"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.
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.
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 an artificial 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 most of 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.
The Defense Unit (防衛部隊) is a task force headed by Nova, whom was promoted to the position prior to [Justice Rage]. 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 Adept Hunters (能力者狩り (ハンター) 部隊), also referred to as just Hunters, are the force responsible for actively seeking out and suppressing and/or capturing Adepts of interest through force. They are also known to kidnap normal humans for use in experiments.
Hunters wear a modified version of the Sumeragi uniform with the company's logo on their shoulders.
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 is an informal designation for seven powerful Swordsmen--Viper, Jota, Merak, Carrera, Elise, Stratos, and Zonda--that serve as the main boss group of Azure Striker Gunvolt under Nova.
Officially they belong to a variety of different units, Carrera and Zonda seem fairly distant, and Stratos and Elise were prisoners not even under Nova's jurisdiction at first, but by the finale of the game most of them have been gathered under him to ensure the Diva Project's completion. The circumstances of Stratos and Elise being placed under his authority 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 new custody of him.
Nova personally recruited some of them--namely Jota, Merak, and Viper--and those three, especially Jota and Merak, serve as his closest subordinates, often taking orders directly from him.
The Sumeragi Futures Institute of Technology (皇神未来技術研究所), or just S-FIT for short, 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 the supernatural powers of Adepts as an energy resource. Whenever 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.
The Final National Defense Boundary "Kamishiro" (God's Incarnation) (最終国防結界"神代") is a forcefield used to seal off Japan from the outside world. A ship graveyard exists off the coast due to planes and ships colliding with it. At one point the UTU Media Tower hosted its generator, the "Ame no Uzume", but it's unknown if that is still the case.
Following the group's losses in ASG1, the barrier was heavily strengthened and counted on as Sumeragi's last great defense against overseas powers. This would prove for naught, as Zonda deactivated it from within to enable an invasion by Eden.
A virtual idol that served as the company's mascot. In truth, Lumen was the manifestation of The Muse, the septima of Joule, an Adept girl held captive her entire life by Sumeragi. Her virtual idol power possesses a very useful factor; the septima of any Adept who listens to her song resonates, allowing their location to be detected. Like this, Lumen was used as an Adept detecting radar. It is said that many Adepts were identified and captured thanks to this. After Gunvolt freed Joule, Sumeragi was only able to broadcast harmless, mundane repeats of the songs they had already composed and had her sing before.
Once Joule was captured, Sumeragi was ready to use her for something much bigger than Adept radar: The Diva Project.
Main article: September Record
September Record (セプテンベル・レコード), or Ber-Rec for short, was an MMORPG developed and run by one of Sumeragi's subsidies at Merak's request, and he can exercise control over the game's world. The game's servers were directly tied to Lumen, and the game served as a platform to disseminate her songs to Adepts. When Gunvolt freed Joule, the servers instantly crashed. Sumeragi blamed the outage on a hacking attack.
Although the game made some money from advert deals and such, because its primary purpose was to be a trap for Adepts, it was actually operating at a financial loss. In an attempt to recoup the costs, a mundane successor named September Historia (セプテンベル・ヒストリア), aka Ber-Sto, was developed and released in the months following the original going offline.
Sumeragi is far ahead of the rest of the world in the development of technology that interacts with Adepts and their powers. They have identified a key bodily factor responsible for power type and control known as the septimosome, the means to extract it, and can store it within external devices called Glaives. By performing this procedure, an Adept's powers are usually sealed and can only be returned when an unlock signal is given. This release triggers an unintentional side effect: The Adept's body is warped into a temporary armored form that boosts their physical and septimal power beyond what it originally was. The Glaives, and other devices capable of restraining or controlling Adepts, are highly desired by foreign companies and governments.
The company has even developed the means to create artificial Adepts out of normal humans. They can detect humans with latent septimal potential, draw up a list of septimas likely to be compatible with the subject based on certain factors, and implant the corresponding septimosome into the subject, granting them the power. This has varying success, and potentially lethal consequences for a mismatch.
They have also created a drug called S.E.E.D, which powers up septimas but is highly addictive.
Due to Zonda's espionage, Sumeragi has lost its monopoly on such technology as Eden pilfered many of their secrets. Eden was able to create Grimoires, a Glaive derivative designed solely to provide their strongest members with the power boost of a transformation.
