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Yasutsugu Abe
Yasutsugu-haruka2artwork
Character Information
Birthday:
September 9
Age:
21 (state of his body; in reality, 89 years)
Height:
179 cm (5'10")
Bloodtype:
AB
Family:
Seimei's son (creator; deceased)
Occupation:
Onmyouji of the Abe discipline
Innate Element:
Earth
Weapon(s):
Necklace (casts spells with yang-enhanced gem), shikigami (often take the shape of birds)
Hobbies:
Being lost in thought
Favorite Scent:
Kikka
Favorite Color:
Usukou (dull orange)
Favorite Flower(s):
Golden lace (autumn)
Japanese silverleaf (winter)
Favorite Spot(s):
Rajomon (Rajo Gate),
Funaokayama (Mount Funaoka),
Kitayama (Mount Kita)
Voice Actor(s):
Live Action Actor(s):
First Appearance: Harukanaru Toki no Naka de 2

Yasutsugu Abe (安倍泰継, Abe no Yasutsugu) is one of the Eight Guardians in Harukanaru Toki no Naka de 2. He acts as the Genbu of Earth (地の玄武, Chi no Genbu) for his era's White Dragon Priestess.

Onmyouji during the Heian Period were known as influential figures for foretelling a person's future. Their rituals were ordained by nobles to protect them from vengeful spirits and malevolent curses, thus their talents were in high demand for the court. Using their own version of Chinese philosophy, onmyouji would use the principles of yin-yang to tell fortunes regarding a person's future. Within fictional media, they are depicted as formidable occult sorcerers, who recite ancient chants and perform fanciful hand gestures in their encounters with the supernatural.

His occupation dictates his political affiliation for the Emperor (帝, mikado). If he is the first guardian the protagonist meets, they will activate the Emperor story route. The player's choice affects the presentation of the game's story events.

Role in GamesEdit

Background StoryEdit

Like his predecessor before him, Yasutsugu is a humanoid being created by magic. After Seimei endowed his spells and techniques into Yasuaki, the residual yin energy needed for the creation was stored for safe keeping. Seimei's son discovered it and desired to pass his knowledge to his own "Yasuaki". However, the yin energy was lacking the necessary power to immediately manifest his creation into a physical form. Therefore, Yasutsugu didn't come into being until five years after Seimei's death.

As a non-human entity, Yasutsugu is filled with yin dominant energy. He claims to have no emotions, he is incapable of feeling pain or sensations, and he doesn't need to consume food. He has access to superhuman endurance and strength and has an eidetic memory. He can be "knocked out", however, if the magic fueling him is stressed to its limits. Should the magic run out completely, Yasutsugu is aware that he will cease to exist.

Yasutsugu also has irregular periods of maturation. For three months, he is constantly awake without needing to eat or sleep. When his time awake eclipses, he enters a three month hibernation and will not awaken until the determined time passes. Through this process, he gradually matures his humanoid form. One day of aging for Yasutsugu is the equivalent to fifteen normal days, meaning he should technically look as though he is a six-year-old infant by the time Karin arrives. His growth to an adult stature is a mystery, even to those within the Abe discipline. Since Yasutsugu absorbs various elements and energies within himself as he slumbers, it has been postulated that the allocated energy has led to his rapid growth.

When Yasutsugu first arose into the world six years after his creation, his first words were, "I am Yasuaki". Seimei's son embarrassingly corrected his treasured disciple and gave him his current name. His name embodies the intentions of Seimei's son: to continue Yasuaki's legacy. Seimei's son taught Yasutsugu all of his techniques and teachings, being his only mentor in the Abe discipline. From his master, he learned of the Priestess of the Dragon God, the eight guardians, and his predecessor. Most important to Yasutsugu was learning that Yasuaki became human by serving the priestess. Comparing himself to Yasuaki's accomplishments, he therefore accepts himself as an incomplete existence.

Fifteen years later, Seimei's son had perished due to natural causes. Yasutsugu stayed within the Abe school as its most proficient disciple. However, he found it strange how he didn't seem to age and began to notice other students fearing his presence. Aware that he is not human and would never be accepted, he decided to move into hermitage at Mount Kita. Before he left, Yasutsugu was entrusted with Yasuaki's diary. He often would read it during his seclusion.

If the Abe family needs his expertise, a paper charm is magically sent to him to fulfill a client's request. Otherwise, he either reads the flow of yin-yang energy or converses with the nearby spirits who visit his residence. Yasutsugu continued this regime and his regular periods of hibernation for seventy-four years.

