"Sorry, brat. I'm not mature enough to hold back just 'cause you're a kid!"
|Pre Timeskip - Post Timeskip|
|Height||179 cm (5'10½")|
|Weight||75 kg (165 lbs.)|
|Affiliation||Visored, Gotei 13, Soul Society|
|Position||Captain of the 9th Division|
|Partner||Shūhei Hisagi |
|Base of Operations||Seireitei, Soul Society|
|Manga||Volume 24, Chapter 214|
|Video Game||Bleach: Heat the Soul 4|
Kensei Muguruma (六車 拳西, Muguruma Kensei) is the Captain of the 9th Division in the Gotei 13. His lieutenants are Shūhei Hisagi and Mashiro Kuna. He is a Visored. He was also a Captain over 100 years ago prior to his exile, and was reinstated to his old post some time after the battle against Sōsuke Aizen.
Kensei is a tall, muscular man with sharp features, short light-gray/silver hair and brown eyes. He has a tattoo of the number "69" on his chest; the "6" represents his last name, "Muguruma," which uses the kanji for "6" in it, while the "9" represents the 9th Division, which he currently leads. He wears a dark purple A-shirt with a white trim, in addition to green cargo pants, black combat boots, and a pair of orange fingerless gloves. He also has a series of piercings, with one on his left eyebrow and three on his left ear.
During his initial time as a captain, Kensei had longer front bangs, which hung over his face. He wore a sleeveless shihakushō that was open on the front, exposing his chest and tattoo, and tied it with a rope belt. He also wore a sleeveless haori and a pair of fingerless black gloves that covered most of his forearms. Seventeen months after Aizen's defeat, he returns to wearing this look, albeit with a less open shihakushō, a new metallic belt and mussed up hair.
Kensei is a serious and decisive individual, though he is easily annoyed and is rather temperamental, often to a fault. He is greatly annoyed by immaturity, evident when Orihime infiltrates the Visored's hideout and jokingly asks where the bathroom is; Kensei is noticeably annoyed, only calming down when Lisa Yadōmaru and Love Aikawa remind him that it was only a joke. He is most frequently irritated by Mashiro's childish behavior, once noting that she has the uncanny ability to aggravate him even when she is asleep. His aggressive behavior is particularly noticeable in combat. At one point, he confesses that he is not mature enough to hold back, even against a child. Despite this, Kensei is at times a caring individual, though his attempts at being kind are often offset by his aggression, such as when he tries to cheer up a young, tearful Hisagi in a manner reminiscent of a military drill sergeant.
Fake Karakura Town arc
Kensei arrives at the Fake Karakura Town with the rest of the Visored, intercepting Aizen, Gin, and Tōsen's release from Yamamoto's fire prison. When Shinji asks his fellow Visored if they have anyone in the Gotei 13 that they would like to speak to, Kensei states that he doesn't care. When Shinji returns from his talk with Captain-Commander Yamamoto, the huge Hollow creature spews a large horde of Gillian-class Menos from its mouth. Kensei is among the Visored when they put on their masks to prepare for battle.
Kensei stands ready for battle as the other Visored draw their Zanpakutō and attack the Gillians. Kensei demonstrates his increased power when he uses a flurry of punches to smash a Gillian's mask, causing the Hollow to explode. When another Gillian attempts to attack him from behind, he stabs its mask with Tachikaze and uses its special ability to blow off its head.
Kensei brings down several more of the Gillians with his hand-to-hand combat skills. When he kills the last one, Mashiro complains that she had wanted to kill it. Kensei tells her to stop whining, saying that she can have the big one so that she would stop complaining.
While Mashiro is distracted, Wonderweiss recovers from his fight with her. Kensei yells at her, trying to warn her, but Mashiro responds that she is already aware before kicking Wonderweiss’ face, sending him flying blocks into various buildings. Kensei warns her that fighting an opponent of Wonderweiss’ level will quickly exhaust her, and that she should take off her mask before her time limit expires. However, Mashiro tells Kensei that he is dumb, reminding him that she can keep her mask on for 15 hours straight, and that she could keep it on all night. She continues her fight with Wonderweiss, but quickly loses the upper hand when her Hollow mask shatters.
