An oddity (怪異, kaii, lit. "strangeness") or sometimes translated as apparition (supernatural being) or aberration (unusual, unwelcome entity), is a general term for a supernatural phenomenon influenced by humanity.
While contact with an oddity sometimes inflicts a sort of symptom, other times it can result in the victim becoming an oddity or part-oddity themselves.
From gods to the lowest monsters, all supernatural beings classify as oddities. Oddities are commonly represented by or take the form of an animal of some sort as it allows them to blend in with reality.
What Exactly Is an Oddity? Where do they come from?
The concept is at times rather vague. While sometimes described simply as traditional folklore creatures such as vampires, ghosts, or phoenixes, oddities seem to hold a much more abstract concept. Certain evidence suggests that oddities are formed through a manifestation of feelings and ideas, as elaborated in Tsubasa Tiger, Nadeko Medusa, Ougi Dark, and Acerola Bon Appétit. In most cases, they're myths or legends that eventually became real.
Oddities can only exist through the presence of humanity. If they are not witnessed nor talked about by humanity, they weaken and eventually cease to exist. Places like Antarctica are scarce of oddities as there is no humanity to witness their existence. Oddities simply exist because people think they do, and legends about them continue to be passed down from generations. Some evidence also suggests that oddities sometimes behave as people around them perceive them to, though this appears to only affect their behavior to a certain degree.
Reasons for Attacking & the "Victim" Concept
Oddities have a natural instinct to attack or affect people in some way. Contrary to initial belief, an oddity will almost always attack a victim for a reason. In the case of vampires, they need to attack humans not necessarily for nutrition, but to ignite fear in humanity in order to make their presence known. If their description as an oddity calls that they harm humanity, they need to do it in order to continue to exist. This applies to all oddities.
From a different perspective, oddities often attack people because it's what the people want deep in their subconscious. "Victims" of oddities usually use the phenomenon as means to cope with a problem. Often, one side of "exorcising" an oddity is done by resolving the initial problem at hand.
Since an oddity is meant to be a manifestation of a myth or feeling rather than a being that acts on its own free will, if an oddity is caught lying about what it is or strays too far from its description and or purpose, an anti-existence phenomenon similar to a black hole commonly referred to as The Darkness arrives to swallow it whole along with bystanders. Apparently, it's "invisible" and can't necessarily be seen, but is heavily sensed.
In some cases, the darkness can be reverted if the "lie" the oddity was telling actually becomes true.
Oddities can be very dangerous, so there are specialists who know about them and act as "exorcists" for their victims as well as exterminators for the oddities themselves. Oddity specialists are known to have extensive knowledge on all sorts of oddities.
Examples of specialists include Meme Oshino, Yozuru Kagenui & Yotsugi Ononoki, and Izuko Gaen. Subcategories of oddity specialists include vampire hunters such as Guillotine Cutter who slay vampires, and immortal oddity experts like Kagenui or Tadatsuru Teori who specialize in immortal oddities specifically. Kagenui is also literally a modern day onmyouji, which is essentially a Japanese exorcist equivalent which are known to have shikigami servants.
Oshino specializes in collecting stories, keeping a "balance" between parties, and helping resolve cases. He has the power to do more aggressive work, but prefers not to. In contrast to Oshino, Gaen's specialty is preventing incidents from occurring at all. She's also the leader of the network of specialists in the series. The oldest known specialist in the series is Seishirou Shishirui, the original oddity slayer.
Deishuu Kaiki is a "fake specialist" who doesn't necessarily specialize in oddities himself, but knows people who do and cons people with his knowledge. He is also able to inflict "fake" or "fabricated" oddities on people, which are based on false history.
Some specialists also go by the occupation of "Ghost Buster." Coincidentally, most known specialists in the series were part of an Occult Research Club in college in which they discussed oddities and the supernatural.
Known Oddity Specialists
- Meme Oshino
- Deishuu Kaiki
- Yozuru Kagenui
- Yotsugi Ononoki
- Izuko Gaen
- Tadatsuru Teori
- Guillotine Cutter
- Seishirou Shishirui
Immortal oddities known for sucking the blood of others for nutrition. Aside from sipping the blood, the bite can also turn said victim into one of them. Possess extreme speed and strength, but have a weakness to sunlight. Vampires are also known to eat humans and other oddities. Not only does this practice provide nutrition, it also works to completely remove immortal oddities or unwanted thralls after sucking their blood.
