Note that the names of original characters are not official and are often one of many possible ways they can be written. Shusui is the exception, however, since Isuke later reused the name for Silence's weapon in Moon Diver.
Aya (彩) is the Strider that brought prestige to her family line, playing a pivotal role in the Russian defeat against Japan during the Russo-Japanese War in 1905. A teenager at the time, she was given a mission requested by British Intelligence: to infiltrate the Russian Baltic Fleet as it sailed eastward to confront the Japanese Navy and sabotage it in order to ensure its defeat during the conflict. Aya infiltrated one of the fleet's flagships and, moving from ship to ship, caused as much internal damage as possible. By the time the fleet arrived at the Sea of Japan, most of its firepower was suppressed and they were crushed by the Japanese Navy, ensuring Russia's defeat in the Russo-Japanese War and the eventual end of Imperial Russia in the Russian Revolution of 1917.
Aya escaped the conflict alongside a young Russian officer she fell in love with during the conflict, and would later have a daughter. The result of this mission raised Aya and her descedance into becoming one of the most prestigious families in the Striders.
Shii (椎) is the younger sister of Aya. Although a skilled Strider on her own right, she was seldomly summoned by the Striders to participate in missions, and was called only for missions which required the entire family’s involvement. As Aya was to become the head of family, Shii was disregarded by the central family and merely instructed to provide the organization with progeny for training.
As a result of this, Shii led a carefree life full of debauchery, spending her free days traveling across the world seeking simple entertainment and enjoyment at her leisure. She let herself loose on Paris, and at the time of the first World War went hunting on colonial Africa. Once she got tired of this lifestyle, she got herself pregnant and returned to Japan to spend her days enjoying sake and the literature of the Taisho era.
Tsukiyo (月夜) is Shii's daughter, born around 1916. Unlike her mother, Tsukiyo was stern and committed to training her skills. She mastered the art of Iaido with a Tantō sword, being able to strike in a flash, disabling enemies before they could bring harm to her. Despite her talent and skill, however, Tsukiyo was never summoned to any meaningful mission as a Strider. This happened because the Striders' central family secretly manipulated mission assignments and opportunities to display talent as a way to maintain control over the other families.
Tsukiyo left Japan at a young age and reached New York around 1933 as a 17-years old immigrant. From there she spent the rest of her life in America, fighting against the Italian Mafia and taking down gang organizations in Hell's Kitchen out of a deep sense of frustration. Later she'd give birth to a daughter, Namikage.
Kozue (梢) is Aya's granddaughter and the last head of family in her direct lineage. Kozue and other members of her family manipulated world events during the 20th Century in order to ensure the prosperity of the Striders, stirring up conflicts, causing tragedies and manipulating the economy of nations. Her actions eventually led to World War II, a massive worldwide conflict which created plenty of work opportunities for the Striders and filled their coffers, but also led to the death of many of its top talent as a result of the violence generated by both the war itself and the Cold War that followed.
Kozue committed suicide during a mission in the years leading up to the Cold War. As she only left a son behind, and men weren't eligible to become heads of the family, this effectively marked the end of Aya's prestigious lineage.
Namikage (波景) is Tsukiyo's daughter and Shii's granddaughter. Unlike her mother, Namikage had a reasonable personality and atleast outwardly kept the appearance of a sociable, tactful lady. Her primary field of experise is in the gathering and manipulation of information, having the intelligence, courage, analytical skills, insight and imagination to rearrange any fragmented information she had gathered. As she had bold decision-making skills and a preference to avoid conflict unless forced, she became an expert in negotiation and intelligence warfare. She was also an excellent fighter, having perfected her mother’s Iaido style and pushed it even further, being said her incredibly fast reflexes and slashes were capable of "shattering light" as if it were glass.
Active during the Cold War, Namikage sided with the Soviet Union and managed the disemination of on-site KGB agents across Europe. During the post-war, she instead desired to indulge in battle of wits and pursued to beat her enemies at interpersonal negotiations. Her activites gained her many enemies, and chiefly among them were both the CIA and the British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6).
