Kuro is a New World freelance agent, and an unconventional ally to Kallian Columbus. He is an unconventional ally in that Kallian finds himself uneasy around him. Kuro offers to help him a lot, and they work together on many occasions, though Kallian prefers not to stay around him for long. Kallian also thinks that a fight with him will be unavoidable, due to their similar yet unlike natures.
Name and Appearance
Kuro initially seems like anything but an agent. He is a rather thin but muscular eighteen year old (though his being well defined doesn't show when he's wearing clothing). The boy has black hair and black eyes, and in many cases he is wearing a black suit, complete with black necktie and white button down under. He got the name Kuro because people know him to always wear black clothing. No one knows his real name, or his past for that matter. It is a mystery, and he likes to keep it a secret.
Once or twice, he has been shown to break the trend and wear a bright T-shirt and brown shorts, to comedic effect (though this may be because of the occasion).
However, he has stated that he actually doesn't care what he wears. He doesn't care about clothes, "he doesn't think about these kinds of things."
Kuro dances and revels in the art of deception and trickery. At first glance, he seems to be a simple eighteen year old, one who is cheerful yet reserved. While this is genuine, Kuro has also shown himself to be a liar - and more importantly, he is much more than "a simple eighteen year old." This is where most usually fail, as they start making assumptions or thinking poorly of him, and this is usually what gets people killed. Many may fall into this trap, but underestimation is not a word to be used around Kuro.
Not much is known about the way Kuro thinks, and he in fact appears to think differently and conventionally from some other people, to the point that a character or two has called him "weird." This is a trait he also shares with Kallian, one they both see but never explicitly discuss. Despite this, he possesses formidable intellect, enough for Kallian and Kuro to respect and consider each other equals (though in terms of combat ability, Kuro is stronger.) It is arguable that he intentionally acts this way so as to not let people see what he's thinking, his thoughts about them, or what he's like. Some who have seen enough of Kuro call him out as "terrible" and "horrible". True enough, many of Kallian's friends don't like Kuro's personality, and even Kallian disapproves of some of his actions.
On the other hand, he has shown questionable psychotic behavior. He enjoys the thrill of killing, to the point bloodlust is insatiable - no matter the amount of carnage or destruction caused, the amount of people he killed, or the time that has passed (his bloodlust's been known to last 24 full hours) - and killing a created need and addiction. More often than not though, this is overshadowed by reasonable and professional demeanor. He is also shown to have berserker moments, though it is rare (at the moment, he has only explicitly shown one berserker moment, with the rest being flashbacks, cut scenes and off panels, though stories and rumors of this - "don't forget the mountains of corpses or tsunamis of blood" - are all over and infamous) The reasons are different everytime: from enjoying a fight way too much, to not having killed in a long time, to being angry (which is also rare- Kallian has never seen Kuro angry, it's "unlike him.")
Generally, he seems to be a self-interested figure, only thinking and doing things which are wanted. He focuses on his business most of the time, and doesn't show concern for other people openly. He doesn't have any qualms about killing, even killing on a whim, and he has a reputation for being a serial killer. He loves to fight powerful opponents, and his favorite pastime is fighting and killing them. He enjoys the thrill of testing his limits against other people and becoming stronger. While the concept of a challenge may have negative connotations for some people, he views challenges as "fun." Notable quotes include:
"The harder, the better." "It's never fun when it's easy."
Kuro is an enigmatic and mysterious figure, seeing that out in the open, people only come across him in whispers, rumors and gossip. Despite this, he is one of the most renowned figures in the underworld - and one of the most feared. He performs a variety of jobs, though he is known best as a free lance agent. That is, considering his potential and wide set of skills, he usually offers service to anyone who can promise him money. He acts as an agent to anyone who is interested and he is offered many kinds of missions: investigating and uncovering different kinds of information - rather delicate and maybe even dangerous, stealing things, covering up as someone else, etc. From time to time, when he feels like it, he also offers services in assassination and stealth / covert ops. He is known for competent professionalism, and for world-class, high-quality work. Even so, a fair number of the rich and powerful still fear his services, and avoid having anything to do with him - and for good reason.
