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|Height||180 cm (5'11")|
|Weight||64 kg (141.1 lbs)|
|Affiliation||Gotei 13, Soul Society|
|Occupation||Captain of the Sixth Division, 28th Head of the Kuchiki Family|
|Base of Operations||Sixth Division HQ, Seireitei, Soul Society|
|Relatives|| Ginrei Kuchiki |
|Status||In Soul Society|
Byakuya Kuchiki (朽木 白哉, Kuchiki Byakuya) is the captain of the 6th Division in the Gotei 13. His lieutenant is formerly Renji Abarai.
Byakuya has slate gray eyes and long black hair, which he keeps up in intricate white headpieces called kenseikan that symbolize his nobility as the head of the Kuchiki family, one on top of his head and another on the right side. He wears the standard captain uniform along with a white scarf made by the master weaver, Tsujishirō Kuroemon III. The scarf is made from the silver-white, windflower light silk (ginpaku kazahana no uzuginu) and is a family heirloom that is handed down from generation to generation and is given to each Kuchiki family head. The scarf alone is worth enough to buy ten mansions in the Seireitei. He also wears fingerless white tekkou that cover only the back of his hands.
Byakuya Kuchiki is the 28th head of the noble Kuchiki clan, one of the four great noble families in Soul Society. As such, Byakuya acts in an aristocratic manner — he seems always serene and apathetic towards other people, even when he is actually deeply conflicted. He is also extremely calm, even in battle, and is very seldom surprised by even the most drastic of actions. However, when he was younger, he was quick to anger and very hotheaded, as noted by his grandfather. Due in part to his status in Soul Society, he generally acts indifferent, bordering on arrogance, to most situations that he is faced with as seen from how he rarely views his opponent worth his time. Despite this trait, Byakuya is a very perceptive man and is fully aware of the limits of his abilities and usually anything he states in comparison to an opponent is justified.
Byakuya strongly believes in law and order. As the head of one of the great noble families and as a captain in the Gotei 13, he always works hard for a peaceful society. He feels that if someone in his position does not follow the rules as a good example, then no one will follow them. He believes that to maintain the order, all law-breakers must be punished, even if that goes against his own wishes. In spite of his icy and regal manner, Byakuya cares for and protects those important to him. After the events of the Aizen incident, he admitted that law isn't perfect and became more lenient, as well as more protective, of his adoptive sister, Rukia. Byakuya is popular among the female Shinigami of Soul Society, and was voted number one in the "captain we desire to release a photo book for" poll taken by the Shinigami Women's Association. He likes Japanese cherry blossoms, night-time walks, spicy food, and bananas, but he does not like sweets. Similar to Sōsuke Aizen, he excels in calligraphy. He, apparently, is very fond of calligraphy, being the representative or possibly president of the Calligraphy Society.
Despite his apparent cold nature, as the story progresses he shows a different personality. He participated in the Rukongai Massacre and it wrought havoc on his mind. Horrified with his actions, he became suicidal. After killing Shiori's parents, he turned the blade to his own neck. Seireitou came by at that time, as he was trying to escape, due to what cruelties he had done during his service times. He tells Byakuya not to commit suicide, but instead to focus his desires to getting to a position where he doesn't have to take orders, and then leaves after making Byakuya promise to not tell anyone where he would go.
As astonishing as it may seem, Byakuya seems to have a comedic side, as he not only attends the lieutenant's meeting when Renji's absent, but also implies that he attends the meetings of the Shinigami Women's Association when Rukia's absent. As he puts it, "part of a captain's responsibilities is to make sure the lieutenant's responsibilities are taken care of," to which Renji asks if goes to Rukia's meetings, which is only responded by a smile similar to that of Gin Ichimaru's. He also once jokingly remarks that he uses Senbonzakura to cut his hair. In one of the omake chapters, Byakuya claims that life in general is not supposed to be entertaining, and even makes up an idea for a game that is not really meant to be amusing. Having descended from noble stock, Byakuya is easily offended if his name is not used properly. As such, he seems to view Ichigo Kurosaki in disdain for always referring to him improperly, although he has never said anything to him to change that. Ichigo seems to be the only one to refer to Byakuya very informally (even his wife referred to him as "Byakuya-sama") so far, with the exception of Yachiru, who refers to Byakuya by the nicknames "Bya-kun" or "Byakushi." He once calls Ichigo to his mansion in order to have a talk with the young substitute Shinigami, but they were interrupted by Yachiru's appearance, who asked Ichigo to follow her elsewhere. After Ichigo's disappearance, it is revealed that Byakuya wanted Ichigo to refer to him properly, and to stop calling him by only his first name. When Byakuya talks with Ichigo, he calls him by his full name, Ichigo Kurosaki.
