|Gensoumaden | Gaiden|
|Age||Unknown (Appears 8-9)|
|Hair||Black (Gensoumaden Saiyuki)|
Blond (Sai. Gaiden - canon)
|Eye Color||Gold (Gensoumaden Saiyuki)|
Purple (Sai. Gaiden)
|Relatives||Li Touten - Father|
|Manga Debut||Sai. Vol 3, ch. 14|
Sai. Gaiden Vol 1, ch. 01
|Anime Debut||Saiyuki Ep. 40|
Sai. Gaiden OVA Ep. 01
|Seiyuu||Kōda Kaho (幸田 夏穂)|
|English||Tony Oller (in Saiyuki)|
Clint Bickham (in Sai. Gaiden)
|Skills||Expert martial artist|
Toushin Nataku Taishi War God Prince Nataku (闘神・哪吒太子) is the first war god of Saiyuki. More of a curse than an honor, he was the only member of Heaven's army allowed to actually kill.
Nataku has a very individualistic nature. He grew up watching people place the blame for their faults and the bulk of their dirty work on the shoulders of others, but unlike his father he did not have any desire to one day return the favor by raising his rank above theirs. Instead, he promised himself that he would never grow into that kind of person. They disgusted him. While he wanted to change, he didn't. He was unable to do so much as raise his hand against his father's wishes.
It was simply impossible for him to trust anyone growing up – those who didn't openly scorn him were only interested in using him, and his father's 'affection' was suspect at best. He viewed Nataku as a very valuable tool. Of course, Nataku knew this, but for his own sake he pretended it was a form of love. Nataku himself was very pragmatic about his childhood. He knew his place, and while he didn't exactly accept it there was little he could do about it. He could not tell anyone he was too hurt to do whatever was asked of him, because his ability to obey orders was the be-all end-all of his existence to them. Killing from that age left its own scars. To most people, Nataku was remote and arrogant. In Heaven, he was unofficially known as a 'Killing Puppet'.
Goku, however, was different. He offered friendship for the sake of friendship, and it was no small thing to Nataku to have a friend his age who simply enjoyed his company. Alone, or in Goku's presence, Nataku tends to act his age. He's playful and somewhat bratty due to his impish sense of humor. He once drew nose-hairs on the Jade Emperor while he slept. Nataku is naturally inquisitive about the world around him, and highly perceptive towards other people and their motivations. He's far from innocent despite his age. Though he doesn't seek it out unless offered, he craves affection and companionship.
AppearanceNataku appears as a young boy, only a little taller than young Goku was in heaven. He is small and thin, with a round, boyish face. His chakra is shaped like a long diamond, with the smaller tips cut off, forming a sort of uneven hexagon. He appears in a large, almost baggy, white robe with a gold square/spiral design along the end of the sleeves and collar. There's a tie around of his waist, that's the same color as the robe, but has a length of fringe along the bottom edge. He wears equally white pants and boots under the robes.
In Gensoumaden Saiyuki - Nataku appears with gold eyes and dark hair that waivers between black and a deep purple, depending on the lighting. His chakra was violet.
In Saiyuki Gaiden OVA - Here, Nataku appears with blond hair and purple eyes, similar to that of Konzen. His chakra is red. In the anime, Nataku appeared with purple eyes, the explanation being that it was due to his blood of Heaven's gods. This color changed occurred because around the same time that the manga was first circulated (via Manga magazines G-fantasy, Zero-Sum), the official color wasn't released yet.
Saiyuki GaidenDespite the responsibilities of his position, and his father's manipulation, Nataku still maintained the spirit of a child outside his father's view, getting into trouble and exploring the heavens and the Lower Worlds for secret places he could visit. He showed at least some of these places only to Shien, one of the few people he knew well enough to trust a little bit. One of his more ambitious pranks even involved drawing nose hairs on the Jade Emperor while he slept. He had just made a clean getaway when he ran into another golden-eyed boy his age – one with a similar sense of humor. Though the other boy didn't know his own name, the two of them became fast friends, and when the servants discovered Nataku, the boy asked if they could play again soon.
Nataku couldn't be happier to agree. He'd made a friend, maybe one of his first. According to Kenren, it's unknown if Nataku even has friends, due to his reaction when Goku said that Nataku was his friend.
However, he was summoned soon after and sent out to fight the Great Youkai, Gyumaoh. He was successful, but he was seriously injured in the battle. When he returned to the Heavens, he was able to stand long enough to refuse treatment – until he saw the boy from before. The last thing he remembered was collapsing into his arms.
He would wake up again later, bandaged, and with the boy still at his side. While Nataku was certain that nobody would care if anything happened to him, the boy assured him of the opposite: he came just to see Nataku after all. Nataku promised to show him all over the heavens, to the secret places where tall trees and berries grew. He asked the boy to stay with him, and the two of them ended up talking until they fell asleep together on his bed.
He attended a festival later that week, where his father told him to pay close attention to the Jade Emperor who was speaking – soon, Li Touten said, he would claim that position. Nataku could care less about the whole event, and only wished it would end sooner. But as he watched, a fight broke out down below. He recognized his friend fighting with some others, but he was unable to act with Li Touten still watching him.
Once he healed enough to walk around, he was summoned once again to the Jade Emperor's court where his father received formal praise for Nataku's battle with the demon. His friend was there again, but Nataku's pleasure at seeing the other boy was soon to fade with a simple order. His father rested a hand on his shoulder and said that the boy was the heretical being from the underworld, and that Nataku was to kill him. Heaven didn't need two heretical beings, and Nataku didn't need the competition. Though the boy yelled after him, Nataku walked away saying nothing.
