The obligatory avian protagonist of the original set has a rather odd beginning as a botanical baby, borrowing some characteristics from Botamon in a translucent plant-bulb casing. Cute, odd, still not certain what the logic is here.



...And then there's the second baby stage, even more botanical, and even more confusing when we get to our next digimon, but it's also super cute, and illogical or not, I really like the idea of a bird monster evolving from a flower monster.



When we do get to that bird, it's kind of just exactly what you would expect from an ornithological child-level digimon, not that it's a bad thing. Biyomon still has those signature mole hands, but she can fly with them, and after all these years, I only just realized how the little metal band on her leg is like the bands they use to mark trained birds or even tag research specimens.

Since we did talk about Gabumon's anime relationship with his human, I guess we should do so for the rest of the applicable monsters, especially because these are some genuinely interesting, genuinely relatable cartoon kids - sometimes even a little too relatable for comfort.

Sora seems at first like your typical cool, confident, sports-loving teenage girl, but as the show progresses, we learn how hard she struggles with her self worth. Of course you'll seem fearless and selfless if you're the very last person you care about, and the first person to ever catch onto that ends up not even being human.

As a design, I'll still only be giving Biyomon an average rating, but she's probably one of the sweetest characters in the show.



It comes as a pretty magnificent surprise, then, that the pudgy pink budgie has what is easily the second scariest looking evolution among the main characters. Look at that thing!

Even the anime, softening and simplifying a lot of Digimon designs for ease of animation as well as marketability, couldn't do much to make this hellbird any less intimidating. She's explicitly said to have been born from an "internet firewall," hence her phoenix-like appearance, and she supposedly specializes in counterattacks rather than taking any offensive initiative, though this is never really mentioned or utilized in the anime itself. Instead, she'll just go straight to pelting enemies with fireball-like feathers.

It's the snaggly, interlocking teeth that are probably the coolest part of Birdramon, of course, straight off some ancient, prehistoric feathered reptile! So just what's this thing evolve into, given how much beastlier Greymon and Garurumon went??



Awww, man. We're jumping straight to this look, huh? Couldn't keep any of that gnarly, beastly prehistoric quality for even one more stage? I'm just wholly indifferent to Garudamon, personally. All I can really think of in her favor is that she's one of the rare female Digimon with a humanoid torso that gets to be burly and muscular, which is also kind of rare for bird characters.



At least the "most canon" ultimate stage is a step back toward a feathered sky-terror, even if Hououmon or "phoenixmon" in the West still isn't quite as kickass looking, to me, as plain old Birdramon. The idea behind Hououmon is that it's the absolute ultimate god-beast of all bird Digimon, though this would be sort of contradicted later by other bird monsters.



I said I wouldn't review every possible evolution of every Digimon, but whenever there's a thematically logical choice I like more than the "most canon" path for a main Digimon, I think it'd be fun to include it too, but just the one or this is going to get sucked down a rabbit hole like you would not believe.

Ornismon is given as an alternate evolution of Garudamon in the TCG, and I still like Birdramon a little more, but this thing dives even further into prehistoric avian territory with a beautiful color scheme to boot. It's also said to be one of the mightiest Digimon that has ever existed, moreso than Hououmon, to the point that in one anime, Ornismon was basically an ancient, sealed horror unleashed by a villain to wreak grand-scale destruction!