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Haineko (Zanpakutō spirit)

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Overview

Haineko
Haineko Mughsot (ep262)
English Ash Cat
Kanji 灰猫
Characteristics
Race Zanpakutō Spirit
Gender Female
Professional Status
Master Rangiku Matsumoto
First Appearance
Anime Episode 230
Voices
Japanese Chiaki Takahashi
English Julie Ann Taylor

This article is about the manifested spirit of Rangiku Matsumoto's Zanpakutō. For her Zanpakutō and its abilities, see Haineko.

Haineko (灰猫) is the manifested spirit of Rangiku Matsumoto's Zanpakutō.

Appearance

Haineko's physical manifestation takes the form of a curvaceous woman with turquoise eyes, peach-colored skin, and chin-length maroon hair, which is styled into two cat-like ears at the top and frames Haineko's face with several long bangs. She has pink fur covering her forearms, her pelvis, her feet, her left leg, and most of her upper torso. She has a tuft of white fur covering her neck and extending down to the middle of her chest, and there is a ring of white fur around her right thigh. She has a long, pink tail and claw-like nails.[1]

Personality

While under the influence of Muramasa's brainwashing, Haineko is somewhat impatient and impetuous, attempting to leave the cave of the Zanpakutō spirits because she feels bored waiting for Muramasa to return and later demanding to know how long they will have to stay there.[1] She is somewhat fond of perfume, and frequently sprays it on herself. She is also quite confident in her own beauty, believing her charms would make it easy to defeat Ichigo Kurosaki.[2] She is somewhat perverse, grabbing Tobiume's breast in order to prove a point and referring to Ichigo's Getsuga Tenshō as his "little thingy"; Tobiume states she is very indecent and vulgar. Haineko often compares her own body to Tobiume's, and believes Tobiume's attitude toward her stems from jealousy.[3] At one point, Tobiume notes Haineko's idea of fun and excitement is enough to give any normal person a heart attack.[4] Haineko is loyal to Muramasa, and is willing to hold off Yoruichi Shihōin, whom Haineko knows is much more powerful than her, in order to further Muramasa's plans.[5]

Haineko has a somewhat tumultuous relationship with Tobiume. They often argue with each other over their individual definitions of beauty and their attractiveness to men, and often resort to physical violence. Additionally, they both vie for Hyōrinmaru's attention on a regular basis.[2] However, Haineko and Tobiume frequently fight as a pair against their enemy, though they continue to banter and trade insults with each other. Additionally, they often blame each other when something goes wrong during a battle.[3][6]

Haineko acts very rudely toward Rangiku Matsumoto; upon materializing before her, Haineko shoved Rangiku aside and told her to move out of the way.[1] Haineko frequently calls Rangiku an "old lady", and claims to have left her because she felt old simply by being around Rangiku, whom she states is "lame". Additionally, Haineko claims she is "young and beautiful" in comparison to Rangiku, who is "old and washed-up",[3] and wishes Rangiku was an attractive man instead of a "crabby old hag".[7] In spite of her attitude toward Rangiku, Haineko shares a similar taste in clothing with her.[8] Haineko later admits she left Rangiku because she wished to lead a new and exciting life without her.[4]

Haineko has a somewhat rigid definition of beauty, believing women with noticeable breasts and curvaceous bodies are beautiful and irresistible to men, which is why she is shocked when Ichigo runs away from a "beautiful lady" like herself.[3] She believes all women reach a certain age at which they are no longer beautiful, and claims intelligence is not "cute".[9]

In battle, Haineko frequently teases and insults her opponent. During her battle with Rangiku, Haineko sarcastically claims to be impressed by an "old lady" like Rangiku being able to keep up with her attacks.[9] After seemingly impaling Yoruichi, Haineko derided her former position as the commander of the Onmitsukidō.[4] However, Haineko will lash out violently upon receiving any physical injury.[9]

Haineko objectifies the men around her to a certain extent. She takes a special interest in Hyōrinmaru because of his physical features and stoic personality; during one of her scuffles with Tobiume, Haineko called Hyōrinmaru "darling" and pretended she was the victim of Tobiume's jealousy before asking Hyōrinmaru to protect her.[2] Though only having recently met Ichigo, Haineko referred to him as her "boy toy".[3]

