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This is the article on the series protagonist. For one of the previous carriers of the name, Gabimaru the Hollow, head to Gabimaru. For other uses, see Gabimaru (disambiguation).

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 ( () () (まる) ), born as Tsuki (月), is an elite shinobi assassin formerly from Iwagakure and the last holder of the infamous alias, Gabimaru the Hollow (がらんの画眉丸, Garan no Gabimaru). He is also the husband of Yui, the eighth daughter to the Iwagakure chief.

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. This resulted 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.

A year later after escaping the island, Gabimaru achieves his goal of reuniting with Yui and living a peaceful life with her in private.

Appearance

Gabimaru is a young man with a below average height. He has white, untamed hair that usually covers the right side of his face, and red eyes. After his body was negatively influenced by Zhu Jin fusing with the Banko, Gabimaru's appearance became ghastly. His hair started sprouting flowers and had a large dark marking that spread from his left eye. These features were later reduced after he managed to stabilize his Tao, now only having little traces of pink flower petals in his hair and a branch marking across his left eye. Upon being freed from Arborification by Sagiri, Gabimaru's hair became shorter and had his original features returned back. After a year passed, Gabimaru's hair is shown to have slightly grown back to its original volume.

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 turtleneck 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 is shown to be significantly muscular underneath his robe and has noticeable scars from his time in Iwagakure.

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 Flower Tao. He later replaces his robe with a new one from a fallen Iwagakure shinobi.

Gallery

Other

Personality

The rumors paint him as a terrifying specter. Yet he appeared just now to be a simple fool. I wonder how he is when spending time with his wife? Which of those is the true face of Gabimaru the Hollow?
— An employer


Gabimaru complaining about his supplies.

Gabimaru is calm, level-headed and rarely shows any emotions, which was rather befitting based on his reputation. He is shown to be calm to the point where he is unfazed by any sort of crisis, examples being his execution sentences 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.[2] 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.[3]

Gabimaru becoming "Hollow."

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 on how he was going to kill Chōbei 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.[4][5] His line of work has also made him immune to the sight of death.[6] 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 targets. In his own opinion, whether he chooses to kill people properly rather than ruthlessly would be irrelevant in the end.[7] Due to the harsh environment he lived in, where he had to remain on constant alert from even his fellow villagers, Gabimaru also became an insomniac that could stay awake for at least ten days and nights.

After being married to Yui, Gabimaru underwent a major change. Even though he was influenced by his leader's words of ridding himself of his emotions to become strong, Gabimaru was also influenced by Yui's kind and caring nature and came to believe in his wife's words that true strength comes from embracing one's emotions. As a result of these words being implanted into a part of his psyche, Gabimaru had managed to regain some of his humanity. This overwrote his cruel nature as a ninja, as he would try to avoid unnecessary killing of human lives. However, 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.[8][9]

Gabimaru laughing for the first time.

Upon being resolved by Sagiri to redeem himself as a new man, Gabimaru began to experience, and notice, gradual changes to his behavior, particularly allowing himself to embrace his emotions as the Asaemon had hoped. Even though he had his mission to solely focus on, Gabimaru started to show signs of care and concern for others. As Sagiri was in danger of being attacked by a Sōshin, Gabimaru unconsciously rushes in to save her. He later commits the same action when he steps in to protect Mei from the Dōshi, saying that he could not bear to see her cry, along with wanting to repay a debt he owes her after she helped him escape from Zhu Jin's wrath. Gabimaru also broke out of his calm composure and showed genuine anger after hearing the Dōshi talk about Mei as if she was an object. After hearing Mei's wish on wanting to see Rien and Xu Fu before leaving the island to start a new life, Gabimaru vowed to do what ever he could to make it happen when the time came to infiltrate Hōrai. Gabimaru also came to understand what it means to feel sympathy, having understood the great lengths the surviving criminals and Asaemons had to endure in order to get pass Lord Tensen and escape the island alive. After realizing that Rien was the wife of Xu Fu, Gabimaru could not bring himself to destroy her husband's gilded body, since he knew what it was like to love someone dearly, and smiled as he explained his reason to her, which allowed the Tensen to accept Xu Fu's passing. Through all his experience on the island, Gabimaru had come to completely reject the teachings of Iwagakure and allowed himself to break out of his emotionless shell. In the process, Gabimaru became able to smile and laugh genuinely for the first time in his life. Also, after living a normal with Yui, Gabimaru became able to allow himself to take it easy and overcame his inability to sleep as a result.

Although he is viewed as being obnoxious (mainly by Sagiri),[10] 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. Gabimaru is also a very faithful husband and is immune to seduction as he did not give into Yuzuriha's advances when she attempted to have him work with her.[11]

Relationships

Further information: Gabimaru's Relationships

History

Early Life

After the birth of their newborn in Iwagakure, a married jōnin couple pondered as to what they should name their child. Since their son would have no other choice but to grow up to become a shinobi in his future, the mother and father knew that, like the names of the other people living in Iwagakure, his name would have to serve him no purpose in his life. After looking up at the full moon they were under, the mother decided upon the name Tsuki for their baby, believing that the one letter name was fitting since it was ominous and would offer him no love as he grew up.

Tsuki as one of the candidates to become "Gabimaru the Hollow".

Having desired to live a normal life outside of the village's principles, the married couple had planned to leave Iwagakure with their baby. However, their plan was discovered by the chief and were executed for their actions. The chief then took it upon himself to raise Tsuki by putting him through gruesome shinobi training at a young age to become the next successor of the feared codename, "Gabimaru the Hollow". Through the training, Tsuki was molded into an emotionless child that cared very little for his own life or for the lives of others. At some point in time, Tsuki was approached by a child named Shija, who was ordered by the Iwagakure chief to confront him in a trial match, and threatened to take their life for merely being in his presence, causing the child to run away in fear. Though this was how their first impression went, Tsuki was willing to help train Shija during their time growing up together.

After surviving the training, showing great promise in his skills, and was believed to be the one killing the other candidates over time, Tsuki 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 was over, Gabimaru found Shija and saw 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".

The Hollow Falls in Love

Gabimaru with his wife Yui.

