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|Height||202 cm (6'7½")|
|Weight||90 kg (198 lbs)|
|Unusual Features||Spiked hair with bells on the ends|
|Affiliation||Gotei 13, Soul Society|
|Occupation||Captain of the Eleventh Division|
|Base of Operations||Eleventh Division HQ, Seireitei, Soul Society|
|Relatives||Yachiru Kusajishi (adopted daughter)|
|Status||In Soul Society|
|Shikai||Not Yet Revealed|
Kenpachi Zaraki (更木 剣八, Zaraki Kenpachi) is the captain of the 11th Division in the Gotei 13. His lieutenant is Yachiru Kusajishi.
Kenpachi is a muscular Shinigami with a wild and aggressive appearance that fits his personality. He wears a sleeveless captain's haori which has a ragged look to it (assumed due to violence that accompanies the position of captain of the 11th Division). He styles his spiked-hair with small bells at its tips and wears a special eyepatch on his right eye created by the Shinigami Research and Development Institute to suppress his vast amount of spiritual energy. When he makes his first appearance the eyepatch is more elegant having a gold-like lining and having a chain as one of the straps, this changed after his defeat by Ichigo and has since worn a normal black eyepatch with normal straps. He has pronounced hairless eyebrow ridges and a huge scar running down the left side of his face, which he apparently gained long before he served in the Gotei 13, even before finding his future lieutenant, Yachiru Kusajishi. He is also one of the tallest Shinigami, towering at 202 centimeters (approximately 6 feet 6 inches), making him slightly taller than Yasutora Sado and almost double the height of his lieutenant. His stature is often exaggerated even more for dramatic purposes, especially in contrast with Yachiru's.
Kenpachi's unique hairstyle is partly due to the result of his habit to take a bath everyday before going to sleep, which is a necessity to him due to his strong perspiration. During these baths, he usually washes his hair with soap, making it stiff. He enjoys doing so because it's easy for him to set his hair to his preferred style. He once tried a hair treatment recommended by 1st Division Lieutenant Chōjirō Sasakibe, but his hair became too silky and was impossible to set for a while. Since then, Kenpachi has greatly disliked the lieutenant.
Kenpachi is once shown attaching the bells to his hair, which apparently takes a while to accomplish. The highest bell in particular takes him several hours to attach, as the tip of his hair is just beyond his reach. Occasionally, 11th Division 5th Seat Yumichika Ayasegawa offers to do it for him, only to be turned down by Kenpachi due to thinking that it's weird for someone else to style his hair.
Although he's known to be a violent fighter, Kenpachi's actions tend to be for the best and is usually portrayed comically (this comical shift is primarily centered on his appearances in the anime and omake, with the exception his casual conversations with his lieutenant). He is usually depicted as a person who has a very poor sense of direction, asking Yachiru for directions (who then randomly points in a direction, as her sense of direction is just as bad). Kenpachi lives for battle and enjoys a good fight more than anything. He even holds back in an effort to make any fight last longer. He also claims that injury and death are nothing but the price one pays for a good fight. Despite his division being the most blood-thirsty squad of the Gotei 13, the 11th Division have their own code of ethics, which is different from the rules and regulation of Soul Society.
Although he thrives for battle, Kenpachi has shown to have emotions and cares for Yachiru. Kenpachi and Yachiru have been close, ever since they met, and have a father-daughter-like relationship (making Yachiru one of the few people he cares for, along with 11th Division 3rd Seat Ikkaku Madarame and 11th Division 5th Seat Yumichika Ayasegawa). Aside from Yachiru, Kenpachi deeply gives meaning to his name. Following his fight with Ichigo Kurosaki, Kenpachi talks about the pain of not having a name, as he lived his early years without one. This causes him to feel guilty that his sword isn't acknowledged by its own name. Since then, he has strived to learn its identity.
Despite his tendency to be brutal, Kenpachi usually stops a fight if his opponent is too injured to fight back, claiming that he isn't interested in fighting "weaklings who can't fight anymore; nor is he obligated to deal a death blow to anyone who isn't capable of fighting any longer". However, he will unhesitatingly kill his opponent if they refuse to end their fight, as seen during his battles with Kaname Tōsen and Nnoitra Jiruga.