After Kozue’s death, the central family temporarily passed the title of family head to Namikage and assigned her the tutorship of Kozue’s son, Katsu. With this the central family expected the issues of family leadership to be quickly settled once Katsu had a daughter, but they ignored Namikage held deep hatred for the organization's traditional system, blaming it for the treatment suffered by her mother and grandmother and how they could never prove themselves despite their superior skills. As a result Namikage started plotting to kill Katsu and effectively end Aya's blood lineage, so she could take over leadership through her succession right as a descendant of Aya's sister.
Although Namikage would have greatly enjoyed slowly killing Katsu herself, she knew better and kept her emotions and desires secret. Instead, she took advantage of her rivalry with intelligence organizations to sent Katsu into suicidal missions expecting his death. Unfortunately for her, Katsu always survived these attempts at his life and returned on unsteady feet.
Katsu (葛) is Kozue's son and Aya's descendant. Roughly ten years younger than Namikage, Katsu is described as a simple and jovial man with a natural disposition and a carefree attitude, not letting anything worry him. He could never understand intelligence warfare and was never interested in learning any of Namikage’s tricks on the subject. Although a very talented fighter who survived Namikage's traps many times, he was nowhere near his teacher's level.
Katsu became entranced by Namikage’s mastery of Iaido and her ability to “cut light as if it were glass” after seeing it only once during a mission in Prague, where she was forced to eliminate several assailants in an instant. Katsu fell in love instantly, although he could not determine whether he was in love of Namikage or her beautiful skill. Katsu secretly trained to perfect his Iaido technique, but could never reach the "instant death in one strike" Namikage displayed that night.
During Namikage’s time engaging in negotiations, Katsu became her secret escort, always lurking in the shadows and watching over her. His presence provided a vital assistance to Namikage’s negotiation skills: since her opponents would instinctively sense an absolute presence hidden in the shadows always protecting her, their determination would falter and they'd eventually break down, allowing Namikage to win their arguments. Namikage was not aware of his presence, atleast not initially.
Over the years, Katsu’s love for Namikage grew and Namikage started to realize not only this, but her own feelings for her student. Eventually she accepted this love, realized how triffling her quest for revenge truly was and stopped concealing her feelings to him. They would have a daughter together, Shouko, effectively merging the two sisters’ branching lineages into one.
Shouko (硝子) is the daughter of Namikage and Katsu, born in 1963. By the age of 12 she was already superior to her father in speed and technique, and was also able to master her mother’s Iaido technique as well. Considered a one-of-a-kind genius, Shouko was able to sense the exact moment an object switches from static to dynamic, and could reflexively respond to an enemy’s hostility before they could even reveal their weapon. Shouko, however, tended to act like a spoiled child, described as having a weak presence of mind and displaying arrogance and overconfidence in excess. Much like her predecessors, Shouko also sought thrills and excitement as much as possible. These personality traits were believed to be the result of her "purer" blood due to sharing the lineage of the two family branches.
Born at a time when the Striders' organization was losing its authoritative power and young Striders abandoned it to pursue individual growth, Shouko left the organization for Tokyo and never responded to any calls from them. Uncaring of her position or lineage, Shouko preferred to be left alone in her pursuit of self-fulfillment, and didn't even shed a tear when she heard her relatives at the Striders died during the wars for Africa's independence. Shouko is also said to feel disgust for both the Striders for “losing their heart” and modern society for “stealing away all the excitement from the world”.
Shouko spent her days in Tokyo playing with high-ranking Japanese bureaucrats and the Yakuza, and finally died in a car accident while in the middle of a chicken race against a low-ranking Yakuza. Her pride didn’t let her turn away at the critical moment of the race and she died in the ensuing crash.
Midori (深海) is Shouko's daughter and Hiryu's grandmother, born in 1984. Not interested in being a mother, Shouko left her infant daughter in a cottage located on a valley behind the Hida Mountains under the care of a professional babysitter. Some time after her death, Midori was found by a Strider known as Suegami (某), who took her and disappeared into inner Mongolia, vanishing both from the modern world and the Striders’ intelligence network. Suegami’s connections to Shouko or Midori are unknown, but it is stated Suegami probably shared Shouko’s disgust for the Striders and modern society.
