Working for Shishio
Under the guise of Iwanbō, Gein joined Shishio Makoto’s Juppongatana. He arrived in Kyoto as Shishio put his plans into action along with Yūkyūzan Anji and Kariwa Henya. Iwanbō went to a meeting with the other Juppongatana called by Shishio, who told them it was time to commence with the Great Kyoto fire. Later on Iwanbō and the Juppongatana were waiting for the fire to start, when they were informed all the police were making things difficult. Uonuma Usui proposed they go deal with them and Iwanbō was on board with that, but Henya told him not to help, since he’d just get in the way. After the fire was foiled, the Juppongatana retreated to Shishio’s base. On the day that Shishio had challenged Kenshin and his allies to a duel, he gathered the Juppongatana to brief them. He told Anji, Usui, and Seta Sōjirō to remain to fight, while he sent Iwanbō and the rest of the Juppongatana to attack the Aoi-Ya. They arrived with a large group of soldiers and Kenshin’s friends rushed out to fight. The members of the Oniwabanshu attacked Iwanbō but their projectiles did nothing thanks to his fat body. He attacked and devastated them, but eventually his fellow Juppongatana members were defeated. After the soldiers saw that they were left with the incompetent Iwanbō, they retreated and he did the same.
Beginning the Jinchu
After Yukishiro Enishi arrived in Kyoto, Gein arrived, still in his Iwanbō suit and told Enishi about Kenshin’s recent activities. He went on to say that their comrades had already left, but he couldn’t blame them for their eagerness since they’d finally caught his scent. Enishi asked if Kenshin still had his cross-shaped scar and Gein told him yes, before the two headed to Tokyo after Gein discarded his Iwanbō suit. Upon arriving, he went to find them lodgings while Enishi went to meet Kujiranami Hyōgo and rented them a mansion. After arriving, Gein asked if it was a problem, but Enishi said it was very pleasant. When Inui Banjin and Otowa Hyōko arrived, Inui complained about the last of them not arriving and Gein said he was told to come tonight, but at no specific time. However Yatsume Mumyōi made himself known through the ceiling from the room above. Gein told him he should show his face, but he just responded that he didn’t want to. Enishi interrupted and told them that the Battosai lived under the name Kenshin and even if they murdered him, it would not be revenge. They had to make him recognize his past and they could then disband to try and finish him off, before explaining the plan to all of them. After Kujiranami, Inui, and Otowa left, Gein complimented Enishi on his plan, noting he essentially controlled the other four. He also said proposing the final strike was ingenious, since it was perfect bait for them. Enishi said he appreciated Gein’s cooperation, but the puppet master told him not to bother, since he was uninterested in killing the Battosai for revenge. Later on Gein showed up at Maekawa Dojo in another Iwanbō suit as Inui was fighting Sanosuke and told him to go back, since it was time for Jinchu. Inui told the puppet master to get lost, but Gein responded that he’d go even if Inui didn’t yell at him. He went on to say unless the marital artist wanted to be in the middle of it, he should get out as he leapt from the Iwanbō suit, which he’d put a bomb into. Inui came, though reluctantly and Sanosuke, realizing what was going, kicked the bomb into the air, where it exploded somewhat harmlessly. Later on Gein was talking with Enishi, who said the others wouldn’t be quiet about his declaration that the fight with Kenshin would take place in 10 days. Enishi assured him he’d talk with the others, then asked Gein if 10 days was enough to finish what he was working on. The puppet master told him not to worry and that he was using all his skills, so it would be an art, not just a weapon. Enishi told Gein he was counting on him and it would be a key part in their Jinchu. The puppet master continued working on the project, a doll of Kaoru that Enishi would pass off as a dead Kaoru since Enishi couldn’t kill young women that reminded him of his sister. That night, Gein went out to a graveyard to dig up more “ingredients” and arrived at the mansion early the next morning. Enishi, who noticed him coming back, noted he was up early and asked Gein where he had been. The puppet master told him and revealed he’d gotten some good ingredients. Gein went on to say he’d probably finish a day or two early if this kept up, but Enishi said the Jinchu would be in nine more days as planned. Seeing how determined he was to make Kenshin suffer, Gein thought to himself that Enishi could no longer be stopped.
