Oboro (朧, Oboro) was the leader of the Tensho School during the absent of the founder, Utsuro, and also the strongest assassin within the Tenshouin Naraku branch. He reappears as a major antagonist in the series following his introduction in the Courtesan of a Nation Arc.
As a child, Oboro home was attacked by the Naraku and his entire family was killed and, although traumatised by the incident, he managed to remain hidden for a while until he was discovered by one of the assassins and received severe injures. With their job seemingly done, the Naraku set the building on fire and left Oboro for dead, but the young boy managed to crawl outside with his last bit of strength.
Seeing him on the brink of death, the founder and leader of the Naraku, Utsuro (who's personality was that of Yoshida Shouyou at the time) couldn't bare to let him die and so, as a first 'atonement for [his] sins', the immortal
cut open his arm and gave the dying child some of his Altana rich blood so that he could survive and 'hate [him] as long as [he] would live'.
Oboro ended up staying with Shouyou and helped him with doing household chores. Shouyou only wanted him to stay until his wounds were healed and signalized that the Naraku took everything from him, and that staying at that place more than necessary wouldn't do him any good, since it would only lead to him becoming an assassin. Despite that, Oboro insists on serving his "savior", the man who 'gave life to one unworthy of it'. It's implied that Oboro never had a reason to live, often calling himself "unworthy", meaning he was likely held as a slave or that no one truly cared for him until he found Shouyou.
Oboro wished for Shouyou to become his master, but he [Shouyou] tells him that someone like him, with his tainted hands that have taken so much from people, is only good at teaching people how to become weapons of death as that's the only thing he knows. Oboro tries to convince Shouyou that he's wrong and that if his words were truth, he [Oboro] would've become an assassin long ago, but Shouyou taught him different things, so he [Shouyou] can't be a bad person.
Suddenly, Shouyou disappears, and the Naraku are alarmed to find their leader. Apparently, he stopped following his obligations as an assassin, and as someone who fled the group, he was automatically declared a target. Oboro frantically searches for Shouyou and soon after, Shouyou calls for him, sitting on a tree, and says he is happy Oboro left the Naraku as well. Oboro feels guilty for being the reason Shouyou is being hunted down, but luckily it turns out that Shouyou has made up his mind to become a teacher; saying he's had this idea in his mind long before he found him [Oboro], but that Oboro is the reason he decided to finally do it. With that, Oboro and Shouyou decide to leave Naraku and create the Shouka Sonjuku, with Oboro becoming Shouyou's first and best disciple, and soon more people begin joining them. Oboro smiles and tells him that he can't wait for that time to come.
Both try to hide from the Naraku, but no matter where they hide, the Naraku are always one step behind them; even with Shouyou building traps to halt - but not kill - their pursuers as he promised to protect Oboro - since he didn't want his first disciple to kill others. However, seeing that he would only be a burden to his new mentor, Oboro takes a katana and stab himself before appearing in front of the Naraku and telling them he assited in Shouyou's escape, but when he [Shouyou] found out they couldn't escape, he tried to get rid of Oboro. He shows the Naraku the wrong way of Shouyou's route, but they quickly find out he's been lying to them, since someone like Shouyou wouldn't have a hard time killing a child like Oboro. The pursuers stab Oboro, and while they do that, Shouyou - probably after waking up and searching for Oboro - sees what happens from far away. Oboro says that Shouyou didn't fail to kill him, he just didn't intend to kill him. He said that "sensei" will no longer kill anyone, and he wouldn't let anyone else be killed. With his last strength, he throws a short sword at the rope Shouyou used to prepare his trap. As the rocks fall, Oboro mentally apologises to Shouyou, telling him he broke their promise. He says that ever since Shouyou saved him, he decided he was dead and that he would throw his life away for Shouyou's sake. Unless he protected his sensei's will and the disciples he's not met yet as well, he couldn't call himself his first disciple. As he says that he's sure Shouyou will take care of their school, he gets buried under the rocks. While all this happens, Shouyou, who is still shocked from what Oboro does for him, runs to reach his hand for his disciple, but even though he runs with all his might, he is too far away and can't reach him in time. Assuming he's dead, Shouyou turns away, but Oboro survived thanks to the Altana blood he received, thinking it a sign to continue devoting himself to Shouyou. The Naraku erased his betrayal and took him in, and Oboro made efforts that the Naraku would stay away from Shouyou. He soldified his status to make it easier for him to maneuver them and also went against the teachings of Shouyou, staining his hands with blood. He didn't care if he couldn't be by Shouyou's side as long he could protect him and his will. During a walk, which happens to be near the Shouka Sonjuku, he sees Shouyou and his disciples (Sakata Gintoki, Katsura Kotarou and Takasugi Shinsuke) walking out of the school. He has the imagination that he walks next to Shouyou's side, both smiling. Seeing the reality, Oboro realises that it wasn't him Shouyou was smiling to. The Naraku eventually find out about Shouyou's school and takes him away, burning the Shouka Sonjuku down. Oboro stares at the burning place and thinks that he was the same as the other disciples - to get his master, he killed his master. He told Takasugi that he was the one who captured Shouyou, thinking he could take him back. He believed he would still come back, but he didn't. Even though they shared the same body, it was Utsuro who returned and not Shouyou, Oboro decided to never betray that person again and to live for his sake until that blood he received rotted away; blaming his weakness for the loss of his master. The last time he met Shouyou, before they brought him to his execution, Shouyou didn't forget about Oboro and tells him that it was thanks to him that he met those children, and that it was thanks to him he was able to become Yoshida Shouyou. He apologises and tells him he would've liked for Oboro, his first disciple that he is so proud of, to meet those children. Apparently, Oboro followed the steps of the other disciples, since they were people Shouyou was so proud of. Utsuro (as Shouyou) sacrificed his Altana blood to help Oboro.
