Oboro (朧, Oboro) is the leader of the Tensho School during the absent of the founder Utsuro and also the strongest assassin within the Tenshouin Naraku branch. He is a major antagonist in the series after his introduction in the Courtesan of a Nation Arc.
BackgroundAs a child, everyone in Oboro's home except for him got killed by the Naraku. Although he hid and remained traumatised by the horrible incident, he was found by an assassin and got severely injured. The place was set on fire and Oboro crawled outside with his last breaths. Seeing him at the brink of death, Utsuro (at that time Yoshida Shouyou and still part of the Naraku), calling himself the reason for Oboro's injuries and losses, didn't want to let him die, and, as a first 'atonement for [his] sins', cut his arm to give Oboro his Altana blood so he could survive and 'hate [him] as long as [he] would live'.Oboro stays at Shouyou's place and helps him with doing the household chores. Shouyou wanted him to stay until his wounds were healed and signalised that the Naraku took everything from him, and that staying at that place more than necessary wouldn't make any good to him, since it would only lead to him becoming an assassin. Despite saying that, Oboro insists on serving him, his saviour, who 'gave life to that unworthy life'. It is implied that Oboro never had any purpose to live, which means that he was probably held as a slave, calling himself 'unworthy', meaning that no one really cared for him until he found Shouyou.
Oboro wanted Shouyou to become his master, but Utsuro tells him that he, with his tainted hands which took so much from people, isn't meant to become someone who teaches people anything besides becoming a weapon of death, since that is the only thing he does. Oboro tries to convince him that if his words would be the truth, he, Oboro, would have become an assassin by long now. But Shouyou taught him different things, so that can't mean he, Shouyou, is a bad person.
Suddenly Shouyou disappears, and the Naraku are alarmed to find their leader. Apparently, he stopped following his obligations as an assassin, and as someone who fled the group, he was automatically declared a target. Oboro frantically searches for Shouyou and soon after, Shouyou calls for him, sitting on a tree, and says he is happy Oboro left the Naraku as well. Oboro feels guilty that he's the reason the assassins want to chase down Shouyou. It turns out that Shouyou made up his mind to become a teacher. He says that he had this idea in his mind way long before he found Oboro, but that Oboro was the reason he decided to do it. Oboro and him, as those who left that assassin group, would create the Shouka Sonjuku, and Oboro would be his first and best disciple, and soon after, more people would join them. Oboro smiles and tells him that he can't wait for that time to come.
Both try to hide from the Naraku, but no matter where they hide, the Naraku follows their steps. Even though Shouyou built traps to halt - and not to kill - their pursuers, and even though he promised Oboro to protect him - since he didn't make him his disciple to kill others - Oboro decides to take Shouyou's sword and stab himself, appearing in front of the Naraku. He tells his pursuers that he helped Shouyou to escape, but when Shouyou found out that they couldn't escape, he got rid of Oboro. He shows the Naraku the wrong way of Shouyou's route, but they find out that he lied, since someone like Shouyou wouldn't have a hard time killing a child like Oboro. The pursuers stab Oboro, and while they do that, Shouyou - probably after waking up and searching for Oboro - sees what happens from far away. Oboro says that Shouyou didn't fail to kill him, he just didn't intend to kill him. He said that "sensei" will no longer kill anyone, and he wouldn't let anyone else be killed. With his last strength, he throws a short sword at the rope Shouyou prepared his trap. While the rocks fall, Oboro apologises in his mind to Shouyou, telling him he broke their promise. He says that ever since Shouyou saved him, he decided he was dead and that he would throw his life away for Shouyou's sake. Unless he protected his sensei's will and the disciples he has not met yet as well, he couldn't call himself his first disciple. As he says that he's sure Shouyou will take care of their school, he gets buried under the rocks. While all this happens, Shouyou, who is still shocked from what Oboro does for him, runs to reach his hand for his disciple, but even though he runs with all his might, he is too far away and can't help him from the falling rocks. Assuming he's dead, Shouyou turns away, but Oboro survived thanks to the Altana blood he received, thinking it was a sign to continue devoting himself to Shouyou. The Naraku erased his betrayal and took him in, and Oboro made efforts that the Naraku would stay away from Shouyou. He soldified his status to make it easier for him to maneuver them and also went against the teachings of Shouyou, staining his hands with blood. He didn't care if he couldn't be by Shouyou's side as long he could protect him and his will. During a walk, which happens to be near the Shouka Sonjuku, he sees Shouyou and his disciples (Sakata Gintoki, Katsura Kotarou and Takasugi Shinsuke) walking out of the school. He has the imagination that he walks next to Shouyou's side, both smiling. Seeing the reality, Oboro realises that it wasn't him Shouyou was smiling to. The Naraku somehow finds out about Shouyou's school, and takes him away, burning the Shouka Sonjuku down. Oboro stares at the burning place and thinks that he was the same as the other disciples - to get his master he killed his master. He told Takasugi that he was the one who captured Shouyou, thinking he could take him back. He believed he would still come back, but he didn't. Even though it was Utsuro who came back and not Shouyou, Oboro decided to never betray that person again and to live for his sake until that blood he received rotted away, blaming his weakness for the loss of his master. The last time he met Shouyou, before they brought him to his execution, Shouyou didn't forget about Oboro and tells him that it was thanks to him that he met those children, and that it was thanks to him that he was able to become Yoshida Shouyou. He apologises and tells him he would have liked for Oboro, his first disciple he is so proud of, to meet those children. Apparently, Oboro followed the steps of the other disciples, since they were people Shouyou was so proud of. Utsuro (as Shouyou) sacrificing his Altana blood to help Oboro.
