YMMV: Senran Kagura

  • Ass Pull: Jasmine's revelation that the storylines of the previous games all took place in different universes. Given how there were theories and debates as to how the main games and side games could be linked in some way or not, people felt that this was the devs' way of trying to tie the theories together. Both Western and Eastern fans thought they could've handled this a lot better.
  • Audience-Alienating Premise: Due to the fanservice consisting of busty girls and Clothing Damage, there are gamers that refuse to give the series a second look. Takaki's stance on this is essentially apathy towards those alienated, as he wants to continue to make games that appeal to him and his fans (see Dear Negative Reader on the main page).
  • Base Breaker: The Dressing Room. Simply put, it's usually seen as a Love It or Hate It by fans of the series.
    • Due the nature itself of the franchise, every single character on the series is this on some degree. Whether is due gameplay or plot reasons the fanbase doesn't seem able to reach an agreement about the likeability of the cast.
    • Yumi. While she is an Ensemble Darkhorse as well as adored by fans in Japan for her traditional Yamato Nadeshiko status, she is also disliked mostly by the Western fanbase due to her getting most of the attention out of the other girls as well as winning popularity polls of Shinovi Versus, Estival Versus, and New Wave.
    • Ryouna, whose personality is a one-note masochism fetish.
    • New Wave itself for being a freemium mobile game.
  • Best Known for the Fanservice: The Clothing Damage and being a World of Buxom are probably the best known elements of the games.
  • Broken Base: The first game's framerate. Either it's bad or it's fine.
    • The game being localized also received this treatment from Beat 'em Up fans, as many saw it as a pointless fanservice game while some actually like the story and characters and either appreciate or ignore the fanservice.
    • The announcement of male player characters being added to Senran Kagura 2 (starting with Ikaruga's brother, which some feel has its own issues due to his character), since some see it like ruining the franchise's appeal while others think than it could do wonders for the series reputation.
      • Murasame has all sorts of this. His being a Joke Character and the fact that he goes through the same Clothing Damage as the girls are also points of contention.
    • Senran Kagura 2 was hit with this within its first week of release (in Japan). The fans were split between those who say that its increased difficulty (compared to the first game) and new mechanics are terrible and wish it was more like Shinovi Versus, and those who welcome the changes as attempts to make the game less like it was solely made as a vehicle for fanservice.
    • The Estival Versus thirty minute OVA's art style, and the fact that it's being done by a completely different studio. Some think it's fine, while others disagree and say that the senrans' look like K-On! rip-offs. This also applies to some of the game's animated cutscenes.
    • Although a very minor one compared to the other entries, Estival Versus' release on PS Vita and PS4 made some PS3 owners a little disappointed.
    • Because of the series branching off into two different platforms, there's one side of the fandom that thinks the 3DS games are better, while another side thinks the Playstation games are the best. Then there's another portion that prefers both games and feels the other two sides are being ridiculous.
    • The OVA bundled with EV, showing fully bare breasts, fractured the fanbase even more. Some are happy that the series has finally went past simple teasing while others think that very same tease was part of the franchise's charm.
    • How emphasized should Daidouji's abs be? Her new Estival Versus profile art gives her the most prominent set yet and the fandom simply cannot decide whether this is good or bad.
    • The addition of Legendary Rare, LR, cards in New Wave have sparked some debates as to whether or not they're worth fighting for.
    • Also from New Wave, Dating Events, which are in the same style as Raid Events, but with the difference being that the objective involves collecting hearts to level up the event card and unlock different clothes for them as well. Some players look forward to these events for collection expanding purposes, others absolutely loathe them for requiring more grinding than the usual Raid events.
    • Should the New Wave characters be playable in the main games? Some think that they can be expanded upon, while others think they're better off in their home game.
  • Catharsis Factor: Ever needed to relieve some stress by wiping out a bunch of enemy shinobi? Well this is the place to do just that!
  • Come for the X, Stay for the Y: Come for the fanservice, stay for the surprisingly deep characters and story.
  • Crazy Awesome: Almost every Senran that uses firearms is this in some fashion. Mirai, the Ryō sisters, and the Kyō twins being prime examples.
