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Kaguro

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Kaguro
Kaguro
Profile
Kanji 火黒
Race Sym-ayak Ayakashi
Human (former)
Gender Male
Professional Status
Previous Affiliation Sym-koku Kokuboro
Previous Occupation Swordsman
Assassin Squad Leader
Previous Teams Kaguro's Assassin Squad
Previous Partners Sanan, Haizen, Haroku, Sekia
Sakai
Base Of Operation Kokuboro
Personal Status
Status Deceased
Power/Technique Superior Swordsman
Superior Speed
Master Strategist
First Appearance
Manga Chapter 63
Anime Episode 26
Voice
Seiyū Hiroaki Hirata
English Troy Baker
Image Gallery


Kaguro (火黒) was one of the strongest Ayakashi in Kokuboro (and therefore one of the few able to resist Byaku's control worms[1]). Though he does not participate in the leaders' meetings, Kaguro has a great deal of influence among them, and is often sent to Karasumori in human skin to observe attacks on the Kekkaishi. Kaguro is eventually defeated by Yoshimori.[2]

Appearance

Kaguro-faces

Kaguro's disguise exposed

Kaguro is always wearing a human skin disguise while in Karasumori: a tall, pale man with red eyes and dark hair. Though it is an older model and Aihi has designed more up-to-date ones, Kaguro prefers it, considering that the limits it places on his powers provides a fun challenge.[3] When not in his human skin disguise, Kaguro appears as a mummy with large eyes with red irises and yellow sclera, and always wears a black robe with red, frayed trim.[4] The exposed portions of his skin are badly burned, as his transformation into an Ayakashi greatly resembled him being struck by lightning.[2]

Personality

Kaguro is calculating, sadistic, and cunning. He hangs back and observes in many battles, looking for a single opponent who captures his interest. Once found, he pursues and provokes them with mind games until the two meet for their final battle.[3] He also enjoys manipulating the other demons in Kokuboro, and does not consider cutting them down a betrayal, because in his own words, he has no allies.[1] Kaguro also has some sense of personal honor: he despises taking hostages and prefers to challenge enemies directly in combat.

History

Kaguro-old

Genichiro Kuroda

Kaguro was once a skilled human swordsman named Genichiro Kuroda (黒田源一郎, Kuroda Gen'ichirō). He taught himself to use a sword and joined a dojo, becoming one of the top students. He competed with his friend and rival Sakai to be the master's assistant, but was never able to defeat Sakai.[2] Kuroda was frustrated and wanted to become stronger, but didn't know how to go about it. Sakai told him that he was already strong because he never hesitated, and that if he simply wanted it badly enough, he could become stronger than anyone. Kuroda misunderstood Sakai's meaning and began challenging and killing the best swordsmen he could find.[2] Kuroda was thrown out of the dojo, and some time after that encountered and fought a Kekkaishi. The Kekkaishi sensed the darkness within Kuroda, and proclaimed that the only reason that Kuroda could cut through Kekkai was because he was no longer human, but a demon, and as such, it was a Kekkaishi's job to destroy him. The Kekkaishi then used a Zekkai, but the very sight of it scared Kuroda away.[2] Kuroda ran to a riverbank, where he found three Ayakashi on the other side. They invited him to cross over and join them, where he would become stronger, but Sakai suddenly appeared. Feeling responsible for Kuroda's rampage, he challenged Kuroda in an attempt to save his soul. Sakai nearly defeated Kuroda, but hesitated when he saw Kuroda's fear. Kuroda took advantage and killed Sakai, becoming an Ayakashi and gaining entrance to their world.[2] At some point after this, he joined the Ayakashi group Kokuboro.

