Current Characters: None currently, I was Sachiko Shinozaki until recently, though!
Canon: Senran Kagura
Canon Point: After the end of the Hanzo Storyline in Shinovi Versus.
Background: Like many of the other girls in this series, Yagyu is undergoing training as a government employed ninja. Since as far back as she can remember, this has been her life. She grew up in a ninja family with this path set firmly in front of her, and she never once saw a reason to question it. Her childhood was filled with blades and shurikens, kunai and martial arts. Yagyu is not her real name, each girl is given a codename when they take up the life of a ninja, however the series never reveals the real name of any of the characters. As far as the world is concerned, 'Yagyu' is who she is.
Early in her life, it became obvious that she was a prodigy, one that was destined to raise high in the ranks of the shinobi world. She grasped concepts easily, progressed quickly, and didn't accept failure. Most of her free moments were spent either training, or resting from training. The one exception was the time she spent with her beloved younger sister Nozomi. She was Yagyu's reason for pushing herself so hard. She loved her sister more then anything in the world, and wanted nothing more then to be a good role model and a good protector to the young girl. Nozomi was the one person she would drop her training for on a whim and the younger sister loved her big sis Yagyu just as much.
But unfortunately, Nozomi's life was lost in an unfortunate accident. When she found out her younger sister was dead, Yagyu's personality changed almost instantly. She had lost the driving point in her life. She withdrew inwards, refusing to take part in any training and barely even leaving her room. She remained like this for some time, but eventually tried to move on and resume her training. Her heart wasn't in it anymore, though.
One day, she made a discovery that shocked and saddened her. When she closed her eyes, she could no longer clearly picture her beloved sister's face. This made her feel like she was failing her sister's memory, and she decided to 'punish' herself for this by sealing one of her eyes. Taking one of Nozomi's hair ribbons, and an old coin, she fashioned an eyepatch to cover her right eye, the missing eyesight her way of paying tribute to her younger sister. Her self-imposed punishment in place, she dove back into training and before long she was prepared for more formal schooling.
She was sent to a school well known in the ninja world, the prestigious Hanzo Academy, where she joined a class with three other girls. She remained closed off to these girls, refusing to engage in teamwork and failing to recognize them as her equals until the team got a fifth member. This girl, who's codename was Hibari, reminded her a great deal of her dead sister. She had the same cheerful attitude, and the two became friends. This was the beginning of her opening back up, with her treating the girl much like she treated her own little sister. Eventually, she opened to the other three members of her team as well She has yet to become the cheerful, open girl she once was, but step by step she's trying to walk that path again.
Hanzo Academy is not the only such school however, and before long the Hanzo class found themselves in a rivalry with an 'evil' class of ninja trainees. Evil in name only, they attacked the Hanzo girls, including Yagyu, and during the course of their fight, the girl that was so important to her seemed to betray them and join the other side. Unable to accept this, she rushed to find the truth and managed to get herself shot in the process. Eventually, however, the two sides came to something of an understanding, and her friend, who had never actually betrayed them, came back to them.
The background splits here, there are varying possible stories depending on which storyline you follow from the first game. (you could play as either the Hanzo girls or their rivals) My app follows the Hanzo girl's victory, as well as the Hanzo storyline in the sequel. In this storyline, they find themselves embroiled in a battle with a new school, one that thinks they were too kind-hearted in their battles against the 'evil' girls. They intend to punish them by completely destroying Hanzo Academy. Throughout the course of this battle they manage to come to terms with this new group, as well as discovering that part of the reason shinobi training is so rigorous is because of the existence of creatures known as yoma, inhuman beasts the average person doesn't know about. By the end of this game, she, along with her friends, has begun training in order to become a 'Kagura', a shinobi level most shinobi never reach, as it requires one to become powerful enough to take these beasts on.
Personality: Yagyu seems like an easy person to figure out at a glance. She portrays herself as aloof, seeming to prefer being left alone over spending time with others. She does not go out of her way to be friendly to strangers, and does not speak much. This is not a matter of shyness, however. She simply does not like to waste words. She has no problem being blunt, telling someone directly if she has no interest in them, or if she dislikes them. This might make her seem poorly mannered at times, as she seems entirely unconcerned with the fact her manner of treating others might hurt their feelings. She rarely displays strong emotions, claiming that they just get in the way. The impression she gives off is that is a loner, and she prefers it that way.
