Which popular characters are likely to join Samurai Shodown's roster if we get more surprise additions this year, or even in a Season 3? — Part 1

SNK's official poll may hold clues to who we'll see in Samurai Shodown's future — let's take a look at the characters who placed high

Posted by Nicholas 'MajinTenshinhan' Taylor • February 27, 2020 at 7:30 p.m. PST | Comments: 34

The latest fighting game from SNK, Samurai Shodown, is a revival of a classic franchise which was a long time coming and the game has been doing fantastic so far. So well, in fact, that just a mere month after its release, SNK were ready to unveil that a second character pass would be coming for the title.

SNK already pulled the rug out from under us last year with the surprise reveal of Shizumaru Hisame as a free extra DLC character in the first season, and it's possible we'll see something similar for the game's second season as well, so there's no telling what they'll have in store for us with Samurai Shodown this year, or even in the coming years hereafter. Thankfully, SNK publicly published the results of their popularity poll for the Samurai Shodown series, and it's obvious that they've taken the results very heavily into account when deciding on characters to add to the cast. So who else placed high in it that isn't in the game yet... ? Let's have a look in this first part of our analysis.

While the current information we have states that Season 2 — which starts with the release of Mina Majikina this week — will have a total of four characters, we've already seen SNK trick us by giving us more than promised before, so there's no saying if that's actually the final count. Even if it is, the game has definitely been doing well enough to earn future DLC from us as well, so here's to hoping SNK keep this grand revival running for a long time — and it gives us a prime opportunity to speculate on who they might include down the line.

Before we jump in to arguments for why the characters have a good chance of joining the roster or what their merits is, let's get down to the meat of the issue that everyone's curious about — the actual poll results. Although they've been posted in Japanese on Twitter with just the top 10 translated, we're going to look a bit further than that this time.

The poll, the results of which were published back in April of last year, before we even knew the first season of DLC characters, has very clearly been a big influence on which characters have been chosen as additional additions, with only one single character confirmed so far placing outside of the top 20 — Sogetsu Kazama, who ended up in the 22nd spot.

As such, it seemed pertinent to take a look at the top 20 placers. Everyone here has already shown that they're more requested and popular than at least one of the actually included characters, so that alone gives them merit to

Samurai Shodown 2019 Character Poll Results

1. Mina Majikina
2. Iroha
3. Shizumaru Hisame
4. Cham Cham
5. Basara the Executioner
6. Rimururu
7. Suzuhime
8. Neinhalt Sieger
9. Genan Shiranui
10. Youkai Kusaregedo

11. Shiro Tokisada Amakusa
12. Rera
13. Wan-Fu (tied)
13. Rinka Yoshino (tied)
15. Enja
16. Kazuki Kazama (tied)
16. Yumeji Kuroukouchi (tied)
18. Zankuro Minazuki
19. Mizuki Rashojin
20. Ocha-Maro Karakuri

Note: Bolded character names are characters already released or confirmed to be released as DLC in the future.

Since I already wrote a story recently regarding who I think might be a good candidate for the green spot at the end of Season 2, I'll keep the text very light on the candidates already outlined in that piece. Please refer to it if you want more reasoning or details on Cham Cham, Genan Shiranui or Shiro Tokisada Amakusa.

Cham Cham

First appearance: Samurai Shodown II (1994)
Latest appearance: Samurai Shodown VI (2005)
Numbers of playable appearances in main games: 3
Poll placement: #4

The highest placer currently not in the game, she has a good case going for her which I previously outlined in more detail here.

Princess Suzu (Suzuhime)

First appearance: Samurai Shodown Sen (2008)
Latest appearance: Samurai Shodown Sen (2008)
Numbers of playable appearances in main games: 1
Poll placement: #7

A brand new character by Samurai Shodown standards, Suzu first appeared as the main heroine of the ill-fated 3D revamp of the Samurai Shodown series Samurai Shodown Sen, the last game in the series to be released before the new revival we have in front of us today.

Samurai Shodown Sen, which made a move to try and shift Samurai Shodown into a 3D fighting game by trying to make it more similar to compatriots like Tekken or Soul Calibur rather than the classic gameplay of the series was not well received at all and has becoming nothing more than a negatively viewed footnote in series history, but clearly it brought some good with it as Suzu finds herself placing this high in the official character poll.

Suzu would effectively have to be revamped from the ground up since she's never been in a 2D fighting game before, but we've already seen that SNK has no qualms with doing things like that, as Mina Majikina appears to have gotten an ample rework to make her fit in with the fresh yet familiar style of gameplay the new Samurai Shodown boasts.

