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
    To whisper.

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


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
    The angel and demon [that] {ride [someone's] shoulders}.

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