souhi_no_arashi: (To the Next World)
[personal profile] souhi_no_arashi
Player Name: Yuriko
Player DW: [personal profile] chiba_yuriko
Contact: Email: wagamama.puu@gmail.com; AIM: Chiba Yuriko; Plurk: [plurk.com profile] wagamamapuu
Character Number: 2

Character: Kurogane
Source: Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE
Appearance: The tall dark ninja with the ridiculously long sword here.

History: Tsubasa Overview

Kurogane Overview

Additions/Corrections:

Most of the wiki concerning just Kurogane is correct, but it is missing a few things and I still don't know where the fandom got the idea that his mother had Tuberculosis. As far as I know that is entirely fanon. Canonly she's just ill with something not stated. Also, Kurogane is then apparently spared the damage due to the protective spell that placed upon him before leaving Japan by Tomoyo. He then stabs Ashura, and after the king's death, Fai's second curse activates. this is not correct. The spell Tomoyo placed on Kurogane (originally hidden from him and said to be a curse that would weaken him should he ever kill a person) spared Kurogane, but not the damage. That wound was very much a mortal blow and the spell simply kept Kurogane from dying there - he was still very much injured. (*Note: there are a few other things that aren't necessarily correct due to messy scanlations especially towards the very end of the story, but they aren't integral to Kurogane's character so I won't worry about them here.)

Also the wikia starts the background in-story at around the Tokyo arc which is half way through the series, so I'll hit some spots it missed from the earlier half.

Hanshin - Kurogane shows his fighting prowess more fully here in this world, only really helping out so they can move on to the next world and thus get him closer to home faster. His kudan (summoned beings/creatures that everyone in the country has, their strength reflects the inner strength of the person) in the country of Hanshin is of the highest level and is another world version of Seresu (from MKR). This dragon being becomes a large sword for Kurogane to wield in his battle with a local gang's leader.

Outo - Kurogane and Syaoran take up positions as Oni hunters in this world where everyone takes on a job. There was no better job suited to the man after all and due to this partnership, Kurogane also reveals some of his keen/quiet observation skills, pointing out Syaoran's blind eye without being told about it. In this country he also takes Syaoran on as a student when the young man requests that Kurogane teach him to use a weapon and help overcome his blind spot further. Kurogane's training starts out tough from the get go, with his blindfolding Syaoran and telling him to make his way home without his sight to teach him to not rely on the sense at all when necessary. However, he takes this route because he knows one, that Syaoran is serious, and two, he knows he can handle it. Plus, Kurogane is just very serious about the whole thing and is of the mindset that if someone can't do that much, they don't deserve a weapon in the first place. Kurogane also takes on Seishirou after believing the man has killed not only Fai, but also Syaoran. This turns out all to only be a virtual reality game the group fell into basically and once the man discovers his companions aren't actually dead, the fight all but trails off with Seishirou basically explaining that Kurogane was no longer interested in killing him seriously. This is also the world in which Kurogane gained the weapon that would stick with him until he returns back to his own world during their journey, Souhi.

Shara/Shura/Yama - At the beginning of this arc, Fai and Kurogane are separated from Syaoran, Sakura and Mokona, however Mokona is close enough by that they can understand one another, however when within this country they are transported again, the timing of each groups arrival is not synchronized and Kurogane and Fai find themselves in the country of Yama for six months alone before the others arrive in the same time period in the country of Shura. Thus, the two of them are alone together in a strange world with no way to speak to one another. Lucky for them, Kurogane's language was close enough to that of Yama's for him to be able to achieve basic communications. Fai is left basically in Kuro's hands. The two of them during their time in Yama became two of the most feared and famed warriors in Yasha's army. Also, Kurogane uses the fact that Syaoran believes Kurogane and Fai to be Yama world's versions to further try and train the boy despite the long time they'd been apart - figuring Syaoran would fight more fiercely if he didn't know it was them.

Piffle - Piffle is really an arc for Sakura to shine in, but this is the first world where Kurogane comes across another version of his princess, Tomoyo. As such, he gets teased quite a bit for this due to his shy and bristly reaction to her presence and kindness. Also, this is another chapter in which we see him poking holes in Fai's facade and he sacrifices his place in the race to help Sakura and have her continue on (to which she wins the race). He finds out via piffle!Tomoyo that his Tomoyo is doing alright and that they have spoken via dreams as well.

LeCourt - Kurogane's past is revealed in this arc, but in terms of his own involvement, it's fairly limited. He touches the memory book that is then passed to Syaoran, showing the boy Kurogane's childhood in Nihon. Once Syaoran is snapped out of the trance the book put him in, he and Kurogane discuss briefly alone what the boy saw and Syaoran reveals to Kurogane that he has seen the symbol on the sword that killed his mother on the soldiers that attacked him in Clow Country just before he was sent to Yuuko's shop. Thus, Kurogane now had a lead on the person who killed his mother (he had been seeking revenge for this, but had found no leads in Nihon itself). After that the only thing that Kurogane himself did of note is during their battle with the library guardian is he realizes for the second time that something is strange about Syaoran (as in Syaoran once in battle before with Kurogane even noticed that he was not fighting like himself, but as if he was someone else).

