Voiced by: Kousuke Okano (Japanese) and Scott Roberts (English)
Recca, the son of a fireworks smith, fantasizes about being a ninja, while butting heads with Delinquents. One day, he meets (and is immediately smitten by) Yanagi Sakoshita, becoming involved in a destiny four centuries in the making, when he learns that he was actually warped from the Sengoku period by his mother Kagerou and is half-siblings with Kurei, an assassin who wants Yanagi's healing powers for his insane stepfather, Kouran Mori, who desires Immortality. He enters a tournament after "defeating" Kurei, and eventually wins for real. He and his allies become involved with Mori, who now has found the power of eternal life, but transforms him into an abomination. Despite its power, he still needs to absorb Yanagi to achieve perfection. Recca and co. face him and his assassin group and face him once and for all, causing Recca to lose his powers.
Ascended Fanboy: He was a fan of ninjas in general. Then he realized that he really is a ninja.
Blessed with Suck: Had the dragons never given Recca their abilities, he'd be stuck working with standard level flame bursts, and his own strength and skill. Not to mention that his flame has no true form.
Took a Level in Badass: And then he started to learn the power of the flame dragons, not to mention get more powerful himself without them.
Brought Down to Normal: Ultimately sacrifices his pyromantic powers to defeat Mori, in the process destroying all Madougus.
Cursed with Awesome: All flame wielders can manipulate fire and have high resistance to it, not to mention a special fire ability. However, if he/she releases a fire seal, more flames will emanate than he/she can consciously control, which can prove fatal provided the true form of their flame is a jerk.
Though once Mori Koran fuses with the Tendo Jigoku, he makes an exception towards this rule.
Tomato in the Mirror: He eventually finds out that he, not Kurei, is the cursed child of the Hokage clan, and is at most risk of becoming the ninth Cursed Dragon.
Madougu: (Healing Powers)
Voiced by:Yuki Masuda (Japanese) and Carol-Anne Day (English)
A sweet girl Recca meets and is immediately smitten with after saving her from falling debris from a nearby construction site. At that moment she reveals her healing powers, which makes her a walking target for Mori and his underlings. In the meantime she serves as Team Hokage's medic.
Ms. Fanservice: Near the end of the manga, Yanagi has gotten noticeably taller, and the fact that she's forced to wear a rather form fitting white dress doesn't hurt either.
Plucky Girl: Not as much an Action Girl as all the other females in the series, but she's as determined as the rest of them.
Reincarnation: In her past life, Yanagi was Princess Sakura, whom Recca's father Ouka pledged loyalty to after she healed his wounds (their first meeting actually mirrored Recca's and Yanagi's). She was in love with a servant and spurned the advances of a powerful, evil warlord with a record of abusing and killing his mistress, and Ouka promised to use the strength of the Hokage to assassinate the warlord and solve her country's dilemma. Unfortunately, the mission failed. In the war that ensued, Sakura's father and lover died and Sakura herself committed suicide out of grief, leaving Ouka to finish off the warlord personally in his defense of her suicide ritual. Sakura's death remained Ouka's greatest regret to this day; he told Recca that he believed the reason Yanagi in present day has healing powers is because Sakura's soul wasn't saved and urged Recca to rescue Yanagi from Tendou Jigoku's clutch.
Replacement Goldfish: Mikagami treats her like a substitute of his beloved dead sister, whom she resembles to an uncanny degree, with a rather... belligerent passion, at first. He mellows out a lot later, but is still just as protective of her.
An infamous delinquent who would frequently butt heads with Recca, only because Fuuko, the object of his affections, told him that he could court her should he beat Recca. Of course, all his attempts fail, and he instead ends up helping Recca rescue Fuuko from brainwashing by Kage Hoshi. Upon the formation of Team Hokage, Kage Hoshi/Kagerou bequeaths him the Dosei no Wa, which further amplifies his already physical strength. He later receives Kuchibashi Oh, a sharp beak-like weapon attached to a long chain, and the Tetsugan, which grants him temporary invincibility.
Amazon Chaser: The reason why he chases after Fuuko was because she constantly beat the crap out of him.
Badass: When you have entire gangs coming to fight you, you know you're one of the toughest kids in town.