Nataku didn't see the boy again before he was summoned once more. This time, he and his company were to subdue people who were "causing a disturbance that would jeopardize heaven's authority". Though Nataku had not fully healed yet, he agreed to go without question. He had no real option anyway.
Unexpectedly, one of the men from the fight at the festival stepped forward and offered to go in his place. It was General Kenren, not highly ranked enough to come before the emperor so boldly and incur anything but a beating. He must have known, too. Nataku's father assured the emperor that Nataku was eager to die in battle for the Heavens, and Nataku said it was so.
On the way past, he thanked Kenren, and punched him hard enough that he would know there was nothing to worry about. Nataku would survive the battle. Kenren was an idiot and a virtual stranger, but he appreciated the gesture.
Though he told Shien of the other boy, and Li Touten's orders to kill him, he didn't see his friend again until he was once more in the Jade Emperor's court to be sent out for another campaign. The boy broke in, asking Nataku if he would really kill him, and before Nataku could respond Li Touten ordered just that. The boy tried to punch his father, and in response Nataku attempted to kill him, only to be blocked by Kenren. He might have killed them as ordered if Tenpou had not tried to attack his father as well. After striking him down, Nataku finally went after the boy again – and stopped with the sword at his throat, unable to kill him. The boy finally told him his name: Goku.
He would not kill Goku and could not disobey his father. Seeing no other option, Nataku made his choice. He turned his sword on himself and cut his strings for good.
Kenren held Nataku in his arms as his last words were given to Goku. His last vision is himself showing Goku what is up on a tree, therefore asking him to see it. It shows that he really wanted to show his new friend what he saw, but unfortunately, he won't and will never.
After Li Touten's death, Nataku's body was found in his secret underground laboratory. He was barely hanging on to life, but his mental state had left him an empty shell. After his physical wounds had healed, Nataku was placed on a throne where he sits in the divine garden of heaven with only Kanzeon Bosatsu to keep him company, his mind locked away inside. The Merciful Goddess hints that he is waiting for something, or more likely, someone.
Saiyuki Reload Blast
It was revealed that Nataku had gone missing.
Nataku is first discovered during a vicious battle between Sanzo and Kougaiji. The war god immediately pins youkai as threats and eliminates them with a powerful attack. Nataku then turns his attention on the Demon King's son, claiming he is a high threat and launching a fatal attack. Kougaiji is saved, but at the sacrifice of Dokugakuji, and is able to escape. Sanzo, battered from his fight with the demon prince, asks Nataku what he is, the latter claiming he does not know.
Goku appears and locks eyes with Nataku. The two stare at each other for a moment with Goku finding the war god familiar and reaching out to him as Nataku exits, leaving the heretic confused as to why the young man seemed so familiar.
Later it's discovered, after the Sanzo Ikkou are removed from the mission by the Three Aspects, that Nataku will take over. This does not go over well with the guys and soon find themselves in a battle with the war god who is trying to annihilate a village full of peaceful youkai that Sharak was protecting. The guys seem to be doing fairly well, but are soon overtaken by Nataku.
Son Goku - Goku is the first friend of Nataku. They first met in the palace when both of them were hiding. Even though Goku didn't have a name at the time to tell Nataku, they quickly became friends and promised each other that they would play again. Goku was always waiting for him to come back from his missions and would sneak inside the Jade's Emperor's Palace if needed. Later on, Nataku came back from the lower world after defeating Gyumaoh. Goku stayed by his side and waited for him to wake up. At that time also, Nataku promised Goku that he will cruise him around heaven in an unknown area or a spot full of raspberries. However, their promises only happened in Nataku's mind after realizing that he cannot kill his own "best buddy", Goku.
Li Touten - He is the father (more like adoptive father) of Nataku who he cannot disobey. Despite the fact he is loyal to him, Nataku used to backstab him and swore to himself that he would never grow up to be like him and the adults surrounding him.
Kenren - He shut the mouths of people who didn't have anything good to say about Nataku. In fact, he is the only person who objected to sending Nataku to the front lines again, stating that his injuries still weren't healed. And he asked that the appointment be given to himself and his unit. However, Li Touten objected, stating that his son lived for battle. After the soldiers were dismissed, Nataku thanked Kenren for standing up for him. Later throughout the series, Kenren apologized to the Natakus for not saving their brother, Nataku. He knows that Nataku and the Natakus beasts were in pain and in the end Kenren let one of Natakus be the one to kill him.
Weapon and Abilities
The only weapon he has been seen using is a large Chinese Broadsword.
Nataku also has the ability to summon very powerful shikigami. Glowing orbs form around him and they produce a masked person who will attack at the war god's will.
- Nataku is based off the character Prince Nezha from the original story of Journey to the West, who from the original story of 'Journey to the West' (or more so the Fengshen Yanyi) had been a ball of flesh that his 'father' had sliced in two, and was birthed from it.
- However, Nezha in on'yomi is often said as "Nata", while "Nataku" is an alternate take on the reading.
- In a lot of stories based of 'Journey to the West', the alienation of other people towards Nataku's character is believed to be his own fault.
- Minekura drew Nataku with a puppet body. This may be a representation that he is Li Touten's puppet and just being used by for his wicked plans.