Tamiya Gantetsusai (
After his arrest for cutting down a damiyo's property, Gantetsusai is recruited to find the Elixir of Life on Kotaku for the shogun in exchange for a pardon. Upon taking the mission, Yamada Asaemon Fuchi was chosen as his assigned monitor. Shortly after, Gantetsusai becomes a part of a united front formed from the remaining survivors of the criminals and executioners to defeat Lord Tensen, work together in capturing the elixir and have everyone escape the island.
Gantetsusai is a large man with dark hair split into three sections and tied in a ponytail, along with a mustache and a beard also split into three section. His wardrobe consists of a yukata along with a hakama, tied together with an obi.
After cutting off his left hand after it was infected by the Paradise Butterflies, Fuchi helps replace it with a hook. After his battle with Tao Fa and Ju Fa, Gantetsusai received a few minor facial scars and a tsuba eyepatch from Fuchi after ripping out his left eye in order to properly sense Tao.
Gantetsusai enjoys fighting strong opponents and gets a thrill whenever he has to draw his blade. Gantetsusai is immune to intimation, or possibly even fear. He kept a straight face when Fuchi drew his sword towards him and when he first encountered one of the strange creatures on the island, he only found it as being disturbing. However, he can be shocked when unexpecting events occur. He also has a perverted side, taking note and commenting on Yuzuriha's physique during the massacre and got excited after seeing Tao Fa's exposed body. Despite his perverted behavior, Gantetsusai also has morals as he splattered Gabimaru with Sōshin blood after he scared the young and innocent Mei and felt disgusted of the thought of the Dōshi using her for sexual intercourse to complete their Tao training.
Gantetsusai hates being underestimated and tends to lash out in anger. The reason for his death sentence being that a daimyo did not believe that he could cut down a dragon based on his epithet, which resulted in Gantetsusai cutting down his gate which bore a dragon to prove that he was wrong. He also holds grudges as he vowed to return to the damiyo's mansion to cut it down. After Tōma prepared to attack Gantetsusai first (between choosing Fuchi and Mei) because of his handicap, Gantetsusai grabbed his sword and quickly grew angry thinking he would be easy to defeat.
Gantetsusai has a massive ego and wishes to go down in history as a legendary figure. He believes that by performing extraordinary feats and people remembering his name throughout generations is the true form of immortality rather than gaining the Elixir of Life. He original thought that fighting strong opponents would guide him on this path but after arriving on the island, he believes the path lies in slaying monsters and immortal beings such as Lord Tensen, which is the reason why he allied himself with Gabimaru. His high view of himself causes him to think that even strong allies, such as Gabimaru, are beneath him and believes that he should be the one to take down the strong opponents. After Gabimaru successfully defeated one of the Dōshi, Gantetsusai jumped in to claim victory and take credit, though he was not satisfied with how the ninja took control in the end.
Gantetsusai also has a habit of touching his chin underneath his yukata.
At a young age, Tetsunosuke was trained in the art of swordsmanship. After being defeated by his master, Tetsunosuke asked how he was able to despite his old age. He explains to Tetsunosuke that he has become greedy with wanting to become stronger and says that he must throw away his strength in order to see everything in what he has left. Despite this lesson, Tetsunosuke was unable to understand what his master was telling him. As he grew up, Tetsunosuke renamed himself to Tamiya Gantetsusai and went around searching for strong opponents, eventually making a name for himself as a fame swordsman.
At some point in time, Gantetsusai was invited by a daimyo to come and work for him. Right after they got acquainted, the daimyo had doubted the fact that he could actually slay a dragon based on his epithet. After hearing his statement, Gantetsusai becomes furious and lashed out by cutting the daimyo's gate in half, which resulted in him being kicked out and being sentenced to death. Before being sentenced to death, Gantetsusai was given a chance to be pardon of his crimes if he were to acquire the Elixir of Life for the shogun on an island.
