Genshin Impact: Who are Yelan and Kuki Shinobu?
Two new characters are arriving with Genshin Impact version 2.7: Yelan, the 5-star Hydro bow user from Liyue, and Kuki Shinobu, the 4-star Electro sword user from Inazuma.
These two new characters were subject to drip-marketing that left the internet in a storm of excitement, wondering about their affiliations and skills.
Safe to say, many players out there are already saving up their primogems for the new Hydro and Electro characters.
So who exactly are Yelan and Kuki Shinobu? Here’s what we know about them so far from the voice lines that other characters have.
Yelan ‧ Valley Orchid
A mysterious person who claims to work for the Ministry of Civil Affairs
Yelan's identity has always been a mystery.
Like a phantom, she often appears in various guises at the center of events, and disappears before the storm stops.#GenshinImpact pic.twitter.com/XVCffaDUpL
— Genshin Impact (@GenshinImpact) March 28, 2022
Yelan is a 5-star Hydro bow user from Liyue affiliated with the Ministry of Civil Affairs.
In her official description, Yelan is said to be shrouded in a mysterious air, like nobody truly knows anything about her. It is said that people who have met Yelan will encounter her while she was disguised with a different visage and name.
Even her appearance during the Chasm Archon quest was nothing in short of a big question mark. What was she doing and what does she know? Who exactly is Yelan?
The Tianquan of the Liyue Qixing Ningguang seems to hold Yelan in high esteem, saying, "She's a very interesting character. I can say with the utmost confidence that she is someone I trust unreservedly. She handles herself impeccably, which means she stays beyond reproach. Hehe, since you both have high intelligence in common, hopefully you will get along very well."
You can say that for Ningguang, Yelan is very much like the kind of person whose attitude is elegant yet cunning — someone like the Tianquan herself.
The Yuheng of the Liyue Qixing, Keqing, knows Yelan used to serve the Qixing and is familiar with her through their families.
"Ms. Yelan's ancestors used to serve the Qixing. My grandfather and her family have had academic collaborations in the past. All in all, she's reliable, efficient, and provides important intel to the Ministry of Civil Affairs. I can't say for sure how Ms. Yelan actually gets her intel, however..." Keqing says in her lines.
She sees Yelan as a reliable and efficient source of important information to the Ministry of Civil Affairs. With that said, how Yelan gets her intel is a big mystery… sus.
Yanfei, Liyue's resident legal adviser, had a working relationship with Yelan with one of her cases.
This experience led her to think that Yelan is someone who shouldn’t be crossed with, as it felt like she could read her mind at any moment.
"Yelan is an employee of the Ministry of Civil Affairs — she once helped me crack a tough accounting fraud case. I treated her to dinner afterward. The only thing is... I feel like she's able to read my mind at any given moment when talking to her... Yes, in the future, I need to make absolutely sure I don't get on the wrong side of her," Yanfei's line on Yelan reads.
Xingqiu has similar thoughts on Yelan, whom he thinks has two completely different sides to.
"Have you heard the expression "same person, different face"? Ms. Yelan gives me precisely this feeling. When she came to visit my family, my father and brother treated her with respect, and she was pleasant and polite in return. She seemed like a kind and mature young lady to me. But when I saw her elsewhere, she gave a completely different impression."
For Ganyu, general secretary of the Liyue Qixing, Yelan is a big absentee. She never really sees her around, and notes that she was gone from work for majority of the year.
Of course the resident workaholic finds it strange, but doesn’t really ask Ningguang why Yelan is exactly allowed to be gone from her work at the ministry for long periods of time.
She also seems to be kind of jealous of Yelan because of this. Ganyu just really needs a vacation, honestly.
"Even though Ms. Yelan is absent from work for the majority of the year, I'm sure Lady Ningguang must have her reasons for making exceptions for her. Of course, it wouldn't be my place to ask, so I don't know the details of their arrangement. I remember seeing her one day on my way back to Yuehai Pavilion, she was having breakfast with a group of people — they were all talking and laughing, eating, drinking tea... I must admit, I found myself feeling a little envious in that moment," Gan Yu says of the new character.
But maybe the reason why Yelan’s a notorious absentee is because she’s been investigating the Chasm, as observed by the Vigilant Yaksha Xiao:
I've heard that she once investigated The Chasm, following the trail of the Millelith. If she can investigate mysteries like that on her own, she must be someone of rare skill.Xiao on Yelan
Yelan notably earned Xiao's respect because of this, as investigating mysteries like that on her own shows that she must be someone of rare skill. We also saw a glimpse of Yelan in action while we were fighting the Ruin Serpent in the bowels of the Chasm.
Chongyun and Xiangling have a bit of a comedic opinion on Yelan. Chongyun only met her once and found their meeting to be rather odd, as she only looked at him and jotted on her notebook before leaving.
