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Muroga Hyouma

 

Image:Basilisk Hyouma.jpg

 

 

Muroga Hyōma (japanese: 室賀 豹馬, hiragana: むろが ひょうま, rōmaji: Muroga Hyouma) a major character featured in the Japanese anime Basilisk Kouga Ninpou Chou (known in English as the Kouga Ninja Scrolls). Hyouma was chosen as one of ten ninja to represent the Koga Manjidani clan in their duel against the chosen ten of the rival Iga Tsubagakure clan.

As the second in command to Lord Kouga Danjo, Hyouma was assigned to be the sensei of Danjou's grandson Gennosuke, who was also his nephew since Gennosuke's deceased mother was Hyoma's older sister. Over the years, Hyouma successfully taught his pupil to call upon the Dojutsu technique in their bloodline as well as how to rely on other senses besides sight. Unlike Gennosuke, Hyouma's Dojutsu is always in effect so he must keep his eyes shut or else risk accidentally killing the wrong person at the wrong time. To compensate, Hyouma develops an almost radar-like sense of hearing that makes it impossible for him to be snuck up on. Hyouma also taught Gennosuke about the truth of the world; that despite whatever differences may exist between people, they are still humans who live, feel, and die the same way. It was due to Hyouma's teachings that Gennosuke was able to see past his clan's hatred for the Iga and seek a harmonious coexistence until the blood shed following the dissolval of the Hattori truce called for a decisive end to the conflict by one way or another.

Hyouma is cautious and intuitive, and following a surprise attack on Manjidani is the first member of the Koga ten to realize that the Hattori truce may have been absolved. Although he distrusts the Iga, Hyouma admires Gennosuke's efforts to establish peace between the two clans and supports him whole heartedly regardless of what personal cost he may endure

 

Hyouma VS Iga raid (episode 5): While discussing Gennosuke's plans to wed Oboro with Kagerou and Kasumi Gyoubu, Hyouma's ears pick up the approaching footsteps of five ninja heading toward Manjidani from the north. After evacuating the village woman, children, and elderly to the hidden shelters, Hyouma sends a squad of Koga shinobi to intercept the Iga under Gyoubu's command. Following a brief yet violent struggle in which several Koga ninja were killed, Hyouma appeared before the Iga commander Yakushiji Tenzen and demanded to know the meaning for the unprovoked attack. Tenzen claimed he and the others came as friends to tell the Koga that Gennosuke was staying as their guest at Tsubagakure for a few days and that the Koga were the ones who attacked them first, displaying a manjidani shuriken thrown into his sword scabbard as proof. With no way to prove otherwise and the safety of Gennosuke most likely at risk, Hyouma allowed the Iga to escape. Later, during a meeting with the other Koga ten, Hyouma theorized that for some reason the Hattori truce had been absolved and charged Gyoubu and Kisaragi Saemon with infiltrating Manjidani to learn the truth of the matter and if necessary retrieve Gennosuke to safety.

Hyouma VS Nenki (episode 11): Following Gennosuke's safe return from Tsubagakure, Hyouma and the other Koga accompanied their new lord to Sunpu to uncover the reason for the Truce's dissolval. Stopping at a roadside inn, Hyouma and Saemon were roused by a disturbance from Gennosuke's quarters where they found that their leader's eyes had been sealed closed by Hotarubi who used her pet viper to drop a capsule containing the same Seven Days of Darkness potion Oboro had used on herself; effectively neutralizing Gennosuke's sight and his Dojutsu. As Saemon and Kagerou chased after a swarm of butterflies summoned by Hotarubi, Hyouma stayed behind with Gennosuke as Mino Nenki stormed into the cabin and threatened to kill both of them at once. When it became clear that Nenki could not be deterred, Gennosuke ordered Hyouma to look and he opened his eyes; unleashing his Dojutstu on Nenki and triggering his hair to wrap around his body and crush him to death.

