This wolf, its coat as brilliant as snow, was dubbed Shiranui. The wolf kept a watchful eye on anyone who ventured outside the village, and made a habit of patrolling the streets at night.
Shiranui is the historical hero of Kamiki Village one hundred years ago in Nippon's history. Shiranui is Amaterasu's previous incarnation at full power, wielding the Solar Flare Reflector and exuding a long, pure white mane of flowing energy. Shiranui, like Amaterasu, does not speak – Ishaku is Shiranui's Celestial Envoy and speaks instead.
History[edit | edit source]
Legend[edit | edit source]
100 years ago when the ceremony to sacrifice a maiden to Orochi drew near, a white wolf was seen roaming around the village at night. The villagers, thinking the wolf as a familiar of Orochi, named the wolf "Shiranui". Because the villagers thought Shiranui to be a familiar of Orochi, a man named Nagi attempted to challenge it, but the wolf would use its swift movements to escape from him every time.
On the night of the festival, when it was discovered that Nagi's beloved, Nami, was to be sacrificed to Orochi, Nagi disguised himself as Nami to gain access to and slay Orochi. However, his attempts seemed to be in vain because of Orochi's steel-hard hide. During their battle, Nagi was brutally injured. Just before the fatal blow was to be dealt to Nagi, Shiranui arrived and stepped in to battle Orochi.
After hours of fighting, Shiranui received many wounds and was about to lose the battle. When the final blow was about to be struck, Shiranui lifted its head and howled, summoning the moon, which gave Nagi new strength that helped him defeat and seal Orochi. Even though the battle was won, it came at a price. Shiranui had been poisoned by Orochi's deadly claws during the battle and was slowly, but surely, dying. Nagi carried Shiranui back to the village where the wolf quietly passed away. The villagers built a shrine on the resting grounds in honor of Shiranui's brave deeds.
Ōkami[edit | edit source]
Journey to the past[edit | edit source]
Amaterasu heads back through the Spirit Gate to aid Nagi in fighting Orochi and find Lika, an Oina girl who was destined to recite the Volcanic Incantation to save Kamui from being frozen over. She is mistaken for Shiranui during this time, even being attacked by Nagi himself. Following the battle with Orochi, a boulder fell from the sky above, seconds away from crushing Nagi. At the last second, Shiranui appeared and stopped the boulder from doing so, saving Nagi's life.
Shiranui in the present[edit | edit source]
Sensing trouble for Shiranui's future self, the wolf traveled 100 years into the future through the Spirit Gate and assisted Amaterasu in combating the twin owls, Lechku & Nechku. Oki appeared at the end of the battle, and ended up fighting Lechku. When Oki's passion drove him to attempt a desperate attack to finish the two demons off for good, Lechku used its power to stop time, giving Nechku the chance to deliver a devastating blow to Oki. This attack hit Shiranui, who had knocked Oki out of the way to take the full force of the attack. After Amaterasu and Oki defeat Lechku and Nechku, Shiranui travels back in time to Amaterasu's battle with Orochi. She arrived just in time to block Orochi's final attack from claiming Nagi's life. Nagi then carried Shiranui's fatally wounded body back to the village, where the wolf died from its wounds.
After Chibiterasu and Manpuku make their way through the Ice Room and defeat the guardian of the amber that can break the Moon Cave's barrier, they find Shiranui frozen in a block of ice. Chibiterasu unfreezes Shiranui and Ishaku with Inferno, but Shiranui is weak from being frozen as well as the wound from Lechku and Nechku. However, Shiranui is convinced by Chibiterasu to let him travel to the Moon Cave while Shiranui heals. After Nagi is able to slay Orochi, Shiranui appears and saves Nagi once again from the boulder. However, the boulder does not kill Shiranui completely. After heading back to Kamiki Village, Akuro appears and orders Chibiterasu to travel back to the Moon Cave to fight him. Soon after, Akuro launches a huge meteor at Chibiterasu, Ishaku, Nami, Nagi, and Mr. Fruit. Shiranui, with the last bit of its strength, leaps toward Akuro's meteor and blocks it- sacrificing itself to save them all, and dies shortly after.
Power[edit | edit source]
Due to the limited appearances, full extent of Shiranui's power is unclear. However, it can be assumed that Shiranui was much more powerful than Amaterasu as Ishaku noted. Furthermore, Shiranui was able to cast down True Orochi, a formidable foe whom Amaterasu can't defeat without certain items such as strong sakes. Shiranui also can interfere the time-stopping attacks by Lechku & Nechku.
Shiranui is capable of moving fast, and holding and tossing up a large boulder despite being heavily injured.
