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"I begin this book with the inconclusive story, a mundane modern mystery, because it raises the simple question of how we interpret our world. In particular, how do we explain occurrences that don't easily fit our everyday understandings of the way things work? When we ask who or what turned on the television, we are intimating that there is a living being or animated force interacting with us even though we cannot see it. We may visualize this force as a monster or a spirit or a ghost or a shape-shifting animal. In Japan such a force, and the form it takes, is often called a yokai."
The Book of Yokai: Mysterious Creatures of Japanese Folklore by Michael Foster
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Youkai/Yōkai (also known as "Yaoguai" in Chinese pinyin since the term originated from that language, literally meaning "bewitching spectres") are a widely-varied collection of various supernatural creatures or phenomenon 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 have their own alien set of values. 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 since that term is generally associated with pure evil, that does not adequately describe the creatures in question—as noted before, they function much more like The Fair Folk, spanning the entire moral range between good, mischievous, neutral, and actually evil. The closest true Western equivalent is probably that of the ancient Roman genii or spirits.

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Supernatural creatures drawn from Western sources often turn out to seem more like youkai in Japanese works. For instance, vampires.note  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 Fanservice 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 Superpowered 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.

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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 (hence the terms bake-gitsune, bake-neko, etc.) as well as 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.

Ayakashi is a word which is roughly synonymous with "youkai" in current day usage, though traditionally it referred to a ghost that appears at sea during a shipwreck.

Many types of youkai were codified during the Edo period in the works of Toriyama Sekien. The genre of manga that deals with Youkai was founded by Shigeru Mizuki (1922—2015), who was obsessed with Youkai ever since he was a child. The Trope Codifier of modern youkai manga is his ever-popular GeGeGe no Kitarō that has received an anime adaption at least once a decade since it was written.

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, some have garnered enough examples to warrant their own pages.

Youkai with their own pages:

  • Bakeneko and Nekomata — Types of cat youkai.
  • Baku — Dream-eating Tapir creature.
  • Gashadokuro — A giant skeleton manifest from those who died of war, plague or famine.
  • Hitodama — Wispy lights that hover around ghosts and possessed people.
  • Kamaitachi — A weasel-like creature with sickle-like claws that rides wind currents and cuts people.
  • Kappa — A "river goblin" resembling a cross between a monkey and a turtle.
  • Karakasa — An old umbrella come to life.
  • Kitsune — Foxes, treated in mythology as having great supernatural powers.
  • Nue — A chimera/manticore-esq beast with the head of a monkey, a tiger's body and a serpent for a tail.
  • Nurikabe — A living obstructive barrier.
  • Oni — A huge, muscular humanoid, similar to ogres.
  • Onryo — A vengeful female ghost, usually with long, stringy black hair and pale skin.
  • Orochi — A giant, multi-headed snake.
  • Raiju — The animalistic-personification of lightning.
  • Shinigami — A spirit of death.
  • Tanuki — A real animal also known as the "raccoon dog", treated in mythology as a shapeshifting trickster.
  • Tanuki/Kitsune Contrast — When Kitsune and Tanuki appear in the same work, they tend to be treated as rivals or otherwise compared and contrasted.
  • Tengu — Mountain-dwelling humanoids which either have long noses or resemble crows.
  • Tsuchigumo and Jorogumo — Shapeshifting spider youkai.
  • Tsuchinoko — A stout little snake cryptid.
  • Yuki-onna — A pale, snow spirit lady.
  • Yurei — Japanese counterpart of vengeful ghosts, Onryo being the most known type of Yurei.
  • Zashiki-warashi — A childlike spirit that should be cared for to keep the one's house in good fortune.

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Tsukumogami: Inanimate objects that come to life after a hundred years. These can range from weapons to clothes to umbrellas. Well-known traditional examples include karakasa (paper umbrellas), ittan-momen (a floating strip of cotton cloth), biwa-bokuboku and koto-furunushi (stringed musical instruments) and burabura (lanterns). Strangely, they avoid electrical energy in common folklore from the 1940s and it is said that no modern object could ever become a Tsukumogami.

     Tsukumogami Examples 

Anime and Manga

  • Ayakashi Triangle:
    • Garaku is the tsukumogami of an ink brush used by a famous artists hundreds of years ago. Atypically, he has a human Shapeshifter Default Form resembling his creator, and has a similar personality to match.
    • Some other ayakashi seem to be objects brought to life, including a paper lantern that chased Matsuri as a child and a clay jar that caused Yayo to constantly trip, but they aren't explicitly identified as tsukumogami.
  • GeGeGe no Kitarō has an ittan-momen whom Kitaro and his friends often ride on. It is weakened when it gets wet.
  • In Hakumei & Mikochi, Mikochi and another singer sing a song to celebrate the tsukumogami living among them. Their song causes various objects (chairs, tables, brooms, etc.) to come to life and start dancing along.
  • Hakushon Daimao: Hakushon is a genie who sometimes turns himself into objects and claims to be a tsukumogami.
  • Hell Girl: Ichimoku Ren 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.
  • Inuyasha: Yura of the Hair turns out to be a comb that became a youkai after being used to comb the hair of hundreds of corpses.
  • 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.
  • My Monster Secret has Mikan's cheap fake glasses becoming a Tsukumogami inhabited by a self-proclaimed fortune god. The example is atypical because what triggers the "tsukumogamization" isn't the age of the object, but how much Mikan cherishes it as a gift from Asahi, whom she secretly loves.
  • Omamori Himari features as one of its protagonists a Tsukumogami based in an English teacup.
  • RIN-NE features a "Tsukumogami sticker" which when placed on an object gives it the ability to talk.
  • In 3×3 Eyes, in the second part of the manga, an amnesiac Pai is targeted by living marionettes (who can take human form) who want to force her to make their "father" immortal (despite his death, a phenomenon that they cannot understand). To drive the point home, their creator's name is Soichi Tsugumo.
  • Shrine of the Morning Mist has two Tsukumogami among its characters.
  • Tsukipro's youkai AU features Rui as a Cute Monster Boy karakasa.
  • Tsugumomo revolves around these, both good and bad.
  • Tsukumo Happy Soul is a one-volume manga 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.
  • Ushio and Tora has a killer marionette Youkai who needs hearts from young women to charge its mechanism. Later on the author shows a rare example of "modern" Tsukumogami with Ikkaku, a swordfish-like, speed-eating demon born from a motorbike and forcibly possessing people to make it drive faster and faster.

