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Muramasa (Zanpakutō spirit)

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Overview

Muramasa
236Muramasa alt
English Village-Just
Kanji 村正
Characteristics
Race Zanpakutō Spirit
Gender Male
Professional Status
Master Kōga Kuchiki
First Appearance
Anime Episode 230
Voices
Japanese Yūichi Nakamura
English Jamieson Price

This article is about the manifested spirit of Kōga Kuchiki's Zanpakutō. For his Zanpakutō and its abilities, see Muramasa.

Muramasa (村正) is a Zanpakutō spirit with the power to release other Zanpakutō spirits from their owners. He was the orchestrator of the Zanpakutō Rebellion.

Appearance

Muramasa is a tall, thin man with pale skin and shaggy, dark brown hair, two bangs of which cross over the bridge of his nose. His turquoise-colored eyes are circled by spiked purple ovals. He possesses long fingernails, but they were much shorter before his long separation from his master.[1] Muramasa wears a long, white, robe-like coat. The collar of the robe is covered with a thick fur, featuring a purple ascot fastened by a ruby brooch. Muramasa wears a wide sash at his waist, decorated by a purple stripe. He wears boots with pointed tips, and has purple manacles on his wrists. His fingers make a clacking sound whenever he curls or uncurls them.[2]

Throughout the Zanpakutō Rebellion, the countless Hollows which Muramasa absorbed converge and slowly tear him apart from the inside, gradually causing various physical effects to his being.[3] In earlier stages, his eyes shed tears of blood,[2] but later glass over, filled with blood completely.[4] In more extreme cases, he becomes physically sick and weak, even becoming transparent at some points.[5][6]

Personality

While acting as the leader of the Zanpakutō spirits, Muramasa does not tolerate protest from any of his subordinates, simply freezing them in place with his Spiritual Threads in order to silence them. He is always calm, polite, and eloquent when speaking to others, even his enemies. He pretends to have the best interests of the other Zanpakutō spirits in mind, and repeatedly asserts the "tyrannical reign" of the Shinigami over their Zanpakutō spirits will end with the Zanpakutō spirits ruling over the Shinigami.[2] He holds some respect for the Gotei 13 captains because of their ability to control their powerful Zanpakutō spirits.[7] Muramasa claims his goal is to release all Zanpakutō spirits from their masters because all Zanpakutō spirits have their own free will and do not have to live alongside the Shinigami. He asserts the Zanpakutō spirits are willing to join him because their Shinigami masters have been oppressing them for a long time, and is not above using his enemies to further his plans, such as when he used Rukia Kuchiki to lure Ichigo Kurosaki to Soul Society in order to free Zangetsu.[8]

Muramasa claims he willingly killed his master, and is very confident in his own power, asserting it is far greater than Ichigo's when the latter challenges him. He takes a special interest in Ichigo after the latter's inner Hollow takes control of him during their battle, and is intrigued by the existence of Hollow Ichigo.[9] Even after Hollow Ichigo attacks him, Muramasa still tries to free him, only deciding to destroy him once Hollow Ichigo makes clear his intention to stand in Muramasa's way. He proclaims Hollow Ichigo is "expendable" because he does not possess the power which he seeks, and is confused by Ichigo's protection of Hollow Ichigo because it is not something which a Shinigami would do.[10] He admits he did not intend to become so invested in a single Shinigami when he began his mission, and is fascinated by the bond between Ichigo and Zangetsu being the source of Ichigo's strength.[5] He later claims he and Ichigo are linked to one another.[4] He respects Byakuya Kuchiki for defeating Sode no Shirayuki while knowing what would happen to Rukia.[11] He justifies Byakuya's inclusion in the group of Zanpakutō spirits by asserting he plays a crucial role in their plan, but claims it pains him greatly to know Zanpakutō spirits are being hurt in order to achieve his objective.[12] He claims he and Ichigo are destined to cross blades, which he uses to goad Ichigo into using his full power.[13]

However, Muramasa's true goal all along was to gain access to Captain-Commander Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto's mind and his Zanpakutō spirit, Ryūjin Jakka, and he orchestrated the entire Zanpakutō Rebellion in order to reach this goal. Once he drops the facade of leading the Zanpakutō spirits to freedom, Muramasa is much more cold and callous toward the other Zanpakutō spirits, having Ryūjin Jakka incinerate Katen Kyōkotsu and Sōgyo no Kotowari when they attack him.[13] Muramasa's ultimate goal is to free his master, Kōga Kuchiki, who is still alive, but was imprisoned long ago. He is willing to go to great lengths in order to achieve this goal, including attacking Orihime Inoue on sight without any provocation. However, Orihime notes he is in great emotional pain.[6] In battle, he is merciless, nearly choking Yasutora Sado to death for getting in his way. However, when Orihime points out how he is burdened with a great sadness, Muramasa momentarily lets his guard down, revealing how tired and sad he really is, though he almost immediately regains his composure and is angered by Orihime trying to understand him. He admits his only wish is to free Kōga.[14]

