And kanji with manga
Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Devil and Angel

In manga and anime, sometimes two small spirits, a devil and an angel, appear on a character's shoulder, over their head, and so on, to give them advice and tell them what to do.

Ayasaki Hayate 綾崎ハヤテ, example of angel and devil over a character's head.
Anime: Hayate no Gotoku! ハヤテのごとく! (Episode 1)
  • sasayaku
    囁く
    To whisper.

Typically, this is a comedic way to depict the conflict of good and evil inside the character when dealing with a situation.

Examples

The appearance of the devil and the angel tend to be based on the character. They may argue against each other, physically start fighting, or, in some cases, even agree with each other.

Often, the character will think about doing something evil, then the angel will appear and tell them to reconsider, then the devil appears and tells them to proceed, or vice-versa: the character stops himself, the devil appears, then the angel.

Honda Hanako 本田華子, example of devil and angel over a character's head.
Character: Honda Hanako 本田華子
Anime: Asobi Asobase あそびあそばせ (Episode 4)

Excel エクセル, example of conscience angel and devil fighting.
Character: Excel エクセル
Anime: Excel♥Saga, エクセル♥サーガ (Episode 1)

Kronk, example of devil and angel on a character's shoulder.
Character: Kronk
Anime: The Emperor's New Groove (Movie)
  • {kata ni noru} tenshi to akuma
    肩に乗る天使悪魔
    The angel and demon [that] {ride [someone's] shoulders}.

Other Internal Conflicts

In some cases, the conflict inside a character isn't between an evil devil and a good angel, but between other aspects of the character's personality.

Shinomiya Kaguya 四宮かぐや, example of shoulder devil and angel.
Character: Shinomiya Kaguya 四宮かぐや
Anime: Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai? ~Tensai-Tachi no Ren'ai Zunousen~ かぐや様は告らせたい?~天才たちの恋愛頭脳戦~ (Season 2) (Episode 2)
  • Context: calculating Kaguya vs. dumb Kaguya.

More complex cases feature multiple aspects of a character arguing with each other, rather than just two sides fighting.

カタリナ脳内会議 議長カタリナ 強気カタリナ 弱気カタリナ ハッピーカタリナ 真面目カタリナ
Anime: Otome Game no Hametsu Flag Shika Nai Akuyaku Reijou ni Tensei Shiteshimatta…, 乙女ゲームの破滅フラグしかない悪役令嬢に転生してしまった… (Episode 1)
  • Context: Katarina Claes カタリナ・クラエス convenes with herself to come up with an anti-BAD END strategy.
  • Katarina nounai kaigi
    カタリナ脳内会議
    Katarina Intracerebral Council.
    Council Inside Katarina's Brain.
  • gichou Katarina
    議長カタリナ
    Katarina council-president. (chairwoman.)
  • tsuyoki Katarina
    強気カタリナ
    Strong-willed Katarina.
  • yowaki katarina
    弱気カタリナ
    Weak-willed Katarina.
  • happii Katarina
    ハッピーカタリナ
    Happy Katarina.
  • majime Katarina
    真面目カタリナ
    Serious Katarina.

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