I am Bankotsu, leader of the Band of Seven. And I've never lost a battle to anyone.
168 cm (5'6") (Estimated)
72 kg (Estimated)
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Before the creation of the Band of Seven, Bankotsu traveled around the countryside with Jakotsu, challenging every strong human and demon alike. He meets Naraku while heading to a battle, who made it there before him. Naraku then tells him about the Shikon no Tama before disappearing. Soon after this Bankotsu decides to create the Band of Seven. As the Band of Seven was formed, the group gained infamy as mercenaries that had high success rates. However, due to their mercilessness and strength in combat, they were feared by all the warlords of Japan, even the ones they were allied with, which lead to a temporary alliance between the feuding Daimyō. The Band of Seven were given a job to slay an enemy army, as they did they then found that they were surrounded by an overwhelming number of soldiers from different lords, and it was then that Bankotsu found out that his group was lured into a trap and ordered the Band of Seven to retreat. This proved to be futile, as the allied solders were able to capture the Band of Seven and then execute them; as the villagers had told the story to Inuyasha's group, a silhouette of Bankotsu was seen, being separated from Banryū, as he was struggling while two soldiers held him down and another soldier beheaded Bankotsu with his katana. Bankotsu and his six comrades were later buried on a mound, in an attempt by the locals, to calm their vengeful spirits; the graves were known as the Tomb of the Band of Seven. About ten years later, Bankotsu is resurrected and given seven Shikon jewel shards by the demon Naraku, who promises that if he and his brethren kill Inuyasha's group and Kōga, they can keep their newfound life.
During the storyEdit
After his resurrection, Bankotsu uses Banryū to kill everyone in the castle whose men originally killed the Band of Seven. The scent of blood draws both Kōga and Inuyasha's group to engage in battle, until Naraku summons the Band of Seven back to him. During the battle, Bankotsu proves himself to be Inuyasha's equal in both strength and swordsmanship, but when Inuyasha unleashes his Kaze no Kizu, Bankotsu is overwhelmed. Although he attempts to block it with Banryū, his halberd is damaged, and Bankotsu himself is only saved by the timely intervention of Ginkotsu. Retreating on Ginkotsu with his brothers, Bankotsu laments the inconvenience of Naraku's summons. At Mt. Hakurei, Bankotsu repairs Banryū with the four jewel shards Renkotsu stole from Kagome.
Following that, he confronts Inuyasha on Hijiri Island, where a sacred barrier prevents Inuyasha from using the Wind Scar and weakens his demonic powers. Although Bankotsu, being an evil specter, is also weakened by the purifying barrier, he is relatively unaffected due to his purely human heritage. After Bankotsu succeeds in wounding Inuyasha on the left arm, the barrier is dispelled by Miroku, rendering the combatants back at full strength. However, the unwounded and rejuvenated Bankotsu retains his advantage, and proves himself capable of deflecting the Wind Scar with his jewel-shard-strengthened Banryū. Using his Banryū's "Dragon Thunder", Bankotsu calls down numerous randomly-targeted bolts of lightning, which incapacitate everyone, excluding Inuyasha and Bankotsu. Bankotsu then battles with the restored Inuyasha at full strength, but neither is able to gain an advantage. Inuyasha fires a Wind Scar at Bankotsu, who counters with his Dragon Hammer, a similar-looking pink blast; the two energy waves cancel each other out. After a prolonged exchange of blasts, the vajra (Which was projecting the barrier earlier) intervenes, healing everybody on the island and purifying Inuyasha's sword before teleporting Bankotsu away. Later, after learning that Renkotsu killed Jakotsu for his jewel shard, Bankotsu kills Renkotsu for his betrayal. With seven jewel shards in his body and four in his halberd, Bankotsu goes to confront Inuyasha and avenge his fallen brothers.
The two battle evenly again, well matched in both energy blasts (This time, Bankotsu uses his Heat Blast to counter the Wind Scar) and swordsmanship. After a lengthy battle, Inuyasha realizes he is making no headway against the equally-strong Bankotsu, and that, without the Backlash Wave, he cannot break the stalemate. Instead of continuing the fruitless battle, Inuyasha opts to hurl his sword at Bankotsu and use the distraction to disarm his opponent, cutting out the two jewel shards in Bankotsu's right arm in the process. Confident he possesses the advantage, with demonic claws to Bankotsu's fists, Inuyasha presses forward, declaring he will cut out all of Bankotsu's shards. An unimpressed Bankotsu dodges several slashes and retaliates by punching Inuyasha in the face with his wounded arm, which nonetheless has the force to send the hanyō sprawling. Declaring that he's "never lost a battle to anyone", Bankotsu takes control of the bare-knuckle brawl, pummeling Inuyasha mercilessly before a throttled Inuyasha manages to gouge out the shards in Bankotsu's neck.
