Chizuru is a young girl who came to Kyoto disguised as a boy in search of her missing father, an accomplished doctor of western medicine with whom she suddenly lost contact several months ago.When the Shinsengumi reveal that they too have been in search of Dr. Yukimura, they allow Chizuru to remain under their care and assist them with the search. Agreeing to continue living as a boy so as not to distract the men who serve her new benefactors, Chizuru quickly becomes acclimated to their lifestyle, even working for them as an occasional messenger and healer.Tropes associated with Chizuru:
It's All My Fault: She blames herself for the Oni attack on the temple and for the transformation of certain characters.
Japanese Honorifics: Uses polite speech and addresses most of the characters as [last name]-san, with the exception of Heisuke and Sen, both of whom extend Friendly Address Privileges and become "Heisuke-kun" and "Osen-chan" respectively. Appropriate in the case of the Shinsengumi executives, as they are socially superior to her.
The Load: She has no real combat ability and is thus a liability to the Shinsengumi any time there's a fight, particularly once they've left Kyoto and are embroiled in losing battle after losing battle. Her narration in the game frets continuously over how little she's able to do to help them, and she tries to find ways to be useful off the battlefield, if only by doing chores and making tea.
Averted in certain routes. And, although she isn't much help physically, she still helps trying to defend the Shinsengumi or get them to safety in battle.
Neutral Female: Moreso in the anime than in the game; although she has a number of moments in both in which she freezes up on the sidelines during battles, especially in the game she can also prove more than willing to draw her kodachi and take a swing at the enemy, or just generally do whatever she can to distract or hinder them and give the Shinsengumi an opening.
One of the Boys: Justified, as there are no women she can hang out with other than Osen whom she rarely gets to see anyway. Despite being the Yamato Nadeshiko, she grows accustomed to their antics and starts to enjoy their company.
Paper-Thin Disguise: Her crossdressing, which completely fails to fool a good half of the Shinsengumi captains. Unnamed minor characters fall for it more easily, but even then it tends to fall apart quickly if they pay attention to her for very long.
Sweet Polly Oliver/Wholesome Crossdresser: Her disguise may be paper thin (see above), but it works just enough for Shinpachi, Heisuke, and Kondou to be fooled, and also normally works on minor characters provided they don't get the chance to look too close.
Take Me Instead: On a couple of occasions, such as one of the early scenes of Saito's route, she tries to surrender herself to Kazama to protect one of the guys. None of them ever allow her to go through with it.
Yamato Nadeshiko: Being a crossdresser she naturally doesn't look the part but she has the personality down to a T. She's sweet, kind, and too ladylike for her crossdressing to be remotely effective; at the same time, she also won't hesitate to step forward to protect others and in her gentle way proves to be very stubborn and resilient, as Hijikata ruefully acknowledges in his route and in the anime.
Vice Commander of the Shinsengumi. He takes care of most of its technical affairs and is said to hold the real power. Very dedicated to the Commander, Kondou.Tropes associated with Hijikata:
Annoying Patient: Even Chizuru's constant scolding can't keep Hijikata from trying to ignore his own physical condition and get back to work. Saito has to deliver a very pointed and physical smackdown to convince Hijikata to take time to rest and heal from the injuries he received at Utsunomiya Castle rather than go marching straight off to the front lines in Aizu.
Attack! Attack! Attack!: While he's a lot better than Kondou at knowing when to order his men to retreat, when it comes to himself he refuses to back down from a fight no matter how outmatched or injured he is.
Determinator: Shows the most in his route. Even more after becoming a Rasetsu. The man does not rest!
Determined Defeatist: Though he rarely admits it to others lest their morale go down the tubes, he's well aware from as early as Toba-Fushimi (if not before) that the Shinsengumi are fighting a war they can't win. Nevertheless, he does everything even remotely within his power to make things work, and throws himself wholeheartedly into the fight all the way to the end.
The Leader: Although he's second-in-command to Kondou, he's in charge of operations and thus is the one who gives most of the orders and does most of the actual work of keeping the Shinsengumi together and working smoothly.