Story EventsEdit

Should Karin choose to treasure versatility over all other traits, the White Dragon will assign her to the Genbu duo. She arrives in the parallel world at Mount Kita. If she chooses to chase a beautiful bird she hears, she spots Yasutsugu returning the bird to its real form: a paper charm (the bonus prologue scenario notes he created it in order to scout the capital). Yasutsugu quickly notices her and demands her identification. Misono and Yukarihime then suddenly arrive to retrieve her. Before the Star Clan can elaborate their arrival, a vengeful spirit attacks them.

Suspicious of the surreal power surrounding Karin, Yasutsugu accompanies the twins to shelter the girl at their manor. Learning from the twins that she is the Priestess of the Dragon God, Yasutsugu is skeptic. To him, her arrival sounds so similar to his predecessor's recordings that it's too unbelievable to be trusted at face value. The other priestess's existence causes him to doubt his skills and Karin's integrity. Nevertheless, he agrees to stay beside the girl in order to observe her actions and to instruct her how to properly manipulate the elements.

When Karin suffers from the vengeful spirits' and Tokitomo's curses, Yasutsugu is confused since Yasuaki's diary never mentioned such an occurrence taking place. He then wonders if he is properly handling his duties as a guardian, confronting Karin about his uncertainties when it bothers him. Yasutsugu considers himself a tool, and a tool which cannot perform its functions properly is flawed or broken. Though Karin assures him otherwise, he continues to accept himself as an object for her service. As Karin gains more power, Yasutsugu senses her progress and accepts her as the true priestess.

Yasutsugu meets his coexisting guardian, Motomi, while trying to gain Genbu's trust. His blunt nature deters Motomi from befriending him. Both sense and are drawn to malevolent energies within the capital, but Yasutsugu's dogged deterrence to hesitation prevents Motomi from speaking his thoughts properly. As the trio search for the northern talisman, they encounter Kazuhito and Tokitomo in both instances. During the Emperor's story route, Yasutsugu is forceful on punishing Kazuhito for his crimes. In the Retired Emperor's story route, he instead seems baffled by Motomi's reluctant nature to fight. As they reach the talisman's location, the guardians' agreement to protect the capital from danger blesses them with the directional talisman.

Before the end of the game, Yasutsugu bluntly reports to Karin that he is now human and thanks her for giving his existence purpose. If she doesn't have high bonds with him for the final battle, he may accompany her as an optional partner in her party.

Harukanaru Toki no Naka de Yume no Ukihashi has him and Motomi either act as the priestess's starting guardians or be amongst those being held prisoner within the central gates. The scattered guardians can work together to reunite their comrades and to find a way back to the parallel world. Yasutsugu joins forces with Atsumori to break the seal of one of the gates in the Heavenly Realm. The two gentlemen are merely tell the priestess they are faced with an illusion. Their concise advice helps her dispel the ruse.

Personal RoutesEdit

Karin may become intimate with Yasutusgu in either story scenario. During the Emperor's story route, he is perplexed as to why he even has Heart Pieces since he claims to not have a heart and has not forgotten any of his memories. To try to assess the cause, he first tries to ask Karin her wish. He believes it's human nature to wish for something, a trait he seeks to understand.

Though the prospect leaves her confused, Yasutsugu explains that he isn't human during their second outing by immediately hopping to a high tree branch. Karin is surprised by the reveal, which he mistakenly interprets as fear. He assures her that it's fine for her to fear him, so long as he can prove useful to her. He later admits that Karin's arrival into the parallel world must have given him purpose. Previously deemed an outcast by people surrounding him, he thought himself to be a meaningless and dumb tool. Karin's role as a priestess has granted him a reason to be useful, and he thanks her. As a saddened Karin asks him to not demean himself, he is confused and doesn't know how to handle her reaction.

Yukarihime reports that Yasutsugu is not feeling well prior to their fourth outing. A concerned Karin agrees to go with Yasutsugu to remedy the problem. He feels his power is fading and fears that he will disappear before fulfilling his duties. She accompanies him to a shrine in an attempt to siphon his powers, but the onmyouji fails. As he feels himself slipping, Yasutsugu pleads Karin to stay beside him. The "sinking darkness" he feared is actually him being physically tired, and he ends up taking a nap beside the priestess. Afraid by his short hibernation, Yasutsugu realizes he became human. He tearfully reports his chest being in pain when he is not near Karin, which she explains is "loneliness". Elated to feel emotions, Yasutsugu swears to treasure the sensations he feels thanks to her.

