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Senbonzakura (Zanpakutō spirit)

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Overview

Senbonzakura
263Senbonzakura alt 2
English Thousand Cherry Blossoms
Kanji 千本桜
Characteristics
Race Zanpakutō Spirit
Gender Male
Bankai Senbonzakura Kageyoshi
Professional Status
Master Byakuya Kuchiki
First Appearance
Anime Episode 230
Voices
Japanese Daisuke Hirakawa
English Vic Mignogna

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

Senbonzakura (千本桜) is the manifested spirit of Byakuya Kuchiki's Zanpakutō.

Appearance

Senbonzakura's physical manifestation takes the form of a tall, light-skinned man with blue eyes[1] and long, dark brown hair, which frames his face with two chest-length bangs and is tied up in the back with a white ribbon in a long ponytail which reaches his lower back. His face is covered by an ornate mask featuring golden teeth, black lips and fangs, a golden protrusion on either side, and a golden headpiece shaped like three cherry blossoms. He wears a long, light purple kimono with white stripes running down the center and sleeves, which is tied at his waist with a long piece of white fabric that hangs down in two long loops in the front. He wears a red-gold pauldron on each shoulder, which are connected by a golden band with strips of red fabric hanging from it and two interweaved strips of red fabric above it. He wears red, elbow-length gauntlets and red greaves.[2]

Personality

While pretending to be under the influence of Muramasa's brainwashing, Senbonzakura is somewhat rude, refusing to answer Ruri'iro Kujaku's polite questions and ignoring him afterward.[3] He can be very to-the-point and abrupt, appearing without warning in front of Haineko and Tobiume to ask them where Muramasa was before leaving without answering their questions.[4] In battle, Senbonzakura is calm and level-headed, though he usually taunts and belittles his opponents while fighting them. However, he will acknowledge their strength if they impress him enough. He is quite confident in his own power, admitting his surprise at Ichigo Kurosaki withstanding his Gōkei technique. However, he cannot stand being humiliated by his opponent, and will lose his calm should such an event occur.[1] He initially acts very antagonistic toward Byakuya Kuchiki, and goes to great lengths to prove he is not fit to join the Zanpakutō spirits, even having him defeat Sode no Shirayuki as a test of loyalty. He can be very cruel, casually tossing the broken Sode no Shirayuki to Rukia Kuchiki and pointing out how she no longer has a way of fighting before preparing to attack her from behind. Senbonzakura has "unfinished business" with Saru and Hebi, deciding to fight them on sight instead of helping Byakuya fight Renji Abarai.[5] He can be somewhat cruel in battle as well, intentionally preventing Ichigo from aiding Izuru Kira during their fight.[6] Senbonzakura cannot comprehend the idea of someone being able to repel the power of his Bankai.[7]

However, Senbonzakura eventually reveals Byakuya freed him from Muramasa's brainwashing long ago. In reality, he is very respectful toward and subservient to Byakuya, preventing Ichigo and Rukia from aiding him so Byakuya can maintain his honor as the head of the Kuchiki Clan and and defeat Kōga Kuchiki on his own. When Byakuya is over come by Kōga's illusions, Senbonzakura acts as his eyes and ears for him. He firmly believes in Shinigami and their Zanpakutō spirits working together in order to display their true power.[8] Byakuya notes Senbonzakura has a habit of talking too much.[9] He is polite toward others, referring to Sode no Shirayuki as "Lady Sode no Shirayuki". However, he can be somewhat unthinking of the consequences of his actions, suggesting the Shinigami destroy one of the divisions' barracks in order to lure out a Tōjū, and becomes drunk very easily.[10] He always keeps his mask on, even when bathing.[11]

