Q&A with the Onikiri Design TeamBack
Q: What kind of spirit is Onikiri?
A: Onikiri is a simple spirit. He's like a child who knows nothing about love or hate. Things are simple in his eyes. It's either black or white.
Q: Which part of Onikiri's personality do you like the most?
A: His extreme persistence and determination. That's what made him the blade of the Minamoto clan.
Q: Onikiri is a legendary historical sword. What led you to create Onikiri in the first place?
A: Onikiri lives in the Heian Period, when spirits live among humans. In Japanese legend, Onikiri, a demon slayer, is closely connected with spirits such as Ibaraki Doji. If we wanted to create a Shikigami based on a legendary weapon, Onikiri is an obvious choice.
Q: When did you start designing Onikiri? And is the final work different from your initial design?
A: We've been preparing for Onikiri's stories for a long time. Our first inspiration comes from the purge of Mt. Oe and the idea that "the demon slayer is a demon himself". We've made many tweaks in later versions. But the overall idea stayed the same.
Q: Is there anything special about the concept of Onikiri? And how did you come up with the story of his early relationship with Minamoto no Yorimitsu?
A: Onikiri before his evolution is different from who he becomes after his evolution. But at the same time, they're the same. The relationship between Onikiri and Minamoto no Yorimitsu changed from familiar to confrontational. Onikiri had been Minamoto no Yorimitsu's blade ever since he gained his own consciousness. In his world, there is only life and death, humans versus demons. Minamoto no Yorimitsu is a man of extremes. Under his guidance, Onikiri can only become more extreme. Onikiri has a morbid admiration towards Minamoto no Yorimitsu. When conflicts appear, Onikiri's inner extreme nature bursts into another personality. But Onikiri the spirit and the Onikiri of the Minamoto clan are really the same Onikiri – simple, paranoid, and extreme.
Q: Can you define Onikiri is a few words?
A: Pure and persistent.
II. Plot Design
Q: Which part of the story in Onikiri's memory scroll do you like the best? And why?
A: Defense and Violence. I like when the story turns dramatic.
Q: How big an impact does the truth have on Onikiri when he finds out about it?
A: He was sorry and regretful for the spirits he has slaughtered. And he can't take the fact that his beliefs have collapsed and he's been tricked and used. Everyone knows he's going to take vengeance on Minamoto no Yorimitsu, because there's only life and death in his eyes. After all, that's what Minamoto no Yorimitsu taught him.
Q: How could the relationship between the Onikiri we have now and Minamoto no Yorimitsu develop?
A: After learned the truth, Onikiri has started to hate Minamoto no Yorimitsu. But Minamoto no Yorimitsu doesn't think likewise towards Onikiri. Minamoto no Yorimitsu is a man of ambition. His attitude towards Onikiri is solely based on his judgment of whether Onikiri can still be useful to him. After Onikiri left the Minamoto clan and got to know more people, he started to realize that the world is more than just black and white.
Q: Could Onikiri play an important role in the main story moving on? Can you give us some spoilers?
A: Players have been talking a lot about Onikiri and Minamoto no Yorimitsu since the stories about Onikiri were revealed. The Minamoto clan has always been an important clan in the main story. With Onikiri's story revealing the Minamoto clan's part in the story, players can expect more exciting Shikigami and interesting stories to come.
△ News flash! More Shikigami and stories!
Q: With the appearance of Onikiri, we saw the part that the Minamoto clan played. Are they related to the development of the main story?
A: They will lead to something important.
△ Really? ( ✧ ω✧)
Q: How did you define the connection between Onikiri and Mt. Oe? How could this connection develop moving forward?
A: Having been used by Minamoto no Yorimitsu to commit a slaughter at Mt. Oe, Onikiri feels much sorrow and regret regarding Mt. Oe. But at the same time, Onikiri has decided to take his fate in his own hands now that he knows of the truth. So he decided to return to Mt. Oe...
III. Images and VA
Q: What are your unique design concepts for Onikiri's images before and after his evolution and his new skin?
A: His image before his evolution is inspired by the samurai. We used a contrasting design to increase the impact of his demonic arm. Onikiri released his inner ego after his evolution, revealing more spirit elements, and making his image a contrast to what he was before his evolution. His new skin takes inspiration from Onikiri as the precious blade of the Minamoto clan, so it has an elegant look. Each image shows Onikiri at a certain stage of his life. The three images are contrasts to each other, through which players can see the full spectrum of Onikiri and the richness of his story.
Q: Were any special design elements used in his images before and after evolution, and in his new skin? And why were these elements used?
A: The original design of Onikiri has elements of the clan mark of the Minamoto clan. Since he's taking part in a purge, we added some blood-stained rags and bruises on him to enhance the image. His closed left eye and his white pupil represent his pact with the Minamoto clan. After his evolution, Onikiri is a spirit of demonic power. So we added some skeletal design elements and turned his pupil red to increase his spirit-like look. As for his new skin, we deconstructed the clan mark of the Minamoto clan, and incorporated the mark into our design to show that he's a precious weapon of the clan.
Q: Why did you choose Kosuke Toriumi and Toshiyuki Morikawa to voice Onikiri and Minamoto no Yorimitsu? Can you share anything interesting about the recording session?
A: Mr. Kosuke Toriumi has a cold and loyal voice. But his rage-filled voice is also very charismatic! The concept of Minamoto no Yorimitsu as a man of ambition and the most powerful onmyoji of the Minamoto clan made us feel that the imperial voice of Mr. Morikawa would be our best choice. Both artists were very professional during the recording session. They're also very kind! Spoiler alert! Minamoto no Yorimitsu will also make an appearance in one of the boss bios. We'll release more voiced versions of the boss bios. Stay tuned!
IV. Skill Designs
Q: What's the story behind the Onikiri's skill designs? Is there anything special about them?
A: Onikiri's skill designs were based on his image, which matches his skills. Onikiri's blade-wielding demonic arm is an important feature that sets him apart from other Shikigami. His core skills were based on this feature.
Q: What's Onikiri's role on the battlefield?
A: Onikiri is a strong damage-dealing Shikigami.
Q: What kind of lineup did you plan for him to be part of when you were designing him?
A: We'll leave this to the players to discover, because that's part of the fun!
Q: How do you foresee Onikiri's influence on current battles?
A: We expect to see more high damage-dealing lineups to emerge with the coming of Onikiri.