[Fujoshi Friday] Top 10 Remarkable Touken Ranbu: Hanamaru Characters

If bishounen and moe are your cup of tea, then this show will definitely be to your liking! Touken Ranbu simply tells the everyday life of the Touken Danshi (sword warriors) as they help aid the Saniwa in protecting Japan’s history. Obviously, the show is overflowing with gorgeous looking males and cute little boys, but behind their attractive image, each has a story to tell and that’s what makes the show intriguing. However, there are certain characters in the show that are memorable to us and have shown interesting and great things in the anime.

Now, we will present you with Top 10 Hanamaru characters who are remarkable in their own special way. Since the Touken Ranbu franchise assumes you, the viewer, as the Saniwa and their master, there is no doubt that you would want these swords to promptly go home to your citadel. These characters are notably amazing and can surely help you big time in your cause. We do know that there are newer swords in the game that can be listed here, but for now, let us focus more on the swords that appeared in Touken Ranbu: Hanamaru only. Go ahead and scroll down: let’s start our history lesson~

10. Hakata Toushirou

Let’s start off the list with a sword that would make you giggle because of their adorableness. Hakata Toushirou was made by the swordsmith Yoshimitsu Awataguchi who is known for making tantou swords (short blade). Hakata is known for being given to a samurai daimyo, Tadazane Ogasawara, by the lord of Fukuoka Castle in Chikuzen province, Tadayuki Kuroda. Since then, this little sword has been passed down through the Ogasawara family and harbors the spirit of a wealthy merchant.

Hakata is a little boy who considers himself as a mature “Japanese businessman”. He hails from Hakata, a place that was widely famous for trading goods and merchandise in the olden times of Japan. This is the reason why he speaks Hakata dialect and has businessman persona all throughout the game/anime. Hakata is an intelligent boy with a very bright personality. He handles money quite well and would strongly consider any decision that would gain him more profit. If you have Hakata in your citadel, you can be sure that in no time you will be overflowing with Koban (Old currency of Japan) that can help you in your campaigns and decorate your citadel the way you want it. As seen in the anime, this boy doesn’t even have to do anything to get money as he can find it immediately under a rock. Who knows how he can find money in odd places. His luck with money is awesome and that itself is remarkable.


9. Ichigo Hitofuri

Ichigo Hitofuri is mostly known for being the only tachi (great sword) sword that Yoshimitsu Awataguchi has made. He was passed down to prominent people throughout the history of Japan and even crossed paths with Mikazuki when he was in the hands of Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Ichigo was the most prized sword of Hideyoshi and was altered to become a tachi because of Hideyoshi’s small built. Even with Hideyoshi’s apparent death, Ichigo stayed loyal to his master and retreated to the Osaka castle along with the Toyotomi Clan. During the summer siege of Osaka, the Osaka castle was burned down and burned Ichigo along with some of his brothers. Tokugawa Ieyasu took hold of Ichigo and reforged him again for future use. However, Ieyasu didn’t get the chance to use the sword. Ichigo was then presented to Emperor Koumei and has been in the Imperial treasure collection until now.

Ichigo is the big brother of all the Toushirou brothers. He is polite, modest, courteous and always tends to his brothers. Although he is always putting others before himself, Ichigo too has his own demons to hide. For him, his loss of identity because of being reforged by a different swordsmith is what haunts him. Ichigo still tries to look in the past as he is afraid that he might lose who he was when he was with Hideyoshi. But because of his brothers and the Saniwa, he can put that aside and focus on them first. Ichigo is a sweet and gentle person. No wonder the Toushirous would like for their big brother to come home to the citadel.


8. Mikazuki Munechika

Mikazuki Munechika is the mascot character of the game Touken Ranbu and there is a reason for that. Mikazuki is a tachi that was crafted by an expert swordsmith, Sanjou Munechika, during the Heian Period. The sword was considered the most beautiful of all swords and is a part of the treasured Tenga Goken (Five Greatest Swords of Japan). Mikazuki’s notable feature is the crescent moon-shaped pattern on his blade. Just like Ichigo Hitofuri, Mikazuki has been passed down to important people in the history of Japan. But his most prominent owner is Ashikaga Yoshiteru, the great swordsman shogun. He was a favorite of Ashikaga Yoshiteru and even tried to use Mikazuki during the Eiroku Incident. But before he even got to use Mikazuki for battle, he died. Masayasu of the Miyoshi family claimed Mikazuki and offered it to Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Then, Hideyoshi gave it to his wife Nene. After the death of Nene, he was passed down through Tokugawa Hidetada and stayed with them until modern times in the Tokyo National Museum.

Despite not being the oldest sword in the anime/game, many call him Jiji (old man), as he call himself that. He is the epitome of elegance. He is remarkably stunning, bearing the feeling of grace and nobility. Maybe because of his longevity, Mikazuki has become laid back and carefree. Regardless of this behavior, Mikazuki is a very wise man and has an incredible performance on the battlefield.


