| Spoiler Alert: This page contains minor spoilers from the events of the games. |
Don't worry too much about them but take it into account.
|“||Ishimaru! Your strength has moved me! For this reason, from today onward, I am your subordinate! Use me however you’d like! But... If you ever grow soft, weaken in your convictions, or do anything to disillusion me... I'll gobble you up!!
So? How about it? Still want me as a servant? Answer me! Ishimaru!
—Kurobe, pledging eternal loyalty to Fujiwara Ishimaru.
|Ht. / Wt.||2.5m / 800kg|
|Affiliation||Fujiwara Ishimaru, Youkai, JAPAN|
|Appeared in||Rance X|
Kurobe was created during the NC Era from a broken fang of the Holy Beast Orochi, the progenitor of all Youkai. As a result of being formed from a piece of Orochi itself, Kurobe was imbued with power and ability far beyond the rest of his brethren. Despite his terrifying strength, Kurobe was by nature a rather peaceful individual who spent much of his early life living in seclusion amid tall mountains that were far away from civilization.
The mighty youkai's solitude was eventually interrupted when a young Human child who had gotten lost in the mountains stumbled into his territory. In a moment of generosity, Kurobe chose to transport the injured child safely back to their village. Upon arriving at the village, however, Kurobe was met with fear and derision by the population, who assumed him to be a ferocious beast due to his intimidating appearance and status as a youkai. Kurobe attempted to diffuse the situation by quietly returning to his home, but was relentlessly followed by a group of samurai who intended to take his life, forcing him to take up arms against them to defend himself.
While Kurobe succeeded in killing his pursuers with ease, he continued to be attacked by human warriors from then on, with some believing him to be a menace to the world and others simply seeking out fame for felling a dangerous creature. Kurobe gradually grew to enjoy the constant fighting, taking out the rage he felt towards the humans that mistreated him by tearing apart his challengers until nothing remained of them but bones. Dissatisfied with merely fighting those who traveled to his home, Kurobe left the mountains and began rampaging across the country, effortlessly defeating all who attempted to challenge him.
As time passed, Kurobe steadily garnered a reputation of being a monster of incredible power and unimaginable savagery. Rumors of his numerous victories against humans eventually reached the ears of other youkai across JAPAN, who began to seek him out in the hope of becoming his followers. While Kurobe was mostly indifferent to the idea of being a leader, he welcomed the opportunity to fight even more, causing him to willingly accept all youkai who wished to serve under him in the hope of drawing more attention towards himself. In just a few years, thousands of youkai had chosen to follow Kurobe, allowing them to declare themselves as an independent nation. Under Kurobe, the nation, dubbed the Youkai Kingdom, was able to claim a substantial portion of JAPAN's landmass as its own and become known as the most fearsome group of warriors in the country.
Sometime into his reign as youkai king, Kurobe was approached by Fujiwara Ishimaru, an astoundingly talented human warlord who had succeeded in conquering several human-controlled territories within JAPAN in a short amount of time. Aiming to unite the entire country under his banner, Fujiwara challenged Kurobe to a duel for control over the Youkai Kingdom. Intrigued by both rumors of Fujiwara's strength and the boldness of his declaration, Kurobe accepted, expecting to win with little difficulty as he had against all of his previous opponents.
After a long and intense clash, Fujiwara succeeded in overwhelming Kurobe, and emerged victorious from the battle. Stunned by his first ever loss, Kurobe instantly became fascinated by Fujiwara, who possessed a strength unlike any he had seen before. This astonishment was further piqued when Fujiwara, rather than kill or exile Kurobe as he had expected, asked the humbled youkai to become his subordinate. Having long since internalized the belief that all humans despised him, Kurobe struggled to comprehend the other man's demand, and asked to be given time to consider it.
The next morning, Kurobe appeared outside of Fujiwara's castle, where he bowed his head to the warlord and agreed to recognize him as his master. During this exchange, Kurobe confessed that he had become captivated by Fujiwara's great strength, and warned that he would eat him the second that he betrayed his expectations by showing any kind of weakness. Fujiwara was amused by this audacious display, and confidently stated that he was the strongest man alive and would never allow anyone to stop him from achieving his goals, a response which pleased the youkai king and solidified the bond between the two.
