Hayato Kurogane (鐵 隼人 Kurogane Hayato) is the stern captain of the EXE and the Dullahans, effectively giving him the 2nd most influence in the Inquisition's troops after Sougetsu himself. He is contracted to both Caligula and Maximilian, an unprecedented achievement in the Inquisition's history which helped him earn the title as "the strongest Witch Hunter".
Hayato is a relatively young man who wears the regular colors of the EXE uniform that is colored red and black. He has the captain's emblem emblazoned on his uniform along with black-red striped tie. Due to his diligence and unshakeable worth ethic, he is never seen out of its uniform. He has black hair which is slicked back while a few strands form bangs that cover a portion of his face.
Born as an abnormal "Hero Vessel" who boasted exceptional skill and intelligence, Kurogane expressed little to no emotions and only acted on efficiency. Kugorane was merciless and uncaring in his early days and was never shown to be shaken by any means and remained perfectly calm under any situation. He solely followed the written law of an Inquisitor and acted accordingly.
Through his late superior Kazuma's heavy-handed lessons, Hayato strove to better himself and became more aware of those around him and he forged an inner "law" to live by. This inner code defined Kurogane's entire life and he dedicated his talents in protecting innocent people. Should any opposition come against his law, he would unhesitatingly wipe them out, but by any means something was deemed justifiable for him to act, he would carry it out. This belief was so firmly entrenched in his mindset that it overshadowed other recognized rules and regulations, essentially placing his own judgment above everything else. His very presence inspires certain dread and admiration among his peers and a majority of the characters who encounter him are usually intimidated by his regular, emotionless scowl, even more so on the rare occasion he gets angered. While still considered aloof and austere by his subordinates, Kurogane treasured his comrades and his self-sacrificial nature stemmed from his desire to protect those around him, willing to sacrifice himself if it would assure the safety of others. This sentiment was not openly shared as Kurogane mostly kept to himself and behaved professionally.
From his earliest memory, Hayato's capabilities and lack of emotion distanced everyone he knew away from him. This included his parents and he lived alone from an early age and discovered through research that someone with his talents were called "Hero Vessels". He concluded that he could live his life in one of two ways, to involve himself with evil and conquer the world, or become the world's guardian and uphold the law. Having legitimate interest in both, he made his decision by trivial toss of a coin.
A decade prior to the start of the series, Hayato joined academy in the 35th Platoon and met with first years Mamoru Jougasaki and Iori Himemiya during his third year before ascending into the Student Council's ranks. He joined the Inquisition as the youngest Dullahan and was put underneath Kazuma Mineshiro, where the two immediately got off to a rocky start. Kazuma's merciless tendencies while also prioritizing civilian safety had Hayato view him as inferior to him and more importantly, inefficient and constantly disregarded orders to act independently. Hayato's single-track mind to carry out the Inquisition's written law was reprimanded by Kazuma, who deemed that those without their "own laws" weren't worthy to become Inquisitors. The investigation of a illegal witch trafficking ring, Insect Cage, ended with the death of many of its imprisoned test subjects while also suggesting collusion between them and the Inquisition. Hayato urged to further this investigation and blamed Kazuma for ignoring their chance to uncover the collusion, but Kazuma had no regrets, and walked out with the incident's sole survivor. For the first time, Hayato took Kazuma's words to heart after seeing such conviction in the face of a bleak outcome.
From then on, Hayato began to cooperate with others and refrained from acting alone and was soon accepted among the EXE after a troublesome start. While he did not completely sacrifice efficiency, Hayato gave his all in everything he could and achieved results he never would have expected, naturally increasing the lives he saved. Hayato was promoted to be the Vice-Captain of the EXE and was assigned to investigate Kazuma under suspicion of treason and colluding with the Inquisition's dissidents. Hayato confronted Kazuma, whereupon he expressed his intent to retire, live with his family, and have Hayato promoted as the EXE's captain. Hayato however was furious at how Kazuma seemed to have forsaken his "law" that he was so prideful about and demanded to know why he was abandoning them. However, Hayato couldn't pull the trigger, as the law that was now instilled within him wouldn't allow it. Witnessing this, Kazuma's last words were words of encouragement, if Hayato led the EXE as he was now, everyone would follow him without question.
Five years afterwards, Hayato was contacted by Kazuma by e-mail where it read that if anything were to happen to him, he would leave his wife and children in Hayato's care. The next day, out of pure premonition, Hayato gave up chasing Valhalla's Haunted and entered Kazuma's home, only to find everyone except a familiar looking child killed. Hayato stopped himself from contacting headquarters to quickly move on to hunt for the killer but instead, assured the girl that everything was alright. Hayato finally understood what Kazuma meant and felt regret for the first time in his life, burdened by the lives he wasn't able to save.
