%% NOTE TO EDITORS: NEVER use spoiler tags in the descriptions above the example lists. Ever. NEVER put trope names in spoiler tags. Ever. Read Administrivia/HandlingSpoilers for details.
The characters of ''LightNovel/{{Katanagatari}}''.

Warning: Due to the nature of the series, there are many unmarked '''spoilers''' here.


[[folder:Main Characters]]
!!Shichika Yasuri
-->'''Voiced by:''' Creator/YoshimasaHosoya

A young martial artist and head of the Kyotouryuu style, living with his sister on a desolate island. At the start of the series he is approached by Togame, an underling of the shogunate, to help her find the Twelve Perfected Deviant Blades. He falls in love with her and agrees.

* AntiHero: Starts out as a NominalHero, having no qualms killing women and children if ordered, but thanks to CharacterDevelopment he mellows down to a PragmaticHero.
* AxCrazy: In the last episode, [[spoiler:after Togame dies.]]
* BareFistedMonk: A man whose own body is a sword. In fact, he's utterly incompetent with a real sword.
* BigBrotherInstinct: [[InvertedTrope Inverted]], he's the younger brother ([[BigLittleBrother believe it or not]]), but he's pretty protective over his older sister and worries about her constantly thanks to her frail health. [[spoiler: He even goes as far as kill their father for reasons heavily implying that he attempted to kill Nanami in the past. It should be noted however, that in spite of all this, Shichika is very aware that Nanami is much, much stronger than him ''and'' his father.]]
* BigLittleBrother: Nanami is his ''older'' sister, but she looks like a child.
* BodyguardCrush: Invoked on Togame. [[spoiler:And proved true by the end.]]
* CatchPhrase: At Togame's suggestion, "However, by that point you will have been torn to pieces".
** Previously, he usually responded to anything she said with "Such a hassle" or "I really don't get X", leading her to [[MissExposition explain further]].
%%* ChasteHero
* DeathSeeker: After [[spoiler:Togame's death]], though surprisingly he lives through the wounds received from TheDragon during his RoaringRampageOfRevenge.
* DoesNotLikeShoes: Even while he is covering his chest, his feet are still bare. As he carries Togame through a blizzard, while she whines about how cold it is. And then life-threatening HilarityEnsues.
* DullEyesOfUnhappiness: After [[spoiler:Togame dies]], his normally black eyes turn grey and listless.
* HaveYouToldAnyoneElse: Asks Koumori if he has shared the secret of Togame's lineage with anyone else. When he says no, Shichika calmly announces that he can kill him then.
* HeroicComedicSociopath: He gets better.
* HugeGuyTinyGirl: With Togame.
* IAmNotLeftHanded: [[spoiler:When invading the Shogun's castle and fighting the Shogun's retainers wielding the Deviant Blades, Shichika reveals that he was holding back against every one of the blades' original wielders - even Sabi Hakuhei - because he was under orders not to damage or destroy them. No longer bound by that order, he uses his Kyotouryuu techniques to effortlessly destroy the first eleven blades. And in the fight with Emonzaemon, he reveals that the order to protect himself was also holding him back; he's far more dangerous when he can ignore defense and go all-out.]]
%%* LongHairedPrettyBoy
* NoSocialSkills: He was raised on an island, spent his entire life training, and never saw anyone but his father and sister before Togame arrived. His social skills are lacking to say the least.
* ObliviousToLove: Most of the subtext between him and Togame goes right over his head, much to her annoyance. Despite this he still insists he loves her.
* OlderThanHeLooks: It may come as a surprise that he's 24 (pretty old for a {{shounen}} hero), mainly due to the simple art style and his naive personality.
* PostKissCatatonia
* RapunzelHair
* SacrificedBasicSkillForAwesomeTraining: He spent his entire life training under his father to master Kyotouryuu on a deserted island. At the start of the series he has absolutely no knowledge of the outside world and can't even pick up the differences between other people. Another side effect of Shichika's training is that he is completely unable to wield swords.
* ScarsAreForever: He retains some of the scars received in his final battle with Emonzaemon, particularly the one over his left eye.
* SelfMadeOrphan: Killed his own father for unexplained reasons. Episode 7 implies it was to protect Nanami... [[spoiler:not that she would need it. Or wanted it.]]
* SinsOfOurFathers: [[spoiler:Togame was planning to kill him in order to avenge her father's death at the hands of Shichika's father.]]
* SkilledButNaive: He's spent his entire life on a remote island cut off from civilization with only his sister and his father. While he did receive 20 years of training in Kyotouryuu, a powerful fighting style that is essentially "swordsmanship without a sword", he lacks actual battle experience.
* TheStoic: Sees himself as a sword that is meant for cutting. He does become visibly more emotional over time though.
* SuperStrength: Although it ain't as extreme as some other examples, and is at least partially justified by his rigorous training.
* TranquilFury: [[spoiler:During his RoaringRampageOfRevenge in episode 12.]]
* UndyingLoyalty: He fights solely for Togame's sake, and is completely devoted to her.
* WalkingShirtlessScene: Though he does put on a shirt for extreme cold weather, sword training, and [[spoiler:a RoaringRampageOfRevenge]].
* WillfullyWeak: He's given orders by Togame to protect the swords, Togame, himself, and himself[[note]]ItMakesSenseInContext[[/note]], which proves to make some of the fights more difficult. In the last episode, [[spoiler:he is under no such restrictions, and shows exactly how powerful he is by destroying all twelve swords. How much the restriction to protect himself mattered is evident during his duel with Emonzaemon]].
* [[spoiler: WanderingTheEarth: Starts his journey with Princess Hitei at the last episode.]]

