Team Masho, called Mashōtsukai (魔性使い, literally translated as Devilish Trainer or Messenger of Malevolence) in the original Japanese version, are also known as the shinobi (Demon Realm Ninja "The Specters of Asura" in the original Japanese version and The Shinobi of Spirit World in the FUNimation dub.) They were one of the many demon teams that had participated in the last Dark Tournament. In the Viz adaptation, they are known as Team Shadow Channelers. In the Filipino Dub of the anime, their team is called Black Magic Team
Kurama mentions during their first appearance in the series, and it was later admitted by Toya, that Team Masho is a clan of professional ninjas who originated in the Demon World. They would only work under the highest bid of the most extravagant individuals, or for those who could financially sponsor Masho's actions. During Toya's match against Kurama, Toya states rather metaphorically, that Team Masho has been working from the shadows for many generations, being hired as assassins and terrorists. Eventually they had grown tired of serving other demons, and had come to realize that every job they took up could never benefit them entirely. So in order for the ninjas to become their own masters and to take control of their own lives, Team Masho left Demon World, and decided to participate in the Dark Tournament. Their goal was to obtain ownership of Hanging Neck Island, a secluded location where the Black Black Club would hold the Dark Tournament, once every fifty years. Once they had established their new headquarters on the Hanging Neck Island, Team Masho would start over their entire organization, but under the freedom (the light, as Toya explains) of the Human World, completely unbound by the laws and restrictions of Demon World.
Like most of the teams that had participated in the Dark Tournament, Team Masho consisted of five members. Since they were actually ninjas rather than hand-to-hand fighters, the Team Masho's roster consisted of five individuals, whose techniques could either immobilize, distract, weaken, or rapidly kill their adversaries, without the use of any excessive violence. For example: Gama could paint symbols that were as heavy as iron, on his opponent's limbs, Bakken could create mist screens with zero visibility, and Risho could cover his entire body with rock, making him an excellent assassin.
When Team Masho is first introduced in the series, it's members were all disguised in long, black colored cowls, with pointy hoods that bared no facial holes on them. The robes had perfectly concealed the shinobi's bodies, but these disguises were also custom made for each individual member (each had a different symbol), and could not hide their voices, making it known as to who was under their own robe.
Risho was the actual leader of the shinobi, but Jin had been appointed as captain during their time in the tournament. While an exceptional fighter and a devoted ninja, Risho is seemingly without honor, going so far as hitting his wounded teammate Toya, for disapproving of his decision to support Butajiri's underhanded scheming. Risho would later on beat up Kuwabara, who was also severely wounded at the time. Risho has powers over the element of earth, being able to create a jagged rock armor which he calls his "Armor of Clay" and covering his individual body parts with rock, such as his forearms. Despite his armor in the battle against Kuwabara, Risho is ultimately defeated after Kuwabara sees Yukina.
Bakken is physically the largest, most muscular member of Team Masho, but putting that aside, he is considered by most people, including his own team, to be the weakest man of the group. Bakken is a cowardly and dishonest fighter; he would often make use of unfair tricks, and take advantage of his opponent's fatigue (e.g. when Kurama was comatose), in order to get the upper hand during his matches. His power consists of creating mist screens of zero visibility from his own sweat, in order to blind his adversaries during a fight.
Touya is an ice-based apparition, and as such he can freeze his surroundings by simple releasing his demon energy. Also, he can craft edged melee weapons such as knifes and swords made of pure ice. He is a calm and collected person on the outside, but in truth he cared deeply for his teammates, vowing to avenge their deaths by killing the killers in a cold-blooded manner.
Gama is an agile fighter, relying on his speed and stamina in order to catch up to his opponents. While on the battlefield, Gama covered his body in war paint that was made from his own blood. The paint had magical properties that acted very similar to voodoo, and Japanese shaman rituals. The blood paint augmented Gama's speed, and if the blood was applied on his opponents body, it could make that person's body parts seem heavier, or could even seal of the person's energy for a long period of time, but eventually dispersing.
Butajiri was Team Masho's sponsor during the Dark Tournament and a highly influential member of the Black Black Club, having bet the entirety of his fortune on Masho's success against Team Urameshi. He had influenced the tournament's executive committee in order to have Hiei and the Masked Fighter kept out of the fight against Team Masho, and later convinces the committee to declare the Jin vs. Yusuke match as a draw but Kuwabara defeats Butajiri's cheating at the last second. Because of his cheating and dishonest methods, Sakyo had asked Younger Toguro to kill Butajiri, which he did with no remorse whatsoever. In the English anime, Butajiri also wanted to use the match to get revenge on Yusuke Urameshi for supposedly killing Gonzo Tarukane, but was informed in his final moments by Sakyo that Younger Toguro was actually the one who killed him.
