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Origin

Tobita Danzo, more commonly referred to as Jiraia, or Jiraia the Spider, was an assassin of the Oniwabanshuu who worked directly under the former Shogun, Tokugawa Sada Sada.

He was a prodigy in the ninja arts born to a samurai family in Iga. After the death of his entire family at the hands of enemy families, Danzo dedicated himself to assassination, going to any lengths in order to fulfill his task. During his time under Sada Sada, Danzo even went as far as to burn off his own face in order to work undercover. Along with his face and identity, he abandoned his friends, his personality, and his very reason to exist in order to change identities at will.

After a rebellion among the Oniwan, Jiraia was ordered to kill his comrades, a task which he completed with ease. Upon the assassination's completion, he broke down and attempted to kill the former Shogun. The rest of the loyal Oniwans engaged him in a fight, and he was forced to escape. As stated by Hattori Zenzou, "Jiraia the Spider is the monster the Oniwabanshuu failed to eliminate and let loose on the world."

Jiraia fled to Yoshiwara, where he mentored a young Tsukuyo and formed the Hyakku.

Creation

Jiraia was created in 2009 by Hideaki Sorachi, the writer of Gintama. His real name, Tobita Danzo, was likely inspired from Katou Danzo, a 16th century ninja who was said to be capable of walking on air, similar to how Jiraia walks on top his strings in order to "levitate". His nickname might be a reference to Jiraiya, the protangonist of "The Tale of the Gallant Jiraiya". In the story, Jiraiya was a ninja capable of shapeshifting, similar to how Jiraia "shapeshifts" by swapping his face.

Major Story Arcs

Red Spider Arc

Jiraia was the main antagonist of Gintama's Red Spider Arc. He first appeared in Episode 177, after the http://pa1.narvii.com/5843/106dcfd5f5b464905da86a4bbf114423d9afe6c8_hq.gifliberation of Yoshiwara and after Housen's death at the hands of his former student, Tsukuyo, and Sakata Gintoki. It seemed to be that he came back to Yoshiwara to substitute Housen as the King of the Night, but this was later shown to be but a ruse in order to bring back Tsukuyo to what he considered the "right path", seeing as he thought she had strayed from his teachings because she had befriended Gintoki and the Yorozuya members. He defeated Gintoki and abducted Tsukuyo, taking her to his hideout, where he planned on having her see all of Yoshiwara be destroyed as he ignited his strings. This plan was foiled by Zenzou, who cut down all of his strings, and Gintoki, who tracked him down and beat him to the brink of death. Jiraia apologized to Tsukuyo and explained his reasons, prior to collapsing on the floor and presumably dying.

Powers & Abilities

Physicals

Jiraia was an exceptionally well-disciplined assassin, which granted him nearly superhuman speed and strength.

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  • Superhuman Speed / Reactions: Jiraia is one of the fastest, if not the fastest, characters in Gintama. He was fast enough to "disappear", and during his final fight against Sakata Gintoki, he could leave trails of afterimages. His speed far exceeded Gintoki's, who is impressive in his own right, being capable of dodging bullets after they were fired. Jiraia could also use his strings to propel himself, allowing him to change directions midair or to slingshot himself as he dashes forward.
  • Superhuman Strength: Jiraia's strength isn't impressive by Gintama's standards, but he is no slouch. Jiraia was capable of throwing his kunais so hard they would be embedded into stone and in some instances, even steel. His punches could hurt Gintoki, who is strong enough to pull down a helicopter with his bare hands and who could snap steel cables. Jiraia can kick people dozens of meters back.

Abilities

Jiraia is skilled in practically all aspects other than gunslinging. He was a samurai prodigy who was later trained in the ninja arts and in stealth. This made him the world's greatest assassin and, later, made him be regarded as a superhuman monster.

  • Kunai Skill: Jiraia's main weapons were his stringed kunai. He could use them in close quarters, nearly matching skilled swordsmen such as Gintoki, and easily defeating other knife users such as Tsukuyo, who was his student. However, Jiraia prefers to use them in ranged combat, throwing them with impeccable skill at his opponents.
  • "Spider Web": Most of his kunais have strings attached to them, and by throwing them around strategically, he can create his "web", which until Gintoki showed up, no one could escape alive from. The web can entangle opponents, allows him to "float" midair, and allow him to propel himself and change directions mid-jump.
  • Swordsmanship: During his fights, Jiraia has a katana strapped to his side. He was trained in swordfighting by his family, who was one of the greatest samurai families at the time. He doesn't have any shown sowrd fights, however.
  • Unarmed Combat: Though it isn't his preferred fighting style, Jiraia is well trained in hand to hand combat. He was easily beating the stronger, albeit slower, Gintoki with hand to hand combat until his opponent managed to retrieve Lake Toya, his sword.
  • Infiltration: Jiraia was the greatest ninja to ever live in Gintama. He could changing faces at a whim by swapping the skin-like masks he wears. He was excellent at espionage and could hide in plain sight. Jiraia was stated as being capable of infiltrating any group, any army, and any organisation.

Equipment and Gear

  • Stringed Kunai: While Jiraia does utilize regular kunais, most of them are his traditional stringed kunais. He uses these kunais to lay out strings around the battlefield, so that he can use them to "walk on air", change direction mid-jump, or to give himself a boost while running. He can also use them to prevent his victims from escaping, or to entangle them. His strings are incredibly flammable, and he planned on using them to burn down the city of Yoshiwara.
  • Katana: Though he has only used it once, Jiraia always carries a long-handed sword strapped to his side.
  • Body Armor: Jiraia used partial body armor during his fight against Gintoki. It seems that he always wears it, but it is hidden beneath his robe.
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