Other abilities include energy drain, fast regeneration, and the ability to generate matter. Their primary weakness is the sun, although Koyomi Vamp and Acerola Bon Appétit also revealed other weaknesses, such as silver, cross and garlic.
Half Vampires are usually humans who were bitten by vampires, but did not fully become one. They are not as powerful as full-fledged vampires, but are also less affected by the weakness to sunlight and can hold into silver and crosses with no problem.
Jiangshis are the humans infected by vampires who lost their "master" by sudden death. They wander mindlessly carrying the will of their former master, making them more like zombies rather than vampires.
|Kiss-shot Acerola-orion Heart-under-blade,||
Kizumonogatari, (Half Vampire)
|Heavy Stone Crab||
A crab god that steals the weight of its victim. Also known simply as Heavy Crab or God's Heavy Stone.
While the tales originates from the mountain ranges of Kyushu, it's also widespread in other Japanese regions, where it's also rumored to take form as a hare or a beautiful woman.
|Hitagi Senjougahara (victim)||Bakemonogatari|
Causes people who do not have a wish to go home to become lost.
They only affect people who are walking on the road however, and can be avoided by walking on other pathways, such as fencings and walls.
Immortal oddity that acts violently according to the hidden desire of its victim's wishes, taking form of a mysterious figure wearing a raincoat and a pair of boots.
Originally a whole entity created by Tooe Gaen, it was defeated by its creators and has its body parts scattered.
Suruga Kanbaru (recipient),
Rouka Numachi (collector),
Rouka Hanadori (recipient),
Tooe Gaen (creator)
|Jagirinawa||Curse-like snake oddity that attacks victims through constriction.||Nadeko Sengoku (victim)||Bakemonogatari|
|Sawarineko||A kind of bakeneko that drains the energy of other people, causing various harmful effects.||Tsubasa Hanekawa (host)||Bakemonogatari|
|Flame-Wreathe Bee||Fake oddity that causes an immobilizing fever that is fatal when untreated.||Karen Araragi (victim)||Nisemonogatari|
|Phoenix||Referenced only; an immortal oddity in the form of a bird that consumes everything in fire.||(N/A)||Nisemonogatari|
|Shide no Tori||Immortal oddity that can quickly recover from any injury or disease; offspring usually dwell in the womb of a normal human.||Nisemonogatari|
|Tsukumogami||An undead oddity created from a tool or corpse that has been used/dead for at least 100 years.||Yotsugi Ononoki||Nisemonogatari|
A white tiger-shaped oddity that burns the victim's sources of envy.
Known to possess "unparalleled" power among other oddities.
|Tsubasa Hanekawa (creator)||Nekomonogatari|
A god in the form of a white snake; at one point the local deity of Kita-Shirahebi Shrine.
|Nadeko Sengoku (creator, former vessel)||Otorimonogatari|
|Slug Tofu||Fake oddity that changes the victim's nature to resemble a slug's.||Nadeko Sengoku (victim)||Koimonogatari|
Tadatsuru Teori undergone a forbidden ritual to turn into an Oddity and become immortal.
The ritual failed, killing him. However, he gained power to control the dolls he made from hell.
Tadatsuru Teori himself,
Meme Oshino, Yozuru Kagenui, Izuko Gaen (acquaintances)
The ghost of Rouka Numachi, who forgot her own suicide.
She finds delight in others' misfortune and collects them, alongside the Rainy Devil's body parts.
|Rouka Numachi (incarnation)||Hanamonogatari|
Also known as the "Fake Darkness". An ordinary, one-of-a-kind Oddity who pretends to be the "Darkness", and the "enemy" Izuko and Teori talked about.
This Oddity mainly acts as Koyomi's self-crticism system, and would go out of his way to unravel the "truth" Koyomi knows and punishes "liars", even outside of his will.
Koyomi Araragi (creator),
A water-dwelling oddity resembling a piscine human.
Their meat can prolong life, although with a side effect of turning the consumer into fish while wet.
Zenka Suo (recipient)
A clay doll infused with the soul of a human for the purpose of keeping them alive or reviving them from death.
As clay figures don't age like humans do, its creator would need to maintain the vessel's shape in accordance to its host's current "age" if they were still alive, if they want to have their golem "grow" normally.