After getting arrested, Chōbē became one of the few criminals recruited to acquire the Elixir of Life for the shogun from the dangerous island known as Kotaku in exchange for a pardon, with his brother, Aza Tōma, acting as his Yamada Asaemon monitor. His journey led him to become a temporarily ally of Lord Tensen but later joined up with the surviving criminals and executioners to capture the elixir and escape the island.
Chōbē was a tall, lean, muscular man with messy blonde hair and a single braid on his right side. He had very noticeable facial scars on the right side of his face, including a missing eye. He initially worn a torn black coat over a torn red kimono with a beaded necklace, bracelets on his wrists and slippers.
After allying with Lord Tensen, Chōbē switched to wearing a black robe bearing a flower in the middle encircled by leaves, a belt strap, white pants, and boots. He was also given a dao for combat.
When accessing the Tao of the Waitanhua flower, Chōbē's skin became pitch black with his veins being visible, tentacle vines sprouted from his body, his hair stood up, both his eyes become blank, his scar turned into black markings and spreads across his face, and grew short claws on his fingers and toes.
Chōbē was an extremely barbaric individual who attacked anyone or anything that poses as a threat to him or his brother. He preferred to do things of his own accord and would rather resort to violence than talk things through, such as when he attacked one of the Dōshi when it attempted to settle matters without having to use force to send him and Tōma back down to the pit. He was also very sadistic whenever he engaged in fights with his enemies, which was made apparent by his brother, stating that Chōbē always stuck to taking on the role of the villain, and holds grudges to those that have bested him. A great example being how he smiled while continuing to pour bottles of Water Tao on Ju Fa's head to have him slowly die while reminding him how he started the fight with him and his brother. Like his younger brother, Chōbē was guided by his own philosophy that adapting to one's environment is the key to surviving in life. By quickly figuring out the life style of a bandit, Chōbē rose up to become the leader of a group of bandits. After slaughtering the Sōshin, Chōbē drank their blood to stay hydrated despite them tasting disgusting.
Although he tended to act like a brute, Chōbē was a rationale thinker that knew what is the best course of action in a serious situation. After being captured by Rien, Chōbē knew that he was outmatched by the Tensen if he attempted to fight back and made the decision to cooperate with Lord Tensen in order to reunite with Tōma. Chōbē was also willing to cooperate with Gantetsusai and Fuchi to defeat the Kishikai form of Ju Fa and Tao Fa, as well as help guide them in how they should go about it, and worked together to find an escape route off the island. He was also very clever as he used flattery to have the highly prideful Gantetsusai cooperate with his plan and stored two bottles of Water Tao in his stomach for when the time came for him to have a rematch with Gabimaru.
As his only brother and living relative, Chōbē is very protective of him, coming to his aid whenever he is in danger.
Chōbē and Tōma were born as sons to a retainer under the service of the daimyō of Akō Domain, Asano Takunori. However, after Asano Takunori attacked the court official Kira Yoshinaka at Edo Castle, he was sentenced to commit seppuku. As a result, their father and the rest of the retainers had their status removed and were left as rōnin, leaving their family in poverty. Their mother eventually died of an illness and their father was executed for being a part of the Akō Incident, leaving the two siblings left alone to defend for themselves. They were eventually taken by bandits who planned on selling them but later came to live amongst them after Chōbē managed to become their leader.
Sometime during their years as bandits, Chōbē and Tōma were cornered and were about to be arrested. Chōbē tells Tōma to escape and trusts that he would come and rescue him from prison. After being arrested and interrogated for a month, Tōma comes to free Chōbē after infiltrating the Yamada Clan and rising to their ranks. He then presents him the mission given by the shogun to find the Elixir of Life which Chōbē found interesting.
- Main article: Island Arc
Chōbē accepts the mission given by the shogun and is grouped together with a few death criminals in Edo. After being told that they would have to kill each other until only a few remain to leave for the island, Chōbē starts off the massacre and becomes one of the few that managed to survive. He then leaves with Tōma as his assigned Asaemon.