He once fought against Sakata Gintoki during the Joui War but wasn't able to kill him. It was heavily implied that he was under Tokugawa Sada Sada's orders to kill the remaining Joui Patriots. It was later revealed that it was Oboro who stabbed Takasugi's left eye as he was trying to confront Gintoki for killing Shouyou. Oboro was even the one that gave Nobume the order to assassinate Sasaki Isaburo together with his family for disobeying the Tendoshu.
Oboro appears as a very serious person, not easily falling for others' words, and is shown to be calm in both fights and conversations. He speaks with an allegory tone, and he refers to Gintoki, Takasugi and Katsura as the demons who howl at the heavens (a term referring to the Tendoushuu), due to them being Yoshida Shouyou's students. He is completely loyal to Utsuro, due to the former Naraku leader saving his life in the past, and considered himself to be his disciple. He stated that Shouyou gave life to his unworthy life (probably due to his past). He actually has a good side within him, as shown when he saw Utsuro (then in his Shouyou persona) living happily with his first three young disciples, wishes that he could do the same thing, and also to always stick with his master and befriend the three. He seeks death to end his immortal-life.
Oboro's most remarkable physical trait is the long scar the Naraku caused him on his face during his childhood. The dark circles around his eyes seem to be due to his anaemia. He has light-gray hair and grey eyes. Oboro appears with two different outfits. He initially wore a buddhist monk robe with the Yatagarasu pattern attached to his robe. He combined it with a large praying bead necklace around his neck. During his first appearance, he disguised himself with a Tengai hat, usually worn by komusōs. The Tengai was modified to fire several poison needles. The second outfit Oboro wore during the latest appearances is an attire more akin to a ninja outfit and the Yatagarasu pattern attached to it. His scarf is noticeable as well.
During his encounter with Gintoki and Takasugi, the latter stabbed his left eye in the same way as as Oboro did to Takasugi during the Joui War.
Strength & Abilities
Master Hand-to-Hand Combat: Oboro seems to be remarkably strong as he is regarded as the strongest assassin in the Naraku and was seen outmatching Gintoki in a one on one fight and also blocking the kunai which Tsukuyo threw at Sada Sada with ease. Sada Sada reveals that Oboro had mastered the martial arts Hakkei, a fighting style that involves exerting an explosive amount of power through strikes by using ones inner energy. This is shown through a series of palm strikes and punches on Gintoki throughout the Courtesan of the Nation Arc. His reflexes are fast, often seen such as during his encounter with Hijikata, who attacked him in surprise.
Master Swordmanship Specialist: He wields a shakujō with a hidden blade inside, along with a Katana, which he seems to be very skilled with. He was trained in the Tensho School, where he mastered the use of poison needles and acupuncture points. He's also able to revitalise himself with Kei.
Friends & Allies
- Tokugawa Sada Sada: As an assassin of the Naraku, he was assigned to protect the former Shogun. Sada Sada believed a great deal in Oboro's skills and was surprised to see Gintoki, who was able to match up with Oboro, indicating that there was nobody that matched him except for Gintoki in the past.
- Utsuro: The only one important to him; he would even sacrifice his life for him, since he was saved by Utsuro when he was young. Upon finding his old master (in his Shouyou persona) was arrested lived happily with his three Joui disciple, Oboro felt the same thing, and wishes to always sticked with his master and befriend with those three.
