10 monsters with counterparts of mythological creatures


The enemies of Monster Hunter Rise have some of the coolest designs that the team at Capcom has come up with. With influences from several of the Yokai mythologies of Japan and beyond, it’s clear how these compelling (and often terrifying) stories inspired the character designers of Monster Hunter.

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Most of this is speculation, but there is no denying the similarities shown to the claimed mythological creatures. A lot of them aren’t as cut and dry as you might think and show how even the smallest details can lead to creating a really cool design. Here are some of the inspirations behind the beasts of Monster Hunter Rise.

ten Bishaten – Tengu

tengu based monster hunter bishaten

The Bishaten are winged wyverns with large fangs found in the ruins of the shrine and the flooded forest. They love to throw fruit at their opponents, but don’t confuse them with monkeys.

Rather, they are based on the Tengu yokai, creatures in folklore that have human and avian characteristics such as wings and claws and long, beak-like noses. They are said to live in the mountains and have the ability to whip up strong winds.

9 Mizutsune – Leviathan

mizutsune and a sea serpent from the monster hunter

Mizutsune appears to be a cross between benevolent Eastern snake dragons and the fearsome Leviathan sea monsters of old stories. There are many versions throughout the story of heroes killing vicious ocean monsters and in fact most cultures have a version of a sea monster. He also has some resemblance to Manda, the sea serpent kaiju beast from Godzilla.

8 Magnamalo – Will o ‘wisps

monster hunter rise magnamalo and art of will o wisp ghosts

Unknown painting artist

Magnamalo itself is not based on any particular yokai, but the tradition around it is. The thing with him is that he seems to derive his power from eating other monsters – those things around him? Yeah, it’s the dead monsters that became his lunch.

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They are based on onibi, or lights of ghostly apparitions. They are sometimes malicious spirits, often known to cause trouble by breaking things or starting fires.

7 Grand Izuchi – Kamaitachi

Monster Hunter's great izuchi and its yokai inspiration

Artistic credit to Ryusai Kato Masazumi

There are many versions of Kamaitachi, but the most common is that of a yokai who rides the wind and cuts people with a razor or sickle. They are known to come in groups and attack systematically like the Izuchi do.

It may also be based on the Slit Mouthed Woman, a modern contemporary yokai who attacks people with a scythe if they say no when she asks them if she’s beautiful. It is said that in life she was the mistress of a samurai who cut off the corners of her mouth when she disobeyed him.

6 Khezu – Mongolian Death Worm

khezu from Monster Hunter Rise

Artistic credit to Peter Dirkx. Image modified to fit one dimension for comparison requirements.

Interestingly, Khezu does not seem to have any particular connection to Japanese folklore, but rather a monster that is said to haunt the Gobi Desert in Mongolia. Witnesses say it is three feet long and can use electric attacks on its prey and spit out acidic venom. It spends much of its time sleeping underground and only comes out to feed.

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Many local tribes claimed to see it. In 1922, Mongolian Prime Minister Damdinbazar described it saying: “It is shaped like a sausage about two feet long, has no head or legs, and it is so poisonous that the mere act of it. touch means instant death. Gobi Desert. “

5 Aknosom – Kasa Obake

Knowledge of the monster hunter and his yokai counterpart

Artistic credit to Enshin Kano.

The origins of the fiery flamingo are both fun and extremely frightening. His inspiration comes from yokai which take the form of one-eyed umbrella creatures that leap with one leg.

Interestingly, they don’t appear in a lot of stories, and no one knows if they’re sweet or vicious due to their ambiguity in the captions. They are a popular source of inspiration for many character creators in other media.

4 Tetranadon – Kappa

tentranadon and its counterpart yokai the kappa

Art credit to Reikai.

This sumo wrestling amphibian was inspired by the kappa, which, yes, are based on the same as Bowser and some of his minions most likely are. Except that none of them will likely ever be as scary as the real kappa, which are very dark creatures known to have a taste for human blood and organs. Funny enough, he also said that they liked to snack on cucumbers.

They are usually represented as turtles, frogs, or any other member of the amphibian family. There have been stories about them leading people to water graves using their sumo wrestling skills as bait. Kappa can die if they lose their water source, which is stored in the flap above their head.

3 Goss Harag – Oni

goss harag of the monster hunter and his inspiring counterpart, the oni

Artistic credit to Soga Shohaku.

Goss Harag is proof that the simplest inspiration can create something very terrifying and unique. Its roots lie behind the tales of oni and general ogres who despise humans and have no problem ripping them limb.

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Perhaps the most famous is the story of the oni Shuten-Doji, who formed an oni army with a base on Mount Oe and was later defeated by the warrior Raiko. Legend has it that even after being beheaded, Shuten’s severed head attempted to attack Raiko but the warrior was more than ready for such a reaction by wearing multiple helmets.

2 Ibushi Wind Serpent – Fujin Wind God

ibushi from Monster Hunter Rise and the god it's based on

Artistic credit to Ogata Korin.

Ibushi is probably based on the deity of the wind, the green-skinned god who wears leopard skin. He walks the earth with a bag of wind on his back.

Of demonic origin, he is said to have fled from the underworld when the god Izanagi went there to retrieve his wife Izanami. What happened next led a very angry woman to chase her husband out of the land of the dead. As Izanagi tried to block the entrance, Fujin was one of the oni able to escape.

1 Thunder Serpent Narwa – God of Thunder Raijin

Narwa from Monster Hunter Rise and his counterpart Narwa

Art credit to Hokusai.

Narwa shares traits with Raijin, Fujin’s brother and deity of lightning and storms. He has more of a guardian role than his demonic brother, but he’s just as formidable.

A legend says that he was the source of chaos to the point where the emperor ordered his capture by the character of the receiver of god Sugaru. Once they got him, they forced him to guarantee that he would only use his powers to bring prosperity to Japan and no discord.

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