Hotsuma (in Japanese: 秀真) is a Shinobi and was once leader of the Oboro Clan. He is the main protagonist of the 2002 video-game remake Shinobi and made an appearance in Nightshade as a secret playable character.
Hotsuma was adopted into the Clan Leader's family, and raised in the Oboro Ninja Clan along side his brother Moritsune, until one of them would become the clan's leader. The two of them were rarely apart as children. As the youngest brother, he looked up to his brother as a role model, and wanted nothing more than to be just like him.
The Akujiki's DiscoveryEditOne day when the brothers and their friend Ageha went out playing, the trio came across the Oboro temple. inside the two found a sword in the chest before the temple shrine. It was none other than the demon sword Akujiki. When Hotsuma went to find Kobushi, the two found Ageha safe, but Hotsuma looked in horror as Moritsune appeared, his face viciously scarred. Soon they learned from their foster parent that the next clan leader was to be determined in a duel to the death, with both the leadership and Akujiki as the prize. The brothers trained for ten years.
The Tragic Duel; Hotsuma's AscentionEditOn the night of the duel, Hotsuma defeated Moritsune, but was forced to kill him with Akujiki. Reluctantly, Hotsuma did as his brother wanted, and killed him with the sword. Hotsuma became the leader of the clan, occasionally he would here rumors of whether or not Moritsune lost intentionally, as Moritsune was clearly the stronger of the two. But as Master of the Oboro, he and the Oboro elders would lead the clan. Behind his calm exterior he presented, Hotsuma was suffering and anguished. He still was so heart broken that he closed himself off emotionally. He would leave the village in Kobushi's care, and wouldn't return for long periods of time doing government work for the Shinobi Agency over the years. gradually distancing himself from the Oboro village.
The Oboro's RuinationEdit
Four years later while Hotsuma was away on a mission for the government, an earthquake rocked Tokyo, and when he returned to his home, Hotsuma found many of his comrades dead. Gripped by his failure as a leader to protect them, he swore to avenge his brethren, and decended into the demon infested streets of Tokyo.
The Quest for Redemption and RevengeEdit
Hotsuma fought the demonic Hellspawn forces to investigate the death of his clan. Hotsuma allied himself with the girl named Kagari whose family is related to the malevolent sorcerer known as Hiruko Ubusuna. She was about to be sacrificed by her own revived ancestor to reanimate his living weapon known as Yatsurao but Hotsuma fought it and won, only for Hiruko to absorb Yasturao's powers. Transformed into a young man with even more deadly powers , Hiruko had become a demi-demon powered by the Yin that Yatsurao had stored over the years.
A Sorrowful Betrayal; the Final Farewell EditTracking down Hiruko through the cherry blossom groves of Kan'Ei Shrine, Hotsuma was shocked and saddened to discover that his own childhood friend, Ageha betrayed the the Oboro Clan. After abandoning the clan years ago, she broke Hiruko's seal in the Kumano Shrine so she can use Hiruko's help in resurrecting Moritsune. She revealed to Hotsuma the reason for that night was never for the leadership of the Oboro, but was to abate Akujiki's hunger as it happened when they were children and Moritsune was alive only to be scarred and cursed by Akujiki itself. She succeeded in reviving her dear love interest with Hiruko's help. But the Moritsune she once knew was possessed by Aomizuchi; one of the Four Hellspawn Lords and to Hotsuma's horror, he murdered her. Hotsuma fought the Hellspawn Lord and freed both the tortured souls of both Moritsune and Ageha.
Mission Complete; The Shadow VanishesEditCutting through a swath of Hellspawn and undead Oboro shinobi as he made his way through the Golden Palace., Hotsuma fought his way to the castle keep, where Hiruko was waiting for him. Making his arrival to his hated foe, Hotsuma correctly deduced that Hiruko made him collect everyone's souls intentionally. Hiruko confirmed this, and revealed that the countless Yin inside Akujiki were merging into one powerful, and pure Yin, and by absorbing it, Hiruko would become a true god. Hotsuma had more than he could stand; he was perfectly fine with dying, as he felt he was already dead when he killed his brother, but he planned to take Hiruko down first, and take Akujiki straight to hell with him. In the end, he killed Hiruko and absorbed the Yin that Hiruko accumulated into Akujiki. After Hiruko finally perished, Hotsuma stood as the Golden Palace crumbled. Having no clan to lead, and Akujiki no longer sealed, he had no intention of escaping. As he whispered for his brother, sheathing the cursed blade, Hotsuma consigns himself to death, as the Golden Palace collapses.
In his youth Hotsuma was a kind and gentle young man. He always loved and appreciated Kobushi, both as his master and as his father figure. As the youngest of the two candidates for succession, Hotsuma looked up to Moritsune, and held unrequited feelings for Ageha. He truly cared for the Aragane Twins as his own younger siblings (albeit oblivious to Akagane's feelings of romantic love for him), and was visibly saddened to let Akujiki consume them and the other Jonin he once called comrades.
When Moritsune died, Hotsuma became a shadow of his former self, hiding his pain and suffering behind the mask of calmness and stoicism. As he began taking missions given to him by Kobushi from the government more often, he slowly distanced himself further from the Oboro village.
When he learned of what happened to his clan, he cursed his irresponsibility as a leader, and swore to redeem himself to them by avenging their deaths. Upon realizing their soulless bodies were being manipulated, even under his calm exterior, his rage and anger boiled in his blood. Seeing Ageha didn't help his emotional wounds either, as he stopped holding feelings for her when she abandoned the clan and went rogue.
His hatred finally exploded when Hotsuma learned that Hiruko Ubusuna not only murdered but dishonored his fallen kinsmen, he manipulated his former best friend Ageha's love for his brother, and worse he used his brother's body to slaughter their comrades. His rage finally went through the roof when Ageha was killed in front of him by Aomizuchi, but was in tears after seeing Moritsune again after so long.
After killing Hiruko, Hotsuma willingly let himself die in the collapse of the Golden Palace. With no clan to lead, his family and friends dead, and Akujiki free of its seal, he knew that if he lived he'd be condemned to a life of slaughter, and be forced to satisfy the very sword he hated for ruining his family, and so he decided to close the book on Akujiki himself, determined to destroy it even in death.
"Their deaths shall be avenged by my blade. I do not need your help." — Hotsuma to Ageha
"Perhaps this is our destiny." — After Stacked Kills
"Die." — After Stacked Kills
"Forgive me." — After Stacked Kills
"Rest in peace." — After Stacked Kills
"You fought well." -- After Stacked Kills
"I am sorry." -- After Stacked Kills
"I shall put your soul to rest." -- After Stacked Kills
"Is that all you have left to say? If you want this life I threw away when I killed my brother, you can have it. However... I shall destroy you along with this accursed blade!" — Hotsuma to Hiruko
- He is unlockable in the 2003 Shinobi game Nightshade as a playable character. Hotsuma wields the same weapons and plays the same as he did in Shinobi (2002).
- Nightshade's protagonist Hibana's outfit is based off of Hotsuma's costume.
- Officially, according to the Kumonov, who created the PS2 Shinobi series, Hotsuma intentionally died as the Golden Palace collapsed, and had his soul taken into Akujiki.
- He makes a playable appearance in Project X Zone 2 paired with Capcom's Strider Hiryu.