Waka is a character from the Ōkami series of action adventure games.
A mysterious character who appears in Ōkami and briefly in Ōkamiden, Waka is the guardian of the Moon Cave, leader of the Tao Troopers, and a self-proclaimed prophet, he often interferes with Amaterasu's plans and missions.
No matter the situation, Waka never shows any signs of being upset or fearful, a habit that annoys Issun constantly. Also annoying to Amaterasu's companion is Waka's habit of rarely being direct; he prefers vague hints that he calls "prophecies" over straight information. His advice is always helpful, though it is sometimes observed to be so only in hindsight.
Waka also has a great deal of playfulness to his personality; even when he is taking things seriously, he refers to it in a light-hearted manner. This is evident in his prophecies, which usually contain some humorous action or phrase. He often peppers his speech with French expressions of affection, such as "mon amie" and "ma chérie". In the original Japanese version (and every other version except for the American release), Waka uses English expressions.
Even though Waka mocks Amaterasu many times throughout the course of the game, it is quite clear that he has a great amount of respect and trust for her. It can be said that there is a certain bond between the two, as it was mentioned that they fought Orochi side by side.
Waka appears to be somewhat flashy. He wears a bright pink kimono and purple Sashinuki-hakama, which along with his headdress, consisting of a hawk-head with a long flowing cloak. Beneath his headdress is the long golden hair of the Moon Tribe. He also wears tabi socks and tall "platform" geta with single tooth; this would appear to make him easy to knock down, but Waka moves more skillfully than he lets on. He constantly carries a flute with him that is actually the disguised form of his sword Pillow Talk. He also has a second sword in a scabbard at his side, which he uses in conjunction with Pillow Talk.
His appearance echoes that of the Japanese Tengu-bird like mythical beasts that were said to be very skilled in swordplay. His headgear is the shape of a tengu, and also features the typical tengu cap. The geta sandals are actually called "tengu-geta", as tengu were believed to wear geta with one "tooth" in the middle. Waka's clothes are that of a yamabushi (山伏), the mountain ascetics followers of the syncrethic Shugendō creed. In reference to this, tengu are often depicted dressing yamabushi dress.
Powers and Abilities Edit
During his first meeting with Amaterasu, he demonstrated the ability to walk on water. Since the Water Tablet Moon Tribe artifact Amaterasu can purchase from the Emperor grants the same ability, it is possible Waka has a similar device, as he is also a member of the Moon Tribe.
His hat may allow him to fly or glide for short distances. However it is possible that he possesses the ability naturally since Kurow, another member of the Moon Tribe, has the same ability.
Waka is also outstandingly long-lived; he survived Orochi's initial attack on the Celestial Plain, survived the Ark of Yamato genocide, came out of two battles with Amaterasu merely out of breath, and survived being hit by a laser beam by Yami and falling a very long distance to the ground without his helmet. More hints are dropped about the true nature of his power. He controls a set of special troops in Sei'an City for Queen Himiko; one trooper, Abe, has found information that he may be centuries old. He also has enough power to disperse the Cursed zone in North Ryoshima Coast on his own before Amaterasu can get there. He also displays the ability to teleport, apparently limited clairvoyance (although his clairvoyancy may be more powerful than he admits), and can 'phase' through any of Amaterasu's attacks if she tries to attack him outside of the two boss battles.
It is not entire explainable how he restored the Guardian Sapling at North Ryoshima Coast. He may also possesses some Celestial Brush techniques or his close relation with the Celestial Brush gods or simply granted with it.
Many years ago, a mysterious catastrophe wiped out all lifeforms on the moon. Only three members escaped, one of them is Waka. He boarded the Ark of Yamato, escaping the lunar realm and reached the Celestial Plain. There, the Celestials and the Celestial Brush gods accepted him and he resided at the plain for an untold time. The Ark is also enshrined at the divine realm.
However, one day, disaster struck. Orochi and its legion of demons suddenly came flying across the sea of stars and assaulted the Celestial Plain. Amaterasu and Waka faced the demon together, but their efforts were fruitless, and Waka gave the profecy "Only the chosen one can defeat Orochi". Following this, Amaterasu dragged the beast down to the mortal realm, and the legend of Orochi began. Waka then evacuated the Celestials into the Ark of Yamato, trying to flee from the destruction of their home. However, not long after setting sail, an endless legion of demon rose from the Ark's depths; they massacred and devoured all the Celestials. The Ark lost its rudder, and plummeted down to Laochi Lake, releasing the demons. After the tragic event, Waka came hiding in Nippon, apparently from the searching of the demonic legion.