As Fujiwara's subordinate, Kurobe fought by his master's side across countless battles, leading the forces of the Youkai Kingdom to aid in toppling enemy nations. Kurobe and his youkai soldiers proved to be a major asset to Fujiwara's army in battle, where their unique powers and ability to recover from fatal wounds made them much stronger than most humans.
By the year NC0700, Fujiwara had successfully achieved his dream of uniting JAPAN and promptly began to set his sights on invading the mainland of The Continent, a goal which he nearly accomplished just five years later. Fujiwara's conquest was eventually brought to a halt by the Demon King Nighcisa, who, angered that the JAPANese Army had begun to encroach on his own territory, ordered the Elite Dark Lord Xavier to lead the forces of the Monster Army to subdue them. While Fujiwara and his allies fought valiantly, they stood no chance against the Monster Army's overwhelming power, and were pushed back into JAPAN after only two months of fighting.
In the year NC0706, Kurobe, along with Geppei, the founder of Tenshiism, accompanied Fujiwara into battle in a last-ditch effort to defeat Xavier before the JAPANese Army was completely destroyed by the monsters. Though Fujiwara and Kurobe succeeded in restraining Xavier for long enough to allow Geppei to seal his spirit, the effort cost both warriors their lives, bringing an end to Fujiwara's reign as emperor of JAPAN and plunging the nation into another long period of civil war. The Youkai Kingdom, which had fallen apart after Kurobe's death, was eventually reformed sometime into the GL Era by the nine-tailed-fox Kyuubi, who possessed a distrust of humans that far surpassed her predecessor's, causing the already tenuous relations between humans and youkai to shatter completely.
|This section contains spoilers from a game that has not been translated to English yet.|
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Over two millennia after his apparent death, Kurobe unexpectedly returned to life in the year LP0007 at the dawn of the 2nd Dark Lord War. While the reasons for his revival are unclear, several speculate that it was in some way tied to humanity being attacked by the forces of the Monster Realm in a way that was reminiscent of the war that he was killed during. Disinterested in fighting any further, Kurobe made no attempt at reclaiming his title as youkai king, preferring to instead live in seclusion as he had long ago. Despite this, however, his presence was nonetheless taken advantage of by the immortal trickster Keikoku to create a massive divide within the Youkai Kingdom. As many youkai were opposed to the human nonaggression policies enacted by Dokuganryuu Masamune, the third youkai king, they were easily persuaded by Keikoku to renounce their allegiance to Masamune in favor of serving under Kurobe, leading to Masamune losing roughly half of his followers.
Without the full extent of his army available to him, Masamune was unable to deploy the Youkai Kingdom's forces to aid humanity in battle against the monsters. While he attempted to negotiate an alliance with his predecessor multiple times, he was routinely rejected by Kurobe, who refused to fight alongside any humans other than Fujiwara and demanded that Masamune defeat him in combat to earn his loyalty. Opposed to the idea of resolving the situation through violence and doubtful of his ability to defeat the first youkai king, Masamune continued to futilely attempt to reason with Kurobe, causing the two kings to become locked in a stalemate.
During the events of Rance X, Rance, the acting president of the United Human Army, and his allies traveled to JAPAN to assist Masamune in regaining total control over the Youkai Kingdom and bolster humanity's forces. Upon reaching Kurobe's location, Rance demanded that he become his subordinate and grant him ownership of the Youkai Kingdom, but was immediately rejected. Angered at his belligerence, Rance derogatorily compared Kurobe to a dog waiting hopelessly for his deceased master to return, causing Kurobe to become enraged and attack him.
If Rance succeeds in defeating Kurobe, the former youkai king, astonished by his loss, will ask Masamune if Rance is the most powerful human alive, to which Rance arrogantly replies that he is the strongest creature in existence. Reminded of Fujiwara by this response, Kurobe tells Rance that he will remember his name before wandering off on his own to reflect, relinquishing total control of the Youkai Kingdom to Masamune in the process. The next morning, Kurobe appears outside of Oda Castle, where he repeats the declaration of loyalty that he had long ago made to Fujiwara to Rance, which the brutal warrior replies to near-identically to how his master had thousands of years before. Satisfied with Rance's answer, Kurobe happily accepts him as his new master, causing him to join the United Human Army's elite Dark Lord Extermination Squad in the process.