!!Togame [[spoiler:(Princess Yousha)]]
-->'''Voiced by:''' Creator/YukariTamura

An agent of the shogunate who is trying to collect the Twelve Perfected Deviant Blades.

* AnimalEyes: Her left eye sometimes takes on a snake-like appearance, giving her nickname.
* AnimalMotifs: A snake.
* AntiHero: For most of the series she looks like a type III or IV [[spoiler:but her FinalSpeech might put her in VillainProtagonist territory]].
* AwesomenessByAnalysis
* BecomingTheMask: She genuinely does [[spoiler:fall for Shichika]] during the series. But it's also [[spoiler:an aversion, depending on whether you believe her final speech or not, since she genuinely falls in love with him, but that doesn't change her desire for revenge or her intention to kill him at the end.]]
* BrokenBird
* CatchPhrase: "Cheerio!", which she confused for "Chesto!". Even after everybody points it out to her, she still insists on using it.
* TheChessmaster: Everything -- people, swords, [[spoiler:even her own feelings]] -- were pawns in her quest for revenge.
* ClingyJealousGirl: For most of episode 9.
* DangerouslyShortSkirt: Hers is so ripped-up that it is amazing how ''few'' panty shots she has over the course of the series.
* DarkAndTroubledPast: Her father was murdered right in front of her [[spoiler:by Shichika's father.]]
* DiedInYourArmsTonight: [[spoiler:She dies in the arms of Shichika.]]
* DiseaseBleach: Her hair turned white after witnessing her father's death.
* DyingDeclarationOfLove: [[spoiler:During her final moments, she admits to Shichika that even though all this time she had been manipulating him in order to kill him, she did genuinely fall in love with him.]]
* EatingTheEyeCandy: To Shichika in the thermal baths.
* FatalFlaw: Her all-consuming desire for revenge. Shichika points out that she was ultimately the person that was hurt the most by this, something she agrees with.
* GodivaHair: An obvious use for so much hair.
* HugeGuyTinyGirl: Is about half of Shichika's height. But then, compared to Shichika, ''everyone'' is tiny.
* ImportantHaircut: Gets one during the fight against [[spoiler:Nanami]], turning her long hair into a bob cut.
* LastRequest: [[spoiler:The last order that she gives to Shichika is to forget about her.]]
* MagicSkirt
* ManipulativeBitch: Koumori sites her willingness to use anybody to further her ambition as her most terrifying feature.
* MeaningfulName: Her name derived from Japanese word 'togameru', means 'to blame'. And guess who she blamed for the death of her father?
* OjouRinglets: She has straight hair with two sidelocks that curl into ringlets. She's eventually revealed to be a princess.
* PeacefulInDeath: [[spoiler:Felt relieved that she could die free of her burden of revenge in the arms of the man she had come to truly love.]]
* PrematurelyGreyHaired: She was born with black hair, but it turned white in the moment that she witnessed the murder of her father.
* RapunzelHair: She probably has more hair than body, and it's often wrapped around Shichika.
* RevengeBeforeReason: [[spoiler:Was going to kill Shichika after their journey was over, because Kyotouryuu killed her father. It makes sense when you consider that she came to the island looking to recruit ''his father'' for the quest, to use him to collect the other swords and then kill him, and presumably saw no reason to adjust her plans just because she had recruited his son instead.]]
* TheStrategist
* {{Tsundere}}: Parodied. Also subverted at first, when they leave Shichika's home island. She orders him to protect himself, not because she cares or anything, but because it's conducive to their quest. And immediately follows it up with a ''second'' order to protect himself, this time because she ''does'' care.
* UnwittingPawn: All that work and she gets killed just so Kyotouryuu can be perfected.
* WhiteHairBlackHeart
* YouKilledMyFather: Avenging her father's murder and carrying out his will are her primary motivations.

!!Nanami Yasuri
-->'''Voiced by:''' Creator/MaiNakahara

Shichika's older sister who is frail in health but much stronger than she looks.

