List of Buso Renkin characters
The Buso Renkin anime and manga series features an extensive cast of characters created by Nobuhiro Watsuki. The series takes place in the fictional Ginsei City, Japan, where a boy named Koshaku Chouno is creating alchemical monsters known as homunculi. During a night, Kazuki Muto, an ordinary boy, is killed by a homunculus, while trying to save his sister, Mahiro, and Tokiko Tsumura. Feeling guilty, Tokiko, a member of the The Alchemist Army, revives him by replacing his heart with an alchemical device called kakugane. The kakugane allows its wielder to form a buso renkin, a special weapon that is the only thing that can destroy a homunculus. With his own buso renkin, Kazuki decides to join Tokiko in the fight against the homunculi. Over the course of the series, they also must to defeat the L.X.E, a group consisting of human-type homunculi, as well as Victor, an entity most powerful than the homunculi.
While developing the series, Watsuki was influenced by his previous works, mostly by Rurouni Kenshin from which he drew references to the main characters; Kazuki and Tokiko were conceptualized after Makimachi Misao and Himura Kenshin, respectively. Films such as The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and Brotherhood of the Wolf also served as source of inspiration, as well as American comics. Reviewers called the characters generic and also criticized their designs. The main characters divided critics' opinion; Kazuki and Papillon have received both praise and criticism, while most of praise was towards Tokiko, who also was voted as the most popular character of the series by readers.
- 1 Creation and conception
- 2 Main characters
- 3 Other characters
- 4 Reception
- 5 Notes and references
Creation and conception
Watsuki based Buso Renkin's characters and fictional elements on his previous works. He conceptualized Kazuki while imagining Makimachi Misao,[note 1] and Tokiko was designed as a feminized version of Himura Kenshin from Rurouni Kenshin.[ch. 3] From the same series, Yukishiro Enishi and Yukishiro Tomoe served as inspiration for the Hayasaka twins;[ch. 36] Inui Banjin and Otowa Hyōko for the homunculi Kinjo[ch. 22] and Jinnai.[ch. 24] Shusui Hayasaka's buso renkin, "Sword Samurai X", refers to the English name of Rurouni Kenshin.[ch. 48] Watsuki declared that Buster Baron is a "reincarnation" of the Armor Baron from Gun Blaze West.Period In addition, Victor's buso renkin is named after the X-Men storyline of the same name.Period
Watsuki has drawn many references from films. He choose the Kazuki's weapon as a lance because he watched A Knight's Tale, and thought it was "cool".[ch. 27] Brotherhood of the Wolf served as the inspiration for Silver Skin, which is based on the main characters' outfit,[ch. 31] and for Victor, which is based on a Native American.[ch. 46] Moonface's replication ability is based in Matrix's Agent Smith.[ch. 45] The name "League of Extraordinary Elects" was based on The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.[ch. 26] The submarine buso renkin was inspired by the Nautilus from Jules Verne's Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.Finale The term for the human followers of the homunculi, "familiars", comes from the human disciples of the vampires in Blade.[ch. 36] Gekisen, the buso renkin of Genji Ikusabe was based on Hollow Man.[ch. 63]
Kazuki Muto (武藤カズキ? Mutō Kazuki) is a 16-year-old boy. He is killed by a homunculi when trying to save his sister, Mahiro (まひろ?) (voiced by Aya Hirano and English dubbed by Karen Strassman.) and an unfamiliar girl, Tokiko Tsumura; Tokiko replaces his heart by a buso renkin to revive him.[ch. 1] After it, he decides to help in the fight against the homunculi,[ch. 2] and is later asked to be an Alchemist Warrior by Captain Bravo,[ch. 18] which he accepts due to his will to protect his friends.[ch. 20] His buso renkin is Sunlight Heart (サンライトハート? Sanraito Hāto), a spear-lance; it has a cloth that turns into energy which allows to be used as propulsion or as a blinding light.[ch. 27] Kazuki is voiced by Jun Fukuyama and English dubbed by Steve Staley.
