Chikage Kushinada (櫛灘 千影 Kushinada Chikage) is a YOMI member, the disciple of Mikumo Kushinada and a first year student at Koryou High School who is a Japanese child prodigy that practices Kushinada style jujutsu.
Chikage is a young girl with long black hair that she has tied on one side down to her upper back in the front and long fringe in the front of her face. She is usually seen wearing her school uniform and, like Mikumo, she has a melancholy face. However, when around Kenichi and his friends and getting to know them better, she shows more emotions. In her "Child Mode" she shows more emotions of an innocent and cute girl who is obsessed with sweets and acts like a normal girl her age when she has fun.
Most of the time, Chikage displays a melancholic face in YOMI and seems to be a loner who doesn't socialize with the other members. When in public, she sees herself as normal, despite being a prodigy, and others as inferior, similar to the views of fellow YOMI member Radin Tidat Jihan. Chikage is described by Miu Fūrinji as being the same as she was when she was Chikage's age and Miu says this because Chikage's eyes are the same as hers back when she was young, although she says that Hayato Fūrinji (Chikage's grandfather) took her on his trip of "justice" to prevent Miu from going down the wrong path because her ki is Dou, which causes her to grow dangerous urges to kill within her. Miu believes that only she can stop Chikage from going down the Satsujinken path because she understands Chikage the most because of their similar past.
Later, it is revealed that she has a really big sweet tooth (due to being denied sweets because of her special Jujitsu training) and, after much interaction with Kenichi Shirahama and his friends, develops a child personality, which she switches to when she tries to have fun. When with her master, she switches to "Yami Mode" and becomes a cold-blooded fighter. Though she is highly knowledgable, she tends to be naive and lacking in common sense.
She at first displayed desire to kill Kenichi, but over time saw him as a friend and even showed concern for his well being. She also became heavily embarrased after forgetting her fight with Kenichi that, for a time, she ran away from at every opportunity. It is heavily implied that she is starting to become "normal," shown when, after chapter 365, her eyes have lost their cold and emotionless look at school and she tries various methods to act her age. Haruo Niijima, whom she appeared to have developed a certain bond (that was mostly due to Niijima exploiting her naive nature and baiting Chikage in with whatever he says) with, has also begun considering the idea of making her a member of Shinpaku Alliance.
Due to her interactions with the first real friends Chikage has ever made, it has caused her to become unable to kill when ordered to do so by her master, as shown when she attempted to kill Ukita numerous times, stating it was fun with him and Kenichi that she wanted to kill them quickly so they wouldn't have to suffer, but her body isn't responding normally and can't kill him despite having thrown him so many times. Ukita stated it's because her heart won't allow her to do so, knowing of the good in her.
Chikage is revealed to be incredibly naive, despite her profound knowledge in many areas. For example, she believed that though a seed takes four months to bloom, if she planted a seed 4 months old, it would bloom the day after tomorrow. Kenichi corrects her about this, but Chikage murmurs to herself that there is 'no time.
After her break down the last time in battle it seem se have gotten colder as she when she fought the Shinpaku Alliance without hesitation, second thought or remorse. However, after hearing the Elder's words reach her, she seems to have snapped back to her senses again. Also, she seem to have developed a sense of honor as she refused to let the armed YOMI to gang on Shinpaku Alliance and went so far as to stop them herself. She stated that she is doing that for the honor of her master.
Following Boris's defeat and desertion, Chikage gains admission into the school normally, since she is not a foreign transfer student, unlike the other four YOMI members. She plays a quick game of Go against a teacher and easily beats him.
Chikage later meets up with Niijima, who challenged her to a guessing game. Niijima managed to win her lunch, but this caused Kenichi and Miu to beat him down and return her food. She refused it, since Niijima won it, and tried to leave, but not before revealing her true nature to Miu. Kenichi tried to become her friend by telling her interesting facts about plants, which she found little interest in.
