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A standard red oni

"A ubiquitous character in Japanese folklore, religion, and popular culture, the oni may be variously translated into English as 'demon,' 'devil,' or 'ogre.'"
The Book of Yokai: Mysterious Creatures of Japanese Folklore

鬼 (Oni) are brutish mountain Youkai superficially similar to Trolls and Ogres, with either one or two horns (which in some depictions are the source of their power). The word is almost always translated into English as "demon" or (especially in older translations) "ogre". However, while large, strong, and often brutish, Oni can also wield powerful magic and are usually depicted as more intelligent than Western ogres. Further, certain types are very calm and introspective, and female oni, being very beautiful, can get along well with (and sometimes marry) humans. While oni as a title has connotations similar to "demon" or "maniac", works depicting literal oni may show them as either good or bad, often being morally neutral and interested in their own affairs. They prefer huge bludgeoning weapons (iron clubs called kanabō being the most common) and hide loincloths (usually tiger-striped). They are also shown to really love their alcohol, which can make them even more rowdy. Sometimes blamed for streaks of misfortune or violent weather. Others work jobs in Fire and Brimstone Hell as big red devils.

If Oni come in pairs, there's a good chance one will be red and the other blue. However, they won't always match the Red Oni, Blue Oni dynamics. If some Oni are explicitly female, Bizarre Sexual Dimorphism may occur with males looking Gonky and the females looking more conventionally attractive. Which is consistent with their mythological descriptions.

"Oni" originally referred to misfortune, bad vibes and evil spirits, which were traditionally said to come from the northeast. Under the Eastern Zodiac this is known as the "ox-tiger" direction, so these forces came to be anthropomorphised as beings with features of oxen and tigers note . Figures clad in tiger pelts are also associated with Super-Strength across Asia, where tigers are the traditional equivalent of the King of Beasts.note  Because they're Made of Evil (or at least Made of Chaos), even non-dangerous supernatural powers used by oni tend to automatically qualify as Black Magic or Curses.

Sometimes particularly wild and brutish humans are depicted as transforming into oni as they are warped by the foul energies surrounding them. At some points in Japanese history the word "oni" became practically synonymous with "barbarian", and conquering or pacifying territories was described as "ridding lands of oni".

Particularly powerful oni may be described as 鬼神 (kishin, literally "oni god"), a term used in Japanese Buddhism to refer to Wrathful Deities, while in some instances the term 悪鬼 (akki, literally "evil oni") specifically design evil-minded, man-eating oni. Incidentally, the Japanese word for vampire (吸血鬼 kyuuketsuki) can be translated as "blood-sucking oni"; see here for details.

Hyakki Yakou, the Japanese equivalent of The Wild Hunt, literally translates as "Night Parade of 100 Oni", though this usage is metaphorical (most depictions of the Parade include a wide variety of Youkai) and is usually glossed as "demons" even when oni is otherwise left untranslated. That said, it has lead to a number of works that use some variant of "Hyakki" (or worse, "Senki"note ) as a name or title for a particularly powerful oni; in more literal cases they may even be 100 demons fused together into an Eldritch Abomination.

Compare Horned Humanoid and Wild Man. For the Oni's Western counterparts, see Our Ogres Are Hungrier and All Trolls Are Different (and occasionally Our Demons Are Different). See also Monster Lord for when oni are treated as an "evolved" form of ogres.

See also Smash Mook (a common archetype for oni in video games).