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 Iwagakure chief rewarded Gabimaru with his daughter Yui and had hoped that they can produce more offspring for the village. When they first met, Gabimaru had felt that he did not open up to her as much and wanted to try again the next time they were alone. During their next meeting, Gabimaru places his hand over her head as a way to open up to her, much to Yui's confusion. Gabimaru admits to her that he did not feel that he deserved to live a normal life after being burden with the lives he has taken, but is told by Yui that, despite his past sins, he is qualified to have normalcy in his life like other people and that he should at least have one person who accepts him for who he is, much to his reassurance. As the two started living together as a married couple, Gabimaru fell in love with Yui as she was the only person in his life that did not view or fear him as a monster.

After returning from training badly injured, Gabimaru was chosen to represent Iwagakure in a sparring match against a rival shinobi clan and managed 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.

Gabimaru gets arrested.

At some point, Gabimaru came to the village chief to ask for permission to release him from his status as a shinobi and live a normal life with his married wife. Before he was given an answer, the village chief tasks Gabimaru with one final mission to complete. However, upon taking the mission, Gabimaru is betrayed by Iwagakure, having been marked as a traitor for giving in to his emotional weakness, and is arrested by the authorities who sentences him to death for his past crimes. Having convinced himself that living a normal life would be impossible, Gabimaru loses the will to live and chooses to forget about his pleasant life with his beloved wife.

Island Arc

Main article: Island Arc

Gabimaru escapes execution and accepts the shogun's mission.

Though he shows no resistance in wanting to live, Gabimaru finds himself surviving every execution method he was sentenced to and talks to a woman reporter in his cell about his past. Later, he is taken to his next execution and is once again met by the woman, however, Gabimaru finds out that she is actually a member of the Yamada clan, a clan of talented executioners, and reacts nervously. As Yamada Asaemon Sagiri prepares to decapitate Gabimaru from behind, the shinobi reacts by dodging and continues to avoid her sword attacks in confusion as to why he is trying to live. Sagiri explains that she sees past his own deception in wanting to die and concludes from her report that he desires to see his wife again. Gabimaru refuses to accept Sagiri's answer, stating that someone like him cannot live a normal life. Upon hearing this, Sagiri offers Gabimaru a chance to earn his wish if he were to complete a task assigned by the shogun, and in return, he will receive a pardon that exempts him from his crimes, as well as protection. After being told of the details on how he would have to travel to a mystical island believed to be Shinsenkyō and retrieve the legendary Elixir of Life, Gabimaru burns the guards who attempted to detain him and accepts Sagiri's offer with his wife in mind.

After being gathered together with a group of death-row criminals in Edo, Gabimaru and the other convicts are told by the shogun's retainers about the details of the mission and are ordered to start a massacre until only a few were available to leave for the island. During the killing spree, Gabimaru complains to the shogun's retainers about being forced to commit unnecessary murder and asks if there was another solution. Having been angered for not cooperating, one of the retainers orders a few criminals to kill Gabimaru. Seeing as how he had no other choice in the matter, Gabimaru kills the criminals and manages to become one out of the ten that survived the massacre. He then departs to the island with Yamada Asaemon Sagiri as his assigned Yamada Asaemon monitor.

Gabimaru and Sagiri land on the island.

Once they landed on the island, Gabimaru tells Sagiri of his leader's immortal body and how it connects to the Elixir of Life but finds it hard to believe that it is on the island. Gabimaru then allows himself to be free from his restraints and starts to complain to Sagiri about the supplies he has been given. Sagiri draws her sword towards Gabimaru's neck and tells him to bind his hands, reminding him that she is not his ally on the mission. Gabimaru cooperates and dislocates his neck after seeing an oncoming attack by Warped Keiun, one of the nine criminals the ninja is competing against. Keiun 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 Asaemons stated that they would not interfere with fights between their criminals, Gabimaru had no choice but to fight back. Though the monk was heavily armored, Gabimaru kills Keiun with his own weapons and sighs in boredom. With his criminal deceased, Kishō cuts off the head of Warped Keiun's corpse and prepares to make his leave, while also offering Sagiri a chance to return home by killing Gabimaru. Having heard enough from him, Gabimaru silences Kishō and told him that he did not care for what he had to say since all that matter to him was returning to his wife. Gabimaru then becomes shocked after Kishō warns him that there might be a chance that Iwagakure will get involved in the mission. After the Asaemon makes his leave, Sagiri asks Gabimaru where he wanted to go next but suddenly clashes swords with him. Sagiri demanded an answer for his actions, to which he responds by saying that he wanted to kill her painlessly.

Gabimaru attacks Sagiri.

Having been warned by Kishō about Iwagakure's potential involvement, Gabimaru states to Sagiri that he had no time to waste on finding the elixir and needed to kill her since she is a hindrance. As the two clashed, Gabimaru became confused as to why he was hesitating behind his attacks and begins to have memories of the time he learned what it means to feel sentimentality from his wife. However, after remembering his chief's words, Gabimaru cuts Sagiri's sword in half and proceeds to attack. Gabimaru sees that Sagiri managed to block his sword attacks with her sheath but tells her that it was pointless for her to continue on the defense and apologies for having no other choice but to take her life. After Sagiri mocks Gabimaru for his apology, since she believed that he is incapable of feeling sentiment, Gabimaru agrees, pins her down, and prepares to kill her with his sword as he embraces the fact that he is devoid of any emotions. However, having been influenced by his wife, Gabimaru stops in confusion and becomes frustrated, believing that he will not survive if he were to give in to his emotions and return to his beloved's side again. Realizing his true colors, Sagiri disagrees with him on how embracing his emotions will make him weak and tells him that it is strength. She then becomes willing to overlook his actions and promises him that if he were to face his emotions while reclaiming his life then she will support him throughout the journey. Finally, Gabimaru is told by Sagiri that he is no longer the man he was once before and allows his sword to be put back in its sheath.

Gabimaru slaughtering the Sōshin.

Later, Gabimaru is confronted by a mysterious monster resembling a fish and fights it after sensing that it was dangerous. Gabimaru becomes injured after the monster thrashes him around and decides that the best option is for him and Sagiri to flee. However, after the pair are surrounded by more monsters, Gabimaru sees that he has no choice but to fight back and focuses his mind on only killing the monsters. Gabimaru notices that Sagiri is in danger of being attacked by one of the monsters and subconsciously saves her, much to his surprise, but soon finds himself in grave peril after one of the monster’s tentacles wraps around his head. However, Gabimaru is saved in the nick of time by Yamada Asaemon Genji and is approached by one of the participating criminals, Yuzuriha, a kunoichi he previously met at the gathering in Edo, along with her assigned Asaemon, Yamada Asaemon Senta. Gabimaru thanks her for the help but questions why she did so since they were competitors. Yuzuriha answers that she wishes to form an alliance with him until the elixir was found but hears Gabimaru's refusal, saying that he does not trust her. Yuzuriha tells him that they did not have to trust each other as long as they could use each other until the end and persuades him by saying that she could provide information on the insects on the island, such as the human-faced butterflies, after using Moro Makiya as bait. After hearing her out, Gabimaru agrees to team up with her and turns around to find Sagiri unconscious.

Gabimaru smiles after hearing a clue about the existence of the Elixir of Life.

After Sagiri awoke, Gabimaru makes kikatsugan from what he found on the island and tells them how he could not find the Elixir of Life based on the depiction 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. Upon hearing Senta presenting his findings on the statues' characteristics, along with Sagiri's explanation on how she took note on the monsters possessing zero signs of organs or genitalia, Gabimaru becomes excited to hear that this may be a clue to finding the elixir and how he has a chance to return home. By nightfall, Gabimaru takes watch for the night while being monitored by Sagiri. Gabimaru asks Sagiri if she was recovering well after he had wounded her in their previous conflict, which shocks Sagiri since she had not expect much concern from him. He also thanks her for helping him find the resolve to face any threats that were to come on the mission and compliments her on how he viewed her as being strong.

Gabimaru fights Rokurōta.

The next day, Gabimaru notices Sagiri about to be attack by Rokurōta and comes in to kick him away. Seeing as how escaping with everyone would be impossible, Gabimaru tells Sagiri to move elsewhere while he handles fighting Rokurōta. Gabimaru notices Yuzuriha watching on top of a tree and asks for her support, however, the kunoichi refuses after reminding him of the roles they play in their alliance. As he starts to fight the giant, Gabimaru sees that no other techniques he has will be able to affect Rokurōta and realizes that the only way possible for him to find an opening is to fight alongside someone. Gabimaru then notices that Sagiri has returned, manages to cut off one of Rokurōta's fingers, and immediately asks for her assistance, which she also asks for his as well.

Gabimaru comes up with the plan of using Sagiri to decapitate Rokurōta's head but is told by the Asaemon that his neck is too high up for her to make the killing blow. He then suggests bringing Rokurōta to his knees by cutting his legs, however, the two have trouble executing the strategy due to Rokurōta's rampaging attacks. After letting his guard down by Rokurōta's loudly rumbling stomach, Gabimaru is slammed down by Rokurōta's palm and is left badly injured while Sagiri defends him from Rokurōta's next barrage of attacks. Seeing as how normal tactics were not working, Gabimaru comes up with another plan that he notes was a little dangerous.

After setting himself on fire, Gabimaru launches a barrage of flaming ninjutsu attacks at Rokurōta with the intention of having the giant deflect them towards the trees to catch on fire. Gabimaru relays his plan to Sagiri, telling her that he plans to suffocate Rokurōta with the smoke coming from the burning trees. The plan ends up becoming a success as the two see Rokurōta starting to fall to his knees. Sagiri gets close to Rokurōta and prepares to behead him, however, Rokurōta notices Sagiri and gets ready to attack. Gabimaru comes in to hold the giant's arm down and asks Sagiri to hurry in making her cut before he loses strength. After managing to defeat Rokurōta, Gabimaru and Sagiri move away from the burning woods and catches up with Yuzuriha and Senta. The group are then shocked to see an abandoned village that is implied to be the residence of where the Sennin reside on the island. Gabimaru states that it did not matter who or what was living on the island but whether or not they were their allies or enemies.

Lord Tensen Arc

Main article: Lord Tensen Arc

Gabimaru captures Mei.

Gabimaru gets a sense that someone is watching him and turns around to find a small person spying on them from behind a tree. After pulling down their hood, Gabimaru discovers its a little girl. He then dodges an attack coming from a tree lifeform, but instead of engaging in a fight, Gabimaru focuses on the girl trying to run away, thinking that she might know more about the island. Sagiri runs with Gabimaru and tries to warn the girl that they do not intend to cause her any harm. Despite her reassurance, the little girl tries to defend herself from Sagiri by throwing a punch but is blocked by Gabimaru who notices how surprisingly strong her punch is and also senses something strange coming from her that causes him to bleed. Desperate to get her to tell him what he needs to know, Gabimaru restrains the girl with vines and demands that she cooperate, causing her to cry out of fear as a result. After Sagiri calms her down, the two take her along with them as they regroup back with Yuzuriha and Senta. The group then hears the tree lifeform talking, asking for them to let the girl go 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.

Gabimaru leaves for Hōrai.

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.

Gabimaru fights Zhu Jin.

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 forming an alliance with Gantetsusai and Fuchi.

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 comes to Mei's side.

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 and Gantetsusai fighting the Dōshi.

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 awakens his Tao.

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.

Gabimaru and Gantetsusai defeat the Dōshi.

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.

Gabimaru fights Chōbei.

The next day, the four travel up the valley to reach the Hōrai gate, however, they are met by Aza Chōbei and Aza Tōma. Chōbei 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 Chōbei has large amounts of Tao, the bandit survives, picks up Gabimaru and slams him down to the ground. Gabimaru figures that Chōbei 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 Chōbei due to his regenerative abilities and is overpowered by his Tao usage. He then decides to become "Hollow" and pins Chōbei down to incinerate both him and himself. Chōbei 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 Chōbei has something to live for he will never triumph. After hearing this, Chōbei unleashes a transformation and attacks Gabimaru. Gabimaru tries to defend himself against Chōbei'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 Chōbei. After Tōma attempts to stop Chōbei, Gabimaru sees an opening to attack despite knowing that he might die.

Gabimaru regains his memories after having his Tao restored by Sagiri.