Before Kōga was sealed, Muramasa was very supportive of him, and would frequently encourage Kōga when he doubted himself or his power. He asserted their power came from their trust in each other, and would often remind Kōga of how powerful he was. When Kōga was arrested on false charges, Muramasa encouraged him to use his power to change the world in order to suit himself.[1] Once Kōga obtained his revenge, Muramasa encouraged him to leave the past behind and create a better world. However, as Kōga slid further and further into madness, Muramasa began to question him and his actions, leading to their bond being severed. Despite this and Kōga's abusive actions toward him, Muramasa states he would have come to Kōga's aid had he heard his voice, which he was unable to hear, and spent years working toward freeing him.[15] Even after Kōga betrays him and tries to kill him, Muramasa is still willing to fight for Kōga. It is only when Kōga snaps his sealed Zanpakutō in two and proclaims he does not need him that Muramasa finally loses control and allows his despair to overwhelm him.[16]

Rukia notes Muramasa put his very existence at risk for Kōga's sake by absorbing so many Hollows. However, Muramasa is strong-willed enough to fight the Hollows within him and momentarily regain control of his body after transforming into a Hollow hybrid in order to maintain his Zanpakutō identity, which he takes great pride in.[17] Even after Kōga dies, Muramasa continues to fight Ichigo within Kōga's inner world in order to absorb Ichigo's power and nourish himself with it. He eventually reveals he is still fighting because he was incredibly proud of Kōga and his power, and because he wanted Kōga to appreciate him at least once. However, Muramasa admits his goal of having Kōga appreciate him was hard to attain and would not have lasted for very long had he achieved it. Eventually, Muramasa realizes he can hear Ichigo's voice, and considers it ironic that he can do so. After being defeated, Muramasa finally experiences the happiness of having someone truly connect with and understand him.[3]

Muramasa's inner world consists of a clear, endless ocean with countless columns protruding from the water's surface.[1]

History

Koga mocks Muramasa for believing that they are equals
Kōga begins to physically abuse Muramasa.

Several hundred years ago, Muramasa worked faithfully as the partner of Kōga Kuchiki and used his power to tip the favor of a civil war in Soul Society to the side of the Gotei 13. When Kōga began feeling under-appreciated, Muramasa would regularly comfort him, occasionally to the point of overly praising him. When Kōga was framed as a traitor, Muramasa inspired him to seek justice and create a new world.[1] However, Muramasa's good intentions led to Kōga killing the men responsible and having a mental breakdown from realizing his life as a Shinigami of the Gotei 13 was over. Muramasa vocally disapproved of Kōga's actions when he killed innocent bystanders in Rukongai, only for Kōga to physically abuse him in response.[15]

Convinced everyone was jealous of his power and were insignificant stepping stones to greatness, Kōga soon rebelled against Soul Society. As Kōga killed more people, he continued to sink deeper into insanity, and soon found himself abusing Muramasa. This disharmony led to Kōga losing the ability to communicate with Muramasa or use his power. Believing Kōga had abandoned him, Muramasa fell into despair until centuries later, when he learned Kōga had been sealed away.[15]

Plot

Zanpakutō Unknown Tales arc (anime only)

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

Muramasa Katana
Muramasa appears before the Shinigami.

Muramasa arrives in a dark cave surrounded by all of the [[Zanpakutō] spirits whom he has released. When Haineko approaches him and asks him if they could leave the cave, Muramasa tells her they are waiting for the rest of their comrades to be free before introducing Hyōrinmaru to the other Zanpakutō spirits. After the captains, lieutenants, and other Shinigami of the Gotei 13 are summoned to Sōkyoku Hill by Captain-Commander Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto, Muramasa appears before them and states Yamamoto will not be attending and before revealing their Zanpakutō spirits are now free of them. After a small confrontation with the gathered Shinigami, Muramasa summons a katana and stabs the ground with it, generating purple energy which spreads outward, causing the peak of Sōkyoku Hill to rise up in segments.[2]

233Muramasa blocks
Muramasa fights Ichigo.

After Ichigo Kurosaki's brief fight with Sode no Shirayuki, Muramasa appears to stop her from reuniting with Rukia Kuchiki and startles Ichigo with his Reiatsu before revealing he is a Zanpakutō spirit.[18] After Muramasa reveals his goal is to free all Zanpakutō spirits from their "enslavement" by their Shinigami owners, an angered Ichigo engages him in battle. While the fight is initially evenly matched, Muramasa uses his powers to release Zangetsu, who takes over the fight for him.[8]

234Muramasa approaches
Muramasa summons Hollow Ichigo.

