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    Kabane Kusaka 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/kabane_kemono_jihen.png
Not that kind of Ghoul
"A threat? Yeah... But he could be could be a star of hope too."
Inugami describing our hero

Nicknamed Dorotabō by his abusive family members and neighbors, Kabane grew up oblivious to his nature as a half-ghoul, being forced to work as a farmhand by his aunt after his parents left him in her care for unknown reasons. After being blamed for an incident where a monstrous deer was eating the local wildlife and causing the corpses to rot, he is taken in by detective Inugami to work at his Kemono office.


  • Adorkable: His first time trying pizza is absolutely adorable to watch.
  • Alliterative Name: Kabane Kusaka.
  • All-Loving Hero: A twisted version in that the abuse heaped upon him from the time he is just a year old has made him incapable of hating anyone, thus showing no malice towards the people who go out of his way to make his life a living hell when he has every right to be.
  • All There in the Manual: Kabane only ever uses his first name, but the end of chapter page shows that his full name is Kabane Kusaka.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Kabane has been on both sides of this trope, frequently having his limbs severed while tearing off the limbs of his opponents in turn. Due to his regeneration, he comes away perfectly fine in the end, and has even done this to himself to escape traps. It also makes him very intimidating when he's unflinchingly walking towards someone while covered in blood with a missing arm, only for said arm to regenerate a few seconds later.
  • Back from the Dead: Kabane is, in Inugami's words, someone who won't die when they're killed. Whenever Kabane would receive a fatal wound, he simply heals himself within a few hours. In one case, he can regenerate his entire body after his head was cut off within a few minutes of being released from a suitcase.
  • Badass Adorable: He's a short, adorable thirteen year old who can snap the necks of man-eating deer when high-caliber handguns powerful enough to obliterate the torsos of zombie dogs couldn't put a dent in them.
  • Body Horror: When his Life Calculus is removed, his skin begins flaking away to reveal pitch black flesh underneath, while his lips also dissolve to show his teeth. Meanwhile his arms become disproportionately large and have enormous veins snaking down them. He also begins growing horns and the sclera of his eyes darken while his normally pale irises become a deep red.
  • Break the Cutie: Happened long before the series started, with his aunt mistreating him since day one due to being a Half-Ghoul hybrid, making him work in the fields instead of going to school, effectively using him for slave labor, and being pelted with insults so frequently that his first response to hearing someone say that he smelled so bad that others would have to rip their noses off to stand him is, "Okay, be careful." His lack of self-worth is so profound that he's utterly baffled at Inugami's friendly demeanor towards him.
  • Chaste Hero: Kabane can't tell the difference between friendship, familial love, and romantic love due to lacking all of these things growing up. As a result, when Akira and Shiki ask who Kabane likes (as in, has a crush on), he simply says Inugami's name due to the gratitude he feels towards him. This is continually Played for Laughs throughout the series.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Due to his lack of social skills, Kabane often interprets things literally unless they're pointed out to him.
    Shiki: [Asking about Kabane's motivations] Answer me. What brought you here?
    Kabane:[Beat] A car?
  • Dissonant Serenity: It's extremely unnerving how he never reacts to any of the insults thrown at him, and the first time he's seen actually smiling in the series is when he tells Inugami to kill him and pin the blame for the decaying animals on him as per Inugami's original assignment. Due to his advanced healing ability and Inugami's own sympathy, this luckily doesn't stick.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Inverted. He has trouble acknowledging any of the good things he does for others, such as the time when he walked into a room of bugs that strip flesh from bone in seconds to rescue a mother and her son when no one else could, but insists that he didn't do anything useful.
    Boy: [bowing and crying in gratitude for saving his brother and mother] Tha-thank you so much! Thank you so... so... much!
    Kabane: [confused] N-No... I didn't really do anything...
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Is depicted as this on the cover art, but his complexion is healthier looking in the first few colored pages, likely due to working for so many hours in the sun.
  • Extreme Doormat: Kabane usually won't do anything unless it would help someone else or if someone tells him to do it. When Shiki goes off to play video games and Akira begins reading a magazine during a slow day at the office, he stares at the corner and waits for instructions.
  • Extreme Omnivore: To keep up The Masquerade, Kabane eats a boy's phone after the boy took pictures of Kabane doing business.
  • Evil Aunt: Kabane's aunt crushed all semblance of self-worth and value that he has. By the present day, he's completely and utterly confused when other people treat him well. It's even implied that he's never celebrated his birthday before, since he isn't even sure of his own age. She also calls him a "monster" and wanted him dead for years, commissioning Inugami to kill Kabane as she believed that her nephew was responsible for the string of animal deaths.