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    Anime & Manga 
  • 3×3 Eyes: several demons have their name end in "Gui" (the chinese reading of the kanji for Oni) and most of them have the appearence of monstrous humanoids with horns and magical powers.
  • Anpanman has Onion Oni. His head's an onion (with two sprouts as his horns), and he's still a little boy, so he's a bit of a crybaby (but doesn't want to admit this).
  • Delicious in Dungeon has Tade, who seems to be an oni or at least has traits of one; she's very tall and strong, has horns, and wields a spiked club like the ones oni in folklore typically carry.
  • In Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba,, the titular "demons" are actually oni and are referred to as such in Japanese. While they do have some of the typical traits of oni from folklore (claws, fangs, horns, possessing both great physical strength and magic powers), they otherwise have more in common with vampires (likely a reference to how the Japanese word for "vampire", kyūketsuki, literally means "blood-sucking oni"): they infect humans with their blood and turn them into beings like themselves, they're weak to sunlight, and the only sure way to kill them aside from exposing them to the sun is by decapitation with a special kind of steel.
  • 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.
  • Subverted in the Doraemon OVA, What Am I for Momotaro. The gang time-travels to Meiji Era Japan to investigate the Momotarō myth and encounters the feared Oni from the legends. But it turns out the "oni" of Demon Island is actually a "Scooby-Doo" Hoax created by a Dutch sailor stranded in Japan after his ship was destroyed in a storm, and subsequently mistaken as an oni-like beast due to his huge size (compared to the locals) and language issues. When it's clear that none of the villagers are willing to help, the Dutchman have to keep on pretending to be a demon for his own safety.
  • King Enma and his underlings in Dragon Ball, mostly bureaucrats working in Hell, Heaven and the check in station for the recently departed that decides who goes where.
  • Tamahome from Fushigi Yuugi has the character "oni" on his forehead. It's sometimes translated as either ogre or demon. He tends to take the "wild man" interpretation of the Oni when push too far. The most noticeable being his battle against Suboshi who killed his family.
  • Gamaran invokes this with Ryuhou Kibe, a warrior who was injected with the Juugan battle drug and became villainous under the nickname of "Ginki", the Silver Ogre. Not only he's, by Word of God, the physically strongest character of the series, he also reinforces his reputation by painting a third eye on his forehead and using a really big kanabo as his weapon of choice.
  • GeGeGe no Kitarō often features Oni amongst the many Yokai of the story, usually serving as the guards of Hell. Recurring Oni antagonists include the Raijin-like Kaminari, the Kubireoni and the Kido (Demon Child) Ibukimaru, son of Shuten Doji. According to the flashback and credits seen in episode 49 of the 2018 anime adaptation, Arc Villain Nanashi is half-human half-oni, taking the form of a giant four-eyed baby and manipulating grudge and hatred from the shadows.
  • Hell Teacher Nube: 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.
  • Ririchiyo Shirakin and Shoukin from Inu × Boku SS. Interesting, Ririchiyo's oni horns look like goat horns instead of the standard smooth forehead ones.
  • Inuyasha has plenty of Oni, ranging from massive, horned humanoids to witch-like beings like Urasue, the one who revives Kikyo as a clay puppet. There are also Gozu and Mezu, though they appear as human living statues with demonic faces in their chests.
  • Kill la Kill: Ryuko Matoi has many Red Oni qualities, such as her predominantly red-and-black color scheme, her contempt for Honnouji Academy's rules, and her "barbaric" ability to turn into a nearly-nude demonic form (complete with horns) so she can tear the fascist social order down. She also has a Red Oni, Blue Oni dynamic with the President of Honnouji Academy, Satsuki Kuryuin.
  • In Kinnikuman, when the titular character temporarly dies during the Castle arc, he finds himself in graveyard-like dimension haunted by the previously killed Chojins and guarded by two classical Oni, wearing tiger-striped loincloths and armed with large metal clubs they use to keep Kinnikuman from escaping.
  • In Magi: Labyrinth of Magic, the country of Kina is an expy of Japan, has the kanji for Oni in his name and his people all wear ornaments which makes them resemble Oni, such as horns and masks.
  • Momi from Mononoke Sharing looks like woman with a large rack and horns, and is a lazy shut-in who spends all her time browsing the internet, though it's hinted that she is far stronger than she looks. The end of the series reveals that she helped the gods in the creation of the planet and personally created the entire mononoke race.
  • Tionisha from Monster Musume, at least initially. While translations decided to change her species from oni to an ogre, she was eventually changed to be an outright ogre, who are called oni in Japan. Actual oni are a sub-species to ogres, with another character called Kinu being one of them. While ogres are of truly enormous height (Tionisha is 7'5"/227cm), oni are "only" the size of tall humans (Kinu is 6'4"/192cm)...but are just as strong as ogres.
  • In the third My Hero Academia movie, one of the hitmen working for Huma Rise has a Quirk which turns him into a huge, deep-voiced red Oni with tusks, horns and a pair of spiked clubs for hands.
  • In Naruto, the Sound Four resemble Oni while using their Curse Mark forms (with the exception of Jiroubou's lacking horns).
