|“||My own life takes top priority and I'm not planning to die. My whole goal's to survive and make it home. Home to my wife. I'm not about to lay down my life. But I'll sacrifice whatever it takes otherwise. My ideals, reason, sense, even my humanity.||”|
—Gabimaru (Chapter 67)
Gabimaru served as Iwagakure's most infamous shinobi until he was betrayed by his village for wanting to abandon his role as a murderer and live a peaceful life with his wife, resulting in him being handed over to the authorities to be executed. However, after the shogun calls for convict criminals to acquire the Elixir of Life from the dangerous island known as Kotaku, in exchange for a pardon for their past crimes, Gabimaru accepts the invitation to be a part of the competition mission in order to reunite with Yui and live the life he so desired. Upon taking the mission, Yamada Asaemon Sagiri was chosen as his assigned monitor.
Shortly after, Gabimaru becomes a part of a united front formed from the remaining surviving criminals and executioners to defeat Lord Tensen, work together in capturing the elixir, and have everyone escape the island.
Gabimaru is a young man with a below average height. He has white, untamed hair that usually covers the right side of his face. He wears the standard Iwagakure shinobi outfit, which consists of a black robe with long sleeves that are frayed, a black tattsuke bakama, and a frayed white sash tied at his waist. He also wears a wide collar dickey to cover the bottom part of his face as a mask when he is prepared to go into battle. He wears ninja gauntlets and sandals with gaiters tied to his legs. He has a well-toned build, with muscles and scars he developed during his training.
Upon infiltrating Hōrai, the left side of Gabimaru's robe became torn after Ran cleaved his hand down on his shoulder, which was later healed with Plant Tao. He later replaces his robe with a new one from a fallen Iwagakure shinobi.
Gabimaru is calm, level-headed and rarely shows any emotions. He is calm to the point where he is unfazed by any sort of crisis, such as being executed or when he was confronted and attacked by Warped Keiun, a well-known criminal sentence for death. While being attacked, he paid no mind and simply focused on retying the restraints on his hands as demanded by Sagiri. As noted by Sagiri, once Gabimaru calms down he tends to complain. When the two landed on the island, Gabimaru complained about the restraints being a nuisance and the supplies he was given by the shogun as being useless. He prefers to stick with his main objective at hand and not get tangled with anything else that doesn't involve his goals, finding his fight with Keiun to be a waste of time.
During his time in Iwagakure, Gabimaru was known and admired by his peers for his cruelty and ruthless killings of his victims. After suffering from amnesia and reverting back to his old self, Gabimaru expressed his bloodlust of how he was going to kill Chōbē and decided that if Fuchi, Gantetsusai and Mei were enemies then he would kill them without question. As a Iwa shinobi he had followed their principles such as continuing forward with a mission, defeating his opponents no matter what the tactics were, and that his life had no value. Being raised from infancy by his cruel and ruthless leader, Gabimaru was influenced into believing that having sentimentality was a sign of weakness and that he could not protect anything he cared about. Having these words committed to heart, Gabimaru would fall into a murderous, emotionless state which he refers to as being "Hollow", and focus solely on killing his target.
After being married to Yui, Gabimaru underwent a major change. Even though he was influenced by his leaders words of ridding himself of his emotions to become strong, Gabimaru was also influenced by Yui's kind and caring nature into believing that having emotions made him truly strong and would turn him into a true warrior. This overwrote his cruel nature as a ninja and made him want to avoid unnecessary killing. When realizing that there is no other way out of it, Gabimaru will make the distasteful decision of killing but would feel grief for the lives he has taken. This influence would later on stop him from killing Sagiri.
Because he is given limited time to find the Elixir of Life, Gabimaru is very determined and wastes no time on anything. He planned to kill Sagiri to not be weighed down and cleared his mind from all distractions, including Sagiri's well being, except killing and receiving the pardon when facing the Sōshin. When the opportunity presented itself, Gabimaru quickly departed for Hōrai when Senta fall asleep while on guard duty. During his struggle with Zhu Jin, Gabimaru was willing to risk his life if it meant returning home.
Ever since he arrived on the island, Gabimaru has noticed that his behavior has been changing, particularly caring about others such as Mei and Sagiri even though he reminds himself to focus solely on the mission. When Sagiri was in danger of being attacked by the Sōshin, Gabimaru unconsciously rushes in to save her. He commits the same action when he steps in to protect Mei from the Dōshi, saying that he could not bear to see her cry and was repaying a debt since she helped him escape danger. After hearing the Dōshi say that Mei's scar meant that she was "marked" and remembering his wife, Gabimaru broke out of his calm composure and showed genuine anger for the first time.
Although he is viewed as being obnoxious (mainly by Sagiri), he can also be respectful and polite at times. Back when he was with his wife he advised her not to cover her scar with her hair, saying that appearances don't matter. He later gave the same advice to Mei which caused her to see the good in Gabimaru. Because he learned basic customs from Yui, Gabimaru would show his gratitude to whoever helped him. He thanked Yuzuriha's team for freeing his head from one of the Sōshin's tentacles and praised Sagiri for her strength as well as thanking her for helping him find his resolve.
- Further information: Gabimaru's Relationships
After the birth of their child, a married couple planned to leave Iwagakure and live a normal life outside of the village's principles. However, their plan was discovered by the chief and were executed for their actions. From then on, the nameless infant was raised by the chief himself and was put through training at a young age, along with many other chosen children, to become the next successor of the feared codename, "Gabimaru the Hollow". After surviving the training, showing great promise in his skills, and was believed to be the one killing the other candidates over time, the young man was chosen by the Iwa chief to become the next title holder and participated in a ceremony where he had to fight to the death with the previous descendant in order to fully earn his name. Having successfully done so, the young man went on to become known as Gabimaru. Once the ceremony over, Gabimaru finds Shija, a shinobi that has been admiring him since childhood, and sees them standing among the dead bodies of Iwa shinobi. After Shija explains to him that they killed them because they were envious of him, Gabimaru realizes that Shija was the one responsible for the multiple deaths of the past candidates that had the chief believing that it was his doing. Shija admits to this and explains to Gabimaru that they have been supporting him all this time so that he can take the title of "Gabimaru". With his role as "Gabimaru the Hollow", Gabimaru spent his years assassinating his targets ruthlessly and became feared by many. Having proven his worth, the village chief rewarded him with his daughter, Yui. After being married to her, Gabimaru started to gradually grow to love Yui for her kind and gentle personality towards him.
After returning from training badly injured, Gabimaru was chosen to represent Iwagakure in a sparring match against a rival shinobi clan and manages to easily kill the rival shinobi clan's representative. Later, Gabimaru, and the other elite shinobi, are assigned a mission to steal a ledger. Gabimaru's team manages to complete the mission but is ordered by the Hollow to have the men possessing the ledger to be knocked out instead of killed. After noticing this change in behavior in stark contrast to his cruel ways, as well as seeing him leave a letter of apology afterwards, the shinobi became suspicious of Gabimaru and speculated that it was because he was married. Gabimaru quickly denies this allegation and stated that the marriage could never change him. Gabimaru then met with the employer and sees that he is amused by how he did not kill a single man during the mission but understands where he was coming from since he is also married.