Yasutsugu abruptly visits Karin one morning during the Retired Emperor's story route, stating that he came to fulfill a promise. He remarks the priestess wanted them to try their best together, so he bluntly replies he shall. Before he dismisses himself, Karin asks him to explain to her by what promise he means to keep. Realizing that she has forgotten the comment she had made, Yasutsugu forgives her and reveals to her that he never forgets anything. She complements his talent, though he expected her to be repulsed by it.

The following visit begins with Karin feeling unwell, which Yasutsugu has already sensed. With her permission, he takes her to a shrine to remedy the flow of elements within her. Though she is told that she is naturally absorbing the proper element and doesn't need to do anything, Karin decides to perform some warm up exercises to pass the time. The act elicits a bemused smile from Yasutsugu's lips, which Karin excitedly spots. As Yasutsugu fiercely denies her observation, he explains to her that he is not human thus making the expression impossible for him. Upon returning to the Star Clan's manor, he wonders if his allegiance to the Emperor is imposing for her.

Motomi visits Karin during the winter, and is concerned that the Abe sect reported that Yasutsugu will fall asleep soon. He believes she can help his fellow guardian in his time of need. Directing her to Yasutsugu's location, Motomi respectfully departs as Karin approaches the onmyouji. He is already describing that he is fading away and wonders how Karin will take care of herself without him. Karin pleads for him to stay since she feels she cannot be without him. Like his other scenario, he is actually human by this time and his sense of "disappearing" is him merely needing a nap. Upon awakening, he is surprised to find himself crying and feeling warmth within his chest. He tenderly promises to forever dedicate his feelings to her.

Harukanaru Toki no Naka de Yume no Ukihashi begins his story route with him protecting Karin from a cave-in. Although he is hit by several heavy boulders, both he and Karin arise undamaged. As he begins to state he is a tool for her, Karin tearfully states he is more to her. Unable to comprehend her outburst, he ponders if he would understand if he were human. Beidou Xingjun then grants the youth his wish. Immediately sensing the balanced flow of yin-yang, Yasutsugu is pleased by the transformation. During the second dream, he asks Karin to instruct him how to behave like a human. She offers to spend their free day on a soothing mountain hike. He experiences pain when his feet are cut during the climb and actually sweats when he is fatigued. Yasutsugu enjoys the experience and promises her to repeat it someday.

They do during his third dream. However, the weather takes a turn for the worse as a storm rains on them. Yasutsugu, who is still used to his inhuman capabilities, carries Karin and expects them to speed down the mountain path in no time. They instead become drenched, and he is aware of how sluggish he has become. Thinking that his new form proves to be inadequate for his guardian duties, he revokes his rights as a human and returns to his previous state. Karin laments his decision, but he assures that it's the proper choice. When they return together to the real world, Yasutsugu remembers his time as a human in the dream world. Still touched by her empathy for him within the dream, the onmyouji swears to naturally obtain humanity for her someday.

Special has him share his twin ending with Yukitaka. He, Karin, and Yukitaka address the concerns of two heavenly maidens regarding a peach tree in Nandou Xingjun's pavilion. Yasutsugu touches the tree and speaks with it, explaining that the tree is being afflicted by the appearance of vengeful spirits. As the heavenly maidens volunteer to hunt the monstrosities themselves, Yukitaka politely asks them to instead nurture the tree and leave the exterminating to the priestess and her guardians. As the trio return to Kyou together, Karin awakes the next morning to see a bowl of ripe peaches plucked for her. Although both she and Yukitaka have forgotten their experience in the dream world, Yasutsugu merely explains they needn't fear and to simply enjoy them. In his thoughts, he wishes to share the same dreams with Karin again.

Character InformationEdit

DevelopmentEdit

Tohko Mizuno remarked that he was designed to follow his story concept: made to look like Yasuaki but not. She considers Yasutsugu to be another iteration of Yasuaki, a design that he could have been at one point. His image color is a faded red. Mizuno stated that he is a little down-to-earth, as she wanted convey a natural tone different than Yasuaki. She feels it's a vastly different approach than his "upright" predecessor.

