A while back, I answered a question for tumblr user @outerkat that gave an explanation of known information about the characters of the Onibi Series. That information is now outdated, so it’s time for an update!
(As usual, this post was made with the help of @shishikusas. Bless her heart this fandom would get absolutely nowhere without her.)
This is what we know as of mid-2017.
The canon order of the songs is still:
1. The Spider and the Kitsune-Like Lion
2. The Fox’s Wedding
3. The Beautiful Shadow of the Demon’s Frenzied Dance Performance
4. Demon Child in the Clear Mirror (at the same time as #3, in a different location)
5. Beheading Dance
6. Death, Misfortune, and the Amanojaku
8. Star Lily Dance Performance Capital
Time for characters!
She has two designs. The green-haired one with the bow was how she was first drawn, and its only purpose was to make her recognizable as Gumi. Her canon appearance is the one with long brown hair.
Mai is a member of the esteemed Shishikusa clan, and after being mistreated by some men when she was very young, she ate them and left one of their heads at the scene. She later devours her own mother, Ryou, during her (Mai’s) birthday party. Delectably morbid.
In The Fox’s Wedding, she is kidnapped by Akari’s brother (we call him Takahiro but he doesn’t have a canon name). She is forcibly fed human flesh (which probably made her cannibalistic tendencies permanent), and it’s likely that she may have been molested at this time, too.
In The Beautiful Shadow of the Demon’s Frenzied Dance Performance, Mai goes crazy and begins to devour more and more people.
She is seen as a doll in Death, Misfortune, and the Amanojaku. Also, Masa has confirmed that Mai and Akari are the characters seen in Beheading Dance.
Star Lily Dance Performance is a dream, a figment of Mai’s imagination. She dreams of a place where she and Akari can be happy together, to comfort herself before she dies.
Her name has been occasionally translated as Zhu Li. Like Mai, she also has two designs. She is the character with red or white pigtails, and her canon design gives her short white hair. I believe that she is, symbolically, the “Kitsune” mentioned throughout the series.
Akari is a member of the Oborodzuka Clan, and is the sole member that is not physically disabled somehow. She endured abuse from her family because of this, and eventually gained the power to make other people hurt themselves.
She imprisoned a violent and evil character named Tsukuyomi inside of an altar in the basement of her home, and I’m fairly certain that this altar is what was commonly being referred to with that recurring line, “Open it?” Tsukuyomi was actually the founder of the Oborodzuka clan, if I’m not mistaken, and is freed centuries later in another Masa series known as Maha’s Story.
In The Spider and the Kitsune-Like Lion, Ryou Shishikusa kidnaps her and tortures her until she dies. At the end of the song, Akari curses her family, saying that this “strange habit of eating people” must be continued for a hundred generations or something like that. This seals Ryou’s fate, and Ryou is later eaten by her daughter Mai as part of this curse.
In The Fox’s Wedding, Akari is alive again. She isn’t involved in Mai’s kidnapping, but I think the two of them might have been secretly married at this time.
Akari is also seen in The Beautiful Shadow of the Demon’s Frenzied Dance Performance and Death, Misfortune, and the Amanojaku, but I’m not certain what her purpose is in these two.
Whether or not she is actually there or only being dreamt of in Star Lily Dance Performance is debatable, but the former is the more comforting option. ;w;
Shikyou the Amanojaku
Shikyou is the Antagonist of the Onibi Series. Her name was only learned recently. This is the Amanojaku mentioned in (you guessed it) Death, Misfortune, and the Amanojaku.
Shikyou is somehow controlling Mai’s fate. Masa said that Mai and Akari were “doomed never to meet.” It’s incredibly likely that Shikyou was behind this, which would explain why she screams and appears to be very distraught in The Beautiful Shadow of the Demon’s Frenzied Dance Performance. If those two hadn’t met, many lives would have been spared from Mai’s cannibalistic tendencies.
Because it was likely a character named Emi that helped Akari and Mai meet each other in person, Shikyou and Emi are enemies.
What confuses me is that even though she seems to be trying to protect the people of Castle Town and must therefore care about humanity, something on Masa’s blog also says that at some point in history, she went on some kinda killing spree? Shikyou’s motives are questionable, to say the least.
For a while we thought that she was the purple-robed Gumi, but that turned out to be Ryou. The lovely @shishikusas talked to Masa, though, and helped clear it up! Emi is the Miku seen in Onibi, but she was given an original appearance in the video for the remix of The Fox’s Wedding!
