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Youkai are a widely-varied collection of various supernatural creatures that pop up in Shinto religion. They have a lot in common with The Fair Folk. Some youkai are good, others are evil, and many are different. Some are mischievous, others avoid humans entirely. Shinto is an animist religion, and youkai are often associated with natural features such as forests and mountains. This word is often translated as "demon" in Western translations, but that does not adequately describe the creatures in question. The closest true Western equivalent is probably that of the ancient Roman genii or spirits.
Supernatural creatures drawn from Western sources often turn out to seem more like youkai in Japanese works. For instance, vampires. In the West you've got Nosferatu -- a grotesque, undead monster who burns in sunlight and murders to preserve his hideous unlife. In Japan you've got exceptionally cute Fan Service protagonist Moka Akashiya, who is not undead, harbors no ill-will towards the sun, and drinks tiny amounts of blood that leave her "victim" light-headed at worst, but who has a Super-Powered Evil Side who can (and will if you look at her the wrong way) kick your ass thoroughly.
Henge, a subset of youkai, are magical animals with Shapeshifting powers and human intelligence. They often assume human form and get into all kinds of mischief. Kinds of henge include Kitsune, Tanuki, and Nekomata.
Obake is another Japanese word that can indicate some type of monster. Derived from the word for “to change,” it generally covers the subset of youkai that includes shapeshifting animals and Animate Inanimate Objects. Confusingly, however, the word obake can also be used to refer to ghosts, also known as yuurei. See Stringy Haired Ghost Girl for more information.
The list presented below is by no means complete. Many types of Youkai are exceedingly rare to find in modern media and so are not included. On the other hand, Kitsune, Kappa and Tanuki have garnered enough examples to warrant their own pages.
Nekomata: A seemingly ordinary cat that develops magical nature through long life. It looks like an ordinary house cat, except for the tail, which splits into two at half-length. While much smarter than it used to be, a nekomata remains just as whimsical, which may be dangerous with its new found powers of illusion and Necromancy. It's said a cat will become a nekomata after turning 100 years old, where upon its tail splits, it starts using human speech, some how gains transformation powers, a greater intelligence, and other odd abilities. The name is often used and confused for catgirls. May be a Mega Neko.
- The two tailed demon-beast in Naruto is a two tailed cat.
- Espeon in Pokémon is based off of this legend.
- Chen and Orin from the Touhou Project
- Orin, though, is a Kasha, a different type of youkai cat.
- Found in the Disgaea series (and are used in quick leveling tricks in BOTH the first and second ones). They are more Cat Girls, however.
- Natsuki, the Catgirl protagonist of Hyper Police is revealed to be a nekomata in a moment of anger (her tail splits in two)
- Tora of Ushio and Tora is named for his tiger-like appearance.
- Kirara in Inuyasha.
- A monster type in Wild Arms 2.
- A common demon/Persona in the Shin Megami Tensei franchise.
- One of the forms of the thing inside Touko's briefcase in Kara no Kyoukai.
- Jubei and his daughter Kokonoe (a Catgirl version of this) in Blaz Blue, although they're called 'Grimalkins' in-universe. Appropriately, the latter does bring people back from the dead, although since magic is commonplace in that world she uses science to keep the mysterious powers theme. Iron Tager is the result.
- In Mokke, one episode centers around a nekomata.
- The X-Antibody version of Tailmon from Digimon is two-tailed.
- One of the protagonists of Omamori Himari is a shapeshifting cat.
- Rin's familiar in Blue Exorcist is one, and can grow to become gigantic.
- Comparing to other werecats in The Monster Girl Encyclopedia, Nekomata's rather tame and even give up on a man should he refuse her advance. She's still a monster though, and will eventually assault her prey to take his spirit energy. Unlike in myth, Nekomata in this series are being ones since birth. And since this world is full with Cute Monster Girl, her form become inverse, with human form being true one.
- Nekogami Yaoyorozu: Mayu and Sasana as well as their family are cat gods.
Tsukumogami: inanimate objects that come to life after a hundred years. These can range from weapons to clothes to umbrellas (karakasa). Strangely, they avoid electrical energy in common folklore from the 1940's and it is said that no modern object could ever become a Tsukogami.
- In Love Hina, there is the Tsukumogami called "Moe", a near life-sized doll/puppet who comes to life about halfway through the series, disappears after spending some time with Keitaro, and reappears in the sequel OVA Love Hina Again.
- Asagiri no Miko has two Tsukumogami among its characters.
- Ichimoku Ren from Hell Girl is a tsukumogami; specifically, he is the spirit of a sword. He was given a human form by Enma Ai, so he could better work for her.
- Omamori Himari features as one of its protagonists a tsukumogami based in an English teacup.
- The Luggage from Discworld acts a lot like a tsukumogami, and even comes from the Asian Fantasy Counterpart Culture, though it's actually made of "Sapient Pearwood".
- Bob from Bob in a Bottle disguises himself as one, sometimes.
- A variation of tsukumogami, known as The Animated, are the primary enemies in the Gaia Online MMO: zOMG!. Players can encounter animated Cotton Balls, Garlic Cloves, Purses, and even imperialistic Lawn Gnomes. Other enemies (including other youkai) exist as well.