In the manga, Inuyasha then gradually cut the remaining Shikon Jewel shards out of Bankotsu's body as the battle progressed until Bankotsu was cut in two, with Naraku stripping the remaining half of its Shikon shard.
In the anime, however, Bankotsu retrieved his Banryū and attacks the watching demons, slaying 10 of them to bring his demonic kill count from 990 to 1000. Having slain 1,000 yōkai and 1,000 humans with Banryū, the mighty halberd transformed into a demonic weapon that projects the hatred 1000 humans and 1000 yōkai slain as powerful yōki. More powerful than ever, despite losing five jewel shards in the course of the battle, Bankotsu then proceeded to launch a furious assault on Inuyasha. During the fight, he revealed how Naraku told him about he Shikon Jewel and how it empowers both humans and demon. He also explained his thoughts on gaining power, commenting that he didn't have demons powers, not caring for spiritual powers, and wasn't born with the power of the divine. He stated to Inuyasha that he found a way to become strong by putting power into an object, as he made a wish on his Banryū to kill 1000 humans and 1000 demons to grant Banryū demon powers. Along with the fact that his Banryū had the four Shikon Jewel shards he obtained from Renkotsu embedded in Banryū, Bankotsu asked Inuyasha if his demonic sword, Tessaiga, could beat his Banryū. Inuyasha told Bankotsu that he was still human despite being resurrected by the Shikon Jewel shards and that it would best for him to get rid of Banryū due to it being surround by a demonic aura, only for Bankotsu to respond with "Go to hell, half-breed". The two continued to battle with Bankotsu commenting that demons couldn't understand his desires or survival in man's world. Bankotsu eventually overwhelmed Inuyasha, finally rendering him a battered heap against the wall. Preparing to finish the fight, Bankotsu summoned an enormous red ball of demonic energy, gaining Inuyasha's attention of it producing demonic power. Bankotsu declared that he would lose to no one with the power he wielded and launched the energy ball at Inuyasha. However, this proved to be his downfall. Inuyasha claimed that since Banryū was producing demonic energy he could use his Bakuryūha to send the energy ball back. He then unleashed his Bakuryūha and sent the energy back to sender, shattering Banryū and defeating Bankotsu in a fiery explosion. As Bankotsu lays mortally wounded, wondering how he was defeated, Inuyasha pointed out that the warrior was blinded by greed and that he was already strong without the jewel shards. Bankotsu gave a last chuckle, seeing how there was some truth with Inuyasha's words, before dying.
Bankotsu’s remains are soon collected by Naraku, and Naraku takes the last Shikon Jewel shard from Bankotsu’s body, reducing it to dust.
A man who finds excitement and thrill in murder, Bankotsu is known for slaughtering demons and humans alike, which made him feared and hated by both. Despite his bloodthirsty nature, he generally maintains a relaxed, and laid-back demeanor, even during battle. In addition, while Bankotsu is very powerful, he never seems to overestimate his own ability, as he immediately ordered the Shichinintai to run as he saw the massive army, made by the temporary alliance between the feuding Daimyō, that hunted them as well as strengthening his Banryū, as his finish his requirement to slay 1,000 demons, during his final battle with Inuyasha as Bankotsu knew he wouldn't be able to escape alive even if he defeated Inuyasha due to being surrounded by Naraku's demons. Although he is a skilled mercenary and hardened killer, he retains a sense of loyalty, honor, and compassion, but only for his six companions. He exhibits considerable cynicism at times; when a furious Inuyasha demands to know why he attacked Inuyasha's friends, he dismissively notes that Inuyasha's naïveté doesn't suit him. When further accused of using dirty tricks, he responds that "In a match to the death, there's no such thing as fair or foul." However, when Kagome shot an arrow through his arm and called him a coward, he saw the irony of his words as Inuyasha's friends surrounded him and he was angry at the result.
Later, when confronted by Kikyō after burying several of his dead comrades, he declares that there is no afterlife, and that "once a mortal is dead, that's the end of it" this implies he was sent to limbo after his first death or was just jaded by his views. He states that the reason he fights and kills is simply because it's "thoroughly enjoyable" though he accepts Kikyō's challenge, he subsequently shoulders his Banryū and departs without bloodshed. Kikyō accuses him of making excuses for his evil actions, but he replies that "dead people like you and I will probably share the same fate.", before walking off.