Emi is, symbolically, the “Doll” mentioned throughout the series. Her ancestors were evil gods, and thus, everyone came to hate her. She bears a grudge against these people, but tries to ignore their feelings at the same time.
She appears ONLY in the song Onibi, and is not to be confused with the other blue Miku character, Kaori.
All we know other than that is that Masa described her as one of the story’s “Main Heroes.” I think that she’s behind Mai and Akari being able to meet.
HOO BOY where do we start with this crazy bitch. Here’s what my dear fact checker had to say about her:
Ryo Shishikusa is Mai’s mother, born into the Onidzuka clan but marrying into the Shishikusa clan through daimyo Tomonari Shishikusa. She has one sister, unnamed, who had a daughter after multiple miscarriages (this daughter is Kaori, the one referred to as the “demon child”). She has a tattoo of a spider on her waist and uses a special knife called “Devil’s Blade” to kill people.
She and Tomonari run a theater in Castle Town (Namitsuki). A lot of Castle Town’s entertainment comes from here. One thing that happens below the theatre is gambling, which Ryo and her husband do with human beings. Evidently, the clans of Castle Town take part in illegal human trafficking of young girls, keeping them under the theater and treating them like animals.
One day, Tomonari comes to Ryo and says that the other daimyos are becoming bored with the performances and that, for the next performance, someone will be killed for the audience. Ryo hates the idea, but it is business.
Their prisoner, Akari, is thoroughly disgusted and calls Ryou a monster. She says that Ryou is “unable to come back, like us.” Grace and I think that this means Akari has the ability to return from the dead, because that would certainly explain why she is alive later in the series.
Anyway, Ryou tortures and kills Akari before a live audience. After Akari is dead, the blog says (roughly) this:
“I looked aside and saw the surprised faces of the Daimyos. They opened their mouths when they saw me.
My face and my hand… are very very hot.
I was surprised by what I saw on my hand. It was bright red.
The small knife in my hand and even my sleeve were red, also, and from the cuff dripped… blood?
That’s it. I remembered. I tried to kill this girl.
I looked up at the girl again.
Her head was completely downwards and I could see the intestines as I looked at her belly.
This …was me?
I trembled. My heart began to beat almost fast enough to break it..
Unconsciously, I spread my hands and turned to the Daimyo.
‘Ha ha ha ha ha ha!’ I was laughing.“
So yeah Ryou makes a lot of stuff go wrong. Her actions, and probably Emi’s, are what eventually lead to the chaos caused by the meeting between Mai and Akari.
This little cutie, formerly referred to as “Etsuko” by the fandom, is Mai’s cousin.
All we know about her is that she may or may not be into killing and torturing animals and that she is the one typically referred to as “Demon Child.”
Really tho there is like NOTHING on the onibi blog about Kaori so there’s not much to talk about.
This man is a daimyo, husband of Ryou and father of Mai. He must really care for his family, because it was his idea to start killing people for entertainment as a way to bring in more money and he threw Mai a rather luxurious birthday party when the day came.
So Akari’s curse might not be the only thing that pushed Mai to cannibalism. Evidently, those that turn cannibal sometimes devour parents that pampered them too much.
The blog says that he and Ryou were having a very important talk with Mai shortly before she devoured them both. Tomonari was eaten first, with Ryou bearing witness just before Mai ate her as well.
This guy is Mai’s bodyguard. At some point he is found with a large portion of his shoulder eaten away, so it’s likely that he was killed by Mai. we crack ship him with takahiro
Here’s what we know about him:
He kidnapped Mai from her own hometown, so he’s probably a badass.
He has snake eyes.
After he kidnapped Mai, he forced her to consume human flesh from the back of a truck.
He probably did other unspeakable things to her, but there’s no telling
Here are the headcanons:
He does have a physical disability, like his family, but it’s deafness instead of bent/backward limbs or an inability to walk.
Therefore, he communicates through others with sign language.
He is Akari’s brother, and has red hair like hers.
He’s sadistic and cruel, but not as much as Ryou.
But yeah for a minor character, he does play kind of an important role in the story. We’ll probably be hearing more about him later on.
She is Mai’s adopted sister, from the Oborodzuka clan. Apparently she found the dead bodies of her parents after Mai had eaten her fill of them.
Remember, this is the updated info! My old post that says Emi is purple Gumi is WRONG. Hope this helped clear things up!