- Several Pokémon appear to be based on tsukumogami. These include Magnemite (magnets), Voltorb (Poké Ball), Gardevoir (possibly anesama ningyou, a style of paper doll), Shedinja (the discarded exoskeleton of a Nincada after it evolves), Nosepass (Moai statue), Baltoy (shakokidogu), Shuppet (teru teru bozu, a Japanese paper doll resembling a ghost), Banette (Voodoo doll), Bronzor (a bronze mirror), Bronzong (a bronze bell), Rotom's forms (refrigerator, lawnmower, oven, fan, washing machine), the Klink line (gears), Darumaka and Darmanitan (Daruma statues), Trubbish and Garbodor (garbage bags), Litwick (candle), Lampent (lantern), Chandelure (chandelier), and the Vanillite line (ice cream cones). Though one would wonder how a candle or an ice cream cone would last the required hundred years without melting long before them.
- One Urusei Yatsura episode features a karakasa having a feud with a sentient raincloud.
- During one of the School Festival episodes of Azumanga Daioh, as the girls ponder Osaka's idea of an obakeyashiki kisaten ("haunted cafe"), they imagine Osaka dressed as a karakasa.
- A Karakasa is a regular boss in Kirby games.
- Karakasa appear as enemies in one of the Pumpkin Zone stages in Super Mario Land 2 Six Golden Coins.
- In Touhou Project, there is a character named "Kogasa Tatara" who is a Karakasa. However, the umbrella creates a projection of a human-like body to carry around the Umbrella.
- Medicine Melancholy may or may not be a doll tsukumogami.
- RIN-NE features a "tsukumogami sticker" which when placed on an object gives it the ability to talk.
- The Karakasa appears as sword-wielding umbrella men in Muramasa: The Demon Blade.
- In Catherynne M Valente's The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making", September is attacked by a bunch of these on the Marquess's orders.
- There's a one volume manga called Tsukumo Happy Soul that involves tsukumogami. while some are fairly normal, the main character's tsukumogami is a pink vibrator she inherited from her mom that can turn into a boy. it is a bit ecchi, but it ran in a shonen magazine so it's more gag ecchi.
- The Anthology Border Town contains the short story "Demon" which has a tsukumogami in the form of a teapot.
- This can be the only explanation for a good half of the monstrosities strewn throughout Steve Moraff's Dungeons of the Unforgiven.
- Rosario Plus Vampire: Kozo from the Fan Club Coalition.
Oni: These are mountain spirits that share some things in common with trolls and ogres. The word is almost always translated into English as "demons" or "ogres." They are sometimes depicted as good or bad, but are usually morally neutral and interested in their own affairs. They prefer huge bludgeoning weapons and hide loincloths. Sometimes blamed for streaks of misfortune. Others work jobs in Fire and Brimstone Hell. Know the different kinds!
- A few side characters (The Ogre Triad, the winner of the final tournament, etc.), and probably Jin and Shishiwakamaru, of Yu Yu Hakusho.
- A few appear in Ushio and Tora.
- Suika Ibuki and Yuugi Hoshiguma, both from the Touhou Project
- The benefactors for the heroes of the Onimusha series, worse demons killed them off so they gave their power to humans. The Gameboy Advance "Onimusha Tactics" game gives nod to the different versions by stating that some escaped this fate by getting jobs in the Underworld.
- King Enma and his underlings in Dragon Ball, mostly bureaucrats working in
- Lum from Urusei Yatsura is a variation -- she's an alien, but of a race obviously related to folktale Oni.
- To some extent, Kamen Riders of Kamen Rider Hibiki are all called Oni who fought the Makamous with martial arts and the power of music.
- One of the Transformation Rays in Keroro Gunsou essentially turns people into Oni, by cheaply slapping on Oni features, arming them with clubs and turning their clothes into hide loincloths. Female victims tend to wind up looking like Lum.
- Drahmin and Moloch from Mortal Kombat, though In Name Only (like many other Japanese-named things in Mortal Kombat, by the way)
- Tarakudo and the other Oni Masks, the antagonists of season 4 of Jackie Chan Adventures.
- Meisuke "Nube" Nueno sealed an Oni in his left hand, and it becomes the signature element of the series. Two other Oni show up, younger siblings of the former, with vastly different agendas. Nevertheless, they are all presented as supremely powerful, destructive demons and the greatest threats to appear in the series.
- Kyousuke and Touka Kishi of Yozakura Quartet
- One set of Magic: The Gathering featured various Oni. They were classified as Demon Spirits and looked vaguely ogre-like, but they were also served by actual Ogres.
- Oni are the template for ogre magi in Dungeons and Dragons (in fact, one early Sourcebook referred to them as "Japanese ogres"). In 4th Edition, they decided to just call ogre magi "oni" and be done with it, though in the 3E Oriental Adventures, oni are a very wide grouping of demonic monsters that merely includes ogres.
- Oni in Pathfinder are evil incorporeal spirits who manifest into material form, using various humanoid races as templates; the traditional ogre mage, of course, is based on ogres. The most powerful oni are the yai, based on giants.
- Mion from Higurashi no Naku Koro ni has an Oni tattooed on her back out of family tradition.
- The final level of the "The Islands" region of Little Big Planet is called "The Terrible Oni's Volcano". Appropriately enough, the final boss is an Oni made of Fire Material.
- The first Summoner game takes place partially in the empire of Orenia, a fantasy setting based on an amalgamation of China and Japan. Oni appear as random monsters, but are concentrated in the Forest of Lianshan, where they are said to be the cursed spirits of humans who turn bestial over time. Killing them doesn't remove the curse, and their monster forms will reappear after a time.
- The Godzilla enemy Gabara from Godzilla's Revenge is based on an Oni and appears knobby, cat-like, and has a 3 pointed horn atop its head. Also, it channels lightning through its fists.
- Onimaru and (briefly) Yaiba when they got possessed by Fujin and Raijin. The former grew more muscles and horns, while the latter becomes all spiky and electrified.