After being freed from Muramasa's brainwashing, Haineko is much more friendly toward Rangiku and those around her, drinking sake alongside Rangiku at a party.[10] Additionally, she is more lenient toward her opponents, and refuses to kill those who are too wounded to fight back, such as Narunosuke. She ends up falling in love with Narunosuke despite being under orders to kill him, and becomes willing to lie to Rangiku and steal from the 10th Division in order to help and protect him. She eventually becomes so attached to Narunosuke that she fights Rangiku to protect him, but later kills him herself in an act of mercy, though she is visibly distraught by having to do so.[11] Rangiku herself notes Haineko acts much more level-headed even after consuming a considerable amount of sake, and Haineko calls herself a mature woman because of it.[12]

Haineko frequently mentions her preference in men in regards to the current situation. When Kazeshini and Gegetsuburi argue over how strong their masters are, Haineko comments that she does not like men who only live to fight like them.[2] Despite this, Haineko admits to going after every man she sees, but does not care about how this affects others' perception of her.[3] Upon encountering Narunosuke and experiencing feelings for him, Haineko tells herself she likes older, more muscular men who are filled with testosterone.[11]

Plot

Zanpakutō Unknown Tales arc (anime only)

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

Matsumoto haineko

Haineko abandons Matsumoto.

Haineko waits for Muramasa's return alongside the other Zanpakutō spirits in their cave. When she claims to be bored and attempts to go outside, Sode no Shirayuki tells her they have to wait. Later, Haineko and the other Zanpakutō spirits appear before the Shinigami who have gathered on Sōkyoku Hill. Upon passing Rangiku Matsumoto, Haineko pauses and shoves her away before bidding her farewell.[1]

RangikuMomoFight

Haineko and Tobiume prepare to fight against their Shinigami masters.

Later, as Haineko argues with Tobiume at the cave, Muramasa returns with new orders to capture Ichigo Kurosaki, which Haineko agrees to undertake.[2] While hunting for Ichigo with Tobiume, Haineko wonders where Hyōrinmaru went. During Haineko and Tobiume's subsequent argument about who will find Hyōrinmaru first, Senbonzakura suddenly appears before them and asks them about Muramasa's whereabouts, which they are not aware of. After Senbonzakura leaves, Haineko and Tobiume spot Ichigo and immediately attack him. When Haineko gets into another argument with Tobiume, Ichigo tries to escape. When Haineko and Tobiume attack Ichigo once more, Rangiku and Momo Hinamori arrive and engage them while Ichigo leaves to continue his search for Byakuya Kuchiki. After clashing with Rangiku, Haineko expresses her relief at no longer having to serve an "old woman" like her.[3]

239Haineko asks

Haineko and Tobiume are defeated.

As they begin to fight in earnest, Haineko repeatedly mocks Rangiku's appearance and claims she is old and fat, which enrages Rangiku and results in them clawing and pulling at each other. Eventually, Rangiku and Momo subdue Haineko and Tobiume with the use of Hadō #31. Shakkahō and Bakudō 9. Hōrin. When Momo explains how she would like to get older and lose her naivety, Haineko does not understand, prompting Rangiku to note an immature girl like Haineko would not be expected to understand.[9]

243Rangiku greets

Rangiku confronts Haineko once more.

Later, several Shinigami take Haineko and Tobiume away in a cell. On their way back to the Seireitei, Byakuya knocks out all the escorts, though he does not bother to release Haineko and Tobiume from the cage.[13] Later, Haineko and Tobiume appear alongside the other spirits in Muramasa's cave and watch as Byakuya defeats Sode no Shirayuki.[14] Later, Haineko and Tobiume confront Tetsuzaemon Iba and Isane Kotetsu, although the two argue and almost let Isane and Iba get away. After telling Ashisogi Jizō to emerge from the rubble of the building which fell on it, Haineko fights Iba for a short time before Rangiku shows up once more to fight her. However, Ashisogi Jizō releases its poison while Haineko retreats to a nearby building.[6]

Haineko and Tobiume joint attack

Haineko and Tobiume attack Yoruichi.

Later, when the Shinigami find the cave, Haineko and Tobiume intercept Ichigo and Yoruichi Shihōin. However, Yoruichi easily fends them off, allowing Ichigo to move on.[4] After staying behind to fight Haineko and Tobiume, Yoruichi deduces they are simply keeping her occupied in order to separate her from Ichigo, which prompts her to bind them to a wall with Bakudō #30. Shitotsu Sansen before leaving.[5] Later, Haineko and Tobiume escape and attack Yoruichi again while promising to not hold back against her this time.[15] After realizing they do not know of Muramasa's true intentions, Yoruichi informs Haineko and Tobiume of the truth behind Muramasa's actions.[16]

HainekoRangikuArrival

Rangiku and Haineko arrive in Karakura Town.