Though he appears calm and collected to others, Senbonzakura acts in a rather childish and hypocritical manner, as noted by Saru and Hebi; he criticized them for entering the Shinigami Research and Development Institute through a window despite having destroyed a large section of a nearby wall himself in order to enter. He has a habit of shifting blame onto others for his actions; when Saru discovered him playing with the remote control for one of the Tōjū containers, a startled Senbonzakura accidentally traps them within a glass case and claims it is Saru's fault for startling him. Additionally, he often thinks of solutions without considering others, such as when he decided to destroy the glass case with his Shikai without considering how Saru and Hebi were also inside with him, and is very impatient, shaking uncontrollably after counting to ten while waiting for help to arrive and nearly attacking Saru in a rage. He is easily angered by the mistakes of others, threatening to kill Ashisogi Jizō when it brought them the wrong item and activating his Bankai in a rage when Ashisogi Jizō accidentally broke the remote control. Senbonzakura refuses to follow anyone other than Byakuya, and carries a spare mask with him should his current one break. He has a habit of underplaying the severity of his actions, such as when he refers to causing disasters and chaos around the Seireitei as "spilled milk", and occasionally misinterprets the actions of others, seeing the arrival of Konjiki Ashisogi Jizō as a challenge to combat and accepting it. Shunsui Kyōraku and Jūshirō Ukitake note Senbonzakura's temperament actually mirrors Byakuya's in his youth.[12]

Plot

Zanpakutō Unknown Tales arc (anime only)

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

Ep231ByakuyaSenbonzakura

Senbonzakura clashes with Byakuya.

Senbonzakura waits for Muramasa's return alongside the other Zanpakutō spirits in their cave. Later, Senbonzakura and the other Zanpakutō spirits appear before the Shinigami who have gathered on Sōkyoku Hill, where he appears and walks past Byakuya Kuchiki before joining the rest of the spirits.[2] Later, he confronts Byakuya while he is defending Rukia Kuchiki and Renji Abarai, where he unleashes Senbonzakura and seemingly defeats Byakuya.[13] However, Byakuya manages to defeat him, returning Senbonzakura to his senses, and realizes who Muramasa is.[8] The following morning, Ruri'iro Kujaku and Hōzukimaru attempt to interact with him, but Senbonzakura ignores them.[3]

Ep238Three Zanpakuto

Senbonzakura appears before Haineko and Tobiume.

Following Ichigo Kurosaki's defeat of Muramasa and Suì-Fēng's capture of Gegetsuburi, Ichigo pursues Hōzukimaru. While chasing the spirit, Ichigo is attacked by a flurry of blade petals, but when Ichigo looks for the user, he sees Byakuya appear on a nearby tower before disappearing.[14] Later, Senbonzakura appears without warning in front of Haineko and Tobiume and asks them where Muramasa is. When Haineko and Tobiume admit they do not know, Senbonzakura walks away and vanishes.[4]

Byakuya & Senbonzakura - Escape

Senbonzakura departs with Byakuya and Muramasa after fighting Ichigo.

Later, Senbonzakura appears and defend Muramasa from Ichigo's attack. He proceeds to fight Ichigo, and later disappears with Byakuya and Muramasa.[1] Although Byakuya claims he is siding with Muramasa and the Zanpakutō spirits, Senbonzakura does not believe it. As a test of Byakuya's loyalty, Senbonzakura commands him to destroy Sode no Shirayuki, Rukia's Zanpakutō spirit. Without hesitation, Byakuya fights and defeats her, to the surprise of the other Zanpakutō spirits. Upon seeing Sode no Shirayuki fall, Senbonzakura, who is noticeably distraught, rushes to her and picks her blade up. With Muramasa vouching for Byakuya, the other spirits accept him. However, Senbonzakura does not and promises to kill Byakuya if he even acts the slightest bit suspicious.[5]

241Blades grind

Senbonzakura fights Saru and Hebi.

Senbonzakura and Byakuya attack the 6th Division barracks and are confronted by Rukia and Renji. While Byakuya fights Renji, Senbonzakura fights Saru and Hebi. Although Saru and Hebi initially overwhelm him, Senbonzakura manages to defeat them once he activates his Bankai. After the fight, he and Byakuya find Rukia outside the 6th Division barracks with a battle-worn Renji. The other Zanpakutō spirits arrive to help, and they surround the two Shinigami. As they prepare to kill Rukia and Renji, Senbonzakura, Byakuya, and the others are surrounded by Suì-Fēng, the Onmitsukidō, and other Shinigami.[5] Senbonzakura engages Ichigo once more and has his Shikai quickly defeated, after which they immediately release their Bankai.[15]

Byakuya, Muramasa and Senbonzakura arrive in Karakura Town

Senbonzakura accompanies Muramasa to the Human World.

