Keiichiro Washizuka (鷲塚 慶一郎, Washizuka Kei'ichirō) is a character from The Last Blade series. He is symbolized by the Shinsengumi banner, embroidered with a kanji roughly meaning duty. His official slogan is "Sword Wolf": 誠忠の剣 (Seichū no Ken, lit. Sword of Loyalty).
He was created to resemble the alternate portrayal of the historical Hajime Saitō, one of the main characters from the Rurouni Kenshin series. His distinctive x-shaped scar is actually a feature shared with the manga's protagonist, Himura Kenshin.
He is voiced by Katsuyuki Konishi.
Keiichiro Washizuka is an unit leader of the Shinsengumi, a police-like group during the Bakumatsu era. He is a firm believer in restoring order to Japan, and in the old ways of Samurai sword fighting. As such, he carries a very serious persona. He is extremely loyal to his Shinsengumi unit, and is a friend of Kojiroh Sanada. He is the only one in the unit who is aware that “Kojiroh” is actually Kojiroh's younger sister Kaori.
Keiichiro is a very serious man, probably due to some trauma, and thus takes his duties quite seriously. He is one of the few people that knows the current Kojiroh is actually Kaori, his sister, and seems to be very close to both him and her.
- Energy Projectile - Keiichiro can fire a projectile of energy from his sword.
- Energy Attacks - Keiichiro can fuel his sword with ki energy.
- Fast Slashing - Keiichiro can deliver several slashes almost at the same time.
Tennen Rishin-Ryuu was a real fighting style used by the Shinsengumi. It uses various horizontal and vertical slashes along with rigid-and-focused stabbing attacks; the aforementioned Saito Hajime's variation being the Gatotsu (Fang Thrust) is a testament to this historical nod. Washizuka's variation of it involves a different type of grip-stance, with the pommel being gripped near-fully by one of his hands instead of having his palm pushed upon it. A majority of his attacks have either an "air/emptiness" motif (Shikkuu Satsu/Flurry Killer and Kokuu Satsu/Empty Air Killer) or a wolf motif (his Rouga/Wolf Fang series of attacks which involves running shoulder charges).
Washizuka being a charge character made his gameplay unattractive, yet powerful. In possible response, Kojiroh was introduced as a motion-based character wielding plenty of Washizuka's arsenal.
Washizuka in Power is reminiscent of charge characters typically found in Capcom games, including its command buffering behavior. In Speed and EX, the chain combos help him become a more effective character, giving the chaining motion a way to buffer charge attacks and pull them off within a combo. He's mostly reliant in combos to rack up damage and most of his basics require timing to correctly connect.
Last Blade Drama CD
- Although he is not named, Washizuka most likely saves the historical Sakamoto Ryōma in his Neo Geo Battle Coliseum ending.
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