Poisonous Friend: To Kondou, to an extent. Where Kondou's warm and friendly nature wins him the loyalty of most of the Shinsengumi captains, Hijikata intentionally takes on the role of harsh disciplinarian and "Demon Vice-Commander" to keep order within the Shinsengumi and further Kondou's goals against the heavy opposition of the era's very classist society. It's a mild example since Kondou is aware of everything Hijikata is doing, but there are points at which Hijikata is specifically noted as "playing the villain" for Kondou's sake. In the end, it kind of backfires on both of them, as Hijikata's efforts protect Kondou from many of the harsher realities of leadership and leave him unprepared to deal with the situations the Shinsengumi face after the Boshin War begins.
Snake Oil Salesman: Ishida Sanyaku, the medicine his family sells, doesn't actually work—at least, not to the extent that's advertised. Even so, Hijikata (and Saitou even moreso) will swear by it.
So Bad, It's Good: In-universe, Okita certainly thinks this in regard to Hijikata's poetry, and will take every opportunity to make fun of the poor vice commander for this. Shinpachi mentions in Sanosuke's route that everyone thinks this in regard to Hijikata's poetry. There's even an unlockable gallery scene that features Okita keeping Hijikata's poetry book away from him.
Took a Level in Kindness: For most of the storyline he's the "Demon Vice-Commander" who leads with an iron fist, but by Hakodate he becomes a much gentler and more approachable leader, going out of his way to reassure and encourage the men under his command.
Tragic Dream: His main ambition is to uplift Kondou to fame and glory and have both of them, and the rest of the Shinsengumi, recognized as true samurai.
First Name Basis: He's one of exactly two people (the other being Inoue) who doesn't address Hijikata by his surname or title, choosing to call him by the diminutive "Toshi" instead.
Heroic Sacrifice: In every route. After realizing that he's been Drunk with Power, he gives himself up to buy everyone else time to escape. He's planning on them recognizing that he is a daimyo and showing him mercy or allowing him to commit honorable suicide. He doesn't get either, and is executed.
Four Eyes, Zero Soul: He comes off this way following his injury, and especially after he becomes a Rasetsu. It's subverted, however, in the anime and in Hijikata's route of the game, in which he turns out to have kept hold of his better nature right to the end.
Mad Scientist: After he turns Rasetsu. How bad he gets depends on the route. He's at his worst in Heisuke's route, with Sanosuke's route (and his near-constant harassment of Chizuru during one chapter of it) a close second.
Only a Flesh Wound: Subverted. Chizuru is relieved to hear that it was only his left arm that was injured - until the other captains point out that it's enough to permanently end his career as a swordsman, and thus nothing to be relieved about.
Bittersweet Ending: His best ending in Shinsengumi Kitan is bittersweet even in comparison to the other characters' endings, given that he's still dying of tuberculosis and thus he and Chizuru will only have a limited amount of time together.
Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Especially when he was a child. Kondou earned his loyalty by being the only one who encouraged him to look to the future instead of saying things like, "Oh, you poor child, your parents are dead and your sister left you all alone."
Hypocritical Humor: When Hijikata finds out about Okita naming a cat after him and demands that Okita imagine what it would be like if he got a dog and named it 'Souji,' Okita's response is, "That's so disgusting. Please stop."
Parental Abandonment: It's revealed in Reimeiroku that after his parents died, his older sister begged Kondou to take him in. Okita didn't get over it until Kondou told him that everything must happen for a reason. This one scene is why Okita is so dedicated to Kondou.
Suggestive Collision: In the game, one possible course of events during the oni attack on Shinsengumi headquarters has Yamazaki throwing Chizuru bodily into the nearest room to get her out of the way of the fighting. It happens to be the room that Okita is resting in, and she lands directly on him. Cue teasing from Okita and embarrassed flailing from Chizuru.
The serious and reserved captain of the third squad in the Shinsengumi. He is also a kenjutsu instructor and is actually the preferred instructor among the lower ranks, as he is the most patient one.Tropes associated with Saitou:
Because You Were Nice to Me: His Undying Loyalty to Hijikata and the Shinsengumi is because they understood and unreservedly accepted his left-handedness instead of trying to "correct" his stance or accusing him of cheating.
With a completely straight face, Saitou responds with "Woof". The other captains think that he's telling them something by code. Saitou just looks dejected and tells them that it's okay if they don't get it.
