One wouldn’t think that a character seemingly devoid of emotions would be a popular choice. But Senran Kagura’s resident snek wife would like a quiet word to educate you.
As one of the more longstanding members of the Senran Kagura cast — she’s been in there since the very beginning — it’s understandable that Hikage has plenty of fans. She’s unique, she’s interesting and she has excellent chemistry with the other cast members.
And she can rap. Yo. Yo. Yo. Yo. Thank you, baby.
Hikage grew up as an orphan, with no idea who her parents were. This obviously isn’t the best start to one’s childhood, but her problems were further compounded by the bullying she suffered due to her seemingly expressionless face. Having never really grown up under normal circumstances, she had never developed the same sort of emotional literacy that most children do, and as she grew older it’s clear that she started to use this aspect of her personality as something of a defence mechanism.
Hikage learned to defend herself before she was ten years old, when she escaped the orphanage and took to the streets. She was taken into the care of a gang leader named Hinata, who acted almost as a surrogate mother to the young “cicada husk”, as she sometimes calls herself. Hinata was instrumental in Hikage learning to accept herself for who she was, and that she shouldn’t consider herself “abnormal” simply because she lacked the ability to outwardly display emotions that those around her did.
Hikage isn’t completely devoid of emotions, despite appearances; she just doesn’t really understand them or know how to express them, but it’s obvious that they’re there. It’s clear that she loved Hinata dearly, for example; after a gang-on-gang incident left Hinata dead, Hikage was the one who found her mutilated body, and she mourned the passing of this young woman who had come to mean so much to her. In an effort never to forget, she took up Hinata’s knife, which had fallen by her side as she passed on, and still wields it to this day as a reminder of where she came from.
Hikage’s connection to the “underworld” is likely why she was recruited by Hebijo rather than one of the “good shinobi” schools such as Hanzou or Gessen. A key part of Senran Kagura’s philosophy is that while “good” tends to have a minimum bar of “goodness” to clear before you’re allowed in, “evil” accepts anyone and everyone, regardless of where they came from and what they’ve done in the past.
She was one of the first members to join Hebijo’s elite class after Haruka, and did so in her first year at the school. At the time most of the Senran Kagura series unfolds, she is a third-year, and has developed her skills considerably by this point — though she still finds the art of self-expression somewhat elusive.
Each character in Senran Kagura tends to have a counterpart on the “opposing” side to them; in Hikage’s case, it’s Katsuragi, who is able to express herself to a fault. Hikage notes after their first battle that the encounter left her feeling more “alive” than she’d ever felt before, and the pair strike up something of a friendship and rivalry as a result. Despite Katsuragi’s less than wholesome intentions when interacting with pretty much anyone, it’s clear that she has genuine affection for Hikage, and Hikage, in the meantime, appreciates Kat’s openness and honesty, learning a lot from her over the course of the series’ various stories.
Hikage is someone who is content to go along with what everyone else is doing at the best of times. Her somewhat lazy-sounding, languid-nature can lead her to be perceived as apathetic, but she’s more than capable of stepping up to the plate when needed. Her various Ninja Arts animations back up her assertion to Kat that she is at her most “alive” during battle; it’s when she’s about to unleash one of her most powerful moves that she appears to be at her most expressive.
There are a variety of reasons Hikage might appeal to people. Her fashionable yet deliberately unkempt “street” outfit in her Shinobi Transformation form is a look that a lot of people find appealing, and the snake-themed tattoos down one side of her body provide something of a sense of danger — perhaps a reminder of her gangland days.
Personality-wise, she’s very much become a distinctive character in her own right, often providing deadpan commentary on the increasingly ridiculous situations the girls of Senran Kagura habitually find themselves in with each passing installment. Some of the lessons she learned from Katsuragi she’s taken to heart a little too much, some might say; she’s developed a habit of speaking with rather blunt honesty and explaining what she thinks her feelings are in lieu of being able to demonstrate them in more subtle and traditional manners.
In some ways, this aspect of her personality might make her feel a little intimidating and difficult to approach. In others, it makes her one of the most easy to read people out there; when dealing with Hikage, you might have to deal with all manner of unexpected happenings, but you’ll never have to worry about her lying to you.
Plus, as previously mentioned, get her to rap for you and you can just watch those view counts skyrocket. Because she’s Hikage, and she’s gotta say she got no heart, but her creepy little laugh’ll rip your guts apart. But the team’s got a dream to redeem on the stream, so just email those females and see they’re supreme. Yours to command for a couple of grand.
Sounds like a fair deal to me.
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