"Wretched warriors... nothing more than flesh and bones. You no longer need to suffer... I offer you peace and salvation. Be not afraid... your soul is now mine!"
The Samurai have a name for former executioners – Hitokiri, a word that means “manslayers” with no heart.
These ghostly warriors have lost all faith in humanity. They wander the land clutching their masakari, the mighty axes they used to sentence criminals.
Their presence on the battlefield spreads a dark cloud of death that can terrify all enemies.
The Hitokiri wear Japanese ceremonial garbs made of leather, linen and cotton, coloured with ashen grey and crimson, with rope bindings for both their upper body and limbs. With lacquered steel armor covering the shoulders, forearms and shins, they also wear a large waistcloth known as the uwa-obi, eerily decorated with white puppet heads which symbolize the victims they've executed.
The mask they wear is completely white, with a face that is both ominous and sunken, lacking any sign of remorse or emotion. The ropes for the mask is lined with cloth streamers, and on the mask's face, a reminder of their status as executioners is etched upon it.
Masakari Axe - This large double-headed axe has been used by the Hitokiri to deal the death blow in executions. Although heavy like the Kanabo, using its two heads to the weapon's full capacity requires a truly skilled manhunter.
- As mentioned in the overview, "hitokiri" (人斬り) means "manslayer" or "murderer."
- The Hitokiri themselves are based on a number of aspects from Japanese medieval history.
- Their motif of bearing large netsuke like heads is meant to draw upon how in war, samurai would often behead more prestigious targets to present to their masters after battles. In the Feudal Japanese penal system, beheading was one of the more preferred method of execution for death row inmates.
- The Hitokiri themselves may be based off the Yamabushi, ascetic hermits who also occasionally acted as an auxiliary force along side samurai other warrior monks. Their fervent piousness taken into battle was just as much of a spiritual war as a physical one to wage on the world. It is also believed these Yamabushi were endowed with supernatural powers.
- It's apparent that Hitokiri's thematic also takes from Japanese horror and Kaidan (怪談; lit. "mysterious narrative"), specifically the supernatural horror, with Hitokiri being much like an Onryō (怨霊; lit. "malicous spirit" or "vengeful spirit").
- It's very likely the four Hitokiri of the Bakumatsu were an inspiration to the Hitokiri's murderous theme and name.
- Just like the Black Prior, the Hitokiri's ornament is located on their shoulders, making them the second Hero to not feature them on their head.
- Hitokiri is also currently the only Hero of the Samurai faction who features metal as their material customization choice (iron, bronze, copper, etc.) compared to the cloth/wood customization choice given to the Samurai and Vikings.
- Just like the Aramusha, the Hitokiri has tattoos on some of their armour choices, showcasing demons and spirits. This follows the possibility of tattoos in ancient Japan being implemented for spiritual purposes. Check General Tozen's trivia section for more on Tattoos in Japan.
- The Masakari (鉞) is an axe of the larger variant in Japan. It should not be mistakenly interchangeable with the term "ono" (斧; lit. "axe") which is the general classification term for axes in Japanese, while the term Masakari is specifically given to large axes or an axe with an exceptionally long cutting edge.
- Historically, the Masakari was not actually used as much on the battlefield, as noted by Roman in the April 25th, 2019 Warrior's Den stream. It was meant for woodcutting, and was a tool adapted for being an improvised weapon.
- The Masakari also only had one blade head; the design team went for two in order to distinguish it from other axe-like weapons in the game, such as the Raider's and Lawbringer's.
- The Hitokiri uniquely has ambient sounds when walking outside Guard Mode, where aside from their raspy breathing, there is an ominous hum. This is counted as an FX, therefore controlled by FX volume in the volume menu.
- On the Hitokiri's helm set, words are carved or written either on the helm or the face.
- The Sakura's Spirit helm set features the following writing: "忘れるな、我は死神だ." This translates to "Do not forget, I am the reaper."
- The Yukito's Shadow helm set features the following writing: "しにいくものはわが者なりけり." This roughly translates to "Everything that dies becomes mine."
- The Enma helm set features the following writing: "我は死神だ." This translates to "I am the reaper."
- The North Star helm set features the following writing: "お前はもう死んでいる." This translates to "You are already dead." and is a famous quote from the action anime series Fist of the North Star (referenced by the set's name).
- "Sakura" (桜; lit. "cherry blossom") as a name is not uncommon in Japan. The cherry blossoms have been a symbolism for mortality and the transient nature of life.
- "Yato" (夜刀) likely is a reference to "Yato-no-kami" (夜刀神; lit. "God of the night-sword") who are snake deities of Japanese folklore.
