List of Blade of the Immortal characters
This is a list of characters from the manga series "
Blade of the Immortal"
*: The immortal referred to in the title. While not lazy, he is very laid-back, often seen sleeping. Manji also has a strange sense of "honour" that is in many ways similar to the fighting-ethic of the Itto-Ryu. The fallen
samuraiManji served the " Hatamoto" Horii Shigenobu, a local daimyō, enforcing his brutal rule (unknowingly) on the local populace until he found out his lord was corrupt and killed him. For that he was considered an outlaw and hunted down by the same daimyō clan, achieving the nickname "Killer of 100" after the body count. He planned to flee to his sister's house even though she had married an officer of the law, Saitō Tatsumasa. Manji ended up killing his sister's husband out of self-defense when he attacked Manji. His sister witnessed her husband's death at the hands of her brother and went insane, reverting to a child-like mindset. Manji settled down to take care of her. At some point during this time, he met Yaobikuni (her name literally means "nun of eight hundred years"), a mysterious nun, who gave him the kessen-chu, or sacred bloodworms that make him immortal. Despite the obvious advantages of being nearly invincible, Manji dislikes being immortal. He tries to get Yaobikuni to remove the kessen-chu, finally making a deal with her. He has to kill 1000 bad men, to make up for the 100 good men he killed, if he does this Yaobikuni will rid him of his immortality. It's worth noting, one reason he doesn't like being immortal is he feels it is making his swordsmanship rusty, because he doesn't have to be as good to win. After his sister is killed (due to a revenge for his actions) he met Rin, whom he accepted to help since he felt she was very much alike to his deceased sister. Manji is constantly trying to make amends for his past actions: he kills his lord to atone for those he killed on the Damiyo's orders; looked after his sister to atone for the deaths of the one hundred cops he killed; and makes the deal to kill one thousand bad men and to look after Rin to make amends for the death of his sister; he takes his role as her protector/surrogate older-brother seriously. However each time Manji tries to do something "good", he tends to only make the situation worse (the death of his lord leading to the deaths of one hundred cops, for example). He uses many weapons, a good number of which came from defeated opponents. His two short, hooked swords are named Shidō (four paths). His two standard swords are named Imo-no-Kami Tatsumasa (Sister Defender Tatsumasa). His two chained scythes have no name. His double bladed sword-breaker is named Kotengu (Little devil). He first appears in "Criminal".
*: The sole survivor of an Ittō-ryū massacre at Anotsu's hand and heir to her father's sword school, the "Mutenichi-ryū". She has mediocre swordsmanship skills but an intense desire to avenge the brutal death of her family. At the beginning of the series is she portrayed as somebody who is trying to act mature, but is still very childish - as the series progresses she steadily "grows up" and loses much of her naivety. She hires Manji as her bodyguard in this quest. However, it's not as simple as that - Rin is constantly torn by doubt over the righteousness and validity of her mission and fears becoming a hypocrite as Anotsu claims she is more like the Ittō-ryū, especially when he remarks she chooses to use throwing knives instead of a sword like the "Mutenichi-ryū" teaches. She comes into contact with Anotsu at one point, but his claim that she is becoming more and more like the Ittō-ryū as she progresses down the path of revenge causes her even more doubt. When she finally encounters Anotsu in Kaga, she realizes she cannot defeat him and winds up travelling with him in hopes of catching his guard down. Anotsu is no fool and is fully aware of what she is doing, despite this he allows her presence. She has since left his company, vowing that she will eventually kill him; yet she will stand back for the time being and watch how the events unfold. It is also worth noting that she kisses a sleeping Manji in the fourteenth volume, Last Blood, and has shown on numerous occasions her developing feelings towards him. They are as of now largely unreciprocated. She has three weapons, a Chinese sword named Kutoneshirika which she carries in a Toju (purse-like scabbard of sorts), a
Tantōtype dagger and a set of small throwing daggers named Ogunchu (Golden Wasps). Even though she is only mediocre in terms of fighting ability, Rin is still more skilled with weapons than most women of that time period and the fact that she carries a small arsenal of weapons with her makes her somewhat unique. She first appears in "Conquest" part 1.