Before arriving on the island, Chōbē is strangled by Hōrubō but manages to break out of his grasp and kill him. His Asaemon, Yamada Asaemon Jikka, thanked him in gratitude and returned to the mainland. Once they arrived on the island, the two encounter monsters and makes the decision to kill them. After being attacked by one of them, the two brothers hear them speak of sin which enrages Chōbē and slaughters them. He then states that he will kill everyone on the island and claim the elixir for themselves.
After finish slaughtering the monsters, Chōbē drinks their blood to stay hydrated but finds it disgusting. He then asked Tōma about the Hermits residing on the island, to which he explains were old men who are superhuman, wielded strange magic and are immortal. Chōbē found their existence ridiculous and states that he will kill them if he were to come across them. The two then stumble across two women on top of ruins engaging in sexual intimacy. Chōbē senses danger coming from the two and makes them out to be monsters. One of the women then asked if they wanted to join them, much to their confusion. The other woman becomes angry and transforms into a man, declaring that he will kill them. This causes Chōbē and Tōma to be on guard. Chōbē cuts the man in half but manages to regenerate himself and shortly defeat them.
Lord Tensen ArcEdit
- Main article: Lord Tensen Arc
After their defeat, Chōbē and Tōma were dropped down a pit of blooming human corpses. They later escape after Chōbē carries Tōma on his back while climbing his way out. Tōma suggested leaving the island and tending to their wounds but Chōbē furiously vowed to get revenge on the two. Tōma says that they should dives a strategy, which Chōbē explains that he discovered their weakness lies within their lower bodies after seeing their regeneration. He then offers a him a severed limb from the pit for nourishment but turns it down. While talking they are approached by a monster called a Dōshi who politely ask them to return to the pit. Chōbē refuses and attacks. He breaks off the Dōshi's hand and demands that he tell them everything they need to know about Lord Tensen. The Dōshi regenerates his hand and summons the Sōshin to attack them. Chōbē tells Tōma to handle fighting the Sōshin while he focuses on the Dōshi. Chōbē continues to fight the Dōshi but his attacks have no effect on him. After finding an opening, the Dōshi rips out Chōbē's throat and causes him to fall.
Tōma rushes to his aid but Chōbē wakes up conscious and injures the Dōshi. He then questions as to why Tōma left fighting the Sōshin. He then looks towards the Dōshi and states that he is able to sense a strange aura emitting from him. As the two continue fighting, Chōbē starts to get a sense of how the Dōshi is becoming powerful and becomes satisfied with his new powers. The Dōshi questions whether he was okay accepting the fact that he was on the verge of losing his humanity, in which he states he was. He then states that there was one thing that would never change though he says that someone like him would never understand, causing him to remember the time he scarred his face to protect his brother. Chōbē rushes forward and sees through the Dōshi's invisible attacks and manage to injure him by striking his navel. He then asked to see how he controls his Tao but crushes his hand before he had the chance to launch another attack. After seeing how he gathered Tao in his hand Chōbē does the same thing and strikes back. He smiles in enjoyment knowing that he can kill him and stomps on his injured body. Chōbē pulls up the head of the Dōshi and asked where were Lord Tensen. After looking at him strangely, Chōbē asked Tōma if there was anything wrong and tells him to help restrain the Dōshi.
The two travel to Hōrai and takes the injured Dōshi as a guide. The three then run into Gabimaru, Tamiya Gantetsusai, Yamada Asaemon Fuchi, and Mei travelling up a cliff. Chōbē smiles and immediately kicks Gabimaru. Gabimaru fights back and gets on top of Chōbē to snap his neck. He falls down but gets up after his injure heals and grabs Gabimaru to throw him crashing to the ground. He then blocks one of his kicks and grabs his leg to swing him crashing down. Chōbē thinks the fight is over, however, he hears Gabimaru laugh and prepares to go into his killing instincts. Chōbē dodges a rock Gabimaru launches but has his eye scratched out by him to rob Chōbē of his senses. However, Chōbē manages to kick Gabimaru but gets his tendon bitten. He then dodges Gabimaru's attempts to bite at his vital areas but gets caught as Gabimaru bites at his carotid. Chōbē automatically heals this wound and stomps on the ground to cause Gabimaru to lose his footing. He calls Gabimaru out to be weak compared to what he was on the mainland and uses his Tao to enhance his fist to strike Gabimaru. Gabimaru throws a punch at Chōbē but he reads his Tao block it and deliver an uppercut. He then sees that his fingers were bitten off by him and comments on Gabimaru's ugly way of fighting. During their match he calls out to Tōma to fight the others.
