|Notable Members||Jin Kariya|
Hō and Ban
Bounts are spiritually aware beings that were artificially created due an experimental accident that occurred in the Soul Society. Scientists, including Ran'Tao and her team were trying to investigate a way to achieve eternal life and decided to create artificial Souls in order to do so. Due to the questionable ethics in using Human Souls, the scientists used their own Souls and those of fellow Shinigami as a base in order to create these artificial beings. However, during the experiment, there was an accident that caused an explosion and traces of the experiment were flung far and wide. The remnants of these artificial Souls combined with Human Souls that were in the process of being reborn into the World of the Living and when these beings were born, the Bounts were brought into existence.
Bounts are beings that were born of Humans but due to their creation, have special powers that ensure they experience lives quite different to their peers around them. Due to originating as experiments involving Shinigami Souls, the Bounts havw many abilities that other Humans around them do not.
- Soul Absorption:A basic ability of the Bounts is that they are able to absorb or consume the Souls of other beings around them. They usually live by a rule of only absorbing Souls of deceased Humans but they can also absorb the Souls of living Humans which provides them even greater strength as well.
Throughout history, the attacks of Bounts on Humans, and their ability to stay young forever has led to myths being created about them. A common myth that is often attributed to them is the tale of "Vampires" that has resulted from the presence of these supernatural beings among Human society. Bounts were often persecuted by the people around them when they noticed they were not ageing and thus they sought to access Soul Society as they felt it was their true home. This led to conflict with the Quincy and many Bounts were eliminated with the help of Shinigami that were sent to take advantage of the situation. In the present day, due to previous genocides and their inability to procreate has led to Bount numbers being greatly reduced until only a small tribe remained.
Centuries before Ichigo Kurosaki was born, an organisation of scientists that prelude the Shinigami Research and Development Institute, was working on an experiment to try and achieve immortality. The leader of this group was Ran'Tao. They were using the slow-aging souls of Shinigami as a base for these experiments and encompassing them with Human Souls in an attempt to succeed in their objective. They created a base of artificial souls and were experimenting on these with power generated by the Jōkaishō however, one of these exploded causing massive devastation, destroying a tenth of the Seireitei. As a result of the explosion, the artificial souls were dispersed and affected the Souls that were in the process of being reborn into the World of the Living.
The Souls that were affected were thus born as into the Human world as Humans with very special abilities These were the Bounts and some of them were almost clones of the Shinigami whose Souls were partially used as the base in the experiments, like Yoshino Sōma was the counterpart of Ran'Tao herself. The Bounts tried to live among the Humans in the World of the Living but this didn't last long due to persecution resulting from the fear of their powers. When people began to realise that the Bounts did not age, they would persecute them, like Yoshino was hunted as a witch by residents of the village she grew up in.
The Seireitei heard reports of increased births of Humans with special abilities in the World of the Living. Shinigami like Ran'Tao were sent to investigate these reports and when she seen the Bounts suffer discrimination she felt guilty due to causing their predicament. She decided to help them and brought them together in hidden communities built into mountains so they could hide from those that hunted them. She did this hoping that the Seireitei would agree to help them although she was sure that it would take years to convince them to do so. She convinced the Bounts to stay together in the communities she created for them and gained their trust in her endeavour. The Bounts happily worked together to build a new home for themselves as they waited for protection from the Seireitei.
When Ran'Tao returned to the Seireitei, she was immediately summoned to by Central 46 in order to hear judgement on her previous experiments. Considering the Bounts to be abominations, Central 46 decided that they wanted to eliminate and bury all evidence of the experiments that Ran'Tao and her colleagues worked on and this included the Bounts. Stunned, Ran'Tao argued against this decision, that as their creators, they should be protecting the Bounts not abandoning them. Central 46 highlights that due to having powers, the Bounts may become a danger to the Souls in the World of the Living and it is their duty to protect the balance of those Souls and Ran'Tao realised that rather than just hide the existence of Bounts, they intended to exterminate them. To her further horror, she realised she had inadvertently made this job easier by gathering many of the Bounts together, in one place, making them an easier target.
Despite the ruling of Central 46, Ran'Tao felt she had a responsibility towards the Bounts and, without permission, returned to Human World in order to save them. At this point, the orders of Central 46 were already being carried out and her hideout was in the midst of being attacked by Shinigami. Many of the Bounts were cut down due to this surprise attack and by the time that Ran'Tao arrived, most had died or had fled. She managed to find one young Bount called Eugene Currier and fled from the Shinigami with him on her back. She gave him an amulet to help draw out the dormant powers within himself and sent him to flee with other survivors while she drew the attention of those pursuing them. Her Shinigami powers were sealed for this treachery and she was exiled as well but she worked secretly for years, in hops of one day helping the Bounts.