Fan Works

  • Kamikakushi has three: Botan, a boroboroton (futon-Tsukumogami); Churippu, an ichiren-bozu (prayer-bead-Tsukumogami); and Higanbana, a koto-furunushi (koto-Tsukumogami).

Literature

Live-Action TV

Tabletop Games

  • Pathfinder features Tsukumogami as a monster type, using a variant of the Animated Objects monster template. Specifically, the Tsukumogami template goes over the Animated Object template, transforming the former golem into a Kami-subtype native outsider with full intelligence and an array of mystical abilities.

Video Games

  • AdventureQuest Worlds has a place called the Yokai Junkyard filled with tsukumogami, the specific types being Bakezouri, Biwa-Bokuboku, Bura-Bura, Kara-Kasa and Koto-Furunushi.
  • Yura and Gaku in Ayakashi: Romance Reborn are a tsukumogami flute and drum, respectively.
  • Ensemble Stars!: in the 2019 school festival event, Valkyrie dress up as living dolls.
  • Gaia Online: 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.
  • Izuna: Not only are some of the standard Tsukumogami found as enemies, you can actually make your own! The more you use a weapon, the more its "LUV" stat increases. When it hits 100, you can burn in a Tsukumo talisman to turn the weapon itself into a talisman; anything you stick it on will gain that weapon's special abilities. (It only works on weapons, not armour.) Make enough of these and you can get all the best powers in the game on a single claw.
  • Onmyōji: A large portion of the cast, but the only time the term is actually used is by Seimei regarding Onigiri, the pseudo-personification of the (real) Minamoto treasure sword Higekiri/Onigiri (Yasutsuna)/Tomokiri/Sunnashi/Shishinoko.
  • Pokémon: Several Pokémon appear to be based on Tsukumogami; unusually, some of these are modern objects, and indeed Electric-types. 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 Bōzu, 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), the Vanillite line (ice cream cones), the Honedge line (swords) and Klefki (keychain). Though one would wonder how a candle or an ice cream cone would last the required hundred years without melting long before them.
  • Touhou:
    • Kogasa Tatara is a Karakasa. However, the umbrella creates a projection of a human-like body to carry around the umbrella itself.
    • Medicine Melancholy may or may not be a doll Tsukumogami.
    • Hata no Kokoro is a varation of this that's known as a menreiki.
    • Double Dealing Character introduces Benben Tsukumo, a biwa tsukumogami, Yatsuhashi Tsukumo, a koto tsukumogami, and Raiko Horikawa, a taiko tsukumogami (although she also has thunder god characteristics as well).
  • Yo-Kai Watch features various yo-kai of this sort, such as hat yo-kai, remote yo-kai, and umbrella yo-kai.

Web Original

  • Dungeons of the Unforgiven: This can be the only explanation for a good half of the monstrosities strewn throughout the titular Dungeons.


Rokurokubi and Nukekubi: These two creatures are humanoid monsters, usually but not always female; 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 and blood, as well as vermin and lamp oil. In some depictions rokurokubi aren't a true species, but the Partial Transformation form of a snake youkai. Sometimes enter Ambiguously Human territory, being treated as humans afflicted by a strange curse or medical condition.

     Rokurokubi and Nukekubi Examples 

Anime and Manga

  • Hell Teacher Nube: Rokurokubi are a HUGE part of the series, 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, on at least one occasion, save the lives of herself and her friends.
  • Junji Ito Kyoufu Manga Collection: "The Hanging Balloons" riffs on the classic nukekubi tales in his usual style- after a Teen Idol is found nearly decapitated by an apparent suicide, her fans begin seeing a giant version of her head floating in the sky. As expected in an Ito work, things get significantly weirder from there as more giant noose-bearing balloons of people's heads show up, hunting their own living counterparts.
  • Mononoke Sharing: Kuro is a rokurokubi and aspiring comedian. Most of her jokes revolve around her long neck.
  • Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan: Kubinashi is a nukekubi.
  • Rosario + Vampire: Kubisaki from the Fan Club Coaltion is a rokurokubi.
  • Ushio and Tora: The Gamin-Sama are a family of five monstrous nukekubi (grandfather, mother, father, son and daughter) who are accidentally fred by workers and proceed to wreak havoc looking for the woman who sealed them, only to run into Tora who's annoyed enough to teach them a lesson or two. Also according to Tora, they come from China and they're also known as "Hitoban" (Barbaric Flying Heads, which is the collective name given to flying head monsters).
  • 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 surprisingly human looks for a demon. It was nighttime as well.

Comics

  • Hellboy:
    • The story "Heads" has Hellboy accidentally running across a household of Nukekubi. Needless to say, he hits them and pokes fun at them.
    • The OVA Hellboy Animated: Sword of Storms includes a scene that's an almost word-for-word adaptation of "Heads". In another scene, Hellboy encounters female Rokurokubi.
  • Usagi Yojimbo: Rokurokubi sometimes appears among Youkai, but a single, old Nukekubi is the protagonist of a story of the same title in the book A town called Hell, where he ambushes Usagi. Usagi manages to capture him and gives him to a talkative old woman who lives by herself and is plagued by lizards, so that the woman has company and the Nukekubi can sustain himself by eating the lizards.

Literature

  • Fighting Fantasy: The gamebook Sword of the Samurai has the protagonist visit an entire village of nukekubi, though the book mistakenly referred to them as rokorokubi.
  • Pact: At one point, Blake encounters a group of Others in the form of Japanese women who can "unspool" their internal organs into a long neck, or detach their heads entirely (though reattaching them is implied to be difficult). He notes that they don't seem very strong, and that the mage commanding them likely uses them as scouts rather than fighters.

Live-Action TV

Tabletop Games

  • Pathfinder features the rokurokubi as one of their many varieties of Japanese monsters. They are stated to be a Tian relative of the hag, although they seem to also be a variety of Snake People; in addition to their extendable necks, they have mouths full of sharp fangs, clawed fingers, and green-scaled skin, which they hide behind clothing and makeup. They are much more malicious than the typical rokurokubi, with murderous inclinations and a taste for human flesh, but at the same time, they need to breeds with humanoid men, as they are an Always Female One-Gender Race.

