- "You understand... that we assassins can only live in the heart of battle."
— Inaba to Urita Sukizo
Inaba Ryo (因幡 良, Inaba Ryō; "Ryo Inaba"), also known as "The Black Phantom" (黒呪の亡霊, Kuroju no Bōrei), is an assassin that hails from the Inaba Clan as well as the clan's current heir. He represented Penasonic as their affiliated fighter during the Kengan Annihilation Tournament and was one of three assassins in the tournament.
Inaba Ryo is the smallest fighter in the tournament, standing at 155 cm, with a slight yet well-defined frame, notably pale skin, and dead-looking eyes with large bags under them. His most distinguishing feature is his extremely long, flailing black hair that he usually lets drape over his face and on to the ground; under the hair, Inaba has a decidedly cute face. Ryo tends to wear a plain black vest and plain black bottoms, and is usually seen barefoot.
Ryo is particular known for his eccentric behaviour, such as his tendency to walk on all fours like an animal. Despite this, he has a surprisingly agreeable side. Because of the relationship he has with his friend and employer Urita Sukizo, Inaba subdued his true sense of identity: the bloodstained karma of his assassin's blood and the fact that assassins could only really live in the heart of battle, something which he regained after his fight with Tokita Ohma.
Because the assassins of the Inaba Clan had served the Uritas for generations, as the current head of the household, Inaba Ryo was no exception. Because he was always at Urita Sukizo's side as his bodyguard ever since they were children, they had a bizarre relationship that was not of master and servant but more like that of close friends. To that end, Sukizo never ordered Inaba to commit any assassinations.
Inaba was first seen walking around creepily on the S.S. Kengan.
On the first day of the Kengan Annihilation Tournament, Inaba represented Penasonic, fighting against Tokita Ohma in the first round. Initially overwhelmed by Ohma, Inaba turned the tables when he began using his prehensile hair. However, Inaba was defeated when Ohma activated the Advance and dominated him.
While recovering from his fight in the medical bay, Inaba watched the rest of the first round with Urita. Two days later, during the first match of the second round, between Imai Cosmo and Akoya Seishu, Inaba helped to subdue the bodyguards hired by Hiyama Shunka, so that Nishihonji Akira could intervene in Hiyama and Akoya's ploy. Returning to the medical bay Inaba, then watched the rest of the second round. After the close of the second round, when Hayami Katsumasa began his "revolution", Inaba helped to fend off the assailing Guardians alongside Hanafusa Hajime, Murobuchi Gozo, Kono Haruo, Sawada and Sekibayashi Jun.
On the final day, Inaba watched the rest of the tournament unfold along with the other fighters who had been knocked out of the tournament.
Power & Abilities
Ryo comes from the Inaba Clan of assassins, in which they have a special treatment for their hair to be used as a weapon. Apart from this, Inaba is a fast and agile combatant, albeit not as fast as Ohma. He is shown to be capable of matching Ohma's blows for a short while, before being overwhelmed. Despite being small, Inaba is stronger than he looks: using his big toe he can both propel himself quickly and can easily root himself to the ground; when wrapping Ohma's leg with his hair, Inaba easily swung him around like a ball on a chain using his arm or his neck.
Inaba Style (因幡流, Inaba-ryū): A martial arts style created and utilised by the Inaba Clan. Heirs to the Inaba Style begin strengthening their hair from childhood, lathering it in a wondrous compound drug far more effective than any modern hair growth formula. Their strengthened hair is then refined, enabling it to be freely manipulated through years of training.
- Edging (躙り, Nijiri): A special form of movement used by the Inaba Clan involving the user propelling themselves using nothing but their toes. The user also keeps their movement speed out of sync to make it harder for opponents to predict their movements.
- Somersault Kick (巻き打ち, Maki-uchi): A downward axe kick thrown after somersaulting forwards.
- Spider's Hair (蜘蛛髪, Kumogami): A special technique within the Inaba Clan that enables them to use their incredibly strong hair as a weapon. Because of how flexible his hair is, he can use it akin to a whip with the phrase, "It wraps like a steel wire, and strikes like a whip", aptly fitting its usage.
Notes & Trivia
- Inaba Ryo usually has his hair bonded with a special drug, but he left it undone for the purposes of the Kengan Annihilation Tournament. To that end, he enjoys getting his hair groomed and dislikes getting haircuts.
- He is able to knit and has been known to weave garments out of his own hair.
- Inaba Ryo shares many similarities with Ou Shimei in his animal state, from the manga Tough.