* AwesomenessByAnalysis: Her main ability, which is how she learns techniques.
* BadassAdorable: Not when her [[TheUnSmile "smile"]] is on.
* BlessedWithSuck: Her view on her [[spoiler:overwhelming power]], as the strain it puts on her already weak body forces her to live in constant agony.
* CatchPhrase: "Is it good, or is it bad?" and other variations of it.
* ColdBloodedTorture: Poor Maniwani.
* DeathSeeker: Her body's weak and painful constitution as a result of her overwhelming power has her wish that she was dead instead.
* EvenEvilHasLovedOnes: She's a murderous sociopath who cares little for other people's lives, but it's shown that she really does love Shichika in her own way.
* {{Irony}}: Strong enough that she can copy all techniques just by watching them... then we learn that she actually uses this in order to be weaker, as her natural power is just that strong that it could kill her.
* IllGirl: Due to her unnatural strength, although she can [[spoiler:never die from it]].
* LackOfEmpathy: She is not a particularly caring person when it comes to mooks.
* LittleBigSister: You likely wouldn't believe she's Shichika's older sister with just looking at her childlike body.
* MadeOfIron: Despite her weak body, she is surprisingly resilient. The prime example would be [[spoiler:her death. After taking a full-on [[FinishingMove Shichika Hachiretsu Kai]], Akutou Bita (the Deviant Blade sustaining her life) was pulled out of her chest, leaving a ''gaping hole in it''. She then gets up and starts using her [[DeadlyUpgrade full strength]], damaging her body even further. She manages to fight with her little brother evenly for a short while after that, but dies when she is hit by Shichika's self-titled ultimate move a second time.]]
* MulticoloredHair: Pink blotches for highlights. The artist(s) chose to use pink rather than a lighter green.
* OlderThanSheLooks: She's pushing 30, but looks like a child.
* PersonOfMassDestruction: [[spoiler: Wipes out several entire towns of people, including one populated entirely with practitioners of a martial arts school that grants them SuperStrength.]]
* PowerCopying: Learns any move after seeing it once and masters it after seeing it twice. [[spoiler: It actually weakens her, as her innate skills are superior.]]
* SilkHidingSteel: She has the looks of a little girl, is polite, well-dressed and almost never talks louder than a whisper. And she's one of the strongest and most skilled fighters in the entire series.
* SlasherSmile: Episode 7, it's one hell of TheUnSmile.
* StoryBreakerPower: Her ability to copy abilities and completely master them if she sees them being performed twice before her makes her PowerCopying skills this. She's also considered a monster in-story thanks to this ability coupled with her sheer, frightening ruthlessness in battle.
* StrongerSibling: To Shichika.
* WillfullyWeak: Despite being physically weak and ill, Nanami starts the series able to easily defeat her brother, who defeated the official Greatest Swordsman in Japan. Turns out, she can also [[PowerCopying copy any skill]] she sees, including super-strength, spontaneous claw growth, and walking on water. Then it turns out that she has inhuman resilience and can't die no matter how sick or poisoned she becomes. ''Then'' it turns out she's acquired one of the Deviant Blades, which cures her weakness and low energy. [[spoiler:''And then'' it turns out she uses others' skills so she can be ''weaker'', as her instinctive combat skills are utterly perfect!]]
* WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds
* WorldsStrongestWoman: She is officially the single, most powerful entity in the story, a fact acknowledged by numerous characters, including Shichika, Emonzaemon, and Houou themselves.
* YamatoNadeshiko: With long black hair and a yukata she definitely looks the part, and with her sweet tone of voice she sounds the part. Even her method of fighting is more feminine than her brother's as she watches instead of trains. [[spoiler:Subverted as she's actually a brutal DeathSeeker that tortures without a thought.]]

!!Princess Hitei
-->'''Voiced by:''' Creator/HarukaTomatsu

A princess from Owari who is Togame's rival and also after the Deviant Blades. [[spoiler:A descendant of Kiki Shikizaki.]]

* ArchEnemy: To Togame. [[spoiler:Even though they had the exact same goal.]]
* {{Catchphrase}}: "I [[MeaningfulName deny]] it."
* TheChessmaster
* {{Jerkass}}
* LastMinuteHookup: Believe it or not, but this might have happened between her and [[spoiler:Shichika; the ending is ambiguous, but at the very least it shows them walking the earth together.]]
* KarmaHoudini: One of few characters to survive the series.
* RapunzelHair
* SmugSnake: Has the personality, but the last episode makes her seem like a MagnificentBastard. However, she doesn't lead Emonzaemon on and clearly establishes that she wouldn't want him to sacrifice his life for her, admits that she liked Togame even when she ordered her death, and is ready to be killed by Shichika. Her actions were irreproachable, but her personality doesn't help her. The last episode reveals that [[spoiler:she's actually neither; she ''seems'' like she has a plan, but she's actually just enacting her ancestors' plans and doesn't really care whether or not they succeed, which is part of the reason they ultimately fail.]]
* SpannerInTheWorks: [[spoiler:Subverted. Somewhat. By her own admission, she wants to see Shikizaki's succeed and fail in equal measure. Ultimately, her. Or so she thinks]]
* ThemeNaming: Her name means "denial". [[spoiler:In contrast with Togame's real name, Yousha ("approval").]]
* [[spoiler: WanderingTheEarth: Accompany Shichika in his journey at last episode.]]

!!Emonzaemon Souda
-->'''Voiced by:''' Creator/RikiyaKoyama

Princess Hitei's right hand man. A very calm and mysterious character, and former ninja. Apparently has a history with Houou Maniwa.

* AxCrazy: Maybe. He takes quite a lot of pleasure in killing and has flashed the occasional SlasherSmile.
* BadassInANiceSuit
* BottomlessMagazines: Never once do we see him have to reload either Jyuu handgun.
* CombatPragmatist: [[spoiler: How he [[WhyDontYouJustShootHim wins his duel]] with Oshidori.]]
* TheComicallySerious
* CoolMask: The kanji on it reads as [[HighlyVisibleNinja 'unconcealed']], or 'not ninja', ironically enough.
* TheDragon
* DualWielding: With both his swords and, later on, with [[spoiler:Jyuu]].
* EvilRedhead
* TheFaceless: Hitei made him wear a mask because she found his face "depressing" (said in episode 8). And as a mask wasn't enough, she made him live in the attic.
* FamousLastWords: He has an obsession with last words, and always asks people what theirs will be before they die. [[spoiler:Naturally, he delivers a heavy last line himself, which Shichika repeats for Hiteihime.]]
* GunsAkimbo: Wields Entou Jyuu, a pair of handguns.
* TheGunslinger
* MysteriousPast
* MyMasterRightOrWrong: Will do whatever Hiteihime asks of him.
* {{Ninja}}
* PlayingWithFire
* TheRemnant: Played with. In his duel with Umigame Maniwa, Emonzaemon reveals his ninja background is due to having once belonged to the Aioi Ninja Corps...[[ImprobableAge which was destroyed 170 years ago by the Maniwa Corps of the past]]. Interestingly, he denies holding any grudge or desire to avenge his ancestors - he just kills off the Maniwani because Hiteihime tells him to. That said, he's certainly proactive about it.
* TheRival: Of a sort with Houou.
* SubmissiveBadass
* UndyingLoyalty: [[spoiler:Although his last words apologise to Hitei for dying for her sake.]]

