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Kuro Momotaro (黒桃太郎 Momotarō Kuro) was a member of Team Uraotogi during the Dark Tournament. His name, symbol, and fighting techniques are all based of the Japanese fairy tale about Momotaro, the boy born from a peach. In the English manga he is known as Poison Peach Boy.
He is voiced by Shin Aomori in the Japanese version and by Justin Cook in the English dub.
According to the Japanese fairy tale about Momotaro, the eponymous main character was a young boy, around the age of ten, with long black hair, a white peasant shirt and carrying an axe or a short sword with him. As such, Yu Yu Hakusho's rendition of Kuro Momotaro's appearance stands in stark contrast to that of the fairy tale character.
Tall and broad-shouldered, Kuro Momotaro possesses a well-defined muscular physique. His thick, crew-cut blond hair is kept up by a large white headband that encircles his forehead. He has thick blond eyebrows, but they change color depending on the steaming sphere he uses. On his upper body, Kuro wears a sleeveless white jacket, although it's too small to cover his entire torso. His baggy bottoms are a burnt sienna color, engulfed at the bottom by his long black boots and held up at the top by a white belt. His belt is comprised of his signature "steaming spheres," which, along with his jacket and headband, possess the emblem of an upside-down black peach. He doesn't carry any melee weapons, but rather fights hand to hand with his opponent, although, he once used Hiei's sword to cut himself before their fight started. Throughout the tournament, Kuro is either frowning contemptuously or smiling smugly. Either way, he can almost always be found chewing a large piece of pink bubblegum. He looks as if he is around twenty years of age, but the exact age is not revealed.
The Momotaro of the classical fairy tale was described as being kindhearted, altruistic and very friendly; and thusly, Kuro is his exact opposite.
Cockiness, egotism and intimidation comprise the primary components of Kuro's personality. Like all members of Team Uraotogi, Kuro Momotaro holds no loyalties to his comrades, referring to his dead teammate Makintaro as weak while heedlessly kicking him out of the ring. Possessing a sort of charismatic ambiance, Kuro stands prior to a match with his arms folded and gum in his mouth, staring down his opponents to make them cringe. During a match, Kuro tends to appear overconfident, underestimating his opponents' abilities while overestimating his own. During his match against Hiei, Kuro delays going for victory, choosing to use three of his steaming spheres when his teammates believe that just one is enough to win the fight (though, as it turns out, three would not be enough, either).
Dark Tournament SagaEdit
Kuro Momotoro is first shown during Team Uraotogi's brief yet victorious third round match, in which Kuro quickly and decisively knocks out his opponent as part of Team Uraotogi's two minute slaughtering of Team Gokai Six. Following this incredible victory, the members of Team Uraotogi stumble across Team Urameshi, as the two teams exchange a few less-than-friendly words the day before their semifinal match.
As the semifinals begin, Kuro Momotaro watches as teammate Makintaro is humiliatingly defeated at the tip of Hiei's skillfully utilized sword. Thanks to another roll of Shishiwakamaru's dice, Kuro Momotoro is slated to square off against Hiei for the second fight of the semifinals. Prior to this match, Kuro listens as Onji gives him advice on how to win the match; Onji urges Kuro to delay Hiei long enough to memorize his most powerful attacks. Onji also states that Hiei's right arm has not fully recovered since his using the Dragon of the Darkness Flame, rendering him unable to summon the technique in the near future. As Juri, the new ringside announcer of the tournament, calls the fighters to the ring, Kuro ends his conversation with Onji by claiming that with or without the darkness technique, Hiei will still be defeated. In addition, Kuro states that in his fight with Hiei, he is going to "chew him up, spit him out, and stick him under a desk."As Kuro Momotaro enters the ring, he takes Hiei's sword out of Makintaro's head, kicking his dead teammate off the stage while insulting him with a chuckle. After picking up the bloody sword and licking it, Kuro makes yet another bizarre gesture, using the sword to cut himself in the center of the forearm (cuts off his left hand's fingers in the manga), causing blood to spew out of his body. As everyone, both in the audience and on Team Urameshi, tries to understand this horrific and unsettling action, Kuro seems to find pleasure in the intense pain of the wound, stating, "it hurts so good," as he tosses the sword back to Hiei.
