Top 10 Senran Kagura Characters of Operation Rainfall

Monday, May 29th, 2017

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senran kagura

With Senran Kagura: Peach Beach Splash now out in Japan, and a release date set for North America/Europe, I figured now would be a good time to see what everyone’s favorite Senran Kagura characters were in Operation Rainfall. The poll was limited to characters only seen within the games, so New Wave characters will not be featured here. If you wish to see my own personal top 10 characters, you can check it out over here, along with my thoughts on Homura as well.

In addition to this list, we will also be holding a contest on the video version of this article. The winner will receive a Steam key for Senran Kagura: Estival Versus, which has been provided to us by XSEED. In order to enter, all you must do is like and comment on the video, while also subscribing to our channel. The video itself will be visible at the end of this article. Act fast though, for you only have one week until the contest ends!

Also, be warned that this article contains massive spoilers for Senran Kagura Burst, Shinovi Versus, Estival Versus, the Senran Kagura manga called Spark, and Deep Crimson! If you have yet to play any of the games, I highly suggest you do so.

Without further ado, here are Operation Rainfall’s Top 10 Senran Kagura characters!

senran kagura | Katsuragi

  1. Katsuragi

Katsuragi has certainly earned a ton of popularity and was nearly the protagonist of the Hanzo team. At least until the creators thought she was too similar to Hakufu Sonsaku of Ikki Tousen and replaced her role with Asuka. She was even popular enough to be one of the finalists in Operation Rainfall’s Hottest Girl Awards, though she lost to Aranea of Final Fantasy XV.

Despite some losses there, she has plenty of reasons that help make her a likable character. Her fighting style is definitely one of them, being able to control fierce winds by using her feet, and her weapons. This kicking style does lead to a lot of panty shots, though Katsuragi is hardly shy about showing off her body, as we also see with her open shirt. And despite Asuka being the leader of the team, Asuka does admit that Katsuragi is still one of the most powerful shinobi on the team.

One of the reasons her personality works, as Benny covers in his view on the character, is that there is more to her character besides groping boobs. One of the most important plotlines involves her parents, who abandoned her to make sure she could live a happy life as they were renegade shinobi. She has to struggle with actually killing someone so her folks can live in peace, or doing the right thing, which usually involves letting a character live and disobey the orders of a Good Shinobi. It’s done fairly well in both Deep Crimson and Shinovi Versus, as we see her trying to do the deed, but unable to, and going back to doing her own thing: kick whoever she wants in the butt. This is especially important since she’s still a high-schooler, and hasn’t really been taught a strict killing-policy like some in Hebijo.

My favorite part about her character is actually not part of the games. Rather, it’s in the manga side-story Spark. The manga covers her trying to get Ikaruga to accept her not just as a rival, but as a friend as well. And not even just her, but Asuka as well, who later joins them. However, with pressure coming from her family, Ikaruga keeps backpedaling on the idea and tries to maintain her cold attitude. Yet it’s Katsuragi in the end that helps change Ikaruga into a far more caring person without just constantly groping her chest—though she still does try to do that, as we see throughout the games. One interesting thing to note is that she doesn’t seem to like other girls doing the same thing to her, like with Ayame, or even in the one anime episode when Ikaruga tries to grope her for a change.

On the other hand, Katsuragi is not a particularly deep character. Some fans even argue that the writers are pursuing her love of boobs over her love of fighting, and with Estival Versus, it’s hard not to see that. Even so, she remains a fun character to play as, and brings much needed light-hearted antics when the story gets a bit too dark. It also helps that when someone thinks of Senran Kagura, Katsuragi is almost guaranteed to be one of the characters they will think of.

senran kagura | murasaki

  1. Murasaki

In contrast to Katsuragi, Murasaki arguably has the most depressing personality. She didn’t even want to be a ninja, but her family forced her, trying to bring out the power called “The Root of Calamity.” Basically, it harnesses negative emotions and turns them into a very dangerous weapon. She accidentally injured her sister, Imu, and when her family congratulated her, Murasaki became more of a shut-in than ever, threatening to use the power against anyone who dared try to get her out of her room in Hebijo. It says something when even someone like Suzune can’t get her to come out, someone who forces her students to stay underwater for days at a time! Fortunately, her sister and the rest of the new Hebijo get along, especially with her sister. Although that took quite some time and a messy affair involving being shot at one point.

Part of the reason I ranked her so high on my list is because this is a character that I could relate to, so understanding her problems was pretty simple. Granted, I don’t go around sniffing people. However, the main reason I like her so much is because she has shown some surprising development. Her Shinobi Heart mission in Shinovi Versus was the most depressing of all, revealing just how much negativity she carries naturally, and shutting herself in as she believes no one understands her, and that she shouldn’t exist; fortunately, Asuka helped her see that is not the case.