* : Leader of the Ittō-ryū and equal of Manji. This emotionally cold young man has prodigious skill with the sword, and leads the Ittō-ryū in order to form a dōjō dedicated not to form and rules, but to the simple test of superior lethality. Brought up by an abusive grandfather (a swordsman disgraced by the Asano dōjō), Anotsu is as pragmatic and shrewd as he is deadly. He isn't as inhuman as originally believed, as he even allows Rin to live after she attacks him; even letting her follow him everywhere. While painted as the "villain" of the series at the start, he has had many scenes devoted to making the reader sympathetic to his views and goals. Is currently at "war" with Habaki Kagimura, the leader of the Banshu. He has two weapons. The first, his main weapon, is a Nepalese-based axe named Kabutsuchi (Head Hammer). The other is his rarely used sword of the same name. It is not much of a backup weapon, as even Rin referred to it as "pathetic" in Last Blood part 4. First appears in "Conquest" part 1.
* : Among the Ittō-ryū's finest swordsmen. Of peasant origin, he became a swordsman to avenge his sister, who was killed as a child by a samurai. Taito is one of the few swordsmen who has fought Manji and survived. He has also fought by Manji's side as well. He can be considered a kenshi, a swordsman who is not from the
samuraiclass. His lover of sorts, a prostitute named O-ren was killed by Shira. He quit the Ittō-ryū, although he is still friends with Anotsu. He ends up following Manji around due to the fact he knows Shira is after Manji. Although they argue a lot, Manji and Taito have a relatively friendly relationship. In the end Manji allows Taito to find Shira, and despite how much Shira wants to kill Manji, he lets Taito take him. Eventually Shira loses the one hand he had left to Taito and presumably falls to his death. Later concerned by something Shira said, Taito goes to meet up with Anotsu and eventually rejoins the Ittō-ryū. Taito's weapon is a gladius-like triple-sectioned sword named Grand Turk. The main blade is a gladius, the second is a smaller, shorter sword hidden in the handle, the last is a spear-head like dagger hidden within the second blade. The sword is curiously missing a sword guard. First appears in "Conquest" part 1, first named in "Fanatic" part 1.
* : Master swordswoman and in love with Anotsu. Said to be Anotsu's match and saved his life with her deadly abilities when they were children. Born into a samurai family, Makie and her mother were disowned and cast away from the family by her father, Harukawa, when Makie's older brother committed
seppukuafter Makie was revealed to have inherited the family's famed talent and he was unable to defeat her in combat. She initially chose the path of the sword to avenge her mother's disgrace, but ended up becoming a geishawhen Anotsu bought her freedom because she neither had the nerve to become a prostitute like her mother nor commit herself completely to becoming a swordfighter because she does not have the nerve to kill when her concentration in battle is broken. Defeats but does not kill Manji, apparently turning her back on Anotsu. Later found living alone, having bound her hand in an attempt to destroy her own skill in combat after her father's humiliating death. She reappears in Last Blood, having followed Anotsu since he left Shirakawa when she realized his body was weakening, and destroys the men under Iriya who were pursuing Anotsu. After Iriya's death, she leaves with Anotsu and Magatsu. As said by Anotsu, she is the only one that can beat him other than Manji. Her weapon, a double bladed three-section-staff, is named Haru-no-Okina (Old Man of Spring). She conceals her weapon in a hollowed-out shamisen, a mandolin-like instrument. She first appears in "Dreamsong" Part 1.
*: Second-in-command of the Ittō-ryū. An aged swordsman who nevertheless remains one of the Ittō-ryū's most skilled fighters. A skilled political operative, well suited to handling the dōjō's administrative tasks. He is missing his right arm, and uses a concealed dagger/machete-like weapon with a strange hilt.
