Kabane (Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress)
Kabane are undead that feature in Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress.
Kabane (カバネ, lit. corpse) were a type of undead beings that began appearing on the planet around twenty years ago. It was stated that they emerged suddenly on the world and completely changed it afterwards. The general human population saw them as cursed beings that were the supernatural undead. However, it was theorized that the Kabane were actually the result of a virus that infected host bodies from a bite. The capital of Kongokaku became the center of research into the Kabane. Around 10 years ago, 400,000 soldiers were dispatched by the Shogunate to Kyushu to exterminate the Kabane. This force was commanded by a young Biba Amatori despite the fact that he was only twelve years old at the time. After landing at Kyushu, the troops were in a cut position to establish several bases where they managed to cut off the Kabane. Despite this early achievement, supplies for the expedition began to stop leading to the soldiers being isolated and eventually obliterated by the Kabane. The exiled Amatori managed to survive this event where he blamed his father for betraying him along with his men. He later established an independent force known as the Karikatashu (Hunters) with this group dispatched to eliminate the Kabane. The Hunters had a long history of defeating Kabane where they rid the land of the creatures and returned it to the people. The process continued in the span of 10 years with Biba doing secret research on the Kabane onboard Hayajiro Kokujou. Inside the Hayajiro was a Fused Colony named Tsutsugamidokoro that he used for his research and through his knowledge he turned the young girl Mumei into a Kabaneri.
At Shitori Station, Biba Amatori was invited to meet with the lord of the station. He, however, betrayed them where he had his men lead a horde of Kabane into the city where they began attacking the inhabitants. At that time, he injected a serum into his loyal subordinate Kabaneri Horobi to transform her into the core of an Artificial Hybrid Colony that he had run amok to destroy the station. After the damage, Lady Horobi succumbed to the virus where she became a mindless creature with enhanced abilities such as an armored form where she began attacking her fellow Hunters. She managed to stop herself just as she was ready to kill Biba who slew her. Amatori later took his forces with the intention of destroying the capital of Kongokaku in order to get his revenge against his father the Shogun. Biba infiltrated the city by pretending to be Ayame's hostage where he had an infection that made people appear as Kabane to turn the populace against one another. During this time, he had infected his father whereupon he killed him after which he had his forces release the Kabane that was within his train into Kongokaku.
In appearance, Kabane were humanoid entities that were actually walking undead corpses that had been reanimated by an infection. Characteristics that defined them were their glowing red eyes and heart with their veins similarly holding a reddish hue. Transformation into a Kabane occurred through a single bite wound whereupon a host was infected and transformed into one of these walking undead. Once bitten, it was said that it took sometime for the curse to incubate within a host. It was theorised that the Kabane was a virus that infected a host body and spread into the brain. Their undead nature meant that they were highly resilient though a strike to the heart could kill them. However, their hearts were coated in Kabane metal membrane that made standard blades easily broke when attempted to pierce it. Metal treated with Kabane steel were able to pierce the heart and thus kill the creature. Another means of killing them was shown to be by severing the head from the body.
It was noted that the Kabane were drawn to the smell of blood. They were driven to find prey to infect with them showing no fear or emotions as the chased in a feral pursuit of quarry. As a result, they were shown to go through flames or other obstacles in their single-minded pursuit. Whilst aggressive, Kabane were shown to retain some form of human intelligence as they were able to recognize threats, targets and form basic strategies in order to accomplish their goals. This was seen during their attack on the armored trains where lone Kabane performed suicidal attacks by launching themselves as such high speeds that their bodies were destroyed but caused intense damage to metal. Kabane were shown to be drawn to blood allowing them to be herded towards locations. Certain humans came to believe that the Kabane were supernatural creatures and the result of a curse.
One type of Kabane was a Wazatori that were members of their kind that had learned how to fight from experience and were formidable combatants with them able to use weapons. Such specimens were unlike ordinary Kabane as they could use their speed to dodge weapon fire. Another form was the Fused Colony that was a gigantic mass of Kabane that merged together into a humanoid form. Such was the number of these Kabane that victims stated they were numerous to the point of being a black smoke. A Fused Colony were strong enough to damage buildings with a melee strike which sometimes detached a number of Kabane that composed the large entity. If smashing against a large obstacle, the components of the Colony fell apart but were able to reform themselves back in time. Fused Colonies were said to be greedy and equally took in the corpses of both humans as well as other Kabane into their form allowing them to grow larger. The core of these large creatures was a single Kabane that formed the heart of the Fused Colony. The heart was difficult to damage as the other Kabane that composed the mass served as protection for it. Once killed, the large mass of the colony collapsed into its constituent parts.
Certain humans that managed to prevent the virus from overwhelming them were transformed into a hybrid state. They were not mindless flesh eating Kabane but they were not human either with these being referred to as Kabaneri. Such individuals were said to possess the body of a Kabane but retained their human mind. It was claimed that male Kabaneri were rare. These beings had feats that were beyond that of a human with some evident signs of their transformation such as the glowing heart normally seen in Kabane. Due to being hybrids, they were immune to the bites of a Kabane allowing them to survive attacks from infected. Furthermore, their bodies were able to heal far faster than an ordinary human allowing them to survive dangerous wounds. Another trait of the Kabaneri was that they were good at copying others allowing them to mimic the fighting styles of skilled warriors. Due to their nature, Kabaneri when hungry felt a desire to feed on blood that could sate them and provide them sustenance. Without blood, a Kabaneri grew weak and sometimes became a slave to their instincts as they forcibly attacked a person in order to feed on their blood. Special medication could be given in order to halt the spread of the curse on the body.
- Ikoma : a male Kabaneri Steamsmith.
- Mumei : a female Kabaneri.
- Kabane when translated meant corpse in Japanese where they served as antagonists in the series.
- Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress: