178 cm (5'10")
Charge (1, 4)
|Playable Debut:||Samurai Warriors|
December 9, 1565
June 21, 1582
|His other name is said to be Nagasada (長定).|
185 cm (6'1")
Anything regarding fencing
Tending to swords
Frequently sighs in frustration
Slow-cooked meat and vegetables (atsume-jiru)
Ranmaru Mori (森 蘭丸, Mori Ranmaru) is one of the romanticized names for Naritoshi. He is Yoshinari's third son and Nobunaga's famous page. He is best known for dying at a young age alongside his master at Honnōji, allegedly fighting until his last in various tales.
Gamecity's Sengoku Musou 3: Empires character popularity poll lists his Samurai Warriors persona is twenty-seventh place with fans. For the Samurai Warriors 4 poll, he is ranked fortieth place among the other characters. He ranked eighteenth place in the first character popularity poll for Sengoku Musou Shoot.
- 1 Role in Games
- 2 Character Information
- 3 Quotes
- 4 Gameplay
- 5 Weapons
- 6 Historical Information
- 7 Japanese Folklore
- 8 Gallery
- 9 Trivia
- 10 External Links
Role in Games
"Even in such grave situations, I can rely on you."
- ~~Zhou Yu; Warriors Orochi 2
"With you around, my peaceful retirement isn't just a dream."
- ~~Huang Gai; Warriors Orochi 2
Ranmaru is a young man who believes in his lord. He is Mitsuhide's pupil and they both begin their services in the Saitō clan. Losing faith in their leader, however, both men decide to prove their worth against the Oda at Inabayama Castle. Their capable defense drives the Oda back momentarily and impresses Nobunaga. Therefore, they have their wish granted and soon cause the end of the Saitō family. Following his mentor to Ise-Nagashima, Ranmaru partakes in the massacre of the peasant army. Sympathizing with his mentor's retreat from the field, he stands against Mitsuhide's betrayal undaunted at Honnōji. Ranmaru bravely defends the southern gate of the temple to defend Nobunaga's escape with Noh and Oichi. Although Noh defects and dies, both Nobunaga and Oichi escape safely due to Ranmaru drawing the entire Akechi army to his position. Mitsuhide flees from his defeat and allies with Ieyasu at Anegawa. Additionally, Masamune, Magoichi, and Keiji utilize the chaos around them to strike against Nobunaga. Strengthening his resolve to defend his lord, Ranmaru simultaneously struggles to consider his mentor as his enemy and wonders if he should kill him.
If Ranmaru chooses to slay his mentor, Mitsuhide reveals that he betrayed Nobunaga due to him being envious of Nobunaga's power. Entrusting his pupil to continue believing in their lord in his place, Mitsuhide dies in Ranmaru's arms. Though in anguish for losing his mentor and hating the ugliness of war, Ranmaru continues to fight to honor Mitsuhide's wishes. When assassins threaten Nobunaga's rise to power, he hunts them down in Azuchi Castle and slays them. Reaching the top floor, Ranmaru draws his blade against Nobunaga and questions if his lord will bear the burden of the souls he had killed for him. Nobunaga promises he will only if Ranmaru continues to be by his side.
Sparing Mitsuhide at Anegawa will instead have his mentor retreat to Gifu Castle. Ranmaru, wanting to hear his mentor's reasons for betrayal before Nobunaga unites the land, infiltrates the castle by himself to meet Mitsuhide. Slaying Magoichi and Hanzō, he also routs Kunoichi and Keiji while on his way towards his mentor. Mitsuhide explains that the land is better without Nobunaga and asks his pupil to join him. Ranmaru stays true to his belief for Nobunaga and strikes Mitsuhide down. Before his mentor dies, Ranmaru tries to explain that he still likes and admires his mentor. Mitsuhide passes away while uttering his wish to someday meet his pupil again, which Ranmaru tearfully swears to fulfill.
Ranmaru is a hidden character for Samurai Warriors 2 who can be unlocked by doing the first two "Ranmaru's Request" and "Mitsuhide's Request" jobs in Survival Mode. Like Okuni, he doesn't have a personal Story Mode, and his past history with Mitsuhide is abandoned. However, in Survival Mode, he stars in a special request scenario. He asks the player to help him investigate the nature of Nobunaga's assassin. He wonders if Mitsuhide truly killed their lord. If the player continues to follow these chain of stories, Mitsuhide is falsely accused of the crime due to a look alike set up by Ieyasu. The real Nobunaga is also unharmed since the assailants only killed his body double. Ranmaru and Keiji punish Ieyasu together.
During other characters' scenarios in the game, he is usually found trying to avenge his father's death while facing the Azai forces or defending Nobunaga in various campaigns. He also humorously appears in the beauty competition for No and Oichi's dream stages where he intends to stop the two girls' fight and to "tell Nobunaga" on both of them.
Samurai Warriors: Katana has Ranmaru appear in the second half of the Ascendancy chapter. Together with the protagonist, the two of them traverse the various surroundings of Honnōji to save Nobunaga from Mitsuhide's rebellion. He buys the player enough time to reach their lord by stalling the Akechi troops pursuing them. Their combined efforts enable the Oda to survive this crisis, causing the other warlords to rally against them at Sekigahara. There, the player must help Ranmaru eliminate a group of strike ninja before they can launch a surprise attack on the enemy main camp.
Again without a personal story in the third title, Ranmaru continues to be seen in Nobunaga's ranks during Odani Castle, Nagashino, and Kizugawaguchi. He expresses his concern with Mitsuhide's friendship for Motochika, not completely trusting the latter. During Honnōji, he tries to keep the Akechi army at bay in the north and pleads his lord to escape through the southern exit. He will also inform the players' original character of the situation during the Historical Mode. If his life depletes during the battle, he will die wishing for his lord's safety.
Described as a youth who served Nobunaga since his early days in Sengoku Musou 3: Moushouden, Ranmaru is instilled with the principle to always exhaust every inch of his strength for his master. Thus, he feels he has no other need or desire but to kill for his master's vision. He performs his duties without question at Anegawa and Nagashino. Charged with additionally protecting Mitsuhide's strategies, Ranmaru meets Gracia during his second battle. She wants to cheer up Ranmaru and calls him her friend. Giving him a hair accessory as a keepsake for his safety, she wants Ranmaru to learn how to treasure himself and his life. In return, she promises to come to his rescue whenever he needs it. Although she forces it on him, Ranmaru accepts and swears to protect Gracia and Mitsuhide.
When he fights through the carnage at Kizugawaguchi, Nobunaga subjects the Saika to merciless brutality. If Ranmaru were to have seen his lord's act before, he would have accepted it naturally. With Gracia's sadden reaction, however, he experiences doubt for the first time. Somehow pushing onwards to slay Motonari, Ranmaru feels he has forgotten his true duty to Nobunaga. To discard what he feels is unnecessary, he returns Gracia's keepsake and resumes his role as an unthinking killer. Accompanying Mitsuhide to Tedorigawa, Ranmaru supports their plan to rescue Katsuie, Toshiie and other Oda vassals from the Uesugi. While Ranmaru rescues their allies, Mitsuhide and Motochika discuss whether he agrees with Nobunaga's methods. Motochika requests for Ranmaru to open an escape path for Mitsuhide, letting him flee from Nobunaga's fire attack.
Ranmaru is confused when Mitsuhide no longer seeks reconciliation but swears to throw away his own life for Nobunaga and Nō's safety at Honnōji. He accuses Motochika of convincing Mitsuhide's defection, even if he himself doesn't completely understand Mitsuhide's change of heart. Gracia, who wants to live up to her promise of protecting her friend, appears during the battle to try to stop Ranmaru from rushing to his death. Cutting her down as well for Nobunaga's escape, he slays Mitsuhide to end the upstart. With Nobunaga safe, the lord grants his page the permission to leave as he sees fit. Ranmaru runs back to the burning temple to fetch Gracia from the flames, expressing his amazement that she came for him. Although she pleads to leave her behind to save himself, he carries them both to safety as his way of staying true to their promise.
Sengoku Musou 3: Empires deconstructs Ranmaru's devotion to Nobunaga in the latter's own story route. During their campaign in Minō, he lectures Toshiie for acting on impulse while the older warrior criticizes his blind loyalty. Tensions between them flare when Hanbei joins in to disparage Nobunaga's methods to which the younger man is unable to properly respond. In spite of his inability to express himself, Ranmaru comes to respect Toshiie when the latter leaves his post without permission to visit the gravely ill Hanbei. Their relationship improves as both men now have a better understanding of one another. Before going to Honnōji, he is encouraged by Toshiie to be more honest with his feelings, something he does by laughing at his comrade's clumsy attempts to mount a horse.
The other stories have him serve as his lord's personal messenger. In Kenshin's story route, he delivers the Uesugi several exotic gifts from the Oda to gain their allegiance momentarily. He also relays a similar message to the Chōsokabe clan in Motochika's story while providing information on Mitsuhide's whereabouts to Gracia from time to time until his historic death.
Samurai Warriors 4 Ranmaru serves Nobunaga starting at Kanegazaki. He is implied to be present only on his father's orders. When the fighting takes place at Noda-Fukushima, he realizes that Nagamasa's presence means his father perished trying to stop the Azai army at Usayama Castle. He swears to avenge his father at Odani Castle. Carrying on his father's legacy for his younger brothers' sake, Ranmaru continues to serve Nobunaga at Nagashino, Tenmokuzan, Tedorigawa, and Kii Province.
