OneeChanbara ORIGIN or Onee Chanbara ORIGIN (お姉チャンバラORIGIN, OnēChanbara ORIGIN) is the latest entry in the OneeChanbara franchise, developed by Tamsoft and published by D3 Publisher. The game was originally released in Japan for the PlayStation 4 on December 5, 2019 and later in other Asian territories on September 24, 2020 and in North America and Europe on October 14, 2020. It was also released on Steam on October 14, 2020. English, Chinese, and Korean localizations were funded by Clouded Leopard Entertainment.
OneeChanbara ORIGIN is a remake and a retelling of THE OneeChanbara and THE OneeChanbara 2, the first two games in the OneeChanbara series. In order to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the long-running series, the visuals of the first two games have been brought into full HD and rendered in a beautiful new anime art style, courtesy of renowned character artist Katsumi Enami. The storytelling of the first two games has been optimized for a more cohesive and compelling tale about two estranged sisters locked in a deadly struggle. All will be revealed in this reinterpretation of the "origin story" that started it all.
OneeChanbara ORIGIN was first unveiled at Tokyo Game Show 2018 (TGS2018) on September 20, 2018, at D3 Publisher's booth. The game was revealed to be a remake of the first two OneeChanbara titles, THE OneeChanbara and THE OneeChanbara 2, meant to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the long-running zombie hack and slash series. Although no gameplay footage was shown, series producer Nobuyuki Okajima took the stage to present new character designs and 3D models of series main characters Aya and Saki, drawn by character artist Katsumi Enami. Also presented were screenshots of locales, such as flowery gardens and a hospital scene.
The February 14, 2019 issue of Weekly Famitsu revealed the new character Lei, who would be voiced by Yū Kobayashi, as well as several screenshots detailing the vibrant, colorful visuals of Origin's new graphics engine. It also showed off the numerous Undead enemies Aya and Saki will face, including Undead bosses Devda and Anzu.
On July 3, 2019, D3 Publisher released the first trailer for ORIGIN, showing video footage of gameplay for the first time as well as featuring the game's official theme song "Ai ha kimi no mono," performed by the metal idol unit Broken By The Scream.
The September 12, 2019 issue of Weekly Famitsu revealed ORIGIN's Japanese release date to be December 5, 2019. The corresponding article also showed off Saki's new fighting styles and a new boss, Ubie.
At Tokyo Game Show 2019 (TGS2019), producer Nobuyuki Okajima showed off extensive gameplay footage of ORIGIN during two separate livestreams for 4Gamer and local magazines Famitsu and Dengeki PlayStation respectively.
On October 9, 2019, D3 Publisher released a second trailer for ORIGIN, including footage of Lei as a boss character.
On November 21, 2019, D3 Publisher released the third and final trailer for ORIGIN before its official release date. In the trailer, the Japanese voice actresses of Aya, Saki, and Lei roleplayed as their respective characters and retraced the 15-years long history of the OneeChanbara series, making jokes about the series and about themselves, as well as introducing gameplay features and mechanics in the upcoming game.
OneeChanbara ORIGIN was finally released in Japan for the PlayStation 4 on December 5, 2019. Less than a year later, ORIGIN was released in other Asian territories on September 24, 2019. Clouded Leopard Entertainment published this release as well as provided English, Chinese, and Korean localizations. Less than a month later on October 14, 2020, ORIGIN was released in North America and Europe for the PlayStation 4 and Steam.
- Voiced by: Yōko Hikasa (Japanese), Suzie Yeung (English)
- A beautiful mistress of the katana sporting a cowboy hat and clad only in a bikini. A zombie hunter by trade and member of the powerful but cursed Baneful Bloodline, she is on a search for her estranged half-sister and missing father in the abandoned yet zombie-infested city of Tokyo.
- In addition to a single katana, Aya is skilled in the use of dual katanas and throwing knives.
- Voiced by: Hiromi Igarashi (Japanese), Cristina Vee (English)
- Aya's younger half-sister, also a member of the Baneful Bloodline, who lived alone with her mother, Aya's stepmother, until her death at the hands of an unknown murderer. Devastated by her loss, she seeks to use the heart of her hated sister to resurrect her deceased mother.
- Saki is skilled with the ōdachi as well as in the art of fisticuffs, or what she calls "mortal combat" style.
- Voiced by: Yū Kobayashi (Japanese), Brianna Knickerbocker (English)
- Aya's friend and informant. Her tip about a girl in a sailor uniform found in an abandoned hospital ward near her stepmother's grave kickstarts Aya's journey.
- Lei is a speedy combatant that deftly wields a combat knife and multiple firearms. She also carries around a weapon box that is able to fire a powerful laser.
