The D-Reaper, also known as the "True Enemy", is a digital lifeform which appears as the central antagonist in Digimon Tamers. It is referred to as "Matador" (Por: Killer) in Brazilian Digimon Tamers materials.
Unlike most inhabitants of the Digital World in Tamers, it is not a Digimon; while Digimon descend from the virtual wildlife system created by the "Monster Makers", the D-Reaper was allegedly created in the late 1970s by the United States Department of Defense, as an antiviral program for the "Creeper" virus. It is possible it is only a descendant of this program, though, which was then known as the "Reaper", and other theories place its origin with the security program used by the United States Department of National Security in the 1980s for their "ECHELON" project. The D-Reaper's only purpose is to purge the Digital World once the number of lifeforms within it surpasses a certain number, and it pursues this goal with deadly efficiency. It is in hibernation deep beneath the Digital World as Tamers begins, but it is reawakened and begins to ravage the Digital and Real Worlds by the end of it. Though it began in an extremely primitive state, it is thought that its ability to become powerful enough to overcome the Digital World was due to its hibernation being so far beneath the Digital World that it actually connected with another dimension.
Despite being a fictional character, the D-Reaper's backstory is linked with real-life events and organizations, such as the outbreak of the "Creeper" virus, one of the first computer worms to spread significantly, and ECHELON, a real, highly secretive worldwide intelligence-gathering network.
Design and conception
When designing the D-Reaper, the head writer Chiaki J. Konaka was looking for an enemy for the show's final story arc that was "an entity that is neither Digimon nor human". In order to create such an entity, he brought together the three foremost designers that worked on Digimon Tamers.
There was Mr. Kenji Watanabe, originator of the Digimon virtual pet and game. There was Mr. Katsuyoshi Nakatsuru, designer of the human characters. There was Mr. Shinji Aramaki, CG Designer as well as a mechanic and character designer. I believed that if these three were to use their imagination and construct the D-Reaper in competition with each other, an enemy character unlike any ever seen before would be born.
Each of the various forms of the D-Reaper was created by one of these artists, except for "Reaper" who was worked on by both Watanabe and Nakatsuru. The general design aesthetic of the D-Reaper was that of a "Digital creature", exemplified in such details as the jigsaw-like fringes of the Agents, and the optic fiber/telephone wire construction of the Reaper and Mother D-Reaper. Konaka remarked that he was especially fascinated by details like the wings on ADR-02. Aramaki was also responsible for the design of the D-Reaper Zone as it appears on Earth.
The Reaper program was created in the late 1970s, allegedly by the United States Department of Defense, before Digimon and even the DigiGnomes, which appeared in the early 1980s. Though this is only set 30 years in the past of Digimon Tamers, in the fast-growing Digital World it is comparable to the Cambrian period (542-488 Ma). It was designed so that whenever the number of digital lifeforms surpassed a set amount, it would delete them to return the Digital World back to a state of nothingness, in order to prevent the Digital World from being overloaded. However, when it was written, the Digital World had a very small RAM size, and while the network has grown exponentially, the D-Reaper's threshold is still based on that early, tiny figure. With nothing to do at the time, the D-Reaper program went dormant and remained deep within the recesses of the Net.
At about this time, the "Creeper" virus infected ARPANET, the network belonging to the Department of Defense. It was deleted by the "Reaper" program, which was allegedly created for only this purpose.
In 1980, the Artificial Life research project "Tierra" began operations. However, the Reaper program causes mass genocide of Tierra's virtual lifeforms whenever they multiplied beyond a certain amount of memory. Throughout the 1980s, the SIGINT system known as "ECHELON" began operations under the leadership of the United States Department of National Security, which built communications bases in various nations across the globe. It is thought that the self-defense program used by ECHELON was a forerunner of the D-Reaper, or the program itself.
By the 2000s, the network had expanded exponentially. This created a huge influx of data into the Digital World, which the Digimon used to "digivolve" and change. Though the system was large enough to handle this load, the Sovereign Azulongmon sensed that it could reawaken the D-Reaper, and with the help of the DigiGnomes he transformed the "Catalyst" program into the form of a Digimon, Calumon. Though this greatly slowed the growth and Digivolution of Digimon, it was not enough to stave off the D-Reaper, which soon reactivated. At the time, though, it was still in an extremely primitive state, and the Sovereigns attempted to find solutions before the problem became too huge.
