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Gamaran
我間乱Template:Category handler/numbered
GenreAction, Historical, Martial Arts
Manga
Written by NAKAMARU Yousuke
Illustrated by Nakamaru Yousuke
Published by 23x15px Kodansha
Demographic Shōnen
Magazine 23x15px Weekly Shōnen Magazine
Original run May 2009 – ongoing
Volumes 4
Anime and Manga Portal

'Gamaran' (我間乱) is a Japanese Manga Series written and drawn by Nakamaru Yousuke. It is a martials arts based story set in the Middle Edo period and is currently serialized by the Weekly Shonen Magazine[1]

Plot

In the Middle Edo Period, the ruler of Unbara, Washitzu Naosata, is holding a martial arts tournament called the Haunt of Demons to determine which one of his 31 sons will succeed him as the ruler of Unabara. The son with the strongest martial artist will become the future ruler of Unabara.

Washitzu Naoshi, one of Naosata’s 31 sons, wants to become the ruler of Unabara so that he will not be looked down upon because of his mother who is of a low social standing. Naoshi searches for Kurogane Jinsuke, the legendary swordsman rumored to have killed over a 1000 martial artists, thus earning the nickname “Thousand Man-Slayer.” Kurogane Jinsuke has been missing for several years, and while investigating Jinsuke’s dojo, Naoshi instead finds Kurogane Gama, Jinsuke’s 14 year old son.

Gama shows Naoshi his talent and skill, compelling Naoshi to ask Gama to become his subordinate for the Haunt of Demons.

Media

Manga

Gamaran is written and drawn by Nakamaru Yousuke. It is serialized in the Weekly Shonen Magazine. The manga is relatively young, the first chapter being published in May 2009. There are a total of 51 chapters released between May 2009 and Jun 2010. Currently, Gamaran is only available through Japan’s Weekly Shonen Magazine. [2]

Characters

Main Protagonists

Kurogane Gama - The son of Kurogane Jinsuke and fellow student of the Ogame school of martial arts, Gama shows incredible talent and skill as he easily dispatches the two mercenaries, the Hyouga brothers, who were hired by Naoshi to test Gama’s skill. Gama is shown to have a very competitive personality as he agrees to join the Haunt of Demons under Naoshi in order to meet his father and defeat him. Gama displays his raw talent throughout the series as he constantly develops and evolves from his fights, enabling him to defeat opponents more experienced than him.

Washitzu Naoshi – One of the 31 sons of Washitzu Naosata. At the start of the manga, Naoshi is seen as very determined to find a strong martial artist to represent him in the Haunt of Demons. It is later revealed that Naoshi is not respected by his other brothers because of the low status of his mother. The mistreatment he has felt by his brothers compels him to want to become the ruler of Unabara to change his own destiny.

Sakura Shinnojou - A student of the Ogame school who comes to the Haunt of Demons for the tournament's second round; he is very calm and rational. He tends to blame his own mistakes on Zenmaru.

Ichinose Zenmaru - A student of the Ogame school who comes to the Haunt of Demons for the tournament's second round; he's hotheaded and quick tempered. He and Gama act in a manner like siblings, always arguing over who's stronger. He prefers to use the school's Fire Katas, which emphasize raw strength.

Iori Sengoku - An instructor in the Ogame school of martial arts and the man who taught Gama his sword techniques. He is incredibly skilled and is known to sometimes go overboard.

Antagonists

Most of the antagonists have so far been competitors in the Unaba Martial Arts Tournament.

Hyouga Brothers - The brothers Masato, the elder brother, and Kosaburou, the younger brother. They are a pair of mercenaries hired by Naoyoshi in order to test the Ogama school's strength. Masato is far more powerful then Kosaburou and neither have a problem with using dirty methods.

Unaba Tournament Competitors

Tengen Style - (Heavenly Illusion) a school using the naginata founded less then three years ago by Baian[3].

Maki Baian – Gama’s first major opponent. Also known as Drunk Baian due to his great love of sake. Baian is the head of the Tengen Style of Martial Arts which specializes in the naginata. He dreams of making the Tengen school the strongest there is. Killed by Gama, who vowed he'd remember his strength.

Yakushiji Eima - An instructor of Tengen Style who shares Baian's dream of making it the strongest. He once challenged Baian with a sword and lost, eventually becoming his follower. The only survivor of the Tengen style after they fight Gama.