Byakuya has shown open disdain for those who have been disgraced or who he finds to be annoying or overconfident. This is shown when he uses unnecessary force against Ganju Shiba, who was little to no threat to him, just because he was a member of the formerly noble Shiba family. He also shows that he bears a grudge toward Yoruichi Shihōin for being better then him at Shunpo as well as annoying him by constantly rubbing his face in it, with this particular grudge spanning 110 years. This goes even as far as him even disliking having to use techniques taught to him by Yoruichi. In some golden cups, he sees his house had been altered by some tunnels, which are revealed to be Yachiru Kusajishi's handiwork. In one of them, he discovered that Yachiru, Nemu Kurotsuchi, Rangiku Matsumoto, Nanao Ise, Isane and Kiyone Kotetsu, Soifon, and Yoruichi were having a tea party in his house, without his knowledge (his face is not shown when he sees the room's interior). Later, when he tries to board up the secret door, Yachiru reveals another to Byakuya's intense surprise, and his face is shown with dismay.
Powers & Abilities Edit
Master Swordsmanship Specialist: Byakuya is masterful at swordsmanship, capable of flawless precision and lethal attacks without much effort.
Flash Step Master: Byakuya is probably best known for his usage of Flash steps. Although having been taught by, but never beating "Goddess of Flash" Yoruichi Shihōin, he is still easily one of the most proficient users of this skill in all of Soul Society.
- Senka (閃花, Flash Blossom): a special Shunpo technique where one moves to their opponent's back, directly attacking and sealing one's "Saketsu" and "Hakusui" in one strike. This attack is his favorite to use. The movement is so fast that an opponent may not be able to tell whether he was attacked from the front or the back and even an outside observer may find it impossible to tell what the movements are.
- Utsusemi (空蝉; Cicada, referencing their molting): Way of Onmitsu, 3rd of the Shihou. It allows for a movement at great speed, leaving an afterimage behind. It is a technique taught to him by Yoruichi Shihōin.
Kidō Master: Byakuya has displayed his knowledge of high level Kidō spells, able to cast several in quick succession without the incantation and with almost no effort and still possessing formidable power. He has been shown to use spells up to level 81 and possesses advanced knowledge of Kidō application and consistency. He can use low-level spells with devastating effects, as well as a counter to attacks. He even uses a low-level lightning spell to burn a hole right through Ichigo's shoulder.
Hand-to-Hand Combatant: While used less often, Byakuya has shown a highly proficient skill in this area. In the anime, Byakuya was able to effortlessly knock out several Shinigami guards stealthily with a single strike each.
Master Tactician: Byakuya is a highly perceptive fighter, being able to almost immediately determine an opponent's attack patterns and weaknesses. He is also a crafty tactician, as demonstrated from how effectively he uses his Kidō to confuse his opponents. He can discern the motives and abilities of his opponents and effectively uses his knowledge to end the battle in his favor.
Enhanced Durability: While not having the most imposing appearance compared to other Shinigami captains like Kenpachi Zaraki, Byakuya has shown to be a very resilient fighter. During his fight against Ichigo, despite gaining several major injuries, Byakuya was still able to continue fighting effectively and even ignored his wounds to the point that he seemed unfazed by them. At the end of the fight, he was still able to perform an impressive Flash Step to leave. During his fight with the 7th Espada, Byakuya's durability proved great enough for him to willingly damage himself to escape from his enemy's possession attack and continued to fight as if he was unaffected.
Immense Spiritual Power: He is capable of exerting a vast Spiritual Pressure, which, in league with his already admirable combat skills and finesse, makes him one of the most formidable captains. His spiritual pressure is so great it can be felt from a great distance and it has the tendency to make people perspire in fear.
Senbonzakura (千本桜, "Thousand Cherry Blossoms"; a reference to Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura); a regular katana, with a simple cross guard, which is a simple open frame, much like a four-pane window. It has a light blue handle and white sheathe.
- Shikai: It is triggered by the command "Scatter" (散れ, chire).
- Shikai Special Ability: In its Shikai, Senbonzakura's blade separates into a thousand slender, tiny blade fragments, which then fly away from the hilt, leaving only the sword's handle in Byakuya's hand. The release can be negated before it completes, such as when Yoruichi Shihōin wrapped the blade in cloth during Byakuya's short battle with Ichigo. However, if the release completes itself, then Senbonzakura is rendered near-unstoppable. While the blades are supposedly too small to be seen normally, they reflect light in such a way as to appear as cherry blossom petals. By swinging Senbonzakura's hilt, Byakuya can control the blade fragments at will, allowing him to shred opponents at a distance and break through almost any defense.
