Kurotora, or just Kuro (also known as Hellhound of Kai or The Death of Snakes), is a member of the brotherly Kai Trio. He and his brothers are the protagonists of their own short story Kai No San Kyōdai. In Ginga Densetsu Weed he is the only living of his brothers.
Kurotora is a Kai Ken with dark fur and black stripes. He has yellow eyes like his brothers. He has a slashed right eye and he got it from the Marten. In the GNG anime, he is completely dark blue-gray, while in the manga he has a paler underbelly.
Since the style change, he has different face markings and blue eyes.
Kurotora is aggressive, violent and short-tempered. While all three brothers are known of their quick temper, Kurotora is the most impatient and easily provoked, attacking easily with small reasons.
His impulsiveness sometimes makes him recklessly attack much stronger enemies. He'd rather die than run away - and he taught this way of thinking to his nephews. Apparently, it's Akatora who first told him about this way of thinking, but Kurotora didn't listen to the part about how running is okay in extreme situations.
Like his brothers, Kurotora respects Ben deeply and would give his life for him. Kurotora would have died if Ben wasn't there to rescue him.
Kurotora feels hate towards snakes due to his past experience with one as a puppy and eagerly challenged Hyakkiga due to his serpent-like armor. He is not afraid of snakes but they simply seem to make him aggressive.
In Ginga Densetsu Weed, Kurotora is still highly aggressive but old - and he hates to be reminded of it. He is very proud of his nephews and sons and greatly cares about them, though he can be a bit harsh with them at the times. He mourns deeply when his nephews die.
Kurotora understands well when Shigure wants to avenge the deaths of his brothers and eagerly encourages him to have revenge.
He sometimes gets into small quarrels with Akame as the Kishu is notably more rational and Kurotora doesn't always agree with his way of thinking. The other Ouu veterans sometimes need to calm Kurotora down as well as he is very annoyed when he isn't allowed to fight.
Kurotora seems to realize his own nature and once mentioned that he isn't as goodhearted as Gin or Akame as he rather beats up the enemy in anger.
In Ginga Densetsu Weed: Orion and Ginga: TLW, Kurotora admires and respects the veterans of the army and becomes angry at those who disrespects his comrades.
Ginga Nagareboshi Gin
Kurotora is the youngest of the Kai Brothers and showed up early in the manga with his brothers.
Kurotora and his two brothers were abandoned as puppies out of five siblings, and they were almost eaten by a snake, but the puppies ate the snake instead. Later, a marten attacked them and grabbed Kurotora by the head (that was how he got his slashed left eye). Ben then came to the rescue. He came to check on the young Kais often.
Four years later, Ben's platoon comes to the area and finds the brothers hunting a boar. After an argument and a realization that Ben was the dog who saved them in their puppyhood, they joined Ben gladly and swore to protect him with their lives.
Kurotora always moves with his brothers and sadly his older brother Akatora dies in the battle against Akakabuto. Kurotora survives the final battle along with his other brother Chutora. They stay in Ouu mountains with many of their comrades.
When the mysterious wolves kidnap Cross and her puppies, Kurotora and others go to search for her and have to face Hakkenshi Of Sirius one at the time in order to reach her. Kurotora defeats Hyakkiga, a wolf whose armor reminded him of a snake and thus angered him.
Later, he works as a bait in order to let Gin and others get into the core of the Palace. He is challenged by Raiga whose strange technique confuses him and gets him beaten. He is rescued by Moss, the Four Heavenly Kings of Mutsu and Hakurō.
Later, the wolf lord Reima tells them that their true enemy is an evil wolf lord Gaia. It also turns out that Kurotora is the Ran warrior, meaning that he is a descendant of an original hakkenshi of Sirius and the true user of Ran Daryushin-Battōga. They swim to Hokkaido to face Gaia's Empire. Kurotora has an evil Ran Warrior counterpart but doesn't face him in battle as the fight is stopped by Juga. He tries to attack the wolf but fails.
After Juga and the evil Battōga users have been defeated, they face Gaia. Kurotora wants to kill the wolf and catches him, but Gaia rips off his own ear in order to get off. Then, the emperor wounds Kurotora badly. He survives the battle and returns to Ouu along with his brother Chūtora.
When the Kai Brothers were puppies, barely a month old, they were abandoned in the mountains by their owner.
Not long after, they were assaulted by a giant snake who wanted to feed on them. However, together, they managed to kill and eat the snake. To survive in the wilderness, they kept fighting all the enemies they could, cooperating, making them incredibly strong.
However, the rogue dog (a weasel in the manga) attacked them and managed to bite out Kurotora's eye, but before the dog could kill him, Ben came out of nowhere and rescued them. Kurotora is the youngest and lost his eye in the aforementioned fight against the rogue dog. In the last episode, Akatora, his brother, gets killed by Akakabuto.
Ginga Densetsu Weed
Kurotora is the only surviving Kai brother from the old Kai territory.
When he first hears about Weed, he is together with his sons and nephews Shigure, Shōji, Dodo and Buru, whom he took care of after their father, Chutora, died. Kurotora decides to go and defend the fortress Gajou together with his nephews. He orders his sons to stay with Kagetora and find Weed.
As Kurotora arrives at the fortress, the enemy Genba is approaching. Just before the fight, the Kishu, Akame arrives and pulls Kurotora out over a cliff and into a river (to spare him from the battle). Kurotora’s pride is hurt and he is angry. But those feelings are soon replaced with sorrow as he later finds the dead bodies of three of his four nephews who didn’t survive the battle. He now swears that he will do all he can to kill the one responsible for his nephews' deaths. His revenge came when first Genba and later on Hōgen are both killed.
Kurotora serves as a back-up for Gin's group against Viktor.
One of Gin's commanders. Does not have a major role. He joins Gin once again along with Ben and Cross, when his son Kagetora and Ben's son Ken visited them in Kofu. Three of his four nephews die in the anime. He helped fight in the last battle together with Akame and took down one of the last protectors of Gajou.
Ginga Densetsu Weed: Orion
Kurotora appears as a minor character in this series. He spends most of the time locked in the shed with the other Ou dogs after the volcano erupted, leaving them all unconscious. Kurotora and the others are greeted by Rigel and Kotetsu who leave to find Daisuke.
Once freed, he follows everyone to the final fight with Kurohabaki Masamune and witnesses the evil dog's demise.
Ginga: The Last Wars
Kurotora appears alongside Gin at the beginning of the first chapter. Telling Gin not to worry about his loss of eye-sight. He also summons some of the soldiers of Ohu to assist Weed in investigating the strange scent in the air.
Kurotora assists the dogs in fighting the bears, despite Gin's orders not to engage with them. As a result, Kurotora is injured with the rest of the dogs, but not fatally. As he continues to fight, a mysterious Doberman appears and orders the older dogs to surrender themselves to Monsoon. Kurotora is quickly angered by the Doberman and rushes to attack him, but is thrown off by Monsoon's kin.
Bob tries to explain further that Monsoon carries only a grudge for the older dogs, as they killed his father. Monsoon himself arrives and looks over the dogs, mistaking Ken for his father, Ben. He also demands to see John as he has had nightmares about him killing his family. Kurotora tells Bob that John has long been dead, to which Monsoon seems very relieved. Looking around, the bear sees Musashi and instantly attacks him. Kurotora rushes in angrily and is slashed by Monsoon, leaving him critically injured.
Kurotora remains injured on the floor whilst his comrades are mercilessly massacred around him, but upon the arrival of the remaining Koga dogs, he passes out. The Koga Elder points out to his worried comrades that Kurotora is still breathing, and is only unconscious.
Shortly after their defeat, Monsoon has built a makeshift dungeon similar to Gajou using rocks and boulders. Kurotora is still alive but feels his time is coming to an end. He says that Tesshin shall be their new leader before he seemingly falls lifeless. The other dogs begin to mourn another veteran when they notice he is still breathing. The Koga Elder, who survived his wounds, states he just fell asleep, causing the others to sigh in relief.
After a few days, Mole arrives with his children and dogs an escape route, helping the injured dogs to freedom. They are taken to a patch of grass away from the bears where they can rest. Kurotora is fast asleep when Orion and his brothers arrive.
Shortly after, the dogs are resting in the grass during a storm. Kurotora is still very weak and unable to stand, but manages to sit up slightly when he sees Sunny and Maru coming. They tell him that Jerome made it safely to them and they're there to help, and if they were to die they would be reunited with their mother and three siblings. Kurotora flies into a rage, calling them fools for wanting to throw their lives away so suddenly.
