Jyugo (ジューゴ Jūgo), inmate number 15, is the main protagonist of the anime and web manga series. He is an inmate of Nanba Prison where he is held in building thirteen, cell thirteen. Arrested on charges of larceny, he is a talented escape artist who has broken out of every prison he'd been sent to prior to Nanba. He is also the son of Rokudo.
Jyugo is a slim teenage boy of below-average height. He has lightly tanned skin and wavy, black hair with red bangs. His most unique features are his eyes, which are not only two different colors but change color regularly; while using his shackles' power, both of his eyes turn red. He wears silver hoop earrings in each ear and his nails are black. His ID number, 15, is tattooed in black on his right cheek.
As well as his current ID number tattoo, Jyugo bares multiple tattoos as well as numerous scars tattoos. He sports several black tattoos of various numbers across his arms, legs, and torso, which are most likely ID numbers from previous prisons; he also sports a tattoo resembling a barcode on each shoulder, as well as black stars. Among his most prominent scars are large, spiky ones near each knee and elbow; he also has multiple on his back, including what appears to be the remains of further ID numbers.
Jyugo is barefooted and wears a traditional black-and-white striped inmates' jumpsuit. The suit is torn at the neck, sleeves, and legs to make room for the thick, black shackles around his wrists, neck, and ankles; when activated, these turn his limbs into large, powerful blades. His ID badge is pinned to the left side of his chest.
Jyugo is a confident, impulsive young man who gets bored very easily. He is noted on multiple occasions to have no talents other than jailbreaking and is said to be effectively useless at everything else; having never had so much as a basic education, he is unable to read, write, count or swim and has poor stamina and physical abilities. His friends' constant belittling of him due to his lack of talent appears to have taken an impact on his self-esteem. In spite of his many flaws, his cellmates hold him in high regard as he is a compassionate person who understands others; it has been stated by all three of his cellmates that Jyugo has, at some point, done something for them that ultimately changed his life for the better, indicating his selflessness. Jyugo, however, seems to remember little of these events and fails to understand why he means so much to his friends.
Jyugo is an unenthusiastic individual. He does not reciprocate his friends’ excitement about the likes of holidays and celebrations and shows no interest in anything but jailbreaking, making it difficult to prevent him from doing so. His apathy is such that he has no concept of greed or motivation, described by Hajime Sugoroku as “empty”; he admits that he has never enjoyed or wanted anything and envies his cellmates’ perpetual excitement and motivation, gaining happiness only from them. Even after this conversation, Jyguo retains a certain passivity and, when he does find himself wanting something, is quick to assume that he is being selfish, seeing it as greedy and self-serving for so much as wishing for his friends remain happy and safe. Despite this, he appears to become more motivated after saving Hajime from the Gogyousan Underground prison and being told that only he could do so; he openly states on several occasions that he wishes to prove his worth and start over alongside his friends.
Considered to be "strange" by multiple people, Jyugo has a tendency to blame himself for everything and struggles to open up to others, preferring to shoulder his burdens alone. He admits to becoming nervous about things he doesn’t understand; however, the presence of his friends is typically enough to relieve him of his anxieties. His relationship with them causes him to grow in confidence as time goes on, leading him to vow not to lose sight of himself even against the influence of Elf and displaying great strength of character that even the unemotional Enki Gokuu endorses.
Like many teenage boys, Jyugo has displayed an interest in being popular, especially with members of the opposite sex. However, he is notably poor at socializing, unaware of how to accept compliments or stand up for himself. Despite this, he has displayed a willingness to learn new things, as shown when he asks Nico to teach him how to play video games. Above all, he is a compassionate person who is willing to help even complete strangers, and cares greatly for his friends.
While Jyugo’s past is yet to be explored in detail, it is indicated that he has been in prison a long time, allegedly arrested on charges of larceny and escaping on the day he arrived; since then, he has broken out of many high-security prisons throughout the world. In one such prison, Jyugo awoke to find thick, black shackles placed around his neck, wrists, and ankles and assumed they were put there by a guard with a scar on his neck who he had noticed that night. After discovering that the shackles could turn his limbs into blades, he believed himself to be a monster and vowed to find the guard in order to remove them, as no one else was able to. He continually escaped prisons in order to do so.
At some point, Jyugo was used as a human experiment by the man with the scar where his blades were presumably manufactured and developed. In the present, Jyugo has no memories of the incident; however, it is known that he managed to escape the organization with the help of an unknown guard, who somehow died in the process.