In the near future, Kurogane was deployed to the massacre that was caused by Kiseki and did not hesitate to think that what needed to be done. The demon sprouting from her was to be killed, and Kusanagi Kiseki was to be saved. The confrontation ended with Kiseki's capture by the Inquisition.
Hero Summoning ArcEdit
Kurogane was apparently away on a business trip during King Arthur's attack on the academy and mentioned that if he had been there, a significant amount of people would have survived.
Witches Struggle Arc Edit
Kurogane is first seen during his walk with Sougetsu in the containment area to inform him of Mari's status, whereupon Sougetsu welcomes her to the academy. He is seen again walking out of Sougetsu's office and greeting the 35th platoon before walking away. With Mari essentially being an unknowing "bait" to lure out Valhalla's members, Kurogane and a number of Dullahans kept surveillance on her at all times.
Kurogane oversees the mock battle tournament and warns his subordinates to prepare for the worst and most unexpected way for Valhalla's forces to intrude upon them. He is joined by Sougetsu and Kurogane informs him that Ouka had snooped around with Mari's files and returned to the scene of the crime. Sougetsu expresses little concern over the matter as the outcome will remain the same no matter what and whatever Mari was incriminated with wouldn't stop Takeru from protecting her. When Haunted appears on the arena, Kurogane wastes no time in ordering the Inquisition's troops to open fire and explains to Sougetsu that capturing Haunted alive will be impossible and they must go for the kill. Haunted is pierced with an innumerable amount of bullets and falls, and the Spriggans ceasefire. Kurogane yells at them to continue their attack and Haunted retaliates with his garden's vines. Kurogane brings out his Relic Eater and fights back, ordering for the rest of his troops to assist in evacuating the arena. Haunted erects a powerful barrier to separate himself from the Inquisition troops and Kurogane moves in to deal with the tampered Dragoons and activates Caligula's Witch Hunter form.
Two Alchemists Arc Edit
Kurogane is present during Ikaruga's brief questioning by Sougetsu regarding her involvement with the Alchemists. With her leave, Kurogane suggested that they retrieve her again but this torture the information out of her but Sougetsu instead opted to use what Ikaruga knew to instigate war against the Alchemists to forge a one-sided alliance between them and the Inquisition. Kurogane offered to monitor Ikaruga to minimize any and all casualties but Sougetsu talks him out of it as Kurogane was too high-ranking to be caught in the political loophole Sougetsu was looking for and they settled on utilizing someone from the Banshees.
As such Kurogane doesn't explicitly take part in the operation against the Alchemist conflict and frequently instructs his subordinate, Oonogi Kanata through a communication line.
Hyakki Yakou Arc Edit
Kurogane is seen along with Sougetsu monitoring Kiseki's status and how recent developments and her reaching maturity has increased her power as well as her own awareness. Kiseki goes out of control and Kurogane is sent in to attempt to subdue her and he survives the encounter while Kiseki was able to escape.
Kurogane appears in the city to intervene Kyouya and Takeru's fight and he shoots Kyouya for disobeying orders and places Kiseki and Takeru in custody. Kurogane however lets Takeru have two minutes to say his goodbyes before Sougetsu assures him that a method to save Kiseki will be possible, at the cost of Takeru being unable to visit her until a cure is found. Kurogane leads a convoy of diversions with Kiseki captive in transporting her to a new holding facility, and is joined by Kyouya and Kanata. The latter's aircraft come under attack while Kyouya and Kurogane fight off 3 Einherjars. After their fight, Orochi reveals himself and Kurogane orders for Kyouya to move on ahead without him and brings out his second Relic Eater, Maximilian to fight off Orochi.
Crimson Lotus Arc Edit
Kurogane, Kanata, and Kyouya were sent out along with the Inquisition's forces to reclaim the Grey City from the witch's occupation. While he personally did not lead the troops, Kurogane and Kanata worked in tandem to covertly take down key positions and targets separate from the main forces. He issues an order for Kanata to relay a message to Ouka, currently leading the divided 35th Platoon with Kyouya's assistance, for her to escape the battlefield. Kanata approached Kurogane to ask him if he would consider joining the dissidents, to which he refused, as he still had his duties to fulfill with the Inquisition. Kanata also questioned his particular concern with Ouka and he denies any special treatment given both to her and the 35th platoon. Hayato calls Ouka, who was leading the last charge against Laugh Maker, where he offered to join them in their charge. Ouka however requested that they move ahead without him and Kurogane agreed to let them act alone, and ordered for them to return alive.