Muramasa is surprised when Ichigo's inner Hollow takes advantage of Ichigo's weakened state and lack of Zangetsu's influence by taking control of Ichigo's body. Although the inner Hollow proves too powerful for Zangetsu to handle, Ichigo eventually takes control again and returns to his normal form. As Ichigo falls unconscious, Muramasa wonders what he is.[8] Deciding to investigate, Muramasa uses his Zanpakutō powers to enter Ichigo's inner world. When Ichigo refuses to answer Muramasa's questions about the unique power which defeated Zangetsu, Muramasa uses his powers to paralyze Ichigo and forcibly summons Hollow Ichigo, who finds amusement in this development.[9]

Ep235HollowIchigoAttacks
Muramasa fights Hollow Ichigo.

Noting Hollow Ichigo's powers aid Ichigo considerably and greatly resemble those of a Hollow, Muramasa asks Hollow Ichigo what he is beyond another side to Ichigo's soul. When Hollow Ichigo claims he is Ichigo's purest instincts, Muramasa decides to free him the same way he did with the Zanpakutō spirits, but to his surprise, Hollow Ichigo is completely unaffected by the spell and instead attacks him.[9] Still curious as to what Hollow Ichigo really is, Muramasa is forced into an intense fight. Hollow Ichigo proves to be a powerful and equally intense fighter, forcing Muramasa on the defensive.[10]

235Tentacles constrict
Muramasa binds Hollow Ichigo with his Spiritual Threads.

After realizing Hollow Ichigo is out of his power to control, Muramasa decides to destroy him and binds Hollow Ichigo with his Spiritual Threads. Before Muramasa can cut Hollow Ichigo down, Ichigo breaks free from his binding and saves Hollow Ichigo, greatly shocking Muramasa. When Muramasa asks him why a Shinigami would protect a Hollow, Ichigo proclaims he is a Human before forcing Muramasa out of his inner world through sheer force of will. In the real world, Muramasa stands before Ichigo, who swears he will get Zangetsu back.[10]

236Muramasa's body disperses
Muramasa retreats.

Before Ichigo can attack Muramasa, Zangetsu reappears and intervenes. After Ichigo defeats Zangetsu with assistance from Hollow Ichigo, Muramasa voices his surprise at Ichigo's resolve to fight his partner. Suddenly, Muramasa becomes ill and transparent, prompting him to retreat. While alone, Muramasa notes Ichigo may be something of importance before resolving to capture Ichigo by any means necessary in order to use Ichigo's unique powers.[5]

240Senbonzakura blocks
Senbonzakura protects Muramasa from Ichigo's attack.

Later, Muramasa limps through the Forest of Menos in Hueco Mundo, killing several Gillians along the way.[19] After killing a Hollow, Muramasa defeats and absorbs a Vasto Lorde in order to gain more power.[20] Later, Muramasa exits a Garganta into Soul Society and coughs violently before noting his body is not yet accustomed to Vasto Lordes. When he is immediately confronted by Ichigo, Rangiku Matsumoto, and Momo Hinamori, Muramasa notes Ichigo is not afraid of his powers before binding them with his spiritual threads. However, Muramasa begins to cough and bleed from his eyes, freeing Ichigo, Rangiku, and Momo. Ichigo takes advantage of this situation and tries to attack Muramasa, only to be blocked by Senbonzakura. After a short fight between Ichigo and Senbonzakura, Byakuya Kuchiki puts an end to the confrontation and announces his betrayal of the Gotei 13 before leaving with Senbonzakura and Muramasa.[4]

246Muramasa states
Muramasa explains the conditions of Yamamoto's sealing to Byakuya.

When Byakuya defeats Sode no Shirayuki at the request of Senbonzakura, Muramasa sends him to deliver the broken Sode no Shirayuki to Rukia and later sends most of the Zanpakutō spirits to back him up, resulting in a full-scale battle with the Shinigami.[11] When Byakuya returns to the cave of the Zanpakutō, Muramasa receives a communication from a Jigokuchō, prompting Byakuya to ask him if he plans to go to the Human World. Afterward, Muramasa brings Byakuya to see Yamamoto, who has been seemingly sealed within a barrier by Katen Kyōkotsu, Sōgyo no Kotowari, and Minazuki.[21] After explaining the conditions of Yamamoto's sealing, Muramasa tells his allies to prepare for another encounter with the Shinigami soon.[12]

Ryujin Jakka and Shinigami
Muramasa releases Ryūjin Jakka.

