of reviewing every possible form and evolution of that Pokemon on a single page, a process seldom any more complicated than the fact that my dear pal Gloom can evolve into either the just slightly less good Vileplume or significantly less good Bellossom.

Digimon, however, do not evolve like Pokemon. Plenty of them have tailor-made evolutionary stages, of course, like how Agumon here most famously evolves into Greymon and then Metalgreymon, but for every Digimon with a fully realized family tree, there's at least a dozen misfit orphans callously dumped into the canon with or without any matching lineage.

This is quite a problem, because every single Digimon goes through six evolutionary stages no matter what, and that means different video games, card games, manga and anime have had to improvise their own evolutionary relationships for the bevy of unrelated miscellany populating Digimon's convoluted continuity.

So, depending on the media source, this right here is a small sampling - EMPHASIS ON SMALL SAMPLING - of some of the other things Agumon can metamorphose into. Some of these actually do have juvenile stages that make more sense and are simultaneously canon in the same games and anime, while others debuted without any particular family tree in mind and remain oddballs to this day.

In some cases, the developers even just sort of said "screw it" and decided that any Digimon in existence can evolve into any other Digimon in existence, which, personally, I kind of like best. These things are, after all, supposed to be entities formed of pure computer data. There's no actual "genetics" at play here to begin with, and no real reason in-universe that a fiddler crab shouldn't be able to rewrite itself into an anthropomorphic lion - see the Digimon Mini Version 3 virtual pet for that one.

So, here's what we're going to be doing:

For Digimon like Agumon with a single, especially obvious evolutionary line, we'll review that as one entry.

For all the rest, including alternate evolutions and variants on the same Digimon, we're going to review them pretty much however the heck feels the most right at the time. We're basically just gonna wing it, which seems appropriate enough since that's exactly what the franchise has been doing all along.