Plot

Teasing Hisui

Kag-hi-ai

Kaguro insults Hisui

Aihi allows Hisui to try on an old model of her human skin disguise. Kaguro tells him it's pointless, since Hisui was weak to begin with, and the disguise would only limit him further. He also implies that it wouldn't be a problem for himself, since he is strong enough. Furious and determined to prove himself, Hisui rushes to Karasumori. Aihi tries to stop him, but Kaguro stops her. Aihi accuses him of having done that on purpose, and Kaguro agrees, saying things were getting boring, and that this will give them something of interest while Aihi finishes the improved disguises.[4]

Kaguro's Squad

KAS

Kaguro's team

Kaguro volunteers to lead the group of Sanan, Haizen, Sekia, and Haroku to Karasumori. Aihi provides each Ayakashi with a human skin disguise so they can move about safely during daylight and avoid detection. Kaguro chooses an older model, amused by the challenge of the limits it places on his power.[3] Kaguro's group enters Karasumori Academy, drawing some odd looks but meeting no major obstacles as they head to the broadcast room (with the excuse that they're from a hidden camera television show). They announce themselves as Kokuboro, finally drawing the attention of Yoshimori, Tokine, and Gen Shishio, then ask them to meet at the usual place (Karasumori) to negotiate. Kaguro's group leaves the school before any of the three can stop them.[3]

At Karasumori that night, Kaguro makes an attempt at being civil: his group gives the Kekkaishi and Gen a chance to surrender and allow Kokuboro to take Karasumori without a fight. Naturally, the Kekkaishi and Gen refuse, and Gen rushes at Kaguro, sensing that he is the strongest. With startling speed and ease, Kaguro beats Gen, then destroys Madarao and Hakubi as well.[3] The other Ayakashi carry Gen away, leading Yoshimori and Tokine into a trap: an arena lined with stones that cancel out Kekkaishi powers. Kaguro sits back
Kaguro-ss-end

Kaguro destroys Sanan and Sekia

to watch the battle. When Gen recovers enough to rejoin the fight, Kaguro draws him away from the others, defeats him easily again, and continues observing the fight. He is disappointed by what he sees: even without Gen, the Kekkaishi manage to escape the trap[5] and destroy Haizen and Haroku. Kaguro finally loses his patience when Sanan and Sekia resort to holding Tokine hostage, and kills the two without warning, releasing Tokine. Kaguro is fascinated by the malevolent aura that Tokine's being held hostage produced in Yoshimori, and would like to fight him again once it has been developed. He recovers the discarded human skins and leaves.[5]

The Fall of Gen Shishio

Ka-chat

Kaguro and Aihi talk

After a meeting of Kokuboro's leaders, Aihi approaches Kaguro and asks him if he falsified his report on what happened to his team. Kaguro wonders how she knew, and Aihi points out that he has a reputation for killing allies he doesn't agree with. Kaguro doesn't consider it a betrayal, since he never thought of anyone as his allies. Aihi asks why Byaku's worms don't affect Kaguro, who implies that he may be stronger than Byaku. Kaguro asks Aihi why she prefers to disguise herself as a human, and she admits it is habit, since she once had a human companion who kept her prisoner and preferred that form.

Kaguro later returns to Karasumori in his human skin disguise. Gen immediately picks up his scent at school and tracks him down. Gen tries to attack, but Kaguro easily evades him. Kaguro suggests that Gen is more suited to join Kokuboro, where the monster in him will be appreciated. Gen denies this, and Kaguro gives him an egg containing an Ayakashi insect. Supposedly it will hatch into a minion loyal only to Gen. The next morning, Kaguro confronts Gen again, repeating his offer to join Kokuboro. Gen refuses again and attacks him, tearing off part of Kaguro's disguise.[1] They are interrupted by Yoshimori. Kaguro escapes, but his words have clearly had an impact on Gen.