When the Shinigami invade the cave, Ichigo manages to find Yamamoto's barrier. Before Ichigo can attempt to free Yamamoto, Muramasa appears and engages him in battle. Deliberately angering Ichigo, Muramasa eventually gets him to unleash his full power in the form of an extremely powerful Getsuga Tenshō, only to infuse the blast with his own power and redirect it at the barrier, which is destroyed. Awakening, Yamamoto reveals he was not sealed, but rather created the barrier himself in an effort to prevent Muramasa from gaining control of Ryūjin Jakka. Desperate to find a power source great enough to break through the barrier, Muramasa staged the Zanpakutō Rebellion to find such a power and eventually found it in Ichigo. Furious to discover they were just pawns for Muramasa's plan,Katen Kyōkotsu and Sōgyo no Kotowari attack Muramasa. However, Muramasa reveals he has brainwashed Ryūjin Jakka and uses its power to destroy the cave, along with the reckless Zanpakutō spirits, before vowing to use this power to destroy Soul Society.[13]

249Seal shatters
Muramasa frees Kōga from his imprisonment.

Muramasa travels to Karakura Town with Byakuya's guidance. Intending to use the knowledge he gained from entering Yamamoto's inner world to break the seal holding his former master, Kōga Kuchiki, Muramasa arrives at the location of Kōga's prison, only to encounter Orihime Inoue, whom he attacks. When Muramasa collapses from the effort, Orihime heals him, restoring much of the power which he had lost, and notes his Reiatsu is similar to an Arrancar's. Immediately afterward, Muramasa is attacked by Uryū Ishida and Yasutora Sado.[6] When Sado and Uryū manage to fight evenly against Muramasa due to his diminishing power, Senbonzakura appears to aid Muramasa, who makes his way to Kōga's seal and, with the knowledge he gained from Yamamoto, recites a spell which frees Kōga.[14] Though initially overjoyed to see his partner, Muramasa quickly becomes horrified when Kōga stabs him.[1]

Byakuya blocks Kōga's attack.
Byakuya prevents Kōga from killing Muramasa.

When Kōga reveals it is punishment for Muramasa abandoning Kōga when he needed him, which led to Kōga being sealed away, Muramasa realizes Kōga had not relinquished him, but rather could no longer communicate with him because of their disharmony. As Kōga prepares to kill Muramasa, Byakuya prevents him from doing so.[15] When Kōga decides to fight Byakuya, Muramasa offers to let Kōga use his power, only for Kōga to destroy the remainder of his sword while stating he does not need Muramasa. Horrified at being abandoned, Muramasa allows his despair to overwhelm him and releases all of the Hollows which he had absorbed.[16]

253Muramasa floats
Muramasa becomes a Hollow hybrid.

Soon afterward, Muramasa's unstable energy and despair causes his body to collapse into a vortex, which sucks all the Hollows back to him and fuses them together, causing Muramasa to transform into a powerful Hollow hybrid. As Muramasa proceeds to attack those present, Orihime notes Muramasa is still awake inside and is desperately trying to retain control. When Muramasa finally succumbs to the Hollows, Ichigo engages and seemingly defeats him. However, Muramasa undergoes another transformation, becoming a huge and horrific dome-like structure which begins to grow, engulfing Ichigo in the process.[17] Muramasa's unstable energy tears open a huge Garganta, which begins to draw forth countless Gillians. As the Shinigami and their newly revived Zanpakutō spirits combine their Reiatsu to close the Garganta and destroy the Gillians, Muramasa's form continues to grow even larger.[22]

255Ichigo blocks
Muramasa fights Ichigo within Kōga's inner world.

Inside the structure, which turns out to be a physically manifested version of Kōga's inner world, Muramasa is surprised, but also delighted to see Ichigo there. Knowing he has a limited amount of time until the Hollows which he absorbed destroy this world, Muramasa decides to finish his fight with Ichigo. When Ichigo points out how there is no point for Muramasa to fight him because Kōga is gone, Muramasa merely states he will continue to fight for as long as possible. Muramasa uses his Spiritual Threads on Ichigo, but Ichigo sees through his power and destroys the threads by distorting their clear reflection in the water. When Muramasa utilizes his illusion powers to confuse Ichigo, Zangetsu comes to Ichigo's aid, offering his eyes and immunity to Muramasa's powers to allow Ichigo to instinctively see through the illusions and easily overpower Muramasa.[3]

The end of the conflict
Ichigo and Muramasa clash for the last time.