Kenpachi's surname came from the district he once resided in, Zaraki, which was district #80 of the North Alley of Rukongai. District #80 was the worst, most lawless region of Rukongai, full of thieves and murderers (whereas area #1 was the most orderly and law-abiding). While residing in District #80, Kenpachi was nameless. During that time, he became proficient in swordsmanship and killed numerous enemies. During his travels outside of District #80, he found a small girl and named her Yachiru, in remembrance of the only person he ever admired, after she showed no fear of his sword. Yachiru came from area #79, Kusajishi, where her parents were murdered. The two events were apparently quite close. On that day, he also took on a name: Kenpachi, the title bestowed upon the strongest Shinigami in every generation, the one who has slain the most enemies and won the most battles.
They would later have an encounter with Ikkaku Madarame and Yumichika Ayasegawa before they entered Seireitei. Yachiru warned Ikkaku that messing with Zaraki while he was in a good mood was a bad idea, though Ikkaku didn't take the warning seriously. When Kenpachi and Ikkaku meet face to face he immediately became alarmed by his reiatsu but was happy to finally have a real challenge. Kenpachi attacked with enough force to crater the ground under Ikkaku which somewhat alarmed Yumichika. Due to Zaraki's strength, Ikkaku was on the defensive, holding off Zaraki's relentless strikes. The two continued to battle with Ikkaku trying to overwhelm Kenpachi, though he failed to do so, only succeeding in him getting wounds while his opponent remained untouched by his blade. While Kenpachi mentioned he was having fun, he decided to finish Ikkaku with one quick strike resulting in his loss of the fight. Ikkaku became mad that Kenpachi would just walk away without finishing him off. Kenpachi plainly told him that he had no interest in weaklings who couldn't fight. He noted that he didn't have any obligation to finish Ikkaku off, to which Ikkaku thought he was toying with him and demanded that Kenpachi killed him. He lost his patience and grabbed hold of Ikkaku and asked him that if he loved to fight so much, then why was he screaming for death. Kenpachi explained to him a philosophy to follow for people like them. "Don't admit defeat and seek death, die first, then admit defeat. When you lose, but don't die it just means you were lucky. At those times, think only about survival. Survive and think only about killing the guy who failed to kill you". Zaraki then smiled at him and stated that it was not like he went easy on him; he was just lucky to escape death. He expressed that Ikkaku should live, come back, and try to kill him again. As Zaraki went to leave Ikkaku asked him his name and is told he is Kenpachi from Zaraki.
Sometime later it became widespread news that Kenpachi had beaten the captain of the 11th Division of the Gotei 13 in a single blow, which made him the new captain of that division (as per the 3rd Captain Qualification Trial).
The following day upon Zaraki's first addressing of his division, he was greeted by Ikakku and Yumichika who had presumably already become Shinigami and joined the division. Ikkaku told Zaraki that he had come back just as he suggested, causing Kenpachi to smile. Later they were present at the battle of the division verses a caterpillar Hollow, while initially the division lost, Ikkaku showed up to fight it but was stopped by Kenpachi who decided to kill it himself. After the Hollow was dispatched, more came, prompting Ikkaku and Yumichika to join in the fight. Though at first he was against it, he was persuaded upon realizing the two had similar fighting traits and as such, would like to fight by his side; Kenpachi allowed them to participate after.
Sometime shortly after joining Kenpachi was forced to learn kendō from Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto because he hadn't learned any formal swordsmanship training, having bypassed those normally necessary qualifications due to the way he attained his position. Kenpachi hated using kendō because his battles would end too quickly with it, so he only used it if his own life was in danger.
Powers & Abilities Edit
Kenpachi is the only known captain of the Gotei 13 who didn't attend the Shinigami Academy (asides from Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto, who founded the academy). He is also the only captain that does not know the name of his Zanpakutō; because of this, he cannot use his Bankai. In addition, he has no apparent skill (or at least interest) in Kidō and Flash Steps. However, he more than makes up for his faults with his sheer power and endurance, easily making him one of the strongest Shinigami in Soul Society.
