Wars World Survey: Hideo Kanbei (Kanbei IV), Emperor of Yellow Comet - By Abalux

Kanbei
Age: 49
Height: 5'11"/1.80 m
Weight: 170 lb/77 kg
Birthplace: Imperial Palace, Takimura, Yellow Comet
Languages Known: Yellow Comet Japanese, Blue Moon Russian, Direnholmian German, Orange Star English, and Viccarian. Kanbei is more learned than he might appear to be.
Relatives of Note: Sisters Ai (60), Meiyun(57), Sakura (55), and Emiko (51), all noblewomen serving at the Imperial Palace and daughter Sonja, 18 (commander of the Imperial Reconnaissance Forces). While his wife Isa is technically no longer alive, she is still around to advise Kanbei.

Background

The current emperor of Yellow Comet, like his father and grandfather, was born on the grounds of the Imperial Palace. Hideo Kanbei was his parents' first son and the heir to the throne. He received education as such, learning both academic disciplines and the responsibilities of nobles alongside his four older sisters. This training also involved some instruction in the martial arts. While his sisters treated it as a recreational activity, young Hideo took his lessons seriously. He proved particularly talented at kendo (Japanese fencing) and kyudo (Japanese archery).
Hideo was so good at these martial arts, in fact, that he made it into the famed Eiji 'Sensei' Yamamoto's dojo on his talent alone. The dojo was on the grounds of the Imperial Palace, so he spent a lot of time there. In its prestigious training chambers, the crown prince rubbed shoulders with noble and common citizen alike. He met Kouzou Kodashi (yet to become 'Lightning Grimm') and Hachi there. The three became good friends, constantly engaged in friendly competition for Yamamoto-san's favor. Hachi soon became highly regarded in logistics. Kouzou earned his famous nickname for his bravery in training exercises. As for Hideo, he was the most steadfast and honorable devotee of bushido, the code of the old Japanese samurai. He continued his martial arts practice, broadening into the combat-applicable of kenjutsu and kyujutsu in emulation of the legendary warriors. He also began learning marksmanship and unarmed combat. Much to his, and his father's, disappointment, though, Hideo did not attain CO Powers. Grimm and Hachi did. Hideo did not benefit from this part of Yamamoto's training program, though.
Soon after the crown prince graduated from Yamamoto's training and entered the Imperial Army officer corps, Yellow Comet came under naval attack. The forces of Steinhalt had made a move against the nation's shipping routes. War was the only popular answer to this dishonorable act. While Hideo did not directly serve on the fronts of the Cosmos War, he was close enough that he could make battlefield strategy. It was at the siege of Stamsburg when he first caught the eye of Isa Soto. Isa was a fellow noble from a minor family. More importantly, she was a talented intelligence officer and tactician. Isa focused on rough-terrain combat, able to undercut her opponents' use of it. With her CO Power, she could even turn the terrain to her advantage. Isa and the crown prince worked alongside each other. They came to admire each other's competence and honor. Eventually they fell in love. Then a wonderful coincidence occurred. Isa received a letter from her parents telling her that they had arranged a marriage with the crown prince. She and he quietly celebrated. Then, after the war's end, they wed in a massive ceremony. Hideo hoped that his children would inherit his wife's powers.
Soon after the marriage, the Emperor Kamahito died. Hideo became Kanbei IV, taking his family name as his own in accordance with imperial tradition. A month later, Yamamoto-san requested the newly crowned emperor's presence at the dojo. Kanbei was never one to disobey his instructor. He came to the dojo to find his sensei alone. Yamamoto asked the crown prince to kneel before him and shut his eyes. Kanbei found this odd, but did so. He then felt the old master's hand on his head.
What happened next is murky. According to palace servants who were near the dojo at the time, they saw phantasmal samurai and heard snatches of old Japanese martial music. Then a bright flash of light blinded them. All Kanbei knows is that Yamamoto's hand felt warm on his head. Then he no longer felt it. He instead felt a great power running through him. When, fifteen minutes later, he opened his eyes, his sensei was gone'and he recognized what had happened. Yamamoto had somehow passed on his powers of inspiration to him. With experimentation, Kanbei discovered that his soldiers could withstand anything while they were under his influence. His sensei had disappeared without a trace, but he had given his favored student power in his stead. It seemed life was fine.
Sonja's birth placed a hitch into this bliss. Isa had so much trouble during delivery that the doctors said she could not have more children. Kanbei faced a decision. The imperial succession did not allow women onto the throne. He could either accept the lack of a male heir or send Isa and little Sonja back to her parents'a de facto divorce. His decision surprised everyone. Kanbei loved his wife dearly, but, most importantly, he loved his daughter. He refused to send his wife home. Indeed, he became one of the most doting fathers in imperial history, giving his obviously brilliant daughter the best tutors money could buy. Kanbei didn't understand half of the technical fields she was studying, even with Isa's explanations. Still, observing foreign events, he knew there was a technology gap. Little Sonja and Isa were helping fill it. Sonja's entry into the Orange Star International Military Academy further honed her technical and tactical abilities. Upon graduation at the unprecedented age of twelve, Sonja joined her mother at the Imperial Reconnaissance Forces. Kanbei couldn't have been prouder.
Then tragedy hit the family. One day, a coastal city reported strange ships just off shore. As head of the Imperial Reconnaissance Forces, the Empress Isa volunteered to investigate. Kanbei reluctantly allowed his wife to go. He heard nothing for six days. Then, on the seventh morning, a decimated recon squad pulled into Takimura. They reported an attack by a powerful, unknown force. The empress was not with them and they had no idea what had happened to her. Kanbei was crushed. It took Sonja's intervention to heal his heartache. Still hoping his wife was alive, the emperor returned to running his state and training his Imperial Guard.
The next attack ostensibly came from Orange Star. While Sonja had her doubts, Kanbei was certain that Orange Star had done it. He was ready for Andy's forces when they entered his nation in pursuit of Olaf's Blue Moon battalion. When he was defeated, Kanbei felt utterly humiliated. Because of his lost honor, he allowed Sonja to test and trail Orange Star when he normally wouldn't have. When Sturm kidnapped her, Kanbei ran to his daughter's rescue. There was no sign of his wife in Sturm's installation. Still, he kept up the search for Isa.
The Macro Land conflict finally gave the Kanbei family what they had been searching for: Isa's location. After the detonation of Sturm's missile base, Imperial Guard soldiers were seen carrying a large rectangular object toward the Yellow Comet field base. This officially didn't happen. Only Yellow Comet's COs knew the truth. It was an advanced supercomputer that had a rather unusual file on it: the empress Isa, now an AI. They transported the computer to the Imperial Reconnaissance Forces' base. There, after ensuring that this AI was really her mother, Sonja called Kanbei in for a tearful reunion. He learned that Isa had lost her physical body to one of Lash's devices. It had somehow transferred the empress' CO Power to the young Black Hole scientist. This confirmed Sonja's suspicions that Lash had stolen her mother's powers. Isa told her husband and daughter that Black Hole would likely attack again. She offered to provide intelligence and train Sonja in her trademark terrain manipulation. Sonja accepted.
As a result of his wife's return, Kanbei did not participate in the Omega Land conflict. Instead, he claimed the empress Isa had died and presided over her funeral. He was not comfortable with the lie. Since he wasn't sure if the people of Yellow Comet would accept a disembodied empress, though, both of them agreed that it was for the best. Kanbei now spends much of his free time with his wife. Sonja's computer technicians constantly observe him and help him with the mysterious computer, and Isa projects a more reassuring 3D image of herself to better deal with her husband. She missed Kanbei as much as he missed her. Additionally, they are both grateful that she is free.

