The Red Imp (「赤天邪鬼」?; Aka-amanojaku) is a type of demon encountered in Ōkami and Ōkamiden. A member of the Imps category of demons, the Red Imp has several counterparts in other demon categories, the Headless Guardian, Blade Namahage and the Clay Samurai
The Red Imp is first encountered near the boulder-blocked exit of Kamiki Village, after Amaterasu listens to a merchant complaining about the way his body does not act according to his own will, and suspects a demonic possession. The Red Imp has the appearance of a monkey-like creature, whose flabby skin and muscle is a crimson color. The creature has bare hands and feet, tipped with vicious-looking claws. On its body is a red vest with noticeable shoulder-pads; on the demon's wrists, the skin there actually sags and extends to become the fluttering "sleeves" of the demon, often mistaken as the long sleeves of a robe underneath the vest. On its head, the Red Imp has single oni horn; on its face is a paper mask like other demons of the Imps category, with the unique katakana ロ (ro). For a weapon, the Red Imp wields a wooden shamisen painted with red and yellow on the front, and green on the back.
The Red Imp is first encountered in a demon scroll at Shinshu Field, after it has been rid of the cursed zone plaguing the area. The Red Imp is depicted differently, as a creature wearing a gray yukata with lining and two dots alongside the edge, all in red. The demons wears an origami paper hat often made by children, and a paper mask depicting a gaping mouth. What the Red Imp rides on is a demonic spinning top with the mouth of an Ice Lips without the ice crystals; the demon is also armed with a paddle stuck with nails.
The Red Imp is a capable shamisen player, and this is taken to its advantage to lure its victims into ambushes from the shadow, where the demon hides. However one night, the imp lured out a warrior, and when the imp stopped playing to drink sake, its shamisen was struck by the man's blade, its strings severed. As a result, the Red Imp vanished.
The Red Imp is depicted as a devious creature whose pride lies in its spinning top. With this, the demon moves from place to place, causing destruction. However, when its top is destroyed, then so will be its pride.
"These lute-players are harder to exorcise than Green Imps.. The Imps disappeared in a wisp of smoke.
One night, a man heard lute music and went out to find the source.
Hiding in the shadows, he saw the Imps stop playing and drink sake.
Seeing his chance to attack, the man struck out, severing the lute
strings with his blade
It is advisable to cut the strings with the brush."
"This wicked creature can be found causing havoc on a large spinning top.
He is a fast-turning devil with a penchant for chaos.
Knocking him off of his top will be a blow to his ego and end his rampage."
The Red Imp is straightforward: attack it until its death, performing farming techniques in the process, though in fights early on in Amaterasu's journey, she cannot use any farming techniques. Later on in her journey, Amaterasu can use Golden Fury (if she has the Thief's Glove, then the Holy Artifact has to be used simultaneously with this technique) and Brown Rage to farm the demon, then scribble it with the Celestial Brush, causing the Red Imp to flail its arms in a blind attack, an opportunity for her to execute a Sub-Reflector Counterattack and kill the demon, gaining a Demon Fang in the process. When the Red Imp dies, use Power Slash as its Floral Finisher for a Demon Fang.
When a Red Imp emerges, it will not immediately use its top to charge at Chibiterasu, so use this chance to land some hits on it (a Glaive is recommended). If Chibiterasu is using the Providence Crystal, then only use a neutral-element shot, otherwise the demon will be immediately killed while still on its top, which will negate a Purification. After these attacks, the Red Imp will be left stunned; use Power Slash on its top to destroy it, and focus on attacking the Red Imp. When it is killed, use Power Slash as its Purification for one Demon Bone piece.
- When Amaterasu encounters Kasugami, the soundtrack Spirit Extermination is played and three shamisen are thrown at Kasugami, which she clumsily evades while simultaneously demonstrating Veil of Mist. However, the imps are not seen and it is unknown how they could have got into the heavenly realm where Amaterasu meets the Celestial Brush gods.
- It is possible that Kasugami was just using them for the purpose of demonstration.
- Throughout both Ōkami and Ōkamiden, the weapons of the Red Imp remain breakable.