Sometime later, Gabimaru and the elite ninja are assigned to assassinate their former employer along with his wife. He is then chosen by one of the shinobi to end the married couples lives, however, Gabimaru chooses to spare them. This choice causes three of the elite shinobi to attack Gabimaru for his cowardly act. Gabimaru tries reasoning with them as he continues to receive their attacks but is ultimately led to killing them. He then tells the couple that he would cover for them and allows them to leave. Once the mission was over, Gabimaru returns home to Yui but says that he can't allow her to see his bloody face since it would scare her. Yui tells him that she denies this and comes in to hug Gabimaru while smiling, saying that she only saw him as her husband. Gabimaru smiles as well as she wipes the blood off his face.
Sometime ago, Gabimaru came to the village chief to ask for permission to live a normal life with his married wife. Before he was given an answer, Gabimaru was tasked with completing one final mission. However, Iwagakure betrayed Gabimaru and had him arrested for violating their rules of showing weakness. He was then sentenced to be executed for his past crimes.
- Main article: Island Arc
While surviving every execution method he was sentenced to, Gabimaru talks to Sagiri about his past. Later, he is once again met by Sagiri who reveals herself as a executioner. As Sagiri prepares to decapitate Gabimaru, he dodges in confusion. Sagiri explains that it was his desire to see his wife again that motivated him. She then offers him a chance to be pardoned of his crimes if he were to complete a task given by the shogun. Gabimaru accepts and leaves off with Sagiri.
After being gathered together with a group of criminals, they were told to start a massacre until only a few were available to leave for the island. Gabimaru complained to the guards that he would rather avoid unnecessary murder, which angered one of the guards and commanded a few criminals to kill Gabimaru. Seeing as he had no other choice, Gabimaru killed the criminals and managed to survive the massacre, departing to the island with his assigned Asaemon, Yamada Asaemon Sagiri.
Once Gabimaru and Sagiri landed on the island, he told her of his leader's immortal body and how it connects to the Elixir of Life but finds it hard to believe that it’s on the island. Gabimaru then frees himself of his restraints but Sagiri refuses to allow this action to occur. After Gabimaru complains to Sagiri she draws her sword and tells him to bind his hands. Gabimaru is then hit with a surprise attack by Warped Keiun but intercepts it by dislocating his neck. Keiun then declares to Gabimaru that he will kill him and every criminal on the island so that he will be the one to find the Elixir of Life. After the Asaemon's stated that they would not interfere with fights caused between their criminals, Gabimaru had no choice but to fight back. Keiun launches towards Gabimaru and releases a barrage of weapon attacks but Gabimaru is unaffected by them and focuses on retying his hands together. He then lifts Keiun up using the shaft of his spear and kicks it towards his chest. Keiun survived the attack, revealing that he had armour underneath and prepares to attack Gabimaru once more. Later, Gabimaru kills Keiun with his weapons and sighs in boredom. He then tells Sagiri that he wishes to move on but then spots Kisho drawing his sword.
Having drawn his sword, Kisho cuts off the head of Warped Keiun's corpse and made his leave, however, Sagiri warned him of the sixty men that went missing on the island. Kisho informed Sagiri that this wouldn't be the time to be worrying about others and warned her of the dangers to come. He then pointed to Gabimaru as an example of being one of the criminals that were not willing to follow the rules and offers her a chance to return home by killing him. Having heard enough from him, Gabimaru silenced Kishō and told him that he did not care for what he said and all that matter to him was returning to his wife. Kishō then warned Gabimaru that Iwagakure might get involved in the mission, which got Gabimaru concerned. After the Asaemon left, Sagiri asked Gabimaru where to go next but suddenly clashes swords with him. Sagiri wanted to have an answer for his actions, to which he responds by saying that he wanted to kill her painlessly.
Once he had heard Kishō's warning of Iwagakure potentially being involved, Gabimaru knew that he had no time to waste and that Sagiri would only get in his way to find the elixir. As the two clashed, Gabimaru was confused as to why he was hesitating behind his attacks. He then has memories of the time he was with his wife. Gabimaru explains to her he doesn't feel emotions, but she believes this statement to be false and that he should follow his sentimentality which will make him strong. Gabimaru learned that he was taught sentimentality from her but also hatred, believing that he had learned weakness. Remembering the chief's words on how if he was not strong he could not protect anything, Gabimaru becomes emotionless and prepares to kill Sagiri. However, he stops in confusion and is frustrated that he won't survive with the way he is and won't be able to see his wife again. Sagiri disagreed with him and tells him the fact that he can feel emotions is a sign of strength and not weakness and promises him that if he faces his emotions while reclaiming his life then she will support him throughout the journey. Finally, Sagiri tells Gabimaru that he is no longer the man he was before and sheathes his sword.
Later, the two encounter and are attacked by a strange fish monster. Gabimaru focuses his mind on only killing the monster but is struggling. He then believes that it would be safe for them to flee but are surrounded by other monsters. Gabimaru had no choice but to fight back. While Gabimaru attacks, he notices that Sagiri is being attacked by one of the monsters but choices to focus solely on killing them. However, subconsciously he saves Sagiri and right after she thanks him, Gabimaru has his head wrapped by one of the monster’s tentacles. Just when Gabimaru was endanger, Yamada Asaemon Genji arrives and kills the monster. Yuzuriha then makes her introduction to the two and is seen with two Asaemon. Gabimaru thanks them for the help but questions why they did. After she failed to seduce Gabimaru, Yuzuriha proposes in teaming up to find the elixir but Gabimaru refuses, saying that he doesn't trust them. Yuzuriha explains that they didn't have to trust each other as long as they could find the elixir. She then persuades him by saying that she can provide information of the insects on the island such as the human-faced butterflies. Gabimaru asked how she got this info. Yuzuriha says that she used Moro Makiya as bait and proceeds to mock Gabimaru for worrying about others. Gabimaru agrees to teaming up for the information but then finds Sagiri unconscious.
After Sagiri awoke, Gabimaru made kikatsugan from what he found on the island and tells them how he could not find the Elixir of Life based on the drawing he was given. He then tells them about the samurai in bloom and how they connect to the samurai that were first dispatched to the island. Senta then presents his findings on the statue’s characteristics and Sagiri explains how the monsters possessed zero signs of organs or genitalia. Hearing this statement, Gabimaru becomes excited to hear that this may be a clue to finding the elixir and how he has a chance to return home. Taking Gabimaru's suggestion, Senta says that they should investigate further on the monsters. By nightfall, Gabimaru is watch by Sagiri who tells her that it’s pointless since he doesn't sleep. Gabimaru asked if she was recovering well after the wound he gave her which shocks Sagiri for showing concern. He then his showed gratitude for Sagiri helping him find the resolve to face anything that comes his way if something went wrong with the mission. She compliments him on this strength but Gabimaru returns it by complimenting on how strong she is compared to him. He then proceeds to give her a saying from his village which encourages her.
