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Yaiba volume 1
(Ken'yū Densetsu Yaiba)
Genre Comedy
Written by Gosho Aoyama
Published by Shogakukan
Demographic Shōnen
Magazine Weekly Shōnen Sunday
Original run 19881993

24 (original version)

12 (wide version)
Anime television series
Directed by Kunihiko Yuyama
Studio Shogakukan Productions, Pastel (now OB Planning)
Network TV Tokyo
Original run 9 April 19931 April 1994
Episodes 52

Yaiba, also known as Legend of the Swordmaster Yaiba (剣勇伝説YAIBA Ken'yū Densetsu Yaiba), is a shōnen manga series by Gosho Aoyama. It ran in Shogakukan's Weekly Shōnen Sunday from issue 39 of 1988 to issue 50 of 1993, collected in 24 tankōbon volumes. It also came in 12 double volumes. In 1993, it received the Shogakukan Manga Award.[1]


  • Summary 1
  • Characters 2
    • Yaiba's Group 2.1
    • Onimaru Faction (Main) 2.2
    • Hakki Arc 2.3
    • Onimaru's Shitennō Arc 2.4
    • Dragon God Orbs Arc 2.5
    • Kaguya Arc 2.6
    • Pyramid Arc 2.7
    • Underworld Arc 2.8
    • Yamata no Orochi Arc 2.9
    • Oda Nobunaga Tournament Arc 2.10
    • Others 2.11
  • Swords 3
  • Anime 4
  • Cultural references 5
  • Other appearances/cameos 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


The light-hearted manga is about an adventuring samurai named Yaiba Kurogane (鉄 刃 Kurogane Yaiba) who knows how to be a samurai, and little else. Yaiba lives with his father, Kenjurou, in the forest. One day, while Yaiba was eating, a troop of gorillas came to attack. Yaiba and his father escaped and hid inside a box, but they didn't know that the box was full of pineapples and was going to be transported into the city. In the city, Yaiba finds out that he is a legendary warrior and has to fight the evil of a demonic looking high-school student named Takeshi Onimaru.

Yaiba was adapted as an anime series that ran 52 episodes, and encompassed the adventures Yaiba had in the first few runs of the manga. The show begins with Yaiba training to become a samurai in the jungle with his father and his two animal friends, Kagetora and Shonosuke. At a pivotal point, Yaiba's father announces that he is ready to return to Japan, and instructs him to find his old friend and rival, who just happens to be Sayaka's father.

The people that Yaiba meets along his journey to become a true samurai encourage him, train him, or inspire him to greatness, though at heart he is still a child, and his incredible skill with a sword is matched only by his kindness towards his friends. Though he tends to leap before he looks, and his thick-headedness tends to turn potential allies into enemies, his friends soon clobber him, and salvage the situation. This unlikely group embarks on a host of incredible adventures where they meet legendary figures from Japanese history, and finally overcome impossible odds, and put everything on the line, to save the entire planet from a threat not of this world. It's a story of love, friendship, hard work, and never giving up.


