Bunshichi Tawara (俵 文七 Tawara Bunshichi) is a fictional character in the anime and manga series Tenjou Tenge. He is a member of the early Juken Club, and the Executive Council in name only. He was also the vice president of Team KATANA, as well as the commander of the gang's special forces. He is the Executive Council's Advisor.
Bunshichi is a 20-year-old white-haired man. His parents are relatively young, since they had him at an early age, and own a rice shop that Bunshichi helps run. He has been a senior for three years, but still has not graduated. He is not unintelligent, rather he claims the Shin incident ruined his beautiful school life, causing him not to graduate. After having to fight his friend and the breakup of Katana, Bunshichi prefers to stay away from the school's politics. He joined the original Juken Club solely so they would have enough members to compete in the election tournament. Later as a member of the Executive Council, Mitsuomi Takayanagi appoints him as the advisor (essentially their strategist), where he again does nothing, claiming he signed up in name only. Bunshichi is perverted, usually focusing on women with big breasts, which he refers to as deadly weapons. In the manga, he repeatedly threatens to rape people; it is a joke of his own perversion, as he has not carried out those threats. Bunshichi is the God+ of Fighting
Despite his appearance and attitude, when Bunshichi actually fights, he is quite dangerous. He was ranked as the strongest fighter in Todo until Mitsuomi won the Tournament two years ago (Bunshichi did not fight in that tournament, resulting in Mitsuomi being ranked higher than him). During his time as the commander of Katana's Special Forces, he single-handedly defeated all their enemies. He became known as a so-called "God of Fighting" as a result. Bunshichi is one of the few characters capable of lasting to 3 full minutes with Mitsuomi, and one of even fewer that could beat him. He is most likely the most powerful character in the series. In the most recent chapter, it is revealed the Bunshichi could have killed Mitsuomi, who is the top fighter in the series, in their fight, but held back. However, Bunshichi seems to be on his own side; Emi Isuzu even refers to him as a possible enemy, despite the fact he too is part of the Executive Council.
Despite his power, Bunshichi is frequently used as comic relief. Both his perversion and his lack of motivation are subjects of the jokes, but occasionally his actions are part of the jokes as well. An example happens in the bowling alley; he tells Mitsuomi that Souichiro Nagi is only responding to his murderous intent, and is harmless. Insisting Mitsuomi should leave him alone, Souichiro then punches Bunshichi in the face, causing Bunshichi to wail on him. He often disguises intelligent moves as humor as well. When he interfered in that fight, by pouring water on Mitsuomi then pointing out Souichiro was only reacting to Mitsuomi, it was first thought only to be humor. However, Mitsuomi later references that if Bunshichi hadn't shown up he may have hit his time limit and lost.
Bunshichi also seems to play a mentor role to some characters. Kōji Sagara (Saga Mask) entrusts Bunshichi with his mask; Kagesada Sugano (asshat) hovers around Bunshichi for the majority of the tournament in his freshman year, and Bunshichi still motivates him occasionally; and Masataka Takayanagi also looks up to him, referring to Bunshichi as the most important person to him.
Anime and OVAs
Story setup arc
Bunshichi first appears during the Executive Council's attack on the Juken Club in a bowling alley. He talks with Maya, and later interrupts the fight between Mitsuomi and Souichiro. Later Souichiro and Bob Makihara try to turn in their withdrawal papers to prevent Maya from getting in trouble, but Bunshichi rips the papers up and calls them idiots. After he and Emi beat down the two when they attack in anger, he carries them back to Bob's house. He hits on Bob's girlfriend, Chiaki, and she requests that Bunshichi explain the past to them. Bunshichi agrees, but insists he needs alcohol to start talking. They of course insist he is lying when he gets to parts where he shows just how strong he really is.
Little is known about Bunshichi's history or how he got so strong, but about 12 years before the main storyline he became friends with Shin Natsume and joined the gang, Katana. He single-handedly won one year's tournament, when Shin did not even fight. As a result, even though Shin is the head of the group, Bunshichi was ranked number 1 in the school and Shin was number 2.