On his travels, Jyugo met and befriended numerous other prisoners at unspecified points of time. Among these were Nico, Uno, and Rock, who he met and saved at various points and eventually reunited with all of them in Las Vegas. On another occasion, he was cellmates with Musashi who he got along rather well with; however, while breaking out together they discovered each other’s superhuman powers and Musashi, mistaking him for a subordinate of the man with the scar, attempted to kill him. In retaliation, Jyugo attacked with his blades and ultimately sliced out Musashi’s only remaining eye.
Eventually, Jyugo’s constant escapes and arrests lead him to be transferred to Nanba Prison.
Jyugo calls Hajime Sugoroku to cell thirteen, where he simply states that he is bored before realizing that his sentence is almost over and conspiring to escape in order to extend it. He and his cellmates, Uno, Nico, and Rock, continue their day as normal, with the four of them continuing to make mundane requests to Hajime and bickering over which of them will be popular with women upon release. As the day draws to a close, the inmates ponder their life in Nanba Prison; Jyugo concludes that as he doesn't have a home, his escape attempts are somewhat pointless. He then states that the conditions of Nanba Prison are surprisingly good, conspiring to remain and make the prison his home. Despite this, he continues to escape the very next day, much to Hajime's irritation; upon returning to the cell, Uno attempts to introduce him to hobbies other than jailbreaking with little success.
Sometime later, Jyugo embarks on another escape attempt during which he witnesses a woman in the visitation room. Upon being returned to his cell be Hajime, he informs Uno, Nico, and Rock about what he saw and encourages them to break out in order to see the woman up close; however, upon arriving they discover that the visitor is Hajime's cross-dressing younger brother, Hitoshi Sugoroku. Shortly after, Jyugo receives a new cellmate in Tsukumo, who claims to be a shinobi; while Uno, Rock, and Nico are captivated by the ninja, Jyugo remains highly skeptical throughout the conversation, his disrespect ending in Tsukumo threatening him with a blade before explaining his past and challenging Jyugo to a breakout competition. Jyugo begrudgingly accepts and spends the entirety of the challenge criticizing Tsukumo's mediocre jailbreaking skills before the two are captured by an angry Hajime.
At some point, Jyugo arranges an impromptu visit with Hitoshi when Hajime is forced to attend a meeting. He explains his uncanny jailbreaking abilities and impresses Hitoshi, who goes on to ask why he hasn't removed the shackles around his neck, wrists, and ankles if his abilities are so acute. Jyugo explains that he cannot be removed and recalls the events that lead to them being placed there, internally vowing to find the person responsible.
New Year's Tournament Arc
After having little to do with that year's Christmas celebrations, Jyugo is forced by Uno and Tsukumo to assist with preparations for New Year. On New Year's Day, he is awoken by a loud prison-wide broadcast, irritating him. He, Uno, Rock, and Nico are then brought to a morning assembly by Hajime, where warden Momoko Hyakushiki delivers a New Year's greeting; Jyugo, along with the rest of his cellmates, are instantly surprised to see that the warden is female. She then explains the upcoming tournament, which confuses Jyugo until Hajime, Yamato Godai, and Seitarou Tanabata explain the rules, including the perk that victorious inmates get to request a single item of their choosing. This excites the inmates, who beg to be chosen as participants; though Hajime states that such a chance is unlikely, Kenshirou Yozakura presently announces that cell thirteen will be building thirteen's representatives. As the inmates and guards prepare for the event, Jyugo and his cellmates watch as Hajime, Kenshirou, Kiji Mitsuba, and Samon Gokuu promptly get into a fight over who is the most likely victor.
Shortly thereafter, Mitsuru Hitokoe announces the first event, caligraphy. Uno, Nico, and Rock struggle with the complex Japanese lettering and rely on Jyugo to win the first round for him, but he soon turns out to be just as hopeless as the others. While Hajime and Yamato secure a win for building thirteen, Uno berates Jyugo for his lack of talent. As the second event starts, Jyguo voices his confusion at the concept of mochi-pounding daruma-drop and watches building five brutally attack building thirteen, questioning whether such actions are allowed. He continues to cheer for Rock and Yamato as they ultimately secure a win.
The third event, hyakunin isshu, then begins. Jyugo, along with Uno, voices his surprise that Seitarou Tanabata is so keen to play and is concerned when Uno readily volunteers, refusing assistance from his cellmates. Jyugo spectates the event as Seitarou emerges victorious against Kiji Mitsuba, who insists that his inmates will win despite this; Jyugo contradicts these remarks and insists that Uno will dominate the competition, watching as his cellmate does so. Shortly after this, the penultimate event begins with Jyugo showing his panic at the prospect of the large-scale spinning-top competition and chooses not to participate, leaving the fight to Nico. As Nico and Hajime fight, they continuously use copyrighted moves from other anime forcing Jyugo, Uno, and Rock to censor them. Despite the lack of professionalism, the two ultimately win, allowing building thirteen to advance to the next round.
