|Manga||Volume #49, Naruto Chapter #456|
|Anime||Naruto Shippūden Episode #199|
|Game||Naruto Shippūden: Ultimate Ninja Impact|
|Appears in||Anime, Manga, Game|
At one point in the past Mifune and other samurai were pitted against Hanzō. While everyone escaped in fear, Mifune stood proud against him, willing to protect his comrades. During their battle Hanzō's kusarigama broke through Mifune's sword and struck his head, poisoning him. With the battle finished, Hanzō expressed his beliefs to him, and, acknowledging his faith and strength, gave Mifune the antidote for the poison and left.
Mifune is a calm, disciplined and level-headed person who hardly reacted even when Danzō Shimura was found to be manipulating him. During the conferences with the Kage he is generally the one who keeps the meetings productive and on track, usually by using his lack of association with shinobi and their past conflicts to act as a neutral mediator. He is also very humble, having taken responsibility for criticising the Kage during the meeting, rather than attributing it all to Danzō's manipulation, asking the shinobi for forgiveness afterwards. As he clashed with a reincarnated Hanzō, he addressed him with much respect, promising him he would have spoken of him like a hero, and praising his great faith.
Beneath his calm surface Mifune is a warrior of strong ideals, devoted to the ideal of harmony (和, wa). He showed no hesitation in committing his samurai fully to fighting the threat of Akatsuki despite the Land of Iron's long held position of neutrality in ninja wars. Mifune is also shown to be a fearless warrior, even in his youth when he was the only one who dared to fight Hanzō when every one of his fellow samurai fled at the very sight of him.
In the anime, Mifune is also shown to be comically forgetful. This was shown when he borrowed a communications battery from one of his subordinates to emulate Lightning Release to neutralise Deidara's bombs. Once Deidara was re-captured, he ordered his subordinate to contact HQ only for the shinobi to point out that he couldn't due to Mifune still carrying his battery.
Mifune has long, grey hair, which almost reaches down to his waist, with bandages wrapped around his head, possibly to cover the wound received by Hanzō in their past battle. He has black eyes with distinct wrinkles underneath them, a grey goatee and moustache. During the Kage Summit and the meetings before the war, he wore a simple purple kimono-like outfit and sandals, but when the Fourth Shinobi World War began, he started wearing samurai armour, much more traditional in appearance when compared to the ones worn by his subordinates: it's composed of a breastplate, with four plates protecting his legs attached to it, identical shoulder pads, and matching arm and leg guards. He also wears a belt, to which is attached a pouch and his sword: Kurosawa in his waist. While in the Land of Iron, Mifune doesn't seemingly carry Kurosawa with him but a regular sword instead. Underneath his armour he wears a simple dark suit along with gloves and sandals. Also, unlike other samurai, he doesn't wear a mask. In his youth, he didn't have the moustache, and his goatee was much shorter. He also wore a light green suit of armour during this time period with a breastplate that covered only the upper right side of his chest and bandages over his forearms.
As a master samurai, Mifune is undoubtedly powerful in battle. As the general of the samurai, Mifune has command of the rest of them and, by extension, is a highly capable leader. An adept thinker, Mifune has also shown a sharp memory, able to anticipate and properly counter enemy tactics he has not seen in decades as showed against Hanzō. Despite his old age, Mifune has also shown great agility as shown from jumping high into the air to reach Sasuke and moving with incredible speed to attack Hanzō before he could form hand seals. He also seems to have built up a tolerance to Hanzō's poison since the two have clashed in their youth. Even during his youth, Hanzō claimed Mifune was strong enough to force him to keep his mask on on the chance his venom sac was ruptured.
Mifune is a master swordsman who wields the katana "Kurosawa" (黒澤, Kurosawa, Literally meaning: Black Swamp). He is widely renowned as a master of Iai — a style of swordsmanship which involves the user rapidly unsheathing his blade to slash the enemies, and then re-sheathing it after completing the attack. Mifune's mastery of Iai is such that Hanzō and others have stated how it was useless to try and perform hand seal-induced techniques against him, due to the fact that Mifune is capable of attacking within the short time it takes to make the necessary hand seals. The speed and precision of his strikes are able to inflict a lethal blow on his opponent without staining the blade with blood, and even slice open the head of a large summon creature such as Ibuse.
Due to his extensive knowledge of swordplay, Mifune can judge the weaponry skill of his opponents, telling how potent or diminished the opponent's skills are, after a single clash. Like his subordinates, he is also capable of channelling chakra through his sword to increase its cutting power or send a wave of chakra with a swift swing of his sword as a powerful long-range attack. In the anime, his precision was even able to cut off a lit candle's wick and keep it lit on the edge of one of his swords, stop his attacks a moments notice, and produce shock-waves from his strikes to intercept enemy attacks.
Five Kage Summit
When the Fourth Raikage called for a Kage Summit, the Land of Iron was selected as the site of the Summit because of its neutrality. When the Kage arrived in the country, Mifune welcomed them alongside his attendants Okisuke and Urakaku. When the meeting began Mifune acted as a moderator, making sure that all of the Kage allowed the others a chance to speak and remain civil. When the suggestion of an alliance between the Five Great Shinobi Countries was raised, Mifune asked that, as a neutral party, his input be respected by the Kage. To that end he suggested that Danzō Shimura be placed in charge of an alliance on the grounds that Konoha's Nine-Tails is the only tailed beast to have not been captured by Akatsuki.
When the other Kage protested, Mifune pointed out why they are unfit for the job: the Fifth Kazekage was too young; the Third Tsuchikage was too old and had used Akatsuki the most in the past; Kirigakure had suspicious connections with Akatsuki; and the Raikage was too easily overcome by his emotions. Ao soon afterwards revealed that Danzō was manipulating Mifune. Before Danzō could be questioned about this, Zetsu appeared and revealed that Sasuke Uchiha had infiltrated the summit. Mifune mobilised the samurai to apprehend Sasuke. Sasuke eluded the samurai, along with the Raikage, the Kazekage and their bodyguards and eventually made it to the Summit hall; Mifune was the first to confront him. He managed to surprise Sasuke with his sword attack, but it was nevertheless deflected. Mifune complimented Sasuke on his sword skills.
As the Kage united against Sasuke and he was almost killed, Tobi appeared and saved him. He shared his Eye of the Moon Plan with Mifune and the Kage, but when they were unwilling to cooperate with him he declared the Fourth Shinobi World War. Mifune again suggested an alliance, this time proposing the Raikage lead the coalition; not only had Danzō proven himself to be untrustworthy, but it turned out that Kumo still had the Eight-Tails. He also offered to have the Land of Iron and the samurai join the alliance.
Fourth Shinobi World: Countdown
To make preparations for the approaching conflict with Akatsuki, Mifune goes to Kumogakure to meet with the other heads of the Alliance. He agrees with sending the Nine-Tails and Eight-Tails into hiding to prevent inward fighting from weakening the alliance and, when their location is later exposed to Akatsuki through the actions of Kisame, suggests sending a small elite force as backup, because too large a force will be discovered by the enemy. The Tsuchikage is sent to reinforce the defences. When the Tsuchikage returns, Mifune shows him the Alliance's forehead protector that he personally designed. As this will be the last time all six leaders of the alliance will be together, he shares his belief that their unity will bring them victory.
Fourth Shinobi World War: Confrontation
Mifune is placed in charge of the Fifth Division. Because the Fifth Division is intended to reinforce the other divisions as the need arises, Mifune sends portions of his division to support the Second Division and First Division. Mifune himself personally leads a group of samurai in helping Surprise Attack Division, arriving in time to save a paralysed Kankurō from a reincarnated Hanzō. Wishing to fight Hanzō by himself, Mifune instructs his samurai not to interfere.
Trading banter, the two engaged in a brief, but fierce duel, Hanzō trying to keep the distance with his kusarigama. During their duel, Mifune realised that his opponent's skill had become rusty, while his own skills with the blade were sharper than before. After Mifune prevents Hanzō from using hand seals with Iaidō, Hanzō tried to suffocate him in the poisonous mouth of Ibuse by having the salamander swallow him whole. Mifune slashes through Ibuse's head to escape while Hanzō moved in for a final blow. In a complete reverse of their first battle years ago, Mifune cut the blade of Hanzō's kusarigama in half and slashed through his body, also cutting through his mask.
Rebuking Hanzō for abandoning his ideals, Mifune was able to convince him of further possibilities towards peace. Reflecting on this, Hanzō committed seppuku, rupturing his poison organ and immobilising him long enough to be sealed by the Sealing Team. Mifune then praised Hanzō's recovery of his ideals and promises to honour his exploits. Mifune is later seen recuperating after the first day of war along with the rest of his division.
In the anime, Mifune and his samurai, with the assistance of Kankurō and Kurotsuchi, pursue an escaped Deidara thanks to the White Zetsu Army. After cornering him in a trap, Mifune thrusts his sword through Deidara using the electricity of a battery to cancel his explosion and the reincarnated shinobi is in Kankurō's custody once again.
During the next day, he faced off against Chiyo and Kimimaro alongside his fellow samurai. As many of his men are skewed by Kimimaro, Chiyo began forcing other samurai to attack their allies with her puppetry. Just as Mifune was forced to strike down one of his allies, Kankurō arrived and broke the chakra thread controlling the samurai, letting Mifune stop his attack, to which Mifune thanked the young Suna-nin. Mifune is later further aided by Naruto's shadow clone.
Fourth Shinobi World War: Climax
Afterwards, he and the remaining members of his division made their way to the jinchūriki's battlefield, where after he announced his division's arrival, stood alongside the other members of the Allied Shinobi Forces and prepared to face their opposition. After Naruto dispensed some of his chakra to Mifune, the samurai, alongside some other shinobi, deflect one of the Ten-Tails' attack severely wounding the beast. He later charged towards the beast alongside the other members of the Alliance, their combined efforts finally enough to sever the two Uchiha's connection to the beast.
Birth of the Ten-Tails' Jinchūriki
With the five Kage arriving to the battlefield and the Allied Shinobi Forces troops rallied to fight, Mifune and a group of samurai charged forward to face the Ten-Tails' tree form. Cutting down several limbs of the tree in one go, he noted that the samurai would also show their resolve on the battlefield.
In Other Media
Mifune is a playable character in the following video games:
|Game name||Japanese release||English release|
|Naruto Shippūden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3||18 April 2013||5 March 2013|
|Naruto Shippūden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4||4 February 2016||9 February 2016|
|Naruto Shippūden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Revolution||11 September 2014||16 September 2014|
Creation and Conception
Masashi Kishimoto noted that he had a definite image of what he should look like as a samurai, hence why he drew him with such a strong sense of Japanese-like air about him.
- The name "Mifune" is synonymous with samurai and rōnin, just as the name "Hanzō" is synonymous with shinobi.
- Mifune's name comes from the famous Japanese actor Toshirō Mifune (三船敏郎, Mifune Toshirō), who made a name from playing in over 170 feature films since the 1950s, often in Jidaigeki films such as his reoccurring portrayal of the nameless rōnin who introduces himself as "Sanjuro". Sixteen of those films were directed by Akira Kurosawa, who is the namesake of Mifune's katana Kurosawa.
- (To the Fifth Division) "No need for assistance! If you don't want to get cut, then don't get in my way."
- (To Hanzō) "With all my loyalty to harmony, I act under the guidance of my beliefs!" (「和に忠を尽くし己の信念の下動く!」, "Wa ni chū o tsukushi onore ni shinnen no moto ugoku!")
- (To Hanzō) "People who continue to put their lives on the line to defend their faith become heroes and will continue to exist on in legends! Stop bending your faith and scraping away your body… give up trying to refine and polish yourself. Your attack doesn't have the sharpness it used to! Because of that, your blade is dirtied with blood. Bluntness will not last! People are like swords!"
- ↑ Fourth Databook, page 189
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Naruto chapter 531, page 14
- ↑ Naruto chapter 532, pages 1-8
- ↑ Naruto chapter 531, page 13-14
- ↑ Naruto chapter 532, page 10
- ↑ Naruto chapter 617, page 7
- ↑ Naruto: Shippūden episode 272
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Naruto: Shippūden episode 319
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 Naruto: Shippūden episode 280
- ↑ Naruto chapter 469, pages 6-7
- ↑ Naruto chapter 559, page 10
- ↑ Naruto chapter 531, page 7
- ↑ Naruto chapter 531, page 6
- ↑ Naruto chapter 531, pages 20-21