Bunshichi seems to get along well with Shin and Mitsuomi, but he is not above mischief. As Mitsuomi starts his affair with Shin's girlfriend Mana Kuzunoha, not only does Bunshichi find out and watch, he takes pictures, using them to taunt and bug Mitsuomi. When Mana provides Mitsuomi a video, he asks Bunshichi to watch it with him. Initially Bunshichi sleeps through the beginning, but is woken up by Mitsuomi for the strange part. After witnessing the video of Shin slaughtering people with the evil ceremonial nodachi Reiki, Bunshichi claims he's known Shin for ten years, but does not recognize him there. Bunshichi discovers the identity of the mysterious Katana hunter, taking out the members of their gang, and decides to hide it from the others. Since the Katana hunter is Maya Natsume, he knew the other members would go for revenge and fearing the repercussions from the unstable Shin, he had elected not to tell them.
Eventually the other members find out anyway and decide to make Maya pay. Shin picks up on this with his Dragon's Eye and severely beats and nearly kills all of them. Bunshichi takes it upon himself to end Shin's insanity, planning to beat sense into him. On the way, he spotted Emi videotaping him; figuring that she knew were Shin was, he confronted her. Scared after he reaches for her chest, she stabs him in the hand and a chase ensues. While Bunshichi is insisting that she hand over her body to him as payment for the damage to his hand, she grabs more of her blades and prepares to fight him. Before the fight can start, she moves to the side as a car slams into Bunshichi's motorcycle (it actually stays broken for two years before he can finally fix it). As he gets up, the car backs up and comes for a second hit to finish him off. This is the first time Bunshichi is shown using his true power. His arms increase in size, shredding his sleeves, and he punches the car's grill. The car is totaled; the car actually goes flying over him and explodes behind him. He gets a GPS tracker from Emi (Mana later explains she keeps three trackers on Shin at all times) and hails a taxi. The taxi driver of course sees he has a woman's unconscious body and is bleeding, and tries to keep going. Bunshichi throws Emi's body in the street to force him to stop. The taxi driver takes Bunshichi to where Shin is despite being told to pull over by some of the Takayanagi family's men.
Shin is meeting with Dōgen Takayanagi, Mitsuomi's father. Bunshichi immediately picks a fight with Shin, despite Shin having possession of Reiki, and Bunshichi is injured and unarmed. Shin's dragon eyes are activated and his aura gives Bunshichi hallucinations of being cut by Reiki. Bunshichi announces that even if he dies, he'll still find a way to kill Shin. Just then Shin stabs him through the thigh. Shin knocks him into a car, then stands on the roof of the car stabbing Bunshichi in the legs. Shin spends quite a bit of time stabbing Bunshichi's legs, more than anyone could consider necessary. Eventually, Mana can't take it anymore and yells at Shin, stopping him (she doesn't in the manga). She then takes Reiki away from him. The second the sword leaves his hand, Bunshichi punches the side of the car as hard as he can, sending him flying at Shin. He hits Shin hard, sending him flying into another car. Bunshichi then announces Shin's power is second rate as he can't use his dragon eyes without Reiki (this statement is later proven false).
Despite his legs being full of holes, Bunshichi stands up, albeit squirting blood and with a lot of difficulty. Shin stands back up and staggers, for which Bunshichi calls him a sissy. From that point on, the fight was entirely one-sided for Bunshichi as he completely devastates Shin. After knocking Shin down, he comments that he should be called "Exorcist Tawara" as a joke. Shin looks at Reiki; Bunshichi dares him to go for it. As Shin runs for it, Bunshichi tears the side mirror off a car and throws it, hitting Shin in the head and knocking him down. He then knocks out Shin, by smashing him into a car. As Shin regains consciousness, he starts crawling for Reiki, with the dragon eyes activated. Bunshichi then kicks him in the eye, knocking him out again and damaging his eye, forcing him to wear an eye patch for a while.