The Special Attack Satellite "Star Dragon" (特攻衛星 [星辰]) is a weaponized artificial satellite possessing a powerful laser gun capable of striking specific targets on the Earth's surface. Originally presented to the public as an unarmed satellite meant for the peaceful observations and transmissions, Nova was forced to reveal its true nature and use it as an anti-personnel weapon to stop Gibril from reaching Kamishiro's generator during the Eden raid incident. Originally not under his jurisdiction, a Nova faction member modified the satellite in top secrecy so that Nova could directly control it via telepathic waves produced by his septima power Psychokinesis.
Unmanned tanks and aircraft
In order to face the increasing rampages by violent Adepts, the Sumeragi Group has developed many types of unmanned tanks and at least one unmanned aircraft.
- Michi Mk 17 Type 3 "Mantis": A commonly used model. A quadrupedal 9th generation tank equipped with machine guns, rocket pods, and a high power laser cannon. Its legs possess powerful hydraulics allowing for small jumps, and have retractable wheels for high speed movement. There are some concerns about its core's cooling system.
- Michi Mk 17 Type S "Mantis Legion": An upgraded, newly deployed red version of the Mantis featuring some technology from the in-development Plasma Legion. Created due to delays in 10th gen tank development, in construction and function this model is mostly the same as the original. Its performance is overall much higher, its leg hydraulics have been upgraded to perform enormous leaps (baffling onlookers), and its rockets are now loaded with energy shots released upon explosion for extra penetrating power.
- Miha Mk X19 "Spyder": A prototype 10th gen spider-like tank. Its main armament is a high power, high precision laser turret atop its "abdomen" capable of aiming in almost any direction. The ends of its legs possess a propulsion system the Spyder uses to continuously glide across surfaces at high speeds, and somehow enables it to defy gravity and cling to ceilings without any reduction in movement. Due to cost and maintenance issues, there are doubts about whether it can really be called a 10th gen tank.
- Michi Mk X18 "Plasma Legion": Another in-development 10th gen model, being created by a different team and in collaboration with overseas company Eunos Inc. A vaguely bird-like machine, it is set to be equipped with an ultra high power plasma cannon, missile pods, and a detachment transformation function allowing its head to act as a fighter jet and its lower half to act as a tank. Unlike the Spyder, no functional prototypes have been constructed due to development problems.
- Fazent: An in-development bulky fighter jet. It is set to be equipped with a machine gun, rocket pods, and ground-penetrating, terrain destroying mines. It is not yet flight-worthy due to engine problems.
Project Gunvolt (プロジェクト・ガンヴォルト) is Sumeragi's attempt to mass produce lightning wielding artificial Adepts, Azure Strikers, as an energy resource.
This is attempted by using kidnapped orphans and clones as lab rats, implanting them with Azure Striker septimosomes extracted from the corpse of the first Adept and cultivated. This has an extremely high failure rate; almost all subjects have only electrocuted themselves to death when attempted to wield the implanted Azure Striker. For a long time the only partial success was Asimov, with his catastrophic escape and the death of lead researcher Dr. Kamizono being a great setback for the project.
Many years later a fully successful subject would emerge, whom Asimov--now an adult and a leader of QUILL--rescued and named "Gunvolt" after the project when the boy could not remember his original name.
The project may still be ongoing, as it has been said that there have been no further successes after Gunvolt.
The Diva Project (歌姫 (ディーヴァ）プロジェクト), also known as Project Muse, was an attempt by Sumeragi to exploit and amplify the consciousness influencing effect of Joule's septima, The Muse, to subjugate all Adepts across the nation.
Having previously only used her ability as a company mascot and Adept detecting radar, this ambitious scheme aimed to squash the internal threat of Adepts and deter foreign powers by fielding them as a army.
Nova hoped this plan's success would lead to Glaives being discarded as an Adept controlling method, granting himself and other trusted Adepts the privilege of freely using their septima without having to transform.
Gunvolt ended the project by wiping out most of Sumeragi's top Adepts and freeing Joule, putting the company in a dire state due to how much was invested in the project.
Multinational Adept supremacist group Eden would take heavy inspiration from this plan, with Zonda mockingly still calling it the Diva Project to Sumeragi's executives, but with a very different aim: Using one of The Muse's other prized abilities, septima enhancing, to empower Adepts across the world and overthrow humanity.
|Three Unnamed Executives||Executives|
|Nova Tsukuyomi||Adept Defense Task Force Leader - Diva Project Executive - Lieutenant - Swordsman|
|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 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.
- The Sumeragi Seven can be seen as a villainous counterpart to the dime-a-dozen concept of the Seven Samurai, being seven powerful adepts with tangibly-related abilities that the hero does battle against.
- 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.