Yaiba's Group

Yaiba Kurogane (鉄刃 Kurogane Yaiba)
The titular character, Yaiba is the protagonist of this manga. He is the Thunder God incarnate, and later acquires the legendary Dragon's Orb. Since he fights without the Thunder Orb in the socketed Thunder God's sword, he was spared the same fate of being possessed by the sword's owner that had befallen Onimaru. Aside from his skills with the sword and his keen senses, he is also able to converse with animals.
For some time, Yaiba was fighting without any orbs. While this left him vulnerable because he had no divine assistance, it also let him master several techniques: the Senpūken (せんぷう剣 Whirlwind Sword), in which he spins the sword like a lawnmower blade by twirling it with his fingers in the hole where the orbs would usually go in; the Kaminari Giri (かみなり斬り Lightning Cut), in which he executes a downward slash in a furious zigzag pattern, and finally; the Kazaguruma (風車 Windmill Slash), in which he executes a full-body vertical spin in the air by sticking his sword between his feet, using the momentum to create a buzzsaw-like effect.
Another technique, "The Wave of Wind Thunder", can only be used along with Takeshi Onimaru, for both Thunder God and Devil Wind Swords are needed in order to execute this technique. It is the resulting combination of Yaiba's "Lightning Blast" and Takeshi's upgraded Devil Wind Slash "Tornado Ripper". They used this move against Kaguya-hime.
Voiced by: Minami Takayama
Sayaka Mine (峰さやか Mine Sayaka)
Sayaka is the second protagonist of Yaiba and Yaiba's unlikely love interest. She originally had not intended to join Yaiba's journey, and simply found herself tied to Kagetora with Yaiba going towards the Thunder God's sword when she woke up. Later it is revealed that she is the Dragon Maiden incarnate, the key to Kaguya's true form.
Voiced by: Mitsuishi Kotono
Kenjuro Kurogane (鉄剣十郎 Kurogane Kenjuurou)
Kurogane Kenjuro is Yaiba's father. He was only shown in one episode of Yaiba in the anime, whereas in the manga he accompanies Yaiba to tokyo. He doesn't stay very long, though, but occasionally comes back to check up on Yaiba.
Voiced by: Bin Shimada
Musashi Miyamoto (宮本武蔵 Miyamoto Musashi)
The legendary 400-year-old samurai Musashi took it upon himself to guard the Thunder God sword and lived as a hermit quite near it (although this is puzzling considering that the Thunder God's sword itself electrocutes all unworthy of it). Since his time on the mountain, he has taught one student and started using two swords due to old age. Like all old men, he is lecherous. He serves as Yaiba's teacher, especially upon controlling the Thunder Orb.
Voiced by: Masaharu Satō
Kojiro Sasaki (佐々木小次郎 Sasaki Kojirou)
Kojiro has been dead for a long time, having been defeated, killed in a duel and buried by Musashi himself. However, he was given new life by Onimaru, through Spiderman's reviving Ritual (or rather, it was the stench coming from the foul-smelling ingredients used for the reviving ceremony that brought Kojiro back, as well as the Hakki's facial slapping), on the condition that he kill Yaiba. After getting beaten by Yaiba while using the Thunder Orb, he then becomes friends with them in order to beat them. Kojiro uses an enchanted sword (Washing Pole as he calls it) that grows longer on his whim, and thus the maximum length that the sword can attain is limited only by Kojiro's imagination. It doesn't seem to be particularly durable as the other mystical swords shown in the series, since various characters (even those with no mystical powers or weapons to begin with) have been known to cut the sword all the way down to the guard with apparent ease. Thankfully, Kojiro's sword's ability allows it to recover the severed blade simply by lengthening itself indefinitely. Perhaps the sword's only true weakness is the fact that it is very sensitive to salt water (even to teardrops); even a slight splash will cause it to spontaneously lengthen against Kojiro's will, making it inadvisable to use in a battle where a large body of salty water happens to be nearby. He is also a natural playboy – one of the series' many running gags. Kojiro usually needs to be manhandled by others in order to "help" him subdue his overwhelming idiocy. Despite this, he serves as one of the shows more prominent swordfighters in the series
Voiced by: Jūrōta Kosugi
Jubei Yagyu (柳生十兵衛 Yagyū Jūbei)
Jubei was revived by Onimaru and defeated Kojiro Sasaki by kicking Kojiro's overextended sword straight down to Sayaka Mine's house. Before he defeated Yaiba, Musashi yelled at him and withdrew himself from attacking to join with Yaiba's group. What Onimaru didn't know about is that he is Musashi's disciple. He tends to be suicidal, as he always attempts to commit seppuku if he commits an error or feels that he did something dishonorable. When Jubei got drunk thanks to Musashi, who forcibly makes him drink sake (Japanese rice wine), Onimaru takes advantage of the situation and summons a demon while he's in a drunken state to turn him into a werewolf which has the same skills (albeit heightened to a degree) like a normal Jubei but is murderous and loves drinking sake. He can revert to Jubei when he's knocked out cold, but when he gets drunk again, he'll change into a werewolf.
Voiced by: Takaya Hashi
Kagetora (カゲトラ)
Kagetora is Yaiba's friend tiger. He helps Yaiba with his training and lets Yaiba ride him when speed is needed. He is also shown a much higher intelligence than Yaiba when it comes to rock-scissors-paper. He was probably found on the same mountain where Yaiba and his father lived.
Voiced by: Hisao Egawa
Shonosuke (庄之助)
Shonosuke is Yaiba's friend vulture. He helps Yaiba with his training and lets Yaiba ride him when he needs to fly. Like Kagetora, he occasionally ups Yaiba. He was probably found on the same mountain Yaiba and his father lived.
Voiced by: Ryō Horikawa
Gerozaimon Geroda (ゲロ田ゲロ左衛門 Geroda Gerozaimon)
The frog demon Gerozaimon is the first of Onimaru's demons to attack Yaiba, and was beaten by him when Yaiba called for his snake friends. When the second demon came and informed him he was to be disposed due to his uselessness, Gerozaimon was befriended by Yaiba. He uses his axe in battle. He also shows how good his tongue is against a battle with the chameleon demon. In the anime, his speech pattern forces him to either begin or end any sentence with "Gero" (ゲロ), which is Japanese for "Ribbit". In the manga, he is shown to be somewhat easily depressed, having fallen to a state of despair after Snakeman told him that Onimaru already gave up on him. As a result, Gerozaimon brutally beats up the Kuro Oni who came with Snakeman in blind despair.
Voiced by: Kazunari Tanaka
Namako-Otoko (ナマコ男 Sea cucumber Man)
Like Gerozaimon, he used to be one of Onimaru's demons. On his way to Izu he gets lost and is found by Yaiba's group. From then on he is always with them, usually seen on Sayaka's shoulder. He usually ends his sentences with "Zura" (ズラ).
Voiced by: Tsutomu Kashiwakura
Moroha Kurogane (鉄諸羽 Kurogane Moroha)
Yaiba's little sister. Because she was raised to believe Kenjuro is her mother's enemy, she has been training in the way of the sword to defeat him. She joins Yaiba's group for the final arc and speaks very bluntly. She does not appear in the anime.