Kuro now reveals his true potential as a fighter, stating that by exposing himself to a small portion of a specific attack, he can memorize the pain the technique causes and build an immunity to it, similar to the functioning of a vaccine. Reaching for and grabbing one of his special steaming spheres, Kuro immediately grows anthropoid-like body hair and fangs, composing the first of his special armors: the armor of the ape. According to Kuro, these armors, which are brought out by the spheres, increase both his offense and defense, causing him to become twice as powerful and protected. Without delay, Hiei charges with his sword, making contact with Kuro's skin. However, for the first time in the series, Hiei's sword breaks, as Kuro's body, now invulnerable to the material, overpowers the blade, shattering it in half and leaving Hiei without his favorite weapon.
Hardly fazed, Hiei now retreats into a defensive position, quickly devising a strategy for his next attack. Kuro, displaying the utmost self-confidence, tries to goad Hiei into using the Dragon of the Darkness Flame. Not wanting to "deny a fan's request," Hiei prepares to use the darkness technique, but instead, he, for all intents and purposes, summons an attack known as "the fist of the mortal flame", a less-powerful, human version of the technique. Though this attack deals a considerable amount of damage to Kuro, taking him off his feet, Kuro is somewhat able to resist the attack, and through the utilization of another steaming sphere, unleashes his second beast armor: the armor of the phoenix. Now immune to two of Hiei's attacks, Kuro begins to dominate the fight, delivering powerful blows towards Hiei, who, throughout the entirety of the anime, rarely engages in hand-to-hand combat.
Refusing to be daunted, Hiei decides to use a more powerful counterattack, this time employing the attack: "double fists of the mortal flame." Though twice as powerful as his previous attack, Kuro is yet again capable of partially resisting the technique, and for the third time in the match, Kuro employs one of his steaming spheres, causing him to unveil his third and final beast armor: the armor of the wolf. As the most powerful of his armors, the wolf armor not only provides full immunity to Hiei's three previous attacks, but also lifts Kuro's offensive and defensive strength to even higher levels than before.
Hiei, metaphorically backed against a wall, stumbles across the bottom half of his broken sword and picks it up as if to engage in battle with it. Meanwhile, Kuro chuckles at this seemingly foolish gesture, reminding his foe of the unfaltering effects of the steaming spheres; Kuro, preparing to give his team its first semifinal victory, makes his final charge, as he sprints towards a seemingly stagnant Hiei, sinking his teeth into his apparently helpless opponent. Blood spewing everywhere, Kuwabara and Kurama , the only members of Team Urameshi (besides Hiei) present at the match, stand in horrified bewilderment as they believe their friend to be dead. However, to the crowd's amazement, it is Hiei, not Kuro, who stands victorious, as he pulls a flaming blue sword out of the torso of a dead Kuro Momotaro. In truth, Hiei had actually summoned the darkness flame, transferring the flame's energy into the previously broken sword, allowing Hiei to slice through Kuro's body multiple times before Kuro's teeth even made contact with Hiei's body.
- Steaming Spheres (奇美団子, Kibi Dango, literally translated as Strange Beautiful Sweet Dumpling): are as large as lacrosse balls and as hollow as ping-pong balls. These white spheres, when crushed and inhaled by Kuro Momotaro, provide him with one of three Beast Armors (Ape, Phoenix, and Wolf), which give him immunity to an already-exposed attack of an opponent, in addition to providing him with increased strength and evasion. During his match with Hiei, Kuro triggers three Steaming Spheres, eliciting all of his beast armors.
- Beast Armor (武獣装甲, Bujū Sōkō, literally translated as War Beast Armor): These are three suits of armor, based off of the three animals that accompanied the real Momotaro during his journey. These armors help Kuro Momotaro to memorize the attacks, pain, and any form of injury that he might suffer on any given occasion. In addition, they offer personal upgrades to his fighting skills, and heal any wounds from previous attacks he has taken.