7. Yamanbagiri Kunihiro

Yamanbagiri Kunihiro, an uchigatana (striking sword), was forged in the Azuchi Momoyama Period by Horikawa Kunihiro. Nagao Akinaga commissioned Horikawa to create a replica of the ever beautiful sword “Yamanbagiri” that was well-known for slaying the witch Yamanba that resided in Mt. Togakushi. Despite being a replica, Yamanbagiri was exquisitely well made by Horikawa Kunihiro and was known as his best work. Because of its artistry, many argued that the replica should be called an original piece. Currently, Yamanbagiri is kept as a personal possession.

Although he is called beautiful by many, Yamanbagiri detests being called that. He believes that the people do not see him for who he is and are only complimenting him because he looks like the original “Yamanbagiri”. He accepts that he is a fake but he is proud enough to call himself a real masterpiece of Horikawa Kunihiro. As to avoid being seen as the original “Yamanbagiri”, Yamanbagiri tries his best to look rigid and dirty. He even hides his face and is alright having scars so people will appreciate that he is different from the original. Even though he has an inferiority complex and is quite skilled, he sometimes appears rather clumsy and oftentimes complicates things without intending to. Let’s just hope that he won’t find out that Kasen Kanesada is looking out for him secretly.


6. Tsurumaru Kuninaga

Tsurumaru Kuninaga was crafted by Gojou Kuninaga who was also a student of Sanjou Munechika during the Heian Period. Tsurumaru has been owned by different great individuals in the past, like Oda Nobunaga and Date Masamune. It was said that he was first owned by Sadayasu of the Adachi clan during the Kamakura Period. Sadayasu was only 14 years old when he got Tsurumaru as his sword. Unfortunately, the little boy was killed during the Shimotsuki incident and was buried alongside Tsurumaru. After the boy’s death, Tsurumaru was dug up by Hojo Sadatoki of the Hojo clan. He was passed around from owner to owner until he came to stay in a shrine. He was again stolen, this time by Koudeki of Honami Clan. The Honami Clan eventually presented the sword to the Date Clan which then was given to Emperor Meiji, making Tsurumaru an imperial treasure.

What is so remarkable about Tsurumaru is that he has been a well-preserved sword throughout the history of Japan. He has witnessed his masters being killed and died. And maybe because of his longevity, he likes to be surprised and to surprise others to make life interesting. Tsurumaru is mostly seen in the anime either fooling around or doing chores in the citadel. Tsurumaru is one of the swords that spice things up in the citadel and make it a more enjoyable place to live in.


5. Shokudaikiri Mitsutada

Shokudaikiri Mitsutada is a tachi sword made by Bizen Osafune Mitsutada. He is one of the Dategumi swords along with Tsurumaru Kuninaga and Ookurikara, but it was said that he also belonged to Oda Nobunaga before he became the precious sword of Date Masamune. Out of all the Dategumi swords, Mitsutada takes after his master the most. Toyotomi Hideyoshi gave Mitsutada to Masamune and after some time, he was passed down to the Tokugawa Mito Family. The sword went missing after the great Kanto earthquake but was found burnt and nearly destroyed in 2015.

Mitsutada looks up to his master Date Masamune. He strives to look cool like him, thus the reason Mitsutada likes to wear stylish clothing. This is also the reason why he doesn’t like his name Shokudaikiri, as it literally means “candlestick cutter”; which to him sounds unattractive and lame. Just like Masamune, he is unbelievably good at cooking. He mostly cooks food along with Kasen Kanesada for the citadel. He is often seen together with the other Dategumi swords or with Hasebe. Unlike Hasebe who is extremely strict with the other swords, Mitsutada is more mellow and lax.


4. Yagen Toushirou

Yagen Toushirou is another tantou sword that was crafted by Yoshimitsu Awataguchi. His name “Yagen” was derived from an incident in 1493 where Hatakeyama Masanaga attempted to commit seppuku by using the sword. Unfortunately, the blade couldn’t cut him and in frustration, he threw the sword away. Ironically, the sword landed and sliced through a herb mortar known as “Yagen”. From that episode, he was named Yagen and was known as the sword with “exceptional cutting ability but refused to kill its master”. From then on, Yagen was passed down to different warlords until he was handed to his famous owner, Oda Nobunaga. Oda Nobunaga adored the sword so much, that he would take the sword in his conquests until the Honnou-ji incident happened and they were separated.

Unlike most of his brothers who were treated like a lucky charm, Yagen was mostly taken out in the battlefield, hence why he is experienced when it comes to the battlefield. Despite being a tantou, he acts in a very mature and responsible manner. He likes anything that has to do with medical research and will always remind everyone to take care of themselves. Every time there are injuries within the citadel, Yagen is the who will always take care of the matter. In the anime, when Ichigo Hitofuri hasn’t come home to the citadel yet, Yagen takes the initiative to take care of his brothers. He trains with them and looks after them when they are together, although it is pretty evident that he too misses Ichigo. Yagen is a reliable sword both in and outside of the battlefield.