- Voiced by: Rikiya Koyama (Japanese), Patrick Seitz (English, credited as Del Stetson)
- Both Aya and Saki's father and a master swordsman. He is also a member of the Baneful Bloodline. After living alone with Aya and training her in the way of the katana for years, he suddenly disappeared two years ago, leading Aya to become a zombie hunter and leave home to search for him and her younger sister.
- Voiced by: Yūko Kaida (Japanese), Laila Berzins (English)
- A mysterious and elusive woman who ordered Anzu and Sayaka to kill Aya and take her heart.
- A giant undead humanoid abomination wielding an equally giant sword. He is the first major obstacle Aya encounters.
- Voiced by: Minami Muta (Japanese), Amber Lee Connors (English)
- A young undead girl in a sailor uniform who can talk, an oddity amongst the usual undead. She was ordered to kill Aya.
- She can nimbly wield a pair of iron claws.
- Voiced by: Minami Muta (Japanese), Amber Lee Connors (English)
- Anzu's older sister and also undead. Along with her younger sister, she was ordered to kill Aya.
- Her inhuman strength allows her to wield a giant iron flail.
- A giant undead baby, a result of experiments by a mysterious organization that eventually caused the hospital ward it was being held at to shut down and be closed off.
- Death Bear
- A former circus bear that sadly became zombified after being bitten by an undead. It is extremely aggressive, much like when it was still alive. It for some reason still knows that when people shout, it usually means that food is coming its way.
- Main article: OneeChanbara ORIGIN/Gameplay
OneeChanbara ORIGIN is a high-speed, stylish and violent hack and slash game featuring series staples such as Cool Combinations and character tag-switching, as well as new features such as Parry and Stun mechanics and reworked Berserk/Xtatic properties. The core combat flow of the game is a cross between pre-Z titles' simple and straightforward zombie-slaying mechanics and Z/Z2's free-form, Musou-esque (crowd-combat) combat system, with a hint of uniqueness from brand-new mechanics such as Parry/Stun and Cool Finish.
General Game Flow
The general game flow of ORIGIN is reminscent of oldschool arcade beat 'em up and hack and slash games, where the main objective was to clear a room of enemies to advance to the next. The settings that the player will encounter are essentially stage-based, with no backtracking possible and little incentive to explore, making ORIGIN a pure stage-based action game. The main story is chapter-based, each chapter serving as a separate stage. In each chapter, the main objectives to advance are either to clear a room of enemies or defeat a boss. Sometimes a single boss battle makes up the whole chapter. During enemy-clearing chapters, the player will often be blocked off by a transparent barrier that leads to the next room, forcing the player to first clear the room of enemies that subsequently appear; sometimes multiple waves of enemies will appear. Defeating enemies causes them to drop Yellow Orbs, which are used as both experience points towards leveling up the player characters as well as currency towards the game's shop. At the end of each chapter, the player will be graded on their combat performance based on criteria such as the number of Cool Combinations performed and time taken to complete the chapter. The highest grade the player can receive is a V-rank (for Violent). The player characters used during the chapter will also gain experience and level up from the Yellow Orbs gained from the chapter as well as from combat bonuses; upon level up, players can choose to increase one of three stats: Health, Attack, or Defense. After any chapter is cleared, the player is able to redo the chapter any time at the difficulty it was cleared at.
After the main story is completed, either on Normal or Hard difficulty, multiple features will be unlocked, such as the higher diffculties Beast and Berserk, and Bonus Missions such as Infinite Survival mode, which is very similar to the Devil May Cry series' Bloody Palace mode. If the player can clear 100 floors, they will unlock the third playable character Lei. There are also Quests, a series staple, which are basically objectives that the player may complete during either story mode or Bonus Missions to unlock extra content such as artwork, music, or Rings to be purchased at the shop.
- A swift swordfighter with excellent dodging ability, able to deftly switch between single-sword and dual-sword fighting styles. She is able to slay large numbers of enemies consistently. She is available from the start.
- Her sword style is much slower than Aya's but her attacks are also much more powerful. She can switch to a fisticuffs style for faster attacks. Her dodging ability is not as effective as Aya's, but she has greater Stun and instant-kill potential. She is available from Chapter 13 onwards.
- A swift and nimble combatant that is extremely agile with her combat knife. Her alternative weapon style is the use of multiple firearms. She cannot enter Berserk Form and Xtatic Form like Aya and Saki. Instead, she can enter a special state called Bloody Mode that will heighten the power and range of her bullets significantly. She is playable after unlocking her by either clearing 100 floors of Infinite Survival, or by purchasing the "Lei Instant Unlock" DLC.
