Setsuka (雪華) (Neve) is a character in the Soul series of fighting game.
Setsuka was not a native of Japan. She had pale, milky-white skin, glossy brown hair, a chiseled face and hazel brown eyes. Those around her shunned her since she was young; she was looked with disdain because of her appearance. Without a family to turn to and exposed to such hate and violence, she finally ran away from her home. Young and alone, she wandered to a city where a man took her in, and named her Setsuka (Snow Flower).
Her caretaker worked as a bodyguard in the region. He taught Setsuka the technique he used to protect his patrons, and it would eventually become the way she protected herself, but it was the joy she felt when he praised her that made her devote to the training. Time passed, and Setsuka grew into a beautiful woman. She learned to ignore those who still looked her with disdain, letting nothing trouble her.
One day, her master entrusted her with a letter, whose destination was far away. It would take her many months to travel there and back. Her master saw her uneasy look, and reassured her that her home will be always there for her. Setsuka left and, after a long journey, found the man to whom the letter was addressed. The old martial artist ran a dojo in a small village, and asked Setsuka many times to stay and train there, but she refused his invitation and started her long way home.
Upon her return, she found her master lying on the floor injured. Although he would not reveal how he received the wounds, she was certain that he lost a duel. The injuries he received would prevent him from wielding a sword ever again. But still, the man tried to behave as always, even if Setsuka couldn't hide her concern. His lessons become more strict and demanding, but he also showered her with overwhelming love, something new to her. Even if their modest lifestyle couldn't afford luxuries, he bought her an elegant long-sleeved kimono. As she blushed under the man's smile, her feelings for him grow stronger than ever.
It was not fondness as a father nor reverence as her master. It would not be until after his death that she would come to recognize those feelings as love. Visiting his grave, she recalled the words he had spoken on his deathbed. .."I did not teach you this art for the purpose of revenge. ..One who lives by the sword harbors no regret." That fateful fight had been the most exciting moment of his life. He taught her his fighting style so she can carry on the art, as he wanted her to live freely, unbound of hate or fear. Before dying, he told her his enemy's name: Heishiro Mitsurugi.
She shed no tears when her master died. Only later she realized her feelings and finally understand what it meant to fall in love. Her master didn't want her to live bound to feelings of revenge, but she was decided. With undying love in her heart, she went on a lone journey with a target in mind: a wandering swordsman who challenged swordsmen throughout the land, which no one saw him after he crossed the sea several years later in search of a swordsman named Nightmare. With few clues, she decided to track down Nightmare, believing it would lead her to Mitsurugi.
In Soulcalibur IV, Setsuka is still searching for Mitsurugi, and she had no problems picking up his trace, since he has been through so many towns, looking for clues about Nightmare. But people have been warning Setsuka that he is too powerful for anyone to battle. They also told her that he has been involved in a lot of battles in a couple of wars in order to fight a huge amount of opponents.
These stories about Mitsurugi did not frighten Setsuka. It was all the better for her. Once she finds him, she plans to rise to his challenge. But then she wondered if she is strong enough. Setsuka never knew if she even surpassed her deceased master. She then decides to become stronger, which she does by having faith in herself. Every time she slashed her sword, she became faster. But Setsuka hopes to obtain the excellent speed that her master had. After the events of Soulcalibur IV, Setsuka has understood how mistaken she was to desire revenge. She took up the name Neve and travelled to Istanbul where she became a self-defence teacher to orphaned children.
Setsuka's only goal is revenge. She seems to harbor hatred due to her experience during her youth and after her master's death. Although she very well knew that revenge won't make anyone happy, including herself; but because of her master's death at the hands of Mitsurugi, she had no choice but to do it even of it is against her master's wishes to bring justice to him. She shows little or no care at all to her opponents. She is strongly devoted to her master and to her revenge. However, this is not to say that she is evil. She has some degree of kindness as evidenced when she let Algol live and let him decide what his life will be after she defeated him and telling her opponents to fight and die with honor. Overall, she is considered a neutrally-aligned character.
- In Soulcalibur III, Setsuka's weapons and fighting style are available under the discipline "Soul of Setsuka" to characters created under the Ninja class.
- During Soulcalibur III development, Setsuka's render reportedly had to be retouched several times by a neighboring Tekken artist because her eyes looked awkward in the original render.
- Setsuka is nicknamed "The Resolute Avenger" in Soulcalibur III and "A Storm of Deadly Cherry Blossoms" in Soulcalibur IV.