After Ichigo initially overpowers him, Senbonzakura takes advantage of Ichigo letting his guard down while focusing on Byakuya and launches him into the poison mist of Konjiki Ashisogi Jizō before escaping with Byakuya.[16] Later, Senbonzakura accompanies Muramasa and Byakuya to Karakura Town. When Byakuya leaves Muramasa's side to confirm there are no Hollows nearby, Senbonzakura goes with him in order to keep an eye on him.[17]

252Senbonzakura appears

Senbonzakura explains Byakuya's betrayal to Ichigo and Rukia.

When Muramasa approaches Kōga Kuchiki's seal, he is cut off by Uryū Ishida and Yasutora Sado. Senbonzakura appears to fight them off as Muramasa finally releases Kōga.[18] However, instead of thanking Muramasa, Kōga believes Muramasa abandoned him and decides to kill him, only to be stopped by Byakuya.[19] Senbonzakura appears and explains to Ichigo and Rukia how Byakuya freed him from Muramasa's brainwashing early on, resolved to end the threat of Kōga once and for all, and had Senbonzakura pretend to still be with Muramasa.[8]

252Senbonzakura appears behind Byakuya

Senbonzakura fights alongside and supports Byakuya.

Afterward, Senbonzakura joins Byakuya in fighting Kōga. When Kōga's unique hypnotic powers begin affecting Byakuya, Senbonzakura uses his powers to level the battlefield. Senbonzakura and Byakuya activate their Bankai, forcing Kōga on the defensive, before the fight comes to a final clash,[8] with Byakuya as the victor. Proud of his partner, Senbonzakura congratulates Byakuya while helping him stand.[9] Later, Senbonzakura joins Byakuya in sealing the Garganta created by Muramasa's transformation by blasting their Reiatsu-infused blade petals at the Garganta. When it becomes clear their energy alone will not be enough, the other Shinigami and Zanpakutō spirits join in, successfully closing the Garganta. Afterwards, Senbonzakura asks Byakuya if he is alright. Byakuya merely asks Senbonzakura whom he thinks Byakuya is, making Senbonzakura chuckle.[20] Upon Muramasa's defeat at the hands of Ichigo, Senbonzakura returns to Byakuya's sword.[21]

Beast Swords arc (anime only)

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

256Haineko sits

Senbonzakura collapses after drinking too much.

In Soul Society, the Gotei 13 is given a day of rest and partying to recover from the recent events. Two strange beings appear at the Kuchiki Family Manor and begin destroying everything in sight. Senbonzakura and Sode no Shirayuki arrive and defeat one of them, while the other escapes. Later, Mayuri Kurotsuchi reveals some of the Zanpakutō spirits whom Muramasa had brainwashed had gone permanently rogue by killing their masters and calls them Tōjū. Senbonzakura joins Rukia and Sode no Shirayuki in finding one so Mayuri can analyze them. However, their best ideas to draw one out is either to cause more destruction or throw another party. When the latter idea is tried, Senbonzakura collapses from too much drinking.[10]

Senbonzakura & Zabimaru Trapped

Senbonzakura, Saru, and Hebi become trapped within the SRDI.

After defeating another Tōjū, Senbonzakura goes to the Shinigami Research and Development Institute along with Saru and Hebi to put the broken blade in a machine, which Saru opens. Senbonzakura fools around with the remote traps them in a Tōjū-resistant cage. Getting angry, Senbonzakura attempts to break the cage with his Shikai, yet it does not budge. As they reluctantly wait for someone to help them, Ashisogi Jizō enters the room and notices the caged Zanpakutō spirits. They both ask him to get the remote, yet they cannot be heard. Instead, Ashisogi Jizō picks the remote up and accidentally breaks it, greatly angering Senbonzakura, who scares him off.[12]

263Saru, Hebi, and Senbonzakura arrive

Senbonzakura, Saru, and Hebi arrive in the control room.

