The end of the Genshin Impact 1.5 livestream had a surprise reveal of six new Inazuma concept art, simultaneously teasing a brand new character, though we only got to see her in SD – Who is this character, and is she related to Yae Sakura from Honkai Impact 3rd?
If you’ve never played Honkai (or skipped all the dialogues) here’s a summary of what you should know about Yae Sakura. Update: We modified this article with more accurate details from the Japanese wiki. Needless to say, this contains spoilers.
In Honkai Impact 3rd, another game by Genshin developer miHoYo, Houkai is basically the world’s immune system. It manifests when civilization reached a point where it could harm the planet and the natural balance of the universe. Monsters like zombies, Houkai beasts, etc, are created by corrupting intelligent life forms with Houkai Energy. They act similarly to an immune system, trying to destroy humanity, who would be the virus.
The Houkai strengthens itself in sync with the civilization it tries to erase. The more humanity tries to struggles against the Houkai, the stronger the Houkai gets. Manifesting natural disasters, pandemics, wars, etc. It’s a cycle that never ends.
When the story of Honkai Impact 3rd starts, the past cycle ended 50,000 years ago, when humanity lost to the 14th Herrscher. In the current cycle, three Herrschers awakenings, also called Impacts, have happened in the past, but none of them destroyed humanity due to various circumstances. This is where the game’s title comes from. It’s not just an Eva reference.
Herrschers are humans selected by the Houkai. When a human becomes a Herrscher, they become incredibly powerful, and a Herrscher Core is formed in their bodies, alongside a split personality called Herrscher Personality. This personality takes over and urges them to destroy humanity. However, there are cases of humans becoming a Herrscher without switching to this split personality, becoming an ally of mankind instead.
It’s also possible to forcibly make someone a Herrscher by embedding a Herrscher Core or a fragment of it in their bodies. It’s also possible for one Herrscher to have multiple Herrscher Cores. Lastly, you can also have Pseudo Herrschers, who don’t have their own Core, but who can be just as powerful.
Who is Yae Sakura?
Yae Sakura is a playable character in Honkai Impact 3rd. She used to be the Miko of her hometown Yae Village. Fighting Youkai (lifeforms corrupted by Houkai) who threatened the village, and taking care of her sick sister, Yae Rin.
Yae Village had a fox guardian god, but whose true identity was a Youkai. Because it was too powerful, the villagers would offer it sacrifices to save themselves, instead of fighting it. Making up a guardian god legend around it.
One day, Sakura’s ill sister Rin was picked as the next sacrifice. Even when being scarified, Rin did not hate the villagers and prayed for them, but Sakura couldn’t accept it. While Sakura continued her job and protected the village, she slowly started to wish for revenge, feeding the Houkai.
Later on, one day, Sakura found Kallen Kaslana collapsed in the village’s outskirts. Kallen is the ancestor of Kiana Kaslana, one of the main characters of Honkai‘s main story. Alongside Kallen was a box containing Higokumaru, the will of the 12th Herrscher, who can make someone into a Pseudo Herrscher.
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Sakura and Kallen
Yae Sakura and Kallen Kaslana, supporting each other, ended up falling in love with each other.
However, even then, Yae Sakura could not forgive the villagers for killing her sister. The Houkai and the will of the 12th Herrscher took advantage of Sakura’s hatred and desire for revenge. Possessing her and awakening her into a Pseudo Herrscher.
Yae Sakura, driven by revenge, tried to destroy the village. She was ultimately stopped by Kallen, who ended up fighting and sealing her lover.
500 years later, Yae Sakura was then found by Kiana Kaslana in the current Honkai Impact storyline.
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Similarities between Yae Sakura and the mysterious new Genshin character
Yae Sakura is a Miko, and several skins and attires of hers in Honkai Impact 3rd reflect that. The mysterious SD character teased on the Genshin 1.5 livestream has a Miko-like outfit as well. A lot of Sakura’s skins in Honkai are Japanese themed, with a kunoichi skin, etc. Which fits the Japan-inspired Inazuma in Genshin. And overall, both characters look incredibly similar.
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Yae Sakura, Ayaka, and Inazuma
Moreover, it’s a known fact among Genshin fans (even GenshinTwT knows) that Ayaka Kamisato mentions a character named Yae Sakura in her voiced lines. See Honey Impact.
Ayaka was playable in the first Closed Beta Test of Genshin Impact in early 2020, which wasn’t under any NDA. So you can easily find Ayaka gameplay anywhere. However, Ayaka has yet to be released in the official game.
In her lines, with the beautiful voice of veteran seiyuu Saori Hayami, Ayaka talks about Yae Sakura with a lot of respect. Again implying she’s a revered Miko and important figure in Inazuma spirituality. Ayaka most notably mentions she’s always happy to be working with Sakura, and says she’s very talented at organizing events like festivals.
Is the new character Baal, the Electro Archon of Inazuma?
As we explained in the past, the Electro Archon in Genshin Impact has several names. She’s named Baal, but she’s also called the Raiden Shogun.
There’s a main character in Honkai called Raiden Mei. While we haven’t seen what the Electro Archon Baal looks like yet, seeing she’s also called Raiden Shogun, it’s very likely she will look similar to Mei. And this is what Mei looks like, (in her Herrscher of Thunder form). She looks nothing like the SD pink character from the Genshin 1.5 stream:
There are several Genshin Impact characters who look strikingly similar to Honkai characters, or share the same name. The unknown god in the intro looks similar to the Herrscher of the Void from Honkai, and they have the same seiyuu, Rie Kugimiya. Both games are connected and are akin to parallel universes too.
Lastly, on the livestream, according to fan translators, the mysterious character was introduced as a fox, which would fit Yae Sakura’s story and appearance. And as a friend of Zhongli and Baal. So she can’t be Baal herself.
As such, the new mysterious character from the 1.5 livestream is likely Genshin Impact world’s version of Yae Sakura from Honkai.
Her name is Guuji Yae (April 18, 2021 Update)
Genshin Impact 1.5 will launch on April 28. The PS5 version will launch then as well. For now the game is available on PS4, PC, and mobile. A Switch version was also announced.
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