Recca's tomboyish childhood rival, who always wanted to beat him so he would have to serve her. She doesn't take well to the news that Recca devoted his life to Yanagi out of his free will, so she quickly accepted Kage Hoshi's Fujin, a device which lets her control wind. Unfortunately it turns out to be spiked with a brainwashing device, and Recca and Domon had to defeat her to free her. Afterwards she becomes friendlier with Yanagi, reconnects with Recca, and starts to take Domon, who had been pining for her for years, a little bit more seriously. She also gains the Matsume, a set of needles, which she combines with the Fujin to generate sharp spikes of wind.
Delinquent: Like Recca and Domon, Fuuko get into a lot of fights!
Determinator: Getting the crap kicked out of her by spiked spider tentacles? She won't quit. Repeatedly getting electrocuted by a laser beam? She won't quit. Being poisoned and getting beaten down on, only to steal the antidote at the last moment? This girl just won't quit!
It's a trait in the past that Recca mentioned, ever since Junior High. Did she just got sick? She won't ever pass up a school day because of that.
An enigmatic, handsome swordsman out on a mission to avenge his older sister Mifuyu, who was murdered right before his very eyes. Cold and calculating, he only joins Team Hokage to advance his cause, although he subsequently finds himself in a protective role towards Yanagi, who constantly reminds him of Mifuyu. He fights using the Ensui, a rapier-like Madougu which can utilize water in both its liquid, solid and gaseous states.
Butt Monkey: Ever since he "molded" with Team Hokage and started letting go of his path of vengeance, he's starting to compete with Domon for this position. Fuuko picks on him on daily basis (hits him off, kick him while he sleeps) and then for no apparent reason, fell into a trap that he could've dodged easily, which ends with him rained with taunts and ridicule by Recca and Domon.
Child Prodigy: Tokiya mastered Hyomon Ken in seven years, and that's implied to be very impressive by his teacher. And not only that, he's a top student in school, not to mention an excellent tactician.
Revenge - His early motivation, causing him to be totally ruthless and cruel. But...
Vengeance Feels Empty - He learns it the hard way after his fight with Kai, who was consumed with the same thing and Driven to Suicide after his emptiness. With that in mind, he drops the revenge motivation.
A young boy who originally was affiliated to Kurei's Uruha, but later sided with Team Hokage. In battle he fights using the Kougan Anki, a puzzle-like Madougu which can transform into five different forms.
Abhorrent Admirer: He has one in the form of a homosexual, psychotic, killer, pedophile cyborg.
Interrupted Suicide: As a kid, he tried to slit his wrists but Kurei stopped him. This action made Kaoru swear loyalty to Kurei and is the main reason why he can't turn his weapon on him because Kurei saved his life. Alas this is not presented in the manga.
A mysterious woman clad in black who stalks Recca and served as the antagonist of the first arc by way of brainwashing Fuuko with the Fujin and egging on Tokiya on his misguided quest for vengeance. As it turns out, she only did all these to test Recca's growing powers. After Recca saved Yanagi from Mori and Kurei, she ultimately reveals herself as none other than Recca's mother Kagerou, who was forced to teleport him 400 years into the future to spare him from the massacre of their clan by Oda Nobunaga — at the price of her becoming immortal. While not an active combatant for Team Hokage, she bears her own Madougu, the Eikai Kyouku, a crystal ball which acts both as a teleporter, time recorder and scrying device.
Action Mom: She may be a retired ninja, but she will still kick your ass.
Anti-Villain: Throughout the first arc — all this time she only wants to see how much her son has grown.
My Greatest Failure: The reason the dragons haven't moved on is that they have deep regrets, for Resshin/Oka, it's Sakura's death and for Koku, it's implied either the fact he regrets that he didn't succeed in destroying the Tendo Jigoku or that his fellow madogu smith, Kaima turned evil and insane. As for the others, it's anyone's guess
Story Breaker Power: An extremely powerful laser beam, which is already powerful on its own, but when combined with Nadare's multiple Energy Ball attack, it results in one of the strongest attacks in the series
Greed: His primary character trait. He has more than any one person could ever want, but it isn't enough. He realises that his fortunate would be worth nothing if he couldn't stay alive indefinitely to enjoy it.
He even said whenever he gets something, he immediately wants something else. His greed is totally all consuming.
Moral Event Horizon: He has one in-universe (while out-universe, he has crossed it so many times before), when he gloats on Hisui's death on a crying Fuuko. At that point, Recca, who used to mock his Gonk face playfully, drops whatever 'fun' he had and only faces him with utter hatred and disgust in his face, thinking that Mori crossed the line into the worst person he's ever known.