Video Games

  • Nioh: Dragon of the North adds Rokurokubi to the enemy roster: they normally look like any simple samurai warrior, but when engaged they extend their necks to attack, revealing a gaping mouth and Amurita crystal spikes all over their head and neck. Also, the "hands" on the side of the head makes the neck appear as a pair of arms.
  • In Onmyōji, there is a creature called No-neck (kubinashi) whose head floats over his body. Appears as NPC, monster and attainable shikigami.
  • Rei from Sable's Grimoire is a rokurokubi, which doesn't immediately seem to mean much, as she's basically just another (rather bad) student at the game's Wizarding School. Her route however shows that using her human appearance to pass for actually being human to avoid Fantastic Racism has given her some deep seated issues.
  • Team Fortress 2: The viral video nope.avi seems to reference rokurokubi. Or submarine periscopes.
  • Touhou: Sekibanki is officially called a Rokurokubi, but has flying head related abilities closer to a Nukekubi. However, her one spell card that directly references the Rokurokubi gives her flying head a stretchy neck. It's implied she is both, thanks to the two youkai often being confused for each other.
  • Yo-Kai Watch: Rokurokubi are one of the "Classic" Yo-Kai introduced in Yo-kai Watch 2. The English version renames her "Lady Longnek".


Nyuudou: Youkai that look like Buddhist monks, commonly encountered on roads. They existed in many different varieties and were one of the favorite forms for youkai possessing Voluntary Shapeshifting powers to assume.

Mikoshi-nyuudou, Miage-nyuudou and Nyuudou-bouzu are short monks who would grow taller as one looked at him until either one's neck was completely exposed from looking up at the nyuudou, at which point it would cut off one's head, or one fell backwards from trying to see how tall the nyuudou became, at which point it would laugh at you and disappear. Hitotsume-nyuudou are, just as their name indicates, one-eyed, cyloptic nyuudou.

     Nyuudou Examples 

Anime and Manga

  • Daily Life with Monster Girl: In the anime, one of the listed sub-species for Cyclops/Monoeye is One-Eyed Monk, what is basically just a Monoeye who converted into Buddhism.
  • In Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan, Hitotsume Nyuudou is a member of the Nura Clan and the chairman of the One-Eyed Demon Clan. Four hundred years ago, he was part of Nurarihyon's Hyakki Yakkou and as a result of Kokehime's rescue, she became attached to him.

Live-Action TV

  • Ninja Sentai Kakuranger: The Movie featured two Hitotsume Nyuudou brothers (referred in the movie by their alternate name Hitotsume Kozou) as secondary antagonists. Their boss and the film's main villain was another type of Nyuudou called Onnyudou.

Videogames

  • Nioh has Nyuudo as huge, hard-hitting enemies with round eyes and long, lolling tongues they can use to whip the player. They are something of a Mini-Boss. Their cyclopic one-eyed variants also appear, and they can be weakened by slashing their eye.
  • Touhou: Though only identified as a "Nyuudou"note , Unzan used to be the road-roaming, size-shifting and decapitating kind of nyuudou before Kumoi Ichirin defeated him. These days he acts much like a Guardian Entity to her and his Megaton Punches and Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs are a popular source of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure references within the fandom. It's also explained the reason why nyuudou grows taller when seen is because they're just really shy.


Wanyuudou: A burning wheel, frequently with a man's/monk's face serving as the hubcaps. This bizarre entity is flies about at night in search of humans to slaughter on sight and kidnap their souls. Often lumped with the Buer from the Ars Goetia.

     Wanyuudou Examples 

Anime and Manga

  • Berserk: Guts is attacked by burning wheel monsters at some point, but they're easily dispatched.
  • Hell Girl: One of Enma Ai's servants is a Wanyuudou (name's the same). He can turn into a whole cart to serve as Ai's transportation to her targets. His human form is an old man with a pretty sweet hat.
  • Nichijou: Mio sees that one has inexplicably replaced the bus that she is supposed to get on with Yuuko and Mai, which lets her know that the previous conversation she had with them about winning a manga contest was All Just a Dream.
  • Toriko: The phantom beast Tonyuudo is based on this creature. Like most things in Toriko's universe, the Tonyuudo's tears are edible and made of exquisite soy milk.

Comic Books

Live-Action TV

Videogames

  • AdventureQuest Worlds: Soultaker, the boss of Yokai Isle's Bamboo Forest, is a wanyuudou.
  • Castlevania: Several of these appear under different names as enemies in the series.
  • Muramasa: The Demon Blade: Wanyudo is Momohime's second boss.
  • Mystical Fighter: The boss of Stage 3 is a wanyuudou.
  • Nioh has the Wanyuudo as fire-elemental monsters whose deformed heads seemingly grow out of the hub like tumors. They can breath fire as they roll.
  • Ōkami features fire, ice, electric, and wind wheels each with a different sensory organ on them, an eye, lips, ear, and nose respectively. The nose is unintuitively called the Earth Nose.

Inugami and Okami: Dog and wolf gods. Usually malevolent, and often found serving as Familiars.

The okuri-inu and okuri-okami tend more towards Noble Wolf, following travellers and protecting them from harm. However, they have a tendency to attack people who mistreat or offend them... or sometimes just those who show too much weakness; as a result, "okuri-okami" has become an idiom referring to stalkers and Wolves in Sheep's Clothing.