The Bounts that escaped from the genocide committed by the Shinigami wandered aimlessly with nowhere to call home, living like vagabonds. This life was dangerous for them as their Reiatsu would attract Hollows and they were frequently attacked as a result. It was during one such attack that Eugene's anger and panic caused Ran'Tao's amulet to activate, helping him to summon his Doll Messer and to merge with it at the same time. He fought alongside his fellow Bounts who had the ability to create the own Dolls naturally, defending his people from the Hollow attacks as he grew older. But a divide had happened between the Bounts and he began to be viewed with suspicion and fear by his fellow Bounts but he stayed with them regardless of this growing divide.
Finally, the majority of the Bounts decided to gain the help of the Quincy in order to gain access to the Soul Society. Most of them felt that remaining in the Human World was futile as they were a irregularity there and thus living in the Soul Society would be the best option for them. Others, like Eugene, opposed this decision, believing that they would become subservient to the Shinigami should they go to the Soul Society but they were overruled. The Bounts had the ability to use their seals and create Senkaimon that led to the Soul Society but they lacked the ability to manipulate Reishi and thus their portal would not convert their bodies into spirit particles upon entry. They needed the help of Quincy to do this and thus it was decided to seek out their aid.
The Quincy refused to help the Bounts and a conflict broke out as a result of their disagreements. They had many battles, that resulted in the loss of many Bounts. The Seireitei saw this conflict as an opportunity to finally destroy the Bounts once and for all. They joined the battle on the side of the Quincy and slaughtered many of the Bounts involved. Eugene was injured during this ad had to helplessly watch as his comrades were massacred in front of him. Eugene lamented the loss of the weak Bounts and then abandoned his idea of using his powers to create a paradise. He took the name Jin Kariya and decided to focus all his efforts on the idea of gathering all strong Bounts together and destroying the Soul Society for causing their creation and all the misery in their lives.
The first step in his plan was to help those Bounts who had not yet summoned a Doll. Due to their creation involving an accident with artificial souls based on Shinigami, all Bounts had abilities similar to Shinigami in that a Doll was a extension of their own powers, much like a Zanpakutō. Some Dolls could be summoned naturally, usually by older Bounts, but some required aid as in the case with Kariya who had originally used the amulet given to him by Ran'Tao to summon and merge with his Doll. Thus, Kariya knew there was a way to help Bounts summon their Dolls and he worked extensively with Ugaki in order to establish a sure way for Bounts to call forth their own Dolls. He used this method to sort the weak Bounts from the strong although he still felt sadness when some Bounts were destroyed after their Dolls deemed them to weak to be their master.
Despite his setbacks, Kariya managed to gather the remaining Bounts to him with the promise of power and strength. Those who followed him had managed to master and control their Dolls so had proven themselves able for the task at hand which was to invade the Soul Society and destroy it in revenge against those responsible for their centuries of suffering.
Powers & Abilities
Due to their origins and their consumption of souls, Bounts of sufficient power were able to use a multitude of different special abilities that extended beyond their immortality. There were also drawbacks to consuming souls and it seemed to render them infertile as a species as only Yoshino was able to reproduce of all the Bounts. Additionally, consuming the soul of a living person, while greatly expanding their abilities, also had the side affect of ageing them at higher rate. Still, many Bounts decided they could live with this drawback as the powers it granted them enabled them to complete their goals.
Bount Seals: These seals are called Hankyō Hyuraizā and often appear on items that empower the Bounts in various ways. The seals often appeared on items that contained a Bount's Doll in its sealed state. The seals can also be used in powerful spells that can complete a ritual or open doorways to the Soul Society. Jin Kariya made much use of this technique. His first one was the birth of the Bitto. The following Bount seals:
- Zeige Dich, Noin Raven meaning Pursue the Plan, Noin Raven.
- Zeige Dich!, German for Show yourself, is used by all the Bounts to summon their Doll from the object that the seal appears on. This seal resembles the Bount Crest.
Space Manipulation: The Bounts are able to manipulate space after they have sucked a number of souls. Jin Kariya was said to have long had this ability, while Gō Koga had recently gained the ability. The following Spacial Commands are:
- Andere Welt anschliessende Port, tauch' dich sofort auf!, incorrect German meaning The portal which connects to another world, appear now!. This opens a Senkaimon.
- Mache sogleich das Tor fuer unsere Bounto auf!, German phrase meaning Open at once the gate for our Bounts. This allows the Bounts' souls to pass through the Senkaimon. In order for the portal to open faster, it needs a Quincy arrow to be shot through the portal.