Yet when we get to Estival Versus, it’s perhaps the happiest, as she tries to get the others to sing with her, even getting them into the act as well despite all the fighting. Plus while her powers do require her to have negativity and harness it, you can occasionally see her smiling afterward, showing she isn’t as hard on herself as she used to be. Sure, she still has some problems, like still shutting herself off from others, and just having bad social skills, but it’s hard not to get invested in this gloom and doom ninja!

senran kagura | yozakura

  1. Yozakura

Despite being one of the youngest girls in the series, Yozakura is surprisingly one of the most mature as well. Part of the reason I ranked Yozakura so high on my own list is because of one thing: responsibility. Very few people can actually manage to keep all of their siblings in line, along with managing a team of various people who can go out of control at times. A prime example of this is in the beginning of Estival Versus, where she is given more command of the Gessen Girls by Yumi. While Yumi is trying to talk to her teammates, they are too busy fooling around with their own activities to listen to her. This prompts Yozakura to yell at everyone else so they could focus on their leader, which they do immediately.

Much like the other Gessen Girls though, her backstory wasn’t an entirely pleasant one. Her parents died in the line of duty as shinobi, leaving Yozakura and all of her siblings to be taken by various people, separating them all. Yozakura had pleaded to take care of them herself, but obviously, she was just too young. Eventually, she was taken in by Kurokage, and trained into using her hands for combat. Her weapons, in this case, come in the form of powerful, giant gauntlets, all with a bit of a pile bunker effect as there is a shaft that helps add more pressure to her attacks.

It’s also symbolic of just how much pressure she puts on herself, wanting to have enough power and range to hold everything together. She trains hard to one day reunite with her siblings and be a family again. It may seem unlikely at this point, as she has grown up to be a frighteningly powerful girl. Despite that, she isn’t completely serious and does show she can relax, which her team is more than happy to let her do.

senran kagura | shiki

  1. Shiki

I’ll be honest here: Shiki is one of my least favorite Senran Kagura characters, and admittedly, it all comes down to her valley-girl attitude. I am really not a fan, and it was the last thing I expected from a character that can control bats and use a double-edged scythe. That being said, her playstyle is extremely fun, along with her double-scythe that shreds into her foes. Her bats also help symbolize her attitude of wanting attention, as they not only fight for her but also help in carrying her after she finishes a fight.

And there is no denying her skill either. Around the same age as Yozakura, she’s already bilingual, although there is a bit of confusion with this. According to the Japanese localization of Estival Versus, she knows both Japanese and English. However, the English localization changed this to French. Regardless of what she took on as a second language, learning it so early in life is rather impressive.

And despite her valley-girl attitude, she has proved to be quite deadly enough to take on her foes. During the events of Shinovi Versus, despite not really putting too much effort into the fight, she nearly defeated Asuka, and defeated Yagyuu. Shiki might seem like an air-head, but she is one of the last people anyone should underestimate.

senran kagura | hibari

  1. Hibari

I was definitely one of the ones who initially hated Hibari. It was hard not to, given her overall cute and naïve attitude, and when compared to so many cool fighting styles in the Hanzo route, I was left controlling what I felt was a gag character, the Dan Hibiki of the Senran Kagura series. However, that was what I originally thought before I got to see her grow throughout the series.

Her development during Burst was fairly standard, eventually getting away from the coddling Yagyuu kept doing to her, holding Hibari back from reaching her full potential. However, that did seem to persist in both the Vita and the 3DS storylines, with Haruka pointing out to Yagyuu that holding Hibari back wasn’t doing her any good.

In Estival Versus, this was brought to its final boiling point. During this point in the story, Haruka was being a bit forceful with Hibari, and Yagyuu battled her, claiming that Hibari was hers. Seeing the battle being fought over who owned her, Hibari finally had enough and defeated both of them, saying how she doesn’t belong to anyone. Additionally, during a conversation when Asuka said if she was ordered to kill Homura, she would, Hibari was not willing to listen to any orders of the Good Shinobi that would force her to kill a friend, due to the bonds they shared. In both of these games, she evolved from a coddled character into someone who wants to stand on her own. And if her friends won’t get along, she will make them, one way or another.

She may not make my own top 10, but there’s no denying Hibari has certainly worked her way into the hearts of many. And if she hasn’t, don’t forget, she can just become a giant and squash you under her shoe. Though I think I know a few people who would enjoy that…

But I’m sure you’ll be interested in the next set of characters on this list, so let’s keep going!