Aside from his initial reputation in the underworld, he is also known for a series of alarming crimes. He is a serial killer, having killed many, including a long-enough list of powerful figures in the New World. Of all the rumors that come around, none speak stronger than the ones preaching Kuro's insanity. They all regard him as a mad man... a mad man to be feared, and in light of recent events, these rumors may be closer to reality than initially realized. Those unfortunate enough to come across him suffer unbelievable - almost surreal - fear of him and call him a "demon" and a "monster." Some even suffer from mental and psychological trauma, permanently scarred for life. The big players and masterminds of the underworld prefer not to have dealings with him given the chance, with everyone calling him "a creature of the darkness."
Even though Kuro is rather mysterious, and may seem to be nothing more than a simple one-dimensional monster, he has shown a rational and complicated side of him before - and may show it if he needs to. He has also hinted at his principles from time to time, like in this case. It is unclear what he thinks of the World Government (as with other world issues), but it seems like he may be harboring a strong dislike for them and their actions. Especially when asked about it, he claims: "The World Government? Why, they're all fools!"
Though he follows it up later with:
"...but then again, everyone's a fool. ♠" (gives a derisory smile)
This may also be a mere product of his questionable insanity. No one knows what he truly thinks of them, but the World Government has expressed favor for Kuro, particularly because of the fear he strikes in the New World, as well as his various jobs putting him into direct conflict with pirates and criminals. The Gorosei knows the danger he brings all too well; everyone understands, and while they will not hesitate to kill him the first chance they get, they are still willing to go so far as to offer him the position of Shichibukai in the future- even if the chances of him going out in the open are low.
Kallian and Kuro share an unusual relationship. In their first meeting, where they don't know too much about each other, they share a simple and casual conversation wherein they find a myriad of common things, interests and similarities which they share with each other. Their personalities initially also seem to be alike: they share childlike, friendly, lazy and happy-go-lucky natures. This may make it look like great grounds for friendship, but as it turns out, they could be anything but.
Kuro holds a set of principles that some may consider twisted, and Kallian is one of the exceptional few who really knows Kuro: how he goes on about life, what he thinks about things and his perspective or world view. According to Kallian, "he couldn't bring himself to like his beliefs." Even other characters note this contrast, perhaps describing them best as "differing friends." (though whether they actually view each other as friends is another story) Others call them a conflicting duo, full of contradictions... Opposite sides of the same coin, like black and white.
Kallian and Kuro are complicated. They see each other as equals, more because of their similarities than anything. They do share some principles they can both agree on, and even down to the smallest details, they are similar. They are both young (eighteen) with a long ways to go, and lots of potential. Kuro is stronger than Kallian. Kallian Columbus may be growing, but Kuro is only getting stronger as well. It is unknown if Kuro sees Kallian as an actual friend, though this seems unlikely. At best, Kallian is one person Kuro genuinely trusts, and one of the few who are trusted the most.
However, he sees Kallian as a worthy opponent, and unfortunately, potential prey. He realizes that Kallian may become really powerful in the long run, and he does not hesitate to think about fighting or killing him then. Here is a quote from Kuro (to himself):
"You'll keep getting stronger. I will as well. I'll see you at the top one day. And then we'll fight... fight to the death."
His bounty contradicts his reputation, in that he is well known in the New World despite having such a low bounty. Then again, he remains a figure in the shadows, and he prefers to operate that way. He thinks that working behind the scenes is "one of the things [he] does best."
