Samurai Deeper Kyo (サムライ ディーパー キョウ Samurai Dīpā Kyō?) is a manga series written and illustrated by Akimine Kamijyo. The manga was serialized from October 15, 1999 to May 10, 2006 in Kodansha's Weekly Shōnen Magazine, and collected over 38 volumes.
Samurai Deeper Kyo follows the story of Demon Eyes Kyo (鬼目の狂 Oni Me no Kyō?) as he seeks to regain his body after his soul was sealed inside the body of his rival, Mibu Kyoshiro. Kyo is joined in his search by the bounty-hunter Shiina Yuya, the heir to the Tokugawa shogunate Benitora, and Sanada Yukimura, a known rival of the Tokugawa.
As of December 2009[update], 34 volumes had been released in the United States and Canada by Tokyopop, at which point Tokyopop dropped the series; it was picked up by Del Rey, who have released volumes 35 and 36 in a single volume and have released the final two volumes in a second single volume. The series has also been released in Denmark, England, France, Germany, Indonesia, Singapore and Spain. It has also been adapted as a Game Boy Advance video game, released in Japan in late 2002. It was later released in North America in February 2008, as the last title for the system.
Set in Tokugawa Japan, this manga begins by following Shiina Yuya, a bounty hunter searching for her brother's murderer. However, Yuya quickly meets a medicine peddler named Mibu Kyoshiro, who turns out to be sharing a body with the feared samurai Demon Eyes Kyo. Over time, Mibu Kyoshiro and, to a lesser extent, Shiina Yuya recede from the story while Demon Eyes Kyo comes to the fore. Kyo's only stated wish is to regain his own body. Following this path leads Kyo, Yuya and a variety of fellow travelers into conflict with both the Tokugawa shogunate and the Mibu tribe, a race of violent superhumans who have run Japan from the shadows for millennia.
Underlying the principal story arc of Kyo's search to reclaim his body, there are many smaller arcs, each leading to the next one. The basis of many later revelations are established many volumes in advance. In the manga, it is revealed that all of the Mibu, except for Kyo, are descendants of "Battle Dolls", creatures created by the Mibu to fight for their amusement. In time, the Battle Dolls come to believe they were the real Mibu, and that the real Mibu eventually became extinct due to in-fighting. The Mibu Battle Dolls are gradually being killed by the "Death Disease". Muramasa's sister was the first to be killed by the disease, but others soon followed. The disease manifests itself when the infected person reaches a certain age. For this reason, the aging process has been stopped in Antera, Tokito, and probably others.
Demon Eyes Kyo ultimately defeats the father and creator of the Mibu, the Former Crimson King, who was also the very first Battle Doll. Originally an extremely-beloved and thoroughly-benevolent ruler, the King had become totally corrupted by his loss of all faith in humanity, and became an insane tyrant bent on completely eradicating all of mankind. Kyo then goes missing-in-action after the final battle, which blows up the Mibu capital, and only reappeared again three years later, after which he retires from fighting and settles down to a quiet life with Yuya.
- Demon Eyes Kyo (鬼目の狂 Oni Me no Kyō?)
He is known for his demonic blood-red eyes and is one of the most feared samurai in the world. He carries a legendary nodachi called Tenro (Heavenly Wolf), made by mastersmith Muramasa. In the manga, he is depicted as a cold, unbeatable samurai. When he was young, he was shunned by all of the Mibu clan for his demonic red eyes except for the Sendai Aka no Ou (Former Crimson King). After killing Oda Nobunaga, he was thrown into the Mibu dungeons until Muramasa rescued him and trained him in Mumyo Jinpu Ryuu. Kyo is the last remaining True Mibu. Sendai Aka no Ou asked Kyo to seek out the outside world and one day stop the former King himself if he was to become evil and destroy the world.
- Mibu Kyoshiro (壬生 京四郎 Mibu Kyōshirō?)
A remarkable and mysterious swordsman, depicted as the only rival to Demon Eyes Kyo. He wielded the Shibien (Black Sword), one of the Muramasa weapons. In the manga, he is depicted as one of the heirs to the Aka no Ou throne, the Red Eyes being proof of his Mibu lineage. He is a "Red Cross Knight", created from the flesh of the Sendai Aka no Ou. Though he is able to control the Red Eyes, he is not a true Mibu, but merely a more powerful battle doll resembling the first generation of battle dolls created. It is depicted that he is stronger than Demon Eyes Kyo until near the end of the manga.
- Shiina Yuya (椎名 由夜?)
A young woman who makes a living as a professional bounty hunter in order to track down her brother's killer, the "Man with the Scar on His Back". She uses a three barreled gun and small daggers as defensive weapons. Yuya is actually an orphan found by her "brother", Nozomu, and raised by him as an adoptive sister. He was Sakuya's biological brother. Unlike many of the characters, Yuya is a normal human without any powers, despite the former Crimson King suspecting she can see the future later in the story.
