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桜備秋樽 (オウビ・アキタル) (Chapter 303)
Ōbi Akitaru (Chapter 303)
|Alias||Non-powered, Bodybuilding Gorilla|
|Voice Actor(s)||Kazuya Nakai (Japanese)|
Jeremy Inman (English)
|Birth Date||March 27th (Aries)|
|Height||189 cm (6' 2½")|
|Weight||108 kg (238 lbs)|
|Affiliation||The Fire Defence Agency (Former)|
Special Fire Force Company 8
Captain (former; General Commander(World Heroes Force))
|Manga||Shinra Kusakabe Joins the Force|
|Anime||Shinra Kusakabe Enlists|
Akitaru is a well-built young man with short, somewhat unruly dark hair, with the sides of his head being shaven. Akitaru also has small dark brown eyes. He is seen wearing bunker gear, which consists of a black tank top, buckled at the waist with a belt, which presses a middle part that's strapped to his shoulders, and dark pants. Those are later topped by a protective jacket, trousers and a helmet, which has a metal face-shield attached to it. Parts of his outfit, just like with other Special Fire Brigade members, are coated with blue lines. Akitaru wears a jumper underneath his protective jacket with a hood. He also wears a neck protector, protective gloves and black boots. When on the battlefield, Akitaru carries a plethora of different weapons. The buttons of his protective jacket are in the shape of cross-like symbols. When not attending missions, Akitaru wears a grey jumpsuit. His outfits contain patches with "8" on them to signify his affiliation to the 8th Special Fire Brigade.
Akitaru is a courageous individual, able to face Infernals and ability-users with courage. Despite lacking an Ignition Ability and fearing death, he believes that he cannot afford to flinch or hesitate because of his responsibility to his teammates. Akitaru greatly believes in justice. He doesn't tolerate evil-doers and is compelled to ensure that whoever is causing trouble in the world be stopped. Having a highly ethical attitude, Akitaru has a very nonchalant perspective of things and isn't bothered by matters that would usually annoy the average commander. Despite this, Akitaru can be angered by people who disrespect the feelings of the bereaved, even if they are his own subordinates, going so far as to assert that any who doesn't wish to comply to his sentiment having no place in his team. Akitaru views the cleansing of Infernals as an act of murder, even though it is required. As such, he feels that a fire soldier should always consider the feelings of those close to a victim of Spontaneous Human Combustion and minimize their suffering in any way possible. Despite being usually easygoing, he takes his role as captain earnestly and will also lose his temper if Company 8's hijinks go too far, sternly telling Hinawa if his outfit is too unprofessional and yelling at the younger members of the Company if they show a serious lack of respect for the chain of command.
He is commonly seen working out, doing pull-ups or lifting dumbbells at any opportunity, lifting weights during a meeting and doing pull-ups while having casual conversations. Though serious and strong-willed, he likes to joke around with subordinates. He is confident in himself and Company 8, telling Shinra that he'll be cheering for him in Rookie Fire Soldier Games and praising him for acting heroically. Akitaru is a very good-natured person, as he was willing to risk his life to protect the memento of Mikako's family and deliver it to her safely. Shinra sees Akitaru as a humble and kind person and questioned whether he would ever get angry. These traits mean that Akitaru is a very charismatic figure. Despite their differences or eccentricities, Company 8 is tremendously loyal to him. Even people in opposition to Company 8 acknowledge his ability and moral character. Captain Hibana privately notes that Akitaru has a good sense of judgment, despite insulting his lack of intelligence. The sadistic criminal Joker considers Akitaru to be a model firefighter for placing the lives of others before his own safety or social standing. An enraged Benimaru paused to observe Akitaru's bravery when confronted by a powerful enemy.
As a firefighter, Akitaru was recognized enough to be decorated twice, though both titles were revoked due to actions that prioritised saving citizens' lives, at the expense of defying orders. This past experience allows him to effectively assess situations and calm his allies, be it in or out of the battlefield. As a normal person lacking ignition abilities, he is compelled to train just about all the time, leading him to sport a very fit physique, which allows him to face Infernals despite lacking abilities common with the other known Captains. He is able and required to carry up to 30kg of equipment each time, just so that he is well-equipped on a mission to fight an Infernal. After seeing that Ōbi is able to rip train tracks out of the ground and bend steel with his bare hands, Captain Giovanni expresses shock, finding Akitaru's strength to be insane. In battle, he is seen using different weapons depending on the situation, like the Core Annihilating Pile Bunker or a fire fighting ax, which he can veil in white steam and thrust at the opponent. His weapons appear to be designed in order to impale an Infernal's core with low difficulty. As a combatant, Ōbi strikes without hesitation, grabbing Infernals with his bare hands to hold them still despite them burning him. He will risk his life if it means creating an opening to exploit or to set up his plan. As a strategist, Akitaru is often creating battle plans on the spot, such as using train tracks as a ladder to gain the high ground or using fire extinguishing foam as smokescreen. He is willing to take massively damaging hits from powerful foes if it means getting within range, even allowing Benimaru to strike him with explosion after explosion so as to hit him.
According to Benimaru, Obi is almost the embodiment of Hysterical Strength; somebody who is able to push themselves beyond normal limits when their life is endangered. It is unclear if Benimaru is speaking literally or metaphorically as Hysterical Strength is meant to be an application of Third Generation pyrokinetic abilities but when his life is endangered Obi is able to rip through metal chains with nothing but his raw strength and harden his muscles to the point insect stingers cannot pierce his body.
Akitaru was originally a member of the Fire Defence Agency a group of regular firefighters who focus on fire prevention and also work with the Fire Force to minimize the damage of Infernal outbreaks. While helping civilians during the aftermath of two simultaneous combustions he noticed a woman asking members of the Fire Force to help put her husband to rest as he became an Infernal. The Fire Force told her that her husband wouldn't give them enough points so he was not a priority. As Hinawa observes the situation, Akitaru is angered at how the Fire Force has essentially gamified their profession, assigning a point system to the Infernals that determine which threats they address and how seriously they take them. They have no concern for the Infernal's surviving loved ones, who have to bear the knowledge that their former family and friends are enduring unimaginable pain.
Akitaru decides that he will help the women and while stealing a weapon is confronted by Hinawa who tells him he would like to help him. Ignoring the trouble they could into the two men put the Infernal to rest so the women and her husband can be at peace. Akitaru decides at that moment that he wants to start his own Company asking Hinawa to be his first recruit.
Akitaru, alongside the rest of his force, arrives to save a train station from an Infernal. Once there, he asks Iris to begin the prayers and moves in for an attack. With the help of Takehisa and Maki, he impales the being's core, killing it. After the battle, Akitaru witnesses Shinra saving Iris from a falling light and comments on the boy's footprints. When Shinra arrives at the headquarters, Akitaru greets him while looking at the boy's resume. After teasing Shinra about his nervous grin and nervousness around Iris and Maki, he delivers a speech about Spontaneous Human Combustion and lists his team's individual abilities. Later that night, a siren notifies the brigade of an accident in a nearby factory and they ride in the Matchbox to the scene of Shinra's first official mission. When the brigade arrives at the scene, Akitaru briefs the brigade regarding the situation. With his comrades, Akitaru fights the Infernal, using Maki's abilities to keep himself from getting burnt and using a fire fighting ax, but to no avail. He later witnesses Shinra defeating the threat with a blazing kick. After the mission, he is proud of the Fire Soldier and his happy smile.
Some time after, Akitaru informs Shinra of a newcomer contest between the Special Fire Force and that their Company will be sending both Shinra and a new member, Arthur Boyle. Akitaru misses the second newcomer's arrival due to Arthur and Shinra fighting on the roof instead of coming to the office where he is working out. Later, Akitaru treats Shinra and Arthur to some food at Ippudo Ramen. Back at the church's armoury, he is complaining about the lack of an engineer in their ranks to help with maintenance when the team is notified of an Infernal in the Iriya district. While en route, Akitaru instructs Shinra and Arthur to conceal their weapons in public. Upon arrival, Akitaru pulls the two aside for disobeying his orders and explains his reasoning. Immediately afterwards, flames burst from the apartment in the shape of a skull and then a smile. The whole company storms into the house where they spot Mikako's father. Arthur volunteers to take him out, which Akitaru allows. Immediately after, the roof starts to collapse, forcing Akitaru to jump in and save a family picture for Mikako as a precious memento. Outside, he delivers the framed picture to the girl. Shinra apologies to the man for not being able to do anything the entire time, but Akitaru assures him that all they can do is to get close to the ones left behind.
Akitaru is later present during the Rookie Fire Soldier Games. When Arthur starts falling to his death, Akitaru, alongside his team-mate, softens the boy's fall with a blanket. He then pats Shinra on the back for the job well done for saving lives during the explosion. The next day at headquarters, Akitaru explains to Shinra how and why Company 8 was founded and tells him that the other Special Fire Brigades are hiding something on their own end. He then learns more about the substance Joker was using from Takehisa, finding out it was actually the ashes of Infernals, which infuriated the man. Akitaru later moves out with his team-mate to dispose of Setsuo Miyamoto, an ex-convict who turned into an Infernal in the courthouse, where Takehisa assures him and Shinra that the threat has to be taken care of without prejudice. When the 8th Brigade catches up to Shinra, who went ahead after Setsuo fled the scene, Akitaru and the rest find themselves in a confrontation against the Special Fire Force Company 5. When Akitaru is mocked by a member of the 5th Brigade for not having fire manipulation abilities, his team-mate defend him, to which Akitaru responded pleasantly with gratitude. As Hibana cunningly questions his presence within the Special Fire Force, Akitaru stands amongst his brigade with pride, claiming the flames of his squad will never die out, causing tension between the two brigades.
VS. Special Fire Force Company 5 arc
The next day, Akitaru talks to Shinra about the situation with the 5th, claiming something strange is going on with them, and therefore the 8th will investigate them even if it means creating open conflict. All the while, Shinra looks at him strangely, as he's balancing on a balance ball while balancing various other unnecessary objects on his body humorously. Akitaru wishes Shinra and Arthur good luck when Takehisa takes them away for training. Akitaru is absent during the assault on Special Fire Combine 5, which is noted by members of Company 5. It is revealed that Akitaru was attempting to contact somebody, presumably someone in the Fire Defence Agency who gave Akitaru the resources needed to create Company 8. Akitaru informs this person that his investigation into Company 5 has begun sooner than planned, asking them to arrange all the requirements.
The Captain contacts Takehisa to let him know everything is in place, only to be shocked that the battle was already over. Akitaru is later seen at the dinner party between the two Companies to discuss Hibana's cooperation with Company 8's investigations. Hibana questions her counterpart, asking if his intended goal was to expose Company 5's research and exactly who is supporting Akitaru. Akitaru dodges both questions. However, he admits he was planning on using Iris against the Princess if it was needed. Hibana then reveals to Akitaru that someone in Shinjuku District, which is under the jurisdiction of the 1st Special Fire Brigade, is creating Infernals using artificial means. Akitaru expresses fury at this revelation and promises to work alongside Hibana to find the truth.
VS. Special Fire Force Company 1 arc
After destroying an Infernal and returning to Special Fire Cathedral 8, Akitaru finds himself stuck with figuring out a plan for investigating the Special Fire Force Company 1. He is soon distracted by Hibana vandalizing his locker and bribing his subordinates with food and fire flowers. While he tries to think in peace, the other 8th members and Hibana unintentionally irritate him with their silly antics. Akitaru seems to become so enraged that he decides to make Shinra and Arthur leave their brigade. However (after some confusion), Akitaru explains that he has finally found a way of investigating Company 1 by temporally transferring Arthur and Shinra to Company 1 for training. This training will provide the pair cover while they attempt to uncover the Company's secrets. Some time passes, and neither Shinra nor Arthur have reported back at the 8th, worrying Akitaru, who sends Takehisa to check on them. During this time, Akitaru and Hibana do some independent investigating and solve the cause of the artificial Infernal, the Bug.
Preacher Pursuit arc
Akitaru, Shinra and Tamaki attend a gathering of the Fire Force captains under orders of Raffles III to discuss the danger of the White-Clad and Shinra's newly-discovered Adolla Burst ability. With the help of Hibana and Shinra, Akitaru is able to keep Shinra within Company 8 despite the interests of Giovanni and other captains. Once everyone returns to Company 8 headquarters, Akitaru gives each member a pile of papers to look over and spot any clues that may relate to the White Hoods. As Shinra hands out lunch, Akitaru and Takehisa realize that the victim of their very first case was wearing all white clothes and that there was a red cross in the remains. The same red cross of the White Hoods. His body was taken to a corporation in Asakusa. In discussing the case, the pair explain to the newer members the story behind Company 8's foundation. After hearing this story, Shinra confesses to encountering Joker after the captain meeting and learning that his younger brother might be their enemy. Despite Shinra's own doubts, Akitaru tells him that they will save his brother no matter what. Because their only lead connects to Asakusa, Akitaru and the others travel to the town to investigate possible White-Clad activity.
Upon meeting Company 7 Captain Benimaru Shinmon and his right-hand man Konro, Akitaru attempts to talk him into allowing them to investigate the town despite Benimaru's distrust of outsiders and Shinra's growing irritation. After watching Captain Shinmon lay an Infernal to rest in an impressive display of destruction, Akitaru and the rest of Company 8 help the people of Asakusa rebuild their homes. This showcase of humility and compassion helps Benimaru to trust Company 8 and he considers letting them investigate his town.
However, due to the manipulations of the White-Clad, Benimaru is tricked into thinking that Akitaru and Takehisa are responsible for the sudden transformation of his friend into an Infernal. In his rage, Benimaru attacks a confused Akitaru and Takehisa in the streets and begins a fight between himself and the entirety of Company 8. Despite their teamwork and skill, Company 8 is overwhelmed by the enraged Captain. However, their fight enables Akitaru to gather his equipment to fight Benimaru by himself. Surprising Benimaru with both his determination and lack of power, Akitaru uses his tools and strength to fight against the Composite Fire Soldier through a series of high-risk maneuvers. During the fight, Akitaru continues to argue his innocence. Before Benimaru can escalate any further, Konro manages to intervene and uses several eyewitness accounts to prove that somebody is trying to manipulate the Companies against each other.
Akitaru promises Shinra that they will rescue his brother. As the 8th Company nervously enter the Nether, they are confronted by Princess Hibana, begging for help before being pulled screaming into the darkness. Akitaru quickly deduces that this was the work of Yona and that it was not the real Hibana. Before the group can proceed, mist envelops them and they are separated in the confusion. Akitaru and Vulcan are able to remain together but are confronted by Lisa and Giovanni.
When Lisa's convictions start to waver, Giovanni pressures, guilts and scares her into remembering her loyalty to him. With this, 'Feeler' attacks Vulcan and Obi with her tentacles. Obi makes it clear to Giovanni that he despises him, Giovanni dismisses his as an ignorant man who hasn't learned anything about human combustion or the Evangelist. Captured in Lisa's flames, Akitaru stays strong-minded and declares he will save her from Giovanni, insisting along with Vulcan that she is being manipulating her into acting out his will rather than any ill intent of her own. As Akitaru fights through the flames using a extinguishing grenade, he attempts to attack Giovanni with an axe but is stopped by Lisa. Giovanni begins to explain the concept of phototaxis and its relation to the Adolla Burst but finally decides to stop sharing his infromation. Fighting against Lisa with nothing by a standard fire extinguisher, Akitaru asks if she is being protected by the flames she creates or if she's hiding inside them. After being repeatedly attacked, Obi reveals he had attached extinguishing grenades to all her tentacles and activates them. Lisa falls into Vulcan's arms and realises that Giovanni truly does not value her as anything but a tool while Vulcan sees her as family.
Giovanni suddenly takes Lisa hostage during her confusion, stating that he will cut her head off if Vulcan doesn't take the gun he provides and kill Obi with it. Obi welcomes Vulcan's choice and allows himself to be shot in the chest. As he lies on the floor, Giovanni releases Lisa and cackles with delight. Only for Obi, who had arranged a bulletproof vest with Vulcan before entering the Nether, to quickly turn over and rip the train tracks beneath their feet from the Earth, knocking Giovanni off-balance and leaving him completely stunned by this display of raw strength. With no hostages left, Giovanni attempts to overwhelm the non-powered duo with his weaponry but Vulcan destroys it. Obi continues to fight, using the train tracks in his hands as a weapon against Giovanni's mechanical enhancements. With the arrival of Maki, Tamaki and Iris, Giovanni decides to leave. As he disappears into the shadows, Giovanni tells them other members of the Fire Force have grasped the Adolla before this point and that Shinra's duel with Shō was the main concern.
Obi and the others arrive to see Shinra impaled with a sword and being attacked by Haumea. While the others attempt to combat her directly, Obi sneaks behind her and pushes a stone pillar over in an attempt to crush her that fails. Haumea's desire to wipe out the entire group are interrupted by an earthquake and Yona's desperate pleads that they should leave. Prioritising the life of his officers above captioned the enemy, Obi orders a full retreat so they can save Shinra's life.
Special Fire Force Company 4 arc
Ōbi appears in this arc.
Haijima Industries arc
Ōbi appears in this arc.
Ōbi's Rescue arc
While giving a mission report to the Fire Defence Agency Chief, Akitaru is arrested by soldiers of the Tokyo Army. Learning that the soldiers are in league with the White-Clad, he is imprisoned in Fuchū Prison, where Gold prepares to turn him into an Infernal. He is later taken to the top of the prison where he is chained to a post while Leonard Burns stands guard over him. While Shinra and Joker, who are working together for the time being, fight against Leonard Burns the rest of Company 8 is confronted by the “White Clad” Gold.
As both the battle in the courtyard and on the rooftop unfold Burns orders Obi be stung by a Bug, claiming that the Evangelist is his god then he must follow her orders. Much to the shock of everyone present, Captain Obi uses his raw physically strength to burst through his chains and his hardened body disinterests the bugs as they cannot sting him properly. This feat of strength scares the White Hood guard enough for him to step away from his prisoner. Shinra and Joker attack with renewed desperation so they can end the battle before Obi exhausts himself. As Burns is slammed through the rooftop to the ground floor by Shinra, Obi is seen still maintaining his muscle flexing poses on the ruins of the roof. As the battle reaches it's climax, Joker returns to the rooftop to burn away all the bugs and save Obi. Shinra emerges victorious but collapses from exhaustion and his captain carries him on his back to safety. The trio and the rest of Company 8 are saved from the remaining White Clad forces by the arrive of Benimaru in disguise.
Fleeing to Asakusa, Obi sits down with Benimaru and Konro after Shinra and Arthur are rushed away for medical attention. They discuss Company 8's excommunication and criminal status, something made worse by the death of the Empire's greatest hero being blamed on Shinra. Trying to understand the motivations behind Leonard's choices, they decide he wouldn't have been blindly following anyone and would have been sending a message in his own way.
Stone Pillar arc
Ōbi arranges a meeting with Captain Honda in a coffee shop. Trying to remain inconspicuous Obi, sits with his back to Honda. Despite their positions both men trust each other and in Burns' attempts to unite the Companies against a corruption in the Empire. Gustav expresses his frustration that his company can't act until their superiors give an order. With no idea what form the cataclysm will take, Akitaru simply advises Honda to have his men prepared and ready to mobilise at a moment's notice before leaving. He later meets with the new Captain of Company 4, Captain Pan, he pledges his unit's full support.
Returning to Asakusa, Obi gives his subordinance a quick summary of the current situation and allies: Company 4 and Company 7 support them unconditionally, Company 2 is willing to work with them behind-the-scenes and Company 1's Lieutenant Karim and Captain Hibana of Company 5 are going to help as much as they can without the actual backing of their organisations. Hibana comes to drop off her report on the incident at St. Raffles. The meeting is interrupted by the sudden arrival of Scop, a creature that baffles everyone who did not travel to China. Shop that the Lady in Black believes that the Evangelist failed in the past because she lacked keys to a true cataclysm but has spent the past 200 years acquiring what she needs. The mole's explanation is interrupted by the emergence of an earthquake as a giant stone pillar rises from the ocean depths along with a giant Infernal heading towards the mainland. Shinra flies off to the scene, with Obi having no choice but to trust his subordinate.
- The name Akitaru means "autumn" (秋) (aki) and "barrel" (樽) (taru).
- Akitaru's surname Ōbi means "cherry blossom" (桜) (ō) and "equip/equipment, provision, preparation" (備) (bi).
- According to his Character Profile in The Flowers of Edo:
- Akitaru's favorite food is chicken ramen, while his least favorite food is protein.
- His favorite music is Rock.
- Dogs are his favorite animals.
- Akitaru's favorite color is beige.
- His favorite type of people are those with a strong sense of justice.
- He respects his parents and the chief of the fire defense. The person he struggles with is Princess Hibana and he is afraid of Lieutenant Hinawa.
- His hobbies include collecting records, basketball and DIY home improvement (despite not being good at it) and his daily routine involves bodybuilding.
- His shoe size is 29cm and his eyesight is 1.5.
- Akitaru's favorite school subjects were Industrial arts (despite receiving bad grades) and history. He does not have a least favorite subject.