- The Yato-no-kami were rumoured to have brought extermination to whoever had seen them, together with the family of that individual. Soon enough they were killed, enshrined and banished to the mountains.
- "Mugen-ryu" (無限流) literally translates to "way of the infinite" or "infinite style."
- "Meikai" (冥界) translates to "lower world" or "Hell."
- "Mangetsu" (満月) translates to "full moon."
- "Rei" from Rei Kick and Rei Sweep translates into "spirit" (霊), as "霊" is utilized in the Japanese localization.
- "Sankotsu" (散骨) refers to the act of scattering the ashes of someone who was cremated.
- "Senbonzakura" (千本桜; lit. "a thousand cherry petals") refers to a phrase that has been used popularly throughout Japanese popular culture, from song titles to terms used in manga/anime. It was used in older media too, such as Kabuki plays.
- The term originates from the prefecture now known as Nara, and is meant to be an expression in regards to the sight of many cherry blossoms blooming in spring.
- Many of Hitokiri's emotes and signatures use Japanese four-character idioms as their names.
- "Ikansenban" (遺憾千万; lit. "A million regrets") translates to "highly regrettable."
- "Senketsurinri" (鮮血淋漓) translates to "dripping of fresh blood."
- "Tokiyojisetsu" (時世時節; lit. "time and situation") translates into "the course of events in time."
- "Murimutai" (無理無体; lit. "unreasonable, intangible") translates into "by force."
- "Inginburei" (慇懃無礼; lit. "courteous rudeness") translates into "hypocritical courtesy" or "superficial politeness, rude intent."
- "Goukikadan" (剛毅果断; lit. "Fortitude and Decision") translates to "dauntless and decisive."
- "Jishinkajou" (自信過剰) translates to "Overconfidence."
- "Boujakubujin" (傍若無人) translates to "ill-mannered" or "impudent."
- "Ikiyouyou" (意気揚々) translates to "high-spirited" or "elation."
- "Shishoufuchi" (死生不知; lit. "Ignorant of life and death") translates to "reckless."
- "Shizentouta" (自然淘汰) translates to "natural selection."
- "Warau" (笑う) simply translates to "laughter."
- "Reigi" (礼儀) translates into "manners" or "courtesy."
- "Hitobashira" (人柱; lit. "human pillar") translates to "human sacrifice."
- "Ishiwari Sakura" likely refers to the Rock-Breaking Cherry Tree (石割桜; ishiwari-zakura), which is an approximately 400-year-old cherry tree growing out of a crack in a granite boulder in front of the district courthouse in Morioka, the capital of Iwate Prefecture in the Tōhoku region of northern Japan.
- "Shingetsuha" (新月波) translates to "ray of the new moon."
- "Kamaitachi" (鎌鼬; lit. "sickle weasle") translates to "sickle." It can also be translated as "cut by a whirlwind."
- "Parricide" from "Yato's Parricide" is defined as "the act of killing one's parent/s or someone akin to such," which reflects Yato's backstory where he did kill his own father.
- Japanese: 我は影なり! (Ware wa kage nari) – English: "I am the shadow itself!"
- Female Hitokiri, Mangetsu Rift
- Japanese: 我は影! (Ware wa kage) – English: "I'm the shadow!"
- Male Hitokiri, Mangetsu Rift
- Japanese: 斬る! (Kiru) – English: "(I'll) cut (you down)!" or "(I'll) behead (you)!"
- Female Hitokiri, Meikai Rift
- Japanese: 食らえ! (Kurae) – English: "Take this!" or "Eat this!"
- Male Hitokiri, Meikai Rift
- Japanese: 我は死神! (Ware wa shinigami) – English: "I am the reaper!" or "I am the death god!"
- Female Hitokiri, Rei Kick
- Japanese: 我は死! (Ware wa shi) – English: "I am death!"
- Male Hitokiri, Rei Kick
- Japanese: 我に委ねよ! (Ware ni yudane yo) – English: "Entrust (your soul) to me!"
- Female Hitokiri, Rei Sweep
- Japanese: 委ねよ! (Yudane yo) – English: "Entrust (your soul to me)!"
- Male Hitokiri, Rei Sweep
- Japanese: お前の魂を頂く! (Omae no tamashi wo itadaku) – English: "I'll take your soul!"
- Female Hitokiri, Tainted Gift feat
- Japanese: 贄となれ! (Nie to nare) – English: "Become my sacrifice!"