His voice lines say, "I met her once, back when I'd just become an exorcist. I'd taken a commission to perform an exorcism in someone's home, and was just leaving at the end when I ran into her. She wrote my name down in a booklet — I guess she just wanted to confirm I wasn't doing anything suspicious... Anyway, it was just that one time, I never saw her again after that.
Now that I think about it, it's probably because the sight of me meditating motionless must be pretty boring to watch. Not exactly suspicious."
For Xiangling however, she was shocked at the capacity of Yelan’s capacity to consume spicy food, having been gobsmacked at the sight of her eating and enjoying raw Jueyun Chillies.
"Yelan? Of course, I remember her! When I first met her, I was certain she'd be the kind of gal who'd prefer lighter dishes... turned out that she can handle the most spice out of all my customers! Apparently, my dishes weren't spicy enough for her, because she started taking bites of raw Jueyun Chilies! Truly amazing."
Kuki Shinobu ‧ Mender of Tribulations
Deputy Leader of the Arataki Gang#GenshinImpact pic.twitter.com/2TtwpiDo8T
— Genshin Impact (@GenshinImpact) March 28, 2022
Kuki Shinobu is the deputy to the great Arataki gang, so she’s the numero dos to the numero uno Arataki Itto.
Whenever there’s chaos, there’s Shinobu to clean up and set things to order. Various entries in the Inazuma bulletin boards even show Shinobu as the one bailing Itto out of jail and cleaning up after his antics.
Itto has choice words for his deputy.
Not only does she question and challenge him, she also straightens out his blunders and returns his undeserved loot.
But without Shinobu, Itto knows for sure he won’t be bailed out of jail, so he doesn’t do anything about it. He’s also scared of her temper. To make it short, she’s definitely the brain to his brawn.
"Nobody questions my leadership in the gang, what I say goes — except when it comes to Shinobu. She's always challenging everything I say. And not only that — all the hard-earned loot I bring back and share with everyone? She goes and returns it! But also, she gets me out of jail, and out of every mess we get ourselves into, so I'll let it slide. Besides, I don't wanna get on her bad side... An angry Shinobu would make my life a nightmare," his voice lines say.
And resident Raiden fan girl Kujou Sara shares almost the same sentiment as Itto, in that keeping the Arataki gang in line is something Shinobu is great at doing.
Although she finds it a waste for a smart girl like her to be a deputy for a gang, Sara finds Shinobu’s presence at stopping the idlers for stirring up trouble a great help to the Tenryou Commission.
With her talent and qualifications, it's a shame she decided to join the Arataki gang.Kujou Sara on Kuki Shinobu
"I must concede, however, that at the very least, her presence has effectively prevented idlers from stirring up trouble and disturbing the public, reducing the burden on the Tenryou Commission," Sara adds.
Yae Miko, however, knows Shinobu as the shrine maiden Miyuki’s little sister.
If you don’t recall her, Miyuki is the same shrine maiden we meet during the Tatara Tales and Sakura Arborism world quests — undoubtedly the siblings are similar in terms of fixing messes.
Miko is also amused at Shinobu’s fiery attitude and her thirst for trying out new things, like studying law in Liyue and trying out her hand in different trades.
"I've heard a lot about Miyuki's little sister. Quite the character, I'm told. Although she comes from a family of shrine maidens, she's gone her own way in life — tried her hand at many different trades, studied abroad in Liyue, even ended up joining the Arataki Gang... Fascinating girl. Maybe I should have Miyuki introduce me. Yes, that'll work — Miyuki wouldn't dream of refusing my request," Miko says in her voice lines.
Speaking of studying law in Liyue, we find an unlikely relationship between Shinobu and Yanfei. The two ended up being classmates, sparking a kind of senior-junior dynamic as Yanfei helped Shinobu with her studies.
Yanfei would be surprised however, that instead of being a lawyer, Shinobu’s gone and joined a gang…
"Shinobu? I remember her, she's the Inazuman girl that came to Liyue as an exchange student to specialize in law. When she was doing her coursework, she used to meet with me to discuss some cases, and after we were done, she'd always bow and thank me, which would always make me a little embarrassed. I always felt like she was going to make an excellent lawyer in the future. Thinking about it, Inazuma went into lockdown right around the time she would have graduated. I wonder how she's been doing since she went back..." Yanfei says.
With all that, we can speculate on what kind of characters Yelan and Kuki Shinobu are going to be: Yelan’s mysterious aura and secretive nature is something that can definitely lure any player into pulling for her.
Meanwhile, Kuki Shinobu’s steadfast demeanor and wits are loveable traits that will make even a hardened gamer soften into wanting her in their team.
Either way, we can’t wait to officially meet Yelan and Kuki Shinobu in version 2.7.
Yan Ku is a full-time dog parent, part-time (gacha) gamer, and part-time writer.
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