His most distinguishing characteristics are most likely his love of battle, because he enjoys facing strong opponents, and his unswerving loyalty and dedication to his six brothers. As the Band of Seven is slowly whittled down at the hands of Inuyasha and his friends, Bankotsu buries them and even feels melancholy, asking their grave how its like to be dead again. He later kills Renkotsu for his treacherous murder of Jakotsu, Bankotsu's closest friend, for Jakotsu's jewel shard. Before he dies, Renkotsu accuses Bankotsu of using the Band of Seven in the same manner, and demands to know the difference between his treachery and Bankotsu's actions. After tearing the jewel shards from Renkotsu's neck, Bankotsu replies that the difference between him and Renkotsu was that "I would never betray my friends." Following Renkotsu's death, Bankotsu laments the fact that, although he himself is more powerful than ever, all of his brothers are now dead, and he is the last of the Band of Seven. When faced with the choice of fleeing and saving his own life, or staying to fight Inuyasha, he decides to avenge his six dead comrades by attacking Inuyasha. Even after being weakened and losing five of his jewel shards, he sneers at Inuyasha's offer of allowing him to escape with his life, declaring that "I'm not going anywhere until I kill you and avenge my brothers." His puts his sense of loyalty to his fallen comrades as somewhat naive due to the fact he thinks black and white, wanting to avenge his comrades by killing Inuyasha rather than think of the fact his comrades would not have wanted him to die in vain. Bankotsu also has a sweet side that he only reveals to Jakotsu when he realized Jakotsu's loyalty was absolute.
What also adds to Bankotsu's desire to fight strong opponents is his desire to possess demonic power, hence his wish to imbue his Banryū with demonic powers should he behead 1000 warlords and 1000 demons. He also comments to Naraku and Inuyasha that they couldn't understand his desire for power, claiming to Inuyasha that he "can't understand man's world, where strength is one's only hope of survival". This indicates that he sought strength to survive and never lose to anyone, possibly stemming from the fact that he was a human fighting in an era filled with demons and that he and his Band of Seven were outnumbered and beheaded with no escape. However, this turns out to be Bankotsu's undoing when he is defeated by Inuyasha, the half-demon commenting that Bankotsu was strong enough on his own without the Shikon Jewel shards, but was too greedy. In his final moments, he acknowledged Inuyasha's words with a laugh before he passed on.
Bankotsu is a lean-muscled young man due to years of training. He has a tattoo of a four-pointed star on his forehead and is generally very handsome. His eyes are a dark shade of cobalt and has tanned skin. He also bears a resemblance with Hiten.
He wears a white pair of hakamas with a white haori that only has a blue patch on his shoulder. He also wears a type of iron armor over these clothes along with a shoulder guard attached. This is attached to the rest of the armor by a strip of red cloth. The armor is tied at the waist with a red obi or sash. His armor has a purple fern like pattern on it. He does not wear shoes, instead he has the traditional ninja footwear. Along with that he wears black gloves that are held in place by his middle fingers.
Powers & AbilitiesEdit
Despite being an otherwise normal human, Bankotsu was an extremely powerful warrior. So much so he could defeat demons, which normally only Demon Slayers such as Sango could, or holy men and women like Miroku and Kagome. His physical strength is so great that he was able to wield Banryū with one hand as if it were a regular sword even though it was stated three large men struggled to carry the halberd.
His strength is such that, despite only being a mere human, he is capable of equaling Inuyasha in battle prowess. After gaining more jewel shards, he nearly surpasses Inuyasha's strength, and even taunts him for being weak.
Bankotsu's most well known ability is being able to wield Banryū skillfully. Aside from that, he also seems to posses superhuman strength just by the fact that he could hold his own weapon. He possesses great endurance, speed and agility, far above all the other members of his team. On top of that, he was able to single handedly take down several of the lord's guards with his bare hands, shoving them up the ceiling.
Though highly proficient with Banryū, his weapon of choice, he also displays formidable skill in unarmed combat, as shown when he easily bests Renkotsu without his halberd, and later fights Inuyasha hand-to-hand. In the latter instance, it is shown that, despite Inuyasha's claws, Bankotsu holds a clear edge over Inuyasha, even after losing two of his jewel shards. However, it appeared Inuyasha allowed himself to get hurt in order to claim Bankotsu's shards as he claimed he could take more damage than Bankotsu could dish out. From this fight, Bankotsu may be the strongest human in the series, possessing power almost equivalent to a powerful half demon- if not equal.
