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"Kappa are mischievous and sometimes deadly, notorious for pulling horses and cattle into the water; they have also been known to drown young children and extract their internal organs through their anuses."
The Book of Yokai: Mysterious Creatures of Japanese Folklore

Kappa is a Greek letter, as well as a type of Indian tapioca dish. But this article isn't about those kinds of kappa.

There are thousands of Youkai in Japanese mythology... but one of them is far more popular with the public than the others. The Kappanote  is a river-dwelling creature of Japanese folklore. It is often depicted in Anime and modern media as an anthropomorphic turtle with a domed head and a ring of spiky hairs sticking out from it.

In Japanese myth, the kappa is a river-dwelling spirit who likes to eat human entrails and blood. It has a deep bowl-like depression in its head that is full of water, which is the source of its power. That bowl is surrounded by scraggly hair (transformed into the "spikes" of the modern incarnations by the Anime Hair phenomenon). Those confronted with imminent devouring by a Kappa are advised to take two courses of action: The first, and most preferable, is to give the kappa a cucumber, inscribed with one's name in some tellings. The cucumber is the Trademark Favorite Food of the kappa, and a kappa so bribed will spare the giver. It may even befriend the human for the tasty gift. The other action: Bow to the kappa. Kappa are extremely polite, and will always bow too. Bowing will cause the water to fall out of their bowl, weakening them and allowing you to escape. In any case, don't bother trying to fight them, as they love sumo wrestling.

Kappa have undergone a bit of Disneyfication that bowdlerizes out their gruesome aggression and strict need for water in their bowl. It is a necessity of and to their immense popularity, courtesy of which they pop up in a lot of Japanese works for many different audiences. Even those works that aren't explicitly mythological like to throw in a kappa or two. While the kappa hasn't reached the same level of popularity elsewhere, Pop-Cultural Osmosis from anime means that Western works sometimes do feature one.

There are many different regional names for the kappa, and appearance varies considerably between regions as well. Notable examples include the hyousube (bald, hairy, gibbon-like creatures which like eggplants), and kawatengu (literally "river tengu", with the ability to create fire). The mizuchi is depicted as a kappa in some regions, but in older sources appears as a shapeshifting river dragon.

Creatures in other regions similar to kappa include the Chinese Shui Gui ("water monkeys"), as well as the Phillipino Siyokoy (a monstrous type of goblin-like merfolk which is also said to kidnap and eat children that walk nearby the rivers it lives in). The third disciple of Tripitaka, Sha Gojyo, in Journey to the West is often represented as a kappa, though the actual tales depict him more as a river-dwelling oni (and in the original Chinese version, it was a river of sand).

Not to be confused with a rather famous Twitch emoticon.note  Nor with the Web Comic Kappa, although it does feature anthropomorphic sea creatures, including the eponymous fish-boy. Sister trope of Our Goblins Are Different.

