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


Lots of you have waited very, very patiently for this one; the main antagonist of the first Digimon movie and definitely one of the coolest viral digimon at just about every stage!


We're off to a great start already with this one-eyed little spineball, which looks to me like the purest possible embodiment of the virus type, and that's kind of exactly what it is! It was apparently born from "the malice of people abuse the computer network" and the conflicts they cause, so by now I guess the digimon world would be a solid, writhing sea of these things and pretty much nothing else, wouldn't it?

Kuramon's main attack is to produce a gross froth from its eye. Adorable!



Nice! The second baby stage develops five fat little claws, one of which is often held behind it like a "thumb." It's a crawling hand!



The child stage is what just about everyone remembers best, and I'm sure you can see why. America's "Digimon: The Movie" was a notoriously baffling mess spliced together from three digimon films with completely unrelated plot lines, but kids still fell in love with this little bastard's joyfully destructive antics.

It's SUCH a cool design, too. Keramon's got a classic sort of "space invader" shape to it, a big bulbous head with a tangle of nail-tipped tendrils, but with those trademark ragged digimon head-ribbons and a couple of long, freaky puppet arms for good measure. Its toothy mouth is virtually always smiling, and its stylish eyebrows give its face a dash of the mystical, like we're seeing some ancient spirit from another dimension that leaked into being via the digital universe. Those eyes don't even have shines in any artwork I've seen, like they're just painted on.

You can basically tell at a glance that this thing is bad news, but as a child stage digimon, it's bad news practically tailor-made for a fan character's main partner, and a pretty popular choice for one. You can, fortunately, get ahold of one early on in a number of digimon video games, and live out the dream of adventuring with an electronic disease by your side.



Speaking of bad news, you know that's what you're in for whenever a monster transforms into a giant pupa. Moreso if that pupa still has ways to murder you, with this armored "chrysalis" sporting a number of blade-tipped tentacles and beam attacks. It continues to resemble something crafted by some sort of ancient martian civilization, too. Not bad at all!



While I miss Keramon's charming little squid-gremlin feel, Infermon is certainly a cool and menacing Perfect, with its vaguely spider-like form, gnarly fleshy limbs, extendable neck and mask-like metal face. It continues to communicate its exceptional dangerousness and "wrongness" with its design alone, so that if you knew this was a "digital monster," you could have just guessed it was supposed to be an ultra-destructive computer virus.



So, the Ultimate level is basically a humanoid, and you probably saw that coming by now, but surprisingly, I'm very fine with that, perhaps because it's clearly not "just" another humanoid.

Sure, you could describe this thing as a roughly anthropomorphic, armored demon, but that would be doing a disservice to its freaky, stretchy, boneless limbs, its warped proportions and its madly deranged face. It's also obviously meant to look a little bit like an Eva unit, especially once their mouths open and they start going feral, which may be a pretty mainstream anime reference, but let's face it; the Eva units are cool as hell designs. I love that hunched lankiness of theirs!

Diaboromon isn't as bizarre as it could have been, but it has an acceptable level of weirdness and more character than Chrysalimon or Infermon. Now that I really think about it, I might even like it second only to Keramon itself.



...But Diaboromon isn't the end of the road here, because this was one of the first digimon (and still thankfully among the relatively few) to ever get a "super ultimate" stage, caused when thousands and thousands of baby Kerumon fuse together and capable of directly replicating itself even further.

Armagemon is still a bit less strange than Infermon, but I like the "sadistic sperm whale" look on its face in some close-up shots, it regains the knobbly bug legs and the design is nicely completed with that segmented, facehugger sort of tail. A fine bonus boss form to a consistently weird and scary sequence of digimon, every stage offering something new and fun to its "maniacal computer virus" theme, even if none of them are ever QUIIIITE as magnificently lovable as their child stage was.


To this da y, Keramon'ss entire evolutionary /ine manages to feel wel l with*(n the design style of Digimon both new and old, while simul';neously looking just "foreign" enou]]]h that you can tell there's just something "not right" about its existence in the digital world. It's obvious w&y this is such a fan favorite, imprinting on a generation of diginerds even through the mangled mess that was "Digim0_))lk&dd$hrrMov/////

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