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



Oh boy. What was I just saying about more marketable, more generic, more "anime looking" designs? Terriermon may have been the moment I realized something had really changed, but today's line takes the cake. You can already tell what we're in for, perhaps, with this little fox-blob.



The cutest and most tolerable thing in this lineage, but that's not saying a whole lot.



Sssiiighh, and here she is, the digimon that changed the fandom forever. Weirdly tall for a "child" digimon, Renamon is kind of simultaneously the Lucario and Gardevoir of digimon, in the sense that a disproportionate number of people seem to consider this thing either the coolest digimon, the "sexiest" digimon, or both. I suppose it's also a simultaneous Lucario and Gardevoir in the sense that I neither dislike it as much as Lucario or like it as much as Gardevoir; I just find the design far too boring. I see a dog standing up, and not a dog that conveys any particular personality, visually.

I feel like the success of this digimon with the fan base might have unfortunately been the final nail in the coffin for digimon's original aesthetics. Once they saw how much money they could make drawing just any old fox or bunny thing, our fate was sealed.

I know a lot of people love this one as a character, though, and for a lot of people this series was their entire introduction to digimon. I don't fault that at all, but it just dropped a lot of things I originally loved about the series, and there are whole swathes of the fandom now who even talk as if most pre-Tamers digimon designs were just a bad mistake.



The evolved form is a little better in the sense that it is decidedly more beast-like, but it's still so. Ordinary. Nine tailed foxes are a classic yokai and culturally significant, so there kind of had to be one in digimon sooner or later, but digimon used to have such a marvelous knack for making even the most conventional tropes stand out.

Think back, if you're a fan or have at least read our previous reviews, to how digimon packaged such classic concepts as a unicorn, a centaur, an ogre, an angel, a devil, basically anything.

This...is every kitsune I've ever seen, but with a couple extra doohickeys on it. What a wasted opportunity. It downright hurts.



Whatmon? Taomon? My brain seems to have scrubbed the entire existence of this digimon from all memory. I feel like this is my first time ever gazing on this thing. It's visually a little more interesting and odd than its predecessor, at least, but still nothing I'm particularly into.



And the finale, once again, goes the "more human means more better" route. Just some woman in some weird armor. Nothing original in this or any series, and later, another victim of digimon's steady march towards ever-cheesier fanservice.

I'll give Sakuyamon a three, however, because it IS the "coolest" looking of this line, at least by way of being another humanoid with an eyeless mask.

I also neglected, or rather flat-out forgot somehow, that the humanoid Ultimates in tamers are fusions between these digimon and their child partners, which is the real reason they're so humanoid.

But it's also the reason these "sexy" depictions of Sakuyamon are particularly unpleasant, unless you just throw out that origin entirely, which seems to be the case when it appears in later video games as just an ordinary, straightforward digivolution.

Renamon's kid is also one of the more popular and complicated characters in the franchise, but I last watched the show when it was a dub airing on Fox Kids. Maybe some day, I'll attempt to watch the entire thing again.