After waiting for a few seconds, he gets even angrier and using his Bankai to destroy the cage. He succeeds, but destroys a large portion of the room and nearly kills Saru and Hebi. As the alarm goes off, Senbonzakura, Saru, and Hebi frantically escape the room and end up in the control room. Noticing the SRDI has been spying on the entire Seireitei, Senbonzakura presses buttons randomly in an attempt to stop the spying, but instead causes several disasters around the Seireitei. When Konjiki Ashisogi Jizō arrives, Senbonzakura accepts its perceived challenge and begins to fight, much to Saru's anger. As a fight ensues between their Bankai, Saru and Hebi interrupt Senbonzakura and Konjiki Ashisogi Jizō by firing Hikotsu Taihō. Senbonzakura dodges the massive attack, while Ashisogi Jizō is hit directly, and the institute, as well as several other buildings, are destroyed. Saru and Hebi are caught by several members of the Gotei 13, but they try to blame it on Senbonzakura, who proves they take more of the blame than he does. Later, Senbonzakura leads a group of 6th Division members to look for another Tōjū, with Saru and Hebi following him in order to ensure he will not make things worse.[12]

As the Tōjū threat begins to dwindle, Senbonzakura joins several other Zanpakutō spirits in confronting the final Tōjū, Kirikaze. When Hōzukimaru is surrounded by Kirikaze's mist form, Senbonzakura uses his Shikai to free him and tells Hōzukimaru it is not time for individual heroics. Senbonzakura's attacks on Kirikaze have little effect, but when Kirikaze is severely weakened by several powerful attacks, he gives his remaining Reiryoku to Renji so he can defeat Kirikaze with Hikotsu Taihō. Afterward, Senbonzakura permanently returns to his sword as the power enabling the Zanpakutō spirits to temporarily maintain their materialized form is finally depleted.[22]

Powers & Abilities

254Senbonzakura glows

Senbonzakura's Reiatsu.

Immense Spiritual Power: As the Zanpakutō spirit of one of the most powerful captains of the Gotei 13, Senbonzakura possesses a formidable amount of Reiryoku. He fought evenly against a Bankai-wielding Ichigo Kurosaki on two separate occasions,[1][15][6][7][16] effortlessly clashed with and repelled Saru and Hebi several times during their fight,[5] and held his own against Byakuya Kuchiki during their short battle.[13][8] Rangiku notes his Reiatsu is very powerful.[1] His Reiatsu is white.[20]

Master Swordsman: Senbonzakura is highly proficient in swordsmanship. He fought on par with Ichigo during both of their battles[1][15][7] and clashed evenly with Byakuya prior to releasing his Zanpakutō during their fight.[13]

Enhanced Strength: Senbonzakura possesses a considerable amount of physical strength. He sent Saru flying away and through a gate with a single kick.[5]

Enhanced Speed: Senbonzakura is a very fast combatant. During both of his fights with Ichigo, he effortlessly kept up with Ichigo while he was in his Bankai and caught him off-guard several times.[1][6][16] He managed to keep up with Byakuya during their short battle,[13][8] and easily outmaneuvered and evaded Saru and Hebi during their fight.[5] He managed to appear in front of Muramasa and block an attack from Ichigo almost instantaneously.[1]

Enhanced Durability: Senbonzakura is a considerably durable combatant. He withstood a direct hit from a Bankai-enhanced Getsuga Tenshō without sustaining any visible injuries, and soon after withstood a Bankai- and Hollow mask-enhanced Getsuga Tenshō with only part of his mask shattering as a result.[1] During his fight with Saru and Hebi, Senbonzakura was kicked into a building twice and was engulfed by Hikotsu Taihō, only to emerge with no injuries each time.[5]

Zanpakutō Abilities

Sword Manifestation: Senbonzakura can manifest his sword form at will. It takes the form of a katana with a simple, open-framed cross-guard, a bronze guard, and a lavender hilt.[13]

265Senbonzakura's release

Senbonzakura releases his shikai.

  • Shikai: Senbonzakura releases his abilities from his sword form with the command "Scatter" (散れ, chire).
Shikai Special Ability: Upon release, Senbonzakura's sword form separates into a thousand tiny blade petals, which fly toward Senbonzakura's target. Senbonzakura can control and direct the blade petals by slashing at his target with the hilt of his sword. The blade petals themselves reflect light in such a way as to resemble cherry blossom petals,[13] and possess enough cutting power to instantly defeat a Tōjū.[12]
240Senbonzakura Kageyoshi

Senbonzakura activates his Bankai.

  • Bankai: Senbonzakura Kageyoshi (千本桜景厳, Vibrant Display of a Thousand Cherry Blossoms): Senbonzakura activates his Bankai by dropping his sword blade-first into the ground. As the sword phases into the ground, two rows of a thousand giant blades rise up behind him before separating into a billion blade petals.[1]


249Bankai control

Senbonzakura uses Senbonzakura Kageyoshi to protect himself.

