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Creation

Gen's character is modelled after Sanjuro Kuwabatake, as played by Toshirô Mifune, from the Yojimbo and Sanjuro movies by Akira Kurosawa. Stan has said "He (Gen) is taken directly from Mifune's performances in Yojimbo and Sanjuro--form his scruffiness to the way he manipulates people."

Character Attributes

  • Caste: Ronin
  • Profession: Bounty Hunter
  • Known Fighting Proficiencies: Kenjutsu
  • Weapon of Preference: Katana
  • Anthropomorphic Identity: Rhinocerous
  • Clan Allegiance: None

Biography

Murakami Gennosuke (Gen) is a prominent character in the Usagi saga. He is possibly the closest thing Usagi has to a best friend. He makes his living as a bounty hunter.

He is the son of an important samurai who was the retainer for Lady Asano of clan Shirageta. After she was betrayed by a subordinate, she went out on a quest of vengeance, taking her entourage with her. This quest sent her, and eventually Gen's family, into poverty. Gen's mother was forced to become a prostitute for her family to survive. Eventually she died, leaving Gen with his father. Gen's Father trained him in the ways of the samurai, and Gen excelled at the warrior training. The other aspects of Bushido did not take as strongly.

When Gen turned thirteen, he set off on his own. He had no interest in his father's vendetta. Although he had a daisho, he had no job prospects. By chance a pair of con-artists tried to rob him on the side of the road. Gen defended himself and killed one and captured the other. A pair of woodcutters (who always seem to be handy when needed) saw the encounter. They recognized the defeated pair as wanted criminals and told Gen about the bounty offered for them. Gen claimed the bounty, and his destiny.

As a professional bounty hunter, Gen claims disdain for bushido, and has a cynical attitude. He is a mercenary, and wants never to be poor again. However, behind his gruff exterior, Gen has a gentle & caring side. He just doesn't want anyone to see it.

Eventually he met Miyamoto Usagi and coned him into helping him collect a bounty on the notorious One-eyed Ichiro. He stiffs Usagi with the bill at the Inn at the end of the affair, setting up a pattern of the two cheating each other at the end of their adventures. Over time, their partnership has become more trusting, and has grown into a friendship. The pair have shared many adventures.

Gen lost his horn in a battle against Zato-Ino.

In his adventures with Usagi, Gen met the street performer/petty criminal Kitsune and joined her on a trek of their own. There is some interest between the pair, but so far they are just friends.

Other Media

Animation

Gen in the TMNT Cartoon

Gennosuke also appeared with Usagi in the 2003 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series. He is voiced by Eric Stuart & Dan Green. He first appeared in Big Brawl story line, Season 2 Episodes 24, 25, & 26. His television persona is still a shady bounty hunter, but he is also a gambler. Gen performs well in the Battle Nexus tournament, but loses in the semi-finals to Kluh. He does not get on well with the Turtles or Casey Jones, whom he calls "Saru" (monkey or ape). He and Usagi make an appearance in the "Christmas Aliens" Season 3, Episode 11. There is a two part story arc called "The Real World" Season 3 Episodes 22 & 23. In part one, the turtles visit Usagi's world, and have an adventure with other characters, including Usagi, Tomoe, Noriyuki, and Lord Hebi. Usagi and Gen along with Lord Hebi, and an assasin from Usagi's world named Kojima return for adventures in Season 4, Episode 11: "Samurai Tourist". Here, Gen tries to blend in and wears an outfit very reminiscent of Rocksteady from the original TMNT cartoon. Finally Gen and Usagi couldn't miss April and Casey's wedding in, Season 7 Episode 11 "Wedding Bells and Bytes", the very last episode of the show. There is a new TMNT show planed, and it is likely Usagi and Gen will continue their supporting roles.

Toys

Gennosuke Toy
Royo Gen

Gen also appeared as a toy in the Playmates line from the series.

He was also made into a limited edition statue by RokuToys.

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