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Kurohime
Monthly Shonen Jump 200609 cover.jpg
The September 2006 issue of Monthly Jump, with Kurohime on the cover.
魔砲使い黒姫
(Mahō-tsukai Kurohime)
Genre Romance, Magical Girl, Comedy
Manga
Author Masanori Ookamigumi Katakura
Publisher Japan Shueisha
English publisher United States Canada Viz Media
Demographic Shōnen
Magazine Japan Jump Square
Original run 2002 – ongoing
Volumes 16
Anime and Manga Portal

Kurohime (魔砲使い黒姫 Mahō-tsukai Kurohime?, lit. Magical-Gunslinger Kurohime) is a manga series authored by Masanori Ookamigumi Katakura (片倉・狼組・政憲 Katakura Ōkamigumi Masanori?). The manga began its run in 2002, and had been serialized in Monthly Shōnen Jump. It will be one of the pilot manga in the new monthly shōnen book's website, Jump Square.[1] An English language version of the manga is published by Viz Media.[2]. An anime adaptation was also recently announced, though a date has not been released.

Contents

Summary of Released Chapters

A young boy, Zero, is saved by a mysterious gunslinger who uses magical bullets. Later revealed to be Kurohime, she is the greatest magician in the world; however, she disappears shortly after saving him. Having fallen in love with her, he trains to become a gunslinger and ten years later, his search comes to an end, and both of them team up as fugitives running away from an angry warlord wanting to take his revenge on Kurohime for what she did to him 10 years ago. He finds that she has now been cursed by the gods, and now walks the Earth as a child by the name of Himeko. Her magic powers were greatly hindered as a consequence. The only way to revert the curse is for Kurohime to fall in love with somebody, a task that Kurohime is incapable of doing. However, experiencing crushes or infatuation causes the spell to be broken momentarily, allowing for the couple to get out of bad situations.

Later in the manga, Kurohime realizes at last that she is in love with Zero. With Kurohime now being able to love, the curse is finally broken, but the gods sent the God of Death together with the goddess of benevolence, Shirohime, to defeat and kill Kurohime because of her crime of having killed a minor god. At the God of Death's command, Shirohime seals Kurohime back into her child form again, using a spell that can never be broken, and the God of Death starts trying to kill Kurohime and Zero. During this battle, Kurohime's past is revealed through a flashback. It is revealed that Kurohime is only half of herself as she was split into 2 when she challenged the gods years ago. This is due to the fact that the world was split apart with warring, as everyone was trying to prove themselves worthy of the promise of divinity given to the strongest human in the world. 10 years ago, Kurohime decided to end all the wars by pretending to be interested in becoming a god, but her real intent was to be able to ascend into heaven and start killing the gods instead.

Because Kurohime operates on a mentality of "ends justify the means," she was willing to sacrifice as many lives in order to end the war, such that the rest of the world and humanity might have absolute peace. Therefore, when the gods were deciding what to do with her, they decided to cut her into half and cleave her into "love" and "hate" which became Shirohime and Kurohime respectively. Shirohime then became a goddess, and in order to protect her other half (or, as this half would have tremendous power but only negative emotions such as hate, to protect the rest of the world from her,) she sealed her with the curse that could only be broken with love, and sent her down to earth in her child form. During the climatic battle between the God of Death and Kurohime, Shirohime realizes that she has lost sight of the point of her existence, which only Kurohime can now fulfil, so she willing sacrifices herself to save Zero and Kurohime. With the death of her goddess counterpart, Kurohime regains her full power and defeats the God of Death. However, the latter had summoned the 'River of the Dead' in a last-ditch effort to defeat Kurohime. Anyone living being caught in the river will be dissolved. The only way across is to use the "Boatman of the River"'s boat, but it can only carry one person.

Zero sacrifices his life to push the boat, with the unconscious Kurohime inside, across the river. Witnessing Zero's death causes Kurohime to develop a trauma which seals her power, turning her back into Himeko, but this time with the appearance of an early to mid teen. However, she is capable of reverting back to her adult form and power, but every time she does, she loses some of her memories of Zero.

