Subaru Sumeragi (皇昴流, Sumeragi Subaru) is the protagonist in Tokyo Babylon.
Subaru was born in Kyoto on February 19, 1974 as the younger of a pair of unidentical twins, his older twin being a girl named Hokuto. Their parents (never seen, no information) were part of the Sumeragi clan, a clan of onmyoji who have served Japan and the emperor for centuries.
Subaru was trained from an early age to become the 13th Sumeragi clan leader, overtaking his grandmother. When he was 9, he was separated from his sister for a year's intensive training in Tokyo. On the day he ascended head of the Sumeragi clan, Subaru encountered a strange young man underneath a cherry tree. He was made to forget about it.
Subaru's grandmother forces him to wear gloves from that day forward and never allow anyone to see his hands. The old onmyoji cast a spell on the gloves that would stop anyone who wanted to remove them. Subaru has never removed his gloves and has been shown that he goes to sleep wearing them.
In 1991, Subaru has been shown to have grown into a cheerful and bashful teenager, utterly devoted to helping others -- both in his capacity as Japan's most powerful onmyōji and in "normal" life. As well as exorcizing demons, helping lost souls ascend to the afterlife, entering the minds of comatose people to bring them back to the world, and fighting those who abused spiritual powers, he would often also stand up to bullies and provide comfort and friendship to their victims.
Subaru lives in an apartment in Tokyo, in the same building as his sister Hokuto, whose personality had become the polar opposite to his own -- eccentric and outgoing. Hokuto is vexed by her brother's selflessness, encouraging him to think of himself once in a while, rather than placing the good of others above himself. Although she encourages him to be cheerful and polite, she also criticizes his excessive deference to others, including his habit of bowing to people on the phone "like a salaryman". Subaru wears effeminate costumes designed by his sister, her own outfits being even more outlandish.
Subaru and Hokuto are good friends with a kindly and magically-aware vet named Seishiro Sakurazuka, who they met at a railway station after Subaru's shikigami led him on a bizarre chase. Seishirō acts as guardian to both and claims to love Subaru romantically. Subaru is frequently embarrassed by these claims, as well as Hokuto's gleeful attempts to bring the two together, but gradually grows to accept the older man's apparent love.
During Tokyo Babylon, Subaru has dreams of the day he became the head of the Sumeragi clan: he recalls the strange meeting beneath a cherry tree unseasonably in bloom, with a young man who told him the Japanese folk tale that every cherry tree has a corpse buried beneath it, whose blood dyes the white blossoms pink. When the 9-year-old Subaru asked if the buried people were in pain, the young man, initially confused but becoming oddly amused, made a bet with him, the only words of which he heard were: "If ever we meet again..." and "...but today... I will let you go." Recalling this dream, Subaru begins to wonder if the sinister young man is actually Seishirō, despite the different personality shown between the two. He also ponders Hokuto's suggestions that Seishirō's surname links him to the Sakurazukamori, a ruthless magical assassin clan, but dismisses it due to Seishirō's kind nature.
After Seishirō loses the sight in his right eye protecting Subaru, the onmyoji realizes he loves the man. Unfortunately for Subaru, Seishirō reveals that he is indeed the Sakurazukamori, raised to be incapable of either love or hate. Lifting the veil he had placed on the boy's memory, Seishirō states the nature of the bet he had made: that if they met again, he would live with the boy for a year to see if his heart could be moved. However, the assassin claims he was as barren of emotion as ever, and attempts to kill Subaru, only for the boy's grandmother to rescue him at great personal cost. Subaru becomes catatonic as a result, but recovers when, telepathically, he senses Hokuto's self-sacrifice to the Sakurazukamori.
Subaru decides at this point to drop out of school so that he can focus on training. He continues his work as an onmyōji, remaining compassionate to others but acting more reserved; he also takes up smoking, like Seishirō before him.
Tokyo Babylon 1999Edit
Tsubasa: Reservoir ChronicleEdit
In Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle, Subaru reappears as one of a pair of twin vampires (the other being Kamui Shiro) for whom Seishiro Sakurazuka is searching. A correlation is also shown in Subaru's relationship with Seishiro, for he seems worried about him when he asks Fuuma how he is doing in the Tokyo arc. Also, though Kamui appears to have an intense hatred for Seishiro, Subaru is much more lax about their situation of being chased and seems to silently disagree with his twin.
He makes his first appearance in the Tokyo arc, in which he talks to a comatose Sakura and urges her to wake up before she is lost to her dreams. It turns out that he himself was left in a comatose state at the bottom of a large water reservoir, leading to Kamui's fierce protection of the site, particularly from Fuuma. Eventually he wakes and is at last rejoined with his twin.
In volume one of xxxHOLIC, Yuko Ichihara mentions knowing an onmyoji with a twin sister whom she has known since the onmyōji was very young. She hopes that the boy will be happy, but there are many definitions for happiness. This onmyōji is Subaru.
- He is one of the Dragons of Heaven in X.