The Oboro Ninja Clan (in Japanese: 朧流忍者, Obororyu Ninja), or simply known as the Oboro or the Oboro Clan, is a legendary ninja clan in the Shinobi franchise. The clan was once led by legendary Ninja Master Joe Musashi in the classic Shinobi series, and by Hotsuma and minor protagonists in the 2002 remake videogame Shinobi.
A clan of warriors and mystics, the Oboro people have helped to defend the land of Japan for since times of old. Eventually they would study the covert arts of stealth, deception, and assassination arts of the Iga shinobi and with the combination of Iga shinobi arts and the Oboro's martial and mystical arts, the Oboro Ninja Clan was born. Hailed as Ninja of justice, this organization fought against conflicts and the evils that exploited them. The famed ninja clan is said to have organized all the active Ninja in Japan.
Throughout the Shinobi Franchise the protagonist(s) have been linked to this clan.
Long ago deep in the mountains of Japan, an ancient tribe of warriors and mystics, the Oboro-shu (朧衆 The Oboro Tribe), helped protect Japan from evil in its many forms, guarding various artifacts of great importance to the battle against the dark forces.
Eventually, the Oboro would study and practice the ways of the Iga shinobi, and combining the Iga Ninja Arts with their own martial and mystic ways, the Oboro-ryu shinobi clan was born. the Oboro Ninja clan would build the Oboro Shinobi Village, where they would train generations of Ninja in the Oboro School of Shinobi Arts.
Acting in service of Japan's Imperial Household since before the Sengoku period, the Oboro waged war in the shadows against conflict and many vile elements seeking to profit from the chaos. Hailed as "Shadows of Justice", their reputation was proceeded by the various great Master Ninja produced over the centuries. Eventually, the Oboro clan's prestige would have them organize all of the active Ninja groups in Japan. While the main focal point of its structure comes from the founding Oboro Family, the village's leadership is determined by succession via election of the most prestigious shinobi produced by the clan.
Oboro vs ZEED (20th Century)
In the 20th Century, a terrorist group called Zeed had begun kidnapping the children of the world leaders (children of the Oboro clan in the Japanese version), planning to use them to reinitiate the Warring States Era of Japan. Joe Musashi, a young and highly skilled shinobi of the Oboro Ninja Clan, was sent by the clan's chief to ferret out and destroy the perpetrators of the crime and rescue the children. Using his superior shinobi skills, Joe defeated many foes, including their leader the Masked Ninja, who was in fact his traitorous one-time sensei Nakahara, who had in his madness attempted to send the world back into war just so the ninja could have a chance at glory . With his victory the foul organization was reduced to rubble, the children were saved, and countless lives were saved from Zeed's insanity. After that the world would know peace. But that peace was short-lived.
While Musashi was coming home from training overseas, Zeed had returned, more powerful than before. Neo Zeed became the mightiest crime empire to ever exist. Seeking revenge for their previous defeat, the Oboro Village were attacked, leaving many of its members dead and their chief was killed. The dying chief told his student Joe Musashi that Naoko, his fiancée was taken prisoner to be used as bait. To avenge his comrades, honor his teacher and reclaim his future wife, Musashi set out for Neo Zeed. Through the battles and life or death situations he faced, Joe would eventually find his beloved Naoko trapped in a death chamber as he faced off against the Masked Ninja in combat once more. After defeating him, he saves Naoko from the death trap and the two lovers are reunited.
After the wedding of Naoko and Joe Musashi, Joe is now the newly elected leader of the reformed Oboro clan, and has headed to the mountains to complete his training. But Neo Zeed would not accept defeat gracefully. It was soon discovered that the Masked Ninja that Musashi had bested was but a double for their true leader; the mysterious Shadow Master ; a monstrous ninja enhanced with cybernetic technology that had skill and power mirroring Musashi's own. To stop them, Joe Musashi, now more powerful after completing his training, comes out to end them. After a long and valiant struggle, Musashi struck Neo Zeed down once again, and returned to settle down.
The Oboro and Akujiki
- The story of the Oboro Clan is different in the 2002 remake of Shinobi.
Two boys, Moritsune and Hotsuma are adopted into the Oboro Household's Headmaster's Residence. Raised by famed veteran Jonin Kobushi, the two became close as true siblings, and were seldom apart. Moritsune was a prodigy of the Shinobi Arts, and Hotsuma trained diligently to be just like him. Somewhere along the way the two would meet and befriend the tomboyish Kunoichi (くノ一; female Ninja) student Ageha, another child in Kobushi's care. And would often play together.One day, the trio discovered the Oboro Clan shrine, and within it rested a crimson sword. No sooner did the curious Ageha attempt to claim it did the sword react to her. Parched for blood and Yin it began to leech away her life force. Moritsune sent Hotsuma to fetch Master Kobushi, but by the time they got there, Ageha was safe, but Moritsune was left forever scarred across his face, and cursed for life by the demonic sword.
