Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice has been out for over a month now, and it has left quite an impression on its player base in that brief span of time. The strongest of these impressions is yet to come, of course, as Sekiro’s bosses have yet to be ranked by how good they would be at hosting a party. Fortunately, I have taken this ample responsibility upon myself and provided you with the definitive ranking of Sekiro’s bosses.
Given that multiple versions of the same bosses are fought in the game, I’ve excluded several of the bosses from this list, as their inclusion would be largely repetitive. With that out of the way, let’s figure out who would be the greatest party host in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.
11. Demon of Hatred
While this creature wouldn’t purposefully sabotage its own party, you know how the expression goes: the road to a disastrously hosted party is paved with good intentions. The Demon of Hatred, despite its name, is not a beast composed purely of rage, but rather a flawed human being who eventually became the literal manifestation of his own self-loathing. In this sorry state, I don’t think the Demon would be capable of organizing or hosting a party unless that party involved ruthlessly slaughtering every attending guest, and unfortunately for the Demon of Hatred, slaughter and dismemberment are not the cornerstones of an exemplary party host. Because of this, the Demon of Hatred earns the the lowest spot on this list. If you need a pyrotechnics expert for your own party, though, then he’s your guy.
10. Folding Screen Monkeys
As much potential as these primates have due to their numbers—four hosts are better than one, after all—their individual characteristics are entirely antithetical to the qualities of a strong party host. For starters, all of them actively run away from you during their in-game battle, and this raises a litany of issues. How is a guest supposed to ask for directions to the restroom if the host’s only response is to screech loudly and sprint away at Mach speed? This is the unfortunate case of the “Speak No Evil” monkey, whose shrill cry will panic the other monkeys and also, I imagine, seriously distress the guests.
Moving on, the “Hear No Evil” monkey has very sensitive hearing, so any loud noises—which are quite frequent at parties—would instantly incapacitate him. Not every party is a deafening rager, of course, but it seems almost inevitable that this primate would be unable to perform his duties as host in many circumstances.
The “See No Evil” monkey has great vision and poor hearing, so I suppose he could unflinchingly stare at the guests until either he or the guests fled due to the awkwardness. On the bright side, the See No Evil monkey wouldn’t be able to hear any backhanded comments made by the disgruntled partygoers, so at least his self-esteem won’t be taking any damage.
The last monkey, the “Do No Evil” monkey, is invisible, so most guests wouldn’t even know he was there. As I’ll mention later in this list, it’s important for the party host not to overshadow their guests; yes, the party couldn’t happen without the host, but the best hosts understand that they themselves are not the most important part of the party. The party is the most important part of the party. While the Do No Evil monkey certainly wouldn’t overshadow his guests, he is also literally less than a shadow, and that doesn’t help with organizing or maintaining the quality of the event.
The great advantage of having multiple hosts for a single party is that the hosts can cover each other’s weaknesses, but unfortunately, the Folding Screen Monkeys are too busy monkeying around to accomplish this, and that drives me absolutely bananas.
9. Guardian Ape
In his boss fight, the Guardian Ape farts and flings his crap at you, so unleashing these unorthodox abilities while hosting a party would be obviously problematic. Granted, his poisonous toots would be good at clearing people out of the event at the end of the night, and his whole I-Can-Survive-Being-Decapitated thing would make for a neat and disturbing party trick, but he literally throws his poop at you. Historically speaking, the best party hosts have abstained from hurling fecal matter at their guests, so Guardian Ape lands on one of the less prestigious spots on this list.
8. Great Shinobi Owl
Owl is the kind of guy who would host an enormous party. He’d promise decorations, guests, and food aplenty, and when you finally showed up at this much-anticipated event, he’d stab you in the back with his giant sword. The only acceptable time for a host to brutally slaughter one of their guests is at a murder mystery party, but even then, it’s generally frowned upon for the murder to be real. Having an actual dead body as the centerpiece of the affair puts a little bit of a damper on the overall mood, and escalating the tension of the mystery in this manner takes it a hair too far in my opinion.