Hayato is seen again at the end of the conflict where after Laugh Maker's defeat, he confronts the reunited 35th platoon and places them under arrest. However, a squad of Spriggans clamor at how the 35th platoon was able to help them win the battle and Hayato decides to overlook their case, but only this once.
Witch Hunt War Arc Edit
After Kurogane witnesses the usage of captured witches to power the Guillotines and how Sougetsu intended to use Kiseki as his ultimate weapon, Kurogane headed out to a secret location to uncover Kazuma's hidden message. Before leaving, Kurogane left the Captain's Emblem to his subordinate, Mamoru, and left the EXE "in his care". Kurogane's journey however is impeded by a number of Guillotine users and he forcibly subdues all of them but avoids killing them. Kurogane enters the secret location and uncovers the document, only having it read he hid the document involving Sougetsu's identity at a newspaper firm near the border. Kurogane remembers his past and then heads out.
Kurogane is then encountered by the 35th Platoon, who were also after the same document, but the two parties are joined by the EXE led by Mamoru and Iori. Mamoru retrieves the document first and pleads his former captain to stand down, not only did he not want to kill him but he also saw that if Kurogane was to surrender, the kids would too. Kurogane feigns surrender and chases Mamoru down for the document while the 35th platoon fend themselves. Kurogane confronts Mamoru outside where the latter is still unable to see why Kurogane would leave them behind and Kurogane stands firm that Sougetsu has crossed the line that embodied his law. The teacher and student enter combat where Mamoru is hopelessly powerless against Kurogane and he begs to know why Kurogane would turn his back on them. Before Kurogane is finally able to express his true intentions in not letting anyone important to get involved in danger for his sake, Mamoru is crushed from within by his Relic Eater, while Sougetsu's laugh resounds out from it.
Takeru catches up to Kurogane, who has read the document and asks him what he intends to do with Sougetsu and what his goals are. Takeru states that he will protect everyone he holds dear and would go against Sougetsu if its what it took and Kurogane stood firm against him. A one-sided fight against Takeru ensues where not even Kyouya's help was able to help them land a hit on him but Kurogane admits defeat when Takeru was able to out-maneuver him once and land a blow across his chest. The 35th Platoon arrive to defend the unconscious Takeru while Kurogane assures them at he has no more reason to quarrel with them. As the Guillotine users infected with Hyakki Yakou approach and the Akashic Hazard nears them, Kurogane stays behind to cover their escape and places his hopes on the Heretic Alliance as they retreat.
Call of Twilight Arc Edit
Kurogane returned to the area near the Inquisition's Headquarters after he was able to survive Kiseki's spawns near the Akashic Hazard back at the Critical Point. As he passed by Sage, Yuzuho, and Kyouya, he commended the latter for fulfilling his mission and asked about Takeru's whereabouts. Kurogane intervened in Takeru and Haunted's battle where the yelled at the former that he was misplacing his efforts here and sent him off to confront his sister. Haunted expresses how boring it is to fight someone with so little emotion with so much strength and Kurogane retorts at how he finds Haunted boring as well to fight someone so difficult to keep down. He also takes the time to crack the first joke in his life, stating that interrupting Haunted has become something of a hobby for him. Kurogane however is different this time around and is actually angered to a point of wanting to kill Haunted once and for all, stating that his anger is two-fold since he has shouldered Takeru's anger towards him as well. This motivates Haunted as well since he had always fought Kurogane in his emotion-less state and now finds a reason to kill him.
As the two continue to fight, Kurogane deduces the source of Haunted's immortality which is revealed to be stealing the "lives" of the ones he kills and adding it to his "stock". Kurogane is able to deplete at least two-thousand of Haunted's stock in the span of five minutes but Haunted continues to fight without too much care for his number of lives. Eventually, Haunted unveils his ultimate spell and begins an unearthly chanting where he summons a Sacred Treasure to arm himself with.
Promise of Dawn Arc Edit
Kurogane continues to battle Haunted in the latter's powered up state and begins to struggle. Whereas he was the one dominating the playing field in their previous bout, Haunted's new abilities begin to cause him trouble as he is able to attack and predict faster than he could. Kurogane's attacks are impeded by Haunted's summons and he is sent flying into the stratosphere after an otherworldly creature throws a powerful swing of wind at him. Kurogane finds himself without a safe landing and begins to shoot Caligula to try and cushion himself from the fall but he is met by Haunted's creatures who followed him up to the air. Seeing no way to avoid with Caligula's bullets spent, Kurogane asks for Maximilian's help for the first time and learn that he must taste the feeling of inferiority in order to invoke Maximilian's true powers. Kurogane begrudgingly accepts and leaves himself defenseless against the horde of monsters and is torn to shreds, but remains alive. Maximilian's abilities are realized and a flash of silver light envelops the area and Haunted sees that Kurogane has completely restored himself and he prepares himself to counterattack. Kurogane shoots the enhanced bullet from Maximilian against Haunted's enchanted strike and an explosion swallows the field. Kurogane kneels after the stand off with his strength drained but finds Haunted approach him with his Sacred Treasure's mask broken off. As the latter revels in his joy and taunts that he will proceed to destroy everything Kurogane had tried to protect, Kurogane however answers back as emotionless as ever but sees another figure approach them. Haunted fails to notice Kyouya approach him and Kurogane retreats as Kyouya fulfills his vengeance and bombards Haunted with a hailstorm of bullets.
