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Jubei Kepagami (Ninja Scroll)

Jubei Kepagami


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

Context

Ninja Scroll is a 1993 anime  movie. It was very successful in the West during the second half of the 1990s, in large part thanks to MTV. Ninja Scroll thus played a significant role in expanding anime viewership.

This land mark anime movie deserves a worth mention on WORG. The protagonist of which seems like the obvious place to start. Besides that there are always room for more iaijustu masters !

This profile includes S P O I L E R S.


Background

  • Real Name: Jubei Kipagami
  • Marital Status: Single
  • Known Relatives: None
  • Group Affiliation: Briefly allied with Takuan and the Shigure Clan
  • Base Of Operations: Mobile in Japan
  • Height: 6’0” Weight: 175 lbs
  • Eyes: Brown Hair: Black


Powers and Abilities

Jubei is probably the best fighter of his era. His skill with a katana as well as his quick thinking have allowed his to take on powerful superhuman opponents as well armies of ninja. And to top it all off he is almost always able to walk away unscathed.

Aside from his weapon mastery his most impressive ability is his iaijutsu technique. It allows him to draw his blade so fast that it actually send razor sharp shockwaves a fairly good distance.

Jubei is not only deadly because of his skills with a sword but also his quick thinking and tactical genius. In DC Heroes RPG terms he is often able to Dupe superior opponents into making fatal errors on which he can capitalize. He will often lay back or even full on dodge against more powerful opponents and wait for the right right opportunity to attack.

He is also highly perceptive as well making it difficult for opponents to get the drop on him.

Jubei is both a complete bad ass and a smart fighter. A lot of his strategy in beating all the monsters and superhuman opponents he faces is sizing up their abilities and knowing how to craft a clever strategy based on their limitations. That and he seems to be familiar with all the styles in his period and time.


History

A team of Koga Ninja is sent to investigate a plague in Shimoda village. But on their way, they are slaughtered by a single man. The only survivor is Kagero, their lord’s poison-taster. Their attacker is a giant man with stone skin and a colossal double-bladed sword, which can be thrown like a boomerang.

The giant takes Kagero to his hut and proceeds to rape her — when he is interrupted by an interloper who does not seem terrified of the fact that he can turn his skin to stone.

Rather, the interloper, a ninja vagabond named Jubei, puts out one of his eyes with a dart and escapes with Kagero. The giant soon ambushes Jubei, however, and proceeds to beat him bloody. Although he has the clear advantage (Jubei cannot even scratch his stony hide), he begins to fall apart.

The giant throws his sword, but cannot catch it when Jubei manages to cut his fingers off, and the blade drives into the giant’s skull.

An old monk that had witnessed the battle congratulates Jubei, but he remarks that though Jubei’s triumph over the demonic warrior was impressive, it benefited from outside help. He calls the monster one of “the Eight Devils of Kimon.”

The stone giant has fallen

Several other strange characters are concerned with the stone man’s death. One is the well-dressed man Yurimaru, who calls the giant Tessai. Another is the scarred, explosive-wielding Zakuro.

Zakuro lusts for Yurimaru, even though Yurimaru is gay and sleeping with their master, Gemma. After Yurimaru forcefully stops Zakuro’s constant harassment, she informs him the Gemma is in fact bisexual and that he regularly sleeps with Benisato.

Jubei rests his battered body in a hot spring, but is entranced by a female bather and her snake tattoos. She identifies him as the man who killed Tessai (the giant had copied Jubei’s face in his palm), and her tattoos begin to move. This hypnotizes Jubei, and the snakes leave her body and approach him.

A shuriken strikes Jubei, which wakes him up in time to cut the snakes down. He grabs the woman, but she sheds her skin like a snake and escapes.

The old monk appears again. Jubei learns his name is Dakuan, and that the star was poisoned. Jubei must work for Dakuan, a Tokugawa Shogunate operative, in order to receive the antidote, or he will surely die within two days.

