Udō Jin-e is a former hitokiri turned psychotic assassin and a villain from Rurouni Kenshin.
During the Bakumatsu, Jin-e was originally a member of the shogunate’s Shinsengumi, becoming known for his mastery of the Nikaido Heiho style. While he excelled at killing Patirots, Jin-e also murdered many people outside of his orders. When the Shinsengumi were about to discipline him for his actions, he fled the group and joined the patriots as a hitokiri, taking on assassinations with no preference for prefecture. After the war was over, Jin-e was left with only his desire to kill and continued to perform his role as an assassin. He ended up working for a politician named Shibumi. For the next 10 years, under the name, Kurogasa, Jin-e would send letters to politicians who formerly served as warriors in the Bakumatsu, announcing his intent to kill them, before he struck, overcoming any opposition and always killing his targets.
Engaging the Battosai
Jin-e eventually targeted Tani Jūsanrō, a politician in the war ministry, and the police asked for Himura Kenshin’s help. He arrived at the time he’d promised in his letter, cutting down a pair of policemen stationed outside Tani’s home. Jin-e appeared in Tani’s room from the window, easily slashing one of his bodyguards and counted how many of them they were, noting they were less than he’d expected. When Tani ordered his men to attack him, Jin-e slew the first few, before paralyzing the rest with his Shin no Ippo. He declared that they couldn’t run, that once they drew swords, they were supposed to fight to the death, and nothing else was satisfactory. Kenshin suddenly attacked Jin-e, who managed to counter and cut his arm. The former Battosai revealed he’d heard of Jin-e, who replied that he knew of him as well and tried to use his Shin no Ippo again, but Kenshin managed to break free of it. He told Jin-e to give up peacefully or face him, but the former hitokiri said he couldn’t ask for more than the Battosai as his opponent. But he declared he would be fulfilling his promise first and attacked Tani, calling for death to the “patriot swine.” However Sagara Sanosuke broke free of the Shin no Ippo and sent a statue crashing down on Jin-e’s sword, breaking it, but he still managed to stab Sanosuke in the arm. Enraged, Kenshin attacked the former hitokiri, but he blocked and leapt back to the window, saying he hadn’t so much fun since the Bakumatsu. Jin-e said he’d decided that his target was now Kenshin and escaped, declaring that he would see him again soon, but he should get a real sword before that. Soon afterwards, Jin-e watched the Kamiya Kasshin-ryu dojo where Kenshin lived and overheard that the former Battosai was waiting for him by the river and Kaoru go to talk to him. Jin-e headed there and captured Kaoru, saying he saw she was Kenshin’s women and told him to get angry, so he could become his old self. He threw a paper with where he’d wait for the former Battosai to him, before escaping on a boat with Kaoru.
Fight with Kenshin
As Jin-e waited, he told Kaoru to stop frowning, since he hadn’t kidnapped her to eat her. Kaoru said he just wanted to make Kenshin weak, but Jin-e replied that with her as his hostage, Kenshin would become so enraged, he would become the Battosai again.
The former hitokiri went on to say, as Kenshin was now, he’d become so weak, he could’ve beaten him before finishing one cigarette. Kaoru replied that he didn’t know strong the former Battosai was, but Jin-e replied that she didn’t know and that the Battosai’s infamy gave him goosebumps alone and fighting against him would be his best kill. Kenshin arrived and Jin-e noted that his eyes were full of rage, to which he replied he was angry at him for involving Kaoru and himself for failing to prevent it. Jin-e noted he’d started acting the way he used to and if he only turned his reverse bladed sword over, the Battosai would truly be back. The two engaged each other and Jin-e eventually managed to stab Kenshin in the shoulder after overcoming his ability to read his moves, by passing his sword between his hands behind his back. Jin-e noted that he’d done well, but he was not even close to the former Battosai and it would take him three cigarettes to kill him. To get him angrier, Jin-e used his Shin no Ippo on Kaoru, stopping her lungs and said she’d last two minutes at most, noting how messy death by suffocation was. He declared that Kenshin had no time to talk and to speak with his sword. Suddenly the former Battosai disappeared and struck Jin-e across the face before he could do anything. The former hitokiri said that this was the true Battosai and Kenshin said for him to strike so he could kill him. Jin-e declared that this was a match worth fighting and attacked, but with just a look, Kenshin made him hesitate. The former Battosai said if Jin-e wanted to live, he should free Kaoru and Jin-e replied that this one was much stronger than the one he’d put on Tani and the others. There were only two methods to free her, she had to break free herself or his will had to be completely broken. Jin-e declared the former impossible and Kenshin said he had to kill him then. The former hitokiri replied that was also impossible, saying that the power of his Shin no Ippo was the power of suggestion, that it made one believe and the body responded. Jin-e went on to say that it could affect even the master of the technique and used his Shin no Ippo on himself by reflecting his eyes in his sword blade, making himself believe that his body was steel and power and that he could not lose. Jin-e said he hadn’t used that technique since he escaped the Shinsengumi and Kenshin replied that he could use whatever he liked, but when he said he would kill someone, they would end up dead. The former Battosai prepared to use Battojutsu and Jin-e thought that if he could dodge, he could win, attacking and telling Kenshin to strike. He thought to himself that a sakabato was unsuited for Battojutsu, since it would be slower than a normal sword, which would ensure his victory.
Jin-e managed to just barely dodge the strike and declared that victory was his, but Kenshin struck him with his sheath, crushing his elbow and severing his ligaments. The former Battosai said his life as a swordsman was over and now it was the end of his life, preparing to cut him down with the inside of his sakabato. Jin-e asked him why he hesitated, that it should be easy for him to choose to kill him since it was the only way to save Kaoru. Kenshin said he would become a hitokiri again to save her and Jin-e told him to give him a taste of his crazed blade But just before the former Battosai could strike, Kaoru broke free of the Shin no Ippo and called for him to stop. Jin-e got back to his feet as Kenshin ran to her and said he could understand Kenshin and Sanosuke breaking free of his shin no Ippo, but Kaoru was a surprise and he had to be getting soft, drawing his wakizashi. Kenshin said he had no chance of winning, but Jin-e replied he still had clean up and stabbed himself. He explained that if he was arrested and interrogated, he would give away his employer, asking if he thought the Meiji period had made hitokiri unnecessary. Jin-e said that behind the joy of the Meiji, there was still a struggle for power, just like the Bakumatsu. The former hitokiri said when he chose to challenge Kenshin, he broke the rule of a hitokiri, not choosing the target.
However Jin-e said he didn’t care what happened him as it had been quite fun and he would’ve been bored if he couldn’t wield a sword anymore. He said that he preferred Kenshin’s eyes when he said he would kill him and that being a hitokiri was his true nature. Jin-e said a hitokiri was a hitokiri until he died and he could keep playing at being a rurouni, while he watched him from hell, before dying.
Jin-e is an extremely skilled assassin and swordsman, possessing a mastery of the Nikaido Heiho style. His physical strength, speed, agility, and endurance are extremely high to the point that they border on superhuman. However Jin-e’s most dangerous ability is the Shin no Ippo technique of his style, where he projects his chi through his eyes at his opponent. This completely hypnotizes the target and Jin-e usually uses it to paralyze his target, leaving them unable to move. He can control how strong the effects are and can also use it on himself to make himself believe he is invincible.
- Jin-e’s alias, Kurogasa, means “Black Hat,” referring to the black straw hat he wears.
- Jin-e was somewhat based on Okada Izo, the top hitokiri of the Bakumatsu and was designed to be the opposite of Kenshin. The series creator, Nobuhiro Watsuki, considers him the only character to ever defeat Kenshin.