Kujiranami Hyōgo is a former samurai that swore to kill Himura Kenshin and a villain from Rurouni Kenshin.
In the Battle of Toba Fushimi during the Bakumatsu, Kujiranami battled Kenshin, but his right arm was cut off. He asked the Battosai to finish him, since the patriots victory in the battle was inevitable and from now on, the war would fought with firearms, not swords. Kujiranami said he didn’t want to live to see such times and it would be an honor to die at Kenshin’s hand. However the Battosai responded that he would not kill any more than he needed to, but Kujiranami said the patriots already robbed him of his pride and world. He asked if Kenshin would also rob him of a warrior’s death, but the Battosai still refused to finish Kujiranami off. As a result, he swore revenge on Kenshin and joined Yukishiro Enishi to enact vengeance on him.
After Kujiranami went to Tokyo to join the rest of Enishi’s allies, he stopped at Akabeko to get a meal while Kenshin’s friends were there. Tae, who wasn’t shocked by his appearance unlike the others, asked what he wanted and Kujiranami asked for whatever was cheapest. Tae gave Kujiranami salmon, but charged him for the soba, which was cheapest, out of gratitude, since she decided he’d have to have fought in Boshin or Seinan. When Tae brought him the food, Kujiranami said he’d asked for the cheapest meal but he’d gladly accept her generosity. After eating, he got up to leave, despite Tae offering him more tea, and said the notice outside said Akabeko was closing at five and he’d hate to be a nuisance. However as Kujiranami headed for the door, Kenshin walked in, but he walked away as if nothing was going on, despite the former Battosai recognizing him. Later on, Kujiranami went to the hill where Enishi was waiting for him and he asked the former samurai how Akabeko was. Kujiranami asked Enishi who he was and how he knew his name, then when he didn’t respond, told him if he had no businesses with him, then get lost since he promised to met someone there. Enishi said Gein was looking for lodging for six and Kujiranami realized he was the one from Shanghai Gein hinted about. Enishi revealed that he’d funded and masterminded the whole plan despite his work preventing him from leaving Shanghai, but told Kujiranami they were all comrades dedicated for one goal. Enishi asked again how Akabeko was and Kujiranami said it was nice place, since he got to eat like a human being for once. Enishi asked if they should call what they were about to do off, but Kujiranami, remembering his past with Kenshin said no. Enishi then noted it was getting windy and the target was barely in range, before asking the former samurai what if he failed. However Kujiranamai attached the specially designed Armstrong cannon Enishi had got for him to his severed hand stump, saying he would not fail. As the former samurai braced himself against a tree, Enishi said he was counting on him and told him to ignite the fire that signalled the beginning of revenge. Kujiranami proceed to fire at Akabeko, blasting it to rubble and went with Enishi to the mansion Gein had rented in Yokohama. After Enishi commented on the lodgings, Kujiranami asked who cared where they were and said it was time for him to reveal his name. Enishi said he’d name himself when the others arrive, just as Inui Banjin and Otowa Hyōko showed up. After Yatsume Mumyōi made himself know, Enishi explained to them all that the Battosai now called himself Kenshin and it wouldn’t be revenge to kill him now. He went on to say they had to corner him and make him recognize his past crimes, then they could disband and they’d all have the chance to kill the Battosai. Kujiranami confirmed that this meant the strongest got to kill Kenshin and Enishi explained the plan to them. After that, Kujiranami left with Inui and Otowa to commence with the second phase of Jinchu.
After Otowa left his battle with Kenshin at the police chief’s house, Kujiranami fired on the house with his cannon, almost killing the former Battosai, along with the chief and his family. Kujiranami returned to the mansion, where Enishi announced to them that he’d told Kenshin the final battle would be in ten days. The former samurai said declaring war was fine, but he didn’t understand the ten days and asked why they should wait so long. Enishi explained that he’d called in some men from Shanghai, but it’d take ten days. Kujiranami said he was contradicting himself since their rule was when Battosai turned and fought, it would be a free for all and they’d be enemies. Enishi said it was “sending salt to the enemy”, which was a noble old custom and Kujiranami said he’d let that go. The former samurai thought to himself that he didn’t care what Enishi was plotting and in ten days, Kenshin’s head would be his. As the day arrived, Enishi presented Kujiranami and the others with upgraded weapons and they set out to complete Jinchu. They arrived at Kamiya Dojo via hot air balloon and as they approached, Kujiranami became consumed by the desire for revenge and leapt down to attack Kenshin. However the former Battosai was punched into the air by Sanosuke and struck down Kujiranami with Kuzu Ryusen before he could fire his cannon. The former samurai got back to his feet and fired but Sanosuke sent the shell back at him with his zanbato. Kujiranami smacked the shell to the side, but Kenshin struck him in the side in a vital place, sending the impact through to the lungs. This left the former samurai unable to move at all due to the difficulty of breathing. However as Kenshin faced Enishi, Kujiranami recovered and attacked Kenshin, slamming him into the wall. This allowed Enishi to go after Kaoru and Kujiranami tried to crush the former Battosai with his cannon arm, but Saito and Sanosuke hit him in the front and back, sending him to the ground. Kujiranami got back up, enraged, but Saito defeated him again and he was put in prison.
