Premiering in Fall of 2021, Ghost Game was a very different idea for a Digimon anime: a horror series in which a brand new, pervasive hologram technology has allowed digital monsters to leak into reality like electronic "hauntings!" Now nearing the final episode of its first season (or final episode altogether?) Ghost Game has been fairly light on continuity or character development, opting instead for the kind of weekly mystery formula you might expect from its genre. I actually find it varying quite a bit whether a given episode holds my own attention span, but we're looking at ten that stood out to me above the rest for one reason or another, and put them in order from lightest to darkest of my picks!


This was only the second episode in the series, and brings back the beloved Mummymon! Haunting a museum display of actual mummies, he begins to kidnap humans, wrap them in bandages and imprison them in an abandoned subway tunnel. As they beg and plead to be released, Mummymon only argues that what he's doing is all for their own good.

As it turns out, Mummymon has been kidnapping humans he has found alone, late at night, depressed and exhausted on their way home from work, and he happens to consider himself a doctor! It's a fun and appropriate twist on the character, whose design has always incorporated medical motifs that have never really been addressed before. As a sworn healer, he believes he MUST take it on himself to help these poor, sick and tired humans, but having learned everything he knows about our species from the Egyptian mummy exhibit, believing literally that we can transcend to immortality only through mummification.

Our protagonist, Hiro, bluntly tells the monster that humans actually just plain die if you wrap them up and bury them, which Mummymon is hilariously quick to accept, releasing his prisoners only a little dehydrated and starved.

The Digimon came dangerously close to subjecting a large number of people to a hideously slow, torturous death, but now realizing that he has more homework to do, he takes Hiro's suggestion to move his haunting activity from the museum to a modern hospital, and Mummymon will in fact reappear from time to time in the series as an expert on at least the medical treatment of fellow Digimon.


It's the Halloween special! Of course it stars the pumpkin-headed Pumpmon! Harmless and fun-loving in past appearances, we first see this Pumpmon kidnapping a child to wrap them in vines, encase their head in a pumpkin, and then start carving it into a Jack O' Lantern, just barely missing the victim's actual face with his dagger.

Pumpmon is also assisted by a gang of Digimon minions: two Candlemon and two of the pencil-like Ekakimon! Despite having these neat pals, Pumpmon's motivation is apparently loneliness, or at least loneliness for human friends specifically.

Having been invisible to humans for some time, Pumpmon was delighted when the Halloween season rolled by, believing that the celebration had something to do with him specifically, and that human children wanted to be pumpkin-heads like himself. He was happy to oblige, certain that they'd all become best friends!

This is another Digimon whose reign of terror ends as soon as his misunderstanding is explained to him, and despite having just been threatened by him with a knife, the kids agree to consider themselves his friends. Who wouldn't!


This time, we have reports of "human geckos" around the city; noseless, toothless, green-skinned kids with bulging, yellow eyeballs and the ability to scale walls with their adhesive fingers and toes, but these creatures don't aren't Digimon at all, nor do they really bear any resemblance to any Digimon we've ever seen. In fact, it's pretty clear that the "geckos" were once human children.

Stranger still, the reptilian kids are capable of generating intense amounts of heat through their hands - enough to melt through panes of glass - but don't just sneak into homes to make more of themselves. They also steal and swallow jewelry, specifically diamonds of any kind, which they bring back to their Digimon master and regurgitate into one big pile.

That master, strangely enough, is a Salamandamon, a fire-element lizard that was originally one of Agumon's armor evolutions, here in its first prominent anime role since a brief appearance in Xros Wars. The Digimon craves pure carbon to fuel its flames, and believes a diet of diamonds will make its flames burn "more beautifully." It's the touch of its saliva that transforms human beings into half-lizard monsters, but that only raises ever more alarming questions about what exactly Digital Lifeforms are and how exactly they can manipulate actual matter-based lifeforms to such an extreme.

As disturbing as its methods are, Salamandamon is another that needs only a brief battle and a stern lecture to resolve the issue, agreeing to change the children back and accept delicious, graphite pencils instead of diamonds.