As a member of the Dark Lord Extermination Squad, Kurobe becomes unexpectedly popular with the younger denizens of Rance Castle, who enjoy playing on his large furry body. Despite being profoundly bothered by being treated like a common Wanwan, Kurobe eventually grows content with his new life, happy to finally be able to peacefully coexist with humans as he had wanted to when he first returned the missing child to their village long before.
If Rance is unable to defeat Kurobe within a certain amount of time, Kurobe will call off the battle, stating that Rance's strength, while nowhere near Fujiwara's, was enough to satisfy him, and leaves the battlefield for parts unknown. With their leader suddenly gone, the defected youkai hurriedly cling to Omachi for guidance, who orders them to return to serving Masamune, allowing him to regain total control over the Youkai Kingdom.
During the liberation of the Free Cities Alliance, Kurobe assists Masamune and his wives in freeing various captured cities from the monsters occupying them. Kurobe appears during this event regardless of if Rance was able to defeat him, suggesting that Masamune was eventually able to successfully persuade him to assist humanity through some means no matter if he had received Rance’s help in doing so or not.
Personality and Appearance
Kurobe resembles a massive humanoid wolf with black fur, sharp fangs, piercing yellow eyes surrounded by red markings, and a pair of large curved blades emerging from his back. Kurobe's facial features closely resemble those of Orochi, likely to indicate the close connection that he holds to it. Kurobe's clothing consists of JAPANese-style plate armor attached to his lower body by a set of black leather straps and a necklace draped with three magatama.
A proud and solitary being, Kurobe values strength and ambition above all else. Having earned his title of youkai king through winning countless battles, he believes that power is the sole quality necessary to determine whether or not a person is deserving of authority. He is rather curt and short-tempered in addition to this, and is quick to get agitated when someone says or does something that he perceives to be out of line. While these mannerisms can cause him to be easily mistaken for a savage and hostile creature, he is actually surprisingly tranquil, and will only use violence when provoked. Kurobe is also extremely loyal, and has no problem devoting his life toward serving someone who he believes possesses the strength and drive necessary to be a worthy master. For these reasons, along with his distinct appearance, he is frequently compared to a wanwan, which often display similar behavior on a more basic level. Kurobe himself is deeply embarrassed by this comparison, however, and can quickly become enraged if it is said to him incessantly.
Kurobe has a very complicated history with humans. Despite showing no aggression toward them during his early life, a combination of his intimidating appearance and general prejudices toward youkai caused nearly every human he ever interacted with to treat him with scorn, with several going so far as to attempt to kill him. As a result of this treatment, Kurobe steadily began to believe that all humans instinctively hated him, causing him to become much more antagonistic toward them in retaliation. While Kurobe ended his violent acts against humans after recognizing Fujiwara as his master, he did not altogether abandon his distrust of them, leading him to simply avoid associating with them entirely after returning to life long after Fujiwara's death. If Kurobe is recruited into the United Human Army's forces, he is able to fully move past his hatred of humans after spending a significant amount of time with the residents of Rance Castle, and becomes satisfied with the idea of peacefully coexisting with them.
The closest relationship that Kurobe has ever shared with another is the bond he forged with Fujiwara Ishimaru, the first emperor of JAPAN. As both the first being ever able to best him in combat and the first human to ever offer him respect and companionship, Fujiwara was able to quickly gain Kurobe's loyalty, which only continued to grow as the youkai king further observed his behavior. Kurobe was greatly impressed by Fujiwara's brazen personality and boundless drive toward achieving his goals, and fought by his side faithfully across his life in order to test the limits of how far this determination would go. Kurobe's loyalty remains even after Fujiwara's death, to the point where he chose to live in isolation upon returning to life rather than assist in the war against the monsters due to having no interest in fighting if he could not do it alongside his master. Even after acknowledging Rance as his new master, Kurobe continues to think of Fujiwara often, and always attempts to act in the way that he believes Fujiwara would if he were in his place.
