Mu Dan (
Mu Dan had short red, plant-like hair, golden colored eyes with thick eyelashes, and kept a constant smile on his face. He wore a traditional Chinese robe associated with Taoism and a beaded necklace with a flower attached at the end.
During his first appearance, Mu Dan's head was not completely formed, and the top part was covered in flowers.
In their Kishikai form, Mu Dan had a pair of emaciated bodies representing their Yin and Yang form, that were locked together from the head. The bodies had long, elongate necks and one thin, long arm. The bodies were attached to a large, bloomed flower and were being supported by two legs that split from the bottom forming two thin sticks.
Mu Dan had a cheerful, yet very sadistic attitude. He was very blunt with his words, telling Hōko that his religion was a lie and Sagiri's group that the Elixir of Life they were desperately searching for did exist. As stated by Rien, Mu Dan enjoyed toying with humans that came to the island. He thought nothing of them but as merely subjects for his obsession of modifications and turning them into Tan. Once modified, Mu Dan views them as his “toys” that he can do whatever he commands them to do. Although he had a low opinion on humans, he was able to distinguish ones that showed promise and became interested in them, such as Yuzuriha, Sagiri, and Shion. When he sensed that Yuzuriha was able to perceive Tao, Mu Dan's curiosity opened up as to how far she can go if she was able to wield it properly by teaching her in their battle. However, this could have be seen as being beneficial for him in some ways, as he stated that if Yuzuriha displayed the talent in wielding Tao he would engage in Bōchū Jutsu with her in order to strengthen his abilities.
After transforming into his Kishikai form, Mu Dan lost control of himself and became insane, which was expressed by his maniacal laughter.
As a Tensen, Mu Dan lacked feelings of empathy and sympathy towards even his own colleagues. He showed no signs of pity towards Zhu Jin after he had been reduced to a weakened state and simply mocked them along with Tao Fa. Mu Dan stated that he was a believer in functional beauty and preferred the male gender because there was nothing wasted in its composition.
1,000 years ago on Kotaku, Mu Dan and the other Tensens were unknowingly born from the Tao of a single Tao puppet created by Rien as part of her and Xu Fu's research in discovering the secrets to immortality. Together, the Tensens served as the rulers of Kotaku known as Lord Tensen and lived to serve Xu Fu, who they believed was their creator and master and was secretly busy with his research alone, which forbidden the Tensens, other than Rien, from meeting him. Throughout their life, Mu Dan and the other young Tensens trained in the ways of Tao under Rien's tutelage and were each assigned one of the five forms of training in immortality; with Mu Dan being assigned in the realm of Shūten. They were also introduced to the Hōko as tools they could use to replenish their Tao. However, after 200 years passed, the Hōko began undergoing Arborification and left the Tensens at risk of dying if they were to run out of Tao. Although he was sadly willing to accept this, Mu Dan made a desperate attempt with Tao Fa and Ju Fa in trying to lure out humans from Japan as replacements by sending out an Arborifed Hōko in a boat as bait.
After several centuries had passed, the Tensens successfully managed to lure in the first group of humans to Kotaku and attacked. Since then, Lord Tensen has been turning humans that came to the island into an elixir known as Tan that could increase their life spans and gain a step closer to creating an Elixir of Life.
Lord Tensen Arc
- Main article: Lord Tensen Arc
While having a meeting with his fellow Lord Tensen, Mu Dan gives his opinion of the male gender and ridicules Zhu Jin's weakened state. After Rien arrives, the group discuss matters regarding the humans that made landfall. They then finish off with a toast to their longevity and to their grandmaster.
He later engages in Bōchū Jutsu with Tao Fa and discusses the possibilities of one of the humans escaping from the pit.
After Sagiri, Senta, Yuzuriha, and Hōko reach the Hōrai gate, Mu Dan stands waiting for their entrance. Once they entered, Mu Dan cuts Hōko's head from a distance and becomes impressed by how they made it this far. Yuzuriha attempts run away, after sensing how dangerous he was, but Mu Dan instantly catches up and restrains her. Sagiri points her sword at him to demand that he let her go and introduce himself. Still alive, Hōko introduces him based on his epithet, but after hearing this and his belief that his soul will rest in Hōrai, Mu Dan bluntly tells Hōko that the religious believes were all lies in order to maintain order on the island. He also tells them of the Kiyōshi, human modifications that he had made to the humans that had drifted on the island. After he spoke of also turning humans into Tan, Senta questions if he was speaking about the Elixir of Life, which confused Mu Dan as to what he was talking about. Figuring out what he was referring to, Mu Dan tells them that the Elixir of Life does not exist since it will not benefit humans. He then tells them to surrender but is caught off guard after Yuzuriha substitutes her body with an Arborified tree and attacks Mu Dan. Mu Dan survives after regenerating and becomes impressed with Yuzuriha's skills. He then commands his Kiyōshi to attack her and explode. However, she survives the detonation which causes Mu Dan to notice that she can perceive Tao. Becoming impressed with her potential, Mu Dan declares that he will teach her how to wield Tao through their battle.