- Banryū: Nicknamed Bankotsu's "companion," Banryū is a gargantuan halberd that, after being bolstered by the shards of the Shikon Jewel, can manipulate lightning and fire a variety of energy attacks. In the series of episodes that compose the Band of Seven arc, Bankotsu uses four Sacred Jewel shards that Renkotsu stole from Kagome to strengthen Banryū’s power. The jewel-empowered Banryū is shown to able to effectively counter Inuyasha's Kaze no Kizu attack. The strength of Banryū, enhanced with the Shikon Jewel Shards, is seemingly equal to that of the Tessaiga. In the anime, Bankotsu, desiring yōki, made a wish on his Banryū, vowing to kill both 1,000 yōkai and 1,000 humans, so that it would gain demonic powers. It refers to the legend that, if a human were to ever kill 1,000 yōkai, he would gain powers that yōkai possess. He succeeds in fulfilling in wish, only to have said accomplishment lead directly to his downfall, as Inuyasha reflects the energy of the now-demonic halberd back at Bankotsu, mortally wounding him and shattering the Banryū.
- Dragon Thunder (ドラゴンサンダ, Ryuraisen, "Dragon Thunder Flash"): Bankotsu is able to summon a thunderstorm and manipulate the lightning, creating a number of lethal electric bolts that almost kills everyone on Hijiri island. The attack cannot be fully controlled, and hits randomly. He only uses this attack in the anime, in Episode 113.
- Dragon Hammer (ドラゴンハンマー, Banryusen, "Barbaric Dragon Flash"): By channeling the energy of the four Shikon Jewel shards embedded in Banryū, Bankotsu can use an attack that is almost identical to Inuyasha's Wind Scar, except it's pink in color, but matches its strength. He only uses this attack in the anime, in Episode 113.
- Heat Blast (熱ブラスト, "Kanetsu Bakufuu"): After embedding his deceased Band of Seven's Shikon Jewel shards into his body, Bankotsu became able to unleash a blast of heat similar in appearance to Inuyasha's Wind Scar, excepting that it's red, and is able to counter it.
- Banryū Flash (禁止流フラッシュ, "Banryu Furasshu"): Bankotsu uses this attack during his final confrontation with Inuyasha in the caves of Mt. Hakurei. He swings his Banryu and unleashes a wave of red energy that is strong enough to cancel Inuyasha's Wind Scar.
- Hatred Ball (憎しみボール, "Gojou Tama"): Bankotsu's most powerful attack. The hatred of one thousand humans and demons built inside Banryū, combined with the power of the four Shikon Jewel shards embedded in the halberd, creates a huge and powerful ball of swirling, fiery yōki. However, this all-powerful attack is ultimately his downfall: because it is flowing with demonic energy, Inuyasha is able to use the Backlash Wave to reflect the attack back at Bankotsu, shattering the Banryū and defeating him soundly. He only used the attack in the anime, in episode 122.
After Suikotsu is killed, Bankotsu tells that Jakotsu that he's "The only one in the whole world I can trust!", affirming his admiration for his fellow mercenary. Additionally, during a flashback featured only in the anime, it is revealed that before the formation of the band of seven, Jakotsu and Bankotsu had been traveling together. This explains why their bond is so strong, they are friends, more than just comrades.
Bankotsu acknowledges the fact that, despite Bankotsu's own cleverness, Renkotsu is "the smart one". Having him write the letter to the castle where they were executed, and giving Renkotsu what seems like the title of second in command of the rest of the mercenaries, letting him give his own orders to the others up until the point when Bankotsu is introduced. Upon learning from the Saimyōshō that he took the shards out of Jakotsu's body, the relationship between the two turned bitter and shortly turned into a fight, Bankotsu effortlessly defeats him and claims his shards.
During Inuyasha and Bankotsu's first fight, Bankotsu was unaware of Inuyasha's Wind Scar. Ginkotsu saved Bankotsu from dying from the Wind Scar. As well, Ginkotsu was seen staring at a butterfly, in which Bankotsu caught and asked him if he wanted to eat it.
Since Naraku was responsible for reviving him and his six other comrades as a means to impede Inuyasha and his group, Bankotsu appears to be loyal to him, and carries out his orders without a problem. But in the end Bankotsu knew all along that he and the other six were merely pawns in Naraku's schemes; Bankotsu told Inuyasha that it was due to how often he and his team were being used by their previous employers in life.
Bankotsu stated that he simply wanted to do whatever he wished as long as he was alive, and the fact that he was battling Inuyasha had nothing to do with his loyalty to Naraku.
Kohaku is the only person, outside the Band of Seven, that Bankotsu seems to casually chat with. Due to how Kohaku's tactical methods, weapons, abilities, and outfit fit the description of a shinobi, Bankotsu usually refers Kohaku as a ninja. While Kohaku tries to correct Bankotsu that he is not a ninja, he was unable to recall his occupation. Despite this, Bankotsu continues to praise, albeit teasingly, Kohaku for his work as a ninja.
