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Sure, I sense Sengo Muramasa's prescence, but I can't see anything!
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This article is about the Kingdom Hearts: Arcana character. You may be looking for the secret boss or the Destiny's Reach version.
Sengo Muramasa
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Kana 村正 千子 (Muramasa Sengo)
Type Soul Reaper (Vizard)
Role Alternate Protagonist
Antagonist?
Age Unknown (At least 950)
Home World Soul Society
Weapon Zanpakuto
Hollow Powers
"I have no real enmity for you, Nathaniel. But you are the hero of this story, and I am cast as the villain. Such is the role I must perform, and thus we battle."
—Muramasa, speaking to Nathaniel Koroshiya shortly before combat.

Sengo Muramasa is an alternate protagonist in Kingdom Hearts: Arcana. He is probably older than Nathaniel Koroshiya, though it isn't certain, since he only began keeping track around 950 years ago. Unlike Nathaniel, Muramasa cannot wield the Keyblade, but he does posess quite fearsome Hollow powers. The reason he has not been exiled from Soul Society is because he acquired them before his arrival. He recently found and adopted Naomi Reed.

Story

Origin

Sengo Muramasa, as a human was an Onmitsu (more commonly known as ninja), but was later tortured to death by a Yakuza-like gang after being betrayed by a rival. As a spirit, he existed for decades without ever being given a Soul Burial. Because of this, Muramasa underwent a very gradual process of Hollowfication, although he eventually found his way to Soul Society on his own, which itself is quite a feat.

Soul Society

Upon arrival in Soul Society, Muramasa already posessed an above-average Spirital Pressure, and remembering his skills with weaponry and onmitsu magic, was assigned a tutor to train him as a Soul Reaper. This was 950 years before the events of Kingdom Hearts: Arcana, and is when Muramasa actually started keeping track of his age. Muramasa became a low-ranking member of the Fifth Division, although he equally used his zanpakuto and kido. Muramasa's power level increased rapidly, having a growth rate nearly as astonishing as Ichigo Kurosaki would later display. In a relatively short period of fifty years, Muramasa climbed from the bottom of the barrel to Vice-Captain, before he was transferred to the Kido Corps, of which he became "Captain" about twenty years later.

About two hundred and fifty years later, during a training battle with Kenpachi Zaraki, Muramasa first unleashed his Inner Hollow.

Unleashing a Monster

While fighting Kenpachi Zaraki in a duel (as no one else was willing to spar with the Eleventh Division Captain), Muramasa suddenly fell to one knee after taking a particularly harsh blow to the head. When he looked back up, however, his face was covered by a Hollow Mask. Using the element of surprise and his newly gained Hollow powers, Muramasa easily knocked Kenpachi out. After a private meeting that involved Nathaniel Koroshiya, Kisuke Urahara, Genryusai Yamamoto, and Sosuke Aizen -- the greatest minds of Soul Society at the time -- it was determined that Muramasa had developed his Hollow powers because, as a Plus, he hadn't been given a Soul Burial and taken to Soul Society that way. Therefore, Yamamoto decided that Muramasa would not be exiled from Soul Society, since there was no precedent, and he had acquired his Hollow powers naturally.

From that point onward, whenever on missions, Muramasa always used his Zanpakuto and his mask in tandem, experimenting the limits of his newfound power. Amazingly, he first triggered his Bankai just ten years after unlocking his mask, a record for the fastest Bankai achievement without using artificial means.

Kingdom Hearts: Arcana

When Nathaniel Koroshiya suddenly vanishes from Soul Society, Muramasa embarks on a mission to find him and confirm his status as either deceased, defected, or simply AWOL -- until then, Nathaniel is considered MIA. Through manipulation of his Inner Hollow, Muramasa developed the power to open Corridors of Darkness, and found that by traversing them in his Resureccion state, he suffers no ill effects. In this way, Muramasa found himself in Hollow Bastion, where he soon encountered a group of Darkness-aligned Keybearing bandits. After they drew first blood, Sengo used his Bankai and slaughtered them. Not detecting any trace of Nathaniel's Spirit Pressure, he opened another Corridor, but not before looting a Black Coat from one of the corpses. Decades later, after exploring numerous other worlds, Muramasa arrived in the Land of Departure, just five years prior to the Birth By Sleep era, and after learning from Master Eraqus that Nathaniel had indeed been there, but some time ago, Muramasa then vanished once more, though he would visit Eraqus's apprentices from time to time with advice.

Appearance

Sengo Muramasa bears a notable resemblance to Byakuya Kuchiki, although his hair is a bit longer and not nearly as well-groomed. He stands at nearly six feet tall, and while not as built as Kenpachi Zaraki, is still rather muscular. His eyes, strangely, are orange, and this appears to be a genetic trait.