- Bankai: Senbonzakura Kageyoshi (千本桜景厳, Vibrant Display of a Thousand Cherry Blossoms) is essentially a much larger version of Senbonzakura's Shikai. To activate it, Byakuya needs to drop his sword straight down. The sword phases into the ground, as though it were a pool of water. Energy ripples expand out, turning the surrounding area dark, and within seconds, two rows of a thousand giant blades rise up from the ground. Those thousand swords then scatter and countless flying blades pierce the enemy. No one knows the exact number of blades generated and no one can see the movements of those blades or even dodge them. The number of blades is great enough that Byakuya can use them for defense as well as offense at the same time. He commonly forms them into large masses, designed to obliterate opponents instantaneously. As it moves through the air like torrents of waves, it gives the appearance of cherry blossoms flowing swiftly along with the wind. Byakuya's defensive use allows him to cover himself entirely in these tiny blades, and form a body shield. Unlike his Shikai, his Bankai is entirely mentally controlled. While Byakuya can control the blades with his mind alone, using his hands allows him to do so more effectively, making the blades increase in speed three fold. Similar to his Shikai, its attack is triggered with the phrase Scatter.
- Bankai Special Ability: Byakuya's Bankai has several forms, achieved by arranging the blades in different patterns. Each form presents a different advantage, such as increasing offense at the expense of defense. This makes Senbonzakura Kageyoshi one of the most versatile Bankai in the series. These techniques are activated by saying the name of the technique, followed by the name of his Bankai, Senbonzakura Kageyoshi.
- Senkei (殲景, Massacre Scene; Viz: "annihilate"): The true form of Senbonzakura is seemingly created by his blood, which glows and turns into spiritual energy, mixing with the tiny blades of his Bankai. This unites the scattered petals into complete glowing swords, numbering in the thousands, that form four rows. These rows float just above the other, and circle around Byakuya and his opponent in a continuously moving, column-like array. It abandons defense in favor of a concentrated offense. Though visually menacing, this form is not meant for attack from all sides; rather, it is to concentrate his power into fewer blades, thus increasing his attack power. While Byakuya can mentally control these swords as he does his regular blades, he commonly calls them to his hands for actual melee combat. When in his hand, they lose their glow, and take the form of his sealed Zanpakutō. While they seem solid in this state, the swords can just as easily dissipate back into the multitude of tiny blades that they are made up of. It seems to take fewer blows from a Senkei blade to gravely injure an opponent than the multiple cuts needed from the unfocused Bankai. The Senkei also cages himself with his enemy, allowing neither combatant to move very far from each other, though the area is still large enough for maneuverability. The most effective use of the Senkei form is that it allows for use of all the swords at the same attack level, making it highly versatile as a way to effectively defeat an enemy unaware of the danger of the situation. It is extremely rare for him to use this ability, doing so only when he has sworn to cut down the opponent with his very own hands. Ichigo was the second being to ever witness the ability.
- Gōkei (吭景, Pivotal Scene): This form increases the number of tiny blades immensely. It creates a spherical formation of over 100 million tiny blade fragments, which swirl around the opponent like a cloud. It then flies into them from every possible angle, leaving no blind spots and no possibility to escape. It then collapses on itself, obliterating the opponent. It was strong enough to completely obliterate a very large building from the inside out, and the resulting shockwave generated by the attack is so powerful that Byakuya himself has to Flash Step away (Byakuya is normally immune to the cutting effects of his own Bankai, evident by the fact that he could wield the swords generated by its Senkei formation with bare hands without cutting himself).
- Chikei (流血シーン, Bloody Scene; Viz: "explode"): This form clumps together the thousands of cherry blossoms into a wave of what appears to be pink liquid. This "wave" then is sent towards the target and forces it's way inside through the openings such as the mouth, nose, or ears. It will continue to enter the body of the opponent until it fills their body up; this alone causes several of the organs inside to be cut and damaged severely. Once all inside, or most of them, seeing as this can be used on more than one opponent; Senbonzakura's petals expand as they literally explode the opponent into bloody chucks and flesh and bone. Byakuya refuses to use this form for it causes "too much bloodshed", but will use it only as a last resort when he has sworn to kill his opponent by any means.
- Shūkei (終景, Final Scene; Viz: "last sight"): This condenses each and every single one of his blades into a single, potent sword, drastically increasing its cutting power. The spiritual energy and pressure of this form released is immense. The blade appears bright white and its aura takes the form of a bird, earning it the name Hakuteiken (白帝剣, White Imperial Sword; Viz: "white emperor sword"). Pure white wings form on Byakuya's back, as well as a halo-like circle, made of concentrated spiritual energy. The blade in this form is dangerous enough to cause aggravated injuries in one single blow. The wings are capable of being used for flight. Whether or not this form allows only one single attack or more is as yet unknown.