[[folder: Wielders of the Deviant Blades]]
!!Ginkaku Uneri
-->'''Voiced by:''' Creator/MitsuruMiyamoto

A swordsman who lives in a vast desert in the country of Inaba. Second Deviant Blade user Shichika and Togame run into. The second Deviant Blade, Zantou Namakura (''Blunt, the Decapitator''); is incredibly sharp and can cut through anything.

* AntiVillain: He doesn't even really do anything villainous beyond killing anyone who tries to take Zantou Namakura.
* AbsurdlySharpBlade: He wields the second Deviant Blade, Zantou Namakura, which can cut through anything.
%%* CoolSword
* DeadlyUpgrade: Covering Zantou Namakura in blood increases the speed of the Zerosen technique. After Ginkaku covered his sword with his own blood, his ultimate attack changed from five simultaneous slashes to ''ten''.
* FamousLastWords: [[spoiler: "At last, deep sleep is allowed me."]]
* TheFettered: He exaggerates this trope: The desert has invaded all his land. His castle is ruined; he is the only one left, when Shichika ask him why he fights, he sincerely answers he doesnít know. Even so, heís willing to die defending his sword only because he must defend something.
* FragileSpeedster: Just a combo from Shichika gets him done... the problem is getting close enough to land a hit on him.
%%* TheHermit
* IaijutsuPractitioner: His Zerosen sword-draw was so fast that even Shichika couldn't see through it.
%%* IChooseToStay
* InstantDeathRadius: His technique. He just meditates in his room, but anyone who steps within Zantou Namakura's range dies instantly.
%%* KatanasAreJustBetter
%%* MasterSwordsman
* ShmuckBait: All you have to do to avoid getting killed by him is not enter the room, and he gives you plenty of warning.
* SplitSecondBladeSpam: He can use his sword, Zantou Namakura, to strike five times a second.
* TheStoic
* WorthyOpponent: Considers Shichika one.

!!Meisai Tsuruga
-->'''Voiced by:''' Creator/AtsukoYuya

The head of the Sanzu shrine and wielder of the third Deviant Blade, Sentou Tsurugi (''Sword, the Thousand''); a sword which [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin possesses 999 copies]].

* ActionGirl
* AntiVillain: Takes in abused women and tries to rehabilitate them. Her last request is that the shrine be taken care of.
* TheAtoner: Used to be a bandit.
* CrazyPrepared: After Shichika chases her into the woods, he realizes there are Tsurugi swords planted ''everywhere'' - bound to the trees, hidden in the branches, and even buried under the ground [[spoiler:in the case of the original Tsurugi blade. It turns out that her 'test' of having Togame identify which Tsurugi sword was the original was just a distraction while her maidens hid the blades around the shrine and the forest.]]
* DarkAndTroubledPast: Her father, who taught her the Sentouryuu style at a young age, died in the rebellion 20 years before the story began. Left with nothing but her sword training, she turned to a bloody life of banditry and murder, eventually succeeding the chief of her bandit gang and inheriting Sentou Tsurugi. She eventually learned of the Sanzu shrine and became a maiden living under the care of the first Meisai Tsurugi, but when this failed to quell her inner turmoil she murdered him in a desperate rage.
* FieldOfBlades: Her ideal setting for a fight, as her Sentouryuu style revolves around picking up and discarding blades as needed.
* HardDrinkingPartyGirl: Carries around a massive bottle of sake.
* {{Miko}}
* TheNicknamer: Calls Shichika "Kyotouryuu Boy".
* PromotionToParent: Abandons her bandit lifestyle to care for the maidens of the Sanzu shrine. [[spoiler:Although this was only after she killed the previous Meisai Tsuruga and was shocked by his final words.]]
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure

!!Hakuhei Sabi
-->'''Voiced by:''' Creator/HikaruMidorikawa

Known as the strongest swordsman in Japan, Hakuhei Sabi went rogue after recovering the fourth of the Deviant Blades, the glass blade Hakutou Hari (''Needle, the Light''). He eventually catches wind of Shichika and Togame's sword hunt, and sends them a letter of challenge to duel for Hari.

* {{Bishounen}}: Played for laughs. Even the ''people he kills'' admire how cool he is with their dying breath.
* CatchPhrase: "I'll have you fall for me".
* CoolSword: Hakutou Hari is a sword whose blade is made of glass. While its apparent frailty is a point of concern, Sabi's skill with it is such that its said he could cut ''the moon'' in half.
* DissonantSerenity: Not very expressive.
* DudeLooksLikeALady: Togame mentions that people sometimes mistake him for a woman.
* DuelBoss
* FallenHero[=/=]TheParagonAlwaysRebels: Once loyal to Togame and the Shogunate, to the point where Shichika wonders why he would defect over a single sword. Togame reasons that the purer the swordsman, the more intensely the poison of the Deviant Blades affects them - and Sabi was the best of the best.
%%* ImplausibleFencingPowers
* IWasJustPassingThrough: When he saves the girl on the bridge.
* LongHairedPrettyBoy
* MasterSwordsman
* OffscreenMomentOfAwesome: PlayedForLaughs. Lots of build-up for their duel, and ultimately it's only mentioned by the characters after the event.
* PhraseCatcher: Anyone he kills has "So...cool..." as their final words.
* SecondHandStoryTelling: We don't see the showdown between him and Shichika, but apparently it was made of awesome.
* TheUnreveal: See SecondHandStoryTelling.
* WorldsStrongestMan: At least as far as anyone knows, although after fighting him Shichika thinks to himself that [[spoiler:Nanami is much stronger.]]

