- Imai Nobume is a female member and a part of the assassination unit of the Mimawarigumi. She is also the vice captain of the Mimawarigumi, which gave her a relatively huge role in the Baragaki Arc, in which she appeared as the secondary main antagonist.
Not much is known about Nobume. She was trained as professional assassin and joined the Mimawarigumi at some point. Before that, she served the Naraku and was named one of the Naraku Three at a very young age. She also had a connection to Yoshida Shouyou and therefore knows what Shouyou was like before his death.
She has dark blue hair, dark crimson eyes with a unique Mimawarigumi uniform consisting of a greatcoat and shorts. She was trained as an assassin and has "the eyes of a murderer", as she stated during her fight against Okita Sougo.Nobume has a Yatagarasu tattoo behind her neck, which is constantly covered by her long hair.
She is, just like Sougo, 18 years old and very young for a police officer of her level.
Mostly Nobume is emotionless in both her facial expression and speech. She is sadistic and likes to cut people down. According to Isaburo she kills everyone in the vicinity once she switches into her assassin mode. She can seem to be a quiet person but can get pretty talkative if the situation demands it to. She seems to like to cut people who are knocked unconscious, to hide evidence that might get her into trouble saying it's faster to cut them up, which often results in either Gintoki or Tsukuyo trying to stop her ,saying that her way is too fast.
Her favorite food is donuts. She becomes so obsessive to the point where she uses violence to get them. She can seem pretty lazy also at certain times when she has to listen to boring stories and conversations.
Strength & Abilities
Master Swordmanship: She was raised as a samurai and an assassin, depicted to be an extremely powerful swordswoman presumably even more powerful than Kyuubei. Her sword appears to be a Nodachi but it turned out to be a regular sized Katana while a small tantō concealed at the end of her scabbard. She uses a 2 sword fighting style. Kondo Isao has compared her to the grim reaper, every strike she makes is lethal and capable of killing anyone if it hits. She is the strongest female character in the series. She also has very high endurance,as she survived having a building crashing down with her in it with only minor scratches.
Nobume is also very skillful in imitating people voices, like when she was voicing the Shogun, she can also judge a person by looking at his eye. Despite Sougou's cute appearance, she was able to tell that he's a sadistic murderer just by looking at his eyes. She was also able to see the sorrow in Gintoki's and Takasugi's eyes.
Friends & Allies
- Sasaki Isaburo: Her commander. He seems to know anything about her, including how to 'lure' Nobume to come out from under the rubble after her fight with Sougo. Isaburo calls her Nobutasu. She seems to be quite loyal to Isaburo as she claims that she would go along with him if he decides to tag along with Takasugi Shinsuke.
- Soyo Hime: She was ordered to protect Soyohime when the castle was heavily guarded. She and Soyo Hime are on good terms and Nobume would sleep with Soyo Hime whenever she gets scared at night.
- Sakata Gintoki: Isaburo said that Gintoki's influence on Nobume has started to change her. In the end she even went against her commanders orders, allowing Rotten Maizou to go to Yoshiwara.
- Kagura: They seem to have a close friendship and same rivalry with Sougo. Shinpachi notes that she and Kagura alongside Soyo Hime are the "Sisterhood Sadist Three"
- Oboro: Nobume knows Oboro from her past, as they were both part of the Naraku. Even before Oboro revealed his face to the rebels, Nobume knew it was him when she infiltrated Tokugawa Sada Sada's palace. She possesses extensive knowledge about Oboro's combat skills as well as his position in the Naraku. Later Oboro called Nobume by her former name Mukuro and reminded her of her past as one of the Naraku Three. During their last conversation, Oboro implied that, because Nobume decided to side with Takasugi, one of them is going to die the next time they meet.
- Okita Sougo: Nobume and Sougo are rivals. They fought each other when a fight between the Shinsengumi and the Mimawarigumi broke out. Though due to their sadistic similarities, they completely ignored the point of the fight and merely wished to fight each other to the death.
She first appeared in the Mimawarigumi arc when Sasaki Tetsunosuke was captured by the "Check it Out gang". When Hijikata Toushirou tried to draw out his sword, Nobume instantly prepared for an attack until Okita Sougo intervened.
She was killing the gang members in the abadoned buildings until she was stopped by Sougou, who realized that Nobume was not after Sasaki Tetsunosuke's head, but after his. They were trying to kill each other until they had a S&M competition using the gang as victims.
While Nobume and Sougo resumed their fight, it turned into a chase. Sougou kept dodging her attacks while running away while Nobume cut down the pillars of the building every time she failed to hit Sougou. When Sougou then cut down one of the few remaining pillars, he revealed that having her cutting down the pillars was his plan from the very start. Sougo left the building after it collapsed as Nobume was burried under the rubble. Though hours later Isaburo managed to lure her out, revealing that Nobume survived.
Courtesan of a Nation Arc
Her second appearance was when Yorozuya and Tsukuyo enters the Shogun castle, the castle was heavily guarded by the Mimawarigumi due to the recent Bakufu assasinations. Nobume was tasked protecting Soyo Hime.