Hyouma VS Tenzen (episode 17): Despite Gennosuke's eyes being sealed by the Seven Days of Darkness potion, the Koga pressed on to Sunpu. To protect their leader's handicap, Saemon and Gennosuke switched identidies with Saemon taking Gennosuke's appearance and Gennosuke dressing up as Saemon. As they continued on their journy, Saemon noticed the Hawk that belonged to Lady Ogen flying overhead with the battle scroll clutched in its talons. He and Kagerou left to pursue it while Hyouma stayed behind with Gennosuke, who called out to their would be assailant. From out of the tall grass, Tenzen emerged with his sword drawn and announced his intention to kill them both as he sliced Hyouma's travelling hood open. Yet despite Tenzen's taunts and threats, neither Hyouma nor Gennosuke made any move against him. Instead, Hyouma asked Tenzen to return with the other Iga to Tsubagakure until Gennosuke and the other Koga returned from Sunpu. The challenge Gennosuke had originally sent was merely to save face among the other Koga. His true intention was to plead with retired shogun Ieyasu to reinstigate the Hattori truce and finally bring an end to the 400-year cycle of violence and revenge that the Iga and Koga had been trapped in for so long. With a mixture of amusement and contempt, Tenzen rejected their offer and launched himself into battle against Hyouma until his sword pressed against his enemy's throat. Before he could administer the finishing blow, Gennosuke gave his teacher permisson to look and Hyouma unleashed his Dojutsu, forcing Tenzen to slice his own throat open instead. At that moment, Gennosuke realized just how deeply the animosity ran between his people and the Iga and that the only way to protect his remaining comrades and his village was to eliminate all of their enemies without hesitation. Choking back his sorrow, Gennosuke ordered Kagerou and Saemon upon their return that the next time they saw the hawk they were to kill it and it's master regardless of who it was; even if it was his beloved Oboro.


Hyouma VS Koshirou (episode 18): As Kisaragi Saemon stayed behind to take Tenzen's appearance for himself, the other three Koga continued on their way. But although Gennosuke had signed his lover's death warrant, Hyouma could determine by his heavy gate how deeply his leader's decision was making him suffer. As he prayed for Gennosuke to remain conflicted until he was the last of the Koga, Chikuma Koshirou appeared before them and furiously launched both his vortexes and his scythes in an attempt to finish the remaining Koga himself. Taking cover behind two nearby rocks, Hyouma ordered Kagerou to take Gennosuke and run, his parting advice to his student to always look to the truth of the world should he ever lose his way. Kagerou left her sword to aid him and Hyouma threw himself into battle as his comrades ran to safety. Koshirou blocked Hyouma's sword strike with his scythe as Hyouma attempted to use his Dojutsu, but with his eyes destroyed from his fight with Gennosuke, Koshirou was completely immune to Hyouma's powers. Koshirou countered with another vortex and Hyouma blocked the attack with Kagerou's scabbard, although the edge of the vortex suceeded in wounding his right ear. Realizing he wouldn't survive another attack, Hyouma put some distance between himself and his enemy before throwing his travel pack and Kagerou's scabbard onto the road. The scabbard landed first and Koshirou threw his scythe at the noise, revealing his position as the travel pack landed behind him to distract him, leaving him open for the finishing blow. Unfortunately for Hyouma, he had forgotten that Koshirou's scythes returned when thrown and was forced to defend himself when the blade came back for a second pass. The impact of Koshirou's weapon off Hyouma's sword revealed his position to Koshirou who immediately created a vortex that shredded Hyouma's face to pieces. Hyouma's final words were for Gennosuke to live and he died on his feet, his sword bracing him up as the life flowed out of him.

In the manga, Hyouma is just as pleased as the other Koga after learning that the truce had been dissolved and expected Gennosuke to act in a way that would guarantee their clan's victory. In contrast, following Gennosuke's return from Tsubagakure in the anime, Hyouma was the only one who realized that in all likelihood, Oboro was just as unaware of the situation as Gennosuke was, much to Kagerou's outrage. Additionally, when asked by Gyoubu in the manga if Gennosuke would be able to kill Oboro, Hyouma answered he would whereas in the anime he remains silent, knowing full well the inner turmoil his student was experiencing.