The D-Reaper kidnapped Jeri in order to learn more about humans, creating its first Agent to lead it to the Real World. The main part of D-Reaper followed the Tamers to the Real World through the Hypnos system and immediately began to spread over Shinjuku, keeping the Kernel Sphere high between the two towers of the Hypnos building, with Jeri sealed inside as its source of energy due to her grief. Only the Biomerged and Mega-Level (like Beelzemon) Digimon were able to fight it until it evolved into the Mother D-Reaper. Eventually, the D-Reaper began a global attack on Earth's electronic communication and most of the Digital World was destroyed by the D-Reaper. It deemed that both races were inherently destructive and therefore unsuitable to live. It called the Cable Reaper from the Digital World to assist it in its work. However, through the combined effort of everyone in Operation: Doodlebug, the D-Reaper was regressed back into its original, harmless state, no more complex than a simple calculator. MegaGargomon reversed the pull of the wormhole the Cable Reaper came through and was dragged back down by the Digimon Sovereigns, exceeding the speed-of-light, as the Mother D-Reaper and all the chaos got sucked into the hole.
Digimon Rumble Arena 2
The D-Reaper is represented in the Chaos Wasteland stage, in which it forms the backdrop of the area. The ADR-01: Jeri Type flies around in the background of the area.
The D-Reaper encountered by the Digimon Tamers is considerably different from the simple computer program it originates from. In the Digital World, the D-Reaper appears in the form of a large, red chaotic mass of slime. Any data contacting the D-Reaper is immediately absorbed and disintegrated. Despite this, Digimon are able to fight the D-Reaper.
In the Real World, the D-Reaper still appears as a crimson mass. However, it can not absorb objects in the real world as quickly. It works slower and adapts to the situation by studying the real world. Furthermore, conventional weapons such as missiles have no detectable effect on the D-Reaper.
To accomplish its goals, the D-Reaper utilizes a variety of forms known as "ADR's", or "Agents of the D-Reaper". Unlike humans and Digimon, ADR's are not individuals, and they all act according to the single consciousness of the D-Reaper. When they operate outside of the D-Reaper Zone, they are connected to it by red wires, similar in function to umbilical cords. When these cords are severed, the Agent becomes much weaker and easier to defeat, and weaker Agents will dissipate completely. Once the D-Reaper creates a new type of ADR, it will continue to use it until it is no longer useful and efficient. The various ADR's are named by the order they are created in, though they also possess codenames based on their appearance and function. The D-Reaper eventually absorbs its Agents as a last line of defense against it's attackers, becoming the "Reaper" and "Mother D-Reaper".
ADR-01: Jeri Type
|D-Reaper ADR-01: Jeri Type|
(デ・リーパー ADR-01: 樹莉タイプ
D-Reaper ADR-01: Juri Type)
|Voice actors||(Ja:) Yoko Asada (Tamers)|
(En:) Bridget Hoffman (Tamers)
The ADR-01: Jeri Type is a Spy Agent whose form is based on Jeri Katou from when she started becoming depressed. It was created in order to analyze human thought, and is the only Agent who can operate outside of the D-Reaper Zone detached from the umbilical cords. It starts out identical in form to Jeri, but can evolve into several variations. It was designed by Katsuyoshi Nakatsuru.
This Agent is created for the purpose of espionage, posing as Jeri Katou while the real one is in the Kernel Sphere. The infection begins when a small portion of the D-Reaper infects Jeri not long after Sakuyamon first appears. It stays dormant while in the Digital World, though it leads to Jeri's thoughts becoming more depressed and fully manifests in her personality once back in the Human World. Takato Matsuki and Guilmon find this Agent masquerading as Jeri in the D-Reaper during one of their assaults on the program. It acts as the D-Reaper's mouthpiece. It wages a mental war against Takato by displaying the information it took from Jeri's memories, dealing emotional damage and keeping him off balance. When Takato is sufficiently weakened, the Agent reveals its true, monstrous form and begins to attack. It is only warded off by MarineAngemon's power. Eventually, when Jeri regains her will to live, it personally attacks Jeri to absorb her energy, but it itself is reabsorbed by the D-Reaper in the same manner.
The Jeri-type serves as the Mother D-Reaper's first line of personal defense, being made of cables and looking almost like Jeri's face, apart from its distorted eyes and overly large mouth. This avatar is able to incapacitate Gallantmon, but he manages to transform into Gallantmon Crimson Mode and destroy the face with his javelin.
The Jeri-Type once again emerges as the last obstacle between the Tamers and the Kernel Sphere. it proves to be quite a challenge for Gallantmon Crimson Mode, destroying his weapons and slamming him into the Mother D-Reaper itself. All the while, the Jeri-Type taunts the hero, saying that humans and Digimon are naturally destructive and do not deserve to exist. However, Takato and Guilmon refuse to give up, calling upon their full strength to break free and declaring they do deserve to exist, but the D-Reaper doesn't. With that, they deliver a devastating punch to the Agent's chest, finally destroying her.
