Although he was initially believed to be based on Kenshin Himura (the main protagonist of the manga/anime series Rurouni Kenshin), creators state that his visual model was based on Kurama from the manga/anime series YuYu Hakusho.
According to Gamest Mook, he was one of the potential candidates for the Samurai Shodown 64 lineup but was taken out due to time and modeling constraints concerning the low polygon count and difficulty of recreating his umbrella. In their 1997 Hero's Collection, Gamest staff voted him as their thirteenth favorite character (tied with King of Fighters character, Benimaru Nikaido, for the same spot). In the Neo Geo Freak's 1997 Volume 8 character poll, he was voted as the ninth favourite character with a total of 1,072 votes.<ref>Neo Geo Freak 1997-08 archive Neo Geo Freak character popularity poll results.</ref>
He is a young amnesic boy who doesn't remember his real name (he named himself after his sword). Because he was deemed a "demon/ogre's child" since childhood, he lives and survives alone. He travels to find a "demon/ogre", hoping to figure out for himself what it means to be one.<ref>Samurai Shodown III character profiles from the anniversary website.</ref>
During the events of Samurai Shodown V, he was taken in as a servant by a noble young couple. The husband leaves to fight in the war at Hinowa, leaving his wife, Hakana, under Shizumaru's protection. Pregnant, Hakana wants to return to her father (who Shizumaru doesn't know is Youkai Kusaregedo) for shelter. Shizumaru, assured she is safe, feels obligated to help in the war. When the battles are over, he is rewarded a hefty sum of gold for his efforts. He leaves for home but is stopped by a man who calls him Yaiba (刃, Yaiba). Despite Shizumaru's denial, the man insists that he is Yaiba and that "his family" misses him. Shizumaru chooses to stay with his master and flees. Unfortunately, his master dies in the war and Hakana is eaten by her father. Due to the trauma he has suffered, he labels anything malicious, be it person or mannerisms, as a "demon/ogre".
He respects Haohmaru, who inspires him and teaches him the philosophy of the sword at an early age. Shizumaru seeks to defeat Zankuro and supposedly avenge his family's death. He slays Zankuro.<ref name=Story>SNK Playmore. "Samurai Spirits Genealogy". Samurai Shodown V.</ref> After the events of Samurai Shodown IV, he confuses the remaining blood lust within him as a "rampaging demon/ogre". However, he comes to accept his "demon/ogre" as a natural part of himself and makes peace with his past.
In the NeoGeo CD version of Shinsetsu Samurai Spirits: Bushidou Retsuden, he stars in the bonus portion of the game with his own story. It is essentially a choose-your-own-adventure on how he should find Zankuro.
Although there is speculation that he is related to Zankuro, this claim is also dubious. Developers from Samurai Shodown III state that they are not related. By contrast, the staff in Samurai Shodown V state that Shizumaru's real name is Jin Minazuki (水無月 刃, Minazuki Jin). It's still unconfirmed if Yaiba and Jin are really Shizumaru.
For a boy his age, Shizumaru is quiet and timid. He is a polite, well-meaning child who tries to warn others about the "demon/ogre" within him. He tends to label things that are unknown or bad to him as evil demons/ogres, convinced that they are real. Due to his subconscious belief of himself being a demon, others have started sensing a comparable malevolent aura in him, and even his own moves subtly hint at this, suggesting Shizumaru isn't just paranoid about it.
- Reflector - Shizumaru can reflect a projectile back to its sender.
His fighting style is an unique combination between his umbrella and his sword. When he first premiered, he relies on his umbrella more, using his sword occasionally in special moves. Said umbrella can be used to reflect projectiles while also being able to slow his descent, with thew latter being a 'stance' where he can perform attacks out of it.
His latter appearances, however, have him using more sword techniques, minimizing his umbrella attacks. His move set incorporates an uppercut move similar to Haohmaru's Kogetstuzan. Several of his moves have a rain and mist motif.
Gameplay-wise, Shizumaru is comparable to characters with one-button hold attacks due to his iconic Amanagare Kyourakuzan (Rain Flowing Craze Falling Slash), a technique where he briefly abandons his parasol via tossing up into the air, then prompty rushes at his foe with a fierce sword stab followed with a leaping slam-slash. Originally a normal command input special, the Bust/Rasetsu version of it where it most be done via holding down any button becomes a primary gimmick of his from V onwards. The attack's input could be charged up even upon selecting Shizumaru before the round even starts, but mastering this gimmick must revolve around being aware of what buttons can be swiftly switched and which ones are being held down at the time.
A vision of Zankuro appears in his Zetsumei Ougi in V Special. He is also one of the few characters able to wall/triangle-jump.
- Kazu Kaoru (Aroma of the Wind) - Samurai Shodown III
- Tsubana-Nagashi - Samurai Shodown (2019)
- Miho Kaneda - Samurai Shodown III~Samurai Shodown V Special
- Motoki Takagi - Samurai Shodown VI
- Makoto Koichi - Samurai Shodown (2019)
- Samurai Shodown III
- Shinsetsu Samurai Spirits: Bushidou Retsuden (Neo-Geo CD version only)
- Samurai Shodown IV
- Samurai Shodown!
- Samurai Shodown V
- Samurai Shodown V Special
- Samurai Shodown V Perfect
- Samurai Shodown VI
- Samurai Shodown (2019) - Free DLC character
- Kingdom Story
- Samurai Shodown Tenkadaiichi Kenkakuden
- Samurai Shodown: Oborozuki Densetsu
- SNK Fighting Age
- Puzzle & Dragons
- If the characters in his last name are broken down into basic components, his name becomes "rain of blood" (血の雨, chi no ame). Creators confirm that this was intentional. In the short drama found on the Samurai Shodown best CD, he says that he was named after the name engraved on his sword, Shizumaru. The backstory for Samurai Shodown III says that a monk called him Shizuka (閑) due to his quiet nature.
- Also in his one of his super moves in Samurai Shodown (2019), a rain of blood is shown in the visuals.
- When asked "The path of the sword is?", Shizumaru's response is "Something that might come in handy one day." <ref name=SamSho>Official character profile from Samurai Shodown anniversary website.</ref>
- He was one of the veteran characters from the series who didn't receive a re-dub in the anthology version of Samurai Shodown VI.
- Shizumaru Hisame-3.jpg
Shizumaru in Samurai Shodown III.
Shizumaru in Samurai Shodown IV.
Shizumaru Hisame in Samurai Shodown V.
Shizumaru in Samurai Shodown V Special
Shizumaru in Samurai Shodown VI.
- Ssrpg shizu.png
One of Shizumaru's endings in the RPG.
- Ssrpg shizuzank.png
One of Shizumaru's endings in the RPG.
<references />es:Shizumaru Hisame