Personality

The emperor of Yellow Comet is traditionally treated as the embodiment of the imperial dynasty, hence the tradition of using only the Kanbei surname as their names. The current Kanbei lives up to this practice. Indeed, nearly all of Yellow Comet's people consider him equal to his father in honor, nobility, and integrity. The amazing thing is that Kanbei lives up to their expectations. His devotion to the country and the tenets of samurai honor is unequaled. Much like Javier of Viccario, the emperor uses his code of honor as the basis of his character.
The difference between Kanbei and Javier is a matter of modernity. Unlike Javier, Kanbei has trouble dealing with technology beyond simple appliances. Even the remote on the Imperial Palace's television gives him difficulty (which is why Sonja handles the clicker). It becomes even worse when computers become involved. One of Kanbei's deepest secrets involves his first time using Sonja's computer. Through a series of random key presses and mouse clicks, he somehow managed to crash all of Yellow Comet's net servers. Sonja had to clean up the mess. As his code demanded, Kanbei owned up to his error, and Sonja now refuses to let him use computers unsupervised.
An additional problem is that Kanbei's devotion to being a good warrior and leader makes him hyper-focused. He deals with political situations well, if in a rather direct manner. When it comes to less important matters, however, such as where his sock drawer is, Kanbei can become confused. It's a good thing Sonja is patient.