He once fought against Sakata Gintoki during the Joui War but wasn't able to kill him. It was heavily implied that he was under Tokugawa Sada Sada's orders to kill the remaining Joui Patriots. It was later revealed that it was Oboro who stabbed Takasugi's left eye as he was trying to confront Gintoki for killing Shouyou. Oboro was even the one that gave Nobume the order to assassinate Sasaki Isaburo together with his family for disobeying the Tendoshu.
Oboro appears as a very serious person, not easily falling for others' words, and is shown to be calm in both fights and conversations. He speaks with an allegory tone, and he refers to Gintoki, Takasugi and Katsura as the demons who howl at the heavens (a term referring to the Tendoushuu), due to them being Yoshida Shouyou's students. He is completely loyal to Utsuro, due to the former Naraku leader saving his life in the past, and considered himself to be his disciple. He stated that Shouyou gave life to his unworthy life (probably due to his past). He actually has a good side within him, as shown when he saw Utsuro (then in his Shouyou persona) living happily with his first three young disciples, wishes that he could do the same thing, and also to always stick with his master and befriend the three. He seeks death to end his immortal-life.
Oboro's most remarkable physical trait is the long scar the Naraku caused him on his face during his childhood. The dark circles around his eyes seem to be due to his anemia. He has light-gray wavy hair and grey eyes. Oboro appears with two different outfits. He initially wore a Buddhist monk robe with the Yatagarasu pattern attached to his robe. He combined it with a large praying bead necklace around his neck. During his first appearance, he disguised himself with a Tengai hat, usually worn by komusōs. The Tengai was modified to fire several poison needles. The second outfit Oboro wore during the latest appearances is an attire more akin to a ninja outfit and the Yatagarasu pattern attached to it. His scarf is noticeable as well.
During his encounter with Gintoki and Takasugi, the latter stabbed his left eye in the same way as Oboro did to Takasugi during the Joui War.
Strength & Abilities
Master Hand-to-Hand Combat: Oboro is remarkably strong as he's regarded as the strongest assassin in the Naraku and was seen outmatching Gintoki in a one-on-one fight whilst also blocking the kunais Tsukuyo threw at Sada Sada with ease. Sada Sada reveals that Oboro has mastered the martial arts, Hakkei, which allows him to exert an explosive amount of power through strikes using his inner energy as demonstrated throughout him and Gintoki's fight during the Courtesan of the Nation Arc. Oboro has also been shown to be incredibly fast, both in terms of movement and reflexes, as seen during his encounter with Hijikata; who attacked him in surprise.
Master Swordmanship Specialist: He wields a shakujō with a hidden blade inside, along with a Katana, which he seems to be very skilled with. He was trained in the Tensho School, where he mastered the use of poison needles and acupuncture points. He's also able to revitalize himself with Kei.
Friends & Allies
- Tokugawa Sada Sada: As an assassin of the Naraku, he was assigned to protect the former Shogun. Sada Sada believed a great deal in Oboro's skills and was surprised to see Gintoki, who was able to match up with Oboro, indicating there's been nobody capable of matching him in the past.
- Utsuro/Yoshida Shouyou : The only one important to him; he would even sacrifice his life for him, since he was saved by Utsuro when he was young. He had originally resolved to keep Shouyou safe from Naraku. But after witnessing the reality of not being able to be a part of Shoka Sonjuku, his jealousy got the better of him and he got Shouyou arrested so he could take him back. But when Shouyou died and Utsuro took over, even though it was no longer Shouyou in that body, Oboro swore he would never betray him again.
- Imai Nobume: Oboro refers to her by her old name Mukuro when she was still a part of the Naraku. They may have parted ways, but he bears no grudge against her.