Digimon Rumble Arena
The Jeri-Type appears in the background of the Chaos Wasteland stage.
|D-Reaper ADR-02: Searcher|
(デ・リーパー ADR-02: サーチャー)
Created for information gathering, these small bird-like agents appear in large numbers. They are the only type of Agent not made for fighting. Guilmon tried to have a "staring contest" with one before Takato pulled him away. At first, the Tamers were wary of them, but they soon discovered they were relatively harmless. After the Tamers regained the ability to Bio-merge, Gallantmon was seen destroying many of these.
ADR-03: Pendulum Feet
|D-Reaper ADR-03: Pendulum Feet|
(デ・リーパー ADR-03: ペンデュラムフィート)
The ADR-03: Pendulum Feet is an Antiaircraft Attack Agent. It is the first offensive Agent created by the D-Reaper, and uses its floating extensions to perform remote strikes. It was designed by Kenji Watanabe.
The first Agent of the D-Reaper the Tamers fought, it resembled a stereotypical wraith with a cloth-like body, a pumpkin-like face and cord-like limbs with sickles at the ends. It has the ability to mimic a Digimon's attacks. Built for aerial combat, it had a long-distance pendulum attack. After it was killed by Beelzemon Blast Mode, more appeared after the Tamers regained the ability to Bio-merge, but they were destroyed by Sakuyamon.
|D-Reaper ADR-04: Bubbles|
(デ・リーパー ADR-04: バブルス)
The ADR-04: Bubbles is a Ground Combat Agent. Like the Searcher, it is a small Agent which appears in swarms, but it is able to use the wave motion guns on its arms to attack. It was designed by Shinji Aramaki.
These are small squid-like agents built for ground assaults, these Agents have pulse cannons in their arms and move in groups. They are rather weak and easily destroyed.
ADR-05: Creep Hands
|D-Reaper ADR-05: Creep Hands|
(デ・リーパー ADR-05: クリープハンズ)
The ADR-05: Creep Hands is a Grappling Agent. It is a medium-sized offensive unit, which uses its spiral-shaped, stretchable arms for locomotion and hand-to-hand combat. It was designed by Shinji Aramaki.
This medium sized Agent was adapted for hand-to-hand combat. Its arms were extendable. Killed by Gallantmon and MegaGargomon in the first fight. One later appeared during the final assault on the D-Reaper and fatally damaged Grani with a hit before being destroyed.
ADR-06: Horn Striker
|D-Reaper ADR-06: Horn Striker|
(デ・リーパー ADR-06: ホーンストライカー)
This Agent was a green beetle-like agent with overwhelming strength and the ability to grow to gigantic proportions when wounded. It was very strong and took the combined powers of Sakuyamon, MegaGargomon, Justimon and Antylamon to kill it. They were mass-produced to serve as the second defense of the D-Reaper but were easily destroyed by Gallantmon Crimson Mode.
ADR-07: Paratice Head
|D-Reaper ADR-07: Paratice Head|
(デ・リーパー ADR-07: パラティスヘッド)
|Voice actors||(Ja:) Yoko Asada (Tamers)|
(En:) Bridget Hoffman (Tamers)
The ADR-07: Paratice Head (a mis-transliteration of Palates Head) is a Reconnaissance-in-force Agent. It is large, and somewhat like the mid-boss of a video game. It makes sinister, unpredictable attacks. It was designed by Kenji Watanabe.
The "Paratice Head" (a mis-transliteration of Palates Head) is a Reconnaissance-in-force Agent with many mouths. Its attack patterns were unpredictable, and its mouths speak with Jeri's voice. Killed by Guardromon and Justimon. Another one was killed by Guardromon alone. One of its many attacks is it can fire a red energy beam presumably from one of the many mouths on it or from the tentacles it has on it.
|D-Reaper ADR-08: Optimizer|
(デ・リーパー ADR-08: オプティナイザー)
This giant Agent was a carrier ship and carried Bubbles in its body. It could also fire a powerful blue energy blast from its mouth. Proved to be a difficult opponent for Gallantmon, Sakuyamon, Justimon, and Guardromon to defeat. It was destroyed by Gallantmon when he obtained Grani. A second Optimizer in the finale was destroyed by Sakuyamon's Amethyst Mandala attack.
|D-Reaper ADR-09: Gatekeeper|
(デ・リーパー ADR-09: ゲートキーパー)
This Agent was formed around the Kernel Sphere to protect it. It was assimilated back into the D-Reaper, forming the face of Mother D-Reaper in Episode 49.
