Shinigami statue on Shigeru Mizuki Road
(commutes to Human Realm)
|Job||Collecting human souls|
|Quota||12 human souls a year|
|Manga||The Swim Meet and the Shinigami (1961)|
|Anime||Series 2 Episode 30 (1972)|
|1971 anime||Takuzō Kamiyama|
|1985 anime||Kinpei Azusa|
|1996 anime||Kaneto Shiozawa|
|2007 anime||Hideyuki Tanaka|
|2018 anime||Tetsu Shiratori|
|Kappa no Sanpei||Kaneta Kimotsuki|
|[v · t · e]|
Shinigami (死神, Death Gods) are a race of yōkai who monitor human life spans and escort the dead to Jigoku. There are many Shinigami and they all look alike, the first and most famous being the Shinigami who appears as a recurring antagonist in Kappa no Sanpei. Like Nezumi-Otoko, Shinigami have appeared across Shigeru Mizuki's various stories.
The appearance of the average Shinigami has an overall skeletal look, having a square-shaped head that has a pair of eyes, a prominent jaw, an upside-down heart-shaped hole where the nose is, and oddly, ears on the side of their head. The common attire usually consists of a long, baggy robe that usually reaches their feet and sleeves that reach their wrists, similar to the one worn by Nezumi-Otoko.
In the works of Mizuki, Shinigami are depicted as monitoring human life span candles and collecting the souls of humans the moment they die. They work for Enma-Daiō in an office job style of environment where not meeting a quota could result in them losing their job. The Shinigami are usually referred to by a number, such as #106. It is unclear if the numbers are based on hire order or rank or anything in particular.
A Shinigami first appeared in "Kappa no Sanpei" to collect the soul of Sanpei's grandfather, which he needed in order to meet his quota. He soon returned to collect the soul of Sanpei's father and became a recurring antagonist in the series.
In 1969, Mizuki wrote the short-lived manga "Salaryman Shinigami", which featured a Shinigami who was in danger of losing his job for not collecting enough souls. Enma-Daiō orders him to move to the human realm, away from his wife and son, to collect 12 souls within a year.
A Shinigami then appeared during the Shonen Sunday run of "GeGeGe no Kitarō" in the story "Shinigami". This Shinigami teams up with the Witch and Nezumi-Otoko to try and steal Kitarō's soul so he can take over the surface world. Although this Shinigami was destroyed at the end of the story, other Shinigami have made appearances in the "Kitarō" franchise. In the 1971 anime, the Shonen Sunday character was combined with the "Salaryman Shinigami" protagonist, and the entire "Salaryman" story was told throughout 5 episode.
Shinigami continued to appear in other Mizuki works. "Showa: A History of Japan" even ends with a Shinigami informing Mizuki that his time on earth was coming to a close.
List of other Shinigami
- Main article: Aoko
- Main article: Honeta
Shinigami No. 100
- Main article: Shinigami No. 100
Shinigami No. 106
- Main article: Shinigami No. 106
- Main article: Shinigami Chief
- Main article: Pasha
- Main article: Mahi Mahi