- The Armor of the Ape (魔猿の装, Maen no Sō, literally translated as Armor of Demon Monkey, Simian Armor Pelt in Viz): It manifests as dark-brown fur, which covers most of Kuro's body, including his hair but leaving only his face, palms, torso and abdomen revealed. His ears also grow longer and pointed. With this form, he assimilates the pain and damage after cutting himself with Hiei's sword, becoming immune to the damage potential of metal-based bladed weapons. It is damaged after being hit by the Fist of the Mortal Flame.
- The Armor of the Phoenix (魔雉の装, Machi no Sō, literally translated as Armor of Demon Pheasant, Avian Armor Pelt in Viz): In this form, blue scales cover his arms, torso and abdomen, and golden, spiky wings grow out of his arms. He also exhibits red eyebrows, large, feathery golden hair, side burns and a golden goatee. With this form, he assimilates the pain and damage of Hiei's Fist of the Mortal Flame, and thus becomes protected from the flames of Ningenkai. He is also able to track Hiei's high-speed movement
- The Armor of the Wolf (魔犬の装, Maken no Sō, literally translated as Armor of Demon Dog, Canine Armor Pelt in Viz): He takes the form of a brown were-wolf, with shoulder long white hair, and razor sharp claws and teeth. This is his final and fastest form, with which he tried to bite Hiei to death; but instead gets himself killed by Hiei's Sword of the Darkness Flame, long before he ever reached close enough to bite down.
- Physical Memorization: Kuro's body physically memorizes any damage that he takes, either from an opponent or self-inflicted, as shown in his match with Hiei when he used Hiei's sword to slash his own forearm (fingers in the manga) to memorize the sharpness of his blade. Because of this ability, he can't be hurt with the same move more than once. The Steaming Spheres give Kuro the power to overcome any damage his body has memorized faster than he would normally.
- In the fairy tale, Momotaro, on his journey, first encounters an angry dog, then a nervous monkey and finally the pheasant. He calms each one of the animals down by offering them the dumplings he carried around as food. The names of the animals that Kuro Momotaro transforms into within the fight in the original Japanese version are much closer to the fairy tale compared to the ones used in the FUNimation dub which were inaccurate due to using different animal types for the naming, especially with the second and third armors.
- The second armor that Kuro uses was translated as the Phoenix armor, but no pyrokinesis was ever exhibited during its usage. The name seems to have originated from the FUNimation dub version of the anime. The translation of the armor had only implied its invulnerability against fire.
- An image depicting the original Momotaro and how he was fighting ogres, can be seen in the manga, during Kurama's match against Ura Urashima.
- In the original Japanese dialog, during Kuro's fight against Hiei, George mentions to Koenma that Momotaro had actually existed in the Yu Yu Hakusho universe, and that he in fact defeated an entire island of ogres, as the story originally mentions. However, in the FUNimation dub. version, this notion was shortened down to a mere mentioning about how Kuro's spheres reminded George of a great loss in ogre history, as they were weapons used to kill several of his ancestors.
- Kuro was the most difficult for Hiei to beat of the four matches he was in, though both Zeru and Bui were defeated by Hiei's use of the Dragon of the Darkness Flame. However, it was the only attack that could beat them and Hiei couldn't use the Dragon of the Darkness Flame against Kuro. Conversely, his teammate Makintaro was killed almost instantly.
- Kuro's power to utilize multiple animal forms is probably what inspired the Resurrección abilities for Bleach's Arrancar.
- ↑ Yu Yu Hakusho, episode 45.
- ↑ Yu Yu Hakusho, episode 45.
- ↑ Yu Yu Hakusho, episode 45.
- ↑ Yu Yu Hakusho, episode 45.
- ↑ Yu Yu Hakusho, episode 46.
- ↑ Yu Yu Hakusho, episode 45.
|e v||Team Uraotogi|
|Members:||Makintaro | Kuro Momotaro | Ura Urashima | Shishiwakamaru | Suzuki|