Tokiko Tsumura (津村斗貴子? Tsumura Tokiko) is a 17-year-old alchemic warrior. Seven year prior the series events, all the people in her school except for her are killed by homunculi, and she is rescued by Mamoru Sakimori.[ch. 72] As such, she is serious almost all the time. The incident also left her with a scar, which could have been removed by using alchemy, but she decides to keep it as a reminder of her will to fight.Period Her buso renkin is Valkyrie Skirt (バルキリースカート? Barukirī Sukāto), an execution scythe that attach to her thighs and is controlled via her synapses.[ch. 29] Tokiko is voiced by Ryōka Yuzuki and English dubbed by Tara Platt.
Koushaku Chouno (蝶野攻爵? Chōno Kōshaku) is a 19-year-old genius student. He is deathly ill with an unspecified disease, and learns about the process of making homunculi through research notes from his great-great-grandfather, experimenting with various animals first.[ch. 8, 9] Later, he turns himself into a human-type homunculus and renames himself Papillon (パピヨン? Papiyon). He kills his all family, but is subsequently killed by Kazuki.[ch. 16, 17] He is later revived by L.X.E.,[ch. 18] and wants to fight Kazuki once more; he is first prevented because he is still ill,[ch. 20] and then because Kazuki is being chased by the Re-Extermination Squad.[ch. 58] To prevent Kazuki's death, Papillon re-creates the white kakugane using Alexandra Powered's research. He and Kazuki finally have their showdown, but in the end he loses to Kazuki, who refuses to kill him again.Period His buso renkin is Near-Death Happiness (ニアデス・ハピネス? Niadesu Hapinesu), a black gunpowder that can assume any form—it takes the form of butterfly wings as a reflection of his soul—and be detonated remotely.[ch. 51] Papillon is voiced by Mitsuaki Madono and English dubbed by Spike Spencer.
The Alchemist Army
Captain Bravo (キャプテン ブラボー? Kyaputen Burabō), whose real name is Mamoru Sakimori (防人衛? Sakimori Mamoru), is Tokiko's commanding officer. He abandons his name after not being able to save all people in the Tokiko's school.[ch. 53, 72] Ordered by the Alchemist Army, he tries to kill Kazuki twice, as he fails in the first attempt,[ch. 51, 69] but he later defends Kazuki from Sekima Hiwatari, using his buso renkin to protect both of them.[ch. 72] His buso renkin is Silver Skin (シルバー・スキン? Shirubā Sukin), an outfit that covers all his body except for his eyes and hardens into a regenerating metal when struck.[ch. 21] Bravo is voiced by Masashi Ebara and English dubbed by Patrick Seitz.
Gouta Nakamura (中村剛太? Nakamura Gōta) is a rookie among the alchemic warriors. Prior the series start, he trains with Tokiko,[ch. 55] developing a devotion to her.[ch. 70] At first, he is jealous of the relationship between Tokiko and Kazuki, but starts to admire Kazuki,[ch. 63] declaring him and Kazuki only "rivals in love".[ch. 79] He cooperates with Kazuki and Tokiko as they try to escape from the Re-Extermination Squad, despite being first designate for this team.[ch. 50, 56] He also help Tokiko in their last mission to defeat Papillon.Period His buso renkin Motor Gear (モーターギア? Mōtā Gia) is a pair of gear-shaped chakrams that has a variety of applications ranging from close-to-long range weaponry to increased mobility for Gota himself.[ch. 56] Gouta is voiced by Shinji Kawada and English dubbed by Liam O'Brien.
Sekima Hiwatari (火渡赤馬? Hiwatari Sekima) is an alchemic warrior chief. He is a Captain Bravo's former teammate who worked in the failed mission to stop a homunculi group to kill an entire school along with Shosei Sakaguchi and Chitose Hateyama.[ch. 72, 74] Hiwatari is the leader of the Re-Extermination Squad, a team commissioned to kill Kazuki, and composed of him and six other subordinate alchemic warriors.[ch. 55, 68] Hiwatari's buso renkin is Blaze of Glory (ブレイズオブグローリー? Bureizu Obu Gurōrī), a napalm bomb that allows him to manipulate flames.[ch. 76] Hiwatari is voiced by Tomokazu Seki and English dubbed by Kyle Hebert.
