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Kagerou

Kagerou
 

Kagerō (japanese: 陽炎, hiragana: かげろう, rōmaji: Kagerou) a major character featured in the Japanese anime Basilisk: The Kouga Ninja Scrolls. Kagerou was chosen to be one of ten shinobi of the Kouga Manjidani clan to fight against the chosen ten of the rival Iga Tsubagakure clan.

An extremely attractive woman as well as an expert combatant (she carries a shikomizue in her walking cane and is highly adept at shurikenjutsu), Kagerou's sensuality is her deadliest weapon as her breath becomes poisonous when she's sexually aroused. According to the Koga, it's an ability shared by all the women in her family. She's deeply and madly in love with her superior and cousin Kouga Gennosuke; but due to Gennosuke's feelings for Oboro and her own technique, she's unable to be with him either emotionally or physically; resulting in a jaded persona filled with envy and bitterness.

Kagerou's favorite target for her frustrations is Oboro and was one of the more vocal opponents of her and Gennosuke's marriage, being quick to belittle and criticize Oboro every chance she could. (In the dub, Kagerou refers to Oboro as a tramp worthy of death for meeting with Gennosuke before either of them were officially married). Gennosuke's grandfather Danjo must have seen how extreme Kagerou's conduct was becoming as he told Muroga Hyouma before setting out for Sunpu that perhaps it was time to find a man for Kagerou to have a child with. Despite Kisaragi Saemon's doubt that of that ever happening, Hyouma revealed that there were actually several men in Koga willing to sacrifice all for one night of pleasure with her.

When the Koga finally learn that the Hattori truce had indeed been absolved, few were happier about the news than Kagerou who saw it as an opportunity to seek revenge on Oboro for taking what Kagerou felt should have rightfully been hers.

In the Japanese original, she's voiced by Risa Hayamizu.

Kagerou VS Iga ten (episode 5): Left behind at Manjidani by both Danjou and Gennosuke, Kagerou was one of the Koga ten who defended the village against the surprise attack by Yakushiji Tenzen and his cohorts. After Tenzen accused the Koga of attacking first (using a manjidani shuriken thrown into his sword scabbard as proof) Tenzen threw the weapon at Hyouma, but Kagerou deflected the projectile using one of the needle darts she wore in her hair. The Iga left shortly afterward, leaving Kagerou to fear for Gennosuke's safety.

Kagerou VS Gennosuke (episode 11): After learning of the Hattori truce's disolval, Kagerou tried unsuccessfully to convince Gennosuke that Oboro knew about what her clansmen were doing and that she should be taken care of immediately. Instead, Gennosuke decided to lead the Koga on an expedition to Sunpu to discuss the reason for the renewed conflict with retired Shogun Ieyasu and Hattori Hanzo the 4th.

Stopping at a roadside inn, Kagerou took a moment to bathe herself before heading to Gennosuke's room where after a brief conversation, she became desperate and hurled herself into his arms. Becoming aroused in his presence, Kagerou was shocked when Gennosuke pulled her head back and used his Dojutsu to turn her own poison against her. Kagerou jerked away from Gennosuke and told him that she wanted to die in his arms so they could both go to the afterlife together. Gennosuke scolded her for acting so impulsively and added that if she wanted to die then she should wait until after all the Iga were crossed off the battle scroll. Kagerou remarked she could use her power against the Iga men but not the woman and asked if Gennosuke would be able to kill Oboro. After a long pause, Gennosuke said that he could and Kagerou cheered up noticablely.

Moments later, Hotarubi's serpent slithered into the cabin and dropped a capsule containing the Seven Days of Darkness potion Oboro had used to seal her eyes onto Gennosuke, effectively neutralizing his Genjutsu as Kagerou's poison was still affecting his reflexes.

Kagerou VS Koshirou (episode 19): Continuing on the road to Sunpu, the remaining Koga were ambushed by Chikuma Koshirou who had been guided to their location by Ogen's hawk. While Hyouma stayed behind to deal with their enemy, Kagerou retreated with Gennosuke in order to regroup with Saemon who had stayed behind to take Yakushiji Tenzen's appearance. Returning moments after Koshirou killed Hyouma, Kagerou approached her enemy while Saemon imitated the voice of Koshirou's comrade Akeginu. Claiming that the Koga had captured and brutally killed Princess Oboro, Saemon sent Koshirou into a downward spiral of rage and despair as Kagerou pressed herself against him to trigger her arousal. With his senses numbed by his emotional turmoil and Kagerou's suduction, Saemon told Koshirou that the Iga had lost and the only thing left to do was to join their comrades in the afterlife; at which point, Kagerou kissed him and filled Koshirou with a lethal dose of her poisoned breath. Moments later, the hawk led Akeginu and Oboro to where Koshirou's body lay and the normally calm Akeginu was enraged into brutally stabbing Hyouma's body despite Oboro's please for her to stop. Unbeknownst to them, the last three Koga (Gennosuke, Kagerou, and Saemon) were hiding nearby in the tall grass and were seconds from ambushing them when Lady Ofuku and her entourage stumbled onto the scene and offered their aid to the Iga women.