The next day, Gabimaru arrives and kicks Rokurōta who was about to attack Sagiri. After noticing that his kick didn't faze him and that escaping wouldn't be possible, Gabimaru decides to engage him in battle and attempt to kill him. He makes the strategy of testing out his strength and tells Sagiri to move away from the battle. He then asked Yuzuriha for support, however, she refuses because of the agreement they made about her role in providing information while he handles fighting enemies. Gabimaru continues to fight Rokurōta and takes note of his strength. Seeing as how he can't find a technique that would against him, Gabimaru decides to come up with another strategy. He realizes that the only way possible for him to find an opening is to have a team of two. After Gabimaru dodges his attack, he notices Sagiri managing to cut off one of Rokurōta's fingers and both asked for their assistance.
Gabimaru comes up with the plan of using Sagiri to decapitate Rokurōta's head, however, Sagiri says that his neck is to high up for her to make the killing blow. He then suggests bringing him to his knees by cutting off his legs. Rokurōta charges another attack towards Gabimaru but he manages to deflect it with his leg. After Sagiri is unable to cut his right leg, they proceed once again as planned but notices that his leg is injured from when he intercepted Rokurōta's first attack. Sagiri tries a second attempt to cut Rokurōta but fails once again due to his bones getting in the way. The two then hear Rokurōta's stomach loudly rumbling and attempt to block out the noise, however, Gabimaru is caught off guard and is slammed down by Rokurōta's palm, leaving him badly injured. Sagiri steps in and defends Gabimaru who notices how strong she is. After Rokurōta falls down, Sagiri prepares to cut off his head but the giant jumps out of the way. Seeing as how normal tactics were not working, Gabimaru comes up with another plan that he notes is a little dangerous.
Gabimaru sets himself on fire and launches a barrage of flaming ninjutsu attacks at Rokurōta who deflects them towards the trees that catch on fire. Gabimaru tells Sagiri that he plans to suffocate Rokurōta with smoke so he can fall to his knees and have Sagiri deliver the killing blow. Sagiri gets close to Rokurōta after inhaling the smoke and prepares to behead him. Rokurōta notices Sagiri and gets ready to attack but Gabimaru holds his arm down, asking for her to hurry before he loses strength. After Sagiri beheads Rokurōta, Gabimaru suggest leaving before the monsters become attracted to the fire. He suggests going towards the direction the monsters came and asked Sagiri if she is worried about her comrades. She states that focusing on completing the mission would set them free, which appeals to Gabimaru. After catching up with Yuzuriha and Senta, the group are shocked to see an abandoned village. Senta implies that the village must be where the Hermits on the island reside. Gabimaru says that it didn't matter who or what was living on the island but whether or not they were allies or enemies.
Lord Tensen Arc
- Main article: Lord Tensen Arc
Gabimaru notices someone watching him and goes after the spy. He pulls down their hood and discovers its a little girl. He then dodges an attack coming from a tree monster but instead of engaging in a fight Gabimaru focuses on the girl, thinking that she might know more about the island. Once he caught up to her he is shocked by how strong she is after being thrown aside. After Sagiri assures her that they don't intend to cause any harm, the girl throws a punch towards Sagiri but Gabimaru manages to block it. He notices her brute strength but also senses something else coming from her. Gabimaru starts to act serious and restrains her with vines, causing her to cry. Sagiri tells Gabimaru to get her down and notices that she was just an ordinary girl from her innocent behavior. They then group back with Yuzuriha and Senta. Gabimaru wanted to ask her about the Elixir of Life but Sagiri tells him that would not be possible with her crying. The group then hears the tree monster talking, asking for them not to hurt the girl and that it can tell them about the elixir and guide them to the village.
The tree monster leads the group to the village. Sagiri feels uncertain if they should trust it but Gabimaru tells her that he was willing to take his chances but assures her that if it tricks them he will take care of it. The tree monster tells them that it will not trick them and that the village is save from the monsters, revealed to be called the Sōshin, and the butterflies. After they arrive to the village, Gabimaru asked the tree monster about the island and the elixir. The monster reveals that the island is called Kotaku and the elixir, also known as Tan, is real and can be found at the center of the island. However, it tells them that they will soon meet a group of immortal beings called Lord Tensen who will not allow them to leave the island. Gabimaru and Yuzuriha views the tree monsters tone as a threat and point their weapons towards it. The tree monster tells them that it was harboring no ill will and it was only speaking the truth. He then watches as the tree monster breaks a part of its hand and demonstrates its regenerative abilities, giving evidence that the elixir exists. Gabimaru looks towards the girl and asked if she also has the ability but receives a scolding from Sagiri and Yuzuriha.
Later, Gabimaru walks with Sagiri to the bath and discuss whether if they can trust Mei and Hōko. Once they entered, Gabimaru accidently walks in on Mei undressed. Despite this incident, Gabimaru undresses seeing as how he used to bath with others back at his village. While washing himself he thinks back to the time his wife advised to relax his body and how he told her not to hide her scar. Gabimaru looks towards Mei and gives her the same advise about her marking on her back. This advise makes Mei feel comfortable standing next to Gabimaru. After washing themselves, Gabimaru reminded himself that he had not time to waste in finding the elixir. Once they arrived, Senta overexerts himself with gathering intel but insists in keeping watch for the night. However, he falls asleep next to Gabimaru which gave him the opportunity to leave for Hōrai.
As Gabimaru rushes for Hōrai he stumbles upon an area full of strange immobile tree beings chanting sutras. He continues on until he finds a large gate. Seeing how its man made Gabimaru realizes that he has arrived at Hōrai and prepares to enter. However, an unknown woman appears behind him and becomes irritated with his appearance after her scuffle with another group of humans. After Gabimaru realizes that she turns humans into the Elixir of Life and attacks her. While the two engage in battle, Gabimaru uncovers the woman's true identity. Just when he had the upper hand in battle Gabimaru is overwhelmed by its counter attacks. Gabimaru recovers and asked if he is the infamous Lord Tensen. Gabimaru continues to fight the Lord Tensen and notices his attacks are ineffective. However, he manages to land a fatal blow and wondered what changed. It then transforms into a woman and launches a set of invincible attacks towards Gabimaru. Gabimaru struggles with guarding against her attacks but pushes throw and clashes with a barrage of attacks. He gains the upper hand and stops her from regenerating. Once she was down, Gabimaru asked her where was the elixir but is shocked to see the blooming female transforms into a monster.
Before Gabimaru could come up with a strategy, the monster attacks with bolts of lightning and gravely injures him. He then becomes overwhelmed with the monsters attacks and is unable to fight back. As he is thrashed around he dreams of waking up to a peaceful life with his wife, believing that the events that had occurred was a nightmare. Though he took into consideration that he is dreaming of her he was glad that he got to see her and told her that he may not get the chance to see her for real. After waking up, in a last ditch effort, Gabimaru sets himself on fire and attempts to kill the monster along with himself. Gabimaru is freed from its grasps and thinks of his wife as he starts to lose conscious. Unknown to him, Mei appears at Gabimaru's side and helps him escape by creating a crater leading them down a cliff.