In this episode, the kids hear a rumor that a "procession of monsters" - a classic concept in yokai folklore - and be seen on the freeway at the right time of night. This turns out to be a pack of Digimon engaged in a nightly race, with the violent nun-fetish Digimon, Sistermon Ciel, hilariously leading in a go-kart.

Ciel seems to be having a grand old time of late-night karting, even when the reaper-like Metalfantmon appears to reap the digital souls of slower stragglers...something Ciel apparently looks forward to as the "fun" part of the night.

As the other races explain, it all started in good fun until the thrill-seeking, highly competitive Ciel deliberately summoned the digital reaper to just sort of spice things up, without anyone else's permission. They're not only absorbed by the phantom if they fall behind, but will lose their lives if they attempt to quit the race altogether, trapped in a cycle until presumably all of them will eventually be destroyed.

The maniacal, digital go-karting nun is definitely the oddest and funniest antagonist in the series thus far, and the episode escalates rapidly as the kids and their Digimon find themselves trapped in the race themselves...but it all ends somewhat abruptly and mysteriously, as a Tailmon courier - a character we've seen just a handful of times - appears suddenly to open up a portal to the digital world and send the racers back to where they came. Ciel and Metalphantmon cross over together, but we're left wondering what happens to them from there. She at least seems excited by whatever it is.


Moaning Bug differs from most episodes in that the "victims" aren't humans, but other Digimon already in the human world. It's a strange outbreak of viral data that can befall seemingly any Digimon at any time, causing them to sprout antennae and behave like aggressive, scurrying insects.

It's Mummymon along with Clockmon, another redeemed villain of the week, who determine that the subjects are infected by the scales of a Morphomon, a Digimon that can force other beings to share its emotions. The violent, panicked behavior of the subjects, however, implies that this particular Morphomon must be in serious distress.

Tracing the source of the scales to a satellite signal, Morphomon's location is pinpointed as a single computer owned by an amateur computer scientist, who seems to suspect (correctly) that she's discovered a nonhuman sentience and has managed to imprison it in one of her own harddrives. Fortunately, no complex rescue mission is necessary when the culprit is literally just some nerd; Clockmon simply breaks into her home right in front of her and takes the harddrive with him.

Another happy ending to a Digimon's innocent mistake, but it's interesting just how wrong human-digimon interactions can go in this series. Every single monster, even the most benevolent, can pose its own unique threat as the two drastically different worlds continue to clash.


This episode is the first-ever animated appearance by Ex-Tyrannomon, despite being one of the first few dozen Digimon ever released! Together with Warumonzaemon, the two creepy, towering mascot costumes befriend a troubled little girl, Kayono, who feels misunderstood and unappreciated by her family and friends. It isn't actually true, mind you, but the Digimon inflate her ego and egg on her spitefulness, convincing her that she's more important than anyone else and that she doesn't need anybody but her two new hologram friends.

Ex-Tyrannomon's signature Black Matter attack is revealed to have a surprising side effect we've never seen before in Digimon media: an ability to transform human beings into disturbing stuffed dolls. Kayono's father is the first victim, and soon Kayono is hooked on the power high of collecting anyone who "annoys" her as a creepy, blank-eyed Hot Topic mini plush.

The girl's mother is plushified eventually, but holds out a surprsingly long time by complying with her daughter's terrifying new friends; this scene where she's threatened by Warumonzaemon is also the one time in this episode that the bear displays the single eye in his stomach, canonically belonging to the digital lifeform controlling the puppetlike body.

This episode is actually the last one on our list with such a tidy, happy ending, as regular old Monzaemon eventually shows up, and was apparently the whole moral compass of the other two monsters before they became separated. Once he uses his unique powers to calm his creepier pals, every doll turns right back into a human, with no clear memory of the prior events, and even the ones Kayono sliced open are thankfully back in one piece.


Digimon fans already know that this mysterious woman is the human disguise of a classic villain Digimon, making only her second-ever appearance in this form. "Sonya Molena" presents herself as a researcher with interest in the nervous systems of insects and the brains of humans, which is especially not a good sign.

