Onimusha is a classic Playstation 2 Capcom series featuring historical samurai and warriors facing off against a legion of demons known as the Genma. The games are a hybrid mix of Resident Evil with controls and environment travel but with Devil May Cry action and mystical sword battles.
The games take place during the turbulent Sengoku Period, a time in Japanese history when samurai warlords fought for conquest and supremacy until demons got involved and made the bloody conflict much worse. As the series went on, a large roster of fearsome warriors was introduced and developed throughout the series to battle the Genma and the corrupt warlords using them for their own devices.
Onimusha was one of the first major games developed by Capcom in which their characters are designed to appear similar to their voice actors and are animated with physical stunt actors with references, giving a sense of real character moments and reactions. These are ten of the best major characters encountered throughout the series, from the noble champions of the mystical Oni to the warlords manipulating the Genma legion.
10. Oyu/Oichi- Onimusha 2: Samurai’s Destiny
Oyu is a companion Jubei comes across on his quest to fight the genma summoned by Nobunaga’s forces. A formidable female warrior with an interesting Western knight aesthetic, Oyu has several playable sections in Onimusha 2 showcasing her strength and skill along with revealing her connection to the evil overlord and her stake in the war.
It is revealed that she is the younger sister of Nobunaga named Oichi and her political marriage to the Azai clan means that her family is torn when the Oda attacked their former allies. Determined to stop her brother’s conquest, Oichi went by an alias and became Jubei’s most involved ally to stop Nobunaga and the Genma.
9. Ako- Onimusha 3: Demon’s Siege
When the heroes Samanosuke and Jacques became displaced and sent into different time periods, the Oni clan recruited the small tengu girl Ako to be their guide and support on their mission to defeat Nobunaga’s genma army. Ako is pretty much the “Navi” of Onimusha but with many special abilities aside from just guiding their journey.
Ako can travel between the two time periods to help Jacques in feudal Japan and Samanosuke in modern Paris and carry messages between and her vests can be discovered throughout the game that can help boost certain abilities and skills, from increasing the chances of healing orbs released in battle to increasing the quantity for level ups. Ako may appear out of place in the dark gritty world of Onimusha but she is an endearing character whose bond with the heroes helped bring an end to the Genma’s plans.
8. Gogandantess- Onimusha 2: Samurai’s Destiny
Among the sadistic monsters of the Genma legion, there is none more noble than Gogandantess, the greatest swordsman of all demons, something he’ll always gloat over Jubei and his allies. Gogandantess is the most affable of the demonic forces, only seeking worthy foes and seems almost chivalrous to the heroes, saving Oyu’s life and honoring his multiple duels with Jubei.
Up until the last battle with him, Gogandantess is untouchable, protected by an energy shield that makes the battles less about defeating him and more about surviving him. Once the shield is dispelled by a sacred flute, Jubei delivers the killing blow and honors his fallen rival with his name and title.
7. Jacques Blanc- Onimusha 3: Demon’s Siege
Jacques Blanc is the secondary protagonist of the story of Onimusha 3: Demon’s Siege. Voiced in French and modeled after Jean Reno, Jacques is very much based on the many characters the actor played. When the Genma invaded modern-day Paris, he acted on the threat as the General Directorate for External Security, leading the defense and rescuing team members and civilians from the encroaching danger alongside his partner Michelle Aubert.
After being warped into feudal Japan, he obtains the Oni Gauntlet and the Oni Whip to help Samanosuke defeat Nobunaga and the Genma. His weapons are segmented swords, spears, and a flail that are perfect for his gauntlet whip. Jacques was crucial in the final of Nobunaga and is one of the most important warriors in the war against the Genma.
6. Takechiro/ Hideyoshi Toyotomi- Onimusha Warlords
Member of the Oda clan and the ever-present lackey of Nobunaga, Tokichiro was introduced in Onimusha Warlords helping his resurrected daimyo prepare a ritual in Inabayama castle and has since been involved in the major conflicts of the first two games in the series. His devious tricks and manipulations helped him survive when other lackeys of the villains were killed.
