Nurarihyon no Mago Chapter #1
Nurarihyon no Mago Episode #1
Anime, Manga and Game
Kurotabō, called "the assassin and destruction monk", hides an arsenal of weapons beneath his clothes and is able to release them all or individually at will. He is often partnered with Aotabō, as the two are known as the assault officers of the Nura Clan.
Kurotabō is a fairly tall yōkai with long blue-black hair and blue eyes, appearing as a young bishōnen human in his early twenties. He is frequently seen dressed in black monks' robes and a conic straw hat topped by a diamond shape. He wears a white scarf around his neck and an olive-colored kesa fastened by a ring over his robes (signifying his full ordinance as a monk). Apart from the standard warrior monk's shakujō that he carries, Kuratabō's long robes hide the many weapons in his arsenal. Beneath his hat, a pair of small nub-like horns protrude from either side of his forehead.
When disguised as a human, Kurotabō ties his hair back and wears a pin-striped business suit with a blue tie. For some reason, he usually keeps his eyes closed while in human form.
During his time in the Hyaku Monogatari Clan, through which his form was corrupted by the Conquerer's Tea, Kurotabō's hair was even longer and a pair of thin spiraled horns protruded from either side of his forehead. In his first introduction as a general of the Hyaku Monogatari Clan, he wore Manchu-Qing Dynasty-styled court robes with a dragon motif. In his assassin disguise, Kurotabō dressed entirely in black, wearing gloves (though in his first appearance, they are contradictorily absent) and hiding half of his face under a black scarf. His appearance returned to its original state, and the one seen in the present day, after Sanmoto's defeat. Subsequently, since then he tends to keep one eye open and one eye closed - just like Rihan.
Befitting his status as a warrior monk, Kurotabō is generally cool, pragmatic, and no-nonsense in battle and in his everyday role as bodyguard to Rikuo. However, prior to exchanging sakazuki with Rihan and joining the Nura Clan during the Edo Period, he was focused strictly on his role as an assassin in Sanmoto Gorōzaemon's employ - shy, unquestioning, and without realizing any real purpose to his existence. Kurotabō has since loosened up, able to hold his own fairly well while indulging in Ukiyoe Town First District activities.
Regardless, he will occasionally display bouts of childish, silly behavior, especially when regarding his looks (while riding the subway, he internally -and snootily- puts down the other bodyguards for their human disguises not being nearly as good as his, as a "handsome, successful businessman"), his skills (particularly when having contests with Aotabō), and his own lingering grudge against the 8-year-old Rikuo due to having always fallen for the latter's pranks. Additionally, despite his massive popularity and heartthrob status with yōkai females, Kurotabō's relative inexperience (and bad luck) with women of both species causes him to be mistaken for a pervert time and again.
Kurotabō may claim he "couldn't care less about humans," but he may actually care more about them than most other yōkai as he was created by the thoughts and hopes of humans. This is evident not only in his fate as protector of human children like Natsumi, but also in the way he was easily enslaved by the human Sanmoto, calling the latter a "wonderful master" before realizing his treachery. It is probably Sanmoto's deceit and betrayal that contributes to Kurotabō's general opinion of humans, but, on the other hand, it is that humanity-laced 'fear' which attracts him to seek out Rihan.
??? Years AgoEdit
Kurotabō is a unique type of yōkai as he was born out of a legend started by children who had been orphaned due to war and famine. The strong wills of the children wanting to be saved and protected eventually gave birth to him as a yōkai.
During the Edo era, Sanmoto used the Conqueror's Tea to place Kurotabō under his control. Without recollection of his intended purpose or any real sense of self, Kurotabō loyally followed Sanmoto's orders and acted as an efficient assassin. During his battle with Rihan, whom he had been sent to kill, Kurotabō began to question the meaning of his own existence. Though he continued to serve Sanmoto and hinder the Nura Clan's forces, he also underwent an internal struggle trying to figure out just who and what he really was. Once Sanmoto turned himself into a yōkai and his 100 parts began terrorizing the people of Edo, Kurotabō finally regained his memories and sense of self as a result of a child crying to the legend of "Kurotabō" for help. He subsequently exchanged sakazuki with Rihan inside the latter's "inner world" and the pair performed matoi in order to defeat Sanmoto. It is assumed that he joined the Nura Clan, as per Rihan's offer, not long after.
4-10 Years AgoEdit
He looked after Rikuo when the boy was young and often fell victim to his pranks. Four years ago, he was among the yōkai who went to rescue the school bus and ended up fighting members of the Gagoze Alliance.
Assigned as one of Rikuo's extra bodyguards, he accompanies the latter to school disguised as a human. Before the final battle with Shikoku's forces, he is also among those who exchange sakazuki with Rikuo.
In the manga, the jerky movements of the train result in a misunderstanding where he is accused of being a pervert, but Natsumi saves him, explaining that it was an accident. He later arrives at Senba's Shrine just as Sodemogi-sama curses Natsumi, and, due to feeling indebted to her, takes it upon himself to hunt down and kill her assailant. He catches up to Sodemogi-sama when the latter tries to take over Kokehime's shrine and uses his arsenal of weapons to kill him.
He is present during the student council election and attempts to fight an over-sized Inugami, with little success. In the final battle between Rikuo's forces and the Shikoku Hachijūhakki Yakō, he faces the Ko-bōzu. Upon finishing his fight, he attempts to help Aotabō, Kappa and Kubinashi, only to discover that each has already defeated their opponent as well. He comforts himself by recalling how he had received a letter of thanks from Kokehime.