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 Chōbei 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.

The survivors join forces to complete the mission and escape the island.

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.

Hōrai Arc

Main article: Hōrai Arc

Gabimaru making a promise to Mei to have her see Rien and Xu Fu for the last time.

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 Flower 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 encounters Ran.

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 Chōbei.

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 and Yuzuriha vs. Ran.

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 injects himself with Flower Tao.

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 Flower 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.

Gabimaru approached by Kinkakubō and Ginkakubō.

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 feeling his Tao resonating with the Zhu Jin-fused Banko.

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 Flower 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.

The two landing parties join forces.

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, Chōbei, 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.

Gabimaru clashes with Shija.

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 finds himself having no choice but to engage in an intense battle with Shija in his weakened state. During the fight, in an attempt to destroy the Banko's tanden, Gabimaru allows himself to be kicked by Shija towards its direction but manages to only destroy the statue resting beneath it. In an unfortunate turn of events, Gabimaru finds himself unable to gather enough strength to fight back as Shija targets Sagiri after realizing that she is here to help Gabimaru recover his Tao. Gabimaru yells out to Sagiri to run but hears her refusal, choosing to stand her ground against her enemy. However, she is quickly taken down and is forced to take painful drugs.

Gabimaru finishes off Shija.

Shija brings their attention back to Gabimaru and asks why they are trying to hold on to life. Gabimaru answers that he wishes to live a normal life with his wife and denies Shija's words in that she does not exist. Shija explains that Yui is incapable of showing actual emotions and that their relationship has been false along in order to hide the murders committed. Upon receiving confirmation that Yui truly exists, Gabimaru stands back up with his body healing itself from his intense emotions. With his body fully recovered, Gabimaru faces Shija once again, with a resolve to live a normal life with his wife, and manages to deal damage to the shinobi while automatically recovering from theirs. He then goes on the defensive as Shija attacks him with everything they got. After they manage to strike where his heart is, Gabimaru applauses Shija for delivering an attack that would have killed him if he was still human but says that he is not ready to die in order to return back to Yui. He then grabs onto Shija, asking that they not bear a grudge against him, and unleashes a powerful Fire Monk technique, finishing them off.

Gabimaru and Sagiri prepare to destroy the Banko's Metal tanden.

Gabimaru watches as Shija signals the Iwagakure shinobi to commit suicide as a way to clear a path for Gabimaru and hears them out asking if he would consider killing them again if they were to be reborn, to which Gabimaru answers yes, much to Shija's happiness as they pass away. Gabimaru then moves on with Sagiri in destroying the Banko's Metal tanden after the next signal from Yuzuriha. Though the group was successful in their coordinated attack on the tandens, the Zhu Jin-fused Banko is brought back to life after being rejuvenated by the morning sunlight and puts the survivors in a difficult situation after exhausting their strength. However, Aza Chōbei manages to destroy the plant monster after coming up with the plan to destroy its roots to cut off the regeneration link to the tandens.

Departure Arc

Main article: Departure Arc

With the Zhu Jin-fused Banko destroyed, Gabimaru and Sagiri regroup with everyone at the entrance to the floodgates. The survivors enter but find that the ships have been destroyed, with the exception of one. Having been told that the ship can not sail without removing the wreckage, Gabimaru makes a desperate attempt by jumping into the water to remove the wreckage with help from Sagiri and Nurugai. However, Gabimaru sees that Mei has transformed into her Kishikai to help clear a path for them, which worries both him and Sagiri since she is at risk of losing her life. Mei transforms back to normal to hug the two and thanks Gabimaru for giving her courage and thanks Sagiri for caring for her hair. She then has them transported on to the ship, revealing that their last moment together was an illusion, and says goodbye as they finally sail away from the island.

Gabimaru clashes with Shugen and Rien.

Knowing that they will battle Rien soon, Gabimaru strategizes with Yuzuriha and believes that the only way they can is if they try to make her deplete her Tao in the same way they fought Ran. He also becomes informed of Rien's plan to revive the gilded body of Xu Fu. Shortly after, the survivors reach Rien's burning ship, which has been slighted damaged by Gantetsusai after the swordsman jumped onboard earlier to slow it down. Seeing as how he is the only one who has a resistance to flames, Gabimaru jumps onboard alone, praises Gantetsusai for the work he has done, and tells him that he will handle the rest from here on. The ninja then engages in a three-way battle against Shugen and Rien. However, Gabimaru quickly comes to realize how powerful Rien is compared to his fights with Zhu Jin and Ran. He then sees the other survivors boarding the ship to join in the battle, thinking that they have a better chance if they sprung an all-out attack. Rien makes a comment on how she doubts that a gathering of humans will do nothing against her, to which Gabimaru replies that, in spite of what she thinks, they will do anything to survive and make it back home.

Gabimaru undergoes Arborification.

After the survivors perform an all out coordinated attack on Rien, Gabimaru yells out to Sagiri and Shion to deliver the final blow to her tanden after he and Gantetsusai gives them an opening to attack. The humans then successfully manage to bring down the Tensen after Sagiri and Shion bisected Rien with their combined attack. However, the events were revealed to be an illusion created by Rien, who decides to enter into her Kishikai to put an end to their resistance. Gabimaru attempts to use a technique against Rien but is blasted with a bolt of Tao lightning by her. After Rien dismantles the exterior of the ship, Gabimaru grabs onto her from behind and sets himself on fire to incinerate her. However, after receiving an image of Yui in his mind, Gabimaru ceases his flames. This leaves him venerable to Rien's Tao as it resonates with his, causing Gabimaru to undergo Arborification as a result.

Gabimaru being recovered by Sagiri.

While having a fond memory of his wife, Gabimaru starts to succumb to the effects of the Arborification. However, Sagiri takes a drastic approach to save Gabimaru by beheading him, cutting off his limbs that were deeply rooted, and having his body in contact with hers to use the Tao Restoration and quicken the pace of his healing. Gabimaru finds himself fully recovered and becomes amazed with how Sagiri handle the situation. Though he is warned by her about the difficult situation, Gabimaru says that as long as their alive they cannot give up until they are dead and thanks her for saving him. The two then ready themselves to fight Rien.