Despite all of this, Bunshichi still visits Shin in the hospital and still considers him his best friend. Later, Shin creates the Juken Club in order to compete in the school's annual tournament. Mitsuomi signs up, and Bunshichi signs up so they would have more members, but he is quite insistent that he is joining in name only. The tournament rules say you can attack at any time, you can even kill. Despite this, Bunshichi still refuses to fight, still citing that he signed in name only. At one point as Maya and Mitsuomi fight a group outside, Bunshichi is lying on the floor inside reading a magazine and scratching himself, saying it is their problem. At one point, he does do some work; a girl group attacks him and Kagesada (almost solely referred to by his nickname, Asshat, in the manga or Scum in anime). Bunshichi shatters the ends of the spears that they have and jokingly comments that anyone who wants to get raped should come closer. Naturally the girls stop their attack, thus ending what little work Bunshichi did in the tournament. In the finals, it almost looked as if he would have to fight as everyone, but Kagesada, skipped. At the last second, Mitsuomi showed up and claimed all fights for himself.
In the fight between Mitsuomi and Shin which was supposed to decide who became the president of the Executive Council, Bunshichi is the first to step up to stop Shin after his dragon eyes activated. He is quickly dropped by a hard elbow. Sometime after the fight, Mitsuomi appoints Bunshichi as the Executive Council's advisor. Like before, he only joins the group in name and never does anything.
After the flashback Bunshichi is a background character, occasionally around for his humorous perversion. However, as Madoka Mawari attacks Bob, Bunshichi goes and informs Masataka. On his way out he asks the picture of Shin if its a cruel joke of his that people seem to be repeating history, Shin's ghost appears and asks why Bunshichi doesn't just "smash it all up" with those arms he's so proud of. Masataka later arrives and quickly defeats Madoka, Bunshichi indirectly saved Bob's life.
Later an undead Fu Chi'en returns under Sōhaku Kago's manipulation jutsu and attacks the Juken Club. As Bunshichi closes his family store, he hears a banging on the door. He opens it and Masataka and Madoka collapse inside. Masataka reveals the Juken Club was attacked and, given that Bunshichi beat Shin, he thought Bunshichi could be able to help. Given his nature, Bunshichi is initially hesitant to help, but does step up to fight. He punches Fu and comments that it looks like "Exocist Tawara" returns. Masataka does the majority of the fighting but when Masataka references that he wishes he was as strong as his brother, Bunshichi smacks Fu on the head and tells him to chill out for a bit, he then lectures Masataka on how he shouldn't want to be a cripple like Mitsuomi. Fu continues his attacks by electrocuting Bunshichi; Bunshichi doesn't even stop lecturing and punches Fu so hard he flies down the street. He warns Masataka that he is currently the only one outside of the "wheel of fate" and he shouldn't rush to throw himself into it. At the conclusion of his lecture, Bunshichi picks up Fu and accuses him of trying to mess up his beautiful, rose colored school life. Suddenly half the city blacks out and Bunshichi realizes Fu is sucking all the electricity into himself to vaporize everyone, including himself. As Bunshichi tells everyone to run Masataka rushes Fu, and hits him so hard. It actually shatters the amulets in Fu's eye sockets and sends him over a building, freeing him from his mind control and stopping the attack. The majority of the Juken Club ends up sleeping at Bunshichi's house, his parents are actually very happy to have the company.
Sohaku and Tournament arcs
During the Sohaku Arc, Bob, Masataka, and Bunshichi were sitting on a curb waiting to see what happened. Since then Bunshichi has been returned to playing his usual comic relief role. However, Bunshichi is on the Executive Council's starting roster for the tournament as the second in command.
After the first round is over Bunshichi finally finishes fixing his motorcycle, that was hit by a car two years ago. He also talks with Sakon Shima, the 1st division leader of the Executive Council. Sakon puts forth a plan to attack the Juken Club while they have split up for the night; however Bunshichi rejects the plan. He takes his bike for a ride, and says there is someone he wants to ride on it with him.
Bunshichi later arrives at the hospital where Maya is being cared for. He beats up the men who try to stop him (he claims he just gave them a "pat on the head"), and lets himself into the room where Maya, Madoka, and Mrs. Hotaru are. Noticing the newly appeared mark of the Amaterasu Dragon's Gate on Maya's chest he remarks that it may be the reason Shin clung to Maya so much. Bunshichi takes Maya's lifeless body, puts her on his bike and drives off; reminiscing about how Maya has never been on his bike and he's glad she's there. He later arrives at (presumably) the Takayanagi family estate, where security guards come after him for trespassing. While still holding Maya, Bunshichi comments that since Mitsuomi, whom he refers to as a "kid", is in a foolish rush to die; he'd come give him a "spanking".
