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Amaterasu originally existed in the Celestial Plains, ruling over the Celestials and the mortal world as a protector deity. Alongside Waka, she battled Orochi, the eight-headed serpent who attacked and wreaked havoc upon the Celestial Plain. Waka told Amaterasu that Orochi could only be defeated by the Chosen One, a human named Nagi. Hearing this, she dragged Orochi down to the human world to wait for Nagi's birth. Meanwhile, Waka and the remaining Celestials fled into the Ark of Yamato, where all except Waka perished to an ambush of demons led by Yami, the ruler of darkness.
With each passing year, Orochi dined on another maiden from Kamiki Village on the annual festival. Before every festival, Amaterasu appeared around the village in the form of a white wolf. The villagers assumed her to be Orochi's familiar, naming her Shiranui. Eventually, Nagi fought Orochi, and through his combined efforts with Shiranui, he was able to seal Orochi away. Shiranui, however, died from poisoned wounds inflicted during the battle. Taken back to the village, she was hailed as a hero, and a statue was built in her honor. However, after her death, her Celestial Brush powers had scattered, leaving her drastically weakened, with only her original ability, Sunrise. Furthermore, the peoples' faith in the gods had dwindled, leaving her even weaker.
The main story of the game begins one hundred years after Shiranui's death. When Nagi's descendant, Susano, removes the sword Tsukuyomi that had sealed Orochi away, Orochi wastes no time in taking over Nippon once again. Sakuya, the wood sprite, revived Amaterasu within the statue of Shiranui, giving her the Reflector Divine Retribution. Together with Issun, a loudmouth Poncle found within Sakuya's robe, Amaterasu sets off to revive the Guardian Saplings scattered across Nippon and restore the lands to their original beauty and rid them from evil's hold.
Throughout her journey, Amaterasu is reunited with many of her powers, and regains people's faith in the form of Praise. Eventually, Amaterasu, with the help of Susano, manages to destroy Orochi. She then continues her journey through Nippon, regaining more of her brush techniques, and further restoring people's faith and the lands. Finally, she finds herself in Kamui at the Ark of Yamato. Boarding it with Waka, she finds herself fighting previously defeated bosses, including Orochi. Then, she finally faces off against her archenemy, Yami. With the aid of all the people she met in the form of prayers, her power is fully restored and she is able to vanquish him. She and Waka then return to the Celestial Plain to restore it, and finally bring peace and harmony back to the world.
Amaterasu's alternate color schemes are based on three of Princess Fuse's Canine Warriors (Chu [Hayabusa], Gi, and Jin). For Ultimate, she gets a color scheme based off an statue of herself found in Kamiki Village (which can be used as a skin in Ōkami, too). Her DLC costume is based on Jon Talbain from Darkstalkers.
Beating Akuma with Amaterasu has Issun noticing how much Akuma's Shun Goku Satsu resembles Mrs. Orange baking cherry cakes.
One of Ammy's win-quotes in Ultimate has Issun state, "So, Ammy...I hear you've got a little pup now, already running off on his own adventures. They grow up so fast!", a reference to Okamiden, a game which has Amaterasu's son, Chibiterasu, as the main character.
Amaterasu was confirmed on July 21, 2010 alongside Thor. Her Marvel counterpart appears to be Thor, as they were announced as playable characters at roughly the same time, rather fitting, considering that they're both benevolent gods who wield elemental powers (Amaterasu via the Celestial Brush, Thor via Mjolnir). However, their playstyles are very polar: Ammy focuses on quick combos ensuring her effectiveness as a rushdown, whereas Thor deals great damage at every hit, though is somewhat slower than other characters. Also, Thor is arguably the most talkative character in MVC3, whereas Amaterasu has no dialogue at all. The Celestial Brush is also a part of Amaterasu's being as she always has possession of it (in-game dialogue mentions that she uses her tail to wield it) as long as she has ink for her brush strokes, while Thor must carry and wield Mjoinir to use it. Thor also has a special intro quote while fighting against her, saying how "fitting it is that two gods meet in battle thusly". And when Thor beats her, he will state how "honored he is to have fought a fellow goddess of such valor".
Aside from the Shuma-Gorath and Rocket Racoon, Amaterasu is the only other playable character that isn't humanoid (e.g. Celestial Wolf).
Judging by her character, Amaterasu joins the Lawful Good axis, existing as a benevolent goddess.
Her alternate costumes resemble three of the Satomi Canine Warriors from Ōkami: Gi (Take), Chu (Hayabusa) and Jin (Ume).
X-23 has a character-specific Victory Quote for Ammy, wherein she makes a reference to Wolfsbane (Rahne Sinclair), a mutant that can change between three forms (those being that of a human, a wolf, and one inbetween the first two) specifically asking Amaterasu if the two are related.
In Amaterasu's ending, she is seen in Marvel's Savage Land, with Issun complaining about wanting to take a quicker way out. She is seen fighting alongside Ka-Zar, Shana, and Zabu against a dinosaur (both the dialogue in this scene and Amaterasu's moveset, imply that her ending takes place sometime before she boarded the Ark of Yamato, but after she aquired the Tundra Beads).
When being tagged in, Amaterasu is referred to by name (or at least part of it) the least out of all the characters. Instead, characters tend to refer to her as "dog." Hulk refers to her as "Dog", Felicia refers to her as "Puppy", and Trish refers to her as "Here Pooch".
Interestingly, Akuma calls Amaterasu (and the other non-humanoids) "Devil" despite her being what many would consider the complete opposite of such (although in Ōkami, the Blockhead clan refered to her as the "White Demon of Death" after she defeated some of them).
Issun's after-match quote to Akuma makes a reference to an optional event in the original Ōkami, where visiting Mrs. Orange during the night would trigger a scene where she bakes Cherry Cakes by striking a pose similar to Akuma's Shun Goku Satsu (including the visual and sound effects).
Amaterasu's right (or left depending on direction facing) + H attack (and then repeatedly pressing H) performs her basic combo in Ōkami for each weapon. The Devout Beads and Tsumugari even feature their in-game abilities which are the ability to hit multiple times with a single strike and the ability to charge each attack, respectively.
Amaterasu does not have a voice actor (instead emmiting various barks/howls/etc.), but in the voice gallery, Amaterasu's "dialogue" is labeled as Japanese.
She is the first playable character in the series that is both female, and non-humanoid.
Amatersu and Phoenix Wright's Missile (a dog belonging to Detective Gumshoe from the Ace Attorney series) share all of Amaterasu's alternate colors (except for the DLC costume) although the size of Missile is closer to that of her son Chibiterasu, from Ōkamiden.
She has no Victory Pose other than her standard one, involving her sitting down, yawning and then lying down, while Issun bounces around her. This is likely a reference to what happens in Ōkami when the player leaves her stationary for too long (although in that case, when she's lying down, she sleeps until the player moves her with the controller).
One of her standard after-match quotes in Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 indirectly mentions Chibiterasu (her son, who was the main character in Ōkamiden).
Her dash is the Brush Technique Vine. Her throw is the Brush Technique Galestorm. Her TAC attack is the Brush Technique Cherry Bomb.