Gabimaru fights with Sagiri using coordinated attacks against Rien. He then grabs her out of the way of Rien's Tao lightning attack and rushes in to strike the Tensen's tanden with Sagiri's sword but finds that the attack is ineffective due to the Wood hindering attribute losing the power needed after the sword was in his possession. Gabimaru then attempts to try another strategy by using Sagiri as a human sword but dismisses the idea after realizing that it was not the perfect plan, followed by the female Asaemon berating him for trying such a desperate stunt. Going with the plan they laid out before, Gabimaru makes his way towards Xu Fu's gilded corpse, as well as the cargo of the Paradise Butterflies, to destroy them both and give Sagiri an opening to strike Rien's tanden after being stricken with anger. However, after noticing a post-wedding brazier, a flower crown, and a pair of traditional wedding garbs laid out on the floor, Gabimaru realizes that Rien is married to Xu Fu and becomes hesitant to proceed, seeing as how he sympathizes with being married. Shugen then becomes the one to destroy Xu Fu's corpse after jumping in to cut the gilded body in half. Gabimaru and Sagiri's plan becomes successful after Sagiri comes in to bisect Rien after her guard was down.

Gabimaru sympathizing with Rien.

With Rien defeated, Gabimaru retrieves the Elixir of Life and starts to witness the ship falling apart, due to it no longer being sustained by Rien's Tao. He then yells out to Sagiri to grab his hand while they make it out. However, Gabimaru becomes shocked after Sagiri is blasted in the stomach and sees that Rien, who managed to repair her body using manifested lotus flowers, is the one responsible. His left hand is then destroyed by her and is attacked by the furious Tensen who vowed to take everything away from him and the other humans. Before continuing to suffer at her hands, Gabimaru is asked by Rien why he chose to hesitate in destroying Xu Fu, to which he answers that he received a vision of his wife at the moment, much to Rien's shock. Gabimaru then states to Rien that he understands where she is coming from since they both have people they love dearly. After Rien starts to remember the loving times she had with Xu Fu, Gabimaru and Sagiri are healed by her and witness her crumble away after having fully accepted her lost.

Gabimaru and Sagiri part ways.

As they sail back to Edo, Gabimaru, Yuzuriha, and Gantetsusai are presented with a dilemma in deciding who will get the pardon. Gabimaru hears Sagiri's confession on how any executioner such as herself has come to form a bond with criminals and is put into a comedic discussion by Yuzuriha on how everyone onboard is evil. After Gabimaru is told by Yuzuriha and Gantetsusai that he and his wife are evil, Gabimaru reacts in laughter by how silly the idea of Yui being evil, much to everyone's shock. Gabimaru is then asked by everyone to tell them about his wife, which he happily agrees to do. Later, Gabimaru and Yuzuriha decide that Gantetsusai should be the one to return back to Edo and receive the pardon. Jikka agrees to cooperate with them by making up a false report to the shogun about how they all died during the mission and suggests that they abandon their names along with their former life as measures. Gabimaru is also told by Jikka that he will set up the arrangements to have him reunite with his wife. After Shion, Nurugai, and Yuzuriha make their departure, Gabimaru prepares to set out as well. He then locks eyes with Sagiri and the two prepare to say their final words to each other. However, Gabimaru and Sagiri decide to silently part ways on good terms with a smile.

Gabimaru walks off with Yui.

After ten days had passed, Gabimaru walks to the arranged meeting area and becomes shocked to see his beloved wife, who also spots him with tears in her eyes, and eagerly runs towards her. Having finally been reunited, along with Iwagakure being dissolved due to the village chief's illegal actions pertaining to the shinobi sent on the second landing party, Gabimaru and Yui happily set out to start a new life with each other.

Epilogue

After a year passed, Gabimaru is visited by Sagiri and Yuzuriha but remains asleep while the women get acquainted with Yui.

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".[12] He is recognized in Iwagakure as the strongest "Gabimaru the Hollow" in history and became both feared and admired by his peers, including from other ninja villages.[13][14] His infamous reputation for killing his targets made him out to be a cold-blooded monster to society. Even when outnumbered, Gabimaru has proven himself to be more than capable of taking down his enemies single-handedly. Among his murderous records before his captured, Gabimaru was noted to have killed 20 men without taking any damage.[15] He was able to survive a massacre full of death row criminals such as himself while his hands were restrained[16] and accomplished the same feat when he effortlessly killed Warped Keiun, a weapons specialist that slayed hundreds.[17] Gabimaru was even able to handle taking down the 54 Iwagakure shinobi sent to kill him for his treachery, where not a single one but his equal Shija could manage to land a scratch on him in their attempts. Gabimaru was also able to hold his own against 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, reach Hōrai where Lord Tensen previously resided, and successfully escape.[18] He could fight against, impress, and nearly defeat the invincible members of Lord Tensen and ultimately pushed them into using their Kishikai. Among the surviving humans that infiltrated Hōrai, Gabimaru's overall capabilities caught Rien's attention as being the most valuable as an "ingredient" for Lord Tensen's ritual, stating that it was the first time in centuries that a human like Gabimaru appeared on Kotaku.

Physical Abilities

Gabimaru using his combat prowess against the Sōshin.

Gabimaru possesses immense physical strength, with his bare fists and legs being strong enough to puncture the bodies of humans and other living creatures. While his hands were tied, Gabimaru effortlessly lifted Warped Keiun, a large man three times his size, up in the air using the monk's spear as leverage. He was able to tear apart the Sōshin limb from limb and was capable of sending the gigantic Rokurōta crashing with a single kick. Gabimaru was also able to match the strength of Zhu Jin and ultimately managed to overpower them after tearing them apart faster than they could regenerate. Even when up against his former Iwagakure peers, whose bodies are known to be incredibly durable, Gabimaru could bypass their defensives with little effort.