*: An Ittō-ryū swordsman living as a mask-maker. Determined to conceal his past from his son, Renzo, he is also the man who led the rape of Rin's mother. He first appears in "On Silent Wings" part 1, and is later killed by Manji in "On Silent Wings" part 6. Renzo then attacks Manji in rage, Manji feigning death. Renzo then makes an assumption his father had a sordid past with Rin at his father's burial, when Rin says, hypothetically, that there are some reasons past incidents shouldn't be brought up, as the blissful ignorance is better than the lifetime of shame. He appears in "On Silent Wings"(I-VI)
*:Ittō-ryū fighter fascinated by Manji's immortality and determined to somehow steal it from him. His weapon is a Southeast Asian blade named Kamujin (Godblade). A very determined man, after losing both arms he still tries to kill Hyakurin by biting down on her throat. Beheaded by Shinriji as Higa was attempting to kill Hyakurin. He appears in "Comrades"(I-VI)
*: Cocky Ittō-ryū swordsman who detests the sun. Killed by Manji. He wields a pair of very narrow swords, one with a small hooked blade and the other with a straight small blade at the ends of the pommels, called Enchū-maru (Swallows of Death), which Samura notes would not allow Hanada to kill anyone unless he precisely strikes a lethal point. Samura stated he originally was supposed to resemble
John Lennonbut he ended up as "just another otakudude". His glasses have a similar shape to those of Spider Jerusalem, one being round and the other quadratic. He appears in "Comrades"(I-IV)
*: Composed Ittō-ryū swordsman whose trademark is a chain ending in a barded spike, used for immobilizing his enemy, as well as his large machete-like weapon, Ondeko-bachi (Devil's Drumstick). Killed by Manji. He appears in "Comrades" (I-IV)
*: Immortal swordsman. Gifted with the same blood-worms as Manji, he seeks to gain Manji as an ally to overthrow Anotsu. He said in "Cry of the Worm" that the kessen-chu were given to him by Yaobikuni during the
Muromachiperiod, which means he is two hundred years old. His weapons are a poisoned pair of a dagger and a saber both named Inoue Shinkai Kosatsu ("Wormkiller"). He first appears in "Conquest" part 1, is named in "Cry of the Worm" part 1 and is later killed by Manji in "Cry of the Worm" part 3. The poison he uses (Kessen Satsu) is later used in Trickster in an attempt to kill Manjji.
*: Skilled pupil of Anotsu Saburō (Anotsu Kagehisa's grandfather) and master Ittō-ryū swordsman. Along with his skills with a sword, Kuroi has several quirks, which includes poetry referencing
Black Sabbathappearing whenever he does. In addition, Kuroi is so obsessed with ageless beauty that he used taxidermy to preserve the heads of his former wife and Rin's mother, and mounted them on his shoulders. Along with his sword skills, Kuroi uses two shuriken referred to as Karasu, or "The Crow." He first appears in "Conquest" part 1 and is later killed by Manji in "Conquest" part 3. Kuroi Sabato's is inspired by the band Black Sabbath; Kuroi Sabato roughly translates into Black Sabbathfrom Japanese. Kuroi is a direct translation to the color black. "Sabato" when romanized, can be taken as "Sabbath." Black Sabbath is one of Hiroaki Samura's favorite bands.
*: Honor-driven Ittō-ryū swordsman, who leads in the incident which results in capturing of Hyakurin and death of Shinriji. Killed by Giichi.
* Tamasaki: Enraged Ittō-ryū swordsman under Kinuka. Suffers from muscle deterioration brought about by one of Hyakurin's poisons, and thinks of nothing but his revenge on her. Killed by Hyakurin.
*: Ittō-ryū swordsman living as a doctor, charged with killing Shira and Manji. Mercilessly killed by Shira.
* Iwami Ginzan: Ittō-ryū swordsman living as a herbalist. Charged with the duty of killing Shira and Manji. Suffers the same fate as Saikaya.
* Kurishige Wayan: An Ittō-ryū swordsman, one of the ten core members of the group after several dojo leaders are slaughtered by Giichi and Kagimura Habaki. He has a star burst shaped scar over his left eye as a result of fighting a bear in his youth, an event which also permeates into his fighting style. He, Kasori, and Magatsu kidnap Rin in volume 15, "Trickster", as bait to lure Manji in a trap. He fights using a sword which is designed to soak poisons and a dagger used to make his killing stroke. Is killed by Manji in combat.
* Fujiaki Kasori: Ittō-ryū swordsman, one of the ten core members of the group. He obtains "kessen satsu" from the deceased Eiku Shizuma's belongings to use against Manji. Is killed by Giichi in combat.