The Reaper is an Ability Synthesis Agent. It is the final form of the D-Reaper, created when all of its remaining Agents fuse in order to use all of their offensive capability, exceeding the limits of the D-Reaper itself. It was designed by Kenji Watanabe and Katsuyoshi Nakatsuru, who gave it scythes to symbolize that it is a physical manifestation of Death.
The combination of all the D-Reaper's agents at the Digital World surpassed its own boundaries and was to assimilate with Mother D-Reaper to complete the plan. However, it was dragged back into the Digital World by the Sovereigns, allowing the Operation to begin.
|Voice actors||(Ja:) Yoko Asada (Tamers)|
(En:) Bridget Hoffman (Tamers)
The Mother D-Reaper is an Ability Synthesis Agent. It is the form created when the D-Reaper unifies itself with ADR-01, ADR-09, and the consciousness of the humans and Digimon it has swallowed. Its body is made up of countless cords, optic fibers, and electrical and telephone wires, and when it appeared it swallowed the town of Shinjuku. It was designed by Kenji Watanabe. Its mask resembles that of Lilith in Neon Genesis Evangelion.
Using Jeri's negative energy, the D-Reaper of the Real World underwent an advance evolution, reabsorbing its agents and becoming the Mother D-Reaper. It managed to create more powerful versions of its most deadly agents and swallowed all of Shinjuku, and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, where Hypnos was located. The Tamers managed to get in (via the Red Card) and save Jeri before the Mother D-Reaper fell victim to the Operation. It was sucked into Juggernaut (Shaggai) and regressed back into a harmless program.
- Shoumetsu no Hadou (錆滅の波動? lit. "Wave of Entropy")
- 175mm α Houkai Dan (175mm α崩壊弾? lit. "175mm α Decay Shot")
Chiaki J. Konaka, the head writer for Digimon Tamers, is also one of the writers for the Cthulhu Mythos, and the D-Reaper is primarily based on the ancient horrors of H.P. Lovecraft's work, sleeping until they wake and destroy the world. It also draws from the Rei/Lilith fusion in Neon Genesis Evangelion; like the Rei/Lilith fusion, it seeks to absorb the world in order to eradicate humanity's illogical emotions and negative feelings. Furthermore, the Mother D-Reaper's mask resembles that of Lilith, and at one point it even materializes a giant replica of Jeri's head to attack while the real Jeri is held inside of it, similar to how the Rei/Lilith fusion's mask falls off to reveal Rei's face.
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Digimontamers Resources: D-Reaper Report
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 Digimontamers Resources: ADR Variations
- ↑ Design Works bv Shinji Aramaki
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 Digimontamers Resources: Chronicle of the Digital World and Virtual Creatures
- ↑ D-Reaper ADR-01's None level is treated as equivalent to the Mega level in the Digital Monster Card Game.
- ↑ ADR-01 shares this technique with Starmon.
- ↑ D-Reaper ADR-02's None level is treated as equivalent to the Champion level in the Digital Monster Card Game.
- ↑ ADR-02 shares this technique with Searchmon.
- ↑ D-Reaper ADR-03's None level is treated as equivalent to the Ultimate level in the Digital Monster Card Game.
- ↑ ADR-03 shares this technique with Snimon.
- ↑ D-Reaper ADR-04's None level is treated as equivalent to the Champion level in the Digital Monster Card Game.
- ↑ ADR-04 shares this technique with MetalMamemon.
- ↑ D-Reaper ADR-05's None level is treated as equivalent to the Ultimate level in the Digital Monster Card Game.
- ↑ ADR-05 shares this technique with Weedmon.
- ↑ D-Reaper ADR-06's None level is treated as equivalent to the Mega level in the Digital Monster Card Game.
- ↑ 16.0 16.1 ADR-06 shares this technique with WereGarurumon and ShadowWereGarurumon.
- ↑ D-Reaper ADR-07's None level is treated as equivalent to the Mega level in the Digital Monster Card Game.
- ↑ ADR-07 shares this technique with Gryphonmon.
- ↑ D-Reaper ADR-08's None level is treated as equivalent to the Mega level in the Digital Monster Card Game.
- ↑ ADR-08 shares this technique with Parrotmon and Beetlemon.
- ↑ D-Reaper ADR-09's None level is treated as equivalent to the Mega level in the Digital Monster Card Game.
- ↑ Reaper's None level is treated as equivalent to the Mega level in the Digital Monster Card Game.
- ↑ Mother D-Reaper's None level is treated as equivalent to the Mega level in the Digital Monster Card Game.