Akeginu (朱絹, Akeginu) is a member of the Iga Tsubagakure clan and one of the ten ninja picked by Ogen to participate in the battle against the Kouga. She is the bodyguard and confidant of Princess Oboro.
A highly attractive woman, Akeginu (like Kagerou, her counterpart in the Kouga ten) is representative of the traditional concept of the Kunoichi in her ability to use her sex appeal against members of the opposite sex. She has long, black hair which she ties back loosely, leaving some hair to cover her face. She wears a deep red kimono which she ties with a yellow sash and wears a red skirt underneath, preventing her from being completely naked should she shed her kimono. Her eyes are normally brown in colour, but change to a shining gold when using her technique.
Before the WarEdit
It is unknown how long Akeginu has known Oboro for, though Oboro does mention her when she was a child. Akeginu is seen in a flashback looking for Oboro on her first meeting with Gennosuke. When she finds Oboro at Neeya's grave she notices her make-up is ruined and takes her inside to fix it. As she fixes Oboro's lipstick Oboro develops hiccoughs. A few Iga members attempt to cure her of them but are all unsuccessful. Eventually Akeginu gives her a drink of water, which cures them completely. Akeginu then offers to take the tea to Gennosuke and Danjou but Oboro takes it instead, running off into the corrider. Akeginu goes to give chase but Jingorou (in his semi-dissolved form) falls off the roof and lands in front of her, catching her off-guard and causing her to scream in surprise. She watches as he reaches the water barrel and reforms, standing naked before her. She tries to hide her disgust and watches as he leaves, realising he was trying to scare away the hiccoughs.
In another flashback Akeginu is seen gathered with most of the other Iga ten, talking amongst themselves. They hear a noise from the adjacent room and when Yashamaru opens the door to check they find Ogen with a mirror, checking her appearance. The group are so shocked they fall forward and break the doors, leaving only Akeginu and Oboro still standing.
Trapping Gennosuke in IgaEdit
Akeginu first appears before Oboro and Gennosuke, much to their surprise, stating that she is glad Oboro is safe. Oboro quickly says that Akeginu should not be alone in the forest, but is also surprised to see Nenki, Hotarubi, and Jingorou all accompanying her. Nenki explains that they all went looking for her when she was late returning home, which cues Akeginu to begin questioning Oboro about staying out the entire night. Oboro apologizes, yet says that there is nothing to worry about as long as she is with Gennosuke. Suddenly, Jousuke is seen rolling down a hill, nearly hitting Jingorou, and soars through the air. Everyone stares up at him, including Oboro, who involuntarily neutralizes his ability and so he crash lands against a tree. The group see Rousai running after him, claiming he stole a scroll that belongs to the Iga. Gennosuke is able to take it from Jousuke and hands it to Oboro; however, she is never able to look at it, for she gives it to Jingorou who opens it with everyone else in the group. They all look upon it, realizing what it is, laughing among each other. When Oboro asks what is so funny, Jingorou lies by telling her perpetual peace was granted between the clans. As a way of celebrating, Oboro asks Gennosuke to come to their village, which he agrees to. When Jousuke tries to tell his friend what a bad idea this is, Akeginu grabs his wrist and moves his hand close to her breast. She tells him he should come as well to keep an eye on Gennosuke, promptly smiling. Blushing, Jousuke agrees. Oboro, Gennosuke, Jousuke, and Akeginu begin to head back to Iga; Rousai tells her to take care of their guests, which she slying replies that she will.
The four are next seen walking along a mountain path, where Jousuke is shown speaking to Akeginu about marriage between the Kouga and Iga. He goes to put his arm around her shoulder, but she ducks out of the way, causing him to lose his balance and roll down the path. She stares ahead quite annoyed as Gennosuke apologizes for Jousuke about his behaviour. When Jousuke finally pulls himself together, he realizes Gennosuke and Oboro holding handings. He tells Akeginu he would like to do the same thing with her, preparing to pounce on her, however she is able to move aside, causing him to miss. She stops walking completely and stares at him with confusion as he rolls down the path once again.
By the time it is dark, the group arrive at Iga. Jingorou greets them, saying he returned early to prepare the feast, to which Akeginu says that Jingorou does not hold back when it comes to throwing parties. They all enter Tsubagakure.