As a former Iwagakure, Gabimaru possesses an inhuman body that allows him to perform feats that no ordinary human can accomplish, such as being able to dislocate his neck (along with various other joints)[19] , temporarily stop his heart from beating[20], and harden his body.[21] He possesses incredible durability and endurance. In the past, during a sparring match between a rival shinobi clan, Gabimaru easily and effortlessly killed the rival clan's representative while being grievously injured from an earlier training session.[22] After being captured, Gabimaru was sentenced to death by many forms of executions, only to have them all fail as he managed to survive every single attempt without suffering any serious injuries. 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.[23] 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.[24] After taking devastating blows from the Sōshin and Rokurōta, Gabimaru was able to act completely normal without receiving any medical attention. Gabimaru's durability even impressed Zhu Jin to the point that they questioned whether Gabimaru was even human after performing the feat of getting back on his feet from their attacks that are lethal enough to kill a mortal. Even after the Tensen resorted to using Tao attacks that are meant to cause internal damage, Gabimaru had enough stamina to overpower Zhu Jin with his strength.

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 at the slightest and was capable of killing effortlessly. He was able to match the likes of the immortal Zhu Jin in one on one combat and even hold his own against the extremely battle oriented Ran while being supplemented with his Tao abilities.

Taijutsu

  • Iwagakure-ryū: Kibisuzume (石隠流 (きびす) (づめ) , Literal meaning: Hidden in Stones Style: Heel Talon): A taijutsu technique where Gabimaru throws a strong heel kick. The kick has demonstrated to be powerful enough to counter a sword attack from an Asaemon.
  • Iwagakure-ryū: Kabutowari ( (いわ) (がく) れ流 (かぶと) (わり) , Literal meaning: Hidden in Stones Style: Helmet Splitter): A taijutsu technique where Gabimaru brings down a strong axe kick to his opponent.
  • Iwagakure-ryū: Hebigarami ( (いわ) (がく) れ流 (へび) (がら) み, Literal meaning: Hidden in Stones Style: Snake Twist): is a taijutsu technique where Gabimaru intercepts his opponent's attack aimed towards his head using an outward block. This is called Iwagakure Style: Serpentine Twist in the Viz Manga.
  • Iwagakure-ryū: Kamakubi ( (いわ) (がく) れ流 (かま) (くび) , Literal meaning: Hidden in Stones Style: Sickle-Shaped Neck): A taijutsu technique where Gabimaru throws a strong roundhouse kick to his opponent.
  • Iwagakure-ryū: Katanatori ( (いわ) (がく) れ流 (かたな) (とり) , Literal meaning: Hidden in Stones Style: Sword Capture): A taijutsu technique used against Shija. This is called Iwagakure Style: Katana Hunt in the Viz Manga.
  • Iwagakure-ryū: Gekishin ( (いわ) (がく) れ流 (げき) (しん) , Literal meaning: Hidden in Stones Style: Firing Pin): A taijutsu technique used against Shija.
  • Iwagakure-ryū: Kage Nui ( (いわ) (がく) れ流 (かげ) () い, Literal meaning: Hidden in Stones Style: Shadow Sewing): A taijutsu technique used against Shija. This is called Iwagakure Style: Shadow Stitch in the Viz Manga.
  • Iwagakure-ryū: Ōnata ( (いわ) (がく) れ流 (おお) (なた) , Literal meaning: Hidden in Stones Style: Broadsword): A taijutsu technique used against Shija. This is called Iwagakure Style: Onata Blade in the Viz Manga.

Ninjutsu

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. In addition to creating flames he also has a resistance to the said element, which was first displayed at the time of his multiple execution sentences where he survived being set on fire and only came out with a few minor burns to his body. He also survived being boiled alive and even lasted long enough for the pot he was in to collapse from the immense heat. For attacking at a distance, Gabimaru utilizes stones for at least one ninjutsu.

Ninja Arts

Ninpō: Hibōshi.

  • Ninpō: Hibōshi (忍法 () (ぼう) () , Literal meaning: Ninja Art: Fire Monk): 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: Ikari Tsubute — Hibōshi Bātsuyon (忍法 雷礫 火法師拵え, Literal meaning: Ninja Art: Thunder Stones — Fire Monk Version): After using Ninpō: Hibōshi, Gabimaru grabs and sets a few rocks on fire and launches them in the same manner as Ikari Tsubute. This is called Ninpo: Stone Storm, Ascetic Blaze Mode in the Viz Manga.
    • Ninpō: Kaze Nui — Hibōshi Bātsuyon (忍法 風縫い 火法師拵え, Literal meaning: Ninja Art: Wind Sewing — Fire Monk Version): Gabimaru uses Kaze Nui combined with Ninpō: Hibōshi, expelling a fireball from his mouth. This is called Ninpo: Zephyr Weave, Ascetic Blaze Mode in the Viz Manga.
    • Ninpō: Toge Busuma — Hibōshi Bātsuyon (忍法 棘衾 火法師拵え, Literal meaning: Ninja Art: Thorn Quilt — Fire Monk Version): Gabimaru uses Toge Busuma by grabbing a tree and sets it on fire by using Ninpō: Hibōshi. He then thrusts the tree at his opponent. This is called Ninpo: Quilt of Thorns, Ascetic Blaze Mode in the Viz Manga.
    • Ninpō: Daireki — Hibōshi Bātsuyon (忍法 大礫 火法師拵え, Literal meaning: Ninja Art: Giant Stone — Fire Monk Version): Gabimaru uses Daireki by grabbing a giant boulder and sets it on fire using Ninpō: Hibōshi. He then hurls it at his opponent. This is called Ninpo: Grand Crag, Ascetic Blaze Mode in the Viz Manga.
    • Ninpō: Oni Hotaru (忍法 (おに) (ほたる) , Literal meaning: Ninja Art: Demon Firebug): 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: Hibōshi Saidai Karyoku (忍法 火法師最大火力, Literal meaning: Ninja Art: Fire Monk Maximum Fire Power): a stronger version of the Hibōshi. This is called Ninpo: Ascetic Blaze Full Fire in the Viz Manga.

Ninpō: Ikari Tsubute.