- Oni of various kinds appear in Muramasa: The Demon Blade. One of Momohime's bosses is a huge, orange Great Oni, the boss of all the Oni.
- Ogremon of Digimon - though initially portrayed as an evil minion, later on it was revealed to have no interest in anything other than fighting Leomon and allies with the protagonists to help achieve that possibility. There's also Fugamon and Hyogamon, but they've never played anything more than bit parts and thus were never similarly characterised.
- Appear as enemy assassins in Guild Wars: Factions. They serve the greater demon Kanaxai who dwells in The Deep.
- Kamikurimusi is essentially The Monster Girl Encyclopedia version considering she beats up the game's endboss and lives out the rest of her life with him. D'aaaw.
- The world of Mooshu from Wizard 101 has Oni as corrupting forces that take advantage of when the Emperor is injured. They possess the bodies of powerful warlords. Like demons from other worlds, they look like anthropomorphic Indian elephants
- Ririchiyo and Shoukin from Inu X Boku SS
- Shin Megami Tensei has not only the basic Oni footsoldier, but even several of the more powerful named Oni, such as Ongyo-Ki and his gang.
Yuki-onna: Literally meaning "snow woman", Yuki-onna appear as beautiful women in snowy, cold, or mountainous regions. Some incarnations sleep with lone travelers to steal valuable body warmth, others will simply make them get lost during their travels to freeze to death, yet others will kill travelers by tricking them into touching them or a baby they hold in their hands. More benevolent Yuki-onna will either lead the victims to safety or leave them alone; the more wicked ones will lead them astray to begin with and use them.
- Mizore from Rosario Plus Vampire.
- Letty Whiterock from the Touhou Project
- Yukina of Yu Yu Hakusho, technically Hiei, Toya may be some relation.
- Summon monster Shiva of Final Fantasy. Also, more directly, the enemy "Snow" in Final Fantasy VII.
- Appears as a monster in the Dungeons and Dragons "Oriental Adventures" supplement.
- One of the teachers from Akazukin Chacha was a Yuki-onna.
- The Marvel comic series Blade had a tribe of vampires that could turn themselves into ice shards and had mild control over weather alongside their normal vampire abilities called Yuki-Onna. of course some (if not all) of them were male.
- The Pokémon Froslass. You even meet one as a boss and its gallery of frozen victims in a spinoff series.
- Yukime of Hell Teacher Nube. Notice a trend? Thing is, this particular Yuki-Onna is a Clingy Jealous Girl in a Love Triangle over Nube's affections, and is generally friendly and nice unless you get on her bad side.
- The Yuki-onna Effect in Yume Nikki.
- Non-Japanese example: The Velvets from Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere are very clearly related - one offers to guide the protagonists to Islington's hall and steals Richard's heat with a kiss. The Marquis makes her give it back, though.
- Oyuki from Urusei Yatsura.
- One appears in the segment "The Blizzard" of Akira Kurosawa's Dreams.
- Sode no Shirayuki ("snow-white sleeve"), the spirit of Rukia Kuchiki's sword in Bleach's anime adaptation.
- Tsurara, the Yuki-onna from Nurarihyon no Mago.
- The Yuki-onna appears in Muramasa: The Demon Blade. They fly and, unlike popular images, they're quite buxom.
- Franken Fran has that chapter's patient end up living with one. She's the less-hostile variety.
- In The Monster Girl Encyclopedia, Yuki-Onna use blizzards to lure men to their cabin. She will treat a man with home-cooked meal and warm reception, then seduce him. Should he reject her, she will use ice breath which cause him a terrible cold, and the freezing man will seek warm touch from her. Yukiwarashi, a child Yuki-Onna, will sometime visit human village and play with human kids. Should she has interest in a boy, the Yukiwarashi takehim as her husband once she become Yuki-Onna.
- Yukinouji from Inu X Boku SS.
- Yuki Jyorou from Shin Megami Tensei.
Tengu: Mountain-dwelling crow spirits whose human forms originally had beaks, but have become phallically large noses. Long-nosed Tengu are red-skinned and humanoid, Karasu Tengu are anthropomorphic crows. May be cited as the origins of obscure martial arts training, particularly with ninjas. Other common features include long white hair, wooden sandals, and carrying large fans or parasols.
- Setsuna from Mahou Sensei Negima is half "bird tribe". They never say the name, but they have encountered a full Bird Tribe Demon and it resembles the classical tengu.
- Aya Shameimaru and Hatate Himekaidou from Touhou Project. Momizi Inubashiri is also listed as a tengu, but she is of the white wolf variety instead of a crow. It could be that she is a Tiangou, a dog-like creature from Chinese mythology that's related to the Japanese tengu.
- Naturally, Tengu Man from Mega Man 8. He has a long red nose and wields the power of wind.
- Okami has the crow-like version ("Crow Tengu"), and the long-nosed version ("Great Tengu").
- The boss in Dead or Alive 2, and returns as a playable character in the fourth installment. His skin is dark black, with white facial hair, and a very long nose.
- Mr Karate disguises himself with a Tengu mask in Art of Fighting and a couple of King of Fighters cameo.
- Both Haruka and Sugino in Tactics are tengu - Haruka is known as the Oni-eating Tengu before he is named and bound by the protagonist. Sugino fights with the traditional feather fan that magically raises huge gusts of wind, while Haruka carries a monk's shakujou with a spiked base. It's also stated that while Haruka was born tengu, Sugino became a tengu through arrogance and hubris--a genuine folklore reference.
- Yotsuba meets Jumbo dressed as a tengu boss during the cart-pulling festival of Yotsubato!. She's young enough to find it scary, even though she knows it's a mask.