Onimaru Faction (Main)

Takeshi Onimaru (鬼丸猛 Onimaru Takeshi)
Takeshi is the primary antagonist of Yaiba. Originally a gifted highschool swordsman, but when the fight he had with Yaiba ended in a draw, he made himself train harder. He eventually found a hidden basement containing the statues of Thunder God and the Devil Wind which was holding a sword. Upon wielding the Devil Wind sword, he was possessed and grew horns, turning into the Devil Wind incarnate. Although he uses the Devil Wind sword, he gave it to Yaiba upon acquiring the "Mao-Ken" Black Moon sword.(Also note that he looks like Tenshinhan from the Dragon Ball series with only a black dot on his forehead instead of a literal third eye). Like all good villains, Onimaru has entire hordes of faceless minions who are nothing more than humanoid black bodies with eyes, mouths, and a single horn sticking straight up from the center of their head.
Onimaru became the ruler of Japan when he mind-controlled the Japanese Diet. This typically explains how the authorities never really seem to bother two super-powerful beings with eldritch artifact weapons destroying cities and historical monuments during their fights, or stealing from ancient temples in order to gain more power.
Voiced by: Ryō Horikawa
Kumo-Otoko (クモ男 Spiderman)
The third of Onimaru's Hakki, he become something of a sidekick to Onimaru, who often sends him to others whom he instructed Spiderman to revive to attack Yaiba and his friends. He is also arguably the most comedic Hakki shown in the series. He calculates the expenses of financing high technological projects, usually with an old-fashioned abacus. In the anime, he sometimes uses a calculator with several features. His one true flaw is the fact that he's easily intimidated by loud noises. For example: several fragile materials like beer bottles or plate breaking against the floor can render Spiderman in a state of trauma. That, along with the fact that he's very gullible with limited fighting skills make him a not-so-formidable enemy. After Onimaru becomes carbonated, he comes to live with Yaiba while loyally polishing his master. He speaks with a Kansai dialect.
Voiced by: Tetsuo Sakaguchi

Hakki Arc

Onimaru's Hakki (八鬼 8 Demons) are 8 demon souls reborn into the bodies of dead animals. Gerozaimon, Namako-Otoko, and Kumo-Otoko are among their ranks. While each of them have their own unique fighting skill and abilities, all of them are also downright comedic – a continuous running gag in the series.

Hebi-Otoko (ヘビ男 Snakeman)
The second assassin sent after Yaiba. He fights with a hoko yari from a powerful snake god. Being a sentient reptile, he is also the fellow Hakki most feared by Gerozaimon, which is appropriate since snakes are the natural enemies of frogs. He is defeated by Yaiba's Senpūken technique.
Voiced by: Ken Yamaguchi, Emi Shinohara (Human disguise)
Hitode-Otoko (ヒトデ男 Starfishman)
A large male starfish from Kumamoto who thinks of himself as the leader of his group. He is married with a son and runs a dining hall. He speaks with a Kumamoto dialect. He encounters Yaiba's group again and helps them retrieve the Fire Orb from Mount Aso, nearly dying in the attempt.
Voiced by: Wataru Takagi
Kamakiri-Otoko (カマキリ男 Mantisman)
Sent with Hitode-Otoko and Namako-Otoko to stop Yaiba. After their many failures, they each get homesick and return to their respective hometowns. He speaks with a Nagoya dialect.
Voiced by: Michio Nakao
Namekuji-Otoko (ナメクジ男 Slugman)
His sticky body made him a tough opponent, but he is defeated when Yaiba throws a salt package over him and cuts it open with the Senpūken, causing him to shrivel up. He puts on a shell to become Katatsumuri-Otoko (かたつむり男 Snailman) and challenges Yaiba to a rematch, but meets the same fate once again.
Voiced by: Tsutomu Kashiwakura
Batman (バットマン)
Often speaks in English and greatly admires Musashi. His weakness is sunlight. He is a master swordsman and the strongest of the Hakki but is also defeated by Yaiba's Senpūken technique. During Yaiba's attack on Onimaru Castle, he is revived by Kumo-Otoko, but Yaiba defeats him with a single lightning strike. In the anime he was renamed Batguy (バットガイ).
Voiced by: Hirohiko Kakegawa

Onimaru's Shitennō Arc

Yakitori-kun (やきとりくん)
Voiced by: Fumihiko Tachiki

A giant angler fish wearing a paper lantern on his lure, lives in an underground lake in Onimaru's Fortress. He tries to swallow Yaiba and his friends but is eventually tricked into smashing into a wall and is defeated by Yaiba's Kaminari Giri attack.

