The D-Reaper, also known as the "True Enemy", is a digital lifeform which appears in Digimon Tamers. Unlike most inhabitants of the Digital World in Tamers, it is not a Digimon; while Digimon descend from the virtual wildlife system created by "Monster Makers", the D-Reaper was allegedly created in the late 1970s by the United States Department of Defense, as a security program for their "ECHELON" project. It is possible it is only a descendant of this program, though, which was then known as the "Reaper". 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 organisations, 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.
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.
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