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Fuuga

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Fuuga (風雅, or Elegance in the anime) is a fictional group in the manga/anime series Getbackers. It was led by Kazuki Fuuchouin during his pre-VOLTS days. Originally it consisted of five people: Kazuki, the Kakei siblings (Juubei and Sakura), Saizou Toufuuin (manga only), and Toshiki Uryuu. All of these five people are masters of ancient schools of martial arts. The gang's leitmotif is to fight with grace and beauty, like flower petals fluttering in the wind.

Background

A group led by Kazuki Fuuchouin before he joined VOLTS, Fuuga was the most powerful gang and Kazuki was the first nominal ruler of the Lower City. Following Kazuki's travel to the Beltline, Fuuga was dispersed, giving way to the rise of VOLTS. There were 2 incarnations of the group. Fuuga consisted of five people: Kazuki (head), Juubei Kakei and Toshiki Uryuu , as well as Saizou Toufuuin and Juubei's older sister, Sakura Kakei. During the Fuuga days, Toshiki and Juubei had a sort of rivalry between them. (Toshiki wanted Kazuki to notice him, stemming from the fact that Kazuki seems to be closer to Juubei than to him. On the other hand, Juubei, too, did not want to be outshone by Toshiki.) In the Kami no Kijitsu arc, he fought with Juubei and it was there that they ironed out their differences. Subsequently, whenever Kazuki needed help, Juubei and Toshiki will appear together to aid their leader.

In the manga, Saizou was an old friend of Kazuki's, dating back to the days of the first Fuuga (however, he was not seen in flashbacks in the earlier books. The most can be seen of him was in a drawing where Kazuki first confronted Raitei-Ginji, where a person dressed similarly to Saizou's Chinese suit was standing close to Kazuki). Fuuga reassembled for the Queen's Cup Challenge in the Voodoo Child arc. It was revealed that Fuuga was originally formed by Saizou Toufuuin as a league of protectors to the last Fuuchouin heir, and it was Saizou who named the gang Fuuga, and coined the gang's motto: 'to fight with beauty and elegance, like flower petals fluttering in the wind' (the first kanji in the name Fuuga literally means wind). During the Voodoo Child arc, Sakura states that although the group was disbanded and the rest of the members had different standings during the era of VOLTS and the subsequent period (referring to the IL arc and the Kami no Kijitsu arc, when Kazuki confronts Juubei and Uryuu), Fuuga still lives in their hearts, and they are still bound to serve Kazuki as the last master of the Fuuchouin.

Other Members

The Kakei Siblings

The Kakei siblings, Sakura (筧朔羅 Kakei Sakura) and Juubei (筧十兵衛 Kakei Jūbei), came from the Kakei clan, an ancient clan of doctors, healers and needle-and-cloth manipulators, which had been allied to the Fuuchoin clan since time immemorial. While the traditional relation between the male heirs of the two clans was supposed to be no more than a lord with his healer, Kazuki and Juubei's friendship is more intimate than normal, as they had been thrown into conflict from an early age. In actuality, Sakura and Juubei's clan was sworn to protect whomsoever that ruled the Fuuchouin, thus rendering them unable to act when the Omote-Ura war ensued, as the assailant is also of the blood of the Fuuchouin. It was because of this impassivity that Juubei left his household when his father implored him to ally himself to the new leader of the Fuuchouin clan, Yohan Kokuchouin. He left in one of his famous outbursts of anger, saying that the Kakei clan was weak to have succumbed to the Kokuchouin, and he was allied only with his lord, Kazuki. Sakura followed her younger brother, albeit with more peace, saying to their father that the old man should consider the two had committed suicide, as they could never break themselves from the 'bond' of alliance with Kazuki. The two followed Kazuki into the Infinite Fortress and became, possibly, the first members of the Fuuga.

Of the two, Juubei appeared to be more close to Kazuki. Sakura, on the other hand, became a sort of a sister-protector figure to the young MakubeX, whom she assisted in ruling the Lower Town. Sakura is of a very kind, understanding nature. She seldom counters other people and most of time tried to keep the peace, especially between her brother and Ban, whenever the latter is into one of his name-calling sprees. She is also the keeper, and possibly also the weaver, of the banner of Fuuga. If Juubei is skilled in shinjutsu, Sakura is a virtuoso at kinjutsu, or cloth manipulation. Her trademark was a long pink cloth draped over her head and her shoulder, forming a lovely shawl for herself and a lethal weapon in battles. The feminine art of the cloth (even the name of the techniques are feminine, like 'Peacock' and 'Princess of Thousand Flowers') seems to be more passive, though, as most of the time Sakura uses it only to protect others, as shown when she, together with Juubei and Uryuu, form a last stand to protect the Getbackers, Makube X and Kazuki as they were entering the dreaded entrance of the Beltline. During the Queen's Cup Challenge, Sakura serves as Makube X' link to the battle scene. There is a mention about suiting her biological frequency to the communicational device in her ear, so it is assumed that Sakura's intelligence and knowledge of technology is somewhat more than an average person's. Indeed, Haruki Emishi exasperates how he is not an adapt at computers as 'Miss Sakura'. Of the Bloody Joker, it must be said that he seems to harbour some feelings to the Kakei, as was shown when he groped her breasts 'for comfort' after the death of Amon Natsuki (earning himself an attack from Juubei and Sakura) and he urges Saizou to free her from the Black Seal, even when he himself is losing the battle.

