Senran Kagura

video game series

Senran Kagura is a video game series created by Kenichiro Takaki, produced by Marvelous and mostly developed by Tamsoft. The franchise revolves around groups of female shinobi, and has received manga and anime adaptations.

Quotes from the games

Daidōji [intro text]: Shinobi were once servants of the feudal lords that ruled Japan in the past, specializing in espionage, subversion and assassination. With the influx of western culture after the Meiji Restoration, the feudal system began to collapse, causing them to fade from public consciousness. Even so, however much time passes, the nature of business does not change. There is always a need for those who dwell in darkness. The shinobi persist, even to this day. Their employers now are primarily politicians and corporations. Most who employ them regard them merely as tools to satisfy their own greed. As a result, shinobi are responsible for crimes throughout Japan, and the government has moved to confront them. Thus was born a multinational project to train shinobi of their own: the Hanzō National Academy.

Suzune [Hebijo intro text]: Every light casts a shadow. This is the basic principle of Yin and Yang. And yet, even within the depths of shadow, there is still darkness and light. Some, called evil shinobi, have sustained the world since time immemorial, specializing in assassination and subversion for politicians and corporations. Likewise, there are also the good shinobi, working on behalf of the various nations. Some would say the evil shinobi exist in the negative. But are the differences between them truly so great? The evil shinobi do things the good cannot, and vice versa. Both exist in the shadows, and likewise support the workings of the world. The Hebijo Clandestine Girls' Academy. Founded upon the principle that "Where good favors few, evil accepts all."

Homura [Hebijo ending]: We turn in the direction of the morning sun, smiling as we begin to walk. We don't know what awaits us at journey's end. But wherever we go, we are who we are. We're ready to survive in the world of shadow. Though the light may never shine on us, I'm not afraid, so long as we're together. And that's because... for us, our friends are our light. I squint into the morning sun, and say proudly to the others, "Come on, let's go! This is a whole new beginning for the Hebijo!"
Kiriya [intro text]: Every light casts a shadow. Yet within the depths of shadow, there is light. They are opposite sides of the same coin. Neither one can survive without the other. But they can also never work together. Therefore, they are doomed to fight a neverending battle. And from that endless battle comes the principle of balance. Still they fight through the ages with their very souls. Whirling like dancers in the fires of passion. Sometimes, light wins. Sometimes, shadow wins. Yin and yang together in conflict. The world of shinobi is beauty and death. And so it is in shinobi schools.

"Kurokage, it seems you won the bet."
Hearing Grandpa's words, Kurokage looks a bit surprised.
"...There is a world where only good exists. Look in your arms."
Grandpa points at Yumi, still in Kurokage's embrace.
A single tear winds its way over Kurokage's scars.
For him, Yumi and her sisters are a light.
Shining brightly, with no shadow.
Looking at Yumi, Kurokage and Grandpa, I realize the battle is truly over now.

Kiriya [Last Battle ending]: And so our story continues. Each of these girls has chosen the Path of the Shinobi. They hone their skills and discipline each day, living their lives through their many great struggles. And thus they prove that for this moment, they are alive. What awaits the shinobi girls beyond their struggles? What will they find hiding in the dark? Are they aware of what they stand to gain? What they stand to lose? Who knows what trials lie in the shadows ahead?

Senran Kagura 2: Deep Crimson (2014)

Kiriya [intro text]: Shinobi are shadows, deep shadows. Shinobi are flames, crimson flames. Life spreads across the path in bold crimson. The crossroad splits into light and darkness. Even so, a shinobi's fate is to move forward. No matter how much each generation changes, some things never will. There will always be a need for shinobi in the shadows of the underworld. Today, most shinobi clients are politicians and corporations. Amongst those clients, many consider shinobi to be little more than tools in their pursuit of wealth and power. For that reason, shinobi who serve a nation are known as "good shinobi," while shinobi who violate the law are regarded as "evil shinobi." Based on those differences, good shinobi and evil shinobi are destined to fight each other.

Kiriya [Naraku Chapter intro text]: Kagura is the summit in the distance. Kagura is the trench in the ocean abyss. It is the height of all heights, and the depth of all depths. Kagura is the god of war incarnate. Kagura is the messenger of peace. With terrible strength and no remorse. Kagura is... The ultimate bane of all yōma. All shinobi look up to Kagura. Because it stands upon the summit. Because it lies beneath the trench. Kagura is... A flower with a fleeting lifespan. And with the blood of yōma, it will bloom. Kagura is... A moment of light that flashes in battle. A shining revolution ready to grow.