Chameleon Bonaparte (カメレオン·ボナパルト)
Voiced by: Kazumi Tanaka

A French-speaking chameleon who can change shape and color, lives in a forest inside Onimaru's Fortress. He kidnaps Kagetora, Shonosuke and Gerozaemon and turns into a copy of Yaiba to trick the group, but is eventually found out and defeated by the combined efforts of Kojiro and Yaiba.

Dorai-Dorai (ドライドライ)
Voiced by: Tesshō Genda

A super-powered gorilla that is only the size of a doll, nearly defeats the group but is accidentally knocked out by Kojiro (who decided to side with him) and defeated by Yaiba's Kaminari Giri. He then turns into a giant rampaging gorilla but is tamed by Yaiba.

Tortoise Europa (トータスヨーロッパ)

A giant mechanical suit operated by Spider-man, can be assembled in many ways and has many weapons, including spikes, explosive mini-turtles and chests containing ageing gas. It can also turn into a giant mechanical spider.

Dragon God Orbs Arc

Professor Kanabo (金棒博士 Kanabō-hakase)

The genius professor recruited by Onimaru and Kumo-Otoko to strengthen Onimaru's Castle with the Onimaru Cannon and repair the Fūjin-ken. He serves as a quirky but loyal advisor to Onimaru. During the Kaguya arc, he builds the special flying submarine to infiltrate Kaguya's hideout and later the Wind Thunder Gods' Bazooka, a giant cannon that combines the powers of the Fujin and Raijin orbs.

Voiced by: Hisao Egawa
Miyoshi-Seikai Nyūdō (三好清海入道)

One of Onimaru's underlings. He is revived inside an Octopus' body and can transform into a giant Octopus. He attacks Yaiba while he's searching for the Water Orb in Lake Biwa and is eventually vanquished by Yaiba's Kaminari Giri.

Voiced by: Minoru Inaba
Kotaro Fuma (風魔小太郎 Fūma Kōtarō)

One of Onimaru's underlings. He is revived inside a Hawk's body and can transform into a hawk-man. He attacks the group inside Mount Tsurugi in Shikoku with his ninja techniques and weapons. He nearly kills Yaiba but is defeated and forced to flee, thanks to the help of the local tanuki. He reappears later with a "new ally" to take his revenge, but is backstabbed and cut in half by Goemon.

Voiced by: Hōchū Ōtsuka
Shiro-Tokisada Amakusa (天草四郎時貞 Amakusa Shirōtokisada)

One of Onimaru's underlings. He is revived inside a Fox's body. He's a sorcerer capable of summoning weapons and animals, as well as turning himself into various things, including a tiger, an elephant and a giant Raijū. He's eventually defeated by Yaiba's Fire Orb.

Voiced by: Toshihiko Seki
Goemon Ishikawa (石川五右衛門 Ishikawa Goemon)

One of Onimaru's underlings. He is revived inside a Bear's body and can transform into a Bear-man. He first appear under the disguise of "Rokuemon Ishida", and wins the group's trust by killing Kotarō, only to steal their map. He's first fought in Osaka, where he turns the local Onimaru Castle into a giant mecha to fight against Yaiba's Big Orb and is forced to flee when the castle is destroyed. Later he steals the Darkness Orb, challenging Yaiba and his group to a battle at Kawanakajima. After a long battle during which he turns into a shuriken-wielding bear-man, he is defeated by Yaiba's Fire Orb.

Voiced by: Shōzō Iizuka
Kero-kichi (ケロ吉)

Darkness Orb World's guide that wants some friends to play with. He is a kappa. He tries to persuade Yaiba to give up his dream, but is eventually persuaded to leave the Orb and find a dream of his own.

Voiced by: Kappei Yamaguchi
Kero-suke (ケロ介)

Darkness Orb World Exit's guard. He was defeated by Yaiba's Kazaguruma. Another kappa, but with a giant body who can spit fire and whose head is incredibly hard.

Voiced by: Shigezō Sasaoka
Benkei Musashibo (武蔵坊弁慶 Musashibō Benkei)

One of Onimaru's underlings. He is revived inside a Bull's body and can transform into a Bull-man wearing the clothes of a baseball player and a steel kanabo. He's encountered by the group in Hokkaido where he fought them for the possession of the Legendary Orb. He was defeated by Yaiba's Ice Orb and shattered by Musashi.

Voiced by: Daisuke Gōri
Basho Matsuo (松尾芭蕉 Matsuo Bashō)

One of Onimaru's underlings. He is revived inside an Ape's body and can transform into an ape-man. Rather than being a poet, Basho was actually a shinobi disguised as one. He betrayed Onimaru, wanting the power of Ryūjin's Orb for himself, and fights the group using a scythe and several magical needles that turns the victim to stone. He was defeated by Yaiba's Darkness Orb and sent into the World of darkness, where he's last seen chased around by Kerosuke.

