CONTENT WARNING: A BRIEF SEQUENCE OF INTENSE VIOLENCE INVOLVING SEPPUKU. VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED.
The legendary Japanese warlord, Hanzo Hattori, was a loyal soldier to the Tokugawa shogunate.
His first fight, at the tender age of 16, took place during the Battle of Anegawa.
His numerous exploits earned him the nickname "Diavolo Hanzo".
His most famous was helping Ieyasu Tokugawa cross the Iga village safely via his connections with various ninja.
Ieyasu was being chased by the forces of Mitsuhide Akechi, who had already killed Nobunaga Oda, and it was only Hanzo's ninja connections that saved Ieyasu's hide.
The circumstances surrounding Hanzo's death are mysterious; according to the history books, he died of natural causes, but there are those who believe he was drowned when the navy of Kotaro Fuma sunk his ship during a ship-to-ship battle.
Hanzo had numerous descendants, including a child born to one of his female descendants who had fled to Italy when the Chinese invaded the Land of the Rising Sun.
That child would grow up to be a swordsman and an actor who portrayed Sonny Chiba in the 1976 motion picture Bodyguard Kiba. Not much else is known about him.
That child's name was Nicola Terry.
OP: "Danzen! Futari wa Precure Dragon"
"Il misterio di Nicola Terry - The Mystery of Nicola Terry"
Nicola waited patiently outside the gates of Ichiban. A security guard showed up. "Name?"
"Nicola Terry. I was hoping to visit the two girls who appeared on television with me a while back. Names of Ryan Lee and Susan Chan."
The security guard said, "Sure, but don't do anything weird or I'll have to drag you out of the place."
Nicola said, "Don't worry, kind sir; I will see to it that they are protected from weirdos such as the Yakuza leader known as Antoinette de Ville."
The security guard said, "Fine."
He opened the gates, and Nicola walked in.
Meanwhile, in the dormitory, Ryan and Susan heard some knocking. Susan asked, "Who is it?"
"Do come in."
Nicola entered, flanked by two security guards. He said, "I was wondering whether the four of you know the story of Hanzo Hattori."
Susan asked, "Who is this Hanzo Hattori you speak of?"
Nicola said, "He's a distant ancestor of mine, a legendary samurai who served under the Tokugawa shogunate."
Rica asked, "What about him?"
Nicola said, "He was a brave man. I have heard that he died fighting the naval forces of Kotaro Fuma. He lost his head for the effort seven years later."
Kelly asked, "Who lost his head? Hanzo Hattori?"
Nicola said, "No, no, no, no, no, no, it was Kotaro Fuma who lost his head! He and Hanzo were long-time rivals, and the same is true of their descendants. If you see someone seven feet tall with inverted eyes, you'd better watch out."
Ryan mimed the letters N, A, Z, and E.
"Because," Nicola said, "he's my arch-enemy. May the good speed be with you."
Nicola left, flanked by the same security guards. Ryan closed the door. He said, "We need to find out more about this Nicola Terry character, see if he is who he says he is."
Susan asked, "Who?"
"The direct descendant of Hanzo Hattori, that's who!"
Rica said, "Yeah, well, tell me something: where the hell do we first look?"
Ryan, Susan, Rica, and Kelly were in the library. Rica said, "Thank you, Captain Obvious."
Ryan said, "Captain Obvious is less annoying than Eileen Fields; she managed to trip up Rica on the way here."
Ryan searched the film books section for books on Nicola Terry, including any that might relate to "The Bodyguard".
He finally found one that said "The Making of Bodyguard Kiba". Rica said, "Good pick, limey, let's check this one out!"
Ryan laid it on the table and opened it. Flipping through the pages, he finally found a passage regarding Nicola.
He slid the book to Rica. The passage was as follows:
"The coveted role of Sonny Chiba, the heroic Japanese martial arts actor who takes on the drug industry in New York City, went to a swordsman and part-time actor named Nicola Terry, a Japanese-Italian fellow who had previously appeared in a 3D movie based on the legend of Pretty Cure in the role of Cure Black's boyfriend, Fuji-P, when he was younger. The girl who portrayed Cure Black in that film was Keiko Tsushima, who around the same time appeared in Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai.
"Mr. Terry had recently appeared in the samurai film A Drifter in Kyoto, which served as a basis for David Morrell's thriller First Blood and was directed by Shigehiro Ozawa, director of The Street Fighter, and co-starred Rinichi Yamamoto and Milton Ishibashi in the roles which would later become Colonel Trautman and Sheriff Teasle, respectively."