PersonalityEdit

For the majority of his existence, Yasutsugu has lived outside the realm of acceptance. The only beings who wanted his company besides his creator were the benign mountain spirits beside his hut. When people are not talking to him, he is often concentrating on the five elements, the flow of yin-yang energy, or listening to the whispers of other spirits that people cannot hear. At times, he may offer complicated, mind-boggling explanations for why phenomena occur in the parallel world, which is common sense to supernatural beings such as himself or fellow onmyouji. More often than not, he has to simplify his words. Yasutsugu conducts himself with basic greetings and manners towards people, but he often directs conversations to reach an objective purpose. He never understands the reproachful backlash that may arise due to his blunt honesty or sudden interruptions. In his mind, there is no need for tact since etiquette cannot hide the truth. Therefore, Yasutsugu is puzzled by the importance of emotions and respect in daily interactions, though he may identify emotions based on a person's expressions.

As he cannot feel anything, Yasutsugu thought that his time before becoming a guardian was meaningless. He did not emerge with an immediate purpose, and his master left the world long before him. He may be the most proficient onmyouji of his time, but Yasutsugu harbors an inferiority complex when he compares himself to Yasuaki, thinking that he would never be able to measure to his predecessor's greatness. He is quick to blame himself for misreadings he may commit, often citing that Yasuaki would have done better. If he encounters something which Yasuaki hasn't noted, then Yasutsugu automatically feels he is inept to deal with it. Although he places Yasuaki on a high pedestal of admiration, Yasutsugu tries harder to improve himself to compensate for what he feels are his weaknesses. Even so, he is understandably humble when he joins forces with Yasuaki in the series's dream game. He addresses Yasuaki as "Predecessor" (先代, sendai) at all times.

Yasutsugu feels his entire being has always been devoted to one day becoming a tool to the priestess, therefore he expresses gratitude towards Karin. While he is detached or uninterested in other people, Karin is probably the first person Yasutsugu has met with whom he regards with earnest curiosity. She may be a strange one, but she is the first to object to his mistreatment. Her anger upon stating himself to be an object has him contemplate his time together with her. While he is pondering, he gradually begins to feel attracted to her, which he can only describe abstractedly as her being a pure, shining light. The change within him triggers his first moment of jubilation upon meeting Karin, but it also brings pangs of doubt and loneliness, a wave of emotions which has Yasutsugu realize that he is afraid of being alone. The thought of losing Karin or causing her grief cracks his otherwise aloof composure. His passion for her is what granted him his humanity, his final gift from his master.

Character SymbolismEdit

Yasutsugu's symbolic item is the Asiatic dayflower, known as "tsuyukusa" in Japanese.

Kikka (菊花), Yasutsugu's favorite scent, is said to be one of the six essential components for understanding the beauty and supposed therapeutic properties of incense during the Heian Period. Like the other scents, it was a fragrance said to have been favored by those in royalty. Kikka is named after its colorful resemblance to blooming chrysanthemums. When burned, the incense was thought to invoke the image of morning dew resting atop fallen leaves. It was used to celebrate the chilly autumn months.

His favorite flower for autumn is the yellow flowered valerian, one of the seven flowers of autumn celebrated in Japan. Its commonly known as "ominaeshi" (archaically spelled as 女郎花), a name which is derived by an ancient term for a woman (女, omina). Fujiwara no Tokihira is famous for dedicating a poem regarding the flower, which is roughly translated as: "Oh, valerian basking/ within the autumn breeze,/ how many more men/ will be enraptured by you?" The poem is a pun of the flower's name with a maiden, thus forming its famous meanings within the flower language: beauty, longing, or a beautiful maiden.

A famous Heian Period tale regarding the flower's origin also contributes to its meanings in the flower language. Once there was a young man who by some happenstance spied an enchanting maiden standing beside Hōjogawa, a river near the capital. The youth was stricken by her looks and swore to marry her the next time he saw her. He waited for her daily through spring, summer, autumn, and winter, but she never appeared again. That was because the maiden had drowned herself in the river. Beside her grave, as though her spirit had a mournful sigh, blossomed the valerian flower. The story led to the flower's other meanings in the flower language, such as fleeting meetings or empty love. Alternatively the flower can represent permanence or kindness, to symbolize the youth who never forgot the maiden.

His preferred winter flower is ligularia, a tiny yellow flower that blooms in East Asia. Since it grows in rocky terrain and it is a part of the butterbur species, it is named "stone butterbur" or "tsuwabuki" (石蕗) in Japan. Due to its sturdiness, it represents something which is difficult to destroy or looking forward to the future within the flower language. The glossy sheen on its leaves also has it represent modesty or to conceal one's thoughts within themselves.