During these battles, Ranmaru notices Mitsuhide's odd behavior and invites him to tea before the last mentioned subjugation. He hopes to learn the Akechi general's true loyalties before something goes awry. His attempts to unearth anything is interrupted by Gracia who takes offense at the young man's acceptance for death. She swears friendship to him in an attempt to dissuade him from this path. Ranmaru stays true to his words and loyally fights beside his brothers to protect Nobunaga at Honnōji. If Mitsuhide faces him, he laments being too late to prevent the general's folly. He thanks Gracia for her kindness if they confront one another. He and his brothers die in battle, much to Mitsuhide's regret. When Mitsuhide finally defeats his lord, he admits that he stopped desiring to surpass Nobunaga when he killed Ranmaru.
During Samurai Warriors Chronicles 3, he becomes a major antagonist during Shingen's what-if scenario, where he fakes his death and slays Nobunaga, Hideyoshi and Ieyasu at Nagashino. Eager to avenge his lord, he joins Kenshin's anti-Takeda army along with other remnants of the Oda-Tokugawa army. Unlike the rest, he is not slain by Shingen, instead escaping and remaining hidden. When Shingen reflects at how much harsher he had been treating his enemies, Ranmaru takes the opportunity to kill the general with a hidden dagger. He is apprehended by Yukimura and the other Takeda officers shortly after.
If Shingen decides to treat the Oda-Tokugawa officers with mercy, Ranmaru will still attempt to kill Shingen, but will fail to do so. Admiring how Shingen was willing to forgive his assassin for the sake of peace, Ranmaru finally lays down his arms and joins the other officers in celebrating the peace.
During Nobunaga's what-if scenario, where Kanbei's forces rescued them at Honnōji and Nobunaga fakes his death, Ranmaru remains with his lord and Nō in tending to the farm. When Hideyoshi executes his nephew and begins a purge against longstanding retainers, including Kanbei, Magoichi and Munenori implore Nobunaga to return to battle and oust Hideyoshi. He then joins his lord in toppling Hideyoshi's reign at Ōsaka Castle, and watches as he shows no regret for his actions and demands his execution.
If Kanbei is able to fake his death and rejoins Hideyoshi during the siege, Hideyoshi will immediately attempt to keep Kanbei from actually being killed alongside him, which is enough for Nobunaga and the others to untie him and allow him to start his rule anew.
During Orochi's scenario he attacks the main camp before the storehouses are opened. His forces become confused due to the sudden arrival of the reptilian generals and are defeated.
In Warriors Orochi, Ranmaru joins Ma Chao to oppose the Orochi forces. The leader of the attack at the time was Sun Ce. Once he is defeated, Ranmaru is captured and ready to accept a bitter fate. Instead, Sun Ce releases him and tells him to do whatever the boy likes. Admiring his kindness, Ranmaru decides to follow Sun Ce. He often has a hard time relating with the Little Conqueror, often questioning his fickle methods.
Ranmaru returned to faithfully serve Nobunaga during the original timeline in Warriors Orochi 3. As he defended his lord, he was defeated by the serpent forces and placed under Kiyomori's sorcery. When the coalition beat him back to his senses, a grateful Ranmaru lends his strength to their cause. He later joins the chase for Kiyomori at Anegawa.
In Ultimate, Ranmaru sets out to clear Nobunaga's name when the latter is rumored to have been working with Da Ji. They eventually encounter her at Nanjun where she had been using an impostor of their lord to fool the Wei army into attacking them. Unfortunately, Ranmaru and the others become Tamamo's victims after being transported inside her mirror.
Still a loyal vassal of Nobunaga in Warriors Orochi 4, Ranmaru aided his lord's front of conquest with a mysterious snake bracelet. When he and the rest of the Oda forces are defeated at Honnōji and Nuwa reveals their true intentions, the Oda army and Liu Bei's Rebel army finally merge to form the Coalition.
As a part of the Coalition, he joins Mitsuhide and Jiang Wei in going to Tedorigawa to rescue Kaguya and her guards, who are being attacked by Da Ji's army
The protagonist first sees Ranmaru in Pokémon Conquest act as a vigilant bodyguard for Nobunaga at Ryu no Kuni. He at first inquires if Oichi wants to return to her brother's side and appears regretful when she refuses. Enduring the truth for his duty, he accepts her as his enemy and assists both of his lord's battles at the end of the main story.
Ranmaru's episode sets him as a reluctant participant in the "Queen of Ransei" competition. He is Genmu Castle's Bushou Leader for the all-women brawl. He has his qualms and tries to protest about entering, but they ultimately fall on deaf ears due to his beautiful looks. He is the only male character within this scenario.
Ranmaru appears as a playable unit in Kessen III. He is much more masculine than his Samurai Warriors counterpart and even sports a topknot hairstyle. As another contrast to his Samurai Warriors persona, he dislikes being in an army formed with Mitsuhide and their attack power will suffer. Ranmaru is first seen tearfully reporting his father's death to Nobunaga. He gladly replaces his father and will have a special quote with his father's killer, Tatsuoki. He inevitably dies while assisting his lord's escape from Honnoji. His older brother replaces him after this incident.
Throughout the series, Ranmaru is usually a short lived warrior who appears late in Nobunaga's career. He has average stats for war and rarely has any noteworthy troop proficiencies aside from rifle arms. Ranmaru better serves players in politics and domestic affairs with an above average intelligence and charisma ratings. His contributions to the series' dramatic events are few, briefly appearing for Honnōji's cinematic in most titles.
Inindo: Way of the Ninja
If Nobunaga returns to the human world as a demon in Inindo: Way of the Ninja, Ranmaru is Nobunaga's support character at Azuchi Castle. He wields a nodachi and can strike nearby allies once with it. Otherwise, Ranmaru casts healing spells on himself or Nobunaga throughout the battle. Defeating him first is probably the easiest strategy for taking Nobunaga down.
Geten no Hana
Geten no Hana establishes Ranmaru as Nobunaga's page who has served his lord since his early childhood. When his father first introduced him to Nobunaga, the young lord immediately shared his dream of unity with the boy. Despite his innate skepticism for the fairytale-like vision, his master's bold rulings and brilliant charisma soon won his heartfelt devotion. He especially idolized Nobunaga's dream to wage war in order to purge it of all strife, illnesses, and suffering, and to bless the land and its people with thriving wealth and prosperity (Tenka Fubu).
Sometime before the main setting, Ranmaru's father perished in battle. Rather than feel despair for his father's demise, Ranmaru was proud of his final act of bravery and loyalty. He believes he should follow his father's example and dreams of someday having the honor of reliving the same duty. The page expressed his wishes to Nobunaga when inquired and is perplexed by his lord's immediate displeasure. Cutting him off with a warning to not be like his father, Nobunaga adamantly refuses to grant Ranmaru the permission to march into battle. Believing that his refusal means he is unworthy, Ranmaru trains his spearmanship and studies rigorously every day without fail. He punctually attends to his page duties –rarely known to err or be distracted in his errands– and quickly won renown as Nobunaga's greatest veteran page. Many onlookers believe him to be the strongest fighter in the Oda.
The news of spies lurking within Azuchi Castle worries Ranmaru. Therefore, whenever he has leisure during the day, the page is frequently seen questioning the guards for news regarding the spies' whereabouts. Much to his ire, he often finds dead leads.
Hotaru first meets Ranmaru during her first week at Azuchi Castle while in her Shichisuke disguise. They face one another in a martial arts tournament spontaneously called for by Nobunaga. The results of their sparring match ends in her defeat (regardless of the player's efforts), yet observers are impressed to see someone who made Ranmaru struggle. After Hotaru solemnly admits to her loss, Ranmaru hurries to thank her for the tough fight and openly applauds his opponent's strengths. Hoping to catch up with the unknown youth after the tournament, the page asks the young man he sees before him for a name. Hotaru answers him with Shichisuke. Ranmaru bids his new acquaintance well before he is called away for the next match. Her loss against the page is enough to impress her employer.
Her presence as Kikyou barely registers with Ranmaru in the main story events, as he only acknowledges her on Nobunaga's orders or in group gatherings. More often than not, the page is present in scenes to act as Nobunaga's diligent servant. His fate in the default storyline is reliant on the player's choices and the number of endings they have completed.
Yumeakari continues from an alternate ending which had Hotaru band together Nobunaga and his retainers to crush Nobuyuki's rebellion at Honnōji. Ranmaru learns Kikyou's true identity as a kunoichi from the incident yet is unaware of any other forms she may have taken. He continues his duties beside Nobunaga in between games, although he voices his disapproval for Nobunaga's absolute trust in Hotaru in private.
A few days after Hanbei and Kanbei's introductions, Hotaru decides to assume her Shichisuke disguise to investigate rumors about them. Ranmaru spots his favored training partner and engages in a spar with the swordsman. He regrettably knows little about the strategists to provide much assistance to her mission. Hotaru considers informing Ranmaru about Shichisuke's true identity but other attendants call him away from her. She hopes to tell him the truth when she gets the chance.
Ranmaru escorts Nobunaga and Ieyasu to a falconry session the morning after the lantern viewing festivities. When Nobunaga's pet hawk, Akatsuki, attacks his master, Ranmaru summons the main cast to attend to Nobunaga. His state of urgency is distilled by Hanbei and Nobunaga scoffing at his paranoia. Even after Hotaru captures the bird and Nobunaga proves it's tame, the page's regrets cannot be abated. He failed to protect Nobunaga when Akatsuki attacked and could do nothing to help him.
