Yōma (妖魔) is a type of parasitic demon born from bloodshed between shinobi. If the blood within a shinobi barrier flows freely enough, it can break through and emerge into the human world. It is the duty of Kagura to face off against yōma on the front lines.
Under shinobi law, only those who have graduated from school are allowed to be told about their existence. However, there are circumstances, such as the case with Miyabi and Imu, where they encounter them before that time.
In Senran Kagura: Shinovi Master -Tokyo Yōma-hen-, it is revealed that Yōma can actually be sentient and breed with humans to create hybrids. Fubuki is an example between a male shinobi and female Yōma. Through, first, those hybrids inherit the general thirst of murder and destruction of the Yōmas.
Yōmas are usually cowardly monsters, hiding most of the time, and never losing the occasion to kill a free victim even after that same victim is weakened from a previous fight, and run away from righteous justice.
They are rare but they can be sensed by a shinobi the same way a shinobi sense a shinobi barrier, though their power being recognisable to the point of hiding the presence of a shinobi. They represent a danger to humans and organisations, as they can kill a VIP and possess him in the case of an Akayashi.
They are so hunted down by the Kaguras, along with teams, in order to destroy them, but those punitive expeditions are rarely conclusives, often ending in the death of the whole team or a major part and the Yōma running away from the chopper to never be seen again. Their efficiency at killing witnesses is enough to confuse the revenge-seeking families of their victim.
In combat, the presence of a nearby Yōma is manifested by a "memetic" effect that change the perception of the Barrier to a bloody ambiance, red luminosity, even leading, at night, to a red shade in the sky coupled with a Moon eclipse (aka a Blood Moon). It's only an illusion occuring only inside the barrier's limits. The most notable examples:
- Day: See Ryoki's Death, with Miyabi, and while fighting her "Usurper" (the Yōma that possess her), in the Forest of Requiem.
- Night: Orochi first form's fight, with Asuka, on top of what remains of Hebijo Castle's Keep.
All large-scale calamities suffered throughout the world originate from an ancient, yet still-living, yōma known as "Shin". It's the heart and the soul of the even existence of Yōmas. As long as the ancient yōma remains undefeated, major disasters will forever continue to plague the population and they will mount and intensify over time as Shin grows, claiming countless victims every step of the way.
In order to defeat Shin, it must first be pulled into the shinobi's own time. The only way to do that is with the shinobi barrier. Blood spilled within it is the most effective bait to lure yōma out from hiding.
Events involving Yōmas
During Jasmine's youth
During a Yōma hunt, Jasmine went along a team of friend as a Kagura, like all Yōma hunting parties. Through, during the fight, Jasmine was stuck in hesitation between saving her friends and killing the Yōma, and it made use of that hesitation to kill her friends and flee. Sayuri (Old Jasmine) tells this story to the Gessen team as a speech against emotions in combat.
Rin (Before being known as Suzune)
The young but confident and ambitious Rin went on a Yōma hunt with a team of other shinobies, and a Kagura. Little is known aside that the whole team died except Rin, traumatized, broken by the failure, and can't resolve herself to return as a good shinobi, to finally be presumed dead, and join Hebijo as Master Suzune, teacher.
The Mikagura Sisters (Renka, Hanabi, Kafuru) played one last time with a young Kagura, that told them that a Yōma will attack tonight and asked them to evacuate the village. The Sisters don't take it seriously, and don't tell anyone about her warning, fearing the reactions of the inhabitants for having played with a stranger.
When the night fell, the Yōma attack on the village still occupied, and the Mikagura Sisters assist a Kagura trying to fight the monster without letting it get near of an inhabitant. She gets tired eventually and the Yōma swallows her, but she kills it with a kamikaze attack, "dying" in the process. The Sisters only recover a red ribbon, and finding her is their objective during the Kagura Millenium Festival.
Miyabi Mother's Death
Miyabi and Imu, best friends, went in the forest playing shinobi for real. They get surprised by a Yøma and flee to their house. Miyabi's mother calls them for dinner, but decided to intervene upon noticing the Yōma that chased them, but gets killed instantly. What happens to the Yōma after is unknown. Miyabi is profoundly marked by the event, serving as a motive for her to do Kagura's work: Eliminate all Yōmas, avenge her mother.
3 years ago, Ryouki, member of the Gessen Team, join a Kagura and a team of Shinobies little after her enrolment to hunt a Yōma. The team gets ambushed by a Hebijo team charged to kill them, and constitued of "Evil" Shinobies like Miyabi and Imu. The ambush was without thinking about the Yōma, an Akayashi, that ambush both team unironically (the ambusher ambushed), and kill most of their members, except Miyabi and Imu who managed to survive it, with Miyabi killing it with the Forbidden Ninja Art: Blood Riot. Miyabi ends up in coma.
This event marked several others ones of the series, as Miyabi's Elite Team, crushed and the leader (Miyabi) out of business, Hebijo had to replace them with what is now the Homura's Crimson Squad. Also, the event is the main reason of the joining of Ryoubi and Ryouna together in the New Hebijo Team, in order to avenge Ryouki that fatally died in the event, but that the confusion put most responsibilities on Miyabi.
They are the humanoid demons of executives that have existed since ancient times. Currently only available in the game app version of Shinobi Master.
Bosses / Champions
Those are the Yōmas sharing the largest affinity with Shin, and the most powerful of them.
A Yōma general is a special case of Yōma sharing a larger affinity with Shin than regular Yōmas, and also more dangerous. The 4 First Seats are the most powerful of them, and each bear resemblance to a character. The 6 last seats are equipped with similar dark grey plate-lamellar armor, but are generally weaker.
Types of Yōma
- Tree Spirit
- Baby Spider
- Red Oni
- Blue Oni
- Female Spider
- Snake Woman
- Snow Woman
- False Wall
- Flower Sprite