This is not to say that she is some sort of robot. The calm, collected and in control girl is the one that she is trying to convince people is the real her. The truth of the matter is a little more complicated then that. If pushed, she'll get angry. If embarrassed, she'll respond like a normal person. If happy, she might even smile. But at her core, she is not as strong as she tries to pass herself off as. She is the sort of person that is very dependent on others to define herself.
When she was younger, she had a kid sister who looked up to and adored her. Sadly, her sister lost her life in a tragic accident, and ever since then she has struggled to figure out who she was. Until the day that happened, she had been the 'Big Sister', a girl who strove to be strong in order to be a good role model and to make her beloved sibling proud. When that was taken from her, she didn't know who she was, and that answer is one she is still looking for.
This loss is the real reason that she doesn't let herself become too close to others. It is not a distaste for company, its fear. She's scared that if she lets herself care about people like she used to she will just lose them again. Because of this she works hard to shut others out. However, this contrasts with her fear of being alone. This is why occasionally someone will slip through the cracks. She is particularly fond of those that remind her of the cute innocence of her younger sister. A person like that might find her more open to friendship, though anyone who cared enough to be persistent can eventually crack through her shell.
Once she considers a person her friend, the way she acts becomes quite different. She is more open with her feelings, and more considerate of their feelings as well. The biggest difference is the fact that she is fiercely protective of her friends. If it gives an example of just how protective she is, she has literally taken a bullet for a friend, and then tried to crawl out of her hospital bed to help more. When a friend is in danger, all that calmness flies out the window to be replaced by panic and rage. A person she cares about in danger makes her lose all rationality, to the point she might come across as a completely different person, losing her temper, throwing out baseless accusations, and taking reckless action without any concern for her own safety.
This is because the loss of someone close to her is no doubt the most terrifying thing in the world to her. She would rather die protecting them then be the one that survived. Because of this, she can actually become a little stifling in her desire to protect her friends. This is because the current answer to the question 'who am I?' is that she is someone that keeps her friends safe. It might sound noble, but there is no denying that it is a selfish way of thinking. She will protect her friends even when they don't need it, even when protecting them does no good at all. There is a particular member of her class that she is close with, and she protects her so much that it interferes with her training. Furthermore, in one of the games she discovers that this girl has grown so strong that she doesn't need to be defended anymore. This is a thing she should be happy about, but it meant that she wasn't 'needed' anymore. Despite the fact it should be pride in her friend that filled her, instead she let it fill her with despair, because it felt like losing her reason for living again.
Her training as a ninja leaves her on guard at most times, making her quick to react to danger. Since protecting others is so important to her, she spends a lot of her free time simply practicing her techniques. According to her character profile in the games, her favorite hobby is 'napping', and while that might sound boring, clearly she wants to make sure she is always rested in case she is needed. Even considering these things, she can occasionally act like a normal girl with people she holds close to her heart, doing things more like a teenage girl might do. Even when she is behaving like that, however, she is still on edge, always on the lookout for anything that might dare to ruin her rare moments of fun.
Overall, it can be said that she is a girl who is difficult to be befriend, and one who doesn't fully understand herself what she wants in life. She is not a bad person by any stretch of the imagination, though this might be difficult to realize as she struggles so fiercely to keep herself looked away to all but a few. She desperately craves friendship, and could never possibly live alone despite the fact that she tries to push others away. She's far too lonely a soul to ever live in solitude.
Abilities: The ninja of the Senran Kagura series are of the fantasy style seen commonly in anime and manga rather then based on reality. They have wild, supernatural abilities that they pass off as ninja techniques in addition to more traditional martial arts. Yagyu is trained in hand to hand combat. Her weapon of choice is a little unusual, she wields an oil-paper umbrella lined with blades. It is significantly more durable then it would seem, to the point where if she concentrates her power into it, it can stop bullets. Other then the blades along its rim, the umbrella itself is normal, it is her own power that lets her do that.
Each girl in the series has an animal they call upon to fuel their ninja techniques, in Yagyu's case this takes the form of a giant squad. Her aquatic choice leads her to wield water and ice based techniques, as well as actually being able to summon the animal itself and strike with conjured squid tentacles. This is not a true summon like in a Final Fantasy game where an existing creature is called upon, her power creates and dismisses the creature based on her needs. Its too strenuous to maintain for long, thus tends to be something of an ace up her sleeve, the giant attacks she uses to turn the tide in a fight. The squid and ice/water themes are maintained even when she isn't calling forth sea life onto land. In the place of traditional throwing kunai, she creates her own out of black energy intended to resemble a squid's ink. Despite the look, they are actually formed of ice, and can freeze a person solid if too many strike them. While they are no more permanent then the giant squid of doom, the wounds they leave behind do not vanish simply because the created weapon does.
She has abilities that could be considered more realistic in nature as well. She is an expert at keeping her presence hidden. She could be in the corner of a room and remain unnoticed unless someone happened to look in her direction. Her training has left her fit, strong, and agile. This doesn't reach superhuman levels by far, but allows her to do such stereotypical ninja feats as running and leaping along rooftops without the fear of tripping over herself and plummeting to the ground and the like.
Alignment: I am aligning Yagyu with Daimonia. Grief and joy could be said to be the two biggest emotions in her life. It was the grief she felt at the loss of her sister that altered her personality so much. It is a desire for joy that has her slowly opening back up to people. When she realizes she's alone in this world, grief will probably take back over until she starts getting to know people, and then joy again! It seems a pretty good match.
[It'd been stormy in Yagyu's world all day. Literally stormy, everywhere she went, the skies darkened a few moments before she arrived, and cleared moments after she'd left. It was obnoxious, but that annoyance just made it harder to clear up the mood which had brought this onto her in the first place. Thankfully, she had a job to distract her from all the things she had a hard time admitting she was missing from home.
This job took her away from the main city, towards a small outlaying village which had been reporting problems with an unknown creature in a nearby forest. Unfortunately, the solitude just made it easier to get lost in her thoughts, and by the time she arrived her little personal storm cloud had seen fit to open up on her. A scowl crosses her face. She had been informed why this sort of thing happened, but she couldn't just NOT be annoyed. Her emotional control was nowhere near that level, and now her emotions were interfering with her work in ways she never thought they would. She closes her eye, trying to calm herself, but before she can even begin, a scream fills the air. Instantly, she is on the move. That sound had flipped a switch in her. Someone might be in danger. Someone might NEED her.
It turns out that scream had lead her right to her reason for being out here. A creature that looked like some sort of bear with long skinny arms was approaching a young girl with her back against a tree. There was no question what was going on here, and so there was no hesitation from the ninja.]
"Over here. You won't have her while I'm here, monster!"
[The thing twirls, only to catch an attack to the face, an inky black throwing blade conjured from thin air. In her other hand she held her primary weapon, the bladed umbrella still closed. There was no hint of fear on her face as she faced off against the creature, but what she didn't notice was that her little stormcloud wasn't chasing her anymore, either. She had found just the sort of distraction she needed, someone that she could protect. The creature wasn't nearly as happy about it, however, and rushed at her, its spindly limbs raised overhead as an odd, gargling cry escaped its voice. Yagyu did not run from it however, instead she ran AT it. Leaping over an outstretched limb, she lands behind it, pressing the umbrella to it's back.]
[A wave of cold is emitted from the weapon, icy shards embedding themselves in its fur, but even as it stumbles forward, she's already on the move. As the creature shambles to its feet, she's already dashed for and snatched up the bewildered girl in one arm, rapidly leaving the scene of the brief battle. Winning didn't matter with an innocent life on the line. She'd had to return another time, but that would happen when it did. Instead, she headed straight for the village and, when she arrived at the outskirts, grateful the wounded creature did not follow them. Only when she was sure she was safe did she finally release her passenger.]
"Go. You're family will be worried about you."
[The girl nods, but before she rushes off to her family, she instead rushes for her savior, hugging her around the legs. A small tinge of red touches the girl's cheeks, reaching down with one hand to pat her on the head. There's a smile on her face when she turns to return home. She may not have completed the job yet, but that tiny little act had finally put her in a good mood. Its not a storm that follows her back into town, the mood she is in wouldn't tolerate any such thing! This time when she closes her eye, she has a memory to grab onto, a nice, recent memory. That might explain the tiny little rainbow hovering behind her head!]
Questions: Cake or pie?