He asks Mitsuhide and Hotaru to let him hear the kunoichi's reported findings at the Akechi manor. She touches on her suspicions that an enemy ninja could be responsible for the attack and the page implores her to explain her knowledge in detail. Hotaru obliges him, roughly explaining the basics of ninja scroll know-how. Mitsuhide surmises that they are dealing with an opponent who can manipulate animals and orders the trio to stay quiet about their knowledge until more evidence can be found. He entrusts Ranmaru to strengthen the guard around Nobunaga. Ranmaru agrees in earnest and forces his way into Nobunaga and Luis's stroll in the castle town the next day. To his ire, he fails to protect Nobunaga again from an armed monkey.
Concerned with Nobunaga's safety, Ranmaru refrains from entering the martial arts tournament a week later. When the outcry for Iga's destruction becomes prevalent with the warriors in the castle, Ranmaru hesitates to stand up for Hotaru's innocence. He is aware that she threw the kunai during the tournament to protect Nobunaga but can't bring himself to trust Iga without verification.
During the default route, his silence contributes to the Oda-Iga alliance's collapse and Iga's destruction. Several days later, the deserted Hotaru receives news that the Oda warriors in Azuchi Castle were clawed and mauled to death by wild beasts. The report presumably includes Ranmaru into the mix.
The Yumeakari ending has Hotaru reveal the forged Iga letter to Mitsuhide and the others the same night she receives it. In spite of the letter's damning inclinations of betrayal and an absence of proof to clear her name, Hotaru is adamant on her home's innocence in the recent attacks. Ranmaru states his belief in her based on her past work history and agrees to help search for their real adversary. Hideyoshi asks him and Ieyasu to follow Hotaru and pass the news to not interrupt his talks at the Hashiba manor. During the second water lantern viewing, Ranmaru celebrates it beside his lord and reiterates his belief in the Oda dream.
While walking through the castle grounds one day under her princess disguise, Hotaru and Nobunaga cross paths. He is amused to see her enjoying his castle and would like to guide her himself if he weren't currently busy with other affairs. Amused by Ranmaru's stunned reaction before the maiden, Nobunaga promptly orders his page to circle the castle grounds as her escort before leaving. Saluting to his assignment, Ranmaru gives her a stoic tour of castle area. Hotaru feels uncomfortable with his passiveness and decides to compliment the main keep when they stand before it. She wonders if the view atop the tallest tower is wonderful, sentiments which Ranmaru broodingly shares. He explains that no one other than Nobunaga can enter his private quarters, as though it were it his pedestal atop heaven.
Once they have completed their circle, Ranmaru brings up his nagging concern he has had since their first meeting. He insists that she stop addressing him with the "Master" (殿, -dono) honorific and to call him by his first name, coldly dismissing her protests. Continuing her desire to bond with the youth, Hotaru asks him for the results of the marital arts tournament. She is unsurprised to hear Ranmaru was the final victor. Her inquiry reminds him of the curiously strong youth he had encountered and lamented not seeing again. Hotaru is pleased to know that he meant Shichisuke but keeps her joy to herself. She lies that she doesn't know the youth in question but warmly encourages Ranmaru to keep his hopes up for reuniting with the young man. He thanks her for her kind words before leaving her at the Akechi manor.
Hotaru happens to see Ranmaru badgering Mitsuhide early the next week. The page wishes to know the night patrol for catching spies, frustrated by the general's rejection. She approaches Ranmaru after Mitsuhide leaves, hoping to cheer up his dampened spirits by asking for the page's honest opinion about her brother. Ranmaru obliges and is somewhat ashamed by his scornful words for Mitsuhide. Her innocent curiosity has him wonder if they are truly siblings, quickly apologizing for burdening her with his faults. Since she had thanked him for his tour, Ranmaru asks permission to guide her through the castle grounds again, this time seeking to do it with genuine earnest. An eavesdropping Hideyoshi barges into their conversation, teasing that he would be a funner guide for the princess than the page. Infuriated by the idea of being inadequate in his duties, Ranmaru leaves them to ponder on how to be an "entertaining guide" for her.
Ranmaru is still stressing over the matter when she finds him the next day. Hotaru decides to end his dilemma for him by requesting to visit his favorite spot. He happily complies by bringing her to the nearby riverbed outside the castle, explaining that it is Nobunaga's favorite route for a morning horse ride. The mere mention of his lord inspires Ranmaru to share his childhood meeting with Nobunaga to Hotaru, both enjoying his words of honest admiration. A wild canine freezes their chat in its tracks. Ranmaru readies his spear to drive it back but is soon convinced that fighting may endanger the princess. He therefore carries Hotaru in his arms and outruns the canine back to the castle; he even forgets he is holding her until she reminds him. Bashfully thanking her for the enjoyable time they had, Ranmaru feels the canine and the brief moment of danger had spoiled it. He swears on his honor to amend it with another outing.
The following day Hotaru spots him ending a sparring session with other retainers. She asks him permission to watch him carry on with his lone training, a request which surprises him. He only proceeds when he is assured she will not be bored by it. Pleased to see his flawless fighting stance, Hotaru voices her admiration for him and her belief that he is a fine warrior. Ranmaru rebuffs her, quietly admitting his inexperience in battle and his father's death to her. Once she hears Nobunaga's words for him, she offers her opinion that it is a request for him to live. Her words are hard for him to swallow as Ranmaru had never considered that possibility. Even if he cannot fully accept them yet, the page promises to take them into consideration. He unwittingly embarrasses both of them when he formally praises the qualities he finds beautiful about her as a sign of gratitude. Ranmaru later daydreams about her, which provokes an amused Nobunaga to tease him.
Oito enters Hotaru's quarters the next day to announce Ranmaru's presence in the Akechi manor. He has finally decided on a spot to take her and asks her to accompany him to the nearby town, happy when accepts the offer. While he plans to give her a formal rundown of the town Nobunaga helped build, Hotaru is distracted by a stall of hairpins on the street. The proprietress cheerfully recommends various hairpins for the maiden when Ranmaru comes over, which causes him to patronize the woman's thoughtlessness with the pin he thinks best suits Hotaru. He vehemently adds she can use it to defend herself from enemy spies when he isn't around, feeling that it can be the part of him which can still protect her. One look at Hotaru's flushed expression silences his ranting and leads to a bashful purchase of the hairpin. The page is flabbergasted when the proprietress calls them lovers, both of them forgetting their respectful missions in their panicked flight back to the castle.
Cherishing his present in spite of herself, Hotaru secretly returns to the town by herself to purchase a gift for Ranmaru. The proprietress recognizes her and offers her braids that she is selling. Hotaru quickly finds one in a color which suits Ranmaru and buys it. As she turns to leave, Hideyoshi spots her and happily starts a friendly conversation about her purchase back to the castle. Ranmaru happens to find them upon their return and mistakenly believes that Hotaru has been swayed by Hideyoshi's womanizing; the page leaves before they can explain themselves. Hideyoshi has to explain the young man's jealousy to a baffled Hotaru.
Although uneasy about her feelings and her devotion to her kunoichi duties, Hotaru steels herself to give her present the next day. A guard leads her to Ranmaru's private quarters where he passively greets her. Hotaru shows him the braid and explains the truth to him, causing Ranmaru's façade to crumble quickly into a humiliated apology. She offers to tie the braid into his hair, a request which he shyly accepts. Moments after she ties it, however, Ranmaru loosens the knot and puts it away so he can always treasure it. His sentiments please her, yet her joy is muted when she realizes he only knows her princess disguise and not the real her. An exasperated Nobunaga later spots the two youths dancing around their affections for another, further frustrated when Ranmaru claims he can only be beside the princess on Nobunaga's orders. He leaves his page with the retort to broaden his horizons, which Ranmaru misinterprets as a sign of Nobunaga's dissatisfaction with him.
When Mitsuhide reads his controversial poem the following week, Ranmaru buys into the rumors of mutiny and assumes the worst for his lord and Hotaru. He is convinced that Mitsuhide may be the ringleader of the enemy spies and continues to request a strengthen patrol for the firefly viewing banquet. Though Nobunaga patronizes him to ignore the doubters, the page can't help himself and visits Hotaru in private with the plan to negotiate peace with Mitsuhide. He believes the princess's words can convince her brother to reconsider and that covering for her brother pains her. As he offers to warmly be her support, his honest obliviousness to her true mission causes her anguish, so much that Hotaru can barely stand to be within his company without being racked with guilt.
On the day before the firefly banquet Ranmaru gives Mitsuhide a scroll of loyalty with the hopes of convincing the general. Irritated by the page's meddling, the general orders Hotaru to give it back for him. Ranmaru explains to her that he suspects Mitsuhide as a precaution for Nobunaga's safety and as a means of guarding her. Hotaru's pale visage worries him so he escorts her to the riverbank they had visited earlier in the hopes of raising her spirits. She lies that her scheduled return to Sakamoto Castle will tear them apart yet inwardly broods that her kunoichi duties means they can never be together. As she crouches by the riverbank to mope, Ranmaru places his hand atop hers and gently confesses his desires to someday becoming a reputable samurai with enough prestige to marry her. His words move her yet Hotaru politely declines with a wish for him to focus on his duties to Nobunaga. Ranmaru accepts her advice with great difficulty by requesting permission to be repositioned to an opening in the patrol for the firefly banquet.