After being gathered together with a group of criminals in Edo, they were told to start a massacre until only a few were available to leave for the island. Gantetsusai survived and left with his Asaemon, Yamada Asaemon Fuchi.
After arriving on the island and explaining how he got sentenced to death to Fuchi, Gantetsusai tells him his plan of taking down the noteworthy criminals while searching for the elixir. He finds a butterfly on his left hand and notices that it has a face. Remembering what happened to the guard that returned from the island, Gantetsusai cuts off his hand and is approached by strange looking insects. After becoming excited about going into battle, he spots a large monster from behind and becomes disturbed. He later kills the monster and proceeds to traveling.
Lord Tensen Arc
While traveling in Hōrai, the two approach Gabimaru who is badly injured from his fight with Zhu Jin. Gantetsusai smiles seeing Gabimaru's predicament and asked if he felt like dying. The two criminals then predict each other’s movements before making any attempt to attack. Fuchi stops them from this exchange, believing that it was pointless and wanted to extract information from Gabimaru. Gabimaru requested teaming up with them, causing Gantetsusai to draw his sword to see whether he was trying to trick. He became disappointed with Gabimaru for acting weak in front of him. The ninja then told them of his experience on the island. After hearing him, Gantetsusai was shocked to hear that someone like Lord Tensen existed and was convinced into teaming up with him. Fuchi asked if he was making a good decision since Gabimaru was also seeking the pardon. Gantetsusai says that he had no interest in the pardon and only seek to become a legendary figure. Having taken interest in Lord Tensen, the two teamed up with Gabimaru. Gabimaru then notes to the group that Mei has grown up after awaking. After Gabimaru asked her what the power was she used to save him, Mei tells them that she uses Tao but confuses them with her odd explanation. The group are then approached by a crowd of Sōshin. Gantetsusai attacks and asked Mei to teach him Tao after becoming interested in it.
Gantetsusai asks Mei if he was making any progress in using Tao as he continues to slash away at the Sōshin. Mei shakes her head saying no because of how he is using too much of his strength. Seeing Gabimaru doing the same, Gantetsusai asked her if he was getting anywhere as well. Mei says that he is also using too much of his strength. After making Mei cry, Gantetsusai slashes a Sōshin and splatters its blood on Gabimaru, stating that he will never be liked by females. Gabimaru remarks that he had no problem with this since he was already married, shocking both Gantetsusai and Fuchi though the former states that that was not what he meant by. The ninja then asked if he was also married which Gantetsusai answered saying that he had multiple wives. He then blocks a surprise kick from a Dōshi who manages to retrieve Mei off his shoulders. He hears that the Dōshi tells them that Mei is similar to Lord Tensen and is in need of her assistants in Hōrai. After Gabimaru comes to her side and decides to protect her, the Dōshi prepares to fight alongside a Dōshi with an appearance of a butterfly. Gantetsusai sees the Dōshi states that he was in a killing mood.
After summoning a swarm of butterflies Gantetsusai quickly leaps in and cuts them down. He then states that he seeks revenge on the Butterfly Dōshi for causing him to lose his left hand. As he was about to attack, the Centipede Dōshi hits Gantetsusai with an invisible attack and perceives this as Tao. Gabimaru and Gantetsusai fight off the Dōshi's attack but end up attacking each other. He then complains to Gabimaru to not get in his way. Gabimaru asked the Dōshi why they wanted Mei, to which they answer saying that she is a part of their training in terms of Bochu Jutsu where they perform sexual congress. Gantetsusai becomes confuse and asked Fuchi what it meant. Fuchi answers saying that it meant sexual intercourse which Gantetsusai becomes disgusted by and makes a joke suggesting a woman he is familiar with. Continuing to listen to the Dōshi's explanation of Mei, Gantetsusai becomes furious and tells Gabimaru that he will kill the two Dōshi's. However, he is surprise to see the ninja angry as well. The two then stand together ready to face the transformed Dōshi's.