Timeline: Post-series; Post chapter 192 of xxxHOLiC

Personality: Kurogane is a fairly straightforward sort. He doesn't like to fool around with nonsense or silliness and he hates putting up with it from anyone else (though if provoked he can fall into a rather ridiculous pattern of yelling, chasing, and comically aggravated attempts at violence). He doesn't like the prospect of hiding from things, whether they be the past or yourself or an opponent. He is the type to face something head on and he expects others to do the same. He firmly believes in getting by on one's own strength and at the beginning of TRC, he's obsessed with growing stronger for the sake of strength alone. He hadn't always been that way though - when he was young he'd wanted strength in order to protect the people and homeland he loved. However somewhere along the way after losing his family and village to demons and nearly losing his mind to his rampage following he grew to only seek strength for its own sake. Due to this obsession, he really saw no reason for mercy and would often kill opponents merely to prove he could strike them down, even if they were clearly no match for him. Kurogane at the start of his journey had little to no respect for life in general, only for the lives of those he deemed worth it. Despite this seemingly very brutish and callous view on life, to those he does deem worthy, he's fiercely loyal (they are just few and far between). Princess Tomoyo, the girl who saved him after the demon slaughter is someone he'd give his life for without hesitation and he claims later that he serves her and her alone and would never serve another. And this was after she'd expelled him from their world and sent him careening on some crazy journey with a curse as a parting gift ("If you kill, you will lose strength" essentially). It's a testament to both his desire for strength as well as his devotion to his princess that after he's expelled he does not kill a single person on their journey save once far along their travels. And it was for the sake of lives he cared deeply for by that point and he did it with the full expectation that it would "weaken" him in a way. He'd found a true meaning to strength in re-learning the purpose he once sought it for: to protect.

Kurogane, due to his rather violent nature and views on life, is one who fully believes if you engage in a fight, particularly if you wield a weapon, you should be prepared to die right then and there. There is no half-way or half-heartedness for the man and he doesn't tolerate it in those around him either. More than once, there were tense angry words given to Fai for half-assing on their journey and he'd made it clear to the other man that he wouldn't take it from him. It isn't to say he doesn't have the same expectations of others though, as we do see him holding Syaoran to the same standards in a way. While Syaoran doesn't consciously do things half-way, before he would teach the boy to use a sword, he forced him to overcome the obstacle of the boy's sight (having vision in only one eye). It was only after he believed Syaoran could surmount this challenge fully that he would teach him anything. The boy had to be able to give his all to the teaching and that was all there was going to be to it.

Beneath the rough exterior is a man who has a strict sense of kindness and caring. As he grows closer to his travelling companions, he starts taking them on as his responsibility, people he must protect with all that strength. He looks out for the kids, he teaches Syaoran in order to grow stronger to protect Sakura, he starts questioning and pushing Fai to stop lying and face them, seeing past the mask. He doesn't voice kind words and one would rarely if ever hear something like "thank you" coming from Kurogane, but he shows his feelings in his actions and to him that's enough.

Whether it's his training and upbringing or just part of his nature, the man is rather observant and not at all stupid. Early on he shows suspicions about Fai and the man's smiling mask. He's not slow to put things together when clues present themselves and the only thing he has a true weakness in is when magic or illusions are involved. Otherwise, he's fairly aware of his surroundings and of those around him. When Syaoran himself starts showing signs of not being all he seemed, Kurogane also noticed this as well, such as the sudden shift in fighting style and demeanor in the boy in LeCourt. Even his observation that when he'd killed Ashura he had in a way weakened himself (referring to the arm he cut off in response to the events after killing the man in order to save Fai). Even though it had been revealed that there hadn't been a curse at all to start with, he still felt as if he'd been weakened through the ordeal - it showed a surprising amount of self-awareness that the man had developed.

By means of quirks, even straight-man, strict, grumpy Kurogane has his. From world to world, he's seen indulging in a continuing ninja manga whenever he has a chance (of course we've seen much less of this as the story took a more serious turn), but it shows that he does do some things for fun after all (besides a good fight I mean). He also has his comedic moments as I mentioned before in his overreactions to provocation. Mokona and Fai like to tease and poke at the man in order to illicit these outbursts as well, amusing themselves in making the normally gruff, silent man yell and flail in anger, particularly by mangling his name into cutesy nicknames or showing other means of affection for him. He also seems to have an almost child-like excitement lurking just below the surface when things that remind him of home come up. As they travel many different worlds in TRC, when they come across something like hakama or sushi or other things that are reminiscent of his Japanese-like homeland, he seems to enjoy it immensely, actually showing eagerness or casualness he does not normally exhibit. It is shown several times in the manga that Kurogane can be quite the drinker with little indication of intoxication. The man can hold his liquor, to be sure. Another small thing that has been noted in the manga is the manner in which he sleeps - almost completely still. It is commented on that this is to be expected of a ninja. From this I also assume he doesn't sleep too heavily and remains fairly aware of his surroundings even while asleep.