Every setup for the assassination plan remains the same as the default route, yet Hotaru's affinity for Ranmaru ultimately stays her hand. Momoji is disparaged by his pupil's kindness to throw a kunai in her stead and merely reprimands her. Once she lowers herself from her rooftop perch, Ranmaru confronts her and seeks to apprehend the kunoichi. During their fight, Hotaru can't bring herself to hurt him; he takes advantage of her hesitation by wounding her shoulder. As she flees by transforming into a bird, Hotaru accidentally drops the hairpin Ranmaru had given her. She only realizes her error too late when she returns to her room within the Akechi manor. Not wanting to deceive him further, Hotaru dreads the long wait for her eventual arrest. She tries to play dumb when Ranmaru charges into her room, but she openly exposes her true identity after he presents the hairpin and touches her wounded shoulder.
Despite his own apprehensions for the deception, Ranmaru stays true to his duty and brings her before Nobunaga for judgment. Nobunaga answers with a curt order for his page to execute her, egging him to kill the one who had betrayed their trust and plotted to end his dream. Surprised yet seeking to be loyal, Ranmaru prepares himself to obey. Before the fatal blow is struck, Hotaru freely uses her last words to thank Ranmaru for his heartfelt honesty. Ranmaru's resolve cracks instantly. He shields Hotaru from Nobunaga and pleads for her life to be spared –in spite of her own protests. When his lord threatens to cut them down for their insolence, Ranmaru is adamant and proclaims his belief in the Oda dream as his cause for defiance. Nobunaga rebukes his page seeks death being with the kunoichi; therefore he will permit their survival only if Ranmaru swears to forever be responsible for her. He dismisses them after Ranmaru makes his pledge of loyalty, scoffing that he is tired at looking at the traitor's face.
They return to Ranmaru's quarters. He asks for Hotaru's true name and offers to tend to her shoulder. When a confused Hotaru asks him his reasons for doing so, he confesses his vexed feelings for her as he embraces her. Even through her act, he believes he was exposed to her true character and pleads her to no longer lie to herself in front of him. Hotaru thanks him and spends the entire night revealing her real origins to him.
Ieyasu and Hideyoshi visit them the next morning, each party revealing their encounter with Nobunaga. The duo remark that the news of Mitsuhide's betrayal is vastly different than the version they heard and invite the couple to join them to a trip to the gaols. Hotaru and Ranmaru are surprised to see Mitsuhide greet them and only then is the real motive of the fake assassination is explained to them. Nobuyuki revealed his hand by throwing a tantrum when nothing happened, quickly imprisoned within moments after Nobunaga overheard him. When it dawns on the couple that Nobunaga's cruelty the night prior was a grand farce, the young lord mirthfully takes pride in his page's show of courage and congratulates them for rekindling their affections. Once she is formally dismissed, Hotaru insists on delivering her report to her village, promising to return to Ranmaru's side when her task is finished. He understands and swears to always be waiting for her.
Nobunaga's trip to the capital proceeds according to schedule, and Ranmaru leaves Azuchi Castle to act as his lord's bodyguard. Before she flies back home, Hotaru feels it's courteous to say goodbye to her former master. News of Nobuyuki's escape arrives when she finds him, and both of them act quickly to provide immediate assistance for Honnōji. Inside the temple, Nobunaga teases that his page is at a ripe age for marriage and declares his intentions to make a peace treaty with Iga for the couple. Ranmaru appreciates his lord's concern, but their cheer is cut off when Hotaru rushes into the room and reports the army of two thousand surrounding them. She is too late to escort them out of the flames, yet Nobunaga is ready to accept the end heaven has appropriately judged for him and commands his page to escape with Hotaru. With his lord's permission for a last request, Ranmaru asks the kunoichi to head to Nijo Pavilion and tell those present to rejoin with Mitsuhide's reinforcements. As Hotaru flies away, Nobunaga scolds his page for choosing to die with him before Nobuyuki's soldiers discover them. Ranmaru expresses his longing endearment for Hotaru in soliloquy as he prepares to fight to the death.
Realizing that he lied to her for her escape, Hotaru transforms outside the temple and reunites with Mitsuhide. After he briefs her on the situation, she hurries back inside the burning temple to report it to Nobunaga and Ranmaru. The Oda siblings are dueling and Ranmaru is busy fighting back rioters. Her news lightens the Oda lord's spirits, as it means heaven finds him still fit to rule. The trio apprehend Nobuyuki while Hotaru fights for their escape. It is only after he sees her defeating a guard in their path that Ranmaru learns she is Shichisuke. Nobuyuki is dragged away for imprisonment by Mitsuhide, and the couple admonish one another for their recklessness. Hotaru confesses her intimacy for Ranmaru, asking him to promise to keep living for her. Nobunaga is amused by her boldness and urges his page to return the sentiments. Ranmaru feels there are still many circumstances they need to consider for their life together, yet he gladly accepts her feelings. Some time after Honnōji, Hotaru returns to Azuchi Castle after her trip to Iga. She had been granted her elder's permission to leave the village and is simultaneously acting as the envoy for the Oda-Iga alliance. Upon hearing the news, Ranmaru openly states his earnest devotion to her and proposes.
His Yumeakari route has Hotaru try to bond with Ranmaru. Within the first week of the story, she happens to see him training and opens with small chat. His cold reply encourages her to try again as Shichisuke. This time Ranmaru greets her with a smile and offers to train with him. They work up a sweat so the page invites his comrade to wash up with him. Hotaru fails to fib her way out of a refusal and asks permission to talk with Ranmaru in private. Once inside his room, she lifts her transformation and apologetically explains the truth to him. The page is left dumbstruck by the revelation and asks her to leave him be to swallow the knowledge.
Hotaru returns to the training grounds the next day and overhears two pages discussing Ranmaru's odd change in behavior. He is training alone to avoid meeting Shichisuke, the duo wondering if something went astray in their friendship. Hotaru decides to ask Nobunaga for advice and goes to the main keep to visit him. Since it is the middle of the day, Ranmaru is on duty and averts his eyes away from her. Nobunaga had heard the rumors about Ranmaru and easily permits her request to bond with the page when time permits. Though the spearman protests, Nobunaga advises his page to gain a friend and learn to work with other people's support.
Nobunaga departs for a walk leaving Ranmaru alone with Hotaru. He begrudgingly confesses that he thought of Shichisuke as a true friend, a proud warrior who he could trust to cover his back. His illusions were crushed once the deception was explained by her. Hoping to cheer him, Hotaru offers to be friends with him by stating that her personality and character are still the same as Shichisuke. Ranmaru refuses, unsure of her fake identity as a princess, kunoichi spells, and shady background to wholeheartedly believe her. She is adamant, insisting that she will find some way to prove her honesty to him. He escapes the conversation with an awkward dismissal.
Rikimaru, Ranmaru's youngest brother, loudly whines for his older brothers to search for an expensive writing brush he dropped within the garden's pond. Hotaru happens to overhear the elder siblings' admonishment and introduces herself to Ranmaru's brothers. After she learns what had happened, Ranmaru cuts their conversation short by reminding his siblings to return to patrol. He reluctantly promises to find the brush for Rikimaru and curtly excuses himself away from Hotaru. Left to her own devices, Hotaru decides to help by transforming into a frog to navigate the pond's murky bank. She finds the brush and gives it to Ranmaru. He inquires her method of search and suspects her of an ulterior motive, thinking she intends to blackmail them. Hotaru chimes that she merely wanted to be helpful to Ranmaru and hopes Rikimaru will be pleased. She bids him good day before he can reply.
Oito announces Ranmaru's presence in the Akechi manor the next day. He formally announces his thanks on behalf of his brother before presenting her colored letter paper with heavy-handed grace. She takes his gift in her room, happy to know that he chose it with her in mind. Ranmaru gives into curiosity and inquires about the transformation she used to fetch the brush, regretting his words once she states she turned into a frog. Hotaru mistakes his puckering fright for puzzlement and demonstrates her ability to prove her words and to thank him for the paper. It isn't until her frog form hops closer towards him that she learns his perspective and apologizes in her princess form. She swears to keep his greatest fear a secret and gladly explains a bit of her true past to compensate. Astonished to learn about her years of training, Ranmaru begins to respect the power of her transformations. When he leaves her, it is with a lighter air than the last few days.
Though she has been granted a day off for the lantern viewing festivities, Hotaru wishes to join Ranmaru's all day patrol of the city streets. He respects her wishes after hearing her determination to protect the people and escorts her while she is Kikyou. The day goes without incident until a bandit steals from one of the stalls. Ranmaru instructs her to wait for him and bolts after the vagrant by himself. Remembering Nobunaga's words about his page, Hotaru joins the pursuit after she morphs into Shichisuke. She catches up to him just in time to save him from another bandit. She struggles to beat the assailant into submission until Ranmaru reinforces her. Ranmaru patronizes her for going against him yet realizes his own rudeness for failing to thank her. He tells her to wait for him at the river while he works with the night patrol to apprehend the ruffians.
