"Brainwashing isn't really all that uncommon nowadays, you know. But it's something we need to keep our fair nation safe. Not that a terrorist like you would understand such things..."
—Nova , Azure Striker Gunvolt
The Sumeragi Group (皇神（スメラギ）グループ, written as Heavenly Emperor but read as Emperor), often shortened to just Sumeragi, is a massive conglomerate that controls the power companies, the media, space development, military technology and national defense of the island nation of Japan. Seemingly functioning as a oligarchy with a complex internal hierarchy, Sumeragi's overwhelming influence renders the power of the actual government minuscule at best, essentially making the Sumeragi Group Japan's de-facto governing body.
Sumeragi serves as the main antagonist group of Azure Striker Gunvolt.
Ever since the Heian period (794-1185), when the group that would become its roots was founded, Sumeragi has been involved with people who possess supernatural abilities, like the mystics and shamans attached to the Tetrad and Quinary waves of the Lifewave who were quite prevalent during that era.
In the modern day, Sumeragi evolved into a powerful corporation that would come to dominate virtually everything about Japan, with the legitimate government becoming little more than a mere puppet. During this time period, Adepts would come into existence. Whereas many other countries waged war against Adepts, seeing only a threat, Sumeragi saw an opportunity. As much Septima manifested as a kind of energy, Sumeragi publicly touted an extreme anti-Adept agenda, whilst privately performing experiments on captured Adepts, trying to exploit Septima as an alternative energy source. At some point, they attempted to recreate the Septima of the first known Adept: Azure Thunderclap, the power to control electrons. This project resulted in three noteworthy individuals. First Asimov, a subject who accepted the Septima, but later broke out, forming the anti-Sumeragi group QUILL. Then Nova Tsukuyomi, a young boy who, whilst unable to bond with Azure Thunderclap, did go on to match with Psychokinesis, another powerful Septima, and would eventually become one of Sumeragi's highest ranked officers. Finally, "Gunvolt", an unnamed child who would be the only "true" success, yet would be broken out by Asimov. After this, Sumeragi would abandon Project Gunvolt.
Soon after, Sumeragi would come to know of a unique Septima known as The Muse, which would cause Adepts to resonate and become stronger, making them easier to track. Originally belonging to the daughter of Dr. Kamizono, the Septima was implemented into a girl named Joule, who's power manifested into a woman called Lumen, who was marketed as a virtual pop idol. Overseeing the entirety of "Project Muse" was none other than Nova, now one of Sumeragi's highest ranking officers, who's ultimate goal was to use Lumen to control Adepts worldwide, and bring about world peace.
Sumeragi's tyrannical rule has made Japan into the only country in the world not experiencing significant turmoil due to the emergence of Adepts, making many foreign corporations and even governments highly envious of its Adept controlling technology. The level of peace achieved is such that, in the original script, Zonda partly dismisses Gunvolt's idealism about human and Adept relations as naivety born from living in Japan.
Sumeragi also heavily restricts all immigration and emigration, using an enormous force field known as the Final National Defense Boundary "Kamishiro" (最終国防結界神代) to seal off the country. However, under some circumstances legal entry may be permitted. As part of its collaboration with Eunos Inc. on the development of the Plasma Legion, foreign transfer staff were registered as official Sumeragi employees and allowed to reside within the country.
One year prior to the events of ASG1, the barrier was briefly compromised by a cyber attack and assault by Eden. The assault was a cover for their true motivation, slipping Zonda into the country to act as a spy, which succeeded. Asimov also took advantage of the situation to bring in Zeno and Moniqa.
At the beginning of the game, Joule is freed by QUILL Agent Gunvolt, prompting Sumeragi to begin looking for her. During this time, Gunvolt manages to kill The Sumeragi Seven.
Eventually, Sumeragi manages to track down the muse and recapture her, allowing Project Muse to continue. Unfortunately, Gunvolt heads to the orbital station Firmament and once again frees her, resulting in the deaths of the newly revived Sumeragi Seven, as well as Nova himself, and the failure of Project Muse, sending the Sumeragi Group into a chaotic state.
As a result of the catastrophic failure of Project Muse, the Sumeragi Group found itself losing a massive amount of money, due to all the resources poured into the project. In addition to this, Nova's death crippled the nation's defense system, allowing the Adept supremacist group Eden to enter the country and wreak complete havoc.
Sumeragi would continue to face losses thanks to Eden, including having several weapons and robots like the Plasma Legion stolen and their reputation being completely destroyed due to Teseo leaking videos of their human experiments.
A nation-spanning body, the Sumeragi Group is comprised of an extraordinary complex, multilayered chain of command, featuring multiple separate groups that serve many different functions.
Sumeragi Adept Defense Task Force
The Sumeragi Adept Defense Task Force is a task force headed by Nova. Their main mission is to defend the nation from the threat of Non-Sumeragi Adepts, QUILL, and Eden. Sumeragi Soldiers belong to this group.
Sumeragi Infantry or Sumeragi Soldiers are the main front line forces from the Sumeragi Adept Defense Task Force, the main armed forces of Sumeragi Group. They are comprised of humans whose mission is to find, capture, or kill Adepts (if necessary), and to maintain peace and order in the island nation of Japan. In addition to their security roles, they are deployed on the front lines in order to neutralize threats caused by QUILL, Eden, or Non-Sumeragi Adepts.
They are divided into 5 types: Standard Gunners, Flame Gunners, Launchers, Grenades/Squad Leaders, and Assassins.