!!Kanara Azekura
-->'''Voiced by:''' Creator/TsuyoshiKoyama

A pirate lord who rules a small port town in Satsuma. He wields - or rather, wears - the fifth Deviant Blade, Zokutou Yoroi (''Armor, the Bandit''), a huge bladed suit of Western-style plate mail.

* TheBigGuy
* BoisterousBruiser
* BullfightBoss
* TheDogBitesBack: Killed the pirates who kidnapped him in his backstory when they [[WhatAnIdiot let him try on Yoroi]].
* TheFaceless: Save for one flashback scene of how he got the armor, Kanara is never seen outside Zokutou Yoroi.
* FoeTossingCharge: With Zokutou Yoroi protecting him and the hidden blades in his armour adding to the damage caused by the attack, this is how he prefers to fight.
* LoopholeAbuse: How he disrupts his promise after he loses.
* NighInvulnerable: Yoroi, his Deviant Blade armour, is touted as the ultimate defense. [[spoiler:It was designed to nullify the kinetic force of any attack on it by channeling it into the ground harmlessly. Shichika has to creatively work around this mechanic to defeat Azekura; he later exploits this same mechanic when fighting the Shogunate retainer that inherited the armor.]]
* SlaveToPR: As public as his duel with Shichika was, he couldn't welch on the bargain he made to give them passage out of his port. That said, [[LoopholeAbuse he does get his revenge by sending them ''way'' off course.]]
* SoreLoser: See above.
* VillainousCrush: On Togame.

!!Konayuki Itezora
-->'''Voiced by:''' Creator/RinaHidaka

A small eleven-year-old girl who lives on Mount Odori. Her clan holds [[spoiler:- or rather, held -]] the sixth Deviant Blade, Soutou Kanazuchi (''Hammer, the Twin''), a massively heavy club of a sword that even Shichika can't lift.

* TheAloner
* BadassAdorable: A cute child who's also the first opponent to defeat Shichika.
* ConfusionFu: She has no training at all, but that means Shichika is totally unable to read her--making her deadly, considering her SuperStrength. [[spoiler:Kyouken, who has thousands of years' worth of training, controlling her body easily removes this problem, however.]]
* DemonicPossession: On the receiving end of this from Kyouken Maniwa. Fortunately for her, Shichika does one heck of a kinetic exorcism.
* IJustWantToHaveFriends
* InfantImmortality: One of the few to survive. [[spoiler:Not just what happened to her village and her clan - she's one of a handful of characters that survives to the end of the show. An impressive feat, [[AnyoneCanDie considering the body count]] by the finale.]]
* LastOfHerKind: She tells an astonished Shichika and Togame that her clan was wiped out by an avalanche. [[spoiler: When Kyouken possesses her and reads her memories, this proves to be a lie: the Itezora village was actually wiped out by Nanami.]].
* LittleMissBadass: She can ''effortlessly'' pick up Kanazuchi and wave it around like a fly swatter, where (as noted above) Shichika couldn't even budge it. The disparity is somewhat evocative of [[ComicBook/TheMightyThor Mjolnir]].
* MeaningfulName: Her given name is "powder snow", while her family name is "frozen sky".
* StepfordSmiler: Tries to act like a CheerfulChild, but when your family was just killed, it's a little hard.
* SuperStrength: Though as a child, she's still considered weak by her clan's standards. Which still makes her stronger than anyone else alive.
* UnskilledButStrong: Her incredible raw strength, combined with her lack of training amounting to ConfusionFu, results in her being the first opponent to land a hit on Shichika - breaking his arm and ending the battle, no less.

-->'''Voiced by:''' Creator/AyaEndo

A four-armed automaton protector of a dried lake, rumored to be guarding the workshop of the late Kiki Shikizaki.

* ClockPunk: A robot? In 18th century Japan? JustifiedTrope: Kiki Shikizaki was a [[spoiler:soothsayer who could see the future of technology. As Togame [[LampshadeHanging lampshades]], itís the only way he could have created swords that, in that era, appear to break physical laws, but could be quite possible to construct with future techniques]].
* CreepyDoll: The head and torso look like a ceremonial Japanese doll, made scarier by having it wield four swords and walk on robotic legs.
* DeceptivelyHumanRobots: She seems fairly humanized at first glance, but she's never portrayed as anything but a particularly well-designed object, [[spoiler:and is easily defeated once you figure out her limited range of programmed actions]].
* HiddenWeapons: In addition to the four swords it outwardly carries, Biyorigou can produce a fifth sword out of it's mouth in a sort of stabbing action. [[spoiler:It also has a hidden 'helicopter mode', where it rotates upside-down and orients its legs into four propellers. This almost destroys it when it runs out of power...while still some hundred feet up in midair. Shichika manages to catch it, though.]]
* TheLostLenore: Based on Shikizaki's lost love.
* MultiArmedAndDangerous
* ThePowerOfTheSun: How it runs. [[spoiler:Togame exploits this to wear it down after a lengthy standoff with Shichika.]]

!!Zanki Kiguchi
-->'''Voiced by:''' Creator/ShizukaIto

A calm and serious young woman who gave up a pursuit of shogi to act as the 12th head of the Shinou Issou sword school. She wields the ninth Deviant Blade, Outou Nokogiri (''King, the Saw''), a wooden sword notably lacking the usual poison of a Shikizaki sword.