  • Feel No Pain: Ghouls are incapable of feeling any pain. As a result, whenever Kabane actually takes a hit, he never complains since he never actually feels its effects. He is also perfectly okay with having a chunk of his leg ripped off by sticky thread and once tore his own arm off to escape a trap.
    Kabane: [flesh-eating bugs attack his eyes, calmly] I can't see...
  • Fearless Undead: A zig-zagged example. As a bloodless creature that's nearly impossible to kill, Kabane can wade into more dangerous situations without fear of permanent injury. However, his lack of fear stems from his Aunt's abuse of him, which left him incapable of fearing or hating anything. This is not always treated as a good thing.
  • Friendless Background: Kabane was the object of ridicule and scorn from others due to his strange smell and his aunt's unwillingness to use him for anything other than menial labor or even provide him an education. As a result, he is baffled when others treat him well and raises an eyebrow when Shiki tells him that he could have just asked for help.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Kabane is generally kind and a good listener to his friends. At the same time, he can be ruthless when his life or the lives of others are in danger, dismembering his foes without hesitation and attempting to bite all the way through Kon's neck after being reduced to a head, calmly remarking that he messed up when he only took a chunk out of it. He is also fully willing to use the Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique to get information. He doesn't like doing this, but he won't pull punches if someone else comes at him with the intent to kill.
    Kabane: I don't kill unless I have to. When the time comes to kill, I kill. If they attack with the intent to kill me... I think that makes us even.
  • Good Thing You Can Heal: Kabane's healing ability makes him a prime target for deadlier attacks, including having his head torn off. However, he can only regenerate if he has enough space to, and can thus be incapacitated if his severed head is kept in a suitcase.
    Kabane: [introducing himself to Shiki and Akira] I'm Kabane. I can do anything but die. It's nice to meet you.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Half-Bloodless Ghoul, Half-Human.
  • Hopeless with Tech: He has trouble operating anything more complicated that a stove or a telephone due to living away from modern amenities until he came to Tokyo. He hasn't even heard of YouTube, prompting him to think of it as a hose with a mouth at the end when told about it.
  • Kid Hero: He's 13... probably, in his words.
  • Known Only by Their Nickname: A negative example in that no one in his hometown would ever use his real name, only calling him Dorotabou, the name for an earth-bound spirit covered in manure and rice sprouts, due to the way he naturally smells.
  • Meaningful Name: His name literally means corpse. Given that he's a kind of zombie, it fits. On the other hand, his derogatory childhood nickname, Dorotabō, refers to an earthbound spirit covered in manure that tends to rice fields, reflecting his position in his aunt's household and the strange smell he gives off.
  • Men Can't Keep House: Subverted. Due to spending his entire life working at his aunt's inn, Kabane is exceedingly skilled and farmwork and housework, cleaning up the entire Kemono office and making it a spotless and neat workplace in just one hour. The only thing he can't do well is cook due to his aunt keeping him away from food at all times and he has already promised to work on getting better.
  • Mundane Luxury: Played with. Kabane is utterly perplexed by basic things like people treating him with common decency and respect, and it's implied the his hammock is the first time he's actually had a bed, but he ends up sleeping on the floor anyway because it's too soft and fluffy for his tastes.
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: Given his short height, scrawny frame, and the fact that his aunt kept him away from eating areas at all times, it's implied that Kabane wasn't fed all that well. Despite this, he can easily tear apart things that bullets can't penetrate with his bare hands.
  • Not So Stoic: He breaks down when he realizes that he isn't human, and after seeing what he did to an apple he immediately believes that he is the monster responsible for the deaths of the local animals until Inugami told him otherwise. After which, Kabane returns to his normal stoic demeanor.
  • Not Used to Freedom: Kabane was used by his Evil Aunt as free labor and constantly made to do tasks, rather than do things like go to school or hang out with others his age. By the time he's thirteen (he thinks), he's so unused to the idea of having his own free time that he stares at a wall and waits for instructions when there's nothing to do at Inugami's office.
  • Our Ghouls Are Different: Is a Half-Ghoul, meaning that he's technically alive, but he doesn't die when he's killed and quickly heals away most wounds, even fatal ones. In addition, anything he bites while his Ghoul powers are active begins to rot. On top of this, he possesses disproportionate strength and speed versus his size, cannot feel pain, and completely lacks blood, instead having a strange white fluid in his circulatory system.
