Blood Will Tell Character Profile Preview - Hyakkimaru

Take an up-close look at the character Hyakkimaru in this PS2 game inspired by Japanese manga comics.

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The new version of Hyakkimaru.
The new version of Hyakkimaru.

At the time Osamu Tezuka created the original manga Dororo, there was nothing else like it in terms of style and content. Tezuka had his own distinct style that was instantly recognizable. The style had such a wide appeal that he could create memorable and family-oriented characters such as Astro Boy and, at the same time, make characters that are as dark and twisted as Hyakkimaru. While modern manga art styles have evolved since the days in which Tezuka drew them, his style is still unmistakable.

In order to help bring new life to this manga and to appeal to the modern manga fan, Sega enlisted the help of renowned manga creator, Hiroaki Samura (Blade of the Immortal). Samura has a knack for creating dark characters...particularly samurai. It was a perfect match. Samura quickly "reimagined" the character, Hyakkimaru, and came up with a design that kept the essence of the original but used more modern techniques (sharper angles, more proportionate eyes, and even extensive mecha design on his prosthetic limbs). However, all the original parts are there: his signature hair, the pattern on his robes, and so on.

The character has powerful abilities inspired by the original manga comic.
The character has powerful abilities inspired by the original manga comic.

Once Hyakkimaru's 2D concept art was finished, Sega's own internal team of artists set forth to accomplish the daunting task of bringing this creation into the 3D realm. Great pains were taken to ensure that both Tezuka's style and Samura's style survived the transition.

Samura's influences in the design are immediately apparent, and the team took it a step further and used a decidedly "Tezuka-esque" animation for Hyakkimaru's "dash" ability (attainable later in the game).

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