In the anime, he arrives shortly after Natsumi is cursed and decides to hunt down Sodemogi-sama for having attacked one of Rikuo's friends. He is ultimately responsible for Sodemogi-sama's demise at Kokehime's shrine. Later, he is present during the encounter with Inugami and in the final conflict with Shikoku's forces, he battles an unnamed opponent.
When Rikuo returns to the Nura House accompanied by a group of yōkai from Tōno Village, Kurotabō gets into an argument with Awashima and, after realizing that the latter is in female form, is once again mistaken for a pervert. Kurotabō is among those who journey to Kyōto aboard Takarabune. Shortly after their arrival in Kyōto, Kurotabō is partially caught up in Nijūnanamen Senju Mukade's fear, enabling him to provide minimal assistance to Awashima, who had been fully caught.
After the Nura Clan is decimated by Tsuchigumo and the recovered forces discover Kubinashi's handiwork at later seals, Kurotabō voices his concern over the former's current state of mind and suggests the group locate him quickly. Later, when Rikuo et al. arrive at Nijō Castle, Kurotabō battles Kidōmaru while explaining an alternate method of matoi to Rikuo. They then perform matoi, enabling Rikuo to hold his own against Kidōmaru. Kurotabō remains in a state of matoi through the birth of the Nue, and Rikuo continues to make use of his weapons arsenal while battling Hagoromo Gitsune. Upon realizing that their current matoi type isn't enough to cause damage to Hagoromo Gitsune, Kurotabō suggests Rikuo switch to the Izutsu method, thus firing Kurotabō's fear in one massive shot.
Once Rikuo officially takes over as third head of the Nura Clan, Kurotabō is among those who are promoted to the upper echelons.
After Yanagida kidnaps Natsumi and uses her as a catalyst for "the girl in the subway station" urban legend, and Saori becomes involved, Natsumi cries for someone to help them and ultimately ends up summoning Kurotabō to their location. He rescues both girls and has a verbal confrontation with Yanagida just as Rikuo and a small group of Nura Clan yōkai arrive.
During the subsequent Nura Clan board meeting, when someone suggests that there is a spy in their midst, Hitotsume Nyūdō subtly accuses Kurotabō, due to the latter's former connection to the Hyaku Monogatari Clan. Aotabō and Kubinashi immediately jump to his defense, but Kurotabō firmly asserts his loyalty to the Nura Clan. Afterward, Rikuo finds him outside staring at the sakura tree and ends up asking to hear Kurotabō's story.
Once the game of "Tokyo tag" begins, Kurotabō grows utterly furious at Yanagida, vowing to send him to hell for having destroyed Rikuo's everyday life. Though he never has an outright confrontation with Yanagida, he follows the latter throughout the "game" in order to sneak into the Hyaku Monogatari Clan's base of operations. As a result, he shows up in time to save Ryūji from an attack by Seimei's descendant Ariyuki. Later, after Sanmoto's defeat, Kurotabō seeks out a desolate Yanagida, only to discover that the latter is convinced that Sanmoto hasn't truly died. Kurotabō loses track of Yanagida when the latter flees to begin plans to resurrect Sanmoto anew.
Weapons & AbilitiesEdit
Kurotabō has a vast arsenal of weapons at his disposal which remain concealed within his sleeves when not in use. They can be shot from his sleeves in their entirety, but also appear connected to lengthy chains - thus enabling him to easily retract them.
- Anki Kuroenbu (暗器黒演舞, lit. "dance of the black weapons") is a technique which shoots countless weapons from Kurotabō's sleeve(s). Kurotabō can rapidly spin, shooting out weapons simultaneously to attack enemies from different directions. He can also shoot them like projectiles straight from his sleeves with a considerable amount of accuracy, causing significant damage. During his time as Sanmoto's underling, he also had guns in his weapon repertoire. Whether this holds true in the present as well has yet to be seen.
- Rihan - Though they first met on unpleasant terms, Rihan's influence was what caused Kurotabō to question his existence as Sanmoto's underling. He came to have a great deal of respect toward Rihan, and the flashback to the latter's funeral shows Kurotabō as one of the more emotional mourners present.
- Natsumi - Kurotabo has saved Natsumi many times, leading to them developing feelings for each other. (Though it is not actually stated in the Anime or Manga, it was confirmed in an interview later on that the two starting dating.) (source?)
- Kurotabō is considered one of the most handsome yōkai in the land.
- He ranked 17th in the First Hyakki character popularity poll with 237 votes, and, after having a major role in the latter part of the Kyoto Arc and the Hundred Tales Clan Arc, he ranked 4th in the Second Hyakki character popularity poll with 1,358 votes.
- ↑ Nurarihyon no Mago manga; Chapter 8, page 28
- ↑ Nurarihyon no Mago anime; Season 1, Episode 11
- ↑ Nurarihyon no Mago manga; Chapter 182, page 12
- ↑ Nurarihyon no Mago manga; Chapter 28, pages 6-7
- ↑ Nurarihyon no Mago manga; Kiyotsugu's Yōkai Knowledge Number 10 - Fan question: How many blades does Kurotabō carry with him?
- ↑ Nurarihyon no Mago manga; Chapter 52, page 4