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The character first appears in the Garo version of the story The Boarding House, though this Gyūki has the appearance of Odoro-Odoro. His more traditional design was used beginning in the Shonen Magazine story Gyūki.
Gyūki is a Kaijū with the head and horns of a cow but the body of a spider. His face is demonic-looking, with a wide smile and sharp teeth.
In general, Shigeru Mizuki's depictions of Gyūki share many similarities with that of Tsuchi-Gumo.
The Gyūki is normally depicted as nothing more than a mindless beast, but in his initial Garo appearance and the 2007 anime, he is shown to be intelligent and cunning.
Within the sixth anime, Gyūki behaves like a mindless beast, while possessing Jingunji it rampages through the city and consuming tourists that come across it. Once it possesses Kitarō, it continues its destruction, this time completely smashing buildings into rubble and then going after the humans. It is shown to be easily distracted as demonstrated by Neko-Musume's plan to lead it away and it being lured by Karura's flute playing.
The ally Gyūki's personality is not very distinguishable from the other supporting characters, though he is very proud of his strength.
When Bon Arima tried to dig up the grave of the Gyūki, a swarm of rats ate him down to the bone. The man's blood then leaked into the grave, reviving Gyūki. Gyūki found a cave to dwell in, where Kitarō and Medama-Oyaji soon stop for a night. As they sleep, Gyūki steals Kitarō's soul and begins controlling him as a slave. They wander Osaka, with Kitarō playing a bewitching song on a violin to lure victims for Gyūki to feast on. After killing and eating a police detective who found Kitarō suspicious, they moved out to Tokyo. They take over a small inn, where Kitarō fattens the victims up before Gyūki eats them. Eventually, Dracula IV and Nezumi-Otoko take up residence, and Gyūki tries to eat Dracula they have a fierce battle ending with both of them dead in a ball of Gyūki's hair.
Manga & 1971 Anime
Gyūki appears in episode #15 of the second anime, Gyūki. The Gyūki was sealed away centuries ago by the god Karura, but one day a fisherman somehow destroyed his tomb and he was released. He possessed the man, transforming him into the Gyūki, and a year later he made his way to the man's village. He attacked the village but was eventually killed by Kitarō. Afterward, Kitarō contracted the curse and was transformed into the Gyūki (referred to in narration as Gyū-Kitarō (牛鬼太郎)), going on another more violent rampage. Far more powerful than before, he was only defeated when Medama-Oyaji and the villagers prayed to Karura for help. Karura used his flute to lure Gyū-Kitarō into a volcano, the heat of which removes the Gyūki spirit and returning Kitarō to normal. Karura then captured the Gyūki's spirit in a sack and sealed it away once more.
In the Shonen Sunday run he appears among Kitaro's friends living at Yōkai Apartments, as well as appearing as an ally in the Shinpen run. Gyūki was among Kitarō's allies who accompanied him to Jigoku in the manga GeGeGe no Kitarō: Kitarō Jigoku Arc, though he was not included in the anime adaptation.
He appears in episode six of the fourth anime adaptation, Runaway! Kitarō-Gyūki. In this episode, he is released when a fisherman purposely removes his seal, scoffing at the ideal of yōkai and curses. When the Gyūki attacks him, the fisherman manages to kill him by ramming his boat into the beast. After returning home and boasting of his accomplishment, he turns into the Gyūki and the rest of the story proceeds as in the manga. During Gyū-Kitarō's rampage he eats several people, including Nezumi-Otoko and the rest of the Kitarō Family, but after Karura removes the curse they are all revived.
Three different individuals were seen in the opening and the episode 40 Graveyard Night is for the Sports Festival!, the episode 46 The Great Yōkai Trial (Part 1), and were participating in sports festival in graveyards, and the great yōkai trial.
He appears in episode #22 of the sixth anime adaption, Berserk! The Terrifying Yōkai Gyūki. A long time ago Gyūki had rampaged on a small island, until he was caught by Karura in a furoshiki and sealed away within Gyūki Rock.