Later, Haineko and Rangiku arrive alongside the other Shinigami and Zanpakutō spirits in Karakura Town to defend it from the Gillians produced by the unstable Muramasa.[17] Though Haineko and Tobiume take down several Gillians together, it eventually becomes clear the number of Gillians will not decrease while the enormous Garganta which Muramasa produced is still open. Upon realizing this, Haineko and others pool their Reiatsu in order to close the Garganta. Afterwards, Haineko complains about being exhausted, leading to Tobiume teasing her about being older than she is willing to admit.[18] Upon Muramasa's defeat at the hands of Ichigo, Haineko returns to Rangiku's sword.[19]

Beast Swords arc (anime only)

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

Ichigo saves Haineko from the Hollow Toju

Haineko is saved from the Tōjū by Ichigo.

While Soul Society is partying to recover and rejoice over their victory, Haineko and Rangiku drink copious amounts of sake, and soon end up drunk.[10] Later, Haineko and Rangiku follow Tōshirō Hitsugaya to the Human World after the latter warns Ichigo of the threat of the Tōjū, despite Hitsugaya telling them to not do so. Haineko experiences what the living world has to offer while wearing a Human-based Gigai and borrowing clothes from Orihime Inoue. Later, the three are attacked by a Tōjū who has transformed due to fusing with a Hollow. With Rangiku unable to separate from her Gigai after losing her Gikon, Haineko fights the Hollow Tōjū alone and is quickly overpowered, but is saved by Ichigo.[20]

KazeshiniBeingConfronted

Haineko, Wabisuke, and Hōzukimaru confront Kazeshini.

Later, Haineko, Wabisuke, and Hōzukimaru briefly confront Kazeshini, who is still determined to kill his master, with Haineko pointing out how his actions could cause the Shinigami to think the Zanpakutō might have started rebelling once again. Haineko, Wabisuke, and Hōzukimaru eventually decide they will let Kazeshini do what he wills as long as he does not get them involved. Later, Haineko and Hōzukimaru laugh hysterically at seeing Kazeshini with a baby on his back, and continue to laugh as Kazeshini tries to explain why he has the baby with him. When Kazeshini tries to have them take the child, Haineko, Wabisuke, and Hōzukimaru refuse, with Haineko pointing out how Kazeshini said he did not want them to get involved, and leave as Kazeshini protests.[21]

Haineko treats Narunosuke

Haineko treats Narunosuke's injuries.

While searching for Tōjū, Haineko discovers the injured Narunosuke, and quickly develops a crush on him, despite telling herself she does not prefer men like him. Unable to bring herself to kill him, she spares his life and returns to Rangiku before telling her she found and killed a Tōjū. After hiding Narunosuke in an abandoned house, Haineko begins stealing food and medical supplies from the 10th Division storage to feed and heal him, and unsuccessfully tries to persuade Rangiku to get Narunosuke's Tōjū status revoked. However, Rangiku refuses to do so because of a report from the 12th Division revealing all Tōjū eventually go insane before asking Haineko why she asked, prompting Haineko to nervously claim she was simply curious.[11]

Haineko Tries to Convince Matsumoto

Haineko seeks amnesty for Narunosuke.

While walking past Tobiume and Suzumebachi, who greet her once she comes in to view, Haineko convinces herself Narunosuke will not turn into a Tōjū. Later, Haineko visits Narunosuke again, bringing food for them to eat. After a while, Narunosuke asks her if his classification as a Tōjū will be revoked, prompting Haineko to claim Rangiku is trying to convince her boss before telling Narunosuke about Rangiku's silly habits. After laughing to some of Haineko's stories, Narunosuke has a painful migraine, slightly worrying Haineko, who asks him if he needs more medical assistance. Brushing it off after the pain lessens, Narunosuke declines before telling Haineko how nice she is. After running back to the Seireitei, a joyous Haineko violently pats Tobiume and refers to Rangiku as "dear".[11]

262Haineko stands

Haineko talks to Rangiku.

During Haineko's next visit, Narunosuke experiences another painful headache, and accidentally hits Haineko while screaming in pain, causing Haineko to remember Rangiku's words. After regaining his composure, Narunosuke apologizes to Haineko for hitting her, prompting a worried Haineko to tell him to stay at the house and try to get over the migraines. At night, a suspicious Rangiku asks Haineko where she was during all the times she was not in the Seireitei, prompting Haineko to vaguely claim she was around. After Rangiku informs her of the recent thefts, Haineko bids her goodnight and leaves.[11]

Rangiku appears before Haineko and Narunosuke

Rangiku confronts Haineko and Narunosuke.

