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Kuroudo Akabane
03-akabane-01
Info
Kanji Name 赤屍蔵人
Romaji Name Akabane Kuro'udō
Gender Male
Seiyu Nobuo Tobita
Actor Shannon McCormick

Kuroudou Akabane (赤屍蔵人 Akabane Kuro'udō, sometimes romanised as Kurodo, Kuroudo or Kurodou) is a fictional character in the manga / anime series GetBackers. In the original Japanese version, he is voiced by Nobuo Tobita, with Shannon McCormick voicing him in the English dub.

Akabane came 2nd in the results of a popularity poll that appeared in volume 14 of the manga with 3369 votes.

Characterization

Kuroudou "Dr. Jackal" Akabane works as a "Transporter" ("hakobiya" in Japanese), a person paid to escort things to a certain location. With his formal attire, consisting of a dress shirt, black tie, fedora hat and suit coat, polite manners and ever-present smile, he could be mistaken for a harmless person.

But for those who have even remotely heard of his name, it is known that Dr. Jackal is possibly the most "evil" Transporter ever to play his trade. Entertainment, not money, is his main goal; he is mainly a hedonist and the jobs he takes are chosen exclusively for his own amusement. He likes to decapitate his enemies while engaging them in battle. His other habit is to cut up anything between him and his goal, whether man or beast. Early in the anime, Ginji Amano notices that several of Akabane's victims have the letter J carved into them, a clear reference to Akabane's alias. In his own words, he is a "consummate professional."

It has been revealed that he used to be a real doctor/surgeon. He actually used to save lives when he served as the doctor on a battlefield. While on a stint in a foreign battlefield, he failed to save a young boy's life despite his efforts. His current personality could have been influenced by this event. He would battle the young boy's father, Semimaru Kanade, in the Kiryuudo arc.

Kyoji Kagami refers to Akabane as "Babylon City's Kuroudou Akabane", so it is safe to assume he was, at one point, a resident of the upper towers. His reason for leaving is never revealed but it may be that he was bored. Akabane states that his motives are to find someone who can test the limits of his power - something he himself has never seen.

Appearances

His first encounter with the GetBackers was when he was on duty in the "Platinum" arc. He fought with Ginji and lost when Ginji discovered that Akabane hid his scalpels within himself and used electromagnetic powers to pull them out of Akabane. Afterwards, Akabane simply left, telling Himiko that he was no longer interested in the job since he had lost blood and felt compensated for his time. Since then, he has shown a lot of interest in fighting again with Ginji and Ban Mido, even if they are supposed to be on the same side, for the sake of seeing their true power.
Akabane

His scary appearance

Later, he assigns the Getbackers to do an unlikely job: to retrieve Himiko Kudo for him. The significance of this occurs only to Ban, who understands that Akabane is actually sent by the Professor, to begin a string of events that will ultimately led to challenging the curse that Ban has to face: the Voodoo Child.

In the "Get Back the Lost Time" arc, he was hired by Hevn to transport her to Babylon City. Along the way, he picked up an injured Paul Wan, and held off attacks from Kagami. Later, he was to challenge Ban to a seemingly final battle and tells Ban himself during this fight that he admits that with all of his opponents in the past, Kagami, Masaki, Semimaru & even Raitei himself, he could never show his true strength as a whole and asks Ban as he attacks to teach him what the true Akabane really is at his peak.

Both men fight until their last and Akabane eventually loses, Ban collapses shortly after in pain and Akabane comments how "Midou-kun" has finally seen his limit but luckily for him, he too has seen his own limit and thus his lowest point. Blood sprays outwardly from Akabane and he disappears as his trademark hat covers the view point's perspective. In the anime, Ban is the one who prevails in their final duel, although that fight takes place under different circumstances as compared to the manga.

Although it was first assumed in the manga that Akabane had perished with his final battle with Ban, it was soon revealed that Akabane had in fact survived, having implanted a surgery scalpel into Ban's chest as a "final favor", given to Ban for allowing Akabane to see his own limits. Akabane later explained to the Specialist that, as having Ban disappear would be a pity, he attempted to fool the Archive by faking Ban's death just long enough with the scalpel, delaying Ban's disappearance from using his fourth Jagan, for Ginji to reach Babylon City and resolve anything, thus saving Ban from disappearing.