Poisoned

As they boat down a river, Dakuan asks Jubei if he killed the chief retainers to the Yamashiro clan five years before. Them and their leader Himuro Gemma, who was getting rich off a hidden and undisclosed gold mine. Dakuan claims that Gemma is still alive, despite Jubei’s insistence (and flashback) to the contrary. Jubei claims to have decapitated Gemma.

Once they land they’re separated. A shadow attacks Dakuan with a mechanical claw, apparently impaling him against a tree. But the old monk escapes into the branches, camouflaging himself. A man rises out of the shadow, muses that nobody could escape “Shijima’s claw,” and sinks back down.

Meanwhile Jubei enters an abandoned shrine, where an old woman is chanting the sutra for the dead of Shimoda. She turns out to be a trap and is cut in half by Jubei (revealing that she was full of snakes). Then the woman from the spring, Benisato, returns.

Kagero grabs Benisato from behind and puts her knife to her throat. A snake slithers out of Benisato’s vagina and bites Kagero, but she does not relent. Benisato suddenly dies of electrocution. A thin metal wire, glowing white hot, stretches for miles.

At the other end Yurimaru admonishes Benisato for her failure and disintegrates the wire while Jubei and Kagero follow it. Yurimaru, Zakuro, and two other Devils then gather to figure out how to defeat the man who killed Tessai.

When Jubei tries to suck the poison from Kagero’s wound, she kicks him away, telling him that she is immune. Dakuan pops back up and requests that Kagero join them in their fight against the common enemy, and claims he has valuable information. Dakuan tells Jubei that Kagero poisons any man she sleeps with, and that’s how Jubei was able to defeat Tessai.

Seek the Devils

The two of them go with Dakuan to Shimoda, where they see for themselves that the well had been poisoned. A swarm of wasps descends on the village, going after the trio. Kagero holds them off, and Jubei finds the master of the swarm, a hunchback named Mushizo, another of the Eight Devils, who lets slip that Gemma is still alive.

The hunchback’s hump is actually a wasp nest growing from his back, and the wasps attack Jubei. They fight in a water-powered mill, and then Jubei escapes into the river. Mushizo follows him, but remains on land. Jubei knocks him into the water, where the wasps sting Mushizo repeatedly trying to escape.

Dakuan knows about the reincarnation technique. To use it one must have total control over every little piece of tissue, so that even if one loses a limb, or a head, it might be reattached. But the monk claims human beings cannot achieve such control. Meanwhile, Jubei does not seem interested in Kagero owing him a debt.

They climb a cliff to get a better view of the land, but Kagero sees her former commander, Hanza (whose arms Tessai had torn from their sockets), walking aimlessly toward the brink. His eyes and mouth have been sewn shut.

Kagero stops him, but Zakuro is there, and releases streams of gunpowder into the air. Hanza reacts with it, and explodes. Jubei grabs Kagero and throws himself off the cliff to save her. Jubei is hanging by the cord attached to his sword sheath, and he has Kagero climb up the cliff.

When Jubei gets there, a swordsman in white is holding his sword. He introduces himself as Utsutsu Mujuro, and challenges Jubei.

Blind swordsman

Jubei lures the swordsman into a nearby bamboo forest, hoping to take advantage of his blindness, but Mujuro’s ears are sharp, and he blinds Jubei with the reflection off his katana blade. However, when Kagero tries to attack her blade gets caught on a bamboo tree.

It is only by sheer luck alone that when Mujuro and Jubei jump, Mujuro hits Jubei’s sword. Jubei falls down tumbling and Mujuro is about to him strike down, but Mujuro ends up hitting were Kagero accidentally left her blade, and Jubei impales him.

Jubei accuses Kagero of not valuing her life, and she responds by saying that she cannot touch a man, lest she kill him. Kagero passes out, and awakens with Jubei.