- One episode of Samurai Champloo features a cult of fanatical sohei (warrior-priests) who disguise themselves as tengu to waylay travelers. In Real Life, the legends of the tengu probably originated from sohei.
- One of these is a miniboss in MadWorld. Or at least, a guy dressed like one. He uses ninjutsu, and appears in stages and stage segments with ninja.
- Father-Mother appears to be inspired by this, if not explicitly based on them. He/She sports the phallic nose, and general crow theme.
- Kurama-hime from Urusei Yatsura is a Cute Monster Girl version of the Tengu (though she trades the long nose for little crow wings on her head and is thusly an avian Petting Zoo People). She's also served by more traditional Karasu Tengu (which are runty little humanoid crows).
- In the Shoujo manga Black Bird the male "romantic" lead is a tengu, as well as all his pretty-boy relatives. Other spirits also fight with him for the protagonist, because drinking her blood gives a spirit immortality and marrying her brings prosperity to his clan.
- Shiftry from Pokémon. Oddly, this tengu does not have any real relation to crows, but it does have a large nose and giant fans for arms, which tengu were known to hold. It also has the long hair and wooden sandals characteristic of them.
- Karatenmon from Digimon.
- Joe Musashi fights a crow tengu Mini Boss in the first stage of Round 6 of Shinobi 3.
- In Kekkaishi the main character helps the great tengu god to make an offspring.
- In Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3, the Empire has the Mecha Tengu/Jet Tengu, an anti-infantry skirmisher and air superiority fighter with a long nose. The Command and Conquer wiki explicitly points the connection to the mythical beast, calling it a half-bird half-man with a long nose and a bad temper.
- In Nurarihyon no Mago there a big amount of them, being show not only as the big nosed old men, but also as humans with crow wings or small anthro crow creatures.
- Some fans have referred to Shishiwakamaru of Yu Yu Hakusho as this.
- Kurama from Kamisama Kiss.
- The Tengu from Guild Wars are native both to the European-style Tyria(where they are universally hostile) and to the Eastern-themed Cantha(where one clan is friendly). A branch family modeled after the quetzal bird can be found in the Tarnished Coast.
- The tengu clans have reunited in the sequel and formed a neutral nation of their own, the Dominion of Winds. Due to years of being treated as monsters and their recent forced exile from Cantha, the nation is understandably reluctant to make allies.
- XxxHolic features the “Kurasu Tengu,” who look like yakuza children on flying skateboards.
- Achaea has wild Tengu in one of the forests. They appear as winged black kittens, and are about as cute as you'd expect flying kittens to be.
- Bleach has Love's zanpakuto modeled after a Tengu's nose, being absurdly large and being named Tengumaru.
- SCP Foundation-746.
- Japan Tengu Party Illustrated.
- One of the first story arcs in Yaiba features a village which is infested by a mischievous Tengu who steals their food. It's actually revealed to be Musashi with a Tengu mask on.
- The Mountain God in Hell Teacher Nube has several Tengu as his minions, and he often uses them to sever Nube and Yukime's bonds to one another. One of them almost succeeded in killing Nube using its giant wind-blowing leaf, which it first used to blow bad daydreams into Nube's mind and then went for the more direct approach of blowing Nube onto the train tracks as a train sped by.
- So far, only Karasu Tengu appear in The Monster Girl Encyclopedia, although their profile does mention Daitengu. They mostly avoid human, but will kidnap men during mating season. They only seek a Nice Guy, and can be driven away simply by verbal insult.
- Represented in the Monster in My Pocket line.
- Tengu are present in the mountainous regions of Muramasa: The Demon Blade. Both purple/black and red/white varieties look roughly 50% human and crow. The red/white ones explode when killed.
- The later Monster Rancher games have the Raiden family of monsters, which, though named after the god, are clearly modeled on tengu, with their birdlike faces and mastery of martial arts.
- In the Movie and third season of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Tengu warriors (spelled Tenga in season 3) acted as footsoldiers for the bad guys. Their designs favor the crow aspect of the myth, as opposed to the human.
- There is also a Monster of the Week in the third season of MMPR (Professor Long Nose) whose design adheres more to the classic tengu image.
- Shin Megami Tensei, like the oni example above, has several types of Tengu running around: from tiny annoyances (Koppa Tengu), to evil corruptive spirits (Karasu Tengu) to competent, powerful warriors (Kurama Tengu), each modelled after a different branch of Tengu.
Baku: A relatively benign example, being a tapir-like monster that eats bad dreams.
- The second Urusei Yatsura movie and the chapter/episode it was loosely adapted from feature a baku.
- Nightmare Inspector has a baku for a main character, who helps rid people of their nightmares in return for being allowed to eat said nightmares.
- Baku make an appearance in The Sandman: The Dream Hunters.
- In Final Fantasy VI, when a character wakes up from Sleep status on his or her own, a small baku comes by to "eat" their dreams away.
- The Pokémon Drowzee (and by extension, Hypno), Munna, and Musharna are baku. Munna and Musharna also take cues from cartoon "dream clouds".
- The elephant-like creatures in the Chamber of Birth in La-Mulana may or may not be baku.
- YU+ME: dream contains "a giant elephant-ram-boar-bear thing with purple hair" called a baku. It does live in the dream world, and attempts to eat the main characters' party.
- Tapir, the wizard from Cocoron, eventually turns out to be a baku who you have to fight in the game's final battle.
- Dark Cloud 2 / Dark Chronicle features a mini-boss in Starlight Canyon called the Memo-Eater, an obese monster with a tapir's nose that possesses a girl and eats her memories.
- In Naruto a Baku appears as Danzou's summoning and looks like a huge, tuskless fierce elephant, able to suck anything in his trunk.