Voiced by: Takeshi Aono
Dragon God (龍神 Ryūjin)

The guard of Ryūjin's Orb inside Mount Fuji. He is the one that tested Yaiba in order to give the power of Ryūjin. He looks like an old samurai/shogun. He reappears during the final battle against Kaguya to advise Yaiba, and seemingly vanishes when the battle is over. He reappears once more during the Yamata no Orochi arc to stop Onimaru and ends up sacrificing himself to defeat Dark.

Voiced by: Kōji Ishii

Kaguya Arc

Kaguya (かぐや)
The secondary antagonist of Yaiba, she is the Empress of the Moon and the ruler of a race of bunny people living on the moon. Unlike the other inhabitants of the Moon who are all anthropomorphic rabbits, she appears as a human dressed like a Playboy bunny. She awakens after sensing the energy of Yaiba's Dragon Orb, and launches an invasion of earth using bamboo-styled spaceships. She had conquered the world a thousand years before, but the priest of the Dragon God defeated her by cutting off her ears and sealing them within the spirit of the Dragon Priestess, and each Dragon Priestess down the line. Kaguya has many properties of a Gaki, a form of spiritual vampire, and as such, she requires the essence of young girls to maintain her youth and power. A simple kiss from Kaguya drains the youth and energy from young girls and recharges Kaguya for a time. How long depends on how much of her world-cracking energy she chooses to unleash. Kaguya has minions of her own, including a nearly limitless population of gray-furred rabbits dressed in sharp suits and sunglasses, very similar to the Yakuza-style look. They are incredibly polite, even to their captives, though they are completely loyal to Kaguya. Her true form is that of a colossal, hydra-like monster whose real face is on the "body". She eventually merges with her people and planet Earth, but is sealed by Yaiba using Ryuujin's power. She reappers during the Yamata no Orochi arc where she reluctantly helps Yaiba against Onimaru.
During one of their first encounters, Kaguya uses her "Carbon Freeze Ray", sealing Onimaru in a block of stone very similar to how Han Solo was frozen in Carbonite in Star Wars.
She was called "Princess Moon" in the Philippines' English-dubbed version.
Voiced by: Rika Fukami
Tsukikage (ツキカゲ Moon Shadow)
The most effective General and Shogun of the Moon Bunny forces, Tsukikage is an anthropomorphic rabbit who acts with the full authority and trust of Kaguya. Like all the Moon Rabbits, he has the power to fly, and also the power to 'Gatai', or fuse, with other objects or even other people. He is incredibly competent (which is unusual in most television shows) and tolerates Kaguya's temper tantrums with almost limitless patience. At times, Kaguya gives Tsukikage her fan, a symbol of her authority and a focus for some of her power. The fan allows Tsukikage to fire Kaguya's trademark pink energy blasts. Tsukikage only voiced a concern with one of Kaguya's orders, which was to release Gekko from imprisonment in order to combat Yaiba.
He was called "Moon Beam" in the Philippines' English-dubbed version.
Voiced by: Daiki Nakamura
Gekko (ゲッコー)
The only black rabbit on the Moon, Gekko was bullied as a child. The only rabbit who would stand up for him was Tsukikage, and thus formed a brotherly bond between the two. Gekko often calls Tsukikage 'Aniki', which translates roughly as 'brother'. Gekko's style of dress is similar to Tsukikage's own, and he has a scar over one eye that keeps it shut. In later episodes, his eye opens as a result of using the full power of the Mao-Ken sword. Gekko's tactics, unlike all the generals sent to stop Yaiba, are ruthless and direct. Gekko has no need for fair play and even begins his assault on Yaiba while at Sayaka's house in the middle of dinner. Once determining that Gekko cannot beat Yaiba without some degree of magical weapon, Gekko goes to "Cell Sixty Six" to unleash the Mao-Ken sword, the blade responsible for turning the Moon from a lush bamboo forest into a barren wasteland. Gekko's proficiency and power with the Mao-Ken sword force Yaiba and Onimaru to join forces to combat him. Gekko's desire for victory was so great that he was willing to kill other Moon Rabbits, though it is entirely possible that the Moon Rabbits he killed were the ones initially responsible for his imprisonment.
He was called "Moon Light" in the Philippines' English-dubbed version.
Voiced by: Kazuki Yao
Mangetsu (マンゲツ)
One of the Generals under Tsukikage, vying for his position. He is a huge rabbit with a sinister look to him, dressed in a different style of uniform from the other generals. This indicates that he's either a general of a different branch of the "Moon Army" that came down, or all the other generals are of a higher rank than him. He concocts a plan to deliver Yaiba to Kaguya, which fails. Mongetzu then decides to take action by assaulting Yaiba directly. The fight ends up in a seafood restaurant where Mongetzu demonstrates the 'true power of the moon people' by brandishing a lobster, then yelling "Gatai!". Once the smoke cleared, Mongetzu was now part lobster, with claws, gleaming red shell armor, and (as all Gatai forms have) big rabbit ears. The next Gatai Mongetzu attempted was with a propane tank, which gave him the power to breathe fire. Yaiba defeated him using a combination of the "Big" orb and the "Fire" orb he had earned at this point, and blasted Mongetzu clear back to the Moon Bunny base. For his failure, Kaguya disintegrated him.
Voiced by: Toshihiko Nakajima
Mikazuki (ミカヅキ)
Another one of Kaguya's generals. During Yaiba's attack against the Moon base he performs "Gatai" with a shark, but is defeated by Yaiba's fireball and has his ears cut, leaving him in his shark form.
Voiced by: Nobuhiko Kazama
Shingetsu (シンゲツ)
Another one of Kaguya's generals. During Yaiba's attack against the Moon base he performs "Gatai" with a giant squid, but is defeated by Yaiba and has his ears cut, leaving him in his squid form.
Voiced by: Tomohisa Asō
Hangetsu (ハンゲツ)
Another one of Kaguya's generals, he performs Gatai on Jubei, taking over his body and using it to fight Yaiba, but is tricked by Musashi into drinking saké, awakening Jubei's werewolf form and being forced to leave his body. He's later blasted into pieces by Gekko.
Voiced by: Ginzō Matsuo

