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Gonryōmaru (Zanpakutō spirit)

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Overview

Gonryōmaru
231Gonryomaru alt
English Stern Spirit
Kanji 厳霊丸
Characteristics
Race Zanpakutō Spirit
Gender Male
Professional Status
Master Chōjirō Sasakibe
First Appearance
Anime Episode 230
Voices
Japanese Kenji Takahashi
English Liam O'Brien

This article is about the manifested spirit of Chōjirō Sasakibe's Zanpakutō. For his Zanpakutō and its abilities, see Gonryōmaru.

Gonryōmaru (厳霊丸) is the manifested spirit of Chōjirō Sasakibe's Zanpakutō.

Appearance

Gonryōmaru's physical manifestation takes the form of a man with completely black eyes and long, dark hair, which hangs down in two long bangs that frame his face. He has white cloth wrapped around his forehead, and wears a white robe with baggy sleeves underneath a dark blue vest, which is joined at the front by dozens of large, tan-colored beads that loop around Gonryōmaru's shoulders and connect two gray disks; these disks each have a string of small white beads hanging from them and a yellow, lightning bolt-shaped protrusion pointing toward Gonryōmaru's shoulder. The vest covers Gonryōmaru's lower torso and legs as well, and has a white pocket on either side of its waistline. Gonryōmaru wears gray gloves and boots, which extend up to his elbows and knees respectively, and wears a large, shrine-shaped box on his back.[1]

Personality

While under the influence of Muramasa's brainwashing, Gonryōmaru is somewhat aggressive in battle, relentlessly attacking Rukia Kuchiki during their short skirmish.[2] Despite this, he compliments opponents who have impressed him, and is willing to answer any questions they may have. Gonryōmaru left Chōjirō because he was angry at Chōjirō for not making a presence in the 1st Division, and consequently becomes angered when someone does not know whose Zanpakutō spirit he is because of it. He is good friends with Tenken, who usually calms him down whenever Gonryōmaru becomes angered by his opponent.[3]

Gonryōmaru can communicate with Tenken through unknown means, and he frequently describes his powers and speaks for Tenken. He often makes grand statements about his own powers, and occasionally uses them without thinking about those around him, such as when he summoned rain with the fire-breathing Tenken nearby without considering how it would affect Tenken's flames. However, Gonryōmaru is easily provoked by his opponent belittling his or Tenken's power.[4] He does not always think his plans through; for example, he had Tenken create a hole in the ground for him to hide in so he could ambush any passing enemies, but did not consider how he would get out.[5] He initially claims to hold a grudge against Kenpachi Zaraki for blowing him away in order to fight Byakuya Kuchiki,[6] but later reveals this was a ruse which was meant to keep Kenpachi occupied by fighting him.[7]

After being freed from Muramasa's brainwashing, Gonryōmaru no longer talks to his allies or opponents in the middle of battle, but instead focuses on defeating the enemy at all times.[8]

Plot

Zanpakutō Unknown Tales arc (anime only)

Note: Events occurring in this arc are only in the anime and do not constitute canon material.

231Gonryomaru appears

Gonryōmaru attacks Rukia.

Gonryōmaru waits for Muramasa's return alongside the other Zanpakutō spirits in their cave. Later, Gonryōmaru and the other Zanpakutō spirits appear before the Shinigami who have gathered on Sōkyoku Hill.[1] Afterward, Gonryōmaru and Kazeshini fight Rukia Kuchiki and Renji Abarai. After trapping Rukia and Renji with lightning, Gonryōmaru attacks and incapacitates Rukia. As Gonryōmaru prepares to finish Rukia off, Byakuya Kuchiki binds him with Bakudō #61. Rikujōkōrō.[2]

The other Zanpakuto appear

Gonryōmaru and the other Zanpakutō spirits appear before Byakuya.

Later, Gonryōmaru and several other Zanpakutō spirits appear before Byakuya at the 6th Division barracks, but are surrounded by the Onmitsukidō.[9] Attacking the Keigun with lightning, Gonryōmaru is stopped by Suì-Fēng and, alongside Tenken, engages in combat with her. After Suì-Fēng kicks him into a wall, Gonryōmaru emerges and is angered when Suì-Fēng makes fun of his reason for leaving Chōjirō Sasakibe.[3] After summoning storm clouds and causing rain to fall, Gonryōmaru reveals the current weather amplifies his power to manipulate lightning.[4]

Broken GonryōmaruEp248

Gonryōmaru reverts to his broken Shikai state after getting attacked by Kenpachi.

After taunting Gonryōmaru further, Suì-Fēng activates Shunkō, which allows her to overpower Gonryōmaru and his powers. The battle is interrupted by the arrival of Suzumebachi, who attacks Suì-Fēng.[4] Later, Gonryōmaru and the other combatants are blown away by Kenpachi Zaraki.[10] When the Shinigami attempting to rescue Captain-Commander Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto enter the caves inhabited by the Zanpakutō spirits, Gonryōmaru and Tenken stop Kenpachi as he explores the cave system.[6] As Kenpachi fights Gonryōmaru and Tenken, Yachiru realizes they are only defending against Kenpachi's attacks and are not actually attacking him.[7] After learning of this, Kenpachi defeats Gonryōmaru, who reverts to his broken Shikai states, in order to prevent Tenken from holding back in his presence.[11]

Beast Swords arc (anime only)

Note: Events occurring in this arc are only in the anime and do not constitute canon material.