- Sakata Gintoki: They've fought each other in the Joui War. They share the same memories with Yoshida Shouyou, since he was the teacher of both at some point. He refers to Gintoki as a demon ('Shiroyasha'). Before Utsuro (in his Shouyou personality) was arrested, when seeing his old master lived happily with his three Joui disciple, Oboro felt the same thing, and wished to stick by his master and befriend those three.
- Takasugi Shinsuke: During the Joui war, He took the eyesight of Takasugi's left eye, trying to stop him from barging into Shouyou's execution. Takasugi paid back by injuring his left eye as well. Once he is defeated by Takasugi, thanking him for removing his tragic immortal life, and before he died peacefully, Oboro warned Takasugi about one of Utsuro's countless personalities, and Shouyou is among of them who first rebels Utsuro's evilness and attempt to reformed himself. Before Utsuro (in his Shouyou personality) was arrested, when seeing his old master lived happily with his three Joui disciple, Oboro felt the same thing, and wishes to always sticked with his master and befriend with those three. His corpse later brought by Takasugi to be buried in the former Shoka Sonjuku school location to dedicated Oboro's honor as the very first Shouyou's disciple. His spirit helps Takasugi from having Utsuro taking control of his body, preventing Utsuro from killing a recently revived Shoyo, who is now in a new separate body.
When Gintoki tried to cut down Sada Sada, he didn't react, since he trusted in Oboro, who protected him in an instant.
He revealed his face during his first clash with Gintoki after he fired the poison needles hidden in his Tengai. Paralyzed from the shock of seeing Oboro after the Joui War, Oboro reveals Gintoki's and Yoshida Shouyou's past in detail to Sada Sada. Enraged, Gintoki tries to attack him again, but his vision gets blurry due to the poison, making it impossible for him to move.
After seeing the crows move and showing Oboro a sign, he suggested that Tokugawa Sada Sada should retreat and think of his own safety. Sada Sada tells him to bring him to Suzan, and as they try to enter the ship, Oboro realizes that Gintoki, Tsukyou and Nobume, disguised as Naraku members, tried to stop their departure. He gets pulled back by Gintoki who had been cured from the needle poison thanks to Sasaki Isaburo's help.
In his second fight (during this Arc) with Gintoki, Gintoki tricks him into accidentally impaling Sada Sada with several poison needles. Later on, both their swords shatter. Gintoki uses the broken Bokutou by throwing and positioning it in the ground to impale Oboro after a large drop from the Bakufu palace roof, seemingly killing him.
It turns out that Oboro had survived his wounds by distorting his acupuncture meridians, which took him a while to recover from the fight (as then reported to the Tendoshu). He confirmed that the true enemies are Yoshida Shouyou's students. Oboro was going to use Sada Sada as bait to lure out Takasugi Shinsuke, but he was too late as Sada Sada had already been killed by Takasugi himself. Oboro encounters Imai Nobume, and it is revealed that they knew each other in the past, as Oboro referred to Nobume as Mukuro. It is shown that she has a Naraku symbol tattooed behind her neck as proof of membership. He then explained that the next time they would meet one of them would fall. Before Nobume left, Oboro asked if Gintoki and Takasugi were similar to Shouyou. Nobume replied that they were not similar, as one sought to protect what Shouyou left behind and the other sought to destroy it. The only thing they had in common were their eyes filled with sorrow.
Oboro appeared with the Naraku assassinators at the Iga tunnel, throwing his blade at Takasugi. He tells both Gintoki and Takasugi that he reminded them once before to not waste the lives their master took for them. He points out that 'divine revelations conveyed by the Yatagarasu are not given twice'. After explaining Nobu Nobu's position as the new shogun, he follows his order to kill off the injured Gintoki and Takasugi. However, when he tries to cut down Gintoki, Takasugi attacks Oboro, resulting in Oboro losing his left eye; a repayment from Takasugi for the eye that Oboro took from him during the Joui War. Once Kagura and Kamui arrive, Oboro recalls about Shouyou while he was in jail. He gets reminded of Shouyou's speech about people overcoming their own weaknesses and being free creatures. Oboro decides to withdraw, looking at Gintoki and Takasugi from far away and telling them to continue fighting, 'if that is their fate as Shouyou's disciples'.
Oboro appears before Nobume and tells her that her works under the Mimawarigumi had pleased the Tendoushuu, much to her dismay.
