Kiroranke (キロランケ, Kiroranke) is an Ainu and an old friend of Asirpa's father.
Appearance EditHe has short dark hair on the front and big back with a dark beard, and has blue eyes. He has a muscular physique with only hair on his chest.
Kiroranke grew up on a farm, and took care of the horses there.
In his younger years, Kiroranke along with Wilk wandered all over Karafuto and gained the nickname of "muskies" after the musk deers that had a habit of not sleeping in the same spot.
On one occassion, Kiroranke and Wilk hunted a lynx together and sold its pelt for a lot of money. They then cooked it in an attempt to eat it, but found its meat to be terrible tasting.
When Kiroranke was fifteen years old, he joined an extremist group in Russia known as the People's Will. In Saint Petersburg, as Alexander II of Russia was parading down the road in front of a large crowd, Kiroranke attempted to throw a bag of explosives into his carriage. The bag missed the target and hit the horse instead, however Wilk came running and threw the bag into the carriage but became caught in the explosion.
As chaos followed in the public after the assassination, Kiroranke carried an injured Wilk away. Though the other members of the People's Will were arrested and executed, Kiroranke and Wilk were able to escape with their lives but became wanted men in Russia.
Kiroranke took part in the Russo-Japanese War where he fought at 203 Hill. His improvised grenades became the catalyst for things to change.
(From chapter 70 onwards)
After the ordeal with the bears and Yakuza, Kiroranke holds up the Ainu clothing stating that Asirpa's great-aunt would be glad to see it again. (70) Back at Huci's sister's kotan, Kiroranke and Shiraishi went out once more to capture some Masu salmon for dinner while Sugimnoto and Asirpa went to harvest some plants. They returned to the kotan with plenty of fishes to eat and later at night, they cook the fishes to make some Icaniw ohaw. Kiroranke comments on how every kotan survives the long winter by eating dried food and that there's nothing more welcoming than this time of the year, when they can enjoy fresh, green vegetables.
After Asirpa is laid to sleep by her great-aunt, Sugimoto asks him if he is concerned about his wife to which he replies that she will be fine. He tells Shiraishi to stop bothering Sugimoto when he kept prying if he has a "special someone" at home. The next morning, the group leaves the kotan and says their farewell to Huci's sister as they set out for their next destination. (73)
In the town of Yubari, when Asirpa tries to sell the bear's gall bladder only to end up being swindled, Kiroranke and Sugimoto steps in and threatens the buyer to raise the money while Shiraishi attempts to defuse the situation only to end up getting hit by Sugimoto. After this transaction, they head to a river where they try to capture some lamprey. Kiroranke is able to catch one, but when Shiraishi fails to do so, he tells him to go play with Asirpa. However, Shiraishi is also able to capture another one since Sugimoto trips him, which causes it to latch onto his head.
Later, as the other sits around the campfire, Kiroranke prepares the food as per Shiraishi's direction to make some unaju with lamprey. When Shiraishi comments that lamprey is made of only cartilage, Kiroranke tells of an Ainu legend in which a bear was struck down by a god and its intestines became the lamprey, which is why they don't have bones. The group heads back to Yubari and splits up, with Sugimoto and Shiraishi in one party, while Kiroranke and Asirpa goes around town asking for information. Just then, there is a loud explosion coming from the Yubari coal mines and Kiroranke and Asirpa along with the Yubari citizens can only watch the pillars of smokes with a concerned look on their faces.
Kiroranke and Asirpa along with the Yubari citizens make their way to the mines where they spotted Ushiyama carrying Sugimoto and Shiraishi out from the mines. He listened to Sugimoto and Ushiyama talking and they were approached by Hyakunosuke Ogata who offered to explain the situation and took them to the Edogai store. There, Ogata revealed Tsurumi's plan to use skins made from the bodies of dead men to create fake skins. At this, Kiroranke looked at the sight with clear disbelief in his eyes. the group are then approached by Toshizou Hijikata carrying a cat and a tattooed skin, saying that they must figure out whether the skin is real or not.