     Inugami and Okami Examples 

Anime and Manga

  • Amatsuki: Kuchiha is possessed by a wolf-like inugami, rumoured to be the last of her kind.
  • Engaged to the Unidentified involves the relationship between between two teenage girls and a family of inugami.
  • Gintama: Sadaharu 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.
  • Inugami is a manga series by Masaya Hokazono about a boy who finds an inugami. His appearances are those of an extinct Japanese wolf, but he can grow spikes from his back to fight.
  • Inuyasha:
    • Inuyasha is a half dog-youkai. Inuyasha's father, stepmother, and half-brother Sesshoumaru are full dog-youkai. However, the story distinguishes between what Inuyasha's family is and "inugami" when villagers mistake Inuyasha for one and the gang are confused the mistake could have happened. This is because in Japanese lore "inugami" are a very specific type of sorcerer whose power comes from a dog they've killed and imbued on their behalf. The logical reason for how they made the mistake is because of Kagome's magically reinforced control over Inuyasha, which obviously looks similar to an inugami bond to an outsider.
    • The series also has a tribe of wolf youkai under the leadership of Kouga. The youkai have power over wolves and are wolves themselves that can transform into human form.
  • Kekkaishi has Madarao, Hakubi, and Kouya, who in their sealed forms resemble ghostly dogs, but when unsealed become massive spectral wolves.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima!: Kotaro Inugami 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 Man form, a dog form and a wolf form.
  • In Natsume's Book of Friends, Madara/Nyanko-sensei's larger youkai form.
  • Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan: Inugami-gyoubu Tamazuki often appears as a human with of habit of panting with his tongue hanging out. His real form is that of a giant dog.
  • Ushio and Tora: the manga-only monster "Gedo" is revered as a protector deity in a small community in Shikoku and manifests as a trio of monstrous white hounds which can split when wounded and can destroy monsters by devouring them. Gedo must rest in special pretty boxes made of rare materials. Stray Gedo are more akin to Hellhound monstrosities and feed on negative emotions.
  • X1999: Yuzuriha Nekoi (surname is deliberately misleading) has a dog spirit Inuki protecting her.
  • Yuki Yuna is a Hero: Fu has a Fairy Companion named Inugami. He grants her a sword.

Film — Live-Action

  • Inugami is a Japanese film about Akira, a teacher that falls for Miki, a papermaker. Miki's family is said to be under the curse of the inugami.

Literature

  • 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.

Video Games

  • Dancing Blade: Katte ni Momotenshi!: Oinu is a dog-youkai in the form of a young human girl. The only dog-like physical features she has are her ears, which are hidden in her hair and only seldom pop up. She's a benevolent, meek and loyal girl who loves dog-related items, and in Tears of Eden, the power-amplifying artefact she gets is a dog collar that belonged to a legendary and almighty demon dog. The intro movie of the same game also hints that she has a giant, grey-coated dog true form.
  • Muramasa: The Demon Blade: Inugami play a background role. 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.
  • Nioh 2 has the starting spirit Makami, a fiery wolf associated with the volcano god, and the Guardian Spirit of Maeda Toshiie, the Okuri Inu, a lantern-carrying dog Youkai who's said to stalk his victims in the mountains and devour them once they're desperate enough.
  • Ōkami: Amaterasu and her son Chibiterasu from Ōkamiden are wolf-like mythical creatures living in a world inspired by Japanese Mythology, and the names of their games make it fairly clear what creatures the games' makers had in mind.
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Inugami appear in some games, and sometimes they can even grow into their more powerful Makami counterparts.
  • Yo-Kai Watch: Inugami is a rare Yo-Kai in the series, named "Frostail" in English.

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ushi_oni.jpg

Ushi-Oni or Gyuuki: Meaning "bull fiend", this is a sort of counterpart to the minotaur. In some stories it's a demonic-looking ox with many tails and claws, in others a sort of horned Giant Spider, and in others still a wisp of fire. It's frequently seen with a half-women, half-snake youkai called Nure-onna, and reputed to be mates with her.

    Ushi-Oni Examples 

Anime and Manga

  • As expected, GeGeGe no Kitarō has had the title character encounter several of these. One story has a Ushi-Oni that's really a transformed fisherman, and when Kitaro defeats the beast, he's temporarily cursed by the Ushi-Oni's spirit before returning to normal.
  • Berserk: Nosferatu Zodd's Apostle form is a winged minotaur with a tiger-like face and paws.
  • Gantz: One Ushi-Oni-like Kaiju has a bovine upper body and spider-like lower half.
  • Inuyasha: Gyuu Oh 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.
  • Naruto: The Eight-Tailed Beast is a giant bull-like demon with four horns and eight Combat Tentacles in lieu of tails.His name is, ironically enough, Gyuuki
  • Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan: Gyuki is implied to be a Ushi-Oni. Heck, his name is the alternate character reading of Ushi Oni.
  • Ranma ½: Pantyhose Taro's monster form can be associated to the Ushi Oni.
  • 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.
  • Yuki Yuna is a Hero: Yuna's Fairy Companion Gyuki is based on the ushi-oni. He's a cute pink steer that allows Yuna to use her "Hero Punch" attack.

Literature

Live-Action TV

Video Games

  • Digimon: Dokugumon is an enormous, monstrous spider whose face is entirely concealed by a bull-horned helmet.
  • Fate Grandorder: Ushi-Gozen is referenced in regards to Minamoto-no-Raikou, as there are legends of the youkai being the younger brother of Minamoto-no-Yorimitsu. The twist being that Raikou is Ushi-Gozen, who exists as a split personality for her that favours her demonic heritage.
  • Nioh 2: Gyuuki is fought as a boss halfway through the game, and is a huge boss resembling the traditional depiction but with a more bovine-like body (the spider legs are located in the same position as an actual bull's and are tipped with hooves), a tail and the ability to grow feathery wings from the top of his back to fly over the arena and bodyslam anything beneath him.
  • Oira Jajamaru Sekai Daibouken: An Ushi-oni serves as the first boss. Like most enemies, he is completely replaced in the localized Maru's Mission, in this case with a Faceless Eye named Eyeclop.
  • Ōkami: The Bull Chargers can be best described as something between a bull. a centaur and a Giant Spider.
  • Urumi Ushizaki from Touhou is an ushi-oni. While her appearance is that of a cow, she seems to have aspects from the nure-onna, prominently her trademark stone baby, which she used to use to drown people. Since killing human villagers became forbidden in Gensokyo, nowadays she runs a fishing business in the Sanzu river, fishing up extinct fish.
  • Gyuki from Warriors Orochi is one, though he looks more like a boar demon than a bull. He's a Giant Mook type encountered as an officer among Orochi's forces alongside the Serpent Demons and the Dodomeki.
  • Yo-Kai Watch has a kudan named Predictabull. He is a benevolent fortune-teller who can only tell the weather.

Web Original

  • Monster Girl Encyclopedia: Ushi-Oni are a subspecies of the Spider-Girls family native to Zipangu, and appear as buxom tarantula girls with cowgirl-like horns. They are the most primal and savage of the spider-girls in the setting so far, a primitive race who tend to simply snatch, grab and rape men they find attractive. They are renowned for their strength, and feared for their blood, which is so heavily laced with demonic energy that it will instantly transform humans exposed to it into incubi or new ushi-oni, depending on their gender.


