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"I cannot ignore your evil deeds."
— Taki

Taki (タキ, also written as 多喜) is a character in the Soul series of fighting games. She is a mainstay of the series appearing in almost all of the installments.

Physical Appearance

Ever since her debut in Soul Edge, she has always been easily recognized by her skin tight bodysuits, tied up hairstyles, and demon protecting armor. Though she has always supported colored tights as a base for her outfits, her armor and hair accessories have been consistently upgraded throughout the entire series.

In the first installment, Taki is wearing a "Japanese demon mask" as well as only being equipped with one sword, Rekki-Maru, as opposed to her carrying both Rekki-Maru and the legendary ninjatō, Mekki-Maru, which she obtained in later games. In Soulcalibur, she looks roughly the same as she did in the previous game though this time her metal face mask was replaced with a thin, crimson red, mouth covering. It was also the only game that Taki's primary outfit revealed her cleavage.

Soulcalibur II was first time that Taki appeared unmasked, and also was the one, and so far only instance were in her bonus outfit, her dark hair is let loose instead of being tied in its signature ponytail. In future installments, Taki was given demon inspired gauntlets, navy blue tights, and added fishnet elements to her primary costumes. The demon huntress's alternate outfits usually consist of tight, stylish robes, headbands, as well as thigh high stockings or boots.

Personality

As a ninja, Taki puts her mission above everything else. She will end evil through her own ways. She seems to show concern to some people who are connected with Soul Edge (i.e. Sophitia) and warns them the dangers of the evil blade. She can be emotionless and serious, as a ninja should be. She easily sees through deceptions and will use the best attack to defeat her opponent.

Taki truly cares for her apprentice, Natsu, having chosen to take an active part in raising her due to her own perceived failure in stopping Arahabaki in time. However, she has mentally prepared herself to 'do what's necessary' if the seal containing the demon within Natsu were ever broken. 

Weapons

Weapons-Taki

Rekki-Maru & Mekki-Maru, Taki's preferred weapon throughout the Soul Series.

Stages

Shrine of Confined Demons (SE)

This stage consists of an arena found inside a vast bamboo forest, with a shrine on one of its corners, which according to the story is where Taki sealed dangerous spirits and demons. Even though it has never returned as a stage, it is mentioned in Taki's Soulcalibur profile, as the place where she was trapped by Geki, Toki's right-hand man.

Hoko Temple (SC1)

The Hoko Temple was constructed in Kyoto under the auspices of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, a ruler of Japan during the 16th century. Although the temple was officially intended to be a place where Buddhist and monks could pray to bring peace and stability to the nation, the temple had a secondary, ulterior as a focal point of a "katana-gari" campaign to quell the peasant-led uprisings that occurred frequently during that era.

Toyotomi felled thousand-year-old cedars to make the central support pillars of the temple and used iron from weapons confiscated through the katana-gari to create the giant Buddha statue. Unfortunately for Toyotomi, these materials used in the construction of the temple proved to have evil karmic consequences. The destruction of the old-growth cedars was equivalent to the killing of an ancient life force. In addition, the blood of the victims killed by the weapons cursed the iron.

It was only natural that this plan bore the seeds of disaster and became the source of misfortune for the Toyotomi clan.

Kaminoi Castle - Sakura-Dai Gate (SC2)

The Kaminoi Castle, built on a desolate mountain plateau, is an impregnable fortress. The castle's sturdy high walls and the beautiful cherry blossoms won high praises. But during the era of Japan's unification, the ruling government felt that an accessible location was more befitting for the capital, and thus this castle was eventually abandoned. The new era had no use for a remote fortress such as Kaminoi Castle.

Since the castle was in such remarkable condition, even after it was abandoned, rumors began to emerge about the grounds being haunted by ghosts. People have stayed far clear of the castle ever since.

Underground Buddhist Sanctum (SC3)

There is a secret place within the Hoko Temple - a knowledge forbidden to be spread. That place is an underground Buddha shrine which was constructed using spiritually twisted methods. The shrine contains feng shui bowls made of felled jomon cedar trees severed from their natural chi. There is also a bizarre Great Buddha statue made from the iron of weapons confiscated during Hideyoshi Toyotomi's great disarmament of the country's peasants.

This place includes a tributary of the spiritually rich underground waterways that crisscross Japan, and is a place in which dark powers gather. Once before, in this place, Taki, with her sword Mekki-Maru in hand, sealed an ancient evil spirit.

Through the dark power of Soul Edge, the head of the Fu-Ma clan, Toki, had become a demi-demon and had merged with several evil spirits, including the evil spirit the Taki had sealed. His fight with Taki occurred in this sinister Great Buddha shrine. Bathed time and time again in powerful spiritual forces, this shrine has become a nest for all sorts of creatures, demons, and spirits.

Ostrheinsburg Castle - Twilight (SC4)

The dark passage that leads to the wretched city known as Ostrheinsburg. This place bears many similarities to the Soulcalibur III stage, Ostrheinsburg Castle - Battlement, though the daylight setting has been altered to the rising of a storm, with many gray clouds lurking in the sky.

