Overwatch Character Ranking 1: Genji

All right, it’s finally come to this. The moment we’ve all been waiting for. The one character I like the most in Overwatch. It’s… O–

*looks at the title*

Well, shit! There goes the surprise joke element.

But anyway, yeah. Genji is my absolute favorite amongst the Overwatch cast. I can definitely say it’s ‘fave at the first sight’ and I have no regrets.


Anyway… Cyber ninjas are awesome. And I just knew the moment Genji was unveiled, I was like “ALL RIGHT I AM SO GETTING OVERWATCH AND I AM GONNA MAIN HIM!”. He’s tad difficult to use, but man is it so worth it playing as him. I think I made my opinions about his design clear already, but I’m just impressed on how fitting it is within the setting of the game. It’s a game that takes place in the future where technology has advanced greatly. A cyber ninja wouldn’t be out of place here. So there’s the first point: It fits.

And it’s also worth noting that Genji actually speaks pretty good Japanese, thanks to his VA being a Japanese guy (Gaku Space). And no, those Japanese phrases he said aren’t even gratuitous. So, another plus point for authenticity!

And most of the time, ninjas in video games are often depicted as super killing machine that doesn’t bother with stealth. Genji might look like a killing machine, but it’s impressive that the key to his success is to act like an actual stealthy ninja even when you don’t have instant stealth button like Sombra, giving an edge of entertainment in playing an FPS game, Genji was really designed with real life ninja traits in mind and he came out REALLY wonderfully.

(Thanks, Gaijin Goombah)


But let’s just get on with what he can do, all right? Genji is an all rounder flanking Offense character. And like I said above, since he’s based on a ninja, a real life sneaky ninja than an ‘unstoppable killing machine’, I don’t think going gung-ho 1 vs many is going to give him a long life (like this). Instead, his mobility shines on to make him traverse the area with ease. He can double jump, he can climb walls, and his Swift Strike lets him travel in a considerable dash range in a good instant… and it also damages anyone getting in the way. And if he kills someone, it gets reset… but again, don’t get too carried over. The damage isn’t mega big, but it can be used to secure kills… and then get out. It’s a ninja’s job to stay undetected.

Genji can also deflect any bullets thrown at him for a small time period. And it doesn’t matter how severe the bullet is, Genji can redirect it to somewhere he likes, though mostly to whoever shot him in the first place. Is that Bastion giving you a salvo of bullets to him? Deflect it and watch it turn to scrap (probably not recommended after his buff). Is McCree declaring that it’s high noon? If you find him, send his deadly shot back to him. Genji can even deflect Hanzo’s ultimate as long as it was still on arrow form, making the dragons his. So yeah, as long as it isn’t a beam or spray thing, Genji can deflect it.


Genji’s attack is a triple shuriken throw, which he can throw all in a straight line one by one in a quick moment, or he can throw in an arc, if he’s forced to fight in close range. And if there’s someone you see standing still (because you snuck on them from behind), you can even stick three shurikens on their head before moving in for the kill. And if it doesn’t kill them? They’ll be forced to reposition or leave their post to take care of you. Even then, that still distracts them from taking care of your advancing team. Of course, that doesn’t mean you should stay out of your teammates sight, sometimes it’s OK to march with your team and striking with them, it’s just that Genji has merits if he works separately from others.


And then there’s his ultimate. On paper, the Dragonblade lets Genji draw his main katana and then becomes a melee striker temporarily, dealing huge damage per slashes. First, let me just say that his ultimate call out hands down is my ultimate favorite amongst ALL ultimate call outs in the game. It’s just… wow, it’s just seriously badass I can’t help but to recite it at a lot of times. For fun. And if you capitalize the timing with how your team is also attacking, you can really slice and dice your way to the enemy squishy members before going in for the big tanks. And let me tell you, it’s hard to achieve, but wiping out the enemy team with that is just the ULTIMATE satisfaction in playing Overwatch.

And on top of having a fun gameplay that makes you feel like a ninja, what do you know, Genji has one of the better, compelling stories to boot.

Holy sibling rivalry, Batman, I do like this rivalry.

If you read my entry on Hanzo, you’ll know that Genji is his brother. Due to being the younger brother, he was pampered and spoiled, but still has no interest in criminal business, so spent his youth playing arcades or pursuing a playboy lifestyle. Of course, when the time came for Hanzo to straighten his brother on the elders’ duties, Genji still refused to do the criminal activities. And the result, Genji was heavily beaten and put on near death by Hanzo, causing him to flee the clan in shame. Genji was sure thought to be dead and a memory. So… why did he suddenly reappear as a cyborg ninja?

As it turned out, just before he breathed his last, the Overwatch recovered his body and healed him. But his body was just beyond repair that the only way to save him is to make a robotic body that also can also activate the genes of the Shimada to summon spirit dragons. Thanks to the efforts of Mercy, Genji was saved, and then he was tasked to shut down the Shimada clan. Sure, striking against one’s own family is hard, but Genji had no problems shutting down the family that put him to death. But even then, he began to wonder the nature of his own existence and body, causing him to leave Overwatch and stumble on the Shambali Monastery at Nepal, where he studied under Zenyatta and managed to find peace with his existence.

And when the Overwatch members got recalled, Genji was visiting and showing himself to Hanzo to say he has forgiven him. While Hanzo kind of rejected it due to complications, Genji admitted that perhaps he was naive to believe Hanzo being able to redeem himself… but he does believe it, as his life experience has made him more idealistic overall.

Even in backstory alone, Genji has been receiving a good deal of development, and even he doesn’t come off like a super squeaky guy. He has a balance of him being a cocky ass, a person that has seen enlightenment, a friendly and forgiving soul, and a dangerous foe you don’t want to mess with. It took a great deal to forgive someone who nearly murdered him, but Genji did it anyway, it’s hard but doable, something that people can achieve. Even if it looks like his arc has kind of ended, I know that there will be a continuation that would also involve Hanzo. But either way, with his character I know they will still do justice on him.

He’s your friendly neighborhood cyber ninja.

And did I mention that his cinematic, Dragons, is that one cinematic that I NEVER get bored of, I could even rewatch it a lot of times? Seriously, go check it out, it’s still Blizzard’s best and Genji being in it duking out with Hanzo makes it even more awesome.

Right, fine, I’m a weeb. What of it?

He tops about everything I like on an Overwatch character. Very entertaining and fun to play, makes me feel like one of the classes I like in video games (ninja) while having good touches with real life ninjutsu so we learn more, badass battle cry, a great characterization, all packed up in a cyber ninja, there is no doubt that I have no regrets when I speculate that Genji was gonna be my ultimate favorite Overwatch character.

And I don’t see it changing anytime soon. Even with new additions at 2017 and forward.

Well, this project took awhile to finish and I’m glad I could finish this. Check out the rest of my Overwatch ranking, at least for 2016, in here for contents and I hope you have fun reading.

This is ChrisX, signing out! Now back to other usual types of countdowns.

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