Snow Means Love: Snow is a recurring motif for Saito in the games and supplementary material, most visibly in his good ending in Shinsengumi Kitan. His Sekkaroku end theme is subtitled "The Whisper of Snow Falling," and two of his character-specific short stories are "The Warm First Snow" and "Banked Fire in Winter."
The Stoic: To extremes. He even stays stoic while drunk and doesn't show signs of discomfort during summer. Even moreso after he becomes a Rasetsu.
Submissive Badass: In the game, Shinpachi describes him rather accurately as "practically Hijikata's shadow." He follows orders faithfully and absolutely; it's a very, very big deal when he ultimately refuses one.
What You Are in the Dark: Early in his route, he's in danger of losing to Kazama. Chizuru offers to go with Kazama in exchange for leaving Saitou and his men alone. Kazama suggests that he agree and simply tell his superiors that they were overpowered and she was captured. Saitou states that he would know the truth and is determined not to surrender.
Worthy Opponent: To Amagiri. It's his salvation in his good ending, as it prompts Amagiri to step in momentarily on his behalf, and to share with him the information about how to mitigate the effects of the Water of Life.
Conflicting Loyalty: He says that ever since the Bakufu came into power, he questions what he truly wants to do in life and if he should stay in the Shinsengumi. He leaves the Shinsengumi in late season one with his old mentor, Itou. He returns to the Shinsengumi a few episodes later.
Cute Bruiser: Being a captain of the Shinsengumi, Heisuke is possibly the strongest of his unit and he's definitely cute.
Dope Slap: Throughout his Butt Monkey career, he gets quite a few of these from Hijikata and Harada. He also receives a well-deserved Armor-Piercing Slap from Chizuru at one point in his route. Chizuru!
Hot Blooded: Not to extremes, but in comparison to everyone else.
Japanese Pronouns: Uses "ore" in regard to himself. Oddly enough, the games transcribe it in katakana instead of kanji. He also refers to all of the captains and commanders with the honorific "san", though in the dub, he only calls Shinpachi "Shinpachi" rather than "Shinpattsuan/Shinpat-san"
The Napoleon: Stands at 160 cm or 5 feet 2 inches, making him the smallest amongst the Shinsengumi
Older Than They Look: He looks to be about 15 or 16, he's actually about 18 or 19 when introduced, 22-23 when he becomes a Rasetsu and about 24 when he dies, not only that, but his voice still sounds like he's in the mid-stages of puberty as it is much higher than the other characters.
One Head Shorter: In relation to nearly every male character, Heisuke's about a full head shorter than everyone.
Parental Neglect: Due to being illegitimate, Heisuke's parents probably didn't really raise him, he may have even run away from home considering how young he is and the fact that he's been in the Shinsengumi for years before meeting Chizuru.
Pint-Sized Powerhouse: He says himself that he isn't very strong, but he definitely can hold his own in battle, also considering he's a captain, it can be assumed he's the strongest member of his unit.
Throwing Your Sword Always Works: He throws his sword (and in the game his wakizashi) to save Chizuru at Aburano Koji. He's thus left defenseless and open to Amagiri's attack, and would have died but for taking the Ochimizu.
Badass Normal: In the games, he's the only one of Chizuru's potential love interests in the Shinsengumi who never drinks the Water of Life, and it makes him no less badass. In fact, it probably makes him more badass, as he goes up against a Water of Life enhanced Koudou and an army of furies with a little help from Shiranui and survives. It also means his is the only path to have a genuine, long term happy ending.
Hidden Depths: While he appears pretty cheerful and easygoing, he's constantly wrestling with doubts and negative emotions concerning the Shinsengumi, the Rasetsu and the fighting in general. Unless he's asked for his opinion, though, he usually keeps it to himself.
Humble Goal: In contrast to Kondou's grand ambitions and Hijikata and Saitou's high ideals, Sanosuke reveals in his route that his dream is to marry a woman he loves and settle down with her to live a peaceful life.
Mistaken for Gay: In Zuisouroku, he starts hitting on Chizuru in front of some men, briefly forgetting that she's supposed to be a boy. Needless to say, this happens.
