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In Kamisama Hajimemashita, Akura'ou is a powerful demon with an immortal body that has been living for at least 600 years. The manga doesn't say much about the circumstances of his birth, except that the gods wept when he was born.

Appearance: he is very tall, has long red hair. Looks human except the large horns on top of his head and pointed ears.

Akura'ou having red hair, large horns, and pointed ears

Character: He is pretty much the force of chaos, loves war and slaughter.

The origins of other demons in the manga are more-or-less clear: Tomoe is a kitsune, Kurama is a tengu, Mizuki is a white snake, and so on. But it's unclear just what kind of demon Akura-ou is.

What inspired the mangaka? Alternatively, what characters from other manga/anime resemble him?

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Akura-ou is an oni, a Japanese youkai that is known for having horns growing on their head, being physically big and strong, and having a wicked personality.

Oni have been used as villains ever since Japanese folklores like Momotaro, which introduces Red Oni and Blue Oni as the main antagonists.

Other characters that are based on oni (warning: TV Tropes):

  • Dragon Ball - King Enma
  • Smile Pretty Cure! - Akaoni
  • Yaiba - Onimaru
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