So it's been awhile since I've been active on this site. Anyways, this is the first in a blog series I'm making called Kami's Character Analysis. It is similar to Xilinoc's Manga Reviews and his and Lemursrule's now seemingly discontinued movie analyses, but on characters, as the title implies. Anyways, on to the meat and potatoes of this blog. The first character I'll be analyzing is Rōjūrō Ōtoribashi, one of my favorite characters in the series.
"My techniques are indeed tricks. However, it is always trickery that captures the hearts of the public."Rōjūrō "Rose" Ōtoribashi is the captain of the Third Division and a Visored.
Rose overall has a very effeminate appearance with his thin, lanky body structure and long flowing orangish hair. He has a long, narrow face which kinda emphasizes that. Aside from that, he looks like the male, normally proportioned version of Rangiku.
Turn Back The Pendulum Arc Appearance
Rose, in his tenure as captain 110 years before the current timeline, had much straighter hair than when he was in exile. He also has a frilly shirt underneath the Shinigami uniform. Overall, this has to be his most boring look in the series. Unlike his later appearances, There is nothing that else that makes him stand out as a character appearance-wise.
Pre-Time Skip Appearance
During the main timeline before the time skip, Rose still wears that frilly jacket, but he also wears formal black pants and a sports jacket. This, in my opinion, gives him a more sophisticated look, like an orchestra conductor. His Hollow Mask is by far the most bizzare in my opinion. To me it looks like a Pterodactyl skull, which is interesting considering his mask formed while Rose was lying face down in the ground.
Post-Time Skip Appearance
We don't have a good post-time skip image of Rose, but we'll use what we got. So this appearance is "meh". Aside from having that one strand of hair in the front and looking a bit more greased back, it is still very similar to the TBTP Arc appearance. The hair does look somewhat like a mullet though.
So Rose is all about the arts and the music. His appearance suggests that he is more into classical music, but his mannerisms suggest he listens to more contemporary music. He plays a "Flying V" which is an 80s guitar. In addition to that, he uses art for everything, getting out of rubble, and how he describes stuff going on around him.
Rose seems apathetic about certain issues. He does not appear to be concerned with most issues. In the Visored training, he was more interested in manga, which doesn't seem like him, than in Ichigo's progress. At the same time, he seems connected to the events. He is concerned about the safety of his comrades, mourns the defeat of his lieutenant, and knows when he needs to get involved.
Overall, his character embodies flamboyancy in terms of his over the top artistic mannerisms. He is one of the more laid back captains in an otherwise serious organization. He doesn't provide the comic relief that other captains do, but unlike most of them, he is consistently un-serious throughout much of his appearances. I sort of like that.
Role in the Plot
Overall, Rose plays a minor role in the series. He only stands out in a few parts of the main story, with other parts of his role left out of sight.
Turn Back The Pendulum Arc
Chronologically, Rose was around during the Hollowfication Incident a century before the current timeline. He was only pointed out to show that he was a recent captain promotion. The next major appearance he makes in this arc is when Kensei goes missing. Even then his role is still minor. He claims to be a good fighter, but his role in the fight was very limited before being cut down by Tosen. After that, he doesn't really play any major role in this arc.
Visored Training/White Invasion
During the Visored Training, Rose does not play a visible major role in Ichigo's development. The only notable thing he was shown doing is restraining a possessed Ichigo. I'm sure he fought Ichigo during the full training, but the fact that it wasn't shown meant that that particular part of the battle wasn't important. He was only shown reading manga, completely disinterested as usual from what's going on.
During the White Invasion, Rose played a more prominent role. He killed a Gillian with his Zanpakutō by essentially giving it a big hug. Then there is his fight with Starrk. Rose again displays his artistic demeanor through his fight, from his description of his Zanpakutō's powers compared to Starrk's wolves. However, Rose was left on the ropes soon after, even with the power of his mask, and he didn't fare any better in his fight against Aizen.