Kurogane and Kyouya are collected by Kanata after she manages to recuperate the scattered Inquisition reinforcements without proper orders and has them regroup with the 35th Platoon. Kurogane states that his rank allowed Kanata to act with impunity in ordering the troops to gather. Kurogane states he fulfilled his end of the deal but mentions Kyoyua being the one to finish Haunted off. Takeru pulls Kurogane aside to share his intents to save the world and asks to be escorted to Sougetsu to finish things off. Kurogane silently contemplates Takeru's stubbornness and relents, knowing that it would be impossible to talk him down. While cursing his weakness in being unable to fulfill his true realizations to sacrifice himself for the world, Kurogane orders for Kanata to assemble a force to escort Takeru while he would coordinate their manpower. Soon after, Kurogane joins in escorting Takeru toward Sougetsu and shoots open a path toward him assisted by Ouka, Sage, Yuzuho, Kanaria, and a platoon of dragoons. As they reach their landing point, Kurogane pushes Takeru forward and the latter rushes toward his destination without looking back.
in the aftermath of the war, Kurogane joins in the reconstruction efforts and continues to remain in the Inquisition's services after its successful restoration. He passes on the mantle of captain of the EXE to Kanata while he is given the position of the Vice Chairman of the Inquisition beneath Nagaru. While Nagaru acts as the head of the Inquisition, she spends most of her time traveling and meeting diplomats which left Kurogane in charge of the logistics and workings of the rest of the Inquisition's business. Kurogane also gains the obedience of Scarlet, Kagerou, and Gou and re-purposes the trio and himself into an offshoot branch of the EXE as the trio were specifically assigned to be Nagaru's security in her travels.
Kurogane still remains an active member of the EXE's operations that involved Kiseki and kept constant watch over his subordinates. Still as strict as ever, he frequently reprimanded Kanata for her subordinate's mistakes and discussed the issue with Kiseki with Takeru as they worked out a compromise for his adult life.
Hero Vessel: Kurogane discovered early in his life of his status as a legendary "hero" whose physical ability and mental capacity far exceeded that of his ordinary peers. This proficiency did not stem from any sort of training or any sort of effort and was simply rooted at the circumstances of Kurogane's birth. His regular strength trumped an enemy armed with a Relic Eater, his speed was above Takeru under the effects of Soumatou, and he survived multiple encounters with Kiseki. Even without any weapons or assistance from his Relic Eaters, Kurogane's abilities were considerably powerful.
Dullahan Training: Kurogane's abilities, moreso his mentality, were refined through his years in the Inquisition's service. His already impressive skills were taught to be used under more responsible pretenses and his strong sense of his justice tempered his judgment toward his duties.
- Firearm Training: Kurogane's main weapons involved firearms and his peerless abilities extended to his precision and speed.
- Close Combat: More often than not, Kurogane's own body was a more formidable weapon than any regular firearm. His naturally reinforced body could easily break apart any sort of enemy with little to no trouble or injury to his own person.
Relic Eater- Caligula: Kurogane's primary Relic Eater in the shape of a heavy, black revolver. Further empowering his already overwhelming strength, Caligula's intrinsic magic converts Kurogane's abundance of vitality into power. This strengthening could be applied to either Caligula's bullets or into Kurogane's physical attacks under the effects of Witch Hunter armor. While it boasts the highest destructive capabilities when wielded by Kurogane, Caligula's sole weakness was that it couldn't be reloaded unless all of its 5 shots were spent, giving a small window of vulnerability.
Relic Eater- Maximilian: The second Relic Eater utilized by Kurogane that takes the shape of an ornate silver pistol that is only used on rare occasions. Maximilian's abilities were primarily defensive as it allowed for Kurogane to dispel incoming attacks and then re-direct the energy back at the target. Like Caligula, Maximilian's potent abilities were limited to its reload times, with the gun's chamber only being able to house a single bullet.
- Hayato is the only person in history that is contracted to two Relic Eaters.
- The original draft of Anti Magic Academy before it became what it was initially starred a teenage Hayato as the main character.