Review: ‘My Oni Girl’ Is Heartwarming Like A Chicken Soup On A Winter’s Day

By Daniel Hart
Published: May 24, 2024
My Oni Girl Netflix Image for Review
My Oni Girl (Credit - Netflix)


Tomotaka Shibayama strikes again with another beautiful and thoughtful anime film. 

My Oni Girl is a wonderful anime movie. From the minute it starts to its conclusion, the story and animation are heartwarming, joyful, and full of hope. The anime transfixed my focus, and my eyes did not leave the screen until the experience ended. This is what anime is about.

Let’s begin by describing a key factor of the movie: what is an Oni? Well, an Oni is a demon, which has more negative connotations if you search for the definition. In My Oni Girl, Onis are not necessarily evil but a higher being away from the real world. Humans cannot see the energy that attaches to Onis, so their existence is unknown. 

In the story, young teenage boy Hiiragi leads a confusing life, bringing the essence of “coming-of-age” to the premise. He’s socially deficient, and apart from a girl pretending that he’s her boyfriend for social status, he’s never had any form of date or girlfriend. The boys at school take him for granted (they copy his homework while barely acknowledging him in the opening scenes), and his father believes he should be on a strict education path. Hiiragi is having an early life crisis. 

That’s until he meets Tsumugi, an Oni desperate to find a Shrine, hoping it will lead to her missing mother. There’s a warm connection between the pair instantly, but Hiiragi’s life transforms when a Snow God attacks him out of nowhere. With this being linked to the Oni people, Hiiragi shows his human kindness and supports Tsumugi in finding the shrine. 

This is a sweet anime on the surface and underneath. I loved the meaning behind the relationship between the two leading characters. Tsumugi and Hiiragi have much to learn from each other. Hiiragi must learn to defend himself and express his personality to the world. Tsumugi needs to accept love and support in her mission. Together, the characters complement each other superbly. 

A fantasy element runs well through the narrative, but I have to say, I just enjoyed the characters. On their adventure, they meet people from all walks of life, signifying kindness and togetherness. There’s a great understanding of community that thrives in the story. My Oni Girl is a warm chicken soup on a cold winter day; it is satisfying and creamy, and you want it to last. 

Unsurprisingly, this anime movie had an emotional reaction on me. The same director, Tomotaka Shibayama, made A Whisker Away, which had a similar charm and warm effect on the audience. 

By the time you reach the end of My Oni Girl, you will adore Tsumugi and Hiiragi, and while it’s unlikely there will be a sequel (it feels like a one-off), there’s undoubtedly re-watch value. With beautiful key animation and a thoughtful and good-natured script, My Oni Girl sits on an empire of good anime movies. 


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