Attack on Kamiya DojoAs the day of Jinchu finally arrived, the puppet master and his allies arrived in hot air balloons. After Kujiranami leapt out of the balloon he was in to attack Kenshin, Gein asked Enishi if it was alright to let him go like that. Enishi just told the puppet master to let him do what he wanted. After Kujiranami was struck down, Gein noted that he had a chance at a one-shot comeback thanks to his cannon and Enishi said it seemed there was no more hesitation to fight. Once Inui and Otowa joined the battle, Gein said it may be bad since the two were on opposite extremes, keeping things at a standstill. He went on to say even though it wasn’t a busy area, if things kept dragging on, people would notice, compromising their Jinchu. Gein said he had no choice and leapt onto the box containing his Iwanbō version three, “Savage Mode”, preparing to mobilize it. Enishi told him he was leaving it to Gein for now and the puppet master cut loose the box from the balloon. Upon impacting, the box fell away, revealing Iwanbō Savage Mode and Gein told Kenshin he was tired of waiting for him. Gein said that it was the first time he was taking the new Iwanbō model into battle and asked the former Battosai to allow him to test it fully. Kenshin replied he had no time to be playing with Gein’s doll and Gein said he heard that a lot, but no one was ever able to say it twice. He climbed inside Iwanbō Savage Mode and activated it, before attacking Kenshin, who used his Ryukansen. However the thick skin absorbed all the force and Gein demonstrated Iwanbō Savage Mode’s ability to twist its arms, grabbing Kenshin and throwing him to the ground. Gein explained that he’d designed this version of Iwanbō so all the joints moved freely, vertically and horizontally. He went on to say that despite Kenshin having fought hundreds of men, this had to be the first time he’d fought something non-human. The former Battosai leapt into the air and tried slashing Iwanbō Savage Mode’s arm, but Gein had expected this. He used Iwanbō’s ability to disconnect the framework to make it so the strike only stretched the doll’s arm. Gein explained what he’d done, which left only extremely elastic rubber skin and steel control lines that Kenshin couldn’t cut. The puppet master explained it was a mechanism he’d put in especially for his fight with the former Battosai as he reconnected the framework. Kenshin asked Gein who he was and the puppet master introduced himself as the “artist of Karakuri” Gein. He explained he was the last member of a family that mastered the art of robotics back in the Middle Ages. Kenshin said Gein’s idea of beauty was off to which he responded that he heard that a lot, but beauty could mean many things. The puppet master said his Iwanbō was not a product of physical beauty, but was instead the product of the pursuit of functional beauty. Kenshin said functional beauty was a very sophisticated type of technology, but Gein should use his technology to help people. The puppet master replied that he heard that a lot too, but then asked if a master swordsmith would make razors or if a superior architect would build tenements. Gein said the forefront of technology was battle and to explore it, he’d striven to be around men of battle, first Shishio Makoto, Yukishiro Enishi, and now the former Battosai. Kenshin thought to himself that that was why he had no memory of fighting Gein before and attacked. The puppet master thought he was trying to use speed to strike before he could detatch the framework, but had trained hard to use the mechanism. However Kenshin used Ryushoen to stretch Iwanbō Savage Mode’s arm to the limit, then used his sword to twist it, cutting the arm off. Gein thought to himself that the former Battosai couldn’t be beaten easily, but as long as Kenshin thought of it as playing with dolls, he was still Kenshin’s opponent. After Enishi refused the former Battosai’s challenge to come down and fight, Gein asked if he was through talking. He noted the concepts like adding damage by twisting tended to be thought of by those who used their heads in battle. Gein proceeded to twist Iwanbō Savage Mode’s arm into a spiral, explaining that the detachment ability was core of his defense and the unrestricted joint movement was core of his offense. Gein proceeded to strike Kenshin in the chest with the twisted up arm in an attack called Senwangeki, causing so much damage, that the former Battosai spat up blood. The puppet master said one hit caused severe damage and explained losing one arm didn’t hurt, since all he had to do was move his fingers. Gein went on to say he got the most effect from the least amount of effort efficiently and safely and attacked asking Kenshin if he still called it playing with dolls. As the former Battosai rose to defend himself, Gein used Iwanbō Savage Mode’s twisting ability to quickly get behind him in one swift motion. The puppet master proceeded to hit Kenshin from behind with Sewangeki again, apparently finishing him. Gein apologized to Enishi for doing so, but he responded there was no need and the puppet master saw Kenshin had used Iwanbō’s severed arm to block the attack. The former Battosai said no matter how superior Gein’s dolls were, everything he did was play if he didn’t know the taste of blood or pain. Gein thought to himself that Kenshin was quite quick-witted and his reactions were fast, since despite his injuries, he hadn’t fallen behind and reacted in the most efficient manner. Gein thought that he could not ask for a better opponent