Sonya drops her disguise fairly quickly into the episode, which is actually the first time we've ever seen a transitional animation between the two forms; Arachnemon's last major role in an anime was as one of the main villains of Digimon Adventure 02, partnered with a Mummymon who might not have been so villainous if he wasn't obsessively in love with the big spider. Always a conniving manipulator, this incarnation of Arachnemon has the additional angle of an evil scientist, desiring more knowledge from both Digimon and humans in order to better understand evolution and unlock the secret to taking on a more powerful form.

But how does she get knowledge???

Evil Scientist Arachnemon eats people's brains, and by the time she reveals that information we have already seen her cocoon multiple scientists that we never see again. This is explicitly a Digimon that has murdered multiple humans, which is not unique for this series, but it's easily the most gruesome and horrible method. And is she even right? Does she actually gain their knowledge, or is she just so deranged she believes eating human brains is making her smarter?

This is an episode with no final, tragic twist and no hint at redemption for its villain before she's obliterated, which is unfortunate, because it means she never even gets the chance to meet Ghost Game Mummymon. He's a doctor! Surely he's good enough now?!


This episode begins with a couple of businessmen illegally dumping garbage into a pit that apparently once housed a forgotten cemetary. They fail to notice the greenish ooze slithering around the trash heap, even when it seeps into and reanimated a number of human corpses! Not just greenish ooze, but what appear to be metallic cables! These cyber-slime-zombies even spread digital undeath to living animals or humans with a bite, and once fully turned, zombies mindlessly make their way back to the trash heap where they're drawn in and eaten alive by something unseen. It even spits their bones back out!

If you're up to date with Digimon, the gooey zombies may have already reminded you of Rareraremon, and it's funny, when I made up my own hypothetical evolution for this Digimon, I already suggested that its biomass should be able to create zombies, something not already hinted by any of its bio information before! This one is not only creating zombies, but has been using them to construct its entire physical form.

This is only Rareraremon's second anime appearance, but less than a year after its first and its overall debut. We now also know that it can talk, or at least this one can, but in only broken sentence fragments. As it consumes and absorbs infested victims, it keeps repeating the words live, more, and not enough. Later, it says dark, quiet and crushed. We learn that, prior to its manifestation as a complete Rareraremon, it arrived in our world in broken fragments, further scattered by the illegal dumping operation.

We even get a lovely flashback to tadpole-like crumbs of Rareraremon lurking in trash! But they're not happy that way. It isn't happy to exist at all. In an anime first for the Raremon line, the protagonists feel immediate sympathy for the rotting, malformed monster, and even guilt as they make a decision to destroy it as a merciful act, hoping its data can reincarnate into a better existence.


This episode has Angoramon and his human partner Ruli investigating a mansion whose original owners and many subsequent visitors are said to have mysteriously vanished. There, he finds the mansion occupied by a Digitamamon who happens to be his closest personal friend from the digital world. The two apparently spent many years together engaged in personal research, sharing a love of scientific discovery and the pursuit of knowledge. That kind of feels like a reoccuring theme in this series, even just from the episodes we've looked at here, and actually a major theme throughout much of the Digimon franchise.

This is the first time the egg-like Digitamamon has been given a scholarly, intellectual persona, and it makes sense for a being that supposedly compresses enormous amounts of data into its singularity-like inner form. His wording implies that he, too, is studying the nature of the mansion and its former inhabitants, and he's strangely eager to show Ruli the "interesting" things they left behind while Angoramon is caught up reading. Digitamamon mentions something "shaped like a small human" in a room upstairs, and we're to assume he means the dolls scattered around a child's bedroom, but Ruli also notices an odd, little pile of sand on the floor...

...And only narrowly escapes being pulled into Digitamamon's egg while her guard is down. Confronted by Angoramon, Digitamamon argues with a disturbing nonchalance that he was only going to "eat a little," and now we begin to know why people kept disappearing.