When Haineko arrives at the hut, Narunosuke suffers from another, causing his Reiatsu to violently flare up. When Narunosuke asks her what is happening to him, Haineko tries to convince him it is nothing and states he should lay down so she can heal him. When Narunosuke pins Haineko down and demands to know the truth, Rangiku, who had followed Haineko, reveals he is turning into a Tōjū. Asking Haineko why she chose to not tell her, Rangiku reminds her of how they are obligated to kill any Tōjū for the safety of Soul Society's residents before tells Haineko to move away from Narunosuke so she can kill him.[11]

Haineko protects Narunosuke

Haineko protects Narunosuke from Matsumoto.

As Haineko refuses to do this, Narunosuke begins to transform him into a Tōjū. After his Reiatsu destroys the hut, Narunosuke lies on the ground and screams in pain as Haineko tells Rangiku she will have to kill both of them as Tōjū. When Haineko and Rangiku attack each other with their Shikai, Narunosuke, now a fully-transformed Tōjū, sends Rangiku flying away with one hit and attacks Haineko, but is blocked by Rangiku, whom he sends flying away once more. Realizing Narunosuke is beyond help, Haineko envelopes herself and Narunosuke in her Shikai.[11]

262Narunosuke bends

Haineko hugs Narunosuke after he regains his senses.

After snapping Narunosuke out of his rage by reminding him of their time together, Haineko hugs Narunosuke before killing him. Later, Haineko explains her feelings for Narunosuke and why she hid her knowledge of him from the Shinigami to Rangiku, who states she understands. After deciding to pursue older men for now because they can take care of themselves, Haineko notes she still has time to grow old like Rangiku, who smiles at her. Afterward, Haineko and Rangiku watch the sun rise.[11]

265Tobiume, Rangiku, Haineko, Katen Kyokotsu, Nanao, and Momo sit

Haineko, Rangiku, Tobiume, the violet-haired girl, Nanao, and Momo sit and eat together.

Later, Haineko, Rangiku, Tobiume, Momo, Nanao Ise, and the violet-haired girl sit and eat together at a bar. Despite having consumed a considerable amount of sake, Haineko prevents a drunken Rangiku from getting into a fight by offering to drink her sake, and claims she is a mature woman. After Rangiku is taken back to the barracks by Nanao and Momo, Haineko mentally thanks her for all of the fun times before leaving. The next day, Haineko and the other Zanpakutō spirits confront the final Tōjū, Kirikaze, with Haineko noting Kirikaze's absorption of other Tōjū is disgusting. As Kirikaze overpowers the Zanpakutō spirits, Rangiku, Renji Abarai, Shūhei Hisagi, Rukia Kuchiki, and Izuru Kira arrive to help them. After being helped up by Rangiku, Haineko returns to her sword, enabling Rangiku to help severely weaken Kirikaze by slashing him with Haineko. When Renji finally defeats Kirikaze with Hikotsu Taihō, Haineko permanently returns to her sword as the power enabling the Zanpakutō to temporarily maintain their materialized form is finally depleted.[12]

Powers and Abilities

254Haineko's Reiatsu

Haineko exerts her Reiatsu.

High Spiritual Power: As the Zanpakutō spirit of a lieutenant-level Shinigami, Haineko possesses a considerable amount of Reiryoku. She fought evenly against Rangiku Matsumoto[3][9] and later 7th Division Lieutenant Tetsuzaemon Iba.[6] She and Tobiume effortlessly destroyed several Gillians during the Shinigami and Zanpakutō spirits' defense of the Human World.[18] Haineko easily defeated Narunosuke after the latter had effortlessly defeated Rangiku.[11] Her Reiatsu is white.[18]

Expert Swordswoman: Haineko is very proficient in swordsmanship. She easily held her own against Rangiku[3][9] and later Iba[6] when engaging in direct combat with them.

Expert Hand-to-Hand Combatant: In addition to her swordsmanship prowess, Haineko is very proficient in hand-to-hand combat, utilizing it alongside her Shikai when fighting Yoruichi Shihōin alongside Tobiume.[5]

Enhanced Strength: Haineko possesses a large amount of physical strength. She sent Rangiku flying away with a single punch, and later kicked her several feet away.[9] During her fight with Yoruichi, Haineko attempted to hit her with a two-handed punch, only to miss and accidentally destroy the rock beneath Yoruichi with the force of the blow.[5]

Enhanced Speed: Haineko is a very fast combatant. She managed to keep up with Ichigo Kurosaki and Rangiku, both Shunpo experts, during her fights with them.[3][9] When Isane Kotetsu was injured by Ashisogi Jizō, Haineko appeared in front of Iba without warning in order to prevent him from helping her.[6] She even caught Yoruichi off-guard with a surprise attack,[4] and later managed to appear behind her without Yoruichi noticing.[5]

Enhanced Durability: Haineko is considerably durable, withstanding a direct kick from Yoruichi and crashing into a wall without sustaining any visible injuries. She remained unharmed after being hit head-on by a Hadō #31. Shakkahō from Yoruichi.[5]

Zanpakutō

The sealed form of Haineko's Zanpakutō takes the form of a straight-bladed katana with a cross guard in the shape of a cat's head, with two triangles on the top half curving into ear-points and the bottom half tapering down into a single point. Haineko manifests her sword by condensing her ash into it.[3]

238Haineko's release

Haineko releases her Zanpakutō.