Nuppeppo: A fleshy blob creature that lumbers around in deserted places, mainly temples and graveyards. They have a smell comparable to that of rotting flesh, leading some to believe they are made of corpses. In spite of this, nuppeppo are generally peaceful creatures.

    Nuppeppo Examples 

Live-Action TV

Video Games

  • Muramasa: The Demon Blade: Nuppeppo are enemies resembling purple blob creatures with eyes. They mainly try to throw pieces of themselves at you, but otherwise stand in place to allow you to whack on them.
  • Pokémon: Gulpin and Swalot resemble this creature, being voracious ambulatory stomachs that emit repulsive gases while digesting their food.
  • Yume Nikki has two examples:
    • The Mouth Monsters are a trio of brown blobs with large mouths and varying hairstyles. Each of them are seen near blood stains, and are the only NPCs in their respective areas.note  One of them even has poop on their head, so at least that one doesn't smell good.
    • Uboa is a rare malicious example, as it traps Madotsuki and takes her to an inescapable world. In the manga, it even assaults her and steals her effects.
  • Yo-Kai Watch:
    • Everfore ("Oiran" in Japan) is related to the nuppeppo yokai but is not directly based on it. She is the evolved form of Grumples after fusing her with Ageless Powder. She goes from a wrinkly old woman to a beautiful, young looking one. It's implied that the Ageless Powder is a powdered form of nuppeppo.
    • Dismarelda ("Don'yorinu" in Japan) seems to be loosely based off of nuppeppo. She is a huge purple blob that puts people in a bad mood.
    • A proper Nuppepo is introduced in Yo-kai Watch 4.


https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/umibozu.jpg
Umibozu: A shadowy, humanoid giant that lives in the sea and sinks ships. They often demand a barrel which they use to fill their target ship with water; to avoid this danger, the umibozu most be given a barrel with a missing bottom. They physically appear as gray or black giants with bald heads and no facial features save for a pair of eyes. Sometimes translated as sea bonze.

     Umibozu Examples 

Anime and Manga

  • One Piece: At the end of the Thriller Bark arc, a huge shadow with glowing red eyes appears within the fog of the Florian Triangle. Its true nature or even shape are never revealed, but it considerably dwarfs Thriller Bark, an island-sized pirate ship, in size.

Live-Action TV

Tabletop Games

  • Pathfinder: Sea bonzes are colossal undead creatures created from maritime disasters — typically, a sea bonze is animated by the linger fear, pain and despair of entire crews who died at sea. They resemble limbless, featureless humanoids with rubbery black skin and glowing eyes, and exist only to stalk and destroy ships. They show no mercy to those who try to fight back with brawn or weapons, but have an odd respect for those who can outwit them and are sometimes talked out of their attacks thanks to the efforts of fast-talking crew members.

Toys

  • Monster in My Pocket: Umi Bozu — later rebranded as Giant Sea Phantom — is Monster #118. It resembles a large, bald humanoid with serpentine limbs, and its description summarizes its mythical behavior before comparing its habit of drowning people to the undine and its appearance to the bishop fish.

Video Games

  • The Ocean Hunter: Umibozu, one of the minibosses, is a gigantic, dark blue octopus whose rounded mantle somewhat resembles a man's shaven head.
  • Yo Kai Watch: Swosh — Umi-bōzu in Japanese — is a Water-attribute Yokai resembling a large mobile lump of soil, with rounded counters and only a pair of eyes for a face.


Works that feature multiple youkai include:

