Japanese Mythology in Popular Culture - Shinigami


  • In Bleach, the Shinigami are known as "Soul Reapers".
  • Komachi Onozuka from the Touhou Project game series is a Shinigami.
  • Shinigami are among the main characters of Death Note; most notably Ryuk, who dropped the eponymous artifact in the human world, where it would eventually be found by Light Yagami.
  • Most of the action in the manga Soul Eater centers around the students of the Death Weapon Meister Academy (Shinigami Buki Shokunin Senmon Gakkou; lit. "Polytechnical School for Death God Weaponsmiths") striving to turn their partner into a scythe for Shinigami-sama, the school's headmaster. Shinigami-sama also has a son, Death the Kid (who was said to be a Shinigami himself as well), who enrolls into the Academy early in the series.
  • Momo, the lead heroine of the miniseries Shinigami no Ballad, is a modern, light rendition of a Shinigami.
  • Ai Enma from the anime/manga series Hell Girl is technically a Shinigami due to the role she plays in the series.
  • In Rumiko Takahashi's manga series Rin-ne, Shinigami are death gods who lead the souls of the dead to the wheel of reincarnation which then brings that person back into the world as a different being.
  • The Japanese versions of the Castlevania titles refer to Death as Shinigami.
  • In Kuroshitsuji, several supporting characters are Shinigami.
  • In the anime Darker than Black, they refer to Hei as the "Kuro no Shinigami"-Black Reaper in English.
  • In Arina Tanemura's "Full Moon wo Sagashite," two Shinigami, Takuto and Mereko, came to take Mitsuki's life. They scout lost souls and come to take the lives of and guide those who are destined to die. In this anime,it is said that Shinigami are humans who have died committing suicide. But Mitsuki calls them "Angels" because of their pure white wings and kindness to help those who are living their last days. There are said to be many other Shinigami who are there as well. In this anime, they all can take forms as animals to talk to humans because normal humans can't see them. For example, Takuto can take form of a cat. Now Mitsuki can see Shinigami because she believed in them and it is said that people who are going to die can see Shinigami too, even though Mitsuki could see them even after she fought her death.

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