While Owl has potential, his whole shtick is trickery and deception, and a party host needs to be upfront with their guests if any semblance of trust is to be established. The classic party host mantra, “No Trust means the Party’s a Bust” rings particularly true here. Also, the dude looks like he hasn’t showered since the start of Isshin Ashina’s coup, and the only thing that would be sourer than the guests’ attitudes would be Owl’s stench itself.
7. Genichiro Ashina
Genichiro ambushes the player at multiples points in the story of Sekiro, and while these assaults have varying degrees of success, they work, at the very least, in concept. Planning the event itself is a crucial aspect of any effective party host’s skillset; no matter how flashy the host’s showmanship or how helpful a host is, all of that effort goes to waste if the plan is not properly executed. In Genichiro’s case, his planning is superb, but sadly, it is the implementation of party planning where he falls short. I seriously doubt that Genichiro would take more than ten seconds before berating his guests about the need to preserve Ashina from the clutches of the Interior Ministry. A party host should show their guests a good time, not rant about their plan to save their homeland by drinking magic sediment water and exploiting the immortality of the Divine Heir.
At the very least, Genichiro possesses a flair for the dramatic, which could certainly come in handy while hosting. I can appreciate what Genichiro is going for with his hypothetical parties, but I can’t see his unnecessary use of lightning, his edgy commentary that nobody asked for, and his tendency to strip half-naked in the middle of combat translating very well to a more casual party environment.
6. Corrupted Monk
The Corrupted Monk, also known as Yao, is more of a bouncer than a party host, as she guards two key locations in Sekiro. Despite this, I see great potential in this boss as a specialist host. With her flowing, graceful movements, the Corrupted Monk makes for an excellent dancer, and a dance-themed shindig could be an unexpected but much needed hit for the realm of Ashina. It would be nearly impossible for anyone to one-up this boss on the dance floor, as she’s fifteen feet tall and spins fast enough and frequently enough to make a Beyblade jealous.
Additionally, the Corrupted Monk has displayed a worthy aesthetic palette; her elegant fashion sense shines bright even among the gorgeous red leaves that carpet the lofty bridge she resides upon. This leads me to believe that the ambiance of any parties she threw would be top-notch. Despite these positives, I can’t see Yao interacting very well with her guests. Something about, “Sorry I can’t show you where the drinks are located, I need to let the immortal centipede sticking out of my neck spew poison bile all over the floor” just doesn’t instill faith in the Monk’s party hosting abilities.
5. Gyobu Masataka Oniwa
This former outlaw would have one of the most electrifying introductions to a party on this list, as he enters the arena screaming his name so loudly that it would deafen the “Hear No Evil” monkey twelve times over. As we learned with our previous entry, starting off with an attention-grabbing moment is a great way to set the tone for the event. One of Gyobu’s main components is his horse, which provides him with increased mobility, allowing him to cover ground very quickly; interestingly, it also provides him with decreased agility, making it more difficult for him to navigate through structures and crowds. This tradeoff ultimately depends on what type of party Gyobu would be hosting: is it an all-out rager or a relaxed family gathering in a suburban backyard?
While Gyobu possesses weaknesses in any scenario due to his use of a mount, it’s Gyobu’s career experience that make him such a strong hypothetical party host. Before being relegated to gate duty—a task that he seems to relish—Gyobu was the leader of a group of outlaws, so he understands the stress and challenges of managing a large group of people. He also would make for a great party planner, as he likely planned many a heist back in his heinous heyday. His unmatched enthusiasm for his post at the Ashina Castle Gate also makes me think he would display great enthusiasm in his party hosting responsibilities, and that genuine interest would definitely rub off on his guests.
In the unfortunate event that he had to play the role of bouncer at his own party, Gyobu’s long spear would be very useful for keeping any would-be party crashers from entering the event. Ultimately, Gyobu does run the risk of stealing the show; he’s such a loud, magnetic personality that the focus may be pulled too far towards Gyobu himself rather than the party that Gyobu organized. Still, he covers many of the party host fundamentals, and I’m glad that I don’t have to say “nay” to Gyobu and his horse.