Eventually, Ichigo notes Muramasa is so bitter because he was deprived for so long of the simple desire to communicate with Kōga. While Muramasa refuses to listen, Ichigo states Muramasa's true goal has always been to make Kōga appreciate him at least once. When Muramasa admits it was a lofty goal, Ichigo insists he not let Kōga's views on him control his life. Afterward, Muramasa and Ichigo clash for the final time. Falling into the ocean, Muramasa is surprised by Ichigo diving in to save him and take them both out of the structure safely. Outside, Muramasa admits to his mistakes, prompting Ichigo to tell him he can make up for it. Apologizing for the harm which he caused, Muramasa fades away, happy to have finally found someone who was willing to connect with him.[3]

Beast Swords arc (anime only)

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

Subsequent to his death, Muramasa's influence persisted; as he released all Zanpakutō Spirits from their Shinigami masters, he was indirectly responsible for causing the creation, and subsequent manhunt, of rampant, berserk Zanpakutō, dubbed Tōjū by Mayuri Kurotsuchi.[23]

The Tōjū eventually begin to disappear altogether, as their Reiatsu became limited after their masters had died, and most of the Tōjū left have either been killed or ran out of Reiatsu, reverting to their sword forms. The same would happen to the Zanpakutō spirits; with the death of Muramasa, the source of the power which materialized them in the first place, the last remnants of his influence would eventually diminish, eventually forcing the Zanpakutō spirits to permanently return to their swords.[24]

Powers & Abilities

248Reiatsu radiates
Muramasa's Reiatsu.

Immense Spiritual Power: As the Zanpakutō spirit of an extremely powerful Shinigami, Muramasa possesses an enormous amount of Reiryoku. He managed to startle and intimidate Ichigo Kurosaki, who was in his Bankai at the time, by simply exerting his Reiatsu.[18] He fought evenly against a Bankai- and occasionally Hollow mask-enhanced Ichigo on three separate occasions.[8][13][3] Even while weakened, Muramasa can effortlessly destroy dozens of Gillians.[19] Orihime Inoue notes his Reiatsu is very similar to an Arrancar's.[6] While Muramasa's Reiatsu is initially purple,[20] it later turns red[13] and turns black-red soon afterward, due to the influence of the Hollows within him;[14] however, it later turns blue after Muramasa rids himself of all the Hollows inside of himself.[3] Muramasa can use his Reiryoku for two unique effects:

  • Spiritual Threads: Muramasa can create invisible spiritual threads with hands on their ends, which he can manipulate to bind and immobilize his target.[2][10] He can also use these threads to strangle his opponent.[14] While invisible to the naked eye, these threads can be seen in reflections, such as those of windows or water. If the reflection is distorted, the threads will disappear.[3] Additionally, the threads will dissipate if Muramasa loses his focus on his target, as demonstrated when they disappeared due to him coughing violently.[4]
  • Illusions: Muramasa can distort his target's five senses, preventing them from perceiving things clearly. By looking into the target's soul, Muramasa can use the target's memories against them by creating a powerful illusion to distract and torment the target, such as when he recreated Yasutora Sado's hometown in Mexico in order to lure him into a false sense of security.[14] He can also use this ability to create clones of himself in combat in order to confuse his opponent. However, these illusions can be bypassed if the target's Zanpakutō spirit has experienced and been freed from Muramasa's mind control powers and can properly detect his Reiatsu.[3] Additionally, they cannot affect a target if they are blocked by another force, such as Orihime's Santen Kesshun.[14]

Master Swordsman: Muramasa possesses incredible skill in swordsmanship, always fighting with only one hand on his sword and rarely displaying any effort in his attacks. He fought evenly against a Bankai- and occasionally Hollow mask-enhanced Ichigo, who is a master swordsman himself, on three separate occasions.[8][13][3] He kept up with and easily countered the fast and aggressive attacks of Hollow Ichigo during their short fight.[10]

Enhanced Strength: Muramasa possesses a considerable amount of physical strength. He can pick up and hold a human-sized Hollow with a single hand.[20] He easily held back and cut through a Bankai-enhanced Getsuga Tenshō from Ichigo, and later managed to hold off and deflect an exceedingly more powerful Bankai- and Hollow mask-enhanced Getsuga Tenshō from the same individual.[13] He incapacitated Sado, a very strong and enduring combatant, with a single punch. Even while weakened, Muramasa is strong enough to cut through and disperse considerably powerful energy attacks like Hadō #33. Sōkatsui with a single slash of his sword.[14]

Enhanced Speed: Muramasa is a very fast combatant, easily keeping up with Ichigo, a Shunpo expert, during all three of their fights.[8][13] During his battle against Hollow Ichigo in Ichigo's inner world, Muramasa successfully dodged all of Hollow Ichigo's unpredictable, long-range, flail-like attacks with his sword.[10]

Enhanced Durability: Muramasa is a considerably durable combatant, remaining uninjured after blocking a Bankai-enhanced Getsuga Tenshō with a single hand.[8]

Enhanced Endurance: Despite constantly growing weaker because of the influence of the Hollows within him, Muramasa manages to fight evenly against nearly every opponent he faces, including those wielding Bankai, and can do so for extended periods of time.[13][14][3]

