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Kagero (Ninja Scroll)

Kagero


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

Here is the tragic ninja girl with a poison body, but without a poison soul !


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.

Kagero is one of the main characters in the story, along with the hero Jubei Kubagami/Kepagami (depending upon the rendering).

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


Background

  • Real Name: Kagero
  • Marital Status: Forever tragically single
  • Known Relatives: None
  • Group Affiliation: Mochizuki Clan, Koga Ninja
  • Base Of Operations: Mobile in Japan
  • Height: 5’6” Weight: 125 Lbs
  • Eyes: Brown Hair: Black


Powers and Abilities

Kagero was born with complete immunity to poison. However just because she is immune to poison does not mean others are. ”Poison has seeped into every part of her being.” Therefore she can never live life as a normal woman would.

On top of that she is a highly trained and disciplined member of the Koga Ninja. However her twisted fate has taken a toll on her fragile psyche…


History

A team of Koga Ninja is sent to investigate a plague in Shimoda village. 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. However, an interloper comes in who does not seem terrified of the fact that he can turn his skin to stone. The interloper, a ninja vagabond named Jubei, puts out one of the giant’s eyes with a dart and escapes with Kagero.

The giant ambushes Jubei 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. The blade thus 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.”

鬼門八人衆

Several other strange characters are concerned with the stone man’s death. These include the well-dressed man Yurimaru, who calls the giant Tessai, and the scarred, explosives-wielding Zakuro, who lusts for Yurimaru, even though Yurimaru is gay (or Shudo) 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.

As they boat down a river, Dakuan asks Jubei if he killed the chief retainers to the Yamashiro clan five years before, and leader of the Yamashiro ninja, Himuro Gemma, who were 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 escaped into the branches, camouflaging himself. A man rises out of the shadow, muses that nobody could escape “Shijima’s claw,” and sinks back down.

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), and 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, and at the other end Yurimaru admonishes Benisato for her failure and disintegrates the wire while Jubei and Kagero follow it.

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.

Yurimaru, Zakuro, and two other Devils gather to figure out how to defeat the man who killed Tessai.
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 three of them. 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, how 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 claims human beings cannot achieve such control. 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 she 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. 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 and Jubei falls down tumbling and Mujuro is about to strike down on Jubei, 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.

Thus, 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, which the Shogun of the Dark will use to topple the Tokugawa and initiate a 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. He finds her in an abandoned building, but when she awakens, she attacks him, 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.

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 posses 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.

Here died an unfortunate girl who was never able to live a normal life.


Description

Kagero is a beautiful well proportioned pale skinned Japanese woman in her prime. She cut her hair short to participate in missions with the Koga Ninja. She typically wears a dark blue Kimono with red trim shortened to miniskirt length. She also wears a blue head band, white gloves, leggings and sandals typical of that era.


Personality

Kagero is a tragic character. While she pretends to be all buisness on the outside it is clear that she is not the unstopable ninja killing machine she pretends to be.

Buried deep down inside her is a sweet girl who sincerely wants to live a normal life. As this is not possible with her poisoned body she makes due gaining what little acceptance she can as a ninja warrior who is completely expendable.

All this changes when she meets Jubei. If you want to know more then see the movie.


Quotes

(Kagero knees Jubei in the face after he tries to suck the poison out of snake bite)
Jubei: “Stupid I was going to suck the poison out.”
Kagero: “Venom doesn’t work on me. I’m immune.”

Jubei: “So what’s on your twisted mind this time ?”
Takuan: “[Kagero] has the technique of poisoning any man she sleeps with. In fact the man that you thought you killed before was poisoned by her. Any man who makes love to her dies, so you see, she’s perfect for this amoral world.”

Jubei (angry with Kagero for wrecklessly coming to his aid in a sword fight): “What’s wrong with you ? Haven’t you had enough ? Is it because of your body ? Is it true that any man that sleeps with you dies ?”
Kagero: “You’ll know if you try to sleep with me.”
(Jubei tries to kiss her)
Kagero: “No you fool ! Poison has seeped into every part of my being. There’s enough poison in my lips to kill a man. No one can ever touch me.”
Jubei: “Is you heart filled with poison as well ?”
Kagero: “How dare you !” (retrieves her wakizashi and attacks him, but stops just short of cutting his through)
Jubei (totally unfased): “I hate those who think so little of their own worth.” (walks away)
(Kagero collapses and bursts into tears)


DC Universe History

Kagero’s character could be adapted to a more modern setting for a number of reasons as long as she doesn’t play in the big leagues. Perhaps she could be a foil to Poison Ivy ?


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Kagero

Dex: 06 Str: 02 Bod: 04 Motivation: Unwanted Power / Upholding the Mochizuki Clan
Int: 06 Wil: 07 Min: 05 Occupation: Koga Ninja
Inf: 04 Aur: 06 Spi: 05 Resources {or Wealth}: N/A (here clan will give her anything reasonable to accoplish a mission, but nothing else)
Init: 023 HP: 030

Powers:
Poison Touch: 08, Systemic Antidote: 08

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Systemic Antidote is usable by another but only if they are already poisoned. In such cases her poison will destroy the other poison (+1)
  • Poison Touch is always on (-1), but ineffective unless the target comes into contact with her bodily fluids or kisses her (-1)
  • Poison touch has a time delay of about 1 hour

Skills:
Acrobatics (climbing, dodging)*: 06, Animal Handling (birds): 03, Military Science (danger recognition, tracking)*: 06, Thief (stealth)*: 06, Weaponry (melee, missile)*: 06

Advantages:
Intensive Training, Lightning Reflexes, Sharp Eye

Connections:
Mochizuki Clan (low), Koga Ninja (high), Jubei (high)

Genre:
Gritty

Drawbacks:
MPI

Equipment:

  • Wakasashi [BODY 06, EV 04]
  • Throwing knives [BODY 03, EV 03, Range: 03, Grenade drawback]

By Tom Eilers

Source of Character: Ninja Scroll Movie

Helper(s): Wikipedia, Sébastien Andrivet

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