Later, on the prison island Kokujou, Oboro and his naraku forces attack the Yorozuya and the Shinsengumi, who climb the cliff in their attempt to rescue Kondou Isao, Matsudaira Katakuriko and Katsura Kotarou. They manage to climb the cliff unharmed and find themselves in front of the Naraku and the Mimawarigumi under Nobume. The Yorozuya and Shinsengumi decide to split off - Hijikata should rescue Kondo, while Sougo would fight Nobume, and Gintoki would fight Oboro. During the encounter, Oboro tells him that he not only inherited the will of the deceased Shogun Tokugawa Shige Shige, but Takasugi's will as well. He reveals Sasaki Isaburou's past as well as his true intentions to Gintoki, comparing him to Isaburou, since they were both rebels. Soon after, Tendoushuu fleets arrive with the intention to 'clean' the island. He tells him that his voice finally reached the heavens, implying that Utsuro will arrive. A fleet aims for Gintoki's place, resulting in a big explosion.
After the Utsuro-Gintoki fight Oboro gets to Isaburou's and Kondou's place, trying to kill both. When he was about to kill Isaburou, Hijikata defends him. Shortly after, both Hijikata and Kondou cut off Oboro's left arm, causing him to fall down.
Umibouzu talks to Utsuro about the Harusame and Kamui matter, when Oboro stands near to Umibouzu, as a means to protect Utsuro. It is shown that he survived several damages thanks to the Altana blood Utsuro gave him as a child, when '[his] life was perished long ago'. He pledged to serve under Utsuro as long as he would be alive, regardless if it was a different or the present Utsuro.
Oboro starts to cough a lot of blood, showing that even with the immortal blood he received, he still has the body of a human which can't withstand much more. Before he encounters the Joui, he tells Utsuro that he will serve his 'final loyalty' and bring 'the heads of students back to their master'.
During his encounter with Takasugi, he gets reminded of his first meeting with Utsuro, telling Takasugi that they served under the same master. When Takasugi replies that that man, Utsuro, is nothing than an enemy, since his master, Shouyou, died long ago, Oboro says that to him, it doesn't matter if he's called Utsuro or Shouyou, his master will be the same. It is revealed that Oboro is the reason Shouyou started teaching, and it was also shown that Oboro was his very first student. He tells Takasugi about Utsuro's origin and pain for being immortal, and also that he was the reason Shouyou got captured, after becoming jealous of Shouyou's students. Oboro confesses that he lost sight of where his own soul was. He couldn't fight for Shouyou, Utsuro, nor himself. If by any chance he could turn back time, he would've liked to become like one of the disciples of Shouka Sonjuku. Takasugi then carries his body telling the Kihetai that his rightful resting place is not there in the dirt but beside his teacher or his fellow students.
Takasugi had cremated Oboro's body and carried his ashes. He had planned to bury it but was ambushed and fatally wounded, in his desperation of trying to free Shouyou's body from the Amanto, Takasugi stabbed through the bag holding Oboro's ashes into his own heart, taking in the Altana energy the ashes had contained.
In the final battle against Utsuro, Oboro re-emerged briefly from within Utsuro’s blood in Takasugi and prevented Utsuro from dealing another blow to his sensei and temporarily giving his younger pupil control of his body back.
|Fight||Outcome||Time it Occurred|
|Oboro vs. Sakata Gintoki||Win||Episode 259|
|Oboro vs. Sakata Gintoki: Rematch||Loss||Episode 260|
|Oboro vs. Sakata Gintoki and Takasugi Shinsuke||Draw||Episode 306|
|Oboro vs. Sakata Gintoki||Interrupted||Episode 312-Episode 314|
|Oboro vs. Hijikata Toushirou and Kondou Isao||Loss||Episode 315|
|Oboro vs. Takasugi Shinsuke||Loss||Episode 327|
- His name "Oboro" means "misty".
- The way he received Utsuro's blood is very similiar to how Vanilla Ice received DIO's blood in the manga/anime series, "JoJo's Bizarre Adventure". However, unlike the purely evil Ice, Oboro has a good side and knows the truth of the antagonist's hidden nature as well as wishes for death to end his tragic life of immortality; especially due to being the main reason Shouyou is "killed" by Utsuro.
- (To Imai Nobume) "Are they similar to Shouyou?"
- "Sensei, I'm so sorry. I broke our promise. Ever since my life was saved by you back then, I decided I was dead and that I would throw my life away for your sake, sensei. Unless I protect sensei's will, unless I protect the disciples I have not met yet, I cannot call myself your first disciple, can I? Sensei, I'm sure you will take care of our school, Shouka Sonjuku ..."
- (To Takasugi Shinsuke) "You and I are the same. Because of our weakness, we lost our masters. The one thing that differs between us is one of us vowed even if it was something else clad in the corpse of that master, he would not betray that person again. And the other vowed even if he had to kill their master once again, even if he would lose his master for all eternity, he would take his master back. From the point when we had the same master, we were fated to turn out this way. Until this blood that my master gave me runs dry, I will continue to stand in your way. So you must keep fighting. Until that soul you received from your master rots away. Continue to resist! That is how we, the disciples of Yoshida Shouyou are, aren't we?"