Earlier this month at Blizzcon, Blizzard announced a new skin for Overwatch’s Genji, the Oni skin. Aside from looking cool as all heck, it turns out the skin hides a subtle message in plain sight.
In a video by Dot Esports on Facebook, we learn how a Reddit user translated the Kanji characters on both of Genji’s swords: Masamune and Muramasa. The names are a reference to two swordmakers from 13th and 14th century Japan who challenged each other to craft the best blade. When testing their blades, Muramasa’s could cut through anything that phased it: the leaves, fish, and air of the world.
Masamune’s blade, on the other hand, would not cut even a leaf. Muramasa mocked Masamune for creating an inferior blade. A passerby monk approached the two and, instead of mocking Masamune’s blade, praised that he had built a sword that can kill no living thing. This is a direct analog to Genji’s two swords, one of which can only deflect and defend, while the other is meant for slaying enemies.
It’s clear that this idea was implanted in Blizzard’s design of Genji from the start, but it’s very cool that this more traditional Japanese skin more clearly tells the story.