Rica seemed puzzled. Kelly asked, "What is it? Cat got your tongue?"
Rica said, "Hell no! I just don't see mention of Hanzo Hattori anywhere."
Kelly said, "Is that so? Then find another book, Ryan!"
As Ryan got up to continue the search, Susan said, "At least we know some more about him."
After searching some more, Ryan found another book. This one was titled "Nicola Terry: Swashbuckling Actor".
He spent about a minute's worth of montage trying to find more information about Nicola's true lineage, but he wound up finding little regarding that.
Back in the dormitory, Ryan asked, "Where the hell are we going to find clues regarding the true lineage of Nicola Terry?"
Susan said, "Don't obsess over it. I'm sure something will come up somehow."
Ryan said, "Yeah, but how?"
Rica said, "Ask the red pandas. They might have some leads."
Newton and Bailey popped out from under the bunk beds. Newton said, "I see you're looking for some clues as to who the hell this Nicola Terry character is really descended from!"
Ryan asked, "Could he really have been descended from the Hanzo Hattori?"
Newton said, "'Tis a possibility. Why don't you try speaking with Goemon Ishikawa? He might have that answer."
Bailey said, "Indeed. The two lived in the same timeframe."
Rica said, "It's worth a try. Let's go."
At Fictional Devices R Us, Ryan, Susan, Rica, and Kelly stood outside of Goemon's office door. Goemon opened it. "Ah, so we meet again. Never by chance. You must have something on your mind. Hanzo Hattori, I presume?"
Ryan said, "A descendant, actually. Or rather, someone who is speculated to be a direct descendant."
Goemon said, "Oh, I see. Who is it you speak of?"
Ryan said, "Nicola Terry, the actor and former swordsman. He portrayed Sonny Chiba in Bodyguard Kiba."
Goemon said, "I heard about that one. The American remake of the Japanese film of the same name, which features Chiba in the title role."
Rica said, "The Americanisation made Chiba the main character. Nicola portrayed him on the big screen."
Goemon said, "Yes, well, come on in. I have something important to tell you."
As the four entered the office, a large shadow walked by. The figure to whom the shadow belonged grunted some before moving on.
Ryan, Susan, Rica, and Kelly were seated in the seiza position. Oriental music played in the background as Goemon Ishikawa told his story.
"The man named Hanzo Hattori lived in the Edo period, between 1542 and 1596. His family served the Tokugawa shogunate; his father was Yasunaga Hattori, a minor samurai.
"Hanzo served in the Battles of Anegawa and Mikatagahara when he was younger, and he was a valuable ally to Ieyasu Tokugawa.
"His greatest exploit came in 1582, following the death of Nobunaga Oda. Using his connections with the Iga ninja that still remained in the area, he guided Ieyasu to safety in Mikawa Province. He went on to contribute to Ieyasu's reign over a unified Japan.
"Hanzo was an expert tactician and a master of the spear martial arts. In his later years, he commissioned a temple called Sainenji in honor of Ieyasu's elder son Nobuyasu, who committed seppuku after being accused of treason.
"Hanzo had been called in to put Nobuyasu out of his misery as an official second, but he refused to kill the son of his own lord."
Hanzo entered the Tokugawa household, steel in hand. He took his place behind Nobuyasu as he prepared to commit ritual suicide in response to Nobunaga Oda's accusation of treason.
Nobuyasu took up his steel as members of the Oda clan, including Nobunaga, watched.
The tension steadily increased until Nobuyasu fatally slashed himself. As he dropped to the floor in agony, Nobunaga yelled, "Well, what are you waiting for? Put him out of his misery, since you serve his father so faithfully!"
Hanzo said, "You're right. I am a faithful servant of his father, and I do not wish to see him suffer, but at the same time, I will not shed the blood of my lord or a relative thereof."
Hanzo silently cried as Nobuyasu expired.
"Drawing from his nickname, Devil Hanzo, Ieyasu had this to say about the incident."
A messenger ran up to Ieyasu. Ieyasu asked, "What news dost thou bring?"
The messenger said, "Your son has committed seppuku following accusations of treason, issued by Nobunaga Oda, no less. Hanzo Hattori was selected to end his suffering should your son's death not have come immediately, but he didn't wish to shed the blood of your son, even to put him out of his misery and end his pain."
Ieyasu was amazed. "Unbelievable… Diavolo Hanzo has let his human side known. Even a devil can shed tears."
Kelly asked, "What happened to Hanzo?"
"Ostensibly," Goemon continued, "he died of natural causes. However, a couple of years after my execution, I happened to watch from a hiding place near Seto Inland Sea as Kotaro Fuma, a notorious outlaw who Hanzo had been hunting for years, destroyed him.