Tropes associated with kappa

  • Achilles' Heel: The Kappa's bowl-like projection atop his head contains water or some other type of liquid which serves as his source of power. Tricking him into dropping this liquid leaves him weakened and at the mercy of his enemies, and can even kill him.
  • Adaptational Heroism: As mentioned in the description, many modern depictions of the kappa will omit its more unsavory traits, namely its aggression and love of eating human organs.
  • Anal Probing: Known for reaching up the ass of humans who enter the water to pull out their shirikodama ("anal bead"), which may or may not be the soul. These stories are thought to be based on the way that real-life drowned corpses' anuses can flare out as they become logged with water.
  • Creepy Child:
    • The kappa's physical description usually involves the idea that he is "about the size of a young boy" and his name includes the kanji for "child" (kappa=河童, 河 meaning water and 童 meaning child).
    • Taking the current Disneyfication of the kappa and its current cutesy image into account along with the long tradition of violent folklore about the creature, this trope morphs into enfant terrible territory.
  • Eaten Alive: The kappa likes to pull children and adults into the water in order to eat their livers specifically. page 7. In order to do this, he reaches his hand into the anal cavity in order to remove a fictional organ called the shirikodama (usually translated as "anal bead"). The shirikodama must be removed for the kappa to steal and eat the liver.
  • Extendable Arms: Though their arms don't get longer exactly. Rather, they're connected inside their body, so they can retract one arm to extend the other.
  • Frog Men: Kappa are occasionally depicted as very frog-like, as shown by this illustration drawn by Hokusai. In fact, some experts have proposed that the belief in Kappas may have originated from early encounters with the Japanese giant salamander, Andrias japonicus, the world's largest amphibian after the Chinese giant salamander Andrias davidianus.
  • Honor Before Reason: Famous for being polite enough to return a bow, even if this will cause the water on its head to spill out and leave it helpless.
  • Liminal Being: Another view on the mobility is the liminality of the kappa, a trait shared with many Youkai. In this case, it's a physical type of liminality, but he also is between the spirit and animal worlds.
  • Lovable Rogue: In the kappa tale in Tono Monogatari, the poor kappa is trapped in a barn after getting caught in the reigns of a horse he attempts to drown and needs to escape, but refuses to do so until he has apologized for attempting to drown a farmer's horse.
  • Monstrous Humanoid: Depending on the Artist, kappa can either look either like aquatic goblins with some turtle-like features or like downright anthropomorphic, bipedal turtles or frogs with few mammalian features. Here's a good example of the great diversity of kappa portrayals.
  • Noble Demon: As awful as they are, Kappa may occasionally be friendly toward humans, but certain conditions have to be met, such as befriending one with pickles. They are also very obsessed with politeness, and if a person makes a deep bow, the kappa will return the gesture. This results in the kappa spilling the water held in the "dish" (sara) on its head, rendering it unable to leave the bowing position until the plate is refilled with water from the river in which it lives. If a person refills it, the kappa will serve that person for all eternity. They were also said to be highly knowledgeable about medicine, with some stories claiming they taught the art of bone setting to humanity.
  • Our Goblins Are Different Like many goblins in multiple folklore across the world, Kappas are usually mischievous, small humanoid pranksters that sure love to antagonize people.
  • Serial Rapist: Some legends tell of kappa impregnating women against their will. (As seen in shunga Ukiyo-Enote , they're always after the Amanote .)
  • Soul Eating: Known for ripping out and eating humans' shirikodama ("anal bead"), which is identified with the soul. Though in some depictions this is just something they remove before they can access and consume a human's liver.
  • Sumo Wrestling: Japanese myths tell that the kappa loves sumo and will challenge humans to wrestle him.
  • Swamp Monster: The Japanese equivalent of one, with Kappas often inhabiting watery environments including swamps.
  • The Tramp: In some depictions, stealing and grifting for his food. Another mark of the tramp is his mobility: while the kappa chiefly resides in ponds and streams, he also migrates to and from the mountains.
  • The Trickster: The kappa is generally a mischievous figure in mythology. His pranks are often of a harmful nature, usually consisting of drowning people and horses.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Summer Days with Coo tells a story of a boy who befriends a kappa.
  • Inuyasha: Like most other types of yōkai, kappa turn up occasionally:
    • Kagome's grandfather presents her with "the mummified hand of a kappa" as a birthday gift. Kagome, unimpressed, gives it to her cat before her grandfather can finish explaining the significance.
    • When Kagome saves a boy from drowning early in the series, a villager impressed by her swimming skills takes it to mean she's a kappa.
    • And an actual living kappa appears as a servant of Chokyukai the boar demon as part of a parody of the Journey to the West. The kappa looks roughly like a turtle that walks upright, and is introduced as Sa Gojyo, but has no lines and doesn't otherwise follow any of the traditional folklore associated with kappa.
    • Inu Yasha once tried to get information from some kappa, but they turned out to be almost Too Dumb to Live.
  • School Rumble:
    • Karasuma once dressed up as a kappa. It's also a pun, since "kappa" is slang for "rain coat" (which is the exact function of said costume, complete with leaf-shaped umbrella). He even once lent said costume to Tenma once when she was stranded in a bus stop due to heavy rain.
