Byakko (白虎, Byakko), the "White Tiger", was the second Saint Beast that Yusuke's team encountered in Demon City, otherwise known as the City of Ghosts and Apparitions. He has been shown to be the most durable of the Beasts, enduring the most devastating attacks. He was defeated twice by Kuwabara, first by an explosion of Youki, second when he is thrown into a pool of magma; however, he survived both brushes with great endurance. He is finally killed after being frozen by his fellow Saint Beast, Seiryu, and shattered to pieces. In the Filipino Dub of the anime, they use his standard name as White Tiger.
He is voiced by Takeshi Watabe in the Japanese version and Andrew Chandler in the English dub.
Byakko takes the appearance of a large humanoid tiger with mane-like sea green hair that flows down his back, light bluish fur with grey stripes on his arms, cheeks and legs, and two bottom canine teeth large enough to reach up his cheeks. He has yellow eyes with red pupils. He wears a toga, what appear to be leopard skin leg warmers, and has a red sash as a belt.
Byakko has a large appetite, both for energy and food which is a main motivation for his escape from Maze Castle, as he does not have any prey, and when presented with prey, he will attempt to have that prey be eaten, and will beat up an enemy until there is enough room for him to eat. He seemed rather arrogant and proud, calling himself the great predator out of the Saint Beasts, however he does not go as far as calling himself Sama (Lord), likely meaning he is loyal to the other two, while viewing the fourth, Genbu who displays such traits, as a weakling that should've died if not for his unique ability as surveillance. He confidently tests opponents with certain techniques and gets infuriated when they fail. After his first defeat by Kuwabara, he actually attempts to have him killed, by removing all ways to get to him and make him die easier, which also backfires on him. Despite this, he would be willing to ask a fellow member to aid him in defeating his foes once he realizes their potential threat, although he is brutally killed by that same member, leading to the fact that he is the only Saint Beast to feel a sense of teamwork and friendship.
Spirit Detective Saga
After Kurama's defeat over Genbu, Kuwabara insists on defeating the next foe using his newly improved spirit sword. Suddenly, Byakko releases a loud roar, powerful enough to collapse the ceiling around Yusuke's friends, forcing them to run right towards him. Warning them they're now in his territory, Byakko tells Kurama and Hiei they'll be the first to die. Still, Kuwabara runs into battle, and Byakko is insulted if they would think one human could defeat him. He then throws several strands of hair into the air, creating monsters to attack Kuwabara.
Kuwabara unleashes his spirit sword, impressing Byakko. However, Kuwabara is getting badly injured by the beasts, leading Yusuke to ask him to switch out. Kuwabara runs away and uses the "sword get longer" technique to skewer the beasts. Byakko gets angry as Yusuke mocks him and decides to fight himself.
Byakko's size increases as Kuwabara slashes him with his sword, but Kuwabara continues to attack. This gives Byakko so much energy, his body seemingly obliterates. However, as they go further into the castle, they hear Byakko's voice and follow it, leading them to a cave filled with lava.
Kuwabara steps up, but is unable to fight, as Byakko's scream causes everything it touches to turn to ash. Luckily, Kuwabara manages to use the sword to pole vault onto Byakko's platform. He punches the Saint Beast, pushing them both into the lava.
However, Byakko survives, albeit badly injured and stumbles into Seiryu's chamber, begging for help against the intruders. However, not showing any mercy for his weakened teammate, Seiryu ruthlessly freezes and executes Byakko, which served to ire Hiei, as the fire demon respectfully threw his coat on Byakko's severed head in an act of rare sympathy.
- Tiger Claws: By charging energy in the middle of his fingers, Byakko can shoot four energy darts. Never named in the original Japanese or the English dub.
- Beasts Unleashing (分身妖獣, Bunshin Yōjū, translated as Beast Energy Parturition): By pulling out strands of his hair and blowing on them, Byakko can enchant the hairs to create green tiger-like beasts, which are an extension of himself and feed off his energy. This attack is useful when fighting weaker opponents, so Byakko himself doesn't have to waste any energy.
- Tiger Scream (鳴虎衝壊波, Meiko Shōkaiha, translated as Screaming Tiger Demolishing Wave): Byakko's voice can actually disassemble molecular bonds, so when he charges his energy into his scream, anything that it touches turns to ash. This scream is as destructive as the Spirit Gun and Byakko can use it almost with no limitations.
- Energy Absorption (霊気吸収, Reiki Kyūshū, translated as Spirit Energy Absorption): When an enemy attacks using energy, Byakko can absorb it, causing his body to increase in size and strength, while the other fighter becomes weakened. The only real drawback is that Byakko has no control over this power: whenever he makes contact with energy, he absorbs it whether he wants to or not, even when he is "full". Because this means he has a set limit to how much he can absorb, the ability is a double-edged sword which Kuwabara exploited to defeat him the first time by giving more energy than he can safely contain. This ability was never named in the original Japanese or the English dub.
Byakko also had immense durability. He was knocked into a pool of lava by Kuwabara, and emerged later on alive, albeit drained of energy.
- Of the Saint Beasts, Byakko displayed the widest range of abilities, second to Suzaku, from his Yoki-based abilities like his energy absorption and his "screams" that can disassemble molecular bonds, to the creation of objects like claw daggers and beasts from his hair. Even his "basic" roars can cause serious damage to the castle to the point of causing cave-ins, as well as summoning lightning bolts. He also seems to be the only one to not have an ability that is based on an element (if one considers lightning an element).
- A much larger Byakko (or a demon that looks like him) appears in the first anime opening, Smile Bomb, where he emerges from the ground and chases after Botan and Keiko before being shot by Yusuke and then bisected by Kuwabara (the silhouette makes it ambiguous if Kuwabara sliced another demon or not though). This wouldn't work in the actual fight between them, as Byakko could easily absorb the energy that makes up Kuwabara's spirit sword.
- Byakko is the Japanese name of the animal deity Baihu, which guarded the west. It took the form of a tiger, and white is the color indicating the westward direction in Chinese mythology. The right flank of an advancing army would carry Byakko's flag. Today, the name is associated with having a great road to the west of one's house.
- He also has a unique ability to teleport in the anime; as after Kuwabara made him blow up from too much energy, he is clearly seen falling down from the castle's height, yet somehow manage to return into the castle, fully healed, and in his "Hell Room". In the manga, he just pops a hole and flies like a balloon losing air until he crashes back down into the castle (with a bandage over his hole)
- Byakko represents one of the 4 symbols of the Chinese constellation, which is a White Tiger. The tiger guards the direction of West with a season of Fall(Autumn) and its Element of Metal.
- He is the only Saint Beast that is not killed by his opponent (Kuwabara), as he was later killed by Seiryu.
|e v||Four Saint Beasts|
|Members:||Genbu | Byakko | Seiryu | Suzaku|