- The baku from Hell Teacher Nube instead of being a benign creature that ate nightmares, ate good dreams and left its victims in a state of utter, suicide-inducing despair. It was actually composed of hundreds of tortured souls who moaned and writhed in the vague shape of the tapir.
- Bakumon of Digimon, goes by the name Tapirmon in the dub.
- The Final Boss of Parodius for the MSX is a baku named Bug (a Punny Name that works better in Japanese).
Kamaitachi: Weasel-like creatures that attack in trios: the first one knocks down a traveler with a gust of wind, the second cuts the traveler with its sickle-like claws, and the third applies an ointment that stops the bleeding, leaving the victim with bloodless but inexplicably large and painful wounds.
- Naruto: Temari a special technique that involves summoning a kamaitachi. She is the wind user, while the Kamaitachi does the cutting. The only time it was used, the opponent was too dead to notice if the bleeding had stopped.
- One of the Geomancer skills in Final Fantasy Tactics is a wind attack called Kamaitachi that can trigger the Paralyze (i.e. Don't Act) Status Ailment.
- Among the first enemies Sir Arthur faces in Ghouls 'n Ghosts are kamaitachi, depicted as small floating creatures with scythes that turn into tornados.
- Sneasel and Weavile from Pokémon are kamaitachi.
- Mienshao also resembles one, except without the blades.
- In La-Mulana, Kamaitachi first shows up as a Mini Boss in the Graveyard of the Giants, and reappears in Hell Temple.
- The tenth movie of One Piece feature, among the other creatures under Shiki's rule, the Tsujigiri Itachi (killer weasel) and they actually wield small scythes with blades made from a Kenju (sword-tree) leaf.
- The kamaitachi show up in Hell Teacher Nube in all their glory: the eldest sibling carried a cudgel to knock people over or inflict severe bruises; the middle sibling's forelegs were shaped like absurdly sharp blades which could literally cut up anything and anyone; the youngest carried a jar filled with a mending balm. Makoto inadvertently took the latter as a pet, and, as the elder ones tried to find it, they brought catastrophe to the town --nearly killing Nube by slicing him in half until Makoto finally released the younger kamaitachi and it healed the teacher with its balm.
- Digimon World 3 Kyuukimon (not to be confused with the aforementioned Kyuubimon) and Reppamon of Digimon.
- Muramasa: The Demon Blade features a series of swords, going from 3 Kamaitachi to 5 Kamaitachi. The user spins holding the sword out in a rainbow like arc, and the number indicates the total of clones plus the user that use the move.
- The Mink Noise from The World Ends With You are based on Kamaitachi. All of them have long claws and a tendency to make themselves into whirlwinds. There's even a pair fought together as an Optional Boss.
- Itaku from Nurarihyon no Mago is a kamaitachi that can appear as a ninja or as a weasel-faced demon.
- Izaya from Durarara jokes that he's a kamaitachi after shaving a thug's head with his knife in a split second.
- A wind fusion attack from Persona 2.
- The third player character in The Ninja Warriors Again.
Tsuchinoko: A snake-like creature with a long, wide body. It is mostly harmless to most people, unless awoken from its sleep as its venom can fell a man instantly.
- You can catch a tsuchinoko if you're lucky in Metal Gear Solid 3 Snake Eater. Which is odd, since it takes place in Russia. The team congratulates you when you do and you get an achievement (in the HD remake).
- The Pokémon Dunsparce is a tsuchinoko.
- Several shorts exclusive to the Seikimatsu Occult Gakuin DVDs center around a pet tsuchinoko kept by Maya and Ami.
- A particularly elusive enemy that serves as a Metal Slime in Castlevania Aria of Sorrow. Not because it drops a lot of money if killed, but because possessing its soul reduces prices at the shop.
- In Touhou canon, specifically Strange and Bright Nature Deity, Marisa adopted a rather cute tsuchinoko as a pet after chasing it out of a fairy's house.
Nurikabe: A monster that takes the form of an animate section of wall. It has the power to turn invisible, and likes to use this power to impede travelers.
- During one of the School Festival episodes of Azumanga Daioh, as the girls ponder Osaka's idea of an obakeyashiki kisaten ("haunted cafe"), they imagine Chiyo dressed as a nurikabe.
- In Okami, there’s a family of nurikabe that go by the name "Blockhead." They claim to be "the only one", though.
- In Final Fantasy VII, the Demon Wall you encounter in the Temple of the Ancients acts like a nurikabe, aggressively impeding the exit for our heroes (as opposed to acting as an Advancing Wall of Doom like its other incarnations throughout the series).
- Wall Face and Doom's Wall from Secret of Mana
- Whomp from the Super Mario Bros. franchise are based on the nurikabe.
- In the Punky Brewster episode "The Perils of Punky", Allen is taken by the spirit and turned into one.
- One appears in episode 2 of Inu X Boku SS
Rokurokubi and Nukekubi: These two creatures are Humanoid monsters, the Rokurokubi are human by day but have extremely elastic necks during the night, while nukekubi can detach their heads from their necks and float away in search of human flesh.
Rokurokubi and Nukekubi Examples
- One Hellboy story has him accidentally running across a household of Nukekubi. Needless to say, he hits them and pokes fun at them. The story was imported word-for-word into the OVA Hellboy: Sword of Storms.
- Sword of Storms also has female Rokurokubi show up later as well.
- In Yu Yu Hakusho, one demon that showed himself to Yusuke after the Hell Tournament Arc, with news on his demon ancestor was an example of a Rokurokubi with his surprisingly human looks for a demon. It was night time as well.
