Mukuro is voiced by Minami Takayama in the original Japanese version and is voiced by Wendy Powell and Vaughn Jackson in the Funimation English dub. In the Filipino Dub of the anime, she is voiced by Charmaine Cordoviz.
Mukuro normally conceals her face behind bandages that are studded with paper tag wards (御札 [おふだ], ofuda, translated as Honorable Holy Writing) and around her whole head. Only her damaged right eye is visible through an opening in the bandages and her voice is electronically distorted (and lowered) so as make her sound more like a man to those around her; a charade further reinforced by the fact she uses the supreme-masculine pronoun of "ore" rather than the gender-neutral/feminine pronoun of "watashi" when referring to herself in the Japanese-language Version.
She also keeps her hands bound and shackled in chains, although it appears the chains have been broken by the time she appears in the series (though not the shackles themselves). She wears loose pale-blue/white pants and black martial arts slippers, a white long-sleeved shirt with a purple vest with gold trim over it, and a long red sash tied around her waist.
However, when she removes the bandages from her face, she has messy orange hair parted to the left with a bandage wrapped around her head (like a headband) and cloth hanging down over much of the right side of her face. Her eye color is blue. Her right eye is in fact covered by a cybernetic lense, although she can see with it perfectly fine without the lense, as well (when she wears the head-wrappings). Further more, the entire right side of her body is covered in scar tissue and burn marks- a result of the damage done to her when acid was poured on her. The damage was so extensive that most of her right arm and her right leg have been replaced with mechanical limbs. Though the hand (from above the wrist) and foot (from above her ankle) still look natural. In the manga, she does not have the cloth or lense and you can see her fully exposed eye and damaged skin around it. Also only in the manga, she wears a short sleeve shirt after the tournament with many sashes tied around her waist. Her hair is also differently styled in the manga.
When Mukuro first appeared, she came off as having a very mysterious personality. During her years as a warrior, few knew that Mukuro was female. It is however, interesting to note that the specific reasoning why she decided to pass herself off as the opposite gender is subject to speculation. In a shocking turn-around, she made a point of removing her bandages at the start of the demon world tournament.
Raizen describes Mukuro as a traditionalist and an isolationist and notes that she likes Makai just the way it is and believes it should remain in its pristine, untouched and chaos-ridden state. This said, provided that everyone minds their own business and affairs in their own respective worlds, she will leave both Human and Spirit worlds as they are as Mukuro focuses her attention solely on Demon World, making Mukuro the lesser of two evils between herself and Yomi, such that should there come a time when Yusuke must extend an alliance to either, Raizen in his final moments advised him to choose the former. While Raizen was slowly starving to death, even stubbornly setting himself as a staunch and primary example for abstaining from human consumption, and Yomi insisting that there is no reason for demons not to hedonistically eat as many humans as they see fit, Mukuro maintained a pragmatic outlook, remarking that the consumption of humans should be limited but not forbidden.
She has been seen engaging in casual conversation with Hiei, and tosses occasional sardonic quips toward him, suggesting she has some sense of humor. In a telling moment, she fully exposed her damaged body to a semi-conscious Hiei and revealed to him her painful past. It's likely that Mukuro gravitated towards Hiei because she saw similarities to herself in him.
In combat, however, Mukuro is completely ruthless. She describes herself as one of the most ruthless, well-known killers that Makai has ever seen. At the same time, Mukuro seems to hate herself as well, punishing herself by wearing chains - largely to represent the emotional damage that holds her in bondage, imprisoned by her own dark past.
In the anime, Mukuro was abandoned on a freezing-cold snowy night. She was found by a wealthy humanoid demon, who became her "father". He would go on to abuse and rape her at his own leisure. He placed a micro chip in her to show the 'goodness' in him - so that when she ever thought about killing him, the chip would activate and show how good he was to her.
The manga is a little different, and far more graphic in that regard. It depicts Mukuro as having been born into slavery, her insides surgically altered in order for her owner (her father Chikou) to be able to "play" with her that much easier. In a particular macabre and sadistic twist, he would go on to rape her on her birthdays as a present. As a result, Mukuro came to view everything about her childhood with disgust at both Chikou and herself.
Eventually, at the age of seven, Mukuro poured acid over her head in order to avoid his desire, only leaving her left side unharmed. He tossed her out, which she describes as 'rebirth'. She then replaced her damaged limbs with robotic parts. She swore to seek power at all costs and gained a reputation for violence, covering her face with bandages and leading many to believe that she was a man.