Initially outraged by his poor behavior, Kurobe comes to respect Rance enough to acknowledge him as his second master after getting defeated by him. While Kurobe finds many similarities between Rance and Fujiwara, and was in fact drawn toward him because of them, he notes that there are several key differences that make them stand out from each other, saying in particular that Rance is a much greater womanizer than Fujiwara ever was. Kurobe is not bothered by these differences, however, and states that he wants to respect Rance for his own merits rather than as a mere substitute for his previous master. If Rance does not defeat Kurobe during their fight, Kurobe will still show some amount of respect for his strength, but quickly dismisses him as being far beneath Fujiwara as a man and does not choose to recognize him as his master. Rance generally treats Kurobe closer to a pet than a comrade, but is otherwise fairly cordial toward him.
Kurobe expresses a near-constant curiosity at the actions of Dokuganryuu Masamune, his successor as youkai king. A staunch believer in might making right, Kurobe was shocked by Masamune's pacifistic ideology upon first meeting him, and made several unsuccessful attempts at convincing him to resolve their differences through fighting. This confusion shifted into acceptance after the two made peace with each other, with Kurobe coming to recognize that Masamune's desire to avoid using violence whenever possible was admirable in its own way and gracefully relinquishing total control over the Youkai Kingdom to him. The two developed a strong mutual respect for each other following this, and regularly train together during their free time. The closeness of their relationship has elicited the jealousy of Masamune's wives, who have quickly grown to view Kurobe as yet another rival for his time and affection.
Spawned directly from Orochi, Kurobe is recognized as the strongest youkai in existence by a wide margin. With an enormous and durable body and near-limitless stamina at his disposal, he succeeded in forming a nation for himself and the other youkai of the world through power alone. Kurobe's strength is such that both Masamune and Omachi, his successors as youkai king, freely admit that it far surpasses their own, and claim him to be on more equal ground with a Dark Lord, the most powerful beings on the Continent, than with either of them. This great strength was showcased during his fight against the Dark Lord Extermination Squad, wherein he was able to hold his own without assistance despite the opposition being composed of dozens of humankind's strongest warriors.
Kurobe's fighting style is as ferocious as his appearance, and consists of rending through his enemies with his sharp claws and the blades that protrude from his back. Contrary to his size, he is exceptionally fast, and can overwhelm all but the most fleet-footed warriors on the battlefield with his great speed. His most powerful skill is a technique known as the Youkai Spear Tsunami, in which he rushes at his enemies with all of his body's blades at once for devastating damage.
The most astounding ability that Kurobe possesses is one entirely unrelated to combat. Due to technically being a part of Orochi, Kurobe's body naturally emanates the same aura that allows youkai to be given life as Orochi's does. This aura has a very wide range of effect, and can be used to mobilize the Youkai Kingdom's entire army outside of JAPAN so long as he is a part of it, overcoming the race's usual restriction of remaining within the eastern nation's boundaries. This power was used to great effect during both Fujiwara's campaign against the mainland of the Continent and the 2nd Dark Lord War, where the forces of the Youkai Kingdom were able to significantly reinforce the JAPANese Army because of it.
- Kurobe is often irritated by fleas getting caught in his fur, but generally keeps this a secret from others due to his dislike of being compared to a wanwan. If recruited into the Dark Lord Extermination Squad, the Dark Witch Miracle Tou prepares a special flea removal tonic to help him alleviate this problem.
- Kurobe came in 37th place in the "Males" category of the Rance X Popularity Poll, tying with Sanada Tourin.
- Kurobe's name is most likely derived from the city of the same name in the Toyama prefecture of Japan, which is known for housing the country's largest dam as well as a sizable gorge.
- Kurobe's distinct design, which incorporates much thicker lines and more vibrant shading than any other character that appears in Rance X, is based on the traditional Ukiyo-e style of Japanese art, likely in reference to his status as a being from ancient JAPANese history.
- Kurobe is possibly based on the character of Enkidu from the ancient Mesopotamian epic poem the Epic of Gilgamesh. Like Kurobe, Enkidu was a bestial man who became the close friend and comrade of an outrageous sovereign after being defeated by them in battle.
- Kurobe's vow to remain idle after Fujiwara's death out of loyalty for him is a reference to the famous Japanese story of Hachiko, a dog who waited in a single spot for nine years following the death of his master.