  • One Piece:
    • Early on, during the Baratie Arc, Don Krieg's right hand man, the otherwise unassuming Gin, is known as "Kijin" (Lit. Ogre Man or Demon Man) because once he engages his opponent in battle he's as remorseless and cruel as a Oni, viciously pummeling his enemies with giant sphere-tipped tonfas.
    • The two former Giant Pirates captains Dorry and Brogy have the meaningful moniker of Red Oni and Blue Oni, for their battle auras and overwhelming strength. Unlike Gin, they're also giants, and, at least one of them wears a horned helmet.
    • Oars and his descendant Little Oars Jr are giant so big they dwarf normal giants and have the massive body, giant horns and huge tusks typical of Oni. The former is even red. Their race's name is eventually confirmed to be "Ancient Giants".
    • Kaidou, one of the Four Emperors, has probably the strongest Oni motif: he's an enormous, muscular man with wild hair, huge horns, a fondness for saké and wields a kanabo as his weapon of choice. He has taken over the Japan-lookalike of Wano and even resides in the island of "Onigashima" (Ogre Island), where he rules over a giant amound of underlings, all wearing horns to emulate him. His child Yamato is a Horned Humanoid as well and during a brief battle, Kaidou himself claims that Yamato (who herself was called "Oni Princess" before she claimed Oden's identity) is a "Oni Child", though it's unclear if Kaidou was being literal or metaphorical (after all, Kaidou himself is demonically ruthless and was born in a seemingly human realm).
    • Kaidou's subordinates include the Numbers, a cadre of ten colossal humanoids who were a secret government attempt to recreate Ancient Giants: they are all huge, brightly-colored humanoids with massive horns and fangs, usually armed with kanabo clubs appropriate for their size.
  • From the same Mangaka as Magi, Orient features the Oni as evil, grotesque monsters who require human sacrifices and slave labor to procure ore, which they consume to gain power. In this story, Oni have taken over the Japan-expy of Hinamoto, defeated the Bushi protecting it and using God Guise to make human work for them willingly. Most Oni appear as pathetic or harmless, but can transform into much more monstrous forms once they've eaten metal.
  • Pretty Cure:
    • A reoccurring villain from Smile Pretty Cure! is Akaoni, a brutish red oni who carries a club and wears tiger-striped clothes. He didn't have a blue oni, but did encounter one in one episode... though just a human actor/stuntman who's wearing a blue oni costume.
    • The antagonists of Star★Twinkle Pretty Cure, the Notraiders, are all themed around yokai, and the oni of the group is Galogre, a blue oni wearing a robe. He's a competent and dangerous villain, so much so that the Cures have to be at the top of their game to beat him.
  • In Rave Master, the Onigami band is one of the three main villainous organizations aside from Demon Card and is composed of Oni under the control of Ogre the Gold Claimer, though they're the weakest of the trio. The Oni from this world are mostly human-looking with horns of varying size and fangs, can breathe and move underwater effortlessly and seems to be technologically advanced.
  • Oni in Shaman King are malevolent Tulpa-like beings born when a person with unusual spiritual abilities falls into despair. The majority of oni are little more than feral beasts, but they can increase their power and intelligence by consuming other spirits. Some types of shaman are capable of "taming" oni and using them as servants, but this is incredibly difficult.
  • One of the Transformation Rays in Sgt. Frog 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.
  • In Toriko Oni are among the many inhabintants of the Hex Food World in Area 8 of the Gourmet World. Judging from the description, they resemble the typical portrayal, though the only one we see is Dinner, who looks like a one eyed, one-horned Bishōnen who's actually very polite and gentle. Aside from them, many Appetite Devils, especially Toriko's, resemble hornless Oni, and are even called as such at one point (though apparently Red officially belongs to the Ogre category).
  • Lum from Urusei Yatsura is an alien, but she and her race are obviously based on traditional depictions of oni in Japanese folklore. They have (very small) horns and wear tiger-striped clothing, but otherwise look like humans save for the green hair. Judging by Lum's father, the men are a bit more monstrous, with fangs and sharp fingernails, and are slightly larger.
  • In Ushio and Tora, a Oni serves as a Starter Villain early on. In this case, the Oni is the reincarnation of a man who died while holding a huge grudge and is hauting his own daughter, causing harm to all those who try to get between them. According to Tora, all Oni are of human origin.
  • In Yaiba, Onimaru and (briefly) Yaiba take on the appearance of oni when they are possessed by Fujin and Raijin. The former gains horns and extra muscle mass, while the latter becomes all spiky and electrified.
  • The old series of Yatterman has a couple of episodes with Oni, one as a parody of Momotaro and another as a parody of the Rashomon Oni. Surprisingly enough in both cases they're good guys, being harmless farmers in the former and a decent guy in the second episode, and the Yattermen ends up helping them.
  • Kyousuke and Touka Kishi of Yozakura Quartet. They are a literal Blue Oni, Red Oni sibling with Kyousuke acting as a personal assistant to Hime Yarizakura and Touka being her best friend.
  • YuYu Hakusho features a few oni as side characters (The Ogre Triad, the winner of the final tournament, etc.), and probably Jin and Shishiwakamaru.