While Yorozuya and Tsukuyo encounters Isaburo, Isaburo orderd Nobume to keep an eye on them especially on Gintoki. Gintoki, Shinpanchi and Tsukuyo tried to think of a way to get to the former shogun without attention and they they came up with kick the can game. By using the hide and seek rule, they can reach the former shogun. Rotten Maizou said its improper to kick can and suggested kicking him instead. Nobume who saw this will not allow kicking the can or Maizou but suggested cutting him. She decided to join the game but changed the rule into cutting down people who she'll find. Kick the can game resulted however, in Tokugawa Shige Shige's unconsciousness.
Not long after, Sada Sada wanted to talk with Shige Shige. Nobume and Tsukuyo pretended they were Shige Shige's lovers. Sada Sada bought it, but wanted to discuss with Shogun anyway, so Gintoki had to move Shogun around as if he was conscious throuh ventrilloquism. When Tsukuyo asked Sada Sada about Suzuran the place guards came and arrest them when Sada Sada frames them for murdering the Bakufu.
Being sent in a prison cell with Yorozuya and Tsukuyo, Sougo came and ate donuts in front of Nobume where she gets violent and steals the donut alongside with Kagura. Nobume reveals that the guards from earlier were no orninary guards but an Naraku guards. After hearing the truth from Soyo's bedtime story, Shinsengumi let's them out and heads over where Sada Sada is located. Before joining Gintoki, Kagura, Shinpachi and Tsukuyo, She warned the Shinsengumi that once they joined, there's no hopes of going back. Hijikata replied to her. Sougo, on the other hand, walks towards her and commented on her given state, stating that he could kill her here immediately and called her "Murderer." (Geshunin) which he and Imai reacts by drawing their swords to seemingly attack each other. Kondo gave a gasped, but then Sougo and Imai later shown that they killed two naraku Agents who is on the rooftop. She gave them a advice, saying that they have no allies in the palace and says that forget about being black or white, Mimawarigumi or Shinsengumi, and walked away to join Gintoki's gang, while Sougo watches her go away and giving her a smirk. On the way, Nobume and Kagura pretends to take Soyo as a hostage to able to go through the Shogun guards as Soyo happily goes along with it. Later on though the group breaks through the guards with force and enters the Bakufu castle.
When Nobume and others reaches to Sada Sada location, she's sees Maizou being thrown to the ground. Nobume decides to help Tsukuyo and Gintoki while Shinpachi and Kagura helps take care of Maizou.
Almost defeated by the Naraku guards, Isaburo and the other Mimawaragumi members came to help. Nobume receives a donut by Isaburo for good work but takes it in a animal way. While Gintoki plans to go after Sada Sada and Oboro, Nobume decides to go along with him as well as Tsukuyo.
Gintoki, Tsukuyo and Nobume were in three separate location while disguising themselves as Naraku agents. She was located at the ship generators cutting in half as the ship exploded.
After Sada Sada was sent in prison and killed by Takasugi, Nobume encounter with Oboro where it reveals that she was a Naraku member during her childhood. She tells Oboro that she will follow Takasugi alongside with Isaburo. Oboro replies that they'll be enemies if they see each other again. Oboro ask if Takasugi and Gintoki were the same. Nobume replies that Takasugi will destroy what Shouyo left and that Gintoki will protect what he has left but that the both of them have both sorrowful eyes.
After the event Nobume kicked the can thinking that it flew all the way to Yoshiwara. She let's Maizou to be reunited with Suzuran only going against her commander's orders.
|Fight||Outcome||Time it Occurred|
|Okita Sougo vs. Imai Nobume||Interrupted||Episode 246|
|Tsukuyo and Imai Nobume vs. Naraku Agents||Interrupted|
- She is roughly based on ex-Mimawarigumi, member Imai Noburo. Imai Noburo had confessed that he was involved in the assassination of Sakamoto Ryoma with Tadasaburo and others.
- Nobume share some similarities with Akame from Akame Ga Kill! They both were trained as assassins when they were very young,they both left a corrupted Government/Empire to join a rebel army (although Nobume is in the Miwamarigumi who are police officers secretly in alliance with Takasugi)they both would kill their assigned targets without hesitation,both are skilled swordwomen and both of them have an unhealthy obsession of their favourite foods.(donuts for Nobume and meat for Akame)
- (To Okita Sougo) "I knew you weren't a cop. You have the eyes of a murderer... just like me."
- (To Okita Sougo) "Never sheath your sword until you've dispatched your target. Isn't that right, murderer?"
- (To Shimura Shinpachi) "As a survivor of the Mimawarigumi, it is my duty to fulfill my mission. Also, I get to cut people up."
- (To Tokugawa Sada Sada ) "The criminal here is you. All your crimes till now have been witnessed by me, Vice-Captain of the Mimawarigumi, Imai Nobume. Tokugawa Sada Sada, you're under arrest for the assassination of Bakufu officials."
- (To Tsukuyo) "It's alright to cut down who I want now... right?"
- (To Sakata Gintoki) "Time for the last stage, huh? I won't let you hog the glory. The last bite of a donut is always the best."
- (To Oboro) "Isaburo said he would go along with that man's foolish dream... so I will do the same."
- (To Oboro) "They weren't like him. One was trying to protect Shoyo's legacy. The other was trying to destroy Shoyo's legacy. However, they had one thing in common. They both had sorrow in their eyes."