Nakaizumi Style - (Middle Spring) An archery school that utilizes special arrows to overcome a the normal disadvantages on of archery in combat. The three kinds of special arrows they use are: Destruction using a holed arrow head filled with a mass of lead to give it great speed, accuracy, and destructive power, Encircle an arrow designed to turn in flight, and Fang a crescent bladed arrow with protrusions along the shaft designed for killing, as it will violently oscillate when it hits which will drive it further in and cause more damage[4].

Nakaizumi Arata - Heir of the Nakaizumi style, it took him a total of 14 years to completely master his style. Lures Gama into a forest so that Gama will believe he has the edge only to utilize his styles arrows to their full potential. However he loses in the end, with Gama letting him live because he found Arata's style impressive and wanted him to perfect it[5].

Kyousen Style - (Thousand Mirror) a shadow school of hand to hand combat that utilizes specific strikes to the opponents vital points in order to rupture their opponents organs[6]. They seek to step out of the shadows and claim the title of the strongest school. The school's master trains in a secret room within the compound full of death row criminals who have been promised their freedom if they kill whoever enters[7]. The school is solely taught within the Daimaru clan.

Sakon Daimaru – Gama’s second major opponent. Sakon is the head of the Kyousen Style of Martial Arts, as he is regarded as the strongest fighter in the history of the Kyousen School, as well as it's youngest master. He is weak-minded and manipulated by his older brother to become a cold-blooded killer, despite being gentle in nature. As a child, in order to rid him of his kind heart, his brother locked him in a secret room in the Kyousen Dojo that was filled with criminals meant for use as live training dummies for the Kyousen master, who were promised their freedom if could defeat the school's master[8]. This mentally and emotionally broke him, causing him to become a savage, mindless killer whenever he starts bleeding, becoming little more then a rabid animal. Killed by Gama, who regretted that he couldn't fight Sakon as a martial artist.

Ryuugo Daimaru - The eldest brother of all the Daimaru siblings, he wishes for Kyousen to step out of the shadows and sought to do some by "perfecting" Sakon's genius by removing his gentle heart by subjecting him to an emotionally and mentally shattering trauma. He believes this has created an ideal warrior for the Kyousen style, a warrior who combines martial arts techniques with a beast's instincts[9]. He also fails to see that his actions actually ruined Sakon's potential and talents. He is killed by Sakon while the later is in a berserk state, shortly after being rebuked by Gama for his actions.

Gorou Daimaru - The 5th son of the Daimaru clan, he is sympathetic towards Sakon and realizes that Ryuugo's actions did not strengthen Sakon but broke him.

Souji, Genzou, and Shinosuke Daimaru - The 2nd, 3rd, and 4th child of the Daimaru family respectively. The three tried to sneak attack Gama while he was recovering from his injuries after consecutively battling the Tengen and Nakaizumi styles, killing everyone in their way. Souji believes himself to be more talented then Ryuugo and Sakon. All three are killed by Gama with little difficulty.

Saizou Fujibayashi – Gama’s third major opponent. Saizou is the head of the Tamagakushi Style of Ninjutsu. With the nickname the “Soul Binder”, Saizou uses a mysterious paralysis technique to defeat his opponents. This technique turns out to be the use of small, thrown pins (senbon) to disable joints. Killed by Gama with the recently perfected 3rd mode of his lightning kata.

Unbara Royal Family

The sons of lord Washitzu Naosata, each has sponsered a different school in the tournament. The winning school's sponsor will succeed Lord Washitzu.

Washitzu Naosata: The lord of the Haunt of Demons, he is obsessed with determining which school of martial art is the best and as a result had the tournament created in order to determine the strongest school. He is familiar with Jinsuke Kurogane and was ecstatic to learn that his son would be participating in the tournament. He also cares little about the lives of his sons, as seen when he makes the requirement for passing the second round to be taking their heads.

Washitzu Naosada: The 10th son of lord Washitzu and sponsor of the Tengen school. Like most of Naoyoshi's brothers, he considers him a worthless because his mother is a commoner, going so far as to call him a maggot.

Washizu Naokatsu: The 31st son of lord Washizu. He is the only one of Naoyoshi's brothers who does not despise him and feels that the status of his mother does not make Naoyoshi any different from the rest of them.

References

  1. Shonen Jump Main Website. http://shonenjump.com/j/ (accessed March 10, 2010).
  2. Shonen Jump Main Website. http://shonenjump.com/j/ (accessed March 10, 2010).
  3. chapter 3 page 2
  4. chapter 9 pages 9-11
  5. chapter 12 page 5
  6. chapter 13 page 13
  7. chapter 20 page 1
  8. chapter 20 pages 11-15
  9. chapter 20 page 6
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