    • The Mikagura sisters absolutely shape and mold this trope.
  • Creepy Cute: Murasaki, the Hikikomori with sister issues.
  • Critical Backlash: Most reviewers often bash the game rather harshly and give it low scores, or flat out say it's not worth the price. However, looking at the much more positive user reviews and 4.5 star average on the eShop quickly turns this into a case of...
  • Critical Dissonance: Western critics were mixed or really negative about this game, while audiences thought it was a really fun brawler. Heck, most of the ratings on the Nintendo eShop are 4/5 or 5/5 stars.
    • Shinovi Versus has surprisingly averted this with critics generally giving the game lukewarm scores.
  • Demonic Spiders: The crossbow-wielding shinobi in French Meido outfits. Their shots will cause you to flinch, ruin your combo, and cause you to be left at the mercy of the entire mob you'd just been attacking. Oh, and a single string of shots from them is enough to make you as good as dead in Frantic mode.
    • There's also the fire/poison spewing shinobi. They don't do much damage, but they ruin your clothes so fast that you won't know what hit you. In Crimson Girls, the designers put these guys in the worst possible locations, such as Haruka's (a character who's dependent on the status of her clothes) timed run in Chapter 2 and of course, her battle against Homura in Chapter 4.
    • EVERYTHING is this on Frantic Mode, specially on Hebijo's story in Burst.
    • Greater shinobi and Assassin shinobi in Shinovi Versus. To elaborate, greater shinobi are tall sword-wielding ninja that can tank nearly anything you throw at them and do some serious damage should they ever land a hit. What also makes them deadly is the fact that they can perform a small combo if said hit is landed. Assassin shinobi are ninjas dressed up as animals of different sorts. Tanuki Assassins attack directly from the ground as soon as they spawn, giving you only a split second to dodge them. Crow Assassins will, as soon as they spawn, dive directly into you so fast that it's lot a harder to dodge them then the Tanuki Assassins. Their group dive attack can effectively deal huge damage, or kill you instantly in Frantic Mode, if you don't react in time. Not only that, but they also have the ability to inflict poison status.
    • By far the worst of the lot are the Bear Assassins. They're large shinobi that have a lot of health and can perform a roll attack that does a lot of damage and inflicts burn status. There are moments in some missions where you have to fight them in enclosed spaces with barely any room to evade or recover.
    • In Estival, the new enemies including women dressed as pink and white bunny outfits can be really annoying for they can almost dodge every move you make. Another new enemy is the new Ram Assassin. Not only do they make the Bear assassin run for its money, as you fight it degenerates into a human who fights with ram horns. It can be really irritating to beat.
  • Earworm: The theme song to Bon Appetit.
    • Asuka's stage song from Bon Appetit too.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Hikage and Ikaruga.
    • Yumi, Ryōbi and Ryōna from Shinovi Versus.
    • Some of the New Wave shinobi have gained their share of followers as well. Examples include Bashō, Sōji, Tsubame, Ageha, Meimei, Kagari, Tsubaki, Leo and Yuyaki.
      • Ayame, the clerk from Shinovi Versus, is a special example. She garnered so much attention from fans that she became one of the New Hanzo girls in New Wave and became playable in Estival Versus.
    • Murasame. Yes that Murasame. Though he's generally more popular with western fans.
    • Naraku and Kagura have their share of fans as well.
    • The Kagura Festival Executives got extremely popular when they were first revealed. They even managed to become a part of New Wave as of late.
    • In terms of factions, the Homura Crimson Squad is the most popular group.
  • Even Better Sequel: Deep Crimson to Burst.
    • Estival Versus to Shinovi Versus thanks to remarkably improved visuals, new gameplay additions, more characters and seeing release on two systems rather than one.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Homura, Miyabi, and Sōji, as well as their respective squad members, definitely fall under this trope.
  • Fan Disservice: The female-like appearance of the larger yoma seem to be there to provoke creepiness rather than any sort of appeal.
  • Fan Nickname: Fans refer to the cast of girls as the "senrans"note .
    • Ushimaru's pet cow is simply referred to as "Bucket Cow".