Back in Kokuboro, Byaku reveals to Kaguro that the egg contains an Ayakashi insect that is actually loyal to him. The insect will gradually convince Gen to join them. Kaguro suggests that one of Byaku's worms might have worked better, but Byaku says that would require more time and effort. Kaguro remains certain that unless Gen has a massive weakness, this will fail, just as it did with him. Byaku replies that he only needs Gen confused in order to weaken Karasumori's defenses. Kaguro mentions the Night Troop, but Byaku confirms he has already taken measures to deal with them. Kaguro later approaches Aihi and offers to help her escape the castle, but she ignores him. When the bulk of Kokuboro's army departs for Karasumori, Kaguro is among them, but Aihi and a few others remain behind in the castle.[6]

37-4

Kaguro stabs Gen

Kaguro watches the Kekkaishi and Gen battle Gagin, but does not participate at first.[7] However, just when Gen is about to destroy Gagin, Kaguro finally intervenes, stabbing Gen through the back with two swords. He gives Gen one last chance to join Kokuboro, and Gen refuses again. Kaguro cruelly rips the swords free, leaving Gen mortally wounded. Kaguro is pursued by a vengeful Yoshimori, but escapes easily. Though Gen eventually succumbs to his wounds, Kokuboro retreats because of Princess's worsening condition.[8]

Confronting Aihi

As Sakon leaves a Kokuboro leaders' meeting, newly promoted to Task Force One commander, Kaguro approaches him. Kaguro suggests that Sakon benefited from Gagin's death, and encourages him to conquer Karasumori in order to win Byaku's favor. Sakon is wary of him, and Kaguro warns him not to touch Yoshimori, who he plans to defeat himself, once Yoshimori has gotten strong enough to challenge him.[9]

Kaguro eavesdrops outside Aihi's lab as she shares her history with Tokine. Tokine leaves, and Aihi is about to do the same when Kaguro blocks her way and
Aihi-end

Kaguro defeats Aihi

provokes her into fighting him. Aihi transforms into her true state: an enormous plant with many vines. Kaguro accuses her of wanting to be human, which Aihi angrily denies. Kaguro cuts several of Aihi's vines, making her unable to regenerate them. Aihi showers Kaguro with pollen, which causes him to see illusions. Aihi crushes his body, but as she starts to leave, Kaguro suddenly appears without his human skin and drives numerous swords through her body. Kaguro is about to finish her when he senses Yoshimori approaching. Seeking a better challenge, he leaves Aihi barely alive. She warns him that it is Ayakashi that are weak, not humans as he thinks, but Kaguro ignores her.[10]

Kaguro's Final Battle

Yoshimori spots Kaguro first and tries to collapse a building on top of him by pummeling it with Kekkai. Kaguro appears behind Yoshimori, which stuns him momentarily, since it's his first time seeing Kaguro outside of the human skin disguise. Yoshimori goes on the attack, but Kaguro easily dodges each one. Kaguro seems more interested in talking than fighting at first, and points out the flaws in Yoshimori's strategy. First, Kaguro is far faster at dodging than Yoshimori is at forming Kekkai. Second, Yoshimori must be able to see Kaguro to attack him. Yoshimori tries to track Kaguro's demonic energy, but Kaguro attacks from below, forcing him to dodge.

Kaguro points out that Kekkai depend more on the user's skills and mood, rather than their power. He purposely provokes Yoshimori by mentioning Gen and then attacks, easily slipping through Yoshimori's Kekkai and scratching his arm. Kaguro says that Yoshimori is unsuited for close combat, since if he's too close to the enemy, he must fight defensively when attacked. Kaguro increases his power and attacks again, forcing Yoshimori to backpedal and block with numerous Kekkai. Kaguro corners Yoshimori, but his swing is blocked by Yoshimori's Zekkai armor, which breaks Kaguro's sword. Yoshimori's confidence is renewed, but Kaguro isn't worried because he knows the technique is incomplete. He reveals that he once met a Kekkaishi with a more complete version. Kaguro begins a flurry of attacks that eventually hits Yoshimori and knocks him off of the roof. Kaguro points out that Yoshimori's armor is weak in places where he doesn't focus, so it can be broken through. Kaguro mentions Gen again, angering Yoshimori and causing his power to increase. Kaguro claims he understood Gen, because he was once a distant human as well, which shocks Yoshimori. Kaguro invites Yoshimori to become like him. Yoshimori refuses, and Kaguro's next strike is so powerful that it knocks Yoshimori into the side of a building.[2]