Gabimaru wakes up from his ordeal and assess the situation. He realizes that the being can be killed but needs assistants in order to do so. He is then met by Tamiya Gantetsusai and Yamada Asaemon Fuchi. The two criminals then predict each others movements before making any attempt to actually attack. Fuchi stops them from this exchange, believing that it was pointless. Fuchi draws his sword and wanted to extract information from Gabimaru's experience on the island. Gabimaru thinks about his options and decides in trying to pair up with them. Gantetsusai drew his sword to see if he was trying to trick them but was convinced, though he was disappointed with him showing weakness in front of him. He then tells them of his whole experience on the island and how he encountered Lord Tensen, which peaked their interest. Gantetsusai agrees into teaming up him but Fuchi asked whether his decision was the right one since Gabimaru was also seeking the pardon. Gantetsusai states that he had no interest in the pardon and expressed his desire to become legendary. Having successfully convinced them, Gabimaru forms an alliance with the two. Fuchi suggests sharing intel which Gabimaru agrees with and starts with Mei. Gabimaru is then shocked to see her grown up and to hear her speak for the first time. He then quickly asked her if she knew anything about the elixir and what was the power she used to save him. Mei explains that her power is called Tao but Gabimaru becomes confused by her odd explanation. The group are then approached by the Sōshin and prepare to fight back. While looking at the horde, Gabimaru notices something unfamiliar amongst the Sōshin.
Gabimaru and Gantetsusai fight off the Sōshin. He then asked what Fuchi was up to. He responds saying that he was analyzing the monsters corpses and tells him of their differences. He then wonders as to who Mei is, thinking back as how she is not an ordinary human after helping him escape. She sees him looking at her viciously and starts to cry, making him realize that she is a girl deep down. He is then covered in blood after Gantetsusai criticizes him for making her cry and states that he would not be liked by females but Gabimaru points out that he doesn't mind since he is married which shocks both Gantetsusai and Fuchi. He asked if he was also married which he replies saying that he has multiple wives. Mei is then captured by a Dōshi who is pleased with their meeting and addresses her in a polite manner. Gabimaru becomes shock after the Dōshi explains to them that Mei is similar to Lord Tensen and starts to rethink his decision in looking after her. However, he moves towards Mei's side and tells the Dōshi that he will protect her even if she had nothing to do with him. He then prepares to fight the Dōshi alongside another that joins his side.
Gabimaru watches as the two Dōshi summon a swarm of insects and decides to think up a strategy before attacking. However, Gantetsusai steps in a slashes away attack the butterflies and states that he seeks revenge on the Butterfly Dōshi that caused him to lose his left hand. Gantetsusai prepares to attack again but Gabimaru sees that he is hit by an invisible attack like the one during his fight with the Lord Tensen. Gabimaru warns Gantetsusai of the technique and the two defend themselves against the Dōshi's attacks. They then accidently attack each other and start to argue. After the Dōshi asks Gabimaru why he wanted to protect Mei, Gabimaru starts to realize his behavior has changed ever since he got on the island. He accepts his change in personality and tells the Dōshi that he was repaying a debt to her. He then asked why they wanted Mei. The Dōshi explains that they need Mei as a partner to perform Bochu Jutsu in which they combine their Yin and Yang energies by having sexual intercourse. He explains that since Mei possesses only Yin energy she was viewed inferior to Lord Tensen and was expelled from the palace with an option of either dying or becoming a part of the Dōshi's training. After hearing that the scar has marked her for this purpose, Gabimaru becomes angry and tells the Dōshi to stop viewing her as an object. Gabimaru and Gantetsusai stand behind Mei ready to battle the transformed Dōshi's.
Gabimaru notices that the Dōshi's transformed resemble the monster transformation of Lord Tensen. He fights the Centipede Dōshi and manages to dodge his barrages of invisible projectiles. The Butterfly Dōshi then sends out a swarm of butterflies towards Gabimaru. After being told by Gantetsusai that the butterflies were dangerous, Gabimaru expels out a large torrent of fire to ignite the swarm and block out the two Dōshi's. Gabimaru finds it difficult to fight the Dōshi's while not understanding of Tao works. Interpreting Mei's words, Fuchi tells Gabimaru that he is using too much of his strength and needs to accept his weakness. Mei helps by holding Gabimaru sense his Tao by holding his hand. Gabimaru finds it hard to believe to use his weakness but after Mei tells him that weakness gives rise to strength, Gabimaru is reminded of something similar to what Sagiri said to him earlier, causing him to awaken his Tao. Gabimaru then says that he got the idea as to how Tao works and steps forward to face the Dōshi once more. The Dōshi's attack Gabimaru with invisible Tao projectiles but he manages to see them and dodge every one of them. Gabimaru starts to understand the nature of Tao and destroys the Centipede Dōshi's arm, saying that he no longer stands a chance against him. After he dispels the Dōshi's transformation, Gabimaru states that he was ready to fight Lord Tensen.
After coming out on top, Gabimaru orders the Centipede Dōshi to tell him everything he needed to know. The Dōshi explains that he along with two other Dōshi's were ordered by Lord Tensen to see how the humans that made landfall differ from the humans in past and if they present a threat. He then hears Gantetsusai coming in wanting to make the final blow. Thinking that he has let his guard down, the Dōshi's attack Gabimaru. However, Gabimaru reacts quickly and kills the Butterfly Dōshi while Gantetsusai kills the Centipede Dōshi. Having just gained the ability to sense Tao, Gabimaru stills finds it to be a mystery but thinks that if he can dig deep into the nature of Tao he can deal some damage to his enemies. He is then yelled at by Gantetsusai for how things ended with the Dōshi's. After eliminating the Dōshi's, Fuchi suggests using Mei as a source of information but Gantetsusai suggests returning her home. Gabimaru tells Mei that he was willing to do whatever she requested of him since she saved his life twice. Before she could speak her mind, Mei and Gantetsusai watches in shock as Gabimaru bleeds from his nose and faints.
After carrying his unconscious body to a cave halfway up the valley, Gabimaru awakens and jumps back to see Gantetsusai, Fuchi, and Mei. With his awakening, Fuchi goes over what they know about Tao, however, Gabimaru is unable to recall the events that had happened or recognize the people in front of him, concluding that he is left with amnesia. Gabimaru's amnesia reverts him back to his old self as Gabimaru the Hollow. He decides to go along with the situation until he is able to figure out whether he can trust them or not. After ending their discussion, Gabimaru sits outside and is met by Mei who asks him if he was feeling okay. Gabimaru says that he was fine but Mei senses that his Tao is not fully formed.
The next day, the four travel up the valley to reach the Hōrai gate, however, they are met by Aza Chōbē and Aza Tōma. Chōbē smiles and responses by attacking Gabimaru. Gabimaru counter attacks by getting on top of him and snaps his neck to kill him. However, as Mei warns him that Chōbē has large amounts of Tao, the bandit survives, picks up Gabimaru and slams him down to the ground. Gabimaru figures that Chōbē is one of the immortals the others were talking about and plans to restrain him in order to extract information. However, Gabimaru is unable to inflict any lasting damage to Chōbē due to his regenerative abilities and is overpowered by his Tao usage. He then decides to become "Hollow" and pins Chōbē down to incinerate both him and himself. Chōbē is surprise that Gabimaru is willing to sacrifice himself in order kill him. Gabimaru explains that his life did not matter as a ninja and as long as Chōbē has something to live for he will never triumph. After hearing this, Chōbē unleashes a transformation and attacks Gabimaru. Gabimaru tries to defend himself against Chōbē's rampaging but continues to exert his body. He then stops for a brief moment after suddenly remembering someone but chooses to charge straight to attack Chōbē. After Tōma attempts to stop Chōbē, Gabimaru sees an opening to attack despite knowing that he might die.
