Gyoubu Kasumi (霞 刑部, Kasumi Gyōbu) is a member of the Kouga Manjidani clan and one of the ten ninjas selected by Danjou to participate in the war against the Iga. His father Renbu was killed by Iga ninja, causing him to feel a severe hatred of the Iga.
Gyoubu is a tall, bald and very muscular man with small beady eyes and no visible eyebrows. He wears a white, sleeveless kosode which he ties with a black belt. He also wears white, three-quarter-length hakama and no shoes. He wears these clothes as they are quick and easy to remove, which he must do to be able to use his ability.
As a child he had long, black hair tied in a ponytail and far less muscles.
Before the WarEditAs a child Gyoubu would go and train in the woods with his father, Renbu. On one occasion Gyoubu failed to follow through on an attack he made on Renbu and his father berated him for it, telling him compassion is not needed by ninja. Soon after his father is sent to Iga as a peace envoy by Danjou. Renbu told him that it was time for the hatred to end and when Gyoubu told him to be careful he laughed and asked Gyoubu who he thought he was. Not long after Gyoubu came across his father lying near death, having been ambushed by the Iga. Gyoubu cried and begged him not to die but Renbu once again told him he had no use for compassion. Gyoubu wanted revenge but the peace treaty of Hanzo the 1st was initiated the next day, leaving Gyoubu unable to claim it. Later that night, Gyoubu cut all the hair from his body as a statement of his unsatisfied fury.
Gyoubu is seen years later on a hunting trip with Okoi in the woods surrounding Manjidani. He had merged into the ground, intending to grab the boar while Okoi speared it from the bushes. As he was about to grab the boar Okoi let out a scream, scaring away the boar, which trampled on his face as it ran away. Annoyed, Gyoubu emerged to find Jousuke, who had grabbed at Okoi while she was bent over. The pair chase Jousuke down the hill to where Saemon and Shougen were fishing. Jousuke plunges into the water, soaking Saemon and Shougen and letting the fish escape. Gyoubu and Okoi then appeared and the group joked about how they should cook Jousuke for dinner instead.
The Iga's AttackEdit
Gyoubu is first seen with Saemon, Kagerou and Hyouma as they listen to Jimushi reading the stars. He warns them that Danjou is in great danger and that here are signs of ill fortune for Shougen too. Gyoubu moves off the wall he was leaning against, indicating he was going to go to Sunpu to check on them. He is stopped by Jimushi who tells him that he will go instead.
The next day Gyoubu sits with Kagerou and Hyouma in Danjou's estate. Kagerou complains about Gennosuke marrying Oboro and Hyouma begins to explain to her its for the greater good and that it may bring peace between the Iga and Kouga but Gyoubu interrupts. He accuses Hyouma of only pretending to be understanding and that he is only trying to rationalize it to himself, to which Hyouma agrees. Hyouma then says he is worried about Gennosuke so Gyoubu volunteers to go to Iga but they are interrupted by Saemon, who says he sent Okoi. Gyoubu agrees it was a good aidea and is about to say they should just wait for her to return when Hyouma says he hears footsteps from the north which don't belong to Kouga ninja. Fearing an attack Saemon and Gyoubu get ready, with Gyoubu merging into the wall outside.
As Gyoubu waits, the five Iga ninja stop in the alley Gyoubu is hidden in and discuss killing the rest of the Kouga ten. Gyoubu's presence is then sensed by Koshirou Chikuma so Gyoubu makes his move, grabbing Rousai Azuki and pinning him to the wall. The others look on as Rousai struggles to escape. As he struggles Gyoubu whispers to him that the walls of Manjidani have ears, before Rousai breaks free with a fierce kick. Gyoubu then shouts for back p and the entire alley fills with Kouga ninja. Tenzen Yakushiji claims they are only messengers for Gennosuke but Gyoubu doesn't believe them, pointing out that they came from the north and that what they had said to each other was suspicious. Gyoubu orders the Kouga to attack and watches from his position as the five Iga fend off the Kouga. Seeing the Kouga were losing Gyoubu decided to challenge the Iga's leader Tenzen, making a grab at his feet from the ground. A warning from Hotarubi allowed Tenzen to dodge so Gyoubu materialized out of the ground and took up two katana swords but was stopped when Hyouma ordered the attack to be called off. Tenzen throws a shuriken at Hyouma but it is blocked by Kagerou. Tenzen then claims the Iga acted in self-defense and that they would kill Gennosuke if the Kouga tried to get revenge. Hotarubi then summoned a swarm of butterflies into which she, Tenzen, Koshirou, Rousai and Nenki disappear.