As Hijikata comes into the room, Sugimoto asks Kiroranke if he is the man that came to his village, to which he confirms it. The mood then becomes heavy as Hijikata prepares to draw his sword and gives them the ultimatum to join up or fight each other to the death. Suddenly, Shinpachi Nagakura enters the room as well and tells them to sell the skins and go back home to lead quiet lives as Kiroranke looks on solemnly. However, Asirpa's stomach begins to rumble loudly and so Ienaga suggests that they eat.
As they sit at a table eating nanko nabe, Ienaga says that she made the food using some horse intestines which causes Kiroranke to spit out his food due to his beliefs of not eating horse meat. The mood around the table becomes heavy again as Sugimoto argues with Ogata and Hijikata but is broken once more when Ienaga says she may know someone who may help them, a man by the name of Chouan Kumagishi. Sometime later, Kiroranke heads to the mines with Shiraishi and Nagakura to find Sergeant Tsukishima's body, but one of the miners says that they haven't found an uniformed corpse.
Kiroranke and Shiraishi heads to another area where Shiraishi attempts to pull out a lily bulb. They regroup with Hijikata, Nagakura and Ienaga and Kiroranke asks how they would be able to meet with Kumagishi privately. When Ienaga says it would be difficult to have a private meeting with him, Kiroranke suggests that Shiraishi slips in since he had been in Kabato Prison before. However, Hijikata says there is no need for that since Nagakura has some connections at the prison and would be able to get them a private meeting. Shiraishi then speaks about his time at Kabato Prison and how he met Kumagishi.
They find a spot to make campfire and eat some food as Shiraishi continues to talk about his time in Kabato Prison. When Shiraishi spoke of an awkward moment he had with Zenjirou Shibukawa, Kiroranke asked what that had to do with his story. When Shiraishi said that the first thing he did after escaping Kabato Prison was to go to a gambling hall, Kiroranke questions if he was going to go see Sister Miyazawa. He grumbles at what Shiraishi was thinking when he said he had stolen some vegetables from a farm but got caught. Finally, when Shiraishi had finished telling his story, Kiroranke was appalled at how it ended before deciding to go sleep, saying that it was a waste of time.
They wake up and continue towards the town of Tsukigata. Upon reaching their destination, Nagakura and Ienaga went to meet with the warden only to find out that Kumagishi had died, having been shot last spring while trying to escape during outside labour. The group then discusses about what they should do now when Kiroranke says that they've got no choice but to head to Abashiri Prison.
They settle down at an inn in Tsukigata and Kiroranke comments that they were fortunate to find out about the existence of the fake skins, and that Tsurumi might not have expected them to find out so quickly. However, Hijikata says that since they have no means to distinguish them, Tsurumi hasn't suffered much of a setback. Kiroranke then thinks that Tsurumi may use the fake skins as bait in a trap as Ienaga and Nagakura laments that they have no other choice but to depend on Shiraishi. Kiroranke says that after hearing about all of Shiraishi's jailbreak stories, he may be able to pull it off. Later that night, being afraid of what Sugimoto would do to him, Shiraishi attempts to flee as Kiroranke slept soundly while scratching his face.
The next day, Hijikata reports to the rest of the group that Shiraishi has been captured by the 7th Division and Kiroranke asks if Tsurumi is there but Hijikata says he didn't see him and that the soldiers must be from a different unit. As they ponder on what they should do about Shiraishi, Kiroranke believes that Shiraishi should be able to escape on his own, but the others are not as enthusiastic. Hijikata then tells Nagakura and Ienaga to wait in Tsukigata for Sugimoto and head to Asahikawa together as he and Kiroranke will go get Shiraishi back as he is their only means of meeting Noppera-Bou.
Kiroranke and Hijikata rides horseback to get ahead of the 7th Division so that they could lay their trap to distract them. In the next town over, Kiroranke calls their attention over to a fallen house with his grandmother still in it. He takes this opportunity to motion to Shiraishi to escape but sees he is preoccupied with a local girl who tells the 7th Division that the house had been collapsed for years, causing him to flee. All their further plans to get Shiraishi to escape failed as well and Kiroranke is infuriated and wonders if he truly wants to escape. They make one more extreme method utilizing the kamuy kotan as well as the legend of Ipetam, a man-eating blade. This story caught Hijikata's interest as he makes his move to rescue Shiraishi at the bridge.