The Sumeragi Swordsmen, or just Swordsmen, are Adepts who have pledged their loyalty to the Sumeragi Group and Japan, serving as it's elite officers. The Swordsmen are named so because they use Glaives, devices designed by Sumeragi so they can control an Adept's Septima and restrict its usage.
In return, the Adepts who agree to this placed in the upper ranks of Sumeragi's (and by extension society's) hierarchy. Only seven Swordsmen are known, The Sumeragi Seven, led by Nova, who is admired and respected by all Sumeragi's Swordsmen. There is no known hierarchy within Swordsmen, besides the Sumeragi Seven and Nova being the highest-ranking ones.
The Sumeragi Seven
The Sumeragi Seven are a squad of seven powerful Swordsmen that directly serve under the leadership of Nova, having personally recruited some of them himself. However, they do not necessarily work together as an official unit, and each generally go about their own duties, though Nova has on occasion rallied them all together to serve him.
Originally, Nova only had five Adepts working for him, however, Sumeragi prisoners and test subjects Elise and Stratos were transferred to his command during the final phase of Project Muse. The circumstances of this transfer are unknown, since Elise refused to divulge how he got her on his side, and it's unclear if Stratos was even aware of Nova's custody of him.
The Sumeragi Seven serve as the main bosses of Azure Striker Gunvolt.
Sumeragi Futures Institute of Technology (S-FIT)
The Sumeragi Futures Institute of Technology (皇神未来技術研究所), also known as S-FIT, was a research facility created with one major purpose in mind: to research new age types of energy and revolutionize energy as we know it. In truth, inhumane testing on human beings was performed on a regular basis there. The reason for this experimentation was grim, but simple. Sumeragi wished to harness Adepts as an energy resource. When questioned about the facility, Sumeragi would always dismiss any allegations as lies.
The facility was part of Project Gunvolt, the attempted development of artificial Azure Striker wielding Adepts, and is implied to have developed the Glaives and Sumeragi's other Adept controlling technology. The leading figure in both the creation of artificial Adepts and Glaives was Dr. Kamizono, a researcher who worked at S-FIT. His prominence was such that, years later, Nova claimed Sumeragi became what it is thanks to him. The facility is also known to have designed Sumeragi's 9th generation unmanned tank, the Mantis.
S-FIT was completely burned to the ground and all personnel were killed when the Project Gunvolt test subject Takefutsu's power went out of control at the start of an experiment headed by Dr. Kamizono and his assistant. However, it is possible a new facility may have been built under the same name, as S-FIT is credited with the development of the Mantis Legion, a unit that debuted many years after the incident and was designed as a stopgap for the delayed 10th gen tank models.
|Three Unnamed Executives||Executives|
|Nova Tsukuyomi||Adept Defense Task Force Leader - Project Muse Executive - Lieutenant - Swordsman|
|Romeo||Officer - Interrogator|
|Jota||UTU Media Tower Supervisor - Swordsman|
|Merak||Private Army Commander - Swordsman|
|Viper||Biochem Plant Supervisor - Swordsman|
|Carrera||Datastore Guard - Adept Hunter - Swordsman|
|Elise||Prisoner - Necromancer - Swordsman|
|Stratos||Test Subject - Swordsman|
|Zonda||Adept Hunter - Swordsman|
- In both the Japanese and English versions of Azure Striker Gunvolt, all Sumeragi officers are all named after supercars. This naming convention is used to invoke a sense of luxury and wealth.
- Originally, the Sumeragi Seven were to be named after musical instruments, but this was changed due to it not being "stylish". During this early phase of development, characters were also in a more cartoonish art style.
- Originally, there were going to be eight Sumeragi Adept bosses instead of seven. This was changed because Inti Creates felt it would be too reminiscent of the Mega Man series. The one who was omitted bore a design somewhat reminiscent of Asroc's, except taller, with a trench coat, and the scarf and hat colored differently and concealing most of his face, although another concept for this character's human form wore a full mask and did not resemble anyone else in the series. His weaponized form was to be a sort of armored ninja, and some of its later design traits appear to have been reworked into Elise's weaponized form, who herself went through many design changes during development.
- The name "Sumeragi" comes from the old Japanese word for "emperor."
- There exists concept art for several Sumeragi executives that didn't appear in Azure Striker Gunvolt 2.
- The Sumeragi Group has the most members (not counting soldiers or robots) of any group in the series, with a total of fourteen individual characters.
- The Sumeragi Group features several noticeable Christian references:
- Sumeragi's space elevator is named "Babel" after the biblical tower of the same name. Nova himself is also known as "The Babel Master". In the original Japanese version, the elevator is known as "Heaven's Inverted Spear", derived from Japanese mythology.
- Sumeragi's file number in the QUILL database is 666, the number of the beast.
- Sumeragi's logo, when flipped upside down, resembles a goat, an animal often used in Satanic imagery.
- The seven Sumeragi Swordsmen each represent one of the seven deadly sins, as well as an animal based off the sins which is incorporated into their design.
- Viper represents wrath and is based off a unicorn.
- Elise represents envy and is based off a snake.
- Stratos represents gluttony and is based off flies.
- Merak represents sloth and is based off a grizzly bear.
- Jota represents pride and is based off a peacock.
- Carrera represents greed and is based off a hedgehog.
- Zonda represents lust and is based off a scorpion.
- Nova himself possibly represents Lucifer, making him based off a goat. Early concept art depicted his weaponized form with goat-like horns.
- The Sumeragi Group's building appears in the ending of Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon's Nightmare mode.