Written by Jonathan Wojcik with the aid of With the Will, Digimon Wiki and Wikimon



So far, we've seen two of the original "bad evolutions" associated with Digimon feces - Numemon and Nanimon - but today's is probably the most infamous, second only to Numemon in its overall number of game appearances and taking the copromania to its logical extreme. Sukamon, as you can see, actually resembles a big, creamy swirl of crap, golden in color for comedic irony, said to have digivolved from scraps of data left in a computer's recycling bin.

Far more than just any colossal dump, Sukamon is also a colossal dump with those cool, gnarled Digimon demon arms, Hot Topic accessories and a toothy maw that wraps completely around its body, its entire top half actually a separate piece from the lower jaw - always a fun creature feature!

Possibly the most fun thing about Sukamon, however, is that it's almost never seen without its symbiotic friend, "Chuumon," a rotten little pink rat said to "share the same brain" and encourage Sukamon to do "bad things." Where Chuumon comes from when Sukamon evolves, and where it goes when Sukamon evolves again, are mysteries they never do clarify anywhere, and there are at least a couple games that simply left Chuumon out of Sukamon's 3-d model, which is a crime against nature.

The concept of a living turd is fundamentally unpleasant and not at least a little juvenile, but Sukamon's design emphasizes so much goofy monster charm over any gross-out factor that it really doesn't really feel as unsettling as other poop-loving monstrosities. Back in Digimon Adventure, of course, the dub insisted on referring to Sukamon as some kind of "sludge" or even "yogurt-like" monster, which is kind of quaint when you look at the amount of scatological humor kids are exposed to in today's pop-culture environment, where the poop emoji has been elevated to the status of an international icon. Maybe Sukamon was just ahead of his time.



Sukamon's evolutions are where this becomes more of a mixed bag, because while Numemon was long ago granted an entire line of googly-eyed gastropods, Sukamon's only "official" evolution has remained the same since its debut: a buff, plush monkey man who channels Elvis Presley.


I do get the reasoning here, of course. For one thing, monkeys are notorious for throwing feces. For another, pretty much every culture has a concept of someone being "full of shit" or "talking shit." Whereas Numemon attempts to make up for its gross, lowly image with a "cute" teddy bear evolution, Sukamon goes the route of aggressive machismo and now regards itself as a sexy superstar.

Etemon isn't something I find that cool on its own and I do wish there were some more direct variations on Sukamon itself, but I understand where Etemon is coming from, and he makes a fairly funny yet surprisingly threatening villain in the anime only shortly after the defeat of Devimon. We go from basically Satan to just a loud dudebro, and...well, I guess that makes enough sense.

You'll also notice that Etemon wears a doll of Monzaemon on his hip. This is said to be a symbol of their "close friendship," and that's the only explanation we're ever really given.



I'll review these two together, because I basically have the same thing to say about them both. They're two slightly different ways in which Etemon's ego spirals out of control, evolving into either a battle-crazed, metal-plated bodybuilder - one known for "fighting dirty" - or a self-described "Great King of Kings" that only believes he rules anything. Both are funny, and I like that Metaletemon now has a Warumonzaemon plush, but this is another of those cases where Digimon came up with whatever more it could to fill that Ultimate-level hole they went and dug for themselves.

Fortunately, we don't have to end on just a bunch of ghastly monkeys!



Delightfully enough, little Chuumon was eventually given its own independent validity as a Digimon species, first appearing on a number of TCG cards and eventually in the Cyber Sleuth video games as a weak child Digimon that can, of course, evolve into all of the wonderfully putrid "failure" Digimon.

Chuumon without their Sukamon tend to be drawn a lot lankier and skeevier, and I'm kind of torn, because the tinier, pudgier Chuumon is absolutely adorable but the spindlier, gnarlier Chuumon has a superb creepiness factor. In either case, I really adore the simplicity and "crudeness" of the design, like a child's lopsided chalk drawing sprung to life. There's something really appealing to me about how the ears are just drawn like hairy blobs of flesh and that almost no depiction has a symmetrical facial structure.

It's just so totally NOT an "anime-like" character design, and it really highlights what I loved the most about early Digimon. Obviously, given everything it can evolve into, Chuumon is currently the uncontested #1 candidate for the child-level I'd personally want to be paired up with if all this was real life and they ever accepted weirdo grown adults as Digidestined.

Sukamon and Chuumon even get a fairly sympathetic portrayal in Digimon Adventure, first appearing as comic-relief creeps who hassle Mimi for a date, and I'm sure glad they're more or less characterized as a couple of "children" themselves. It's only several dozen episodes later that they appear again, and it's a dramatically more emotional situation that underlines just how much higher the stakes have risen for these poor kids.

You know it's a quality anime when it can trick a generation of kids into crying for a monster that looks at diarrhea and thinks "you know, I AM feeling a bit thirsty."