|Height||175 cm (5'9")|
|Relatives||Filbert Grouse - Adoptive Father|
|Manga Debut||Sai R. Vol 04, act. 14|
|Anime Debut||Sai R. Gunlock Ep. 13|
|Seiyuu||Kō'ichi Tōchika (遠近 孝一)|
|Skills||Western style exorcism |
Reliving the dead
Hazel Grouse is a character in Saiyuki Reload that appeared during the "Even a Worm" arc and the main antagonist of Saiyuki Reload Gunlock. He claimed to be an exorcist from across the sea and was very prejudiced towards youkai, seeking to eradicate them completely.
Hazel is a very single-minded individual. Due to this past experiences with youkai--simply called monsters where he comes from--he is very prejudiced against them and has a hard time believing that youkai and humans ever once co-existed in Shangri La. For the same reasons, he has great hate and distrust for youkai and he looks down his nose at Gojyo, Goku and Hakkai, not even addressing them by name. He believes that he and Sanzo have very similar pasts, so he often tries to connect with the monk and addresses him with a little more respect.
It is revealed that despite the cold way he communicates with his closest ally, Gat, he has a very strong bond with the man.
AppearanceThe Star of David. In the anime however, the pedant is a mirror with a golden cross-like design on the back.
BackgroundHazel is a foreigner from the rich Western continent that lies across the ocean. When he was younger, his parents were killed by youkai and he was taken in by an exorcised/bishop of the local church, Bishop Filbert Grouse. Hazel expressed a great interest in the faith when he was little and under Bishop Grouse's care. Most of his classmates at this school thought that he was praying to God in relation to his deceased parents. Hazel actually has problems believing in a "God". Bishop Grouse tells him that he should believe in the God inside of him.
"Everyone has God right here. So when you pray, Hazel... you oughta be pratin' to yourself. Face the God that lives inside you. It'll open your eyes to a great many things"
Meeting the RavenWhile Hazel was still young, his master brought a stranger from the East home; an foreigner with raven black hair and black robes. His master said that it was thanks to this wandering monk's help that he was able to exorcise/defeat the monster he'd been up against. His master described the monk as being very powerful and well trained in his art. So powerful infact, that he almost couldn't tell who was the monster between the two of them.
The foreigner came to live with them for a time. In Hazel first real meeting with the monk, the monk's strange way of talking put the young Hazel off. When the foreigner introduced himself as "Ukoku"--"The crow cries"--Hazel responded with "...so you are a raven". After that, the foreigner decided that he'd go by Raven while traveling in this country. This started the two of them into a conversation about how ravens were unlucky and Hazel said that there was an Old wives' tale that crows and ravens are black because God painted them that way for breaking his commandments. Raven asks why it's a crime to break the commandments. Eventually Hazel just says, "...'cause that's just the way things've gotta be". To this, Raven smiles and says, "Who says?"
After that, the foreigner just sort of crashed at their church; some days he would wonder about the town, but most of the time he just slept on the couch. Mean while, the town had been suffering from attacks and the crows seemed to be buzzing around the corpses. One day while Hazel was reading over his exorcist books, Raven's presents just seem to appear behind the child, spooking him. Raven asked why Hazel was reading these books and not going to ask Bishop Grouse to teach him personally? "...aren't you his successor , anyway?". Hazel admited that his master wouldn't teach him, that he didn't want Hazel to become an exorcist. When Raven made a "stupid-daddy" comment, Hazel got frustrated. He believes that Bishop Grouse had given him a better life than his real father could ever have and he wanted to show the bishop his gratitude.
Hazel thought back to a time before the foreigner showed up when he'd been asking his master to teach him. His master had sighed and given Hazel a potted plant. Hazel didn't understand what the potted plaint had to do with exorcism. His master said "They may be monsters, but if you're gonna be dealin' with lives, you oughta start here."
When Raven Heard the recount of the memory, he started laughing and asked Hazel if he'd been looking for a spell to make the flower grow. Hazel didn't deny it. Before Hazel's very eyes, Raven made the flower bloom, but then the flower continued to age and then died. Raven left the room stating, "To make something bloom...is to make it wither."
During his stay there, the foreigner told Hazel of his country; that it was a place where monsters and humans lived together. Hazel found it hard to believe. One night, Bishop Grouse came back to the house bloody and beaten and collapsed at the entry. He simply said that he let the monster get away. Hazel felt completely powerless. He had an outburst with his master and smashed the dead potted plant before running out of the house. While out, Hazel ran into Raven who said things that questioned a person's worth. Hazel said that he wanted to become powerful and be needed and that was where his worth was. Raven chuckled and turned to address the tree around them, full of black birds. He claimed that all of them together were a single monster. The monsters move it for the attack and Raven gave Hazel that extra push. Hazel use an anti-monster spell on the beast, the first he's ever cast on his own. It's powerful, but not quite good enough. Raven chuckled again and used some strange power of his own. All the crows literally disappeared out of the night sky.
