He is voiced by Ryo Horikawa in Japanese and by Kyle Hebert in the FUNimation English dub.
Karasu is a tall, slender demon male, with his ten-foot teammate Toguro dwarfing him by only a few inches. He resembles a young, Japanese adult male, having very long, straight, jet-black hair and violet eyes with pointy eyelids. Some of his hair bangs are messily arched above his head and on his face. Karasu is slightly flamboyant, as he wears a long, wavy black coat with a red inside, which appears as if it's flying while he is running or jumping, since the jacket mirrors a pair of bat wings. On the bottom half of his face lies a metallic mask, with a couple strands of tape to help keep the mask on, and eight breathing holes. This mask allows him to speak normally, and plays a more essential part during his fights, since it restrains his demon energy to a minimum. Karasu also wears a pair of dress slacks and shoes which compliment his look making him appear almost "business-like" at times.
When the mask is removed, Karasu changes his hair color from black to wavy light blond.
Karasu is calm and collected, not getting rattled by his opponents. He is quiet and polite, as he does not speak often, but he does speak formally when addressing others. He noticeably dislikes opponents who are cowardly, instead preferring opponents who are brave enough to face him. He also seems to dislike opponents who are weaker than him, prefering to face opponents who possess either the same level of skill as him or are a bit stronger than him.
Karasu comes off as being very dark. When he had first met Kurama, he told him that Kurama is weak, but is fragile, as he views humans that way. He admits that Kurama makes him happy but then states that he enjoys being blue so whenever he encounters someone who makes him happy he has to kill them. Karasu claims to enjoy the relationship between victim and murderer, stating that before the murderer kills their victim the two share a level of intimacy which is too deep for words. He also views love as a sadomasochistic relationship, believing that lovers care deeply for each other and yet hurt each other whenever they are together.
In spite of his calm attitude, a trait shared with Bui, Karasu had a deep hatred for the Toguro Brothers, who had defeated him in a fight several years prior to the Dark Tournament. Upon defeating him, they made him into their slave and told him that he will belong to them until he becomes strong enough to defeat them in battle. Elder Toguro notes that Karasu joined Team Toguro in the hopes that after they win the tournament he can settle the score with the demonic brothers.
Karasu and Bui have a different relationship from the Toguro Brothers. Unlike the Toguro Brothers, who are very close, Karasu and Bui seem detatched from each other. Karasu and Bui respect each other but when Karasu died at Kurama's hands Bui did not shed a tear. It can be assumed that if Bui had died first Karasu would not shed a tear for him.
Some unspecified number of years prior to the last Dark Tournament, Karasu was defeated by the Toguro Brothers in a fight, and was almost left for dead. Overwhelmed by his performance during the fight, the Toguro Brothers had spared Karasu from death, humiliating the demon bomber in the process. As a means to reclaim his stolen pride, Karasu joined Team Toguro and fought alongside the brothers within the Dark Tournament, in hopes that he might some day become strong enough in order to kill them.
Dark Tournament SagaEdit
Karasu made his first appearance during the climax of the Urameshi Team vs. Rokuyukai Team. As he makes his way to the Black Black club members's seat room, his way is blocked by demon guards, whom he dispatched without effort. As the guards lie dead on the floor, Karasu enters the room where he meets up with Younger Toguro. Viewing Yusuke's match against Chu, Karasu points out the boy's potential and Toguro wonders if Urameshi will ever become strong enough in time for their fight within the finals.As the semifinals unfold, Team Toguro is pinned against Team Gorenja. The first match consisting of Karasu vs. Midorenjya, whom he easily kills, winning Team Toguro's first victory. Eventually Team Toguro make there way into the finals, after their brutal defeat of Team Gorenja. Once their match was over Karasu along with Bui, meet up with Team Urameshi's Kurama within a entry hall. Bui distracts Kurama's attention by hitting his fist onto a wall, giving time for Karasu to sneak up behind Kurama, whom he intimidates with his superior speed and reflexes. Shortly after, Karasu tells him that one of Team Urameshi's members was going to die that very day, and expresses his ambition of fighting with him in the finals. Fearing the outcome of the fight, Kurama begins mentally simulating his possible match against Karasu, but in every scenario he realizes that his opponent would always best him.