3. Heshikiri Hasebe

Heshikiri Hasebe was crafted by Hasebe Kunishige. His prominent master is Oda Nobunaga and was favored by the warlord. Hasebe got his name during an incident where a servant insulted Nobunaga and angered him. Nobunaga decided to execute the servant but he ran away and hid in the cabinet. Even with the wooden cabinet to protect the servant, Nobunaga managed to kill him by slicing through the wood using Hasebe. He was then named by Nobunaga as Heshikiri, but was given away to an individual that is not even a minister of Nobunaga. Hasebe did not like this gesture that’s why he prefers to be called Hasebe instead of Heshikiri. Sometime after that, the Kuroda clan managed to get a hold of him. He was originally a tachi but his blade was cut short to become an uchigatana.

Much like Kiyomitsu, Hasebe lives off the attention given to him by his new master. He is remarkably loyal and would do anything for the Saniwa even though he may disapprove of their actions or decisions. He is the funny assistant of the Saniwa in Hanamaru, and every time he shows up in the series, all that he does and says is mostly about his new master. Albeit with his constant master complex, Hasebe is still a deadly sword that can slice enemies without remorse.


2. Kashuu Kiyomitsu

Kashuu Kiyomitsu is an uchigatana that was forged by a sword smith of the same name during the Edo Period. Kiyomitsu was an excellent swordsmith, but was very poor and lived in the slums known as hijin (by the river bank). During this period, people from the river bank were out-cased and were known for being the poorest of the poor. Kiyomitsu’s (the sword) most notable master during his lifetime was one of the founders of the Shinsengumi, Okita Souji. Okita Souji was a prodigy in swordsmanship that could even handle Kashuu Kiyomitsu along with Yamatonokami Yasuda who were distinguished as swords that are hard to wield and master. Kiyomitsu was with Okita during the Ikedaya Incident but his tip broke and was abandoned as Okita considered the sword to be irreparable.

Since Kiyomitsu was made in an impoverished environment, he likes to adorn himself with pretty things. He likes attention and is not picky with anyone who will give him affection. Kiyomitsu believes that if he takes care of himself, he will always be loved and favored. Maybe because of the abandonment that he experienced with Okita Souji, he wasn’t that attached to his previous master, unlike Yasuda. He easily becomes insecure if he is not in his best condition and hates being abandoned. But in spite of this, as shown in the anime, he still loves his former master and regrets that he broke during the incident. What is so remarkable with Kiyomitsu is that, regardless of what happened in the past, he still moved forward as to not repeat what had happened to him and his former master. Although he is rivals with Yasuda and would bicker because of Okita, the Saniwa or some little things, he is there to always give a piece of his mind when Yasuda needs it.


1. Yamatonokami Yasuda

Same with Kashuu Kiyomitsu, Yamatonokami Yasuda was an uchigatana made in the Edo Period by a swordsmith of the same name. Yasuda was a superior swordsmith who forged various swords with high cutting ability. His swords are exceptionally sharp and Yasuda (the sword) is a true testament of this when it is proven that it can cut up to 2-3 bodies cleanly. Although Yasuda is an amazing sword, no one could bring out the real potential of the blade, therefore, he was sold at a very cheap price. However, Yasuda was fortunate enough to find a master that suited him and that was none other than Okita Souji. He was with Okita until tuberculosis claimed his owner. Since then, Yasuda never had another owner and thinks that it is important for his master to live a long life.

Yasuda takes after Okita, not only with his appearance, but also with his mannerisms and his way of fighting. Just like Okita, Yasuda appears to be polite and gentle most of the time, but when the battle begins, he takes on a different persona who is ruthless and violent in combat. In the game, or even in the anime, it is shown that Yasuda still has a hard time fully accepting his Saniwa and moving forward. He still adores his former master and has a hard time being attached to his new owner. He feels that he would betray the memory of Okita, resulting him being careful with his Saniwa. But this slowly changes as Kiyomitsu and his other sword companions make him realize that he does not need to forget Okita to move forward. For Yasuda, it is truly heartbreaking and saddening to move forward without his former master, but it is remarkable that he still did so and returned to the citadel stronger than he ever was.


Final Thoughts

We all know that Japan is rich when it comes to their history, culture, and beliefs. Learning about Japan is fun, more so when they are presented in a way that will pique our interest. Touken Ranbu has managed to do that by using bishounen and moe to present us the different swords that make up the history of Japan. Who doesn’t like bishounen and cute anime boys with tragic pasts and unique characterizations right?

Of course, all of the swords in Touken Ranbu are remarkable in their own right, but the listed swords above stood out most in the anime. If you think otherwise and would like to add another sword which is more deserving for this list, then explain it down in the comments section down below. Let’s hope the second season of Hanamaru and the upcoming Katsugeki/ Touken Ranbu feature more of the newer swords and we can learn more about our favorite sword/s!

As such, stay tuned to Honey’s Anime for more anime and manga related content and we hope to see you again in the next article. Bye! Now signing off~

Jopz

Writer

Author: Jopz "Yuuema"

I'm an anime and manga enthusiast who is also sinking deeper and deeper into the world of video games. I’m also a traveler by heart who goes out a lot in seek of adventures by studying/learning other histories and cultures of different places and people. Besides the above mentioned, my other interests include reading, writing, cooking/baking, listening to music, observing people, and imagining/appreciating all kinds of things. Oh, by the way, I don’t bite! :3

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