After laying waste to the guards, Bunshichi sets Maya down in the hallway and enters the next room. Before he knows it, he has been hit in the face by Mitsuomi, and the fight starts. Through flashbacks we see than Bunshichi has never forgiven Mitsuomi for killing Shin, but has agreed to leave him alone as long as no one else dies. Bunshichi views Mitsuomi's plan to die as a violation of that promise. After a brief scuffle Bunshichi comes out victorious, even suggesting Mitsuomi is a "weak loser", since he won't fight to survive. However it turns out it wasn't Mitsuomi he just beat, but Mitsuiro Tokuan Shōjō impersonating Mitsuomi. The realization comes to late as the real Mitsuomi arrives hitting Bunshichi in the back and lifting him into the air in an attempt to break Bunshichi's back. Bunshichi manages to survive the attack and in response to the appearance of what seems to be Maya's spirit, gets up again to continue fighting Mitsuomi.
As the battle continues, Dōgen Takayanagi note that Bunshichi is getting the upper hand, both charge for a finishing blow, Bunshichi reaching Mitsuomi first, however, Bunshichi pulls back at the last second giving Mitsuomi the chance to hit a decisive blow. Mitsuomi then asks why he decided to not finish him, Bunshichi, now fainting says that if he had hit him at full strength, Mitsuomi would've died, which would have contradicted his reason for fighting Mitsuomi to begin with. Masataka then storms the Takayanagi estate and we see Mitsuomi still holding a seemingly lifeless Bunshichi. Isuzu asks Bunshichi to wait for them, as they will be joining him in the land of the dead soon. Bunshichi is shown to be lifeless until the end of the fight, whilst an evacuation is occurring as the Takayanagi building is crumbling it is revealed that he actually is just barely alive. It is not entirely clear whether he survived due to his endurance and toughness or due to being revived by other means. He does also appear in the last chapter smiling and smoking, sitting on the roof of the school during a general pass through of characters in the very last chapter when his desired school paradise has been achieved and reclaimed.
Techniques and abilities
Bunshichi is a rarity in Tenjou Tenge, as he possesses no formal style of Martial Arts relying solely on street fighting methods. Despite this, he is quite possibly the strongest character in the series and has no problem defeating any formal martial artists. He even refers to himself as "Exorcist Tawara" as a running joke when fighting people with special powers. In addition to his fighting prowess, he is extremely intelligent and analytical during battle and is a brilliant strategist. Mitsuomi even points out that if Bunshichi had led the affairs at the bowling alley the Juken club would've been completely destroyed. Ironically, Bunshichi doesn't like to pick fights and is very lazy and compassionate. He is also revealed to possess extreme physical strength as Madoka Mawari notes he is the strongest person in the school. This is proven by him being able to actually punch a car so hard as to send it over his head and by him being able to knock an undead Fu Chi'en down the road with little effort in doing so. He is also called "Double Impact Tawara" because he typically relies on his extremely powerful arms in battle. It has also been revealed that his legs are equally as powerful.
Not really a technique, but when Bunshichi enters combat he increases the size of his arms, usually shredding the sleeves of his shirt in the process. This is probably done when he focuses monstrous amounts of "chi" into the muscles in his arms (as seen with his last fight with Mitsuomi Takayanagi).
When faced with what Bunshichi thinks is a life-threatening situation, Bunshichi will unleash a monstrous amount of ki in his body which increases his power to an unbelievable height, even for Tenjou Tenge. Not only does his power increase greatly, but his appearance does as well. When in this "rage" Bunshichi's hair spikes up, his eyes glow bright blood red, his muscles all burst with ki so great that it surrounds his body and makes contact with whatever he hits instead of his actual fist. In this state Bunshichi is one of the most powerful characters in the series and the only person shown to also have this power is Masataka Takayanagi. Bunshichi also has complete control over the technique and can activate it anywhere at anytime even during conversation, compared to Masataka who lacks the necessary control.