    Youkai Examples 

Anime and Manga

  • 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.
  • Though Ayakashi Triangle uses the term "ayakashi" to refers purely spiritual beings, many of individual specimens are based on traditional youkai. Shirogane actually calls himself as "youkai" when introducing the concept of ayakashi, and though it's not used or explained otherwise, his phrasing implies it's an alternate term for the same thing. The Japanese version even abbreviates "ayakashi (あやかし)" with the kanji "妖", which is find in word "youkai (妖怪)".
  • In Azumanga Daioh, during one of the School Festival episodes, the girls ponder Osaka's idea of an obakeyashiki kisaten ("haunted cafe"), and imagine Chiyo dressed as a nurikabe and Osaka dressed as a karakasa.
  • Daily Life with Monster Girl has the occasional youkai show up, but the focus is more on the monster girls of other cultures.
  • Gantz features every youkai ever as aliens in the Osaka arc.
  • GeGeGe no Kitarō is all about youkai. Kitaro himself is a youkai.
  • Gugure! Kokkuri-san has a female protagonist who unintentionally attracts quite a few, and three of them (a kitsune, inugami and tanuki) end up haunting her.
  • Gurumin has Monsters as friendly NPCs; they are called Obake in Japanese. Meanwhile, the antagonists are called Phantoms, perhaps drawing parallel to the other meaning of obake.
  • 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 Girl 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.
  • 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.
  • Inu × Boku SS revolves around a bunch of Half Human Hybrids actually descendants of demons.
  • 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 Kiss, a manga about a teenage girl who accidentally becomes a Shinto god, naturally features youkai.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • A Letter to Momo features three Youkai, there are others living in the forest.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima! has two hanyou (human-youkai hybrids) among Negi's True Companions, the half-tengu Setsuna and Koutaro who is half-inugami.
  • Miss Hokusai, despite being a relatively realistic slice-of-life anime movie about Hokusai's daughter, has several youkai: A famous courtesan is a rokurokubi — her "spirit" stretches instead of her physical neck and while only a few people can see it everyone sees it pressing against the courtesan's mosquito netting. Ghost lights appear in front of a "haunted" painting of Hell and a giant ox demon threatens to show up at the house where the painting is. The painting is "haunted" because "Miss Hokusai" forgot to show the ghosts in Hell being redeemed by Buddha (which was kind of the whole point of the painting's commission in the first place, oops). Hokusai adds the Buddha and the haunting stops.
  • Mononoke Sharing is about an ordinary high school girl moving into an apartment complex with five big breasted youkai (Kappa, Oni, Kitsune, Rokurokubi, and Yuki onna) as part of an experiment to see if youkai can integrate with humans.
  • My Monster Secret has Youkai among the non-human students who attend Morobare High School in secret. Most of them are the underclassmen who Asahi councils in the second part of the manga; this list includes a Tengu and a Rokurokubi. Most notably, the series' effective Big Bad, Principal Shirayuki, is a Yuki-Onna who used to be human.
  • 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's Book of Friends contains many youkai, referred to as "ayakashi" including those whose names are contained within the titular book.
  • In Neko-de Gomen!, Kuroda makes a serum that turns people into the youkai that fits them best for ten hours.
  • Most of the cast of Neko Musume Michikusa Nikki is composed of youkai living in and around a small Japanese town.
  • Nijigahara Holograph specificially mentions the "kudan", a youkai in the form of a cow with a human face that is short-lived but is often a Portent of Doom before it dies. In the local mythology of the area the story revolves around, if the former inhabitants sent a dead kudan down the river at that spot, twin kudans would be found there not long after. Later, a strange prophecy about a monster living in the tunnels underneath that area ties into this legend, as the people who relate the prophecy tend to become something like human analogues to the kudan.
  • Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan 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.
  • Omamori Himari features several other Youkai in addition to the aforementioned, including a 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.
  • Ranma ½ frequently exploited Japanese folklore to provide their Monster of the Week.
  • Rosario + Vampire: There is a reason the school is called Youkai Academy (though monsters from many other cultures are largely present as well). The name of the school, however, is a Punny Name, since it uses a different set of kanji than the ones that designate the youkai.
  • 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.
  • Sengoku Youko is rife with these, s the series is set in feudal Japan and one of the main characters feature a Kitsune.
  • Shaman King features many youkai as Japanese-specific spirits.
  • The Lilo & Stitch franchise's anime series Stitch! features (for the first two seasons) a youkai named Kijimunaa (based on an Okinawan youkai resembling a little redheaded elf) who is friends with Yuna and Stitch.
  • 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.
  • Idol series ''Tsukipro has a youkai AU, in which each idol is a different sort of youkai. The AU has not appeared in any of the anime series yet, but in 2018, two of the stage plays featured it — "Natsu-Yume-Matsuri", performed at the Tsukipro Bunkasai event in July 2018, starred Rui, Kai, Ichiru, and Issei, in their youkai forms. SQS Episode 2, to be performed in November 2018, features Tsubasa and Eichi falling into a river and ending up in the realm of youkai, and encountering the youkai forms of the other SQ members. It is said that the youkai forms live around Tsukino Shrine, which is something of a portal between their realm and the real world. The shrine has no set location, and can possibly be found anywhere.
  • Usagi Yojimbo has featured nearly every monster from Japanese tradition, from Oni to Kappas to Nues (chimera-like beasts) and an Obakeneko (vampire cat).
  • Urusei Yatsura, which, despite the nominal sci-fi setting, features many youkai both as Ancient Astronauts and as actual monsters.
  • Ushio and Tora is all about fighting youkai until facing the strongest of them all, a god-like kitsune (born in India of all places).
  • Xxx Holic features many types of youkai.
  • In Yes! Pretty Cure 5 GoGo! episode 27, "Rin-chan vs. Ōedo Yōkai!", Shibiretta takes the Cures and mascots back to the Edo period, where they encounter noppera-bō, rokurokubi, karakasa, oni and burabura.
  • Yuki Yuna is a Hero features cutesy versions of traditional youkai as the characters' fairy partners. The title character is accompanied by a Gyuuki, which takes the form of a tiny bull with stubby wings.
  • The manga and anime Nagasarete Airantou takes place on the titular island of Airantou which is inhabited by a large number of youkai. Much of the comedy centers around the protagonist Ikuto's (who is from modern Japan and stranded on the island) refusal to believe in youkai and magic and how much he will bend over backwards with increasingly ludicrous "scientific" explanations to try and handwave away what he just witnessed. (such as seeing a ghost and dismissing it as a polar bear (on a tropical island) and then thinking it's just a kind of trick when it literally vanished into thin air.)

Card Games

  • Magic: The Gathering: The Kamigawa block, which is heavily inspired by Japanese Mythology, features numerous yokai among its many and diverse spirit creatures.
  • The Obake Karuta, a set of cards with Yokai themes that were used in the Edo Period. An ancestor of the modern Pokémon and Yu-Gi-Oh! card games.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! has a number of cards based on youkai.
    • Most youkai which don't belong to a certain archetype tend to be Zombie-Type. This includes: Gozuki (Ox Head) and Mezuki (Horse Face); a Nine-Tailed Fox; Shutendoji, and Kasha (though its flaming chariot appearance matches that of Hinoguruma more). In the Yu-Gi-Oh! GX manga, Bastion uses a deck comprised of these youkai that centers around bringing cards back from the graveyard. Incidentally, this adaptation is the only one to make "Youkai" its own monster Type.
    • The "Yosenju" archetype, which seems to be mostly (if not entirely) made up of Kamaitachi.
    • Spirit Monsters are a type of card that return to your hand at the end of the turn, the majority of which are based on famous gods and monsters from Japanese Mythology.
    • The Synchro-climb based archetype, "Mayakashi", includes an Oboroguruma, Tsuchigumo, nine-tailed fox, Yaksha, Tengu, and Gashadokuro.

Comic Books

  • Usagi Yojimbo often features Obake (translated by Sakai as "Haunts") of different varieties in many stories, ranging from Ghosts, to demons, to Kappas to Tengu and many others. The stand-alone volume "Yokai" has Usagi and demon-queller Sasuke joining forces to fight an army of Obake.
  • Anthony Bourdain's Hungry Ghosts: "The Starving Skeleton" features the creation of a Gashadokuro, made when a chef refused to feed a starving homeless man.
    • "The Pirates" stars a Sazae-oni, a crustacean mermaid-esq creature that steals a crew of pirate's collective testicles.
    • "Salty Horse" features a horse-based Tsukimono, a malevolent animal spirit that possesses people.
    • "The Heads" features Rokurokubi, more specifically the kind where their heads detatch.
    • "Deep" stars a Kappa.
    • "Boil in the Belly" stars a Bakemono, a snake-like monster that possesses a young man.
    • "The Snow Woman" stars Yuki-onna, a snow woman.
    • "The Cow Head" stars a kudan, who tries to warn the villagers of a disaster, only for the villagers to kill and eat him. From their stomachs various other youkai burst out, including a Tengu, a Bakemono, an Ushi-oni and a Hitotsume-nyūdō.
    • The epilogue reveals that the chefs are all youkai in-disguise, including a Hitotsume-nyūdō, an Ushi-oni and a Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl.