- Rokurokubi are a HUGE part of Hell Teacher Nube, as the Genre Blind Miki insists on trying out techniques for astral projection and, instead, ends up turning herself into a rokurokubi. She's unable to control this state at first, and honestly believes that Nube, as the resident exorcist, will kill her because she's become a youkai, but he simply shows her how to control this new side of herself and the ability to extend her neck (sometimes across town) becomes another aspect of her personality... one that she uses incessantly to play pranks, annoy others, and, in at least one occasion, save the lives of herself and her friends.
- The Fighting Fantasy gamebook Sword of the Samurai had the protagonist visit an entire village of nukekubi, though the book mistakenly referred to them as rokorokubi.
- In the Punky Brewster episode "The Perils of Punky," Cheri is taken by the Spirit and turned into either a rokorokubi or a nukekubi (you cannot really tell),
- Rosario Plus Vampire: Kubisaki from the Fan Club Coaltion is a rokurokubi.
- Kubinashi from Nurarihyon no Mago is a nukekubi.
Tsuchigumo and Jorogumo: These spiders are monstrous in size (as big or bigger than a man) that can take human form to seduce travelers. Jorogumo uses a lure to attract travelers to feed her offspring, she often has the power to allure men with a song. Others act as a Shapeshifting Lover. Tsuchigumo can also use illusions to keep his webs hidden and make people ill in order to feed on them.
Tsuchigumo and Jorogumo Examples
- The Ero-Game Atlach=Nacha has a Jorogumo attempting to blend in with human society. She doesn't do very well with men, but meets a very nice girl...
- Yamame Kurodani from Touhou Project is a Tsuchigumo.
- Appears in the Yu-Gi-Oh! card known in the US as Jirai Gumo
- The first boss of Okami is based on the Jorogumo (translated as Spider Queen). You later meet the Tsuchigumo (Bandit Spiders) as Bonus Boss.
- One appears in Hellboy Animated: Sword of Storms
- One appears in XxxHolic.
- Rosario Plus Vampire has Keito as one.
- Throne of Blood, Kurosawa Akira's adaptation of Macbeth, exchanges Birnam Wood for Spider's Web Forest, possibly invoking these creatures from Japanese folklore.
- Though it may have been entirely unintentional, the eponymous creature of Stephen King's IT has much in common with this particular brand of youkai. Its (It's?) true form is a gigantic spider, and throughout the story appears in several humanoid shapes, most notably Pennywise the Clown. The balloons are strictly of King's invention, though.
- The Kumogashira demons in Inuyasha. Also the main villain, Onigumo/Naraku is strictly associated with spiders.
- A Tsuchigumo is fought in a web-filled castle room in Muramasa: The Demon Blade. He captures Torahime and her soldiers, and is fought alongside his children, who also appear earlier in the dungeon leading to him.
- In The Monster Girl Encyclopedia, Jorogumo is nice and harmless spider girl by day, but turn into sadistic rapist when being alone with her lover by night.
- Both Tsuchigumo and Jorogumo appear in Nurarihyon no Mago. The first one is a Blood Knight that defeats Rikuo once and the other one is a board member of the Nura Clan.
- Guwange has Nekogumi, a gigantic cat-spider
- Otogi Matsuri likewise has a gigantic cat-spider
- The jorogumo is a monster in Pathfinder. The Pathfinder campaign setting has a country, Shenmen, ruled by jorogumos, who took over when its government collapsed and monsters overran it.
- Tsuchigumo appears in the intro and as a summonable minion in Raidou Kuzunoha vs. the Soulless Army.
- One of the mooks in The Ninja Warriors is named after the creature.
Raiju or "Thunder Beast" is a lightning in a weasel-like shape: it's usually represented with many tails and/or legs, poisonous claws, and bright yellow and black fur. Can also appears as a dog, a monkey, a tanuki, a fox, or even a ball of fire and lightning.
- Raikou in Pokémon.
- The Raiju Brothers Hiten and Manten. They're both humanoid (with Hiten being totally human-like while Manten has a monstrous head) and they do care for each other. The anime filler also introduces their little sister Soten.
- Shiro Amakusa in Yaiba turns in a giant, six tailed weasel with huge claws for his showdown with the Kid Samurai. However, it doesn't sport any thunder-related ability.
- A Raiju in the form of a crazed lightning ball appear in XxxHolic.
- Raiju is one of the summoning in Shin Megami Tensei.
- The manifestation of the Thunder card in Cardcaptors/Cardcaptor Sakura is Raiju, the Thunder Beast. It looks like a big electric wolf.
- One chapter of the Touhou manga Wild And Horned Hermit features Reimu and Marisa finding Kasen's pet raiju and becoming poisoned by its thunder.
- Rajang. Thunder? Check. Can appear like a ball of Thunder/Fire? Check. Yellow and Black Fur? Super Check. Looks like any of the described of a Raiju? Yes, as a Monkey. Tails? Sadly, only one, but Can be cut and make it lose power
- Raiju appear frequently in Shin Megami Tensei games.
Wanyuudou: A burning wheel, frequently with a man's face serving as the hubcaps.
- In Muramasa: The Demon Blade, Wanyudo is Momohime's second boss.
- Okami features fire, ice and electric wheels each with a different sensory organ on them, an eye, lips and an ear respectively.
- One of Enma Ai's servants in Hell Girl is a Wanyuudou (name's the same). He also serves as Ai's transportation to her targets.
- Several of these under different names appear as enemies in the Castlevania series.
- Soultaker, the boss of Yokai Isle's Bamboo Forest in Adventure Quest Worlds, is a wanyuudou.