  • Faux Symbolism: The Hebijou Academy logo is an upside-down cross with snakes entwined around it. Nothing says Morally Ambiguous and Dark Is Not Evil like quasi-blasphemy.
  • Fetish Fuel: Tons of it.
  • Foe Yay: All of the rival pairs have this. Mirai vs. Yagyū, Asuka vs. Homura, and then there is Yomi vs. Ikaruga, which takes the trope to its own whole new level.
    • Not to mention Haruka, who is a little too obsessed with turning Hibari into one of her dolls... It even gets reversed a little in Burst where it's possible to talk to Hibari and find out she's actually looking forward to going out on another date with Haruka! (Though she is Brainwashed and Crazy, but not by Haruka, at the time.)
    • After the events of Burst, Yomi and Ikaruga's relationship even begins to look Like an Old Married Couple. The whole act; it's just that the light bickering (about food, most of the times) tend to use a claymore and a nodachi to be resolved.
  • Friendly Fandoms: With the Neptunia, Ikki Tousen, High School DXD and Dead or Alive fanbases; SK has had plenty of cross-promotion and crossover content with them in some way or another.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: One of the many character customization options allows you to make both Yagyū and Mirai wear eyepatches in both eyes, which is rather funny. Cue Shinovi Versus where it is explained why the two of them wear their eyepatches and it suddenly takes a dark turn, especially with Yagyū, who would seriously wear an eyepatch over her other eye if Hibari would die.
  • Game Breaker: The unlockable Daidōji. Her fighting style is nothing special or game breaking, but her stats are several magnitudes higher than the other girls, and this allows for much easier A-ranks.
    • Frantic mode in Shinovi Versus.
    • Hibari in Burst. Specifically, her strong air attack. While her combos are nothing noteworthy, her strong air attack shoots out 3 ridiculously powerful Kunai, can be launched several times in the air, and has no landing lag, letting her jump immediately afterwards and attack again. Combine with frantic mode and make sure to avoid any French Maid Shinobi and watch as Hibari slaughters everything in her path.
  • Goddamned Bats: More examples from SV, Middle shinobi are armed with bows and will shoot at you constantly until they hit you. To make matters more annoying, their arrows can make you flinch when hit.
    • Wolf Assassins. You'd think these girls would count as Demonic Spiders just by hearing the name, but you'd be wrong. They attack in packs, swarm you when possible, defend the boss by circling them if they ever appear, and are tricky to land a hit on most of the time. Not a huge threat, but they're still irritating to deal with.
    • The goddamn Turtle Assassins absolutely take the cake. They're Stone Wall ninja who'll block eighty percent of the time and attack the other twenty. Luckily, they're offense isn't very good, but disposing of them can still make missions drag on and on because of their high defense alone.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: JewWario featured Senran Kagura: Burst in his You Can Play This series and concluded with a mentioning of Shinovi Versus possibly coming to North America and Europe. It's rather heartbreaking to watch, because of his passing a year after the video. It's exacerbated by the fact that he sadly never got to try out Shinovi Versus for himself.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: In the first game, Asuka states that she has no clue what going out on a date is, or what it's even like. Guess who's your date in New Wave's third dating event?
  • Holy Shit Quotient:
    • The player's first fight with a yoma.
    • Ryōbi and Ryōna have their own brand of craziness, but Ryōki takes this even further with her One-Winged Angel form using her coffin instead of her shotgun and shield; and while the act of using a coffin in battle may sound a bit strange, Ryōki managed to surprise players at how said coffin is used. Not only is she capable of bashing enemies with it, she can also use it as a rocket launcher and gatling gun!
    • Every team leader, excluding the ones from New Wave, gaining a super form throughout the course of the series came as a shock to some fans. While Asuka's form had mixed reactions to it (since it's basically just a Slipknot Ponytail and Battle Aura), Homura, Yumi, and Miyabi's forms played this straight.
    • The Ultimate Secret Ninja Arts themselves have also been known to cause this reaction.