Muramasa wears a standard Soul Reaper uniform, though without any type of insignia on it, and over it, he wears a long black hooded cloak. Also, the white parts of the uniform are dark purple, and Sengo's zanpakuto is positioned on the right side, even though he draws it with his right hand; the sealed state is a wakizashi rather than a katana, so it is easily drawn with either hand.

Personality

Unlike his daughter, Sengo Muramasa is utterly ruthless, with no mercy in battle. His Zanapkuto, the name of which translates to "One Thousand Cold Nights", has the power to absorb heat and to induce fear throughout a certain area, which certainly fits, given how cold and terrifying Muramasa usually is. The Vizard generally only shows any degree of warmth around those who have earned his respect, such as Nathaniel Koroshiya, Kisuke Urahara, and Yoruichi Shihoin. The only exception thus far is Naomi Reed, whom he found bleeding in a back alley on Earth, and whom he then nursed back to health and adopted for reasons known only to himself.

Relationships

Naomi Reed

Muramasa found Naomi as a young child, badly beaten and bleeding in a back alley on Earth. Remembering that he'd been left to die under similar circumstances, he took an unexpected measure of pity on her and brought her back to health, with the intention of leaving her to her own devices once someone else could take care of her. Naomi's devotion to her "savior", however, was stronger than Sengo could've predicted, and so he simply adopted her. During Naomi's late teens and early twenties, she began to show feelings of a romantic nature for her "father". While Muramasa is overall uncertain of how to deal with this, he cannot honestly deny that he returns her affections, so he allows her to call him her lover/boyfriend, though he declines when asked the inverse.

Nathaniel Koroshiya

Sengo Muramasa views Nathaniel as a trusted colleague, and on missions, they always watch each other's back, though neither of them would call the other a friend. While Sengo greatly respects Nathaniel's knowledge and skill, he finds that his colleague relies a bit too much on his emotions, even to the point of breaking the law by aiding and abetting a fugitive. Because of this, Sengo has become rather paranoid about Nathaniel's motives, also partially caused by Sosuke Aizen's defection. When Nathaniel disappeared to other worlds upon awakening as a Keybearer, Muramasa also vanished to look for him, although he notified his superiors about the circumstances. For the last hundred years, Muramasa has been scouring the worlds looking for Nathaniel to confirm his status, although he periodically returns to Soul Society about once a decade.

Sosuke Aizen

Sosuke Aizen was another Soul Reaper whom Sengo Muramasa respected for intellect and skill, although with Aizen's eventual betrayal, that respect has all but vanished. Sengo Muramasa now views Aizen as a target, though he understands that to underestimate him is tantamount to suicide. Muramasa also understands that even if he unleashed his Resureccion and Bankai at the same time, he'll need help to bring down Aizen and his troops effectively. To that end, Sengo continues his search for Koroshiya ever more vigorously, and seems to always be just a few steps behind, a few days too late.

Sen Yosamu

"Nathaniel was among the greatest minds that Soul Society ever knew - finding him won't be easy. And yet his Spiritual Pressure is fairly distinct... I suggest using Mifune's Hollow senses to track down the Spiritual Pressure. If it becomes necessary to restrain him, then you can't hold back, even if he is your friend. Do not hesitate to utilize Resureccion and Bankai at the same time. Mifune and I will support you to the fullest."
—Sen Yosamu, advising Muramasa on how to find and retrieve Nathaniel.

Sen Yosamu is the spirit of Muramasa's Zanpakuto, and a minor character in his story of Reverse Perspective/Pursuit. Sen Yosamu takes the form of a human-dragon hybrid, and provides Muramasa with any help that is required, be it in combat, investigation, or day-to-day life.


Mifune

"Finally, a chance to stretch my legs and cut the hell loose. What was your name again? Zane? Don't worry, I'm not gonna kill you. But 'the man' needs your help looking for someone, and I need a decent brawl. Two birds, one stone. Now gimme a challenge!"
—Mifune, temporarily assuming control over Muramasa's body, and shortly before battle with Zane Koroshiya.

Mifune is Muramasa's Inner Hollow, and is generally a minor character, who bears a slight, but noticeable resemblance to Grimmjow. Unlike Ichigo's Inner Hollow, Mifune accepts Muramasa as the superior consciousness, and generally is helpful, providing the Soul Reaper with access to his Hollow powers whenever requested. It was Mifune who suggested traversing via Corridors of Darkness, and through his Resureccion state, gave Muramasa the means to do so with little to no adverse effects. Mifune also provides insight into some of Muramasa's day-to-day problems, and it's his ability to consume and detect Spiritual Energy that allows Muramasa to hunt down Nathaniel.

