ENTRY 004: THE PALMON LINE

YURAMON

Yeah, on second thought, I'm not gonna spoil all of these with the animated sprites at the top. We'll stick those on the bottom! Some people are reading about Digitmen for the first time!

So, this line is actually my second favorite of the main Digimon in Adventure, and its first baby stage is my favorite of all the baby stages! How can you not love this fuzzy little beard-tribble and its beady caterpillar eyes!? Yuramon is supposed to be a sort of floating seed creature, appropriate enough for this all-botanical Digimon.

RATING:



TANEMON

The second baby stage isn't quite as delightful as the first, or quite as cute to me as Yokomon, which would have actually fit into this line a whole lot better, though the really odd part is that both Palmon and Biyomon were first introduced as branched evolutions of this little critter. The even-more-plant-like Yokomon was introduced later, and then brought into the anime to evolve into the bird.

I don't get it either, but it's not Tanemon's fault!

RATING:



PALMON

If you're already familiar with the mains, you probably know which one I'd have to pick for myself, but going by the "child" levels alone...I feel like Palmon fits my tastes even better than the series token arthropod. Look at her! She's a scaly, veiny reptilian plant-gremlin with just the cutest little fangs and veiny root legs and big, inky alien eyes you ever did see! She's as monstrous as she is positively precious, and the only thing cuter than her design might be her voice in either the Japanese or English versions. Did I mention her main attack, "poison ivy," extends her purple claws into thorny, venomous vines?!

Palmon's human partner in Adventure is a girl called Mimi, who probably undergoes the most dramatic growth in the show. She starts off the most emotionally fragile of the kids, a spoiled brat who even acts as the antagonist of one episode, and at one point does the unthinkable:

Hurting her monster partner's feelings by implying that she's ugly.

You wouldn't think I could ever forgive a character after that, but without even shedding her love of fashion and all things "girly," Mimi manages to go from the crappiest kid to one of the toughest, and her bond with her monster becomes one of the strongest. It is absolutely cute as hell how much this kid comes to love a poisonous, chlorophyllic hobgoblin as practicaly an adoptive sister.

RATING:



TOGEMON

It's interesting how left-field Palmon's adult stage really feels. It doesn't follow stylistically from Palmon in any way other than the fact that the two of them are plants, almost looking like it came in from a completely different franchise...but I can't not like a cactus creature, and especially not when it has coconut-hole facial features. It's also HUGE, like most of the protagonist evolutions, huge enough for the kids to ride around on as needed.

RATING:



LILYMON

...And, I know what you're expecting. You're expecting me to hate that this is the next stage in the line.

Would I have rather Palmon's "perfect" stage resemble some kind of big dinosaur-fly-trap or pitcher plant or something? Sure, obviously, duh, but the idea of a boxing cactus blooming into a plant-fairy is fairly novel. It's drastic enough to be more interesting than other evolutions we've seen thus far, and to be honest, I'm just a sucker for fairy creatures in general, especially when they're associated with plant life, and she still has that sort of alien-looking face going for her. I also just noticed how her original art has sharp, claw-like fingernails, which I really wish they'd kept in the anime model and onward, though they did give her two tiny fangs for teeth you can see now and then.

Also, I can't believe I forgot this the first time I uploaded this review, but Lilymon's primary attack just turns her hands into a gun.

RATING:



ALTERNATE OPTION: BLOSSOMON

If you'd still rather Togemon evolve into a more monstrous vegetable, you're in luck! Blossomon has never been portrayed as an especially powerful Digimon, sadly, sometimes even smaller and weaker than Togemon depending on the anime or game, but it does follow pretty nicely from the line. What's not to love about any Audrey II expy?

There are, unfortunately, not a lot of other plant-like Digimon that make any sense for this line, so let's move on to the ultimate stage....

RATING:



ROSEMON

And again, you probably expect me to dislike this, but if we must do flower-themed human thingies here, I can't deny that Rosemon is an incredibly snazzy one. She has a more coherent color theory and motif than a lot of other humanlike Digimon, no extraneous metal or plastic-looking pieces glued onto her, and the lack of eyes goes a really long way. Covered or absent eyes are actually a trend throughout humanlike Digimon, and it makes them look easily twice as cool as they otherwise would have.

If only Lilymon didn't have eyes either, she'd probably have gotten a higher rating herself, just like certain pokemon.

Unfortunately, the topic of Rosemon also brings us to another, fairly divisive subject in Digimon fan circles, and you can probably guess it from just one gif:

Mimi's Palmon never actually evolves this far in the original series, but if she did, it would've probably been animated with a little more subtlety. By the time a Rosemon would appear on TV, almost every female Digimon had been turned into a non-stop fanservice delivery system, and I'm not shaming anybody for liking cartoon boobers here; I'm overall more boober-positive than negative myself, but I wasn't especially clamoring for boobers to flail all over hell and creation while I'm just trying to watch some Digimans, a franchise still ostensibly aimed at children with primarily children as main characters.

Again, not judging, I can admit this is a fairly sexy vegetable even if this kind of artwork sure looks greasy, but maaaaaaaaybe things were getting just a smidge excessive by the time they were hiring hentai illustrators for this stuff, which is seriously what they really did, and these two trading cards are even some of the tamer examples I felt I could get away with showing here.

Maybe it's not that big a deal, but it sure does feel like a desperate corporate attempt to make a floundering franchise appear edgier than its competitors.

ALL THAT ASIDE, I'd still like to reiterate that I think Rosemon is a genuinely slick and stylish design, even if it is rather harder than it should be to find any artwork or screenshots that treat her very seriously, and even if I do still wish we had more monstrous ultimate-level plant creatures. There's one, but it's very specifically tied to a completely different Digimon we're going to be checking out quite a bit later.

As a final point in Rosemon's favor, this sort of seductive flower person with a thorny whip is already a classic trope of monsters in countless Magical Girl and Sentai series already...so maybe this Digimon evolved this way because she's just as big a nerd as Gabumon.

RATING:







NAVIGATION: