The Three Archangels (三大天使 Sandaitenshi; Dub: Three Celestials/Three Great Angels) are a group of three powerful angelic Ultimate Digimon. Their duties include guarding the Kernel of the Digital World and enacting the will and aspects of God.
As part of its preparations for an imminent war with the Fallen Angel Digimon in light of the conflict between virtue and vice instigated by Lucemon, God apportioned its three aspects among three of his disciples, turning them into the Three Archangels, and placed them in command of the Army of the Gods.
The Three Archangels reign supreme at the apex of all Angel and holy Digimon, and are each considered to hold pre-eminent status among a certain subset of these Digimon: Seraphimon is the apex male Angel Digimon; Cherubimon is the culmination of the Holy Beast Digimon; and Ofanimon is an icon of the female Angel Digimon. They—namely Seraphimon and Ofanimon—are said to be distinguished by their possession of ten wings each which, although described as a hallmark of Ultimate Angel Digimon, are not exhibited by any others.
The primary duty shared by all Three Archangels is to guard the Kernel of the Digital World. At one time, at least, they also were the commanders of the Army of the Gods. In addition to these duties, each Archangel also has its own domain and responsibility representing an aspect of God.
Angel Digimon are beings of ultimate virtue, but as a consequence of that extremity, they are susceptible to being tainted by virtue's antithesis, vice. The Three Archangels are no exception: if negative emotions sprout within an Archangel and tumefy as the days pass, they will cause the Archangel to fall to darkness, becoming a fallen version of itself. If the Archangel falls any further, it may even become a Demon Lord Digimon; indeed, two of the Seven Great Demon Lords, Demon and Lilithmon, are said to respectively be a fallen Seraphimon and Ofanimon. However, it is said that in the event that an Archangel falls, a new Digimon will be chosen to succeed the fallen Archangel, and will evolve and take its place.
Design & Analysis
The Three Archangels were first introduced as a group in 2001, as the subject of Starter Ver. 6 of the Digital Monster Card Game. However, two of them—Seraphimon and Cherubimon (Virtue)—predate the introduction of the Three Archangels, as they debuted in 2000 in Digimon Adventure 02: Vol. 2: Transcendent Evolution!! The Golden Digimentals.
The Three Archangels are named after and inspired by three classes of celestial beings which are identified as attending at God's side in the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Old Testament: the seraphim, cherubim and ophanim/Thrones. Much about them is derived specifically from the hierarchy of angels in Christian angelology, as defined in the writings of Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite (De Coelesti Hierarchia) and St. Thomas Aquinas (the Summa Theologiae), including:
- the status of these three classes ("angelic choirs"), in that order, as the three highest-ranking choirs of the hierarchy, who comprise the "first sphere" of angels
- the first sphere being the closest to God and the only angelic sphere in His immediate presence, which the Three Archangels parallel in their role as the defenders of the Kernel/God's domain, and Seraphimon's status as the being closest to God
- the association of the cherubim with knowledge, which Cherubimon (Virtue) parallels as guardian of wisdom
- design cues, such as Ofanimon's armor incorporating wheels
Three other Ultimate Angel Digimon continue the Archangels' Christian angelological theme by also deriving their names or Types from the angelic choirs of the second sphere in the hierarchy: Dominimon (Dominations), Clavis Angemon (Virtues), and Slash Angemon(Powers).
|Archangel||Duties/Domains||Other forms||Mythological inspiration|
(or X-Antibody form)
Ofanimon: Falldown Mode
(or X-Antibody form)
The Three Archangels—Seraphimon, Cherubimon, and Ofanimon—are a trio of Digimon who became the governors and protectors of the Digital World following the defeat of their tyrannical predecessor, Lucemon, by the Warrior Ten. Each held a different responsibility, and were also each entrusted with some of the Legendary Spirits by the Warrior Ten before they entered their sleep:
- Seraphimon was the guardian of law and order, and the holder of the Spirits of Light and Wind
- Ofanimon was the guardian of love and life, and the holder of the Spirits of Fire, Thunder and Ice
- Cherubimon was the guardian of knowledge and education, and the holder of the Spirits of Darkness, Earth, Wood, Water and Steel
For a time, the Archangels kept the peace in the Digital World. However, their working relationship was often rocky due to their backgrounds, as the group consisted of two Human Digimon (Seraphimon and Ofanimon), but only one Beast Digimon (Cherubimon). Cherubimon often disagreed with the thinking of the other two, and accused them of being unable to understand the perspective of the Beast Digimon. Seraphimon and Ofanimon would sometimes have discussions about Cherubimon to try and understand his perspective, but on seeing them having such a conversation, Cherubimon immediately assumed that they were actually conspiring to work only for the benefit of the Human Digimon.