    • Tenma mistakes Harima for a kappa after he saved her cat from drowning.
  • Pani Poni Dash!: In one episode, the classes went camping and discovered some kappa building a rocket.
  • Emyulamp: In "Pia Lamp", Piari, a young witch-in-training, hears that in order to pass an upcoming test, all familiars have to speak human-language. So she takes her cat to drink from a spring that will grant him human speech, only to find it guarded by a kappa, who looks mostly like a bishounen with spotted skin who attacks people using the plate on his head.
  • Natsume's Book of Friends and its sequels - anytime Natsume is near a body of water he's likely to find a kappa who's lost the water from its bowl.
  • Dororon Enma-kun: A kappa called Kappaeru is one of Enma's sidekicks. The name "erogappa" indicates he's a bit of a lech.
  • Arakawa Under the Bridge: The Mayor is one — NO, FOR THE LAST TIME HE ISN'T JUST SOME MAN IN A ILL-FITTING RUBBER SUIT!
  • Saiyuki: Sha Gojyo is supposedly one — Goku has been known to shout "Erogappa!" ("pervy kappa") at him in arguments. This is probably just a nod to the character in the original Journey to the West which Saiyuki was based on, since Gojyo has nothing in common with kappas in terms of looks nor behavior. (Since it's canon that Gojyo's father was a youkai, it was long assumed that he must have specifically been a kappa and that explained the nicknames; but this has been disavowed by Word of God.)
  • Hetalia: Axis Powers: In one episode, a kappa appears to England and laments how so few people believe in him nowadays.
  • In Ranma ˝, during the Konatsu arc, Ranma and co. join forces with Konatsu to take down his evil stepfamily. While fighting them, the stepfamily keeps dressing up to assume battle forms, with Koeda (one of the stepsisters) dressing up as a Kappa at one point.
  • Case Closed: One of the mysteries featured a giant, murderous kappa It's just a guy whose hat, raincoat, and backpack made him look like one in the dark. He's not the killer.
  • In Yaiba the Orb of Darkness is inhabitated by two kappa. The first one, Kerokichi is a small, kind and nerdy Butt-Monkey who provides expositions and wants someone to play with. His brother Kerosuke is apparently the son of a kappa and Godzilla. Not only is he huge and breathes fire, but he's amazingly strong. Besides that his typical bald head is really hard.
  • Karas' first episode pits the titular protagonist against a gigantic cyborg kappa capable of summoning the spirits of its many victims to aid it in battle. And no, cucumber bribes are not a deterrent, as a gimmicky TV crew finds out the hard way.
  • Puni Puni Poemi has a blink-and-you'll-miss-it appearance by a kappa as the thief of Poemi's scooter. He shows up a few minutes later sporting a banner that reads "Water Sprites Are #1!"
  • Kappa no kaitaka tells the story of a man who tries to raise one as a pet.
  • Nagasarete Airantou has Tohno. The cute, cartoonish variety. Her presence never fails to point out the gaps in the main character's Weirdness Censor.
  • Sgt. Frog: Two Keronians are mistaken for Kappa — Dororo, when he is found stuck in a boar-trap, and an early Keronian soldier, who befriended Omiyo the Ghost Girl nearly a hundred years ago.
  • Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan:
    • The Nura clan's Kappa displays the power to create links between water bodies transporting between lakes.
    • The second arc introduces the youkai of Tohno which includes the swamp kappa Amezou and the village leader Aka-gappa (literally Red Kappa) who is of a third, unspecified type of Kappa.
  • In Inukami episode 14, Keita gives a cucumber to a kappa, asking it to return the favor — right now, if possible.
  • Crayon Shin-chan: One episode has Shin's friends arguing whether the kappa is real or not, while they're standing by a body of water. Boo ends up dressing up like a kappa at one point.
  • Urusei Yatsura: One episode of the anime has Ataru being taken down to a Ryugujo inhabited entirely by kappa.
  • In Gintama, an Amanto lives in a lake which he refuses to leave until a promise to teach an ill girl to swim once she gets better is kept.
  • Hell Teacher Nube: One of the first creatures encountered by Nube is a kappa. In the author's notes, he posits that the myth may have been inspired by Jesuit priests, who have a similar hairstyle and a penchant for "drowning" people via baptism.
  • Pet Shop of Horrors: One episode revolves around D looking for kappas.
  • Muromi-san's title character is friends with a very large, muscular kappa named Kawabata-san, and she spends an episode trying to coax him and Takurou into becoming friends; Takurou is terrified at first of having his butt ball removed.
  • Jewelpet: Magical Change: Episode 11 features a kappa that's as bowdlerised as it gets. She looks like a little human girl, with the turtle shell and dish on her head the only indicatives of her species, and all the harm they want to do to humans is surprise them.
  • Dragon Ball Z:
    • In the video game "Dragon Ball: Shenron no Nazo", Goku visits the Remote Land of Konpei, where he meets a local Kappa.
    • The "Cha-La Head-Cha-La" theme song mentions a Kappa during the lyrics.
  • Kappa are prominently featured in Sarazanmai; the premise involves the three main characters being turned into kappa by a kappa-like creature named Keppi, who claims to be the ruler of the Kappa Kingdom.
  • Ushio and Tora features a Kappa who helps the hero a couple of times. Mostly humanoid, he's a timid creature who once pranked humans until he was caught and forced to promise he'll leave them alone. He owns an incredibly effective medicine he uses to save Ushio and later on, Asako's life.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable has a character whose stand, Red Hot Chili Pepper, is heavily based off a kappa visually. Unusually its powers are based on turning into electricity, making it more like a raiju.
  • Ayakashi Triangle:
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! GO RUSH!!: An alien character named Tell Kawai resembles a Kappa in both appearance and behavior, minus the Anal Probing.