Kiroranke then prepares a canoe with which he will use to rescue Shiraishi and describes how to build it to Hijikata. When Hijikata asks if he used it to cross the Amur River, he fell silent as the elderly man kept prodding into his past and asked what Noppera-Bou's true name is. Once he had finished his preparations, he set out on the canoe to grab Shiraishi once Hijikata had done his part. However, despite his urging, Shiraishi did not grab his hand and floated away. With Shiraishi back in the hands of the 7th Division, Kiroranke and Hijikata made their retreat back to Fukagawa where they rejoined the other members of their group.
They reported the results of what happened to everyone else, and they mused over what to do. Sugimoto asks Kiroranke if he could go and check on Shiraishi due to him being a former member of the 7th Division, however, he declined, saying that the soldiers saw his face when he attempted to rescue Shiraishi. After a moment of thought, they decide to leave Shiraishi to his fate as Kiroranke says they already have a copy of his tattoo. Sugimoto on the other hand refuses, saying that he wants to save Shiraishi and that they should make use of Kiyohiro Suzukawa's con artist skills.
Off a coast in Karafuto, Kiroranke's group finds some sea lions so they decide to hunt them. Kiroranke would alert to Asirpa whenever a sea lion manages to get away from Ogata's shooting and towards her. Once Asirpa had killed one, Kiroranke begins to carve it up while giving an explanation about the animal to Ogata and Shiraishi. He silently watches with a smile as Asirpa and Shiraishi enjoyed eating the meat.
After they had finished their hunt, Kiroranke was approached by a Karafuto Ainu man who wanted to buy the sea lion skin off of them as well as give them information on where they can sell their meat and innards. Upon arriving at a fox breeding facility, Kiroranke asked the owner if he knew of an Ainu village in the area only to be told that it no longer exists. When Asirpa asked him if he knew anyone from the village, he reveals that the village was where her father Wilk was born and grew up in. He then goes on to tell her about the history of this village and how it came to be wiped out by Japan and Russia before saying that Wilk believed that Asirpa would be the light that would save her people.
After speaking with Asirpa, Ogata came up to Kiroranke and spoke about Wilk leaving behind a code that only Asirpa knew and that since Asirpa is with them, they have the advantage over the other parties also looking for the gold. Kiroranke says that Asirpa herself has no idea what the key is and that they shouldn't try to force it out of her as it would cause her to mistrust them. He then proposed that they should let Asirpa's time in Karafuto mature her and that eventually she will give them the key of her own volition.
Kiroranke takes his group out to hunt some musk deers which Asirpa has never seen before and Ogata was able to shoot and kill one. As they carve up the musk deer, Asirpa asks if their meat tastes good but Kiroranke denies it and says that their only useful part are the male's musk glands. After letting Asirpa and Ogata smell the musk glands, Kiroranke explains that they can be used in Chinese medicine or as perfume.
He describes his time with Wilk as they were called "muskies" after the animals and Asirpa shows interest in the statement. Kiroranke then tells Asirpa that the very first prey her father took down was a musk deer and that he took his hohciri off afterwards. This triggers Asirpa's memories of her father to come back and Asirpa says she is grateful for that, to which Kiroranke somberly says that it is a good thing.
Asirpa's group hires a couple of Karafuto Ainu men to take them to Shisuka (modern day Poronaysk) by way of dog sledding, which left them completely broke. As they walk through a nearby forest, they come across a casket and Kiroranke begins to talk about the Orok people and he notes that their culture is starting to vanish. They are startled by Ogata who shot at an animal, claiming that he saw an Ezo deer but Kiroranke says that there aren't any in Karafuto.