She reverts to her Kikyou disguise when he finds her. She congratulates him for doing his job, yet Ranmaru solemnly blames himself of overconfidence. He would have been a victim to the bandits without her aid. They are alone by the river so he requests for her to return to her true kunoichi form. Once she does, Ranmaru fondly bashes his fist with hers. He confesses to have been too concerned with outward appearances and is finally assured that her heart is no different than Shichisuke. The page warmly answers her request for friendship with his own, hoping that they can work together to protect Nobunaga and Azuchi. Hotaru gleefully accepts. As a sign of their renewed bonds, they spend the rest of the night doing rounds together.
Akatsuki is on the loose and Hotaru is given a mission to retrieve it. In spite of herself, Hotaru can't bring herself to forgive her failure to defeat the bandit two nights prior. She wakes early in the morning to practice at the training grounds as Shichisuke. Ranmaru is already training and offers to spar together with his friend. Hotaru is pleased to renew their old bonds since she enjoyed progressing with him. The page remorses his past temperament towards her and promises to make up for his errors. Both share their feelings of inadequacy and open admiration for one another's strengths, amazed to hear their thoughts coincide.
News of Ranmaru capturing the two bandits spreads with the warriors and pages in Azuchi Castle. Everyone is congratulating him on his feat and Ranmaru is rewarded a fine coat for his efforts. He stumbles with faint enthusiasm. When Hotaru gives her private well wishes for his boost in fame, he shares his guilt for having it. He receives public merit only because the duo had worked together. Hotaru is fine without the praise, treasuring Ranmaru's appreciation and concern for her. She inspects the coat he received and asks him to take pride in it. Bashful when she comes close to him, Ranmaru scoots away and gives in to her opinion.
The page hopes to find a way to properly express his gratitude to her and spends a day walking in the city searching for a present. While lamenting on his inability to find one that suits her, he sees Hotaru in her princess disguise being accosted by two ruffians. The townsfolk are too afraid of their presence to intervene. Ranmaru steps in to her rescue and frightening them away by declaring the princess's reputation. A crowd surrounds the couple to congratulate the young man's bravery. Embarrassed by the unwanted attention, Ranmaru takes Hotaru's hand and runs away from the cheers. She thanks him when they arrive to a secluded alleyway. In his worry, he patronizes her to be more aware of her disguises' limitations and to learn to run away. Hotaru wonders his reasons for being there, thinking that he must have been sent on some errand. Bashful, he hurriedly excuses himself.
Three days later, Hotaru is stopped by Ranmaru before the main keep. She grants his wish to come to his room, revert to her kunoichi self, and close her eyes. When he gives her his approval to open them, Hotaru sees herself wearing an expensive overcoat. Ranmaru nervously explains that the gift is way of thanking her, explaining that he did his best to find a gift which best suited the real her by himself. He has never shopped for a woman before and is unsure if it pleases her. She is delighted by his thoughtfulness and promises to always treasure it. If she has the leisure to be herself, she will wear it. His bashfulness with her glee surprises him, almost as much as his momentary thought of dreading her using it while she marries another man.
Boumaru and Rikimaru arrive in Hotaru's room the next morning, bringing an invitation to a spontaneous banquet in the main keep. Ranmaru has been put in charge of managing the food and drinks. Wishing to see her friend's progress firsthand, Hotaru asks to be escorted to Ranmaru doing his preparations. The brothers are puzzled but bring Hotaru to Ranmaru. His heart skips a beat to hearing her faith in him, but he recovers and explains the necessity of the ceremonies to her. While Ranmaru oversees the plates with Rikimaru, Boumaru is entrusted to entertain Hotaru with some chitchat. Once the banquet begins Nobunaga is pleased by his page's newfound maturity and compliments him during the appetizer stage of the banquet. When Ranmaru leaves, the Oda lord goes into depth with his praise to Hotaru. He looks forward to have the page grow into a worthy castle lord someday. Realizing that Hotaru's friendship with Ranmaru has changed him for the better, Nobunaga commends her and hopes she will continue to support him. She accepts with exuberance and keeps the Oda lord's expectations a secret from the page.
By nightfall the same day, Hotaru has lost track of time in her princess disguise. Before she can return to the Akechi manor to give the maids peace of mind, Ranmaru comes running towards her with an invitation to train with him. He wants to spar with her in her kunoichi form since the late hours can help obscure her from eavesdroppers. Although she accepts, she bashfully has to explain that returning to the manor together in her current form would give the mistaken impression that they are going on late night tryst. He stutters that they can meet within the eastern forest once she is ready.
Ranmaru calls out to her when he spots her hopping in the trees. He swears to protect Nobunaga and Azuchi Castle in earnest, and Hotaru questions the prospect of being promoted to a castle lord. The page explains that his master had mentioned plans for him to inherit his father's previous station, Kanayama Castle, yet the idea is unnerving to him. He proclaims his only desire is to stay faithful to his childhood dream. Aware of the many expectations placed upon him, Hotaru wishes to help her friend by advising him to think beyond his narrow scope. When he attempts to cut her off, Hotaru challenges him: if she wins their night spar, he must let her continue.
She does but her final jumping blow causes her to lose her balance. Hotaru catches her fall above a toppled Ranmaru, oblivious to his blush and inquiring for injuries. The kunoichi apologizes for her rudeness yet voices her opinions about his future. She believes she would be killing any potential within him if he were to forever be a page. Hotaru believes he has the qualities to become a fine samurai due to her observations of their friendship. Unable to give her a direct answer, Ranmaru excuses himself.
He spends the next three days mulling over her words. Boumaru and Rikimaru worry about his sullen mood and pay him a nightly visit. His brothers would gladly support him becoming a lord yet admit they are happy with their current position. They figure that Ranmaru is only considering the prospect seriously because the Akechi princess brought it up, egging that she must be dear to him. Through his embarrassment, Ranmaru inwardly admits he must have been too happy with the present to ever consider another path for himself; he then spends the night brooding on the reasons why he is compelled to spend his future with Hotaru. Before Hotaru fights in the martial arts tournament, Ranmaru escorts her to bridge outside the castle to clarify his thoughts to her. He will consider becoming a lord after the current rebel is apprehended, convincing himself that becoming a lord could still contribute to Nobunaga's dream of peace. Hotaru realizes she has no impending goals for herself when he asks her and apologizes for chastising him earlier. Moved by her concerns, Ranmaru tries to request for the kunoichi to join him but botches his delivery. He timidly sets aside his proposal for another time.
Witnesses of Hotaru throwing the kunai during the martial arts tournament accuse her of being the enemy spy. Ranmaru knows better and assigns his brothers to replace his guard near Nobunaga. He leaves the immediate premise at once to search for the suspiciously absent Hanbei, finding him at a garden pond far from the training grounds. Hanbei's alibi is that he felt ill shortly before the incident and had excused himself. Hanbei finds a scroll and letter that conspires to end Nobunaga's life, insisting they both originate from the Iga ninja. In the heat of the moment, Ranmaru slips about his knowledge of the Shield of Azuchi by defending Shichisuke's innocence. Hanbei rationalizes that his sentiments should not cloud his judgment in their dire situation. Staying reluctantly true to his duty, Ranmaru delivers the questionable scroll and letter to Nobunaga.
Later that day, a public hearing is held to discuss Iga's involvement. Ranmaru soon loses his temper against the accusations he hears against Hotaru, proclaiming that the damning evidence will do nothing to quench his faith in the Shield of Azuchi. He unabashedly protects her name with earnest praise of her character. When the warriors echo Hanbei's earlier deterrent, Ranmaru remains adamant. He will stake his life on finding the true culprit and will not stomach any other insults directed towards his friend. Hotaru, who is discreetly watching the affair from afar, is touched by his zeal and affection for her. Nobunaga is impressed by his page's determination and tells his retainers to keep an eye on the situation. When Hotaru returns to the Akechi manor, she receives Mitsuhide's trust and permission to search for the enemy spy.
Without any leads, the two youths meet discretely outside the castle a day later at nightfall. The page complements her for being strong in the face of pressure, and learns he is wrong when a frightened Hotaru rushes into his chest for a comforting embrace. She reveals she had heard the public hearing and his words alone gave her the strength to keep going. Ranmaru warmly admits he was being impulsive and hopes to clear her name. The duo quickly regain their wits to focus on the present. Hotaru confesses her suspicions of Kanbei and her foiled attempt to expose him. She asks him to think back on his side of events. Ranmaru remembers that Hanbei had somehow identified the scroll to be of ninja origin. He recalls his earlier chat with Hotaru regarding ninja scrolls being disguised as standard ones and wonders how the strategist could identify it from a single glance.
Hanbei overhears their conversation and decides to put his final plan into effect before the two youths expose him. Meanwhile, Hotaru transforms into a bird back to Azuchi Castle and Ranmaru demands to see Hanbei at the Hashiba manor. Since he is absent, he wishes to share the news at the main keep. On the way, they overhear the night patrol struggling against Hanbei's pack of wild hounds. Ranmaru is briefed and orders for the patrol to report the emergency to the main keep. He promises to keep them at bay to protect Nobunaga. After they leave, Hotaru lifts her transformation and defends Ranmaru's back against the mob. The numbers appear dominating so Ranmaru asks her to report to Nobunaga while he stays behind. She agrees and is intercepted by Hanbei who confesses that he is the one manipulating the horde. Hotaru swiftly beats him into submission and orders for him to halt the dogs. Ranmaru apprehends him and demands to know his motive for endangering their lives. Hanbei answers with his honest desire for Hideyoshi's leadership, lamenting that he has forever lost his chance. Hotaru and Ranmaru bring Hanbei in for questioning.