    Card Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering: In Kamigawa, kappas are long extinct — the Shell of the Last Kappa is still kept as a historical relic — but their smaller relatives, the turtle-shelled Akki goblins, still resemble them.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! has Kappa monsters such as the Armored Kappa, the Psychic Kappa, and the Kappa Avenger.

    Comic Books 
  • Usagi Yojimbo: An early issue features a story called simply "Kappa", which referenced most of the distinct aspects of the legend.
  • Papyrus has a very strange variation, set in Ancient Egypt. The hero encounters aggressive desert-dwelling creatures with bowl shaped heads. When bowed to, they respond in kind, the liquid spills out, and they lose their aggressiveness (and intelligence and ability to speak). Turns out they were under a curse from Sobek, which is lifted from them in the end. Not once is their similarity to kappas explained or mentioned.note 
  • Anthony Bourdain's Hungry Ghosts: "Deep" stars a Kappa that kills a chef sexually molesting his apprentices.

    Film — Live Action 
  • Death Kappa: The title character begins the film as the friendly guardian of a village shrine, befriends a a girl who becomes a national singing star, runs afoul of Nazi super-science baddies and ends up as a Godzilla-sized rampaging monster who can only be tamed by the village girl singing his favorite tune.
  • The Great Yokai War: A kappa is one of the star characters. It's played for a lot of comic relief, and complains that ugly youkai deserve as much love as beautiful or cute ones.
  • Rhapsody In August, by Akira Kurosawa, has a grandmother who claims her slightly touched-in-the-head brother swore he saw a kappa at the waterfall by their house. That night, a kappa makes mischief it's just the boys using green paint and leaves to scare the girls.
  • Sakuya Yokaiden has the heroine raise a kappa's child after killing one. The one she kills looks like a normal kappa and the child is a human with a plate on the top of his head.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The turtles are mistaken for these in the third live-action movie, where they are transported to feudal Japan by means of a magical scepter, as kappas generally resemble humanoid turtles.
  • Yakuza Apocalypse: After Kamiura's death, a kappa shows up in the knitting class under the restaurant.