Chōbē continues to gain the upper hand but gets engulfed in flames after Gabimaru ignites his body and releases a torrent of fire. He tries to escape but gets punctured from rocks Gabimaru launches. Gabimaru gets on top of him and prepares to incinerate him and Chōbē. Chōbē becomes surprise that Gabimaru is willing to sacrifice himself. Gabimaru explains that he had nothing to live for but sees that Chōbē does by wanting to be by his brothers side and tells him that he never could triumph. Chōbē hears this and thanks Gabimaru for making him realize his resolve to abandon everything as long as he has Tōma. He then starts to undergo a transformation and loses control of himself while attacking Gabimaru. As he continues on rampaging, he realizes that he has been unknowingly attacking Tōma who tries to make him come to his senses. Chōbē reverts back to normal and falls down a massive crater after Mei releases her Tao to stop Gabimaru from killing himself. The ninja then tries to his last attempt to attack by sending a few rocks. Chōbē pushes Tōma out of the way and tells him to wait for him as he falls down the valley.
After reaching the bottom of the valley and regenerates, Chōbē reflects on his actions and analyses the layout of Hōjō. He then sees a group of Sōshin and decides to practice his Tao on them. Once he was done killing the Sōshin, Chōbē is met by Rien who questions if he was the one who killed Mu Dan. Chōbē unleashes his transformation seeing how strong Rien is. He manages to strike Rien's tanden and completely destroys his body. However, Rien reveals that he has created clones of himself and becomes impressed with Chōbē's usage of the Waitanhua Tao. Chōbē is then knocked out by Rien and is taken to the palace in Hōrai.
Chōbē wakes up restrained to a bed and sees Rien as a female. Rien undresses and wishes to engage in Bōchū Jutsu with Chōbē so that she can understand his Tao better. Chōbē agrees to cooperate if Rien tells him everything he needs to know about the island. Rien explains that the island is a giant laboratory meant to create and observe the immortal life of each experimental creatures such as the Hōko. After explaining the nature of Tao, Rien states that Chōbē's Tao is invaluable and wish to study it for her cause of creating perfect Tan and turn every human on the mainland into Tan. He is then offered a chance to join Lord Tensen instead of becoming Tan as well. Chōbē thinks about his options and agrees to cooperate, proceeding with their engagement in Bōchū Jutsu while hoping that Tōma waits for him to come back.
- Main article: Hōrai Arc
Chōbē joins the members of Lord Tensen in a ritual. After they were finish, Chōbē gets into a scuffle with Ju Fa and becomes impressed with how strong he has gotten since their last encounter. He then follows Rien to his laboratory. While following him, Chōbē learns about the changing interior of the palace and takes note of how strong Rien is, believing that he is not ready to fight him quite yet. After entering the laboratory, Rien unveils to Chōbē the Banko, a giant Waitanhua meant to process greater Tan, and requires his rare Tao to complete his research. Chōbē becomes puzzled and worries that they plan on using Tōma to create more Tan. Rien then tells Chōbē that he plans on cutting his body parts and asks that he hone his Tao so it may benefit him, which Chōbē agreed to.
During the experimentation, Chōbē tells Lord Tensen about the survivors of the mission and how they plan to invade the palace. He agrees to keep them updated on the groups arrival by keeping track of their Tao in exchange for keeping Tōma alive. Later, Rien tells Chōbē that Tōma has a bad omen based on the ritual setup. Before leaving, Chōbē steals a few bottles containing Water Tao from Rien's lab and swallows them, planning to use them when he fights Gabimaru again.
