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|(マエダガンゲツ, Maeda Gangetsu)|
|Appears in||Anime, Manga, Game, Movie|
|Academy Grad. Age||8|
|Chūnin Prom. Age||10|
Gangetsu Maeda (マエダガンゲツ, Maeda Gangetsu) is former Jōnin of Sunagakure turned international crime-lord. He is the true mastermind behind the events caused by the Brotherhood and the Sons of Freedom; responsible for the deaths of thousands.
An orphan who inherited his family's massive wealth, Gangetsu forged a mighty reputation for himself in the Second Shinobi World War, distinguishing himself with his spear. His exploits in singlehanded defending the Daimyō of Wind from a surprise ambush earned him the epithet of Gangetsu Ironshield. His respectable stature and abilities hid his opportunistic, greedy nature and gave rise to dangerous political ambitions as well as participation in criminal affairs, triggering interest of an emerging cult, the Cult of Jashin. Maeda's own skill as a commander shone in the Third Shinobi War ten years after the last war, foiling numerous attempts to infiltrate his country as the head of the Border Guard. The futility of both wars however convinced Gangetsu that such chaos was inevitable and that those incidences were not tragedies, but opportunities to gain power.
Not long after, Maeda encountered the Jashinist Cult for the first time, from where they were able to successfully tempt him to join them in exchange for immortality. Having amassed a colossal fortune from his inheritance and various illegal activities, Maeda defected from Sunagakure and embraced the power of Jashin, attaining the key to immortality. In the years that followed, Maeda quickly gained control over the drug trade in the Land of Wind and various other smuggling activities, including human trafficking and prostitution. His great skill saw him rise to the top of Jashin's ranks especially after the defeat of Hidan; giving him dominion over the brutal cultists — weapons he used to his advantage to murder his rivals with merciless frequency. Maeda employed treachery and uncompromising violence to build his dark legend, transforming his status as Sunagakure's hero to a weapon that kept his would be challengers in line, becoming known as the Spear of Sorrow (悲しみの槍, Kanashimi no Yari). Eventually his Jashinists allies disappeared, as their mindless violence turned them into liabilities to Maeda's more logical style of rule. Unbeknownst to all but his greatest confidants, Maeda had slaughtered them all.
In a slow but methodical process, Maeda used his enormous fortunes to recruit powerful enforcers to kill off his non-shinobi competitors and eventually his stronger adversaries. By the time of the Fourth Shinobi War, Maeda had begun funding organisations such as the Akatsuki and the Brotherhood, in order to gain territory while having them disrupt the balance between the nations. In exchange for several 'business opportunities', Maeda also granted personal protection to the Daimyō of Wind, helping him exterminate political rivals in the Land of Wind's greedy, dirty political landscape. After the Fourth Shinobi War, Maeda effectively controlled the underworld of the Land of Wind; while having secretly orchestrated destabilising crimes such as the assassination of the Land of Lightning's Daimyō several years prior. He remained elusive though, pulling strings behind the shadows and funding the efforts of dangerous criminals to elude the spotlight — all while he fathered his bastard from ten years prior. Maeda's goals revolved around breaking the Great Shinobi Nations and civilisation itself, to expand his underworld empire above to the surface and establish his rule over the fertile lands; his throne forged by his bizarre powers, drenched by the blood of enemies and treachery.
Gangetsu was an orphan who was raised in Sunagakure by his affluent grand uncle. There, much of his childhood progressed normally—as he proved to be an above average student. He was skilful enough to become a Chūnin before reaching his teens, and became a Jōnin at the age of 25. Gangetsu didn't lead an extraordinary life by any means. He made his money engaging in combat operations involving his village's and his land's border security, a most profitable area of interest for Jōnin operations. The then young man desired a life of adventure and epic forays, but was consistently shackled by his village's needs and wants of him. Thus, Gangetsu conformed to their expectations.
Soon, he would come to inherit his grand uncle's vast fortunes as the man was killed in action without any other living heir; and with an abundance of finance and a rather high social standing in the village, Gangetsu married and fathered a son. On what was supposed to be another border engagement with a trafficking group, Gangetsu would come face to face with the rising anomaly of the shinobi world—the Cult of Jashin. Suna forces clashed with Jashinists and after a toll on both sides, only Gangetsu remained standing, together with a mortally wounded Jashinist. As an enraged Gangetsu stepped forth to strike the final blow, he was met with the foul but enticing tongue of the Jashinist.