  • Ho Yay: Tons of it, with some couples being more of less official, like Yagyū/Hibari/Haruka and Miyabi/Imu. Yagyū is very much obsessed with protecting Hibari, the Haruka/Hibari camp has gained quite a momentum with what happens in the anime episodes 9 and 10, Katsuragi and Ikaruga are Tsundere toward each others, Katsuragi wants to see Hikage enjoy a good fight with her and Mirai is obsessed with gaining Yagyuu's attention. And then we have the main couple : Asuka/Homura regularly border on Ho Yay too since they upgraded from Foe Yay in the first game, although the concerned parties don't seem ready to admit it yet for the time being.
    • In Shinovi Versus, both call each others their "super best friends".
    • Homura did blush and stammer when Yumi joked about Asuka being her lover.
      • Homura reluctantly conceded that Asuka is not her property. Yumi wasn't fooled.
      • Haruka and Katsuragi love teasing Homura about her blatant fixation for Asuka.
      • Asuka was more than just upset about Miyabi badmouthing Homura.
    • Hikage is in 'the mood to fight' for Katsuragi only.
    • The dynamics between Haruka and Hibari are quite possibly the most blatant example in the series, especially in Crimson Girls, where Hibari transfers to Hebijo. Haruka fawns constantly over Hibari, calling her cute, etc, and when Homura calls her out on her behaviour, Haruka says that even if she was to fall head over heels for Hibari, it wouldn't dampen her skills. Hibari, on the other hand, refers to her and Haruka's time together as "dates".
  • The Japanese Love Yumi: While Yumi does have a considerable amount of fans in the west, she's one of the most adored characters by eastern fans.
    • Rin and Daidōji have a pretty sizeable fanbase in the west.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Homura. If one starts the game playing the Hanzō storyline, they've already bought the whole "good" ninja are in the right, "evil" ninja are in the wrong. Homura's backstory takes that entire premise, flips it on it's head, and spins it like a top, before crushing it in rage. Homura comes from a long line of "good" Shinobi, and as such, was raised with the expectation to become one herself. Pushed into school at a young age, she fell in love with her tutor, who was the only light in her life; keeping the girl emotionally stable during her stress-filled life of regimented training and lessons. When he appeared concerned for her, she confessed everything to him, telling him about her entire past and that she comes from a family of shinobi. As it turns out, the man was an evil shinobi who had been told to wipe out her family. Feeling betrayed, but also in self-defense, Homura killed the man. Due to the fact that she hadn't officially become a shinobi yet, and had killed someone, she was rejected by "good" shinobi, no longer able to attend Hanzō Academy. In addition to that, her family was ashamed of her and disowned her. When a recruiter from Hebijo Academy found her and took her in, Homura jumped at the chance to simply belong somewhere again.
  • Memetic Molester: Katsuragi
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Life and Hometown.
    • Yomi's bean sprout obsession.
    • Alright now that's what I call sexual kicked-her-assment.
    • HORA!
    • Haruka's plan to make everyone xx by using xx so she can xx.
    • Although SK 2 was where Diorama mode originated, Estival Versus' Diorama mode is especially this.
    • DOKAN!!
    • Joke theories stating that a SK game or New Wave event will get more attention if Yumi is added to it.
    • Sinran Kuhgura
  • Memetic Sex Goddess: Ryōna, thanks to her huge masochism.
  • More Popular Spin-off: The Vita spinoff Shinovi Versus has outsold both versions of the first game combined. The reasons are rather clear as a Dynasty Warriors style 3d brawler is easier to play, far more fanservice (clothing damage doesn't stop at the underwear/swimsuit anymore!) and more characters. The release also coincided with the slashing of Vita's price in Japan. (It was originally a Crack Is Cheaper kind of game console.) XSEED Games actually localized and released Shinovi Versus over to North America in Fall 2014 due to the sheer demand for the game over there and the success sales of Burst, which they also localized.
    • This ended up having a side effect on the reaction to Senran Kagura 2. It initially wasn't received well upon release, and some of its detractors were expecting the game to be more similar to Shinovi Versus than it was. This sentiment was strong enough that sometimes talks about Senran Kagura 2 turned into debates about the Vita and the 3DS.