Master Swordsmanship Specialist: Kenpachi's skill with his sword was honed to a master level, due to the lawlessness of Zaraki district, letting him strike multiple times with changes of attack type (from slash to pierce) without any difficulty. His unpolished skills and strength with his sword make it so he always fights with one hand free. He only uses both hands when faced against opponents he feels will beat him otherwise, as shown with Nnoitra and momentarily Ichigo. His insane cutting strength is also evident as he is capable of easily cutting through an Espada's Hierro, which is harder than steel, as well as slicing apart a skyscraper with a mere flick of the wrist. As the Captain of the 11th Division, which specializes in sword fighting, he is one of the most, if not the most, proficient swordsmen in all of Soul Society.
- Kendō: Kenpachi has also displayed considerable knowledge and skill in Kendō (a requirement Yamamoto put Kenpachi through before officially joining the Gotei 13), though Kenpachi despises using skills and techniques learned from another source.
Expert Hand-to-Hand Combatant: While preferring to use his blade in battle, Kenpachi has demonstrated several times to be very dangerous barehanded as well. He can easily catch an opponent's attack with a single hand, perform powerful kicks and take-downs, and has demonstrated superb skill with throwing weapons.
Vast Spiritual Power: Even by a captain's standards, his Spiritual Pressure is absolutely monstrous. In fact, it is so great that Kenpachi can fight on par with two other captain-level opponents without using his full power, even when he is wearing his energy-sealing eye patch and his opponents release their Zanpakutō's Bankai. His spiritual energy has been shown to be powerful enough to affect entire areas to the point of disrupting energy attacks from enemies, and cause others from seemingly miles away to enter a state of paralysis and confusion. Similar to Ichigo, when unleashing a strong enough surge of energy, it becomes visible and yellow in color with the appearance of a skull.
- Damage Resistance: He can also use it as a sort of armor, making it impossible for him to be harmed by nothing less than the most skilled or powerful opponents. This is first demonstrated when Ichigo tries to cut Kenpachi at the start of their fight. Kenpachi allows Ichigo to strike him, yet not only does he fail to cut him, but Ichigo's hands start to bleed because of it. This is comparable to an Arrancar's Hierro.
- Shockwave: He has also demonstrated enough control to focus and unleash his spiritual pressure in the form of a powerful shockwave. When using both hands, his shockwave can cause a huge radius of destruction.
Highly Perceptive Combatant: Despite his seeming disregard for any strategy in his fights and his self-admitted aversion to thinking during battle, Kenpachi is a very insightful man, regularly showing more understanding than one would expect. Even Byakuya was impressed by Kenpachi's ability to understand things he has no personal experience with. He is very adept at finding and exploiting weaknesses in his opponents' techniques, such as in his battle with Kaname Tōsen, where he subdued the latter's Bankai while armed only with a Zanpakutō and the one sense that was left accessible by Tōsen's Bankai at the time - that of touch. He is also adept at adjusting to his opponent's attack patterns and battle methods to better counter them. While he admits to having no sanity or common sense, Kenpachi is actually very perceptive and notices traits in people that others wouldn't notice and sees what drives a person's actions. For example, he correctly singles out Kaname Tōsen and Gin Ichimaru as the only captains who are afraid to die. He has also demonstrated keenly sharp intuition to incoming danger, as shown from being able to repeatedly dodge Tōsen's assault while still affected by is Bankai.
Immense Strength: Perhaps due to years of combat experience and time on the battlefield, Kenpachi has a very large degree of physical strength, most commonly displayed by his ability to fight back his opponent's attacks with a single arm. Repeatedly, he has shown clear evidenced of his strength from acts like kicking Tōsen through a building and slamming Komamura over his shoulder with one hand in their battle, as well as when he grabbed Ichigo's giant sword barehanded and reeled both him and the sword in for an attack. He also demonstrated his strength when he rammed through a building fighting Ichigo. He was also able to stop and deflect the fifth Espada, Nnoitra Jiruga's Cero with just his bare hand, and managed to cut through Yammy Riyalgo's Hierro even in his released state to the point he cut off his leg in a single strike. He is even able to fend off an opponent's gigantic sword with a single hand.