Gantetsusai swings his sword at the Butterfly Dōshi and dodges a swarm of butterflies coming his way. He then becomes dizzy after breathing in the powder from the scales and asks for Gabimaru's assistant who is busy fighting the Centipede Dōshi. After Gantetsusai warns him that the butterflies are dangerous, Gabimaru expels out a large torrent of fire to ignite the swarm coming towards him. He then hears Fuchi yell out to Gabimaru that in order to learn Tao he must accept both strength and weakness. After Mei briefly helps him unlock his Tao, Gantetsusai watches as Gabimaru manages to see through the Dōshi's invisible attacks and comments on how his ninja training helped him understand Tao quickly. He is then shocked to see him dispel the Centipede Dōshi's transformation. Wanting to become the victor in the battle, Gantetsusai jumps in to finish off the Dōshi. Gabimaru jumps back and allow Gantetsusai to kill the Centipede Dōshi while he kills the Butterfly Dōshi, though the swordsman states that he is not happy with the outcome. Once the battle was over Fuchi suggests using Mei as a source of information, but Gantetsusai recommends returning her home. Since Gabimaru was indebted to her he was willing to do whatever she requested of him. However, before she could make up her mind, the group sees Gabimaru bleed from his nose and faints.
The group travels halfway up the valley with Gantetsusai carrying Gabimaru's body. They stop to rest at a cave and sees that Gabimaru has woken up. He then demands that Gabimaru light up the campfire to warm himself. The group then goes over everything they know about Tao and how they can use it to defeat Lord Tensen. During the end of the discussion, Gantetsusai falls asleep.
The next day, the four travel up the cliff and stumble into Aza Chōbē and Tōma. Gantetsusai becomes thrilled with Chōbē suddenly making an attack towards Gabimaru but becomes disappointed once Gabimaru ends the fight quickly by snapping Chōbē's neck. However, the bandit survives and battles Gabimaru. Gantetsusai watches as Gabimaru fights Chōbē, commenting on how he is fighting ugly using his teeth to bite away at Chōbē's vitals. He then asked Mei the reason for his change but is unable to understand here explanation. Tōma is order by Chōbē to attack the others and goes after Gantetsusai first. However, Gantetsusai catches his sword and becomes angry knowing that Tōma came at him first because he lost his hand. He grabs and headbutts Tōma and tells him to pick up his sword to get ready to fight him.
Gantetsusai punches Tōma and criticizes him for his lack of fighting experience by relying on his brother. He listens to Tōma as he explains his hatred for people teaming up and that he is simply an extension of his brother. Gantetsusai notices Tōma adjusting the grip on his blade and comments his way of thinking was ridiculous. He then becomes one of the few witnessing Gabimaru fighting a transformed Chōbē to the death. Gantetsusai wonders why he wasn't using Tao and was willing to risk his life. He then panics as Mei runs into the battlefield but is shocked seeing her create a massive crater to end the fight. Gantetsusai and Fuchi wonders if this was another use of Tao. The two are then shock as they turn around to see her fully matured. Fuchi suggests a quick dissection for answers but Gantetsusai found him to be ridiculous and wishes that they had some answers to the mysterious events that had occur. He later gives Mei his robe for coverage and carries an unconscious Gabimaru.
After finally reaching the Hōrai gate, the group are met by Yamada Asaemon Sagiri, Yamada Asaemon Shion, Yuzuriha, Nurugai, and Hōko. Hōko gives his gratitude for keeping Mei save and asks if they traveled from the Sōshin nest. Gantetsusai answers that they did and managed to kill the Sōshin. Once they were all gathered together, Gantetsusai comments on Shion being filled with regret that are only a few survivors, saying that it was wasted since the criminals were planning to kill each other from the start and realizes that he was hoping that his clan members were all alive to return home. He then looks towards Tōma since he is a traitor and offers to get rid of him but is stopped by Sagiri stating that he was not a threat to them. Yuzuriha draws their attention towards Gabimaru's critical condition and suggest that they treat him. He then wakes up and makes everyone around him realize that he has lost his memories. Gantetsusai watches as Sagiri tries to help restore Gabimaru's Tao by force and wonders if what they were doing was Bochu Jutsu.