In a cruel twist, the gods later resurrect Zero as the new God of Death, to try and kill Kurohime. Having been stripped of his free will, Zero battles Kurohime, who cannot bring herself to fight the man she loves. As a consequence, Kurohime loses most of her memories of Zero. The released memories free Zero's mind, right before he completely becomes the new God of Death. However, Zero now possesses a significant amount of darkness in his heart. It is revealed that this is his "true self."

To understand his darkness and past, Kurohime travels 10 years into the past, before the war against the gods, and begins to witness what happened to Zero and his little brother Rei. They, along with many others, are part of a gang of hired fighters known as the Wolf Brigade, led by the greedy Doc, who is later revealed to have killed their mother. Himeko, forced to keep her tru identity as Kurohime secret, accompanies them as they aid the Onimaru Gang and the military in an assault on a magical Lion Castle, controlled by Marion, a member of a group of death-worshiping witches known as the Materen. After an attack, Zero, along with all of the injured in the Wolf Brigade, are left as sacrificial lambs while Doc, Rei, and fellow Brigade member and close companion Raida, join other forces in a flank attack. Himeko, Zero and the others get swallowed by the castle. Zero and his comrades get possessed by Swords of Vengeance, cursed weapons that drain life, while Himeko faces the Kurohime Punishment Squad, who are allied with Marion. Himeko's greater experience with magic turns the tides of the first battle, in which Barahime is killed, freeing Yuka.

They make their way to the center of the castle, which holds a magic reactor driven by the power of hundreds of dead witches. Marion reveals her intention to use Saika to make a pseudo-Shinigami. While this is going on, Sword seizes the chance to kill Himeko, unleashing her vampiric-werewolf form. Able to tear through even metal, Sword's sheer speed, power, and ferocity put Himeko in a corner. Himeko turns herself into Dark Rei to stop Sword, then gets the spiteful Punishment Squad to give her the magic power to resume her true form, where she uses Byakko's power to demolish the reactor, but Saika's transformation is complete. Killing Marion, the raging shinigami beast attacks the weakened protagonists. With no strength to fight a battle of force, Himeko uses Aika's memories and voice to enter the shinigami, and manages to root out Saika's soul from the other amalgamated ghouls in the beast. With the beast destroyed, the exhausted Punishment Squad members leave, and Raida, Doc, Yuka, Himeko, Zero, and Rei head off, but unbeknownst to anyone, a fragment of the fake shinigami attacked and fused into Rei.

When Doc steals a large sum of money from the military, the group gets sent to a cruel prison where the prisoners are slaughtered. While Himeko engineers an escape, things go from bad to worse when the vengeful souls of deceased prisoners haunting the prison respond to the shinigami held within Rei. Hordes of undead swarm the prison, including a dual wielding skeleton gunslinger who seems to have her sights set on Rei. As chaos ensues, it is revealed, through Rei's memories, that Rei saw Doc kill his and Zero's mother, and his attachment to Doc is not out of affection, but a thirst for vengeance, which the shinigami both fuels and feeds upon. Himeko is reluctant to let Doc live in light of his crimes, but knowing the Shinigami in Rei will awaken if Rei sates his desire for revenge, Himeko saves Doc, stating she will protect Rei's heart, and if she cannot forgive Doc, Rei won't either. The gunslinger asks Himeko to revive her, knowing what will happen to her soul afterward, and Himeko does so. The skeleton gunslinger is revealed to be Zero and Rei's mother. She comforts the boys, stopping the shinigami and Rei's vengeance, though only momentarily.

Afterward, they go to a fortunetelling town to meet a young witch fortuneteller who is used by her mother the same way Rei and Zero a were used by Doc. This prompts Rei to attempt to kill her and free the girl. After some mishaps, thanks in no small part to Doc, yet again, the girl's mother changes her ways. The girl predicts, as the group leaves, that Himeko will have to ultimately choose between the lives of Zero and Rei, despite having already bonded with both.