Gyūki's spirit is sensed by Neko-Musume when she and Mana arrive on the island. Later at dusk, he possesses Jingunji when he peaks into the Gyūki Rock and swallows Nezumi-Otoko. He chases after the director into the city where he consumes several tourists and begins destroying the city. Two police officers try to shoot at him, but this does not have any effect and he throws their car at an electric skeleton, which causes a blackout. He goes through the city as the people, including the director, are hiding within the buildings. He peers through a window, seeing the director, and smashes it. Just as he is about to strike the director, Neko-Musume saves him. Kitarō arrives and clashes with Gyūki, defeating him with a finger gun through his head. He falls lifelessly and begins turning back into Jingunji and the people he consumed are freed. His spirit then exits Jingunji and enters Kitarō's left leg. He begins Kitarō's transformation and he goes on another rampage through the city, now more powerful. After destroying the last building, Gyūki sees that the people are heading to the shrine of Karura and goes towards them. Neko-Musume manages to lead him away until they reach a cliff where he prepares to strike her. Just as he is about to, he hears Karura's flute playing and is lured away to the volcano. At the caldera of the volcano, he reaches for Karura, slipping off and falls into the lava. His spirit exits Kitarō's body and is caught by Karura in a furoshiki once more. He is then sealed again within the Gyūki Rock.
Powers and Abilities
Apart from the regular destructive power most kaijū are capable of, Gyūki also possesses a Transmittable Curse. His true form is actually that of a living cloud of gas that possesses humans and transforms them into the Gyūki, and when his host body is killed he will possess the nearest body. If the Gyūki is killed, he will possess whoever slew him. Each time he possesses someone who killed him he adds their strength to his, making him even more unstoppable.
In his original Garo appearance, his powers were similar to Yasha. He used his hair as a weapon and lured victims to their deaths with a bewitching violin song played by Kitarō.
In the fifth series, Gyūki was able to produce threads akin to that of spiders, trapping and putting the prey asleep. Kitaro's transformed form possessed some of Kitaro's abilities including hair needles and internal electricity.
Bovid, along with tigers, is the main consistent component of general images of oni in Japan. The Gyūki or Ushi-oni is a general term for several horned, bovine-like yokai and thus greatly differs in characteristics from humanoids to chimera-like creatures. An example is a giant sea monster that lives off the coast of the Shimane Prefecture. Nure-Onna is often paired with Ushioni where they cooperate to hunt humans. Ushioni varies its origins according to each legend including a spirit of a Tsubaki tree.
A Gyūki is also used as the protective symbol in the Uwajima Ushioni Festival held in July. Uwajima holds many legends about Ushioni; in this region, the term "Ushioni" refers to various oceanic yokai. One of such creatures include a gigantic ocean spirit with the head of a dragon and the body of a whale.
- Voice effect of Gamera was used for Gyūki in the second anime.
- GeGeGe no Kitarō (2018): Episode 23
- GeGeGe no Kitarō (1985): Episode 42
- GeGeGe no Kitarō (1996): Episode 6
- GeGeGe no Kitarō (2007): Episode 14
|Ghost Tribe||Kitarō • Medama-Oyaji|
|Other members||Nezumi-Otoko • Neko-Musume • Sunakake-Babaa • Konaki-Jijii • Ittan-Momen • Nurikabe|
|Former members||Shisa • Yuki-Hime • Netarō|
|Recurring allies||Yobuko • Kasa-Bake • Abura-Sumashi • Tsurube-Bi • Bake-Garasu|
|Yōkai Apartments||Nekoko • Kamikiri • Azuki-Arai • Akaname • Tsurube-Otoshi • Gyūki|
|Yōkai Yokochō||Kawauso • Amabie • Rokuro-Kubi • Ohaguro-Bettari • Nurikabe-Nyōbō & Ko-Nurikabe|
|Other Allies||Maruge • Ido-Sennin • Bake-Kujira • Yagyō-san • Aobōzu • Simurgh • Agnès|
|Tendo Family||Yumeko Tendō • Hoshirō Tendō • Masao Tendō • Yūko Tendō|
|Elementary School Trio||Yūko Murakami • Shōta Suzuki • Jun Tanimoto|
|Others||Mizuki • Makoto Washio • Mana Inuyama|
|47 Yōkai Warriors|