Inugami and Okami: Dog and Wolf Youkai
Inugami and Okami Examples
- Inuyasha of Inuyasha is a half dog-youkai Inu Yasha's father, stepmother, and half - brother Sesshoumaru are full Inugami.
- Inuyasha also has a tribe of wolf youkai under the leadership of Kouga.
- Kotaro Inugami in Mahou Sensei Negima is half dog-youkai shapeshifter partly based on Inuyasha. His default form has dog ears and tails, however he can also take on a Beast Folk form, a dog form and Big Badass Wolf form.
- Inugami-gyoubu Tamazuki in Nurarihyon no Mago often appears as a human with of habit of panting with his tongue hanging out. His real form is that of a giant dog.
- Inugami play a background role in Muramasa: The Demon Blade. Kongiku and Yuzuruha are Kitsune, with Yuzuruha trying to stop the release of the singular Inugami sealed in the Kuzuryu blade. as a Historical Villain Upgrade from his established love of dogs, Tokugawa Tsunayoshi is corrupted and eventually highjacked by Inugami.
- Amaterasu from Okami
- Inugami (manga) is a manga series by Masaya Hokazono about a boy who finds an inugami. His appearances are those of a extinct Japanese wolf, but he can grow spikes from his back to fight
- Inugami (film) is a Japanese film about a Akira, a teacher that falls for a Miki, a papermaker. Miki's family is said to be under the curse of the Inugami.
- Inukami! is a Japanese light novel series written by Mamizu Arisawa. Instead of the term "inugami" which is mostly associated with malevolent dog spirits, it uses the word "inukami" to describe a type of benevolent dog spirit. Inukami! revolves around Keita Kawahira, a descendant of a Inukami-tamer clan and a inukami named Yōko, who later is revealed to be actually a kitsune.
- Sadaharu from Gintama is implied to be one. Considering that he's a bull-sized white chihuahua with the strength of a bear and his former owners were a couple of miko this is plausible.
- On Natsume Yuujinchou, Madara/Nyanko-sensei's larger youkai form.
- Yuzuriha Nekoi (surname is deliberately misleading) in X 1999 has a dog spirit Inuki protecting her.
- Kuchiha from Amatsuki is possessed by a wolf-like inugami, rumoured to be the last of her kind.
- Inugami appear in Shin Megami Tensei games. Sometimes they can even grow into Makami, their more powerful counterparts.
Ushi Oni: Or Kyuuki, means Bull Fiend, and is a sort of counterpart to our Minotaur. In some stories it's a demonic looking ox with many tails and claws, in others he's a sort of giant spider, while in others is a sort of wisp fire.
Ushi Oni Examples
- The Eight-Tailed Beast in Naruto is a giant bull-like demon with four horns and eight Combat Tentacles in lieu of tails.
- Gyuu Oh from Inuyasha is a half-demon called Izumo who turns into a wicked minotaur-like monster after the sunset. As a result he's gone crazy, but unlike the typical stereotype he's a Genius Bruiser.
- In Ranma ½, Pantyhose Taro's monster form can be associated to the Ushi Oni.
- A Ushi-Oni like Kaiju appears in Gantz: the upper half of his body is bovine, his lower half is spidery.
- Yu-Gi-Oh! has some Ushi Oni-inspired cards. One of them is a demonic bull with a spider body, and the other one is a fiendish minotaur with four tentacles.
- Kyuki from Warriors Orochi is one, though he looks more like a boar demon than a bull.
- Gyuki from Nurarihyon no Mago is implied to be a Ushi Oni. Heck, his name is the alternate character reading of Ushi Oni.
Works that feature youkai include:
- Amatsuki features many various different kinds of youkai, known here as "ayakashi", including spirits, and ghosts. In fact, about half the main cast are ayakashi.
- Demon's World, an obscure arcade game also known as Horror Story, features many enemies from various mythologies, and in the Japan-esque stage you get to fight kappa, karakasa, rokurokubi, and other youkai.
- Digimon, like Pokémon, has many youkai-based creatures.
- Dungeons and Dragons: The "Oriental Adventures" setting features all kinds of youkai, including oni, kappa, tengu, and yuki-onna. Oni have made their way into the main game as ogre mages.
- Gantz features every youkai ever as aliens in the Osaka arc.
- GeGeGe no Kitaro is all about youkai. Kitaro himself is a youkai.
- Gurumin a Monstrous Adventure has Monsters as friendly NPCs.
- Hakaba Kitaro
- Hell Girl also features a Hone-onna, or "Bone Woman". A type of vampiric creature which disguises itself as a beautiful mortal woman to lure men away to feed upon their life force.
- Harukanaru Toki no Naka de has these creatures among its mook-type villains (somewhat confusingly, they fall under the collective term onryou, "vengeful spirits", which normally refers to ghosts). In the manga/anime adaptations, some of these get more prominent roles, like the last Nue and the Tengu of the Northern Mountains, but otherwise the youkai-like monsters in general are of little importance to the plot.
- Hell Teacher Nube. Between these and Obake, it's practically the whole point. If they're not listed among the specific examples above, it's because they're minor characters, but trust us, these (and more) show up.
- Humanoid Monster Bem
- Inu X Boku SS, revolves around a bunch of Half Human Hybrids actually descendants of demons.
- Inukami!! is almost entirely populated with various animal spirits, Inukami meaning "dog god".
- Inuyasha, which in addition to the named characters listed includes at least one example of pretty much every other kind of youkai named on this page and a good many more that aren't.
- Kamisama Hajimemashita, a manga about a teenage girl who accidentally becomes a Shinto god, naturally features youkai.