In historical context, he is Hideyoshi Toyotomi, the man who’ll conquer and unify feudal Japan after Nobunaga’s death, being the primary antagonist alongside his own Genma faction in the fourth installment of the series, Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams.
5. Guildenstern- Onimusha Warlords
A Genma demon with a rather disgusting fascination for experiments and entrails, Guildenstern is the key source of all the misfortune and horror of the Onimusha series. Being the one that resurrected Nobunaga, he also experimented on the previous Onimusha warrior who was vanquished, and created other monstrous devices that further the power of the Genma.
Guildenstern was the one constant threat to the world with his inventions even crossing spacetime during the attack in modern Paris. Aside from Nobunaga himself, Guildenstern was the most consistent antagonist and had a personal vendetta against Samanosuke, who would hunt for the demonic scientist throughout the war against the demons until their fated battle in Onimusha 3.
4. Soki/Hideyasu Yuki- Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams
Adopted son of Hideyoshi and the main hero of Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams, Hideyasu went by his alias Soki as he rebelled against the corrupted regime by hunting down the Genma Trees and actively preventing the return of Fortinbras, the fearsome demon king. He is also the avatar of the Oni god of darkness, meant to defeat
Fortinbras once and for all and ensure that the Genma will return to the abyss. Wielding several massive swords, he owns up to the Oni imagery and allied himself with other like-minded warriors alongside a new generation of Yagyu Jubei and a mysterious monk Tenkai to defeat the demons once and for all.
3. Oda Nobunaga- Onimusha Warlords
He was once a foolish warlord with a fierce ambition, but a swift and unexpected death brought the death of a man, and the revival of a monster. After dying during his victory in Okehazama, Nobunaga was brought back by the Genma and made into their vassal in the conquest of Wartorn Japan. When Samanosuke slayed Fortinbras before the completion of his official ritual, Nobunaga soon took his place as the king of demons and was the primary antagonist of Onimusha 2 and 3, conquering and destroying anything in his way.
As Nobunaga conquered Japan with a fierce legion of demons, it took the power of many Onimusha warriors like Jubei and Samanosuke to stop him. No matter how many times he was defeated until his soul was sealed in the Oni gauntlet, Nobunaga would return to menace Japan. Even after his final defeat, the influence of Nobunaga lasted for years.
2. Yagyu Sekishusai Jubei- Onimusha 2: Samurai’s Destiny
The secondary hero of the Onimusha saga, Yagyu Jubei started his crusade to kill Nobunaga after the destruction of his village and he discovered his Oni heritage. Aside from Samanosuke, Yagyu Jubei was the most involved warrior with a personal stake in the conflict against the Genma. Being half-Oni on his mother’s side, Jubei and his descendants are the last remnants of the Oni clan left to physically fight the Genma.
Unlike Samanosuke and Jacques, he doesn’t have the gauntlet and mostly doesn’t need it due to a mark on his hand allowing him to seal demon souls like the gauntlet. Jubei Yagyu is snarky with his foes and is already a skilled swordsman further blessed with the powers of his Oni ancestors. In the vein of characters from Devil May Cry like Dante, Jubei has his own version of a devil trigger that allows him to transform into a fearsome Oni during his final battle with Nobunaga.
1. Hidemitsu Samanosuke Akechi- Onimusha Warlords
The first and most visited hero of the Onimusha saga. Samanosuke is the primary protagonist of the series, having been involved with the Genma war since their resurgence in Onimusha Warlords. Voiced and designed after his actor Takeshi Kaneshiro, Samanosuke became the face of the franchise and is the most recurring character in the series.
While trying to save his friend, Princess Yuki, Samanosuke was chosen by the Oni to wield the Oni Gauntlet to gain new weapons, powers, and the ability to absorb the souls of slain demons. Samanosuke became skilled in the power of the Oni and became a major enemy of the Genma when Nobunaga came to power.
It wasn’t until the battle of Honnoji that Samanosuke was swept through time and journeyed through modern Paris to gain enough power to defeat Nobunaga once and for all. Even after sealing Nobunaga, Samanosuke returned to see the true end of the battle as Tenkai, an ally of Hideyasu during the events of Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams.
- This article was updated on November 8th, 2023