Under Suegami’s tutelage Midori grew up peacefully beyond the influence of the Striders and society, freely moving all over Central Asia from the Aegean Sea to the Tibet. The Striders had no known information about her skills and personality, outside the fact she devised and polished a climbing technique utilizing a sickle instrument.
In the summer of 2006, at 22 years of age, Midori made a sudden appearance in Japan and declared war against the entire country. Single-handledly, Midori proceeded to destroy all points of access into the mainland by destroying ports and harbors, heavily damaging airports and other flying facilities to make them unusables, destroying bridges, railroad tracks and other traffic routes, and by taking down distribution networks and almost all means of communications, isolating the island. When the Japan Self-Defense Force and the American troops stationed on-land moved to stop her, she took them down at each location and followed them into their bases, strategically eliminating entire army sites. As a result she took down the entire Self-Defense Force in all fronts (land, air and sea) and forced the American army to withdraw off the island.
Midori’s reasons for this assault on Japan are stated to be unknown, a fact impossible to discern that only she herself may know. This attack crippled and almost entirely obliterated Japan’s functions as a country, and later led the allied Russia and China into taking over the weakened Japan under the excuse of "keeping the security of the Far East". Kuramoto took advatange of this event as propaganda for his new Striders, evidence of how a single Strider can cripple an entire nation, while at the same time denouncing her actions and having the Striders assist in her capture.
Midori would have a daughter two years after the incident, Shusui. The two wold remain on the run from pursuers until the year 2024, when Midori died fighting Kuramoto.
Shusui (秋水, lit. Autumn Water) is Midori's daughter and Hiryu's mother, born in 2008. Much like her mother, very little information is known about Shusui’s skills and early upbringing, although Midori made sure to teach her to never trust the Striders.
In 2024, she accompanied her mother to meet Kuramoto at a restaurant in Mozanbique. Kuramoto thought having Midori's lineage back into the modern Striders would be of great value, so he offered her a chance to join the Striders and even brought with him the recently-developed Cypher as a gift. While initially Midori and Kuramoto had a friendly conversation regarding Midori's assault on Japan, eventually Midori's interest faded away and she outright rejected Kuramoto, wanting nothing to do with the animal-like Striders. Both knew this response was crossing a line, and thus instantly attacked each other, with Kuramoto barely winning. 16 years old Shusui saw her mother die in front of her. Kuramoto then extended the offer to her, but Shusui was instructed to make her demands clear. She requested autonomy: she'd only answer when given an order, and she wanted her mother's lineage to be trained only by her and her descendants. She saw her mother's bloodline as too different from the Striders, and Kuramoto recognized her lineage's arrogance and agreed to her terms.
A year later, Shusui became adept at wielding both the Cypher and a curved sickle, liking the former's precise weight. Standing in deep meditation, Shusui finally understood the Buddhist concept of “Shiki Soku Zeku, Ku Soku Ze Shiki”: everything on the world is never static and its always moving, changing, evolving. She came to accept the only thing to be proud of in life is her dynamic and always-changing fighting technique, and that nothing else on the world matters to her.
In 2031, Shusui gave birth to Hiryu, and two years later she had a daughter. Shusui raised Hiryu until he was 8 years old, and then she “discarded” him, handing him over to Kuramoto to be trained by his Striders.
Kuramoto (クラモト) is the draft’s version of the founder of the Striders as seen in the manga and NES game. In this text he’s established as the Headmaster of the Striders’ central family instead. Kuramoto took advantage of Midori’s attack on Japan in order to revitalize and modernize the Striders organization in an attempt to restore its lost authoritative power. His first act was distancing himself and the organization from Midori’s actions by forging documents indicating her actions were on Russian state orders, and having the Striders join in the worldwide hunt. Kuramoto then started a reestructuring of the Striders’ operation in order to better accommodate modern needs.