- Benitora (红虎?)
Also known as Hidetada Tokugawa (德川秀忠?), the heir to the throne of the Tokugawa clan. He is also known as "The Shadow Master" due to his ability to make multiple copies of himself. He first appeared in volume 2 of the manga, accompanying White Crow. He later challenges Kyoshiro, whom he thought was Kyo, to a fight. Benitora loses and decides to join their group. He immediately takes a romantic interest in Shiina Yuya, although the feeling is not returned.
- Mibu clan (壬生一族 Mibu Ichizoku?)
Ruled by The Crimson King. Most of their members are humanoid in appearance but have very long lives compared to humans and have great strength and power. The lower ranked Mibu are sometimes in humanoid shape with abnormal bodies, i.e. three eyes or clawed hands. These were created by experiments on humans and animals to replenish the clan, because natural childbirth has stopped in the Mibu clan for unknown reasons. The Mibu clan are said to possess the most advanced knowledge in sciences and technology and have been manipulating the country's history from the shadows by helping the Shoguns. They decide to rule the country directly when Ieyasu Tokugawa becomes the first shogun to ever rebel against their power.
All of the current Mibu are battle dolls made by True Mibu, except for Demon Eyes Kyo, the last remaining True Mibu. But as generations passed, True Mibu started engaging in civil wars to seek greater power, which ended up in the destruction of their very clan with only battle dolls remaining. Present Mibu are dying off due to the Death Disease which is caused by their flaw as battle dolls created by True Mibu. Kyoushiro and Chinmei are also battle dolls, but a more powerful version created by the first generation battle doll, the former Aka no Ou. They are called "sons of the God", and have limited power compared to what a True Mibu has. Eventually, they will also inherit Death Disease and die.
The TV adaptation takes extreme liberties with the plot, and only vaguely follows the plot of the manga. Kyo is an artificial construct, born of Kyoshiro's attempt to purge violence and cruelty from himself. While Kyo is sealed inside Kyoshiro after losing a swordfight to him, the circumstances behind it are different. Kyoshiro confronts Kyo at the Battle of Sekigahara in order to stop his bloody rampage, rather than to protect Sakuya. Apart from these and flashbacks to his time with Muramasa, Akira and Hotaru, the anime provides fewer details of Kyo's past. The character of Yuya is often relegated to a peripheral character, while the role of the kenyou is enhanced.
- Road to Armageddon
- Wanted (Dead or Alive) Man
- Red Mirage
- Sneaking Nightmare
- The Assassin's Tears
- The Duel of Hibiya Bay
- Keichou Battle Royal
- Demon Spear Cries
- A Blind of Smiles
- Cold-Blooded Illusion
- Pitch Black Flashback
- The Boy Who Came from the Deep Forest
- The Crossing Souls
- The Return of Satan
- Our Friend, Red Tiger
- Perfect Victory
- The Secret Talk of the Ladies
- The Nurse Devil
- Thunderbolt Attack
- Absolute Zero is Far
- The Hellish Mibu Castle
- Clockwork Doors
- Passionate Ecstasy
- Last Muramasa Awakening
- That Which Surpasses a Tachyon
- The Ballad of the Samurai
- Opening Theme
- Aoi no Requiem (Blue Requiem) by Pipeline Project featuring Yuiko Tsubokura
- Ending Theme
- Love Deeper by Pipeline Project featuring Yuiko Tsubokura
- Character songs (from Samurai Deeper Kyo Vocal Album Kyousouka)
- Arboreus Mare by DRY
- PAX VOBISCUM -Negawaku wa Heian Najira to Tomo ni- by Hikaru Midorikawa (Migeira)
- Hanadoki by Megumi Ogata (Yukimura Sanada)
- Kisugi Kanyou no Koto by Toshihiko Seki (Benitora)
- Aosusuki by Yui Horie (Yuya Shina)
- Kohikoro mo by Yumi Kakazu (Okuni Izumono)
- Koran by Katsuyuki Konishi (Onime no Kyo)
- Ashikabi by Souichirou Hoshi (Akira)
- Zessou by Tomokazu Seki (Shinrei)
- Youryuu Risui by Megumi Ogata (Yukimura Sanada)
- Dokumyoufuu by Takehito Koyasu (Hotaru)
- Kinen by Katsuyuki Konishi (Kyoshiro Mibu)
- Samurai Deeper Kyo Anime website (archive)
- Samurai Deeper Kyo (manga) at Tokyopop's website
- Samurai Deeper Kyo (manga) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia
- Samurai Deeper Kyo at Shōnen Magazine (Japanese)
- Samurai Deeper Kyo Special (Japanese)
- Samurai Deeper Kyo game at Bandai Games (Japanese)
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