Not interested in fighting the two, Mu Dan leaps towards Sagiri and attacks her from a distance. He then explains to Yuzuriha how he managed to accomplish this feat and says that he will start by teaching her the core fundamentals. However, Senta interferes and cuts both Mu Dan's hands and right foot. This gives Yuzuriha an opportunity to attack with her ninjutsu, but Mu Dan quickly regenerates from her attacks and comments that her technique needs improvement. Senta cuts the top of his head, figuring that without his sight they may stand a chance. After hearing this, Mu Dan proves them wrong by not regenerating his eyes and dodges every one of their attacks, explaining that Tao allows him to feel out their intent. He then takes note of Yuzuriha's previous technique early, saying that she possesses the same attribute he does and how she was close to achieving hōjutsu. Mu Dan avoids a sneak attack from Sagiri and says that she is powerless against him. Knowing that he can predict her attacks, Sagiri throws her sword towards Mu Dan's stomach and cuts his lower half, using the advice Hōko provided about cutting his tanden. However, Mu Dan survives Sagiri's attack due to not using Tao against him. Having gotten close to him to confirm her suspicion, Sagiri unleashes a burst of Tao. Mu Dan reads her next attack and jumps back, but has his face slightly cut. Mu Dan realizes that Sagiri can also use Tao but sees that their is more to it and smiles in delight.
Mu Dan smiles in satisfaction after learning that Sagiri possesses Tao that is toxic to him and wonders which one of them will come out on top. He seemingly vanishes from their line of sight and tries to attack Sagiri first. However, he is restrained by Yuzuriha's mucus strings, giving Sagiri the chance to attack. Mu Dan counterattacks by emitting a blast of Tao from his mouth and commands the Kiyōshi to attack Yuzuriha. After Senta protects her, Mu Dan frees ones of his hands and attacks Yuzuriha with a Tao projectile. She sees the attack coming and jumps out of the way to have Senta take the hit. Mu Dan then dodges Sagiri's sword strikes but has his feet cut by Yuzuriha and Senta. He then takes a lot of damage by their combined attacks, but shortly moves out of the way by having himself float in the air. Mu Dan transforms into his Yin form and controls the Tao in the air to form large spheres. He then has them rain down to destroy the whole area. Yuzuriha tries to restrain his leg but Mu Dan sends his attacks towards her way. However, Mu Dan is pulled down by Yuzuriha still conscious. He is then stabbed by Senta from behind, giving Sagiri the chance to completely slice through his tanden, killing Mu Dan.
Shortly after, Mu Dan's corpse starts to bloom and sends a stinger towards Yuzuriha but instead stings Senta. Mu Dan then transforms into his Kishikai form and attacks Sagiri and Yuzuriha. However, Yamada Asaemon Shion arrives in time to cut the stingers and prepares to fight the monstrous Mu Dan. Mu Dan faces off against Shion and manages to leave scratches on his body using his stingers, causing him to sprout flowers. Mu Dan notices that Shion possesses Tao that can harm him and release more stingers. He then fights against Sagiri and Nurugai who act as decoys to have Shion kill Mu Dan. After having all his stingers cut by Sagiri, he sees Shion about to attack and kicks him backwards. However, he plants himself on the ground and quickly rushes in to slash away at his feet, immobilizes Mu Dan. Shion pushes through while Sagiri restrains one of his hands with her sword. Shion manages to get behind Mu Dan and attacks his two tandens with a Tao-enhanced sword strike.
As Shion swings his sword down, Mu Dan senses that he has stopped his blade after not sensing any strong amounts of Tao coming from his two bodies. He then regenerates his stingers and attacks Shion, however, the Asaemon dodges after he is warned that Mu Dan's weakness is his ovule located at the center of the Tensen's flower. Shion cuts the ovule and sees a gathering of heads resembling Mu Dan. One of Mu Dan's heads becomes captivated by Shion's Tao as he faces death and wishes that he could tell Rien of this scene. After Shion brings his sword down, Mu Dan happily thanks Shion for making him experience death. Upon dying, Mu Dan's corpses causes the surrounding area to bloom peony flowers.
- Main article: Departure Arc
After his death, a replica of Mu Dan's plant ovule from Rien's laboratory was transferred over to the Basin by Gui Fa, along with the other deceased Tensens, and was looked after by the Tensen until he was resurrected after a millennium had passed.
Abilities and Powers
As one of the rulers of Kotaku, Mu Dan had partial authority over everything that went on and could command the Dōshi, Mōnshin, and Sōshin. His very presence was enough to scar Yuzuriha, a very formidable kunoichi that was marked for death, into quickly running away.
Mu Dan had enough strength to crush stone with his bare hands. He showed incredible speed, being able to catch Yuzuriha in an instant without having Sagiri and Senta notice him after bypassing them. He was also a skilled hand-to-hand fighter, capable of taking on the combined efforts of Yuzuriha, Senta, and Sagiri with little effort.
