|Anime||Naruto Shippūden Episode #199|
|Game||Naruto Shippūden: Ultimate Ninja Impact|
|Appears in||Anime, Manga and Game|
|Affiliation||Land of Iron|
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 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 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 was seen with 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, his long hair was tied in a ponytail, he didn't have the moustache, and his goatee was much shorter. He already sported his samurai armour back then.
Mifune is undoubtedly a very powerful warrior. As the General of the samurai, Mifune has command of the rest of them and, by extension, is a highly capable leader. 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.
Mifune is a masterful 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 ninjutsu against him, due to the fact that Mifune is capable of attacking within the short time it takes to make 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. 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, as well as produce shockwaves from his strikes to intercept enemy attacks.
Due to his extensive knowledge of swordplay, Mifune can judge the weaponry skill of his opponents, such as Sasuke and Hanzō, after a single clash. Like his subordinates, he is also capable of channelling chakra through his sword to increase its cutting power. He can also fire a wave of chakra with a swing of his sword.
Five Kage Summit Arc
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.
Confining the Jinchūriki Arc
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 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.
Shinobi World War Arc
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.
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 Naruto's shadow clone and his fellow samurai. 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.
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.
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|
- 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!"
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Naruto chapter 531, page 14
- ↑ Naruto chapter 532, pages 1-8
- ↑ Naruto chapter 531, page 13-14
- ↑ Naruto chapter 532, page 10
- ↑ Naruto: Shippūden episode 272
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 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