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Sode no Shirayuki (Zanpakutō spirit)

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Overview

Sode no Shirayuki
256Sode no Shirayuki alt
English Sleeved White Snow
Kanji 袖白雪
Characteristics
Race Zanpakutō Spirit
Gender Female
Professional Status
Master Rukia Kuchiki
First Appearance
Anime Episode 230
Voices
Japanese Mie Sonozaki
English Tara Platt

This article is about the manifested spirit of Rukia Kuchiki's Zanpakutō. For her Zanpakutō and its abilities, see Sode no Shirayuki.

Sode no Shirayuki (袖白雪) is the manifested spirit of Rukia Kuchiki's Zanpakutō.

Appearance

Sode no Shirayuki's manifested spirit takes the form of a pale-skinned young woman with icy blue eyes. She has long, pale lavender hair, which is partially tied up in the back in a long bun and falls behind her shoulders while a strand falls between her eyes, and is parted on the left side of her head by a blue, star-shaped hair clip. She wears a white kimono with large sleeves and a long hem, and has a pale yellow-green obi wrapped around her waist which is attached to a large, pale purple bow on her back.[1]

Personality

While under the influence of Muramasa's brainwashing, Sode no Shirayuki is merciless, doggedly pursuing Rukia Kuchiki all the way to the Human World in order to kill her[2] and freezing several unseated Shinigami solid as they screamed in terror. She refuses to spare the life of anyone who gets in her way, and is extremely resentful toward Rukia for not considering how she was effectively forced to lend her power, claiming Rukia cannot do anything without her. Rukia herself notes Sode no Shirayuki is filled with hatred and wishes to destroy life despite being one of the most beautiful beings in all of Soul Society. However, when Rukia nearly kills both of them in an attempt to set her free, Sode no Shirayuki has a momentary change of heart and tries to return to Rukia after witnessing her strength of spirit in being willing to let her go.[3]

After being freed from Muramasa's brainwashing, Sode no Shirayuki is very polite, addressing Senbonzakura as "Sir Senbonzakura" and Rukia as "Lady Rukia". However, she can have rather short-sighted ideas, such as freezing the entire Seireitei solid and throwing a huge party in order to draw out a Tōjū. She reveals to Rukia that she left her because her confidence in her own power made her anxious to act on her own, and initially believes she is only a tool of destruction without Rukia guiding her, though Rukia eventually convinces her otherwise. She is much more caring toward Rukia, pushing her out of the way of a surprise attack and willingly lending her power during their fight with the satyr Tōjū.[4] She frequently walks and talks with Rukia in their free time.[5]

Plot

Zanpakutō Unknown Tales arc (anime only)

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

Sode no Shirayuki waits for Muramasa's return alongside the other Zanpakutō spirits in their cave, where she tells Haineko they have to wait for the rest of their companions to awaken when the latter wishes to go outside. Later, she, Hōzukimaru, Kazeshini, and Tobiume attack several Shinigami in Soul Society. After telling Hōzukimaru they are being summoned, Sode no Shirayuki unleashes a blast of ice of from her hands, incapacitating the Shinigami whom they were fighting. Afterwards, Sode no Shirayuki and the other Zanpakutō spirits appear before the Shinigami who have gathered on Sōkyoku Hill.[1]

232Sode no Shirayuki appears behind Rukia

Sode no Shirayuki fights Rukia.

Later, Sode no Shirayuki fights Lieutenant Renji Abarai and Rukia, injuring Rukia considerably in the process. When an injured Rukia arrives in the Human World and Ichigo Kurosaki saves her, Sode no Shirayuki attacks him and displays her abilities before leaving.[2] Not long after, Rukia visits the 6th Division barracks to find Sode no Shirayuki attacking more Shinigami. Rukia battles her, but is quickly overpowered. Ichigo arrives and activates his Bankai, but fails to defeat Sode no Shirayuki as a result of holding back. However, Rukia uses Bakudō #61. Rikujōkōrō to restrain Sode no Shirayuki and herself before firing Hadō #73. Sōren Sōkatsui in an attempt to kill both herself and Sode no Shirayuki. Rukia is heavily injured, but Sode no Shirayuki has a momentary change of heart and tries to reach out for Rukia. However, Muramasa appears and prevents her from doing so.[3] Afterwards, Sode no Shirayuki leaves.[6]

Byakuya defeats Sode no Shirayuki

Byakuya defeats Sode no Shirayuki down.