Rampage through Tokyo
However while in prison, Kujiranami went insane with determination to kill Kenshin and broke out of his cell. He retrieved the weapon Enishi had gave him, an automatic grenade launcher designed to replace his hand the same way his Armstong cannon had. Kujiranami proceeded to blast his way out of the police station, reducing it to a flaming wreck before making his way to the city. As he approached, he was met by a blockade of policemen that included Yahiko and fired his grenade launcher at then. Yahiko charged at Kujiranami and he started firing at the boy, but Yahiko kept dodging the shots. Eventually the former samurai got him up against a wall and prepared to blast Yahiko, but the policeman hit Kujiranami on the head, stopping him from firing. Yahiko used an imitation of Kenshin’ Ryushosen to damage the area where the former samurai’s grenade launcher was attached to his arm. Kujiranami found himself surrounded by the rest of the policemen, but a boy who’d been separated from his father wandered onto the scene. Kujiranami prepared to fire at the boy, but Yahiko went to save him and was blasted into the air. The policeman tried to attack the former samurai, but he span around, knocking them away, before unleashing a barrage of shots at Yahiko. Seeing his opposition was gone, Kujiranami yelled out to Kenshin, demanding to know where he was and said there was no use hiding. However Yahiko emerged, still alive and as he stood up to the former samurai, Kujiranami saw him as Kenshin. He prepared to fire again, but the policemen grabbed him and he managed to shake them off. Yahiko told Kujiranami that Kenshin was in the midst of a battle with himself and he couldn’t have him bothered by the likes of Kujiranami. The boy said at this range, neither of them would miss and the former samurai swung the bayonet on his grenade launcher down on Yahiko. The boy used the blade halting technique to catch the strike, though not without injury and used the blade crossing technique to strike Kujiranami under his arm. However it was not enough and the former samurai smashed Yahiko into the ground. As he tried to get up, Kujiranami smashed him away, then grabbed him by the head and prepared to fire at him point blank. However at that moment, Kenshin showed up, hitting Kujiranami with Kuzu Rysuen, which left him on the ground. The former samurai got up again and fired at him, but the former Battosai dodged then severed the grenade launcher with his Ryushosen. This caused Kujiranami to snap out of his rage, due to losing his right hand again and again asked Kenshin to kill him. He said that the revolution destroyed the era and taken the pride from the samurai, now the former Battosai had taken his grave from him Kujiranami said that faced with defeat, he would not push jinchu anymore, but this time he wanted Kenshin to give him the grave he deserved. However the former Battosai said he would never take a life, no matter the reason and Kujiranami roared if he thought such an answer was accepted. He threatened to set off the rest of the grenades, which would kill everyone there, but Yahiko said he wouldn’t allow that. The boy said Kujiranami and Kenshin were semurai and had they fought under different banners, death would be expected. Yahiko then asked Kujiranami why he couldn’t appreciate the fact he only lost his right arm and a samurai had no need to hold grudges against another. The boy told him if he saw a samurai, think about what he could do in the new era with his spared life. Yahiko told Kujiranami that Kenshin fought constantly to protect people, while he’d only rampaged with the bullets in his right arm and asked what he’d done with his left arm. Yahiko smashed his right hand with his shinai and told Kujiranami if he still wanted to fight, now they were both limited to left arms. However the former samurai asked Yahiko’s name and the boy said he was Myojin Yahiko, a Tokyo Shizoku, and asked Kujiranami if he still wanted to fight. The former samurai walked away, saying he thought shizoku was a mere title and began to weep, stating he was at a loss. Kujiranami apologized to Kenshin and the former Battosai told him to live in the new era as he gave himself up to the police.
AbilitiesAs one can guess from his size, Kujiranami possesses a great deal of physical strength. He has a special attachment where his right hand used to be, that allows him to attach specialized weapons Enishi had made for him. The first is an Armstrong cannon, which Kujiranami is quite accurate with, even when he fires from long distances and that can level structures with one shot. The second is a specialized grenade launcher, which can fire explosives faster than his cannon, but doesn’t seem to have as much explosive power. Kujiranami can also use the weapons to deliver powerful blows.
- Nobuhiro Watsuki, creator of Rurouni Kenshin, wanted to make a Terminator like character with Kujiranami, which he failed to create with Uonuma Usui. However Watsuki and his assistants felt tired from the drawing, so they took away the Terminator aspects.
- Kujiranami’s design model is Apocalypse, who was one of Watsuki’s favorite villains. Watsuki felt his lips were interesting so he gave similar ones to Kujiranami and thought Apocalypse’s Social Darwinism was true manliness, wanting to have characters like that.
- The idea for a one-handed fighter came from Iba Hachiro, a swordsman from the Bakumatsu. It was originally going to be used for Enishi, but due to the problems of a one-handed swordsman fighting Kenshin, Watsuki used it for Kujiranami instead.