He notices a beached cargo ship, and concludes that the Devils poisoned Shimoda to keep it secret, so they could take the cargo. Kagero wants to stop the cargo from reaching Kishima Harbour, where it will be taken away by boat. She agrees to work with Jubei until then.

Dakuan finds them, and tells them that the cargo is the gold from the secret Yamashiro mine. The Shogun of the Dark will use this fortune to topple the Tokugawa and initiate a civil war.

Risk of civil war

Jubei chases after something that has followed him, and Kagero sends a message to the chamberlain. She then demands that Dakuan give her the antidote for Jubei. He tells her the secret of the antidote, and it shocks her. Jubei returns from the chase that yielded nothing, to find Kagero kidnapped, and a ransom note carved into a tree.

Dakuan tries to dissuade him, but he runs off after her and find her in an abandoned building. When she awakens, she attacks Jubei, with a disembodied voice goading her on. Jubei has to allow Kagero to stab his wrist so he can block the incoming spring-loaded claw from the shadow. He throws his sword toward the shadow, and he impales Shijima in the back.

Shijima falls down, dead, and Kagero snaps out of her trance.

Two hours later, the Koga army hasn’t arrived, and Kagero wonders why Jubei stepped into an obvious trap to save her. He tells her that she’s his comrade, since they’ve worked together since the day before. Kagero then tells him that she has to pay back the debt, and insists that she do so now.

She strips, and tells him that the antidote for his poison is another poison, and that she can save him, if he sleeps with her. He refuses, and leaves to intercept the Shogun of the Dark’s forces.

Yurimaru attacks

Jubei meets up with Dakuan, and plans to sink the ship when it’s fully loaded and out to sea. The Mochizuki have apparently decided to intervene, but the chamberlain stabs Kagero, and transforms into Gemma. Jubei attacks, but the ninja horde stands in his way. Yurimaru asks for the honour of killing Jubei, and Gemma lets him.

Yurimaru leads Jubei into a warehouse, where he strings him up and electrocutes him. Yurimaru notices a rat scurrying about, and then it collapses. He sees the sutured cut on its belly, and the gunpowder on the ground, and then the rat explodes.

Yurimaru’s dismembered arm falls into the water, and Zakuro picks it up. She muses that he “accidentally” walked into her trap, and now he’s “Queen of the Devils.” Jubei finds the dying Kagero, who is glad that she found someone who treated her as a person, and not an expendable soldier.

She expresses her wish that they could have made love just once, and then they kiss just before she dies. Her kiss possesses enough venom to kill a man, therefore enough venom to counteract the poison. Setting her adrift on a funeral boat, Jubei takes her headband and tears the arms off his shirt.

Avenging Kagero

Gemma meets the leader of the Toyotomi ninja, and declares that the Devils of Kimon (of which only two remain at this point, himself and Zakuro) will take the gold and build a ninja army to terrorize Japan, and not even the Shogun of the Dark can stop them. Zakuro finds Dakuan rooting about in the hold, and he throws one of his gourds at her.

She cuts it in half, spraying liquid on her and the floor. Dakuan grabs a candle, but she puts it out. Jubei appears with another lit candle, and ignites the flammable oil, immolating Zakuro. Her gunpowder also explodes, breaching the hull and setting alight the ship’s interior.

Gemma enters the hold and finds Jubei, and they fight to the death. Jubei cuts Gemma’s arm off, but Gemma still manages to throw Jubei a beating before reattaching it. Jubei headbutts Gemma repeatedly with such force as to collapse Gemma’s face and skull, but Gemma heals and stands up.

Even when the ceiling crashes down on him, Gemma stands up, impaled on a wooden beam. He pounds on Jubei, proclaiming that he can’t die. Jubei then stabs him and cuts upward, splitting him in half from the belly up. Gemma again recovers, but a river of liquid gold flows over him.

He grabs onto Jubei climbing to safety, but Jubei cuts his arm off, and Gemma falls into the molten metal, sinking to the bottom of the sea frozen in a shell of gold.

