Ao Oni

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Ao Oni
Ao oni.png
The eponymous blue demon, who is the antagonist of the game
GenreAdventure, horror
EngineRPG Maker XP
PlatformMicrosoft Windows
ReleasedNovember 2008
Light novel
Written byKenji Kuroda
Illustrated byKarin Suzuragi
Published byPHP Laboratory[1]
English publisher
Original runFebruary 25, 2013June 14, 2013
Ao Oni: Anthology
Written byKenji Kuroda
Illustrated byKarin Suzuragi
Published byPHP Laboratory
PublishedJuly 1, 2014
Live-action films
Anime television series
Ao Oni: The Animation
Directed by
  • Toshirō Hamamura
  • Chisei Maeda
Written byKanekoke
Music byShiyu Yanagida
StudioStudio Deen
Original networkTV Tokyo, BS Japan
Original run October 3, 2016 January 9, 2017
Anime film
Ao Oni: The Animation
Directed byToshirō Hamamura
Written byTakemaru Abiko
StudioStudio Deen
ReleasedFebruary 11, 2017
Runtime60 minutes
Wikipe-tan face.svg Anime and Manga portal

Ao Oni (青鬼, lit. 'Blue Demon') is a freeware role-playing horror video game.[2] The game features puzzle and RPG elements, and revolves around a boy named Hiroshi, who is trapped with his friends in a haunted mansion, and is stalked by a monster.


The player assumes the role of 'Hiroshi', a young teenager who enters a haunted mansion with his friends, Takuro, Takeshi, and Mika (Along with Kazuya and Ryota in the original). Shortly after entering the mansion, the doors lock behind them. Hiroshi doubts that the mansion is haunted, but soon finds himself being pursued by an enigmatic blue Oni. Hiroshi must now find a way to save as many of his friends as possible and escape the mansion alive.

The Oni[edit]

Very little information is explained in the game about the Oni and his reasons for inhabiting the mansion, but it is assumed that he may have been one of the mansion's old residents. The Oni is a muscular, tall humanoid with blue skin who is roughly twice the size of an average human. When he appears in the game, a characteristic "shrieking" string chord plays until the player outruns him. Normally, his mouth is kept closed in an amused smirk, but in a secret ending he is shown to have a set of sharp, knife-like teeth. If the Oni captures and kills one of Hiroshi's friends, they too turn into an Oni, distinguishable by their hairstyles, which they kept when transformed by the Oni. In addition to the standard Oni, the player can enter an "Oni Room" containing numerous deformed, mutated and completely original Onis, including a rectangular oni called "Blockman", who resembles the popular Japanese character Domo-kun, and a gigantic, muscle-bound Oni who humorously appears to be hefting invisible weights when encountered for the first time. Both of these Onis can chase the player more than once if the player enters their names when creating a new game.

In general, the Oni will chase the player at random after he has first been seen, but several of the chases are necessary to advance the storyline.


During the game, the player explores various rooms of the mansion, gathering items and solving puzzles to help them progress. At seemingly random points, the Oni will appear in the room, with the shrieking string chord accompanying them, forcing the player to evade the Oni, either by outrunning or hiding from them. Most of these chases can be avoided by carrying out tasks correctly or in the right order, but there are several chases which must be carried out to advance the game's story.



In 2013, a series of novels were released which were based on the game.[2] Slight differences to the storyline, mostly based on characterisation are present, but the books are otherwise faithful to the game's plot. The title was licensed for digital distribution in the English language by J-Novel Club.[3]

Live-action film[edit]

Ao Oni was adapted into a live action film of the same name, that was released in Japan on July 5, 2014.[4]


An anime television short series adaptation is scheduled to premiere on October 3, 2016.[5] The series is produced by Studio Deen, and directed by Toshirō Hamamura and Chisei Maeda, with Kanekoke handling series composition, Kichi designing the characters and Shiyu Yanagida composing the music.[6] An anime film, also produced by Studio Deen, has been announced for 2017.[7]


The independently developed freeware game gained a cult status online in Japan, gaining notoriety on websites such as Niconico and YouTube where Ao Oni-related videos exceeded 50 million views in 2013. The popularity of the game revolves around the effectiveness of its horror aspects despite being a simple game, with the background music often being cited as a key contributor to the chilling atmosphere used to incite fear.[2]

There is also another famous game inspired by Ao Oni, called Nira Oni, that is like a remake of the main game.


  1. ^ "青鬼 - noprops原作 黒田研二著 鈴羅木かりん挿画 - 書籍 - PHP研究所". Retrieved 23 February 2017.
  2. ^ a b c 2013-02-19, ホラーゲーム「青鬼」公式ノベルのPVがYouTubeとニコニコ動画で公開に, 4gamer
  3. ^ "J-Novel Club Acquires Yume Nikki, Ao Oni Light Novels - Anime Herald". Anime Herald. 2017-11-01. Retrieved 2017-11-01.
  4. ^ "AKB48 Idol Anna Iriyama Stars in Film of Ao Oni Horror Game". Anime News Network. 2014-04-23. Retrieved 2014-04-24.
  5. ^ "Ao Oni: The Animation TV Anime Reveals Promo Video, Cast, October 2 Premiere". Anime News Network. 2016-09-09. Retrieved 2016-09-30.
  6. ^ "Ao Oni Horror Game Gets Fall TV Anime Shorts, 2017 Anime Film". Anime News Network. 2016-08-10. Retrieved 2016-08-10.
  7. ^ "Ao Oni The Animation Anime Film's 1st Promo Video Reveals Main Staff". Anime News Network. 2016-09-30. Retrieved 2016-09-30.

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