- Imai Nobume: Oboro refers to her by her old name Mukuro when she was still a part of the Naraku. They may have parted ways, but he bears no grudge against her.
- Sakata Gintoki: They've fought each other in the Joui War. They share the same memories with Yoshida Shouyou, since he was the teacher of both at some point. He refers to Gintoki as a demon ('Shiroyasha'). Before Utsuro (in his Shouyou persona) was arrested, when seeing his old master lived happily with his three Joui disciple, Oboro felt the same thing, and wishes to always sticked with his master and befriend with those three.
- Takasugi Shinsuke: During the Joui war, He took the eyesight of Takasugi's left eye, trying to stop him from barging into Shouyou's execution. Takasugi paid back by injuring his left eye as well. Once he is defeated by Takasugi, thanking him for removing his tragic immortal life, and before he died peacefully, Oboro warned Takasugi about one of Utsuro's seven personas, and Shouyou is among of them who first rebels Utsuro's evilness and attempt to reformed himself. Before Utsuro (in his Shouyou persona) was arrested, when seeing his old master lived happily with his three Joui disciple, Oboro felt the same thing, and wishes to always sticked with his master and befriend with those three. His corpse later brought by Takasugi to be buried in the former Shokanju school location to dedicated Oboro's honor as the very first Shouyou's disciple.
Courtesan of a Nation ArcWhen Gintoki tried to cut down Sada Sada, he didn't react, since he trusted in Oboro, who protected him in an instant.
He revealed his face during his first clash with Gintoki after he fired the poison needles hidden in his Tengai. Paralysed from the shock of seeing Oboro after the Joui War, Oboro reveals Gintoki's and Yoshida Shouyou's past in detail to Sada Sada. Enraged, Gintoki tries to attack him again, but his sight gets blurry due to the poison, making it impossible for him to move.
After seeing the crows move and showing Oboro a sign, he suggested that Tokugawa Sada Sada should retreat and think of his own safety. Sada Sada tells him to bring him to Suzan, and as they try to enter the ship, Oboro realises that Gintoki, Tsukyou and Nobume, disguised as Naraku members, tried to stop their departure. He gets pulled back by Gintoki who had been cured from the needle poison thanks to Sasaki Isaburo's help.In his second fight (during this Arc) with Gintoki, Gintoki tricks him into accidentally impaling Sada Sada with several poison needles. Later on, both their swords shatter. Gintoki uses the broken Bokutou by throwing and positioning it in the ground to impale Oboro after a large drop from the Bakufu palace roof, seemingly killing him.
It turns out that Oboro had survived his wounds by distorting his acupuncture meridians, which took him a while to recover from the fight (as then reported to the Tendoshu). He confirmed that the true enemies are Yoshida Shouyou's students. Oboro was going to use Sada Sada as bait to lure out Takasugi Shinsuke, but he was too late as Sada Sada had already been killed by Takasugi himself. Oboro encounters Imai Nobume, and it is revealed that they knew each other in the past, as Oboro refered to Nobume as Mukuro. It is shown that she has a Naraku symbol tattooed behind her neck as proof of membership. He then explained that the next time they would meet one of them would fall. Before Nobume left, Oboro asked if Gintoki and Takasugi were similar to Shouyou. Nobume replied that they were not similar, as one seeked to protect what Shouyou left behind and the other seeked to destroy it. The only thing they had in common were their eyes filled with sorrow.
Shogun Assassination Arc
Oboro appeared with the Naraku assassinators at the Iga tunnel, throwing his blade at Takasugi. He tells both Gintoki and Takasugi that he reminded them once before to not waste the lives their master took for them. He points out that 'divine revelations conveyed by the Yatagarasu are not given twice'. After explaining Nobu Nobu's position as the new shogun he follows his order to kill off the injured Gintoki and Takasugi. However, when he tries to cut down Gintoki, Takasugi attacks Oboro, resulting in Oboro losing his left eye; a repayment from Takasugi for his own eye Oboro took in the Joui War. Once Kagura and Kamui arrive, Oboro recalls about Shouyou while he was in his gaol. He gets reminded of Shouyou's speech about people overcoming their own weaknesses and being free creatures. Oboro decides to withdraw, looking at Gintoki and Takasugi from far away and telling them to continue fighting, 'if that is their fate as Shouyou's disciples'.
Farewell, Shinsengumi Arc
Oboro appears before Nobume and tells her that her works under the Mimawarigumi had pleased the Tendoushuu, much to her dismay.