Fan Works

  • Embers: The various spirits are largely based on various youkai.
  • Pony POV Series: While the normal versions exist as species (with Kitsunes and Shisa being seen in Neighpon), this word is used to describe the draconequus equivalent of angels. They function identically to angels (being servants/messengers of their deity), the difference being primarily cosmetic.

Film — Animated

  • Studio Ghibli: Not surprisingly, yokai feature in quite a few movies:
    • My Neighbor Totoro: The Soot Sprites and Totoros, though original to the movie, have some characteristics of traditional youkai.
    • In Pom Poko, the Tanuki prove capable of transforming into a wide variety of other youkai. Kitsune make an appearance as well, later in the movie.
    • Princess Mononoke has the Kotodama, which are spirits that live in the forest, as well as the Deer God.
    • Spirited Away: Most of the background characters are some form of youkai. "No Face" is a noppera-bō, while the workers at Yubaba's bathhouse are toad and weasel spirits.

Film — Live-Action

Literature

  • Kanokon: Nozomu Ezomori is a 200-year-old wolf spirit, both trying to seduce the protagonist, Kouta Oyamada. In fact, nearly everyone except him is Obake of some sort (sisters, brothers, etc to Chizuru and Nozomu. Many don't show up in the anime, though).

Live-Action TV

  • Super Sentai tends to use youkai as enemies in especially Japanese-themed series (meaning featuring ninja or samurai):
    • Ninja Sentai Kakuranger: The enemies are ALL Youkai, nearly all of which have adapted in some way to the modern world. There's a nurikabe covered in graffiti, a sand woman dressed like a hooker, a chariot youkai who's now a taxicab, and a hungry ghost dressed like a fast-food jockey. Sometimes the behavior is very different from the traditional youkai they're based on, but that's usually excused with "long ago, they were like [insert mythological behavior here] but the modern ones are [insert a Monster of the Week-ish behavior here] instead!"
    • Samurai Sentai Shinkenger: The enemies are called ayakashi and are based on youkai (and In-Universe, the basis for youkai), but following ayakashi's traditional meaning of "shipwreck ghost", most if not all of them have some kind of sea-creature theme along with their mythic one.
    • Shuriken Sentai Ninninger: Similar to Kakuranger, the enemies are modernized versions of youkai; this time done by bringing inanimate objects to life. For instance, a chainsaw is turned into a kamaitachi and a snowcone maker into a yuki-onna. They also bring in three classic Halloween monsters (Frankenstein's Monster, Dracula and the Wolf Man) and classify them as "Western youkai".
  • Ultra Series: Youkai or Kaiju based on them have appeared as a Monster of the Week here and there. Many are based on examples above, but others are wholly original.
    • Ultraman: Woo from the original series is a yeti-like youkai manifests from the spirit of a deceased parent who seeks to continue to protect their child.
    • Ultraman 80 featured a few youkai, like Jihibikiran (a sumo boy who wrestles everyone he meets) and Idantenran (a marathon runner who transforms into a giant monster when enraged).
    • Ultraman Tiga: One episode features a youkai named Obikoboushi (Obiko for short), a mischievous demon-like creature who thrives in darkness and disguises himself as a noodle vendor in order to scare people with his magically animated shadow.
    • Ultraman Cosmos: Two episodes deal with a Bigfoot-like youkai named Yamawarawanote  who likes to befriend children lost in the forest. In the latter episode, we also meet Yamawarawa's archenemy, the demon-like Mahagenom.

Tabletop Games

  • In Chuubo's Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine, there are some youkai living in Town, primarily tsukumogami, with an assortment of various others sometimes popping up. Town's long-necked people are basically rokurokubi who've learned how to stretch their necks any time they like.
  • Dungeons & 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, while nuppeppo have made their way in as nupperibo, residents of the Hells.
  • Golden Sky Stories: The player characters are all various kinds of henge, although from the more benign variety. A later Japanese supplement introduces mononoke, wholly magical creatures, which cover virtually any type of non-henge youkai.
  • Kitsune: Of Foxes and Fools obviously has kitsune as the player's characters, but a number of other youkai are available as allies as well.
  • Legend of the Five Rings, which draws heavily on Japanese Mythology, has many youkai, mostly malevolent.
  • Pathfinder, which tends to include a lot of creatures from real-life mythologies, does one better than its rival D&D by featuring many of the same youkai (including Ogre Magi under their proper name of oni), but also including many, many others (both on this page and not), including a number of obscure ones like the sagari, the hyakume, the jinmenju, the bisha ga tsuku, the harionago, the akaname, the kuda-gitsune (referred to simply as the pipefox), and the bakekujira.