However, despite that Shiranui is in fact far more agile, advanced and powerful than her "reincarnation", she is the only one among the other two (Amaterasu and Chibiterasu) to be heavily wounded and died in cutscenes.
In the game[edit | edit source]
Only small parts of Shiranui's power can be seen during the battle against Nechku.
How Shiranui swings the Reflector is identical to how Amaterasu attacks with a Glaive. Shiranui demonstrates high back-flips as the last attack of combos with Reflector. He also unleashes powerful slashes corresponding to kicks Amaterasu throws in the plain state when Divine Instruments are disappearing.
Shiranui seemingly possesses a Rosary as sub-Divine Instruments during the fight, but the weapon cannot be seen on his outer appearance. These attacks were unlike those utilized by Amaterasu; being shot at overwhelming speed (looks like at a rather slow speed, but it is because the projectiles have long tails like comets), only three beads are fired at once, with the motion of rapid-firing but is smoother and quieter without reactions, and powerful enough to penetrate the invulnerable defense of Nechku.
Shiranui uses more powerful versions of Amaterasu's Celestial Brush Techniques that he draws with golden ink, and these attacks are never available in gameplay. For example, Shiranui can use multiple Power Slashes simultaneously whereas Amaterasu can only make one Power Slash at a time, and Cherry Bombs' explosions are comparable to that of Exorcism Slip L, and Galestorms are capable of damaging Nechku in normal state just like others.
Unlike Amaterasu, Shiranui can demonstrate an overwhelmingly powerful attack to launch herself in a sphere of comet-like light at the enemy and take down the target to the ground. This resembles a combination of Sub-Reflector Counterattack and Dōjō techniques Counter Dodge and Holy Falcon. During the attacks, Shiranui's lunging animation is similar to Issun's when using the Thief's Glove.
- Users can prevent these attacks by slashing Shiranui when she is attacking.
Gender disputes[edit | edit source]
In the original PlayStation 2 version, Shiranui remains genderless. However as Amaterasu is based off the Shinto Sun Goddess and Shiranui is a past incarnation of Amaterasu, it was said that Shiranui is female. In the PS2 version, Shiranui is said to be a male even though Amaterasu is referred to as a female by other characters. In the Wii version, Amaterasu's gender is ambiguous (although she is assumed to be female) and therefore Shiranui's gender was also ambiguous, but presumed female, due to the general lack of gender pronouns. This causes a lot of confusion with fans choosing to call them what they want to. In Ōkamiden, Ishaku refers to Shiranui as male, officially confirming his gender.
This has, however, caused some confusion, as Shiranui and Amaterasu were stated several times to be the same being in Ōkami. On the other hand, it is also possible that Shiranui and Amaterasu share the same name but are separate, albeit related, similar to the relation between the 'young' versions of the Celestial Brush gods and their parents.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Shiranui is slightly larger than Amaterasu.
- Karmic Transformer 7 gives Amaterasu the appearance of Shiranui. However, she lacks Shiranui's long mane of white flowing energy.
- When Amaterasu regains a new Celestial Brush technique, she very briefly takes on Shiranui's appearance, including the Solar Flare reflector, the markings and the mane of energy. This appears to symbolize her powers returning. When she gains a new Divine Instrument after a boss battle, a similar event occurs, except that the mane is orange in color.
- In Ōkamiden, Chibiterasu can unlock First Sunrise, which changes his appearance to that of a smaller version of Shiranui.
- When Amaterasu visits Ishaku, Issun's grandfather, in Ponc'tan, he calls her by her nickname "Ammy" rather than "Shiranui". This is because the name "Shiranui" is the name given to Amaterasu 100 years ago by the villagers of Kamiki Village.
- In the final battle against Yami, Amaterasu is fully restored and takes her restored form; making her look like Shiranui.
- So far, the only thing that Shiranui directly states to another character is "Chibiterasu is my grandson" to young Ishaku.
- Shiranui (「不知火」?; unknown fire) is described by the Japanese people as an equivalent to the will-o-the-wisp phenomenon. It is, in fact, an optical phenomenon which is hypothesized to be the after-effect of the setting sun.
- There are 8 hypotheses of Shiranui, some (but not all) of which are similar to events in Ōkami:
- Dragon which lives under the sea emitting light
- Reflection of star lights
- Luminous jellyfish
- Fire from undersea active volcano
- Flying saucers
- Fireballs (apparitions)
- Light of fishing boats
- The Japanese Sun Goddess Amaterasu's power after the sun goes down
- There are 8 hypotheses of Shiranui, some (but not all) of which are similar to events in Ōkami: