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Wanizame

"Spare me the moral speech, hypocrite."

0 · 307 views · located in Japan- Sengoki era

a character in “Ways of the Samurai: Journey”, as played by YuumanN

Description

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”Fear not, fortunate one! Though I may challenge the heavens, I shall impart upon you a performance worthy of your parting... or something like that.”






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Age
25~35.

Appearance
In terms of physical appearance, Wanizame is a man with many peculiarities, the most notable of which is definitely the fact that he has a huge burn scar that grotesquely disfigures slightly under a quarter of his face. This scar starts along his right eye and covers a big part of it along with that side's temple, extending even past his ear; needless, to say, there is no hair growing on that area.

He is rather tall compared to the average Japanese man, measuring an imposing 6'1''. Having been exposed to the usual training shinobi are required to have, he has a very strong body build while maintaining a proportionally light weight of 140 lbs; he is pretty much bone and muscle, which makes him ideal for moving fast and silently and allows him to remain concealed and agile in the most conspicuous of places. Nonetheless, and purposefully in direct contrast with his profession, he is rather given to sport a rather eye-catching and flaunting appearance, starting with his hair. Though naturally black, he has found a way to dye it to a dark golden hue by applying a mix of henna plants with other herbs and exposing it to sunlight for hours (usually takes a nap, since he is practically nocturnal). His hair is usually completely disheveled, going up in random directions and forming angles that were thought impossible before; the back is considerably longer than the rest and is kept in a low ponytail that can reach as far down as almost his knees. His eyes are dark brown colored, but his right one has been damaged in the incident where he received his disfiguring scar. The sclera in this eye is permanently red due to the trauma received during the explosion, with a couple of veins always perceivable in it, and the iris has taken on a lighter tone. Surprisingly, and thanks to more than a few miracles in medicine, he actually IS able to see with this eye, albeit having his vision in it deteriorate to some extent. Burn scar aside, his entire body is filled with other injuries that he defines as “trophies of the job”. His nose has been broken in more than one occasion and is now permanently in a lower and more bumped position. He has a lot of scars of varied nature, many of which are the result of accidents when experimenting with new bombs. He usually wears a mask of an oni on his face, but rather than keeping it covering his entire facet, it is pushed to the side, hiding only his scar. Finally, he has a couple of paintings on his face, usually consisting on triangular forms meant to emulate fangs.

His sense of clothing is no less of an attention magnet than his own physical appearance, often consisting in garments inspired by the Noh plays he frequently watches. He normally wears several layers of heavily adorned and colorful kimonos with many different patterns, often consisting on clouds or flowers. But despite the high quality of the garments he wears, he tends to do so in a very messy way, always being unable to completely cover his shoulders and giving the impression that it is about to fall off. He is known to go into assassination tasks wearing clothes such as these when he is confident on his victory, and has demonstrated to be able to move almost as fast and precisely as if he were wearing a standard shinobi uniform. It is also rather common to see him sporting a wide variety of explosives as if they were accessories, such as in the form of collars or strapped to his clothes. He always goes barefoot.

Wanizame w/o his oni mask

Note: I know I suck at drawing, but hopefully this will ease the task of picturing what his scar looks like. Also, some details, such as the shape of his broken nose or the hair on that particular side, are more accurate in that sketch.

Likes
Explosions :: Rather than enjoying explosions because he is good at blowing things up, he actually learned to blow things up out of his fascination for explosions. He could probably write an entire novel describing the beauty of bombs and fireworks, pointing out in full detail the thrilling sensation of the approaching danger, the blasting excitement of the split second in which the detonation takes place and the colorful joy of the subsequent fires.
Noh Plays :: Surprisingly enough, he enjoys Noh and Kyogen plays very much, and it shows a lot in several aspects of both his image and demeanor. He is very learned in the subject and enjoys imitating actors of this genre or even participating himself occasionally. His tendency to refer to his assassinations as performances very likely spawns from his attachment to these plays. The mask he usually has covering a portion of his face is also rather common to see in Noh.
Money :: To his knowledge, everything worth experiencing in life requires money. Since he charges a lot for his services as an assassin and also tends to keep some of his victims' belongings for himself, he has A LOT of it.
Brothels :: He is known to frequent Red Light Districts with moderate frequency and is suspected to own more than one brothel himself. Needless to say, he doesn't believe in the virtues of conjugal relationships or monogamy. Yet, he also dislikes low-class prostitutes, preferring women with grace and manners.
Luxuries :: In his opinion, the pleasures of this life can be enjoyed in two different ways: the right way or the half-hearted way. Of course, only a fool would settle for anything less than perfect in his opinion, which is why he always demands the best quality in everything he enjoys. If he drinks, only the sake with the best classification and highest grades will do; if he takes women to his bed, only the most exotic and gorgeous ones will do; if he watches a stage show, be it a play or a musical performance, only the best actors and musicians will do; and if he has to assassinate someone, only an important and heavily guarded target will do.

Dislikes
Samurai/Bushido :: Both the samurai and their code of honor seem like a waste of human resources to him. He sees their chivalry as nothing more than feed for their self-righteousness and is irritated by the fact that they see honor in killing through an outdated ritual. However, in an odd way, it could be said that he enjoys samurai, as he finds their apparent stupidity to be rather amusing and their fake determination fun to break.
Rain :: He finds it soothing, which is a state of mind he doesn't take much enjoyment from. Besides, detonating explosives can be a lot harder when there's water pouring continuously from the sky.
Unrefined Individuals:: Even though he himself is not exactly what anyone would call a gentleman, he can get easily irritated when confronted by people with poor manners.
Politicians:: They frown upon his lifestyle, so naturally, Wanizame has a bone to pick with most of them. He does seem to like them when he is supposed to kill them.
Sweet Food:: He simply doesn't like the strong and persisting taste of sweets. Besides, he considers this kind of food the lowliest possible, conflicting with his obsession with luxuries.

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Personality
Very surprisingly, Wanizame isn't nearly as concealing and esoteric as one would expect from a professional killer and is, in fact, something of a celebrity amongst those who have ears and eyes in the 'underworld'. Though generally calmed and with a permanent wide grin planted on his face, Wanizame is still prone to volatile and vagarious behavior. He is very whimsical and impulsive, and will always find ways to delight in his preferences and remain in a good mood, but the moment the slightest detail doesn't go his way or he is kept from indulging in his fancies by anything or anyone, he is quick to grow miffed and violent. There is actually no recognizable difference between his regular frame of mind and his upset attitude, as he will always remain smiling, sarcastic and condescending towards others. Though he doesn't really have intentions as drastic as wanting to kill everyone that doesn't please him or tickle his fancy right off, he has injured and even murdered people he disliked before for rather menial reasons, such as being insulted or not being serviced properly in a local of any kind. He likes refined activities, such as watching plays or passing time with oiran, which are very elegant and gracious courtesans, but he himself is completely opposite to what would be expected from a person who can truly appreciate such delicacies. He is ill-mannered and doesn't show respect for the common rituals and norms associated with these forms of entertainment, such as sitting however he wants, using derogatory suffixes towards others or giving orders where his opinions are uncalled for by making use of his resources and might.

He is a lot more intelligent, calculating and cunning than he lets on, as shown by the fact that he has been able to make a name of himself despite having had rather limited resources and humble principles upon his arrival to the world of mercenaries. He prefers to get things done with methods as over-the-top as he can think of, often including fireworks amongst the explosives he uses to carry out his missions as a way to put a signature on his works. This can also serve as another demonstration of his ability to infiltrate buildings and outsmart conventional defenses, as he has yet to be caught despite the continuous use of such bold tactics. He is very learned in several forms of arts, being able to recite from memory entire Noh plays and having somewhat of an avid hand for ink painting. He is also given to expressing himself with grandiloquent vocabulary towards certain people in a manner that emulates actors from famous plays, although he often follows it up with his usual rude and disrespectful remarks. He thinks of his job as a form of art, and refers to his deeds not as “assassinations”, but as “performances”, which is not as erratic or misleading as one would think, as he does put an unnecessary amount of thought and effort into the aesthetic aspect of his exploits.

While he has a very wide range of contacts and alliances with influential people, he is a lot more isolated than most would think after hearing of him. He doesn't believe in the strength of bonds people form with each other and is convinced that the origin of friendship or love is simply yet another sugarcoated form of self-interest for both parties, with selfish motives such as not wanting to be alone or needing to be recognized. Hence there is nothing that he holds dear other than himself, and he believes that a real shinobi should share this opinion in order to be an effective weapon, as they become dull when exposed to such menial emotions. Nonetheless, he does seem to be drawn towards people he finds interesting which, given the odd ways he expresses his curiosity with, is something people would much rather avoid. He is very good at seeing through other people, at least on a superficial level, and takes enjoyment from emotionally disarming them. Due to his emotional detachment and cruel behavior, he could definitely be labeled by most as a psychopath.


Relationships
Family
Father :: Unknown.

Mother :: Unknown.

Siblings :: Unknown.

Friends & Allies
Warlord Yosuke Haru :: Although he doesn't officially work under him, they have had numerous dealings in the past and the two are on very familiar terms. Wanizame respects the warlord's status and ambition and is also pleased by the consistently interesting and rewarding jobs that he imparts on the shinobi. When working for Yosuke, Wanizame usually operates close to him, taking orders directly from him and occasionally taking on the role of his right-hand man.

Kurosawa Tsubaki :: Being close to Warlord Yosuke, Wanizame has been informed of Tsubaki's true identity as a youkai, which has sparked his interest. He finds her dislike for humanity cute and enjoys taunting her, alternating between calling her a “cute little fox” and a “deceiving old hag”. Supposedly, and despite his alliance with Warlord Yosuke, he has plans of his own for her since after all, and as he would put it, a human does not always get the chance to taste a youkai, much less a member of royalty.

Sazaname Ryo :: Wanizame finds 'it' very amusing, saying 'its' erratic behavior is almost as fun to watch as Noh plays. He doesn't believe that the puppet Okashii is alive, but finds far more enjoyment from playing along and claiming he does think it is. Oddly enough, and simply on the grounds of finding Ryo humorous, 'it' is one of the few people with whom he would share his sake (or he would if 'it' ever took off 'its' mask), which he has previously refused to do with more influential individuals. Even with his ability to notice the smallest of details, Wanizame can't fully ascertain whether Ryo is male or female, though he has theorized 'it' to be the former.

Enemies
Lady Chinatsu :: Since she was an influential figure of great renown prior to the overthrow of the Kobayashi household, Wanizame has of course heard of her before, though he hasn't interacted with her in any way. Due to the prestige of her name and her highly competent escorts, he considers the mission of killing her the greatest he has ever taken on. He mockingly refers to her as China-chan.

Kohaku :: Since the Kohaku have been loyal retainers to the Kobayashi for many generations, his presence and role are no secret Wanizame wouldn't be aware of. He suspects the retainer to be the main leader of Lady Chinatsu's guards and thinks that taking him out is essential for bringing the whole group down, which is why he thinks killing him is a top priority.


Equipment
Explosives :: Wanizame specializes mostly in the manufacturing and use of explosives which, since are made by himself, come in a lot of varieties. He uses black powder, pellets and other materials in order to make different types of bombs, such as traditional fire detonation grenades, smoke or poisonous bombs and fragmentation explosives. He carries a large amount of these concealed among his clothing, but also makes larger versions, such as barrels, to conceal in the battlefield and trigger from a distance in order to catch opponents by surprise.

Kunai and Shuriken :: Though he is able to hold his own as a ranged fighter using these weapons in the traditional way, their main function is not to be used conventionally, but to allow him to expand the range and maneuverability of his explosions. Both the kunai and shuriken are usually coated with a flammable liquid so that they can be set afire and can ignite the black powder in larger, static bombs hidden several meters away from him. This is how he tries to trap and take out his opponents in closed spaces.

Tanto :: A small and ornamented dagger that he keeps occulted beneath his garments to pull out unexpectedly. Since he prefers and is a lot more proficient with ranged battle tactics and traps resorting to his explosives rather than direct confrontations, he rarely ever gives this weapon any use, employing it only occasionally to deliver decisive blows to heavily injured opponents.


Strengths
Agility :: Even if he is a rather bizarre ninja, he does have the movements of a top-notch shinobi and can put the vast majority of those who share his profession to shame. He can lift his own body with one arm, jump over a standing, adult person and run as fast as a four-legged animal. He can also easily remain in perfect balance and walk on a handrail all while wearing his heavy garments and being in a severe state of inebriation. In fact, one of the reasons why he received his alias, Wanizame (lit. “Shark”), was that his movements were often described as “impossibly fluid and free, like a fish in deep waters”.

Unorthodox Fighter :: His main form of combat consists on the use of a very wide variety of explosives and alternating between throwing them and triggering them from a distance, all while making use of his unparalleled agility to keep ground between him and his opponent, which is a style that no sword fighter can really relate to. This makes him extremely unpredictable and most warriors he battles, regardless of their experience, discipline or talent, are completely at a loss at how to react upon a first encounter.

Attention to Details :: Being a shinobi, he has learned of many ways to kill without his target even knowing and, even if he doesn't employ all of these methods, he does know about them. By paying attention to details in the right places, he can easily know when someone is attempting to take his life with one of those methods. After putting this skill into practice for many years of being the focus of many people's hatred and assassination attempts, he has developed it to the point that he can't get caught by surprise anymore. Even if it doesn't seem like it, he is always on the lookout.

Psychological Warfare :: As part of some additional training he received on top of the traditional shinobi techniques, Wanizame has also learned some tricks to get into his opponents' mind frame. He knows many ways to analyze his enemy's actions and basic personality and how to deteriorate or deviate their attention to find openings. This can be applied to single one-on-one encounters, where a well-placed comment can make a huge difference, or to entire groups of people, where taking out or involving the right individual under certain circumstances can cause anarchy and weaken their collective potential. When in pursue of a target, this skill can also be used to predict the enemies' next movement and act in accordance. Since Wanizame has no ability for empathy and doesn't understand the notion of camaraderie, there are some limitations that what he can accomplish with this ability.

Pain Resilience :: He has been trained to associate physical pain with positive emotions in order to cancel out any crippling effects it could have on him. Even without his training, after having taken a bomb to the face, there is barely any form of suffering that can surprise him anymore. No kind of attack can stop him from moving and he will not succumb to any form of physical torture.


Weaknesses
Incomplete Direct Combat :: While his training as a shinobi is very complete and allows him to take on any kind of enemy, his ability in traditional fighting is certainly not on par with the rest of his skills. He is certainly capable of putting up a fight using his Tanto, but any samurai with proper training would be able to beat him in sword combat. Depending on the person he is battling, he could be able to exchange blows for about half a minute before being defeated.

Needs Preparation :: While most fighters merely need to put proper care on their weapons to keep them from rusting or losing their edge, Wanizame needs to keep manufacturing his bombs in order to be prepared for a fight and engaging in too many conflicts continuously can limit his resources. Furthermore, if he intends to plant explosives in a certain place, he needs to know in advance his objective will be there and have time to set things up properly. He has learned to set the battlefield to his advantage in the middle of a fight to some extent, but not as effectively as if he did get the chance to prepare.

Open Spaces :: Like many shinobi, he is limited in that he cannot take full advantage of his mobility, concealment techniques and ranged fighting when battling in an open battlefield.

Poor Teamwork :: He tends to work by himself and rarely cooperates with others to carry out his tasks, which makes him unsuitable for missions in large groups, as he lacks advanced communication skills and cooperative flexibility. His fighting style also relies on him being the most comfortable in the battleground, and sharing information with others can put this advantage in jeopardy; not to mention that it is entirely possible that he blows up his ally in the middle of the confrontation by accident, though he probably wouldn't feel very guilty about it.