As he prepares to use his ninjutsu, Mei rushes in and releases her Tao to create a massive crater. Gabimaru gets himself over the edge and throws a few rocks to attack Chōbē as a last ditch effort. He then falls unconscious and is carried up to the Hōrai gate where the group meets with Sagiri, Yamada Asaemon Shion, Yuzuriha, Nurugai and Hōko. After Gabimaru wakes up, he is unfamiliar with the people he sees. After showing signs that he wasn't himself, Sagiri asked who he was. Gabimaru answers with his infamous epithet, leading Sagiri to understand that he is not his old self. Gabimaru attacks Sagiri but is protected by Shion and Fuchi. She then tries to reason with him but Gabimaru pushes her away, resulting in Sagiri using force by pinning him down. As she uses Tao restoration, she explains to him that they are in need of his strength in getting back home and that there was someone who he needed to return to. After his Tao is fully restored, Gabimaru successfully regains his memories.
The group relocates to a cave to be safe from Lord Tensen's sensory field in Hōrai. Gabimaru confirms to everyone that he has regain his memories and wishes to continue to search for the elixir so he can reunite with his wife with the full protection of the pardon. Hearing this, Yuzuriha explains her earlier theory of his wife being an illusion as a way for his chief to control him. Gabimaru believes that she indeed exist, however, Yuzuriha doubts his suspicion since he is relying solely on feeling. After Gabimaru gives a description of her, he tells them that based on these feelings, his wife, Yui, is real and can only confirm this if he is able to make it back home.
Seeing as how he needs to prepare to fight Lord Tensen once again, Gabimaru sits outside and calls on Gantetsusai, Tōma, Shion, and Nurugai to help him undergo training with Tao. As they attack him, Gabimaru starts to understand the nature of Tao and believes that they must use the Tensen's Tao against themselves in order to gain victory. After finish sparring, Gabimaru discusses with Shion about the groups next plan of action. They are then warned by Mei about another party arriving on the island. Shion and Fuchi believe that it is Shugen and the other Asaemon who were sent as reinforcements by Eizen, along with another group of criminals. Gabimaru asks Sagiri if Shugen would be another ally, which she answers in agreement and explains to him his strength. However, Gabimaru learns from Shion about the infamous story regarding Shugen executing the Silver Serpent yakuza group along with their families since they were connected to criminals, giving proof that Shugen will not think about allying with the group since he despises criminals or anyone who works with them. Shion moves on by explaining the plan to form two teams where one finds Tan and the other finds an escape route off the island. He then explains his strategy of using their Tao attributes to hinder and defeat Lord Tensen. After hearing Yuzuriha's suggestion about abandoning the mission and go into hiding after escaping the island, Shion gives everyone the option of going independently or to follow him into the cave and proceed with the plan set forth. Unanimously, everyone follows Shion and chooses to cooperate in finding the elixir and escaping the island together.
- Main article: Hōrai Arc
Using the information Mei provided, the group strategies on how to escape the island by using the ships located within the palace and learns that the elixir is located in Rien's laboratory. Shion then pulls Gabimaru and Yuzuriha over to have them instruct the group in terms of espionage using Tao. While Yuzuriha teaches her lesson on masking one's presence using Tao, Gabimaru teaches the group on how to use Tao physically by taking advantage of the Tao current and starts them off by having them practice dislocating their necks, joints, and stopping their heart. He then tells them about the Tao current and explains how they can use it against Lord Tensen to fight back. After the lessons were over, Gabimaru is placed in the Elixir Retrieval Team along with Sagiri and Yuzuriha. Gantetsusai suggests that they should have Mei depart alone without having to wait for the Elixir Retrieval Team since she wishes to leave the island. However, Gabimaru asks her if there was something she had to do before leaving. Mei confesses that she wishes to see her creator, Xu Fu, and Rien to ask why they underwent a major change in the past and then leave the island to start a new life. Remembering his wife's words, Gabimaru promises Mei to have her see the two again.
During their strategy meeting, the group reviews the layout of the palace and how they plan on infiltrating it. Knowing that the palace's interior is constantly changing, Gabimaru explains that he and Yuzuriha will sneak on top of the inner gate and sense the layout of the palace's building. Once this is done, Gabimaru states that they would have to switch in and out of their Tao suppression in order to scout the area and take out the guards. Knowing that part of the plan is to not encounter Lord Tensen, Sagiri asks the possibility of that situation happening. Gabimaru explains that if that were to happen then they would have to move on to their second plan of fighting back. Going with the strategy they planned out, the group decides to infiltrate the palace tonight. Before leaving, Gabimaru listens to Mei go over the fusion between a person and Plant Tao, using this as his backup plan. He then walks back to Mu Dan's corpse and retrieves one of his plant stingers in order to initiate this plan.
The Elixir Retrieval Team manages to sneak in and signals the others that it is safe to proceed. Sagiri asks Gabimaru if the time has come for the mission to finally end. Gabimaru answers yes and says that everyone will leave the island tonight. The team scouts out the castle by sensing the structures Tao and take down the Dōshi on guard. After successfully entering the palace building, Gabimaru senses the layout of the room but suddenly senses Tao be gathered into a single entity. The entity reveals itself to be Ran who suppressed his Tao waiting for their arrival after being informed by Chōbē.
Knowing that Ran's Tao is able to hinder his own, Gabimaru remembers the plan of fleeing if he were to run into a Tensen with a hindering attribute. Ran tries to plead with Mei to return to their side and explains that the Elixir of Life has been completed, shocking Gabimaru. Mei refuses and says that she came to say goodbye. Ran becomes disappointed and sees that the Rite of Just Consumption will have to continue, revealing that Lord Tensen has located the others and plan on capturing them as sacrifices for the grandmaster. Seeing as how their initial plan to avoid Lord Tensen has failed, the group moves on to their second plan of fighting against them.
Gabimaru tells Sagiri and Mei to move on ahead to find the elixir while he and Yuzuriha fight Ran. However, Mei warns Gabimaru that they are not in the Rentan Temple were the elixir is located. Ran then makes his attack and reveals to them that he has rearranged the palace before they made their arrival. Gabimaru and Yuzuriha goes up against Ran but is unable to harm him to due to his elemental Tao and Ran being able to block Yuzuriha's attacks because of his Tao Armor. Gabimaru goes up against him a second time but is quickly defeated. Having gotten a good idea of the situation, Gabimaru tells Yuzuriha that it was time to initiate their strategy. Gabimaru rushes in again and manages to land a hit on Ran by executing his plan of using Ran's Tao against him. He manages to inflict more damage to Ran but is having difficulty enduring Ran's attacks on his body due to his low Tao defense. He then thinks about using his second plan but holds it off for later. Ran becomes impressed with how much Gabimaru has learned about Tao since he came to the island and believes that he is talented. However, Gabimaru disagrees with his statement about him being "talented" and explains that his actions came from the result of everyone's efforts and sacrifices to defeat him and Lord Tensen. Gabimaru holds Ran off long enough to allow Sagiri and Mei to head towards the Rentan Temple and has Yuzuriha bisect Ran. Yuzuriha prepares to finish him off but is warned by Gabimaru to stop as Ran starts to transform. The two then prepare to fight him in his Kishikai state.
