Shinobu Sensui also known as Black Angel, was the main antagonist of the Chapter Black Saga, as well as a former Spirit Detective in his youth, having been recruited by Koenma for his prodigious talents and his unequaled sense of right and wrong. In the anime television series, Sensui is voiced by Rokurō Naya in Japanese and Robert McCollum in English.
Sensui is quite tall and thin. He has tan skin and an ovoid jewel in the middle of his forehead. He keeps his hair short, with a bang arching slightly over his forehead. He wears a casual long-sleeved dark shirt and dark jeans.
Unlike Younger Toguro, he has intelligence and strength, with the former whose knowledge is only useful for fighting. He is generally polite (sarcastic politeness in his Minoru state), kind and honorable as he respects Yusuke's friend's wishes to avenge his supposed death. Shinobu also has guilt over killing others as he looks sullen after killing Yusuke and is irritated when he is forced to kill demons once again. He does regret the path he took as he blindly slew demons in the name of humanity, to which he discovered were just as cruel if not more so.
Known Personalities, other than Shinobu
Sensui developed six other personalities to carry his various burdens, with the original personality staying pure. Four of the extra personalities are nameless (in the official story), and three of these four have tasks for which they were created that have never been mentioned in either the manga or the anime (the author answers them in an interview).
- Minoru, is the orator and suave manipulator, and is in control for most of the Chapter Black saga. He was created to persuade the six other psychics to join his cause. He is described by Itsuki as a prideful man who talks too much. Of the known personalities, he is the second spiritually strongest after Shinobu. Not to be confused with Minoru Kamiya, a comrade in the Chapter Black saga. His color in Shinobu's mind is light green (talking with his other personalities for the last time) or purple (when Itsuki talks about the other personalities, the one looking the calmest is purple which fits right with his trademark purple energy aura and attacks).
- Kazuya is a violent foul-mouthed personality, formed in the wake of the breakdown Shinobu suffered upon crashing the Feast of Human Vices all those years ago. His emergence causes the formation of a gun barrel over his right hand, but he is not the strongest of the seven personalities. He was the killing specialist of the known personalities, deriving sadistic pleasure from incapacitating his victims, and was known to kill puppies and small children for his amusement. He says that he was created to do the dirty work; all the stuff that Shinobu and the others couldn't tolerate, much less do. As such, he is the physical manifestation of Shinobu's hatred towards humanity. He is second in physical strength, only to Shinobu. In Shinobu's mind, he is represented by the color red, likely for the bloodshed he causes.
- Naru is a female personality, childish and sensitive and in charge of emotions, oftentimes emerging late at night to cry over the implications of the plan. But she appears to emerge only in front of Itsuki and, according to him, composes the most beautiful poetry he's ever heard. This personality is the one that he loves, second only to Shinobu, and he goes so far as to imply that the two of them are in love. Like Sensui, she cares about the Human Realm, but understands humans must die for their sins. Her color in Shinobu's mind is grayish green.
- Jooji is a master of all types of weapons that Sensui may need, and he may have Kazuya's gun. It is implied through the anime, that Jooji is also foul mouthed like Kazuya, but leans to be more cynical then deranged. His color in Shinobu's mind is light blue.
- Makato takes care of the burdening errands that Sensui would have to deal with: shopping, cooking, cleaning, driving, etc. It is implied through the anime, that Makato is the one with his eyes shut and never speaking both when Itsuki explains Sensui's personalities and in the background with Jooji while he sarcastically remarks about Shinobu's extreme love for the world. His color in Shinobu's mind is orange (talking with his other personalities for the last time) or yellowish gray (when Itsuki talks about the other personalities).
- Hitoshi is the part of Sensui that cares the most about animals and plants. He was the one who likely convinced the five other personalities that the ningenkai's only problem was humans. It is implied that Hitoshi is the one that looks somewhat disgusted during Itsuki's explanation of Sensui's personalities. In Shinobu's mind he'd be either green (when Itsuki talks about the other personalities) or purple (although Shinobu is colored purple during the last talk within the mind, he might be the yellowish gray one).
The last three personalities never appear in person.
Sensui was born with a natural talent for sensing and destroying demons. His black and white view of the world and desire for justice made him a perfect candidate to become a spirit detective, and he quickly adapted to the job. Throughout his job as Spirit Detective, Sensui was partnered with Itsuki, much in the same capacitiy as Botan is to Yusuke; it's revealed that he was once to hunt him down, but Itsuki convinced him otherwise and then became his partner.
Sensui took on a rather simplistic view; humans are good and should be protected, while demons are evil and must be killed. However, this was turned upside down when he witnessed the Black Black Club torturing demons for sheer joy. Horrifyingly confused about the true nature of humans, Sensui then stole the Chapter Black tape from Spirit World and fled to the Human World. With Itsuki, the two would assemble a team of seven psychics, that was intended to help bring an end to the human race.
Chapter Black Saga
Sensui first appears in the ruins of the Dark Tournament after being drawn by a mysterious energy signal from Elder Toguro, who then placed in a fishing tank to recover his power while informing the former Spirit Detective of his successor's actions. Knowing that there was now an opposition to his goals, Sensui would begin his opening of a tunnel to Makai to begin the end of humanity by enlisting five psychics to aid him, Kaname Hagiri being the most loyal of his followers.
After Yusuke's encounter with Murota, he would appear to the new Spirit Detective to introduce himself whilst ordering Sniper to wound the telepathic amateur boxer. He would then send Doctor and Seaman as guinea pigs to test Yusuke's morality and awaken Kuwabara's new power. After Koenma's explanation of his past, Sensui and Hagiri would appear to the protagonists with the implied intention of testing his power against Yusuke, who he manage to dominate with superior fighting style and energy manipulation; although it is truly to draw out Kuwabara so that he could be more easily captured by Gamemaster and Gourmet. Sensui would take a tactical retreat in the car Gamemaster was driving with Kuwabara held captive. Yusuke realizing this, would chase them with a bike, only to be stopped by Sniper; while Sensui and his group would escape to their hideout.
After being saved by Hiei, the group enters the cave to combat in a intellectual and drawn-out battle with Gamemaster, Tsukihito Amanuma; resulting in the unfortunate death of the misguided child. Burning with new hate for Sensui, the group would enter the cavern holding the almost opened tunnel to Demon World to meet with Sensui, Itsuki, Sadao Makihara the Gourmet and a captive Kuwabara. Sensui knowing that his key to his goal was still powerless, he would decide to return him with the condition of the group defeating Gourmet.
After easily dealing with "Gourmet" who turned out to be Elder Toguro who had long since taken over the witless man's body, Itsuki would separate the group by having his Uraotoko "devour" them and spit out Yusuke, so that he and Sensui could fight without interference. After a long and hard fought bout, Yusuke caught Sensui off-guard and used the opportunity to defeat him.
In the midst of this battle, Sensui does the unexpected by firing a point-range energy blast through Yusuke, and then revealing a even more unexpected surprise, the "Sensui" he was fighting was one of his seven different personalities, being the suave Minoru, and he had been replaced by the psychotic and homicidal Kazuya. After a short dominance of both unpredicted sadism and insanity, Kazuya had defeated Yusuke in a few shots of his blasts, and was about to kill him, when Koenma shows up to attempt to have his former detective call off his ludicrous ambition or be sealed away forever by his Mafuken.
With enough time, Yusuke recovers and easily beats Kazuya; forcing the gentle, yet brutally efficient original persona Shinobu to appear. In seconds, Shinobu manages to break Yusuke's arm, stomp on him several times, dodge his punches and shake his hand before he could even react, it became even worse when Shinobu revealed his true power: Sacred Energy, an energy so powerful, it caused the cavern to crumble. After a short fight, Shinobu had become immune to Yusuke's attacks and even negated the Mafuken afterwards, when Koenma used it as a last resort. However, Yusuke refused to give up.