to test Iwanbō Savage Mode and prepared to use his Sewangeki again. Kenshin managed to keep dodging and noted Gein’s arm spun a lot, to which he responded by asking if that bothered him. The former Battosai said it did and got into the stance for a pierce attack, which Gein had expected so he’d placed armor made of interlocking woven steel on the inside of Iwanbō. However the puppet master thought to himself that Kenshin had already pulled unexpected tricks and there was no absolute with him. The former Battosai attacked, but debris in the air caught on Kenshin’s sword, halving the impact. Gein said luck abandoned Kenshin in the end and now he’d lose, before using a version of Senwangeki that spiraled Iwanbō’s fingers. However suddenly, Iwanbō stopped, much to Gein’s surprise, and Kenshin said the internal structure of the doll had to be quite precise and complicated. At that moment, the puppet master realized the debris that had caught on Kenshin’s sword had been jammed into the gears that operated Iwanbō. Gein realized that had been the intention all along and Kenshin said his defeat came from trying to win without experiencing the taste of blood and pain. He then used Amakeru Ryu No Hirameki on Iwanbō, heavily damaging it and hurting Gein. The puppet master noted the move was quite powerful and that would have been the end of him were it not for the defenses of Iwanbō Savage Mode. Gein went on to say it was a mistake for Kenshin not to finish him with that attack and that had to have been one of his most powerful moves. Kenshin asked Gein if that meant he’d come out and fight on his own, but he didn’t respond. The former Battosai said that there were those that used technology to make people’s lives better and without spirit, superior technology would be defeated and destroyed. Gein scoffed at this and Kenshin said if the puppet mater still planned to fight, he’d face him. However Gein said he’d have to decline since he had lived at least twice as long as Kenshin and admitted his functional beauty was inadequate and that he’d lost. After Enishi landed to fight Kenshin, Gein climbed out of the remains of Iwanbō Savage Mode. Enishi asked the puppet master if he was alright and he said it was quite safe inside so there was no need to worry. When Enishi managed to bring down Kenshin, Gein set off smoke within the remains of Iwanbō Savage Mode. Enishi managed to pass off the doll Gein had created as Kaoru dead, breaking Kenshin’s spirit and he and the puppet master disappeared, bringing the real Kaoru to an island Enishi’s weapon’s dealing organization used.
Seeking his Corpse Doll
Gein approached Enishi after he talked with Kaoru, repeating his answer to her question as to why he’d let her live, “It’s not something I have to explain to you”. Gein agreed that it sure wasn’t something Enishi should tell anyone casually and went on to say he’d gotten the chance to test his skills because of it. Gein said he was going to return to Tokyo on the next relay ship, since he had very important business to attend to. After the ship arrived, the puppet master went down to it to leave, running into Enishi’s second in command, Woo Heishin and his Sū-shin bodyguards. Heishin said he was pleased to meet Gein’s acquaintance, but when the puppet master reached out his hand to shake, the Sū-shin swiftly blocked him. Heishin apologized, explaining his bodyguards had orders not to let anyone near him and Gein told him Enishi was in the mansion on the plateau. Heishin told the puppet master to get on the boat and they would set out when they finished unloading, before going to meet with Enishi. Gein thought to himself that unlike Enishi, who took action and ruled with fear, Heishin used planning and micro-management just as rumors described. He noted the balance between the two was what brought their weapon’s dealing organization so far so quickly, but decided it didn’t concern him and headed to the boat. However Gein was attacked on the boat by 30 marital artists put there by Enishi to get rid of him. But he killed all of them and noted Enishi and Heishin were both cruel people, but if they thought he was weaker than the dolls he controlled, they were dead wrong. Gein thanked the crew for the ride, but said he no longer had need for their organization. He went to the grave where the Kaoru doll had been buried and dug up the coffin, saying important things should not leave one’s side. But when Gein opened it, a net popped out, entrapping him and Shinomori Aoshi appeared, saying he thought the puppet master would frolic back here. He asked where Kaoru was, only for Gein to cut open the net with his puppetry wires and demand to know where his masterpiece was. Aoshi identified them as Zankosen and the puppet master noted he was knowledgeable, explaining that the steel wires were treated with diamond so they could easily cut flesh and bone. Gein said Aoshi had to know how difficult the Zankosen was to fight and he’d rather avoid using unnecessary energy. He asked where Aoshi had hidden his corpse doll, which was a result of his pursuit of physical beauty and was a masterpiece that fooled even the Battosai. Gein said it was proof his creation was beyond comparison so it was too perfect to let rot and it had to be recorded in his family’s dark history. Aoshi replied that wasn’t his concern and he asked his question first, but Gein said he’d thought the omnitsu would be able to understand a little of his artistic soul. He attacked, but Aoshi dodged his wires and Gein noted his movement was like a