Then the manga switches to Oka's point of view for a while of when she was a little girl. Now back from the future Oka tries to kill kurohime before kurohime can kill her father but instead kill's him herself. After the fight Kurohime transforms Oka into a robe for her to wear and shoots sword with a magic bullet that makes her think she really is a wolf. Thus begins Kurohime's saga. She arrives at a town in the sea that has a goddess living there and makes her way over to slaughter them all but instead the goddess does it herself. Miraculously Kurohime survives and then kurohime reveals the secrets to her power. For her to get power she must absorb wraiths (spirits of the dead with much hate in them) at which time her magic is weakened and Oka and sword released from her magic. At which time the goddess venus (the one living in the town) attacks and Kurohime, Oka and Sword all fuse together so that they can have enough power to kill the goddess. In one kick they kill the goddess and split back into their normal bodies once more.

Magic

Magic in this world is different from most depiction of magic in popular culture. It is manipulated by gifted humans who are attuned to magic, called witches (whether they be men or women). It is also a naturally occurring phenomenon that governs living things as well as the dead. Depending on those manipulating these powers, one can achieve feats of great power, rivaling a god's power. One can perform miracles or summon great creatures and manipulate the shape, form and wellbeing of others through magic. It seems all witches are also gunslingers and how effective their magic powers are depends on their ability to create powerful "magical" bullets. A witch must channel her powers into the bullet through a casting duration that imbues her bullets with various magical powers, each having different function, such as summoning powerful beasts to aid in the caster's combat, to heal wounds, manipulate one's shape, and even to bring the dead back to life. The strength of these bullets depends on the ritual as well as the ability of the caster himself/herself. Other magical elements include land deities, such as a mountain god, or the god of death. Other supernatural being exist, such as Shinigami Angels, or Reaper Angels, and demons, who possess astounding magical and destructive powers. Most of these supernatural beings look down on humans as nothing more than pawns in their games, and see none to little value in the lives of those who cross their paths.

Characters

Kurohime

The most powerful witch-gunslinger in the world; capable of amazing feats such as the ability to summon and control a wide variety of dragons. Ten years prior to the manga's beginning, Kurohime brought an end to a massive war fought to own and rebuild the Tower of the Gods, which once completed would allow the builder to become a god themselves. Willing to take the hatred and sorrow of the world unto herself, Kurohime forcefully subjugated those who fought over the tower into her own army, killing any who resisted and cause deaths and massacres around the world to absorb their hatred-filled souls into magic power. Upon completion, Kurohime destroyed the tower and entered the realm of the gods to slaughter them, as they were the ones who started the war in the first place. Through a combination of deception and brutality, the gods captured her and then split Kurohime into two beings, one representing her rage, and the other representing her compassion. The compassionate half of Kurohime accepted the gods' offer to become one of them and was reborn as Shirohime, the goddess of compassion, before sealing her dark half, who retained the name of Kurohime, into the form of a child. Throughout the course of the manga, Kurohime is able to regain her ability to love through her relationship with Zero, causing her to evolve into different incarnations throughout the various story arcs.

Kurohime's primary weapon is her witch-gun, Senryuu (lit., Tornado Dragon) which in addition to being able to fire witch-bullets can also fire normal bullets with cannon-like force. During her attempt to claim the Tower of the Gods, she also carries the Houryuu, the world's strongest witch-gun, which was capable of summoning dragons at any time because of the magic power within it. She obtained the gun specifically to fight the gods since their realm has no independent magic power to harness.

Himeko

Kurohime's child like form, apparently between the ages of 8 and 10. With her ability to feel love stripped following her split at the gods' hands, Shirohime forced Kurohime into a more harmless form under the condition that she can only change back when she feels love. Greedy and self-centered, Himeko also lacks the power of Kurohime and originally considers Zero to be her "lap-dog." After spending time with Zero however, Himeko slowly began to regain the ability to love and feel compassion, allowing her to randomly regain the form of Kurohime for a few brief moments and then permanently during the battle with Darkray.