The group relocates to a cave Gantetsusai picked out. Shion says that they must be cautious of Lord Tensen being able to sense their presence, causing Gantetsusai to reply that he was acting cowardly. He then receives criticism from Yuzuriha and Nurugai from their experience with fighting Mu Dan. After Yuzuriha reveals to Gabimaru the possibility of his wife being an illusion due to certain circumstances, Gantetsusai and the rest listens to Gabimaru's confidence that she is real. Gantetsusai likes his attitude and finds it ideal for the position as his right-hand man. He is later called out, along with Shion, Tōma, and Nurugai, by Gabimaru who requests that they help him train. Gantetsusai agrees but refuses to act as his training dummy. After Gabimaru avoids Tōma's attack, Gantetsusai comes in to make his attack. Gabimaru dodges and kicks Gantetsusai in his weaken Tao area around his chest, causing him to feel discomfort. He then starts to become serious with fighting Gabimaru and comes in to strike him in the face.
Later, after the four are finish sparring, Gantetsusai is asked by Tōma to teach him how to wield a sword. Gantetsusai is reluctant to fulfill his request, however, after seeing his resolve by cutting his hair, Gantetsusai agrees to teach him and walks over to a private place where they can begin training. Later, Gantetsusai sees that Mei has reverted back to her child body and expresses his disappointment. He then complains about Gabimaru taking charge of the group after discussing with Shion about the group's next plan of action. Before they could move on, Mei warns everyone that she senses strong Tao coming from either a person or a group that has just arrived on the island. Shion and Fuchi believes that it is Shugen and the other Asaemon who were sent as reinforcements, along with another group of criminals. While Sagiri stated that Shugen will provide help for them, Shion reveals Shugen's infamous story of how he executed the Silver Serpent yakuza group along with their families since they were connected to criminals, giving proof that Shugen will not cooperate with the group. Moving on, Shion presents his plan of splitting everyone into two teams where one finds the Tan elixir and the other finds an escape route off the island. He explains his strategy of defeating Lord Tensen by using their Tao attributes to hinder each member. After Yuzuriha suggests another option of leaving the island and go into hiding, Shion gives everyone the decision of working separately or working together on completing the mission. Unanimously, everyone decides to follow Shion's plan. Knowing that only one criminal can receive the pardon, Gantetsusai speculates that the assigned criminals would have to fight for it.
Palace Invasion Arc
Using the information Mei provided, the group strategies on how to escape the island by using the ships located within the palace and learns that the elixir is located in Rien's laboratory. Shion then pulls Gabimaru and Yuzuriha over to have them instruct the group in terms of espionage using Tao. While Yuzuriha teaches her lesson on masking one's presence using Tao, Gantetsusai loses focus after becoming distracted by Yuzuriha's rear, resulting in him being whacked by her. Gabimaru then teaches the group on how to use Tao physical and starts them off by having them practice dislocating their necks, joints, and stopping their hearts, but is yelled at by Gantetsusai, Shion, and Tōma that it would be impossible for them. After the lessons were over, Gantetsusai, Fuchi, and Nurugai become heavily exhausted. Gantetsusai then becomes angry after being mocked by Tōma for being able to handle the Tao lessons and challenges him to a fight. He is then placed in the Escape Route Securing Team along with Shion, Nurugai, Fuchi, Mei and Tōma. 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, after Mei confesses that she wants to reunite with Rien and Xu Fu to ask them why they underwent a major change in the past before leaving, Gabimaru promises to fulfill her wish.
