Should You Pull?
If you're looking for Sun Breaks, or a backloaded All nuker, this is a pretty solid banner. Shou Toramaru is unquestionably the shining jewel of this banner, packing P0 Sun alongside a All targeting Last Word speced for fights that last more than a turn. Nemuno Sakata, in comparison, isn't really bad - just not anything special either and she's a bit narrow, but she may be of note if you like the idea of using Discharge attackers thanks to the Paralyze Barriers she brings. This is a General banner, and both units are a part of the General pool.
+ P0 Sun on Basic Shot
+ Powerful All targeting Last Word if given time to set up
+ Self Charge makes her easy to support
- Selfish attacker
- Backloaded damage makes her not the best at farming anything but humans.
+ Her Solo Last Word can hit pretty hard in longer fights
+ One of her skills inflicts 2 Paralyze barriers to all foes, fantastic for Discharge support
+ Slightly above average access to Metal Breaks
- Little team utility outside of Paralyze barriers
- Damage is backloaded, making her a poor farmer and incapable of eliminating priority targets quickly
Long ago, Shou Toramaru was a tiger youkai, born from the confused ideals of Japan as to what a ‘tiger’ truly was. Seeing as how peasants living in Japan could never possibly hope to see such an exotice animal, myths about tigers were born, and thus so was Shou. However, this belief could not be held forever - eventually, the common folk would learn what a ‘tiger’ was, and with it tiger youkai myths would die out. Shou’s savior, Byakuren Hijiri, struck a deal with the war god Bishamonten - allowing Shou to become his avatar which, in turn, firmly solidified Shou’s existence. Nazrin, a high ranking follower of Bishamonten, was dispatched to follow Shou - and in time, the two became valued members of Myouren temple. Of course, Nazrin isn’t - really, officially a part of their group, but just about every fanwork considers her to be a part of them.
As for her personality, Shou is a rather calm, dignified, and composed woman on the surface, the worthy avatar of Bishamonten in every regard. However, if you’re buds with her, she’ll be willing to show more of the tiger underneath, to the point of being willing to fly into fits of emotion. She’s also a bit of a glutton and a drinker, in spite of the tenets of buddhist faith.
For powers, Shou’s something of a paper tiger herself - that spear she’s got? It’s just to help her look calm and dignified; she has no idea how to actually use it, and utilizes it more as a walking stick. The real power she holds comes from the Pagoda she holds - it’s one of Bishamonten’s own, and lets her serve as a conduit for the war god’s powers. Not only that, but it lets her fire lasers at the ground to create jewels, gems, and crystals of all sorts! Sadly, she can’t make Seal Crystals, but she can devastate your foes.
First and foremost, Shou is a selfish attacker. This is reflected in her Skills: Dharmapala’s Staff provides her with 1 Spirit Power UP (and self Speed down but this is negligible), Trident provides her with 2 levels of Yang ATK UP for 2 Turns (and 3 Focus up...what a intimidating stick), and Prabhutaratna’s Pagoda provides her with 2 levels of Yang ATK UP for 2 turns alongside Charge. Combine this with her charge ability giving her 1 level of Yang ATK UP for 1 turn with each boost, and she's decidedly offensively focused. This is further reflected in her attacks, although she does have some Break utility. Most notably for Breaks is her Focus Shot, Tiger Tamer, which provides her with 1 Solo targeting Sun Break at 0 Power (with Sure-Hit too, as a nice perk). Next, her Spell Cards: Jeweled Pagoda: Radiant Treasure provides her with 1 level of Yang ATK UP for 3 Turns (with 1 more guaranteed if you Boost it 3 times), combined with a lackluster 0/0/1/2 Solo targeting Metal Breaks for 0/1/2/3 Spirit Power. To further her offensive presence (and give her some extra fuel for Breaks), Light Sign: Absolute Justice gives her between .5 and 1 Spirit Power UP, depending on how many boost are used, with an average 1/1/2/3 Sun breaks for 0/1/2/3 Spirit Power on top of that.
The crown jewel of this dazzling array of attacks would be her All targeting Last Word, Pagoda Tank. Without time to setup, it’s nothing impressive, clocking in at a rather slightly average amount of power. It does have the benefit of a lot of human Killer at turn 1, which makes it good against 1 boss farms with a human foe (unfortunately, 2+ boss waves tend to almost never comprise of entirely humans, making it less useful for multi-boss stage farming). Where this Last Word shines is in harder fights, due to its backloaded nature allowing Shou’s damage to reach glittering heights, especially once Chapter 3 Act 2 is released providing her with a useful Story Card.
Overall, Shou’s a stellar attacker in longer fights, especially if you can put her against some humans. She’s not such a great farmer unless, again, you put her up against some humans...really, that kind of makes her a poor member of the Myouren temple, which seeks to unify human and youkai under one roof, but she’s a good Friend all the same.
There’s not a lot to say about Nemuno, and she likes it that way. A reclusive Yamanba (literally a mountain hag) who lives on the top of Youkai Mountain, she lives a very primitive life and just wants everyone to stay off her lawn. She also tries to cultivate an image of a scary, murderous monster. In spite of this, she never actually kills anyone - she’ll send lost adults back with a warning, and Yamanba at large will raise lost children (though it’s unknown if Nemuno does this), plus if she likes you she’ll even invite you over for tea or a meal. But still, it’s best not to take her as harmless, that big ol cleaver of hers isn’t for show.
Nemuno has two primary roles. The first of which is dishing out a heaping serving of 2 Paralyze Barriers to all foes with her skill Yamanba Kijutsu. Not only does this serve as Accuracy support if you’re looking to defeat enemies without spending time on Breaking them (such as when fielding a full team of Crit-heavy attackers), it also doubles as useful support for Discharge users, such as Minoriko Aki, who can break those Paralyze Barriers no matter what the enemy’s weaknesses are (so long as they aren’t immune to Paralyze).
Her other role is to hit a single target hard, after setting up. Nemuno’s attacks are geared towards offense, with her first Spell Card, Blade Exhaustion Sign: Mountain Murder, giving her target 2 levels of CRIT DEF Down for 2 turns on a single target, with a negligible chance for another one, alongside a slightly below average 1/1/1/3 Solo targeting Metal Breaks for 0/1/2/3 Spirit Power. Her other Spell Card, Sharpen Sign: Madly Glinting Cleaver, is much better: providing her 1 Spirit Power UP on use and packing a somewhat above average 1/3 Solo targeting Metal Breaks for 0/1 Spirit Power - effectively refunding its cost, and letting her dish out 6 Metal Breaks in 2 turns. At the center of her cold, yet murderous stabbing is her Last Word, Red Thunder Dragon. Due to a combination of its 1-1-3 nature alongside being entirely Energy (thus scaling well with Energy DMG UP Story Cards), it can pack one heck of a wallop if Nemuno gets the time to setup.
The ‘if’ qualifier is unfortunately the problem with her kit. Typically when you want Solo damage, you want it right away and not after setup. This, combined with Nemuno’s somewhat situational team support makes her overall a bit below average. Still, she’ll cook you up some Paralyze Barriers and Solo damage anytime - just give the chef the time she needs to make her meal well done.