Ninja Scroll is a 1993 anime movie.
It was 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 and sexual themes – Ninja Scroll had a fair bit of 1990s sexism, sadism and luridness.
- Real Name: Kagero.
- Known Relatives: None.
- Group Affiliation: Mochizuki Clan, Koga Ninja.
- Base of Operations: Mobile in Edo era Japan.
- Height: 5’6” (1.67m). Weight: 125 lbs. (57 Kg.).
- Eyes: Brown. Hair: Black.
Powers and Abilities
Kagero was born with complete immunity to poison. However, her entire organism is poisonous.
This prevents any sort of intimacy, and some physical interactions. Even kissing would result in fatal poisoning. Kagero’s toxins proved strong enough to take down a superhuman foe.
In some circumstances, Kagero’s bodily secretions can be used to destroy other toxins.
Kagero is a highly trained and disciplined member of the Koga Ninja.
She’s still inexperienced and certainly not a world beater like Jubei and some of the other Devils of Kimon. But she is a highly competent fighter.
She could briefly engage superhumans without being killed off like most of the mook ninja.
Kagero was presumably raised to be a Koga Ninja who served the Michizuki Clan.
From a young age she showed a strong resistance to poisons. She therefore became a food taster, sampling the nobility’s food to make sure it was safe.
Alongside with a mithridatismIngesting small doses of poison to gradually become immune. process, she was trained as a ninja.
Demons at Shimoda
She was first seen when Hanza and his team investigated the Shimoda village massacre. It seemed that Kagero and Hanza had feelings for one another.
The team was immediately attacked by unknown enemies. They were quickly wiped out, mostly by a giant flying double sword.
Hanza located the thrower, but the giant stone humanoid was impervious to their weapons. The creature ripped both of his arms off and drank his blood.
A shaken Kagero attempted to flee by leaping from tree to tree. But the monster again threw its sword to clear the branches, caught her and raped her.
Jubei, who was passing through, stumbled upon this. He distracted the monster by throwing a small dart into his eye. This bought enough time for both Kagero and Jubei to flee.
The two parted ways. She made her way back to the Chamberlain of the Mochizuki Clan to report.
Kagero was ordered to investigate further, which she did without hesitation.
Enter the Eight Devils of Kimon
Meanwhile, Jubei was at a Buddhist temple. An old woman told him that a plague was wiping out the villagers, and he should leave.
Finding her suspicious, Jubei was on guard when her face exploded into a pit of venomous snakes. He could react in time and hack her in half. But hundreds of snakes, apparently commanded by a strange and mostly naked woman, came from the rafters and trapped him.
Jubei was saved by the timely arrival of Kagero. She held her sword to the snake controller’s throat and ordered her to free Jubei. But one more snake slithered out of the strange woman’s genitals and bit Kagero.
Ignoring the venom, Kagero doubled down on her threats and forced the snakes to retreat. However, her hostage was then suddenly electrocuted.
As they left, Jubei tried to suck the poison out of Kagero’s wound. She kneed him in the face, thus saving him – and told him she was immune.
Later the two met up with Dakuan. This ninja had poisoned Jubei, and forced him to work for him in exchange for antidotes.
While at an abandoned house, the trio was attacked by a horde of killer wasps. The situation wasn’t going well, and Kagero used flower petals mixed with an anesthetic that she had prepared. Jubei again attempted to save her despite her protests.
Kagero took Jubei atop a cliff so he could survey the land. But to her shock, they ran into Hanza. He still lived, but missing his arms and with his eyes and mouth sewed shut. Kagero sought to save him, but Jubei sensed that it was a trap.
Another ninja released a load of gun powder that turned Hanza into a human bomb. Jubei tackled Kagero off the clifftop.&
This saved them both, but them left hanging from a branch. Kagero told Jubei to let her fall and save himself, as she felt responsible for falling into the Hanza trap.
Jubei refused. The two would have fallen to their death, but a blind samurai saved them. However, he was another of the Devils of Kimon. He challenged Jubei to a duel.
The two fighters seemed evenly matched. But the samurai blinded Jubei by reflecting light off his katana. Kagero intervened, but her enemy dodged and she stuck her sword into a large bamboo stalk.
While she evaded the counterattack, Jubei recovered some of his sight. He used Kagero’s lodged-in wakizashi as a parry aid, and ran the samurai through with his katana.