During the Dark Tournament finals, Karasu is chosen for the first match, and is pinned against Kurama. Unknown to him, Kurama had been experimenting with the magical, youth granting juice that was given to him by Suzuka, that would allow him to change once again into the demon fox Yoko. After drinking the juice two minutes before the fight Kurama experiences no change, but nonetheless enters the ring. As the fight commences, Karasu gains the upper hand, blowing up Kurama's blade petals and injuring his opponent's left arm without having to touch it. He reveals that his power did not consist of touching his target in order for it to explode, but rather he emanates it directly and then channels it inside any object, whether living or otherwise.
He then proceeded to create demon shaped dynamite sticks. After throwing the dynamite towards his adversary and into the stadium, the explosive blows up leaving a large smoke cloud in it's place. Kurama retaliates by throwing a rose-knife towards Karasu, who is stabbed in the right hand. Out of the smoke screen, the still injured Kurama manages to fully transform into his original form of Yoko Kurama. However, Karasu did not show any fear.
Karasu creates a swarm of Trace Eye Bombs which he locks onto Yoko. After managing to avoid getting hit by them, the bombs successfully surround Yoko from virtually every angle. So instead of dogging them Yoko breeds the Ojigi Plant, a demon world species of mimosa which responds violently to any form of movement. The plant disposes of the bombs shortly after it risen from the ground, and begins attacking Karasu. As he tries dogging it's attacks, Karasu throws two kinds of grenades at the plant, but are unable to inflict any actual damage. He is caught and swallowed up by several of the plant's leaves and in doing so, Karasu's mask accidentally falls off. He burst through the plant and changes his hair from black to blonde. Using his own body as an explosive, Karasu causes an explosion which blows a hole into the stadium. While the Yoko survives the attack, he returned to his human form before emerging from the debris.As a last possible resort, Kurama attacks Karasu head on. Using only martial arts he was able to plant a bloodthirsty seed onto his adversary's chest. Unfortunately, Karasu was well aware of this trap and quickly removes and then destroyed the seed. He then ignites a bomb onto Kurama's left foot and then surrounded him into a minefield of shapeless bombs. As the bombs slowly explode around him, Kurama is pinned to the ground. Noticing Karasu's bleeding chest, Kurama gathers the last of his life energy in order to create a vampire tree that pierces the wound, killing Karasu in the process. Although he expected to die, a side effect of his continual transformations to his demon form was that part of Yoko Kurama's power had begun to return, saving him.
Despite the fact that Kurama survives the match, the late Karasu was declared the real victor due to the fact that Kurama had been pinned on the ground for ten seconds, including the time it took to sprout the vampire tree. As a result, Team Toguro wins their first and only match of the finals.
- Like Kurama, Karasu uses his demon energy in order to manipulate objects. However, given the fact that he is a Quest-class (支配者級 [クエスト･クラス], Shihaisha-kyū [Kuesuto-Kurasu], translated as Governor-rank) demon, Karasu's powers can affect the intangible world. This means that he is able to literally create any object he desires purely out of his demon energy. After releasing his energy, Karasu can either create an item in thin air, or inside any form of matter, whether it be a inanimate object or the body of a living being. Depending on the strength and spiritual awareness of his adversary, Karasu's demon energy can be detected without him having to directly materialize it. Given his sadistic nature, Karasu prefers to create bombs by using his powers. These explosives include:
- Explosive Touch: This is Karasu's primary method of attack. Karasu creates small explosive bombs using his demon energy, strong enough to blow away body parts, but weak enough to prevent huge explosions. He first used this technique on Mideorenja where he blew both his arms off before destroying his whole body. This technique, though deadly, is more rather or less pointless as Karasu admitted he didn't need to touch his opponents to use his power, rather he called it "One of the perks." The bombs he places in his opponent can be suspended in air and controlled at will, seen during his fight with Kurama.
- Deleterious Bomb: Resembling three sticks of green, organic dynamite that are bound together, with a timer attached to it. The explosion that this technique caused was powerful enough to take out a chunk of the stadium housing both the final and semifinal rounds of the Dark Tournament. Never named in the original Japanese.
- Trace-Eyes (追跡爆弾 [トレース･アイ], Tsuiseki Bakudan [Torēsu Ai], translated as Pursuit Bombs): Flying balls of explosives outfitted with traditional string fuses, bat wings, and a single orange eye. These act much like seeker missiles.
- Grenade: When facing Kurama's Ojigi Plant, he uses this to try to stop them, but the explosion proves ineffective. It looks like a regular Human World grenade, colored gray.
- Demonic Grenade: When facing Kurama's Ojigi Plant, he uses this to try to stop them, but this explosion also proves ineffective. Looks like a Human World grenade, but has a skull design on it and is colored green, instead of gray.
