Remnants of Snow: The Song That Inspired Nagoriyuki (名残雪)
Some quick thoughts on Nagoriyuki, the awesome new character from Guilty Gear Strive! This was originally a Twitter thread written right after the character was revealed on August 3, 2020.
All impressions here were based solely on his reveal trailer and not any information that's been released since.
You can see Nagoriyuki's reveal trailer here:
The trailer opens with Nagoriyuki sitting patiently, meditatively in the snow. This is appropriate as his name means "remnants" (Nagori 名残) "of snow" (Yuki 雪). Right off the bat you KNOW this man bears a lot of sorrow!
"Nagori Yuki" (名残雪) particularly refers to the lingering vestiges of snow as winter draws to an end. It recalls wistful, reflective feelings. This implies that Nagoriyuki is very pensive, mature and possibly very old.
There's actually a very popular Japanese song called "Nagori Yuki" (なごり雪) written by Shozo Ise (伊勢正三) and performed by the folk band, Kaguyahime (かぐや姫) on their album Sankaidatenouta (三階建の詩) which was released in 1974.
"Nagori Yuki" was a huge hit and went on to be one of the most covered songs in Japanese pop music history. Given the myriad musical allusions that Guilty Gear is historically known for, I think it's safe to assume that Nagoriyuki was named after this classic Japanese song of the same name.
This is a very famous song in Japan. Here is the aforementioned cover by Iruka, which has over 11 million views on YouTube!
There's even a memorial to "Nagori Yuki" at Tsukumi Station (津久見駅) in Ōita Prefecture, the train station that the song's lyrics reference.
Basically there's no way Nagoriyuki wasn't named after this very sweet song about the pain of parting with a loved one.
Here's a video of Nagori Yuki with lyrics in English. The song could be about romantic or parental love, it's intentionally vague. Either way it's about the sweet sorrow of parting. Nagoriyuki is probably a tragic character! (And possibly a father)
That's it for today. I hope to continue updating this post with a deeper look at Nagoriyuki's visual design, which draws from history in so many interesting ways!