Kouga Gennosuke


Kouga Gennosuke

nihongo|Kōga Gennosuke|甲賀 弦之介 is the primary male character in the Japanese anime "" (known in English as "The Kouga Ninja Scrolls"). As the grandson of Lord Kouga Danjo, Gennosuke was chosen to be one of ten warriors to represent their clan of Koga Manjidani against the chosen ten of the rival Iga Tsubagakure clan. Upon his grandfather's death, Gennosuke ascends to take leadership of the clan.

Character Overview

In many ways, Gennosuke is as much an oddity among his clan as Oboro is among hers. An idealist and scholar who believes in looking to the future instead of being dominated by the past, Gennosuke views the pursuit of any grudge to be an ultimately pointless and self-destructive practice. His sense of principles remain even after learning of the renewed conflict between Koga and Iga, prompting him to lead the Koga on an expedition to Sunpu to plead with former Shogun Ieyasu and Hattori Hanzo the 4th to reinstigate the treaty before any more senseless bloodshed occurs.

Yet despite being a man of peace, if pushed into a corner Gennosuke is more than capable of killing anyone who threatens him or his clansmen. In addition to his skill with the sword, Gennosuke wields a power called Dojutsu which he learned from his teacher and uncle Muroga Hyouma. A hypnosis technique, Dojutsu reverses the homicidal intent of anyone who meets the stare of its user directly. In other words; if someone expresses hostility toward him, Gennosuke is able to will his enemies into killing themselves instead of him. Even Yakushiji Tenzen thinks twice before challenging Gennosuke directly.

Before the cancellation of the treaty, Gennosuke sought to build a lasting peace between Koga and Iga by marrying Oboro, the Iga Princess whom he loved to a great extent. His feelings for her remain even as the body count among both clans rises, filling him with torment as he struggles to reconcile his personal feelings with the duty demanded of him as his clan's leader. In the anime, Gennosuke carries with him a flute that he often plays for Oboro and which represents their hope of bringing peace to the clans. After learning of the Hattori Truce's absolvement, he leaves the flute behind in Tsubagakure as a farewell present for her.

Manga

Gennosuke in the manga tends to be less sentimental than his anime incarnation. After learning of the truce's cancellation, despite his affection for Oboro and his desire for peace, he's more willing to accept her as his enemy and even showed signs of beginning to accept the grudge his clan carried for the Iga as his own. He still only fights if the Iga attack first, but unlike in the anime he coldly smirks when his clan attains a victory over their opponents.

Additionally, while Gennosuke and Oboro's marriage in the anime was arranged between their two families by Hattori Hanzo the 2nd; in the manga Gennosuke is the one who proposes the union with the intention of building a definitive peace between Koga and Iga. Upon meeting Oboro however, Gennosuke was captivated by her innocence and his diplomatic ideals became subjacent to his desire of spending his life with her.

Other Media

Gennosuke is in the live-action movie "". He looks drastically different and even his technique is changed. It still depends on his eyes, but it appears to manipulate time instead of reflecting a person's malice upon them, even if he mainly used the technique in a counter wise manner. In the end of the movie, he leaves himself open and allows Oboro to kill him, being unable to bring himself to kill her, and entrusts upon her his final wish; that Ieyasu will spare the two villages.

In the original novel, Gennosuke's personality is a mixture of the manner he's depicted in both the manga and anime. While he still views the pursuit of vengeance as pointless, his anger over the death of his comrades after learning of the Hattori Truce's dissolution gradually gnaws at his spirit and sanity as he sinks into confusion and despair over the possibility that Oboro (whom he was unable to harbor malice towards even in the bloodiest of fighting) deceived him regarding the renewed conflict. After learning that Oboro had sealed her eyes and meeting with Hattori Hanzo; Gennosuke resigned himself without bitterness to letting Oboro kill him as a means of showing his regret for mistrusting her and intentionally left himself open to attack. As in the anime and manga, Oboro instead kills herself just before Gennosuke recovers from the Seven Days of Darkness whereupon he writes that Oboro is the winner and then follows her in death.

References

Fumitoro Kizaki (Director). Basilisk-Koga Ninpocho [TV-Series] GONZO/Kodansha/Japan Digital Concepts: Japan. 2005

Masaki Segawa (Manga-Ka). Basilisk-Koga Ninpocho [Manga] Kodansha: Japan. 2003-2004

Futaro Yamada (Author). Koga Ninpocho [novel] Japan. 1958

Ten Shimoyama (Director) Shinobi: Heart Under Blade (DVD) Japan. 2005


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