‘My Oni Girl’ Ending Explained: Did Tsumugi And Hiiragi End Up Together?


My Oni Girl is a part of the three-picture deal between Netflix, Studio Colorido, and Twin Engine. Directed by Tomotaka Shibayama and written by Shibayama and Yuko Kakihara, the film tells the story of Hiiragi Yatsuse, an incredibly introverted kid who comes across Tsumugi at a bus stop. Surprisingly enough, Tsumugi decides to invite herself to Hiiragi’s home and spends some quality time with his family. But when Hiiragi is almost eaten up by a Snow God, Tsumugi and Hiiragi are forced to go on the run. Tsumugi reveals that she hails from the home of the Oni, called the Hidden Village, which exists in the mountains and is protected by the Snow Gods. She has broken the rules to search for her mother Shion, who apparently abandoned her when she was a kid and is living at the Hie Shrine, and she wants Hiiragi’s help to get there. Most of the film is really chill and calming, as we see Hiiragi and Tsumugi meeting various people and treating each other with unfathomable levels of kindness while avoiding getting consumed by the Snow Gods. However, in the concluding 30 minutes of My Oni Girl, things get a little confusing. So, please bear with me as I try to make sense of it.

Spoiler Alert

When Tsumugi and Hiiragi reach Hie Shrine, of course, they don’t find Shion there. Izuru, who has been looking for Tsumugi everywhere, finally catches up to her daughter and asks her to return to the village because the Snow Gods have been acting up. Assuming that Shion is gone forever, Tsumugi lashes out and breaks off her friendship with Hiiragi. This causes Hiiragi to bottle up his feelings and turn into an Oni (according to Japanese folklore, they are a kind of demon, and recent interpretations have shown the Oni as misunderstood and mild-mannered creatures). And when a Snow God detects him, it swallows him and then takes him to the Hidden Village. Tsumugi and Izuru make their way to their home to try and rescue Hiiragi before he is totally lost, while Mikio (Hiiragi’s father) waits outside the entrance to the world of the Oni.

Hiiragi manages to explode out of the Snow God’s belly with the power of love, I guess, and he is taken to the head of the Hidden Village, Gozen. She explains that the Snow Gods are supposed to guard the Hidden Village by creating a wall (which can be literal or metaphorical in nature) between the Oni and the humans. But now the Snow Gods themselves have become the aggressors and are either eating or abducting the Oni. Gozen theorizes that the Oni are being punished. She doesn’t say why, but she talks about a shrine, which is home to the Spirit Mask, in a place called Oni Island. Apparently, this mask is used to summon the Snow Gods and keep the Hidden Village, well, hidden. Hiiragi wonders why it’s so important for the Oni to stay hidden, and Gozen basically says that since they, as a tribe, are introverted, they need this safe space to live. However, their need to isolate themselves has seemingly backfired, and that’s why they are facing the wrath of the Snow Gods.

Tsumugi comes up with her own theory. She thinks that if they destroy the Spirit Mask, then the Snow Gods will leave the Oni, assuming that the gods are angry because the Oni are trying to control them. Gozen backs up Tsumugi’s theory, but she warns her that if the mask is destroyed, then their village won’t stay hidden anymore. To be clear, at this point in My Oni Girl, Tsumugi isn’t aware of the fact that the one who is wearing the mask and controlling the Snow Gods is Shion. Now, based on the flashbacks, I think someone from the Oni tribe has to volunteer to wear the Spirit Mask and control the Snow Gods. So, if the Oni are a group of people who want to live in isolation, the wearer of the Spirit Mask has to be selfless on a level that’s hitherto undreamt of because they’ve to forego all feelings of loneliness and stay in the shrine on the Oni Island, apparently forever. In this case, the volunteer is Shion. However, her urge to meet Tsumugi and Tsumugi’s desire to meet her mother cause Shion’s resolve to waver.

Instead of using the power of the Spirit Mask to maintain the invisibility of the Oni, I suppose Shion decides to command the Snow Gods to bring the Oni to this realm that she is in. While most of the Snow Gods are limited to the Hidden Village, some of them go out into the world of humans to look for Tsumugi because Shion’s thoughts about her daughter are forcing them to do so. So, when Tsumugi reunites with Shion and destroys the Spirit Mask, Shion, and all the Oni that she has captured and imprisoned in the realm on Oni Island are freed. This leads to an avalanche that destroys the realm and imprisons Tsumugi. During this moment of peak isolation, Tsumugi remembers the time she has spent with Hiiragi. I think she even time travels to the moment Hiiragi decided to help her at the bus stop, thereby hinting that Hiiragi was sort of influenced by a future version of Tsumugi (it’s kind of a chicken-and-egg-full-circle thing). And that’s also when she is saved by Hiiragi.

As soon as Hiiragi says that, despite being imprisoned in the pantry by Tsumugi, his determination to reunite with her has brought him there, both Tsumugi and Hiiragi begin to float out of the realm. Tsumugi reunites with her family, and Hiiragi goes back to his home. At the end of The Oni Girl. Tsumugi and Hiiragi meet each other again at the same bus stop. Tsumugi reprimands Hiiragi for not coming to meet her, and Hiiragi says that he tried to enter the Oni realm many times, but the entrance kept taking him to different places. Tsumugi says that only the Oni can travel to the Hidden Village, and since Hiiragi isn’t an Oni anymore, he is failing to get to the realm of the Oni. Does this mean that the new status quo that has been established by Tsumugi is allowing the Oni to stay hidden without depending on the Snow Gods or sending someone to a life of eternal isolation while wearing the Spirit Mask? Yes, I think that’s the case. That’s why Tsumugi can travel freely without being arrested by the Oni police, while those who want to stay in the village can stay there.

But what does this all mean? Hiiragi is an introvert whose niceness is interpreted as a weakness, thereby forcing him to seek isolation and bottle up his feelings. Tsumugi is an extrovert who has lived her whole life in isolation, even though she wants to travel the world and see and experience everything. Hiiragi’s family and friends force him to be more open without considering what he actually wants. The culture of the Oni has forced Shion to be isolated without considering how that’s going to impact her and her family. So, the ending of My Oni Girl talks about achieving a kind of balance where a person isn’t forced to do something that they don’t want to do. Too much isolation or overexposure can be detrimental to one’s soul. When Hiiragi decides to be more assertive, and Tsumugi decides to end Oni’s tradition of self-imposed isolation, they free themselves from the expectations that were slapped on them from a very young age. Hopefully, they’ll use their newfound freedom to grow as people, live their dreams, and love each other without any sort of inhibition.

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Pramit Chatterjee
Pramit Chatterjee
Pramit loves to write about movies, television shows, short films, and basically anything that emerges from the world of entertainment. He occasionally talks to people, and judges them on the basis of their love for Edgar Wright, Ryan Gosling, Keanu Reeves, and the best television series ever made, Dark.

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