  • Ninpō: Ikari Tsubute (忍法 (いかり) (つぶて) , Literal meaning: Ninja Art: Thunder Stones): 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: Ikari Tsubute — Hibōshi Bātsuyon (忍法 雷礫 火法師拵え, Literal meaning: Ninja Art: Thunder Stones — Fire Monk Version): After using Ninpō: Hibōshi, Gabimaru grabs and sets a few rocks on fire and launches them in the same manner as Ikari Tsubute. This is called Ninpo: Stone Storm, Ascetic Blaze Mode in the Viz Manga.
  • Ninpō: Shinariba (忍法 (しなり) () , Literal meaning: Ninja Art: Flexible Blade): 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: Noyumi (忍法 野弓, Literal meaning: Ninja Art: Wild Archery): An unknown ranged ninjutsu Gabimaru considered using against Rokurōta. This is called Ninpo: Wild Archer in the Viz Manga.
  • Ninpō: Arahari (忍法 荒鉤, Literal meaning: Ninja Art: Rough Hook): An unknown ranged ninjutsu Gabimaru considered using against Rokurōta. This is called Ninpo: Ravaging Claw in the Viz Manga.
  • Ninpō: Bakusui (忍法 (ばく) (すい) , Literal meaning: Ninja Art: Explosive Water): Gabimaru brings his hands down to unleash a wave of flames. This is called Ninpo: Aqueous Bomb in the Viz Manga.
  • Ninpō: Hitōban (忍法 飛頭蛮, Literal meaning: Ninja Art: Flying Savage Head): An unknown ranged ninjutsu Gabimaru considered using against Rokurōta. This is called Ninpo: Savage Headbutt in the Viz Manga.
  • Ninpō: Kaze Nui (忍法 風縫い, Literal meaning: Ninja Art: Wind Sewing): The normal state of this technique is unknown since Gabimaru combined it with Ninpō: Hibōshi in an attempt to cause a forest fire in his fight with Rokurōta. This is called Ninpo: Zephyr Weave in the Viz Manga.
    • Ninpō: Kaze Nui — Hibōshi Bātsuyon (忍法 風縫い 火法師拵え, Literal meaning: Ninja Art: Wind Sewing — Fire Monk Version): Gabimaru uses Kaze Nui combined with Ninpō: Hibōshi, expelling a fireball from his mouth. This is called Ninpo: Zephyr Weave, Ascetic Blaze Mode in the Viz Manga.
  • Ninpō: Toge Busuma (忍法 棘衾, Literal meaning: Ninja Art: Thorn Quilt): The normal state of this technique is unknown since Gabimaru combined it with Ninpō: Hibōshi in an attempt to cause a forest fire in his fight with Rokurōta. This is called Ninpo: Quilt of Thorns in the Viz Manga.
    • Ninpō: Toge Busuma — Hibōshi Bātsuyon (忍法 棘衾 火法師拵え, Literal meaning: Ninja Art: Thorn Quilt — Fire Monk Version): Gabimaru uses Toge Busuma by grabbing a tree and sets it on fire by using Ninpō: Hibōshi. He then thrusts the tree at his opponent. This is called Ninpo: Quilt of Thorns, Ascetic Blaze Mode in the Viz Manga.
  • Ninpō: Daireki (忍法 大礫, Literal meaning: Ninja Art: Giant Stone): The normal state of this technique is unknown since Gabimaru combined it with Ninpō: Hibōshi in an attempt to cause a forest fire in his fight with Rokurōta. This is called Ninpo: Grand Crag in the Viz Manga.
    • Ninpō: Daireki — Hibōshi Bātsuyon (忍法 大礫 火法師拵え, Literal meaning: Ninpō: Giant Stone — Fire Monk Version): Gabimaru uses Daireki by grabbing a giant boulder and sets it on fire using Ninpō: Hibōshi. He then hurls it at his opponent. This is called Ninpo: Grand Crag, Ascetic Blaze Mode in the Viz Manga.

Ninpō: Hihashi.

  • Ninpō: Hihashi (忍法 () (はし) , Literal meaning: Ninja Art: Fire Bridge): 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: Hanahari (忍法 (はな) (はり) , Literal meaning: Ninja Art: Blooming Needle): Gabimaru grabs a pebble and flicks it as a projectile to attack his opponent.
  • Ninpō: Kakashō (忍法 () () (しょう) , Literal meaning: Ninja Art: Glorious Extract): Gabimaru surrounds himself with a barrage of explosions.
  • Ninpō: Yake Fuki (忍法 () () き, Literal meaning: Ninja Art: Burning Blows): Gabimaru unleashes a surge of fire around him. This is called Ninpo: Pyro Blizzard in the Viz Manga.
  • Ninpō: Kaen Dan (忍法 火炎断, Literal meaning: Ninja Art: Flame Judgement): Gabimaru delivers a kick set on fire. This is called Ninpo: Arson Judgement in the Viz Manga.
  • Ninpō: Hanata Rin (忍法 (はな) () (りん) , Literal meaning: Ninja Art: Flower Snake Ring): Gabimaru controls his flames to circle around him.
  • Ninpō: Tsuriwata (忍法 つりわた, Literal meaning: Ninja Art: Silken Strangle): A fire-based ninja art Gabimaru used against Ran.

Tao

Further information: Tao

Gabimaru's Tao.

Gabimaru possesses Fire-attribute Tao. Gabimaru's Tao reserves is noted to be large by Mei[25] and his skills with it was compared to be similar to that of the members of Lord Tensen by a Dōshi.[26] 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, as well as the layout of his surroundings. With this ability combined with his skills as a shinobi, Gabimaru's infiltration skills has improved. By sensing the inorganic Tao of structures, Gabimaru is able to map out the layout of fortresses and sense the presence of anyone on guard at the sight or avoid any skirmishes. In a fight, Gabimaru's Tao sensory can allow him to read the intentions behind his opponent's attacks, and can even handle fighting against a large group as he was shown capable of defeating a squad of Iwagakure genin. He was also capable of keeping up with the incredible fast Shija. Gabimaru's Tao sensory can also allow him to sense the weak spots of a person's Tao, and once found, can even put less effort into his attacks to deal damage to his opponents. He also has enough proper control of his Tao to suppress it and prevent himself from being sense by others.

Flower Tao

Gabimaru healing himself with Flower Tao.

