31 Shinbi's Apartment Ghosts!
DAY EIGHTEEN: SHOELIZARD
Written by Jonathan Wojcik
SEASON 2.2, EPISODES 01:
a reptilian monster has been creeping around town at night, sneaking into the homes of children, and curiously leaving without a trace...until it finds one particular boy that it won't leave alone.
This one's English name is SHOELIZARD, but I keep seeing its Korean name translated as "Pickaxe," which probably still isn't quite accurate. Regardless, Pickshoe Lizardaxe is a large, purple-skinned reptile with razor-toothed jaws, sinister red eyes, a deadly blade-tipped tail and a head of long, red hair.
The ferocious looking creature can scale walls and ceilings, run with blinding speed, slash through almost anything with its tail blade, and even spew a black, toxic smog from its throat - which is revealed to be the essence of infectious disease!
But why "SHOE LIZARD?" It may look like something that just wants to eat people, but for some reason.....this monster does nothing but examine children's shoes. I know that sounds creepy for all the wrong reasons, but bear with us here...
This is another spirit from long, long ago. He was a young boy whose twin brother lived in a neighboring village, but was violently turned away from seeing him once a plague began to spread throughout the region. Afraid that either of them would die before they could see one another again, the boy secretly snuck into the village at night and tried to find the right house. As twins, their sandals had always fit them both the same, so he tried on every pair he could find in every doorway.
He didn't know that he already had the plague, even as he grew steadily weaker and more delirious. With one last pair of sandals in his hands, he collapsed in the street having still never found his brother.
As the Shoelizard, the boy's spirit couldn't try on shoes anymore, but somehow, eventually, believed he had found its long dead brother. He nearly tried to kill the boy once he realized the mistake, but once the kids learned its story, the would-be victim gave his shoes to the monster as a gift, and the act of kindness put the ghost to rest.
As a summon, Shoelizard seems to be one of Hari's best offensive ghosts, geared entirely towards more broadly applicable speed and power than the more situational abilities of other spirits.
A killer purple dinosaur is "scary" in the "deadly predator" sense, but it's not creepy or horrifying in the ghostly sense. Instead, the fact that it's a ghost simply adds more cool factor to a stylish and impressive reptiloid. Its hunt for shoes feels straight out of classic bogeyman folk tales, while the mop-haired komodo dragon look feels more like modern day creepypasta or SCP figures. It may not be one of the scarier, stranger or sadder ones, no, but it has a lot of unique charm and memorable style!