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


While there are still a couple second-season stragglers to look at, I think it's time we dive into Digimon Tamers, the first total reboot of the anime into a different continuity. This series actually took place in "our" world, where digimon was believed to only be fiction, but of course, they were real all along and capable of manifesting into reality under the right circumstances.

Unlike the lighter, kind of rushed Adventure 02, Tamers is remembered as a darker, even more plot-heavy series than the original Adventure, though I'm sorry to say it's the point at which I kind of checked out back in the day. I tuned back in for one of its final story arcs, which we'll be getting to eventually, don't worry, but I unfortunately never caught up on the series otherwise, so a lot of what I'll be saying is going to be based on wiki walks, youtube clips and other second hand information.


So as usual, we begin a new series by reviewing its lead hero digimon. Sadly, I feel like baby stages lose a lot of their creativity by this point in the series. They used to be conceived of as more unique organisms in their own right, but many we'll be seeing from here on out are pretty much just little ball versions of their child stages, and that's that. Eventually, they would cease to even introduce new Baby I stages at all, and most digimon to this day evolve from one of the same handful we've already reviewed.



Another fairly forgettable baby. We've definitely seen both cuter and stranger for this stage, but I guess it serves its purpose.



So here's Guilmon, a kid-sized red dinosaur with bat wings for ears and a lot of odd, black skin markings. It feels more like a fan made digimon than an official one, but...that's canon! This is a digimon "invented" by the series main child, and I actually really like that idea. It's a cute idea, and even the jagged edges of Guilmon's head have more of a "child's drawing" quality to them. Interestingly, this is the first virus type to be the series star, a digimon said to have significant potential for mass destruction!

I actually like the way Guilmon is drawn in the anime, too. It's cutesier, but in an awkward sort of way, like a bumbling dog just getting out of its puppy stage. Having been spontaneously created from a child's imagination, Guilmon also differs from previous digimon partners in its own infantile ignorance of the world, lacking even any prior experience living in the digital universe.



That's supposed to be a "grow" from growl, apparently, and English translations do just go with "Growlmon." The design frankly doesn't impress me too much compared to some of the other dinosaurs we've looked at, but the fact that this is considered a full blown "demon dragon" is another new twist for a hero digimon, and Growmon replaces the childlike wonderment of Guilmon with good old bloodlust.



I wish we hadn't lost the art of "grisly" cyborg digimon. I guess it's kinda fun how much its torso looks like the front of a sports car, at least, and one of its attacks is to apparently impale the opponent on that segmented, metail cable on its back, which is called an "assault balancer," whatever that means. At least this continues to feel like something a kid came up with.



Sorry, but...yawn. An animal-like digimon evolving into a human-like digimon lost its novelty almost a hundred digimon ago. Another of the "Royal Knight" digimon, too, and admittedly it's fairly fun for a dragon to evolve into a knight, but I think we've already seen that before, too.



I reviewed this before, but I hadn't known it was so significant to Guilmon, somehow, so I took it back down and held off on it again until now. This is the equivalent to Greymon's evolution into Skullgreymon, except that as an ultimate stage, it's an "end of the line" bad guy option. Megidramon is said to be one of the digital world's "four great dragons" on par with Qinglongmon, Goddramon and Holydramon, and if you don't remember what those are, I'm sure their names give enough context. Megidramon is THE DEVIL of digimon dragons, or at least was at the time, and it's capable of tipping the balance of the digital world towards doom and devastation just by coming into existence at all.

We've seen a lot of dark twists like that here in the digimans, but it feels a lot darker when the digimon in question was a little kid's creation brought to life like magic. There's even a known possibility of Megidramon evolving into the universe-ending Zeedmilleniumon!

All in all, the Guilmon line really isn't my kind of thing aesthetically, but I appreciate the storyline they were going for; a radical change from the human-digimon partnerships we had previously seen, and I have to say, I also like the fact that this one doesn't have nine majillion different forms and variants to go over. Simple and right to the point.