Wonderweiss takes this opportunity to land several punches to her face, but before he can continue, Kensei stops his hand, having grabbed Mashiro. He apologizes to Wonderweiss for not being the sort of adult who goes easy on kids. He then throws him down into the buildings below. Kensei lands on a nearby building and lays down Mashiro, who weakly asks if he is going to avenge her as she smiles. He looks down at her and asks her what she is smiling at, noting that she is a dumbass for ending up the way she is, and that she could have avoided it if she had listened to his warnings.
He then takes Tachikaze’s Shikai out of his pants pocket and states that he is going to give Wonderweiss a taste of his fists, not to avenge Mashiro, but because the brat got above himself. As Wonderweiss approaches him, Kensei releases his Bankai and the two clash, causing a huge explosion.
The Lost Substitute Shinigami arc
At some point after Aizen's defeat, Kensei returns to Soul Society, where he regains his position as captain of the Ninth Division. He greets Ichigo on his way into the captains' meeting place, and Ichigo is surprised to see him as a captain. Kensei tells him to shut up and orders him to enter the room, telling the Substitute Shinigami he wasn't just there to chat.
The Thousand-Year Blood War arc
Kensei attends a captain meeting where he is informed about Wandenreich's infiltration and is ordered to prepare for war alongside other captains. After the Wandenreich invade Seireitei, Kensei receives word from Rangiku Matsumoto that the enemy has the ability to steal Bankai. Some point afterwards, Kensei and several other members of the Gotei 13 are surprised to sense Yamamoto enter the front lines as their Captain-Commander's Reiatsu resonates throughout Seireitei. Kensei and other members of the Gotei 13 are then further surprised to sense Ichigo Kurosaki finally enter Soul Society.
Soon after the Wandenreich leave Soul Society, Kensei meets with several other captains and listens as Ukitake states that they could not find the Captain-Commander's body. As Suì-Fēng angrily reacts to more bad news, Kensei berates her for her attitude, to which she states he's only calm because he disliked Yamamoto, angering him until the situation is calmed down by Shunsui. Kensei and the other captains later gather outside Seireitei to witness the arrival of the Royal Guard.
Some time after the Wandenreich attack, Kensei takes his lieutenant Shūhei Hisagi out into the forest outside the Seireitei. Telling him he wants Hisagi to use his Bankai, Kensei states this time his Bankai was not stolen, but no one knows what will happen next time, and the Gotei 13 needs more Bankai users. As Co-Lieutenant Mashiro Kuna jumps down from the trees in front of Hisagi, Kensei, commanding her to Hollowfy, warns Hisagi to be careful, for Mashiro is strong when she is wearing a mask, and unless he wants to die, he had better use a Bankai. As Hisagi, protesting, states he cannot just suddenly become capable of using Bankai, Mashiro, ignoring him, punches him in the chest, stating the lieutenant should not disobey the "super" lieutenant, showing off her badge of her superior lieutenant ranking. Telling Hisagi he told him to be careful, Kensei asks him if he thinks he will not kill him, seeing as he is not as gentle as Kaname Tōsen. Asking his captain to wait, Hisagi explains he has always looked up to him and respected him, but he has no right to badmouth his former Captain Tōsen, prompting Kensei to glare at him in surprise.
During the Wandenreich's second invasion of Seireitei, Kensei appears with Rose just in time to stop Mask De Masculine from stomping on a heavily injured Hisagi's head. He voices his disappointment in Hisagi for not showing the results of his training, before introducing himself to Mask. Stating that he does not want to waste Mask's time, he immediately activates his Bankai, Tekken Tachikaze. Using its special ability, he effortlessly defeats Mask, knocking him into a nearby building. When Mask's bell-ringer, James, starts begging the Sternritter not to lose, Kensei remarks that he is so pathetic that he is making him feel like the bad guy. However, when Hisagi regains consciousness and warns him that James needs to be defeated first, Mask abruptly recovers and knocks him into another nearby building.
Getting up, Kensei scoffs before leaping toward Mask, who appears before him in midair and hits Kensei in the chest with Star Eagle Kick. When Mask headbutts him with Star Headbutt, Kensei tells him to not be so cocky and transforms his brass knuckles into spiked knuckles before punching Mask. As the smoke clears to reveal him holding Kensei's fist, Mask proclaims this will not work before slamming Kensei into the ground below with an elbow slam. The impact breaks Kensei's right arm. After slamming into Kensei with his knee, Mask notes he will not need to count to ten. Rukia Kuchiki later arrives and takes Kensei away from the battle site.
