In honor of Overwatch’s latest mini-event, Hanzo’s Kanezaka Challenge, we’re taking a look at some of the best skins for the game’s ace archer. Hanzo was a part of Overwatch’s original lineup of characters, so he has a full wardrobe of exclusive event skins from the past four years.
Since nobody has enough gold or time to unlock them all, we’ve highlighted eight of Hanzo’s best skins. These are sorted from least to most impressive, and each rating takes into account the skin’s design and importance within Overwatch’s lore.
While the Kabuki skin is beautifully designed and does proper service to the ancient Japanese art form, there are plenty of other Hanzo skins that represent his personality and lore in a more genuine way. Kabuki loses points because of the skin’s potential to ruin games: that large hat puts a literal target onto Hanzo’s head hitbox, making him more susceptible to enemy snipers.
This skin shows Hanzo in his younger years, when he rocked flowing hair and the same serious expression. Young Master is critically important to Hanzo’s lore, giving players a glimpse into his extensive training to be the future leader of the Shimada clan. The skin may be important, but it’s still weirdly humorous in a way. Hanzo hasn’t quite grown into his level of smugness, and it looks facetious. He also absolutely looks like the kind of guy that would mansplain the Art of War to you at an arcade.
The newest Hanzo skin, part of the Kanezaka Challenge, is beautifully designed but underwhelming. Hanzo gets a fancy pair of archery shades, cybernetic boots, and a gorgeous bow in the Kyogisha skin, but the outfit’s design doesn’t match the vibe of Kanezaka whatsoever. Kanezaka is a map that meshes old with new, but this skin just throws a bunch of cool things on Hanzo and calls it a day. That said, it does accomplish looking cool.
This Legendary Halloween Terror skin is equal parts terrifying and interesting. Hanzo’s gruff exterior has been colored a deep red and his face has been morphed into a version of a daitengu, or “greater divine bird spirit” in Japanese mythology. These spirits spend their lives in solitude, meditating to better themselves, but will sometimes lend their great power to humans.
Many Overwatch skins try to inject mythology in a meaningful way, but this skin hits it on the head. Hanzo’s reclusive personality coupled with his search for redemption make him the perfect vessel for a Dai Tengu makeover. As a bonus, this skin will absolutely freak out the enemy team.
Of Hanzo’s original Legendary skin lineup, Okami is the most impressive. Hanzo dons a wolf head hood and full suit of armor, looking like he’s ready to ride into battle. Every detail on the skin is immaculate, from individual armor pieces to the soft fur of the headpiece.
The real draw of the Okami skin comes from the fun bonuses. Hanzo’s ultimate, Dragonstrike, turns his usual dual dragons into a duo of roaring wolves. When he casts the ultimate, the wolves howl into battle. It’s a fun change from the usual Dragonstrike cast.
In the earliest days of Overwatch development, Hanzo and Genji were combined into one hero that wielded both a sword and a bow. As the game progressed, they were split into the two brothers we know today. Hanzo’s Cyberninja skin, which debuted in the 2017 Anniversary event, toys with this piece of lore and takes it to another level.
Instead of his usual traditional attire, Hanzo is outfitted to be a cybernetic weapon, with a face mask and enhanced armor. The Cyberninja skin also acts as an interesting delve into an alternate universe where Hanzo and Genji’s roles were swapped. What if, in the brothers’ battle, Hanzo was the one who walked away with mortal injuries? He may have ended up as a weapon, just like Genji.
The Scion skin shows us Hanzo at the height of his power and, unfortunately, the height of his misdeeds. With a sleek suit and expensive accessories, Hanzo plays the part of the Shimada Clan’s leader with terrifying ease. Much like many of Hanzo’s best skins, every detail on this skin is designed with care, from his obnoxiously fancy watch to his color-coordinated bow.
The skin is not only beautiful but is vitally important for understanding Hanzo as a character. While he looks put together and completely in control, this was the point in his life where things started to go awry. As Genji refused to bend to the Shimada Clan’s requirements, the organization’s elders demanded that Hanzo either set him straight or cut him down. The rest is history.
Hanzo’s Casual skin reigns as his best skin for a variety of reasons. Where the Scion skin most accurately represents Hanzo’s past, the Casual skin shows us his future. No longer tied down by the Shimada Clan’s strict rules, Hanzo is able to express himself with an undercut, multiple piercings, and comfortable yet battle-ready clothing. He’s even rocking sweatpants, likely for the first time in his life. Good for him.
Of all of Hanzo’s skins, Casual was the only one that fans have overtly demanded. Hanzo appeared in this outfit in the 2016 Winter Wonderland comic “Reflections” and fans were instantly drawn to this new, less-stilted version of the archer. Developers heard their pleas and unveiled the Casual skin in 2017.
The first upload of the Casual skin included a very awkward grey beard and terrible undercut, but developers quickly redesigned the skin to fit the comic’s aesthetic. It’s been a hit ever since.
Many of these skins are only available during their respective annual events, but all of the skins except Kyogisha Hanzo will be available to unlock during Overwatch’s Anniversary event, which begins in mid-May.