  • Oni Embodiments: The sculptures are based on the demon-ogres of Japanese Folklore. Both draw from the depiction of technicolor-skinned ogres with tiger hide-made loin-cloths and kanabōs in hand.

    Card Games 
  • 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.

    Fan Works 


  • The creature referred to as "Ogre" in Goblin Slayer is otherwise clearly an oni. It has the appearance, complete with horns, the iconic iron club, and magic, which regular ogres usually lack. It also has rapid regeneration.
  • There's a whole island full of them in Momotarō called Oni Island. They terrorized the local village and stole from them before being defeated by Momotaro and his three animal companions. They then swore to never steal again.
  • In Re:Zero, oni are normally born with two horns that serve as the source of their powers. Rem and Ram are an exception due to being twins, who are born with a single horn each. In the present day, Ram is much weaker than Rem due to losing her horn.
  • In That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime, six of them become close servants and advisors of the protagonist, although after being named they evolve into Kijin and go through the Bishōnen Line, looking like humans with horns and Facial Markings.
  • In Tinker, "Oni" is a catchall term for the inhabitants of a dimension bent on the conquest of Earth and Elfhome. Tengu and kitsune are included under this term but only one true Oni is seen, Lord Tomtom portrayed as a large, whitefurred apelike creature who is brutal but of high intelligence. There are also lesser Oni who look like very large, red headed humans and function as Lord Tomtom's mooks. The kitsune, tengu, and lesser Oni have all been created through magical gentic engineering to serve the true Oni.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Super Sentai
    • The main villains of Hyakujuu Sentai Gaoranger are the Oni Tribe Org, who were born from the madness and despair of humans. They are shown to have a hierarchy base on the number of horns they have. Baron Orgs, the Monsters of the Week, have two horns and are spirits who possess Inanimate objects. The Duke Orgs and their masters the Highness Duke Orgs had single horns.
      • In Gaoranger's American remake, Power Rangers Wild Force, they are referred to simply as Orgs. Their origins are very different to their Japanese counterpart in that they were born from a toxic pool, and revived in the modern age thanks to rising pollution levels. Their horns were also the source of their powers and if it was destroyed, they would die.
    • Gengetsu Kibaoni, the Big Bad of Shuriken Sentai Ninninger, is an Oni as well, although he actually used to be an evil feudal warlord whose own heinousness resurrected him and his followers as youkai 444 years after his original death. Same applies with his son Mangestu Kibaoni.
    • Shuten-Douji mentioned below in "Mythology" has appeared as a formidable Monster of the Week in Ninja Sentai Kakuranger (along with his younger brother) and Shuriken Sentai Ninninger.
    • Denshi Sentai Denziman and Kousoku Sentai Turboranger had regular Oni as MOTWs called Onilar and Oni Boma respectively.
  • The Kamen Rider franchise has featured Oni in various roles, mostly heroic:
    • The Kamen Riders in Kamen Rider Hibiki are all called Oni, but they are humans who transform with magical instruments to fight the Makamou, evil spirits.
    • The Imagin of Kamen Rider Den-O are basically an updated version of Oni, being proud and highly idiosyncratic monsters caused by time travel that perform mischief while possessing series hero Ryotaro. In particular, Momotaros, who looks far more like a classical oni than the other Imagin who work with the Den-Liner crew, and he often gets called an oni. He does not like it.
    • In Kamen Rider Ghost, both the title character and Kamen Rider Spectre are themed after oni and oni-bi, with Ghost having one horn and Spectre having two. They barely miss the red oni, blue oni in appearance since Ghost wears orange while Spectre is blue; this is however amended later in the series, when Ghost obtains the red Toucon Boost form as his Super Mode.
  • Oni kaiju have appeared in some of the Ultra Series
    • Ultraman Ace: One of Yapool's monsters was Oni-Devil, who was the Monster of the Week in an episode about the Japanese holiday of Setsubun (see the "Other" folder).
    • Ultraman Taro had Enmargo, a giant oni samurai sealed away inside a cliff by a Buddhist monk and remained imprisoned with a magic statue of the monk. Later on, Taro battles an oni-like alien named Onibanba, who despises the Setsubun holiday and is based on the famous ogress Onibaba.
    • Ultraman Leo's Oni-On loved to eat fruit and could breathe tear gas (onion, get it?). Fittingly, he appeared in an episode based on the fairy tale of Momotaro the Peach Boy.
    • Sakuna Oni from Ultraman Tiga was a sword-wielding oni with two faces and one eye on each. He was originally defeated long ago by the samurai Kagetatsu, but returned in the present when thieves stole Kagetatsu's sword.
    • Gorothunder, debuting in Ultraman Taiga, is a cross between an Oni and a Raijin, and wields an Oni's club as his default weapon.
  • A pair of red and blue cyborg Oni brothers, with one horn and two horns respectively, show up as Akuma Clan Captains and villains in Akumaizer 3.
  • Some appeared in the second half of season 3 of Teen Wolf. In sharp contrast to the usual burly Oni, they look more ninja like wearing hannya mask with no horns. They are also weak against sunlight and can turn into black smoke