Combat Abilities

Kanbei might be the most well rounded combatant on Wars World. While Grit is a better shot, Eagle and Sami are arguably better martial artists, and Javier might be a better swordsman, the emperor of Yellow Comet is incredibly effective in all three types of self-defense. It says a lot about the emperor's discipline that he can maintain his skills while running his nation and training his soldiers. This renowned discipline makes every kendo and kenjutsu school in Yellow Comet want Kanbei's favor... and forestalls assassination attempts. Once, and only once, a potential assassin broke through Sonja's copious security planning and charged the emperor with a knife. Kanbei had him disarmed and in an arm lock before even his bodyguards could react. Once was enough to dissuade imitators.
Kanbei is not only a skilled combatant. He is also a fair hand at strategy and tactics, with his only potential impediment being bushido. No matter what happens on the battlefield, Kanbei will not act dishonorably. Sometimes this has caused him to ignore Sonja's tactical advice. Most of the time, though, his CO Powers make up for any difficulties caused by his dedication to his code. The Imperial Guard is nearly invincible while inspired by its emperor. In addition, unlike the assault troops led by Grimm, it retains discipline under his powers' effects, cementing this elite force's fearsome reputation.

Relationships

Kanbei's strongest relationship is, of course, with his daughter Sonja. Before he found out what happened to Isa, she was his one physical reminder of his wife. He is also incredibly proud of her genius and military brilliance. (Granted, Kanbei doesn't understand half of what she says about computers, but he is happy to have someone skillful with them in his family.) When Sturm captured her, Kanbei immediately dropped all other business to travel to the Black Hole commander's base and come to her rescue. Kanbei's love for Sonja is so strong that he is about to do something normally unthinkable: break imperial tradition yet again. He realizes that, to become fully involved in the world, Yellow Comet must advance technologically. He is also wise enough to know that he cannot lead his nation in doing so. Tradition be damned'Sonja will be the first empress of Yellow Comet.
Kanbei also treats Sensei and Grimm as if they were part of his family. Sensei plays the role of respected elder and mentor, which is rather accurate. Kanbei rarely questions his former instructor's advice. After all, the venerable general only recently returned, and he doesn't want to give him reasons to leave. He treats Grimm as a younger brother. Sometimes his admonishments on discipline get on the outspoken commander's nerves, but the two generally get along well. They each have the warrior spirit (albeit with differing variations).
His relationships with foreigners are somewhat minimal: they rarely understand the honor integral to bushido. This is particularly true with Olaf, who Kanbei is still angry with over the first conflict with Sturm. (The only thing that keeps Kanbei from sending his soldiers across the Kita Straight and into Blue Moon is the predicted amount of casualties.) Javier and, strangely enough, Drake, are his best foreign friends.
Kanbei has kept track of Javier as much as the king of Viccario has kept track of him. He recently received a MAPS challenge from his fellow monarch. Checking his records, the emperor realized he had never visited Yellow Comet's sister nation. He is heading to Viccario to accept the challenge face to face. Unfortunately, Kanbei sent the announcement of his trip through e-mail, and it didn't make it to Javier's address. (Sonja is going to be angry when she finds her inbox full of Viccarian Sausage Company advertisements.)
As for Drake, Kanbei found his bravery in the Macro Land conflict incredible'especially for a former pirate, considered an incredibly dishonorable profession in Yellow Comet. Then he learned what had happened to Drake's family. Kanbei sympathized with the man who has lost his wife and, as far as he knew, all of his blood children (after all, the emperor of Yellow Comet still had Sonja) to Black Hole. The two of them become unlikely but good friends. Kanbei has even hosted Drake at the Imperial Palace during his family leave and met the admiral's surviving son.

Next Survey: Sonja

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