Genshin Impact fans were on Saturday (27 February) treated to the first official appearance of Wangsheng Funeral Parlor boss Hu Tao, one day after the end of the Lunar New Year period.
With the release of Hu Tao's teaser trailer, voice artists, skills and other information three days before the end of the current Keqing banner, it seems a done deal that Zhongli's boss will be next up.
Hu Tao's Japanese voice actress is Rie Takahashi, who has voiced characters such as Emilia from Re:Zero, Megumin from KonoSuba and the demi-servant Mash Kyrielight from Fate/Grand Order. Incidentally, Rie Takahashi herself turned 27 on Saturday, and one can only hope that her birthday wish was a chuunibyou-off with Fischl further down the Genshin Impact storyline.
Her English voice actress, Brianna Knickerbocker, voiced another Re:Zero favourite, Rem, in the English dub. She has also lent her voice to Kirin Todou in The Asterisk War and Tuesday in Carole & Tuesday.
Hu Tao's English trailer has her playfully greet the main character, and tosses in an "aiyah" for good measure, a word that will resonate with many in Asia given its popularity among Cantonese, Chinese and Singlish/Manglish speakers (it was also added to the Oxford Dictionary).
In yet another non-surprise, the animation demos for Hu Tao show her using the Staff of Homa, which will be on the current weapon banner together with the Lithic weapons for another two weeks.
This would leave enough time for Hu Tao to be on a a character banner, similar to Xiao. Although the timing has many speculating if publisher miHoYo is intending to experiment with shorter banners or reruns, there could just be a simple explanation for it.
Hu Tao's reveal comes exactly a day after the 15-day Lunar/Chinese New Year period, a festive period where the more traditional or superstitious shy away from any talk related to death and the colour black is shunned.
Given Hu Tao's background as the boss of a funeral parlour, and the ghosts in her teaser, it could also have been miHoYo, a Chinese company, simply wanting to avoid the Lunar New Year period for promoting a character so closely associated with death.
Either way, Hu Tao is finally here in Genshin Impact, though it remains to be seen how she stacks up against recent characters like Xiao and Ganyu, or Zhongli with his buffs, or the big daddy Pyro DPS Diluc. That will have to wait until she's a fully-playable character, which, all things considered, is going to be very soon.
GellyPanda is a casual gamer who occasionally dabbles into gatcha games.
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