- Kanokon: Nozomu Ezomori is a 200-year-old wolf spirit, both trying to seduce the protagonist, Kouta Oyamada. In fact, nearly everyone except him are Obake of some sort (sisters, brothers, etc to Chizuru and Nozomu. Many don't show up in the anime, though).
- Kanon: Makoto is a kitsune who lost her memory in exchange for the ability to transform. It came with a hefty price.
- Karas (which itself is named for the Karasu Tengu) has youkai in a prominent role, and it depicts tensions between the youkai and the humans who have forgotten them.
- KiKi KaiKai, a series of Cute'Em Up games also known as Pocky & Rocky, includes several kinds of obake as enemies. (Also, the main player character is a Miko.)
- Magic: The Gathering (Kamigawa block, which was heavily inspired by Japanese mythology)
- Mahou Sensei Negima has two hanyou (human-youkai hybrids) among Negi's True Companions, Setsuna (mentioned above under tengu) and Koutaro who is half dog youkai.
- The Monster Girl Encyclopedia: Youkai are exclusive Cute Monster Girl of Zipangu region. Unlike other part this world, they peacefully coexist with humans long before anyone can remember. The youkai in't part of Demon Lord army and there is no Knight Templar religion hunt them down - in fact, powerful monsters like nine-tail Inari are revered as god.
- Muramasa: The Demon Blade features many youkai enemies.
- Naruto, which features several youkai-themed demon-beasts. The first Big Bad Orochimaru is also shown to be capable of stretching his neck out to great lengths, not unlike a rokurokubi.
- Natsume Yuujinchou
- Ninja Sentai Kakuranger: The enemies are ALL Youkai.
- What makes this a particularly amusing example is that nearly all of the youkai have adapted in some way to the modern world. For example, there's a Nurikabe covered in graffiti, a Sand Woman dressed like a hooker, a chariot youkai who's now a taxicab and a gluttony spirit dressed like a fast-food jockey.
- Nurarihyon no Mago is based on a mafia-like family of Youkai that live in the present era, in an ordinary city, keeping it safe from other families/groups seeking power.
- The Obakemono Project
- Omamori Himari features several other Youkai in addition to the aforementioned, including an water serpent in a leading role, a Shutendoji and many others in minor parts. Most of the major ones are Cute Monster Girls.
- Petopeto-san: Most of the cast are youkai of one kind or another, if not Half Human Hybrids.
- Pokémon has a lot of creatures based on youkai. An example is Mawile, who is based on the futakuchi-onna, a woman with a monstrous, voracious mouth growing out of the back of her head and hair that functions like tentacles.
- Princess Mononoke
- Ranma ½ frequently exploited Japanese folklore to provide their Monster of the Week.
- Rosario Plus Vampire: There is a reason the school is called Youkai Academy.(Though monsters from many other cultures are largely present as well)
- Saiyuki, in which three out of the four main characters are at least part youkai, as are most of their opponents. Unfortunately, the majority are generic 'demons' - i.e., pointy-eared humanoids with claws - rather than Japanese folkloric Youkai.
- Samurai Sentai Shinkenger: The enemies are based on Youkai, but not really the Youkai themselves. According to Word of God, they serve as the base of Youkai inspiration.
- Shaman King
- Shanghai Youma Kikai
- Shin Megami Tensei has lots and lots of these, in addition to nearly every other culture's demons and spiritual beings, in the main series of games, as well as spin-offs.
- Shonen Onmyouji
- Spirited Away: Most of the background characters are some form of youkai.
- Super Mario Bros.
- Tactics, unsurprising since the show chronicles the adventures of a Japanese folklorist who practices Shinto and does exorcisms to make a little on the side.
- The Great Yokai War, a kids movie by Takashi Miike is Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
- Throne of Darkness, a Diablo-like Hack and Slash uses nearly only monsters of these origins.
- Touhou Project: Almost every known character, apart from the four-and-a-half human protagonists and a handful of goddesses, is some form of youkai.
- Urusei Yatsura, which, despite the nominal sci-fi setting, features many youkai both as Ancient Astronauts and as actual monsters.
- Usagi Yojimbo has featured nearly every monster from Japanese tradition, from Oni to Kappas to Nues (chimera-like beasts) and an Obakeneko (vampire cat).
- Wagaya no Oinari-sama. has spirits like these, including an entire arc with oni.
- XxxHolic features many types of youkai.
- Youkai Monsters, a Japanese movie series.
- Yozakura Quartet
- Yu-Gi-Oh! has many cards based on youkai, particularly the Spirit Monsters who, when summoned, return to your hand at the end of the turn.
- Yu-Gi-Oh! GX: In the manga, Bastion briefly uses a deck comprised of youkai that centers around bringing cards back from the graveyard.
- Yu Yu Hakusho
- The Obake Karuta, a set of cards with Yokai themes which were used in the Edo Period. An ancestor of the modern Pokémon and Yu-Gi-Oh! card games.
- In Neko De Gomen, Kuroda makes a serum that turns people into youkai that fits them best for ten hours.
- Sengoku Youko is rife with these, given that the series is set in feudal Japan and one of the main characters feature a Kitsune.
- Kekkaishi has Madarao, a white dog youkai that has served the Sumimura family since its founding, passed down to them by the founder, Tokimori Hazama. Madarao is able to detect ayakashi with his amazing sense of smell.
- ↑ Fun fact -- the Japanese word for vampire contains the character for oni.
- ↑ Notably, this may be used to refer both to the classic film character and to one of the clans in Vampire: The Masquerade, which features other kinds of vampires, with the same powers and weaknesses, but characteristics that set them apart into clans
- ↑ That's “class” in Japanese
- ↑ -maru is a common ending for a Japanese male name.