Later, Sode no Shirayuki and the other Zanpakutō spirits witness Byakuya Kuchiki joining them. Not believing Byakuya is really willing to betray the Shinigami, Senbonzakura challenges him to kill Sode no Shirayuki. Much to the surprise of the surrounding Zanpakutō spirits, Byakuya proceeds to attack Sode no Shirayuki, overwhelming her with a combination of Kidō and Shunpo before defeating her. Later, Senbonzakura returns Sode no Shirayuki's broken sword form to Rukia, who is distressed upon realizing she can no longer sense Sode no Shirayuki's Reiatsu.[7]

Zanpakuto Shinigami United

Sode no Shirayuki and the other Shinigami and Zanpakutō spirits arrive in the Human World.

Later, in the Human World, Muramasa's power becomes unstable, resulting him in becoming a Hollow through merging with many Hollows and later summoning dozens of Gillians. As a Gillian attempts to attack Rukia and Orihime Inoue, Sode no Shirayuki appears and kills it with Tsugi no mai, Hakuren. As a dumbfounded Rukia tries to make sense of this, Sode no Shirayuki reveals out the Shinigami and other Zanpakutō spirits have also arrived to help.[8] Sode no Shirayuki reveals Mayuri Kurotsuchi managed to reverse the effects of Muramasa's brainwashing. Though Sode no Shirayuki helps stop the assault of the Gillians by freezing and destroying several of them, their numbers continue to grow due to Muramasa's huge Garganta. When Byakuya and Senbonzakura come up with the solution of using their energy to close the Garganta, Sode no Shirayuki joins her allies in using their energy to completely close it.[9] While cleaning up the remaining Gillians, Muramasa's dome collapses as Sode no Shirayuki detects Ichigo's energy. When Muramasa finally dies as a result of his injuries, Sode no Shirayuki returns to Rukia's sword.[10]

Beast Swords arc (anime only)

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

256Rukia tells

Rukia Kuchiki, Sode no Shirayuki and Senbonzakura try to deduce how to draw out a Tōjū.

However, Sode no Shirayuki and the other Zanpakutō Spirits can still freely manifest themselves whenever they please. When Rukia she is attacked by two strange beings, Sode no Shirayuki, with Senbonzakura's help, cuts down one of the creatures as the other escapes. Later, Mayuri reveals several rogue Zanpakutō spirits have transformed into Tōjū as an unusual result of killing their Shinigami partners. Realizing more damage will occur if these transformed spirits are left to run rampant, Sode no Shirayuki works with Rukia and Senbonzakura to find another Tōjū for Mayuri to analyze. Sode no Shirayuki comes up with the idea of drawing out the escaped Tōjū by throwing another party, but to no avail. Ashamed at having failed, Sode no Shirayuki reveals to Rukia how useless she has felt since being freed from Muramasa's control, but Rukia insists Sode no Shirayuki has always been very helpful to her. Before they can continue their talk, the escaped Tōjū reappears. While the are initially overpowered, Rukia and Sode no Shirayuki join forces to subdue the Tōjū.[4] Later, Sode no Shirayuki takes advantage of their free time to talk with Rukia, where she explains how it felt to be consumed by her own anger and expresses guilt at letting herself be ensnared in Muramasa's trap.[5]

265Rukia uses

Rukia and Sode no Shirayuki fight Kirikaze.