After seeing the Iga escape, Gyoubu angrily demanded the Kouga seek retribution for the men killed, but Hyouma pointed out that doing so would jeopardize the safety of Gennosuke who was currently staying at Tsubagakure and instead ordered Gyoubu and Saemon to infiltrate the Iga village to uncover the truth behind the attack.
While on their way to Tsubagakure the duo come across Yashamaru returning from Sunpu and decide to get information from him. The pair hide and Saemon uses his ability to change his voice into Tenzen's and begins to question Yashamaru. Fooled by Saemon's plan Yashamaru tells them about everything, including the breaking of the Hattori truce. Saemon is shocked by this news and accidently gasps in his normal voice, allowing Yashamaru to determine he wasn't speaking to Tenzen. He slices through the wall with his ropes and manages to trap Saemon. He puts his foot against the wall to gain extra leverage, giving Gyoubu the perfect opportunity to strike. He emerges from the wall and seizes Yashamaru around the throat and hands, breaking his thumbs so his enemy couldn't utilize his wires anymore. At the time, Gyoubu merely intended to take him prisoner for further interogation. But Yashamaru attempts to fight back using the spare wires wrapped around his calves, forcing Gyoubu to break his neck.
Saemon then uses the body to transform into Yashamaru, giving him the perfect disguise to enter Tsubagakure. Gyoubu accompanies Saemon there and leaves him to go further on his own. However it appears as though Gyoubu follows Saemon into Tsubagakure by using his technique.
Later, when Saemon is surrounded by the Iga he throws the scroll into the air, leaving Jingorou Amayo in the perfect place to catch it. Suddenly Gyoubu emerges from the ground and grabs it, knocking Jingorou into Akeginu. He laughs and runs off, followed by a horde of Iga ninja. He rounds the corner and disappears into the ground, heading in the direction of Gennosuke's room. He manages to reach there at roughly the same time as Saemon and give him the scroll, shortly before the Iga arrive and surround them. Gennosuke orders them to follow him back to Manjidani and kills the fleet of ninja that charge them. With the remaining Iga now in awe of Gennosuke's ability the group pass through undeterred until Koshirou attempts to stop them. Gyoubu remarks that "Tenzen's puppy is damn cheeky" before Gennosuke uses his ability to blind Koshirou. The three then leave with Gyoubu and Saemon grinning, beginning their journey back to Manjidani.
Ferry Ride to SunpuEdit
Having met back up with Kagerou and Hyouma the group sets off for Sunpu, where Gennosuke plans to ask Ieyasu Tokugawa the reason for breaking the treaty. Gennosuke had sent the Iga the scroll and a letter explaining their plans so Gyoubu was aware that the they were following them. Gyoubu decides that he's going to finish the Iga himself and, against Gennsouke's orders, parts from the other Kouga to find them.
