Waifu Wednesday: Hibari (Senran Kagura)

Waifu Wednesday

The impending closure of the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS eShop store fronts makes this a historic moment for gaming. But this also gives us a more than good enough reason to look back at the systems and remember what we cherished most about them during their golden age — such as Hibari from Senran Kagura.

Personally speaking, this generation is where my personal passion for gaming really kicked in, with the likes of Fire Emblem Awakening doing most of the heavy lifting until a certain spunky, pink-haired, starry-eyed young girl within a shameless franchise caught my eye and further captured my mind, soul and heart.

I will protect and worship Hibari like my life depends on it as a result of this initial discovery. Since my most treasured memories with the 3DS specifically come from relating so much to certain characters I spent far too much time with, my very own bio here on Rice Digital reflects this. So, it’s about time I addressed it. I have always meant “wife of Hibari” to relate to two characters, after all.

Who is Hibari?

Hibari and the Senran Kagura girls

Hibari is one of the five trainee shinobi in Hanzō Academy who have been playable since the very first title in the series, with her classmates being Asuka, Ikaruga, Katsuragi and Yagyū. Hibari is a recurring character in the series overall, appearing in the anime, manga and spin-off games as well as the mainline entries.

It goes without saying that for a series that has such a wide array of lovable lasses, each with their own quirks, personalities and motivations, your favourite character will almost certainly not line up with the majority of other fans. It goes doubly so with Hibari who does not rank that highly in terms of any kind of popularity poll or opinion really, be it official or unofficial. But with such slandering comes my immediate defence of my favourite Senran Kagura character, so here goes nothing!

Why we love her

Personally speaking, Hibari is the only character in the Senran Kagura series I have ever felt so deeply connected to. It comes down to a major trait of hers to explain this, but her entire deal as a character completely captivated me during my teenage years when her backstory came to light. To sum it up, she feels like she not only holds those around her back but continuously doubts her abilities as a shinobi, one of the defining aspects to who she is as a person.

It’s not that deep, but if you can relate to her, her turning point as a character and drive to improve her mentality is something that can be appreciated and admired. There are a lot of factors to this shift: she had been thinking incorrectly about her weaknesses, was unable to see why her friends value her, questioned her maturity and sense of self for the sake of being taken more seriously by others — and perhaps most importantly, didn’t appreciate her core, commendable trait of simply trying her very best at everything she does, regardless of the outcome.

In this regard, I find Hibari truly special as I draw many personal parallels to her and always feel much better about myself for seeing her grow as both a shinobi and in her learning to appreciate herself for the things she is unable to change about herself.

Why you will love her

With one initial look at her, Hibari could be easily passed off as a mere comedic gag of a character. Her move set, while certainly unique, only further suggests as such when she appears to be such a bumbling, awkward klutz both inside and outside of battle. But such a goofy fighting style tells us more about her character as a shinobi: she stands for her own way of both fighting and presenting herself; she’s an untraditional, unconventional shinobi, and this plays an important part in her storyline.

Yagyū plays a big role in her character development, as Hibari learns to stand on her own two feet and become her own person. Yagyū has a tendency to baby her so much to the point of further perpetuating Hibari’s feelings of being weak and needing help from others — though she of course has her own reasons for this.

I particularly appreciate Hibari’s growing bond with Minori the most, though – I find it one of the most significant friendships within the entire series as a whole, not just those involving Hibari.

This is due to how it touches upon a particular theme that has followed me way into adulthood – how adults should be able to be themselves rather than sacrifice who they are as a person in the name of what others think. Being yourself no matter how “childish” your interests or personality quirks may is more than acceptable as long as you stay true to yourself – plus, take it as a compliment if anyone thinks you are younger than you actually are!

If you’re new to the Senran Kagura universe, you should really give it a chance and look deeper into it!

Join The Discussion

Rice Digital Discord
Rice Digital Twitter
Rice Digital Facebook

Or write us a letter for the Rice Digital Friday Letters Page by clicking here!

Disclosure: Some links in this article may be affiliate links, which means we may earn a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on them. This is at no additional cost to you and helps support Rice Digital!

Lilia Hellal
Spread the love!

Related post

This will close in 0 seconds