Pyramid Arc

Emerald (エメラルド)

A mysterious girl that appears in front of Yaiba and guide him and Sayaka inside the Pyramid. Later, her identity is revealed that she is actually one of the guards in Pyramid, the "Defense" Soldier. She is killed by the beam of the Japan's sinker machine. She has the ability to heal and create a barrier.

Sugi Pollen Soldier (スギ花粉ソルジャー Sugi Kafun Sorujā)

One of the guards in the Pyramid similar to an Ent. It can make the enemies cry by releasing pollen, as well as throwing poisoned leaves and wielding multiple swords. He's defeated by Yaiba's Juumonji Giri.

Ruby (ルビー)

One of the guards in Pyramid that holds the element of power. She attacks with an axe made from light and is incredibly strong.

Sapphire (サファイア)

One of the guards in Pyramid that holds the element of technique. She attacks with the Raijin-ken made from light and can emulate any technique she sees, even just once.

Diamond (ダイヤモンド)

One of the guards in Pyramid that holds the element of intelligence. She can predict all of her enemies' thoughts. She fights with a scythe and spikes made of energy.

Jewel (ジュエル)

The perfect knight. He is the combination of Emerald, Ruby, Sapphire, and Diamond. So, he holds all of their powers.

Underworld Arc

Gold (ゴールド)

One of the two best warriors of the Underworld, he's a colossal, black-skinned cyclops, wielding a huge scimitar. His eye can emit a telekinetic beam and his rubber-like body can stretch and repel any attack by bouncing it back; however, he has the intellect of a baby. He is turned into a crazed demon by Onimaru's Demon King Sword, but is eventually defeated by Yaiba who, taking advantage of his own power, runs him through with the Supreme King Sword.

Silver (シルバー)

One of the two best warriors of the Underworld, he's a colossal, black-skinned cyclops, wielding a spiked ball on a chain and whose eye can emit an electrifying beam. His elastic body can also stretch and repel any attack, however, he is more intelligent than Gold, with only his eye as his weak spot. After being defeated by Yaiba and later tricked into attacking Gold, he's bisected by the latter's super heated sword.

Boss (ボス)

The Leader of the Underworld people, he hates humans for spoiling the Earth so much and so sided with Onimaru and started the Pyramid project to punish all humans. However, Onimaru betrays him and tries to take over the pyramids for his plans of world domination. After the defeat of Silver and Gold, he is moved by Yaiba and decides to give humanity one more chance.

Yamata no Orochi Arc

Rain (レイン)

One of Onimaru's underling, she's the Demon God of Water. She can manipulate water and ice and use the Water Demon Longsword. She tries to lure Yaiba into a trap on the school's rooftop to kill him but is eventually defeated by the Supreme King Sword.

Burner (バーナー)

One of Onimaru's underling, the Demon God of Fire. He can manipulate fire and flames, uses the Fire Demon Longsword along with a fire-spitting shield and can make clones out of flames. He attacks Sayaka's mansion to force Yaiba to come out, but is eventually defeated by Yaiba and finished off by Dark.

Dark (ダーク)

One of Onimaru's underling, the Demon God of Darkness. He can use shadows to teleport himself and others and sink enemies into a pool of sheer darkness called the "Dark Zone". His strongest power lets him use a pyramid of black energy called the "Delta Zone", to send his victims into the netherworld. He is eventually defeated by Ryuujin and absorbed into his own Delta Zone.

Plasma (プラズマ)

One of Onimaru's underling, the Demon God of Light. He can move at light speed, use illusions and manipulate any light source like lightnings and solar rays. He attacks Yaiba disguised as Kojiro and tries to melt the last seal, but after a fierce battle, is cut down by Yaiba. With the last of his strength, he blows himself up in order to break the ice covering the last seal.