The dying Jashinist whispered hoarsely to Gangetsu, as though he had a mirror to the darkest pits of Gangetsu's soul. He saw through Gangetsu's regrets, and resentment toward being chained to Sunagakure. He saw that Gangetsu wished to be greater than he was. As though it were some bizarre divine fate, Gangetsu found that this man was accurately reflecting the feelings of his own, silently moaning heart. Before dying, the man handed a bloody necklace to Gengetsu, bearing the symbol of his deity: Jashin. According to him, Jashin had chosen Gangetsu to bear his glory, and there was no greater way to achieve glory than to seek Jashin out.
After the attack which had left him as the lone survivor, Gangetsu tried to retreat to his normal life, his normal missions and tending to his family. But he realised that familial love and money still left him hollow. Something was missing in his heart, and it was a huge loss. A loss he was unable to pinpoint. As the days turned to weeks and months, the Jashinist's soul penetrating last words grew on him each day—a haunting reminder urging him to seek out the Lord of Darkness, Jashin. Gangetsu searched out Jashin and eventually tracked down some of its members, eager to investigate further into the activities of the devious cult.
The blood stained necklace in his hand, Gangetsu found himself face to face with three cloaked, tattooed figures belonging to the cult. Seeing the ornament of their fallen comrade wrapped in Gangetsu's fingers, they knew why exactly the burly man had made his way to them. Their comrade had chosen a successor upon his final breaths. Gangetsu's curiosity with the cult led to him asking the question no truly rational mind would: what was it about the cult, that was so glorious? When he received the answer from one of them that it was the blessing of their warrior God, Gangetsu laughed. He regarded them as a ragtag group of maniacs with a penchant for murder.
However as he turned his back to leave the decrepit hideout, one of the three figures, a woman, rushed at him from behind, her blade angled to slash the nape of his neck. Gangetsu whirled around, kunai slipping from his sleeve. As her blade came across, he blocked it with his free hand, clasping her forearm tightly as he pulled her close, jamming his kunai into her throat. As she choked on her own blood, he stabbed twice in the same place, and she dropped to the floor. However as he eyed his 'cowardly' opponents with hate and prepared to kill the remainder of those who dared to attack him, the woman on the floor let out a high pitched squeal.
Gangetsu had backed away in fear, that the woman could have survived those injuries but she stood up perfectly fine, declaring that the power her God granted her was immortality, and that there had only been one before this, but now there were many of them with 'Jashin's Gift'. Most shocking of all, that he would be worthy of inheriting this gift. While he was overtaken by fear, the man soon began to tremble with an insatiable lust for power, the sensation of being unkillable. That very moment, he ripped his headband off, gripping it tightly while he scratched the bloody kunai across it vertically, renouncing his ties to the Sand.
Gangetsu is a physically imposing beast of a man. He stands almost two metres tall, and his height is accompanied by a rigorously trained body which has become synonymous with his own brutality and power. He is extremely muscular and heavily scarred, commanding respect from his numerous injuries, most of which were gained when he had not pioneered his healing technique. Gangetsu has several tattoos across his back, forming several multicoloured dragons which seemingly move when he flexes the muscles of his back.
Though considerably good looking, Gangetsu's face is littered with scars and uneven tones, signifying the work he put in throughout his life to achieve his goals, collecting his fair share of wounds from the various adversaries that had sought to stop him, but had failed miserably. He is almost eternally scowling, with hard and unfeeling eyes and a neatly maintained crop of spiky, jet black hair. Gangetsu has a mild stubble which grows along his thick, square jaw and long thin lips which constantly move due to his habit of gnashing his teeth when he does not talk. Gangetsu rarely smiles, as even those in his closet circle claim to be able to count these instances with one hand.
Fitting of his status, Gangetsu dresses in fine embroidery, though he does not truly work on purchasing expensive garments, preferring to invest his considerable resources into the development of his empire and the elimination of his rivals. When in battle, he discards his fine, black shroud to don a sleeveless, dirty, blood stained brown jacket and military fatigues. Smeared with the scent of human innards, Gangetsu dons this bizarre and disgusting attire to strike unease in his enemy, in an attempt to attain psychological dominance from the get go. Completing his transition from classy kingpin to savage behemoth would be the presence of his great blade, "Wailing Whore", which he slings across his back as his secondary weapon to his Jashinist ritual spear.
As many can deduce from first glance, Gangetsu possesses a very commanding presence, and is a master of controlling others and conducting himself. Blessed with this innate charisma which was submerged while being subservient to the Hidden Sand, Gangetsu's talents and intimidating aura came to full view after his transition to Jashinism. Far sighted and thoroughly a realist, Gangetsu's cautious tendencies have helped him far more effectively than his immortality.