Eventually, the fifth and final match begins and Jyugo attempts to persuade one of his cellmates to participate, only for them to force him to do so, much to his irritation. As he complains about having to team up with Hajime, he recognizes his opposing inmate as his former cellmate, Musashi. The two quickly begin antagonizing one another, with Jyugo claiming that Musashi ruined his life; they are broken up by their respective supervisors as the match begins. On Kenshirou's orders, Musashi attacks Jyugo who struggles to stand against him; his lack of abilities prompts Musashi to taunt him, reminding him of a past incident where Jyugo attacked without hesitation and gauged out his eyes. Musashi continues to overpower him and states that he could easily win if he used his shackles, which he goes on to say he still wants. Aggravated, Jyugo explains that he cannot remove them and Musashi agrees that the only one who can is the man with the scar. Startled, Jyugo begins to interrogate Musashi on how he knows such things. Musashi remains unresponsive and eventually attacks Jyugo with his pyrokinetic abilities, attracting the attention of the onlookers. Vowing to find the man with the scar regardless of the consequences, Jyugo activates his shackles and turns his arms into blades, cutting through the surrounding rubble.
Stating that he will not forgive the scarred guard, Jyugo begins attacking Musashi who counters with his flames, causing immense damage to their surroundings. Their fight catches the attention of the guards, with Hajime and Kenshirou moving to apprehend them, later joined by Samon and Kiji. While Musashi is defeated by the three of them, Hajime attempts to attack and interrogate Jyugo who remains immune to most of his attacks. As they fight, Rock and Uno appear and the former attempts to restrain Jyugo as they attempt to calm him down. Still enraged, Jyugo attacks his friends with his blades and attempts to gain information on the scarred guard from them, appearing as though he wishes to kill them. Hajime blocks the attack and beats Jyugo, eventually injuring him severely.
Following these events, Jyugo remains in a coma and is placed in a specialized medical ward in headquarters. After several days, he awakens in a despondent state; Hajime telling him off for his depressed attitude before allowing him to communicate with Musashi. Musashi asks Jyugo what he knows about the man with the scar, and Jyugo states that he knows very little. Disappointed, Musashi explains his past to Jyugo but states that he can no longer hope to defeat the scarred guard due to the absence of his powers, before cutting off their communication. As Jyugo complains about his former cellmate, Hajime begins to berate him and accuses him of being "empty" with no concept of greed or motivation. Jyugo attempts to deny his claims but eventually bares his soul to Hajime, admitting his lack of motivation and envy of his cheerful cellmates. Hajime shows no empathy and ultimately states that Jyugo has five minutes to pick a prize for winning the New Year's Tournament before being transferred to solitary and losing the privilege. Distressed, Jyugo remains unable to think of anything he wants and, after thinking about his friends and their perpetual motivation, asks for "a chance". In response, Hajime returns his ID badge to him and gives him the opportunity to return to building thirteen. Satisfied, Jyugo breaks free of his shackles and agrees to Haijme's words, vowing to face the remainder of his problems head-on.
Hajime escorts Jyugo back to his cell. On the way, Jyugo questions what Musashi had meant when he told them about his past and motives; Hajime suggests he now wants Jyugo to find the scarred guard and scolds him for his absent-mindedness. Eventually, Jyugo is returned to his cell where he is quickly assaulted by Uno, who berates him for his carelessness but eventually states he is glad to have him back. Jyugo then apologizes profusely to Uno, Rock, and Nico, crying as they forgive him without hesitation. Sometime later, he lets Yamato and his cellmates investigate his mysterious blades while Hajime scolds them.
Building 5 Arc
- The name Jyugo literally translates to "fifteen", a reference to his inmate number.
- According to Jyugo's character card;
- He has no particular likes.
- He has no particular hobbies.
- He dislikes eye exams.
- Jyugo is unable to swim or add numbers any higher than he can count on his fingers.
- Despite being the main character, Jyugo was designed to be the plainest of the main cast. In his early concept art, he had magenta nail polish instead of black and had no tears on his jumpsuit; the said jumpsuit was initially gray, but this was thought to be too plain and was changed to the cliched black-and-white striped prison suit with tears on the neck, legs, and sleeves. He initially had plain black hair, no piercings, stitches on his face, and tanned skin; when Nico was created, he was given a fairer skin tone to avoid similar characters.