Before Nobunaga proclaims his judgment, Ranmaru interrupts with a plea to spare Hanbei. He recognizes the strategist's heartfelt loyalty to his liege is no different from the devotion he has for Nobunaga. Claiming to be moved by Ranmaru's determination and compassion, Nobunaga announces his usual punishment from other character routes. When the official proceedings are finished, his page rejoices and thanks him. Hotaru learns of Kanbei's innocence after the fact and sees the Hashiba army depart together several days later.
One afternoon afterwards, Hotaru transforms into Shichisuke in an attempt to join Ranmaru for training. She becomes sheepish accepting his invitation to train since his behavior over the last month awakened a deeper intimacy for him. The pages believe that Shichisuke is the Shield of Azuchi and commend him for his bravery. Ranmaru is miffed when they attempt to take Shichisuke sparring with them. Their commotion embarrasses Hotaru and she runs away from them. She does train with the page later that night in private. In their leisure, Ranmaru shares his plans to accept Nobunaga's offer to become a castle lord. Hotaru congratulates him yet feels she would be lonely without him, apologizing for the unwanted hindrance her feelings may impose on him. Adoring her dilemma leaving him, Ranmaru gently embraces her and confesses his sincere affections for her. He wants no one else beside him and asks her to join him proper. She accepts his proposal.
Several years later, Ranmaru becomes the lord of Kanayawa Castle and Hotaru marries him. The couple dress in the expensive robes they had purchased for one another during their time at Azuchi Castle. Hotaru worries that the preparations for the commemorative banquet may be going awry, yet Ranmaru would rather dote on his wife. He looks forward to announcing the news of their union to the public.
His downloadable scenario takes place on a night after the couple reconcile their feelings. They have finished their patrol around Azuchi Castle and sit in awkward silence within Ranmaru's quarters. He snaps to attention when she tries to excuse herself and apologizes for his nervousness being alone with her. Hotaru burns incense in an attempt to soothe him. Its fragrance perplexes him with the sudden urge to touch her. She can tease him, encourage him, or stutter before Ranmaru hugs her. He is surprised to be instantly relaxed holding her and repeats his intimacy for her.
Oda Nobunaga Den
Oda Nobunaga Den has Ranmaru appear during the late chapters of the game as Nobunaga's diligent servant outside of battle. He reports the latest news and follows his lord's orders. If the player follows the historical route, they can witness his death at Honnoji.
Ranmaru's appeal in his design is that his sword should look longer and bigger than his body. To make this visual clearer to the audience, they envisioned Ranmaru as having a line drawn across the back of his body. His body shape was slimmed down to make an attractive silhouette for this concept. The result made him look effeminate, younger, and "cuter" than some developers originally planned. His second design kept these concepts and accented his outfit with white to express his inner spirit. His charm point is his clothed leg guards, which were made to look like loose socks.
His fourth design was ordered to make him be a young swordsman "who looks like Ushiwakamaru". The cape from his second outfit in the first title was brought back for this one. His charm point is that his cape cannot hide bare thighs from the back view and his new bangs. Katsuki Onda drew his concepts in this title.
Ranmaru is a naturally naive and selfless person who thinks first of his Lord's safety above all else, willing to put his life on the line and even die for his lord. His loyalty is such that he would discard his personal morals if it were to mean his lord's will is carried out. His talents, manner and appearance are highly valued by Nobunaga, and the two share a close relationship, Ranmaru standing ever vigilant at his lord's side. Other characters, such as Hideyoshi and Nouhime, worry about Ranmaru's self-sacrificing nature when it comes to his lord, and in later titles Nobunaga tells Ranmaru he must "keep moving forward", as if to foreshadow his death at Honnoji and that Ranmaru must live on after him. In spite of this, more often than not, Ranmaru dies defending his lord.
Though loyal first and foremost to his lord, he does have good relations with others, such as Gracia, Hanbei, Toshiie, and Aya. He is close friends in particular with Gracia, to the extent that in his story in Sengoku Musou 3 XL, Nobunaga can detect how badly he wants to save her after defending his lord at Honnoji, and thus orders him to leave him to die and save her. In the first game he is also friendly with Mitsuhide, who acts as his mentor, and is torn between serving his lord and remaining loyal to his longtime teacher. However, in subsequent titles, he appears to hold no special thoughts for Mitsuhide, in spite of his close friendship with his daughter.
Ranmaru's incredibly effeminate appearance often leads others to mistake him for a woman, and some that know his gender tease him for his appearance. Either reaction to his looks fluster him to no end, as he sees himself as a manly warrior first and foremost.
He also shows filial piety towards his father, who he grieves over the loss of and eagerly seeks to avenge by slaying his killer, Nagamasa Azai.
For his Warriors Orochi appearance, he is intrigued by the hot-blooded Sun Ce, who refuses to despair despite his service to the Serpent King, and is equally impressed with the talents of his brother and father. Due to his smaller physique, Lu Meng tends to worry about him, while Zhou Tai is more concerned at the young man's ability to use such a long weapon. In the third game, he is given special attention by Zhang He, who is amazed by the man's beauty being able to transcend genders, much to Ranmaru's bewilderment. The latest installment has Xiahou Dun and Xu Zhu advise him to relax himself and not actively seek death in the service of his lord.
Geten no Hana
Ranmaru is the character who obeys the romanticized samurai code of ethics with untold devotion. This orderly and steely page is concerned with his duty to protect Nobunaga at all times. He speaks only with the expected formalities of his meager rank –addressing everyone as "Master" or "Lady" (殿, -dono)– and rarely enjoys social gatherings. He interprets every command given to him, be it him being a scribe for his lord's proclamations or providing assistance with moving the castle's inventory, as an extension of Nobunaga's own actions. He even dedicates his copious training sessions with the other pages –with who he speaks with warm respect– a means of serving Nobunaga. He often has no qualms with the conventional customs of the era unless they somehow interfere with his lord's rulings. The page habitually admonishes anyone for their improper conduct, not even sparing Nobunaga's casual glee from his nagging. Many within Azuchi Castle view him as a reliable warrior and admire his budding potential for the Oda, even if they might be exasperated by his uncompromising sobriety.
His faithfulness to ancient traditions automatically puts him at odds with many of the modern traits found in his cohorts, which is usually exploited for good-humored banter within the game's script. Ranmaru is a poor liar because of his adherence to proper etiquette; his obvious breaks in composure makes his true emotions and thoughts ridiculously easy to read, regardless of whatever protest spews from his puckered lips. He is deathly afraid of frogs, for instance, and pales immediately upon seeing one. Feeling that it's ludicrous for a servant to be so open and taking pride in the warrior's death he someday expects for himself, Ranmaru earnestly believes he should continue to demean himself and shouldn't be selfish for anything. Nobunaga may join the others in their buffoonery, yet he can't forgive the page for clinging to this sole archaic belief. When his lord suddenly disciplines him, Ranmaru automatically believes he must still be inadequate to serve his lord properly and feels insecure about his inexperience. As he seeks to find another method of serving Nobunaga, the page remains sadly oblivious to his lord's message of treasuring his own life.
Ranmaru has never bothered to connect with women, so Hotaru is an endless enigma for him. His duty obligates him to provide her proper care and entertainment, a task which he coldly attends to at first. As he spends time with her, he feels the princess is beyond him, too high in status and too dignified for his unworthy affections. Once he becomes aware of her true identity, Ranmaru feels he should adjust to learning her ninja mannerisms and missions. Regardless of whatever disguise or form she has, it is Hotaru's gentle heart which won his deepest infatuation. Both youths suffer from the same dilemma of juggling their duties with their emotions, frequently stumbling to express their painfully obvious respect and affection for one another. Honest as she may be, the page may fail to understand her words and mannerisms in the way she may desire. Yet nothing can read clearer to him than her happy smile, the simplest of joys which he finds himself treasuring in their time together. He gradually dedicates himself to protecting her smile, swearing on his honor to be the only one alive to preserve it.
He's symbolized by the character "honesty" (誠) and "morality" (義) in the Samurai Warriors series.
Ranmaru's titles in Samurai Warriors 2 are "Squire", "Elegant Page", "Retainer", "Model Samurai", "Guardian", "Wunderkind", and "Young Lion" (in the Xtreme Legends expansion).
The original name for his third weapon –second in the second title– is Fudō Yukimitsu, a short sword crafted by the swordsmith, Tōsaburō Yukimitsu, during the Kamakura Period. The sword is named after Fudō Myōoh, whose image is engraved within the blade itself. Fudō Yukimitsu at one time belonged to Nobunaga. He is fabled to brag about the blade whilst drunk, slapping his knee whist he sang, "Fudō Yukimitsu, Tsukumogami, and Gorōza: all are mine!" Tsukomogami is an alternative name for a famous chaire –instrument used to make thick teas– once owned by the third Ashikaga shogun, Ashikaga Yoshimitsu. According to legend, Nobunaga held a contest with his pages for Fudō Yukimitsu by challenging them to guess the precise number of indentions on the blade's scabbard. Out of all the pages, Naritoshi was the one who guessed correctly based on his sharp observations. Alternatively, Naritoshi did not give a direct answer since he was still counting the dozens of emblems on the hilt. He was the last page to be asked and promptly apologized for his inaccuracy. Amused, Nobunaga gave his treasured sword to him. Although the wooden sections of the blade were burnt, stories claim that it was recovered after Honnōji and seen floating from house to house during the Edo Period. The Ishii clan in Shizuoka Prefecture allegedly possess the original today.
