Who is Jin in Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Character Design Explained

Here's what you need to know about Jin in Xenoblade Chronicles 2 and character design in Japanese games.

By Iyane Agossah

October 6, 2021

This is a spoiler-free intro of Jin from Xenoblade Chronicles 2 geared towards Genshin Impact players who didn’t have the chance to play this great JRPG on Switch, and who might believe Itto’s character design was plagiarized from Jin’s.

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Who is Jin from Xenoblade Chronicles 2?

Jin is one of the first major characters and antagonist met in the story by our protagonist Rex. Jin has really long gray hair and a horned mask and fights with a katana. There are multiple character designers in Xenoblade 2. Jin and the faction he’s part of were drawn by Kingdom Hearts‘ Tetsuya Nomura.

All these characters, Jin included, have Feudal Japan aesthetics integrated into their design, and they wear samurai-looking armor. In Japanese, he’s voiced by Takahiro Sakurai (Cloud in Final Fantasy 7 Remake). Jin has a very cold and formal way of speaking in Japanese, and he’s also actually named Shin. His name was sadly changed in the English localization like many other characters in the game, making it lose some of its identity.

Did Genshin impact and miHoYo copy Xenoblade 2 and Jin’s character design for Itto?

If you regularly watch ongoing anime for just a year. Or play a lot of Japanese-stylized games. Especially those with gacha elements like Genshin Impact, you’ll quickly notice it’s a very common occurrence for characters in different franchises to look similar. No one plagiarized anyone.

One of the reasons is how a lot of Japanese-stylized games are character-driven. And an easy way to make it so players will like a character from the start, and want to pull for them if it’s a gacha game, is to reuse well-liked stereotypes. And this also works with seiyuu (Japanese voice actresses and actors).

I’ve mentioned Shin’s seiyuu Takahiro Sakurai earlier. He regularly voices similar characters and villains with cold demeanors. Another example is Makishima in Psycho-Pass, who even has gray hair too. So assuming that Itto backshot leak is real and he really looks like Jin, that’s just how things are, not plagiarism.

Xenoblade is a really good open world JRPG series, and doesn’t have a free-to-play gacha system like Genshin. If that piques your interest, you should definitely play it. A Xenoblade 3 is also reportedly in development. You can always contact me on Twitter to chat about Japanese-stylized games and character design @A_iyane07.

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Iyane Agossah

Living near Paris, Iyane is the head of Japanese content at DualShockers. He speaks Japanese, has been watching anime for over 25 years, and plays Genshin Impact mainly for its story. You can reach him on Twitter at @A_iyane07.

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