Waka first appears before Amaterasu and Issun in Agata Forest, greeting them in a friendly manner before challenging Amaterasu to a test of strength by fighting her. He notes she is still weak; it seems he has met her before when she was in a stronger form. He challenges her again in Taka Pass continuing to taunt her and tell her about the Serpent Crystal at the Gale Shrine. After she deals with Crimson Helm, he is there to conveniently slip it away, and later he uses it to open the Moon Cave.
Thereafter, he continues to appear periodically to taunt and warn Amaterasu further. Eventually, after the defeat of Lechku & Nechku and the release of the Ark of Yamato from the perpetual ice of Laochi Lake, he entered the Ark, stating that he had waited for this moment for more than two hundred years. Later, when Amaterasu arrived in the control room of the Ark, he is found battling Yami, but to no avail. Then, just moments after, the eclipse of the Day of Darkness completes itself, and Yami awakened. It stripped Amaterasu of her powers and tries to kill her with its laser when she is weakened, but Waka jumped in to protect her. Yami strengthens the laser, and it seems that Waka is decimated, with only his hawk hat remains, but Waka survives, his true identity revealed as a member of the Moon Tribe. He expressed his faith in Amaterasu and encourages her to stand up and battle the evil before them. But then, Yami blasted at Waka, who stands before Amaterasu to protect her, and was blasted off the arena into the darkness below, seemingly to his death. But, after Amaterasu has gained victory over Yami, Waka emerged from the depths of the Ark, alive. He and Amaterasu then departed for the Celestial Plain, restoring peace and harmony to Nippon.
Although he is never directly met in Ōkamiden, Waka briefly appears in a vision when Chibiterasu and Nanami touch the Knowing Jewel in the Sage Shrine. Waka created a clone doll of himself that he intended to serve as a vessel for Akuro. However, he wanted the doll to have a mind of its own and be able to think independently as well as make its own decisions, mostly because he did not want the doll to be directly forced to its fate when the time to be sacrificed as a vessel came.
- It is undoubtedly Waka that was mentioned in the prophecy about the only member of the Moon Tribe that escaped the cursed Ark of Yamato. Kaguya is also a member of the Moon Tribe, but she escaped whatever wiped out the Moon Tribe in the rocket she later unearthed, so the legend cannot refer to her.
- Waka is based on the historical Japanese general named Minamoto no Yoshitsune who is also known as Ushiwakamaru. Ushiwakamaru was also said to have been taught the way of the sword by a tengu, which is reflected in Waka's appearance as well as his skill in swordsmanship.
- Waka's character appearance was inspired by Japanese animation studio Tatsunoko's Gatchaman.
- Waka shares Hayato Kanzaki's (from the Star Gladitor series) Plasma Blade activation sequence through the weapon Pillow Talk.
- They also share a reference to the moon and a theme of outer space in some manner; Waka is from the Moon Tribe and came to Nippon, in extension, Earth, from space; Hayato wields a technique named Engetsu (full moon in Japanese), and journeys out into space
- In the action hack and slash game Bayonetta (created by Platinum Games which includes former Clover Studio members who worked on Ōkami), the titular character can unlock a green beamsword named Pillow Talk.
- Before his first battle with Amaterasu, Waka says; "Let's rock, baby!". This is a reference to the famous quote to fellow Capcom protagonist Dante of Devil May Cry fame.
- Just before his second battle with Amaterasu, Waka says; "Just go for it!". This is spoken during a major fight in the first two Viewtiful Joe games, made by the same studio as Ōkami, Clover Studio.
- Waka's katana is similar to Yamato, the ōkatana that belonged to Devil May Cry character Vergil Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening and Devil May Cry 4. Both blades share the similarities of a circular, golden guard and a black sheath. However, Waka's katana is just a mundane blade and not used very frequently as Pillow Talk, while Yamato is Vergil's trademark weapon, who wields it most of the time and shows great artistry and swordsmanship with the blade.
- In Ōkamiden, Chibiterasu was asked to collect several journals in the Underground Ruins. Several mentioned that the arcane markings in the ruins are similar to Sugawara and Waka's, signifying that they had a certain importance to the ruins. Combined with the log stating that the ruins are at least 300 years old, this strongly implies that Waka is much older than 300 years of age.
- Waka was the person who employed Moon Tribe technology in Nippon, most notably computers with holographic screens in the Tao Troopers' headquarter, and only he can operate these devices.
- In the Kamui devil gate trial cave, the eighth and ninth rounds include copies of Waka who fight alongside Evil Rao copies.
- In a special clip only available on the Japanese website for the original PS2 version of Ōkami, Waka is shown playing his flute devotedly for a significant amount of time (seasons pass) on top of the Konohana tree when Amaterasu was still a statue, after her incarnation Shiranui had died. This shows he had not only been waiting for her for many years, but also payed her homage, respect, and remembrance.