After the survivors entered the palace and fall into Lord Tensen's trap, Chōbē, along with Ju Fa and Tao Fa, reunites with Tōma accompanied by Gantetsusai and Fuchi in the Bōchū Jutsu Temple. Chōbē tells Tōma to come by his side since Lord Tensen plans to offer them immortality. Tōma joins his brother upstairs and helps him attack Ju Fa and Tao Fa after noticing his undone braided hair, signaling that he was lying. Chōbē becomes impressed with Tōma's improvement and allows Gantetsusai and Fuchi to fight Tao Fa as gratitude for keeping his brother safe. The Aza Brothers then fight against Ju Fa after he has fully healed himself and manage to gain the upper hand with their improved skills. Chōbē attempts to use his transformation to increase his abilities, however, he is stopped by Tōma. The brothers then see Ju Fa reaching out to grab Tao Fa's hand, who has transformed after having her tanden cut by Gantetsusai, and fuse together to enter their Kishikai mode.
Chōbē attacks the two combined Tensens after entering his transformation. He cuts Tao Fa's tanden and causes them to experience intense pain. However, Chōbē is pierced by the vines they release and is thrashed around the area. After being sent back inside, Fuchi suggests that all four of them should cooperate in order to defeat the Tensens. Chōbē enters into an augment with Gantetsusai about cooperating with each other but is told by Fuchi that they can focus on fighting each other later after they manage to kill the monster. Chōbē and Tōma then agree to work together with Gantetsusai and Fuchi.
Chōbē fends off the monsters vine attacks towards the others and tells them to stand back. After analyzing the Tao elements needed to take down Ju Fa and Tao Fa, and not wanting his brother to get hurt, Chōbē makes the decision to fight alone. However, he sees Tōma step in to protect him from one of the vines and grabs Fuchi's hand to use the restoration method of strengthening Fuchi's Metal Tao against Tao Fa. Gantetsusai jumps in to attack but causes the monster to fly up in the air and change form. Chōbē partners himself with Gantetsusai to defeat Ju Fa while he has Tōma partner with Fuchi to defeat Tao Fa. Tōma asks him what he should do, to which Chōbē punches him on the head demanding that he make his own decisions, saying that he has faith since he notices that he has grown.
The four pushes forward while fighting off the monster's attacks. Chōbē notes that they are on their last legs but needed to put an end to their battle. Gantetsusai manages to get under the monster by entering the pool and slashes Ju Fa and Tao Fa apart. Chōbē and Fuchi then come in to deliver the finishing blow to their tanden and end their Kishikai form. Ju Fa, in their weakened form, comes in to attack Chōbē. Chōbē pierces his stomach and pulls out the two bottles of Water Tao that he was planning on using against Gabimaru's Fire Tao. He then pours the liquid on Ju Fa to keep him from regenerating while enjoying the sight of them dying. Gantetsusai comes in to make the finishing blow to Ju Fa, causing Chōbē to think that he was putting the dying Tensen out of their mercy. The four then rest after the battle was officially over.
After the battle was over, Gantetsusai, Fuchi, and Tōma take the time to recuperate from their injuries but is told by Chōbē that they are wasting time after revealing Rien's plan. Knowing that their plans have not changed, Fuchi asks Chōbē if he is willing to join in assisting the survivors, however, before he could answer, the four starts to feel the palace shaking. Once the tremors ceased, they are approached by Iwagakure shinobi from the second landing party, as well as a Dōshi army, entering into a three-way conflict. Chōbē and Tōma run away from the skirmish with Gantetsusai and Fuchi and decide to split up until they find a route off the island. The brothers are then surrounded by Iwagakure shinobi and are approached by Yamada Asaemon Jikka. With no way out, Chōbē and Tōma surrender. Jikka then tries to strike a deal with the Aza Brothers in that he will offer to write up a false report to the shogun about the brothers having died on the island if they can manage to kill Shugen, as well as Sagiri and Shion if they get the chance, so that he can take his place as the head of the Yamada clan.