Despite being at a disadvantage, Yoshimori encourages Kaguro to keep fighting. Kaguro asks for a break, saying that the longer they fight, the stronger Yoshimori gets. He is particularly interested in seeing Yoshimori's Zekkai once it's complete. Kaguro recalls how when he was still human, he saw a complete Zekkai once. Kaguro admires that Yoshimori doesn't hesitate to use his power, and thinks they are similar because they both constantly seek greater strength. Kaguro tells Yoshimori to become truly strong, he must throw away everything else in his life and become completely alone. He invites Yoshimori to join him, but Yoshimori refuses, pointing out that by asking for an ally, even Kaguro doesn't want to be alone, and that he could never side with someone who threw away their humanity.
51-3

Kaguro attacks Sen and Yoshimori

Suddenly, the castle begins to collapse around them, and in the confusion, Yoshimori is grabbed by Sen. The fight resumes, and Kaguro charges with his strongest attack yet, and Yoshimori braces himself with his Zekkai armor. Suddenly, Sen dives between them, attempting to use a broken piece of Kaguro's sword to block the hit. As Sen's blade piece begins to break under Kaguro's attack, Yoshimori instinctively activates Shinkai for the first time, bathing the area in a bright blue aura. Kaguro is stunned to realize he's going to lose, and wonders why. Shortly after his sword breaks through Sen's, Kaguro's body is vaporized.[11]

Powers & Abilities

Kaguro was among the strongest Ayakashi in Kokuboro: Byaku's worms could not control him[1], he had influence even among the organization's leaders, and all other demons were wary of him.

Kaguro-blue

Superior Swordsman: As a human, Kaguro was a highly skilled and motivated swordsman, and this was still true as an Ayakashi.

  • Sword Generation: As an Ayakashi, Kaguro had the ability to grow sword-length blades from virtually anywhere on his body (though he most often preferred his palms)[12][2], and could strengthen them by channeling his desire to destroy into the blades (though they could destroy most Kekkai even at the lowest setting).[2]
  • Anti-Regenerative Damage: According to Kyoichi Hiba, wounds caused by Kaguro's swords could not heal normally: cell activity in the impacted areas slowed down, so the wounds remained open far longer than they would normally.[8] This would increase the chances of Kaguro's victims dying from blood loss. This ability even slowed down both Ayakashi Majiri and Ayakashi regeneration.[12]
  • Superior Speed: Kaguro moved so quickly that it was extremely difficult to target him.[3] This was especially true for a Kekkaishi, who would need time both to target and create a Kekkai: moving closer would put them within range of Kaguro's swords, and at a distance Kaguro had even more time to read their movements.[2]
  • Master Strategist: Kaguro enjoyed toying with his opponents in battle, frequently taunting and enraging them. By doing this with Yoshimori, he discovered that the strength of a Kekkaishi's Kekkai depended more on their skill and feelings than their power.[2]

Trivia

  • Kaguro's name (火黒) means black fire.
  • Kaguro's appearance and personality are in great homage to the design of Shishio Makoto of the Rurouni Kenshin series.
  • Kaguro may also represent lightning speed, because he was turned into an Ayakashi with a lightning bolt in the anime.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Kekkaishi anime, Episode 34
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 Kekkaishi anime, Episode 50
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Kekkaishi anime, Episode 28
  4. 4.0 4.1 Kekkaishi anime, Episode 26
  5. 5.0 5.1 Kekkaishi anime, Episode 29
  6. Kekkaishi anime, Episode 35
  7. Kekkaishi anime, Episode 36
  8. 8.0 8.1 Kekkaishi anime, Episode 37
  9. Kekkaishi anime, Episode 38
  10. Kekkaishi anime, Episode 49
  11. Kekkaishi anime, Episode 51
  12. 12.0 12.1 Kekkaishi anime, Episode 49

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