Right Eye :: Due to the damage received during an incident with an explosion on a large portion of his face, his right eye has lost a lot of perception ability. He can still perceive depth just as well and has learned to compensate for any losses by using the rest of his senses and putting more attention on that side, so it can't really be said that it has any easily noticeable negative effects on his fighting proficiency. However, in a battle against an adversary that could perfectly match his level and fight him with equal strength, this disadvantage could be a decisive factor against him.


Home
As expected of a shinobi, it is not known exactly where he lives. He does seem to spend the vast majority of his free time in the red light district of Edo, so it is believed he lives there, or at least in the capital. Then again, there have also been pieces of evidence of him having had a residence in Kyoto, which probably means he moves when people get too close to finding out his exact residence.

History
While he has never put absolutely any effort into disguising his identity as an assassin even from the beginning of his employment, he has done a surprisingly good and thorough job covering his tracks prior to his arrival to Edo; hence, very little is known about Wanizame's background. Data such as his real name, exact age, heritage and location of origin are limited to speculation and might forever remain a mystery. On account of there being evidence of him having lived in Kyoto at some point, it is believed that he was born there and received shinobi training from his family, as per custom. The main issue with this theory is that no prominent family from Kyoto specialized in ninjutsu has been connected to Wanizame, nor does it explain how he became an independent ninja, which is rather uncommon and poorly perceived. Another theory claims that he hails from a nomad and dishonored family of shinobi. However, since there is no base for this statement other than the fact that some think it “makes sense”, this is more of a myth.

Whichever of the possible stories is correct, it stands true nonetheless that Wanizame simply appeared in Edo as if out of thin air eleven years ago, already with a firm grasp on ninjutsu and a proper mental preparation for killing or spying. Despite lacking any form of resources or contacts to ease his way into the business, he already showed off his characteristic airs of superiority and condescending attitude towards others, which served as quite the poor propaganda for him, as he had no successes to show yet. Day after day, he would announce his profession in the middle of the streets, offering to all passengers his services as an assassin and claiming that he would take the life of absolutely anyone that was requested, even refraining from charging any fees for the first life he would take, as a form of demonstration to the masses. Needless to say, he was deemed a madman and ignored entirely by the Edo citizens, who began referring to him as Shinzan (lit. Newcomer), a common word that Wanizame would take as his first alias. Since he obviously received no requests and even had to escape from anti-disturbance officials and irritated commoners alike, he resorted to stealing in order to have anything to eat at all.

Although the rumors of his arrival did not manage to spread around all of Edo and only a small portion of the city's lower alleys knew of his existence, that small portion of the populace that did know of him grew tired of his daily routine of senseless and dangerous preaching and decided on a way to have his mouth shut without resorting to violence themselves. A disguised worker approached Wanizame and, in accordance with an agreement with other commoners in the vicinity, assigned him the task to assassinate Ito Manzenmaru, an eccentric merchant that was known for hiring bodyguards due to an inexplicable and baseless fear of losing his life at the hands of others. Of course, the plan was for the self-proclaimed shinobi to try to carry out the mission and die in the process, most likely without even fulfilling the objective. The surprise of the citizens when a large amount of fireworks in the middle of the night announced the death of the merchant was only topped by Wanizame's public appearance the next day claiming that his demonstration had ended. With merchants being the lowest social class possible, the government did not get involved as much as it could, choosing to believe that the incident had been caused by an accidental ignition of fireworks and had resulted in the “tragic” death of a random peasant, which allowed the shinobi to keep showing his face in the open without fearing for his life. The event did attract the attention of more peasants around Edo, who had heard of a freelance shinobi that belonged to no family and would take requests from anyone who could afford to pay the prize of the target's head, which was proportional to their status.

During the next few years, his popularity quickly increased as he became associated with bandit groups and other minor organizations.

Perhaps the scariest fact about him is that, despite putting himself on the spotlight quite shamelessly and delivering reasons for his death at every instance, he is still alive and working as an assassin, which speaks legends of his talent.




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So begins...

Wanizame's Story