Jerk Ass: One of the biggest, a large reason he becomes a couple with Mikoto is they are very alike. Doesn't stop him from killing her in the end.
Mook Promotion: He starts out as a foot soldier in the Uruha who gets to have a little more screentime in the Urabutou Satsujin. He ends up being one of the main characters' most tenacious opponents, outliving several high-ranking fighters in the Uruha, and joins the final battle as quite the badass enemy.
Sibling Rivalry: She likes to think that there's this chemistry between her and Kurei (who is like an older brother to her, since she thinks of herself as Mori's daughter). Kurei, on the other hand, registers her as trash unworthy of his rivalry, as well as an insult to Kurenai's memory, and proceeds to disabuse her of this notion via a thorough curb stomp the second time they meet.
Smug Snake: Like Mori, she thinks her flame is super powerful and is not afraid to show it off to experienced flame masters like Recca and Kurei. In actuality she's fairly weak and her flame doesn't even have a real form, which means it's no more than cheap imitation to Kurei.
Too Dumb to Live: Overestimates her flame power and thinks she can take on Kurei. Actually meets and flaunts her ability around to Kurei, who believes the flame is a prized possession of his bloodline. Then compares herself to Kurei's dead girlfriend Kurenai and talks smack about her. She's only alive after Kurei beats the hell out of her because he wants to let Tendou Jigoku to finish the job which he does.
Ax-Crazy: A killing fanatic. Slaughter is literally what he lived for.
Kurei is the son of Kouran Mori and for some reason he looks rather similar to Recca and able to unleash flames on his hand, only blue/purple colored. He's cold hearted and sadistic, and led an elite group of assassins, the Uruha. He's quick to reveal that he's Recca's brother from the past, being ostracized as a cursed child since he's at childhood age made him nearly assassinate the infant Recca and snuck to the present age when the Hokage was obliterated by Oda Nobunaga, ending up in the care of the kind Tsukino Mori... whose husband is a monster extraordinary. Kurei was eventually double-crossed by Kouran and nearly died, surviving thanks to his loyal subordinates and decided to take revenge by killing Kouran.
Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Kurei has always loved both of his mothers. He's proud of his birth mother, and he went out of his way to act polite and courteous in front of her imprisoned stepmother, preferring not to shed blood in front of her, and when he learned that Mori's men were badmouthing his stepmom behind his back... after he left his mother's sight, he puts on his Psychotic Smirk and burnt down the insulters.
Jerkass Woobie: Sure, Kurei is far from nice, but to go through everything he has from the age of four, you just have to feel for him. He was stripped of his birthright for no properly proven reason, exiled with his mother to the outskirts of the village to endure ridicule and humiliation, not to mention implied violence from other children, imprisoned after trying to kill Recca in attempt to make his mother happy, oh, and his entire clan was destroyed in the span of a single night, including his father, and his mother who died protecting him. This is all at the age of four or five!
When Kurei arrives in the future, he's adopted by a kind woman. Turns out, her husband is an utter beast! For the next twelve years, Kurei is trained to become a killing machine with no emotions to hold him back, and if he doesn't do what he is told, his adoptive mother would be killed. Then, he meets a girl, who he begins to love, but she is then killed by his adoptive father because she was holding Kurei back. That was pretty much the last straw for Kurei.
Made of Iron: After he and Recca beat the ever loving tar out of each other, depleting their physical and mental energies, they fire off multiple blasts of flame that collapse an entire stadium on the both of them! He then busts out with his fists looking fine.
Necromancer: His flame has the power to revive the souls of dead people and make them his own flame, like Kurenai and Jisho. Like father like son.
The Call Knows Where You Live: The moment he considers exiting the battlefield for good to start a new chapter with Neon, one of Mori's underlings attacks their hiding place and injures Neon. Kurei takes that as a sign that he isn't meant to have a peaceful life, kills the mook, and leaves Neon a note wishing for her happiness before going off to settle his scores with Mori.
The Only One Allowedto Defeat You: After what he sees as Recca being the basic cause of all his initial troubles, Kurei doesn't want anyone finishing Recca off but him.
The Phoenix: His flame's true form, just like his father. It explains his flame's ability to raise the soul of the dead (like Jisho and Kurenai) and transform them into part of his flame.