Keen Intellect: Muramasa is a very crafty and cunning individual. When Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto created a powerful barrier to prevent Muramasa from reaching him, Muramasa staged the Zanpakutō Rebellion and successfully manipulated the events therein to lure Ichigo to the cave of the Zanpakutō spirits and make Ichigo destroy the barrier for him.[13]

Zanpakutō Spirit Manifestation: Muramasa can enter the inner world of a Shinigami and bend their Zanpakutō spirit to his will. This is done by removing the energy stability between a Shinigami and their Zanpakutō spirit, who is left confused and has its negative emotions forcibly released by Muramasa.[25] A manifested spirit of a weaker Shinigami is typically a tangible, shadowy figure,[1] but manifests with greater individuality and power from stronger Shinigami.[2] Initially, a Shinigami whose Zanpakutō spirit has been manifested is left unable to release their Shikai,[2] though they can overcome this by strengthening their resolve.[10] However, as long as their Zanpakutō spirit is manifested and under the influence of Muramasa's brainwashing, a Shinigami cannot perform Bankai until their Zanpakutō spirit returns to them.[5] The only way for a manifested Zanpakutō spirit to be freed from Muramasa's brainwashing and return to its Shinigami is for its owner to defeat it.[5] However, if someone other than the manifested Zanpakutō spirit's owner defeats them, they will revert to their sword form, which will snap in two afterward, and remain unable to manifest, effectively dying,[11] though Mayuri Kurotsuchi eventually discovers a way to restore the Zanpakutō spirits who were defeated in this way.[25] Yamamoto likens this power to a tapeworm.[13] The only way for a Zanpakutō spirit to resist this power is to have experienced it before and know Muramasa's voice, allowing them to resist its influence.[4] Additionally, Muramasa can use this power to manifest himself into the real world, which he did in order to rescue Kōga Kuchiki.[1]

234Alternate Summoning Method
Muramasa's alternate method of summoning Zanpakutō spirits.
  • Methods: Though he can manifest several Zanpakutō spirits at once by emitting purple energy from his eyes, which causes nearby Zanpakutō to glow blue and release their spirits,[1] Muramasa can also personally draw out a Zanpakutō spirit from a Shinigami by reaching into their chest and pulling out a thread of their Reiatsu while speaking directly to the Zanpakutō spirit in question, after which the Zanpakutō spirit will manifest in the real world. This process will cause a Shinigami wielding their Bankai to instantly revert to their Shikai.[8] Additionally, while inside the inner world of a Shinigami, Muramasa can draw out their Zanpakutō spirit by trapping the Shinigami within an illusion in which they see Muramasa's Spiritual Threads extending from a hole in their chest. When the Shinigami's resolve breaks from the perceived pain of this illusion, their Zanpakutō spirit will manifest within their inner world while wearing a black cloak, which crumbles away. After this, Muramasa can proceed with brainwashing the Zanpakutō spirit.[9] The latter two methods are both very painful to the Shinigami in question.[8][9]
240Muramasa's Garganta
Muramasa opens a Garganta.

Garganta: Muramasa can open jagged-edged Garganta at will. He used this ability to move from the Forest of Menos to Soul Society.[4]

Teleportation: Muramasa can teleport to other locations at will by dissolving into green light and reforming in another area. He can use this ability to travel between realms, such as when he teleported from Soul Society to the Forest of Menos.[5]

Hollow Absorption: To make up for the lack of his Shinigami master, Muramasa is forced to rely on absorbing Hollows in order to remain materialized in the real world. When he absorbs a Hollow, a portion of Muramasa's strength proportionate to the Hollow's power is restored for a considerable amount of time.[20] However, Muramasa notes his body is not accustomed to absorbing Hollows with large amounts of Reiryoku, such as Vasto Lordes.[4]

  • Hollow Manifestation: The Hollows which Muramasa absorbs are not killed in the process, but are instead stored within Muramasa's body. At any time, he can summon forth these Hollows to fight for him by exerting his red-black Reiatsu, which the Hollows emerge from.[14]

Zanpakutō

231Muramasa's Zanpakuto
Muramasa manifests his Zanpakutō.

The sealed form of Muramasa's Zanpakutō takes the form of a standard-sized katana with a purple hilt. Its guard consists of a circle with a pentagon-like shape in the center and three evenly-spaced points protruding from the edges. Muramasa's manifestation of his Zanpakutō is accompanied by a large rune appearing in front of him, followed by a burst of flame-shaped blue Reiatsu emanating from his sword as it appears.[2]

  • Energy Wave: Muramasa can unleash powerful waves of energy with his sword. By stabbing his sword into the ground, he can send lines of blue energy surging across the ground, which rises up in pillared sections, in order to elevate himself and others.[7]

Hollow Powers

253Muramasa's Hollow Form
Muramasa's Hollow form.