Three Kings Saga
With Yusuke joining Raizen, and Kurama joining Yomi, Mukuro sends a video message (a spirit of words) to Hiei, asking him to come see her. Mukuro asks Hiei to show his true strength by fighting the man that gave him the Jagan eye. The battle ends with both in pieces, and Mukuro revealing that she had Hiei's Hiruseki stone. Then Mukuro places them into regeneration tanks. She puts Hiei's tank into its own room before telling him her life story while removing clothing to show him her true form and admitting her affection for him.
Mukuro agrees to join the Demon World Tournament, hosted by Yusuke, and in the manga goes to pay her respects to Raizen's tomb, leaving some flowers.
While fighting Hiei in the anime, she continues to test his strength, and he proves to be no match for her in hand-to-hand combat, and she provokes him into using his Jagan eye. They both seem to accept that their bout can only have one appropriate conclusion; thus, Hiei releases his Dragon of the Darkness Flame, but not with the intent to kill her. Mukuro seems to do the impossible, catching the Dragon's mouth and splitting it in half, sending Hiei soaring backwards as a result. However, Hiei still accomplishes his goal when he reveals that through his efforts, he managed to break the shackle around her left wrist, effectively freeing her from her tragic past. Following this, a drained Hiei walks slowly towards her and Mukuro catches him in an embrace as he drops to his knees. The two connect in this anime-exclusive moment, and are seen closing their eyes, seemingly content.
During the finals, in both the anime and the manga, Mukuro faces off against Natsume, one of Raizen's sparring buddies, she defeats her, but narrowly. Later, she loses to Enki, another of Raizen's friends and the title of King of Demon World ends up going to Enki.
In the manga, after the Demon World Tournament, Hiei learns of the nature of Mukuro's power. When he confronts her about it, on her birthday no less, she pushes him away, in no mood to deal with his abrasive personality.
When he mentions Chikou, she bristles. When he asks why she never sought revenge, she inexplicably experiences a flashback to the one time that Chikou had decided, on a whim, to act like a father should have behaved towards his daughter.
Hiei says that she was clinging to that one moment and that she had become strong because she was confused, not because she had suffered, and added that she disgusted him. She responds by promptly blasting him out of her room with a burst of power that nearly blows a hole in his torso.
When he returned after a consultation with Kurama and a confrontation with Chikou, he reveals that the memory, of that one time Chikou had acted like a father should have, was actually manufactured memories conducted with simple hypnosis; false images implanted into her subconscious mind, programmed to flood her mind's eye whenever she had the urge to harm or kill Chikou. This served as a defense system that prevented her from taking revenge upon him, now that she had become an S-class demon; he had assumed that her inner conflict would paralyze her forever, which had left him complacent and unprepared.
Hiei by giving her Chikou, who was infected by a plant parasite that Kurama had supplied Hiei with, that kept him in place and regenerated any wound inflicted upon him. He then suggests that she mutilate her former tormentor however she wants.
He added that when she grew tired of torturing Chikou, destroying his brain would be the only way to kill both the plant and her father. She simply smiles at this, to which he smirks and wishes her a happy birthday.
She is seen in Eizou Hakusho with a somber look on her face after Hiei's departure. While Hiei giving her the birthday present isn't shown, one can still see the body of her father bonded to the plant in shadow, proving that the manga storyline indeed happened in the anime as well. It is revealed that he still lives in Mukuro's castle and is training for the next tournament in Human world and; only in the anime, Hiei give her his Hiruseki stone.
Powers and Abilities
In both the manga and the anime, Mukuro's power depends entirely on her state of mind. In the anime, it seems that her power is directly proportional to how much hatred she feels. As stated by Kirin, Mukuro utilized at most, half of her maximum strength in the Demon World Tournament. Thus, Mukuro at her peak was at least the 2nd most powerful character in the series, with Raizen being the only one capable of being stronger than her.
Mukuro's ruthlessness as a ruler and merciless brutality in battle strike fear in the minds of countless apparitions across the plains of Makai. Her hard-earned reputation alone devastates the composure of her opponents. Many powerful S-Class Demons would rather shamelessly admit defeat than face her in combat. Only when facing Hiei does she hold back and hesitate to go for the win. The similarities of their respective life experiences creates a connection between the two, as can be clearly seen in their anime-exclusive battle. This appears to be the source of her hesitation; she finds herself feeling emotions everyone had thought her incapable of feeling given her dark past.
Although Mukuro is primarily a hand-to-hand combatant, she appears in a brief flashback to be using a sword during her time as an assassin, although she is almost never seen carrying one around.