Thousand Year Blood War Arc
In the Thousand Year Blood War Arc, Rose makes a few appearances. First, in the face off against Nanana Nahjokoop, Rose displays an uncharacteristic seriousness in swearing revenge against Nanana for his fallen comrade. After that, the battle doesn't seem to be that much important, and it does not appear that Rose suffered anything more than cuts and bruises when he shows up for Yamamoto's funeral.
His next major appearance is in the fight against Mask de Masculine. He first halves James. He then displays his Bankai and fights. However, Rose is very talkative, and that ends up being his undoing. He explains how his Bankai works, which meant that Mask was able to figure out how to counter the Bankai (This seems to be a running trend in the Third Division). In essence, whenever Rose is about to do something big in the plot, he seems to get brushed aside.
Rose, as a combatant, displays some unique powers, but because of how his fights went, we are never able to see everything he is able to do.
First, we have his ability in swordsmanship and Kidō. In these abilities, we have not seen much. The only ability in these he has shown was in the fight against Kensei, and in those instances he was quickly incapacitated before we could see much of it. We know he can cast Kidō without an incantation, but we don't know at what level.
Rose's Zanpakutō, Kinshara, takes the form of a gold whip with a flowery spike at the end when in its Shikai. Rose has demonstrated remarkable efficiency with it, being able to control its movements after lashing it out. This gives him a more unpredictable edge. In addition, the whip has incredible strength, being able to shred opponents.
Along with the Shikai comes several interesting abilities. His first ability is Arpeggio, a technique where he draws his target to him before using a wire to crush and shred his target. To draw the target closer, he "enslaves" them with his music. This is essentially hypnotizing them, like a siren's call. the principal behind this is what links his Shikai and Bankai together. Another technique lets him send out what is essentially a sonic boom. Sound is powerful, it can burst ear drums. It can also temporarily destroy kamikaze soul wolves.
His Bankai is very unique. To create a dance troupe and a pair of creepy conductor hands out is something very unexpected. The Bankai does maintain the musical motif, as well as the hypnotizing basis. All Rose has to do is conduct music and have the dancers dance, and then craziness breaks loose. He has dances for drowning and burning the enemy, and one for killing the enemy outright. This is all illusions, though because of the nature of the music, the victim truly believes and experiences these sensations. This is essentially Rose bending the laws of reality and doing some mind over matter stuff. It also appears logic cannot counteract what the heart believes. Mask still seemed to be affected despite him realizing in his mind that it was all an illusion. However, there are two weaknesses. If the opponent can convince the heart that it isn't real, it is possible to resist the Bankai. This has not been confirmed by the manga, but based on what Rose said, it seems reasonable to come to this conclusion. Another weakness, as shown by Mask, is if the target is unable to hear anything. It is an auditory-based illusion after all. However, I doubt we've seen all of Rose's dances.
Rose, however, as I've noted a few times in this blog, constantly gets knocked out of combat before he can demonstrate his full repertoire of fighting ability. And when he does, we do not see it.
The first notable character relationship Rose has is with Love. Like Rose, Love also likes manga, but he has a habit of spoiling parts of the issue, which annoys Rose. Love, likewise, is annoyed by Rose's artistic antics. For example, he smacks Rose when he goes on a speech on human nature, and yanks Rose's hair. Their interactions highlight the contrast between Love's seriousness and Rose's quest for artistic pleasure.
The exact relationship isn't well known. However, they appeared to be on good terms. Kubo did state in an interview that Kira's melancholic personality fitted with Rose's artistic personality very well. From what I can tell, this relationship was a source of musical inspiration for Rose, as he specifically stated that he and his guitar are crying over Izuru's fall during the Wandenreich invasion (Talk about a twist on teardrops on my guitar).
Rose, despite his short appearances in the series, has displayed a lot of depth to his character. In personality, we get a mix of sophisticated disinterest, deep concern for his allies, and artistic aspirations. In combat he displays several creative techniques that emphasize Rose's love of music. Rose is a character designed to embody music at its heart: the expression of his emotions and desires. At the same time, he can shed this personality to become a more serious individual. However, I would like an actual event where Rose did shine, rather than being brushed aside. Tune in for my next blog! :D