Hollow Form: Driven to absolute despair from being rejected by Kōga, Muramasa finally broke down, releasing all the Hollows he had absorbed to help sustain his life. Shortly afterwards, Muramasa's unstable energy sucked all the Hollows back into him, resulting in a horrific Hollowfication. In this form, Muramasa gains bone-like armor, complete with long shoulder-pads and a helmet-like mask with long horns, large teeth on its lower edges, and a visor-shaped eyehole, through which his glowing red eyes can be seen. He has tufts of gray fur around his neck and collarbone, and his arms become long and slender, with long, curved blades sticking out from his elbows. His Hollow hole is located where his heart would be, and has dozens of fang-like, inward-pointing protrusions around it. He has a large amount of purple fur hanging from his waist.[17]

253Muramasa glows
Muramasa's Reiatsu.
  • Enhanced Spiritual Power: Muramasa's power is greatly enhanced. According to Rukia, the continued release of his Reiatsu would eventually destroy Karakura Town. His Reiatsu is blue.[17]
  • Enhanced Speed: Muramasa's speed increases drastically, allowing him to dodge Uryū Ishida's Licht Regen and keep up with Ichigo while he is in his Bankai and wearing his Hollow mask.[17]
  • Enhanced Durability: Muramasa becomes even more durable in this form, allowing him to repeatedly block the sword of Ichigo's Tensa Zangetsu with the blades on his arms without sustaining any injuries.[17]
  • High-Speed Regeneration: Muramasa can quickly heal any damage done to his body, including large, deep cuts and near-severed limbs.[17]
253Muramasa's Cero
Muramasa fires a Cero.
  • Cero: Muramasa can fire a large violet Cero from a single hand. It is powerful enough to temporarily contend with a Bankai-enhanced Getsuga Tenshō from Ichigo.[17]
  • Bala: Muramasa can fire a barrage of violet Bala from a single hand.[17]


Appearances in Other Media

Muramasa appears as a playable character in Bleach: Heat the Soul 7.

Trivia

  • Muramasa is the name of a famous Japanese swordsmith from the 16th century. Muramasa's blades were thought to have an unnatural blood lust, crying out for blood at night, and refusing to be sheathed until they drew blood, even resorting to cutting their owner.

