Wooden mechanism attached to his fist
|Type:||Power (WO2, 4)|
|First Appearance:||Warriors Orochi 2 PSP|
武蔵坊弁慶 or 武藏坊辨慶
June 15, 1189
|The historical and fictional spellings for Musashibō suggests that it is likely a title rather than a personal name. His famous name would be roughly translated as "Benkei, the Monk of Musashi".|
Benkei (弁慶) is famously known as Yoshitsune Minamoto's devoted companion in myths and folklore. Often heralded as a warrior monk of peerless strength and stature, Benkei has been fabled to be loyal to Yoshitsune into the afterlife.
- 1 Role in Games
- 2 Character Information
- 3 Quotes
- 4 Gameplay
- 5 Weapons
- 6 Historical Information
- 7 Japanese Folklore
- 8 Gallery
- 9 Trivia
Role in Games
"This Benkei is like a new Lu Bu!"
- ~~Dong Zhuo; Warriors Orochi 2
Benkei hails from the same world as Yoshitsune but the two got separated in the world created by Orochi. A collector of fine weapons, he desires to add more additions to gallery while he is searching for his friend. During his travels, he meets Himiko and Da Ji, the latter promising to quench his wish for weapons if he helped her in battle. Unwittingly serving in the Orochi army, he eventually finds Yoshitsune, who is upset to see his friend join forces with the villainous Da Ji. Due to the misunderstanding, Benkei is forced to defend himself from Yoshitsune.
He teams up with Yoshitsune and Kiyomori in an additional dream stage. They represent warriors from the Katakura period in a battle against the later era of Japan. Benkei remarks that he used the battle as a chance to obtain weapons from their opponents and is overwhelmed by the bounty he tries to carry.
Learning from his past error for siding with the Orochi forces, Benkei breaks ties with them in Warriors Orochi 3 and wanders with Zuo Ci. He hopes to one day be forgiven by Yoshitsune, a wish that comes true when the monk assists the coalition at Anegawa. Grateful to be accepted by his previous master, Benkei once again swears his allegiance to him. Later, the monk is ordered to search for more allies. While Benkei wants to use the opportunity to add rare weapons to his collection, he is quickly impressed by Yueying's contraptions at Tedorigawa. Both he and Yueying share a mutual fascination in their respective weapons, an interest which leads to her joining the coalition.
In Ultimate, Benkei has joined Shu, and is part of their scouting party at Mt. Niutou. The Shu forces are deceived by a fake Pang Tong into attacking the Wei army. He is also given a new scenario with Zuo Ci and Ryu, detailing their perspective of Anegawa and how they were able to sneak through Kiyomori's defenses.
Still his lord's faithful companion in Warriors Orochi 4, Benkei and Yoshitsune were rescued by Da Ji and the demon army and served them in gratitude despite Kiyomori's presence. Together with the Demon army, the pair would resist the Coalition on numerous occasions as part of their alliance with Odin.
When Orochi X is killed by Orochi, who is then put down by the Coalition, Da Ji and the demon army finally put an end to their fun and join the humans in order to avoid being destroyed by Yggdrasil. Benkei and Yoshitsune, bound by honor, also follow suit.
During one of the DLC scenarios, Yoshitsune is eventually unable to put up with fighting beside his nemesis and, he and Benkei temporarily break away from the demons at Itsukushima-Chengdu in order to challenge Kiyomori to a duel. With help from both Cao Cao and Motonari, Yoshitsune gets his wish, but the in-fighting of his allies only attracts Odin. After defeating the god, Benkei and Yoshitsune return back to their service of the demon army.
Benkei's soul is freed by the protagonist in Toukiden after they defeat the Chthonian Fiend, and he thanks him/her during his/her dream. In his previous life, he was prepared to fight to the death for Master Kurou. Before hundreds of arrows could pierce his flesh, the demon appeared and devoured him. Benkei regrets his failure to protect his lord from danger. Aware of the protagonist's wish to prevent another "Oomagadoki", Benkei explains that Nakatsu Kuni is currently a world filled with unnatural time distortions created by demons; defeating the main source of the demons' power will send the souls of the past, present, and future back to their rightful state. He vows to be with them until the end.
The Genghis Khan series has Benkei appear as a playable general in Japan. He is often seen beside Yoshitsune at all times -unless he randomly dies in battle or due to illness. Benkei's strongest asset is his above-average war stat. Since his other stats are below average, it may be best for the monk to stick to war rather than domestic affairs. In the fourth title, he is at his best when leading foot soldiers into battle.