  • Narm: Yamato no Orochi is rather nightmarishly portrayed, but the way its voice is rendered in the subtitle text... suffice it to say iItt-looiTloLOok-looKs moRe li-OrE liLikEliKe iTeIt's'iT-'S GlgLitCHitc-GliTcHIngtChiNG uP-Ing Up-uP. Translation 
    • There's one instance in Burst where Haruka has no choice but to kill her "dogs" after they had been possessed by Hanzo's ninja art scroll. Of course it would be a sad moment if it weren't for the fact that said dogs are a bunch of masochistic man servents. Haruka's reminiscence of all the times she had with her "dogs" shortly after just makes things a little more awkward to sit through.
    • The Clothing Damage can make almost any serious moment this trope. Taken even further if the characters happen to be half or fully naked.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Now has it's own page.
  • Player Punch: The Hebijo storyline in Shinovi Versus has you go around and actually kill every other Elite Class Ninja. No power of friendship saves anyone here, Asuka, Homura, and their friends all die after one battle.

  • Tear Jerker: Also has it's own page.
  • That One Achievement: The "And You Were Never Heard From Again" Trophy from Shinovi Versus. Without instructions, you'll have no idea how to get it.
    • There's also the "Combo Addict" Trophy. This requires you to achieve a combo of 7,777. This is made worse by the fact that combo-centric characters like Imu or Ikaruga can only go as the 2,000s.
  • That One Attack: Asuka's breach art is incredibly annoying to avoid. She'll dig underground and pop up on you, sending you flying. She can be on the other side of the stage and still get you.
    • Fused Dōgen/Shin in SK 2 has one attack where they'll rain down six huge beams of energy from the sky that, not only takes out a huge chunk of health, but also covers almost the entire stage.
      • Although the attack can be easily avoided with a well timed air ninpo
  • That One Boss: The mission "What Doesn't Kill Me" in the Hebijo storyline has you fighting Homura as Haruka. She will not allow you to just keep your distance and hold her down by repeatedly throwing neurotoxin at her. If you try to do so, she will rip your clothes off so fast that you will not even have time to think before your neurotoxin is gone.
    • The battle wouldn't be nearly as difficult if she didn't have a dozen or so goons whacking you as you try and battle her.
    • Heck, any mission where you fight Homura or Miyabi is bound to be harder than normal due to both of them being extremely fast Lightning Bruisers.
    • Same goes for Mirai, unless the player has learnt to dodge her bullets consistently (a skill which is required by no other boss in the game). Homura at least can be locked down if you have the reach to do so; Mirai has a tendency to lock you down instead with her constant barrage of gunfire. To make matters worse, that also gives her ample opportunities to use her Ninja Arts.
    • Mirai's battle against Hibari in Chapter 4 is also really hard. Here's the setting: Mirai; a long range combatant, is fighting Hibari (a very close range combatant) and her goons in a very tight arena with no power-ups at all. If you take damage, you're going to keep that damage. Even at Level 23 (20 is about where you'll be if you're doing only the story missions), you're doing Scratch Damage to Hibari, and she can hit back really hard.
    • Hebijo's 5-14 pits you against Daidōji...and four strengthened robo-dummies at once. If you get careless either the dummies will stun you to death or Daidōji will wipe the floor with you using her ninja arts, is even worse on Frantic Mode where a single hit from Daidōji is enough to kill you.
    • Chapter 3-04 of Hanzō's story, in Shinovi Versus, has you go up against Miyabi, Ryōbi, and Ryōna. The problem? It's a 1 vs. 3 fight. Miyabi can inflict serious damage with her combos as well as chase you down if you ever try to fall back. It's also followed by the problem of having to deal with the Ryō twins and their constant intervening. Combined, all three can be a threat and will not give you any breathing room whatsoever. What makes this all the more irritating is that this is the only time where you fight three bosses at the same time.
    • Chapter 6-05 of both Rin and Daidōji's stories in Shinovi Versus. Both are tough as hell. Being the quickest character in SV, Rin will chase you down and not give you any time to react to her attacks. She'll pretty much pummel you from the very beginning of the fight with her breach art and speed. Daidōji, however, is quite slower, but hits significantly harder. Attacking her with every last bit of power you have does little to nothing.
