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Skull Man is the titular antagonist of the 2007 anime Skull Man. He is a mysterious vigilante responsible for a string of murders within Otomo City. It is later revealed he is only killing humans that are in the process of transforming into mutants known as G.R.O. in order to kill them before they are fully mutated. Joining him are two "Lost Number" G.R.O. named Rena and Tetsuro Shingyoji who assist in his hunts.
It is eventually revealed his true identity is Yoshio Kanzaki, a Catholic priest who runs an orphanage and a good friend of Hayato Mikogami.
He was voiced by Hiroshi Tsuchida as Skull Man and Masayuki Kato as Yoshio Kanzaki.
The Skull Man suit was first unearthed by the Otomo Concern, who sent researcher Tatsuyuki Kagura to study it. However, Tatsuyuki soon became obsessed with the suit and used it as the centerpiece of a religion, which later became the White Bell Association. Seeing that he had become too embroiled in his studies of the suit, his backers at the Otomo Concern sent Gisuke Haniwa to kill the researcher and burn the house down to conceal any evidence. The suit was then taken by Otomo and further researched, with it being used as the basis for Otomo to create mutants known as G.R.O.
At one point during a war, a soldier named Yoshio Kanzaki discovered a bunker where the Skull Man helmet was being held along with two "Lost Number" G.R.O. Rena and Tetsuro Shingyouji. Upon putting on the mask, Yoshio realized its tremendous power and came to believe that he had to use it to fight evil and destroy the G.R.O. Otomo was creating. The two Lost Numbers happily agreed to serve him in this pursuit and aided him in killing mutated humans before they could fully transform into G.R.O.
When the White Bell Association (which had been coopted by Otomo Concern as a religious front) began distributing necklaces that turned their wearers into G.R.O., Yoshio as Skull Man began a killing spree of the wearers of these necklaces, regardless of whether they were guilty or not, as he believed that anyone who wore one was a potential threat. Despite this, in his civilian identity, Yoshio maintained a good friendship with White Bell's religious figurehead Maya Kuroshio, the daughter of Otomo Concern president Gozo Kuroshio, who was unaware of her father and Otomo's true plans.
Eventually, Skull Man's killing spree drew not just the attention of Otomo Concern, but also their allies from overseas, the multinational technological company Brain Gear, who hoped to harness the suit for their own cyborg research. To test the suit's power, Alucard Van Vogt of Brain Gear sent five of their most elite cyborg assassins, the SIRKS, out to fight him. Skull Man and his companions were able to fight off the five of them and kill three, but in the process were badly injured themselves, with Tetsuro dying after being fatally wounded. After Yoshio and Rena retreated back to Yoshio's church, Yoshio summoned Hayato there and revealed the truth to him about him being Skull Man. Hayato at first did not believe it, but after Yoshio explained the full truth to him Hayato realized the truth. As the two remaining SIRKS attacked the church and orphanage, Yoshio attempted to get up to go out and save Maya, only to find he was too injured to move. Despite his friend's pleas, Hayato donned the suit himself and used it to kill the two remaining cyborgs. Hayato then exchanged some final words with his old friend before Yoshio died and passed on, remarking that he deserved nothing more for the crimes he had committed.
Hayato then went to Otomo Concern to save Maya from the clutches of Otomo, who were using her as the centerpiece of their Cocoon of Chaos plan to create a new humanity.
Skull Man and Associates