Kiriya [Deep Crimson Chapter ending]: How will man live his life? Born from a womb, with the grave ahead. This is the fate of man. No matter how he lives, death awaits. But... is life meaningless? Does life have no value? That is not quite true. The girls of the deep crimson struggle, hesitate, suffer, but always live life to the fullest. Sometimes, they shared smiles. Sometimes, they crossed blades. And surely, there was life in those sparks. A life of intense, burning passion. This story will chronicle the many future battles between good and evil... and holds the records of the shinobi students' lives, their intensity, their sorrow... A story that teaches the meaning of life.

Senran Kagura: Bon Appétit! (2014)

Hanzō [intro text]: Super Dish... A sweet, beautiful sound comes from those words. They bring to mind great cooking and great racks. The perfect combination. Who strives to master the path to the Super Dish? Not nearly enough people, that's who. This year, the Super Dish Gourmet Cook-Off will be held here at Hanzō Street Shopping District. At first, I meant for this competition to be a show of skill for those who have mastered the Super Dish, but few were eager to take up that challenge. So I've prepared a grand prize for the competition: a Secret Ninja Art Scroll with the power to grant one wish. Any wish. Now, why would a scroll with the power to alter the fabric of the world be given away so easily? Why, indeed? The truth lies hidden beneath a veil of dark and shocking conspiracies....

Senran Kagura: Estival Versus (2015)

Sayuri [intro text]: The fate of a shinobi is death. To be born in shadow. To die in shadow. The fate of a shinobi is death. Human history is full of calamity. Beyond all reason or comprehension. Human history is full of calamity. This world has endured one blow after another from the terrible forces of nature. But worse than any natural disaster is the destructive power of evil intentions. To stand against calamity, to put one's life on the line... That is the ultimate mission of all shinobi in this day and age. Few shinobi survive that mission. But there is no room for tears, no time for sorrow. All shinobi know how rare it is for any one of them to return alive. And so, a shinobi's life is a short one. Here briefly, then gone, like a forgotten corpse on the side of the road. They give their life, and receive nothing in return. Like flowers, plucked and taken, never given names. And when all that remains of a shinobi is a wandering spirit, what does that spirit feel? Resentment, for desires unfulfilled? Regret over tasks left undone? Or...? The story you are about to hear is of a great festival to calm the souls of those wandering shinobi...

Sayuri: I still say it's better to throw your feelings away.
Yumi: Why... Why are you so determined to...?
Sayuri: Why do you think I'm an EX-Kagura?
Yumi: What?
Sayuri: Because I threw away the title, that's why! My friends and I were fighting a yōma... I had a choice: Kill it or save them. I hesitated, for just that one moment... And in that moment, the yōma killed my friends AND got away. I failed as a Kagura. Emotions might make you stronger sometimes, but they're risky too. And you can't afford that risk when you're fightin' yōma.
Yumi: ...That reminds me of something Asuka said once. About how your heart must carry the sword and the shield. That is true power, to hear her say it.
Sayuri: "The sword and the shield," huh...? That's what Hanzō likes to say.
Yumi: The sword fends off aggression. The shield protects the innocent. Two opposites, but both in balance, not conflict. If you would hide your internal conflicts away instead... Yes, there is danger in power. Even weakness in it. But what true power doesn't have those things?
Sayuri: !
Yumi: To me, power without risk, without responsibility, is like a sword with no shield. There are always weaknesses in strength. And sometimes, strength in weakness.
Hanzō [intro text]: Human beings... All of our lives will eventually come to an end. No matter what steps one takes, there is no way to avoid the fated day. But hope persists. And there comes a long and peaceful silence. Shinobi... With their superhuman training, do they still accept the coming of that silence? Or will they refuse to give in? PBS... Peach Beach Splash. Since ancient times, the shinobi world has held this mysterious, sacred water gun competition.

Homura: I don't get this parallel dimension crap, but I do know one thing... Meiun! You're a no-good, backstabbing shithead!
Meiun: I beg your pardon?
Homura: What's the point of a shinobi who doesn't fight? I'm not gonna hide from Shin, no matter how strong he is!
Asuka: Same goes for me! Forget sitting it out on some island! I'll fight Shin to protect everybody!
Miyabi: You are the only one here who fears Shin, Meiun. If you choose to withdraw, then do so alone.
Meiun: ...
Yumi: Our vision of paradise is a place where anyone can smile... not some fool's paradise for just one person!