Dark Capital Ostrheinsburg (SCBD)

Dark Capital Ostrheinsburg is a stage featured in Soulcalibur: Broken Destiny. It replaces Ostrheinsburg Castle - Twilight from Soulcalibur IV. The stages are almost identical excluding the fact that the time of day is now evening.

Theme Music

Critical Reception

Taki is arguably the best known and one of the most popular characters in the Soul Series because of her looks, in particular her very large breasts.[19] According to Kotaku, in Soulcalibur IV her "tighter than skin tight ninja outfit leaving absolutely nothing to the imagination, making her high kicks the stuff of Hustler magazine spreads"[20] and "Taki's boobs flopped about ridiculously with the slightest breeze it seemed, but that's not necessarily a complaint",[21] with IGN noting how "Taki's, um, assets bobbed and jiggled after each move. We expect that fighting fans - and pubescent teen boys - will have a ton of fun."[22] According to GamesRadar in 2007, her "love pillows" are the reason of "a fanboy fave."[23] GamesRadar also chose her to represent Soulcalibur IV in the article "Best in breasts" in 2008 "Sure, Ivy’s a couple of cup sizes larger, but Taki probably has less back pain".[24] In 2010, GamePro ranked Taki #2 on their list of top 10 video game ninjas, comparing her with Mai Shiranui with a comment they had "originally contemplated giving Taki two places on this list in honor of her formidable pair of assets".[25]

In 2007, Taki was included by Tom's Games among the 50 greatest female characters in video game history "She's a skilled and noble warrior with a shining spirit and stunning beauty".[26] In 2008, IGN ranked her at #5 on their list of the Top Ten Fighters in the series "Everyone loves a good ninja, and Taki just so happens to be one of the best...it's hard to imagine a Soulcalibur game without Taki. It just wouldn't be the same".[1] UGO featured her in the "Imaginary Love" series "thinking about her beauty and what she might be able to do with that amazing flexibility of hers makes our brains - and our pants - explode!"[27] and also included her on the list of "Top 11 SoulCalibur Fighters" in 2008,[11] as well as their list of the 50 best girls in video games in 2010 "There's just one thing we don't understand about Taki: how the hell does she move around with those two bombshells riding shotgun on her chest?",[28] and in 2011 they also featured her on their list of 25 "Hot Ninja Girls."[29] Virgin Media included her on their list of top ten video game ninja heroes as well.[30]

Taki has especially been featured in many articles by GameDaily, including the 2007 gallery special "Babe of the Week: Taki" "becoming more agile – and big-breasted – with each new entry. She made such an impact ... that we awarded her a solo gig" which praised her "superb fashion sense" and contrasted her with Mortal Kombat's Mileena.[31] In the same year, they commented about her in the article "Babes of the Week: Soul Calibur Hotties" how she "has left an impact from the very start" since the series' debut,[32] adding in "Babe of the Week: Babes We're Thankful For" in 2008: "The only thing better than a regular looking ninja is a big breasted, female one."[33] Also in 2008, Taki was ranked #17 on their list of "50 Hottest Game Babes on Trial" "Female ninjas will always hold a special place in our hearts, especially Taki, what with her muscular physique and insanely large chest"[34] and featured in the article "The Next Wave of Video Game Babes" "There are many women worth mentioning in the Soul Calibur series, but if anyone really knows how to handle Darth Vader, Yoda and the Apprentice, it's Taki".[35] In 2009, they also included her in the Babes of the Week articles "Brunettes" "She's quite agile too, despite her tremendous breasts"[36] and "Asian Beauties" calling her one of the series' "most elite fighters".[37]

On the Soulcalibur Series Character Popularity Poll held by Namco and Project Soul on Facebook, she placed second out of 45 characters with 720 votes, behind only Talim.

Merchandise

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Soul Calibur 1/6 scale Taki from Triad Toys

Yujin released a four inch tall immobile figurine of Taki after the release of Soulcalibur II, based upon her artwork for the title as part of their "Namco Girls Series #1" line of gashapon figurines.[12] They also released a second figurine for their "Namco Girls Series #4" collection, utilizing her secondary outfit from the game.[13] A 1/18th scale resin kit of Taki was also released by Wave in November 2003 for the game.[14] In 2006, Namco released a another figurine as part of a Soulcalibur III set based upon her promotional artwork for the game. While not poseable, the PVC figure came with three interchangeable weapons for it to hold and an alternate color version was later released in a secondary set.[15][16] A 12-inch action figure was also released by Triad Games in 2008,[17] though it was strongly criticized by GamesRadar as "oversexualized."[18]

Trivia

General

  • Taki, along with Mitsurugi, is a playable character in Namco x Capcom.
  • What Taki wears includes a devil mask that makes it possible to breath among poisonous fumes, and a red ninja costume for warding off demons. It’s a very combat-oriented equipment, albeit her disciple Natsu doesn’t like it. Despite Taki having explained its utility several times, Natsu doesn’t appear to understand it.
  • In Soulcalibur II, Taki shares a Destined Battle with Mitsurugi. In Soulcalibur and Soulcalibur III, she shares a Destined Battle with Cervantes. In Soulcalibur IV, on the fourth stage in Arcade Mode, she will always fight Cervantes. In Taki's Soulcalibur IV Story Mode she faces Nightmare and his servants at the Tower of Remembrance - Spiral of time.
  • Taki, standing at 5'7", is the second tallest female character in the series, the first being Ivy who is 5'10".