Kagerou VS Akeginu (episode 20): After conspiring with Saemon on how to safely eliminate the last two Iga, Kagerou left Gennosuke safely hidden at a shrine on the outskirts of town while Saemon (in the guise of Tenzen) infiltrated the Inn where Akeginu and Oboro were staying with a squad of Ofuku's samurai. After being led to the bridge where Kagerou was waiting, Akeginu hurled herself at her enemy with Koshirou's scythe in hand and to Kagerou's surprise, easily overpowered her before stripping out of her kimono to create a bloood mist. Blinded by Akeginu's technique, Kagerou was shocked to see her opponent suddenly appear in front of her and was seconds from being cleaved open when Saemon (still in the form of Tenzen) appeared behing Akeginu and seized her, allowing Kagerou to stab her enemy through the heart with her tanto as she told Akeginu that Oboro would be joining her in hell soon enough before Akeginu dropped into the river below. As she watched Akeginu's body disappear in the current, Kagerou learned to her delight from Saemon that Oboro had blinded herself and was now completely defenseless. Kagerou would have run off to slay her rival right then and there if not for the sudden arrival of Ofuku's samurai, prompting a hasty retreat although the two planned to later rendezvous under the pretense of Kagerou being "Tenzen's" mistress.

Kagerou VS Tenzen(episode21-23): Returning to Gennosuke, Kagerou crossed Akeginu's name off the battle scroll but claimed the one she had killed was actually Oboro. But although Gennosuke congradulated her for her victory, Kagerou knew he wasn't sincere in his praise. After asking Gennosuke to permit her to remain by his side after the war with the Iga was over, Kagerou departed to make Oboro's death a reality.

Arriving at the Inn where Oboro was staying under the protection of Ofuku, Kagerou was approached by the disguised Saemon who abruptly pulled her close to him. Surprised by his actions, Kagerou listened as Saemon told her that Ofuku didn't believe that Kagerou had betrayed the Koga simply because Tenzen had made her his woman and that they were going to have to prove it to the samurai watching them from behind a nearby wooden panel. Suddenly, Saemon threw her to the floor and began to forcibly strip her out of her kimono. Terrified by his actions and what would happen if she became aroused, Kagerou begged him to stop but Saemon ignored her as he continued to grope and caress her. Finally realizing that the man assaulting her was the real Tenzen and that Saemon was most likely dead, Kagerou reluctantly submitted to Tenzen but was unable to reach arousal from the revulsion and shame his touch invoked in her until she began to imagine him as Gennosuke. As she filled Tenzen's lungs with her poisoned breath, Kagerou subsequently snapped his neck to ensure that this time he would stay dead moments before Ofuku's samurai broke into the room and captured her.

Upon the sight of Oboro, Kagerou exploded into blind fury which was only increased by Oboro's refusal to respond with anything less than resigned detachment as she convinced Ofuku that instead of killing Kagerou they should use her as bait to lure out Gennosuke. Kagerou was then tied like a captive animal and taken along with Ofuku's party as they continued on the road to Sunpu. When the entourage stopped at another Inn, Kagerou seduced and killed two of the guards before making her way to where Oboro lay sleeping. As she raised her sword to stab Oboro though the heart, Kagerou claimed victory for both herself and the Koga when she was recaptured by none other than the freshly revived Tenzen who dragged her to a nearby temple and savagely tortured Kagerou by lashing her to a wooden pillar and shooting small needles into her abdomen to spell out the character for IGA.


Kagerou VS Oboro(episode 23): Dying and half-insane from Tenzen's abuse, Kagerou was cut from from the pillar by Gennosuke who had arrived in answer to Oboro's challenge. But after Tenzen was killed and Gennosuke hesitated in striking Oboro down, Kagerou angrily accused Gennosuke of betraying the Koga for the sake of someone who neither deserved him nor truly loved him. Even when Kagerou pointed out that Oboro was the one who had led him into Tenzen's trap, Gennosuke revealed he no longer had any intention to kill her and announced that they should leave. As he lifted her up to carry her to safety, Kagerou realized that there was only one way left to her and pressed against Gennosuke to trigger her breath. As the two of them fell to the ground, Kagerou threw the battle scroll to Oboro's feet and cursed her to live the rest of her life alone and unloved as she crawled forward to give Gennosuke her kiss of death. Kagerou was a mere breath away from Gennosuke's mouth when Oboro's eyes suddenly came unsealed and dispelled her technique. With her last hope to have Gennosuke to herself gone, Kagerou found some small measure of peace before she died by finally accepting that Oboro had defeated her in every conceivable way.

Kagerou's hatred and jealousy of Oboro is far more accentuated in the anime than in the manga. While she still greatly resents her rival for Gennosuke's love, except for the scene where she wants to die with Gennosuke Kagerou's manga self is very reserved about the matter, and mostly keeps her feelings about the marriage deal to herself.

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