  • Parental Abandonment: His parents left him on his Aunt's front door when he was just a year old and fled for reasons unknown, only leaving instructions to "raise him as a human". But given the incredibly valuable and rare Life Calculus that hangs around his neck, Inugami suspects that that this decision was not by choice but necessity.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Can wrestle with nearly anything that comes his way, from wild animals to other Kemono, thanks to his Super Strength, but he's still a measly 4'9'' and weighs just 105 pounds.
  • Power Limiter: His Life Calculus keeps his Ghoul side in check and prevents him instinctively attacking and feeding on humans.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Subverted in that Kabane eyes are only depicted as only a pale red in the story proper on top of being the most unequivocally nice character in the series. Of course, they do provide a hint of his heritage...
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The stoic and passive Blue to Shiki's hot-headed and domineering Red. The lines do blur when it comes to action though, as Kabane's healing abilities mean that he makes far more risky and damaging moves than Shiki ever would, even when there's a potentially less problematic solution. By contrast, Shiki's more technical abilities means he has to think about how to use them most effectively.
  • Spiky Hair: In a manner akin to a certain Keyblade Wielder.
  • Sacrificed Basic Skill for Awesome Training: Since he never went to school, his cousin Yataro doubts that Kabane would be able to even write his own name (though this is later disproven when Kabane reads several difficult sounding words out of an old newspaper). Nevertheless, Kabane is a hard worker who easily dispatches numerous wild animals with ease.
  • Shout-Out: When Kabane's Ghoul traits emerge, the sclera of his eyes darken as his irises grow even more red in a manner reminiscent of another series with ghouls.
  • Smarter Than You Look: Despite his social awkwardness and his cousin's claims that Kabane can't even write his own name, the half-Ghoul knows several morbid and unusually complex terms for a thirteen year old during a game of Shiritori, or "say a word that starts with the last letter of the word someone else just said", such as necrosis, Ebola, and thorium after reading about them in a newspaper.note 
  • The Stoic: Kabane rarely gets more expressive than his default stare due to the way he was raised and his resulting lack of social skills, not even flinching when his head is cut off. Similarly, his reaction to seeing a swarm of bugs that can strip flesh from bone in moments?
    Kabane: [complete deadpan] Bugs.
  • Stomach of Holding: He swallows his Life Calculus to hide it while meeting with Inari at Inugami's suggestion while replacing it with a dummy necklace disguised with Inugami's powers. It turns out to be the right call, as Inari later tries to kidnap Kabane and steal his Life Calculus by chopping his head off. This does lead to the Fridge Logic at the end of the chapter (if Kabane hid it in his stomach, it would still be in his original stomach after he regrew his body), but this is also lampshaded and Played for Laughs.
  • Tranquil Fury: When Shiki is doubled over in grief over the fate of his mother, Kabane calmly asks Shiki what he wants to do. When Shiki finally asks Kabane to help him, Kabane proceeds to rip apart a hundred monsters with his bare hands. After kicking the culprit to Shiki's feet, Kabane then asks, in his usual, neutral tone of voice, whether Shiki wants the guy dead or not.
  • Undying Loyalty: He's so grateful to Inugami for taking him in that he's essentially willing to listen to and do whatever Inugami says when combined with his Extreme Doormat tendencies.
  • Super Strength: Can casually beat most wild animals to death with a hoe and tore off a monster deer's head with one blow after high caliber rounds that reduced a zombie dog's upper body to paste were utterly ineffective.
  • The Quiet One: He rarely speaks more than a few words at a time, with his usual response being, "Oh.", "Okay.", "I understand.", and "Got it." He does open up more about more important topics like his parents, but he will rarely actively engage in conversation unless spoken to first. As he spends more time with others, he also becomes more chatty, later giving Shiki a Rousing Speech over a walkie-talkie when the latter was cornered.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: He doesn't take finding out that he isn't human all that well, but Inugami helps him get over it.

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    Kohachi Inugami 
The head and owner of the Inugami Detective Agency.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Inugami is quirky, overly friendly at times, and once mooned Kabane to prove a point, but he's also a competent investigator who has a keen eye for detail, immediately reaching out to Kabane for information despite the latter's status as a pariah.
  • Exact Words: Kabane's aunt told Inugami to kill Kabane and that he could "do whatever he wanted" afterward. No one said Kabane had to stay dead or that whatever he wanted meant taking the boy with him to Tokyo.
  • Nice Guy: Went out of his way to help out Kabane in the fields and effectively adopted him after seeing what Kabane's aunt did to the boy.
  • Parental Substitute: For all the boys in his office, having been abandoned by their parents for various reasons.
  • Private Detective: Works as one, specializing in the supernatural.
  • Trickster Mentor: Loves to abuse Exact Words to get what he wants and is keenly aware of how to use Kabane's strengths and weaknesses for maximum benefit.