Soul Edge

  • For some reason, some parts of Taki's storyline were left out of Soul Blade's Edge Master Mode (at least in the UK version). Specifically anything relating to Toki ordering his ninjas to find and kill Hachibei, the fact that Taki knew Chie, and Hachibei, and that Toki later ordered the death of Li Long are not mentioned. Furthermore, the Edge Master Mode in game book states that Taki finds the "Mekki-Maru" (sic) after a battle with Mitsurugi, and is not described in the way it would become known. The game merely states that Taki's Rekki-Maru has become weaker, and that she suspects Soul Edge has somehow caused it to do so. No other story-lines are mentioned. Interestingly enough, there seems to be evidence of a link between her and Li Long in Edge Master Mode, despite the actual link between the two never being mentioned. In Taki's story, Li Long follows Taki to Voldo's stage after being defeated at his own stage (the game simply states that he was humiliated in their previous battle), and in Li Long's story; Taki makes a surprise appearance after Li Long defeats Voldo, the game reveals that she has been following him. It is not yet known if Namco had written what is now accepted as Taki's back-story when Soul Edge was made, and it was taken out or not. This is given very minor closure in Soulcalibur III if the player reaches a Destined Battle with Li Long.
  • Taki's Edge Master ending contains a mistake; it implies that Rekki-Maru is a Katana. It is not, however - it is a Kodachi, which is smaller than a Katana (which is what Mitsurugi uses). The mistake probably came about because many non-Japanese people believe that "Katana" is literally the Japanese word for "Sword", which it's not.
  • Taki only fights with one sword, the Rekki-Maru. The Mekki-Maru can be selected as an alternate weapon in Edge Master Mode. Soulcalibur was the first game where she used both Rekki-Maru and Mekki-Maru simultaneously, and she has done so ever since.

Soulcalibur

  • Taki's Metal Headband in her 2P costume bears an uncanny resemblance to the forehead portectors from the Naruto series, mainly worn by the jonin of Konohagakure. Coincidentally still, two of the villages in the Naruto series are called Fumagakure and Takigakure, referencing Taki and her Fu-Ma clan.

Soulcalibur III

  • This is the only game where Taki wears a blue body suit instead of a red/pink one.
  • Taki's weapons and fighting style are available under the discipline Soul of Taki to characters created under the Ninja class.

Soucalibur IV

  • In the Chain of Souls, Taki and Siegfried are linked together by a red arrow, showing that they are somewhat enemies.
  • In Kamikirimusi's Story Mode, Taki follows her for the remainder of the story after she, Mitsurugi, and Setsuka are defeated on the first stage. Although it is never explained why she chose to follow her, it could be assumed that she is prepared to assist her opponent in finishing her off if needed. Despite this, Kamikirimusi is neither seen nor mentioned in any future Soulcalibur installments so it is likely that this encounter never happened.
  • In Taki's illustration, her ninja tights appear to be crimson red, however, her in-game model is wearing a color closer to that of magenta.

Soucalibur V

  • In a behind-the-scenes video, the decision to include Natsu came from deciding that Taki would likely be too old to be a ninja anymore. In Odashima's mind, you can only be a ninja up to a certain age, after which you retire from active duty and focus on training younger ninjas. While Taki has retired, she's still watching over Natsu, he adds. The validity of his statement has been questioned by some fans, noticing that there have been active male ninjas in the series much older than 46, the age Taki would be at the time Soulcalibur V takes place, some of them outright elderly, and that Namco has a habit of excluding females over a certain age from their games--whether by retiring them, simply ignoring them or even killing them off--or making sure they're somehow kept young (such as Nina and Anna Williams' cryogenic freezing in the Tekken series) or made unable to age (such as Ivy's use of alchemy to stay eternally in her early 30s).
  • Taki is the first character in the series to replace their intended successor in a later installment.

Soulcalibur VI

  • The explosion at the end of her Critical Edge resembles a similar technique she did in the opening of Soul Edge

Etymology

Taki's name means "Much Rejoicing", according to the limited edition art book that was released with the pre-orders of Soulcalibur II. Her name is rendered there as 多喜 ( 多 - ta - 'many'; 喜 - ki - 'joy'; 'rejoicing'), instead of 滝 (taki - 'waterfall').

Series' Appearances

References