Momohime

Kurohime's second alternate form, between the ages of 13 and 15. With Shirohime slain by Dark Rei, the original curse on Kurohime was broken. Unfortunately, the trauma of losing Zero resulted in Kurohime unable to access her full powers and limiting the recovery of her proper form. Informed by Yamatohime that reviving Zero will enable her to fully regain her power and form, Kurohime received a magical Lotus which when plucked, will cause her to briefly transform at the cost of losing a memory of Zero. She also receives a sword blade called Yamato-Dachi, which once empowered with the magic of the four spirit kings will be able to resurrect Zero. Upon reception, Yamoto-Dachi promptly fuses with Senryu, changing it into Yamato Senryu which can assume the form of either a gun or a katana. Kurohime was then launched from Yamatohime's prison inside of a giant peach which was found by an old couple, who upon finding her inside gave her the name Momohime (peach princess), a name which Kurohime finds exceedingly annoying. As Momohime, Kurohime's magic is slightly stronger than Himeko but still heavily inferior to that of her true form. She also is a bit more mature than Himeko, willingly repaying kindness and helping those in need, but still has quite a temper to those who irritate her.

Himekojo

Kurohime's third alternate form. After having most of her memories of Zero stripped away from her by Dark Zero, Kurohime reverts to an age between 16 and 18. In this form, the majority of Kurohime's powers have been restored, allowing her to fight her enemies on a more or less equal level without sacrificing her final two memories of Zero. Sent back in time by Kairyu to learn the truth about Zero's past, Kurohime adopted a third alias to prevent Zero from learning her identity and thereby altering the past. As Himekojo, Kurohime is slightly more "girly" than her other incarnations (her first thought upon arriving in the past is how cute the child version of Zero must be) but is also prone to vanity, taking furious offense at Rei's comments about her being ugly.

Zero

A cute boy saved by Kurohime in his childhood. Over ten years, he trained and became a gunslinger. He uses four guns and is known for his incredible speed. He is very loyal to Kurohime, and although he finds her difficult to handle as a child, he is still very much in love with her. Kurohime often berates him for his naivety and open kindness, but it is also what she fell in love with. His personal morals and sense of justice stems from his past: after witnessing Kurohime's power when she saved him, he vowed only to use his guns to protect and save the innocent. In order not to kill anyone, he aims mostly to disarm his aggressors with his shots. Throughout the story, he suffers great - and almost fatal - physical damage in order to save his beloved Kurohime, despite her often insensitive and ungrateful behavior.

His love for Kurohime was so strong that he willingly sacrificed his own life to save her from the River of Death. Zero's soul is taken to the underworld by Yashahime and there he is resurrected as "Dark Zero" the new God of Death. The two later confront Kurohime at the prison of the Spirit King Byako and attack her, even though she isn't willing to fight him. After taking back his signature blue scarf from Kurohime, he tears out most of the petals that comprise her soul lotus, leaving one behind. This single lotus petal contains the memories of the love Kurohime has for Zero, and the pain of losing him. This act causes Zero to remember his true memories and he transforms into his full Death God form. It is revealed that Zero holds much darkness in his heart, as the "Good Zero" is told to be just "an image created by an idealistic youth". Zero continues the fight but later retreats with Yashahime after she was severely injured by Kurohime.

One of his more prominent attacks is "Lightning Draw," which enables him to fire multiple shots with blinding speed and deadly accuracy. He is shown to be able to fire off at least two dozen consecutive shots with blinding reload speeds, and break off a cliff with his shots.

Onimaru

A heavyset gunslinger in pursuit of Kurohime. He was once her most loyal soldier and his back bears a large tattoo of the kanji for "dog", with the kanji for "Kurohime" branded near it. Feeling betrayed by the apparently selfish witch, he swore revenge on her, and intends to take it now that she has been stripped of her magical powers. Ironically enough, he is still attracted to her.

Tsucchi

In a bid to take down Kurohime, the leader of the "Death Angel" squad, Sword, seduces Onimaru and compels him to kiss her feet, and he nearly became a hideously grotesque man-snake. However, his sheer willpower prevents the transformation from fully occurring, and he becomes a mute miniature lizard; his personality and intelligence also survive this change. After learning of Kurohime's true motivations from Shirohime, he convinces her to break the curse placed on Kurohime and afterward tags along with Himeko and Asura in their quest to Yamato.

