Sunday, October 29, 2006

Ōkami

Ōkami Trailer and Game Opening

Ōkami (大神) is a cel-shaded video game developed by Clover Studio for the PlayStation 2 video game console. Ōkami's main character is the Shinto sun goddess named Amaterasu, who has taken the form of a white wolf. The title of the game is a pun; the word ōkami (狼) in Japanese means "wolf", however the kanji characters used as the title of this game (大神), also pronounced as Ōkami, mean "great deity", so the main character is a great wolf deity. The same characters (大神) are also used to write the full name of the goddess Amaterasu-ō-mi-kami.

Story
The story is set in the Nippon region during some unspecified time period during the classical Japanese period, Ōkami combines several Japanese mythology stories and tales to tell the story of how the land was saved from darkness by the wolf, Amaterasu.

The quiet village of Kamiki, filled with beautiful cherry trees, had a price to pay in order to maintain their peace. Each and every year a festival is held, during which a maiden must be sacrificed to the eight-headed serpent, Orochi, signalled by a white arrow being launched into the house of his chosen sacrifice. In the 100th year since Orochi's arrival, as the time for the sacrifice drew near, a pure white wolf the village dubbed "Shiranui" would appear and stalk the village's streets at night. A swordsman in the village, Nagi (known as Izanagi in mythology), detested Shiranui, believing him to be one of Orochi's agents, and repeatedly tried to drive the wolf away. When the night of the festival finally arrived, Nagi's beloved, Nami (known as Izanami in mythology) was chosen to be slain. Determined both to save the woman he loved and to put an end to the village's burden, Nagi went to Orochi's lair to slay the beast. Alas, he was defeated and about to be killed when Shiranui stepped in and took over the battle. Using strange skills, the wolf battled valiantly against Orochi, but still could not defeat the serpent.

Battered and beaten, Shiranui released a powerful howl the heavens. Strengthened by the howl, Nagi struggled to his feet and took up his sword once more, leaping onto Orochi and defeating the creature. Shiranui, filled with poison and fur dyed crimson with her own blood, was carried back to the village by Nagi where she was praised as Kamiki's savior - and then died.

A shrine was built in the image and honor of Shiranui, and the sword that had saved the village was interred in the "Moon Cave" where the battle had taken place, and used to seal Orochi away. 100 years of peace passed, and a man disturbs the sword at the "Moon Cave", unleashing Orochi, who is not quite as fictional as the intruder had believed. Orochi immediately begins covering the entire world in darkness and evil. In response, Sakuya the wood sprite, guardian of the village, goes to the shrine dedicated to Shiranui and brings the statue to life as Amaterasu, the Ōkami, reincarnation of Shiranui and sun goddess incarnated in the form of a white wolf.


The art in Ōkami is highly inspired by Japanese watercolor and wood carving art of the Ukiyo-e style, such as the work of Hokusai.

The Complete Opening to Ōkami

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