In its normal state, Darmanitan is a mainly red, squat ape-like Pokémon. It has long, bushy flame eyebrows that curl at the base, and round, black-ringed eyes. The upper portion of its tan face is separated from the lower portion by a diagonal red stripe, and its large mouth sports spiked teeth. All these facial features give the impression of a manic or angered expression. Its head has no discernible neck to distinguish it from the rest of the body and its rounded back, which culminates in a stubby tail. It has long arms with spiky hair fringes on the wrists and large tan hands, with a similar arrangement for its hind limbs. Additionally, Darmanitan has three tan ovals on its underside. In its normal state, it is immensely strong physically; a single punch can destroy a dump truck.
During Zen Mode, which is accessed by Darmanitan with the hidden Ability Zen Mode, its red and tan fur changes blue as it bears the resemblance of a Daruma doll. Its eyes turn blank, and its limbs fuse with its body, rendering them immobile. It also only has three toes, as opposed to normal Darmanitan having five. In this state, it is hard as a rock. As it is rendered immobile, it uses spiritual and emotional strength to battle and to perform everyday activities such as gather and eat food.
Darmanitan debuted in Saving Darmanitan From the Bell! alongside two Darumaka. Darmanitan and the Darumaka lived in a clock tower. When the tower started to break, Darmanitan stopped the loose bell from collapsing. However, due to fatigue, it transformed into its Zen Mode and used its Psychic to keep the bell in midair, while the Darumaka stole food to keep its energy up.
N is seen with a Darmanitan in Listening to Pokémon. He was one of the Pokémon in his possession that participated in the awakening of Zekrom. Later, he had a battle with Alder and lost to his Escavalier despite the type-advantage and using Zen Mode.
Ryouga and Miruto were pushed into the home of some Darmanitan by Yappy so he could get pictures of Ryouga's Burst form. After finding out the Darmanitan were protecting some sick Darumaka, they healed them and left.
Darmanitan's physical appearance is based on an ape and the Daruma doll. It is also likely based on the adage of the three wise monkeys—"See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil"—as Darmanitan in their Zen Mode have their eyes become blank, their mouths shut tightly and their ears covered, sitting patiently in contrast to their bold posture in Standard Mode. Its Zen Mode may also be a direct reference to Bodhidharma, achieving enlightenment. The varying presence of pupils between its Standard Mode and Zen Mode reflects the practice of painting in the eyes of a Daruma doll, and their symbolic value in relation to goal fulfillment.
Darmanitan is likely a combination of Dharma (alternate spelling of daruma) and orangutan.
Hihidaruma may be a combination of 火 hi (fire), 緋 hi (scarlet), 狒々 hihi (baboon), Daruma, and 火達磨 hidaruma (the state of being on fire).
In other languages
From 火 hi, 緋 hi, 狒々 hihi, Daruma, and 火達磨 hidaruma