"That wily Fuma bastard lured Hanzo into a small channel, knowing the tides would trap Hanzo's men. Fuma's men then burned the channel by dousing it with oil and setting it alight. Hanzo's navy never stood a chance.
"Hanzo's remains were later recovered and burned following a proper funeral. His ashes are currently located at the Sainenji cemetery.
"Hanzo had many descendants, several of whom were portrayed on the small and big screen by the incredible Sonny Chiba.
"One descendant, a female, fled during the Sino-Japanese War and settled in Italy. Her name was Toshimi Hattori, and she married a local named Gian Maria Terry. They had one son."
Ryan gasped as he realized what he had just learned. "Nicola… he was right."
Goemon continued, "I've monitored Hanzo's descendants for centuries; I should know."
"If that's the case," Rica said, "then why weren't you featured in the Shadow Warriors TV series?"
Goemon said, "I was never present during the events depicted. However, I was always in the shadows, having been presumed dead from boiling oil."
Ryan said, "Thanks for the assistance, Goemon."
Goemon said, "You're welcome. Come again!"
Susan said, "I hope we live to see that day!"
Goemon said, "My sentiments exactly!"
The quartet departed.
Nicola was in his house that night when someone knocked on his door. "Who is it?" he asked.
"A few new friends you just recently met."
Nicola said, "Come in."
The door opened, and Ryan, Susan, Rica, and Kelly entered. Ryan and Susan were in the same dresses they had worn on the variety show when they appeared with Nicola. They even looked just the same.
Nicola said, "What a pleasant surprise."
Susan said, "Ryan and I came in these clothes and in these forms because we thought you'd recognize us better like this."
Nicola said, "I see."
Rica said, "That said, have you ever heard about the Pretty Cure legend?"
Nicola said, "Goemon Ishikawa told me about it. He knew that one boy and two girls both fought the forces of the evil Thirteen years ago, but now Thirteen is back, and two of the successors, one of who is a boy, have to fight Thirteen again."
Kelly said, "They're both here right now. The boy's the seemingly silent one in the pink tutu, and the girl's the one in the blue tutu."
Nicola said, "Just like old times."
Ryan and Susan got their transformers ready. "Dual Fighting Spirit!"
"The golden warrior, I am Cure Dragon!"
"The silver warrior, I am Cure Fortune!"
"Together we're Pretty Cure!"
"Evil warriors of ill fortune…"
"We shall send you packing!"
Cure Dragon said, "Speaking of Goemon, he told us some more about your ancestors. We learned that you're indeed a direct descendant of Hanzo Hattori."
Nicola said, "I see."
Cure Fortune said, "It's been a pleasure to show up."
Rica said, "We'll come to you if we need any more assistance!"
Nicola said, "Or vice versa. If you need any more assistance, that is."
Kelly said, "See you later!"
The quartet left the house. Nicola said, "Now to figure out what the new Yakuza family is really up to…"
Meanwhile, Fatale was watching Ryan, Susan, Rica, and Kelly return to Ichiban on her surveillance feed.
Fatale said, "Just you wait… I wish to fight the two of you in those forms in the near future. I will make you pay, eventually…"
She let out a cold, piercing laugh.
Next episode: "Pretty Cure contro il teppista - Pretty Cure vs. the Street Fighter"
- Yuki Tokiwa as Hiroshi Lee/Cure Dragon
- Nana Mizuki as Ran Chan/Cure Fortune
- Mariko Kouda as Kaori Chiba
- Daisuke Kishio as Shinhan
- Hisako Kanemoto as Seikou
- Toshiko Fujita as Fatale
- Miyuki Sawashiro as Rica Watanabe
- J.J. Sonny Chiba as Hanzo Hattori
- Milton Ishibashi as Goemon Ishikawa
- Katsunosuke Hori as Ieyasu Tokugawa
- Shozo Iizuka as Nobunaga Oda
- Rupert Grint as Ryan Lee/Cure Dragon
- Britt McKillip as Susan Chan/Cure Fortune
- Cyndy Preston as Kelly Chiba
- Mark X. Laskowski as Newton
- Maggie Flecknoe as Bailey
- Diane Michelle as Fatale
- Chloe Grace Moretz as Rica Watson
- Frank Von Kuegelgen as Nicola Terry and Hanzo Hattori
- Richard Cansino as Goemon Ishikawa
- Gregory Snegoff as Ieyasu Tokugawa
- Paul St. Peter as Nobunaga Oda