Soon after the encounter with Ban a different version of Akabane awaits Ginji, Teshimine & Makubex atop of the Infinity Castle inside the gates of Babylon at the entrance, although this version is dressed like a real doctor. Akabane promptly tells Ginji he has been "chosen" as he welcomes him to the town of the "creators" Babylon City.

The version of Akabane in Babylon City reveals to Ginji that he is a surgeon and his last name is actually written as "赤羽". The first part "赤" means "red", and "羽" means feather or wing. So the new name may possibly be translated as "red wings".

Plot Overview

In his first encounter with Ginji Amano he was defeated because Ginji drew all his 108 scalpels out of his body via magnetism[1]. Upon their second meeting, Akabane reveals that he has changed his weapons into non-magnetic ceramic scalpels, rendering Ginji’s winning strategy completely useless. This also shows that Akabane is a quick learner and manages to grow stronger to keep up with his opponents.

Akabane’s fighting style is difficult to describe but it mainly relies on his usage of the scalpels which he hides in his entire body and actually forms them from his blood. He furthermore relies on his terrifying speed which usually leaves the readers just staring at people being cut to tiny pieces while it appears as if Jackal hasn’t moved at all.

Another considerable feat of Kuroudo Akabane is that he once was cut up so badly by an opponent that he died. Ginji was lamenting about how out of all people he had to find such a death when Akabane suddenly opened his eyes again, facing a stunned Ginji. When asked why he wasn’t dead, Akabane replied that he “has never thought about his death, therefore he can’t die.” Thus said, he stood up and left[2]. So he can seemingly come back from the dead simply because he can't imagine himself being dead. On another note, part of his power is being able to negate enemy powers by simply stating that he can't imagine those powers being true.

Also, during the 'Lost Time' arc, he was shown to be able to use his bloody sword to cut a path through dimensions in order to get Paul Wan and Hevn to safety.

When he fought Masaki Kurusu, who controls light, his blood dripped on Masaki’s shadow which was created by the light waves Masaki controls, essentially allowing Akabane to assimilate and adapt the light control ability. He could now control “shadow” and extend it at will, use it to bypass defense and attack inner organs or engulf the opponent to rob him of his senses.

Akabane, during his final battle with Ban in the manga, also conjured a "Bloody Lance" to deliver a deathblow to Ban. However, at the last second, Ban cracked the lance, and Akabane chose to revert back to his Blood Sword to finish the battle. Prior to this, Akabane also defended himself from Ban's attacks with a "Bloody Shield", consisting of sixteen of his scalpels seemingly held in place by a psychic barrier.

Abilities

Equipment

  • 108 Surgical Scalpels: Akabane has 108 scalpels that are hidden within his body and they are made of his blood, but they are also infused with a ceramic, titanium alloy that doesn't conduct electricity, and then diamond. His scalpels can easily break through large pillars, diamond, large hills, and various targets instantly. His scalpels also have the ability to place people within suspended animation.
  • The Titanium Scalpels: Titanium Scalpels (Before he got them changed to Diamond!)