  • In Amagi Brilliant Park, it is revealed Sento Isuzu has kappa ancestry, which is why she bathes so long and often, to keep from drying out.
  • The Forsaken Children has kappas as eastern water elementals. Other than that, they are identical to the original myth, including the obsession with human butts.
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: Kappa are among the monsters introduced in Lupin's Defense Against the Dark Arts class, and they're described as looking rather like scaly monkeys with webbed hands. Snape later tests them on this knowledge as a substitute and inaccurately states that they're native to Mongolia, but their entry in the spin-off book Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them correctly identifies it as Japanese, followed by a sidenote from Harry remarking that Snape obviously never bothered to read the book.
  • Journey to the West: The usual Japanese interpretation of the character of Sha Wujing (called Sa Gojyo in Japanese) is that he's a kappa, or at least something very similar to one, although he was an aquatic demon in the original Chinese version.
  • Kappa is a Japanese novel by Akutagawa Ryūnosuke, featuring a man who, Gulliver-like, finds himself in the kappas' pythonesque world. Some of the weird things in kappa culture include the females' ardent pursuit of males and having to convince babies to be born into this corrupt world, and they're already intelligent enough to make a convincing argument why it's better not being born (the author admitted this novel was "born in a very dark place").
  • The Kappa Child: A girl believes that she's been impregnated by a kappa. It gives her, among other things, some strange dreams and a tremendous craving for Japanese cucumbers.
  • The Last Kappa Of Old Japan has a little boy befriending a young kappa which years later returns the favor by saving his little daughter from drowning. It's also got an environmental message that would do Miyazaki proud.
  • In Monster Hunter Memoirs: Grunge, Chad Gardenier encounters a kappa shaman in a lake in Washington state. The kappa uses its powers to heal Chad of some very extensive old injuries; in gratitude, MHI takes the kappa and its tribe under their protection. Even in the world of MHI, not all monsters are evil.
  • Spirit Hunters: In book 3 , Sura and Chiri run into a kappa with the foresight to tie a leather cap to the top of his head.
  • Sword of the Samurai has a few kappa encountered as enemies on one route. They can be easily defeated by knocking them off balance, causing the water on their heads to fall out.
  • Tale of Yashima features several kappa as both characters and monsters.
  • Kappa are among the residents of Yokai Town in Anno Dracula: One Thousand Monsters. Four in particular are mentioned as the bodyguards of their leader, wearing brightly-coloured bandanas and armed with ninja weaponry.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Monkey, the river monster Sa Gojō was depicted with kappa-like traits (domed head, etc.).
  • Lost Girl: One shows up as the problem fae of the episode.
  • River Monsters presents the theory that the legend of the Kappa originated from the Japanese Giant Salamander, one of the largest amphibians in the world capable of easily growing to the size and weight of an average 12 year old boy. The animal has strong clenching jaws and a bite like a snapping turtle, with more than enough strength to grab a small child by the leg and drag them under — or, if the size difference is in the salamander's favor, just skip to its usual hunting tactic and inhale them whole note . Japanese parents had good reason to tell their kids not to go down to a river by themselves, sort of like how stories of Drop Bears may have been started to keep Australian children out from under eucalyptus or gum trees.
  • Super Sentai and Power Rangers: Kappas appear as a Monsters of the Week in a number of series.
  • Kappa-based monsters have also appeared in the Ultra Series as a Monster of the Week.
    • In the Ultraseven episode "Challenge from the Waters", kappas are actually amphibious aliens intent on conquering Earth with their vaguely kappa-like Kaiju Tepeto.
    • In the Ultraman Ace episode "Mystery of the Kappa's Residence", Yapool unleashes his newest monster to Earth — King Kappa, a giant monster that disguises itself as a swimming pool by leaving only its water-filled depression visible.
    • An actual kappa appeared in the Ultraman Cosmos episode "Kappa's Village" where one named Kawanoji is accidentally angered by the characters, so he turns himself gigantic to wreak havoc. He even sumo wrestles Cosmos!

