I can’t tell you how satisfying it is to finally be able to say that Ellie and Joel are back for another intense, harrowing, and emotional adventure. Like many of you, we have a deep love for the world of The Last of Us and its characters, and while a sequel may have seemed like a foregone conclusion, it wasn’t the case. We knew that it needed to be a story worth telling and, perhaps more importantly, a story worthy of Joel and Ellie. After spending years on different ideas (and almost giving up), we finally uncovered a story that felt special—a story that evolved into an epic journey.
It’s still early days for the project–the game’s release is a ways off–but we couldn’t wait any longer to give you a glimpse of what’s to come. We’re going to let the trailer speak for itself, but expect more information about The Last of Us Part II in the coming months.
In the meantime, if you’re at PSX today or watching the live stream from home, don’t miss our panel at 2:00pm PT where I’ll be joined by Ashley Johnson and Troy Baker to talk about the reveal. Keep an eye on Naughty Dog’s channels to see more of what we’re up to this weekend at PSX.
So I got thinking the other day, about what kind of feathers we see associated with Genji in the Dragons short. Normally, with the presence of the name “sparrow” attached to one of Genji’s skin options, I’d think they were sparrow feathers - but because I am a bird nerd, I don’t think that’s what they are at all. Unfortunately I can’t find an exact match to the feathers, because they seem to have the markings stylized to an extent, but this is my headcanon/best guess.
So here’s a screenshot of the feather Hanzo brought, with his hand in there for size comparison.
Which appears to be the same feather Genji leaves after vanishing in a puff of smoke.
And here’s a sparrow’s wing. There are a ton of species of sparrow but they all more or less have the same wings.
Sparrow feathers have no stripes, are very tiny even at their largest, and are almost transparent thanks to their size.
Many birds of prey, however, have feather banding and thicker feather shafts like in the short. So that much is certain - that it’s not from a songbird but from a raptor.
The kind of bird I think the feather came from?
Specifically a Japanese sparrowhawk or a northern sparrowhawk, as both those species are found in Japan.
It actually gets a bit symbolic here - the feathers in the short are brown. Adult Japanese sparrowhawks are grey, not brown. But juveniles are. I’m not sure on Genji’s exact age when the incident with Hanzo went down (I’m guessing early/mid-20s?), but he was definitely young. Those are the feathers of a juvenile being offered.
Northern sparrowhawks aren’t much different, as far as juvenile vs. adult appearance - brown juveniles, grey adults.
And also look how small they are!
This is an adult male Japanese sparrowhawk, where you can see the grey coloring better. You can also see a pretty good example of how the primaries look as far as the banding and the slow gradient to a darker tip. You can also see that the primaries are the perfect size to match the feather-to-hand size ratio in the screenshot of Hanzo putting the feather down.
I will say, the banding on the feathers in the short remind me a little more of what I’d see on tail feathers of these birds, and since I can’t find a match amongst Japanese raptors I’m chalking that much up to stylization and declaring this a headcanon.
Takagari (鷹狩) is Japanese falconry, a sport of the noble class, and a symbol of their nobility, their status, and their warrior spirit.
After World War II it became something that almost anyone was allowed to practice, which was far before the time that Overwatch takes place, but I wouldn’t put it past the Shimada clan to keep practicing something for its long-standing traditional status. From what I can tell goshawks are traditional, so if Genji was made to practice it he would absolutely take on a non-traditional bird just to piss his family off.
That would also explain a little where exactly the feathers would have come from, and why they would be used in an offering - as a bird owner I have kept so many feathers from so many molts of my birbs that I’ve kept or known, because they are mementos from my feathery babies. Who wouldn’t love having their own personal murderbird bonded to them? Who would feel guilty about taking away that bird’s best friend and caretaker, on top of feeling horribly guilty for having personally killed that person in the first place? Maybe practicing takagari together was one of the instances where the Shimada bros got along fairly well? Maybe to tease Genji for his choice in birds to train, Hanzo just called the birds, and by extension Genji, a sparrow?
This Game Boy Pocket is just one of two prototypes ever made!
Mattel, the makers of Barbie, pitched this transparent, pink, glitter filled Barbie Game Boy Pocket to Nintendo as a way of marketing the handheld to young girls. Unfortunately, the two companies never came to an agreement and the system would never see store shelves.