Before the match against Team Urameshi had started, Ruka posed as a licensed nurse in order to lure Hiei and the Masked Fighter into the ring's medical tent, trapping them inside a seemingly impregnable force-field. The barrier was inevitably broken by Hiei's immense, demonic aura, forcing Ruka to leave the stadium before Hiei could get the chance to burn her alive. She makes her final appearance in the manga's epilogue alongside Koto and Juri, as part of a fan-favorite trio from a human TV show.
Vs. Team Urameshi
Gama vs. Kurama - Loss
Toya vs. Kurama - Loss
Bakken vs. Kurama - Win
Bakken vs. Yusuke - Loss
Jin vs. Yusuke - Loss, but declared a Draw by the judges to sabotage Team Urameshi
Risho vs. Kuwabara - Loss
Final Result: Loss
Dark Tournament Saga
After their fierce battle against Dr. Ichigaki Team, Team Urameshi had been significantly weakened. Multiple torso bones of Kuwabara's, had been broken during his last fight, so he could barely stand up, let alone fight. The Masked Fighter had also used up a great deal of spiritual energy after fighting with the three Ichigaki team members. Also, as an extra down-fold, Hiei's right arm was still heavily wounded after his first attempt to use the Dragon of the Darkness Flame. It was during this dire time that the Dark Tournament's jury had decided to immediately place Team Urameshi against Team Masho.
As they make their way to the ring, Team Masho's members are all covered in black robes, but immediately reveal themselves to be shinobi. Before the match begins, the captains of Team Masho and Team Urameshi, Jin and Yusuke respectively, decide to have a series of one-on-one rounds, with the first team that gains four victories to be proclaimed the winner. Despite his excitement for fighting, Jin decides to sit the first match out, possibly to observe Team Urameshi's fighters, or simply out of boredom. Before the first fight could commence, Hiei and the Masked Fighter are called to the tournament's medical tent for immediate medical attention. Once at the tent, Hiei refuses to accept Ruka's advice of skipping the fight, only to be imprisoned along with the Masked Fighter within an impregnable spiritual forcefield, created by Ruka, who reveals herself to be a very powerful enchantress. Despite the fact that Ruka was working under Butajiri (Team Masho's sponsor) in order to sabotage Team Urameshi's victory, the tournament's jury agreed to Ruka's idea of keeping Hiei and the Masked Fighter out of Team Masho's match.
The first round against Team Urameshi featured Gama vs. Kurama. During the fight, Gama proves to better fighter in both speed and agility, and took advantage of Kurama's habit of studying his opponent's skills, in order to successfully restrain Kurama's hands and feet by placing a spell that made his limbs as heavy as 200kg of iron. However, Kurama grows his trade-mark rose-whip from his own hair, slicing Gama all over his body, without having to kill him. As a last resort, Gama willingly allows himself to bleed to death, using his own blood as a means to place a final seal on Kurama's body, and in the process, he casts a binding spell that seals away all of Kurama's energy. Incapable of moving until Gama's weight spell wore off, Kurama was obligated to continue fighting in the second round. Nonetheless, Team Urameshi had won it's first round against Team Masho.
In the second round, the ninja Toya steps in the ring, vowing to avenge Gama's death by killing Kurama in cold blood. As the round commences, Kurama begins to ask Toya about Masho's intentions, in order to buy himself some time until the weight and the binding seal (10 minutes) spells could wear of entirely. Throughout the fight, Kurama manages to avoid being fatally hit by Toya's ice-knives, but realized that he could not defeat Toya without the use of his plant based weapons. Kurama attempts to erase the binding seal on his chest by using his own blood to rub off Gama's blood. To ensure himself the victory, Toya decides to deliver the finishing blow against Kurama, creating an ice-sword over his right hand, attempting to stab his adversary. As Toya was about to directly pierce his adversary's head, Kurama successfully grows a knife-plant out of his wounded arm, stabbing Toya in the stomach region, but does not kill him. The ninja's life is spared by Kurama, who claimed to be too tired to finish him off. Losing a lot of blood, Kurama goes into a comatose state, but nonetheless manages to defeat Toya and insures Team Urameshi's second victory in the match.
During the third round, trying to even the odds, the largest member of Team Masho, Bakken enters the ring, and begins punching Kurama repeatedly, while he was still unconscious. Despite the fact that Bakken was technically cheating, the tournament's jury approves with the fight, allowing Team Masho to win their first round against Team Urameshi. As Bakken was about to deliver a fatal blow to Kurama, Yusuke threatened to fire his spirit-gun at Bakken, forcing the giant to hand Kurama back to Team Urameshi.