Gyoubu finds the Iga boarding a ship and manages to sneak on board disguised as a regular passenger. Throughout the trip he shares a room with Jingorou and Akeginu and eventually merges with the floor to sneak into Oboro's room. There he finds Tenzen attempting to rape Oboro and he uses this opportunity to strike. He reaches up from the floor and grabs Tenzen around the neck, strangling him to death. Gyoubu attempts to do the same to Oboro but is interrupted by the arrival of Akeginu and Jingorou. Gyoubu retreats momentarily while the others try to find the cause of Tenzen's death. Suddenly Jingorou figures out the culprit and begins to slash the walls and floor of the room. He runs outside and begins to slash the sword around again, this time killing an innocent passenger in the process. Gyoubu then materialises below him and lifts him up before hurling him into the sea where he dissolves completely. Gyoubu gloats about killing Jingorou and watches as Akeginu dives into the sea in an attempt to save him before returning his attention to the blind Oboro and Koshirou. As he turns however, he sees Tenzen standing by the door.Shocked to see Tenzen alive and well he vanishes into the deck to think of what to do next. Tenzen begins to mock Gyoubu about his desire to avenge his father and Gyoubu re-emerges in a rage. Gyoubu starts throwing crates at Tenzen and manages to disarm him in the process, now wielding Tenzen's katana. Gyoubu moves in for the killing shot, completely unaware Tenzen has positioned himself in front of a young boy. Tenzen avoids the attack and Gyoubu accidently kills the boy's father, who had used his body as a shield in order to protect his son. Gyoubu freezes in shock, horrified he had done the same to a child which he hated the Iga for doing to him. Gyoubu then runs for cover but is too distracted to realize Akeginu has climbed back up, allowing her to spray him with her blood mist as an act of revengence for slaying Jingorou earlier. He merges with the wall but the blood he is marked with makes him visible and allows Tenzen to impale him through the chest. Gyoubu's last sight before Tenzen drove the blade down to the hilt was the son of the man he had killed staring at him with the same rage and sorrow he had carried his entire life.
Tenzen cuts the wood from the boat and leaves it propped by the sea for the Kouga to find. When the remaining Kouga discover the body they set it adrift into the sea, adorned with flowers which Kagerou had picked to mourn his passing as well as the other Kouga who have lost their lives to the war.
Like most of the Kouga, Gyoubu bears an overwhelming hatred for the Iga. Although in the anime Gyoubu's rage is more of a personal vendetta, wanting vengeance for the killing of his father. He believes he would have been able to protect his father had he not been so weak as a child, explaining why Gyoubu trained his body to become a mountain of raw physical power. Despite the rage inside him Gyoubu is still capable of being friendly, as seen through his relationship with Okoi. Gyobu is also close friends with Kagero and Saemon Kisaragi.
Solid Matter Assimilation: Despite his massive size, Gyoubu's specialty is stealth. By merging with the surface of an object, Gyoubu is able to move and attack in complete secrecy as well as manipulate any object in physical contact with the surface. His technique however has limits:
- Only his body can merge so he must strip naked as well as drop any weapon he carries in order to use his technique. However, with his immense strength he does not need to carry weapons.
- The merging ability offers him no defensive benefits, as any attacks to the surface of the object transfer to him as well.
- The surface area of an object apparently must be at least equal to his own in order to merge or move on and it must have physical contact with a surface of similar dimensions in order for him traverse from one to the other.
Enhanced Strength: Gyoubu has trained constantly since his father's death and is strong enough to break an enemy in half with nothing more than his bare hands. His favorite method of attack is to suddenly appear from an enemy's blind side and then strangle them. His kicks are also capable of knocking an opponent several feet through the air and he can lift people above his head without much difficulty.
Although his father was very strict the two had quite a close relationship and Gyoubu really looked up to his father. He had complete faith in his power and didn't think it possible for him to be killed. His death spiralled Gyoubu into a life of hatred and he constantly thought of getting revenge.
In the anime, Gyoubu shares an uncle/niece bond with the tomboyish Okoi whom he frequently takes with him to go hunt wild boar in the forests surrounding Manjidani.
Saemon and Gyoubu work well in combat, and are very good friends.
Difference between Manga, Anime and Novel VersionsEdit
Gyoubu in the manga is noticeably less humanized that he is in the anime. His backstory is never touched upon and as such his father is never mentioned so the incident regarding the passenger he accidentally killed never occurs in the manga. As a result, his character appears to hate the Iga without a discernible reason which makes it harder for the audience to sympathize with him. His fight with Tenzen is also much shorter in the manga, with the young boy and his father not included at all. In the original novel, Gyoubu is described as being born completely devoid of body hair and resembling some sort of strange monk. His technique remains the same but like the manga, his backstory is never fully touched upon in the novel.
He was not included in the 2005 live-action film Shinobi: Heart Under Blade.