- In Soulcalibur IV and Soulcalibur III, Setsuka's fighting style was unique and was not shared by any other member of the roster (includes bonus characters and excludes Created Characters).
- Since she's not born but raised in Japan, some fans suggest that Setsuka is of European or more specifically of English origin based on her alternate outfit in Soulcalibur IV, which some fans dubbed her "Mary Poppins" outfit. Because the Portuguese arrived in Japan as the first European traders in 1543 , it is as well possible that Setsuka has roots in Portugal. Alternatively, her blonde hair makes it likely that she is from northern Europe as blonde hair would be uncommon or even non-existent in other parts of the world in the time the Soul series is set in. It is however known that Project Soul has not been aiming for a realistic approach to character design.
- Setsuka's appearance and concept seem to be largely based on Shurayuki Hime (English title: "Lady Snowblood"), a Japanese manga/movie heroine who also wields a blade hidden in an umbrella, seeking revenge for her mother. Also, Setsuka's Soulcalibur IV 1P costume bears a striking resemblance to the character Ochō Inoshika from the 1973 sexploitation revenge features Furyō Anegoden: Inoshika Ochō (English Title: "Sex & Fury") and Yasagure Anegoden: Sôkatsu Rinchi (English Title: "Female Yakuza Tale"). She, too, hides blades in her umbrella and exposes her right arm and shoulder from her kimono sleeve in order to maximize freedom of sword-arm movement. Both movie series are said to have had a huge influence on Quentin Tarantino's double feature "Kill Bill".
- In Soulcalibur IV, Setsuka has been misinterpreted to say a bad word when she performs the "Silver Moon Combo" and the "Sakura Fury Combo" when the game is played using the English audio language. Since most of the dialogue is direct translation from the original Japanese, the voice acting for the word "batsu" which is defined as "strike, attack, penalty or punishment" is not clear and has been misinterpreted for a vulgar English word which rhymes with "buck". In fact, Setsuka pronounces it like "Ba!" which is supposed to be "batsu".
- According to one of her designers, Setsuka's Soulcalibur III outfit was designed to have a "Queen of Hearts" theme. Even her hair and head make a heart.
- It should be noted that Setsuka's kimono in Soulcalibur III is decorated with griffins, creatures most common in ancient Greek and Persian mythology as well as medieval Christian mythology. According to Greek mythology, griffins pulled the chariots of Zeus and Apollo. They also guarded the gold that lay near the lands of the Hyperboreans and the Arimaspians, mythical peoples of the far north, and most notably, represented Nemesis, the goddess of vengeance. In Christian mythology, griffins were a symbol of divine power and guardians of the divine. They were also thought to prey on those who persecuted Christians. As opposed to this, the griffin as such is practically non-existent in Japanese or even East-Asian mythology. This further adds to Setsuka's East-meets-West theme and could possibly hint at her real origin being rooted in Europe.
- On a closer look, Setsuka's arm tattoo and kimono from Soulcalibur IV shows a nine-tailed fox (九尾の狐, kyūbi no kitsune), a common figure in Japanese mythology. In Hokusai's depiction of the story, a samurai called Sakabe Yukitsuna (坂部行綱) with no children picked up an abandoned baby girl mizukume (藻女, "girl of algae") which was actually a nine-tailed fox's transformed spirit, and raised her. This is reminiscent of Setsuka's storyline as she herself was picked up at a young age and raised by her master.
- In Soulcalibur III, her hairstyle (called "Geisha") is available to custom characters after unlocking it. Talim's hairstyle can also be unlocked.
- In Soulcalibur III, Setsuka's hair color is black, but in Soulcalibur IV, it's appears to be blonde. The natural color of Setsuka's hair is unknown, but since she was not born in Japan, the natural color being blonde has more probability, for it sits well with her other rare features (blue eyes, pale skin etc.) and also relates well to her storyline.
- Setsuka and Raphael are the only characters in Soulcalibur IV that have a new fighting stance.
- While Setsuka was deconfirmed for Soulcalibur V, a leaked video showed a second incarnation of new protagonist Patroklos, Alpha Patroklos, using Setsuka's moveset. What this says for Setsuka's future in the Soul series is yet unclear. In the gap between Soulcalibur IV and Soulcalibur V she has defeated Mitsurugi in a fight and became Patroklos' mentor. However, despite the fact that she passed on her style to him, she never appears in the Story Mode of Soulcalibur V.
- Ironically, Setsuka's current voice actress (Tara Platt) and Patroklos' voice actor (Yuri Lowenthal) are married in real life.