In the year 20XX, in a dystopian version of modern-day Japan where zombies run rampant, there lived Aya and Saki, inheritors of the Baneful blood, and two half-sisters who lived apart from each other. They each lived with one parent: Aya lived with her biological father Oboro, who trained her hard everyday for years until she nearly became his equal in the way of the katana, while Saki was left behind with her biological mother and Aya's stepmother Tsubaki, her only source of emotional support. This split in the family lead Saki to resent her father and her older half-sister. However, two years before the events of OneeChanbara ORIGIN, Tsubaki was murdered. Devastated by the loss of his wife, Oboro disappears from Aya's life, leading Aya to use her swordsmanship to become a zombie hunter and leave home to search for her missing father and estranged half-sister.
One day, Aya came into contact with the informant Lei, who offered to help her find her family in exchange for taking on undead extermination tasks. For two years after leaving home, Aya traveled all over Japan, exterminating undead. Exhausted by the fruitless search for her missing family members, Aya was about to give up. That was until she received a text message from Saki...
- Main article: OneeChanbara ORIGIN/Plot
OneeChanbara ORIGIN was released in Japan on December 5, 2019, in other Asian territories on September 24, 2020, and in North America and Europe on October 14, 2020. In North America and Europe, the game was sold digital-only and with two editions: a base version and a deluxe edition containing the base game plus all previously released DLC in Japan.citation needed.
Downloadable Content (DLC)
Normal Combat Uniform variants
Sexy Combat Uniform variants
Aya's Fashionable Wear
Dream Hostess Aya
Aya's Bondage Bikini
Saki's Uniform variants
Aya's Recommendation variants
Tsubaki-Style Mortal Combat Gi
Dream Hostess Saki
Saki's School Swimwear
Uroboros Combat Uniform variants
Lei's Spy Dress
Lei's Work Uniform
Lei's Biker Suit
Dream Hostess Lei
Lei's Dream Bikini
These are DLC missions (each purchased separately) accessible from the "Bonus Missions" section of the main menu. Each mission is exclusive to one of the three playable characters, offering a bit more story and lore apart from the main story.
Exclusive Aya Missions
- Memories with Father
- Father Loses His Sanity
Exclusive Saki Missions
- A Shitty Father
- Fight to the Death
Exclusive Lei Missions
- Battle Experiment with #137
- Poisoning Experiment No. 1
- Poisoning Experiment No. XX
- The Destruction of Uroboros
- Dear Saki
- My Aya
These are select music tracks (each purchased separately) from previous OneeChanbara titles that can be set as alternative background music by enabling them from the pause menu.
- Oh snap!
- Who dat
THE OneeChanbara 2
- b4 dark
- Stand by U
- Cure Killer
- Way to go!
- Fake Out
- Get out!
- Move it!
- Danger in Disguise
- VS Aya (Theme of AYA)
- VS Saki (Theme of SAKI)
- VS Reiko
- VS Misery
- VS MISERY -Mystery Tour Mix-
- Oh My Jee -Steel Doll Remix-
OneeChanbara Z ~Kagura~
- Two Deadly Girls
- Bounty Hunter
- A Brave New World
- Come on, Daredevil
- Bloody Daredevil
OneeChanbara Z2 ~Chaos~
- ICHIBAN WA ME
- Sensitive Violence
- Fleshy Grim Reaper
- Stand by Undefined
School Girl/Zombie Hunter
Lei Instant Unlock
A purchasable DLC that allows Lei to be playable from the getgo.
- OneeChanbara ORIGIN was released in 2019 (in Japan) to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the series.
- This is the second entry in the series to feature English voice acting, the first being Onechanbara Z2: Chaos.
- It is also the first entry to feature Chinese and Korean voice acting.
- This is the second title in the series to receive a 32 out of 40 on Famitsu, the first being Onechanbara Z: Kagura - With NoNoNo!. For recieving a score between 32 and 34 out of 40 on Famitsu, the title received Famitsu's Gold Award, in which the teams behind such an esteemed title are gifted with a decorated bottle of champagne.
- A first for the series, OneeChanbara ORIGIN features two theme songs instead of one:
- "Ai wa Kimi no Mono" (アイハキミノモノ Love is Your Thing), performed by the metal idol group Broken By The Scream, and...
- "Unbreakable Trust!!", composed by Akihi Motoyama and sung by Florence McNair with lyrics written by Ike Nelson.
- The spacial and bodily positions of Aya, Saki, and Lei on the official box art of OneeChanbara ORIGIN pay homage to the box art of THE OneeChanbara 2.