Kensei and Rose are later taken to Lieutenant Isane Kotetsu by Rukia. Isane erects a Kidō barrier around them while she heals them. They are in the same room during the battle between Lieutenant Yachiru Kusajishi and Sternritter "V" Guenael Lee. Both he and Rose are killed while incapacitated by Gremmy Thoumeaux before Isane becomes aware of his presence. Isane soon moves his dead body away from the battlefield. Sternritter "Z" Giselle Gewelle later turns his corpse into a zombie and uses him to attack Mayuri Kurotsuchi and fight the resurrected Arrancar. Eventually, Kensei and Rose succumb to the effects of Mayuri's Precognition Drug, having been exposed to it via the blood of the Arrancar. After they collapse, Mayuri injects them with a drug, causing Kensei to scream in agony. Mayuri reveals that he has devised a way to take control of Giselle's zombies using blood samples of Gotei 13 members as Kensei and Rose stand up behind him. As Mayuri bids Giselle farewell, Kensei stabs her through the heart.
Soon afterward, Kensei and Rose confront PePe Waccabrada with strange markings on their faces. When Hisagi attempts an attack from above, Kensei intercepts his attack before slamming him into the ground, knocking him out in the process. He then picks Senbonzakura off the ground and hands it to Byakuya Kuchiki. After Byakuya and Mayuri finish talking, Pepe returns and attempts to take control of Kensei, who simply punches him in the face, sending him flying, before using Sandbag Beat technique, which greatly injures PePe and sends him crashing into a nearby building.
Ten years later, having been restored to normal, Kensei heads to the promotion ceremony for Rukia Kuchiki, the new 13th Division captain. Along the way, he joins in Rangiku's teasing of Hisagi, denying that the lieutenant actually has a Bankai.
Powers & Abilities
Master Swordsman: Despite the small size of his Shikai, Kensei can effectively use Tachikaze to inflict lethal strikes even in close quarters combat, proven when he holds off Ichigo Kurosaki's Bankai-wielding Hollowfied form.
Shunpo Expert: As a captain of the Gotei 13, Kensei is proficient in Shunpo. During the battle in Fake Karakura Town, Kensei reached Mashiro in time to save her from Wonderweiss Margela. He appeared instantaneously beside Mask De Masculine when the latter was about to attack Shūhei Hisagi again.
Hakuda Master: Kensei prefers to utilize his hand-to-hand capabilities, despite his impressive swordsmanship skills. However, Kensei has effectively used both skills in unison. During Ichigo's transformation into a Hollow, Kensei knocked him a good distance away with just an elbow strike. He dodged all of the Hollowfied Ichigo's attacks, despite the latter's use of Tensa Zangetsu, and managed to kick him. While fighting a large group of Gillians, Kensei destroyed several of them with his fists alone.
- Sandbag Beat (サンドバッグ・ビート, Sandobaggu Bīto): Kensei delivers multiple strikes in extremely rapid succession, causing aggravated damage to a target. The technique is powerful enough to not only shatter a Gillian's mask, but utterly destroy its body as well.
Highly Perceptive Combatant: Despite his short-tempered nature, Kensei is a very perceptive fighter. He is knowledgeable of the abilities that Hollows possess, and knows how to counter them to gain the upper hand.
Enhanced Strength: Kensei possesses great physical strength, even before his Hollowfication. During his fight with Wonderweiss, Kensei blocked the Arrancar's powerful punch and hurled him a great distance with considerable force, achieving both feats with only a single hand. He stopped Mask De Masculine's kick with his foot from a position with no leverage.
Tachikaze (断地風, Earth-Severing Wind): When sealed, it takes the form of a wakizashi, with an H-shaped tsuba, white weaving around its hilt, and a black sheath.
- Shikai: Kensei's Shikai is triggered by the command Blow it Away (吹っ飛ばせ, futtobase; Viz "Blast It"). When Tachikaze is released, air currents swirl around Kensei before enveloping Tachikaze, which transforms into a combat knife with a bronze guard, light purple hilt-wrapping in the center of the hilt, a gray leather grip, and a small ring on the guard's blunt side. As a Shinigami, Kensei wore it at his waist in its sealed form. As a Visored, he commonly keeps it in this released form and stores it in one of his pants pockets.