Later, on the prison island Kokujou, Oboro and his naraku forces attack the Yorozuya and the Shinsengumi, who climb the cliff in their attempt to rescue Kondou Isao, Matsudaira Katakuriko and Katsura Kotarou. They manage to climb the cliff unharmed and find themselves in front of the Naraku and the Mimawarigumi under Nobume. The Yorozuya and Shinsengumi decide to split off - Hijikata should rescue Kondo, while Sougo would fight Nobume, and Gintoki would fight Oboro. During the encounter, Oboro tells him that he not only inherited the will of the deceased Shogun Tokugawa Shige Shige, but Takasugi's will as well. He reveals Sasaki Isaburou's past as well as his true intentions to Gintoki, comparing him to Isaburou, since they were both rebels. Soon after, Tendoushuu fleets arrive with the intention to 'clean' the island. He tells him that his voice finally reached the heavens, implying that Utsuro will arrive. A fleet aims for Gintoki's place, resulting in a big explosion.
After the Utsuro-Gintoki fight Oboro gets to Isaburou's and Kondou's place, trying to kill both. When he was about to kill Isaburou, Hijikata defends him. Shortly after, both Hijikata and Kondou cut off Oboro's left arm, causing him to fall down.
Umibouzu talks to Utsuro about the Harusame and Kamui matter, when Oboro stands near to Umibouzu, as a means to protect Utsuro. It is shown that he survived several damages thanks to the Altana blood Utsuro gave him as a child, when '[his] life was perished long ago'. He pledged to serve under Utsuro as long as he would be alive, regardless if it was a different or the present Utsuro.
Oboro starts to cough a lot of blood, showing that even with the immortal blood he received, he still has the body of a human which can't withstand much more. Before he encounters the Joui, he tells Utsuro that he will serve his 'final loyalty' and bring 'the heads of students back to their master'.
During his encounter with Takasugi, he gets reminded of his first meeting with Utsuro, telling Takasugi that they served under the same master. When Takasugi replies that that man, Utsuro, is nothing than an enemy, since his master, Shouyou, deceased long ago, Oboro says that to him, it doesn't matter if he's called Utsuro or Shouyou, his master will be the same. It is revealed that Oboro is the reason Shouyou started teaching, and it was also shown that Oboro was his very first student. He tells Takasugi about Utsuro's origin and pain for being immortal, and also that he's the reason Utsuro's latest persona, Shouyou, got executed. Oboro confesses that he lost sight of where his own soul was. He couldn't fight for Shouyou, Utsuro, nor himself. If by any chance he could turn back time, he would've liked to become like one of the disciples of Shouka Sonjuku.
|Fight||Outcome||Time it Occurred|
|Oboro vs. Sakata Gintoki||Win||Episode 259|
|Oboro vs. Sakata Gintoki Rematch||Loss||Episode 260|
|Oboro vs. Sakata Gintoki and Takasugi Shinsuke||Draw||
|Oboro vs. Sakata Gintoki||Interrupted||
|Oboro vs. Hijikata Toushirou and Kondou Isao||Loss||
|Oboro vs. Takasugi Shinsuke||Loss||Lesson 590 - 591|
- His name "Oboro" means "misty".
- The way he received Utsuro's blood is the way how Vanilla Ice received DIO's blood on JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. Unlike Ice, Oboro has a good side and actually knows the truth of the antagonist's hidden nature, as well as seeks death to end his tragic immortal life, especially having a regret witnessed the original persona of Shouyou, Utsuro kills him on the inside.
- (To Imai Nobume) "Are they similar to Shouyou?"
- "Sensei, I'm so sorry. I broke our promise. Ever since my life was saved by you back then, I decided I was dead and that I would throw my life away for your sake, sensei. Unless I protect sensei's will, unless I protect the disciples I have not met yet, I cannot call myself your first disciple, can I? Sensei, I'm sure you will take care of our school, Shouka Sonjuku ..."
- (To Takasugi Shinsuke) "You and I are the same. Because of our weakness, we lost our masters. The one thing that differs between us is one of us vowed even if it was something else clad in the corpse of that master, he would not betray that person again. And the other vowed even if he had to kill their master once again, even if he would lose his master for all eternity, he would take his master back. From the point when we had the same master, we were fated to turn out this way. Until this blood that my master gave me runs dry, I will continue to stand in your way. So you must keep fighting. Until that soul you received from your master rots away. Continue to resist! That is how we, the disciples of Yoshida Shouyou are, aren't we?"