* ActionGirl
* AnimeHair
* FailureIsTheOnlyOption: Her attempts to teach Shichika how to use a sword.
* HeirToTheDojo
* TheMentor: Tries to be this to Shichika.
* MistakenForCheating: Togame's inner ClingyJealousGirl manifests itself when she thinks Shichika and Kiguchi are going at it. The ArtShift that happens whenever she misjudges the situation and lets her imagination run is nothing short of hilarious.
* NotSoAboveItAll: Her last line of dialogue, which can be somewhat jarring considering her intense mannerisms throughout the episode. [[spoiler:The implication is that this is when the focus of Nokogiri - the intense, cruel calmness that possessing it evokes - stops affecting her, after having surrendered it over to Togame.]]
* TheStoic: The intensity of which drove out her students. [[spoiler:It turns out this was Nokogiri's focus at work - she lightens up considerably after she surrenders it.]]
* WoodenKatanasAreEvenBetter: Outou Nokogiri is one. Despite its appearance as a mere practice sword, Kiguchi explains that it's quite capable of breaking bone, smashing internal organs, and the like.

!!Rinne Higaki
-->'''Voiced by:''' Miyako Ito

A three hundred year old holyman and a close friend of the deceased Shikizaki Kiki. Keeps the tenth Deviant Blade, Seitou Hakari (''Scales, the True''), a bladeless hilt with an oddly-suspended bladeguard.

* AnnoyingLaugh
* BadassGrandpa
* DeadlyDodging
* GenreSavvy: Got rid of his deviant blade as soon as he he got it, knowing that no good can come of it.
* InvoluntaryShapeshifting: His appearance is a collection of his guests' regrets. For Shichika and Togame, he looks like Konayuki with Nanami's hair with the personality of Togame's dad.
* MasterOfIllusion
* OddFriendship: With the blacksmith.
* ReallySevenHundredYearsOld
* SecretTestOfCharacter
* RapunzelHair
* TricksterMentor: Loves screwing with people.

!!Kiki Shikizaki
-->'''Voiced by:''' Creator/KatsujiMori

A master blacksmith who created the Deviant Blades. Wields the eleventh and most poisonous of the Deviant Blades, Dokutou Mekki (''Gilded, the Poison'').

* TheChessmaster: Though long dead by the time the story even starts, the plans he set in motion deeply impact the course of events through the entire run. [[spoiler:It helps that he [[SoulJar stored his spirit in one of his swords somehow]] so he could check on how things were going a few hundred years later.]]
* GambitRoulette: [[spoiler:The entire plan to use the twelve Deviant Blade to 'forge' a thirteenth Blade eras later. Justified by his seer abilities, but damned if there wasn't a lot of convenience in ThePlan.]]
* GrandTheftMe: Whoever wields the Deviant Blade Dokkutou Mekki will get possessed by him.
** [[spoiler:Interestingly, the degree of possession that happens to the victim seems to depend on how receptive the host is to the memory effect imbedded in the sword. Houou grabbed the blade with Kawauso's arm when he accidentally drew it - the same arm he grafted on to gain the latter's ninpou of reading the memory of inanimate objects - and the result was akin to full-blown DemonicPossession. Its next host, the brutish Rogiri of the shogun's retainers, exhibits symptoms more aptly described as 'berserker madness', though whether this is because Shikizaki CameBackWrong or the sword simply fried Rogiri's brain is never explained.]]
** [[spoiler:Another possibility is that Shichika dispelled Shikizaki's spirit from the sword when he killed Shikizaki!Houou, and the poison was all that remained to affect Rogiri.]]
* {{Jerkass}}: Despite his swords often determining the victors during the tumltuous Sengoku era, he doesn't really give half a damn about anything outside his own plans. [[spoiler:He's also not too particular about shanking Pengin Maniwa in the side and leaving him out on a dirt road for Shichika and Togame to stumble across.]]
* ScrewDestiny: [[spoiler:Stopped the Tokugawa Shogunate from coming to power in an effort to [[AlternateHistory alter history]] and avert Japan's eventual destruction by outside forces. [[SubvertedTrope Subverted]] when the Yanari Shogunate comes to power instead in pretty much the same way, and (aside from building the capital at Owari instead of Edo) ultimately nothing changes for those efforts. The Deviant Blades he leaves behind are marginally more impactful in changing the course of events, but they too ultimately fail to shift history either.]]
* ThanatosGambit: [[spoiler:Dies at Shichika's hands, confirming that Kyotouryuu (aka ''Kyotou Yasuri'', the '''13th Deviant Blade''') is ready for the final step.]]
* UltimateBlacksmith: His lasting legacy. [[spoiler:Most people don't know about the [[{{Seer}} soothsayer part]], though.]]
* WalkingSpoiler: In case all the spoilered entries here didn't give it away.
* WellIntentionedExtremist: [[spoiler:Despite the chaos his designs inflict, he wanted to save the whole of Japan from the impending destruction he foresaw. Quite a few people die before his plans (sort of) come to fruition, though.]]

[[folder: Maniwa Ninja Corps]]

!Tropes That Apply To All
* AnimalMotifs: The clan is split into four squads: Bird, Beast, Insect, and [[NonIndicativeName Fish]]. Each member is named and wears clothes based on an animal.
* HighlyVisibleNinja: ''All of them!''
* InSeriesNickname: Shichika calls them Maniwani. Nobody takes issue with it.
* NonIndicativeName: The three members of the Fish Squad are a shark... and a turtle and a penguin.
* OnlyInItForTheMoney: The reason they want the swords? Because they're valuable. In a somewhat altruistic spin on this, they want to sell the swords to support the Maniwa village and the entirety of their Corps.

!!Houou Maniwa
-->'''Voiced by:''' Creator/RyotaroOkiayu

De facto head of the Maniwa Ninja Corps and leader of its Bird Squad.