Kenichi is also aware of her YOMI membership and is trying to win her over to their side without resorting to fights. She calls Kenichi 'Bandaid' (Bansōkō in Japanese) and never calls him by his given name. While she tells her master that she is eager to kill him, this seems to change slightly as she started a flower bed and was upset about Kenichi trying to water it. She started to remember her master saying emotions lead to distraction and thinking about all that has happened.
It is implied that her family uses special experiments to slow down their aging process to the point where her master, who is one of the oldest among the One Shadow Nine Fists, appears to be one of the youngest, though it is not shown how. It is also implied that Chikage's diet might have something to do with the slowed aging of the Kushinada, especially since she is enamored with sweet foods like cakes and candies upon her introduction to them, as if she wasn't ever allowed to have them before. Further support of this idea involves how she nervously hid the sweet-food menu she had from her master, and acts surprised and quiet when people notice her sweet tooth. Miu tries to get to know her better and have her open up, but Chikage points out Miu is doing exactly what she's doing by wearing fake glasses and braiding her hair in a certain way just so she won't show off. The next day however, Chikage is surprised to see Miu no longer wearing her glasses and lets her hair fall freely in an effort to show her true self.
She tries to hand what seems to be a letter of challenge to Kenichi, but is interrupted when Miu takes the letter from her. Kenichi, however, takes the letter back and declares that though the most ideal situation would be becoming friends with her, in the case where that is not possible, the next best choice would be to fight. However, on the eve of the battle, she is lured away to a party of a classmate with the promise of cake (going into a "Child Mode"), a plan of Niijima to void the potentially risky battle. Having been tricked away from direct confrontation with Kenichi, Chikage loses her right to battle for the title of the Strongest Disciple and has become very embarrassed at meeting Kenichi and began avoiding him for some time. She punished herself for losing the opportunity by pinching herself, but is stopped by Cyril Rahman. Her master said that Chikage would have no problem beating Kenichi, but even if there was a 1/10000 chance of losing, her heart will start to open. She is currently training with her master and seems a little distracted, maybe because she is starting to change a little bit mentally and emotionally, much like her master feared. Her master is currently trying to harden her heart even more and even crushed flowers that she tried to pick and study.
She was present at Kenichi and Ethan's fight as a witness. However, it is clearly evident that she is starting to question the Killing Fist philosophy and becoming more and more intrigued with the Saving Fist philosophy and with Kenichi himself, though she doesn't want to admit any such thing. She tends to hide her budding friendship with Kenichi with seemingly hostile retorts and reactions. For example, when Kenichi couldn't properly extend his hand to her in gratitude for her information due to a pressure point injury by Pollux, Chikage notices and shouts "Don't touch me you filthy Saving Fist!" while closing the distance and striking at his injured arm in a flurry. Immediately afterward, Kenichi notices that he had recovered mobility of the limb.
She was later convinced to attend a festival with Kenichi and his friends (after being lied to by Haruo that they served cotton candy made from clouds and chocolate bananas grown from chocolate banana trees) and was obviously delighted at the taste of cotton candy and was apparently having fun playing various games with Honoka. She also wins a pet goldfish, which she names Ginsuke. However, midway through the festival she leaves to fight a challenge from Yami's weapon divison and afterwards, it is noted by Kenichi that she has become colder again.
Notably, however, she tried to show Kenichi where to attack so that he could successfully give the Akabanetou to Sai Kagerou, all the while trying to hide it from her master. She tells Kenichi that the world that she lives in is too dark, only to have Kenichi extend his hand out to her asking her to come over to his side.