Shosei Sakaguchi (坂口照星? Sakaguchi Shōsei) is the Great Warrior Chief in Alchemist Army's branch in Asia. He is a Captain Bravo's former teammate who worked in the failed mission to stop a homunculi group to kill an entire school.[ch. 72, 74] He interrupts Hiwatari attempts to kill Kazuki, proclaiming that kill Victor is a priority.[ch. 73] Shosei's buso renkin is Buster Baron (バスターバロン? Basutā Baron), a gigantic knight-like robot that can materialize a scale version of buso renkins used inside it.Finale Shosei is voiced by Sho Hayami and English dubbed by David Paulson.
The Re-Extermination Squad (再殺部隊? Sai Ya Butai) is a team led by Sekima Hiwatari and commissioned to kill Kazuki. The group is composed of Chitose Hateyama (楯山 千歳? Tateyama Chitose), a Captain Bravo's former teammate whose buso renkin Hermes Drive (ヘルメスドライブ? Herumesu Doraibu) is a radar that also can teleport objects;[ch. Period] Hanaka Busujima (毒島華花? Busujima Hanaka), a shy girl whose buso renkin Aerial Operator (エアリアル オペレーター? Eariaru Operētā) is a gas mask capable of mixing all gas type elements into poisonous or explosive mixtures;[ch. Period, Afterward] Genji Ikusabe (戦部 厳至? Ikusabe Genji), a man whose buso renkin Gekisen (激戦?) is a spear that heals any wound of its wielder;[ch. 64] Madoka Maruyama (円山 円? Maruyama Madoka), an androgynous boy whose buso renkin Bubble Cage (バブルケイジ? Baburu Keiji) takes the form of fire balloons whose ability, in the manga, is to shrink the person who hits it,[ch. 59,67] and, in the anime, it multiply itself when destroyed; Shinobu Negoro (根来 忍? Negoro Shinobu), a man whose buso renkin Secret Trail (シークレットトレイル? Shīkuretto Toreiru) is a ninjatō that creates pathways to another dimension when it cuts a solid object;[ch. 74] and Rintarou Inukai (犬飼 倫太郎? Inukai Rintarou), a man whose buso renkin Killer Rabies (キラーレイビーズ? Kirā Reibīzu) is a pair of mechanical military dogs commanded by a flute.[ch. 59]
Doktor[note 2] Butterfly (ドクトルバタフライ? Dokutoru Batafurai), whose real name is Bakushaku Chouno (蝶野 爆爵? Chōno Bakushaku) is Koshaku's great-great-grandfather. He is also the non-declared leader of League of Extraordinary Elects (L.X.E.), a group of humanoid homunculi; apart from Papillon, he is the only one who can create hommunculi,[ch. 35] but he attributes the L.X.E leadership to Victor.[ch. 18] His knowledge of alchemy is coming from Victor, who, in exchange of teaching Bakushaku, asks to be healed.[ch. 43] He owns Alice in Wonderland (アリス・イン・ワンダーランド? Arisu in Wandārando), a shapechanger platinum-white colored chaff buso renkin. In its scattered form it confuses the senses of direction and distance, and its concentrated form it causes hallucinations.[ch. 52] He is voiced by Katsumi Chō and English dubbed by David Lodge.
