Written by Jonathan Wojcik

Thirteen Spooky APPMON!

Models ripped by Theigno!

As we speak, Yo-Kai Watch 3 is currently devouring most of Japan's money while Pokemon: Sun and Moon is gunning for the rest of it, so it comes as quite the surprise to see Digimon, the little monster franchise that only barely could these days, explode with something radically new in the midst of it all. Digimon Universe: Appli Monsters is an anime that debuted October 1st, mere days ago, with its own 3DS game in the pipeline.

As you may have guessed, Appmon are a new category of digital monster born not from computer data, but from mobile apps, and it's kind of surprising the property didn't capitalize on this concept so much sooner. Many of us kids were just barely waking up to this "internet" thing back when we started watching Digimon Adventure on Fox Kids. It really felt like a cutting-edge franchise at the time, and now as if it's only just catching up with the rest of the planet.

If you're familiar with anything I've had to say about Digimon, you know my feelings on its creature designs are fairly mixed. While some digimon are near the top of my "all-time favorite monsters" list, the majority of them post-Adventure have been rather samey cybernetic humanoids ranging from "not my thing" to artistically disgraceful.

Appmon, however, are clearly meant to be their own distinct thing, and we're going to judge the Halloweenest of them on their own merits.


Let's start with the very first Appmon I ever saw, when multiple people sent me a link asking if I knew about it yet. Normally, a blue elf wouldn't really be my cup of tea, but maybe her headgear and delightful hand puppet are already looking wonderfully familiar to those of you with the good sense to be familiar with these things. It's no coincidence, seeing as her main attack is actually called "Leucochloridium."

Do I wish this were actually just a snail monster? Sure. An appmon that just looks like her hand puppet would also be killer. I'll take parasitized snails wherever I can get them, though, and the motif admittedly makes even a blue elf pretty killer. Every Appmon, of course, represents an actual app or category of app, and Mienumon embodies a "stealth" app.


Drawmon, obviously, represents a painting app of some sort, resembling a gooey little gremlin erupting from a paint tube with additional painting mechanisms on its arms. It also sort of looks like a fish monster, and I don't know about the rest of you, but to me, a fish monster feels like a pretty elegant match with a painting theme.


Digimon has a long tradition of sexy BDSM emo devils, and I'm glad it's not only alive and well here in Appli Monsters, but also repeatedly carries a medical theme. Docmon represents a "doctor" app, though that can mean a lot of things, can't it? From an app to diagnose your own system for malware, to an app for self diagnosing your own actual diseases or scheduling health visits. Maybe the difference doesn't matter much to Docmon, especially since his mask doesn't have any eyeholes and his hands can only really do one thing anyway.


So, in case you don't trust the medical advice of a blind, hypodermic armed Lucifer, here's a cold and monstrous robot you'll just have to hope knows what it's doing. Born from a "medical app," which I guess is completely different from a "doctor app," Medicmon clearly draws some inspiration from those cool, creepy Star Wars medical droids.


The last of our "medical staff" appmon, Aidmon is probably my favorite of the three for that great blend of creepy-cute, and even Silent Hill has yet to make me sick of the whole "attractively ghoulish nurse" aesthetic. What's really special about Aidmon, however, is that she can evolve into either Docmon or Medicmon. As cool as it is for this Betty Boop Zombie to evolve into Bishie Needle Satan, I think I'd definitely have to go with putting her brain into a hulking surgical cyborg.


Cardmon here is just a "game" app, so it charmingly resembles an SD card somebody scribbled over into a TCG card, with UNKNOWN stats and beautiful "card art" that's an obvious shout-out to Baikinman. As you may know, ripoffs of Baikinman are Japan's go-to mascot for viruses, in the biological or electronic sense, so you probably don't really want Cardmon anywhere near your sensitive slots and/or orifices.


Yep, we've got an appmon made of drugs and named "DOPEMON." The type of app it represents is just listed as "enhancement." Enhancement for what? The kind of "enhancement" my inbox is constantly spammed about?


This guy calls to mind one of my favorite robotic digimon, Nanomon, A.K.A. Datamon, with basically the same body plan, jagged teeth and maniacally mis-matched eyes, except this guy's brain is just a vending machine full of toys. About the only advantage Nanomon has over this is that Nanomon has some awesome organic flesh parts.

Who do I choose...? Organic flesh parts, or a head filled with mystery toys? It's the age-old dilemma.


My favorite thing about Digimon has always been the "failed" or "broken" Digimon, which traditionally take on various trash, slime or sewage related forms. Appli Monsters continues that tradition with Sakushimon, which resembles a colorful, patchwork ghost. It's different, but it feels appropriate to the style of Appmon, and really looks like the phantom of a botched digital entity.


Speaking of garbage, though, the Digimon Garbagemon has been basically recycled as the manifestation of a "trash app." I do wish that if they were going to reuse one of the garbage digimon, that it could have been one of the main three - Raremon, Numemon or Sukamon - but, okay, Gomimon is still lovable, even if he unfortunately evolves into some completely different construction worker robot-looking Appmon.

Actually, is this even still a system where evolutions are unavoidable and inherently always better? I don't even know. I know nothing of the mechanics of Appli monsters. That's how fresh it is!


How great is this "magic trick" appmon? How great is any conceivable character that is also a hat? A rhetoric question of course, since the answer is an infinite measure. Trickmon is not only a hat, but a hat with a bow tie, accordian arms, and a single ominous, yellow "eye" or "monocle" under his brim, easy to miss when you're probably drawn to the dreamier purple eyes on his hat-body.


This "transmission app," whatever that is, is actually the evolved form of Trickmon, and continues from the patchy, pale skin of some of the nurse and doctor appmon. Warpmon, however, is obviously more of a mad scientist, and I really love that kooky face. It's definitely another Appmon I wish could stay pristine and unchanged forever and ever, but it's also rather wonderful that Warpmon evolves via fusion into a doomsday asteroid dinosaur.


So we've seen a lot of utter cuties here, but I think we've found "the" appmon for me. Representing a virus, rather than an actual app, Viramon resembles some sort of demonic gas-masked robot octopus, and he looks even better in official artwork:

Look at all those wonderful little gas-mask zombie germs. Is Viramon even the "real" appmon here, or just the vessel piloted around by these precious babies? If Viramon follows the logic of an actual cephalopod, then thats its true mouth on the underside, the gas-mask nozzle being strictly for breathing. This would also make Viramon one of the few truly accurate octopoidal monsters in fiction, but if it follows the logic of most other cartoon octopods, then the nozzle is still the mouth, and these germs are emerging from a toothed robotic anus.

My perfect child either way.