Sunday 3 November 2013

Speculation: Who is the mysterious woman in the newest Sengoku Basara 4 trailer?

I think it's time I rounded up all of the main guesses about the identity of the mysterious new character in case we get the answer this week. Here's a quick summary of what we know about her for sure:
  • She's only appeared once so far, in the newest promotional video.
  • The press describe her as the 'final new character' in the game.
  • Dengeki explicitly referred to her as a 'non-playable character' in their report.
So who is she? Here are the names which seem to keep coming up on English and Japanese discussion forums.

Izumo No Okuni 出雲阿国
  • Okuni was known for her dancing, and the mysterious newcomer is shown gesturing elegantly and spinning as though dancing in mid-air.
  • If she fights with her ribbons there is potential to have her entire move set use theatrical dance movements and flourishes, which would suit the person credited as the famous performer who brought the world kabuki.
  • Okuni is an interesting historical figure who would fit into the Sengoku Basara world quite well.

Mochizuki Chiyome 望月千代女
  • A legendary female ninja with ties to the Takeda clan.
  • The emblem on the woman's chest looks very similar to the Takeda crest. I think it's possible that it's actually a stylised flower, like the four-petal designs on her skirt and in her hair. But a red diamond crest is such a familiar sight to fans of the series that it immediately stood out.
  • Personally, I'm not convinced by this theory (even though it would be interesting to have more female ninja). The evidence is quite weak and relies entirely on the diamond crests on her clothing tying her to the Takeda clan, but the creators already have trouble juggling three popular Takeda characters. Her design also looks too fancy and exotic to fit the image of a legendary kunoichi.

Himiko 卑弥呼
  • Himiko's name has already been linked to Sengoku Basara 4. Tsuruhime is said to be acting on instructions from a mysterious voice which calls itself 'Himiko'.
  • As an ancient (time-travelling) queen, she would be 'above' the other warriors like Yoshiteru, which would fit in nicely with her role as a non-playable surprise character.
  • As a monarch, she would probably have a strong opinion on the 'Sengoku Creation' storyline and determining the true ruler of the country.
  • The traditional floral imagery and feathers in the new character's design might indicate she has roots in an earlier culture. She has an exotic look which many people are associating with a fantasy character rather than a Sengoku-era commander.
  • In the video the woman is spinning through space, which is generally not something normal people do. On the other hand, this is Sengoku Basara and it's probably a clip from the opening movie...
  • However, a number of fans are upset at the idea that a character from hundreds of years before the period even began would take up a character slot in a Sengoku-era game.

Grown-up Itsuki いつき
  • The new character's hair is very similar in colour to Itsuki's. Her hairstyle is more mature but still incorporates a pair of braids, too.
  • A lot of people want Itsuki to return.
  • She's involved in the storyline of the current stage play, so a tie-in would make sense.
  • Itsuki's seiyuu has sadly passed away, so giving her a redesign would avoid any inconsistencies if her voice is a little different.
  • This can also be combined with the Himiko idea. It's plausible that Itsuki could be channeling Himiko given her supernatural storyline elements, and this would be a very neat solution to the problem of reintroducing her and giving her a link to Tsuruhime.

Kyougoku Maria 京極マリア

I wasn't convinced by this guess at first, but Japanese fans have been digging up clues and they've built up quite a few good arguments.
  • Maria was the real-life sister of Azai Nagamasa. Since they still haven't formally announced Oichi or explained Nagamasa's brief presence in the promotional videos, they could be holding back to reveal an interesting storyline for them all.
  • Although Maria isn't well known in the English-speaking community, she was the wife of Kyougoku Takayoshi and mother to Kyougoku Takatsugu, so there's plenty of room for the Kyougoku house to have ties to major conflicts in the series' storyline. Maria may have been chosen over her famous male relatives in order to increase the number of females in the roster.
  • Maria had ties to Tango Province. There's a spot marked on the map in a screenshot which has been published several times, right in the middle of the Tango area. I was struggling to work out which battle or castle it might relate to back at the time - maybe it's her stage?
  • We haven't yet heard anything about the Xavists, even though Sourin and Muneshige are expected to appear in the game. The real-life Maria was known for converting to Christianity, so her storyline would probably be deeply connected to the Xavists.
  • Her exotic looks might be inspired by her ties to Christianity, too.