Ouka (早坂桜花? Hayasaka Ōka) and Shusui Hayasaka (早坂秋水? Hayasaka Shusui) are twins who are kidnapped as children and kept in an apartment's room by a woman whom they believe to be their mother. When the woman dies, they are found by police nearly dead from starvation and taken to a hospital. When their real parents refuse to accept them, they run away to live on the streets, and are eventually found by L.X.E.[ch. 32] They join L.X.E. as "familiars" seeking to have themselves turned into homunculi to live together for etenerity.[ch. 31] Armed with kakugane provided by the L.X.E., they fight Kazuki and Tokiko but are defeated, and nearly killed by Tokiko but for the intercession of Kazuki. After the L.X.E.'s ruin, Ouka works for Papillon to keep Kazuki alive[ch. 54] and Shusui helps in the fight against Victor.[ch. Finale] Both joins the Alchemist Army in its last mission to defeat Papillon.Period Shusui is a kendo master,[ch. 25] and his buso renkin is Sword Samurai X (ソードサムライX? Sōdo Samurai X), a sword that absorbs energy and releases it through the cord.[ch. 29] Ouka's buso renkin is Angel Gozen (エンゼル御前? Enzeru Gozen), a set consisting of an eponymous autonomous robot, a bow, and a gauntlet; the latter can create a special arrow that can absorb a target's injury and transfer it to Angel Gozen's wielder.[ch. 49] Shusui is voiced by Kishō Taniyama and English dubbed by Bryce Papenbrook. Ouka is voiced by Hitomi Nabatame and English dubbed by Cindy Robinson, while her robot is voiced by Wasabi Mizuta and English dubbed by David Lodge.
Moonface (ムーンフェイス? Mūnfeisu), whose real name is Lunare Nikoleav (ルナール・ニコラエフ? Runāru Nikoraefu),[ch. 36] is the closest L.X.E. member to Dr. Butterfly. He finds the Hayasaka twins while walking along with Butterfly and is always talking to him.[ch. 18, 32] He is a moon-shaped-head man who possesses Satellite 30 (サテライト30? Sateraito 30), a buso renkin that allows him to create up to 30 slightly different copies of himself (in imitation of the 30 different phases of the moon).[ch. 40] He is voiced by Tomokazu Seki and English dubbed by Christopher Corey Smith.
Victor Powered (ヴィクター・パワード? Bikutā Pawādo) is the former leader of the Alchemist Army and is the main antagonist of the series. A century prior to the series' events, he is severely injured by a homunculus, and his wife, Alexandria (アレキサンドリア? Arekisandoria), creates the black kakugane to revive him. However, Victor loses his self-control and kills everyone in the lab, as well as injuring his wife, who becomes a brain in a vat. He escapes from both the Alchemist Army and the homunculi led by his daughter Victoria (ヴィクトリア? Bikutoria), who is forced to become a homunculus, and goes to Japan.[ch. 78, Finale] There he is healed by Doctor Butterfly.[ch. 44] Victor's buso renkin is Fatal Attraction (フェイタルアトラクション? Feitaru Atorakushon), a gigantic battle axe that is capable of manipulating gravity.Period Victor is voiced by Rikiya Koyama and English dubbed by Yuri Lowenthal, and Victoria is voiced by Rie Kugimiya and English dubbed by G.K. Bowes.
Soya Muto (武藤ソウヤ? Mutō Sōya) is character from the PlayStation 2 video game Buso Renkin: Yōkoso Papillon Park e. He is Kazuki and Tokiko's son, who as a teenager travels back in time to stop a plot by Moonface. His buso renkin is Lightning Pale Rider (ライトニングペイルライダー? Raitoningu Peiru Raidā), a trident-like buso renkin. Soya is voiced by Hiroaki Miura.
Leigh Dragoon of Sequential Tart qualified the characters as "completely forgettable" and said they lack of personality, citing Mahiro "could be portrayed as a piece of paper". Dragoon said Kazuki "seems like a direct lift from 3x3 Eyes's Yakumo [Fujii]", and Tokiko and "Rei Ayanami without the interesting attached", respectively. Similarly, Michael Aronson from Manga Life stated "all [the characters] fit familiar roles". Later, Aronson named the character's dialogue as the series "strongest suit", but criticized how Kazuki and Tokiko "only act as bland foils". Carl Kimlinger of Anime News Network (ANN) qualified Kazuki "a non-entity", and the remaining characters "human-shaped gags". Writing for ANN, Luke Carroll said the character designs are "a rather uninspired affair". Kimlinger said the designs are "so generic that they'd shame a dating sim". A reviewer of The Star declared "the manga's antagonists are quite weak and one-dimensional" and that it is "difficult to take Papillon Mask seriously." In the same vein, Carlo Santos of ANN criticized the designs, mainly the villains who "slides right down into lame", saying "who would even want to cosplay Papillon?", and comparing Moonface to a scary McDonald's campaign. The "overblown" villains "soon start to become old hat" and "irritating", according to UK Anime Network's Andy Hanley. Although praised Papillon's backhistory, Mania's Chris Beveridge criticized his design and called him "a very quirky and weird character".