After injecting himself with one of Mu Dan's Kishikai stingers, upon coming close to death at Ran's hands, Gabimaru managed to overcome the Arborification and acquired the regenerative abilities of Flower Tao, making him semi-immortal. With no conscious effort on his part, Gabimaru is able to repair his body no matter how severe the damage is inflicted on him, such as being skewered by a giant stone spike or being burned by intense flames that bypasses his resistance. However, despite this beneficial ability, Gabimaru is aware that his regeneration can only be weakened if he faces an opponent with the Water Tao attribute and must avoid his tanden (or plant ovule) from being struck, as well as resist the flowers within him from consuming his body.

Intelligence

Aside from his physical abilities and ninjutsu, Gabimaru's greatest strength lies within his intelligence. His years of experience as a ninja has made him into a tactical and fighting genius, even being called out by Yuzuriha to be a "battle nerd".[27] As a shinobi, Gabimaru follows shinobi principles that can help him determine what he should do if he is ever caught in a difficult situation.[28][29][30][31] 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.[32][33] 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.[34][35] 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.[36] After forming an alliance with the survivors of the mission, Gabimaru acted as their strategist and devised the plan for when the time came for them to infiltrate Hōrai, as well as 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.

Other Skills

Espionage

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.

Weapons

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.

Creation and Conception

In an interview with the editor of Jigokuraku, Hideaki Sakakibara, an early concept art of Gabimaru was revealed. This version depicts him wearing similar shinobi attire to his final design, albeit with a different design to his sash and two long pieces of cloth around where his turtleneck mask is.

In Jigokuraku Kaitai Shinsho, Gabimaru's early concept matches the one that was revealed in Hideaki Sakakibara's interview but with a dark halftone to his sash and black shinobi sandals.

Quotes

  • (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."[37]
  • (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..."[38]
  • (To two Dōshi) "I just haven't been myself since coming here. Actually, it's more like I'm seeing a side of me I never knew about. I'm a little surprised. But what I can't do is allow this. She's marked...? I'm gonna need you to stop talking about her like an object."[39]
  • (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."[40]
  • (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."[41]
  • (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."[42]
  • (To Shija) "I always knew our dream would come at a price. And yet...I'm ready to search for a new normal. With her at my side."[43]
  • (To Shija) "The battle for normalcy is punishing. Even more so than this island."[44]
  • (To Rien) "Unruly rabble? Yeah, we know what we are so we're not asking for much. We just wanna survive and make it home!"[45]
  • (To Sagiri) "We can't just leave this up to fate. Failing now would backfire bigtime. But...There's no other way."[46]

Trivia

  • "Gabi" (画眉) means "painted eyebrows", and "-maru" (丸) means "circle" or "perfection", a common ending for male Japanese names.
  • Gabimaru's birth name "Tsuki" literally means "Moon".
  • Gabimaru's rankings in the Popularity Polls:
    • In the first popularity poll, Gabimaru ranked 3rd place with 2331 votes.
    • In the second popularity poll, Gabimaru ranked 1st place with 3379 votes.
  • In the Jigokuraku Fashion Review of Volume 1, Gabimaru's attire received 0 out of 3 stars.
  • According to Jigokuraku Kaitai Shinsho, Gabimaru's growth rate is best represented by his hair.
  • Gabimaru is the only Iwagakure shinobi that does not wear an actual mask to conceal his entire face.
  • Gabimaru is one of the three people Gantetsusai has chosen to switch to addressing by name instead of a nickname.
  • Gabimaru is at times jokingly compared to that of a cat.
  • Gabimaru draws a few similarities to Himura Kenshin, the main protagonist of Rurouni Kenshin; mainly that the two were once ruthless, cold-blooded assassins with a high reputation for killing multiple people but were later changed in wanting to avoid unnecessary killing of human lives because of their wives influence (though Gabimaru is not as pacifistic as Kenshin). The two also have a second personality where they would access their killing instincts if a strong crisis presented itself.

References

  1. Jigokuraku Kaitai Shinsho Special Edition
  2. Jigokuraku Chapter 1, page 66
  3. Jigokuraku Chapter 2, page 23
  4. Jigokuraku Chapter 48, page 14-15
  5. Jigokuraku Chapter 49, page 19
  6. Jigokuraku Chapter 62, page 8-9
  7. Jigokuraku Chapter 2, page 49
  8. Jigokuraku Chapter 2, page 39-47
  9. Jigokuraku Chapter 5, page 15-17
  10. Jigokuraku Chapter 21, page 17
  11. Jigokuraku Chapter 8, page 14-16
  12. Jigokuraku Chapter 87, page 6
  13. Jigokuraku Chapter 1, page 4
  14. Jigokuraku Chapter 2, page 11
  15. Jigokuraku Chapter 1, page 19
  16. Jigokuraku Chapter 2, page 45-47
  17. Jigokuraku Chapter 3, page 22
  18. Jigokuraku Chapter 37, page 3
  19. Jigokuraku Chapter 3, page 8-10
  20. Jigokuraku Chapter 60, page 9
  21. Jigokuraku Chapter 1, page 21
  22. Jigokuraku Special Chapter, page 2-3
  23. Jigokuraku Chapter 3, page 15-16
  24. Jigokuraku Chapter 14, page 10-13
  25. Jigokuraku Chapter 34, page 11-12
  26. Jigokuraku Chapter 34, page 19-20
  27. Jigokuraku Chapter 60, page 8
  28. Jigokuraku Chapter 7, page 5
  29. Jigokuraku Chapter 13, page 7
  30. Jigokuraku Chapter 25, page 14
  31. Jigokuraku Chapter 27, page 8
  32. Jigokuraku Chapter 13, page 17
  33. Jigokuraku Chapter 27, page 2-6
  34. Jigokuraku Chapter 13, page 10-12
  35. Jigokuraku Chapter 13, page 17
  36. Jigokuraku Chapter 26, page 16
  37. Jigokuraku Chapter 1, page 67
  38. Jigokuraku Chapter 12, page 8
  39. Jigokuraku Chapter 33, page 17
  40. Jigokuraku Chapter 52, page 11-16
  41. Jigokuraku Chapter 63, page 18
  42. Jigokuraku Chapter 65, page 10
  43. Jigokuraku Chapter 106, page 16
  44. Jigokuraku Chapter 107, page 10
  45. Jigokuraku Chapter 117, page 19
  46. Jigokuraku Chapter 121, page 18
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