It would soon be told to the brothers that the sword, Akujiki, is what would be given to the next leader. However, the brothers would need to battle to the death. To their shock and horror, this meant that they'd be forced to fight and kill each other for the katana and the right to lead. And so over the next decade into their adolescent years, the brothers would train for their fated battle. In the summer on a full moon in the cherry blossom grove, Hotsuma and Moritsune commenced the savage ritual. Ageha tried to stop them, but Kobushi wouldn't let her interfere under Oboro Clan law. Ageha scoffed at the Oboro tradition, seeing this as pure madness, but relented as Kobushi commanded. The two fought with the intent to kill. Though stronger and faster than Hotsuma, Moritsune decided to hold back on the final strike, refusing to let him be taken by Akujiki. Hotsuma attempted to care for his injured brother, but Moritsune told him that he was the new leader of the Oboro, and he must persevere. Moritsune told Hotsuma to take the sword. Hotsuma hesitated, as he didn't want his brother to die. Moritsune threw the sword to him, and knelt down ready to die. Telling his grieving brother that they'd always be together, Hotsuma tearfully delivered the killing slash to Moritsune with the demon blade.
The ceremony was complete and Hotsuma became the new Master of the Oboro Household. Ageha, in her grief of losing Moritsune, abandoned the Oboro and went rogue. As for Hotsuma himself, his broken heart from losing the two people he loved most would lead to him closing himself off emotionally.He would take up the mask of stoicism and kill his emotions, hiding his anguish and suffering. As the young Chief Ninja began taking more and more missions for the government on a regular basis, he gradually distanced himself from the village.4 years later since that ritual, while Hotsuma was away on another mission for the Shinobi Agency, a huge earthquake struck Tokyo and a mysterious fortress called the Golden Palace appeared in the center of the capital city. In the midst of the chaos were legions of demons known as the Hellspawn rampaging through the city streets and killing people. Lead by the demonic masked ninja Aomizuchi , they soon attacked the village of the Oboro Clan, as part of the plan of a self-proclaimed sorcerer who revealed himself to the Oboro's long thought dead sworn enemy Hiruko. Hiruko would soon manipulate the dead Oboro's soulless bodies as puppets and made them turn against their leader, Hotsuma.
Hotsuma flew into the destroyed land that was once Tokyo, and he would be forced to fight against his undead Oboro clansmen and the Hellspawn until he faced the tragic love-struck traitor Ageha, and defeated the Oboro's killer Aomizuchi who manipulated the body of Hotsuma's deceased older brother. After defeating the vile mastermind, the heretic sorcerer Hiruko Ubusuna at the keep of the Golden Palace, Hotsuma decides to close the book on Akujiki's bloody legacy. With no clan to lead, his friends and family dead, and Akujiki now free to run rampant, Hotsuma knew he would be cursed to live solely to feed Akujiki's never-ending gluttony, and disgusted with the idea, he refused to live as a slave to the sword that ruined his family. Gazing at the sunrise as he calls his brother's name one last time, Hotsuma willingly perishes in the collapse of the Golden Palace, and thus the Oboro family has ended.
LegacyKagari Ubusuna of the Ubusuna family of Onmyouji performs a ceremony called the "Ariake Seal" and breaks the cursed blade Akujiki into nine shards. She would scatter its pieces and use holy jade mirrors to create a Yang powered barrier to ward off the Hellspawn menace and forever seal Akujiki away..
However, the shards would be sought after by the Nakatomi Conglomerate, a Japanese hi-tech company who were manipulated by Hiruko into rebuilding Yatsurao. Desiring Akujiki for themselves, the Nakatomi Group send out Mercenary Ninja to acquire the sword. The theft of an Akujiki shard ruins the seal, and sends Akujiki's shards spiraling out of control, creating Hellspawn Lord like demons from each shard.
To reclaim Akujiki, the Shinobi Agency sends Hibana; the daughter of the Oboro bloodline and sole surviving heiress of the Oboro family, to retrieve the shards before Nakatomi can acquire it. After a long struggle against her former mentor Jimushi, and defeating the Akujiki powered Kurohagane, Hibana steals Akujiki back from the Japanese government, and becomes the blade's new master.