Akeginu is a rather caring and compassionate woman, who seems to truly care for her comrades. As the bodyguard and confidant of Princess Oboro, Akeginu is more forgiving of Oboro's lack of ninja skills than the rest of their clan, caring for her almost as an older sister. Regardless, her first loyalty is to the whole of Iga. So when word of the Hattori truce's cancellation reaches her, Akeginu holds no reservations about deceiving Oboro while aiding her comrades in their attempt to assassinate the Kouga ten - including Oboro's lover Gennosuke. Akeginu is not afraid to use her sexuality when it comes to battle, as shown when she lead Jousuke into a false sense of security before striking with her technique. She is best friends with Jingoro Amayo.
Blood Projection: Akeginu's technique grants her control over her blood; secreting it out of her pores and allowing it to spew out onto an enemy and blurr their vision. Additionally, her blood creates a mist in which Akeginu can hide her location from her opponent. When using her technique she often removes her kimono top, giving her a larger surface area from which the blood can be projected. It is unknown if there is a limit to how much blood Akeginu can produce but in her battle with Jousuke the novel mentions her ability to completely cover her torso to make it appear she has clothes on.
Kenjutsu: Akeginu's main offensive weapon is a katana, which she is shown to be very efficient with. When Jousuke throws it at her over a great distance she is still able to catch the handle with one hand.
Kamajutsu: In her battle with Kagerou, Akeginu uses one of Koshirou's kama as a way of getting revenge for him. Although it's not her main weapon she uses it well enough to completely over-power Kagerou in their duel.
Akeginu cares for Oboro as she would a sister but at the same time puts her duty to Iga above her. In light of her obligations, Akeginu does feel sympathy for Oboro's predicament and is the only member of the Iga ten besides Koshirou who doesn't ostracize Oboro after she makes the decision to seal her eyes. She even keeps safe from the other Iga the flute Gennosuke left in Tsubagakure so that Oboro would have a memento of her lover after the war ended. Although she serves as Oboro's attendant in both the manga and anime, Akeginu's relationship with her is more distant in the manga where she doesn't seem to display any concern for Oboro other than her professional duties and is quite less emotional than her anime incarnation.
Although she never admits her true feelings to him, Akeginu loves Koshirou. Akeginu tended to him the most after he was blinded and, during their journey to Sunpu, Akeginu established feelings for Koshirou. She is completely devastated upon his death and quickly becomes determined to get revenge on his killer, which eventually leads to her own death.
Akeginu managed to seduce Jousuke and convince him to go to Iga but she soon grew tired of him. His constant advances and proposals of marriage irritated her so greatly that, when Jingorou asks who she wants to kill, she immediately sets her sights on Jousuke. She wastes no time in trying to finish him, going for the kill shot right away and gloating when she thought she had killed him.
Differences between Manga, Anime and Novel VersionsEdit
In the original novel, despite Oboro considering her a close friend, Akeginu gradually becomes more and more disgusted with Oboro's hesitance to fight and, like the rest of Iga, considers her a liability. After encountering Lady Ofuku, Akeginu agrees to join forces with the Takechiyo faction wholeheartily, as it would allow her the freedom to kill the remaining Kouga by leaving Oboro in their hands.
Her duel with Jousuke is different in the novel as it happens during the escort to Tsubagakure, the agreement being that if Akeginu can make Jousuke bleed he'll stop, but if he can take all her clothes off, she'll be his wife for the night. Akeginu tries to cheat by using her blood when she slashes him with her sword, but Jousuke is able to tell the difference. Jousuke is also able to rip her top off, but she uses her ability to hemorrhage blood to quickly cover herself again. The fight isn't elaborated upon any more, but it says that Akeginu quickly thrashed him after summoning her blood mist. While he entreaties Akeginu once more for her hand in marriage, it's Oboro that breaks the awkward silence by saying he should ask Ogen when she returns instead of Gennosuke saying he's making Akeginu uncomfortable.
Despite the prominence of her role in both the anime, manga, and the original novel; Akeginu was not included in the live action film Shinobi: Heart Under Blade where her role as Oboro's attendant was handled by a highly altered version of Hotarubi, played by Erika Sawajiri.
- The kanji forming her name can translate to "red silk" which matches her technique and her manner of dress.
- (To Oboro) "Never in my life have I seen a prettier face."
- (Directed towards Hyouma) "You bastard. You killed Koshirou-dono."
- (To Saemon, disguised as Tenzen) "Please, forgive me. I know that he is are enemy, but to Oboro-sama, he is the man she loves. I didn't think it right to send her into the world with nothing to remember him by."
- (To herself while fighting Kagerou) "Ogen-sama. Rousai-dono. Nenki-dono. Jingorou-dono. Hotarubi. Yashamaru-dono. This is for Koshirou."