Digitamamon's full story is only more grim from there; content for a while to observe the mansion's inhabitants as an invisible phantasm, he was startled to find himself growing tangible enough to finally be seen and reflexively defended himself. Unfortunately, swallowing foes into its dark inner void is Digitamamon's go-to battle maneuver, which breaks an enemy Digimon down into its base data. When he tried to spit the humans back up, nothing but "sand" came out, and he felt what he considered their "souls" becoming part of him; the most satisfying feeling he ever experienced.

His hunger only worsened from there, irreversibly addicted to the high of consuming human "souls," increasingly forgetting everything else important to him and relying on the Mansion as nothing but a trap. The "sand" is an especially unsettling detail to me; there's nothing that could be but the trace silicon content of the human body, evidently the one thing Digitamamon's black void can't "digest."

The final confrontation between Digitamamon and Angoramon is framed as a disturbing and sorrowful one, as Digitamamon calmly and politely maintains that his opponent should please just step aside while he eats Ruli and her friends. His dialog grows simpler and blunter as their battle progresses, until he's only repeating that he's hungry, that he wants to eat, and his own best friend is reduced to striking him a lethal blow.

This is another explicit case of a Ghost Game Digimon murdering humans, but unlike Rareraremon's nearly mindless desperation or Arachnemon's megalomania, Digitamamon is a formerly intelligent, peaceful monster that unfortunately developed a debilitating new appetite, and more unfortunately lacks the human moral context to see anything wrong with appeasing that appetite. A harsher reminder than usual that Digimon are an entirely "alien" form of intelligence, no matter how anthropomorphic their behaviors or forms can be.


This exceptionally morbid episode begins with an inside view of a child's mouth as an unspecified Digimon forces it open to inject a single drop of a mysterious purple toxin, causing the as yet unnamed little girl to collapse in pain as her leg transforms into a tangle of thorny vines.

The Digimon considers this process a failure, and goes on to repeat the process with a series of other children, connected only by the fact that they've all interacted with the same teenage boy, Yuto. The longer the interaction, the more of the experimental fluid they're fed, converting more of their body mass to plant matter.

That Digimon is revealed to be Ajatarmon, a fairly new plant type Digimon characterized as a jungle warrior and named after a Scandinavian forest spirit. She's been trying to perfect a method of transforming a human into an Ajatarmon like herself, and testing on her perceived "rivals" to eliminate them one by one. But why?!

Ajatarmon first awoke in the human world through the programming of a small robot designed to assist at a greenhouse, where Yuto spends his spare time lovingly tending the plants and even affectionately speaking to them, which Ajatarmon mistook as the human speaking to her directly; encouraging her to "blossom brilliantly." She's completely in love, but she knows she's a very different kind of being from a human, and believes they can only be together if they can both be the same species.

When she finally reveals herself to Yuto and tells her story, she's only told that her plan is too dangerous and can't possibly work. Conceding that this is most likely true, she concludes that she should actually be the one to become a human, injecting herself with her own concoction.

Instead of transforming, her body immediately begins to wilt and deteriorate, and she begins to tear off pieces of her Digimon anatomy in an effort to look more and more like a person.

Ghost Game hasn't been my favorite Digimon series, but it is my favorite premise for a Digimon series, a novel way to explore its supernatural motifs and a rare break from the more cookie-cutter shonen tone of other Digimon series. It has also pushed its promises of "scarier" Digimon farther and farther over the course of its first year, graduating from tamer Scooby-Doo tier resolutions to the deadlier, more deranged villains that a lot of its child audience is already well accustomed to from other popular anime.

Many more episodes creatively reframe classic Digimon as spooky spectral phenomena; a Sirenmon who takes possession of a karaoke bar, a Dracmon that "edits" human beings in real life by editing their social media selfies, and rambunctious gremlin-like Zassoumon who multiply and grow as they absorb water. It's just a shame that so many stranger, more ghoulish Digimon happened to come out in the year before Ghost Game, only to make their anime debut in the much more forgettable 2019-2020 Digimon Adventure reboot. It's also a bit of a shame that only three Digimon lines, those of the heroes, were created for Ghost Game specifically, though we do have yet to see their remaining evolutionary stages, and there's no telling what future episodes may bring if this series sees renewal for another season.