- Shikai Special Ability: Kensei can use Tachikaze to manipulate wind and energy. The true power of Tachikaze lies in its ability to cause the path of its slashes to explode.
- Bakudantsuki (爆弾突き, Bomb Thrust): Kensei charges Tachikaze with Reiryoku until it takes the shape of a glowing orb, which he fires as an energy blast with extreme force. This blast is quite devastating, blowing off the arm of Ichigo's Hollowfied form. He later uses it to destroy a Gillian simply by using the ability while impaling the mask of the Hollow with the blade of Tachikaze, which caused the head of the Gillian to blow up.
- Bankai: Tekken Tachikaze (鐡拳・断風, Iron Fist Severing Wind; Viz "Iron Fist Earth-Severing Wind"): Upon activation, an explosion of wind erupts around Kensei, and when it disperses, Tachikaze transforms from a single combat knife into a pair of large knuckle blades which Kensei holds in each hand. Both blades have a curved silver edge, which tapers off to an outward point on either side. Segmented purple bands wrap around the entirety of his arms, much like armor, while a thicker purple band arches behind him, over his head, with its ends protruding from under his shoulders.
- Bankai Special Ability: Tekken Tachikaze focuses all of its Shikai form's destructive power into its knuckle blades. As a result, Kensei's punches release immense explosive force on impact. This explosive power continues to assault his opponent endlessly as long as his fist remains in contact with his opponent. When using this ability, Kensei can change its knuckle blades into brass knuckles, as well as spiked gauntlets.
Hollow Mask: His Hollow mask resembles a flat hockey face guard, with six slitted eye holes arranged in two columns. It has three extensions on either side which cover the sides and back of his head, as well as his ears.
- Power Augmentation: While wearing the mask, Kensei's Hollow powers supplement his Shinigami powers, giving him a vast increase in strength, durability and speed.
- Enhanced Strength: With his mask on, Kensei possesses even greater physical strength, allowing him to smash a Gillian's mask using only his fists.
- Enhanced Speed: With his mask on, Kensei possesses even greater speed, allowing him to deliver a barrage of punches to a Gillian in an incredibly rapid rate.
Hollowfied Form: When transformed into a Hollow, Kensei is a large, muscular and bulky humanoid with armored hands and skeletal feet, with a number of thick cylindrical protrusions on his back and forearms. The cylinders on his back seem to make him hunch over.
- Enhanced Strength: Kensei's Hollowfied form possessed vast strength, evident from his ability to effortlessly punch massive craters into the ground. He broke out of Bakudō #63. Sajō Sabaku using his sheer strength alone, a feat which Hachigen Ushōda claimed was impossible.
- Enhanced Speed: Kensei's speed was drastically increased, allowing him to take his fellow captains by surprise when he attacked them.
- Enhanced Durability: Kensei's durability was considerably enhanced, allowing him to block a sword blow from Love Aikawa with only one arm.
- Energized Punches: Kensei could cover his fists with spiritual energy, increasing the amount of damage that his punches inflicted.
Time Limit: Kensei can only maintain his Hollow mask for 5 minutes at a time.
Appearances in Other Media
Kensei appears as a playable character in the Bleach: Heat the Soul series, particularly Bleach: Heat the Soul 4, 5, 6, and 7. In Bleach: Heat the Soul 6, Kensei can use an energy sphere as a tag-team attack for him and his lieutenant, Mashiro, in which he blasts the opponent with it while trying to stop Mashiro from annoying him. In Bleach: Heat the Soul 7, he utilizes his Bankai, Tekken Tachikaze, as one of his attacks, in which he uppercuts his opponent with one of his knuckle blades, and it creates an explosion upon impact.
- During Ichigo's Hollow training, Tachikaze has a black hilt. Later in the Fake Karakura Town arc, the hilt is light gray and purple.
- In the anime, Kensei slashes a hollowfied Ichigo,rather than stabbing him in the shoulder, as shown in the manga.
- (To a young Shūhei Hisagi) "You're alive! You should be happy! So smile!"
- (To Wonderweiss Margela) "Sorry, brat. I'm not mature enough to hold back just 'cause you're a kid!"