Kurotora and his group slowly moved to another area so they wouldn't get in the way. Then, Monsoon finds them Kurotora says to the soldiers to hold up their honor as a male. He sees his son Kagetora acting as the decoy, speaking with great courage Kurotora was proud of his son and sees him strike Monsoon with the same attack his brother Akatora did with Monsoon's father. After Monsoon's attack the bear when running into the woods to the dogs shock, he went to check Kage was okay and he was.
Then, he was met by Orion's group and was told that Monsoon was scared off by humans. Shortly after he and the others heard a helicopter from up above, upon seeing it he told them that he'd kill them if they ran but the kai ken told them to hurry and give Orion and the others support.
Then, Kurotora begins to hears the victory howls of their comrades proud of their success they begin to join in too.
Next, Kurotora is seen relaxing in the grass unaware how much time has passed and he goes to see if everyone is alright to which they are. He begins to hear someone coming thinking it was Monsoon and Akakama stands up to defend them which leaves the kai ken surprised that he could stand up and used his strength fighting the bear when he was here. It turns out it was Orion and Tesshin who tells them that they found Monsoon again but he got away. When Kurotora asks him what will they do now Orion says he'll never forgive Monsoon for what he did and won't let him get away
Kurotora and the others see hunters searching for any remaining bears and tells them not to be afraid and that these humans are they can trust. The Kai Ken tells them not to bite the humans especially Akakama he warns him that if makes enemies they can't work together.
Then, he is treated by Daisuke for his injures along with the others Hidetoshi couldn't take in. With his wounds healed, he and the other injured dogs regroup and are joined by Gin, who left Daisuke's care to check on them. Feeling defeated over their losses, the army spend their days and nights cuddled together for comfort before Andy, Yamabiko, Bon and Orion leave to find Sirius.
When morning comes Kurtora hears Kyoshiro chew Orion out for sending his friends away. Then, watches Kyoshiro challenge Orion to a fight even though the kishu lost. He saw Orion crying in tears saying that he stayed behind for the sake of everyone because the Ohu Army needs a true leader. He praises Orion that he's becoming a true male.
Shortly, after Jerome's return Kurotora sees Daisuke right behind him and that their human friend has come to take Gin back to keep an eye on his health. Cross doesn't want Gin to go because she feels that she won't be able to watch over the children; Kurotora tries to assure her but to no avail and hopes his friend returns soon.
Some time later, Kurtora sees Orion go crazy and purposely fall into valley running after him calling him a fool if he wanted to die. But he hears that Jerome is going to bring him back and sees the shepard fall after him.
After Orion's returning visit from Akame and the others, he hears that everyone is doing well. When Orion asks where the sickle went Kurotora gently reminds Orion that he had and when the pup goes searching for it the kai ken comments on Orion being hot-headed. Kurotora goes with everyone to search for the lost sickle but after days of searching it's no where to be found. With Kyoshiro thinking that Orion isn't leader material anymore they all choose Cross to be the new boss with Kuro agreeing and when Orion returns. He hears Orion say that he is going to learn some new secret ninja techniques he picked up from Akame. Believing in the young pup he follows the others to watch Orion.
Seeing the young pup's skills Kurotora and the others want to try too but when kai ken takes a swing but he doesn't do the same as Orion becoming frustrated saying if he was younger things would be different. He hears from Orion what he learned in a day took Akame two years to learn as the training continues he becomes impressed with Orion's progressed and gets encouraged to keep training. Then, he that Rigel and Rocket have return but bring a bear cub and charges at it with the others when Kyoshiro goes to attack the cub he becomes astonished that Rigel flipped the kishu over with ease after Rigel explains everything the kai ken becomes surprised that Sirius wants them to raise Chibi until he becomes an adult.
Kurotora watches Rigel and Rocket convince Orion not to kill Chibi. Then, when he hears Orion talk disrespectfully towards his comrades Kurotora calls the pup a brat and reminds if he wants to be a good solider he needs to watch what he says. When he hears that Orion is trying to protect him and everyone in Ohu the kai ken reminds Orion that he doesn't need protecting from him. When he sees Orion pointing his bamboo stick at him he convinces the pup to attack him but is stopped by Jerome and watches in horror as Orion almost attacks the shepard. He watches Kyoshiro give Orion a beat crying in tears but soon the tears turn into laughter as everyone runs back up the hill.
- The Three Kai-brothers' names actually come from the colors or Kai-ken coats, which are black (Kurotora), red (Akatora), and middle, mix of black and red, (Chūtora).
- Similar to John, Kurotora's eye colour changes frequently, sometimes being yellow and sometimes light blue and also once appears brown.