*: Ittō-ryū swordswoman who is quite small. Her primary weapon is an odd knife which is fashioned from a spearhead. She appears in the later chapters as one of Ittō-ryū's new recruits and greatly admires Anotsu. Doa always travels with her friend Isaku and the two have developed complementary fighting styles. This usually consists of Doa providing the offense with her speed and dagger, while Isaku provides the defense with his armored arms. Her tendency to jump right into battle with little to no provocation often lands her and Isaku in trouble. She ends up befriending Asano Rin. She and Isaku are both originally from Hokkaido, where Doa lived defending Ainu land from samurai who attempted to take it by force, despite the fact she is not Ainu herself. She previously went by the names "Kuichiru" and "Towa"; her current name, Yoshino, comes from a novel that Anotsu lent her so she would improve her literacy.
*: Ittō-ryū member of great height (over 1.90 meters/6'2" tall). Unlike most members of the Ittō-ryū, Isaku has no weapons to speak of, instead he wears various piece of armor and tends to act defensively. He is also Doa's best friend and the two always travel together. Isaku often finds himself rescuing Doa, apologizing for her and keeping her from killing others (usually by picking her up and running away). He and Doa have also developed complementary fighting styles, with Isaku acting as the defense and Doa as the offense. He ends up befriending Asano Rin. Is also Christian and was the son of a Christian priest. He is not incredibly intelligent, but is kindhearted. Is cut in two as a result of the experiments in Habaki's compound, only to be reassembled by Doa - he now has similar regenerative abilities to Manji.
* Koji Kashin: A spy and doctor for the Ittō-ryū, one of the ten core members of the group. He is an elderly man with a long white beard and unknown to Habaki, Kashin has been making highly detailed maps of his castle as he performs medical services in Habaki's strong hold. These maps are later used to aid Rin and Doa as they infiltrate Habaki's castle to find and rescue Manji and Isaku.
* Ozuhan: A masked member of the Ittō-ryū who appears to be deaf and communicates through the use of sign language and simple sounds. He is one of the ten core members of the group. He is known as the "the guy no one wants to fight beside" because of his use of a hypnotic flute to fight. Ozuhan, himself, is immune to the effects of his instrument.
*: A female
assassinand a lieutenantin the Mugai-ryū. Hyakurin was the wife of an abusive samurai, Hayakawa Kakōsai Genkei, who was obsessed with trying to gain fame by training Matsuhiko, their sickly son, to become a strong swordsman. She later kills her husband to avenge the death of her son by his father's hand and is then arrested and sentenced to death. Her case came to the attention of Kagimura who subsequently recruited her into Mugai-ryū. Hyakurin's most unusual physical trait is her blonde hair (concealed frequently under a wig), which she maintains by bleaching it with a strong chemical as a compulsive desire to remove bloodstains from it. While her skills with a sword are unremarkable, she has an extensive knowledge of poisons. This knowledge carries over into her choice of weaponry, a collapsible wrist mounted crossbow with poisoned bolts named Burafuma (Little Steps). The crossbow also possesses two blades such that when the weapon is collapsed, Hyakurin can use it to stab her opponents. After volume 11, Beasts, her skills are impeded after having her arm broken. She later becomes pregnant and ends up "retired" from the Mugai-ryū because a deal between Habaki and Giichi when Giichi earns his freedom. She has no desire to keep the child because she believes she will be reminded of Shinriji's death and the faces of the Ittō-ryū men who raped her. She first appears in "Dark Shadows" part 1.