Gabimaru and Yuzuriha are unable to fight back against Ran's monstrous strength and finds themselves to be in dire straits. Gabimaru and Yuzuriha try to retreat while they have the chance but are unable to outrun Ran. As Ran is about to throw his attack at Yuzuriha, Gabimaru catches it on time but is overpowered by his strength and has his left shoulder cut. Gabimaru is then thrown aside and slowly starts to die. However, after injecting himself with Plant Tao from one of Mu Dan's stingers in his hand, Gabimaru stands back up with his wound fully healed. Gabimaru fights back now being able to regenerate from Ran's attacks. Yuzuriha is shocked with Gabimaru's approach but chooses to help aid him in his battle after listening to his conviction.
Gabimaru first sends out a burst of fire to overstimulate him with light, robbing him of his sense of judgement and timing, and attacks him with a barrage of ninjutsu along with Yuzuriha. After buying enough time, Ran Kishikai mode falls apart after consuming too much Tao. He then attacks Ran in his decrepitude state and yells out to Yuzuriha to attack before Ran has a chance to recover his lost Tao. Ran points out to Gabimaru that she will not make this attempt since she is low on Tao and her next attack will cost her life. Yuzuriha agrees but says that she was willing to do it. Ran then defends himself by forming spikes from the ground. Gabimaru helps Yuzuriha avoid them by lifting her up in the air. She then comes down and finally puts an end to Ran by destroying his tanden.
After the battle ends, Gabimaru checks to see if Yuzuriha is okay. Yuzuriha warns Gabimaru of the Arborficiation eventually taking over his body but knows that he was never going to see his wife without the risk. He then suggests that they should catch up to Sagiri and Mei at the Rentan Temple but is told by Yuzuriha to go on ahead without her. Before leaving, Gabimaru thanks Yuzuriha once again for saving his life the second time they met and leaves. Gabimaru rushes to the Rentan Temple but feels the effects of the vines spreading through his body, causing him to fall down unconscious.
After some time had past, Gabimaru is surrounded by four Iwagakure shinobi and is about to be attacked. However, he quickly wakes up and kills them instantly. Upon recognizing who they are, Gabimaru figures that Shija, the next Gabimaru, is here. He then keeps himself from being spotted by both the Dōshi and shinobi running around the palace. Later, Gabimaru is approached by Kinkakubō and Ginkakubō who transform their faces into the Iwagakure chief and Yui to cause trauma to his mind. However, Gabimaru tells them that their attempt is not working since he is a shinobi and is able to notice the flaws in their ninjutsu. The two kneeled down in respect and cooperated by telling him everything they know, such as the death of three well-known shinobi and the fact that Shija killed the other Gabimaru candidates and made sure his reputation is still valued, much to Gabimaru's dissatisfaction. Gabimaru also wanted to know the real reason behind Iwagakure for coming to the island but is told by Kinkakubō that it was unknown what the Iwagakure's chief's intentions were. The three then hear the signal confirming that the shinobi have retrieve the Elixir of Life, leading to Kinkakubō to request that Gabimaru consume Ginkakubō's toxic saliva as a reasonable way to end his life. Gabimaru refuses and has Ginkakubō step away from him by releasing his killing intent, stating that he will not allow them to get in his way of escaping the island. Gabimaru hears Kinkakubō tell him that it would be pointless to make it back home since Yui does not exist but does not believe him since he knows that Iwagakure specializes in disrupting their targets mentality. The shinobi then moves towards attacking him with genin lined up to fight him to the death. Gabimaru quickly defeats them using Tao sensory and dares them to try and stop him from achieving his goal.
Gabimaru gains the upper hand in defeating the genin and takes the time to use his Tao sensory to detect the events unfolding, seeing that both enemies and allies are clashing, Shija is located at the floodgates, Sagiri is safe for the time being, and unfortunately sees Fuchi lying down on the ground unconscious. He then decides to make a hasty pursuit to the Rentan Temple to reunite with Sagiri, steal the Elixir of Life from the ninja squad, and escape the island through the floodgates. As he races on the roof tops, Gabimaru witnesses Zhu Jin emerging from the Main Temple fully fused with the Banko as a gigantic plant monster. Gabimaru's Plant Tao then starts to resonate with the Zhu Jin-fused Banko, causing him to go into agony as flowers start to sprout from his body but removes them and continues going forward.
Gabimaru manages to arrive at the Rentan Temple where everyone is gathered but continues to suffer from Zhu Jin's effects on his Tao. Though he see that he is not in perfect condition to keep on fighting, Chōbē, whose body starts to suffer as well, asks Gabimaru if he had anything to lose unlike the first time they met. Gabimaru answers that he does after remembering Yui and says that he has no other option but to keep going forward. The Iwagakure shinobi see that Gabimaru is distracted and attempt to attack him with kunai but are deflected back by Jikka. The two groups then decide take possession of the shinobi gear. Sagiri becomes conflicted with the fact that the situation is still the same as before but is told by Gabimaru that there is a possibility that it is different. With everyone well equipped, Gabimaru pairs up with Sagiri to strengthen his Tao and heads off to destroy the tandens.
After arriving at the Banko's Metal tanden, Gabimaru and Sagiri are approached by clones of Gui Fa created from the tanden and prepare to get past them. However, Shija arrives to quickly dispose of them and directs their attention to Gabimaru with full delight. Gabimaru sees that Shija will be a problem and tries to request their help. Shija happily agrees in helping him but says that they will do so by bringing out his true fighting instincts in a battle. With this decided, Gabimaru tells Sagiri to fight off the Gui Fa clones that have regenerated while he takes on Shija.
Abilities and Powers
Gabimaru is a shinobi prodigy who is considered to be far too dangerous to confront. As a child, Gabimaru already possessed raw talent that not only allowed him to become one of the rare few children to survive Iwagakure's deadly training regimens but putted him ahead of the others in becoming the next "Gabimaru the Hollow". He is recognized in Iwagakure as the strongest "Gabimaru the Hollow" in history and became both feared and admired by his peers, including other ninja villages. His infamous reputation for killing his targets made him out to be a cold-blooded monster to society. Among his murderous records before his captured, Gabimaru was noted to have killed 20 men without taking any damage. He was able to survive a massacre full of death row criminals such as himself while his hands were restrained and accomplished the same feat when he effortlessly killed Warped Keiun (a weapons specialist that slayed hundreds). Gabimaru was also able to hold his own against a fight with the giant Rokurōta, whose monstrous strength caused the death of two high ranking Asaemon. After his arrival on Kotaku, Gabimaru became one of the first few in 1,000 years to have managed to survive the ordeals the island had to offer and reach Hōrai where Lord Tensen currently resides. He could fight against and nearly defeat the invincible members of Lord Tensen and ultimately pushed them into using their Kishikai. Gabimaru impressed the likes of Zhu Jin, who questioned whether the young man was even human after withstanding his attacks, which not even a ranked Asaemon could endure, and Ran.