However, the Inner Hollow does request "exercise" from time to time, usually in the form of Mifune temporarily becoming the dominant personality during combat against powerful Hollows, low-level Arrancars and Vizards, and more recently, Heartless nearing the Invisible, Dustflier, Behemoth, and Darkside classes. He occasionally laments that the only Nobodies worth a challenge for him are Twilight Thorns (which are incredibly rare) and those in the same league as Organization XIII, who are generally opponents for Muramasa alone.

See Also: here.

Powers and Abilities

Master Swordsmanship Specialist: Muramasa's swordsmanship is on par with the other Captains, and can match the likes of even Kenpachi Zaraki in terms of ferocity.

  • Sōkensōin (双剣掃引, Double Sword Sweep): A technique which entails two strikes of a sword of extreme force and speed. The two cuts are made so quickly the target only perceives one swing. Muramasa's variant relies on using two swords to achieve the same effect.

Flash Steps: While not a true master of the technique at the same level as Nathaniel Koroshiya or Yoruichi Shihoin, Muramasa is still an expert in the Flash Step.

Kidō Master: Muramasa is one of the greatest spellcasters still living in Soul Society, at least at the same level as Nathaniel. As a former captain of the Kido Corps, he is known to have cast "Black Coffin" without the incantation with only three seconds preparation, and he used it at its full power.

Master of Subterfuge and Deception: Muramasa posesses great skill in manipulating the vast majority of his opponents, and in one instance a few hundred years before the start of Kingdom Hearts, made a Fourth Seat of the Eleventh Division start to doubt that he was even real, making him commit suicide. The exact speech that Muramasa used is known only to himself.

Immense Spiritual Power: Muramasa is nearly 1000 years old (from when he started keeping track), thus boasting a great amount of spiritual energy, suitable for a Captain and a Vizard. His spiritual energy fluctuates from black to dark purple to ice blue.

Zanpakutō

Sen Yosamu (千夜寒, One Thousand Cold Nights): Its sealed state takes the form of an unmarked katana with a small, circular guard, and the hilt is bound in brown leather. The scabbard is black and unmarked.

The Inner World mainly consists of a seemingly endless frozen plane, although there are massive glaciers in the distance. It is eternal night, similar to Antarctica in the winter, although the Southern Lights are particularly vibrant.

  • Shikai: Its release command is "Encase the heart in frozen terror." (冷凍恐怖で包む心, Reitō kyōfu de tsutsumu kokoro) In this form, it takes a form which is like a fusion of Yamato and Lucifer from Devil May Cry 4. It is clearly a sword, although it's designed more like Lucifer. The blade is black with dark purple lines across it, similar to cracks in a field of ice.
Shikai Special Ability: Sen Yosamu's primary and most well-known ability is ____ (Freezing Aura), the name of which is fairly obvious. Sen Yosamu, while in shikai form, has a special property that gradually absorbs all heat within a given radius, generally around 50 feet, and the closer an object is to the blade, the more rapidly its temperature decreases. When used on sentient things, including Hollows, Soul Reapers, and humans, the blade has another, similar power that activates in the same time and in the same way, inducing fear and doubt. Kenpachi Zaraki, Genryusai Yamamoto, and Sosuke Aizen are thus far the only three people shown to be immune to this second effect, while the other Captains, along with Ichigo Kurosaki, Naomi Reed, and Nathaniel Koroshiya also have either great resistance or total immunity as well. Flintlass, being the manifested spirit of a Zanpakuto, is unaffected.
Kōrisetsudan no Ken (氷切断の剣, Piercing Ice Blade, lit. Sword of Ice-Cutting): Sen Yosamu's cold-inducing aura effect is ten times more powerful through direct contact withe the sharp edge via cutting. Sengo Muramasa is known to have killed a weak Vasto Lorde by impaling it in the head with Sen Yosamu, freezing it from the inside-out beginning with the brain, and then shattering it.
Hyodan: Dairasen (Burst: Glacier Orb, lit. Ice Blast: Great Spiral): Muramasa holds Sen Yosamu in front of him and points it at his opponent, and by focusing his Spirit Pressure, forms and unleashes a massive burst of subzero energy, which can instantly freeze anything and everything it hits. However, it's size is only twice the size as the Rasengan.
  • Bankai: Eien no Mōfubuki no Sen Yosamu (永遠の猛吹雪の千夜寒, Endless Whiteout of One Thousand Cold Nights): Sengo brings the shikai form of his weapon to his side, holding it in the same stance as Sora does his Keyblade for the "Duel Stance" Reaction Command in Kingdom Hearts II. Then, he shifts the sword and impales himself in the chest with it as he says "Bankai". The self-impaling is a symbol of absolute resolve and unwavering conviction -- when Muramasa summons his Bankai, he intends to emerge either victorious or dead. The Bankai weapon completely changes Sengo's appearance, so that his uniform is tattered, and is now colored ice-white. For weaponry, Sengo summons a longsword made of ice-energy for his left hand, and his right arm is covered in ice armor, ending in a powerful gauntlet.
Bankai Special Ability: Kami Hachi-tō no Kyodaina Ryū (神八頭の巨大な竜, Eight-Headed Dragon, lit. Eight-Headed Monstrous Dragon God) Muramasa's Spirit Pressure aura manifests as an enormous dragon with eight heads. Muramasa usually starts his Bankai by just using melee attacks, although he then will immediately activate this ability. Each of the eight heads is an extension of Muramasa's own consciousness, meaning that he has access to eight added perspectives should he need them, and can control them with his will. Muramasa can move while using this abiltiy, but controlling all eight dragon heads requires so much concentration that he can't form his weapons for melee combat, so he has to use at least one or two heads for defense in order to protect himself.
Hyodan: _____ (Burst: Cryo Force): Muramasa summons a tremendous amount of his spiritual pressure and uses it to form a sphere three times his size, which he then throws at the target. This is well over twenty times more powerful than the Dairasen, and Sengo once defeated Kenpachi Zaraki with one hit using this attack. However, Kenpachi had been overconfident (as usual), and had allowed himself to be hit with it head-on. While certainly powerful, this technique is not practical for fighting enemies who are extremely fast, as the Cryo Force only has a limited tracking ability.