Epilogue

Later Jubei gets himself in a middle of a battle between the Kimon Clan and the Hiruko Clan. He meets up with Shigure, a young lady whose village was destroyed by the Kimon Clan. Around the time that that happened, Jubei was given a Dragon Stone which he must give to the Light Maiden, Shigure.

After her village was destroyed, Shigure meets up with a thief, Tsubute, and Dakuan, from the Ninja Scroll film. With Jubei, Tsubute and Dakuan, she must find out why both the Kimon and the Hiruko Clan are after her and why the Dragon Stone she carries is so important to them.


Description

Jubei is a reasonably attractive yet drab-looking slightly larger than average Japanese man. He commonly dresses in a dark green junbi with simple sandals and a straw hat, which is more or less typically how the peasants of his time dress. He commonly carries a katana as a ronin  would with it slung over his left shoulder.

His attitude and mannerisms are typical of the ronin (masterless samurai) of his day. Most of the time he can be seen with a bored look on his face as he rarely shows much emotion. He seems totally casual about almost everything he encounters no matter how bizarre.

Jubei’s facial features, skin tone and curly hair have led to fan speculation that he is at least partially of Ainu descent.


Personality

Jubei has wholeheartedly adopted the ronin persona. He is extremely casual in most of his dealings even when they mean life or death. He quite often plays up the fact that he is nothing more than a wandering vagabond whose only concern is finding food and a bed for the next day’s journey. While this is far from the truth it is often how he comes off.

Jubei is a man who is haunted by a past he can never seem to escape. It is unknown what he did in his early life although what is known is that he became a great warrior whose skills are constantly in demand.

Try as he might he cannot escape this. He would be happier off if the rest of world would just forget about his skills and reputation. Years ago he was forced to kill his friends due to the machinations of Genma. He was forced to kill them both to keep secret the gold mines which Genma was plotting to use to finance his war, and possibly because his superior skills made him a threat.

Other traits

Jubei seems quite happy as being perceived as the insignificant lowest form of life in his society because it allows him some small measure of freedom to stay out of the politics that have deprived him of everything. He does occasionally do good deeds when given the opportunity – although he would never admit to it.

Although he is technically a mercenary Jubei cares little for money and luxury comforts. A simple bed and bowl of rice are often good enough for him.

Although he rarely display emotion he has shown himself to be a passionate man on occasion particularly in the case of Genma and Kakero. The mere sight Genma is likely to make him fly into an uncontrollable homicidal rage. Kakero he seemed to truly love even though they were only together for a short time.

This sort of affection likely stemmed from the fact that he was able to understand how the ruling class can easily take away from a person everything you love and everything that makes you human only to be used as a pawn in their machinations.


Quotes

(Facing Tessai, who’s turned himself into stone)
Tessai: “What now ? You regret not running away ?”
Jubei: “No… as a mater of fact, I’ve been thinking about your body”
Tessai: *Growls*
Jubei: “Seems to me that your body can’t be as hard as a rock all over, now can it ?” (Jubei flings a knife into Tessai’s eye)

(While being pummelled by a stone golem)
Jubei: “No, I know the way now so leave me alone, OK ?”
Tessai: “Not quite the right direction. The road to hell is — RIGHT HERE !”

Jubei: “It hurts. That makes us even doesn’t it ? Let’s just call it quits.”
Tessai: “Not until you have payed your debt.”
Jubei: “That’s not very smart. Don’t you think that if we keep this up one of us is going to die ?”
Tessai: “One of us.Yes.”
Jubei: “There’s no reason we should kill each other. That’s the only reasonable answer, isn’t it ?”
Tessai: “Answer this !” (Throws his sword at Jubei)

Dakuan (about Jubei’s skills): “Splendid ! Your blade flew as fast as the wind and cut your enemy down. Of course you didn’t defeat him entirely on your own. The ninja girl uses a very interesting technique.”

Zakuro: “Ruin your plan ?”
Jubei: “Not at all.” (Proceeds to light her on fire and ignite the gun powder she’s carrying.)