current of water. The omnitsu said he couldn’t slice or bend water and reminded the puppet master that he’d said he didn’t want to use unnecessary energy. However Gein used his wires to send the tombstones as a means of bludgeoning Aoshi and said if he couldn’t slice or bend, he’d just pound the omnitsu into foam. The puppet master said everyone underestimated his abilities and even with his wires, controlling his Iwanbō doll took great skill. Every finger had to bear 20 kilograms of weight and movement had to be controlled to a tenth of a millimeter, so manipulating tombstones was nothing. However Aoshi appeared unscathed and Gein said he expected him to at least lose an arm, but he was better than he’d heard. The puppet master said Aoshi had such extreme skills, but to exist as master of a small inn was a waste for the last master of the Oniwabanshu. Gein then asked Aoshi to join him, since he needed another warlord for the pursuit of his next artwork. However the omnitsu replied that being the master of a small inn wasn’t bad and those who used the shadow arts to cause problems for others should be struck down by those same powers. Gein asked if this was the answer he got from his meditations in Kyoto and said though they were both rogues in black, they were completely different. Gein attacked, saying whoever got in the way of his pursuit of beauty would be eliminated. However Aoshi kicked his dual kodachi’s sheath at the puppet master and attacked, but Gein used his wires on a tree branch, pulling himself out of harms way. But most of his mask was cut away and the puppet master said this was the beginning, to which Aoshi agreed. The omnitsu asked where Kaoru was again and Gein thought to himself that he couldn’t take him lightly, but he was at a distance, so Aoshi couldn’t attack carelessly. However the omnitsu managed to swiftly cut down the tree Gein was in, forcing him to run. The puppet master thought to himself that Aoshi was stronger than when he saw him at Shishio’s lair, but he couldn’t give up his corpse doll. Gein thought that by combining the functional beauty of Iwanbo and the physical beauty of his doll, the ultimate research in beauty awaited him as he coated his wires in oil. Gein appeared before Aoshi in a tree and made him an offer, he’d reveal Kaoru’s location, but Aoshi had to tell him where his corpse doll was. Gein said he had no ties with Enishi so he had no need to cover for him. The omnitsu started to speak, but the puppet master asked him to come a bit closer since he was getting hard of hearing in his old age. However when Aoshi stepped in the right place, Gein revealed his wires had been placed in an octagonal web like pattern all around the omnitsu. The puppet master said he’d taken away Aoshi’s mobility and because of the oil on them, one spark would make them combust instantly, holding up a small rope which was burning on the end. Gein then demanded to know where his corpse doll was, but Aoshi revealed he’d burned it, feeling sorry for the corpses used in it. Enraged, the puppet master lit the wires, but the omnitsu threw his kodachi so that they impaled themselves in Gein’s clothing. Gein told Aoshi it was a futile effort, but the omnitsu revealed the puppet master had left behind some of his wires and had attached them to the end of his kodachi. Realizing what he was going to do, Gein tried to stop him, saying he’d break the wire pattern and forget the corpse doll. But Aoshi pulled him into the flame, incinerating the puppet master and leaving him a blackened skeleton.
AbilitiesDespite being rather old, Gein is quite strong due to having to manipulate his heavy dolls and rather agile. He is able to use the wires he uses to control his dolls in combat since they are diamond edged steel and can manipulate them quite skillfully. Gein’s family has also mastered the art of creating robots, which he makes out of human corpses. He calls the combat based robots he uses the Iwanbō series and the first two models demonstrated great strength and agility and immunity to attacks due to their fat bodies. Gein’s third model, Iwanbō Savage Mode, is the strongest of them and has four mechanisms that make it a powerful adversary. The first, “Impact Absorption Mechanism”, is Iwanbō’s thick skin, which can absorb the force of any blow. The second, “Unrestricted Joint Movement”, allows Gein to move Iwanbō’s limbs freely, both horizontally and vertically. It can also be used to make Iwanbō’s whole body twist around, to get behind an opponent quickly. The third, “Unrestricted Detach/Attach Mechanism”, lets Gein detach the framework, leaving only elastic skin and steel cables that can’t be easily cut, making it hard to destroy. The last, “Anti-Piercing Armor”, is an armor of woven steel that surrounds the area where Gein controls Iwanbō to protect him from piercing attacks. Iwanbō Savage Mode also has a move called Sewangeki, where Gein twists its whole arm in a spiral shape, then drives it into his opponent in a drill like strike. He can also perform this with all of Iwanbō’s fingers as well in a move called Senshi Sewangeki. However the gears and such controlling Iwanbō are very complex and if any of them are jammed, the doll won’t be able to move. Gein is also skilled at making non-combat dolls designed to look like people.
- Gein is named after and based on notorious serial killer, Edward Gein.
- The symbol on the bomb Gein left in his Iwanbō suit at Maekawa Dojo looks just like the skull and cross bones symbol from the manga and anime series, One Piece.