- In the third official Japanese trailer, there is an editing error where Aya's official render of her alternate costume is used to hide an erroneously placed render of her 3D model. It is even noticeable from the video's thumbnail.
- From Chapter 13 onwards, Aya and Saki venture through the Asakusa district of Tokyo, visiting former tourist locales such as the commercial pathway to the Sensō-ji temple. Asakusa is also the location of OneeChanbara series developer Tamsoft's headquarters.
- In Chapter 13, it is revealed that Aya wrote for herself a self-introductory poem detailing her unparalleled sword skills and admitting that she is "kind of a weird" girl. During an in-game conversation between Aya and Saki, Saki humorously recites this poem, causing an embarrassed Aya to cut her off and interrogate her as to how she knows about it. The first few lines of Aya's poem are a reference to her beginning monologue from the first OneeChanbara title, THE OneeChanbara. The same monologue was similarly made fun of by Lei in the third official Japanese trailer.
- In Chapter 15, during an in-game conversation between Saki and Lei, Saki, annoyed by Lei's insistence in calling her "dear Saki" (咲ちゃん Saki-chan), snarkily gives Lei the nickname "Lei-of-Sunshine." In Japanese, Saki actually calls Lei レ・イ・子, which is written as Reiko in romaji. Reiko is the name of the character that Lei is originally based on.
- Oboro (during his Xtatic form) has an attack where he summons long, sword-like blades from his left sleeve to attack with like a claw. This "claw" is also seen in his official render. The claw is a reference to his original zombie design in THE OneeChanbara.
- The main antagonist Eva is voiced by Yūko Kaida, the original voice actress of Aya since THE OneeChanbara 2.
- (Spoilers for the final chapter. Expand to read.) The "ORIGIN" in OneeChanbara ORIGIN has a double meaning in that not only does it refer to the fact that the game is a remake of the first two OneeChanbara titles, it is also referenced in the final chapter when Lei, after having killed all her fellow clones and destroyed Uroboros, proclaims that she has become the "ORIGIN."
For more images, see OneeChanbara ORIGIN/Gallery
- Also published the PC (Steam) release.
- Only the Asian PS4 release.
- Translated from ハイスピード血みどろ剣戟アクション from official site
- "D3 Publisher Announces Onechanbara Origin at Tokyo Game Show 2018." www.qoo-app.com. Accessed January 15, 2021.
- "PS4 Exclusive Onechanbara Origin Reveals New Character; Gets New Screenshots on Famitsu." twinfinite.net. Accessed January 15, 2021.
- "Onechanbara Origin for PS4 Gets First Trailer and Lots of New Screenshots, and it Looks Awesome." twinfinite.net. Accessed January 15, 2021.
- "Onechanbara Origin for PS4 Gets Japanese Release Date." twinfinite.net. Accessed January 15, 2021.
- "Onechanbara Origin Looks Bloody Awesome in First PS4 Gameplay." twinfinite.net. Accessed January 15, 2021.
- "Onechanbara Origin for PS4 Gets New Screenshots & Trailer Starring the Beautiful Rei, Combat, & More." twinfinite.net. Accessed January 15, 2021.
- "Oneechanbara Origin Gets a Trailer Retracing the Series’ History, Live Gameplay." www.dualshockers.com. Accessed January 15, 2021.
- OneeChanbara ORIGIN Famitsu review (Japanese)
- OneeChanbara ORIGIN Metacritic page
- OneeChanbara ORIGIN receives the Famitsu Gold Award. From the official Twitter.
- Tamsoft company profile (Japanese)
- Saki: そういえばお姉ちゃん、あれ言わないの？ By the way, Sis... Won't you say that thing?
Aya: あれって？ What thing?
Saki: あたしの名前は、彩 "My name is Aya."
剣の扱いだけは誰にも負けない "My swordsmanship is second to none."
ちょっと変わったおぉッ……女の子よ…… "I'm kind of a weird...g-girl." Hee Hee!
Aya: ちょっ……！ He-!
Saki: 剣術に関しては全部…… "When it comes to swordsmanship..."
- Saki: なんか言った？レ・イ・子！ Were you saying something, RE-I-KO?
- Official Japanese website (English available)
- Official Asian website (English, Chinese, and Korean available)
Zombie Zone (Zombie Hunters) · THE OneeChanbara 2 (Zombie Hunters 2) · Onechanbara: Bikini Samurai Squad · Onechanbara: Bikini Zombie Slayers · OneeChanbara SPECIAL · OneeChanbara Z: Kagura (With NoNoNo!) · Onechanbara Z2: Chaos · OneeChanbara ORIGIN
THE OnēChanbara Mobile · Z.P.F. Anna ~OnēChanbara Tokubetsu-hen~