- Mad Bomb (地下爆弾 [マディ･ボム], Chika Bakudan [Madei Bomu], translated as Underground Bomb): Acting much like a bear trap, it latches onto the leg of an opponent before exploding. This technique is also Karasu's only officially-classified technique.
- After removing his mask, Karasu's hair can turn blond if he inhales the energy around him, and it's an external sign that he is reaching the peak of his power. Then his body itself can be used as an explosion, multiple times, until he returns to normal, depending on the amount of energy he uses.
- Full Body Explosion: After Karasu gets trapped in Kurama's Ojigi Plant he releases his energy all around in order to create a large explosion.
- Karasu is Japanese for crow, a black bird that is well known for being a necrophagist (corpse eater).
- Like most demons and demon orientated scenery, Karasu's bombs were visually inspired off of the surrealist, nightmarish art style of H. R. Giger.
- Yoshihiro Togashi's next manga series, Hunter X Hunter, features several characters who appear to be based off of Karasu:
- Feitan, a member of the Phantom Troupe, physically resembles him the most as he has pointy eye lids with violet colored eyes and straight, jet-black hair, the same way Karasu does. He also wears a long coat, but with a tall collar that covers his mouth entirely, mimicking both Karasu's mask and his jacket. However, Feitan has neck-length hair, and stands at only 5 foot 1 inches tall.
- The Bomb Devils are a trio of human beings who can place aura crafted bombs onto other living beings. Although none of them resembles Karasu physically, and their powers actually required them to touch people in order to place bombs, they shared many of Karasu's personality traits. They would immobilize their targets by blowing up various body parts and they would even take great pleasure when killing people.
- Feitan's appearance is similar to Hiei's, but Hisoka's personality is a straight-up recycle of Karasu.
- In the Japanese dub, Karasu had a tendency to use English words when speaking. When talking to Kurama for the first time he specifically says "treatment" and "cool".
- GetBackers, which borrows as heavily from Hunter x Hunter (Hunter x Hunter in turn borrows from YuYu Hakusho & Dragon Ball Z), has a character named Akabane who is that series' Karasu/Hisoka.
- Due to Karasu's distracting intimate comments toward Kurama, many fans have been led to believe that he is in fact homosexual. While this could be true, an exception could be that he is simply getting into Kurama's head, and lapsing the way he fights. This is supported by the mind games Kurama trains in. Karasu is likely saying things similar to those comments. And those comments seem to affect Kurama also- he lost against Karasu's mind games, both during his mental training and they left him dumbfounded in his actual fight. Also, this could just be Karasu's 'inner killer' speaking. Meaning, many killers deeply enjoy torturing their victims, as Karasu did. They'd say he's in love with the ACT of killing Kurama, NOT being in love with Kurama. There may have been affection for Kurama, but no cannon reference to romantic feelings were made.
- It is interesting to note that without his mask he greatly resembles Alucard from Castlevania: Symphony of the Night.
- In the hit anime/manga series, Naruto Shippuden, an antagonist named Deidara bares a loose resemblance to Karasu.
- Both are users of explosives and are able to fight at a distance.
- They are very confident in their abilities and love to see their opponents explode.
- Both have blond hair (though this only when Karasu absorbs his own energy).
- Both can turn themselves and their energy into an explosive.
- They are both great strategist that sometimes play with their opponents.
- Both cover one if their sensory organs (Deidara with his eye, and Karasu with his mouth).
- Both only joined their group after being defeated by one of the members and train to kill the member that beat them (Itachi for Deidara and Toguro for Karasu). Both members were also silent but one of the most powerful members of the group.
- Both are skilled at fighting from a distance and close up.
- Both can form beings that can explode (Deidara from his clay and Karasu from his Youki).
- Both wanted to defeat a character named Kurama (Deidara wanted to capture the Kyūbi while Karasu wanted to kill Kurama) and they both failed.
- Both killed many beings and were feared for their skills.
- Both of them wore black and red.
- Also in the hit anime/manga series, Bleach, an antagonist named Äs Nödt bares a loose resemblance to Karasu.
- Ironically, many fans think of Äs Nödt (in his unreleased state) as a hybrid of both Karasu and Illumi Zoldyck from Hunter x Hunter.
- Both have very long, straight, jet-black hair.
- Both wear a metallic mask that covers bottom half of their face.
- Both are very confident in their abilities.
- Both are known to intimidate their opponents, mainly the main characters, in a similar fashion.
|e v||Team Toguro|
|Members:||Younger Toguro | Elder Toguro | Bui | Karasu | Sakyo|