Yamata no Orochi (ヤマタノオロチ)

A giant demonic dragon from the past sealed away by Susano'o, sealed away with eight magical swords. His current body is actually Japan itself and can grow eight monstrous heads, capable of firing destructive laser beams. It is awakened by Onimaru and used to destroy the world, but is stopped and sealed once more by the combined efforts of a Kaguya-possessed Sayaka (who blocks his heart) and Yaiba's Supreme King Sword (used to cut off his horn).

Oda Nobunaga Tournament Arc

Soshi Okita (沖田総司 Okita Sōshi)

The grandson of the historical Shinsengumi member, he's a genius swordsman, even stronger than Yaiba or even Jubei. He actually dislikes swordsmanship and would rather gave it up, but after seeing that Yaiba's sheer determination is much greater than his, he is moved to increase his skills.

Frederick Luther III (フレデリック·ルーサーIII世)

A Knight from Europe who fights with a saber, he pretends to be a loyal and honor-bound warrior but he actually resorts to cheating in order to win.

Gozuma (ゴズマ)

A massive warrior trained since childhood by the Shirogane Corporation to be the perfect warrior. He fights with a Da Dao and has electrical microunits all over his body that powers him up, allowing him to boost his speed and power by absorbing electrical energy. At first he looks like an emotionless cyborg but by the end of the battle he develops a genuine respect for Yaiba.


Raizo Mine (峰雷蔵 Mine Raizō)
Sayaka's father, and an old rival of Kenjuurou. He is a kendo master and has his own dojo.
Voiced by: Unshō Ishizuka, Tesshō Genda (Conan vs. KID vs. Yaiba)
Sayaka's Grandmother
More commonly known as Goinkyou (ご隠居 Retired Person). She is very strict and seems to know more about kendo than Raizo.
Voiced by: Reiko Suzuki
Nadeshiko Yamato (大和撫子 Yamato Nadeshiko)
The girl that Yaiba helped in the jungle when she was attacked by an animal. After that, she fell in love with him and made a promise to marry him. Yaiba accidentally agreed if she's stronger (Yaiba thought she is a daughter of a Soba's seller). After she got stronger, she came to the Mine dojo and asked for a fight, defeating Musashi and Kojiro. Jubei didn't want to fight her because he fell for her. She finally left to get even stronger.


Raijin-ken (雷神剣 Lightning God Sword)

Yaiba's sword, Raijin-ken has an orb within it marked with the kanji for "Thunder". It has the power to control the thunder. It was called "Sword of Thunder God" in the Philippines' English-dubbed version of the anime. Throughout his adventures in Japan, Yaiba finds several other orbs in search of the Dragon God's Orb, which are listed as follows:

  • Water (水) - This orb allows Yaiba to control water by swinging his sword and can shoot water from the tip of the sword. It was found in Lake Biwa.
  • Gold (金) - Allows Yaiba to transform into different people and objects. He earned this orb from the Tanuki in Shikoku.
  • Fire (火) - This orb allows Yaiba to shoot balls of flame from his sword. It was found on Mount Aso.
  • Big (大) - Lets Yaiba grow huge. The first time he used this orb, he grew large enough to leave the atmosphere. However by the time the orb runs out of power, it turns black and Yaiba becomes exhausted because he used up all his stamina. It takes time to recharge the orb before he can use it again. It was found in Nara.
  • Darkness (闇) - This orb is the most dangerous of all. It can suck up anything in its path including the user as an act of desperate measure. When Yaiba used it for the first time, he got sucked into the orb along with Jubei, though they got out from the orb successfully. It was found in Niigata.
  • Ice (氷) - This orb allows Yaiba to shoot ice from the tip of this sword. It also allows him to freeze water into ice. It was found in Hokkaidō.
  • Reliance (当) - This talking orb indicates the position of all the other orbs. It was found in Tōhoku. Voiced by Shigeru Chiba.
  • Dragon (龍) - Contains all of the powers of the six other orbs from Water to Ice. Whenever he uses it, the Raijin-ken changes its shape; turning into the Ryūjin-ken. This also happened when he used the orb on Onimaru's Fūjin-ken when the Raijin-ken was swallowed by Kaguya-hime. The orb has 3 abilities: Yaiba can fly while holding the sword; it can create a powerful energy shield that can block projectiles and; he can summon the Dragon God by activating all of the orbs, including the Dragon Orb as well to unveil its ultimate power. It was found inside of Mount Fuji.
Fūjin-ken (風神剣 Wind God Sword)

Onimaru's sword, Fūjin-ken has an orb within it marked with the kanji for "Wind". It has the power to control the wind. It was called "Sword of Devil Wind" in the Philippines' English-dubbed version of the anime.

Ryūjin-ken (龍神剣 Dragon God Sword)

Raijin-ken and Fūjin-ken's form when the Dragon orb is inserted.

Haō-ken (覇王剣 Supreme King Sword)

The legendary sword that once wielded by Susanoo to seal Yamata no Orochi inside Japan. In Pyramid arc, when Yaiba fought Jewel, Yaiba's Raijin-ken and Fūjin-ken changed their shapes into one sword, the Supreme King Sword. It is far stronger than Raijin-ken and Fūjin-ken. It changed the wielder's fighting powers into its power.

