The Genshin Impact community is abuzz over the upcoming arrival of Arataki Itto, a new character who hails from the game’s Inazuma nation. In an unusual move, Genshin developer miHoYo formally announced the character today, well in advance of his story quest appearance in the game itself. While little is yet known about how he factors into the game’s overall narrative, it’s the revelation of what he looks like that has players so excited.
On October 5, a leaked screenshot of Itto was posted to a Chinese forum. However, it only captured his appearance from the back, so until he was formally announced today, all that players could discern was that he was a claymore-wielding character. Genshin has had consistent problems with leakers in the past, and miHoYo recently put legal pressure on the video sharing site Bilibili to reveal the identities of beta leakers. Today’s announcement by miHoYo came as a surprise, but the action may represent a strategic effort by miHoYo to beat leakers to the punch.
The full reveal of Itto’s appearance has certainly given players a lot to talk about. According to thirst tweets, it seems that the older geo-element character Zhongli now has competition for the title of “Geo Daddy.” Itto is tall, he’s buff, and he’s not wearing a shirt. While other male characters have shown some skin in the past (looking at you, Kaeya), Genshin Impact’s character roster has largely been dominated by pretty bishounen boys. I’m not complaining, but a lot of players like their anime men to appear strong and muscular, and Itto is one of the few Genshin characters to fit the bill. Some players have even compared him to strong characters with similar appearances such as Kyojuro Rengoku from the manga Demon Slayer and Ibaraki Douji from the mobile game Onmyouji.
The follow-up announcement mentions that Itto is part oni, which makes him similar to other mixed characters such as the half-adepti Ganyu and Yanfei. But unlike those characters who come from more respectable government backgrounds, Itto is the leader of the “Arataki Gang.” His backstory suggests that his personality is more chaotic, which could be an interesting departure from how characters who share Itto’s affiliation with the game’s geo element are usually portrayed as lawful good.
In terms of gameplay, all we know right now is that he’s a geo-element character who wields a claymore. That could indicate that he shares a gameplay niche with the four-star character Noelle, who is known for high individual damage output and some support abilities. But it’s also entirely possible that the developers could place a heavier emphasis on his support abilities, or make him a significantly stronger DPS character than Noelle. Since they share element and weapon overlap, I’m just hoping that his release doesn’t become Kokomi versus Barbara, round two.
The release date for Itto’s character banner is currently unannounced.