  • Shikai: Haineko releases her Zanpakutō with the command "Growl" (唸れ, unare). The blade transforms into a cloud of ash, which Haineko can direct by waving the hilt of her sword.[3]
Shikai Special Ability: By making a slashing motion with the hilt of her sword, Haineko can cut anything which the ash has landed on. However, she frequently uses the ash as a weapon by itself, crushing and slashing her enemies with it.[3][18] Additionally, she can create a tornado of ash around herself and anyone else she chooses in order to protect them from outside attacks.[11]

Quotes

  • "I really dislike guys who only live to fight."[2]
  • (To Tobiume "You think you're so innocent, but real men don't fall for that act anymore!"[2]
  • (To Tobiume) "You wouldn't know a decent body if you saw one!"[3]
  • (To Rangiku Matsumoto) "This really sucks. You made me lose my boy toy. You're so lame, really."[3]
  • (To Rangiku Matsumoto) "I am finally free, and it's amazing! When I'm with an old lady like you, I start to feel old myself, and that's certainly no way to live."[3]
  • (To Rangiku Matsumoto) "There's no way you could beat me! You see, I'm young and beautiful, while you're old and washed-up!"[3]
  • (To Rangiku Matsumoto) "Women are like milk: they all have an expiration date."[9]
  • (To Tobiume) "When I became free, I was hoping for a more interesting life without my master around to bug me."[4]
  • (To herself, regarding Narunosuke) "C'mon, Haineko, you like older guys! You don't like kids! You've never been interested in skinny-looking wimps! You're into mature guys, guys who have more meat on their bones than this beanpole! Yet...I can't help myself! I'm lovestruck!"[11]
  • (To Narunosuke) "Attacking an opponent who's really too wounded to fight back isn't my idea of fair."[11]
  • (To Rangiku Matsumoto) "If you must kill him, think of me as a Tōjū too and get rid of me."[11]
  • (To Rangiku Matsumoto) "I think I'll give younger guys a rest for a while. I'm sure they'll be a lot more fun when I'm your age."[11]

Battles & Events

Zanpakutō Rebellion

Events

Participants Chapter(s) Episode(s)
The Rebellion Begins: Rise of Muramasa None Episode 230
Return of the Zanpakutō Spirits None Episode 253, 254

Battles

Participants Chapter(s) Episode(s) Result
Haineko & Tobiume vs. Rangiku Matsumoto & Momo Hinamori None Episode 238, 239 Loss
Isane Kotetsu & Tetsuzaemon Iba vs. Ashisogi Jizō None Episode 243 Win
Haineko & Tobiume vs. Yoruichi Shihōin None Episode 246, 247 Loss

Tōjū Campaign

Battles

Participants Chapter(s) Episode(s) Result
Haineko vs. Narunosuke None Episode 262 Win
Zanpakutō Spirits vs. Kirikaze None Episode 265 Win

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Bleach anime; Episode 230
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Bleach anime; Episode 237
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 Bleach anime; Episode 238
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 Bleach anime; Episode 246
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 Bleach anime; Episode 247
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Bleach anime; Episode 243
  7. Bleach anime; Episode 239 omake
  8. Bleach anime; Episode 245 omake
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 9.6 9.7 9.8 Bleach anime; Episode 239
  10. 10.0 10.1 Bleach anime; Episode 256
  11. 11.00 11.01 11.02 11.03 11.04 11.05 11.06 11.07 11.08 11.09 11.10 11.11 11.12 11.13 Bleach anime; Episode 262
  12. 12.0 12.1 Bleach anime; Episode 265
  13. Bleach anime; Episode 240
  14. Bleach anime; Episode 241
  15. Bleach anime; Episode 248
  16. Bleach anime; Episode 249
  17. Bleach anime; Episode 253
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 Bleach anime; Episode 254
  19. Bleach anime; Episode 255
  20. Bleach anime; Episode 257
  21. Bleach anime; Episode 260

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