Gabimaru possesses superhuman physical strength and an inhuman body, being able to dislocate his neck, various joints, and stop his heart, as well as harden his body. Gabimaru managed to lift Warped Keiun, a large man twice his size using his spear and easily killed the monk while his hands were tied, despite his enemy being heavily armed with hundreds of weapons. He could tear apart the Sōshin limb from limb and was capable of sending the gigantic Rokurōta crashing with a single kick. He was also able to match and overpower the strength of Zhu Jin and managed to tear him a part faster than he could regenerate.
He possesses superhuman durability and endurance. In the past, during a sparring match between a rival shinobi clan, Gabimaru easily and effortlessly killed the rival clans representative while being grievously injured from an earlier training session. After being captured, Gabimaru was sentenced to death by many forms of executions, only to have them fail as he managed to survive every single attempt. He was also capable of surviving a barrage of weapon attacks from Warped Keiun and received not a single injury or show any signs of worrying. He is the only known person to survive a direct attack from Rokurōta, who caused the deaths of Eizen and Genji with a single strike. After taking devastating blows from the Sōshin and Rokurōta, Gabimaru was able to act completely normal without receiving any medical attention. Gabimaru also managed to run all the way to Hōrai which took Sagiri, Yuzuriha, Senta, and Hōko at least a day to arrive. He managed to survive Zhu Jin's Tao attacks and remain standing.
Gabimaru is also a powerful and skilled hand to hand fighter, using devastating punches and kicks that are complimented by his highly immense physical prowess. During the times his hands were restrained, Gabimaru was not tied down and was capable of killing effortlessly. He was able to match Zhu Jin, an immortal being with superhuman abilities, in one on one combat and cause major damage despite not learning Tao at the time.
- Iwagakure Style: Heel Talon (石隠流 踵爪 Iwagakure Ryū: Kakato Tsume?): A heel kick that is powerful enough to block a sword attack from an Asaemon.
As a former well trained shinobi from Iwagakure, Gabimaru is capable of performing various levels of ninjutsu. Gabimaru's ninjutsu mainly revolves around the use of flames to cause extensive burns to his targets. He also utilizes stones to attack his enemies from a distance.
- Ninpō: Fire Monk (忍法 火法師 Ninpō: Hi Hōshi?): Gabimaru sets himself on fire by raising his body temperature to ignite the oil in his skin. Using this technique, Gabimaru is capable of engulfing and incinerating his opponents. This is called Ninpo: Ascetic Blaze in the Viz Manga.
- Ninpō: Thunder Stones — Fire Monk Version (忍法 雷礫 火法師拵え Ninpō: Ikari Tsubute — Hi Hōshi Bājon?): After using Ninpō: Fire Monk, Gabimaru grabs and sets a few rocks on fire and launches them in the same manner as Thunder Stones. This is called Ninpo: Stone Storm, Ascetic Blaze Mode in the Viz Manga.
- Ninpō: Wind Sewing — Fire Monk Version (忍法 風縫い 火法師拵え Ninpō: Kaze Nui — Hi Hōshi Bājon?): Gabimaru uses Wind Sewing combined with Ninpō: Fire Monk, expelling a fireball from his mouth. This is called Ninpo: Zephyr Weave, Ascetic Blaze Mode in the Viz Manga.
- Ninpō: Thorn Quilt — Fire Monk Version (忍法 棘衾 火法師拵え Ninpō: Toge Fusuma — Hi Hōshi Bājon?): Gabimaru uses Thorn Quilt by grabbing a tree and sets it on fire by using Ninpō: Fire Monk. He then thrusts the tree at his opponent. This is called Ninpo: Quilt of Thorns, Ascetic Blaze Mode in the Viz Manga.
- Ninpō: Giant Stone — Fire Monk Version (忍法 大礫 火法師拵え Ninpō: Daireki — Hi Hōshi Bājon?): Gabimaru uses Giant Stone by grabbing a giant boulder and sets it on fire using Ninpō: Fire Monk. He then hurls it at his opponent. This is called Ninpo: Grand Crag, Ascetic Blaze Mode in the Viz Manga.
- Ninpō: Demon Firefly (忍法
鬼 蛍Ninpō: Oni Hotaru?): Gabimaru throws a few fire projectiles towards his opponent and have them burst bright lights as a means to overstimulate them. This is called Ninpo: Demonic Firebug in the Viz Manga.
- Ninpō: Thunder Stones (忍法 雷礫 Ninpō: Ikari Tsubute?): Gabimaru first stomps on the ground to send the gravel beneath his feet in mid-air and throws a swift kick to launch the stones as projectiles to injure his opponent. Gabimaru uses this technique to attack from a distance in case he can not allow himself to get too close to his opponent. This is called Ninpo: Stone Storm in the Viz Manga.
- Ninpō: Flexible Blade (忍法 撓刃 Ninpō: Shinariba?): Gabimaru unwraps his belt and uses it to slash at his opponent. The "blade" is said to be as tough as rope. This was first used against Rokurōta, however, the giant managed to block it before the full effects were shown. This is called Ninpo: Unformed Blade in the Viz Manga.
- Ninpō: Wild Archery (忍法 野弓 Ninpō: Noyumi?): An unknown ranged ninjutsu Gabimaru considered using against Rokurōta. This is called Ninpo: Wild Archer in the Viz Manga.
- Ninpō: Rough Hook (忍法 荒鉤 Ninpō: Arahari?): An unknown ranged ninjutsu Gabimaru considered using against Rokurōta. This is called Ninpo: Ravaging Claw in the Viz Manga.
- Ninpō: Explosive Water (忍法 爆水 Ninpō: Bakusui?): Gabimaru brings his hands down to unleash a wave of flames. This is called Ninpo: Aqueous Bomb in the Viz Manga.
- Ninpō: Flying Savage Head (忍法 飛頭蛮 Ninpō: Hitōban?): An unknown ranged ninjutsu Gabimaru considered using against Rokurōta. This is called Ninpo: Savage Headbutt in the Viz Manga.
- Ninpō: Wind Sewing (忍法 風縫い Ninpō: Kaze Nui?): An unknown ranged ninjutsu Gabimaru considered using against Rokurōta. This is called Ninpo: Zephyr Weave in the Viz Manga.
- Ninpō: Thorn Quilt (忍法 棘衾 Ninpō: Toge Fusuma?): This technique has never been seen in its normal state, but from what can be said from its Fire Monk version (without the flames added), Gabimaru grabs a tree and thrusts it towards his opponent, using the branches as a means to injure his target. This is called Ninpo: Quilt of Thorns in the Viz Manga.
- Ninpō: Thorn Quilt — Fire Monk Version (忍法 棘衾 火法師拵え Ninpō: Toge Fusuma — Hi Hōshi Bājon?): Gabimaru uses Ninpō: Thorn Quilt by grabbing a tree and sets it on fire by using Ninpō: Fire Monk. He then thrusts the tree at his opponent. This is called Ninpo: Quilt of Thorns, Ascetic Blaze Mode in the Viz Manga.