  • The wind God Fujin and the thunder God Raijin of Japanese Mythology are sometimes depicted as Oni. The latter was sometimes said to eat the navels of children.
  • Shuten-douji was a leader of the oni of Mt. Ooe, and considered one of the Three Great Evil Youkai of Japan (alongside Emperor Sutoku/Ōtakemaru and Tamamo-no-Mae). In the most popular telling of his story he is portrayed as a cannibal warlord and kidnapper of women, but also a somewhat sympathetic figure who hates humans for telling lies and chastises them when they abuse his (completely sincere) offer of Sacred Hospitality in order to kill him; his true appearance is a 50ft tall Big Red Devil with five horns and limbs of different colours, but he usually stays in A Form You Are Comfortable With outside of his bedchambers.
  • Ōtakemaru was another extremely powerful Oni sometimes recognized as one of the Three Great Evil Youkai in lieu of Sutoku, a master of sorcery in possession of three enchanted swords which made him invincible. Eventually he was tricked by the goddess he was wooing and defeated by an heroic general (after trying to have his severed head bite his skull off), but he reformed in a far away continent and returned with vengeance, only to be quelled again.
  • Ibaraki-douji is another oni with close ties to Shuten-douji (either as a subordinate, relative, even wife in one myth). And just like Shuten-douji, had multiple origins on how (s)he became a oni like being born that way and frightening his mother to death or being cursed at the same time as Shuten-douji.
  • Zenki and Goki (lit. Preceding Oni and Following Oni) are the archetypal Red Oni, Blue Oni which can apparently be summoned by Shinto priests to serve as familiars or bodyguards. Zenki is a massive, musculare male Oni with red skin, two horns and an axe, while Gouki is a female blue Oni with a single horn carrying a stone jug with her.
  • A sub-variant of oni includes the namahage, wild men who wear oni masks and wield overly-large kitchen knives and hunt down bad kids, threatening to take them away and eat them if they don't change their ways and are seen as Japan's answer to the Krampus or Bogeyman. In some stories, they sometimes go after newly wed couples and warn them they'll do the same thing if either of them become unfaithful to each other.
    • During some Japanese festivals, such as New Year, it's also common for actors to dress up as namahage and go around neighbourhoods searching for children and young couples to admonish.
  • The Oni's proverbial ferocity and strength were so renowed that many warriors, especially from the Azuchi-Momoyama (Sengoku, if you prefer) period, were often nicknamed "Oni" by their peers or successors, examples include Shibata Katsuiie, Shimazu Yoshihiro, Hattori Hanzō and Ii Naomasa (The Red Oni, because of the engine-red armor he and his troops wore).
  • The demons known as Ox-Head and Horse-Face, said to be the guardians of Hell in Chinese mythology, are often identified as Oni in Japan, by the name of Gozu(ki) and Mezu (Bull-headed Demon, Horse-headed Demon).
  • The strength and power of the oni, and their affinity for bludgeoning implements like the kanabō is acknowledged in the saying "oni ni kanabō" which basically means "making the strong even stronger."
  • Fujiwara no Chikata, a figure of poetry and folklore, was said to be an Evil Sorcerer who tried to kill the Emperor and used Black Magic to obtain the service of four powerful Oni, the invulnerable Kinki (Metal Oni), the invisible Ongyoki (Hidden Shape Oni), the flood invoking Suiki (Water Oni) and the hurricane-summoning Fuuki (Wind Oni). Some versions change some of the demons (usually Ongyoki and Suiki) with Doki (Earth Oni) and Kaki (Fire Oni). The Four Oni were powerful enough to stall armies, but were eventually subdued and banished.
  • In ancient times, the Rashomon Gate in Kyoto was said to be the hunting ground of a ferocious Oni (sometimes identified as Ibaraki Doji, see above) simply known as the "Rashomonki". Eventually a samurai came there to investigate, was attacked by the Oni but managed to drive it away by cutting his arm, though later the Oni managed to get his severed limb back with a trick.
  • Lady Momiji or Princess Sarashina was a famous and powerful Kijo infesting Mount Togakushi and antagonist of the Noh (and later Kabuki) play Momijigari, where she's hunt down by the hero Taira no Kagemochi and slain with the sacred sword Kogarasumaru. She appears either as a beautiful princess with her attendants or as a giant female Oni with fiery maple branches for horns.
  • A benevolent example of Oni is found in the Sankichi Oni: in his human form he enters taverns to get drunk, growing more and more oni-like as he gets drunk and leaving without paying once he has his fill. However, if left undisturbed during his drinking time, he will repay the innkeeper with anything he need (usually large amounts of lumber or rice).
  • Some Youkai are referred to as "oni" or have "oni/ki" in their names despite not being humans, such as the Sazae Oni (Turban Shell Demon), Ushioni/Gyuuki (Ox Demon) and Oniguma (Demon Bear).

    Tabletop Games 
  • One of the Ogre kiths (player types) in Changeling: The Lost is oni. Physically, they resemble the oni of legend (huge brutes with red skin), and they feed on blood, though in the game they were Was Once a Man instead of being born as spirits.
  • Oni are briefly detailed in the Gods and Monsters supplement for Mage: The Ascension: 20th Anniversary Edition. They mostly hide among the Yakuza and other violent organizations.
  • Oni are the template for ogre magi in Dungeons & 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.
  • Eberron: In the nation of Borunan on the continent of Sarlona, the ogres helped the angels fight demons in Shavarrath, the Eternal Battlefield. Some ogres bound demons into themselves, similar to the kalashtar but the demons were unwilling. This created the oni, and they attempt to redeem the demons through righteous combat, but they still have to deal with malevolent instincts. When the Inspired took over, they convinced everyone (including the oni) that the oni had made deals with devils out of naked lust for power, and the only way to redeem themselves was service to the Inspired.
  • Pathfinder expands on the Dungeons & Dragons depiction of oni by making them evil incorporeal spirits who manifest into material form, using various humanoid races as templates. The traditional ogre mage, of course, is based on ogres, while the most powerful Oni are the yai, based on giants. There's also oni based on humans, tengu, and kitsune, with the latter two drawing from negative characteristics attributed to the youkai their normal counterparts lack.
  • In Legend of the Five Rings, Oni are demons that enter the mortal world either through some poor fool summoning them, or through the Festering Pit of Fu Leng that connects the mortal and demon realms. They have an endless array of forms, some of which resemble the traditional Oni, like the Shikibu. One manual even includes a series of random generator tables to create your own Oni.
  • In Shadowrun, there is a Japanese ork metavariant that looks very much like the traditional Oni and is usually referred to as such. This causes them a fair bit of trouble because although they're still metahumans that are not necessarily good or evil, society expects them to act like the fairy-tale creatures they resemble.
  • In Scion, Oni are a specific form of low-level Giant. Scions of the Chinese Celestial Beauracracy can also take loyalist oni — specifically, the Hells-staffing demon oni Ma Mien (Horse Face) and Niu T'ou (Ox Head) — as followers.
  • Tenra Bansho Zero depicts Oni as something akin to Blizzard-style orcs, being a Fantasy Counterpart Culture of the Ainu who are hunted by humans because their crystalline hearts can be used to power Magitek. Oni also look enough like humans that they can pass as human by cutting off their horns, though this causes them to lose their racial Psychic Powers.