Later, as the threat of the Tōjū begins to wane, Sode no Shirayuki joins the other Zanpakutō spirits in trying to kill the final Tōjū, Kirikaze, in order to protect the Shinigami. However, they are unable to gain the upper hand against Kirikaze. The Shinigami eventually arrive during the battle and reveal they know the Zanpakutō spirits are at their limits before assisting them in fighting Kirikaze. As they continue to fight Kirikaze, Sode no Shirayuki begins to realize she is running out of Reiryoku. However, Rukia tells her she is not alone and they will be together forever, prompting Sode no Shirayuki to return to her sword, which allows Rukia to use Tsugi no mai, Hakuren against Kirikaze. Eventually, Renji defeats Kirikaze with Hikotsu Taihō after the Zanpakutō spirits grant him their remaining Reiryoku, causing Sode no Shirayuki to permanently return to her sword as the power allowing the Zanpakutō spirits to temporarily maintain their manifested form is finally depleted.[11]

Powers & Abilities

High Spiritual Power: As the Zanpakutō spirit of a lieutenant-level Shinigami, Sode no Shirayuki possesses a considerable amount of Reiryoku. She managed to overwhelm Rukia Kuchiki during both of their fights,[2][3] and even fought on par with Byakuya Kuchiki for a short period of time.[7] Her Reiatsu is white.[9]

232Ice Generation

Sode no Shirayuki generates ice.

Ice Generation: Sode no Shirayuki can generate and manipulate ice for a variety of purposes. She can unleash an avalanche of ice from her hand.[1] When she arrived in the Human World, Sode no Shirayuki froze the grass around her solid simply by setting foot on the ground. She can create a lifelike clone of ice to distract her opponent by causing them to attack it instead of her.[2] Sode no Shirayuki can generate and fire ice shards and crescent-shaped blasts of ice at her opponent by swinging her arm in an arc at them. She can freeze a mid-level Kidō spell like Hadō #33. Sōkatsui completely solid.[3]

  • Icy Wind: Sode no Shirayuki can generate an icy wind by blowing cold air through her cupped hand. While usually used to distract an opponent,[2] this attack is potent enough to freeze several unseated Shinigami solid where they stand and send a captain-level combatant flying away.[3] Sode no Shirayuki can also generate several blades of icy wind in her hand and throw them at her opponent, encasing whatever they hit in ice. She can protect herself from outside attacks by generating a large orb of icy wind around herself.[3] She can also use this technique to deflect attacks, and can generate it from her hand as well.[11]

Expert Swordswoman: Sode no Shirayuki is very adept in swordsmanship. She effortlessly fought on par with Rukia during their fight.[3] During her fight with Byakuya, Sode no Shirayuki managed to clash evenly with him several times, and blocked or parried almost all of his attacks.[7]

Enhanced Speed: Sode no Shirayuki is a very fast combatant. She managed to keep up with both Rukia and Ichigo Kurosaki during their battles, and even caught them off-guard on several occasions.[2][3] She even managed to initially keep pace with Byakuya, a Shunpo master, during their fight.[7] During her fight with the satyr Tōjū, Sode no Shirayuki managed to avoid all of the latter's considerably fast close-range attacks.[4]

Enhanced Durability: Sode no Shirayuki is considerably durable. She withstood being hit by Hadō #73. Sōren Sōkatsui at close range without suffering any visible injuries.[3]

Senkaimon Opening: Despite not being a Shinigami, Sode no Shirayuki can open a Senkaimon. She used this ability to return to Soul Society from the Human World.[2]

Zanpakutō

232Sode no Shirayuki's manifestation

Sode no Shirayuki manifests her Shikai.

  • Shikai: Sode no Shirayuki's released Zanpakutō takes the form of a katana with a white, snowflake-like tsuba, a white hilt, a white blade, and a long white ribbon on the end of the pommel.[2] Sode no Shirayuki manifests it by clasping her hands together and pulling them apart as the glowing Sode no Shirayuki appears between them.[3]
Shikai Special Ability: Sode no Shirayuki allows Sode no Shirayuki to use special, ice-based techniques known as "dances".[2]
254Some no mai, Tsukishiro

Sode no Shirayuki uses Some no mai, Tsukishiro.