- Further information: Tao
Mu Dan possessed Earth-attribute Tao and had complete mastery over it. He could accurately sense the movements of his opponents and avoid sudden attacks effortlessly, demonstrated when he dodged both Yuzuriha and Senta's attacks simultaneously without the use of his eyes and avoided a sneak attack from Sagiri. In addition, Mu Dan could also sense the weak spots of his opponents, and enhance his physical attacks. As a Sennin, Mu Dan could fire invisible Tao projectiles to cause damage to his opponents, which works effectively against those who can not sense Tao.
Mu Dan could use senjutsu to opt for more stronger Tao attacks. Through it, he could expel Tao from his mouth, instead of with his hands, and bombard his opponents with multiple Tao projectiles. He could also use hōjutsu to either conceal his presence as a way to sneak up and attack his opponents, or control the Tao in the air to give himself flight.
- Tōate (遠当, Literal meaning: Distant Strike): Mu Dan launches his Tao from a distance as invisible projectiles and is strong enough to cause major damage from within the targets body.
- Senjutsu: Tōate (仙術 遠当, Literal meaning: Sage Technique: Distant Strike): A senjutsu version of Distant Strike where Mu Dan expels a burst of Tao from his mouth.
- Hōjutsu: Tsuchinoto — Yakei (方術 己の位 夜詣, Literal meaning: Hōjutsu: Earth Yin — Night Pilgrimage): Mu Dan uses his Tao to conceal his presence from his opponents line of sight and sneaks up to make a surprise attack. This is called Hojutsu: Earth Yin Night Pilgrim in the Viz Manga.
- Hōjutsu: Tsuchinoe — Kukei (方術 戊の位 空詣, Literal meaning: Hōjutsu: Earth Yin — Sky Pilgrimage): By controlling the Tao in the air, Mu Dan is able to levitate. This is called Hojutsu: Earth Yang Sky Pilgrim in the Viz Manga.
- Senjutsu: Suzusashi (仙術 錫刺, Literal meaning: Senjutsu: Stabbing Tin): Mu Dan creates boulder size Tao orbs and have them rain down on his opponents to cause massive damage. This is called Senjutsu: Tin Splinter in the Viz Manga.
As a Tensen, and a consumer of Tan, Mu Dan possessed the regenerative abilities of Flower Tao, which blessed him with an incomplete form of immortality. After having his upper body shredded by Yuzuriha's ninjutsu, Mu Dan was able to completely heal himself in mere seconds. He could also stop his regeneration on certain parts of his body if he wishes. Since he possessed Earth Tao, Mu Dan's regeneration can only be weakened if he were to face a Tao user with the Wood-attribute and the only known way of killing him was if the said Wood Tao user completely destroyed his plant ovule within his tanden.
Mu Dan was able to switch chi's of either Yin or Yang to augment his Tao and recover any lost. As Mu Dan switched in and out their sex changed to match the chi, which was put to use whenever they engaged in Bōchū Jutsu training.
In this monstrous transformation, Mu Dan was able to produce multiple vines with flower-shaped stingers, that when stung, or given the smallest scratch, caused his targets to undergo Arborification. He was also able to shoot multiple Tao laser beams that caused a huge amount of destruction. Since the Kishikai exerts too much Tao, Mu Dan could only hold the transformation for up to half an hour before he became reduced to a weakened body.
Mu Dan was a very intellectual scientist, having created the Kiyōshi from modifications of the past humans that had ventured the island. The Kiyōshi followed the orders of what Mu Dan order them to do and could denotate to secrete a corrosive liquid.
- (To Yuzuriha) "The volume of Tao depends on one's spiritual state and natural talent...But until you learn to wield it, you are, alas, merely human...And no match for us Tensen. Now...Welcome to Hōrai."
- (Mu Dan's last words to Shion) "Ahh. Beautiful...Gallantly facing down death...Hovering between this world and the next...A state we could never hope to reach. Yin and Yang, in perfect harmony...I only wish...I could have told Rien of this. One thousand years, I have waited. Thank you."
- Like the rest of Lord Tensen, Mu Dan is named after a flower. "Mu Dan" (牡丹) meaning "peony".
- Also, like the other members of Lord Tensen, Mu Dan shares similarities to one of the Eight Immortals, Han Xiangzi being the case. Mu Dan's name most likely references Xiangzi's ability to change the color of peony flowers. Additionally, the field of peonies that where enchanted upon Mu Dan's death also references the legend of how Xiangzi magically brought forth a bouquet of perfect peonies for his uncle before leaving on his path of Taoism.
- Mu Dan ranked 29th place in the manga 1st Character Popularity Poll.
- In Chapter 81, Mu Dan is shown in a flashback wearing the same robe as Chōbē after affiliating with Lord Tensen.
- Jigokuraku Kaitai Shinsho, page 61
- Jigokuraku Chapter 38, page 10
- Jigokuraku Chapter 43, page 6-7