Ranmaru's fourth weapon -third in the second game and Normal in the third game- is named after a swordsmith within the Bizen region, Tomonari. Supposedly born sometime during the Heian period, he forged various swords that were used in wars and housed as treasures with several families. One of his swords is said to have fallen into Taira no Shigemori's possession. Fascinated with the blade's structure, he kept it as a treasure and asked for his family to use the sword type as their sword of choice. If one is to believe the following tales, Tomonari's blades were used in the Genpei War as arms for the Heike troops. Other blades forged by Tomonari were later given to Motonari and Hideyoshi. Ranmaru's variations of his third weapon continue to be named after swordsmiths from Bizen, Yoshikuni (Power) and Sadatsugu (Speed).
Kamudo no Tsurugi, also known as Ōhakari, is the namesake for Ranmaru's fifth weapon in the first title, fourth in the second game, and Unique in the third. The English name for his fifth sword in the second title strives to be much fancier than its Asian counterpart. Its original name is simply Dhammapala shinai; its appearance is somewhat faithful to its namesake. Dhammapala is somewhat related to the namesake for his sixth weapon, Dharmapala. In this case, the particular dharmapala mentioned in Ranmaru's weapon is known for having a child or infant-like figure in Japan. In spite of its size, it's a demon entity who is fiercely dedicated to protecting Buddha.
Ranmaru's family treasure in Samurai Warriors 4 is argued to be the name of his personal ashigaru armor.
His personal item in the Asian ports of Warriors Orochi is Zenrin Kokuhōki, known as the first book of Japan's diplomatic history. Believed to have been authored by a monk of Rinzai teachings, Zuikei Shuhō, the book roughly covers international affairs with China and Korea during the late fourteenth century through fifteenth century. It also includes basic measures for diplomacy during the Muromachi shogunate. For centuries, the text was the source for a negative albeit untrue image for Ashikaga Yoshimitsu's political judgments.
- Tony Oliver - Samurai Warriors (English-uncredited)
- Niko Macoulis - Samurai Warriors (German-uncredited)
- Lee Myeong-seon - Samurai Warriors (Korean)
- Wendi Jewers - Samurai Warriors 2, Nobunaga's Ambition: Rise to Power (English)
- Tara Platt - Warriors Orochi series; first and second games only, Samurai Warriors 3 (English-uncredited)
- Terrence Stone - Kessen III (English-uncredited)
- Naomi Shindō - Samurai Warriors and Warriors Orochi series (Japanese)
- Masakazu Morita - Kessen III (Japanese)
- Koji Haramaki - Nobunaga no Yabou: Tenka Sōsei
- Bin Shimada - Nobunaga's Ambition Online
- Yumiko Matsuura - Nobunaga no Yabou Taishi
- Nobunaga Shimazaki - Geten no Hana
- Kenji Akabane - Sengoku Pachislot Nobunaga no Yabou ~Tenka Sōsei~
- Yuki Kaji - Shin Nobunaga no Yabou
Live Action Performers
- Takumi Naganishi - as Mori Nyanmaru in Butai Nobunyaga no Yabou and Nyan
- Yuuki (Infini) - Butai Sengoku Musou Sekigahara no Shou
- Masafumi Yokoyama - Butai Geten no Hana, Butai Geten no Hana Yumeakari
- Rui Iruma - Kono Nyaka ni Jinbyou ga iru nya ~ Nobunyaga no Yabou Trial Kouen
- Mio Akaba - Kono Nyaka ni Jinbyou ga iru nya ~ Nobunyaga no Yabou Trial Kouen, Butai Nobunyaga no Yabou ~ Neko Gungi
- Tatsuya Kobayashi - Butai Nobunyaga no Yabou Yukimura to Gorin no Ken
- Mizuki Kobayashi, Muo Hattori - Butai Nobunyaga no Yabou ~ Neko Gungi 2
- Makiko Aimoto - Nobunaga no Yabou -Enbu- (2017 version)
- Yūka Tano - Nobunaga no Yabou -Enbu- (2020 version)
- Hiroki Takaoka - Butai Nobunaga no Yabou Taishi Mugen ~Honnoji no Hen~
- See also: Ranmaru Mori/Quotes
- "This is one battle where I refuse to admit defeat!"
- "This body is a sword, and this place a burial ground. Those who wish to die, come forth!"
- "I am as dangerous as I am manly!"
- "I'm... not a girl... really..."
- "I don't want to hurt you. You leave me no choice!"
- "Stop it! I'm gonna tell Lord Nobunaga on you!"
- "No! Looking at you helps me understand how Lady Nō feels. You're already too beautiful as it is. You're making us women look bad!"
- "Hmph. If you refuse to listen to me... Then I will just have to claim the title of the most beautiful woman for myself."
- ~~Ranmaru and Oichi; Samurai Warriors 2
- "The side which controls information controls it's enemy. Therefore, I will put on a disguise and slip into enemy territory."
- "I would advise against it, Ranmaru. You've failed at playing dress-up before, remember, when you once attempted to pass for a monk."
- "I still don't understand how the enemy spotted me that time... They said something like 'There are no girls in the priesthood.' What could that possibly mean?"
- "I will avenge my father. I have no time to suffer fools!"
- "Oh good, another playing partner! You'll take time for a quick game, won't you, young man?"
- "Why must we live our lives in such extremes of glory and despair? It is too cruel..."
- "It may be cruel, but such is the age in which we live. We survivors must move on."
- ~~Ranmaru and Motochika; Samurai Warriors 3
- "Do you like flowers? If you would, would you accept this flower hairpin?"
- "Uh... Thank you very much."
- "These wars must be cruel if they force a fair maiden like yourself to wield a sword. I swear on my honor, I will liberate this world of any further grief!"
- "Um... Not to rain on your parade, but I think you've been mistaken about something..."
- ~~Nagamasa and Ranmaru; Sengoku Musou 3: Empires
- "Ranmaru, do you know this Keiji?"
- "Yes. He is a strange man; wild in battle, yet strangely tender and sensitive elsewhere."
- "Uhh... Is there something I should know about you two?"
- ~~Lu Meng and Ranmaru; Warriors Orochi
- "You're fighting for your lord? Hey, me too!"
- "Then you must understand my motivations. Please understand why I must defeat you."
- ~~Xu Zhu and Ranmaru; Warriors Orochi 2
- "My lord's dream... it will not end. It will go on... FOREVER!!"
- ~~Kessen III
- "What appears to be the problem, Master Ieyasu?"
- "Master Ranmaru! Um... I was asked to carry these items outside the inner walls, but there was too much... and they scattered everywhere when I hit an odd step."
- "I see. So I am to carry these for you to your manor?"
- "Ah, no! I can do that myself...!"
- "Pardon me for saying so, but I am offering because it is evident that you can't."
- "I am heading back to the main keep, and your manor happens to be on the same path. Pay me no mind."
- "...It's not right to be so insensitive when making requests..."
- "Ah, I mean, it's nothing! I understand. I'm sorry for the giving you such a handful, but please do take care."
- ~~Ranmaru and Ieyasu; Geten no Hana
- "Boumaru, Rikimaru, you two put the delicacies onto plates."
- "Gyuhi, dried persimmons, bean candy... Brother Ranmaru, there's too many sweets for this banquet. Won't Lord Nobunaga tire of them?"
- "No, it's Lord Nobunaga we're talking about. We may actually be short of foreign desserts to offer him."
- "Yes. You mustn't think of yourself if you wish to be generous, Rikimaru. It's imperative for a host to consider their guests' wishes as though it were second nature. The thoughtfulness we demonstrate at this banquet is required etiquette for all samurai."
- ~~Ranmaru, Boumaru, and Rikimaru; Geten no Hana Yumeakari
- See also: Ranmaru Mori/Movesets
Samurai Warriors 2
|Keys:||Normal Attack •||Charge Attack •||Musou •||Jump/Mount|
- , (), ():Ranmaru charges his sword and cut the air in front of him making a wave of energy. The more he charges the bigger the wave, and it will break his opponents guard.
- , , ():Ranmaru stabs the enemy and tosses them in the air. He then runs past them with his blade striking them back into the air, and runs back before they hit the ground.
- , , , (): Ranmaru does a quick down slash. He then does a slash from right to left, and another from left to right knocking them back. He then runs forward with a shockwave trailing from his blade and lets it loose as he meets them.
- , , , , (): Ranmaru does a powerful falling diagonal strike, followed by a rising strike to send them flying. He then turn around and makes a huge slash cutting a wave in the air in front of him.
- , , , , :(Xtreme Legends only) Single diagonal slash tipped with the Slay element. Creates a temporary mirror image of Ranmaru.
- : Same execution as before. His level 3 musou imbues his attacks with the element on the weapon he has currently equipped.
- R1 + :Ranmaru does an extremely fast forward strike that leaves a doppelganger behind for a second.
- R1 + : Ranmaru assumes a stance to up his attack but lowers his defense.
- Personal Skill : (Facility) Evade while performing a charge attack.
- , : A powerful upward slash.
- , , : A downward slash that stuns enemies.
- , , , : A wide sweep attack.
- , , , , , , : Slashes diagonally several times.