Conversely, Patti Martinson wrote for Sequential Tart that the characters "are distinctive and interesting", and The Star reviewer called the character Buso Renkin's "saving grace". Kazuki was said to be a "very likeable hero" by Active Anime's Holly Ellingwood, who also stated Papillon is the "most memorable" villain of the series. Carroll said Tokiko "is the best of the bunch", while Kimlinger, who praised her "an oasis of feminine strength in a genre more remarkable for its monster-bait femmes", declared it is one of few characteristics that distinguish the series from other shōnen fighting series. Active Anime's Sandra Scholes praised the character's illustration as well as called Kazuki and Tokiko "wonderful couple". Hanley said he only "feel a little empathy" for Kazuki and Tokiko in later episodes, while Beveridge praised Papillon taking "an amusing role" in those episodes. The supporting cast was also praised; Aronson cited there are "interesting personalities", while Beveridge said they "help it out immensely", and Kimlinger stated that they "so clearly outclassed its main character." The addition of Re-Extermination Squad was praised by Holly Ellingwood of Active Anime who called they "interesting". At the end of the series, Ellingwood praised how Watsuki did "a fabulous job of covering [...] the various characters, juggling them effectively".
In the Buso Renkin official popularity poll conducted by Weekly Shōnen Jump, Tokiko was elected the most popular among the manga fanbase. Kazuki ranked second, Papillon ranked third, Bravo ranked fourth, Shusui ranked fifth, Mahiro ranked sixth, Gouta ranked seventh, Angel Gouzen ranked eight, Ouka ranked ninhth, and Moonface ranked tenth. Two of the major villains, Victor and Dr. Butterfly, ranked 15th place and 19th place, respectively.[ch. 62]
Notes and references
- 「武装錬金」スタッフ & キャスト (in Japanese). Buso Renkin official site. Archived from the original on February 28, 2008. Retrieved February 10, 2014.
- Xebec (October 4, 2006). "君さえ守れれば". Buso Renkin. Episode 19. TV Tokyo.
- "ソウヤ". Marvelous AQL. Retrieved December 5, 2012.
- Marvelous Entertainment (June 28, 2007). Buso Renkin Yōkoso Papillon Park e (in Japanese). PlayStation 2. Marvelous Entertainment.
- Dragoon, Leigh (September 1, 2006). "Buso Renkin Vol. 1". Sequential Tart. Retrieved January 14, 2014.
- Aronson, Michael. "Buso Renkin v1". Manga Life. Silver Bullet Comics. Archived from the original on October 14, 2007. Retrieved January 14, 2014.
- Aronson, Michael. "Buso Renkin v7". Manga Life. Silver Bullet Comics. Archived from the original on August 11, 2007. Retrieved January 14, 2014.
- Kimlinger, Carl (May 20, 2008). "Buso Renkin DVD - Set 1". Anime News Network. Retrieved February 18, 2014.
- Carroll, Luke (September 8, 2009). "Buso Renkin - Collection 1". Anime News Network. Retrieved January 14, 2014.
- "Things may improve...". The Star. January 14, 2007. Retrieved July 17, 2015.
- Santos, Carlo. "Hikikomori Festival - Right Turn Only!!". Anime News Network. Retrieved January 14, 2014.
- Hanely, Andy. "Anime Review: Buso Renkin Vol. 1". UK Anime Network. Archived from the original on November 3, 2012. Retrieved February 19, 2014.
- Beveridge, Chris (May 15, 2008). "Buso Renkin Box Set 1". Mania. Archived from the original on February 22, 2014. Retrieved February 18, 2014.