From his imprisonment in the Dark Area, Lucemon exploited Cherubimon's suspicions and animosity toward the other two to corrupt him with an evil aura, and used him as a pawn in his plot to escape. Cherubimon raised an army of Beast Digimon against the Human Digimon and launched an assault on Seraphimon's Castle at Forest Terminal. In the attack, he grievously wounded Seraphimon, and Ofanimon surrendered himself to protect Seraphimon from further harm, creating a barrier to protect Seraphimon and allow him to recuperate.
Despite her own captivity, Ofanimon continued to work against Cherubimon by calling the Chosen Children to the Digital World. Both she and Cherubimon relied on the Spirits to empower their forces—Cherubimon by turning his five Spirits into the Evil Warriors, and Ofanimon by guiding the Chosen Children to collect and use the hidden Spirits entrusted to both herself and Seraphimon. Both sides are guided to Seraphimon's Castle, where the Chosen Children release Seraphimon with their D-Scanners, only for the Evil Warriors to kill him and take his Digicode. The Chosen Children save his Digitama, which eventually hatches into Patamon; on one occasion, Bokomon expresses his belief that having been one of the Archangels may have given Patamon the power to sense and track the location of Minamoto Kouji while he is missing in the Dark Continent.
Following Ofanimon's instructions, the Chosen Children travel to Cherubimon's Castle at the Rose Morning Star and, while fending off Cherubimon, release her from the cage of light in which she had been imprisoned. During the battle, as Cherubimon threatens to defeat all of the Chosen Children and take all of the Spirits, Ofanimon attempts to appeal to Cherubimon's former self and purify him with her power over love and life; although she fails, she uses it as a diversion to seize the Spirits and D-Scanners back from him and return them to the Chosen Children, for which he kills her. With the last of her strength, she evolves Kouji and Kanbara Takuya's D-Scanners, enabling them to Hyper Spirit Evolve and defeat Cherubimon. After Takuya purifies him, Cherubimon briefly sees specters of the other Archangels as Patamon promises that they will meat again, and dies with a smile on his face.
Some time later, after the release of Lucemon, Patamon finds Ofanimon and Cherubimon's Digitamas on the yellow moon. The Digitamas hatch into Plotmon and Lopmon, and they reunite with Patamon as friends and begin traveling with the Chosen Children. The trio demonstrates the ability to project a protective barrier of light, which they use to assist the Chosen Children and carry them through space.
As the Chosen Children prepare for their final attempt to stop Lucemon: Satan Mode from reaching the Real World, the Archangels briefly manifest as specters from their reborn selves to advise the group.
The Three Archangels appear as a collectable card set.
Ofanimon appears in the Scheme of the Demon Lords chapter (策謀の魔王篇 Sakubō no Maō-hen) guiding the protagonist through putting an end to Barbamon's plans. Seraphimon appears later in the same chapter, to help the protagonist to weaken Lucemon: Satan Mode before the final battle.
The Three Archangels besides appear as a collectable card set.
In addition to all three members being playable Digimon, they are the subject of the Three Great Angels 「三大天使」 (Dub: The Celestial Digimon) Medal Collection. Once the Collection is complete, the Medal Man will reward the player with an INT Attach A, a CRT Attach A, and three Full Revival Sprays.
Cherubimon (Virtue) appears.
All three members of the Three Archangels are playable Digimon.
The Archangels are the subject of an optional case in which Seraphimon and Cherubimon (Virtue) hire Amasawa Keisuke, hoping he would help them decide on who will marry Ofanimon, but come up with the idea that whichever of the two defeats Keisuke in a battle will win Ofanimon's hand in marriage, ignoring Ofanimon's objections. Once Keisuke defeats both of them, they promise to someday have a rematch with Keisuke so they can decide who gets to marry Ofanimon.
The trio are the subject of the Three Great Angels 「三大天使」 (Dub: The Celestial Digimon) Medal Collection. Once the Collection is complete, the Medal Man will reward the player with an INT Attach A, a CRT Attach A, and three Full Revival Sprays.
"Three Archangels" is a Type characteristic which is ascribed to all Seraphimon, Ofanimon, and Cherubimon (Virtue) cards (including two promo cards which depict Digimon Adventure:'s Ofanimon and Seraphimon characters, despite that series not featuring the concept of the Three Archangels group). This Type is targeted by the When Played effect of EX1-024 Patamon, giving the player a chance to add a Three Archangels card, among other Angel Types, to their hand from the top four cards of their deck.