QuotesEdit

  • "I do what must be done."
  • "The next hit will be the last."
  • "You have decided? Then, let us go."
  • "Be silent."
  • "I will not collapse. I swear it."
  • "The flow of energy is displaced. I must remedy it."
  • "No matter what the foe, there will be none who will harm you."
  • "The priestess is celebrating a festival in her world. Kurisumasu, was it not?"
  • "It is human nature for humans to fear that which is not themselves. They distance themselves from anything they do not understand. ...It is acceptable if you do the same. Nothing will change. I will strive to become useful to you."
  • "Why do you cry? Am I responsible?"
  • "If you were completely devoured by the Dragon God, you would have forgotten me. No, I don't want that! I don't want you to ever think of me as a stranger. I wouldn't be able to bear it..."
  • "When I think of you, the warmth in my chest returns. I cannot let this heat be extinguished. I want to think of you. If a person's heart is the vessel for holding one's emotions, then I want to become human. I want my heart... to feel for you."
  • "Loud."
"What!?"
"The flow of energy is ringing in my ears."
"Oh, that's what you meant. What a relief!"
"You are appeased by unstable energy?"
"Of course not! I thought you meant that I'm noisy, so I'm glad you didn't mean that."
"Your loud behavior is an everyday occurrence. It is not necessary to reiterate the obvious."
"..."
~~Yasutsugu and Karin; Harukanaru Toki no Naka de 2
  • "Um, I felt the curse disappear just now. Oh, it's Your Eminence. I didn't know you were here."
"... Motomi, what are you doing here? You're an eyesore."
"I-I'm sorry..."
"There is no need to apologize to him. This person was the cause of the curse. A slight one it may have been, but it was an undeniable defilement to the capital."
~~Motomi, Kazuhito, and Yasutsugu; Harukanaru Toki no Naka de 2
  • "You are aware of these 'sweet words'? I want to fulfill the priestess's wish to hear them. What should I do?"
"Merely say her name. That is the answer."
"Her name? ...Is that all?"
"It is. Should you speak it with your thoughts for her, it will become what you seek."
"I understand. Not completely. But, if it will satisfy the priestess, then that is what I desire."
~~Yasutsugu and Ridvan; Harukanaru Toki no Naka de ~ Yume no Ukihashi

Fighting StyleEdit

Yasutsugu is a balanced character who has decent ratings for his attack, defense, and magic. His magic rating is the second strongest amongst the guardians, making him an ideal partner for attacking Water enemies. He has more endurance against attacks and spells than other magic reliant characters.

Special AbilitiesEdit

These abilities are only available in Yume no Ukihashi.

  • Barrier (結界, kekkai)
Cost - 2 Will
Lowers enemy's abilities (i.e magic, strength, defense). Can be stacked.
  • Capture (束縛, sokubaku)
Cost - 3 Will
Paralyzes opponent. Certain percentage of failure.
  • Insurmountable (不屈, fukutsu)
Cost - none (passive)
Recovers lost Will if damaged.

MagicEdit

  • Jyufu Taima (呪符退魔)
Cost - 2 Earth
Conjures talisman to hit opponent with a magical explosion. Deals moderate damage.
  • Kinju Fujin (禁呪符陣)
Cost - 3 Earth, 2 Water
Damaging paper charm. May temporarily mute vengeful spirits.
  • Dai Jouchin Takureifu (太上鎮宅霊符)
Cost - 3 Fire, 5 Earth, 1 Metal, 5 Water
Stronger talisman blast. Strong earth elemental magic.
  • Genbu Shoukan (玄武召喚)
Cost - 2 Wood, 3 Fire, 1 Earth, 4 Metal, 5 Water; requires Yasutsugu to have Genbu talisman equipped
Summons Genbu to drown opponents. Strong water elemental magic.
  • Kongōyasha Myō-Oh Shu (金剛夜叉明王呪)
Cost - 2 Wood, 4 Fire, 5 Earth, 3 Metal, 5 Water; requires Motomi in party and completely successful retrieval of northern talisman
Genbu guardians summon Kongōyasha Myō-Oh to hit target with a destructive flood of water. Ultimate water elemental magic.

These unique spells are only available in Yume no Ukihashi.

  • Hagan Kou (破岩鈎)
Cost - 2 Will; requires Atsumori in the same party
Strong earth magic.
  • Hyourou Ketsukai (氷牢結界)
Cost - 2 Will; requires Yasuaki and Shimon in the same party
Strong water magic.
  • Meiou Kijin (冥応帰塵)
Cost - 5 Will; requires Yasuaki and Ridvan in the same party
Ultimate earth magic.

GalleryEdit

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