*: A cold-blooded killer in the Mugai-ryū. He's responsible for the death of Magatsu Taito's close friend, O-Ren. Shira's a sadistic psychopath who derives sexual pleasure in the torture and murder of his victims, particularly young women. After an attempt to ambush Anotsu goes horribly wrong and he tries to take it out on his attackers. He uses the saw-blade side of his sword to hack of some of their limbs, and then tries to rape a prostitute that was with them while cutting her up at the same time. Rin tries to stop him but is slapped away, Manji arrives and manages to take off Shira's hand before he runs off. Following this incident he cuts some flesh from his injured arm, and sharpens the bones into spikes. His hair turns stark white due to the trauma he caused himself. He develops an obsession with revenge on Manji which leads to him betraying his Mugai-ryū comrades, causing the death of Shinriji. Later, his quest for revenge against Manji leads to a battle with Magatsu Taito, who was traveling with Manji specifically so he could find Shira. This battle further cripples him with in the loss of his remaining hand. Recently he's been shown to be imprisoned in the same prison Manji is currently being held in, and has been set parameters/lists as to whom he shall face before being allowed to fight Manji (this list includes Magatsu). He also states that he has since lost one eye, and has a new "weapon" of sorts. This new weapon is actually Manji's lost arm. He now has the bloodworms as well. He uses a ninja-to sword, with a saw edge on one side of the blade. He usually uses the regular side to immobilize opponents by cutting off their legs, and then uses the saw-blade to cut off other parts of the body and cause maximum pain. This sword is named "Hotosogi" or woman shadow eraser. However, there is a second meaning for "Hotosogi" which also fits Shira's sadistic nature; when the kanji for woman and shadow are used together they become vagina. He first appears in "Dark Shadows" part 2 and is first named in "Dark Shadows" part 3.
*: A highly skilled Mugai-ryū killer. Little is known about his past or reasons for being sentenced to death, though it's suggested that it might involve his sick son, Tojiro, who suddenly dies. Giichi is also one of the most skilled fighters in the series, having killed a total of 59 Ittō-ryū swordsmen on his own. Of the Mugai-ryū, he is the only member who manages to garner enough kills to earn his freedom. He works closely with Kagimura Habaki and cares for the other Mugai-ryū, attempting to buy Hyakurin's freedom as well, unsuccessfully. He disappears when Habaki dissolves the Mugai-ryū and is later found living in among the
burakuminby Rin and Hyakurin, where he provides Rin with information concerning Manji's whereabouts. Now a broken man, he deliberately distances himself from Hyakurin to keep her from suffering any more pain and is aware of her pregnancy - when she tries to kill her baby, he stops her and persuades her to carry the child to term and allow him to raise the baby after it is born. He uses a unique weapon which resembles an oversized bladed handcuff attached to a length of chain. The weapon, Kanetsura's Mito-no-Kami (Guardian of the Three Paths), was adapted from a thresher or similar farming implement, and allows him to sever or entangle limbs, necks and weapons from a distance. It is hard to block as the handcuff like action will wrap it around what it hits, but is broken by Manji in Volume 14: Last Blood. Giichi's first appearance is in "Dark Shadows" part 1.
*: A bumbling Mugai-ryū swordsman. He was apparently a pickpocket and thief prior to joining the Mugai-ryū. After attending a sword school, he worked for a silk merchant. Disgruntled by his low wages, he stole money from the merchant and left. Shinriji intentionally stole 1 ryo less than 10 ryo to avoid the death penalty. Unfortunately for him, they added the money he earned legitimately to the total. He worked most closely with Hyakurin and developed a crush on her, viewing her as a surrogate mother, her blonde hair reminding him of his foreign mother. While he's not highly skilled with a sword, he does have a firm grasp of dimensions as noted by Kinuka, and is implied by Kagimura to have much potential. He first appears in "Dark Shadows" part 1, and is later killed by Kinuka, but not before taking out four Ittō-ryū. As he dies, he positions himself to point south-east (archaically called "tatsumi") in order to tell Giichi that Hyakurin has been taken to the "Tatsumi" district of Edo. As a sign of respect, Hyakurin cuts her hair and places the tied locks on his gravesite.
*: A former male prostitute, Makoto was recruited to be the group's mole within the Ittō-ryū. During his time in the Ittō-ryū, he served as a page for the senior members often carrying letters and taking care of their weapons during meetings. He was a key player in the massacre which occurred during a feast meant to celebrate the official union of Ittō-ryū with Banshu, slipping poison into the Ittō-ryū's food. He first appears in "Dark Shadows" part 1 and is later killed by Abayama in "Pity".
*: The leader of the Shogun's Banshu samurai, the Bangashira, and secret leader of the Mugai-ryū. He simultaneously invites the Ittō-ryū to become an official sword school while directing the Mugai-ryū against it. Kagimura also masterminded and took part in the massacre that occurred during a feast welcoming the Ittō-ryū into the Banshu. Abayama's comments imply that he is incredibly skilled with a sword, as evidenced by his attack on Manji in Trickster, volume 15. He first appears in "Dark Shadows" part 1.
