- "Pursue the greatest swordsmanship. The greatest sword will naturally come to your hands"
Gozen Shizuka (ゴゼン・シズカ Gozen Shizuka?) is the current "Princess" (姫 Hime?) of the Gozen Clan within Wano Country and is next-in-line to succeed her clan following the defection of her older sister Gozen Tomoe. Despite obeying her clan's wishes silently, she observed her clan slowly crippling as they failed to maintain their status in the face of Wano's civil tensions — a product of Wano's leaders debating over international relations.
Shizuka is a woman who wishes to restore her clan to the pinnacle of their glory. To this end, she has undergone the training of a Samurai with the legendary Kozuki Masamune for upwards of eight years. Her training has reinforced her resolve with a steeled discipline and insight unbeknownst to her elders entwined in useless political chains, leading her to be one of the few with solutions to the crisis facing her clansmen.
Abilities and Powers Edit
As a Samurai of Wano Country, Shizuka is a woman boasting enough skill that even Marines would not dare approach her carelessly. This is further reinforced by her training underneath Kozuki Masamune, a legend within the Wano Country, for eight years. To this end, he suggested that she spar against Salazar, a swordsman at the level of a Shichibukai, indicating considerable trust in her prowess.
The form of swordsmanship practiced by Shizuka is known as "Iaido" (居合道 Way of Present Response?). It is a style practiced by swordsmen across the world, but few understand the true meaning of Iaido. To a woman of the Wano Country, Iaido represents the core of all Samurai: discipline and patience. Although the style may initially appear as nothing more than accelerating the speed of their sword draws, Shizuka's swordsmanship goes far deeper. Shizuka outright refuses to draw her sword on most occasions, as she calmly assesses her situation with a perception and patience forgotten to most warriors. Fluidly, she moves around the battlefield with keen eyes tracking only her enemies. To the unsuspecting enemy, Shizuka appears to be overly cautious. Her senses work at their peak, hands grip the hilt of her blade and her body constantly moving. But to a trained warrior, this is little more than bait. All of her motions exist for the sole sake of seeking an opening from her enemy, however small, and exploiting it to deal critical damage. It is precisely in these situations that Shizuka steals the offensive. She turns the momentum of the battle around and swoops seamlessly into the optimal range for her blade, slicing through her enemy in a single strike. This exploitation, known as the "Maai" (間合い Engagement Distance?) is Shizuka's greatest skill, for the moment she sets foot into this range, the opponent must concentrate their entire effort into preventing her advance. But to a woman like Shizuka, whose speed and resolve is so clearly visible through her blade, an enemy may very well lapse in their concentration. It is this difference in continuously trained mental strength, known as the "Kokoro no Maai" (心の間合い Heart's Engagement Distance?) between the Samurai and her enemy that will undoubtedly secure Shizuka's victory.
Her technical prowess within the style, outside of her approach to combat, is also quite noteworthy. Having trained diligently with the "Kata" (型 Movement?) of Iaido for almost a decade, the speed in which she draws her sword is nigh-instantaneous. This speed exists as a byproduct of her rising physical prowess, skill and adherence to the form of drawing. She ensures her movements are fluid and in doing so, vastly increases the transition of the sword's movement from the scabbard outwards. Within a flash, Shizuka's blade can go from being within its sheath to have suddenly cut through her opposition and then retreated back to its abode. Combined with her impeccable reflexes and the assistance of her Kenbunshoku Haki, Shizuka has demonstrated the ability to almost spontaneously react to any situation she faces herself in. One of Shizuka's more recent endeavors is the application of "Batto" (抜刀 Drawn Sword?) into her drawing technique. In doing so, Shizuka has significantly increased her combat presence beyond simple isolated slashing maneuvers. Instead, she is able to fluidly draw, perform an opening slash and subsequently shift into devastating offensive or defensive maneuvers in which her slashes move in all directions, overwhelming any enemy through their sheer scope. She performs such maneuvers through relying not on active movement, but allowing her slashes to naturally flow into one another without retreating backward. In this sense, it is a taxing form of combat that should only be used against those who Shizuka possesses absolute confidence in achieving victory, for otherwise it can very easily backfire against her. That being said, the accumulated training Shizuka has undergone in maintaining continuous slashes makes defence against her onslaught nigh-impossible, leaving only the most skilled of enemies able to retaliate.
Of course, Shizuka is not so naive to believe that such a straight-forward approach will grant her victory in every duel. Having practiced and witnessed all manners of swordsmanship for eight years, she has grown accustomed to loss...
- Hiken: Senka Rinkage (秘剣・千花林影 Hiken: Senka Rinkage?, Lit. "Concealed Sword: Thousand Flowers Forest Shadow"):
- Hiken: Tsubame Goka (秘剣・燕降下 Hiken: Tsubame Gōka?, Lit. "Concealed Sword: Swallow Descent"):
- Hiken no Kamae: Jippo Muryo (秘剣の構え・十方六領 Hiken no Kamae: Jippō Muryō?, Lit. "Concealed Sword Stance: Ten Directions, Sixth Territory")