  • Tanuki: Inugami is a bake-danuki to be precise, and as such is able to do things like make a loaded pistol appear out of his finger and turn his skin into metal, but it takes him time to do the latter.

    Shiki 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/shiki_kemono_jihen.PNG
Hot-Headed Spider
Another member of the Inugami Paranormal Counseling Office, Shiki is a hybrid half-Kemono like Kabane. Loud-mouthed and rambunctious, Shiki always wants things to go his way, sometimes at the expense of others. But despite his abrasiveness, he isn't as mean spirited as he seems.
  • All Webbed Up: His ability allows him to turn his sweat into sticky spider-thread that's strong enough to almost completely restrain Kabane in large enough quantities and rip off skin and flesh if one tries to remove themselves with brute force. While it's lacking in raw offensive power, he makes up for it with versatility, using it to grab far away objects and set traps. He later discovers that if he's sufficiently hydrated and sweaty, he can also have it coat his entire body to render himself nearly completely invisible.
  • Anime Hair: Not too ridiculous (especially when placed next to Kabane), but his hair is unusually spiky.
  • Break the Haughty: While being swarmed from all sides by monsters and faced with the truth of what happened to his mother, Shiki ultimately breaks down, dropping his snide exterior and crying while finally asking Kabane to help him. Kabane complies.
  • Expy: His spiky hair, sweat-based superpower, loud-mouthed and abrasive attitude, and superiority complex have drawn comparisons to Katsuki Bakugou for many readers.
  • Foil: To Kabane. While Kabane is The Stoic, a Naïve Newcomer Fearless Undead with a Healing Factor who was so neglected that he had never tried pizza before, Shiki is loud, domineering, and is well-acquainted with city life. While Kabane's abilities tailor him to the use of brute force, Shiki has to think harder due to the indirect applications of his spider silk. They're also both Hybrids.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: He warms up to Kabane over time, with his initially domineering demeanor giving way to a Vitriolic Best Buds kind of situation, going so far as to fist bump Kabane after a job well done.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: Chucks Kabane's severed head at someone so Kabane could bite them.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Shiki's mother was an Arachne, a type of Kemono that is able to turn her sweat into spider-like thread for a variety of purposes, a trait he inherited.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: Insists on bossing Kabane around and is generally quite abrasive as a whole, but is deeply insecure about Kabane's sudden arrival at the office and is constantly wondering what made Inugami so interested in taking him in.
  • Momma's Boy: He was very close to his mother while growing up and was devastated when she suddenly vanished, leading him to try to distance himself from her and insists that she's dead even when there's the possibility that she might be alive to cope.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Pizza, to the point that he begs Inugami to buy it for him and considers a half-off coupon to be a "sign from Heaven" that they should get some. Shiki is also completely taken aback when Kabane admits that he'd never had pizza before, causing Shiki to share it with him out of shock and pity before remembering that he was trying to hate Kabane.
  • Tsundere: Shiki is extremely irritable around Kabane and insists that they won't be friends, but Shiki is horrified at the fact that Kabane had never tried pizza before and quickly finds himself sharing and encouraging Kabane to eat it. After realizing what he had done, he goes back to being abrasive.

    Akira 
Another young boy working at the Inugami Paranormal Counseling Office, Akira is extremely effeminate in his mannerisms, but is constantly insisting that he is a boy.
  • Baths Are Fun: Akira loves taking showers and baths, doing so three to four times a day. He's basically an exaggeration of the Japanese love of cleanliness.
  • The Chick: Fills in this role for the Kemono office, being extremely effeminate and emotional in contrast to Kabane's stoic and Shiki's hot-headedness.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Kabane admits that he initially thought Akira was a "very pretty girl" when they first met, much to the latter's frustration. It doesn't help that Akira has long hair and eyelashes.
  • An Ice Person: It turns out he had unrealized ice powers the whole time, coming from his status as a yuki-onna's son.
  • The Load: He's more of a liability than an asset on his first outing. He has none of the composure that Kabane or Shiki have and none of the fighting ability, and his powers didn't even manifest until after everyone was in danger.
  • Sweet Tooth: To add to his stereotypically girly charm, Akira loves sweets and pours sugar on everything, much to Shiki's chagrin. Akira puts so much sugar on his food finds eating Kabane's burnt eggs to taste better than Akira's cooking.
  • Traumatic Superpower Awakening: His powers first resurface when he and his friends are about to be drained of blood by a trio of mosquito women. In an outburst of sadness and fear of seeing his friends get hurt, Akira freezes the area around him.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Depicted with sky-blue hair on the colored pages.
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