Is Gaku Dead Or Alive in House of Ninjas? [Spoiler]

In ‘House of Ninjas,’ the titular Shinobi family, The Tawaras, remain the last Ninja clan within the nation. However, the tragic loss of their eldest son, Gaku, while on a mission, compels the family to desert their generational legacy and attempt a life away from danger. Nevertheless, despite Souichi’s best attempts, his wife, Yoko, and kids, Haru and Nagi, swerve back into their Shinobi ways, unable to detach from a crucial part of their identities. As such, with the resurfacing of the Tawaras’ historical rivals, The Fuma Clan, Souichi’s family returns to their previous life for the sake of their nation’s safety.

As a result, after the Tawaras learn about the potential danger that the Fuma clan and their leader, Tsujioka Yosuke, Gaku’s killer, poses, the unhealed wound of the latter’s death brings newfound pain upon the family even six years later. However, as other revelations come into play, the intriguing question arises: is the Tawara heir truly dead? SPOILERS AHEAD!

Gaku Tawara and Ninja X

Gaku’s death leaves his family with overwhelming grief, so much so that his father, Souichi, decides to cut the Tawara name out of the life that delivered his son to a cruel fate. For the same reason, despite being one of the last Shinobi houses left in the nation, the Tawaras distance themselves from the Bureau of Ninja Management, a secretive organization, and attempt to live regular lives. Nonetheless, the life of normalcy hardly suits the family.

For the same reason, each of the Tawaras finds themselves employing their skills in various covert ways to scratch the restless itch of civilian life. Among them, Nagi remains the boldest in her Shinobi endeavors. Nagi and Gaku had a close relationship, with the older siblings mentoring his young sister and guiding her through her training. Thus, the duo often stole artifacts from different museums only to return it back in a few days. The exercise gave them a lesson on stealth— a Ninja’s best asset.

Consequently, even after Gaku’s death, Nagi continues with her training in secret, including nightly stealth patrols to museums and other establishments. Even though the girl’s training usually goes smoothly, one instance lands her in trouble after another masked figure steals the stolen artifact from Nagi. Thus, the young Shinobi finds herself entering a negotiation with an anonymous stalker known by the pseudonym “Ninja X.”

Ninja X is after a scroll hidden in the Tawara house, and their conversations compel the girl to believe her brother is on the other side of the correspondence. Moreover, she recognizes one of the blades the masked NinjaX threw at her as a family heirloom that Gaku inherited. Since Gaku fell into the ocean after his death and his body was never retrieved, Nagi believes there’s a way her brother may have survived his demise.

For the same reason, she bargains with Ninja X, only to discover that the masked warrior is actually Ayema, a woman from the Fuma clan. Thus, Nagi realizes that her inability to move on from Gaku’s death made her vulnerable to the Fumas’ tricks. Still, the young woman remains unable to give up on her hope.

The Fuma and Gaku’s Return

Despite Nagi’s initially misplaced hope, her hunch eventually turns out to be true. Soon after the Tawaras return to their Shinobi lifestyle and begin running missions for the BNM, the organization runs into the haggard form of Gaku, returned from the dead. As a result, six years after his death, Gaku returns to the Tawaras following years of separation and imprisonment among the Fumas.

Gaku died on a rescue mission to save a Japanese politician whom the Fumas abducted. Although the Shinobi family overpowered their enemy, the Fumas delivered one grave tragedy to the family in retribution by catching Gaku off guard and fatally stabbing him. Afterward, the boy’s killer pushed his body into the ocean, marking a dark chapter in the Tawaras story.

However, Gaku didn’t meet his end on that fatal night. Although the altercation left Gaku severely injured and with the loss of one leg, the Fumas rescued the man before he could succumb to his death. Consequently, Gaku became a prisoner at the hidden Fuma camp while the clan recuperated under their new leader, Tsujioka Yosuke. While Gaku attempted to leave the Fumas’ influence at first— either through escape or suicide— Tsujioka manipulated him into a longer stay.

During Gaku’s stay, the Shinobi’s learned values began to diminish as Tsujioka revealed the ugly side of his family profession to the Tawara heir. Since the Shinobi have long since served under a higher power, they have a tendency to follow orders despite their implications. As such, the Tawaras, including Gaku, have killed people with no immoral fault of their own in the name of the nation’s security and preservation. In fact, Gaku once killed a woman to ensure a politician’s affair remained out of the public eye.

For the same reasons, Gaku stay with the Fumas intrinsically changes his perception of his role within the world. As such, even after regaining his strength and learning to work with a prosthetic leg, Gaku allowed his family to believe his death while he pledged his allegiance to the Fuma, becoming a part of the clan. However, now that the Tawaras have returned as Shinobi, posing a threat to the Fuma clan, Gaku returns to his family as a planted spy to retrieve vital information and ensure the Fumas’ victory.

Ultimately, Gaku is alive and even makes it through the season with his life intact. Still, even though he attempts to trick his family into thinking the past six years haven’t changed him, the truth comes out in the open as the Fumas’ plot nears its end. Therefore, while Gaku remains alive, his assumed death brings about a massive change in his character, leaving the Tawaras still grieving their son’s absence even as they refuse to give up on the chance of his retrieval to the light.

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