Finally, there's the matter of the mystery flag seen behind Oichi in the same video.

It's a distinctively lurid green/yellow colour, just like the clothing worn by our mysterious woman. The crest (which I've singled out in the corner) is a yotsumeyui design. This was used by a number of families, significantly including both the Amago and the Kyougoku.

We know that Yamanaka Shikanosuke is tied to the Amago family. However, his livery colours are blue/orange, not green/yellow, and he seems to be using the alternate hanawachigai crest instead of the yotsumeyui. In Sengoku Basara 3, Amago Haruhisa wore the yotsumeyui on his headpiece but used a pink/grey hanawachigai on his banners too.

Given all of this evidence, I think it's safe to say that the flag behind Oichi is not associated with the Amago family in Sengoku Basara 4. Yet our mysterious lady's belt design seems to incorporate the same shape as the crest on the flag.

If it really does belong to our mystery lady, the chance of her being Kyougoku Maria increases greatly. Then there's the fact that it's shown behind Oichi, who has ties to the Azai family Maria was born into. I'm becoming convinced.


There are plenty of other suggestions, ranging from one of the male characters in drag to Matsuhime, Tachibana Ginchiyo, Nene or Hosokawa Gracia (who also has ties to the Tango area). Someone even wondered whether she was Shikanosuke's deer in human form!

I think that a visitor from the past, a spouse or a sibling is more likely than the new girl being one of the existing characters' children; Capcom has apparently tried to avoid true parent-child relationships in the series so far. While we wait for some kind of official confirmation the discussion has been continuing over at Koei Warriors!


  1. Personally, I'm hoping she's definitely not an grown-up Itsuki or whatever. I love very much Itsuki as she is, and I want her design, weapon, etc. to be exactly the same as before when she'll appear in a BASARA game again. Just with improved skills, of course.

    1. Since Matsu has dropped her 'magical girl' gimmick, I thought it might be fun if Itsuki takes it on and can transform between 'Himiko' and Itsuki (taking two character slots)...but then I remembered that Shikanosuke and Oyassan have a power-up sequence of some kind when the armour is borrowed, so that seems less likely :(

  2. Intriguing! When I first saw her I was taken back by the JRPG-esque design, not something I want or expect to see in Basara. It doesn't match the style of the other warriors - however if she is Himiko or Okuni it makes sense.

    But now that you posted the Maria info I'm not so sure it's one of them anymore hmmm

    I actually thought of Itsuki too and would like to see a grown-up version of her but in this case that would be one extreme make-over.
    I hope it isn't Gloria since SB's Mitsuhide shouldn't be allowed to reproduce his psycho genes :D He also doesn't look old enough to have an adult child.

    I wonder when her identity will be revealed?

    1. I'm guessing they'll either reveal everything in this week's magazine, or keep it a secret until the very end of the announcements. I'm not sure which I prefer, since I'm also really curious about the other unannounced characters (⊃д⊂)

      I agree that Mystery Lady seems too old to be the child of someone like Mitsuhide, unless those vampiric habits are keeping him eternally young. She looks more mature than a number of the regular cast members.

    2. Oops, wrote Gloria but obviously meant Gracia.

      A huge reveal with a whole bunch of characters this week would be great but I've learnt that it's best to keep expectations low by now.
      I fully expect more teasing with only small amounts of info up until January!

  3. I've always imagined Hosokawa Garasha to be somewhat... psycho, like her father. Maybe she could be a petite gothic lolita? Be sadistic and all. Her weapon would be a long scythe (much longer than Mitsuhide's)


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