    Video Games 
  • Absinthia: Ibuki is an oni who can be found in the Eastport Buff secret map, and she wields a club in her boss battle. She's friendly to the party, but will not give up her treasure unless they beat her in a non-lethal battle. Afterwards, she'll give advice to the party and can be fought again in rematches.
  • Ao Oni: The eponymous monster, who pursues Hiroshi and his friends throughout the game. When each of your friends get caught, they're transformed into more Oni, and several more deformed versions of the original Oni are found in a jail cell near the end of the game.
  • In Arknights, a good number of the Operators are of the Oni race.
  • Koga Kitamikado from Ayakashi: Romance Reborn is a very handsome and benevolent oni who can hide his horns to appear human. He cares deeply about the Capital and its citizens (especially kids). True to his oni nature, he also loves drinking.
  • BlazBlue: Tager is called "Red Oni" in Japan because of his big red body and big fangs. Interestingly, he's also a Cyborg, and he was a normal human before both traits are given by his master, Professor Kokonoe, after he's mortally wounded in the past.
  • The Empire of the Rising Sun in Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 has the King Oni. Fittingly, they resemble giant hulking brutes, though their main form of attack are Eye Beams. They do however have a bull rush ability which causes them to rush forward and knock away anything unlucky enough to get in their way. And The Emperor has the original prototype of it. It's red, bigger, has shoulder-mounted missile pods and The Emperor is gonna kick your ass with it.
  • DanceDanceRevolution: The Challenge difficulty is known in Japanese as "Oni", and the Challenge Mode (a version of Nonstop Mode in which gameplay ends if you score four Goods or lower) is called "Oni Mode". In games where the difficulties are represented by graphics, Challenge is symbolized by a kanabo-wielding oni.
  • While they don't appear in Dark Souls III, they are mention in the lore of the Onislayer Greatbow.
  • An oni appears as a playable killer in Dead by Daylight, absorbing blood dropped from survivors and fill a meter to go into a One-Hit Down fury for 45 seconds with a kanabo by using Blood Fury. Wasn't always an Oni, though. Before the entity found him, though, he was just a pretty regular (albeit insanely bloodthirsty and vengeful) human samurai.
  • Red Magnus from Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance isn't mentioned to be any specific type of demon, but is clearly modeled after one of these.
  • Dynasty Warriors: Dian Wei has a subtle Oni motif: he's Cao Cao's main bodyguard and a massive brute of a man known as the "Incoming Evil". In the first five titles, he always carries an axe with an ox motif and an armguard with a horse motif, a nod to Ox Head and Horse Face, the guardians of Hell who became the Oni Gozu and Mezu in Japan.
  • Fate/Grand Order:
    • Gender Flip versions of Shuten-douji and Ibaraki-douji appear as playable Servants. They are both man eaters with a love of alcohol. Shuten-doujin also has romantic ties with Sakata Kintoki, one of the Four Heavenly Warriors to have participated in the extermination of the Oni of Mt. Ooe. However, he greatly regretted it, and his wish for the Holy Grail was for her revival.
    • Kotaro Fuuma and Tomoe Gozen are both mostly human but with oni ancestry (Fuuma specifically has the blood of the oni mixed in him to create the perfect leader of the Fuuma Clan). Tomoe even grows oni horns as she ascends.
    • Benienma is also an oni, though unlike Shuten and Ibaraki she's a Hell Oni who's part of Hell's Celestial Bureaucracy. She also doesn't have any of the typical physical traits oni have, instead having a sparrow motif since she originates from the Japanese folk tale "The Tongue-Cut Sparrow".
  • Onis are common enemies in Grimms Notes. One of the Chaos Tellers is even a giant Oni with two heads.
  • In Final Fantasy IV, the Final Boss Zeromus' first form is surprisingly Oni-like, especially in the 3D version, having a leering, mask-like face with sharp teeth and two fleshy appendages resembling horns and being covered in hair. Furthermore, it's spectral in nature and a mass of sheer hatred, grudge and other negative feelings. When forced to take a physical body though Zeromus becomes a more abstract abomination.
  • In Fire Emblem Fates, the quasi-Japanese nation of Hoshido has a Barbarian Hero class known as "Oni Savage", which promotes to "Oni Chieftain".note  While they aren't actually oni, they still invoke the imagery of them; they wear oni masks and wield clubs (The Hoshidan equivalent of the axe) in reference to oni-ni-kanabou ("oni with an iron club").
  • Flash of the Blade have gigantic red-skinned Oni enemies who Dual Wield gigantic clubs serving as enemies in the hell stage.
  • The Shugoki in For Honor aren't actually Oni, but they invoke the appearance with their monstrous size, demonic masks, and enormous kanabo clubs, as well as the beastly and animalistic nature of many of their animations. It is also strongly implied that they are actually descendants of citizens of the Dawn Empire who intermarried with the native Vikings, which gives rise to their sheer size and strength, and they are also the only Samurai hero who can have blond or red hair.
  • Oni appear as enemy assassins in Guild Wars: Factions. They serve the greater demon Kanaxai who dwells in The Deep.
  • Jitsu Squad have red-skinned Onis armed with tetsubo clubs as a recurring Giant Mook enemy.
  • Some of the Horned Humanoids of the Abyssal Fleet from KanColle like Seaport Princess, Northern Ocean Princess, and Battleship Princess. There's also some who have Oni in their names like Aircraft Carrier Water Oni, Anchorage Water Oni, and Isolated Island Oni.
  • In Kuon, Abe no Seimei can use her spells to summon either Zenki or Goki to protect herself. Both resemble imposing humans with mask and long hair (gold and red for Zenki, silver and white for Goki): the former can attack enemies in front of the summoner, the latter acts as a counterattack.
  • The Legend of Dragoon: early boss Fruegel has a rather Oni-like appearence, being a huge ogre of a man with a big belly, noticeable horns and wielding a kanabo-like cudgel. For bonus points, he's the chief warden of an horrible prison often compared to Hell itself.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • In The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, the Bokoblins are given a design resembling traditional depictions of Oni (outward-jutting fangs, loincloths made from big cat skins, etc.), in contrast to the Pig Man designs they usually have.
    • In The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, Ganondorf's new body as the Demon King is modeled after an oni, with horns, flaming hair, and sharp teeth. He can even summon a kanabo to attack Link with.
  • The final level of "The Islands" region of LittleBigPlanet is called "The Terrible Oni's Volcano". Appropriately enough, the final boss is an Oni made of Fire Material.
  • Air Man's stage in Mega Man 2 features several floating oni heads as platforms.
  • Monster Hunter: Rise features new monster Goss Harag, a bear-like Fanged Beast with Oni-like features, particularly a mask-like hairless face with horns and fangs, and attacks with giant clubs or blades it fashions from ice. For bonus points, the hairless parts of Goss Harag are normally blue, but turn red when it becomes angry.