In the fourth round, Bakken faces of against Yusuke, each of them hoping to defeat each other, with the same amount of hatred. As the fight commences, Bakken releases a cloud of thick mist all over the stadium, making Yusuke incapable of detecting his adversary. At first Bakken manages to deliver several blows on Yusuke, but is unable to actually deliver any serious damage. Yusuke mocks the giant, claiming that he was in fact the weakest member of Team Masho. Enraged, Bakken attacks Yusuke from the back, but Yusuke jumps out of the way, and fires his spirit-gun at the same time Bakken punches the ring, dispersing the mist until it fully leaves the ring. Begging for his life, Bakken attempts to trick Yusuke into sparing his life, but then tries to smash Yusuke's head with a rock. The plan fails, enraging Yusuke, who begins to repeatedly smash every bone in Bakken's body, winning the match.
In the fifth round, Jin, the wind master and captain of the Team Masho, finally enters the ring and challenges Yusuke to a fight, and both grow very fond of each other. At first Jin has the upper-hand in the fight, using his powers over the surrounding air currents, and redirects all of Yususke's attacks, including the spirit-gun, in another direction. Jin also uses his power to levitate, only approaching Yususke when he intends to deliver a punch. Eventually, Yusuke manages to deliver two very powerful punches on Jin, by channeling his spiritual energy through his entire body, and using the shot-gun attack at close range. Jin is propelled out of the ring and into the highest chair section of the stadium. However, the tournament's jury declare that the Jin vs. Yusuke fighting round was a null fight, claiming that the referee had missed the time of the countdown. Furthermore, Team Masho was about to be declared winner of this match, since Team Urameshi did not win four matches, and no more fighters were available for a final round.
Declaring himself ignored by the jury, Kuwabara steps in the ring and challenges Risho, the last man standing out of Team Masho, to a final sixth round, to decide a fair outcome of the fight. In the English dub prior to the match, Kuwabara had learned from Ruka that while Hiei and the Masked Fighter were out, he was still fine. At first Risho willingly beats Kuwabara up with all his strength, but Kuwabara keeps refusing to go unconscious. Risho decides to use his armor of clay and continued to pummel his adversary. As Kuwabara was about to be punched in the face, Yukina makes her appearance among the crowd of spectators. Her timely arrival fuels Kuwabara's motivation, who then punches Risho with his right fist and with the left, then tosses the ninja out of the ring, and into the highest chair section of the stadium, (similar to how Jin was tossed by Yusuke) defeating him (In the anime Risho comes back, but Kuwabara uses his rejuvenated Spirit Sword to knock him away again). Team Urameshi is declared the winning team of the match, going off into the semi-finals.
Despite losing, Jin and Toya continued to respect Yusuke and his group, but had abolished Team Masho as well as their ninja clan, since Risho was still alive but not with them. The two had also seemed to have befriended former tournament participants Chu and Rinku. Altogether they save an unconscious Yusuke Urameshi and Keiko Yukimura from a trio of demons, and viewed the fights between Team Urameshi and Team Toguro. After Sakyo begins destroying the stadium as he promised to Koenma he would do, Jin and Toya tell Yusuke's group to escape so that they may have a rematch someday, after they have all gotten stronger.
Three Kings Saga
Both Jin and Touya, alongside Chu and Rinku, as well as former Team Uraotogi members Shishiwakamaru and Suzuki, began training under master Genkai. Both warriors along with their companions, all progress into upper A-Class (mid-S in the manga) demons and ally themselves with demon king Yomi. This is a short lived alliance, however, since Yusuke proposes a free for all tournament in order to decide the supreme ruler of the Makai.
Despite the fact that both warriors fought hard, neither Jin nor Touya managed to pass the first round of the tournament, losing to Raizen's old friends. However, they remained confident in their strengths and after the tournament had ended, both of them, alongside their comrades journeyed off to continue their training, hoping to defeat Yusuke and his group some time in the future.
- Team Masho makes its last appearance with all of its members together, during the third ending title sequence of the anime's credits. Noticeably Jin and Touya are the last to appear, and the only enemies in the ending who are not "darkened".
- The word "shinobi" is a Japanese synonym for the word "ninja", meaning stealth assassins, trained in the advanced art of deception and of ninjutsu.
- Members of this team tend to be specialists of elemental techniques/ninjutsu. Gama is an exception, whereas his specialty lies in the use of paint, making him the only member who abilities and epithet are not associated with a natural element.
|e v||Team Masho|
|Members:||Jin | Toya | Bakken | Risho | Gama|