- Beveridge, Chris (October 16, 2008). "Buso Renkin Box Set 2". Mania. Archived from the original on February 22, 2014. Retrieved February 18, 2014.
- Martinson, Patti (September 1, 2006). "Buso Renkin Vol. 7". Sequential Tart. Retrieved January 14, 2014.
- Ellingwood, Holly (April 25, 2008). "Buso Renkin Box Set 1 (Advance Review)". Active Anime. Retrieved February 19, 2014.
- Scholes, Sandra (April 12, 2008). "Buso Renkin Vol. 2". Active Anime. Retrieved November 29, 2014.
- Scholes, Sandra (April 12, 2008). "Buso Renkin Vol. 3". Active Anime. Retrieved November 29, 2014.
- Hanely, Andy. "Anime Review: Buso Renkin Vol. 2". UK Anime Network. Archived from the original on November 3, 2012. Retrieved February 19, 2014.
- Kimlinger, Carl (November 3, 2008). "Buso Renkin DVD - Set 2". Anime News Network. Retrieved February 18, 2014.
- Ellingwood, Holly (July 26, 2007). "Buso Renkin Vol. 7 (Advance Review)". Active Anime. Retrieved January 14, 2014.
- Ellingwood, Holly (February 5, 2008). "Buso Renkin Vol. 10". Active Anime. Retrieved January 14, 2014.
- Buso Renkin manga volumes by Watsuki, Nobuhiro. Original Japanese version published by Shueisha. English translation published by Viz Media.
Note: The information is taken from the history itself as well as from the author's note.
- Vol. 1 (ch. 1–7): 新しい命. January 5, 2004. ISBN 4-08-873557-9. (in Japanese). and New Life. August 1, 2006. ISBN 1-4215-0615-7. (in English).
- Vol. 2 (ch. 8–17): Fade to Black. April 2, 2004. ISBN 4-08-873587-0. (in Japanese). and Fade to Black. October 3, 2006. ISBN 1-4215-0616-5. (in English).
- Vol. 3 (ch. 18–26): もしもキミが自分を偽善と疑うならば. July 2, 2004. ISBN 4-08-873630-3. (in Japanese). and If You Doubt That You Are a Hypocrite. December 5, 2006. ISBN 1-4215-0617-3. (in English).
- Vol. 4 (ch. 27–36): カーニバル[祭]. September 3, 2004. ISBN 4-08-873651-6. (in Japanese). and Carnival. February 6, 2007. ISBN 1-4215-0840-0. (in English).
- Vol. 5 (ch. 37–45): A Friend of Everybody. November 4, 2004. ISBN 4-08-873670-2. (in Japanese). and A Friend of Everyone. April 3, 2007. ISBN 1-4215-0841-9. (in English).
- Vol. 6 (ch. 46–54): 新たなる任務. February 4, 2005. ISBN 4-08-873696-6. (in Japanese). and A New Mission. June 5, 2007. ISBN 1-4215-0842-7. (in English).
- Vol. 7 (ch. 55–63): 逃避行開始. April 4, 2005. ISBN 4-08-873780-6. (in Japanese). and Runaway Start. August 7, 2007. ISBN 1-4215-1045-6. (in English).
- Vol. 8 (ch. 64–73): 大事な存在を死守せんとする強い意志. July 4, 2005. ISBN 4-08-873820-9. (in Japanese). and The Determination to Protect What's Important to the End. JOctober 2, 2007. ISBN 1-4215-1046-4. (in English).
- Vol. 9 (ch. 74–Finale): Boy Meets Battle Girl. November 4, 2005. ISBN 4-08-873851-9. (in Japanese). and Boy Meets Battle Girl. December 4, 2007. ISBN 1-4215-1047-2. (in English).
- Vol. 10 (ch. Period–Afterward): ピリオド. April 4, 2006. ISBN 4-08-874019-X. (in Japanese). and Period. February 5, 2008. ISBN 1-4215-1542-3. (in English).