descendant?

Tales of Symphonia is heavily implied to be a very distant prequel to the first game in the Tales series, Tales of Phantasia. Phantasia takes place in what appears to be the reunited world that is created at the end of Symphonia, called Aselia. There's summon spirits, the Giant Kharlan Tree (named Yggdrasill), a tree spirit named Martel, and a number of other similarities. And then there's an optional playable character, Suzu Fujibayashi. Suzu hails from the creatively named "Ninja Village," and is the granddaughter of its chief. A distant descandant of Sheena, perhaps? That seems to be the case. This idea is strongly backed up by the fact that Suzu's outfit and Sheena's "successor" costume, obtained after she becomes the chief of Mizuho, are nearly identical.

name

"Sheena" is either a name that is Scottish or Gaelic in origin, essentially being a form of "Jane." "Jane" is the feminine form of the Biblical name "John," meaning "God is gracious." Oddly, Sheena's name in the Japanese version is translated as Shihna/Shiina (it can be romanized both ways), which for some reason became "Sheena" in the English version. Though I suppose the pronuncation is same. Maybe they wanted it to look more Western? Though she still has a Japanese last name. I don't know.

Anyway, "Shiina" is a fairly common Japanese name, perhaps most famously held by Japanese musician Shiina Ringo (whose name is occasionally romanized as "Sheena"). There's also a composer who worked on a few of the Tales games (not Symphonia) named Go Shiina, but who knows if there's any connection there. Additionally, Sheena's name in the Japanese version is the only one written in the Japanese naming convention, with her surname preceding her given name (Fujibayashi Shihna).

"Fujibayashi" may have come from Sabuji Fujibayashi (or Yasutake Fujibayashi), a ninja master who supposedly wrote the Bansenshukai. The Bansenshukai was a secret recording of the philosophy and principles of Ninja knowledge, compiled in the 1600s. It had two versions, a Koga and Iga version, each dealing with a school of ninjutsu. "Iga" may have a connection to "Igaguri style," which is the style of combat that Sheena utilizes. More about Bansenshukai can be read here. You can even read it! Cool. The culture of Mizuho and Suzu's Ninja Village are heavily based on the philosophy on ninjutsu, so the name Fujibayashi could very well have come from the author of the Bansenshukai.

It's important to note that Sheena's actual name is not revealed in the game. In Mizuho, citizens go by aliases and only reveal their actual names to the chief, their parents, and the person they marry.

However, Zelos happens to claim that he knows Sheena's real name: "Violent Demonic Banshee."

"Tales of Symphonia" and its characters © Namco. All other content belongs to Michelle.