Main article: Doll
A Doll is a representation of the power within a Bount similar to how a Zanpakutō is the physical representation of the power within a Shinigami but with many differences. This is due to the original experiment, that resulted in the accident that caused the creation of Bounts, using Shinigami Souls as a base for creation of artificial Souls. Initially, the Doll is dormant inside the Bount and can only be summoned and then controlled when they are ready to wield the Dolls powers. Some Dolls were naturally manifested by their owners while others had to be summoned using either a special ritual or a special amulet designed by Ran'Tao. When not in use or in combat, each Doll is usually sealed within a specific object that is often unique to the individual wielding it. When a Bount calls upon its Doll to release its power, they use the phrase "Zeige Dich" which is a German phrase meaning "Show yourself" and then call out their respective Doll's name.
Each Doll is unique to its user and has its own unique seal depending on the Bount that wields it. Some Bounts, if powerful enough, have the ability to merge with their Dolls thus turning themselves into the seal for their Doll. Doing so, drastically changes the appearance of the Bount in question but also greatly enhances the ability of both the Bount and the Doll by creating a stronger being. While many Dolls are dormant in their sealed state, some are never fully sealed and their nature allows them to remain functional while not actively utilising their special abilities in combat. Most Dolls act and attack independently of their Bount masters but some are quite versatile in that, despite being able to do this, they can morph themselves into weapons, and shields, that can be used by their masters in combat. Some Dolls exist as specialised weapons and must rely on their Bount counterpart in order to wield them in combat or initiate any special abilities that they may possess.
Bounts and their Dolls mostly have a relationship that is akin to masters and their slaves but the relationship is tenuous at best. If the Doll that has been summoned senses that its creator is not strong enough to wield its power then it will turn on the Bount and kill them. Also, if a Bount is severely injured or weakened, a Doll can turn on them and destroy both their masters and themselves during a battle. This is also true if the Doll is injured enough in battle as well, they can go berserk and attack their masters, killing both of them in the process. When the seal of the Doll is destroyed it can kill both the Doll and the Bount that controls it so in a sense, both Doll and Bount are reliant on one another. However, some Bounts and their Dolls have developed a deeper level of respect for each other than most and even when either party is injured greatly, will continue to fight on, together, despite their injuries, even if their seal is destroyed.
Jin Kariya and Ugaki were also able to create a unique form of Doll known as the Bitto. They are mosquito-like beings which drain the souls from humans and condense the energy into a purified liquid for the Bounts to drink. They even produce a useful vial in their sacs to store the elixir (which takes the form of a red, blood-like liquid). After the soul elixir has been ingested, the Bount who took it immediately experiences the effects, with veins popping from their skin. However, should the soul not be consumed, the liquid would turn rancid and become like poison. Kariya created the Bitto by sacrificing Yoshino Sōma, the only Bount capable of reproduction, in an elaborate ritual, producing a large swarm of them.
- The liner notes of "TV Animation Bleach Official Soundtrack 2"  contains two poems, one pertaining to the Bounts, with the second likely to as well:
- "A long time ago...
- An infinitely long time ago...
- We lived in the shadows of history.
- Countless are those who have experienced
- tragedies beyond description...
- it is under these circumstances, that now,
- the Bounts will finally emerge
- from the darkness."
- "We have lived on for ages...
- So long, that our countless memories
- have long since turned ash-gray."
- The Bounts have a German motif, similar to the Quincy.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Bleach anime; Episode 69
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 Bleach anime; Episode 97
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Bleach anime; Episode 96
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Bleach anime; Episode 81
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Bleach anime; Episode 105
- ↑ Bleach anime; Episode 74
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 7.7 Bleach anime; Episode 106
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 Bleach anime; Episode 79
- ↑ Bleach anime; Episode 77
- ↑ Bleach anime; Episode 90
- ↑ Bleach anime; Episode 91
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 Bleach anime; Episode 83
- ↑ Bleach anime; Episode 82
- ↑ Bleach anime; Episode 86
- ↑ Bleach anime; Episode 104
- ↑ Bleach anime; Episode 71
- ↑ Bleach anime; Episode 102
- ↑ Bleach anime; Episode 73
- ↑ Bleach music; Bleach Original Soundtrack 2
|Current Members||Gō Koga|
|Former Members||Jin Kariya • Yoshino Sōma • Hō and Ban • Ryō Utagawa • Mabashi • Sawatari • Ugaki • Yoshi • Cain|
|Former Allies||Maki Ichinose • Ran'Tao • Tōba|
|Related Articles||Doll • Bitto • Bount Mansion|