  • In Residents Of Proserpina Park Alina and Drew encounter a kappa during one of their first trips to the park. The kappa is a bit snippy, but not overly aggressive.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Pro Wrestling NOAH: Kappa Kazou, also known as Kappa Boy in IWA Japan. Foreign fans/opponents often mistake him for a man turtle.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons: Kappa appear as monsters in the supplement Oriental Adventures, and a number of adventures in the setting included them as opponents.
  • Palladium Fantasy: Kappa are peculiar creatures resembling short, implike humanoids with turtles shells, webbed feet, and crablike faces and claws. They live in all major bodies of water in the world, both fresh and salt, and delight in playing cruel tricks on other creatures such as spoiling food, cutting anchor and fishing lines, tangling nets and sabotaging boat rudders.
  • Pathfinder: Kappas are introduced in the third Bestiary, characterized as Chaotic Neutral Monstrous Humanoids that love to play pranks on swimmers (although angry or depraved individuals may drown them instead). They retain their mythological love of cucumbers and their unfailing courteousness towards polite visitors, as well as their head-bowl weakness, which staggers and immobilizes them.

  • In the Tamagotchi ON, one of the adult Tamagotchi you can obtain is Kappappatchi, a kappa with a plate of sushi on his head. His name is a pun on Kappabashi, a street in Tokyo known for having a lot of restaurants, and the sushi has cucumber in reference to kappa's traditional love of cucumbers.