Barahime

A witch who used to steal the lives of men in order to maintain her youth. She was defeated by Kurohime before the start of the series, and subsequently lost her youth. Barahime then went on to possess Yuuka, a young girl. Her possession was incomplete, only allowing her to take complete control at night, but she was able to use Yuuka's beauty to once again kill men and keep her youthful appearance. Once again defeated by Kurohime, she was separated from Yuuka, and cursed to burn. The flame was extinguished by Sword, leader of the Death Angel Squad, who invited her to join the Kurohime Punishment Squad. She once again possessed Yuuka, this time completely, and with the rest of the squad was sent back in time with Kurohime after their battle in Edo city. Kurohime killed Barahime, freeing Yuuka and in return she is helping kurohime.

Asura

A beautiful looking woman. The people of that land call her and her kind, demons. She is extremely powerful, possessing incredible magical powers, whose destructive properties rivals a god. She is first introduced as a mysterious character who plays a subtle hand in aiding Kurohime and Zero defeat a witch. She is next seen fighting a Mountain God and is severely wounded while protecting Zero and Kurohime. Shortly after being tended to by Zero, they are attacked again by the Mountain God, and Kurohime and Asura team up together to destroy their enemy.

She is attuned to the element of fire, and much of her magic revolves around flames. She also has a demonic form that allows her to use her powers more efficiently. However, as a demon of fire, she is vulnerable to water and cannot swim. She was initially reluctant in having anything to do with Zero and Kurohime, but after being saved by Zero and witnessing the power of a vengeful Kurohime, she has a change of heart, and tells Kurohime about her master who seems intent on helping Kurohime regain her full power.

In the second arc, she reveals that her master is Yamatohime, who will resurrect Zero if Himeko can find the Four Great Spirit Kings. After the fight with Saiyuki and then Yashahime, she expresses her belief that humans and gods are both enemies of the spirits. She also has a firm resolve to protect Kurohime so as to make sure to free Yamatohime, shown by her continually stopping Ji from telling Himeko about Yashahime having taken Zero. She cries when Ji tells her that he and Ba will be waiting for both her and Himeko to come back alive. She later helps in the next several battles with the gods, until Kurohime and the gang reach Big Edo city on Yamato. There, they are ambushed by the Kurohime Punishment Squad, with Asura facing a revived Barahime.

Eventually, Asura and the others outmatch their witch-gunslinger opponents, so Barahime and the others signal their sniper aboard Kairyu, who fires giant crocodile bullets at the protagonists. While Kurohime and Yukiotoko/Yukionna manage to dodge the initial sniper shots, Asura was trying to get a little girl who had stumbled onto the battlefield to safety and was snapped by the jaws of the witch beast, causing her to revert to her human form. It is yet to be revealed whether the blow was lethal or not.

Sword

Also known as Reikahime, she is the leader of the Death Angel Squad (Shinigami Tenshidan) sent after Kurohime and Zero in the fourth volume. She and her comrades (Axe, Lance, Mace, Hammer, and Dagger) are sent to reap a group of vengeful souls from a ghost wagon who were revived courtesy of Kurohime. Sword seems to have a personal vendetta against Kurohime, leading her and her fellow death angels in an attempt to kill her by turning members of the Onimaru Gang into large demonic snakes.

Later, they aid Darkray, the God of Death, in the battle with Kurohime by transforming into their namesake weapons for Darkray's use. Kurohime shoots them with bullets that turn them into copies of her, and Darkray simplifies things by killing them all in an attempt to get the real Kurohime. The mortally injured angels give their power to Sword so that she will live. Despite being betrayed, Sword still loves Darkray enough to wanting to avenge him.

Sword (and former enemies of Kurohime) reappear in the second arc as part of the Kurohime Punishment Squad. She displays several new abilities, notably the ability to manipulate blood and suck her victim's veins dry of it, and a new outfit that makes her appear more human (compared to her initial appearance). She and her comrades kidnap Kairyu and use it to assault Kurohime and her compatriots at Big Edo City.

The Kurohime Punishment Squad follows Kurohime ten years into the past, and Sword fights against Kurohime in Lion Castle. There she reveals that her new form and abilities are the result of becoming a Vampire-Werewolf-Angel hybrid, the result of a long and painful transformation process. Her eye patch acts as a seal to lock away her 'true form', and when she removes it she becomes a monstrous vampiric werewolf but also loses all control of her actions. Kurohime tricked Sword into transforming back by transforming herself into Darkray. After they defeated the false death god, Sword took the Kurohime Punishment Squad and left, delaying their revenge for the time being.