Bankai Special Ability: Senbonzakura Kageyoshi is essentially a much larger version of Senbonzakura. Senbonzakura can use the much larger amount of blade petals to envelop, overwhelm, and crush his enemy. He has also used the blade petals as a shield to block attacks, and commonly attacks his opponents from several angles or simply surrounds them with the blade petals to keep them occupied.[1] Additionally, Senbonzakura can control where the giant blades rise out of the ground upon activating his Bankai; should he be attacked while not in Bankai, Senbonzakura can have the giant blades rise directly around him in order to protect himself from an oncoming attack.[18]

Techniques

240Gokei

Senbonzakura uses Gōkei.

  • Gōkei (吭景, Mawscape): Senbonzakura has Senbonzakura Kageyoshi surround his opponent in a whirling sphere of blade petals, which is inescapable and grows smaller over time. Eventually, the sphere collapses in on itself, crushing Senbonzakura's opponent in a flash of bright light.[1]


240Senkei

Senbonzakura uses Senkei.

  • Senkei (殲景, Slaughterscape): Senbonzakura has Senbonzakura Kageyoshi coalesce into four rotating rows of pink swords, which float just above each other, around himself and his opponent. At any time, Senbonzakura can call a sword to his hand to engage in melee combat, though he commonly wields a sword in each hand. However, these swords can disperse into blade petals once more should Senbonzakura need them to.[1]


Quotes

  • (To Byakuya Kuchiki) "Keep this in mind, Byakuya: if you waver for even a second, I will slay you without hesitating! Know that I will always be right here, watching your every move!"[5]
  • (To Byakuya Kuchiki) "I know your senses and body have been shut down. I will fight as your eyes and limbs. Instruct me to do as you wish."[8]
  • (To Kōga Kuchiki "We fight together. That's what gives us power. A Shinigami and a Zanpakutō spirit combine to make one. We are only able to display our true power when our souls are in harmony with one another. Your pride caused you to abandon the one you need right now. Alone, you cannot defeat us."[8]
  • (To Rukia Kuchiki) "I know exactly how we can proceed. We will lure the fiend out of hiding by destroying one of the barracks and getting the attention of the entire Seireitei."[10]
  • (To Saru and Hebi) "I'll not wait a moment longer! I've already counted to ten in my mind. There's a limit to my patience!"[12]
  • (To Hebi) "Do you think I'd follow anyone other than my master?"[12]

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, 241
Return of the Zanpakutō Spirits None Episode 253, 254

Battles

Participants Chapter(s) Episode(s) Result
Senbonzakura vs. Byakuya Kuchiki None Episode 231, 252 Loss
Senbonzakura & Byakuya vs. Renji Abarai & Zabimaru None Episode 241 Win
Senbonzakura vs. Ichigo Kurosaki None Episode 242, 243, 244, 245 Draw
Senbonzakura & Muramasa vs. Uryū Ishida & Yasutora Sado None Episode 249 Win
Byakuya Kuchiki vs. Kōga Kuchiki None Episode 252, 253 Win

Tōjū Campaign

Battles

Participants Chapter(s) Episode(s)
Emergence of the Tōjū None Episode 256
Senbonzakura & Zabimaru Trapped None Episode 263

Battles

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

References

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 Bleach anime; Episode 240
  2. 2.0 2.1 Bleach anime; Episode 230
  3. 3.0 3.1 Bleach anime; Episode 233
  4. 4.0 4.1 Bleach anime; Episode 238
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 Bleach anime; Episode 241
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Bleach anime; Episode 243
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Bleach anime; Episode 244
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 8.7 Bleach anime; Episode 252
  9. 9.0 9.1 Bleach anime; Episode 253
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Bleach anime; Episode 256
  11. Bleach anime; Episode 257 omake
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 Bleach anime; Episode 263
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 13.5 Bleach anime; Episode 231
  14. Bleach anime; Episode 237
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 Bleach anime; Episode 242
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Bleach anime; Episode 245
  17. Bleach anime; Episode 248
  18. 18.0 18.1 Bleach anime; Episode 249
  19. Bleach anime; Episode 251
  20. 20.0 20.1 Bleach anime; Episode 254
  21. Bleach anime; Episode 255
  22. Bleach anime; Episode 265

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