Koenma tries to dissuade Yusuke from fighting Sensui, but he charges into battle anyway, asking Sensui to at least take his life with flash. Yusuke lands a kick and then hits Sensui with a barrage of punches, only for him to move out of the way. Meanwhile, Kuwabara uses his Dimensional Sword to break out of Itsuki's shadow dimension. Just as his friends escape, Sensui impales Yusuke with a single finger, sending Kuwabara and the others into a rage that jump their powers from B Class to A Class immediately.
Hiei unleashes the Dragon of the Darkness Flame and Kurama transforms into his former self. Hiei's dragon pushes Sensui through the portal Itsuki opened. However, in the pseudospace, Sensui's sacred energy passess through the kakkei barrier. Hiei and Kurama, being A class demons, are unable to pass. In order to fight the spirit detective, Kuwabara uses the Dimensional Sword to cut the barrier, fitting right into Sensui's plan.
They break through to kakkei and arrive in Demon World, Sensui transforms into his first battle armor, forcing Hiei to put all his strength in the Dragon of the Darkness Flame. Hiei, Kurama, and Kuwabara unleash their most powerful attacks, but Sensui dodges and counters with elegant kicks, then uses Kurama's rose whip as a weapon.
With all of them defeated, Yusuke comes through the barrier, riding on Pu with Koenma. Sensui senses great demon energy radiating from his body, and is amused by the fact that a demon hunter has become the demon. Hiei and Kurama attempt to stop Yusuke from fighting, but he confronts Sensui himself.
The two clash energies, then proceed to melee fight, with Sensui gaining the upper hand. Yusuke fires a spirit gun, but it harmlessly curves from the target. Sensui dons a second armor, switching his strategy from defense to offense. As he and Yusuke fight, all of Sensui's personalities begin conversing. The energy they release cause demons to join their fight, forcing Sensui to slay them once more.
The two decide to change locations, and Yusuke is fighting on par with Sensui, neither able to push each other back. Sensui manages to kick Yusuke a good distance, and Yusuke attempts to hide. However, his demon energy gives his location away and they continue to fight.Suddenly, Raizen takes over Yusuke's body and changes his appearance, as well as his power. Sensui is easily overpowered, bleeding from a punch to the face, and being pummeled. Raizen shoots a spirit gun, just as Yusuke begins taking control. Yusuke urges Sensui to move, but Sensui suffers a fatal blow from the blast.
While Yusuke had ignorantly desired that his opponent be treated, Itsuki then reveals that he was to die in half a month anyway. Sensui tells the group that the apocalypse was never his true intention, it was to be killed by a demon to make amends with all the demons he had so naively killed without any thought of the consequences and felt for the first time, that he enjoyed his fight with Yusuke. After his death soon after, Itsuki takes his body away to a pseudo-space for them to be alone for all eternity.
Notes and Trivia
- Sensui and his successor Yusuke on an interesting view are complete opposites in every possible sense from their views to their actions. Among these differences include that while Sensui became a spirit detective as a means to destroy evil and viewed it as an honor, Yusuke viewed it more as a chore. Sensui is refined, polite and calm, whereas Yusuke is hot-headed, foul-mouthed and shows no respect for authority figures. Even their respective fighting styles are different where Sensui uses the elegant martial arts style of Resshūken which revolves around kicks, Yusuke uses a brash street fighting style centered around punches.
- The aspect of Seichiro Hikawa of the Birdy the Mighty OVA is similar to him.
- While Kamiya (Wrath), Makihara (Gluttony), Hagiri (Pride), Mitarai (Envy), Amanuma (Sloth), Itsuki (Lust) and if one includes Elder Toguro (Greed), represent the seven deadly sins of the Bible, the true Sensui excluding Kazuya (Wrath), the unnamed female personality (Lust) and Minoru (Pride), Sensui is devoid of any true sin, reflecting his personality and just a neutral evil, like a fallen angel who still upholds his duties even if they're warped from his original goals, hence his Black Angel title.