- Male Hitokiri, Tainted Gift feat
- Japanese: お前の魂を頂く。もっと、もっとだ。血の匂いは我を導く。うふふふふ、我に弛むな! (Omae no tamashi wo itadaku. Motto, motto da. Chi no nioi wa ware wo michibiku. Ufufufufu, ware ni tarumu na.) – English: "I'll take your soul. More, I want more. The smell of blood guides me. Eheh heh heh, don't underestimate me."
- Tainted Gift feat, background SFX on target
- Japanese: 対象に死を! (Taisou ni shi wo) – English: "Death to my opponent!"
- Female Hitokiri, Senbonzakura feat, Butterfly Beheading execution
- Japanese: すべてに死を! (Subete ni shi wo) – English: "Death to all!"
- Male Hitokiri, Senbonzakura feat, Butterfly Beheading execution
The Hitokiri are relentless executioners. Wielding the Masakari, the Samurai battle axes, they can enter a special state to chain heavy attacks infinitely and perform special moves. They dictate the flow of combat with charged attacks and uninterruptible moves.
- Difficulty: Medium
- Relentless executioner with multiple mix-ups
- Hard Hitter
- Mugen-ryu: A state that grants special moves and Heavy infinite chains
- Various Uninterruptible Attacks
- Charged Heavy Attacks that are Unblockable
Passive | Gain a shield and Uninterruptible Stance while executing an enemy HeroUnlocked at level 1
Passive | Stamina regenerates faster.Unlocked at level 5
Passive | You can still sprint when out of stamina.Unlocked at level 7
Mark and reveal an enemy hero. If executed the killer and their nearby teammates gain some health.Unlocked at level 1
Passive Feat | Killing heroes grants temporary attack and defense boostsUnlocked at level 9
Passive | Parry to gain high damage reduction for a short timeUnlocked at level 11
Passive | Gain Damage Resistance after executing an enemy Hero. Effect remains until you are killed.Unlocked at level 1
|Heal on Block
Passive | Blocking regenerates your health.
Unlocked at level 13
Gain Stamina on successful attacksUnlocked at level 15
Launch an attack that is unblockable and deals massive damage, leading to an execution on kill.Unlocked at level 1
Passive | Regenerates your health when out of combat.
Unlocked at level 17
Enemies around you have lower Stamina regeneration and defenses
Unlocked at level 19
- Renown - Earn more Renown by assisting or saving Heroes, and defending objectives to unlock your feats in a match.
- Revenge Mode - Boosts Damage and Health. All Attacks are Uninterruptible. Parry and Throws knock enemies down. Attacks are Auto-Parried on activation.
- Mugen-Ryu - The Hitokiri has access to a state called Mugen-ryu, which grants them special moves. Some moves maintain Mugen-ryu, others end it.
- Mugen-Ryu Starters - Meikai and Mangetsu start Mugen-Ryu.
- Mugen-Ryu Chain - Endless Myriad maintains Mugen-ryu. Rei Kick also maintains Mugen-ryu but cannot chain into another Kick.
- Mugen-Ryu Finishers - Mangetsu Rift, Meikai Rift and Rei Sweep end Mugen-ryu.
- Charged Heavy Attacks - Hold then Release any Heavy Attack, aside from Sankotsu, to charge them up. Fully charge them to change the attack into Mangetsu Rift, which is both uninterruptible and unblockable.
- Rei Attacks - Initiate a Rei Kick by pressing MMB (PC) or X (XB1) or ⬜ (PS4) during Mugen-ryu. You can hold the button to charge Rei Kick.
- Rei Kick Displacement - Rei Kick will aside the opponent: Left Guard knocks opponents to the left, whereas Top and Right Guard will knock them to the right.
- Rei Sweep - Fully charge the Rei Kick to change the move into Rei Sweep. Rei Sweep will knock down the target, but end Mugen-ryu.
- Charge Cancel - You can press B (XB1), ◯ (PS4) or E (PC) while charging Heavy Attacks or Kick moves to cancel them, even when the Unblockable sign has shown.
- Uninterruptible Attacks - Mangetsu Rift, Meikai Rift, and Rei Sweep have Uninterruptible Stance.
(From Guard Mode)
|Armor Styles||Weapon Styles|
|Knights||Warden - Conqueror - Peacekeeper - Lawbringer|
|Samurai||Kensei - Shugoki - Orochi - Nobushi - Shinobi - Aramusha - Hitokiri|
|Vikings||Raider - Warlord - Berserker - Valkyrie - Highlander - Shaman - Jormungandr|
|Wu Lin||Tiandi - Jiang Jun - Nuxia - Shaolin - Zhanhu|