Niko In ‘Dead Boy Detectives’ Explained: Is Niko Dead Or Alive? Who Had Tragic Mick’s Totem?

Netflix’s Dead Boy Detectives is based on the DC/Vertigo comic books of the same name. While this series has a lot of characters that draw the attention of the audience, Niko Sasaki’s character stands out in her own way. Played by Kitamura Yuyu, Niko Sasaki is a Japanese teenager from Osaka, living in the city of Port Townsend. She is studying at a boarding school away from her family. She initially lives a reclusive life because of supernatural parasitic possession, but after Edwin, Charles, and Crystal save her, she becomes a part of the detective agency.


Spoilers Ahead

Why did Niko start avoiding people? 

Niko is introduced in the second episode as Crystal’s shy neighbor when she shifts into the apartment across from Niko at Port Townsend. At first, it seems as though she has psychic weeaboo power. She involuntarily conjures a flamboyant aura around her, which magically makes her capture other people’s attention. It is only later revealed that she is host to Dandelion Sprites, a kind of supernatural spirit. The Dandelion Sprites feed on the attention of other people by conjuring these images while weakening the host from the inside, resulting in their eventual death. 


Ever since their first encounter, the human psychic Crystal Palace has sensed something off about Niko. Niko was unaware as to why people around her stared at her so intensely, and as a result, she used to avoid stepping out of her room at all. As the days passed, her condition worsened, even resulting in frequent nosebleeds. This continued until Crystal offered herself to the Sprites in exchange for Niko’s safety. In doing so, the Dead Boy trio tricked the sprites and captured them in a jar. The trio wanted to put an end to these parasites for good and burn them down, but Niko, being an empathetic person, insisted they’re kept captive instead. 

How did Niko become infected by Dandelion Sprites? 

Niko was quite little when she lost her father to sickness. She used to live in Osaka back then. Though she had a loving relationship with her father, her relationship with her mother was quite a contrast. After her father’s demise, she went to the nearby forest to collect dandelions, as her father believed that these flowers gave strength to those in need. It was during this that she was infected by the Dandelion Sprites. 


How did Niko help the agency? 

During the process through which the Dandelion Sprites were removed from her, she was temporarily in a comatose state. Because of this near-death experience, Niko, too, began to see Edwin and Charles the way Crystal did. With the Dead Boy Detective Agency’s popularity, the trio begins to gain a lot of acclaim from spirits stuck on earth because of unfinished business. Even though Niko has no idea about how things take place with the supernatural, she is quite eager to help the trio. Moreover, she is indeed a kind person, and that can be seen in the way she becomes a loyal companion to Charles. Charles wasn’t eager on fraternizing with humans, but Niko was part of the reason that he changed his mind. Moreover, it was Niko who made Charles accept his feelings for Edwin. 

Niko may feel like she has a ditsy type of personality in general, but it also works in her favor. Amidst the Night Nurse’s visit to Crystal’s apartment, she proves this point by the way she annoys the Night Nurse. Despite being socially naive, Niko is a well-read and informed individual. Even without having any superpowers, her presence of mind is shown as a virtue when she grants Edwin and Charles an extension from the lost-and-found department. 


How does Niko die? 

Before the final battle with Esther, Crystal and Niko head to Tragic Mike’s shop to buy anything that could give them an upper hand over the ever-powerful witch. Out of these things, Mike even gives Niko a totem for good luck. At Esther’s house, Crystal and Niko split up, with Crystal confronting the witches and Niko freeing Charles from Esther’s machine. Quite obviously, despite her new-found powers, Crystal turns out to be a lot weaker than Esther. The witch throws her dagger at Crystal, which would’ve definitely killed her, but Niko selflessly steps in between. The dagger hits her and presumably kills her on the spot. It is implied that after Niko’s death, her body was sent to Japan by her mother. 

Is Niko alive? 

Niko’s fate might just be the greatest mystery at the end of the series. At the end of the series, the two Dandelion Sprites are seen in a tundran backdrop in an igloo with a third person, who seems to carry the same totem that was given to Niko by Tragic Mike. Another possibility is that the head of the lost-and-found department might even be Niko, even though the chances are quite thin. In the ending, this enigmatic character of an East Asian appearance, quotes a phrase about kindness that was quoted to Niko by Tragic Mike before the fight. Niko’s character provides a kind of comic relief to the series, given its comic nature. However, Niko’s story is much more than just an object for our humor. She displays the true meaning of friendship, loyalty, and kindness. 


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Shrey Ashley Philip
Shrey Ashley Philip
A teacher, photographer, linguist, and songwriter, Shrey started out as a Biotechnology graduate, but shifted to studying Japanese. Now he talks about movies, advocates for ADHD awareness, and embraces Albert Camus.

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