After reviewing their strategy to infiltrate the palace, the group decides to make their move tonight. The Elixir Retrieval Team sneaks into the palace and signals the Escape Route Securing Team that it is okay to enter. The team advances into the palace but are met by a sudden mist that causes Gantetsusai, Fuchi and Tōma to get separated from Shion and Nurugai. The three then encounter Tao Fa, Ju Fa, and Aza Chōbē in the Bōchū Jutsu Temple who plan to offer them as sacrifices to their master. Knowing that their plan to avoid Lord Tensen has failed, the group moves on to their second plan of fighting against them.
Upon reuniting with his brother, Gantetsusai and Fuchi allows Tōma to be by his side. After walking upstairs to join him, the brothers attack Ju Fa and Tao Fa. Gantetsusai and Fuchi then become shocked to see Tao Fa back on her feet regenerating near them. After removing her robes to get ready to fight the two, Gantetsusai and Fuchi gives compliments about her exposed body. She then dashes towards Gantetsusai first and sends him crashing to a pillar with increased strength. Gantetsusai gets up from his injury and becomes excited to know that he can fight someone like her. He and Fuchi fight Tao Fa but are unable to counter against her Tao abilities. She suggests that they give up, however, Gantetsusai refuses and speculates that she is having fun with their battle since she and Lord Tensen have a history of toying with humans. However, he listens to Tao Fa's depression on how she and Lord Tensen have been struggling to gain immortal bodies and falls done after receiving her next attack. Gantetsusai, along with Fuchi, gets up with full excitement with their ambitions in mind. He runs to Tao Fa and suddenly senses something coming towards his way and dodges, shocking Tao Fa. With no time to react, Tao Fa is slashed from the top by Gantetsusai.
Gantetsusai believes that he is able to sense Tao, however, Tao Fa disagrees and sends him back with another attack. Fuchi jumps in to fight Tao Fa himself while asking Gantetsusai to observe so he can perceive Tao further. Although he is not able to see Tao Fa's next move, Gantetsusai feels that Fuchi is in trouble. After remembering what Shion said about using his senses in order to perceive Tao, and the accidental blood blinding him in his right eye, Gantetsusai gouges out his left eye to not rely on his sight. He then gains the ability to sense Tao and manages to grab Fuchi out of the way of Tao Fa's Tao projectiles, becoming excited as a result of getting stronger. Gantetsusai continuous to cut Tao Fa limb from limb but is not able to stop her from regenerating due to not having the right attribute. Since he has Metal Tao, Fuchi grabs Tao Fa from behind to hinder her Tao and tells Gantetsusai to cut her tanden. Remembering his master’s words, Gantetsusai uses his Tao sensory ability to not harm Fuchi as well. He then successfully destroys Tao Fa's tanden.
After delivering the final strike to Tao Fa, Gantetsusai and Fuchi watch as she transforms and reaches to Ju Fa. The two then fuse together to transform into their Kishikai state. The monster then releases a loud scream causing pain to Gantetsusai and Fuchi's ears and flies up after Chōbē attempts to attack. Gantetsusai mocks the bandit and is then told by Fuchi that he needs to apply first aid to his injuries. Gantetsusai refuses and says that his only focus is to slay the monster. He then starts to laugh uncontrollably from the spores the monster scatters in the air. Fuchi helps by removing the spore from his neck and the two watch as Chōbē fights the monster. After he is quickly defeated by the monster, Fuchi suggests that the four of them team up to defeat Ju Fa and Tao Fa. Instead of agreeing to his recommendation, Gantetsusai and Chōbē exchange insults but are reminded by Fuchi that their enemy is the monster in front of them and they can focus on fighting each other later. The four then ultimately decide to work together.