He has a bounty of 50,000,000 Beli, but everyone knows that the only reason it is so small is because the World Government (and most people) barely know anything about him. They don't even have a proper picture for him, but they make up for it by attaching whatever information they do have to wanted posters - and they certainly have confirmation of this man's existence. On the other hand, there is sometimes little to no evidence that it is indeed Kuro responsible for his big cases or murders (against well known names in the New World), because he sometimes has the habit of cleaning up and hiding evidence when he feels like it, just 'cause. Other times, it is because of helpful connections. The common trends are the motives and circumstances of the murders though, so they know without a doubt that it -is- Kuro. Those who do know about him are either busy, activity-occupied parties who may or may have not dealings with him and the underworld; either that or they are in the know like Donquixote Doflamingo, or powerful figures like the Yonkou and the government-leading Gorosei. His infamy is such that it even reached the top dogs of the Three Great Powers. True enough, he is a shady figure, and he likes to keep being secretive as much as possible, instead of being flashy and out in the open like others.
Powers and Abilities
Mastery over the Arts (and other miscellaneous abilities)
Kuro has shown exceptional mastery over a powerful and wide array of arts. It seems he has focused much of his youth, and power, on many things, and currently, all this has ended in a culmination of diverse abilities that make him a force to be reckoned with, even seemingly without a Devil's Fruit. Being the best, and showing real innate skill in even seemingly insignificant fields or side abilities", and in activities that aren't usually done by others, yet somehow proving their usefulness and formidability in the long run, proves how talented he really is. Kuro is also known to have a knack for unconventionality in what he does sometimes, battle included - a weakness for some, but helpful for Kuro, and awesome in the way it is used.
The man has already shown himself an authority in the assassination arts. He is one of the best, if not the best, assassin in the New World (it is arguable, since there are many out there who are just skilled in the art). His assassination is even commended by the forces of the government, and some others, though his style is different from the assassination style of government units (like the CP9, who specialize in this area): his is less direct and straightforward, and on occasion more subtle. His assassination skills are said to be of an underground nature, "dark and scary, especially since he knows things other people don't". Whether this refers to underground assassination techniques, or information only underground asssassins have access to, or something entirely different, is still unclear. He is also a master in martial artistry. He knows only around three martial arts, yet his mastery of them is such that he holds the highest title achievable by any practitioner in the respective fields (the real-life counterpart or equivalent of the black belt). His level even far surpasses the far common and the majority, the top users of the arts, such that he is truly regarded as a master in one or two of them. One of the undeterrable few, and the most powerful masters of the art in his home-like New World, if not in the entire Grand Line. At best, he is a promising youth capable of being the most (or one of the most) powerful martial artist in all the seas, if he took the time to stop and actually focus on martial arts (though this is also unlikely.)
Still, with how far he has gotten, he is powerful enough to match the best martial artists in the New World, and the best Rokushiki users of the previous generation in the Cipher Pol series, like Rob Lucci (though Kuro does not know Rokushiki). His own arts are just as deadly and versatile, and maybe even unorthodox. At least one of them seems to be of unknown origin, with him being the only renowned user of it in the New World so far. His mastery is such that he can even integrate and synthesize them to complement each other in combat, and perhaps, that is where he is deadliest in this field - in his use of combinations. He adopts his knowledge of the three(?) martial arts to create and continously adapt his own fighting style, almost as if he were using his own martial art. Kuro has shown exceptional mastery over many arts, even amongst other masters. His genius and uniqueness shows, and other people wonder - and fear - what he's to be come, if he keeps growing like this. As powerful as he already is, he is still in his youth, which means he hasn't yet reached his peak, and he has yet to see the pinnacle of his own power.
Kuro has been shown wielding at least one small and slick jet black pistol, which he loves to think of as his own. It is unknown what is so special about the gun, other than the information stated below (though it may simply be that he has become fond of the gun so much, that he thinks of that specific gun itself as his own). It certainly doesn't seem the type to be used in a gunfight (though he has done so anyway), and more the type to be used in espionage missions, etc., Kuro's kind of work. It has a silencer which can be turned on or off, and he's been known never to miss a single shot with it. How much of it is rumor, and how much is actually true, remains to be seen.
