ONI: Thunder God’s Tale Plot Synopsis
The story is set deep in the heart of rural Japan, with hyperactive Onari, a young girl raised by her oddball father, Naridon. She’s about to embark on an epic quest to unveil her true unique powers.
With the Demon Moon set to descend on them and the evil Oni ready to strike at their heart when it does, Onari is taught along with a number of other students in how to become a true Kami and fight back against this terror.
However, all is not what it seems and as the episodes tick by, it soon becomes clear that there’s a greater truth lying in plain sight.
Who are the Oni? What happened in the past?
During episode 3, which is aptly titled “The Truth” we learn a lot more about Onari’s past and exactly what happened that fateful day with her parents.
For now, tragedy struck Onari’s parents who were involved in a car accident. A massive thunderstorm a decade ago was as a result of Naridon and Putaro working their God-like magic to wipe the Oni (humans) out.
Naridon though noticed the car hanging off the edge of the road and Onari’s mother, in her dying breath, tasked Naridon with looking after the child. Witt both of Onari’s parents dead, Naridon took her in and nurtured her. However, Onario herself is actually an Oni, which rattles everyone in the village.
How do the villagers react?
Episode 4 of Oni: A Thunder God’s Story picks up with the villagers worried and talking among themselves. The Oni are coming and now that we know Onari is one of them, it throws the entire community into disarray.
Onari is disappointed not to be Naridon’s daughter, even though he basically raised her. She throws her doll on the floor and leaves, with the Principal’s voice echoing through the air and reminding Naridon this is the path he chose.
As for Onari, she’s shunned by the villagers and told to leave. Kappa tries in vain to get to her but it’s no good, the poor girl rushes off into the woods herself. Putaro follows and points out he likened her to family.
Putaro fuels the fire and blames her for destroying Naridon’s power and believes she’s responsible for his powers waning.
How does Putari rile up the villagers?
When Naridon learns that Putaro has sent her away, he rushes over and the pair end up fighting. Unfortunately, it results in Naridon being locked up.
While this is going on, Onari ends up spending time with Calvin, who makes her a sandwich and offers some encouraging words of wisdom. While the pair get along well, all is not right in the village.
Putari leaves chants for “Kill the Oni”, just as the Demon Moon shows itself through the clouds. Kappa rushes away from the mob, determined to warn Onari and try to save them. However, a dark shadow suddenly appears before them on the bridge.
What happens at the bridge?
Calvin explains to Onari that the whole concept of the Oni is that they’re always the villains in Japanese fairy tales. But according to some historians, this idea actually originated from the idea of people who look different from Japanese locals being labelled as ‘Onis’. They just fear people they don’t understand. And Calvin has his fair share of experiences with this.
Back on the bridge, this strange shadowy creature presents itself in its true form. It’s Naridon. He loses control, consumed by the shadow, until Onari stands in the way and tries to stop him. Now, it turns out these awful shadow creatures are actually themselves; the villagers having been consumed by the darkness. Onari explains to them all that they’re the cause of this and each of them has a darkness inside them.
Onari decides to start chanting, and she’s joined by all the other kids too who decide to help her and change their fortune. It does the trick too and seeing the beauty in Naridon and Onari’s relationship together is enough to stop Naridon’s rampage, as Onari speaks up and embraces the idea of being Naridon’s daughter.
How does Oni: Thunder God’s Tale end?
Onari writes a letter to Calvin, informing them of what’s happened, with the reveal that everyone have decided to work together and restore Mount Kamigami. Uncle Patori is intending to leave and spread the word about the great story of Onari and Naridon, while the humans have ceased development on the Mountain for the time being, believing that it’s haunted.
So for now we get a nice happy ending, with a lovely message about togetherness and working as a community. A wonderful end to a wonderful series.
The Episode Review
So everything is wrapped up beautifully with a neat little bow at the end, with Onari embracing her true heritage and living peacefully among the others atop Mount Kamigami. The whole show has had a really nice message about togetherness and working as a team, which is mixed in nicely against the Japanese folklore and compelling tone.
The animation in this has been fantastic from start to finish, with a great blend of CGI and stop-motion working to give this an authentic feel. A lot of love and attention has been put into this and you can really feel that from the way the show has been put together.
Ultimately though, Oni has been a really enjoyable watch; an animated tale that both kids and adults will love and something that manages to beautifully capture the essence of Asian folklore.