    • Any mission with Asuka, Ryōna and Haruka as the boss count as well.
    • Any tier 4 boss in a New Wave event for their astronomical health and offense. It's not uncommon to see lots of cooperation request anytime they appear.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Imu was finally able to ditch her scrappy status thanks to repairing her relationship with Murasaki and showing concerns over her health too.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Yomi and her ultra-grating bean sprouts obsession. This is even lampshaded by Hikage, a fellow Hebi. Over the course of time, however, this has sort of grown on fans effectively making her Rescued from the Scrappy Heap.
    • Hibari, see What Measure Is a Non-Badass? below. Beyond that, there are also people who feels that her relationship with Haruka is a case of NTR upon poor Yagyū. And the sentiment is rather strong.
      • There are likewise those who rally against Haruka for being the instigator and seducer.
    • Minori for being the lowest tier character in Shinovi Versus.
    • Dōgen. It's says a lot about the guy when he's a Base Breaker for being either an intimidating villain or a generic Villain Sue.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: Stamina in New Wave. As the player progresses through the story, their stamina will start to deplete at a faster rate. Once it's all gone, the player has no choice but to wait an hour or refill it with food items.
  • Signature Scene: From Portrait of Girls and Burst, the scene where Asuka and Homura first meet each other.
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy: Daidōji and Rin in Shinovi Versus. It doesn't help that these two still remain as game breakers. Daidōji's breach art can rip off all your clothes if the player charges it. In frantic mode, it's guaranteed to do a One-Hit Kill. Rin's a bit more subtle, but is still seen as overpowered.
    • As mentioned in The Scrappy above, Minori is the weakest character in Shinovi Versus.
  • Vanilla Protagonist:
    • Asuka, who ranges into Standardized Leader; her most distinct characteristic is her role as foil to nearly every other character on the cast.
    • Yumi is a bigger offender, lacking any kind of trait to make her stand out within her character archetype
  • Villain Sue:
    • The Hebijo have elements of this in the Hanzo storyline. When you beat one of them, they very smugly brush it off and give some excuse as to how they win the fight anyway. Beat Homura? "Haha! I was just holding back!" Managed to defeat Haruka? "Haha! That was just one of my dolls!" And that's when the story doesn't simply pretend that the Hebijo win the fight.
    • Gessen follows a hero antagonistic version of this. Katsuragi can't kill Yozakura? Oh Yoza just took a dive just to see if Katsu had the guts to kill her. When Hibari beats Minori? Minori was just playing pretend. No big deal! Then there's Asuka versus Yumi. What's Yumi's response? HA! I'll just send my subordinates after you instead because you're too weak.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Badass?: Hibari might be significantly more capable of fighting compared to your average joe, but she's ridiculously low on the power level compared to other shinobi. Adding the points that she's pink, her summon monster is a rabbit, and she's moe, many people find a scrappy in her.
    • What really hurts her is she is arguably the worst character to play as on the Hanzo side (at least in Burst) with her awkward play style, short reach, and that fact that hers are the only Ninja Arts that can't be easily integrated into a combo (her aerial one is basically an instant end to your current chain).
    • Haruka is the first to perceive Hibari's strong points: she is more suited for information gathering and 'spy' work than direct confrontation. But even she can still kick ass (more or less literally) in the games.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: The Puppeteer-Demon Doll from New Wave. This thing will absolutely annihilate any beginner player unless they grind their team. It doesn't help that it gets to attack you twice while you only get to attack it once.
  • The Woobie: Most of the girls qualify because of their backstories, but Mirai takes the cake when the anime shows just how horribly she was treated by the people who bullied her, i.e. her entire school!
    • Murasaki qualifies the most out of the second generation characters: Forced to become a shinobi against her will, gravely injuring her own sister and a Hebijo scout with a power that scares her to death, and becoming a shut-in because of how much she fears that power. The fact that she wants Imu to forgive her so much she's willing to commit atrocities if they'll make Imu happy shows just how much it torments her.
  • Woolseyism: Quite fair bit of it. Ranging from every girl announcing combos from 100 to 500 & other quotes said in engrish but changed to other words.