  • In Monster Maulers, Diablo, "a demon who summons storms," is essentially an Oni (its Japanese name, Furaiki, literally means "wind/thunder oni"), even though its stage is a Chinese pagoda. It has blue skin and red hair.
  • Drahmin and Moloch from Mortal Kombat, though In Name Only (like many other Japanese-named things in Mortal Kombat, by the way)
  • Oni of various kinds appear in Muramasa: The Demon Blade, from small imp versions to hulking horned blues and reds to the horse-head and bull-head versions. One of Momohime's bosses is a huge, orange Great Oni, the boss of all the Oni. One of the DLC even has you play as a Cute Monster Girl oni.
  • Nioh, Oni, called Yoki in game files, are the result of people being corrupted by Amrita crystals. Normal Yoki are encountered in game as tough enemies, wielding swords, dual-swords or axes, complete with an even thougher, crystal-covered counterpart. Yoki can be stunned by smashing their horns. Bosses include Derrick, the Executioner of London's Tower, who's transformed into a Oni by Kelley, the Onryoki, formed by countless grudge-carrying souls and covered in chains, and the Ogress, a female, long-nailed female monster who's actually Ieyasu's former wife. The second games carries on the tradition, having as bosses not only the infernal guardians Gozuki and Mezuki, but also Shuten Doji, represented as a tall, flame-haired Oni with huge horns, a massive spiked rod and a massive drunkard and the great Ohtakemaru, whose backstory is narrated in the intro (and is turned into a Gentle Giant who became evil after being abused and attacked).
  • ONI Road to be the Mightiest Oni have you playing as a blue, chibi-Oni beating up a forest of assorted enemies.
  • The benefactors for the heroes of the Onimusha series; worse demons killed them off so they gave their power to humans. The Game Boy Advance Onimusha Tactics game gives nod to the different versions by stating that some escaped this fate by getting jobs in the Underworld.
  • Red Earth: There's Kongou, a typical red oni from Zipang, the same land Mukuro hails from. He was originally a human named Tanuma, a simple merchant, until he made a deal with Scion that turns him into a big red oni with an iron club.
  • Pokémon: Sawk and Throh are based on these, with one being red and one blue. They originally had horns but lost them because it was feared that they'd be confused with the Kami trio of legendaries.
  • In The Secret World, an exiled clan of oni are involved in organized crime in modern-day Tokyo.
  • In Sengoku Basara, certain special soldiers invoking the Oni imagery, as they are twice the size of nearly everyone safe for giant characters like Tadakatsu and Shingen, wield huge kanabo clubs with enough strength to send people flying and usually take a huge amount of punishment just to flinch. Most notably, a small army of these Giant Mook are employed by the Takeda in their Crane Wing Formation in Kawanakajima against Kenshin.
  • In Senran Kagura 2: Deep Crimson, there are two enemies whose appearances gained them the names "Red Oni" and "Blue Oni". There's also Murakumo from Gessen School who wears a oni mask. It's actually use as a emotion crutch as without it, she acts all shy.
  • These are among the tougher demons that Lo Wang faces in the Shadow Warrior remake, which primarily carry large shields.
  • The Shin Megami Tensei franchise has oni as some of the demons you can recruit.
  • Smite's depiction of Raijin and Fuujin are that of a red oni and blue oni respectively. Their lore mention them competing against one another to see who is the strongest.
  • The Deadly Six from Sonic Lost World are based on Oni, and are even known in Japan as "The Six Oni".
  • Soul Calibur IV's Kamikurimusi is essentially Tionisha from Monster Musume considering she beats up the game's endboss and lives out the rest of her life with him.
  • Street Fighter IV: Later updates add a character named Oni, who is actually Akuma after being fully consumed by the Satsui no Hadou. He's even more of a Blood Knight then Akuma is, wanting to cause nothing but destruction.
  • 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.
  • Super Mario Odyssey has enemies in Bowser's Kingdom called Stairface Ogres, which are based on oni. They wield large mallets that they will use to try and crush Mario when he gets close, although this allows Mario to climb up the mallet onto their heads and Ground Pound their weak point. They also make Kabuki Sounds upon death. According to the in-game travel brochure for Bowser's Kingdom, the Stairface Ogres are locals there.
  • Throne of Darkness, Oni of different size and shapes (including the diminutive Shoki, the feral Forest Oni and the large, Kanabo-wielding elite) are encountered amongst the forces of Zanshin. One of them is his second in command and killing him is part of a mandatory quest.
  • Tomb Raider (2013): The Stormguard warriors are occasionally referred to as "Oni" by other characters, but they are actually "merely" extremely long-lived (and quite possibly undead) human samurai, not mythological demons. However the Stormguard Stalker, their de-facto leader, is a gigantic, flesh-eating, club-wielding, ogre-like brute who certainly fits the mold, so it's possible that he is the source of the nickname, and it eventually transferred to the Stormguard as a whole by association.
  • Touhou Project:
    • Suika Ibuki and Yuugi Hoshiguma are powerful oni based on the legendary Shuten-douji and Hoshiguma-douji respectively, who once worked together as part of a group called the Big Four of the Mountain. The two are heavy drinkers, with Suika having never been seen sober in 700 years, and Yuugi being unable to be intoxicated. Kasen Ibaraki is heavily implied ( and later confirmed in Chapters 49 and 49.5 of Wild and Horned Hermit) to be another member of their group, based on Ibaraki-douji, who has chosen to disguise herself as a human for unclear reasons. A notable trait of oni in Touhou is their honesty; they Will Not Tell a Lie and they hate liars.
    • Remilia and Flandre Scarlet are vampires implied to be of European origin, but reference the "blood-sucking oni" translation by possessing the traditional weaknesses of oni in addition to their vampiric ones.
  • Oni are the main enemies in Toukiden. They come from the underworld and there are both male and female Oni in many different varieties.
  • Warriors Orochi: the third title introduces Shuten Doji as a playable character, appearing as a massive red Oni with tattoo-like signs over his body and carrying a huge gourd across his back he can use as an impromptu cudgel, as a bazooka, a vacuum-creating weapon and a beverage holder. He's also the "good" side of Orochi after he was split in the Youja/Hydra and him. Appropriate since in some myths, Shuten Doji is the child of the Yamata-no-Orochi.
  • The world of Mooshu from Wizard101 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
  • Yokai Hunter Shintaro is a game where almost all enemies encountered are yokai, and unsurprisingly there are multiple Oni mooks showing up throughout. Including a King Mook Oni tall enough to bump the top of the screen who fights you Sumo Wrestling-style.
  • Many youkai in Yo-Kai Watch are oni. Oni even appear during Terror Time. In Yo-Kai Watch 3, during the American counterpart of Oni Time, Zombie Night, their roles are taken by zombies.