Jubei: “Genma ! Did you miss the flames of hell ? Is that why you came here ?”
Genma: “I should have finished you off years ago when I had the chance.”
Jubei: “I thought rats usually leave a sinking ship.”

Genma: “I won’t let you die before I torture you enough. To pay me back. To pay me back for my destroyed dream.”
Jubei: “Your dream ? Of becoming the only true Shogun of the dark. That’s a laugh. If you became a shogun there’d be nothing left, but demons of in this world. If you so miss the company of demons you’d better hurry back to hell Genma !”


DC Universe History

Jubei wouldn’t really fit into the DCU or most other continuities all that well. He’s best left as is in his own era of old Japan. However if that is what your campaign is based around then surely he’s a must have.


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Jubei Kibagami

Dex: 09 Str: 03 Bod: 06 Motivation: Unwanted Power
Int: 09 Wil: 08 Min: 07 Occupation: Wanderer
Inf: 04 Aur: 06 Spi: 07 Resources {or Wealth}: 001
Init: 23 HP: 100

Powers:
Projectile Weapons: 05

Bonuses and Limitations:
Projectile Weapons is a Skilled Power and only be used if he has a katana with a scabard to perform his iaijustu move. It also has Area Effect (0 APs)

Skills:
Acrobatics (climbing, dodging)*: 09, Animal Handling (animal riding): 04, Charisma (persuasion): 08, Martial Artist: 08, Military Science (danger recognition, tracking): 08, Thief (stealth)*: 09, Weaponry (melee, missile): 11

Bonuses and Limitations:
Charisma can only be used in combat to perform a Dupe manuever.

Advantages:
Intensive Training, Iron Nerves, Lightning Reflexes, Notoriety, Sharp Eye, Shtick (fast draw {iaijutsu}, stance assessment)

Connections:
Dakuon (low), Hiroku Clan (low), Shigure (high), Tsubete (low)

Bonuses and Limitations:
Although Jubei has these connections he is unlikely to ever call upon them particularly in the case of Dakuon whom he openly despises. The only possible exception might be Shigure whom he seems to have somewhat of a daughterly affection towards.

Drawbacks:
Enemy ({both powerful} Genma, Kimon Clan), Mistrust, Secret Identity, CIH (Genma), Trouble Magnet

Bonuses and Limitations:
Jubei’s Secret Identity, Notoriety, and Mistrust function differently. If Jubei’s Secret Identity is revealed then people may have different reactions to it. Depending on their motivation some may act with Mistrust and attack him and some may act with Notoriety and seek to procure his skills. Others may be indifferent.

Regardless of his Secret ID being compromised it will not stay this way. At the start of the next adventure things will return to normal unless the characters where previously aware of who he really is. Jubei’s wind cutting blade attack is fairly distinctive so anyone who sees him use it automatically gets a 5/5 perception check for insight as to who he really is.

Genre:
Gritty

Equipment:

  • Katana [BODY 08, EV 05 (09 w/Martial Artist)] His katana also has a nearly imperceptible (10/10 to spot it) line attached to it that allows him to retrieve it if it’s lost. The line is 3 APs long and is capable of supporting at least 3APs of weight.
  • Throwing knives [BODY 03, EV 03, Range: 03, Grenade drawback]

Previous Statistics

During the events of the Ninja Scroll movie his HPs would have been reduced to 75 and his projectile weapons ability would have been seriously marginal.

Also during the events of the Ninja Scroll movie he would have had a SPR due to the poison that Dakuan administered. Basically every 2D10 APs of time he gets a -2 penalty to all actions for 1D10 rounds and his movement is reduced to 3APs. He also would have had a high connection with Kagero when she was still alive.

By Tom Eilers

Source of Character: Ninja Scroll Movie and TV Series

Helper(s): Wikipedia, Sébastien Andrivet, Civanfan, Kal El el Vigilante

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