He seems to rarely use it, as some of his associates comment on never having seen him use a gun before. He has also been shown in a gunfight once - a brief yet dangerous one, and one which he ended abruptly. The mere fact that he was able to use the gun at all in a non-conducive environment (it was nighttime, with rainfall so hard the person himself might as well have zero visibility), with the odds against him (he was in a mission where he needed to finish before things took a different route, and his mission plan seemed to be failing for a second - not to mention that the gun itself isn't even suited for combat), it says something about his skill and experience in using guns... or at least, his proficiency in using his personal weapon. It is also worth noting that he defeated the mentioned opponent using only his first bullet, with an impressive shot to the actual heart (though he did spend the first two or three minutes avoiding his opponent, while biding his time waiting to get a shot in).
As for the weapon itself, the gun has a sleek black design, and in fact, all of it is black (provoking some pirates to ask whether it's a gem, and still some remarking on the nature of the gun - like how it has a certain shine to it). Its color does serve as camouflage sometimes, and can be helpful in night missions. It is a customized weapon, which may explain the peculiar look. It is unknown what the original model Kuro used is, or whether it's anything like what it even used to be. How many modifications Kuro performed, and whether he made some for combat purposes as well, is unknown. Aside from having a customized gun, Kuro also has a set of specialized bullets, of an unknown nature (though they seem to move faster, and be more durable, than ordinary bullets). A shot was strong enough to create a huge crater in a concrete wall while cracking the rest of it, and going out the other end. It is unknown whether Kuro uses it as much as normal bullets.
It is unknown how good Kuro is with a sword, but considering he was able to match Kallian with "a sword made out of cards" when they fought briefly (because of a conflict), he must be a capable swordsman.
Playing Card Manipulation
No one knows right now whether this comes from having eaten a Devil's Fruit, but Kuro's main ability seems to involve cards of some sort. They seem like normal cards, of differing themes sometimes (like poker or tarot cards), and it seems like his supposed Devil's Fruit ability enables him to produce cards out of nowhere. Though him having the cards all along, and it being a natural weapon, may also be the case.
From what he's shown so far, his ability is to manipulate cards however and whichever way he wants. What the exact limits, restrictions or weaknesses of this ability are is so far unknown
Kuro's ability has been used once or twice to confuse the enemy, or to outsmart him. Other times, it has only been used for show, serving as nothing more than a possible distraction (or answer to Kuro's boredom and occasional theatrical tendencies). Kuro is known for doing magic tricks, both in and out of combat, and in fact he seems to have a love and respect for the arts. This has earned him the nickname "Dark Magician" by some underworld professionals. One of his infamous magic tricks include people "not seeing individuals again" if Kuro so much as uses his cards in combat (a hint and reminder as to how powerful Kuro may actually be).
Kuro's main use of the cards is to use them like they were bladed weapons themselves. Sometimes, he uses psychological manipulation alongside this , replacing use of real weapons for seemingly harmless cards, allowing the opponent to underestimate him until he has put them in a position where they are no longer able to retaliate. Apparently, Kuro's cards are at least as sharp as steel (likely sharper), as they are able to cut through similar objects.
He has approached card usage in different ways, from throwing them like projectiles and using them like hand held weapons, to integrating them in weaponry and using them indirectly (like cutting a building) and secretly (like when Kuro doesn't have real weapons, confusing the opponent due to lack of knowledge of Kuro's ability).
Other notable feats include:
- Card levitation
- Gathering his cards together to create real objects (more than shaping his cards into things - he was able to put his cards together until they formed an actual sword, and became a real object). Though instead of being a consequence of a possible Devil's Fruit ability, it may also be a simple magic trick, with him pulling a sword "out of nowhere" and putting the cards in hiding. If this is true, how he is able to conjure a sword is still unknown.