Senseiof the Shingyoto-ryū dōjō in Kaga. A man with a philosophy similar to the Ittō-ryū, he offers Anotsu the dojo in exchange for marrying his foster child, Hisoka. Forced by the bakufu to betray Anotsu. Dead by his own hand.
*: Foster daughter of Ibane Kensui, the granddaughter of Ibane Kenshu, Kensui's former master. Afflicted with a sickly body and near blindness as a side-effect of the medication she needs to stay alive, she is physically weak but a sensitive and perceptive individual. She marries Anotsu, but almost immediately after he is betrayed by the Shogonate and Kensui. She aids Anotsu in his escape from Kaga. Dead by her own hand.
*: Student of Ibane Kensui and unrequited lover of Ibane Hisoka. Humiliated by Anotsu during a duel of his own design, and seeks vengeance for the deaths of Kensui and Hisoka. Killed by the wounded Anotsu in "Last Blood".
*: Senior student of Ibane Kensui who is largely shown in a humble manner. He does not hold the same feelings of contempt or anger for Anotsu that are principally shared by his fellow students. Killed presumably by Magatsu.
*: A high-ranking spy and ninja obsessed with art, driven into political intrigue in order to gain access to European art, which is
contrabandin that period. Master Sōri has a daughter named Tatsu and is a childhood friend of the Asano clan. Rin goes to him hoping he will be another sword against Ittō-ryū. He refuses to offer any help at first but is soon able to provide Rin with thirty ryō. He later assists Manji after he is injured, and informs him about who is behind the Mugai-ryū. Also hires Magatsu to watch over his daughter while he is away painting, and is later revealed that may have greater interest in Magatsu (to which Manji notes after his conversation with Magatsu in volume 12, Autumn Frost). He first appears in "Genius" part 1.
* Tatsubō: Known also as Tatsu; Sori's daughter, a practical young woman who does not appear to be aware of most of her father's activities beyond swordfighting. She ends up taking care of Manji after he is severely injured by the Itto-Ryu while attempting to obtain a tsuko tegata to enter Kaga and follow Rin. She appears to be capable of taking care of her family's house, since Magatsu, who was hired by Sori to protect Tatsu, leaves with Manji in search of Shira even though Sori is still off painting.
*: As her name implies, she is an eight-hundred-year-old nun. She herself has the kessen-chu and has imparted these blood-worms to both Manji and Shizuma. Yaobikuni finds Rin Asano at the graveyard where Rin's father is buried. After hearing her story, Yaobikuni urges Rin to find the toughest, strongest
yojimboof all: Manji. Yaobikuni is short in stature and has spiral tattoos on her face. She first appears in "Criminal".
*: Assassin fascinated by western apparel and practices. He poses as a
Christianpriest, collecting bounties on criminals who confess their sins with a flintlockpistol, marked with the word "Divina" on the barrel. Has the dubious honor of being Manji's first victim to appear in the graphic novel. His first appearance and death both occur in "Criminal". His name is a homage to John Lydon's stage name while heading the British punk band Sex Pistols, Johnny Rotten ("Gyobutsu" roughly translates as "rotten fish").
*: Leader of the world's baddest ronin gang, the
Shinsengumi. After Manji killed his brother "Johnny", Hishiyasu sought revenge by kidnapping Manji's sister, Machi, to use her as bait. When Manji would not submit to a duel, and offered only to fight barehanded, Hishiyasu lets Machi go only to kill her immediately after. He has two pronged swords that have the word "ACID" on the tsuba. After the death of his sister, Manji is able to accept his fate and proceeds to kill the entire ronin gang, starting with Shido Hishiyasu. His first appearance and death both occur in "Criminal". Like Johnny, he has his name based on a member of Sex Pistols, bassist Sid Vicious(being Shido's name an almost literal romanization).
*: Son of Itto-Ryu member Araya Kawakami. Rin befriends him, only to discover his father was the one responsible for raping and then killing her mother. She and Manji orchestrate a scene where it appears that Manji murdered Araya in cold blood and then was killed by Renzo so Renzo would not seek revenge like Rin. After being orphaned by Manji, he is now Shira's hand both literally and figuratively.
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