As Striders could no longer be expected to master all skills needed for an operation, Kuramoto pushed for agents to master specific skills and created a system where they were assigned to teams based on the requirements and skills of the mission. After a mission was completed, the team was disbanded and their members reassigned to other teams depending on their necessities. Kuramoto also pushed for the creation of a weapons’ development division in order to manufacture modern weapons for the group. This would saw the creation of the Cypher sword.
In 2024, Kuramoto would attempt to get Midori to rejoin the Striders as a way to bring Aya's lineage back into the organization, and upon Midori's rejection the two would engage in a short battle which Kuramoto barely won. He then extended the offer to her daughter Shusui, which accepted only after Kuramoto agreed to her terms, including allowing her and her descendants to operate independently from the Striders. Years later, Shusui would hand over her son Hiryu to Kuramoto to be trained as one of his Striders.
Kuramoto would later personally certify Hiryu as the youngest ever Special-A Class Strider after he showed outstanding performance during missions. Following Hiryu's deployment to eliminate the "Man" ruling the world, Matic led a revolt within the Headquarters which ended in the Striders' disbandment. After beheading Matic, Kuramoto pondered over the reasons behind Matic's betrayal and, later with Hiryu, if it was worth bringing the Striders back as a business endeavor.
Matic Leopard (マティック・レオパルド) is the draft’s version of Matic, the main antagonist in the manga and NES video game. Part of the Leopard lineage, one of the most prestigious and historical families in the Striders which has assisted the central family in the command and management of the other families and has been involved in all major operations in the group’s history. Matic himself served as Kuramoto’s adjutant.
As Kuramoto was busy leading the reestructured Striders in the Middle East and Africa, he appointed Matic to watch over developments in the Eastern Bloc following Russia’s alliance with China and their invasion of the weakened Japan. It was around this time a mysterious “man” started amassing power within social circles, and as soon as Matic entered his territory, he was persuaded and became this Man’s puppet.
In 2048, after Hiryu is given the mission to eliminate the Man, Matic led a revolt within the Striders headquarter in His name. Although quickly beheaded by Kuramoto, the Striders still collapsed as a result of his actions.
The "Man" (男), also called the Dark Lord (冥王), is the draft’s version of Grandmaster Meio. The "Man" is described as having appeared suddenly among the Russian social circles and started amassing power and influence, assisting the allied China but placing Russian interests first. The moment he reached the top, however, he usurped the country's power, eliminated China and started war to conquer the West. He managed to conquer the entire world after 5 years, and eliminated the Gregorian calendar to establish his own "Meio Year" calendar. This "Man" is briefly described as having powers beyond human comprehension, and that there's no evidence he's even human.
In the year 2048 ("Meio Year One"), Hiryu is given the mission to assassinate him just like in the game.
Hiryu is the draft’s version of the main character. Hiryu was born in 2031, the son of Shusui. He spent his first 8 years with his mother, after which she handed him over to Kuramoto for training. Hiryu is described as a youth of few words and limited expressions. Being raised in the open fields, he doesn’t believe in the concept of country borders and openly mocks nationalism. It is said he stole a red Japanese fabric from the British Museum of History and uses it as either a sash or mask as his own way of mocking the concept.
When he entered the Striders training, his instructor was perplexed at how difficult he was to rectify, but by applying just enough pressure he'd go to become an exceptional agent. Hiryu was certified as an A Class Strider, and after outstanding performance in his first missions he was personally certified by Kuramoto as the youngest Special-A Class Strider.
In 2048, Hiryu is assigned the mission to eliminate the Man by an unknown contractor. After completing the mission, he returned to the Striders HQ to find it in ruins and Kuramoto waiting for him. He explained the events and discussed with him the merits of the organization. Hiryu told him the group can't function as a business, and they must only place value in their fighting ability. Kuramoto didn't seem to agree to this, but what happened after is uncertain.
- Yotsui, Kouichi (May 18, 2013). False Testimony (Japanese). Translated at the Strider Citadel. Accessed May 10, 2019.