Oni: Thunder God’s Tale follows the story of a girl named Onari, living in the Kamigami Village, which is preparing itself for the battle against the evil Oni. The series is now streaming on Netflix.
Warning: This article contains heavy spoilers
On a stormy night, the demons of Mount Kamigami brace themselves to fight the Oni that is about to cross the bridge to their village. All they come across is someone of their own kind, who comes with a human child in his hand.
Years into the future, the same Kami spirit named Naridon raises his daughter, Onari, in the same village. Onari seeks to be the hero of the village who will save them from the wrath of the Oni.
Sensei Tengu starts preparing Onari, her friend, Kappa, and all the children for the forthcoming Demon Moon, the night the Oni will walk across the bridge to their village.
Sensei Tengu will be taking special care of their training, and they should all be ready by then to fight alongside the village. In order to do so, it’s high time they start developing their Kushi.
Each and every Kami among the students has a Kushi, passed on to them by their parents and ancestors. Except for Onari, as she finds herself different from others.
While the entire class ridicules her and her father as a goofball, she seeks to find the Kushi her father possesses. She spends an entire day with him, but all he does is, as the students say, goof around.
One day, Onari goes all out on him for embarrassing her in front of the whole class. She later follows him into the forest and across the bridge, where she ends up crossing paths with an Oni.
Naridon makes it in time to save Onari and reveals that he is a thunder god. Though Onari is now proud and happy to know the kind of Kushi she is pursuing, she struggles with it.
On top of that, Naridon, for some reason, tries to keep her away from discovering her Kushi.
Naridon’s brother, Putaro, who has been doing paper theatre shows, comes to visit and reunites with his brother. Putaro intends to train Onari so that she can replace her brother as a thunder god.
Things start going sideways when Putaro comes across Onari’s doll, which she says is given by her mother. Putaro confronts Naridon, believing that he is hiding a dark secret about Onari.
Onari overhears the conversation and discovers that her doll came from across the bridge. She leaves home in pursuit of finding out more about her mother and her Kushi, followed by Kappa.
They both enter a city full of humans, where they befriend a boy named Calvin. He helps them get back to Mount Kamigami and also gives them beans called, ‘Setsubun mame’, which are used to fight against Oni.
When Onari comes back home with those beans, she is confronted by her Uncle Putaro. A struggle between Putaro and Naridon results in Onari’s horns falling off.
The principal of the school asks Naridon to disclose the secret he has been hiding from Onari. He proceeds to reveal that she isn’t his daughter. She is not even a Kami. She is in fact an Oni, as in a human.
Onari abandons her father and the people of the village, who are now afraid of her. Putaro asks her to never come back to Mount Kamagami ever again.
Oni: Thunder God’s Tale ending explained in detail:
What happened to Onari’s parents?
When the principal asked Naridon to confess the truth to Onari, he explained how he found her. Ten years ago, Naridon and Putaro were raining a thunderous night on the human world.
On that night, Onari’s parents met with a car accident. Naridon, from up above, notices the accident and comes down to earth to witness what he has done to a happy family.
Somehow, Onari’s mother was still alive. She handed Onari and her doll to Naridon. He glanced at the baby, and the next moment he rolled his eyes back to the car, it had fallen off the road.
That night, Naridon came walking to Kamigami village. He took the responsibility of raising Onari and gave her horns made out of his own.
What is the real meaning of Oni?
After abandoning the village, Onari meets Calvin again. He listens to her story and comforts her while she cries. The Demon Moon shines upon them.
While Onari stays on alert, Calvin explains how the super blood moon actually works. They are interrupted by a duck and a fallen Kappa, who came looking for Onari.
Kappa entails that Putaro has led the villagers to the bridge in order to kill the Oni, as in the humans, once and for all. Naridon, on the other hand, is trapped under a rock.
A disappointed Onari asks Kappa to go away, stating that she is not a Kami. Kappa and Calvin try to encourage Onari.
Calvin tells her his story and how he felt different when his family first moved from the United States to Japan. The people over here treated him differently as he was an outsider.
He eventually found an escape through Japanese culture and fairytales, where Oni are always considered villains.
He explains that the whole idea of Oni comes from people who look different from Japanese locals. They fear people they don’t understand.
Calvin’s story of acceptance encourages Onari to stand up for her village.
What is the shadow of fear?
When Onari, Kappa, and Calvin arrive at the bridge of Village Kamigami, they see a shadow stopping the villagers from crossing it. Naridon had gotten himself trapped inside that shadow and had started wreaking havoc on the mountain.
The villagers fought back while the children took shelter. Onari questioned the principal as she believes this is not her father.
The principal explains that the Demon Moon’s light reveals the shadow of fear inside all the spirits of Kami.
Naridon fell prey to this fear after he realized that his daughter abandoned the village and that his brother is leading the spirits of Kami to kill all the humans.
The glow of the red moon shines on their never-ending cycle of fear, and therefore, each and every Kami possesses some amount of that shadow.
Naridon over here is completely under the control of that shadow.
How do Onari and Kami spirits of the village defeat the shadow of fear?
Onari interferes in the battle against the shadow of fear. She lets the villagers know that this is what it means to be Oni, the fear inside them against something they don’t understand.
Onari tries to convince Naridon and proceeds to their special dance. The villagers in turn join her, and Naridon’s fear calms down. The shadow disappears after attacking Onari, but she survives, and Naridon eventually comes out alive as well.
Back home, Calvin receives mail from Onari. She tells him how the villagers of Kamigami have now come together to rebuild their home.
Putaro is now on his own journey, telling stories of Onari from village to village through his paper theatre show so that the spirits will know the real meaning of Oni.
The villagers also hope to visit Calvin someday to try PB & J.
Calvin’s mother tells him that the town development at Mount Kamigami is now on hold as they believe it is haunted, and he acknowledges it.