A common joke among the Overwatch community is Genji's love for spamming "I need healing," but the truth is - the Shimada brother actually has a very in-depth background and there's more to the swift acting hero than meets the eye.
His weapon in-game is what makes the character. It's the key to his ultimate attack, and it's what projects him from projectiles. Thanks to a recent analysis by one Overwatch fan, we now know more than ever before about Genji and what his iconic weapon actually means.
According to Redditor 'BrokenArcher':
"The words on Genji's sword are 干将 (Gan Jiang), which is the name of a famous swordsmith in ancient China as well as a famous sword made by him.
Gan Jiang was ordered to make a sword for the emperor back then, but it took him 3 years to make the sword so the emperor killed him right after he finished. What the emperor didn't know was that Gan Jiang made a pair of swords, named after him and his wife, 莫邪 (Mo Ye), also a famous swordsmith. Gan Jiang knew he would be killed so only gave the emperor the female sword, and secretly kept the male sword where only his wife knew. When their son came of age, he wanted to avenge Gan Jiang with the male sword. The emperor somehow dreamt of the son's face and his motivation to kill him, so he posted a huge reward for someone to kill the son and bring his head.
One day when the son felt very desperate and started crying, a swordman showed up and promised him that he would kill the emperor as long as the son gave him both his head and the male sword. The son committed suicide and let the guy have his head. The swordsman brought it to the emperor and said: "you should boil the head if you hate the guy that much". But water wouldn't boil; the emperor asked why, and the guy suggested him look closer. When the emperor got closer to the pot, the swordsman cut off his head with the male sword that he received from the son, thus avenging Gan Jiang with his own sword."
An additional note was added regarding the twin swords Mo Ye and Gan Jiang, with Mo Ye the wife's name. Another redditor was quick to point out a vital part of the expressed lore already revealed about the Shimada clan adding, "The son's head stares at the emperor the whole time, and his body remains standing until the swordsman kills the emperor. Also, the swordsman cut his own head off after that, causing three heads to boil in the pot simultaneously. By the time their bodies were discovered, the heads couldn't be told apart, so all three were buried together in a grave later known as, "the Grave of Three Kings.""
It's definitely interesting to see and really goes to show why so many players are enthralled by a game that at first glance looks one dimensional. With animated shorts, accompanying short comics, and detailed histories - the lore behind the simple shooter adds an entirely new dimension to the FPS and is a huge contributing factor to the longevity and success Blizzard has seen since Overwatch's launch.
Overwatch is now available for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.