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Nobumemug Imai Nobume (今井信女, Imai Nobume), formerly known as Mukuro(骸, Mukuro), is a former member of the assassination unit of the Mimawarigumi, as well as the former vice captain of the Mimawarigumi.

Background

Although not much is known about Nobume's origin, it is revealed that she was taken in as a orphan by the Tendoshu at a very young age and was trained by the Naraku Faction in order to be a professional assassin. At the time, her name was Mukuro. She was eventually named one of the Naraku top three assasins. When Yoshida Shouyou was in jail, Mukuro was his guard, and during this time Shouyou taught her about knowledge and emotions, traits that she was lacking at the time.

In time, Mukuro met Sasaki Isaburou in a temple, together with other Naraku trained children. They were actually going to be used to assassinate the Hitotsubashi family. Sasaki attempts to thwart the assassination and succeeded, an act witnessed by Oboro. As an result, his punishment for the betrayal was the death of both his wife and his just born-child, and after that, Sasaki himself. Sasaki arrived at the death scene to find Mukuro standing on top of his wife's palanquin among a pile of corpses, all evidence pointing to her as the murderer. In a fit of rage, he disarmed and cornered her easily. Pointing a sword at her, he ask why she doesn't strike back, and the reason for her tears. Mukuro says she is not fit to kill him, because she wanted to fight her own weakness and her fragile self, a lesson she learnt from Shouyou back when she was his jailer. Although Mukuro was ready to accept her punishment, Sasaki lowered his sword, denying her wish to be killed. Sasaki then took Mukuro in for duties and changed her given name from "Mukuro" to "Nobume" a name he wanted to give his daughter. He instructs her that until the time his goal will be in reach, he would have her to kill him, claiming that would be his revenge against himself for his lack of power for not being able to save his own family. In the prison island Kokujou, Sasaki confess that he was aware that Nobume had been trying to protect his family, as he had taken note of blood tracks leading away from the crime scene which are not from the victims, so he conclude it must be Mukuro who injured other assassins who are the true murderers. He apologize to her, saying he is not worthy man who had took advantage of the situation, even though he knew of her good intentions. Nobume brushed that aside, saying that as long as they're by each other's side, that's all that matters. After his death, Nobume silently thank Sasaki for the wonderful name with a renewed look in her eyes.

Appearance

Nobume is a young woman with a triangular face with dull red eyes. She has long dark blue hair, evenly trimmed bangs and two shorter, rectangular strands falling on her face. Nobume has a Yatagarasu tattoo behind her neck, which is constantly covered by her long hair.

She is normally seen wearing a typical Mimawarigumi uniform. Under the neck has a white long scarf draped white suit with a collar, decorated with gold buttons on her shoulders, and the front rectangular brackets folded cuffs. Her uniform coat is a long trench coat extending to her ankles, while below was cut in half. She is also wearing a black colored belt with a silver buckle. She is seen wearing blue half-thigh shorts rather than the typical Mimawarigumi's long pants, she also wears the same colored socks decorated with white thread which form two X's on each side. She also wears the Mimawariguri uniformed boots.

During her childhood she had the same trimmed hair as in the present albeit it was much shorter. She's also seen wearing a kimono and the Yatagarasu's uniform. After she was picked up by Sasaki she wore an outfit similar to the one of Katsura when he was a child, and tied her hair up into a ponytail.

Her eyes were initially pupil-less and had a "murderous-like" look to them due to her past, being raised as a cold-blooded assassin by the Naraku faction. After Sasaki Isaburo's death, she renewed her ideals, with pupils full of life appearing in her eyes.

Personality

As a result of having been trained by the Naraku faction to be a professional assassin, Nobume is shown to be an emotionless person in both her expression and speech. She appears to be sadistic (similarly to Okita Sougo), and she likes to cut down people (in the literal sense). According to Sasaki Isaburo, once she switches into her assassin mode, she kills everyone in her way, even it there are innocent people. Although she seems to be quiet, she can become talkative if needed. As shown during the Ikkoku Keisei arc, she thinks that it is better to cut down people that are knocked unconscious instead of leaving them alive, believing it is faster to cut them up in order to not get into trouble, with Gintoki and Tsukuyo stopping her.

Nobume loves eating donuts, being very obsessive about them, and reacts in an animalistic way when trying to get them (as shown when Sasaki gave her a donut for her good work and she dislocated his hand to get it). In addition, she becomes violent when someone eats donuts in front of her, as shown when Sougo did that in front of her.

Despite her loyalty towards Sasaki Isaburo, she shows some good conscience to go against his orders. For example, she allowed Rotten Maizou to go to Yoshiwara, despite Sasaki's orders, and when he was promoted, Nobume stated that with both allies and enemies gone and they standing on the top of a pile of corpses that didn't mean that they could call their jobs done. Also, when she was offered to seat in the commander's chair she stated that she would rather crawl on the ground instead of sitting there. She has also shown to bear animosity towards the Tendoshu as she insulted them when they arrived to retrieve Nobu Nobu, and later she told Oboro that she will never serve them again. In short she detests people who selfishly abuse authority power.

It is revealed later on in the series that Nobume is not completely emotionless, as shown when she cried after remembering that she has the mission to kill Sasaki, showing that she is not actually willing to do that, and she also cried for Sasaki after seeing him in a near-death state, and is shown mourning his death.

She later becomes independent declaring to Utsuro that she will only kill people for herself and not for neither the Tendoushu nor the Mimawarigumi.

Strength & Abililties

Master Swordmanship Specialist: She was raised as an assassin from a very young age, she is arguably the strongest swordswoman in the series, seemingly more powerful than Kyuubei. At a very young age, she was said to be immensely talented in assassination and was the best during her time. She was able to successfully kill multiple Tendoushu assassins without any injuries. Her sword appears to be a Nodachi but it turned out to be a regular sized Katana while a small tantō concealed at the end of her scabbard. She uses a 2 sword fighting style. Kondo Isao has compared her to the grim reaper, every strike she makes is lethal and capable of killing anyone if it hits.

Immense Endurance: Nobume appears to have a very high endurance,as she survived having a building crashing down with her in it with only minor scratches. Also, when Utsuro threw his sword and stabbed her in the stomach she still had enough strength to keep fighting him along with Kagura and Sougo .She was also able to avoid a point blank would-be lethal blow from Utsuro and hold him in place long enough for Gintoki to come in for a surprise attack.

Relationships

  • Sasaki Isaburo:
  • Soyo Hime:
  • Sakata Gintoki:
  • Tsukuyo:
  • Kagura: They seem to have a close friendship and the same rivalry with Sougo.
  • Okita Sougo: Nobume and Sougo are rivals.

Trivia

  • Her former name "Mukuro" means "corpse"
  • She is roughly based on ex-Mimawarigumi, member Imai Noburo. Imai Noburo had confessed that he was involved in the assassination of Sakamoto Ryoma with Sasaki Tadasaburo (the real person behind Sasaki Isaburou) and others.
  • Nobume share some similarities with Akame from the anime "Akame Ga Kill!" They both were trained as assassins since they were very young, they both left a corrupted Government/Empire to join a rebel army (although Nobume is in the Mimawarigumi who are police officers secretly in alliance with Takasugi), they both would kill their targets without hesitation, both are very skilled swordswomen and both of them have an unhealthy obsession over their favourite foods (donuts for Nobume and meat for Akame).

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