Chōbē and Tōma follow Jikka with the older brother waiting for a chance to make an escape. However, after Zhu Jin merges with the Banko, Chōbē finds his body starting to negatively reacting to its influence. With the situation becoming serious after the monster takes over the palace, Chōbē and Tōma follow Jikka and the Iwagakure shinobi to the Rentan Temple where all the survivors are gathered to discuss matters on how to defeat the Zhu Jin-fused Banko. Chōbē relays the information Mei told him and warns everyone that the palace has basically turned into the Banko's body, the Tan fragments in the air will cause Arborification, similar to the condition he is going through, if breathed in, and that he can sense that the Banko has five tandens of each element scattered around the palace. The group then comes under attack by the giant monsters created by the Zhu Jin-fused Banko and are warned by Chōbē that anything unrecognizable inside its body will be eliminated. Fortunately, Gabimaru makes his arrival and sets the monsters ablaze but reveals to everyone that he is suffering from the same effects as Chōbē. After hearing Shion take note of the difficulty in having everyone continue fighting due to fatigue, Chōbē comments that they all have no other options left but to fight and walks up to Gabimaru asking if he has anything to lose since he is in the same situation as him. Gabimaru answers yes, which pleases Chōbē. With everyone on board, as well as being equipped with shinobi wear in preparation, the group form duos in accordance to the Tao Restoration and go off to destroy the Banko's tandens.
Chōbē and Tōma arrive at the Wood tanden and are forced to try and get pass clones of Tao Fa created that are protecting the tanden from intruders. While fighting them off, Tōma asks Chōbē if they should try to find a way off the island or follow through with Jikka's deal. With the Tao Fa clones becoming a problem after entering a partial Kishikai state, Chōbē prepares to use Tao. However, he starts to feel his body suffering from the Banko's effects on his Tao and also senses that Tōma is gradually suffering from the Tan particles in the air. After reviewing his options, Chōbē puts his faith in Tōma in going through with Jikka's plan without him and that the only thing he can do is to wreck havoc until the others manage to destroy the other tandens. Momentarily after the sounding of the next signal, Chōbē leaps towards the Wood tanden and perfectly times his attack with the others, successfully destroying all tandens and bringing down the Zhu Jin-fused Banko as planned. However, after morning comes around, the Zhu Jin-fused Banko is resurrected and has its tandens slowly regenerate.
After noticing the Wood tanden slowly regenerating from the sun, Chōbē finds himself out of stamina to perform another synchronize attack. He then hears Tōma requesting to abandon his task of destroying the tanden and try to find a way they can both leave the island, as well as asking him not to die similarly to their late father. After hearing his brother out, Chōbē looks at Tōma, mutters the word "curse", and uses his vines to dig into the Wood tanden to reach the others and destroy their roots with his remaining strength left, thereby cutting off the regeneration link to the main body. His plan ends up becoming a success as the Zhu Jin-fused Banko begins to crumble away.
Having exhausted every last bit of his power, Chōbē falls to the ground and hears Tōma crying out to him by his side. He then receives memories of the time he worried to his parents about how he thought a baby Tōma was feeling delicate but then noticed how he grabbed on to him as if it was for dear life. His parents then makes him happily to realize that he is now an older brother and is responsible for protecting Tōma. In the afterlife, Chōbē sees his parents and kneels before them, apologizing for the sins he had committed in his life but was happy to know that he was good enough to become a decent older brother, which brought his parents to tears. A young Chōbē runs to his parents with open arms but then turns around to see an unknown figure placing their hand on his shoulder.
Abilities and PowersEdit
Chōbē was a strong criminal that was capable of taking charge of a village full of bandits and strike terror in Iyo. In Jikka's opinion, Chōbē's criminal record was so high that he could have earned up to a hundred death sentences. His skills impressed one of the Dōshi, a disciple of Lord Tensen, and showed him that he had the potential to use Tao. Another testament to his skills was that just when he awakened his Tao, Chōbē quickly understood how to manipulate it by using the Dōshi as a prime example and ultimately overpower him even though the Dōshi was more well-versed in Tao and received special training from Lord Tensen. He was capable of fighting equally and overpower the likes of Gabimaru (who reverted back to his old self as "Gabimaru the Hollow" where he acted as his most dangerous). With the help of his brother, Chōbē was capable of causing Ju Fa, a powerful Tao user, to struggle in their second fight and endured long enough to kill both him and Tao Fa in their Kishikai form.
Chōbē had impressive physical strength which he acquired after undergoing serious training as a bandit. A few noticeable feats was him being able to kick a man six feet up in the air and wield a large axe effortlessly to kill the Sōshin. During his fight with Gabimaru, Chōbē lifted him with a single hand and destroyed the ground with a single stomp of his foot. He also had great reflexes as he was able to react quickly to one of Gabimaru's kicks.
