The Senran Kagura series takes place across multiple timelines. Though not everything is confirmed, this article will attempt to arrange the series as it occurs.
Ultimately, all the campaigns in all the games happened, but only certain routes are canon to one of the main two storylines. Other routes simply lead to minor timelines that currently have no known follow-ups.
- 1 Overview
- 2 Timeline 1
- 3 Timeline 2
- 4 Mobile Timeline
- 5 Anime Timeline
- 6 Unknown Timelines
- 7 Navigation
While both Senran Kagura: Burst and Senran Kagura: Shinovi Versus had multiple storylines that could not occur at the same time, it wasn't until the release of Senran Kagura 2: Deep Crimson that confirmed that multiple timelines were in play.
Senran Kagura: Estival Versus further confirmed this by revealing to the characters in the game that there were multiple timelines and that the Yōma were a persistent threat to all of them. Kagura was also shown to be able to travel between timelines and bring Naraku with her.
For clarity, Senran Kagura: Portrait of Girls was rereleased as Senran Kagura: Burst with the addition of a Hebijo campaign. For all intents and purposes, Senran Kagura: Burst, Senran Kagura: Burst Re:Newal, and the anime Senran Kagura: Ninja Flash! all are versions of the same story, and are essentially interchangeable aside from a few events. However, each has been placed into a separate timeline for convenience sake.
Dates can be ascertained by the characters listed ages in each game, along with comments in the in-game story.
There are essentially two main timelines that we follow, along with a mobile timeline and anime timeline, with various other minor timelines all around.
Also known as the 3DS timeline, as it's two games are both exclusive to that platform.
This game starts sometime between July 20th and August 15th (which is a little odd since most Japanese schools are on their summer break at this time).
The Hanzō storyline seems to be the canon one, but some events from the Hebijo storyline did still occur. This presumably makes the Hebijo storyline into a minor alternate timeline with no current follow-up.
The first quarter of this game actually retells the ending of Senran Kagura: Burst, albeit with a few changes (which theoretically puts it in it's own timeline, but it's kept here for convenience sake).
Several months have passed when all the characters decide to make the trip to Kyōto. This is where they meet young Kagura, and as she is said to be around 100 days old since this time and her birthday is presumably the day she emerged from the Reincarnation Sphere, that would make the current date around January of the following year.
This game does not have multiple paths, but at least one of the DLC campaigns (Hipster) is definitely in a different timeline from the rest of the series.
Also known as the Playstation timeline, as originally it's games were first available there.
A remake of the original Burst, but updated to play more like the games in the Versus series.
Like the original version of Burst, it has two main storylines: Hanzō and Hebijo. Again the Hanzō storyline seems to be the canon one, though some events from the Hebijo storyline did happen. Otherwise this Hebijo storyline again leads to another alternate timeline with no known follow-up.
The main campaigns begin between July 20th and August 15th like in Timeline 1, but there are also two mini-campaigns. Yumi's campaign takes place at a unknown time before Senran Kagura: Shinovi Versus, while Miyabi's campaign takes place three years before the events of Shinovi Versus.
This game starts sometime between February 10th and February 13th, a full six months after the ending of Senran Kagura: Burst Re:Newal.
Similar to Burst, this game features multiple story campaigns that cannot take place at the same time. However, this time there are four.
Of the four, the Gessen Girls' Academy campaign seems to be the canon route, though some events from the other routes did still happen. Ultimately the other three routes currently lead to alternate timelines that have no known follow-up.
The main event of this game is the Shinobi Battle Royale.
Though considered a spinoff, this game would take place at this point if considered canon to Timeline 2. There are minor references to it in later titles, though it's up to you to determine if those are Easter Eggs or proof that it's canon to Timeline 2.
Each character has their own storyline in this game, and some of them conflict with each other and it's not currently clear what the canon route is. Many events of the game still occurred, but currently the winner of the cooking tournament is unknown (though if I had to guess, I'd say Ikaruga won and her ending is the canon one).
An anime OVA released with the special editions of Estival Versus, is explicitly canon to the events of that game, and take place within a few days before the start of Estival Versus.
Immediately following the anime OVA, and taking place not long after Shinovi Versus, this game follows the Gessen Girls route from Shinovi Versus.
Both this game and all the games after it currently have to take place between February 18th and March 19th, though the exact dates are unknown.
Estival Versus does not have multiple campaigns, so it does not split off into multiple timelines, and leads directly into the next entry.
The main event of the story is the Kagura Millennium Festival.
After returning from the island in Estival Versus, the various shinobi soon found that the winter season had become unseasonably warm. Shortly after that, they were all invited to the Peach Beach Splash event in order to learn about the reason for the mysterious heat wave and to put a stop to it.
Like Shinovi Versus, this game also features multiple campaigns, though in this case they all could have mostly happened as they all lead to a different final boss and ultimately unlock a final storyline for the ending events.
Currently only one entry in this timeline, though the events of some form of Burst and Shinovi Versus have happened prior to it.
This mobile title has a story that is still ongoing. It initially covered the Shinovi Masters Tournament, but has moved on to several other major arcs since then, much like a TV show going through multiple seasons. It is not part of the same timeline as New Wave or Peach Beach Splash, as characters that appear in those games are met for the first time in New Link.
Currently the two anime series seem to be in a separate timeline.
The first season of the anime, roughly retells the events of Senran Kagura: Burst with a few changes.
The second season of the anime, but instead of directly following the first season, it instead skips ahead and tells an original story loosely based on the beginning arc of New Link, taking place immediately after the events of Peach Beach Splash.
However, in this version of the story, all the games up until Peach Beach Splash took place several months earlier, as it is not yet Christmas at the start of the anime despite Peach Beach Splash having already occurred in this timeline.
The placement of these titles is currently unknown and they may exist in their own timelines.
This is a mobile game that ran for years before being shut down. It's unconfirmed if it's in it's own timeline or if it fits into Timeline 2. If it fits into Timeline 2 then it would start before Homura's group left Hebijo, and would run parallel to most events until sometime after Estival Versus. It's probably it's own timeline though.
Despite being a mobile title, is not in the same timeline as New Link as characters who were introduced here are also met for the first time in New Link.
A pinball-inspired game. If it took place in Timeline 2 it would presumably be somewhere around Peach Beach Splash.
A dating sim game. It's timeline placement is unknown.