  • Some no mai, Tsukishiro (初の舞・月白, First Dance, White Moon): Sode no Shirayuki slashes at her opponent, causing an icy circle to form beneath them before encasing them in a huge pillar of ice, which proceeds to shatter alongside the enemy caught within it.[2] Sode no Shirayuki notes her use of this technique is much more advanced than Rukia's is; instead of limiting the range of the technique to the area within the slash of her sword, Sode no Shirayuki can target enemies from a considerable distance away.[3] Sode no Shirayuki can also have the icy circle form on walls behind enemies for a surprise attack.[7]
253Tsugi no mai, Hakuren

Sode no Shirayuki uses Tsugi no mai, Hakuren.

  • Tsugi no mai, Hakuren (次の舞・白漣, Next Dance, White Ripple): Sode no Shirayuki punctures the ground in front of her four times, causing ice particles to flow up in front of her. Holding her sword out in front of her, Sode no Shirayuki generates a large amount of ice, which surges forward and engulfs the enemy, freezing them solid and shattering them soon afterward.[2][8]


Appearances in Other Media

Sode no Shirayuki appears in the second session of the Bleach Breathless Collection with Rukia Kuchiki. Their two songs on the album are "MOON" and "WHITEOUT".

Quotes

  • (To Rukia Kuchiki) "I will no longer tolerate your demands. You no longer control me. I am free now. You may choose not to believe it, but you can no longer keep me from doing anything. From now on, I will only do as I please, and I will not spare the life of anyone who gets in my way."[3]
  • (To Rukia Kuchiki) "Until now, you had the ability to harness my power as a Zanpakutō spirit whenever you wished, and I graciously allowed you to do so. We allowed it because we Zanpakutō spirits had no choice in the matter. Well, from here on, things will be very different. Now, it's time - time to use my power for me, however I choose."[3]
  • (To Rukia Kuchiki) "You are quite correct. I do hate you. That is why he must die. Killing him is the best way to make you truly suffer. I shall take away everything and everyone that is dear to you - your family, your friends, and your pride in being a Shinigami - and all you will be able to do is painfully watch."[3]
  • (To Rukia Kuchiki) "How about we freeze the entire town with the fiend inside it? The buildings will easily thaw out."[4]
  • (To Rukia Kuchiki) "Truth is, we Zanpakutō are nothing but weapons meant for fighting. Maybe, beneath it all, we do lack heart. Don't you see? I always prided myself on the extent of my power. The fact is, that's why I was so anxious to act on my own just one time. That's how Muramasa was able to worm his way into my heart. I was blinded by my ego. I started thinking I could do anything and everything myself. But the results of this incident have made me sit up and realize how mistaken I was. I really am only a weapon with nothing to offer except my power. Without your heart to guide me, I'm just a simple tool of destruction."[4]

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 241
Return of the Zanpakutō Spirits None Episode 253, 254

Battles

Participants Chapter(s) Episode(s) Result
Sode no Shirayuki vs. Ichigo Kurosaki None Episode 231 Draw, Sode no Shirayuki Escapes
Sode no Shirayuki vs. Rukia Kuchiki None Episode 232 Draw
Sode no Shirayuki vs. Byakuya Kuchiki None Episode 241 Loss

Tōjū Campaign

Events

Participants Chapter(s) Episode(s)
Emergence of the Tōjū None Episode 256

Battles

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

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Bleach anime; Episode 230
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 Bleach anime; Episode 231
  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 232
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Bleach anime; Episode 256
  5. 5.0 5.1 Bleach anime; Episode 257
  6. Bleach anime; Episode 233
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 Bleach anime; Episode 241
  8. 8.0 8.1 Bleach anime; Episode 253
  9. 9.0 9.1 Bleach anime; Episode 254
  10. Bleach anime; Episode 255
  11. 11.0 11.1 Bleach anime; Episode 265

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