    Visual Novels 
  • Shinra in Enchanted in the Moonlight is an oni (translated in the English-language release as "demon"). He's first seen in the prologue complaining about how oni are villainized in folk tales like that of Momotaro; he's blunt, brash and a little violent, but good-hearted.
  • Mion Sonozaki from Higurashi: When They Cry has an Oni tattooed on her back out of family tradition. The Sonozakis and the other great families (the Furudes and Kimiyoshis) claim to have Oni blood.
  • Oni have existed in the Nasuverse ever since Tsukihime, due to people in the past having tried to crossbreed with them to create Half Human Hybrids, which include Akiha Tohno. Fate works, especially Fate/Grand Order, expand on both half-breeds and actual oni with the likes of Fuuma Kotarou and Tomoe Gozen as half-breeds and Ibaraki-douji and Shuten-douji as actual oni, and reveal another type of oni, the Hell oni, with Beni-enma (as compared to Ibaraki and Shuten, who are Earth oni).

  • Erma; Erma's maternal uncle Kentaro is an Oni, and is quite popular among the other yokai as both a Big Fun party animal and a brave defender of weaker yokai. He quickly takes a shine to Erma and her family and has no reservations about her status as a Half-Human Hybrid.

    Web Original 
  • Fire Emblem On Forums:
  • In The Monstergirl Encyclopedia, Red and Blue Oni are two of the many profiles. Red Oni are hot-headed Hard-Drinking Party Girls who live to eat, drink, party and have sex. Blue Oni are more intellectual and reserved, but become raging horny drunks when they drink. The work also includes the Ushi Oni, here depicted as a sort of cross between a tarantula-based drider and a minotaur that is an insatiable beast that roams the hills, looking for victims to capture for sex and whose blood is so powerful it can corrupt any who are touched by it.

    Western Animation 

  • Oni-ni-kanabou ("oni with an iron club") is a Japanese expression meaning "overwhelmingly strong" or "a strong person with a tool or advantage that makes them even stronger, to the level of overkill".
  • The Japanese versions of a number of childrens' games reference oni, including tag (oni-gokko: "playing oni"; the player who is "it" is the oni) and hide-and-seek (kakure-oni: "hide [from the] oni").
  • Mamemaki, a ritual practiced at the Japanese festival of Setsubun, involves a crowd of people preparing for the new year by throwing roasted soybeans at a performer in an oni costume while shouting "Oni out! Luck in!".


Video Example(s):


Gaijin Goomba explains Oni

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

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Example of:

Main / Oni

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