Chikage is later seen, in her naive state, following the Shinpaku Alliance (minus Thor, Sieg and Freya) as they make a stand for themselves at the absence of the Ryozanpaku Masters. Apparently, while selecting a good book from the library to spend some time reading, she overheard them talking about "solving cases", and opted to join them, much to Niijima's delight. While following them to Detective Honmaki's home, they found that he was being assaulted by members from Yami's Armed Division. In their attempt to rescue the officer, Chikage ends up aiding Ukita at throwing off one of the Armed Division memebers, but did so in a discreet manner. A weapon member tries to attack Chikage but is blocked by Ukita, he doesn't hesitate to allow a blade to injure his hand in the process. Even with the injury, Ukita manages to create his own move: Arashi Guruma. Ukita's selflessness seems to shock Chikage. After defeating the enemies, Ukita thanks her but she tries to deny anything doing with him and they all go to regroup with the others. However, the congressman is revealed to be a Yami member named Ishida and he blocks their path. Rather than not doing anything, Chikage surprisingly assists them in fighting Ishida. However, they are all saved by Sakaki and he defeats Ishida and they all go home afterwards.
After hearing of Miu's capture by Silkwat Junazard, Chikage attempts to show sympathy by giving Kenichi little chocolates on his desk but seems to embarrassed to say anything to him, but Kenichi thanks her nonetheless.
Chikage, as noted by Niijima, hasn't been coming to school as much due to Jenazad's death. However, she would return later and started returning since YOMI isn't going to make a move yet and sat on Ukita's lap with Niijima stating she comes to the Shinpaku Alliance to refresh her heart. She comes again later, but with Rachel for company. She hangs out with Ukita till she's forced to leave from getting a message from YOMI and looks back at Ukita rather dark like with Ukita noting she looks like a doll. She arrives with the other members in front of Mikumo and stops a shuriken from hitting her to show how good she is.
She is then called back with Hermit and Rachel as Mikumo pairs them with Berserker and Lugh as she sends them to kill Kenichi and his friends. She later arrives at the amusement park with the other YOMI members. At night, Chikage arrives in front of Kisara and Shiratori. She easily sends Shiratori flying stating small fries should stay out of it and fights Kisara and easily manuvers out of Kisara's attacks prompting Kisara to note how good she is but warns her she won't hold back against a kid. They continue to fight as Chikage gets distracted by Miu's and Rimi's fight prompting Kisara to take advantage only for Chikage to throw her to the ground. Unfortunately, Ukita arrives and questions why Chikage is here which results in her grabing his shirt and pounds him to the ground. With an emotionless face, Chikage says it was fun but now has to kill him.
As Ukita is left severly injured and Kisara still attempts to attack her only for Chikage to throw her away. She tells Ukita he and Kenichi did a lot of things for her, and for that she planned to kill them with one blow so they wouldn't suffer. However, she notes it's strang and no matter how many times she throws him, she can't put her weight into it, while having a lone tear in her eye. As Ukita tries to tell her why, she refuses to listen and throws him again to the ground, but again he's alright, causing an angry Kisara to attack again, but Chikage throws her away also. As Kisara gets up and tells Freya not to interfere, she states she's now felt like she found a breakthrough with her balance as a martial artist, Chikage attempts to also end this.
As the battle continues, Chikage makes easy work of Kisara and Ukita. Kisara begs her to stop or else Ukita really will die from her attacks. Just then, Chikage has an epiphany with her inner Karma (whom she refers to as Karma-sama) and tells her about right from wrong and, having a flashback of Kenichi showing her the good about friendship, causes her to finally regain her senes. With her senses back to normal, Chikage bursts into massive tears after realizing what she did to Ukita and Kisara, prompting her master to knock her out while lamenting she didn't break her enough. She then takes Chikage away with the intent to mold her into a cold blooded killer.
Chikage was later seen with her fellow Yomi members preparing for the upcoming battles. She engages in an argument along with Boris against the armed division till Kajima stops them from fighting further. She is later gathered along with her fellow Yomi members led by Kajima for the upcoming battle.
She was later seen with the rest of YOMI (minus Kajima) facing the Shinpaku Alliance. After Kenichi, Miu and Niijima escape, she and the other disciples charge the Shinpaku Alliance.
As she and her unarmed YOMI members stand on the sidelines, Hyougo asks if the Yomi from the unarmed group are really not joining in, reminding them that their masters ordered them to not anybody escape. He asks Chikage in particular and she concurs, as she prepares to participate in the battlefield. It reveal by Lugh that she was being brainwashed by her master.