4. Divine Dragon
The Divine Dragon would doubtlessly dazzle with its delightful death-defying displays. Say what you will about the boss “not being able to fit in a human-made space”, but any parties it hosted would ooze flair, scale, and spectacle. While there’s not a ton of lore about the Divine Dragon in Sekiro, I’d imagine that it designed its own boss arena, and the above image speaks for itself. There’s no better party host on this list when it comes to grand, extravagant events. The deific dragon’s drawback, however, is its greatest strength: it would do “big huge party” so well that I couldn’t see it settling for a smaller affair. Some may not call this sort of specialization a weakness, but I appreciate versatility in a party host, and the Divine Dragon fails to reach the true party host cream of the crop because of this.
3. Lady Butterfly
Lady Butterfly immediately demonstrates her capabilities as a party host when the player enters her boss arena. Upon seeing the player character, Wolf, she remarks, “It’s been a long time… Son of Owl.” This is simply excellent host etiquette. Lady Butterfly acknowledges that she hasn’t seen Wolf for a while and reinforces that she still recognizes him by calling him, “Son of Owl”, as Wolf is the foster son of Owl, a previous entry on the list. Personal touches like this can really help guests feel welcome at a party.
Lady Butterfly’s main gimmick at her parties would be her main gimmick in the game: illusions. These powerful apparitions could create a very unique partying aesthetic, and she could best put these abilities to use at dance-heavy events like raves. Her illusions also allow her to be in two places at once, effectively doubling her efficiency as a host.
This acrobatic grandma clocks in at number three because, like many of the bosses on this list, her greatest strength is also her greatest weakness. Not every guest may be able to handle the intensity of her illusions; we witness this in-game when a man named Inosuke is blinded by an encounter with Lady Butterfly. Causing your guests’ eyeballs to burst will likely result in great displeasure on their part, so Lady Butterfly earns no higher than the number three spot.
2. Isshin, the Sword Saint
Oftentimes, a grand entrance is the best way to generate hype for a party, and there’s no entrance grander than metaphorically riding in from the Underworld and literally bursting from inside of your grandson’s body onto the dance floor. Luckily, Isshin has mastered this art, as well as almost every other combat art known to man. Isshin is by far the most driven and capable being on this list, as he conquered all of Ashina and successfully governed it for decades. If he can manage all that, he can probably throw a decent birthday party, host a heartwarming family reunion, or learn to get lit with a group of hip millennials.
It seems Isshin participated in events like these in the past, as he fondly reminisces on his golden years of war and drunken partying in-game. Isshin’s experience as a party host makes him a clear choice for a top spot, but his insatiable drive for conquest by combat holds him back. Not every problem can be resolved by beating it into the ground with a sword, after all, and despite his many competencies, Isshin probably wouldn’t make for the most flexible of party hosts. Still, if you want a party host with talent, initiative, and experience, or you just want someone to swing a sword 45 times in one second, Isshin Ashina is your guy. If only his personal proverb wasn’t, “Hesitation is defeat”, but instead, “Imperfectly hosting a party is defeat.”
1. Emma, the Gentle Blade
Luckily, there’s one foe in Sekiro who unequivocally deserves the title of Best Party Host. What isn’t immediately obvious about Emma is that she’s a skilled inventor, as she created the Healing Gourd, the item that restores the player’s health in-game. If that invigorating cocktail is what she whipped up in her spare time, I can’t even imagine the yummy drinks she could provide at a party! Emma is also courteous and soft-spoken, desirable traits for any amicable party host, but she is by no means weak-willed. When the player fights Emma in-game, the player character is on the verge of becoming Shura, a bloodthirsty warrior who will bring death and destruction to Ashina. At this point, the player character is pretty much that guy at the party who insists on having one more drink and refuses to leave when told to, and Emma instantly handles the situation with the appropriate amount of force.
Emma is ultimately a character of balance. She has mastered the arts of medicine and swordsmanship, being able to give life and take it away. She has demonstrated great compassion without sacrificing the hard edge that any self-respecting party host needs. She has proven her decision-making skills by utilizing a fashion sense that is both eye-catching and practical. Balance is the greatest tool that a party host can have, and Emma has it in spades.
Most importantly, Emma shows a genuine interest in the people in her life, as well as a genuine interest for the well-being of those people. That’s what being a party host is about at the end of the day: bringing together a group of people to celebrate, and there’s no better boss in Sekiro to organize and administer this than Emma, the Gentle Blade.