Some of these Digimon walk a delicate line between cute and frightening.
Digimon World: Next Order has 232 Digimon. When looking through their designs, it’s easy to dismiss a portion of them right away. Digimon hatchlings are always tiny blobs; small, rotund, cute, but uninteresting. Only when these training monsters begin to Digivolve and grow traits do they begin to display personality.
As a result, none of the little hatchlings appear on this list. It also excludes a lot of rookies since, while they’re often adorable, they haven’t attained their full potential. They must develop into something great, or, more frequently, something very odd.
Some Digimon, in fact, many on this list, do not resemble monsters. Not exactly what you’d expect from a game about gaining buddies. Beelzemon, who sounds demonic, comes across as a 6ft 8″ thief out to steal the planet. Think again if you believed Digimon were supposed to breathe fire or discharge columns of ice from their eyes. Beelzemon is armed with a dual-barrel handgun. With this dude trailing after your tamer, you’d think everyone would think twice, but then he requests to use the potty and his bad boy demeanour cracks.
Gallantmon, a white knight Digimon, appears to be more sword and shield than creature. Nothing is getting through that shield, for sure. Because your tamer is usually a young teen, they can hide behind the shield while your partners charge in and begin beating skulls. In ultra clean minimalist hues, the knightly style here feels like a conventional cartoon aesthetic blended with a bit Gundam.
Nothing compares to a plump rabbit. Everything looks wonderful until you look at those hands. Is it cannons? Is that a grappling hook? Does Gargomon merely hit people with his big metal fists? But look at his face; you’d forgive him right immediately. But take a closer look at this attire, at him, with his small trousers. A strange belt or bandolier wrapped across his midsection gives him a rough appearance. He doesn’t have shoes, thus he won’t be served.
Hackmon adopts the charming styling seen on the rest of the rookies and early hatchlings. While they appear to have a violent side, the large hands, paws, and ears just add to their sweet appeal. But don’t underestimate Hackmon; if their claws start clawing or they charge your Digimon with that horn pointing forward, your team will be maimed. Hackmon walks a narrow line between adorable and murderous.
In Digimon World: Next Order, there aren’t many feminine Digimon. With her fairy elegance, Lillymon fits in nicely. Lillymon, who appears to have grown from someone’s garden, blends the delicate petals of her hat and frock with leafy green wings. It’s up to you if the boots go with the attire, but she pulls it off. She has a charming appearance, despite the fact that she is a valuable member of your squad.
I’m not sure what this Digimon is. Ophanimon appears to be an angel. There’s a heavenly charm here when the gold wings and feathers are combined with a very regal clothing. This is a Digimon that would be right at home in Elden Ring or Final Fantasy. Is it a boss who has become a buddy, or a summon who has been abandoned on the battlefield? This is a monster that appears to have divine judgement not just on the hostile monsters, but also on its mate and even on you as their tamer.
Do you have a fear of clowns? Is Piedmon more of a clown? Whatever they are, they enter each encounter with two swords. That right there is terrifying. Many of the designs in Digimon World: Next Order are based on mediaeval times, and seeing Piedmon demonstrates the design team’s interest in historical archetypes. This, like so many others, walks a thin line between cute and quirky and frightening and dangerous. Those extremely enormous boots, on the other hand, do not sit well with us.
Is it a Digimon, a miniaturised Kaiju, or a villain from Power Rangers? Stingmon stands up to its name; it’s clearly some sort of anthropomorphic bug. This Digimon looks to be designed in the style of modern Japanese pop culture; it wouldn’t look out of place battling a mech over Tokyo’s skyscrapers. Of course, Stingmon is only a little man following you about, offering a bit of kitsch fun wherever you go in Digimon World: Next Order.
Wizardmon is reminiscent of Vivi from Final Fantasy IX. Just glance at that steely stare and you’ll know they’re a black wizard. Drift Boss Wizrdmon’s clothing screams ‘grumpy sorcerer,’ and the skull on his hat is a warning flag. Their scepter/staff appears to be a powerful cudgel if the spells fail to reach their intended victim. The problem is that they’re still cute, so they look like a stupid little boy pretending to be a dark wizard.
It’s difficult to trust any Digimon who wields a weapon the size of half their own torso. This is especially true for Zudomon, who has one huge hand with claws the size of a newly hatched Digimon. Not to mention the turtle-like shell on their back, which appears to be bristling with guns. It’s a good thing they have a sly grin on their face; perhaps this is an attempt to make their tamer feel more at ease. Or it’s a ruse to entice adversaries.