Upon closer examination, they see that the animal is a reindeer with a collar on it, which means that it must belong to someone. They see and hear an Orok man in the distance calling for his reindeer, and so the group teases Ogata about killing his reindeer. Asirpa's group meets with the Orok man who asks them to join him on a wild reindeer hunt, which annoys both Ogata and Shiraishi. Kiroranke tells Asirpa about how her father accidently killed a reindeer as well.
As Kiroranke and Ogata scouts out the wild reindeers, Kiroranke gives Ogata some advice on how to hunt them and is surprised when Asirpa utters an Orok term, saying afterwards that her father had told her about it before. While they prepare for the hunt, one of the domesticated reindeers turns around and bites Shiraishi, causing him to get upset about why they are doing this. Kiroranke tells him that in order to move on from Shisuka, they'd have no choice but to come into contact with the Oroks.
Kiroranke translated the Orok man's words about the reindeer's position and watched as Ogata single-handedly kills the entire herd, only stopping once to give Kiroranke his rifle to reload. They skin the reindeers and brings them back to the Orok village where they feast themselves on the meat and the food prepared by the Orok women as well. Kiroranke gives a cippo, an Ainu needle case to one of the women as a gift. Shiraishi then asked Kiroranke his reason to meet up with the Orok, and Kiroranke turns towards the Orok elder to ask a favour of him.
Kiroranke tells the others that due to all of their complicated backgrounds, they won't be able to enter Russia via a passport so they will have to sneak in by hiding among the Oroks who have tacit permission to go back and forth across the border. Some time later, they carry out this plan, but due to a leak sent out by Tsurumi, they are quickly discovered with one of the Orok men being shot, which shocks everyone. Ogata warns everyone that they must be dealing with an experienced sniper as they enter Russia.
When the Orok man tries to help his father, Kiroranke pushes him to the ground just in time to avoid another sniper shot. After figuring out that they were being attacked by Russian border guards, Kiroranke yells at Shiraishi to move the sled, even when the reindeers were being shot and killed. Kiroranke recalls the Russian emperor's assassination and walks over to the elder Orok man to carry him away safely. Ogata manages to shoots the Russian spotter, which gives Asirpa's group an opportunity to flee into the woods nearby.
Within the forest, they find that the Orok man had survived being killed due to his large hat and Shiraishi asks Kiroranke why he went out to save the Orok man. Kiroranke replies that it was thanks to the gods that he lived but Ogata retorts that it was thanks to him and that everything that happens has a reason behind them, including why they were attacked. Asirpa questions Kiroranke's motives but he remains silent as Ogata prepares to confront the Russians for answers.
Afterwards, Kiroranke prepares some Moloccou traps which he laid down in the woods. Later, as Asirpa's group made their way through the forest, two of the Russian men finds his trap and triggers it, killing one of them and severely injuring the other. Asirpa's group eventually finds Ilya, the Russian spotter who had been shot by Ogata earlier, and he speaks to Kiroranke in Russian. Ilya pulls out a wanted poster of Kiroranke, shocking both Asirpa and Shiraishi, and says that Russia hasn't forgotten about him.
When Asirpa and Shiraishi asked Kiroranke about his wanted poster, he revealed his past to the both of them and how he and Asirpa's father were involved in the Russian emperor's death, becoming wanted men as a result. Later on, when Shiraishi expressed concerns about Ogata, Kiroranke says that they should leave him alone and to trust in his abilities. They eventually hear gunfires as Ogata and Vasily fights each other.
Looking through her binoculars, Asirpa sees that Ogata has finished his sniper duel and is heading back to them. They find that Ogata is now suffering from a high fever which he attempted to brush off, and Kiroranke says that they should get moving quickly. Asirpa's group then heads to an Orok settlement where Ogata and the elder Orok man can recuperate. They are joined by a shaman man who prays for the two men's health to improve.
Kiroranke follows Shiraishi and Asirpa outside and tells them more about himself and Wilk, saying that they were fighting for the independence of people from ethnic minority groups in the far east, including his sons and Asirpa's people. Asirpa says that she wants to know more about her father and why he became Noppera-Bou.