265Kirikaze appears

Kirikaze attacks Gonryōmaru.

Gonryōmaru and several other Zanpakutō spirits confront the final Tōjū, Kirikaze. When Tenken and Kirikaze create fissures in the ground which collide with each other, Gonryōmaru leaps out of the resulting cloud of dust and fires a bolt of lightning at Kirikaze, who turns into mist, causing the lightning to pass through him, before reforming behind Gonryōmaru and sending him crashing into the ground. Later, Gonryōmaru summons storm clouds to attack Kirikaze, who weaves through the resulting bolts of lightning, and gives his remaining Reiryoku to Renji so he can defeat Kirikaze. Afterward, Gonryōmaru permanently returns to his sword as the power enabling the Zanpakutō spirits to temporarily maintain their materialized form is finally depleted.[12]

Equipment

Pike: Gonryōmaru carries a long white pike with a paper-like grip midway along its length.[1] He mainly uses it in conjunction with his ability to manipulate lightning in order to attack opponents from afar.[2][3][4]

Powers & Abilities

Great Spiritual Power: As the Zanpakutō spirit of a captain-level Shinigami, Gonryōmaru possesses a great amount of Reiryoku, which he displays by overpowering Rukia Kuchiki[2] and, alongside Tenken, fighting evenly against 2nd Division Captain Suì-Fēng[3][4] and later 11th Division Captain Kenpachi Zaraki, though the latter was wearing his eyepatch at the time.[11]

231Lightning Manipulation

Gonryōmaru generates lightning.

Lightning Manipulation: Gonryōmaru can generate and manipulate purple lightning and electricity. He can restrict an opponent's movements by surrounding them with lightning[2] or attack them from afar by firing a bolt of lightning from his pike.[3][4] His power over lightning is greatly increased by stormy weather, allowing him to strike his opponents with lightning bolts from the clouds.[4] He can also create a powerful sphere of electricity by striking an opponent with two bolts of lightning at once.[4] Additionally, Gonryōmaru can enhance the power of his physical attacks by channeling electricity through his pike while attacking his opponent.[4][7]

  • Storm Generation: Gonryōmaru can generate storms in order to increase the power of his lightning. By holding his crackling pike in front of him and raising his hand in front of his face with two fingers outstretched, Gonryōmaru causes the roof of the shrine-like box on his back to break open and release storm clouds, which fill the sky and bombard his opponents with lightning bolts at Gonryōmaru's command.[3][8]

Enhanced Durability: Gonryōmaru possesses considerable durability. He remained unscathed after being kicked into a building by Suì-Fēng[3] and later withstood a direct attack from Kenpachi without any visible injuries.[7] During the fight against Kirikaze, Gonryōmaru was sent crashing into the ground by one of Kirikaze's powerful strikes, but emerged shortly afterward with no visible wounds.[8]

Enhanced Speed: Gonryōmaru is very fast, catching Rukia, a Shunpo expert, off-guard during their short battle.[2] He is fast enough to keep up with Suì-Fēng and dodge her attacks.[3][4] During the fight against Kirikaze, Gonryōmaru moved to a cloud of dust created by two fissures colliding dozens of feet away in order to mask his attack.[8]

Trivia

  • While Gonryōmaru can manipulate lightning, the truth of Gonryōmaru being a lightning-type Zanpakutō was not revealed until Chapter 504.
  • While the released form of Gonryōmaru is a rapier, Gonryōmaru uses a pike instead.
  • When Gonryōmaru is defeated by Kenpachi, his sword form has the hilt of a rapier, but the blade of a katana.[11]

Quotes

  • (To Tenken) "Don't worry, Tenken. I'm alright. Chōjirō is the one to blame for all of this for not having a presence in his own division."[3]
  • (To Suì-Fēng) "Thunder and lightning are my allies. It is in this rain that I can display the special powers that make me truly great!"[4]
  • (To Tenken) "I, Gonryōmaru, feel unworthy, Tenken! I allowed myself to be tricked by her flawed logic! I am shamed."[4]
  • (To Suì-Fēng) "Shut up, shut up, shut up! You will not belittle us!"[4]
  • (To Kenpachi Zaraki) "I'm glad you could come, Shinigami. Now I'll get my revenge from our last encounter."[6]
  • (To Kenpachi Zaraki) "You see, for us, it's not just about winning or losing."[7]

Battles & Events

Zanpakutō Rebellion

Events

Participants Chapter(s) Episode(s)
The Rebellion Begins: Rise of Muramasa None Episode 230

Battles

Participants Chapter(s) Episode(s) Result
Gonryōmaru & Tenken vs. Suì-Fēng None Episode 242, 243 Draw, Interrupted
Gonryōmaru & Tenken vs. Kenpachi Zaraki None Episode 246, 247 Draw

Tōjū Campaign

Battles

Participants Chapter(s) Episode(s) Result
Zanpakutō Spirits vs. Kirikaze None Episode 265 Win

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Bleach anime; Episode 230
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Bleach anime; Episode 231
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 Bleach anime; Episode 242
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 Bleach anime; Episode 243
  5. Bleach anime; Episode 244 omake
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Bleach anime; Episode 246
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 Bleach anime; Episode 247
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Bleach anime; Episode 265
  9. Bleach anime; Episode 241
  10. Bleach anime; Episode 244
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Bleach anime; Episode 248
  12. Bleach anime; Episode 265

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