Chikage grabs Takeda and throws him over Edeltraft's disciple, whose strike is blocked by Takeda's armguards. Chikage runs towards Ukita's direction and he prepares to fight but she simply runs past him and heads towards Thor's direction. She kicks Thor behind his knee causing him to lose balance and giving the female kodachi disciple an opening to stab Thor in the thigh. Chikage heads towards Kisara next and catches her in her blind spot, launching Kisara in the air. Kisara is able to deflect the arrows from Mildred's disciple but takes a direct hit from Siegmarigen's scythe.However, after receive the might of the eider, she enter her true sense again and remember what herself is. Chikage threw weapon's YOMI with anger and question
Over at the masters' battlefield Mikumo is telling Chikage to return to their strategy of overwhelming the Katsujinken and to follow her order. Chikage replies that in the time she spent in Kōryō High School she has learned that there are times when going against someone's will works out for their sake; she has decided that fighting unfairly will end up ruining their pride as fighters and so Chikage is doing what she feels is right, adding that Kenichi has showed her that path.
Once the armed division starts to work together, Chikage states that the armed division is better accustomed to group combat than they are and with Hyougo's leadership would be effective in combat despite their personalities clashing. Tanimoto notes that the enemy has formed a strong formation, placing the armored warriors (Rin's and Marmaduke's disciples) at the front while having the ranged fighters (Mildred's and Raki's disciples) at the back. While Siegfried comments on the difficulty of breaking through Berserker charges toward the enemy group. Chikage tells Ukita to stay close as she will protect him as payment for treating her to dessert and as Takeda tells the fighters that they need to work together, another voice answers that they will also join the fight.
A soldier charges towards Ukita but Kisara wakes up and defeats him before Chikage can reach the opponent. It is revealed that Shigure also gave Kisara a chain vest along with her arm guards, as she is a close-range fighter. Kisara aims a kick at Ukita in embarrassment as she is not wearing anything underneath the chain vest, but Chikage deflects the kick scolds Kisara as Ukita has been protecting her while she was unconscious. Kisara promises to return the debt to Ukita as she and Chikage fight off the approaching soldiers.
They all defeat the masters as after the armed forces retreat, they celebrate their victory.
EpiloqueEditIn the Epiloque, Chikage has grown much taller (much to her delight), but she has not heard anything from her master since her dissapearance from the Eternal Sunset, but she does continue her training but alone. However, Haruo Niijima stated she has become much more open and happier and kinder to others now that her master isn't corrupting her anymore.
While being the youngest member of YOMI, Chikage is by no means weak as she's proven to be very strong for her age being able to take on fully grown men twice her size and weight with little effort and hold her own against master-class opponents for a brief time. A very perceptive master named Akisame Kōetsuji noted she's a prodigy in several things, stating she can become a master in a short time.
- Genius Intellect: Chikage is a child prodigy with profound knowledge in many areas where she has shown herself to be a very keen observer and powerful analyst, able to quickly understand the nature of a person's character. However, while having extensive textbook knowledge, her understanding in regular life is very limited. As her knowledge is very general and the fact that she has very little experience outside of her training, she can be incredibly naive, such as when she believed that though a seed takes four months to bloom, if she planted a seed 4 months old it would bloom the day after tomorrow. As revealed by Chikage herself, Chikage has a photographic memory and perfect recall as she has been keeping records of everything she encounters in school and from the Shinpaku Alliance in her head rather than on text.
- Innate Talent: In addition to her sharp mind, Chikage's talent also extends to her physical performance. Despite her age, Chikage has shown immense proficiency in the Kushinada Ju-jitsu, able to defeat opponents far bigger then herself in height, muscle mass and size with relative ease. She is also able to deflect numerous swords hung upside down and come out with only one scratch, with her master saying she was distracted.