He is one of many secret characters in the PlayStation 2 version of Nobunaga's Ambition: Iron Triangle. He can be unlocked as Created Officer after completely clearing the game's Challenge Modes and, like other Created Officers, he will only appear if the player allows him to be enabled. Benkei is at his best within foot soldiers or navy units and is average with all other unit types. Since his intelligence and political ratings are low, he should be reserved as an offensive military unit.
Fearless and brave, Benkei is a hot blooded guy who wants to get in the action. He is relatively impatient with others but has a good eye for weapons. Confident in his abilities, he states that taking his opponents' weapons is a trade; he beats them and takes their weapon in exchange for their lives. He remains unaware of the war with Orochi and merely wants to find Yoshitsune again. After he clashes with his friend, Benkei is confused by Yoshitsune's outburst and wonders what could have gotten into him. Himiko, who gradually warmed up to him, sympathizes with him and tries to cheer him up. Benkei appreciates her concerns but mispronounces her name at times, calling her "Himako" or "Humuko".
In the third installment, Benkei is still warm towards both Da Ji and Himiko, but is more wary with the former given how she deceived him. He is perplexed by Yueying's juggernauts, and hopes to see the machines in action more often, but he is reluctant to relinquish his weapon temporarily to sate her curiosity. He gains a new friendship with Xu Huang and Zuo Ci in this installment as well. In the fourth installment, he enjoys contending with Dian Wei over how loyal they are to their lords, though Dian Wei finds the former monk's obsession over collecting weapons to be too eccentric. Due to his overadmiration for the Green Dragon Crescent Blade, he ends up having tension with Guan Yu, though he eventually decides that while the weapon is unique, it's only place is with the general rather than being a part of the collection.
Two of his weapons for his Warriors appearance are names Benkei is associated with in folktales. His second puppet hand is named after his childhood name, Oniwaka. His father named him this due to his son's reportedly monstrous appearance and growth spurt. Benkei's appearance as a child is what originally drove him away from living in his home. Benkei's third weapon is named after his famous naginata, Iwatooushi.
Amenotajikarao forms the namesake for his fourth weapon. He is known as a god of power and strength in Japanese mythology.
- Travis Willingham - Warriors Orochi 2 PSP (English-uncredited)
- Junichi Suwabe - Warriors Orochi series (Japanese)
- Jūrōta Kosugi - Yoshitsune ~Ouka no Omoukage~ drama CD
- Kouki Miyata - Harukanaru Toki no Naka de 3
- Taketora - Nioh 2
- Mangetsu no Shizuku wa Biyaku
- Ajisai no Zanmu de Aimashou
- Shiosai wa Shougai no Soumonka ni...
- Reirou no Kakugo yo
- Unmei no Tsuki wa Kurenai - trio with Hinoe and Atsumori
- Hakuchuumu to Mijikayo no Ketsumatsu wa
- Tokiwa no Tsuki
- Himeyakana Omowaku
Live Action Performers
- Kaiki Ōhara - Butai Harukanaru Toki no Naka de 3 Izayoiki
- Bodyguard - Makai ~Hoshi to Umi no Hangeki~, Makai ~Fukkatsu to Yabou Revival and Vision~
- See also: Benkei/Quotes
- "Thank you for your Valentine's Day gift last month. This is my modest gift to you. Celebrating these occasions is fun. (chuckles) Perhaps I should make you chocolate too next year, since I would enjoy having you teach me how to do it."
- "I have no interest in those who are not aware of their place in history. Begone."
- "Benkei doesn't like philosophy. He prefers giving people a good pounding!"
- ~~Motochika and Benkei; Warriors Orochi 2 PSP
- "Oh, what a huge weapon you have there. I think I'll be taking it off you!"
- "Hahaha, I didn't think anyone would get excited for this old thing!"
- ~~Benkei and Keiji; Musou OROCHI Z
- "May I ask, why do you steal weapons from people?"
- "Out of mercy, I guess. Instead of taking their lives, I take their weapons."
- "And I took you for a rash fool. To my surprise, perhaps you do have great potential."
- ~~Zuo Ci and Benkei; Warriors Orochi 3
- "Hahaha, Dian Wei. You're pretty strong, aren't you? I'd say maybe the second strongest, just behind me!"
- "Gah, whatever you say. How's your collecting weapons going, anyway?"
- "Not too bad. To be honest, though, I'm just not really feeling collecting enemy weapons at the moment."
- "Ah-ha. Because your allies already have such a fabulous collection, right?"
- "Gah! I hate to say it, but you've hit the nail on the head. I can't even fight you guys for them! What's going on here? Am I being punished?"
- "Don't ask me! Honestly, Benkei. You're like a demon in battle, but you're really quite the oddball."
|Keys:||Normal Attack •||Charge Attack •||Musou •||Jump/Mount|
- : Throws a firework bomb forward. Stuns enemies in range.