Quotes

  • (To the other Zanpakutō spirits) "The era of the Shinigami is coming to an end."[2]
  • (To the Gotei 13) "I am known as Muramasa, and this night marks the end of the Shinigami's reign over the Zanpakutō spirits. From now on, it'll be the Zanpakutō spirits who rule over the Shinigami!"[2]
  • (To Rukia Kuchiki and Renji Abarai) "Your Soul Society captains are truly impressive. I can see they possess the strength to control powerful Zanpakutō spirits."[7]
  • (To Ichigo Kurosaki) "Zanpakutō spirits are individual souls that are born within the hearts of Shinigami. They draw their power from the same source as their Shinigami, and are intertwined with their master's soul. Shinigami must reach deep into their own selves in order to find the power hidden within. They commune with their Zanpakutō spirit, bond together, and harness their power by learning their names. What's more, a few chosen Shinigami can gain even more power by manifesting an incarnation of their Zanpakutō spirit and controlling it. They wield the mighty Bankai. You and the captains have done this. But, living alongside Shinigami is not the only way for a Zanpakutō spirit to exist. I'm saying that every Zanpakutō spirit has free will, just like you do. Zanpakutō spirits are not dependent on Shinigami. We are separate entities. Two distinct beings, no one greater than the other. Is that so hard to believe? More proof of how arrogant you Shinigami are. Your blindness is why I'm here."[8]
  • (To Zangetsu) "Follow your instincts, and release your soul from this body. Discard your fear. Look ahead. Go forth. Do not stop. Turn back, and you will age. Hesitate, and you will die."[8]
  • (To Ichigo Kurosaki) "My master's gone. I've eliminated him. With my will, it was quite easy to wipe him out."[9]
  • (To Hollow Ichigo) "Zanpakutō spirits and Shinigami come together through communication and synergy, but now I see there are exceptions to this, like you. Some forces must remain suppressed. You are a very interesting subject."[10]
  • (To Hollow Ichigo) "So you're saying you intend to stand in my way. I have no choice. I'll wipe you out from this existence."[10]
  • (To Hollow Ichigo) "You are nothing but a Hollow. You do not possess the power that I am seeking. Therefore, you are expendable."[10]
  • (To Ichigo Kurosaki) "When I began this mission, I never expected to become so invested in a single Shinigami."[5]
  • (To Ichigo Kurosaki) "Your bond is the source of your strength. Fascinating."[5]
  • (To Ichigo Kurosaki) "Whether you choose to admit it or not, you know we are linked to one another."[4]
  • (To Haineko) "Even though we have a greater objective to consider, it saddens me that Zanpakutō spirits have been hurt."[12]
  • (To Ichigo Kurosaki) "It seems we are destined to cross blades."[13]
  • (To Orihime Inoue) "Don't pretend to understand me, woman! What makes you think you could know anything about me?! My name is Muramasa, and my sheer power will alter this world!"[14]
  • (To Rukia Kuchiki) "I didn't lie. I am a genuine Zanpakutō spirit. A Zanpakutō spirit with the power to change the entire world. And the only thing I am trying to do right now is release myself from this long, lonesome, and cursed battle!"[14]
  • (To Kōga Kuchiki) "We are one. Our trust in each other is what makes us strong. We are a Shinigami and a Zanpakutō spirit that were meant to be together. Trust in me, and at the same time, trust in yourself."[1]
  • (To Kōga Kuchiki) "Let's go, Kōga. You don't need to abide by the rules of a world that despises and envies your power. There's a simple solution: you should use that power to change the world."[1]
  • (To Kōga Kuchiki) "It's time for us to forget. Those men are no longer around to torture you. Let's use this opportunity to forget the past and live our lives looking forward."[15]
  • (To Kōga Kuchiki) "Kōga! Let's create a new world! I'll help you do it!"[15]
  • (To Kōga Kuchiki) "Kōga, your voice did not reach me, not even one time. And there I was, waiting so patiently to receive your call. If I had heard even one word, I would have come to you at any time! I would have assisted you with all the power within me! That is how I felt!"[15]
  • (To Kōga Kuchiki) "Kōga, use me! I will still fight for you! Your power and mine are one! My power belongs to you!"[16]
  • (To Ichigo Kurosaki) "I am eternally grateful to the destiny that connects you and I, for that destiny will allow me to finish our battle!"[3]
  • (To Ichigo Kurosaki) "The power you possess will nourish me, Ichigo, and until I obtain that power, I will never stop fighting you."[3]
  • (To Ichigo Kurosaki) "Kōga's abilities were so immense, he could rule over all of Soul Society. I was always so proud of that. He possessed amazing power! That's why I will never stop."[3]
  • (To Ichigo Kurosaki) "How ironic. After all this, it's your voice that reaches me."[3]

Battles & Events

Zanpakutō Rebellion

Events

Participants Chapter(s) Episode(s)
The Rebellion Begins: Rise of Muramasa None Episode 230
Byakuya's Betrayal: Revealed None Episode 240
Turning Point: Rescue the Captain-Commander None Episode 245, 246
Trapped by the Flames: Desperate Situation None Episode 247, 248, 249
Return of the Zanpakutō Spirits None Episode 253

Battles

Participants Chapter(s) Episode(s) Result
Muramasa & Zangetsu vs. Ichigo Kurosaki & Hollow Ichigo None Episode 233, 234, 235, 236 Loss, Muramasa Escapes
Muramasa & Senbonzakura vs. Uryū Ishida & Yasutora Sado None Episode 249 Win
Muramasa vs. Ichigo Kurosaki None Episode 255 Loss

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 Bleach anime; Episode 250
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 Bleach anime; Episode 230
  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 Bleach anime; Episode 255
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 Bleach anime; Episode 240
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 Bleach anime; Episode 236
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Bleach anime; Episode 248
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Bleach anime; Episode 231
  8. 8.00 8.01 8.02 8.03 8.04 8.05 8.06 8.07 8.08 8.09 8.10 Bleach anime; Episode 233
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 Bleach anime; Episode 234
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 10.6 10.7 10.8 10.9 Bleach anime; Episode 235
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Bleach anime; Episode 241
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Bleach anime; Episode 246
  13. 13.00 13.01 13.02 13.03 13.04 13.05 13.06 13.07 13.08 13.09 13.10 13.11 Bleach anime; Episode 247
  14. 14.00 14.01 14.02 14.03 14.04 14.05 14.06 14.07 14.08 14.09 14.10 Bleach anime; Episode 249
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 15.5 15.6 Bleach anime; Episode 251
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Bleach anime; Episode 252
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 17.4 17.5 17.6 17.7 17.8 17.9 Bleach anime; Episode 253
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 Bleach anime; Episode 232
  19. 19.0 19.1 Bleach anime; Episode 238
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 20.3 Bleach anime; Episode 239
  21. Bleach anime; Episode 245
  22. Bleach anime; Episode 254
  23. Bleach anime; Episode 256
  24. Bleach anime; Episode 265
  25. 25.0 25.1 Bleach anime; Episode 257

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