Abilities:
Kurogane since he was a little boy has been training with a sword and in martial arts and thus is a master in swordsmanship. Also, he inherited some of his father's "techniques" as well, which seem to be a combination of not only the sword strikes themselves, but a manipulation of ki (energy) as well. So while they are not magic attacks, they have more impact and strength and range than a traditional blow would. The amount of damage caused by any one of these attacks varies in canon, but I'd say it's safe to say a good amount of damage to a building from a direct strike would be reasonable. The impact on an opponent unfortunately would vary widely by the opponent, but you'd want to have good stamina and defensive skills to take Kurogane in a real fight. The man thrives on a good battle (he was thrown out of his world with Tomoyo claiming there was no one left there stronger than he was, though I'd argue Amaterasu likely is as strong as him if not more, if only due to his "fear" of her and that she is the Empress and Kendappa from RG Veda, just in another world). Kurogane also spent his life after moving to Shirasaki castle training and eventually becoming a ninja in the service of the royalty of Nihon which stands to reason he's versed in other weapons as well (this is shown in various parts in the manga as well), he just favors a sword.

Also, he has displayed a superhuman strength of sorts, but the limit of this is putting dents into concrete with a fist or breaking down single walls with a hard punch, so in terms of relatives, it isn't too out there, I hope. As a ninja, his speed and agility are at high levels, though I'd say they are in the realm of humanly reasonable at least. His stamina however is insane and definitely inhuman-ish. Kurogane can take a lot of damage and still get up and beat some ass down and will do so until he physically can't any longer if it comes to that. Despite his strength and sword skills, Kurogane is human and takes injuries and can be killed. He's just made of tough stuff.

Kurogane's senses, both physical and ki, are so keen that he has the ability to sense the presence of others. And randomly it's been said that he can see fairly well in the dark, which it's unclear if he literally can see in the dark or if it's good night vision combined with this ability to sense the presence of others (and the -not- presence of other things in the environment). Personally I'm guessing it's that latter.

Oh, and as a note, one of Kurogane's "weak" points is magic. He doesn't have a good sense for magic or illusions, either being affected by them or them affecting the environment. He has no ability to feel that sort of influence (unlike say, Fai, who can sense other magic users and magic in play).

Inventory: The clothing given to him in Clow Country before they set out for their new journey (as pictured in his image), new mechanical arm picked up in Piffle Country upon revisiting it (I’m assuming because it was a futuristic other world that this arm was not composed of iron/steel and some other metal alloy, so I’m hoping it’s fine for him to keep this). Normally he would also have had Ginryuu (family heirloom sword) with him upon arrival, but seeing as it is a steel sword… I’m thinking he is going to have it taken from him before he comes to at the temple

Prose Sample:

Kurogane’s only been in Demelier a few days, but he’s about to get his first taste of the locals he’d been warned about. He’s just sore that when he does, he doesn’t have his sword because the bollybog that comes to harass him is not only persistent, but annoying as hell and begging to taste his blade.

With a snarl the man throws back his cloak that is covering his artificial arm, hoping maybe he can bluff the creature into taking a hike. He’d heard these things didn’t like iron and that that was why his sword had gone missing. And for a moment, it looks like this may work. The thing shimmies back, eyeing him warily. But it doesn’t last long and with teeth gnashing in his direction followed by a string of angry grunts, it’s back and growing bolder, taking a swipe at Kurogane with long, sharp and yellowed nails. He darts back in time to keep from having blood drawn, but he’s cursing not having a weapon on hand even harder now.

Apparently he’d need to improvise and subdue it by hand long enough to get his small bit of iron he obtained at the forge on the thing to teach it a lesson. While new, he wasn’t going to be easy pickings. With that decided a smirk starts to curl his lips and there is a glint to crimson eyes, a challenge issued.

“If you want to give me a good reason to blow off steam, be my guest,” and he gestures rudely to the bollybog, provoking it to just try him.

All any of the other citizens of the village could hope for now was that they did not come across this scuffle while it went down, for their own sakes. Unless someone decides they wanted to help the new guy out in a tag team, whether or not he welcomes the aid.

Journal Sample:
[Kurogane has seen and done weirder things in his travels, so he'll take the "talking" mirror up on its suggestion. Mostly because what he wants and needs now is information and he sure as hell doesn't see anyone on hand to ask.

So, have a somewhat uncertain scowl, citizens of Demelier and a gruff, no nonsense tone to match.]


Oi. I'm a traveller who just arrived here, if someone could point me at lodgings, it would help.

...also if anyone has seen a tall blonde with blue eyes who smiles way too damn much or a kid with brown hair and brown eyes, both newly arrived too, speak up.

[He... wasn't going to touch on Mokona just yet. Some worlds reacted better to the littlest of their party better than others...

Besides, Kurogane was never much one for unnecessary chatter, so that was more than enough to start. He was going to get an idea what kind of world this was before proceeding or revealing anything else.]


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