    Video Games 
  • Animal Crossing: Kapp'n is a kappa. While Cultural Translation dubs him a turtle, his love of cucumbers makes it obvious what he's supposed to be. His name is also an obvious pun.
  • Champion Island Games: the Kappa make up Team Green, one of the four teams the player can join. They mostly talk in Pokémon Speak, but if the player joins team green, it's revealed they are also capable of normal speech.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Being transformed into one is a Status Effect in Final Fantasy VI. It got Americanized into "Imp".
    • They also make an appearance in Final Fantasy XIV in the fight against Ultros from the game above. Interestingly, the fight mechanics there provide a stronger reference to the myth, as transformed players have to gather water on their head from a certain attack to empower their attack and prevent the party from losing the fight.
  • Magician's Quest: Mysterious Times has one sidequest where you befriend a kappa. No bowing or cucumbers necessary — he wants to go on a tour of your school.
  • Story of Seasons:
  • Kirby: There's an enemy based on the Kappa, which throws its ring of spikes at you.
  • The Ganbare Goemon series used these as frequent enemies in Goemons Great Adventure, often they were the Goddamn Bats.
  • Sakura Samurai, being set in a glorified feudal Japan, naturally features a couple kappa NPC's.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
  • Spectrobes has a monster based on the kappa. It makes the spikes literal, not just an artistic represensation of hair.
  • Pokémon has Golduck and the Ludicolo line, both of whch are based on kappas. The Ludicolo line even has an ability called Rain Dish which is a reference to the Kappa's ability to draw power from water pooled on its head. In some Dex entries it's stated that Golduck are often confused with a kappa, while Lombre love to scare people who stand too close to a water's edge.
  • Touhou Project kappa are a bit different, basically being an entire civilization of aquatic mad scientists. They do have the ability to control water, but generally aren't terribly adept at magic, and the only named kappa character is known more for her missiles and cloaking device. As per usual for the series, they're depicted as mostly human-looking girls with blue hair whose only kappa-like characteristics are overstuffed green backpacks evocative of shells and brimmed caps evocative of beaks and domed heads. How friendly they are to humans depends on which canon sources you focus on.
  • Star Gladiator: The first game has a secret fighter called Kappah Nosuke — and yes, he is exactly what his name suggests, except he's an alien, not a mythological creature.
  • La Tale: Kappa are an early enemy. Like nearly all the enemies in the game, they are almost unbearably cute.
  • Guild Wars: Kappas appear as enemy spell-casters in ''Guild Wars: Factions.
  • Muramasa: The Demon Blade: Kappas appear in water-based environments. If the battle wears on too long, they will dry out and become inactive.
  • Oriental Legend, a game duology based on Journey to the West, envisions Sha Wujing as a kappa in the 2008 version, which is odd considering he appears as a human in the original.
  • Heroes of Might and Magic: Kappas appear as a unit for the Sanctuary faction in Heroes of Might and Magic VI. They're surprisingly lethal compared to their usual portrayal in media, which is lampshaded slightly by the unit's description. They also seem to be based more on toads than turtles, able to make huge leaps across the battlefield.
  • In Sengoku Rance, the Big Bad is a demonic fire kappa.
  • Shogun Warrior and its sequel Blood Warrior have a kappa named Senpei as a playable character (though in Shogun, he's nameless).
  • Shadow Hearts 1: The first game has kappa as enemies. It notes their hunger for human flesh, a characteristic often absent from modern works.
  • Rhythm Heaven: The final unlockable Rhythm Toy is a Kappa with a vinyl record on its head. A kappa also appears in one of Rhythm Heaven Fever's endless minigames, "Kung-Fu Ball."
  • In Cloud Master, the Round 2 boss is a kappa that shoots lightning from a forked rod.
  • Yokai Hunter Shintaro, befitting a game where 70% of onscreen enemies are yokai, have kappas in the Ghost Ship level, pouncing out the waters to ambush you from below.
  • Yo-Kai Watch:
    • One of the Mascot Mooks from the series is a Kappa called Nogappa in Japanese and Walkappa in English. He is a Surfer Dude who loves sushi & pizza and thinks Kappas liking cucumbers is stereotyping. He is known for being a bit of a spaced out Cloud Cuckoolander.
    • A more traditional kappa character also exists. He's a legendary yokai.
    • The third game introduces an "American" Kappa, a hip-hop artist in sunglasses and baggy jeans.
  • In Splash Lake, the kappa is an Invincible Minor Minion, since it can't be drowned in water.
  • Smite: The Kappa king Kuzenbo is one of the playable 'deities' there. He's not a God, but the game has included famous monsters from myth like Medusa, Fafnir or Bakasura, so Kuzenbo gets a pass to represent one of the most famous Youkai from the myth.
  • Nioh: Kappa make an appearance where they are special Youkai that drop very rare loot, but tends to run away when encountered, and if they ever sneak up on the player, they can execute a very painful Ass Shove.
  • In River King: Mystic Valley a kappa can help you reach a new fishing area if you give it a cucumber.
  • Mega Man: The Wily Wars: The Robot Master Mega Water S resembles a humanoid kappa. His boss fight even has Mega Man half-submerged in water, while he stays on dry land.
  • In AI: The Somnium Files, examining So Sejima's koi pond at one point has Date act like a dork and blurt out that he's just seen a kappa; his AI partner Aiba is unphased, saying So is so rich that him owning a kappa isn't unusual. If you examine the pond again, an unseen voice asks for some cucumbers.
  • Musya has a gigantic kappa boss in the waterfall stage. It's somehow red-skinned, for reasons unknown.
  • Tamagotchi: Kappatchi, a character exclusive to the licensed game 64 de Hakken! Tamagotchi Minna de Tamagotchi World, is a green-colored Tamagotchi with the round water bowl head characteristic of the species. You can obtain it by winning a game with Mametchi or Ginjrotchi.
  • Diablo-lookalike Throne of Darkness features Kappa as enemies: "Lesser Kappa" are small, fast water monsters closer to the original depictions, while "true" Kappa appears as gigantic, roaring reptilian monsters with huge shells and snake-like heads with sharp fangs. They can easily tear through low-level characters.
  • Inazuma Eleven: Kamezaki Kappa and his brother are a pair of humanoid Kappas. Nobody believes kappas exist for real until they see them.