- , : Hops and drills himself underneath the ground like the Sky Ninja from Samurai Warriors. Players can control where he will appear a few seconds later, where he can continuously damage targets as he nears them with the rocky formations he creates while submerged. He emerges with a rising uppercut.
- , , : Turns his back to his foe and retracts his gauntlet hand for a flame thrower. He uses its forward thrust to propel himself forward. Hits enemies in range of the flame thrower and people facing Benkei's back. Lets Beneki gain a quick getaway.
- , , , : Retracts his gauntlet hand for a flail. Swings the flail for one revolution before smashing it on the ground in front of him.
- , , , , : Detaches his gauntlet hand forward via a rope stored within his weapon, grabbing anyone in its range. If he captures someone, he haves his hand come back to him with the enemy in tow. He performs a handstand with them in his hands before throwing them forward.
- , , , , , : Retracts his gauntlet hand for a flamethrower. Sets the ground in front of him ablaze, stunning opponents within range.
- , , , , , , : Retracts his gauntlet hand for his cannon. Shoots a burst of wind forward.
- , , , , , , , : Retracts his gauntlet hand for a flail. Hops into the air and launches onto the top of the screen, swinging like an action hero. Lands on his back, creating a large impact on the ground.
- , : Wide downwards swipe.
- , : While in the air, he retracts his gauntlet hand for his cannon and shoots a single cannonball forward. After it hits, he plummets to smash his feet onto the ground.
- : Retracts his gauntlet hand for his flail and smashes the ground with it. Ends with a pose to create a shockwave. In his true musou version, he finishes the move with three additional punches.
- R1: Benkei hurls the weapons stolen from the enemy army to hit his opponents. They hover in a line parallel to the ground before they smash the ground in front of Benkei, creating a splash effect. If unique generals were defeated before he uses the move, their weapons will briefly be seen during the technique. Deals greater damage if all weapons hit a single target.
- Triple Attack 1: Slams the floor with enough might to cause a minor quake.
- Triple Attack 2: Triggers a powerful impact near the user.
- Triple Attack 3: Fiercely punches the ground, causing it to tremble through sheer force.
- Warriors Orochi 3
Character type changed from Power to Technique. Gains the ability to sidestep and step-cancel, along with a new Type Action.
- R1: Stomps the ground in a stylish fashion similar to a kabuki dancer, causing a quake that lasts a while longer in terms of its lingering hitbox.
- , R1 (Ultimate only): Dives beneath the earth, leaving trails of rocks along the way before leaping up back to the surface. Works similar to his C2 in terms of mechanics.
- :horse smashes the ground with their front hoofs. A running horse will perform a long jump instead.
- , : Retracts his gauntlet hand to drop a flail to his right.
- , , : Retracts his gauntlet hand to fire a cannonball to his right.
- , , , : A strong uppercut to his right.
- , , , , , , , : Series of swings of his gauntlet to his right.
- : horse is surrounded with a powerful aura as it runs forward.
Benkei's weapon, like Yoshitsune's, is a multi-task weapon that can transform into a flamethrower, a cannon, or a flail. As a charge-type character, his arsenal of attacks offer a lot of variety in terms of raw damage and crowd control.
- See also: Benkei/Weapons
Warriors Orochi 4
Rare Weapon Acquisition
- Stage: Pursuit of the Demon
Musashibō Benkei is popularly known for his famed size and strength and infallible loyalty to Minamoto no Yoshitsune. In spite of his prominent standing in myths and legends, historians question if this popular image of Benkei ever truly existed. The Azuma Kagami briefly mentions him by name as one of the four retainers who served Yoshitsune in early December. His historical name (武藏房辨慶) is a homophone of the popularly known rendition of his name in fiction (武蔵坊弁慶). Aside from this small tidbit, nothing else is so far known or noted about the real Benkei.
The fictional Benkei is likely an exaggerated yet respectful tribute to two warrior monks. In the Azuma Kagami and the Gyokuyō (Fujiwara no Kanezane's diary), Yoshitsune fled to Mount Hiei after the capital fell. He was protected by a band of akusō (warrior monks; literally: "evil monk"), and one man among them was called Shunshō (俊章). Shunshō was noted to have presumably guided Yoshitsune all the way to Oshu. Another instance when the monks are mentioned is when Yoshitsune wrote a letter to Hōjō Tokisada in 1189. His messenger was a warrior monk known as Senkōji Shichirō (千光房七郎), who was labeled as a wanted man the year prior.
The following section follows Benkei's life written from the Gikeiki and the internationally read Tales of the Heike. Many traits from these novels are also transferred to the Ataka and Funa noh plays, the Kanjinchō and Yoshitsune Zenbō Zakura kabuki plays, and many other written or oral legends surrounding him or Yoshitsune. While each incarnation has notable differences with one another, the Benkei written in these books are the best known versions of him.