Meiun: Yumi, why must you spurn my paradise?
Yumi: Simple. Because we have no intention of running from Shin.
Meiun: What?
Yumi: I do not know how strong Shin may be. Perhaps it is as you say, and we stand no chance against him. But we do not, and will not, turn our backs on our troubles. We were taught to stand up to our foes, no matter how strong they are.
Meiun: Taught? Oh, yes. You learned from Kurokage. Then let me ask you. Whatever happened to the great Kurokage, who stood against us as a renegade? What did he gain in reputation, or status, or wealth? Did he not die a meaningless death?
Yumi: The meaning of his death is for us to decide, by living for his teachings. You cannot dissuade us! We WILL leave this island! And then we will train, harder and harder, until we CAN stand up to Shin! There is no future in a place where time stands still! The future isn't here, it's forward! That is my answer!

Senran Kagura Reflexions (2017)

Asuka [intro text]: A classroom, bathed in sunset. Nothing unusual about it. It should be just like any other day. So then what is this? Something feels different today. Something both common... and irreplaceable. From here, in this place, will these feelings... reach you...?

Yumi: ...The classroom is quiet. One would assume the extracurricular activity students have already left. Perhaps you can hear my heartbeat. I-I mean that. It is beating incredibly hard. W-would you... like to feel it? It's... warm? Never before have I been told such a thing. Well... nor has any man but Grandfather ever held my hand, for that matter. I find the feeling most unique, most curious. When my hands are in yours, I... somehow...

Asuka: ...Thanks. I've finally escaped that weird shinobi barrier. That's right. The world around us up until now wasn't real. Huh? You don't get what that means? Ummm. The world that reflected my heart... It was a dream world. It's what a different side of me wanted to see. I was so tired, all my hidden feelings manifested as a shinobi barrier and ran amok. Huh? You want to know why I was that tired? ...Hm. Let's see. Maybe it would be OK to tell you. A shinobi student at Hanzō National Academy... That's who I really am. With your help... I found my true self again. Thank you. Now I can get back to my duties. There are evil shinobi to fight and yōma to vanquish. So this has to be goodbye... But don't forget. The feelings I told you about in my dream were all real. It was a dream, and it wasn't. So, let me say it once again. ...I love you. Goodbye.

Senran Kagura: Peach Ball (2018)

Yumi: Since all of us are human again, we've decided to continue playing at the arcade. Up until now, our friendship has been nurtured through battles. But this time, we helped one another without fighting. That's deepened our intimacy in a whole new way. Of course, we will still carry out our missions, even if they bring our weapons together in combat. That will never change. For that reason, we must allow ourselves to enjoy these lighter moments. Whenever we have a chance to laugh, we should. There was a time I might have called such leisure wasteful or imprudent. But ever since we met Asuka and the others, I have come to see things differently. I have changed, and not for the worse. In fact, I would go so far as to call it "growth".

Haruka: You forgot what's most important. There's no shame in a dog being treated like a dog!
Ryōna: A-Awoo?!
Haruka: When I treat humans like dogs, they feel shame. When I treat dogs like dogs, they feel normal.
Ryōna: T-That makes sense, when you put it that way!
Yomi: This is some conversation...
Asuka: Yeah, I'm lost now.
Ryōna: M-Master! I want to be human again! A human who gets treated like a dog!

Yomi: I've been planning to split the prize between the slums and the Crimson Squad. That's the reason I'm here. But... Now, I'll be splitting it three ways... between the slums, the Crimson Squad... and, finally... You, for your help in saving everyone. You deserve a reward. When we rampaged through this place as animals, most people ran. But you... you stayed to the very end. "Please accept this." I hand a gift card to you. "By the way, what do you think you'll do with it?" I see you smile as you answer. "...I'll buy bean sprouts," you say. I laugh, deeply amused. How is it that our interests match so closely? Or... do you simply know what I like?

Quotes from the anime

[English lines in the opening song Break Your World]:
You don't need to weep anymore
We can live the future, not present
Ready up yourself through all fights
Break your world!

Quotes about Senran Kagura

  • It’s an intense, fiery battle. There are also sexy elements. But speaking personally, I get to voice Asuka in each release in the series. As Homura’s best friend, we get to experience these battles as they unfold. This is a story with a lot of heart. That’s why these battles are important.
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