* AnimalMotifs: Phoenix.
* TheCharmer: He's polite and smooth-talking, and the waitress at Togame and Shichika's hotel dreamily calls him "handsome".
* DrivenToSuicide: Implied to be what he would do after the story of the 12 swords finished, to atone for [[spoiler: letting most of the Maniwa heads get killed. He doesn't get to do that.]]
* EyesAlwaysShut: His eyes are constantly shut. Interestingly, [[spoiler:an incident that would merit GlowingEyesOfDoom in any other character results in the red markings on his eyelids glowing instead.]]
* GrandTheftMe: When he accidentally draws Mekki, he gets possessed by [[spoiler:Kiki Shikizaki.]]
* HandicappedBadass: He wasn't all that hindered by losing his arm. [[spoiler: And then [[SubvertedTrope subverted]] when he grafts on Kawauso's arm after the latter is killed and gains his ninpou ability to read the history of inanimate objects.]]
* HighlyVisibleNinja: Possibly the most visible of them all.
* {{Immortality}}: He possesses the ability to graft body parts to himself to replace lost (or presumably, aging) parts of his own. Done enough times, this would logically render him undying - rather appropriate, considering his Phoenix theme.
* NobleDemon: Takes promises very seriously and cares deeply for his fellow ninjas.
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure
* TheRival: To Emonzaemon.

!!Koumori Maniwa
-->'''Voiced by:''' Creator/ChihiroSuzuki

A member of the Maniwa Ninja Corps and wielder of the first Deviant Blade, Zettou Kanna (''Plane, the Absolute'').

* AnimalMotifs: Bat.
* AnnoyingLaugh: GYA-HA-GYA-HA!!! Koumori randomly punctuates his dialogue with these.
* BlackEyesOfCrazy
* BodyHorror: We first see Zettou Kanna after he ''pulls it out of his throat'', which Shichika finds [[{{Squick}} incredibly gross]]. Later, he produces a sack containing a full costume the same way. And that's not even getting into how he effects his 'doppelganger' ability...
* {{Jerkass}}: Is abrasive and rude with his opponents. {{Subverted}} with his fellow clan members, with whom he seems to get along well.
* SpitTake: Apparently his initial flurry of kunai was actually this--Togame's order to Shichika to "Fall for me!" was just too cringe-inducing for him to stand.
* StarterVillain: He is both the first opponent, Deviant Blade wielder and Maniwa ninja Togame and Shichika confronts in the series.
* VoluntaryShapeshifting: His main weapon. Togame takes a comical amount of time to realize [[spoiler:he was the ferryman who gave her the ride out to the Yasuri's island, which is how he managed to track her despite her extra secrecy.]]

!!Shirasagi Maniwa
-->'''Voiced by:''' Creator/WataruHatano

A member of the Bird Squad who goes after Ginkaku Uneri. Speaks backwards.

* AnimalMotifs: Crane.
* HalfTheManHeUsedToBe: How he learns not to disturb Ginkaku's nap time.
* StrangeSyntaxSpeaker: He speaks not only reversing his words but also the characters of each phrase. According to Togame, this is because "he tries his utmost not to be boring". [[spoiler:He stops only after he realizes he's been ''sliced in half'', and has just enough time to express his incredulity normally before he...falls apart.]]
* WeHardlyKnewYe: Dies in his first scene, after a laughably small amount of dialogue. We get a little exposition on him from Togame when they're headed to the castle, and again when she trips over [[HalfTheManHeUsedToBe his top half]] after they arrive, but that's pretty much it.

!!Kuizame Maniwa
-->'''Voiced by:''' Tomohiro Tsuboi

A member of the Fish Squad, he fights for money and his own bloodlust, however respects his fellow members. He targets Meisai Tsuruga.

* AnimalMotifs: Shark.
* AxCrazy: He shreds everyone else on the boat he arrived on (plus the boat itself), just because he was so "excited" about the upcoming battle.
* BlackEyesOfCrazy: Or turquoise in his case.
* DualWielding
* EpicFlail: Fights with two swords attached to a chain.
* {{Expy}}: Very similar in appearance and personality to UsefulNotes/AkechiMitsuhide from ''VideoGame/SengokuBasara''.
* InsultBackfire: When Shichika refers to him as a 'Maniwani', he...reacts like it's the ultimate praise, calling it 'sublime'. He's a special kind of crazy.
* LargeHam
* NoFourthWall: Roughly half of his lines seem to be exposition directed at the audience, or at least at nobody in partiucular. Again, he's a special kind of crazy.
* SlasherSmile: Constantly. Has an impressive set of razor teeth, befitting his shark theme.
* WeHardlyKnewYe: Gets killed in his second scene, and isn't even remotely important in the plot arc he appears in. At least he lasted longer than Shirasagi.

!!Kamakiri Maniwa
-->'''Voiced by:''' Makoto Yasumura

The leader of the Insect Squad, a serious highly experienced and feared warrior. One of the three ninjas sent to capture Nanami.

* AnimalMotifs: Praying Mantis.
* ColdBloodedTorture: Is on the receiving end by [[spoiler:Nanami.]]
* MookHorrorShow: Poor bastard didn't stand a chance.
* VillainousValour: When being questioned by [[spoiler:Nanami]] about his comrades he doesn't budge.

!!Chouchou Maniwa
-->'''Voiced by:''' Creator/DaisukeSakaguchi

A member of the Insect Squad and in a relationship with a fellow ninja Oshidori. One of the three ninjas sent to capture Nanami.