- Ninpō: Giant Stone (忍法 大礫 Daireki?): This technique has never been seen in its normal state but from what can be said from its Fire Monk version (without the flames added), Gabimaru grabs a boulder and hurls it towards his opponent. This is called Ninpo: Grand Crag in the Viz Manga.
- Ninpō: Fire Bridge (忍法
火ノ 橋Ninpō: Hi Hashi?): Gabimaru takes a deep breath and expels a large torrent of fire to ignite his target. This is called Ninpo: Pyro Bridge in the Viz Manga.
- Ninpō: Blooming Needle (忍法
花 針Ninpō: Hanahari?): Gabimaru grabs a pebble and flicks it as a projectile to attack his opponent.
- Ninpō: Glorious Extract (忍法
華 々 抄Ninpō: Kakashō?): Gabimaru surrounds himself with a barrage of explosions.
- Ninpō: Burning Blows (忍法
焼け 吹き Ninpō: Yake Fuki?): Gabimaru unleashes a surge of fire around him. This is called Ninpo: Pyro Blizzard in the Viz Manga.
- Ninpō: Flame Judgement (忍法 火炎断 Ninpō: Kaen Dan?): Gabimaru delivers a kick set on fire. This is called Ninpo: Arson Judgement in the Viz Manga.
- Ninpō: Flower Snake Ring (忍法
花 蛇 輪Ninpō: Hana Hebi wa?): Gabimaru controls his flames to circle around him.
- Ninpō: Silken Strangle (忍法 つりわた Ninpō: Tsuriwata?): A fire-based ninja art Gabimaru used against Ran.
- Further information: Tao
Gabimaru possesses Fire-attributed Tao. Gabimaru's Tao reserves is noted to be large by Mei and his skills with it was compared to be similar to that of the members of Lord Tensen by a Dōshi. After further training, Gabimaru has a great understanding of how Tao works and was even chosen as a teacher to instruct the surviving members of the vanguard party.
With its usage, Gabimaru is able to sense the presence of others and read the intentions behind his opponents attacks. He is also able to sense the weak spots of a persons Tao, and once found, can even put less effort into his attacks to deal damage to his opponents.
Combined with his skills as a shinobi, Gabimaru's infiltration skills has improved. By sensing the inorganic Tao of structures, Gabimaru is able map out the layout of fortresses and sense the presence of anyone on guard at the sight. He also has enough proper control of his Tao to suppress it and prevent himself from being sense by others.
After coming close to death and injecting himself with one of Mu Dan's Kishikai stingers, Gabimaru managed to overcome the Arborification and acquired the regenerative abilities of Plant Tao and enhanced abilities. With no conscious effort on his part, Gabimaru is able to repair his body no matter how severe the damage is inflicted on him. However, despite this beneficial ability, Gabimaru is aware that his regeneration ability can only be weakened if he faces an opponent with the Water Tao attribute and must avoid his tanden from being struck, as well as resist the flowers from consuming his body.
Aside from his physical abilities and ninjutsu, Gabimaru's greatest strength is his intelligence. His years of experience as a ninja has made him into a tactical and fighting genius. At a young age, Gabimaru was taught ninja principles. Using these principles, Gabimaru can determine what he should do if he is ever caught in a situation. When facing the Sōshin, Gabimaru knew that he had to avoid facing unfamiliar enemies and determined that escaping was ideal. Before engaging in a battle, Gabimaru takes the time to think of a well thought out plan. He is capable of analyzing an opponent's strengths and weaknesses and can determine what approach would be more effective, as well as make accurate predictions if he should make the wrong move. During his fight with Rokurōta, Gabimaru tested out his strength by using ninjutsu and came to the conclusion that a two man team was required in order to defeat the giant. After being defeated by Zhu Jin, Gabimaru quickly corrected himself and came up with a strategy in order to deal with them in the future. After forming an alliance with the survivors of the mission, Gabimaru acted as their strategist and devised the plan for when it came time for them to infiltrate Hōrai and counter measures if the group were to run into Lord Tensen.
He is shown to be a fast learner by going through kinesthetic learning. After just awakening his Tao, Gabimaru was able to quickly figure out the mechanics behind it in battle and managed to defeat a Dōshi who was more adept in using it. During his one training session with Gantetsusai, Tōma, Shion, and Nurugai, Gabimaru quickly understood Tao even better, such as how Tao flows through the body like a current. By combining the thinking of how Tao can be used physically from observing Nurugai, Yuzuriha, Shion, and Sagiri, Gabimaru discovered the idea of using Lord Tensen's Tao against themselves by using their Tao current without having to worry about the elemental Tao cycle. This feat even managed to impress Ran who stated that even though the island causes a person to awaken their Tao, Gabimaru demonstrated remarkable "talent" that went beyond the norm.
As a shinobi, Gabimaru is highly skilled in infiltration. With a group of elite Iwa shinobi, he was able to enter and leave the fortress made by Hattori Hanzō's descendants that is meant to confuse shinobi spies with its maze layout setup with traps. This skill was also put into good use on Kotaku to infiltrate Hōrai. After learning how to sense and suppress his Tao, Gabimaru's infiltration skills has improved since he is able to map out the layout of fortresses and conceal his presence.
Gabimaru is highly proficient with weapons. With a kunai, Gabimaru was able to slice a part a whole man in an instant. In swordsmanship, he was able to fight on par with an Asaemon who are known to be true masters at wielding a sword.
- (To Sagiri) "I'd do anything at this point. Vicious criminals, eerie islands...all the same to me. I'll survive this and return home."
- (To Sagiri) "We had a saying, back in the village. One cannot know one's own strength without first journeying far and wide. Weirdly enough, most of us don't really know ourselves. Not until we're forced to act. Same for everyone..."
- (To Yuzuriha) "I don't...have a way with words like you. So it's hard to explain, but what I can remember are the little things. Like her voice. Light, airy, slow and flowing. I don't know how to describe it. And how her eyes narrowed when she smiled. And her long, soft fingers. And the way her hair smelled when blowing in the breeze. On nice days, when I'm sitting out in nature I can sense her amongst the sun and grass and flowers. Even now. Yui. That's her name. Yui...she's no illusion. I can feel it. That might not be the proof you want, but it's all I have. The only way to be sure is to make it back home to her."
- (To Ran) "Think we're gonna lie down and die for you? Nah, we're beating you down and saying bye-bye to this island."
- (To Ran) "Talent...talent, you say? That's not what this is. This is us scrambling to throw together a desperate, last stand. It's the product of human effort and far too many sacrifices. All to kill you things. So for you to reduce it to "talent" makes it seem like you're not taking us seriously enough."
- "Gabi" (画眉?) means "painted eyebrows", and "-maru" (丸?) means "circle" or "perfection", a common ending for male Japanese names.
- Because the name "Gabimaru" is an alias that he earned in Iwagakure, it is currently unknown if Gabimaru possesses a real name.
- Gabimaru ranked 3rd place in the manga's 1st Character Popularity Poll with 2331 votes.
- Gabimaru draws a few similarities to Himura Kenshin, the main protagonist of Rurouni Kenshin; mainly that the two were once emotionless, cold-blooded assassins with a high reputation but were later changed in wanting to avoid unnecessary killing of human lives because of their wives influence. The two also have a second personality where they would access their killing instincts if a strong crisis presented itself.