- Superior S Class Energy: Being a very experienced Upper S Class, her power is only challenged by few Demons. She defeated Hiei, who was an Upper S Class Demon during their battle, despite her using only barely more than half of her full power against him. She also barely defeated Natsume, despite being at a disadvantage due to losing a great part of her rage and hatred, which is the source of her power.
- Telepathy: Mukuro appears to hold the power of telepathy, as seen when she accepted Yusuke Urameshi's proposal of a tournament to decide who would rule Demon World, and seemingly sent this thought to Yomi. However, this may also be attributed to Yomi's supposed ability to hear whatever is said within his territory. It is also mentioned by Koenma that, during her battle with Hiei, the two of them were "butting their thoughts against another " as opposed to exchanging any dialogue. This seems to be true, at least in the Japanese subbed version, as they are most definitely communicating, though neither speaks aloud. In the manga, Hiei remarks that "you showed me those memories," referring to Mukuro's past. His choice of "showed" rather than "told about" infers some sort of telepathy between them.
- Third Dimensional Cutter (空間切り手, Kūkan Kirite, literally "Space-Cutting Hand"): In the anime, she demonstrates the ability to cut through the entirety of the third dimension. Whatever comes into contact with the slashes will be cut as well. Her control over the location and shape of the cuts makes her utilization of the dimensional distortion considerably more effective than Kuwabara's Jigen-Tou. This is unofficially named in the original Japanese version by Kurama.
- Dimensional Forcefield: Enough of these cuts can create an impromptu, and deadly, force field that causes severe harm to anything that comes in contact with it. Kurama likened this barrier of Mukuro's to a razor-sharp spider's web.
- Energy Punches: She has been seen being able to cause geyser-explosions of energy whenever she punches.
- Energy Fist Blast: She can surround her hand in energy and then release it all at once, damaging whatever is in its range. She does this to Hiei in the manga as well, when he coldly insults her affection for him during the Demon World Tournament in the anime and again about her reaction concerning Chikou in the manga, and punches a large hole in his abdomen that blasts him out of her room and fortress-home. It is called "Piercing Beam" in the YuYu Hakusho card game.
- Telekinesis: it is highly likely Mukuro possesses telekinetic powers. During her battle with Hiei, Mukuro destroys various large rock formations with her energy, creating several large, sharp stakes of rock. She then uses telekinesis to throw these at Hiei over a significant distance at high speed; however, Hiei is able to destroy them with his sword before damage is dealt. Mukuro's reddish energy can be seen surrounding the rocks, guiding them accurately to their target.
- The name Mukuro means "body, corpse, tree with rotten core" (軀).
- Mukuro's character is introduced at the beginning of the Three Kings Saga.
- Mukuro's seiyu, Minami Takayama and Wendy Powell, are also the same voice actresses for:
- Envy in "Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood"
- Irene in "Claymore"
- In Chapter 161 of the manga, Mukuro is stated to have a Youki of 1,575,000. This would mean she is the most powerful out of the Three Kings at the time.
- In the anime adaptation, Mukuro's backstory is changed to exclude the parts about her being a sex slave and that she was simply an abandoned child found by Chikou and taken in for slavery.
- Togashi has stated that Mukuro is one of his favorite characters.
- The author had desired to write more about her abuse before the series ended.
- Togashi's inspiration for the character was Kushana of Torumekia from Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind.
- Mukuro fought with significantly less power than she was capable of in the Makai Tournament. Her fight with Hiei lessened her anger, and from then on, she was much weaker. This occurred in round three (round two in the anime). In chapter 172 of the manga, one of her underlings goes on to state he was amazed she was able to use more than half of her maximum power, considering the friendly nature of the competition, observing that Mukuro's power varies according to her moods, achieving their highest level when she is at her maddest.
- Despite their abilities shown in the anime, neither Mukuro, Yomi, or Raizen have shown any of their true skills in the manga.
- When Mukuro wears her short-sleeved shirt in Chapter 172, you cannot see any damage around her neck or on her chest when there was damage when she revealed herself to Hiei. It is possible she got it fixed, although that would be in direct conflict with her statement in chapter 161 that she is proud of her "lost half" and has no desire to heal it. It could have been a mistake by Togashi, respectively, or a redesign.
|e v||Three Kings|
|Members:||Raizen | Mukuro | Yomi|
|e v||Team Mukuro|
|Members:||Mukuro | Hiei | Kirin | Shigure|