Guardians (「地蔵」?; Jizō) are demons found in the western half of Nippon. As Fallen Demons, they are essentially more powerful versions of the various Imps and can be fought and stunned in the same ways. Guardians have equivalents of all the different Imps except Green imps.
Bell guardians are stronger equivalents of Yellow imps. It is said that Bell guardians are statues possessed by the sadness of a monk who disliked the sound of the temple bell. In battle they dig underground and emerge to attack. It is believed that the reason they go underground is to find their heads. Bell guardians are the only type of Guardian to not have Cherry Bomb as a Floral Finisher, instead their Floral Finisher is Power Slash.
Halo guardians are stronger equivalents of Blue imps. They are grey in colour and have a halo decoration on their back. This halo helps them to fly. It is said that they stole their appearance from Buddhist statuary and use it to harass humans. They share the common Floral Finisher of the Guardians, Cherry Bomb.
Executioner guardians are stronger equivalents of Black imps. They use stone heads to fire lasers and protect themselves. They are first encountered at North Ryoshima Coast and they share the common Floral Finisher of Cherry Bomb. It is said that this powerful Guardian statue fools people into thinking it is a normal statue before making a surprise attack.
- ↑ "Headless guardian statues possessed by the spirit of a
Searching for his head at night, he may knock on your very
shouting, "Give me back my head or I'll take yours
"—Headless guardian's Bestiary entry
- ↑ "Possessed by the sadness of a monk who disliked the sound of the
temple bell, this statue digs underground and sounds a bell in
search of his lost head. Jump if you hear "Give me back my head!"
Jumping makes them lose sight of the target and return underground.
"—Bell guardian's Bestiary entry
- ↑ "Halos are normally seen radiating from Buddhist statuary, but this
creature has stolen that appearance and uses it to harass humans.
Its holy appearance is convincing, but a closer look reveals no head.
One tale tells of a devout old couple who were attacked but saved
by a divine wind. A strong heart will tell you this is an imposter.
"—Halo guardian's Bestiary entry
- ↑ "More deadly than most of its ilk, this demon fools people into
thinking it is an ordinary statue before striking. It uses stone
heads like a shield and is prone to turning them into projectiles.
Its demonic power is so great that it must be exorcised twice.
"—Executioner guardian's Bestiary entry
- Being desecrated holy Buddha statues of evil mimicking them, the Guardians may be befitting servants of Evil Rao.
- The Guardians are based on the Jizō statues that often stands in the roads helping travelers and children.
- Jizō (Sanskrit: Ksitigarbha) is a bodhisattva (Japanese: 菩薩, bosatsu), that is to say the being who postpones his attainment to nirvana until the other beings attained it first. In Japanese and other Buddhist-influenced folklores there are some "celestial bodhisattvas" which aids people in a deity-like manner.
- The Guardians are the only common enemies in Ōkami that do not have a counterpart for the Green imp.