Juubei and Sakura both have reddish-brown hair. Juubei always wears a windbreaker, while Sakura sports a long robe with a shawl. Since the IL arc, when Juubei was blinded, he wears a dark cloth around his eyes, with his hair over most of his forehead.The formal battle suit for Juubei is dark green, while that of Sakura is white.

Toshiki Uryuu

Main article: Toshiki Uryuu

Saizou Toufuuin

Main article: Saizou Tofuuin

Origins

The original idea of creating the Fuuga was voiced by Saizou. During the clan war that destroyed the Fuuchouin, the Higashi Fuuchouin, as allies to the ancient clan, was also pulled into the conflict. Saizou, who was a mere boy of 12 years old, defeated a hundred seasoned fighters from the Kokuchouin alone. However when he faced Yohan he was 'defeated without the battle having commenced' (a cliché statement showing that the antagonist's power is too great for the hero; a norm in Japanese manga). Saizou was brought into the depths of the Infinite Fortress and there learnt, if not all, most of Yohan's plans for the surviving heir, Kazuki. He managed to escape and, feeling honour-bound to protect Kazuki, gathered several champions under the banner of Fuuga as a league of guardians for the last scion of the Fuuchouin clan, and coined the leitmotif for the gang: 'to fight with grace and beauty, like flower petals fluttering in the wind'.

Under Kazuki's rule, Fuuga went on to became the most powerful gang in the Lower City prior to VOLTS. It was unclear whether during this time the residents of the Beltline had already breached into the Lower City, but in recollections scenes, it is often remarked that the era of Fuuga was a 'time of wars'. Nevertheless, there was a definite lapping of time between Fuuga's rule and the early VOLTS, as was shown when Kazuki, leading a group of warriors under the banner of Fuuga, met for the first time with Raitei-Ginji. Ginji himself admitted, although Fuuga was a small group, all its members are substantial in strength and prowess, and could have rivaled VOLTS in its heyday.

It is always said that Fuuga would have total control over the Lower City if it were not for Kazuki's disappearance. Kazuki embarked on a journey to discover the real truth behind the façade of the Infinite Fortress and dared to venture into the Beltline... alone. Kazuki barely survived the journey, and the memory of the one week that he lost in the Beltline — the so-called 'empty week', on which he always has nightmares on — was compensated for his 'Stigma', which he carries in his left eye.

Fuuga vs. VOLTS

Ayamine Rando has voiced his opinion, in one of the free talk slots in the manga, that Fuuga and VOLTS are two very similar groups, in terms of the awe the members have to their supreme leaders, and the characteristics of the old Kazuki (or rather, Kazuki as the 'Prince of Fear') who resembles the Raitei-Ginji. During the Fuuga era, Kazuki was a cold person, who refused to battle if the ensuing duel would not be 'elegant' enough for his skills (this caused problems to Juubei and Uryuu, because they were both honour-bound to protect him—how can someone who refused to battle to save himself, merely for the sake of the beauty of the duel, be protected easily?). Kazuki seldom smiled and his reputation as the Prince of Fear rang death knells across the Lower City. However, after Kazuki received his 'Stigma', he seemed to undergo a change in his philosophy and abstained Fuuga to join VOLTS, a decision which led to the gang's dispersement and the anger of Toshiki Uryuu to Kazuki, to be manifested later in the Kami no Kijitsu arc. This decision is explained by Kazuki years later: he did not wish for the ruling place as he deemed himself unfit for such a high position.

In the heyday of Fuuga, the gang had alliances with most of the other gangs in the Lower Town. It was in this way that it was considered that Kazuki was the first nominal ruler from the younger generation to rule the Lower Town (Takeru Teshimine was a ruler of the Lower Town, but he is considered of the 'older' generation). Once there was a gang leader who refused to acknowledge Kazuki's authority, even when confronted by Juubei. Kazuki stopped Juubei and Uryuu from attacking but instead walked alone to the leader, who was seven feet tall and surrounded by many followers. This bravado, and Kazuki's eerie confidence, rendered the leader quaking from fear and he knelt before Kazuki, seeking pardon.

Fuuga is a very traditional gang. It even has a banner: the kanji characters for Fuuga are written on it with the romaji transcription of the characters (FU-GA) along with ornaments on the sides the characters, in shapes resemblant of flowers. The Fuuga banner was flown whenever Kazuki battled, and after the Fuuga was disbanded, Sakura kept the banner. She disclosed the banner once again when the Fuuga is re-assembled for the Queen's Cup Challenge, and when Kazuki unfurled the mighty banner, the most powerful gang of the Lower Town is reincarnated to serve its lord. At last, the banner rests forever as a shroud and a sign of Kazuki's forgiveness to Saizou, the supposed traitor to Fuuga who is actually the most fervent protector of the Prince of Fear.

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