Although Samurai Shodown Sen is currently considered as non-canon as far as the franchise goes, it wouldn't be difficult to retrofit a popular character from there and bring her in to the main storyline. It's clear demand is there, and while she finds herself in a unique position compared to most other characters they could practically go for a two-in-one here, pleasing fans of her while presenting the freshness of what would essentially be a brand new character all in one package.

Neinhalt Sieger

First appearance: Samurai Shodown II (1994)
Latest appearance: Samurai Shodown VI (2005)
Numbers of playable appearances in main games: 2
Poll placement: #8

Neinhalt's popularity comes as something of a surprise, as SNK apparently forgot all about him after the second game in the series and only brought him back for Samurai Shodown VI which featured all characters the series' numbered titles had seen playable up until then.

A massive man wielding an even more massive metal arm, Neinhalt is a very brawny character with up-close grapples which the new Samurai Shodown honestly doesn't have that many of at the moment, the standout being Wan-Fu.

Not only does he have a rocking metal arm that honestly kind of dwars his huge body in size, but he can even shoot fire from it or smack projectiles back at his attackers with ease.

As far as gameplay diversity goes, Neinhalt seems like a perfect candidate to bring in and given his obvious popularity and demand, it'd be a slam dunk for SNK to reintroduce fans to this old Prussian knight.

Genan Shiranui

First appearance: Samurai Shodown (1993)
Latest appearance: Samurai Shodown VI (2005)
Numbers of playable appearances in main games: 3
Poll placement: #9

The sole missing combatant from the playable roster of the very first game in the series, Genan Shiranui is a quite likely contender whose case was previously outlined by me here.

Youkai Kusaregedo

First appearance: Samurai Shodown V (2003)
Latest appearance: Samurai Shodown VI (2005)
Numbers of playable appearances in main games: 2
Poll placement: #10

Perhaps the most bizarre character Samurai Shodown has ever seen (and one of the strangest creatures we've had in fighting games as a whole) Youkai Kusaregedo managed to place surprisingly high in the poll, likely because this is a character you really won't forget, even after seeing him just once.

Originally conceptualized as a cross between Genan Shiranui and Earthquake, Youkai Kusaregedo is a massive demon who suffers this fate due to being a cannibal back when he was still a regular human. If that isn't gruesome enough for you, this character even ate his own daughter as his canon storyline — in case his good looks didn't win you over.

Kusaregedo is one of the most gigantic characters in any fighting game, taking up practically half of the screen just by standing idly and is therefore a massive target for his opponents. Samurai Shodown has always been known for completely off-the-wall characters, and this guy definitely takes the cake in that regard.

It's hard to say whether SNK would feel confident enough in this character to want to bring him back, but it's possible the fan demand could sway them to at least try and include him and hope his size alone doesn't cause problems for the game engine or the overall character balance.

Shiro Tokisada Amakusa

First appearance: Samurai Shodown (1993)
Latest appearance: Samurai Shodown VI (2005)
Numbers of playable appearances in main games: 5
Poll placement: #11

The Samurai Shodown's series original boss character who ended up popular enough that he became a mainstay on the playable roster starting with the third game is a both popular and likely pick, with evidence supporting his inclusion more properly explained here.

Rera

First appearance: Samurai Shodown V (2003)
Latest appearance: Samurai Shodown VI (2005)
Numbers of playable appearances in main games: 2
Poll placement: #12

Rera is one of several characters who originally started off as a "burst version" of an existing character, in her case Nakoruru. She was a palette swap of Nakoruru who would have a different attitude and different mannerisms, and this eventually evolved into her very own character, Rera.

Storywise, she is considered a "other self" of Nakoruru who is willing to go to much more extreme means to protect nature and has no qualms with killing people.

Unlike her counterpart Nakoruru who fights alongside her trusted hawk Mamahaha, Rera has her own animal partner in her pet wolf Shikiru who she can actually mount during gameplay to give her increased speed and jump distances, thereby being a core part of her gameplay.

While Rera is a character that's essentially a part of Nakoruru she keeps suppressed, it wouldn't be unheard of to split such a character off and have them become their own sentient entity. We most recently saw something similar happen when Street Fighter took the Evil Ryu persona and molded it into its own being as Kage, so having Rera do something similar would be an easy way to include her in the game without corrupting their poster girl Nakoruru.

Thank you for taking the time to read the first part of our runthrough of characters who placed high in the SNK poll for Samurai Shodown, and please look forward to the second part detailing characters who placed from #13 to #20 in the coming days.

Props to Fighters Generation for always providing easy-to-access high quality artwork of our favorite fighting game characters.

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