Hollow Powers

Being a Vizard, Muramasa can wield Hollow powers in addition to his Soul Reaper powers. However, Muramasa isn't a traditional Vizard, one who gained Hollow powers after years or more as a Soul Reaper. Instead, the acquisition of his powers is closer to Ichigo Kurosaki's: after his death, Muramasa existed as a spirit for decades before he came into Soul Society, by which time he had partially transformed into both a Soul Reaper and a Hollow at the same time, making him a "true Vizard". Also unlike Ichigo, Muramasa has long since gained total control over his Inner Hollow.

Mask and Basic Powers

Sengo's mask resembles a cross between a human skull and the Fierce Diety Mask from The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask. Unlike Ichigo, Muramasa's mask doesn't manifest on its own, as he has gained absolute control over his Inner Hollow. Instead, he keeps the mask's power sealed into his cloak; he simply pulls up his hood, and it separates before morphing into his mask.

By donning the Hollow mask, Muramasa's speed, strength, and resistance to injury are all increased by a factor of at least three, and he also gains a healing factor, though it's nowhere near as powerful as Ulquiorra's or Ichigo's full Hollow form.

While Muramasa can use Cero techniques even without the mask, they're only at 1/4 strength until he puts on his mask. With the mask on, Muramasa also gains the ability to create up to three illusory doppelgangers of himself.

Resureccion

The command for Resureccion is, "Devoramos" ("We Devour"). This triggers a metamorphosis into Muramasa's Full Hollow Form. In this form, Muramasa resembles a Paladin from Mideival Europe, wearing armor of ebony and gold, though the front of his helmet is still in the shape of his mask. In this state, if Muramasa is also using his Zanpakuto, then the colors of the sword are inverted. In this form, Muramasa is able to use Sonido, the Hollow version of Flash Steps, and can use them at the same time, increasing his speed by 75%. Furthermore, in Resureccion, Muramasa's physical abilities are enhanced fourfold what they previously were; the one time previously that Muramasa combined Resureccion and his Bankai, he instantly killed a quartet of triple-digit Arrancars, which are fallen Espada.

Quotes

"You have great potential, so I'll give you some advice: All emotions are powerful, whether by their own virtue or by leading into another. Anger, hate, pain, sorrow, and above all fear are indeed powerful, but do not underestimate their counterparts: faith, love, joy, and greater than any other... hope. Each has value. Never forget this."
—Muramasa, speaking to Terra.
"Your soul is by far the darkest I've ever encountered. Interesting..."
—Muramasa, speaking to Vanitas.
"You would fight for your friend, even knowing that you are already too late? He works for Xehanort now, and yet you still defend him? You're either loyal to a fault, hopeful beyond belief, or the most determined woman I've ever met. Probably both. Best of luck to you, then. What's that? You're asking me to help? It isn't my fight."
—Sengo, evaluating Aqua.
"You view me as strange because my lover is my adopted daughter? And yet yours is a piece of your own soul. And I've never heard of anything more peculiar than that."
—Sengo, discussing relationships with Nathaniel.

Trivia

  1. In Arcana, there also appears a superboss called the Muramasa Sentiment. That boss is all that remains of another Soul Reaper's Zanpakuto, and is in no way related/connected to Sengo Muramasa.
  2. His surname was chosen solely as the opposite of Masamune.

Theme

Muramasa's theme song is "Heaven and Hell", by Megadeth.

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