The Un Favourite: While viewed by this by the Hokage council, his main reason for hating Recca's guts is that being passed over is what ultimately caused his mother's death. It turns out he is the rightful heir of the clan, it's just that he looked creepy.
A member of the Uruha Jyuushinshu and Kurei's most trusted right-hand man, a skilled ninja whose Adorkable attitude hides his ferocity in battle. He held the madogu Raijin, the Evil Counterpart of Fuuko's Fuujin. His loyalty to Kurei is second to none, as he is a descendant of the Hokage clan members that fled during the battle against Nobunaga instead of dying to protect the clan's honor. He saw serving Kurei as a way to atone his ancestors' shame of fleeing.
One-Man Army: Throughout the entire tournament, Raiha defeated all his opponents. And he didn't even need to kill any of them.
Old Shame: Technically not his. He's descended from Hokage ninjas who fled the village when it was attacked by Nobunaga instead of fighting to the death, and is very ashamed of his heritage. Kurei doesn't seem to mind about any of it though, so Raiha's happy serving him and making up for the cowardice his ancestors showed centuries ago.
A maid of the Mori house along with her little sisters Miki and Aki, at first homeless girls until they're picked up and hired by Kurei. Neon is deeply infatuated with Kurei, but realizes that she can't win his heart from Kurenai, and in turn she witnesses Kurei's fall into evil due to Kouran Mori's machinations. Feeling that she must protect him, she enrolled as an Uruha assassin, working her way up into the Jyuushinshu. She wields the soundwave-manipulating madogu, Fukyou Waon. Later, she inherits Jishou's twin swords.
Bodyguard Crush: She really loves Kurei, despite knowing that she has zero chance when compared with Kurenai. After she saves him from Mori and Renge he almost reciprocates her feeling, and it's implied that they made love that night. Too bad the call knows where Kurei lives..
Evil Red Heads: Not exactly evil, but she could be very cruel to anyone who opposes Kurei, as well as a pretty mean bitch in general.
A man of mystery. He just appeared out of nowhere and had a fight with Jyuushinshu member Jishou to a stalemate until Kurei witnessed his skills and decided to recruit him into Uruha. Joker only joins in one condition: If he's permitted to speak so informally all the time because being formal is a pain in the ass for him. Despite his jolly attitude, he's one of the best fighters in Uruha and the most powerful. He wields the Taishaku Kaiten, a trident-formed Madogu that controls gravity. He ends up fatally wounded by Ura Uruha member Kadotsu and used his last strength to conjure a black hole that takes him with Kadotsu to some place unknown.
Affably Evil: Being Fun Personified, he's laid back, makes a lot of amusing humor and is a pretty likable character, even though he's a bad guy
Demoted to Extra: Joker has got to be the one suffering this trope the most in the anime. His fight with Koganei gets massively cut short (he just surrendered for no reason), he didn't appear to 'blend in' with the Hokage in the previous rounds and then massively wound Saichou to rile Koganei up for his fight and his personality gets rewritten into more The Stoic than Fun Personified. One of the reasons why the manga being called superior and Joker being a fan favorite.
Even Evil Has Standards: He shows disgust when seeing Mikoto cheats and brutalizes Fuuko, asking Kurei whether it's right to draft her as a Jyuushinshu or not.
Dropped a Bridge on Him: He was supposedly the strongest next to Kurei, yet is killed by Magensha in the fourth round.
Doesn't stop Kurei from resurrecting him as one of his flames in the manga.
Informed Ability: Jisho apparently rivaled Kurei in power, according to Kaoru. He was killed before he could tell however.
Undying Loyalty: To Kurei He is even resurrected as a flame to fight for Kurei during the fight with Recca.
The Worf Effect: He is the original top 3 of Uruha Jyuushinshu aside of Neon and Raiha, but... Joker made himself known by fighting him to a stalemate. Then Magensha easily obliterated his team and personally killed him.
Dirty Old Man: He gropes Neon in the anime. And even offers to let her live, if she'll be his concubine.
Evil Genius: He's a talented doctor, and can even remove non physical diseases from a person's body with psychic surgery.
Asshole Victim: Its hard to feel bad for all the unfortunate things that happen to her. Fuuko breaking her arm, Tokiya scaring and humiliating her so hard she pees on herself, and even getting killed by her equally sadistic boyfriend don't really provoke any sadness for the way she died.