    Visual Novels 
  • Monster Prom: The Second Term DLC adds Leonard, a kappa character that nobody likes due to being an arrogant jerkass who spends most of his time deliberately misgendering Zoe. A lot of his interactions involve one or more of the other characters punishing him after he's pissed them off. Or calming Zoe down before she smites reality in response to his behavior.

  • Erma: When Erma and her parents visit their Yōkai family in Japan, they meet Haru, a mild-mannered kappa who is a servant of Aunt Fumiko's (and also her lover). Like in Japanese folklore, he's very fond of cucumber, to the point that it's the primary ingredient in what he cooks. There are also lots of background kappa characters seen throughout the Yureimoto's home village.
  • Kill Six Billion Demons features a kappa named Yash as a minor recurring character. Appearance-wise he's pretty close to the myths, aside from a more humanlike face than is typical.

    Web Original 
  • This Touhou fan video (Spanish sub here) has a cute, chibified kappa as featured in the games. This fan video is something more traditional... and frightening.
  • Pet Society has a few Kappa-related items - a poster with small amount of info on Kappa, a Kappa plushie, and a Kappa mask.

    Western Animation 
  • Kappa Mikey not only takes its name from the creature, but it's also a pun on kappamaki, a type of sushi. Kappa also appear in one episode of the show. They loved Kappa Mikey — they just didn't care for the man under the costume.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Turtles tend to be confused with kappa whenever they visit Japan. The second animated series also featured turtle-like demons identified as kappa, despite the lack of water-filled depressions.
  • In Hellboy: Sword of Storms Hellboy fights a Kappa that has been preying on a nearby village. A villager who had been bribing the kappa with cucumbers tells Hellboy to beat the Kappa by spilling its water. Before that, the villager also asks Hellboy's name so he can write it on a cucumber to save him.
  • Arthur: Kappa are mentioned in "What Scared Sue Ellen?" as one of the creatures Sue Ellen thinks might be living in the woods, and she has an Imagine Spot about she and her friends being confronted by one. Buster tricks it into bowing and spilling the water in its head by pretending to spot a five-dollar bill.
  • Harvey Beaks: Kappas appear as staff at a motel in a Season 2 episode.
  • OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes: Dendy is revealed to be a kappa in "No More Pow Cards". The plot of that episode is that kappa don't have Pow Cards of their own because they are considered monsters that could never do anything heroic, when in reality they were just dislocated by urbanization and the stories of them drowning people were just unfounded rumors. She and K.O. go to the Pow Card factory to make the master computer recognize kappas.

    Dendy is an interesting case in that, while her parents resemble traditional kappas, she herself looks pretty human, having a very pale green for her skin color, a subtle beak and webbed feet. However, it's revealed that the more prominent physical features associated with kappas grow and appear as juvenile kappas reach maturity. In the third season episode "You're a Good Friend, K.O.", she reveals that her bowl is growing in, which she had been hiding under a beret. In the series finale, "Thank You For Watching The Show", her head bowl has gotten bigger and her skin greener as a young woman in her 20s. Given her parents' ages, it's likely she will resemble a full kappa in her 30s or so.
  • Legend of the Three Caballeros: A kappa makes up one of the variety of yokai living in the underworld.
  • Star vs. the Forces of Evil: Ludo Avarius is based on a kappa, though it's not so obvious during the first season as his bowl is covered by his skull helmet. He and his family also share traits with birds, even being able to fly with their webbed "wing arms" (except Ludo because he's too short), muddying the connection more. The Magic Book of Spells specifically refers to his race as "kappa".


Video Example(s):


Gaijin Goomba explains Kappa

Gaijin Goomba (both the real person and his cartoon goomba counterpart) explain to the viewers just what the Kappa is.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (1 votes)

Example of:

Main / Kappa

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