He also possessed superhuman durability and endurance. Despite being badly injured from his confrontation with Ju Fa, Chōbē managed to climb up the Tan pit while carrying Tōma, even though Mu Dan noted that such a feat was not possible, and had enough strength in him to fight the Dōshi and take on direct Tao blows that are suppose to cause serious internal damage. Although his Tao was being disrupted by the Zhu Jin-fused Banko, which caused him major pain, Chōbē had enough willpower to endure it and fight against clones of Tao Fa, while also mustering up the strength to destroy all the Zhu Jin-fused Banko's roots connected to its tandens.
- Further information: Tao
Chōbē possessed Metal-attributed Tao. After being infected by the vines deep within the Tan pit, Chōbē awakened his Tao as well as acquire the powers of Plant Tao. While fighting the Dōshi, Chōbē's Tao continued to grow at an astonishing rate, and by the time he encountered Gabimaru, Mei sensed that Chōbē had massive reserves of Tao. With its use, Chōbē could enhance his strong punches to cause major damage and read his opponents movements, allowing him to avoid any attacks aimed at him and counter.
After being thrown down the Tan pit, Chōbē achieved hybridization after having his body infused with Plant Tao of the Waitanhua flower. With its effects, Chōbē was able to instantly heal and regenerate any form of damage done to his body automatically. After having his throat ripped, wrist broken, and neck snapped by a Dōshi, Chōbē was able to heal those wounds in an instant and continue fighting without having any worries. The effects left strange vine-like markings to the healed area. However, the drawback to this ability was that the more times he regenerated the more he had to resist the vines from taking over his body and undergoing Arborification.
Waitanhua Flower TaoEdit
Upon unleashing the Tao of the Waitanhua flower, Chōbē transformed into an demonic form of himself. In this state, Chōbē sprouted vines from his body and used them to lash at his opponents with fierce striking power. He could also use the vines to shield himself from attacks and shape them into weapons such as an axe or a scythe. His speed and power were also greatly enhanced. At first, Chōbē was unable to maintain control of his mentality after entering this form, turning into a berserker in the process, however, he eventually learned how to by not allowing the vines inside his body to take over, although he noted that it was a difficult feat to accomplish. He was also capable of unleashing the vines without undergoing the transformation.
Chōbē was well-noted to have high levels of adaptability that had managed to help him survive since he was a child, leading him to become a leader of a group of bandits. This innate ability is what allowed him to survive Kotaku's ordeals and get adjusted to the new abilities he acquired. He could quickly identify his opponent's weaknesses from just one analysis of a small detail and could devise a plan of action. He thought very carefully as to what options would be the best for him and had good instincts to know when the time was right for him to take down his enemies. When faced with an extreme situation, Chōbē could calmly survey and devise an approach that will ensure success, as well as make on the spot ideas if a plan ends in failure. In addition, Chōbē was also clever as to how he could keep people in line from defying him and taking any opportunity he could use to defeat his enemies, shown as how he stored two bottles of Water Tao that he stole from Rien's lab inside his stomach for when the time came to fight Gabimaru again.
Chōbē originally wielded a sword resembling a khyber knife. He later traded it in for a large axe previously owned by one of the Sōshin. Using both weapons, Chōbē was able to easily slaughter them. Upon his later encounter with Ju Fa the axe was destroyed.
After joining Lord Tensen, Chōbē was given a Dao and showed great skill in using it. He then chose to discard the sword after his battle with Ju Fa and Tao Fa but soon obtained another one from a fallen Iwagakure shinobi.
- My only lord is me! My only god is me!
- Still Too classy for you fools? Anyone who's still got a problem go ahead and pretty me up some more.
- Chōbē's name and reputation may have been based off of Nakamura Chōbei, a leader of a group of bandits that were stationed at a small village called Ogurusu during the Azuchi-Momoyama period.
- Aza Chōbē ranked 6th place in the manga 1st Character Popularity Poll with 1034 votes.
- With the exception of Mu Dan, Chōbē was the only survivor of the vanguard that had met most of the members of Lord Tensen.