Broken Pedestal: To Mikagami once he found out from Kai that Meguri was responsible for his sister's death.
Rebuilt Pedestal: But they eventually sorted things out once they finally met and Meguri revealed to Mikagami the secrets of his family.
Evil Old Folks: Subverted, even though he is on the bad guys' side, it wasn't by choice and even it weren't the case, he's pretty much the nicest member of the Quirky Mini Boss Squad, especially compared to Genjuro
The Faceless: ... Until the SODOM arc, in which his face is fully seen.
The Ghost: Referred to as early as the tournament arc, but does not make an official appearance until the final Tendou Jigoku arc.
Crazy-Prepared: His ''body' is nothing but animated armor. Magensha's real body is not only inside a separate dimension, making it so he can't conceivably be defeated, but there's also a protection done around his private chamber, in order to further protect him.
Dirty Coward: He doesn't even have the stones to fight himself, and bails when it looks like he could actually be defeated by Recca.
The Mole: While he put up the facade of being under Kurei's service, he was actually working for Koran.
You Have Failed Me: When Tsukishiro and Kashamaru fail to defeat their opponents, he sends them to an alternate dimension prison as punishment.
He also gets this from "J" in the manga
Weak, but Skilled: He has no actual combat power. However his madogu makes him nigh invincible unless someone can get into the dimension where his real body is. Which would be nigh impossible if the people caught in it don't decide to gang up on him
Anti-Villain: He's not evil, he isn't selfish, he just wants to fight strong opponents.
Heel-Face Turn: After being defeated by Fuuko, Gashakura becomes an ally to Hokage.
Epic Flail: His main weapon is a giant, 90 pound steel mace called a morning star.
Impossibly Cool Weapon: His Evil Spider madogu is an armor that can easily deflect steel cutting attacks. But that's not even the best part. It has four tentacles that have spiked ends that he can fire out to attack his opponent and keep them off guard, making it difficult to hit him.
Mighty Glacier: Gashakura is a huge guy, and his weapon affords him excellent offense and defense. And to avoid the backdraw of being slow, his fighting style never revolved around dodging hits in the first place.
Star-Crossed Lovers: Her boyfriend was on the same rigorous training program she was in. When Mori found out, he arranged for them to fight each other in the darkness while masked and gagged. Hisui killed him before knowing who he was.
Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: She can't understand why Yanagi still considers her a friend, even after almost shooting her, forcing her to go to SODOM, and removing her memories of Recca (not that Yanagi would know the latter, obviously.)
Heel-Face Turn: After being defeated by Recca, she and Hiruko help get Yanagi back.
Hero Killer: She first appeared in the Sealed Lands arc, solely to deliver aCurbstomp Battle Tokiya, at that time thought to be the cruelest of the Hokage, just after he came victorious against Mokuren and Mikoto. She confirms the level of her strength at the end of the arc when Rasen called it quits and revealed the presence of the Shishiten, which would become the main enemy of the next arc, making her this trope for the Sealed Lands arc.
Hope Spot: Hooray! Aoi's here and she can undo Yanagi's mind control, stopping Tendou Jigoku from absorbing her ...! Except that Tendou Jigoku snatches Yanagi in the middle of the process, and then Aoi's madogu breaks.
Bloody Murder: His fighting style, utilizing a heart shaped madogu on his back, he can make swords, projectiles and even a hardened fist.
Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: His main motivation for fighting Hokage is to see why they are so determined to save Yanagi, and to test the limits of their determination. He gets his answer by fighting Domon, who proceeds to save his life by giving him some unbroken blood bottles and telling Hiruko to live his own life, which leads to a ...
Heel-Face Turn: After being defeated by Domon, he and Aoi help get Yanagi back.
Hired Guns: He might be a mercenary, given his interactions and his fight with Domon. Domon calls Hiruko pathetic for fighting regardless of whether he wants to or not, causing Hiruko to retort that he's a "professional".
Identity Amnesia: As a result of using her power far too often, she's forgotten her original name, age and appearance. She works for Mori in the hope that he will give her the file containing information about her identity.
What Happened to the Mouse?: Last we see her is when she's in Villainous BSOD on the destruction of her Madogu. She's never seen again (we don't even see her being killed). We can presume that she dies in the destruction of SODOM after Tendoujigoku's defeat.