Maō-ken (魔王剣 Demon King Sword)

The demonic sword created by Kaguya to rule the Moon, but because of its immense power, it destroyed all the bamboo forests on the Moon. It was once used by Gekko to fight Yaiba and Onimaru. Onimaru later took it as his new weapon instead of the Fūjin-ken. It has three attack forms: the Crescent Slash (weakest attack); the Half-Moon Slash and; the Full-Moon Slash (strongest attack) which has the power to destroy one planet in an instant. It changed the evil powers into its power. It was called "Sword of Devil King" in the Philippines' English-dubbed version of the anime.

Suima no Tachi (水魔の太刀 Water Demon Longsword)

Rain's sword. It has the power to summon water and changes its shape into whatever the wielder wants.

Enma no Tachi (炎魔の太刀 Fire Demon Longsword)

Burner's sword. It has the power to summon fire and change its shape into whatever the wielder wants.

Kenjūrō no Bokuto (剣十郎の木刀 Kenjūrō's Wooden Sword)

Kenjūrō's wooden sword with his name on its handle. In the Oda Nobunaga Tournament arc, Yaiba got it from his mother and used it in the tournament.

Kikuichi Monji (菊一文字 Chrysanthemum Crest)

The sword of the famous Soshi Okita.

Monohoshizao (物干し竿 Washing Pole)

Kojiro's famous sword that can be stretched as long as the wielder wants.

Ma-ken Kusanagi (魔剣クサナギ Demon Sword Kusanagi)

Yaiba's current sword. It gives him the ability to fly at high speed and he can summon it just by whistling.


The anime aired simultaneously on TV Tokyo, TV Hokkaido, and TV Aichi from April 9, 1993~April 1, 1994. On TV Tokyo it was titled Kenyuu Densetsu YAIBA (剣勇伝説YAIBA Brave Sword Legend Yaiba). The anime contained 52 episodes and covered up to the Kaguya Arc.

  • Opening Theme: Yuuki ga Areba (勇気があれば If You Have Courage) by Kabuki Rocks
  • Ending Theme: Shinjigakunaki Tatakai (神智学無き戦い (lit.) Battle Without Theosophy) by Kabuki Rocks

Cultural references

  • It appears Yaiba was highly inspired by Dragon Ball. As was the case with Dragon Ball, both series began as a kind of light-hearted gag manga, but towards the end of their run the tone became more serious and action-packed.
  • Three of the main characters, Yaiba, Sayaka and Yaiba's tiger Kagetora, appear to have been based on characters from the anime Manga Mito-Kōmon, an animated version of the long-running Japanese television drama Mito Kōmon, which is parodied in chapter 37 of Yaiba.
  • It should be noted that in Yaiba's world, there are King Kong sized gorillas, tigers and vultures in Japan.

Other appearances/cameos

Although Yaiba has now become a little known anime, it still appears as cameos in other works such as Detective Conan.

  • In volume 2 file 3 of Detective Conan, he appeared in a TV show Conan was watching.
  • In volume 3 Conan is seen playing the same game below at episode 7 to distract Ran from suspicion.
  • In volume 10 file 6, Conan is looking through some books in the children section at the library. One of them is title Samurai Kid, a double reference to both Yaiba and Magic Kaito.
  • In volume 5 file 6 of Detective Conan, Yaiba is seen on the karaoke screen.
  • In episode 7, Conan is seen playing a Game Boy-like console, where his character in the game is Yaiba.
  • In episode 25, Yaiba's main antagonist, Onimaru, appears on the cover of another video game.
  • Conan's companions in the Junior Detective League are fans of a series called "Masked Yaiba" (Kamen Yaiba), another nod to the series (as well as an homage to the live-action series Kamen Rider).
  • There is a special OVA consisting all three of Gosho Aoyama's most famous works in one video. "Conan vs KID vs Yaiba".
  • In the last episode before Musashi TV close, there are chibi version of Conan Edogawa and Ran Mori inside the TV.
  • Ran Mori of Detective Conan has a mobile phone accessory in the shape of a sea cucumber demon (one of the demons Yaiba befriends with) at the end of her mobile phone's strap.
  • In Magic Kaito, Kaito Kid once goes to Mine's House and fights against Yaiba & the old Miyamoto Musashi.
  • The character Okita has a brief cameo in Detective Conan episode 263 as Heiji Hattori's rival in a kendo tournament- the joke being that Okita has a very similar character design to Shinichi, the main character.
  • In the 2011 role-playing game Dark Souls, Kojiro's sword Monohoshizao makes an appearance as an in-game purchasable weapon named "Washing Pole." Like its influence, this weapon features an abnormally long blade and weak durability; however, the blade's length is static and cannot be changed.

See also


  1. ^ 小学館漫画賞: 歴代受賞者 (in Japanese). Shogakukan. Retrieved 2007-08-19. 

External links

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