About Jonathan Falu

I am currently a college student at Temple University as a MSP major in Emergent Media, and wish to one day be a paid video game critic. I currently do video reviews on the channel The Smartest Moron on Youtube over here: https://www.youtube.com/c/TheSmartestMoronReviews


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  • MusouTensei

    Haruka is best girl.

    • Mr0303

      Not a fan of her to be honest. Torching her family is pretty bad in my book.

  • Mr0303

    Good list. Quite a few of my favourite girls made it and a couple of my least favourite. I’m really surprised Hikage is so high on there – I thought she was acquired taste and that I was in the minority that did like her.

    I don’t get the negatives on Yumi and Homura – Estival Versus put the former into a more central role and the latter as more of a support character. This is nothing new. The Versus games focused on the new schools and the Burst ones on the Asuka/Homura rivalry. The spotlight doesn’t determine how good is a given character – it just gives them a chance to shine.

    • Steve Baltimore

      I’m shocked Mirai even made the list, I thought I was in a minority as well lol

    • Mr0303

      She’s in my top 10 as well. Mirai is a very enjoyable character. They could’ve made her one note chest envy girl like Ryobi, but she also has hobbies, talents and a very distinct personality.

    • JGuill

      I can see Hikage making the list. Many of the more humorous cutscenes in the series involve her. That poker face of hers leads to some genuinely funny moments.

    • Mr0303

      True, but she has more of a western punk girl vibe rather than the usual Japanese aesthetic, which I didn’t think would resonate with most fans of the game.

    • Jonathan Falu

      It’s not the spotlight that is the real issue. I fully expected Yumi and Miyabi’s team to get major pushes since the Vita series introduced them, and leaving them off to the side would be a horrible waste. The problems come in when you start thinking of HOW the story events for those two could have been done much better. So it’s hard for me not to be disappointed with how some events turned out.

      Even so, I still like both characters. It’s not as if those negatives made me hate the characters/series. I just wish they were handled better.

    • Mr0303

      But that’s the thing – it’s an issue with the story and not the character. If a certain game doesn’t utilise a given character it doesn’t mean that the character is bad or that it’s a negative for them.

    • Jonathan Falu

      Considering the character’s development could be harmed by the story, I do consider events could easily have a positive or negative effect on the character. The experience is going to change them. Besides, you can still acknowledge flaws with a character and their story, and still like them. That was the whole reason I wrote those bits in this article.

    • Mr0303

      That’s true, some actions could be out of character and thus damage the overall image, but this is not the case for Yumi or Homura in Estival Versus.

    • Jonathan Falu

      This is just coming down to personal opinion. You can stick with your view, I’ll stick with mine, and we both know the characters are still good.

    • Mr0303

      No, mate explain to me how Yumi’s battle with Kurokage being off screen damages her character – it still happened she gained the experience and grew. Homura not having such a central role in Estival doesn’t negate all her previous deeds in any way.

    • Jonathan Falu

      1. Don’t be rude. I don’t appreciate your tone, and this is not the place for an argument.

      2. ….You do realize I still LIKE these characters, right? Or did you forget that? I made a 26 minute video on Homura, and both are on my top 10 list on my channel. Your argument is basically pointless, because both characters still have value despite a misstep. That would be like me hating Aya Brea due to The Third Birthday.

      3. If you really want a satisfying answer, it’s called investment, something every story needs to strive to do to make events stick with you and remember the characters more. And yes, despite some events in Estival Versus with Yumi not sticking with me too well, I still enjoy the character very much.

    • Mr0303

      “1. Don’t be rude. I don’t appreciate your tone, and this is not the place for an argument.” – how am I being rude and what’s wrong with my tone? I never insulted you nor attacked you personally, I just questioned your reasoning. I also would’ve thought that the comment section is exactly the place for arguments.

      2. Yes, I do realise that you still like the characters. I am asking how the story in Estival negatively affected both.

      3. “And yes, despite some events in Estival Versus with Yumi not sticking with me too well, I still enjoy the character very much.” – well, then wouldn’t you say then that the events didn’t really affect her character?

      Could you please answer the questions I posed in my previous post – what event in Estival diminished Yumi/Homura in any way and how?

  • JGuill

    I really like your write up on Murasaki. As much as I hated the story in Estival, I actually really liked her character development. It was actually very interesting and satisfying to see her character change and evolve for the better. I thought I was the only person who noticed that Also glad to see another Yoza fan! 😀

  • I’ve only played Estival Versus, and my favorites in that game were Renka at #1, along with Hikage, Mirai and Murasaki. (I may be forgetting some)

  • Panpopo

    I haven’t played all the games in this series but katsuragi, hikage and homura were all great