After his revival, he later met Inuyasha at the castle of where Banryū was being held. The two have had an antagonistic relationship since, mostly due to Bankotsu being affiliated with Naraku and bloodthirsty nature that puts his friends in danger; the two shared numerous battles. During their last battle, Bankotsu brutalized Inuyasha, and teased him about him being a half-demon and therefore felt that he wouldn't count as a 1000th demon, whilst reaching his Banryū's full power. However, in his arrogance Inuyasha was able to show Bankotsu how resilient and determined he was as he removed the shards from his body. He even offered him a chance to escape with his life, but his foe turns it down in favor of battling with Inuyasha. In a form of irony, Inuyasha told Naraku that while Bankotsu was evil he was more decent than him as he fought for his late comrades.
Manga vs. AnimeEdit
- In the anime, Bankotsu is killed by Inuyasha's Bakuryūha after Banryū is empowered by a demonic aura. In the manga, Inuyasha sliced Bankotsu's body in half after he reached for Banryū.
- The anime also took Bankotsu and Inuyasha's battle further to show that Bankotsu was skilled in terms of hand-to-hand, with Inuyasha only evening out the playing field with his stamina and resilience.
- In the anime, Bankotsu told Inuyasha the he had first met Naraku before the Shichinintai was formed. This did not happen in the manga.
- "If you really want to know Naraku's whereabouts, ask my blade."
- "Cursed dog, you scratched my Banryū!"
- "The time has come to settle old scores, our vengeance will know no bounds, so prepare to die... Or something to that effect."
- "I don't need any reason for killing people. I have always been this way, before my death and after being revived."
- "I'm a mercenary through and through. And what I do is thoroughly enjoyable."
- "My own ambition is simply to kill as many people as humanly possible."
- "People talk about heaven and hell all the time, but once a mortal is dead, that's the end of it. I have no interest in the so-called other worlds, I do as I please with no fear of the afterlife!"
- "Are you stupid?! In a match to the death there is no such thing as fair or foul!"
- "I won't fall for that again; do you only have one battle move?!"
- "Jakotsu...Why, you... You're such a good friend! You're really something Jakotsu, the only person in the whole world I can trust! Really weird, but loyal."
- "The difference is, I would never betray my friends."
- "That's interesting. Were you always this weak, Inuyasha? Or is it that I've become way too powerful for you?"
- "You can't understand man's world, where strength is your only hope of survival!"
- "Don't worry though, Inuyasha. I'm not interested in tormenting someone as feeble as you; weaklings hold no appeal for me. Now die."
- Though he did have at least one Shikon Jewel in his body, it is still suggested that his physical strength is comparable to Inuyasha's, a powerful hanyō in his own right. As Inuyasha has been shown to easily lift several tons with one arm, it's likely that Bankotsu is the strongest human character in the series based on his handling of Banryū.
- Despite having a demonic weapon, Bankotsu is the only human that was never overcome by his sword's power where as other humans such as Tōshū and Kōtatsu have been killed and possessed by their own individual demonic weapons. This may be attributed to his jewel shards, though it is uncertain whether or not he would have been possessed had he remained alive.
- Bankotsu's Theme-Music from the InuYasha Original Soundtrack, Vol. 3 is entitled "七人隊首領 蛮骨 (Leader of the Band of Seven, Bankotsu)".
- At the end of episode 111, it shows Bankotsu inserting 4 shards Renkotsu stole from Kagome into Banryū, one of which was the large shard Kagome and Kikyō fused from Kagome's 3 shards in episode 98, making a total of 6 sacred jewel shards in Banryū's blade, and 9 total in Bankotsu's possession at this point in time. In episode 113 however, Kagome states that there are only 2 shards in the halberd. In episode 118, Jakotsu gives Suikotsu's shard to Bankotsu, and at the end of episode 120, Bankotsu takes the 3 shards from Renkotsu, bringing his total to 13.
- Despite being the youngest member of the Band of Seven, in the English dub he is often referred to as 'Big Brother' by the other mercenaries, e.g. Jakotsu and Renkotsu.
- Even though he had heard of Sesshōmaru, the two never met or fought.
- Bankotsu dies while there are still Jewel Shards inside him. It is unclear how this is possible, when the Jewel Shards were able to resurrect him and his gang from bones, and enabled Ginkotsu to survive being mostly destroyed. It may be possible that he might have been unconscious up until when Naraku takes out his shards (anime).
- His seiyū also voiced Magatsuhi and Jūra. He also voiced Shinnosuke from Rumiko Takahashi previous work Ranma ½.