* AnimalMotifs: Butterfly.
* {{Flight}}: His ninpou ability makes him incredibly light, allowing for this and [[spoiler:the ability to walk on water. The latter talent was how he and his team got out to the island where Nanami lived, and her copying this ability is how Nanami left the island afterwards to wreak havoc on the mainland.]]
* MookHorrorShow
* RetIrony: He talks at length about his plans to settle down and marry after this mission.
* TinyGuyHugeGirl: With Oshidori.
* VillainousValour

!!Mitsubachi Maniwa
-->'''Voiced by:''' Hiroaki Miura

A member of the Insect Squad, the most gentle, fair, and calm of its three members, preferring to avoid conflicts with his friends. One of the three ninjas sent to capture Nanami.

* AnimalMotifs: Bee.
* HiddenEyes
* LetsGetDangerous: Seems inexperienced compared to his comrades, but comes closest to [[spoiler:subduing Nanami after his comrades are killed.]]
* MookHorrorShow
* TheParalyzer
* VillainousValour

!!Pengin Maniwa
-->'''Voiced by:''' Creator/RyoHirohashi

A member of the Fish Squad and a stuttering little child. Accompanies Houou personally throughout the series.

* AnimalMotifs: [[EverythingsBetterWithPenguins Penguin]].
* BadassAdorable
* BadassAndChildDuo
* BornLucky
* TheDragon
* HyperDestructiveBouncingBall: His weapon, Juukyuu.
* InfantImmortality: [[spoiler:Averted.]]
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: Attempts to help Houhou in his fight against Emonzaemon by tossing him Mekki, which leads to [[spoiler:Houhou getting possessed by Kiki Shikizaki.]]
* ShrinkingViolet
* WindsOfDestinyChange: His power is basically being so lucky that he's able to ScrewDestiny to some extent. [[spoiler:Turns out he's not lucky enough.]]

!!Kyouken Maniwa
-->'''Voiced by:''' Creator/MichikoNeya

A member of the Beast Squad who despises Togame for the deaths of her fellow ninja.

* AnimalMotifs: Wolf.
* ActionGirl
* BaitAndSwitchBoss: She ends up being the true enemy Shichika must defeat to get the sixth sword, [[spoiler: by way of possessing an unwitting Konayuki.]]
* BodySurf: Her ninja ability, only applies to women.
* HotBlooded
* ReallySevenHundredYearsOld: Thanks to her ability.
* RevengeBeforeReason: She went after Shichika and Togame to avenge the Maniwa members they'd killed, in blatant disregard of the fact that Houou had just formed an alliance with them. Not to mention, Shichika and Togame were only responsible for Koumori's death. The other five dead Maniwa heads at the time were killed by either Nanami or Deviant Blade Wielders.
* {{Stripperiffic}}
* SuperSpeed: In her first form, to the point that she cannot be seen if she doesn't want to be.
* TattooedCrook: [[spoiler: The tattoo is her living essence, and striking ''just'' the tattoo is how Shichika manages to kill her while sparing Konayuki (who she'd just possessed).]]
* YouGottaHaveBlueHair: Purple hair, and purple full-body tattoos.

!!Kawauso Maniwa
-->'''Voiced by:''' Creator/ShinjiKawada

The leader of the Beast Squad, he is invaluable to the Maniwa Corps as he can ascertain the locations of the Deviant Blades.

* AnimalMotifs: Otter.
* BlackEyesOfCrazy
* DissonantSerenity: Oddly content with the idea that he [[spoiler: has to die for the Corps. He even notes he's looking forward to seeing his friend Koumori in the afterlife.]]
* OffWithHisHead
* SpiderSense: Can learn an object's history by touching it.
* UndyingLoyalty: Willing to sacrifice his life for the Maniwa Corps. [[spoiler:Which he does.]]
* WeHardlyKnewYe: Appears very briefly despite his importance. [[spoiler: His left arm, which Houou uses to replace his severed one, arguably gets more screentime than Kawauso himself.]]

!!Umigame Maniwa
-->'''Voiced by:''' Creator/ToshihikoSeki

The leader of the Fish Squad. As his name suggests, he wears a turtle-like uniform, and wields a rapier.

* AnimalMotifs: Turtle.
* BaldOfAwesome
* BlackEyesOfCrazy
* LargeHam
* TheMagnificent: Fights with a rapier.
* NonIndicativeName: Despite his title of "Umigame the Long-Lived", he is relatively young. Emonzaemon comments on this.

!!Oshidori Maniwa
-->'''Voiced by:''' Kaori Yamagata

A member of the Bird Squad, she is the object of Chouchou's affection.

* ActionGirl
* AnimalMotifs: Duck.
* BareYourMidriff
* {{Stripperiffic}}: the only way to describe a costume that incorporates ''a chain thong'''.
* SugarAndIcePersonality
* TogetherInDeath: One possible way to interpret her death scene, [[spoiler: where she has a dying dream of coasting away over the sea in Chouchou's arms. [[TearJerker It's incredibly sad.]]]]
* VillainousValour: Stays behind to fight [[spoiler:Emonzaemon]] so the rest of the Maniwani can escape. [[spoiler: Emonzaemon]] even commends her for fighting so honorably.
* WhipItGood

[[folder: Other]]
!!Mutsue Yasuri

The Sixth head of the Kyotō school of Japanese sword martial arts, the late father of Shichika Yasuri and Nanami Yasuri, and the person Togame is initially seeking for the mission to find the Deviant Blades.

* TheExile: After assassinating Takahito Hida, Mutsue and his family are exiled to an uninhabited island of the country of Tamba.
* PosthumousCharacter: He died a year before the series begins [[spoiler: at the hands of Shichika.]]
* TheStoic: He thought of himself as a sword, and thus didn't require emotions.
* ThemeNaming: His name literally translates to "Six Branch Rasp".  His childrens' names represent flowers and fruit, products of a tree's branches.