An exhausted Kagero then passed out, and Jubei took her to a small cave for shelter. She angrily retorted that she didn’t need his help, but he simply brushed her off.
The pair then investigated a ship wreck. Dakuan, who just kind of showed up, informed them that the cargo had been gold that had a tie to Jubei’s past.
Jubei noticed that they were followed by a shadow-manipulating ninja. He hacked off one of his legs, but the spy still got away. Kagero sent an alert to her clan using a whistle and a trained falcon.
She then demanded that Dakuan give her the antidote to Jubei’s poison, but was shocked by his answer.
This allowed the shadow ninja to capture her. He carved a ransom demand into a tree. Against Dakuan’s ardent protests, Jubei followed these instructions.
While expecting a trap, Jubei was shocked when Kagero — controlled by the shadow ninja’s magic — attacked him. But he dodged a claw-on-a-chain fired by the ninja’s crossbow, located the spy and slew him by throwing his katana. This released Kagero from his control.
Misunderstandings and treasons
Kagero tended to the unconscious Jubei’s wounds. When he awoke, she offered to have sex. Exposing Jubei to her body’s secretions would destroy Dakuan’s poisons in his organism.
But Jubei misunderstood, thinking that she sought to repay her debt, and declined. This disappointed Kagero, who had developed legitimate feelings for him.
The Mochizuki Clan then entered the harbor in force. Kagero presented herself to the chamberlain, but he stabbed her in the back, both literally and figuratively. He was actually Genma, the true villain of the series.
Jubei flew into a rage. He slaughtered dozens of ninja and killed another Devil of Kimon to reach the wounded Kagero. She died professing her love for him – as he had treated her like a person rather than an expandable agent.
She gave Jubei her headband and kissed him – which destroyed Dakuan’s poison within Jubei’s body.
Jubei brutally avenged her and slew Genma. The final scene of the movie showed him slowly walking away with Kagero’s headband attached to his katana.
A beautiful, pale-skinned Japanese women in her prime. She wears her hair short for practicality in the field.
She typically wears:
- A dark blue kimono with red trim, shortened to miniskirt length.
- A blue headband with a small ruby in the middle.
- White gloves.
- Tabi soled socks, typical of the Edo era.
- No underwear, which I guess is also historically accurate.
Kagero is a tragic character. While she pretends to be all business on the outside it is clear that she is not the unstoppable ninja killing machine she pretends to be.
Kagero has a difficult time seeing herself as a person. She has been treated as nothing more than a disposable tool her entire life.
Her unwavering devotion to her ninja group and to Mochizuki Clan led her to take near suicidal risks. Yet this loyalty is very one sided. The clan as a whole could care less about her wellbeing and happiness.
Jubei was the first person to treat her a woman. This startled her at first. But over time she started to develop feelings for him due to his compassion.
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 do gaining what little acceptance she can as an expendable ninja operative.
(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 recklessly 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 throat).
Jubei (totally unfazed): “I hate those who think so little of their own worth.” (walks away)
(Kagero collapses and bursts into tears).
DC Universe Adaptation
(This section proposes ways of using this character in DC Universe stories).
Kagero’s character could be adapted to a more modern setting, as long as she doesn’t play in the big leagues. Perhaps she could be a foil to Poison Ivy ?
DC Heroes RPG
|Dex: 06||Str: 02||Bod: 04|
|Int: 06||Wil: 07||Min: 05|
|Inf: 04||Aur: 06||Spi: 05|
|Init: 023||HP: 030|
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.
Acrobatics (Climbing, dodging)*: 06, Animal Handling (Birds): 03, Military Science (Danger recognition, tracking)*: 06, Thief (Stealth)*: 06, Weaponry (Melee, missile)*: 06
Attractive, Intensive Training, Lightning Reflexes.
Mochizuki Clan (Low), Koga Ninja (High), Jubei (High).
MPI (emotional breakdowns).
Unwanted Power / Upholding the Mochizuki Clan.
N/A. Her clan will give her anything reasonable to accoplish a mission, but nothing else.
- Wakisashi [BODY 04, Enhance (EV): 02 (cap is 05), Descriptor: Slashing and/or piercing].
- Throwing knives [BODY 03, Enhance (EV): 01 (cap is 04), Limited Penetration, Descriptor: Piercing, Slashing].
Source of Character: Ninja Scroll Movie.
Wikipedia, Sébastien Andrivet, Darci.
Writeup revised on the 15th of March, 2023.