Moral Dilemma: Ultimately, he finds himself torn between his sense of camaraderie towards Nagakura and his devotion to Chizuru, as their paths suddenly diverge at the end of his route. Chizuru decides to return to Edo to try to stop Koudou and his Rasetsu from ravaging the city, while Nagakura and the Seiheitai prepare to join the Bakufu forces in Aizu. Either way, he must say goodbye to one of them for what may well be the last time.
"Shut Up" Kiss: To Chizuru in his route. Claims it's the only way he knows to calm a woman down.
Stay in the Kitchen: He firmly believes that it's a man's responsibility to protect women and children, and often takes a very dim view when Chizuru tries to take action on her own. Justified considering the setting and the fact that the woman he's dealing with is Chizuru, who is pursued by the Oni and has very little ability to defend herself.
Combat Medic: He studied medicine under Matsumoto Ryoujun, and his job in Kyoto was that of a doctor. He acts as an emergency medic in the Shinsengumi.
Final Speech: He's got three. One for Hijikata, one for Chizuru and one for Ibuki.
Ninja: Though he dresses like a stereotypical ninja, oddly enough, he isn't one. He actually works as a spy for the Shinsengumi. However; he does (quite hilariously), pretend to be one in Zuisouroku and Sekkaroku in order to save Chizuru.
Perpetual Frowner/The Stoic: Comes off as this even though he's actually quite expressive and even a little childish (see Ninja entry above) underneath.
Blond Guys Are Evil: Extra points for being on opposite ends with a dark-haired guy (Hijikata) AND for being one point on a love triangle. On his path in the games he's still a jerk, but he's a rather nice one. Hints of his nice side also appear in Heisuke and Okita's routes.
Explosive Breeder: His aspiration to have children is exaggerated and played for laughs in Yuugiroku, where he exclaims that Chizuru will give him 100 children. She's quick to point out that she's physically unable to.
Pitiful Worms: Likes to address the Shinsengumi in this manner. Another favorite is "Bakufu's dogs". Additionally, he constantly calls the Rasetsu "fakes", to the point where Sen comments in Heisuke's route that he'd do so with his last breath.
Heel Face Turn: In Saitou's route. Out of respect for Saitou as a warrior, he turns on Kazama and is almost killed for it.
Mercy Kill: On a couple of occasions he indicates that he thinks it would be merciful for him to kill Chizuru in order to save her from suffering at Kazama's hands. In the final bad end of Saito's route, as well as in one of the bad endings of Hijikata's route, he goes through with it.
Reluctant Warrior: An interesting villainous example. He makes it obvious that he prefers peaceful solutions over fighting, and tries to talk down nearly every member of the Shinsengumi that he comes into conflict with. When they almost inevitably refuse to back down, the result is often as not a Curb-Stomp Battle. With his fists. Against swords.
Enemy Mine: In Sanosuke's route. Teams up with the Shinsengumi when the Rasetsu interrupt their fight, and gives them an opening to escape from the fight. Sanosuke later returns the favor when Shiranui appears near the end of his route to confront Koudou.
Guns Are Useless: While the guns used by the Imperial Army are a constant source of grief for the Shinsengumi, Kyo's pistol is practically useless against any character with a name; Harada repeatedly goes toe-to-toe with him wielding a spear. Given that they're fairly friendly about their fights, an argument could be made that his failure to just shoot Harada is because he's having too much fun fighting him - he does mow down Mooks by the dozen - but if that's the case it's never made explicit.
I Was Just Passing Through: In Sekkaroku, he just "happens" to bump into the thief that Chizuru is trying to chase down, and beats the crap out of him "for not apologizing." This conveniently allows Chizuru to retrieve the stolen document and get back with it in time to prevent Sanosuke from having to commit seppuku.
Freudian Excuse: His reasoning for tormenting Chizuru. He had an incredibly crappy childhood, simply because he wasn't female. As he puts it, the Nagumo family wanted a female demon to breed and they got the wrong twin.
Voiced by: Ryuugo Saitou (JP), Mark X. Laskowski (EN)
Bald of Evil: How evil he is varies from route to route. He is arguably his most evil in Saitou and Sanosuke's routes. Neither one has him receive a Redemption Equals Death moment. In the former, he's even dispatched offscreen, while Sanosuke finishes him off in the latter.