Gantetsusai is told by Tōma that he has to follow his brother’s orders but refuses, saying that he will be the one to defeat the monster. Chōbē fends off the vines attacking them while Tōma and Fuchi attack Tao Fa. Gantetsusai jumps in to attack but fails as the monster flees out to the air. Chōbē warns them that the monsters form has changed and that they need to cut both tandens. Gantetsusai is then told by Chōbē to par up with him to kill Ju Fa while Tōma and Fuchi handle killing Tao Fa. Gantetsusai is reluctant to follow his orders but is persuaded after Chōbē compliments his abilities. The four then fight off the monster’s attacks. Gantetsusai rushes in to cut away the monster’s vines and give Fuchi and Tōma an opening to attack. He then dives into the pool and gets under the monster to cut Ju Fa and Tao Fa in half. Chōbē and Fuchi then attack the two Tensen's tandens, reducing them to a weakened state. As Tao Fa slowly starts to die, Chōbē pours Water Tao from a bottle he had to stop them from regenerating. Gantetsusai comes in to cut the Tensen in half, making Chōbē think that he was showing mercy. Gantetsusai explains that he wanted to be the one to kill them but also thinks about Tao Fa's past statement during their battle. He then places a peach from Tao Fa's corpse next to Ju Fa and thanks her for the "fun".
Abilities and Powers
Gantetsusai is a powerful swordsman who is widely known. His abilities were recognized by a daimyo who offered him a position to work for him. He was able to survive a massacre full of death row criminals such as himself while his hands were restrained. After his arrival on Kotaku, Gantetsusai was capable of cutting down a Mōnshin, a feat Rien noted to be anything but ordinary for a human and became one of the first few in 1,000 years to have managed to survive the ordeals the island had to offer and reach Hōrai where Lord Tensen currently resides.
Gantetsusai possesses impressive physical strength, capable of lifting and swinging a man around with one hand to fight back against other opponents. He was able to easily defend himself against Tōma's sword attack by catching his weapon by the blade and easily fought him barehanded with little effort. He is also extremely fast and has quick reflexes. He was able to quickly dash forward to cut a horde of Sōshin and block an oncoming kick from a Dōshi. He was also fast enough to dodge a swarm of human-faced butterflies.
Gantetsusai has shown to have high tolerance to pain. After having his left hand infected by one of the Paradise Butterflies, Gantetsusai did not hesitate to cut it off and did not show any signs of pain afterwards. During his battle with Tao Fa, Gantetsusai endured taking on physically enhanced attacks, Tao attacks that causes major damage from within his body and ripping out his left eye to sense Tao. Even though Fuchi noted that he had lost too much blood and received multiple critical injuries internal and externally, Gantetsusai was still able to stand on his feet and continue fighting Ju Fa and Tao Fa in their Kishikai, taking on slashing and piercing vine attacks to give his allies an opening.
Gantetsusai has powerful mastery of swordplay. Even before he had to cut off his left hand, Gantetsusai's high level skills with his sword allows him to fight with one hand (though he tends to swing his sword as if he is using both hands). He was capable of decapitating a massive creature known as a Mōnshin. He was also able to cleanly slice through multiple Sōshin with a single swing of his sword and completely bisect a Dōshi. An impressive testament to his skills as a swordsman is that Gantetsusai can create air compressed slashes that can slice through a large gate in half and the giant bulb body of Ju Fa and Tao Fa's Kishikai. Fuchi dubbed this slash as a Gatecleaver Strike. Gantetsusai has also shown great precision in his swordsmanship, being able to swiftly cut multiple Paradise Butterflies in an instant.
By using the sensation of Tao with his swordsmanship, Gantetsusai can perform delicate swordplay that only highly skilled swordsmen such as the Asaemon can use, being able to cut Tao Fa's tanden with "Neck Flap" precision in order to not harm Fuchi holding her from behind.
- Further information: Tao
Gantetsusai possesses Fire-attributed Tao. During his battle with Tao Fa, Gantetsusai finally managed to awaken his ability to sense Tao after blinding himself. With it, he was able to sense Tao Fa's Tao projectiles and dodge them with quick succession. He was also able to use the sensation to cut Tao Fa's tanden without harming Fuchi from behind her.
Gantetsusai wields a sword that is rather befitting for someone of his large stature.
- Gantetsusai ranked 11th in the manga's 1st Character Popularity Poll with 221 votes.