His father was Kumano-Bettō Tanzō, the head of Kumano-Sanzan's shrine. He stole the daughter of a second rank chief conciliar of state and had his way with her for a night, which led to an eighteenth month pregnancy for their son. By the time the boy was two or three years old, he had grown to the size of a normal child. His hair reached past his shoulders and the boy had all of his teeth developed in his mouth. Tanzō declared his son to be a devil child and wanted to kill him without delay. Spared by his aunt, however, the child left his home with her and was raised in the capital. In ode to the incident, he was named "Oniwaka" (鬼若). Oniwaka was accepted for a time at a monastery at Mount Hiei sometime during his youth. Due to his rough behavior and a vehement brawl, however, he was expelled. Upset at the monks for what he deemed to be an unfair ruling, he decided to name himself Musashibō Benkei and left to fend for himself.
As he traveled the areas through Shikoku and Harima Province, Benkei allotted a feared and violent reputation. As a bully who did what he wanted, he infamously burned down Engyō-ji's main hall without a moment's hesitation. In time, he made it his personal goal to collect 1,000 swords as a symbol of his ferocity (alternatively, he desired to melt the swords to create a fearsome armor for himself). Attacking anyone who crossed him on the road, whether they were from noble or warrior status, he had a sum of 999 blades in his possession. On the quest for his last sword, he heard a flute playing from Kiyomizu-kannon (or the Gojo Bridge in the Tales of the Heike) and found the flute's player, Yoshitsune. Per usual with these encounters, Benkei only had eyes for the beautiful sword that the stranger had strapped to his waist and challenged the youth for it. However, the rogue monk was surprised by Yoshitsune's agility and lost in a splendid fight. After their encounter, an impressed Benkei gave up on the sword and agreed to be the youth's servant.
Benkei continued to be a valorous retainer under his new liege and contributed greatly during the following conflicts with the Heike. His greatest assets were his unabashed craftiness and nearly inhuman strength, which were used to rescue Yoshitsune whenever it was needed. He criticized Togashi Yasuie and expressed his doubts for the latter's abilities to his lord.
Later, his lord tried to escape to Oshu only to see his that his confidant Fujiwara no Hidehira had been killed. Against his father's will and fearing for his own safety, Hidehira's son, Yasuhira, attacked Yoshitsune at the Komorigawa Pavilion. To protect his master within the temple, Benkei fought with a swarm of soldiers at the entrance of the main hall. He fought bravely against his foes but was killed by a rain of arrows. His body was still standing even after death to protect his master, which is known as the famous "Standing Death of Benkei" (弁慶の立往生, Benkei no Tachi Ōjō). Though only a corpse, his presence was said to scare the remaining soldiers from nearing the temple. His undying loyalty and manner of death closely match Dian Wei's final moments in Romance of the Three Kingdoms.
Other Legendary Tales
There are several other myths and stories related with Benkei not otherwise mentioned above. Some of which include:
- Benkei's seven weapons - which he supposedly carried at all times. They are a naginata, an iron rake, a giant hammer, a giant saw, a sasumata, an axe, and a giant sword. The weapons change in each adaption and are said to also include a wooden stick, a giant long bow, a scythe, an iron vest, and other weapons.
- Benkei's crying spot - or his Achilles' heel. He was said to be very vulnerable when hit at the shins. Since the particular nerves around the area were believed to have been gifted with divine blessings, Benkei's rebellious behavior as a monk made him keel with even more pain than usual, making the giant cry tears of pain.
- Benkei's real strength - he was said to have been of Aynu origin and specialized in sumo wrestling.
- Benkei Stones - regarding certain stones scattered throughout Kyoto. According to legend, boys will grow to become physically strong and powerful if they touch these stones during their youth.
- Mount Tsukuba - Benkei was said to have tried approaching the mountain but was oddly frightened to get near the area. He was said to have tried entering the nearby shrine seven times and shrank back in fear each time.
- Benkei and the bell - A popular legend posits that Benkei once stole a three-ton bonshō (a type of large, bronze bell) from Mii-dera temple and drug it to the top of Mount Hiei. There, he found that the bell would not toll for him, so he threw it back down the mountain. The bell remains on display at Mii-dera to this day, with various cracks and scratches on it's surface attributed to the event.
- Benkei is the namesake for Ben-K in Gitaroo-Man. Their names are pronounced the same in English, but Ben-K has a slight emphasis on the "K" in Japanese.
- Cosplayer Hotogi was voted to third place in the Neoromance 20th Anniversary cosplay lobby contest for her Harukanaru Toki no Naka de 3 Benkei costume.
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