Videogames

  • Ayakashi: Romance Reborn, features, like its name implies, several youkai usually disguised as humans. Strangely enough, though, they're never called 'Youkai', but rather 'Ayakashi'. Other than that, there's also someone else who isn't an Ayakashi/Youkai at all, but not fully human either...
  • Kind of a rarity in Cuphead, as all of the ghosts inhabiting the Phantom Express are subtly based on different types of youkai. The Blind Specter is based on tenome, an eyeless old man with eyeballs on his hands; T-bone is based on gashadokuro, a giant skeleton; the Blaze Brothers appear to be based on wanyuudou, flaming oxcart wheels with screaming faces; and the Head of the Train is based on oboroguruma, oxcarts with faces found on roads late at night. Maybe; what Japanese spooks are doing in a game based on American cartoons is a mystery.
  • While not actually Youkai in the demon-form, EVE Online has a couple of spaceships named after Youkai. Among those are the Kitsune, a small, but very potent ECM-based ship and the Tengu, a fast, medium-sized, powerful (and incredibly sturdy) ship capable of doing Level 5 Missions with no support, while all other ships require a fleet for those. It's also the general favorite among Mission-Runners, due to its high amount of Firepower.
  • Izuna: Legend of the Unemployed Ninja has Kappa, Tengu, nurikabe and many other youkai among the enemies.
  • Kanon: Makoto is a kitsune who lost her memory in exchange for the ability to transform. It came with a hefty price.
  • Kiki Kai Kai, a series of Cute 'em Up games (which were localized under the Market-Based Title of Pocky & Rocky) that includes several kinds of obake as enemies, several of the partners throughout the series are yokai as well. Aside from that, the main protagonist, Sayo-chan, is a Miko.
  • Monster Hunter Rise release trailer alongside a Japanese aesthetic shows new dragons inpired by youkai: Aknosom (an umbrella-plumaged crane), Tetranadon (a kappa with an alligator's head), and Izuchi (a weasel raptor with a sickle-bladed tail).
  • Muramasa: The Demon Blade features many youkai enemies.
  • Nioh, an historical fiction following William Adams, features Youkai as enemies in the waning days of the Sengoku Jidai period, who have been brought forth by the persistent war.
  • Onigiri uses nearly all the youkai mentioned above, plus several not even listed here. They're all faithful to their original sources.
  • Onmyōji is about, well, an onmyōji named Abe no Seimei who, along with his companions, prevents yōkai from causing troubles to humans.
  • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies: The second case of the game takes place in a town that maintains an ardent superstition of the youkai and plays a major role in the order of events (particularly a Karasu Tengu creature called "Tenma Taro" and the fabled nine-tailed Kitsune).
  • Pokémon has a lot of creatures based on youkai. It can even be said that all Pokémon take on the same roles that youkai supposedly play in the real world, as both take on the roles of animals and nature spirits while also being combination of malicious and scary yet friendly and endearing when befriended.
    • Exeggutor bears a resemblance to the ninmenju, a tree that grows human faces instead of fruit.
    • Mawile 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. Mawile gains a Mega Evolution in Generation VI, which gives it two mouths on the back of its head.
  • Rising Dusk is full of Youkai, with the player's character finding herself trapped in their world.
  • In Sable's Grimoire, Sable’s demihuman classmates include a rokurokubi and a noppera-bō.
  • Various of the fighters in Samurai Shodown series are youkai or based on them like Gen-An Shiranui (a goblin-like creature), Basara Kubikiri (a yurei, who also has a hitodama) and his lover Kagaribi (an onryo), Kusaregedo (a gaki), Chanple (Mina Majikina's mon, an ayakashi), Iroha (a Tsuru Nyōbō aka "Crane Lover"), and Yashamaru Kurama (a half-human half-tengu).
  • 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.
  • SNK vs. Capcom: SVC Chaos: Some of the characters, when defeated by Red Arremer, turn into different types of youkai.
  • Throne of Darkness, a Diablo-like Hack and Slash uses nearly only monsters of these origins.
  • Touhou: In Touhou Project, almost every known character, apart from the four-and-a-half human protagonists, a couple ghosts, and a handful of goddesses, is some form of youkai. Whether or not fairies are youkai is also subject to interpretation, both in and out-universe.
  • Yo-Kai Watch is a Mon series revolving around yokai. The games and anime revolve around a boy named Nate using a mystical watch to perceive, communicate with, and summon yokai to solve other people's (or other yokai's) problems.
  • Yodanji is a mobile Roguelike that features many yokai as character classes.

Webcomics

  • In Axis Powers Hetalia, Japan talks about the legend of youkai but states that they do not exist. However, England does meet and talks to a kappa and an onion-head youkai, though Japan is skeptical. This is meant to mirror their countries views on myths, modern Japan sees myths as esoteric nonsense, quirky at best, while modern England still sees some value in myths and traditions.
    • This is expanded upon in the anime, the Youkai explain to England that they all will eventually have to leave Japan's home as less and less people believe in them, so they have no reason to stay. England is shown to be quite upset about it, but there's nothing he can do to help them.
  • Charby the Vampirate: The twins Han and Cho are cat youkai living at King Samrick's palace. Han is working for the king as one of his Justiciars.
  • Demon's World, a Toaplan 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.
  • Karin-dou 4koma: The vast majority of the cast are either magicians or some kind of youkai, generally either tsukumogami (coin, camera...) or animal (fox, bird/dog, snake, toad, crow...). Somehow, there's a Henshin Hero youkai. In one strip, a few characters discuss the possibility of virtual idols becoming youkai; one dismissing them as too fleeting to take hold and a moment later suggests that God is the original such idol.
  • In Erma, the titular character and her mother are both youkai (although Erma is only half thanks to her human dad), and when they go back to Japan in the Family Reunion arc, it's obvious that the author did their research on youkai, as the youkai marketplace is a massively detailed Cast of Snowflakes with too many species to list, all of them actual mythological youkai.

Web Original

  • The web story Broken Gate has Nezumi, a rat (or mouse) youkai, and her three siblings, Toramaru (otherwise known as Tora),a tiger youkai, Miyako, a horse youkai, and Ryuuji, a dragon youkai. However, aside from her ears, Nezumi can pass for human and the same occurs for Miyako, aside from the hooves she keeps concealed under a kimono or her ears).
  • In the Monster Girl Encyclopedia, Youkai are exclusively Cute Monster Girls of the Zipangu region. Unlike other parts of this world, they've peacefully coexisted with humans long before anyone can remember. The youkai aren't part of the Demon Lord army and there is no Knight Templar religion hunting them down — in fact, powerful monsters like nine-tail Inari are revered as gods.

Western Animation

  • Adventure Time has the fruit witches in "Dad's Dungeon", which seem to be Futakuchi-onna.
  • Legend of the Three Caballeros has various youkai living in the Underworld. Unlike the ghost citizens, they are not dead, and are able to kill spirits as well. A Tengu in particular is the guard of the gates to the living.
  • Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja has really shown its work for a western cartoon when it comes to the actual Japanese mythological elements, right down to the inclusion of youkai. The feathers of the Tengu were used to create the Ninja suit, and in the episode Evil Spirit Week, Howard becomes possessed by a Tengu.
  • Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Not the first adaptation of the franchise to use them, but featured much more prominently here, as Yokai have a huge subterranean city beneath New York. Supporting villain Big Mama is a Jurogumo, and main antagonist/mutant-creating-alchemist-warrior Baron Draxum is a humanoid ram identified as a "Yokai". The mutants the franchise (the title characters included) are even eventually revealed to be artificial yokai. The series finale states yokai were created by a mysterious substance called Empyrean, which is implied to have been brought to the Earth by aliens (this continuity's equivalent of Krang).

Alternative Title(s): Yokai, Obake, Inugami

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