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Kurama Tengu

鞍馬天狗 [NHK]

In the waning days of the Tokugawa era, the imperial capital of Kyoto is rife with samurai killings carried out for duty and honor and the settling of scores while the common people cower in terror. At that time, Ono Munefusa, had been engaged in martial arts training in remote Mt. Kurama. Later, Munefusa returns to Kyoto and witnesses the bloody chaos unfolding. Feeling distressed about this world in which innocents fall victim to violence, he vows to rid the world of evildoers. When confronted with an evil he cannot tolerate, he transforms into the invincible guardian "Kurama Tengu" bestriding a white horse and striking down the forces of evil!

SERIES Episode 8 : The Assassination List – Part 2


鞍馬天狗 | 第8回 角兵衛獅子 後編 [NHK]

|Length : 43min. |Year : 2009

Pretending to be a member of the Shinsengumi, Kurata Tenzen arranges a meeting with the chamberlain of Osaka Castle in order to acquire the "Assassination List" which lists the names of those who oppose shogun rule. But as a consequence of Choshichi's tip-off, the chamberlain quickly realizes that their guest is in fact Kurama Tengu. Kurata is then seriously injured as he attempts to flee from the castle retainers. He manages to take refuge in a storehouse on the castle grounds, but finds himself under siege as retainers surround the structure. When Kondo Isami hears of this, he heads to Osaka Castle on his own in order to settle the score with Kurama Tengu man-to-man.

SERIES Episode 7 : The Assassination List – Part 1


鞍馬天狗 | 第7回 角兵衛獅子 前編 [NHK]

|Length : 43min. |Year : 2009

Kurata Tenzen comes across a pair of desperate minstrel boys, Sugisaku and his younger brother. They appear to be distraught after having lost the money they had collected that day. Kurata gives them some coins to help them out of their predicament. Sugisaku tells his master Choshichi about this, but upon hearing Sugisaku mention the name of Katsura Kogoro, who had been accompanying Kurata that night, Choshichi secretly informs the Shinsengumi about the temple that Katsura and his comrades use as a meeting place. In order to allow Katsura to flee, Kurama Tengu appears on the scene to fight off the Shinsengumi raid. And Sugisaku, impressed by the sight of the brave Kurama Tengu, physically intervenes to protect Kurama Tengu as a marksman with a pistol takes aim. Meanwhile, upon hearing of an "Assassination List" at the inn, Shiragiku hurriedly heads off to search for Kurama Tengu in order to warn him.

SERIES Episode 6 : The Geisha and the Lullaby


鞍馬天狗 | 第6回 天狗と子守歌 [NHK]

|Length : 43min. |Year : 2008

An infant is abandoned at Ikumatsu's geisha house. This child belongs to a former geisha called Ikuhama who had worked there some five years earlier and who had subsequently eloped and disappeared from the scene. Although Ikumatsu is at first rather irritated by Ikuhama's supposed act of irresponsibility, she gradually develops a soft spot for the infant and begins to dote on him. Then three samurai men turn up at the geisha house, demanding to take the baby with them. The men claim that the infant belongs to an upper vassal clan of the shogun. But a suspicious Ikumatsu turns them down and chases them out. When Kurata tracks down Ikuhama and hears her story, she reveals that the infant is caught up in a power struggle of succession and that his life is in danger.

SERIES Episode 5 : The Mysterious Cult of Assassins – Part 2


鞍馬天狗 | 第5回 山獄党奇談 後編 [NHK]

|Length : 43min. |Year : 2008

Kurama Tengu and the commander of the Shinsengumi, Kondo Isami, each become aware that some of their respective comrades have joined the Sangakuto. Kurata Tenzen meets with members of the secret group and offers to assassinate Kurama Tengu for money. Kurata then appears to cut down Kurama Tengu as the leaders of the Sangakuto watch from a distance. But this Kurama Tengu is actually a fake played by Katsura Kogoro in disguise. Kurata's ploy helps him to gain the trust of the Sangakuto leadership, enabling him to get into the secret group's hideout to rescue Shiragiku. Meanwhile, Kondo begins to suspect that the mastermind behind Sangakuto is the merchant Mishimaya.

SERIES Episode 4 : The Mysterious Cult of Assassins – Part 1


鞍馬天狗 | 第4回 山獄党奇談 前編 [NHK]

|Length : 43min. |Year : 2008

The Guardian, Kurama Tengu, is in pursuit of a mysterious group of assassins known as the Sangakuto and heads to the villa of a Buddha carver named Imamura. Here he witnesses the wealthy merchant proprietor of Mishimaya leaving the premises. Then suddenly Shiragiku is captured and held hostage by the Sangakuto, which sends a ransom note to the Kurama Tengu for the purpose of drawing him out. At the same time, another ransom note is sent to Kondo Isami, the head of the Shinsengumi. Having been brought together to the same place, the Kurama Tengu and Kondo are both attacked by the Sangakuto.

SERIES Episode 3 : The Stone Throwing Woman


鞍馬天狗 | 第3回 石礫の女 [NHK]

|Length : 43min. |Year : 2008

One night, the Shinsengumi attacks Katsura Kogoro. In order to help him, Kurata transforms into the Kurama Tengu and engages the Shinsengumi in a fight, but he finds himself suddenly under a fierce barrage of stones. The woman throwing the stones is known as Kiyo, and she was raised by bandits from childhood and trained in the art of stone throwing. She had joined the side of the Shinsengumi because of a desire to assist her lover, a member of the special police force. One day, her Shinsengumi lover is killed in a fight that had ensued from an internal conflict. As a result, she intends to commit suicide by the river. That's when Kurata appears.

SERIES Episode 2 : The Nemesis


鞍馬天狗 | 第2回 宿命の敵 [NHK]

|Length : 43min. |Year : 2008

Upon hearing that ten of his men had been cut down by the Kurama Tengu, the leader of the Shinsengumi, Kondo Isami, declares the Kurama Tengu as his nemesis. Meanwhile, Munefusa abandons his noble clan and takes the name Kurata Tenzen. Kurata saves the skin of a pickpocket named Kichibei, who, out of gratitude for saving his life, offers to help Kurata by serving as an informant. One day, Muneyuki, his uncle and the murderer of his father, is killed by a masked warrior. Muneyuki's daughter Shiragiku suspects that the culprit is the Kurama Tengu. She then pursues him in order to take revenge for her father.

SERIES Episode 1 : The Guardian Rises


鞍馬天狗 | 第1回 天狗参上 [NHK]

|Length : 43min. |Year : 2008

Munefusa's father was murdered when he was a young child. And so with young Munefusa in tow, the loyal servant Jindayu sought refuge at Mt. Kurama to engage the child in martial arts training. Twenty years hence, in his dying words, Jindayu reveals to Munefusa that his uncle Muneyuki was behind the murder of his father. Now, after having recently arrived in Kyoto, Munefusa visits Muneyuki and suddenly finds himself saved by his daughter Shiragiku from a murder plot in the night orchestrated by his uncle. Afterwards, Munefusa saves Katsura Kogoro, a leader of a faction opposed to the Tokugawa shogunate who had been pursued by the Shinsengumi special police force in Kyoto. Together with Katsura, Munefusa heads to his father's former villa which is said to be haunted by a masked demon.

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