While facing the Kurohime of the past she is defeated and cursed into taking a wolf form but reverts when the curse is weakened.

Darkray

The former God of Death. He fought Kurohime when she first challenged the gods. Using the soul of an infant murdered by an attack on Kurohime as a shield, he defeated her with Sword, slicing her in half. He was also the one who suggested splitting Kurohime into two beings: one consisting of pure hate, the other, of love and compassion. This resulted in the birth of Shirohime (White Princess), the Goddess of Mercy. He later appears in the fourth volume, not long after Kurohime killed the mountain god Moai. He orders Shirohime to seal Kurohime's powers so that he and his death angels could kill her.

During the battle with Himeko and Zero, he kills Shirohime when she, after some goading by Onimaru, broke the curse and gave Kurohime her powers back. He managed to extract Zero's soul and used it as a shield, much like the fight ten years prior, to force Kurohime to leave herself open. Eventually, with Zero's aid, Kurohime killed Darkray, blowing his head to pieces with one last shot. His soul is seen later when Yashahime returns to the land of death. He begs her to revive him, but she finds him pathetic at this juncture and destroys his soul, vanquishing him for good.

Yashahime

The mother goddess of earth, one of the six high gods, and lover of Darkray. She swears to kill Kurohime to avenge the fallen God of Death, and first appears when Kurohime killed Gandhara on Yamato. She is very powerful, with a beauteous appearance masking a fearsome treelike form. Yashahime appears after Sayuki is turned into a human by Kurohime. Killing Saiyuki, she attempts to kill Kurohime. Even with Asura and Genbu's aid, Yashahime knocked Kurohime unconscious and then tried to kill Zero's soul. The soul, though encased in magic stone, managed to grasp Kurohime's hand, and withstood her blade. Enraged, she retreats to the underworld and smashes Darkray's soul, whom she now finds pathetic. She then realizes she is actually jealous of the love Zero and Kurohime share, and uses Darkray's skull to turn Zero into Dark Rei, the new god of death, so as to make Kurohime experience hell on earth forever. After Dark Rei confronts Kurohime and the darkness in his heart emerges, Yashahime decides to take him as her new lover, smitten with the 'beauty of his darkness'. She has currently been seriously injured in her latest battle with Kurohime in the mountains and was taken back to the underworld by Dark Rei.

Yamatohime

The Phoenix Suzaku, Devil God, and Spirit Queen of Fire. She is Asura's master, and was imprisoned by the gods in the depths of a volcano, under constant watch by the Demon God Gandhara. After Kurohime arrives in Asura and slays Gandara, Yamatohime gives Kurohime a sword hardened by the sun; the Yamato-Dachi, and a lotus flower with seventeen petals, each representing a memory of Zero. A petal from the flower will fall every time Kurohime reverts to her true form. She assigns Asura with the task of guiding Himeko to the four spirit kings, whose power, when added to Yamato-Dachi, will be enough to free herself. Yamatohime says she will revive Zero if Himeko can successfully release her, then sends the group away as Tor, God of War, and Yashahime arrive in response to Gandhara's defeat.

Oka

Another member of the Kurohime Punishment Squad. She has abilities that are similar to Kurohime's, such as summoning dragons as well as amazing skill as a sniper. As a child, Oka was the princess of one of the kingdoms that was destroyed by Kurohime during her attempt to increase her magic in preparation for her assault on the gods. Later, at the Tower of the Gods, Oka attempted and failed to murder Kurohime who spared Oka and gave her a sword like witch-gun, telling her that if she really wanted revenge then she should learn to use magic. Unlike the other members of the Kurohime Punishment Squad, Oka dislikes involving innocent bystanders but is willing to use any methods she deems necessary to kill Kurohime.

In act 4, after following Kurohime into the past and failing to kill her at the Lion's Gate castle, Oka returns her homeland with Sword in an attempt to stop her father's death at the hands of the past Kurohime. As she opened fire, Oka's father mistook her as an enemy and attacked her, causing her summoned beast to instinctively attack and kill him instead. Kurohime then transformed her into a kimono which she wore until the curse was finally broken.

