Kuroki Tōbē was one of the four platoon leaders of Hōgen and later an Ōu soldier.
He was the twelfth heavyweight fighting dog champion from Shikoku. He gained the nickname of the Devil of Tosa.
He is a big brown tosa with black ears, muzzle and markings around his yellow eyes. With a black leather harness.
When he turns against Hougen he loses his right eye.
Tōbē was a determined, fearless and proud dog.
He had only seen fighting in his life, always taking everything seriously and seeming to have no sense of humor.
He stayed calm even in very bad situations, even when facing death.
He was, at first, overly confident and believed that being the strongest was all that matters, being a fighting dog.
He had a sense of justice and honor, not wanting to kill a much less skillful dog nor leave wounded fighting comrades behind. Still, he was also always ready to obey orders, even if he didn't like them.
He later became more humble and realized he was not the strongest of all and that it really shouldn't matter. He eventually started to use his strength to protect weaker ones and decided to use his life to help the Ōu dogs.
He was glad to die for his friends, without fear. He kept his pride until the end, not wanting to die down in front of his enemies.
Ginga Densetsu Weed
Tōbē was born to be a fighting dog in Shikoku island.
Years later, Tōbē fought against a famous veteran Musashi. Musashi refused to get up and lost willingly, wanting to give younger Tōbē his place as a fighting dog champion.
After defeating Musashi, Tōbē was sure of his strength and saw himself as invincible. All he wanted was to have more and more stronger opponents. He wanted to be the strongest of all.
Then, Tōbē remembered the stories about Musashi as an Ōu soldier. He realized that the commander Musashi served must have been even stronger than him. He didn't see why else an honorable fighting dog like Musashi would have served a mere bear hound.
Tōbē believed that in order to become strongest he had to defeat Gin, so he left his owner. However, he had overestimated himself and didn't even know how to hunt. He eventually joined Hōgen's army in order to have food and possibly to meet Gin and some other Ōu soldiers.
Tōbē was still very confident and was a participant in the contest to find good officers for Hōgen. He quickly got a high status as he showed Hōgen what he is made of.
Tōbē's companionship with Hōgen became brief when he failed to protect Hōgen’s brother Genba during a fight with Weed’s pack. Hōgen punished Tōbē by ripping out his eye and wounding him badly. He threw Tōbē into a river and left him to die.
However, Tōbē was rescued by Weed’s pack. After getting so easily defeated by Hōgen, he realized how foolish he was, believing he was the strongest.
He wished to go get revenge on Hōgen even if it kills him, but he met Musashi again who stopped him by telling him that he was needed and he was strong in order to protect others. Tōbē eventually joined the Ōu army after feeling the warmth of friendship for the first time.
Tōbē later goes to search for the missing Kyōshirō and his minions. He found his minions but jumped into the river in order to rescue the puppy, Takeshi. Before they can turn back, they bumped into Kamakiri. Tōbē pretended he's still loyal to Hōgen and that Takeshi was his prisoner. Kamakiri believed him and took him back to the fortress.
Here Hōgen gives him another chance, though he is a bit suspicious and wonders why Tōbē doesn't want revenge. Tōbē helps Takeshi to escape but gets discovered by Kamakiri and his soldiers, who follow him.
Alone, Tōbē fights Kamakiri's army of two hundred dogs in order to give Kyōshirō and Takeshi time to run. He fought completely calm despite the impossible mission. He didn't give up even when losing both of his ears and tail. He killed a total of twenty six soldiers on his own before he was stopped by Kamakiri who surprised him and wounded his skull.
Tōbē fell to the ground and Kamakiri left with his soldiers, leaving him to die. Apparently, Tōbē got up despite his wounds because his pride wouldn't let him die on the ground.
Weed and the others came and found him almost dead. They hear his last words and fulfill his last wish of dying standing. Weed and the others supported his body with their own. After a last howl, Tōbē quickly froze to death and became similar to an ice statue.
Tōbē was an Ōu soldier only for few days but he was very proud to be a one and die for his comrades. He was last time seen as a ghost during the fight between Weed and Hōgen.
See more pictures in Tōbē/Gallery.
"I've already died once. I'll use the rest of my life for you"
- Tōbē to the Ōu army Ginga Densetsu Weed, volume 22
"Anyone who has lived well is not dismayed by death!"
- Tōbē to Kamakiri's pack Ginga Densetsu Weed, volume 24
"I won't fall to them.. I'm going to die on my feet.. My pride will not let me fall down. I won't succumb .. I'll show them that even if the body can die, the spirit of the right can continue to live."
- Tōbē's last words Ginga Densetsu Weed, volume 24