A Paradox in Time; the Shinobi who Traversed ErasThe Oboro clan have served the imperial family for generations in shadow. Serving as instruments of the emperor, the Oboro would be at constant battle with the ZEED Ninja Corps; a shinobi organization that opposed the Emperor's will. In the 8th year of Kencho (1256 AD) in Kamakura Period Japan, Jiro Musashi; the young prodigious leader of the Oboro clan would battle the ancient ZEED Ninja Forces for defying his emperor. But when his village and clan are attacked, Jiro is suddenly hurled through time and space, 800 years into the future, where ZEED's evil has become law. After battling the villainous organization on ZEED Island, their base of operations, Jiro, assisted by Col. Sarah Krieger, topples ZEED, and comes face to face with the ancient alien lifeform Orn, the mastermind of the attack on the Oboro Village who planned to use the ninja of the Oboro as his template for the ultimate Ninja Space Army.
After defeating Orn and returning to Earth, Jiro proceeds to walk alone, contemplating the revival of the Oboro clan in this new world he must now call home.
As a result of the temporal shift, the Oboro clan's destiny has forever been rewritten, and so the Oboro Ninja begins a new unwritten chapter.
RanksAs with several traditional ninja clans, the Oboro Clan is divided into three ranks, which follow under the Chief Ninja (Clan Leader). The three ranks are Genin, Chunin, and Jonin.
When a ninja becomes a Chief Shinobi (忍頭 Shinobigashira; Chief Ninja) or the Master of the head household (当主 Toushu; head of a family), they are the ones who give orders, assign missions, host rituals, and even organize clan traditions for the other ranks to follow. Clan leaders also often recruit and mentor other ninja. The
Jōnin (上忍 Master Ninja) is the highest rank of ninja, serving under the Chief Ninja. Those given this rank are the ones who represent the clan by often providing assistance to the leaders, instructing the lower ranks, and carrying out missions.
The second rank is the Chūnin (中忍 Sub-commanders). The rank of the chunin is to provide close assistance to the jōnin, act as field agents and spies, carry out missions, and relay messages to the lower rank.
At the bottom of the ranks are the Genin (下忍 Operatives). This is the beginning rank given to those who join the clan. The role of the genin mainly consists of being field agents, spies, carrying out actual missions, and enduring harsh training assigned by the Jonin and Chunin.
- Hotsuma (Head of the Oboro family; deceased (committed suicide to break free of Akujiki)
- Ageha (formerly; went rogue; killed by Aomizuchi)
- Moritsune (Killed by Hotsuma in Succession Ritual)
- Aragane Twins (Killed by Hellspawn; returned to rest by Hotsuma)
- Hakuraku (Killed by Hellspawn; returned to rest by Hotsuma)
- Homura(Killed by Hellspawn; returned to rest by Hotsuma after self detonating)
- Kongou (Killed by Hellspawn; returned to rest by Hotsuma)
- Kizami(Killed by Hellspawn; returned to rest by Hotsuma)
- Kobushi (also called Kobushi-sama; Oboro Elder; Murdered by Aomizuchi)
- Hibana (Originally of the Oboro Main Household; Put up for adoption at an early age)
- Joe Musashi (Leader; in Shadow Dancer's original plot went rogue to protect his son)
- Jiro Musashi (Leader of the Oboro clan from the Kamakura Era; sent through time to start the clan anew)
- Joe Musashi belongs to the Obororyu and became Chief of the clan.
- The Oboro is a branch of the famed Iga Ninja in the franchise.
- Jiro Musashi is the clan leader of the Oboro Ninja during the Kencho period before he's thrown through time.
- Hotsuma , Moritsune , and Hibana are members of the founding Oboro Family's bloodline. Hibana is the last surviving blood heir.
- In the original Shinobi games from Revenge of Shinobi/The Super Shinobi onward, the Japanese version of the clan is called 朧流忍者Oboro-ryu Ninja; 流 'Ryu' is a referencing to the traditional ninja clan structures, while in the PS2 remakes it is called 朧一族 (Oboro Household), referring to the actual Oboro bloodline.
- According to the original Japanese version of the first Shadow Dancer, Joe Musashi went rogue to give his son Hayate a more peaceful life.
- The crest of the Oboro is the Oboro Tsuki (in Japanese: 朧月, the Misty Moon) a black circle within a golden one, signifying the expanding light from a misty moon in the spring. In Shinobi for the PS2 and 3DS there are differing designs to it, as in the former the character 朧 Oboro (Misty or Haze) in the center, signifiying the Oboro family, and in the latter a golden Sanpo Shuriken representing the clan itself.