Possessing a powerful physique and extreme height, Gangetsu fearlessly invades the personal space of both allies and enemies, holding those who speak to him with an intense peering gaze. Cold and unfeeling, he forces his opponents to submit to him psychologically before delivering his messages across with menacing frequency. Gangetsu does not take disrespect lightly, lashing out ferociously when his opinions or words are treated as a jest, or without an air of seriousness. He modulates the tone of his voice efficiently, commanding entire rooms of people with booming rage, or wielding the leash with an almost terrifying low tone.
Unlike the teachings of his cult, Gangetsu is surprisingly reserved. In uncommon fashion, he doesn't kill freely for the sake of his God, or partake in murderous frenzies for every small reason. Gangetsu is perfectly sane, and will not undertake actions that compromise the perception others hold towards his mental stability. He does understand the importance of striking fear into the hearts of enemies and onlookers alike, however. Gangetsu eliminates competition methodically, killing his enemies and their whole families without hesitation while also dealing with traitors cruelly. The underworld fears Gangetsu and will not cross him, as they do not know him to be a man of compromise.
Having been from an affluent background in Sunagakure, Gangetsu is well educated and capable in a variety of social aspects. He is a well spoken and capable communicator, possessing good vocabulary and a thirst for knowledge. He uses words and subtle ideas to manipulate others and turn the situation in his favour. Gangetsu generally despises those who do not seek knowledge, which leads him to look down upon most of his fellow Jashinists. He lives on the principle that knowledge crowns those who seek it; and thus actively seeks to learn new skills or to devour information with uncontrolled gluttony. Gangetsu therefore knows the players of the underworld and the surface world like the palm of his hands. He knows the people he is to deal with before they see him coming, he knows of their weaknesses; or he relentlessly searches for them. He identifies strengths and seeks to overcome them. Such attention to his surroundings have turned him into a formidable puppeteer when controlling the dealings under Sunagakure, as he seeks to actively expand his already huge territory.
Even from his earliest days as a Genin, Gangetsu has been known as an extremely courageous individual. He does not shy away from taking risks physically or tactically, though his wiles will tame his audacity should the situation call for it. He is unafraid of rejection or humiliation, and relishes a challenge in whatever form it presents itself. A man of great pride and confidence, Gangetsu has a strong competitive drive which pushes him to overcome his enemies no matter how influential or insurmountable they may initially seem to be. He gets his affairs sorted efficiently and quickly, moving suddenly so as to throw his opponents off guard and solidify his interests.
Despite having made his name from the merciless decisions and shrewd tactics he employed to rise to the top, Gangetsu's roots are strongly wrapped around a supreme mastery of direct, brute combat. He made a name as a Jōnin in Sunagakure for his renowned skill and might, but immortality helped boost his already formidable prowess. Gangetsu is an S-rank criminal and his abilities have become nothing short of terrifying — the rewards of an unnaturally long lifespan and innate talent. He is a master in Ninjutsu, most prominently the Wind Release: a chakra nature known for its versatility and ability to wreak destructive havoc. Gangetsu's true strengths however lie within his immortal physique, which boasts huge strength and speed, that he uses in tandem with a particularly vicious form of Kenjutsu to overpower enemies. Gangetsu is a man who has eliminated his fair share of powerful rivals and threats with his bare hands, and is unafraid of battle. His dabbling in the occult arts of Jashin have also boosted the might of his immortality and gotten rid of the Jashinist's sole weakness — incapacitation.
Gangetsu was notoriously behind the murder of Kirigakure's infamous Platinum Squad in the Second Shinobi War, the greatest ANBU team in the history of that village; having crushed their skulls with his bare hands after beating them alone in combat. In the third Shinobi World War, he led the assault on Konohagakure's "Diamond Fortress", which had been thought to be impenetrable; while singlehandedly foiling the assassinations of the Wind Daimyō days later. As a Jashinist, Gangetsu notably took over large swathes of the cult, effectively not turning them in to his personal militia through a display of his superior skill: no easy feat in an organisation of blood craze do combatants. He has also proven to be a very formidable opponent for the very best S-class shinobi. Gangetsu duelled another notoriously powerful Jashinist (in fact considered by some to be their strongest) and member of the S-rank trio, Akuhei Iwao, managing to survive the battle before attaining his ultimate ability.