Not long after that, Raven left. Before he did, he invited Hazel to come to Shangri La when he was older. Hazel responded with "I'm not curiou enough to travel all that way just to end up in a monster's den.". Raven smiled and said, "Oh, but you are. Didn't you know?"
His Master's DeathSometime after Raven left, Hazel and Bishop Grouse were attacked by a "monster" called Varaharu. It's not made clear what exactly Hazel's part was in the fight, but he blamed himself for the Bishop's death. Most likely it's because Bishop Grouse died protecting him. Varaharu killed the Bishop, but before he died, Grouse dealt a mortal wound to Varaharu. The monster, in a last act, possessed Hazel to give him time to regain his powers. But what he didn't expect was that Hazel would suppress the memories of that night, and that would seal Varaharu away inside of him.
After his master's death, Hazel perfected his exorcism technique and started taking jobs. During one of a job, he exorcised a monster that had ransacked a home and killed the family living there. When Hazel was inspecting the deceased he found the father of the household still breathing, if only for the moment. He was shielding his daughter, a young child that was already death. As the man died, Hazel performed the first soul resurrection--by surprise--bringing the child back to life using her father's soul.
That night Hazel traveled to Bishop Grouse's grave. He unearthed his master's body and tried desperately to revive his master using many monsters that he'd killed. In the end, he was unable to save the one person that he wanted--needed-- the most.
Gat, & the Journey to Shangri La
While exorcising a pack of monsters, Hazel accidentally killed a native that was protecting the beast. Hazel quickly worked to revive the human, but the act had already been done. The rest of the native's people rejected him as something unnatural. The natives name was Gatti Nenehawk, or formally Gat. He took his place as Hazel bodygaurd and has been his traveling companion ever since.
Hazel had heard the story of Shangri-la from Raven and by this time had becomes interested enough to travels there. During his travels he'd heard of how the monsters there had grown feral and were attacking the people. Hazel thought it only right to come and save the people, and try to purge the country of it's monster infestation.
Difference between Anime & Manga
In the Manga
Hazel arrives in this country with a goal of exterminating all the youkai and bringing peace back to Shangri La. His first encounter with any of the Sanzo Ikkou was with Goku who had fetched his hat for him. Goku had a hard time understanding his accent from the beginning. At first Hazel and his associate, Gat, seem like swell enough people. When a pack of rouge youkai attacked the Ikkou in the middle of the night and ransack the town. Hazel and Gat showed the Ikkou up by taking out a majority of the Youkai and performing a few miracles--bring the dead villagers back to life. An odd coincidence that the same humans Hazel brought back to life that night attacked and chased the Sanzo Ikkou out of town the next morning.
Camping out all night and eating canned rations, the Ikkou is attacked by a pack of youkai, but in the middle of it, Hazel and Gat show up and assist. The Sanzo Ikkou were very suspicious of him to say the least and Sanzo himself was persuaded to use Makai Tenjo on some of the youkai.
In the AnimeIn Saiyuki Reload Gunlock Hazel has a very different origin. He went out of his way to kill and exorcise youkai. Eventually he was punished for it by being turned into one himself, which resulted in him killing the priest who had raised him. He continued killing youkai, but was eventually killed by Gato, under the orders of the Great Spirit. However, Gato felt sorry for Hazel, so he then chose to revive him by sharing his own life energy, which also gives Hazel's amulet the power to revive the dead with souls (in the anime, the mirror appears to be able to hold an infinite number of souls). However, Hazel's memories were slightly augmented and he believed that he was the one who killed and revived Gato instead. In the finale of the series, Hazel attempts to kill Sanzo and revive him, in order to get Sanzo to join him in exterminating the demon race, but Goyjo, Hakkai and Goku intervene and Gato is fatally injured in the ensuing battle. Before dying, he reveals the truth to Hazel, resulting in Hazel regaining his true memories. Hazel was then defeated in his youkai form by the Sanzo party. Feeling that he had wasted his own life, Hazel asked Sanzo to kill him. Sanzo complies with his request, though before shooting Hazel he comforted him somewhat by telling him that nobody wastes their life.
Weapons and Abilities
He has a special revival technique through which he can replace souls. He uses the souls of the youkai he’s defeated to revive those humans who died by youkai-inflicted wounds. In the manga, Vuraharu was possessing him and it is where he gained his ability, and making Hazel lost one portion of his childhood memories. He supplements this ability with an amulet, which is capable of storing souls. Through this, he can store souls of youkai defeated with less human casualties, in case of times where human casualties are greater than the number of enemy youkai.