The Dead Fish is a type of demon encountered in Ōkami. It belongs to the Flying Demons. The Dead Fish is first encountered at Shinshu Field, down at the base of the ramp leading down to Tama's house. The Dead Fish is a koi fish wearing a robe and geta, with large fins as wings, which are also razor sharp and can be thrown like boomerangs.
The Dead Fish is said to be the spirit of a woman who committed suicide by throwing herself into the sea. Also, it is implied that if one sees the carcass of a fish on the beach night, it must be exorcised, or the carcass will rise and attack the person.
"The transformed spirit of a woman who threw herself into the sea,
this demonic fish can fly by flapping its fins like wings.
If you spot a fish carcass on the beach at night, it is recommended that you exorcise the fin as if with a powerful slash.
Doing so knocks these fish to the ground and sends them packing."
When Japan's feudal government censored all images of political satire, it is said that artists started using objects and animals as substitutes for the subjects of their satirical works. This generation of censorship is probably where the Age of Goldfish has its roots. When viewed while considering their historical context, one can see a different interpretation of the artist's thoughts. The Dead Fish is our way of paying homage to the Age of Goldfish. I think goldfish were the right choice as the weakest of the flying demons.Sawaki, Ōkami Official Complete Works
When a Dead Fish is encountered, it is recommended that Amaterasu knock it out of the air by using Power Slash or aerial attacks on it. Also, if it throw its fins, the fins can be Power Slashed and deflected back at the demon, knocking it down. When knocked down, the demon will be open to attacks for a while. If Amaterasu has learnt Golden Fury and Brown Rage, then she can use it on the demon to farm it, but after a strike has been landed, it will immediately spring up and ran away from Amaterasu. Chase it down and deal damage to it quickly: it will spin away twice as it takes damage. The second time when its health has reached critical, it will glow red, raise its arms, and chase after Amaterasu. In this state, its toughness is significantly increased, and it shrugs off most attacks. If it touches Amaterasu, it will cling to her and eventually explode in a suicide attack: it can be dislodged with a Power Slash, which will kill it instantly. Later in her journey, if Amaterasu has obtained the Thief's Glove, then after the Dead Fish has ran off, use the glove to send Issun after it and kill it, as Issun, once deployed, will chase a target until he has struck it. Unfortunately, the Dead Fish does not have any attack that a Sub-Reflector Counterattack can work with, so Amaterasu won't either get Demon Fangs or counterattack and kill the demon.
Power Slash is the Dead Fish's Floral Finisher, but because it becomes extremely tough when it is low on health, it is fairly hard to set up. The Floral Finisher is hard to achieve before the Dead Fish explodes if it manages to attach to Amaterasu and the Fish will also eventually explode if evaded, so it must be defeated quickly and with either jumping or ranged attacks. Using the Ink Bullet ability from Snarling Beast is one of the best ways to defeat a Dead Fish and still get its Floral Finisher early on, since the first Rosary is too weak to kill a Dead Fish before it latches on. Placing Cherry Bombs between it and Amaterasu is also effective.
Alternatively, grounding the Dead Fish, paying attention not to knock its health below the 2/3 mark, then using Cherry Bomb to cut off a large portion of its HP is also viable, as with proper calculation, the explosion will leave it in such a low health state that low-tier Divine Instruments can kill them quickly.
- They are probably a reference to Funayūrei, the vengeful ghosts of people who died as sea, who are among other things depicted as mer-people or scaly humanoid fish. In some stories these spirits will cling to the hulls of ships to slow them down, seeking to capture the living.
- All of the targets on Haruka's Revenge Contract are Dead Fish.