- Warriors Orochi
Ranmaru's moveset remains the same except he loses many of his Samurai Warriors 2 additions. He also has a new R1 ability.
- R1: Ranmaru slashes the ground making several shockwaves cleave in front of him.
- Warriors Orochi 2
- Triple Attack 1: Performs a heavy slash with enough power to hurl air gusts forward.
- Triple Attack 2: Sends out a wide stream of wind in front of the user.
- Triple Attack 3: Slashes forward while crouching, causing air currents to fly at mid-range.
Samurai Warriors 3
- (Ultimate/Kaiden): Ranmaru raises his sword vertically infront of himself, and slams the end into the ground, sending a shockwave of energy forward.
- Spirit Cancel:
- Warriors Orochi 3
- R1: Strengthens weapon and increases attack speed.
- , R1 (Ultimate only): Sends down a wide energy wave on the enemy. Also powers up Ranmaru's weapon momentarily.
Samurai Warriors 4
Mighty strike is the same as Deadlock attack. Moveset remains relatively the same with the following changes.
- , , , , , (): Animation is the same as his old C5. After his slash, he emits a pillar of dark energy and slashes it. The energy spreads in a fan formation in front of him.
- : Finisher changes to him spinning forward a wave of energy. He hops and smashes the ground with his sword for a damaging shockwave.
- Rage Attack/Musou Gokui effect: Activates Ultimate/Kaidan Musou if is used. Performs ending pose for previous if the effect ends without activating Ultimate/Kaidan Musou.
- Awakened Skill effect (4-II only):
- , : Jumps and lands with a fierce two-handed frontal chop with his sword. Can be interrupted into normal attacks.
- , , : Ranmaru holds his sword down and swings it diagonally to the left.
- , , , : Same as his Hyper S2.
- , , , , : Same as his Hyper S3.
- , , , , , : Ranmaru spins along the ground slashing his sword, then sends forward a purple cutting wave.
- , , , , , :
Ranmaru's main strength is crowd clearing as his attacks have huge range and area of attack due to his nodachi. Coupled with his prominent attack stat and his projectiles, he can kill crowds with ease. Ranmaru's strength also makes him good against generals, but his lack of guard breaks prevents him from being from being in the top tier. Ranmaru's main two weakness are his speed and defense, leaving Ranmaru an easy target and vulnerable to attacks. Players must be careful and to try to not be in the middle of a crowd when facing a general and stay towards the edges of a crowd.
His C1 can be charged and used if a large group is headed towards Ranmaru to break them up. The C2 will damage a general and weaken the crowds around him. His C3 can help to separate generals from a crowd. His C4 is an all purpose attack that can damage generals greatly and crowds. His Musou absolutely rips up crowds with great power, speed, range and area, and is fairly damaging to generals too. His R1 + is a mainly used against generals as it hits hard and fast. His R1 + is for quickly dealing with a group or general, but should not be used if Ranmaru is overwhelmed as it weakens his defense further.
- See also: Ranmaru Mori/Weapons
Samurai Warriors: Spirit of Sanada
|Sword of Courage|
|Base Attack: 256||Ice: 84||Wind: 81|
|Death: 74||Attack Up: 83||Attack Range: 85|
|Courage: 77||Insight: 81||Verity: 79|
|Base Attack: 263||Lightning: 87||Fire: 84|
|Death: 77||Attack Up: 86||Attack Speed: 85|
|Fury: 80||Clarity: 84||Momentum: 87|
Rare Weapon Acquisition
- Stage: Incident at Honnōji - Escape from Azuchi
Mori Naritoshi's life was short-lived with no marriage and no known children of his own. His routine responsibilities were expected for the era and undecorated. There are no surviving historical records which can confirm whether or not he was attractive or as youthful as folklore and modern culture suggests.
Historical records associate him with the aliases Ran (乱) or Ranhōshi (乱法師). It's unclear if the names were actually used during his childhood. Older historical records chart his given name as Naritoshi. Historical records compiled over a century into the Edo period state Nagasada (長定) or Nagayasu (長康) as his given name. The conflicting accounts have led to a legend that he was favored enough to receive the "Naga" from Nobunaga's name, but there hasn't been a clear consensus on the accuracy of this claim. Due to its popularity within modern culture, historians may refer to him as Ranmaru (蘭丸 or 乱丸) when speaking of him.
Naritoshi was born in the Haguri District as Yoshinari and Myōkō-ni's (Hayashi Michiyasu's daughter) third son. When he was six years old, he was admitted into Nobunaga's service with his younger brothers, Bōmaru (Nagataka) and Rikimaru (Nagauji). He was known to have been entrusted messenger duties in 1579 to Shiokawa Nagamitsu and in 1580 to Oda Nobutada. By 1581, he graduated from his life as a standard page and was given 500 koku and an estate in Omi Province. He became Nobunaga's secretary and oversaw various paper work for administrative affairs.
His older brother, Nagayoshi, was preoccupied with the Takeda takeover in 1582 so the responsibilities of lordship for Kaneyama Castle or Iwamura Castle was transferred to Naritoshi. He received 50,000 koku. Naritoshi chose to not leave his residence and accepted representative responsibilities. Nagayoshi's veteran retainer, Kagami Motomasa, was the one to temporarily preside over either castle.
When the Akechi army approached in the same year, Naritoshi and his brothers were assumed to be at Honnōji. Their exact activities are mixed between conflicting accounts and unclear. According to Saitō Toshimichi's retainer, Yasuda Kunitsugu, he saw Nobunaga himself and wounded him with his spear. As he chased the fleeing Oda lord, Naritoshi had thrown himself into Kunitsugu's path and died in a fight to stop him. Kunitsugu claimed Naritoshi was dressed in a white robe and his top-knot was tied upwards in a rebellious ponytail. Honjo Yosōemon, a samurai who served Mitsuhide at the time, remarked that the women being evacuated stated someone was dressed in white but could not clarify the male figure in question. He wrote the end of twenty-three defenders who fought back with swords and spears, but none matched Naritoshi's description from Kunitsugu's testimony. Luís Fróis wrote that the twenty-three or so pages were the first to perish protecting Nobunaga. To add to the confusion, the Mori family records do not indicate any family deaths taking place at this time.
Edo period folklore theatricalizes Naritoshi to be a tragic hero and one of his lord's favorite lovers. In these tales, he was said to have flawless white skin and unmatched beauty. He was praised by Nobunaga to have carried a "fragrance as lovely as an orchid", leading to the famous Ranmaru name (蘭丸). During his service, he allegedly left Nobunaga's side once to spy on the Uesugi. Although he had disguised himself as a monk, his looks shone through and charmed Kenshin to fall madly in love with him. Kenshin wanted to enlist Naritoshi into his service, but the page cleverly feigned his death to return to Nobunaga. Many tales also include Naritoshi and his mother being wary of Honnōji a decade before the temple's fall and exaggerate the number of times they try to warn Nobunaga of the danger.
Many stories indicate that he was perceptive and thorough in his servitude to Nobunaga. His lord fancied him and was known to fondly tease him. Aside from the tale regarding Fudō Yukimitsu, another tale has Nobunaga order his page to shut the door to his room. He knew it was already closed but wanted to see Naritoshi's reaction to the command. The page opened the door with a deliberate clap against its framing before shutting it. When Nobunaga prodded for an explanation of his actions, Naritoshi answered he did so to avoid accusing his master of fault; he orchestrated the clap so his lord would be aware of his misjudgment and closed it to complete his order.
Another story regarding his days beside Nobunaga has Naritoshi carrying a large box of mikan. His lord spotted him and hollered that a box that size would cause him to topple over. Nobunaga had a good laugh when Naritoshi tumbled. When Nobunaga warmly chided his page's bout of clumsiness, Naritoshi stated he was fine and calmly recovered. His lord had insisted he would fall carrying it. Naritoshi would not dare to point out his lord's mistake so he chose to promptly fall before him. Witnesses were moved and alarmed by his stern reply.
Naritoshi suspected something amiss with Mitsuhide two years before his betrayal. The page happened to be eating in front of the general and spotted his uncertainties written in his gestures. He promptly warned his lord that Mitsuhide may be plotting against him in private. Nobunaga paid him no heed. On another of his whimsical teasing sessions, Nobunaga told Naritoshi to write his wish onto a piece a paper so that it may be given as a present. Nobunaga had expected simple desires such as passion or love. He did not expect his page to write Sakamoto, Omi and 80,000 koku. It was another warning to prepare defenses against Mitsuhide.
He is always stated to be the one who reports Mitsuhide's betrayal to Nobunaga and to have died fighting in his lord's defense beside his younger brothers, Bōmaru and Rikimaru. Alternatively, his brothers sacrificed themselves so Naritoshi could defend Nobunaga and Naritoshi was his lord's last valiant bodyguard to fall defending him.
- In Sengoku Angelique, Arios assumes "Mori Arios Ranmaru" as his alias.
- Official Geten no Hana Twitter account, with Yumeakari Jizou event, with Yumeakari Aizouban character message preview
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|Geten no Hana • Yumeakari|
|Geten no Hana|
|Hotaru • Nobunaga Oda • Mitsuhide Akechi • Hideyoshi Hashiba • Ieyasu Tokugawa • Ranmaru Mori • Naomitsu Momoji • Nobuyuki Oda|
|Geten no Hana Yumeakari|
|Kanbei Kuroda • Hanbei Takenaka|