Skills

  • Deadly Accuracy: Akabane's accuracy with his scalpels are 100% dead on. Watch at how his randomly thrown scalpels can hit a massive amount of diamond shards in midair
  • Bloody Sword: This is his primary weapon which is made from his blood. He can cut through time and space with this sword and he can't imagine there being something or someone that he can't cut with this sword. (A sword with reality manipulation )
  • Bloody Lance: A diamond crafted lance meant for one shot kills.
  • Bloody Rain: He will launch all of the weapons into the air and direct them to rain down on a single target.
  • Bloody Cross: By laying his palm outwards which has a cross scar, a cross-like pattern will appear, and cause his opponent to be cleaved into 4 quarters as though they were sliced by a cross-shaped knife.This is his instant death move. It completely rids the body of all his opponents blood vessels while ripping them apart.
  • Bloody Sagittarius: By laying his palm outwards which has a cross scar, a massively larger cross-like pattern will appear, and cause his opponent to be cleaved into 4 quarters as though they were sliced by a large cross-shaped knife.This move is his instant death move. A more powerful version of the Cross.
  • Bloody Hurricane: He can hurl his scalpels to form a hurricane around his victim leaving no chance of escape before impaling them into the victim's body.
  • Bloody Stream: He throws his scalpels directly at the opponent with deadly accuracy.
  • Bloody Avatar: Akabane creates a lot of clones of himself, that are not as powerful as the original.
  • Bloody Shield: A shield consisting of sixteen of his scalpels seemingly held in place by a psychic barrier.They can block light and react fast enough to counter light. This shield can also block light from an omnidirectional point.
  • Darkness: Akabane can launch dark attacks upon his opponent. Just as Masaki uses light, Akabane commands the darkness. He can use the darkness to bypass all defenses and attack inner organs directly, and engulf an opponent with pure darkness robbing them of all of their senses (Similar to Tousen's bankai from Bleach). One attack he uses with this ability is "Bloody Shadow"
  • Bloody Diamond Clones: Akabane can make a massive amount of clones of himself to fight at his leisure. They can even cut through diamond and share his same demonic dreadful speed and abilities.
  • Divine Providence: Just like the Uncertainity Principle of Quantum Mechanics, Akabane has the ability to warp reality simply by not being able to imagine something. It was explained by Masaki Kurusu in volume 37 that Akabane's ability works in this fashion, and that if he doesn't acknowledge it, it doesn't exist. He has been shown to negate an enemy's powers by not being able to believe such a power could exist, such as when he used ordinary scalpels to cut in half Masaki's indestructible daggers of light by not being able to believe they couldn't be cut. Most notably he's been shown to negate his own death after coming back from the dead after being 'killed' in his first fight with Semimaru. When questioned he stated that he's never been able to imagine himself dying so it's unlikely he ever will[3]. When he was turned into a mere drop of blood by Masaki Kurusu, he simply revived, due to being unable to imagine death. In volume 39, Sarai Kagenuma, the man who knows everything, also commented that if Akabane doesn't believe it, then it cannot materialize.
  • Transcendence: Just like other Brain Trust members, it was revealed that Akabane doesn't exist within the time frame. This is obviously a trait that is carried over no matter what dimension he is within.

Relationships with other characters

His decapitating, dismemberment, and general murder of opponents is a practice that many other characters see as going too far[4]. Indeed, other characters, notably Ban and Ginji, do not like him because of his tendency to eliminate all obstacles. He tends to flirt with Ginji a lot even though he said he really liked Ban, saying that he felt he had "cheated on him". Interestingly, despite his reputation, he has helped the GetBackers and the rest of the crew out a lot. He even saved Hevn's life twice.

Ginji

Ginji became extremely fearful of him when Akabane told Ginji that he could change the material of his scalpels into non-magnetic substances and thus render Ginji's winning strategy in the first fight useless. Often, Ginji will turn chibi in Akabane's presence, which Akabane seems to find amusing[5]. He takes great pleasure in teasing Ginji with suggestive comments and veiled threats, as well as appearing behind Ginji if the latter flees[6].

During one chapter in the Kiryuudo arc, after he is severely wounded and thought to have been killed, Ginji became quite empathetic towards Akabane's supposed corpse, asking why he (of all people) had to die like this after everything they had been through, until Akabane literally rose from the dead and left everyone in astonishment. Ginji asks why he is not dead, to which Akabane replies "I have never thought about my death, therefore I can't die." Ginji proclaims that the good thing is that he is alive after all, to which Akabane questions if it truly was a good thing while smiling truthfully for the first time shown in the series.

Kyoji Kagami

The slit in Akabane's hat was inflicted by Kagami during their first fight[7]. Before this, the hat was whole. He has been compared with Kagami for a few reasons. His black clothing contrasts Kagami's white outfit. Both men came from Babylon City, are polite to others, boast incredible speed and are purple-eyed. In their first fight, the sight of his scalpels clashing against Kagami's glass shards, together with the smiles both men flashed at each other, made for some eerie similarities[8]. In their rematch, both men managed to find ways to duplicate themselves - Kagami by using mirrors and Akabane by using his blood.

The Professor

He had been seen with the Professor several times, a hint that he might be one of those responsible for the series of events concerning the GB duo, though he denies this when the Professor questions him.

Trivia

Notes

  1. GetBackers Vol 3
  2. GetBackers Vol 22
  3. GetBackers Vol 22
  4. GetBackers Vol 5
  5. GetBackers Vol 12
  6. GetBackers Vol 7
  7. GetBackers Vol 7
  8. GetBackers Vol 7

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