- Enhanced Strength: Despite her small size, Chikage has great physical strength, having hurled full-grown men twice her size with ease and tossed someone as large as Kōzō Ukita several times like he was nothing. Chikage is able to throw four members of the Disciple's of the Hachiō Executioner Blade.
- Enhanced Agility: Chikage is able to reach high and long distances such as jumping off the ground and getting to the roof of the school. When fighting Kisara Nanjō, she was able to easily outmaneuver her and even move at a speed that looked as if she made clones of herself.
- Keen Senses: Akisame Kōetsuji makes note of the rumors he heard about a genius ju-jitsu martial artist, proved to be Chikage, whose greatest skill in Ju-jitsu was her ability to instantaneously recognize an opponent's center of gravity, a feat he considers miraculous.
- Mikumo Kushinada: Mikumo is Chikage's master and her step-mother. Mikumo takes great interest in her skills and her desire to walk her down the path of killing. Nontheless, Mikumo cares for her very much, but is more than willing to do what she wants for her rather than what Mikumo wishes her to.
- Kenichi Shirahama: Despite her being in YOMI, Kenichi greatly cares for Chikage and has a desire to bring her out of the darkness. Kenichi told Miu that he views her as a little sister due to her age. Though Chikage occasionally doesn't think much of Kenichi and sees him as her enemy and called him "band aid" in the beginning, she's gradually shown more of a caring side towards him and beginning to view him as a friend. However, it is clearly evident that she is starting to question the Killing Fist philosophy and becoming more and more intrigued with the Saving Fist philosophy and with Kenichi himself, though she doesn't want to admit any such thing. She tends to hide her budding friendship with Kenichi with seemingly hostile retorts and reactions. When in her "Child Mode" she's more friendly towards Kenichi. By the time Miu was kidnapped by Junazard, she's become much closer to him, actually showing sympathy towards Kenichi's condition and wishing to help him anyway she can by giving him some candy.
- Miu Fūrinji: Miu and Chikage are rivals in a sense as Miu wanted to fight her in Kenichi's place due to his refusal to hurt women. When Miu told her to be her true self when she saw her love for sweets, Chikage repremanded her for doing the exact thing she's doing by wearing fake glasses and braiding her hair a certain way. Miu, realizing she was right and wanting to prove a point, came to school without her usual look, surprising Chikage. Later on, Chikage has started to see Miu as much as a friend as she does to Kenichi, however, they are still tense towards eachother when Chikage eats with Kenichi at lunch, much to Miu's jealousy. She did threaten Chikage if she ever hurt Kenichi she would regret it, causing Chikage to react surprised and pleased. When Miu was kidnapped by Junazard, Chikage was sad and later happy she returned home safely.
- Haruo Niijima: Chikage has a strong connection towards Niijima, as Niijima is very manipulative towards her childishness and easily puts her in situations she wants such as birthday parties with candy. He constantly fills her head with ideas and having fun for her age. Regardless, Niijima does really care for her and even wants to consider her an honarary member of the Shinpaku Alliance
- Kōzō Ukita: Chikage gets along well with Ukita, as Ukita, like Kenichi, views her like a little sister. He's the only one to try to invite her with the other Shinpaku members having invited her to the candy shop and even bought her candy, something she was grateful for. She seems to care enough for him to help him fight the armed Yami members and was surprised when Ukita defended her from an attack. She later helped him name his first move, calling it the Arashi Guruma. However, at the amusement park, Ukita was left attacked by an emotionless Chikage stating he needs to die. Despite this claim, Chikage is unable to kill him, which left a battered Ukita to state it's cause of her bond with him and her friends. However, Ukita seem very angry and tear when she cause Kisara Nanjō, his love interest, to get fatal blow from Siegmarigen.
- Ginsuke: Ginsuke is her pet fish that she got at the festival, which she likes a lot and takes care of.
- The name Chikage means "thousand" (千) (chi) and "shadow" (影) (kage).
- Chikage's surname Kushinada means "comb" (櫛) (kushi) and "open sea" (灘) (nada).