Ray

Despite being so small, he is actually Zero's older twin brother, a quiet young boy that keeps to himself. After seeing his mother murdered by Doc, he loses the will to speak, as well as stopped growing, and follows Doc around looking for a chance to kill him. He will not allow anyone else to kill Doc but himself, therefore protecting him from other attempts at his life. He is fated to become the God of Death as the skeletal hand of the Materen's artificial death angel fuses itself into his body following the destruction of Lion Castle. A possibility which is progressively hinted at during the course of the story is that Ray may have merged with Zero before meeting Kurohime, and was dormant within him until his death in Volume 5 (hence the change in his demeanor following his transition into a true Shinigami). Further evidence that points to this theory is that Zero's hair is shown to be pure blue as a child, while as a teenager (and in his first meeting with Kurohime as a child), he sports a black forelock (the same color as his brother's hair). However, this is still speculative.

Ray in Japanese (Rei) means "nothing". It is also used as the numerical term for "Zero".

Genbu

The Spirit King of water. Disgusted by the ways humans pollute the earth and hunt other creatures to extinction, Genbu was willing to remain imprisoned by the gods. Kurohime convinced him though that humans did have the potential for good and he willingly sacrificed himself to Yamato Senryu. By doing so, he bestowed on Kurohime the ability to summon an impenetrable armor composed of rock scales as well the ability to transform Yamato Senryu into Genbu Yamato Senryu, a shotgun with a barrel shaped like a Dragon.

Byakko

The Spirit King of Earth. Although willing to sacrifice himself in the name of ending the Gods' tyranny, he was hesitant to grant his powers to Kurohime, who by that time had lost almost all her memories of Zero. But after seeing that her love for Zero remained intact, Byako transferred his power to Yamato Senryu and enabling it to transform into a gatling gun weapon called Byako Yamato Senryu, which can fire multiple witch bullets over a short period.

Aika

Saika's lover and a magic gun user of the Kurohime punishment squad, she's nearly blind from birth but can concentrate her magic to sense her surroundings. She temporarily took his "Most sacred" thing in return for him cheating on her, but she loves him to the extent of risking her life for him.

Saika

A pretty boy who sought to make Kurohime his in chapter 3, but was spurned after she realized he was only interested in her power. He returns as part of the Kurohime punishment squad to get revenge since Aika, his lover found out he cheated on her and removed his "Most sacred" thing. In spite of this he truly loves Aika, becoming her eyes in exchange for her love, since she will love him after his beauty fades. Siding with the Materen in an attempt to kill Kurohime, Saika was betrayed and captured by the Materen's leader who intended to use their magic to transform him into an artificial death angel who would then exterminate all humanity. Fortunately, Kurohime was able to drain off enough of the Materen's power to assume her full power and allowing her to free him before the transformation could be completed. Afterwards, Saika retreated alongside Aika to reconsider their position on Kurohime.

Raida

A member of the Wolf Brigade first mentioned in the first volume. He fights alongside Zero when Kurohime returns to the past. He accompanies the gang when the Wolf Brigade defects to the Onimaru Gang, citing his reason as feeling he still owes Doc something. He is jailed in Alcatraz with the party, and also escaped with them. His Weapon is a gun hammer, similar to a Monster Hunter weapon, which makes explosions with each impact. He also is a very quick shot with a pistol.

Doc

The greedy and nefarious leader of the Wolf Brigade. He keeps Rei close by his side, and cares nothing about his men as long as he gets money. To this end, he sacrifices the wounded of the Wolf Brigade to the Lion Castle in order to launch a flank attack. After the battle ends, most of the Wolf Brigade beats him up then defects to the Onimaru Gang. He travels with the group, but it is discovered that he stole an obscene amount of money from the military, which lands the group in prison. When Rei's Shinigami brings a swarm of undead, Rei appears to protect him. However, images of Rei's memories show that Doc killed Rei and Zero's mother, that Rei witnessed it, and the only reason Rei stays near Doc is to someday take his revenge with his own hands. When Kurohime and Rei and Zero's undead mother save him (for Rei's sake), the battle ends and he continues to travel with the group. He still schemes and, wanting the power of the shinigami, plays on Rei's hatred for him.

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