Immense Speed: While he possesses little skill for Flash Step, Kenpachi has shown to be deceptively fast for his size and build. However, in the Anime, Kenpachi once used what appeared to be Shunpo. Thanks to his tremendous raw power, Kenpachi's leg strength allows him to more than make up for his lack of Flash Step, allowing him to move fast enough to instantly close a huge gap of space between him and the opponent and even seemingly disappear from sight. In battle he is able to strike with incredible speed in rapid succession, making it highly difficult for his opponents to find an opening and counterattack.
Immense Durability: His physical strength is matched by his durability, Kenpachi has been shown to easily ignore most of the injuries he's sustained in battle (much like a berserker), not suffering any debilitation despite having multiple slash wounds in his body. He even allowed himself to be stabbed during his fight with Tōsen, just to grab Tōsen's blade in-order to break his Bankai's effect. During his battle with Nnoitra he suffered numerous slash wounds and was even impaled with no visual impairment of his fighting abilities despite the Espada noting that most people would have already been dead at that point.
Kenpachi does not know the name of his Zanpakutō, and is the only captain of the Gotei 13 who cannot perform Bankai. It appears that after his fight with Ichigo Kenpachi wishes to learn more about his Zanpakutō because he wants to become stronger. He can also identify with the pain of not having a name to be called by, however he is not yet capable of communicating with his Zanpakutō, and it is implied that he continually tries to learn from it so that he can just achieve a new level of power. Zangetsu notes that Kenpachi's disharmony with his sword causes the two to damage each other's powers and that he cannot hear the cry of his sword because of that. As it is revealed in the Hueco Mundo Arc, he has at least communicated with his Zanpakutō on some level after his loss to Ichigo. During his fight against Nnoitra he refers to his Zanpakutō as "him".
- Shikai: Despite not knowing its name his Zanpakutō is in a constant release state much like Ichigo's Zangetsu. The blade is much longer than that of a standard Zanpakutō, roughly the size of a nodachi with a guard that extends inward from its center similar to a shinai. The hilt is white although most of it is wrapped in bandages, as is his sword's sheath. Despite constantly being in its Shikai state, Kenpachi’s Zanpakutō does not grant him any additional abilities due to their lack of communication. A further consequence of their disharmony is that it leaves the Zanpakutō with little spiritual energy and becomes easier to damage, ironically making its appearance a reflection of Kenpachi's own practice of weakening himself to fight others on an even level: it is a chipped and seemingly worn-down blade. Despite its appearance, it is easily capable of cutting through most objects. This is demonstrated when he stabs straight through Ichigo's Zanpakutō and later slices a building in half with careless effort after releasing the full force of his spiritual power.
- Shikai Special Ability: Unknown
- Bankai: Not Achieved.
- ↑ Cite error: Invalid
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- ↑ Bleach manga; Chapter 112, page 9
- ↑ Bleach manga; Chapter 108-113
- ↑ Bleach anime; Episode 98
- ↑ Bleach anime; Episodes 200-202
- ↑ Bleach manga; Chapter 103, page 8-9 & 15-16
- ↑ Bleach manga; Chapter 113, page 3-4 & 12
- ↑ Bleach manga; Chapter 105, page 7
- ↑ Bleach manga; Chapter 65, page 9-13
- ↑ Bleach manga; Chapter 146-148
- ↑ Bleach manga; Chapter 108, page 18
- ↑ Bleach manga; Chapter 109, page 11-12
- ↑ Bleach manga; Chapter 113, page 12-13
- ↑ Bleach anime: Episode 249
- ↑ Bleach anime; Episode 249
- ↑ Bleach manga; Chapter 139, page 15-16
- ↑ Bleach manga; Chapter 306-312
- ↑ Bleach manga; Chapter 109, page 17
- ↑ Bleach manga; Chapter 120, page 9