As Ogata is recovering from his fever, Kiroranke thanks the Oroks for their hospitality. Afterwards, Asirpa's group is given some sewa figurines as protective charms. When Shiraishi is also given one and mistakenly thinks it is a charm for his trips to the pleasure district, Kiroranke and Asirpa says it is due to the dirty look on his face and that he had been staring at a woman breastfeeding her child. Shiraishi takes offense to their words but takes another look at the woman.
When an Orok man begins to carve out a reindeer bone, Asirpa wonders what he is doing and Kiroranke explains that the Orok man will use it to divine the future for them. The Orok tells them that somebody is coming from behind them and Shiraishi is concerned if it is an omen but Kiroranke tells him that an unlucky sign would be a crack in the "n" shape that means somebody is going to die. Hearing this, Shiraishi expresses relief that they haven't gotten it.
Some time later, Asirpa's group prepares to leave the Orok settlement with a reindeer that the Oroks gave to them to give to their relatives in the north. Kiroranke apologizes to the Oroks for the Russian ordeal and turns to Shiraishi, saying that they should part ways here and that he doesn't have to run away from him, which Shiraishi agrees to. With this, Kiroranke, Asirpa, and Ogata departs the Orok settlement without Shiraishi.
As Kiroranke notes that there is a Nivkh village up ahead, Shiraishi comes running towards them and Kiroranke asks if he had a change of heart. Shiraishi says that there must be some blonde Russian girls that he can have fun with, but Kiroranke is not amused by his reason. Asirpa laughs, saying that if his groin starts to hurt again, that would be his problem but Shiraishi says that he will be fine so long as he has the Orok charm.
During their journey, Asirpa finds some tracks belong to an animal which Kiroranke identified as being a lynx. Hearing this, Asirpa gets excited and wonders if it is a meko oyasi, saying that her father had told her about them before. When Asirpa expresses joy about hearing more about her father, Kiroranke asks if she wants to know more, saying that there is a person that Wilk had known really well in the past. He tells her about their group's leader, Sofia Golden Hand, who is currently being held in Akou Prison in Alexandrovsksakhalinsky. With this Asirpa's group decies to head to Akou to meet Sofia.
Kiroranke sends a letter to Sofia in Akou Prison, under the guise of being a letter from her relatives, in order to inform her that he is coming. Afterwards, Asirpa's Group goes hunting for beluga with some of the Nivkh people and Ogata is able to shoot and kill one, which Kiroranke carves up for the meat. They eat the whale soup together with some of Sugimoto's miso that Asirpa had been holding for him, which Kiroranke exclaims tastes great. Kiroranke and Shiraishi ignores Ogata saying "hinna" and Asirpa's excitement about it and begins to talk about Sofia.
Kiroranke tells everyone about what kind of person Sofia is and reveals that he plans to break her out of prison by setting up explosives outside the outer walls simultaneously to have all 250 prisoners escape so that the guards won't be able to focus on Sofia. When Shiraishi questions how he is going to get his hands on that many explosives, he points to a nearby lighthouse, saying that explosives have been supplied there in case of a Japanese invasion and that all they have to do is to wait until they arrive.
Abilities and Equipments Edit
Kiroranke is a sapper, a combat engineer.
Kiroranke wears traditional Ainu-men clothing, and has a Tanpakuop, a tobacco box, aswell a Tasiro, a hunting knife and a Makiri, a short knife.
He also had some grenades,but those got dropped in the Sapporo World Hotel's burning cellar, blowing up the building.
Linguistics - Kiroranke is well versed in several languages including Japanese, Ainu, Karafuto Ainu, Orok, and Russian.
- Kiroranke likes fish more than meat, especially river fish but refuses to eat horse meat.
- Kiroranke's name contains kiro meaning "strength" and ranke meaning "to go lower". Kiroranke's real name, Yulbars means "Tiger" in Tatar or Uighur, Turkic language.
- Kiroranke mentioned that he was fifteen years old when the emperor of Russia, Alexander II was assassinated in 1881. This would place Kiroranke's year of birth sometime between 1865-1866. Thus Kiroranke would be in his 40's around the time of the current storyline.