In her introduction, she is 22 years old, as revealed in Prologue: Criminal (Issue #1, collected in Volume 1, Blood of a Thousand), making her four years younger than her brother Manji, who is revealed to be "ten years older" than Asano Rin in Heart of Darkness, making him 26 years old.
The younger sister of Manji, Machi was a regular young woman who married a policeman, Saitō Tatsumasa. This was about the same time that Manji, after killing 100 innocent men for his old master, Hatamoto Horii Shigenobu, turned on his master and murdered him as well. Manji, consequently a wanted criminal, is unfortunately found by Saitō, who is accompanied by Machi on this occasion, after only just killing two other samuai that had been hunting him down.
While Saitō and Manji face each other, Machi peeks around the corner. She shouts "Tatsumasa," to get her husband's attention, though it is unknown whether or not she knew at this point that Saitō was facing her brother. Manji then realises that Machi is the wife of Saitō, but before he can act to stop a fight, Saitō attacks him and he kills Machi's husband out of self-defense.
Machi, witnessing the incident, breaks down and reverts to a childlike version of herself. Machi's death occurs soon after Manji kills Gyobutsu "Johnny," the brother of Shido Hasiyasu, the leader of Shinsen-gumi, a ronin gang. At first, Machi is kidnapped by the Shinsen-gumi, but as Manji wants to wash his hands of killing, he ends up telling Shido that he'll fight him and the rest of his gang barehanded. Shido, already infuriated by Manji's insult, is pushed over the edge by this and kills Machi after briefly setting her free. He then impales Manji, but being immortal, Manji doesn't die.
Machi is the reason that Manji has since vowed to kill a thousand evil men, as he felt it was entirely his fault for her going insane, as well as being murdered. She is also the reason that Manji became Rin Asano's bodyguard - because of Rin's resemblance to his dead sister.
Appearance and Personality
Machi is almost always depicted in her "insane" state, with cropped hair and a loose-fitting floral kimono. Her clothes are usually quite loosely secured and have sometimes revealed too much, making her appear indecent. In one scene (a flashback, in issue #1) however, she is shown as being the perfectly stable wife of a samurai and policeman, Saitō Tatsumasa, as well as being well-groomed and dressed. Prior to her breakdown, she wore her hair in the style that many young Japanese women and wives favored. Her kimono is also secured and positioned properly and correctly.
After going insane, Machi has quite a playful and naivé personality, like that of a small child. Little is known on her personality before she went insane but she was portrayed as having quite a standard and normal personality as the wife of Saitō Tatsumasa.
Relationships to other characters
Machi's only known relative is her brother, Manji. Manji settled down somewhat after she became insane to take care of her, even rejecting the idea of seppuku as he feels she would die without him("I commit seppuku now, she dies in a ditch somewhere, all alone..."). Ironically, soon after stating this, Machi is killed because of Manji.
Machi used to be married to the samurai Saito Tatsumasa, with whom she had a presumably normal relationship.
The nun Yaobikuni and the meshimori-onna O-yo are often seen in the same place as Machi, but neither of them are seen actually conversing with her.
Although the two have never met, Rin Asano is often compared to Machi by Manji. To Manji, Rin looks very much like Machi.
- Ooh, Manji.. Your clothes kinda smell like blood!
- Big brother Maaaan-jiii!
- You're worried about saving face? You don't have any to save, my dear, after you got sick in front of all those people.
- After not appearing at all in any of the Issues after #1, she makes a brief appearance in Manji's memories in Volume 21, Footsteps.
- Manji has often mentioned that Machi and Rin look very much alike, something that he expands on in Volume 21; later in the story he does not see them similarly anymore and then realizes that when he thinks of Machi he can only see Rin's face instead.
- The kanji used for Machi's name is 町, which means 'town'.
- In the live-action movie she was portrayed by Hana Sugisaki, who also played Rin.
List of appearances:
- Blood of a Thousand
- 1 - Prologue: Criminal
- 140 - Night Talks