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Zabimaru (Zanpakutō spirit)

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Overview

Zabimaru
Zanpakutō Rebellion - Ryoka Invasion
Ep42Zabimaru3
English Snake Tail
Kanji 蛇尾丸
Characteristics
Race Zanpakutō Spirit
Gender Male[1]
Bankai Hihiō Zabimaru
Professional Status
Master Renji Abarai
First Appearance
Manga Volume 14, Chapter 118
Anime Episode 42
Voices
Japanese Mitsuki Saiga (Baboon)
Asami Sanada (Snake)
English Mary Elizabeth McGlynn (Baboon)
Michelle Ruff (Snake)

This article is about the manifested spirit of Renji Abarai's Zanpakutō. For his Zanpakutō and its abilities, see Zabimaru.

Zabimaru (蛇尾丸) is the manifested spirit of Renji Abarai's Zanpakutō.

Appearance

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

Ep42Zabimaru1

Zabimaru's physical manifestation.

Zabimaru has two heads of intelligent beings within his spirit form. The first head of Zabimaru is a large, white baboon with long, purple markings along his back and arms. The second head is a white snake, which extends from the back of the baboon in the form of a tail with the snake head on the end. Both of these heads have their own consciousness and speak independently of one another, though the snake depends on the baboon for independent movement.[2]

During the Zanpakutō Rebellion initiated by Muramasa, Zabimaru takes on a new manifestation of two separate, humanoid beings; an adult woman and a small boy with a long tail. The boy is attached to the woman by a chain encircling his neck which can be removed at will.[3] The woman, Saru (猿, Monkey), is a tall, curvaceous woman with green fur covering most of her body, with the exception of her chest and abdomen. She has ankle-length, light mallow hair with black markings on her bangs. Her eyes are light green, and she has a beauty mark on the left side of her chest. The chain is wrapped around her waist. The boy, Hebi (蛇, Snake), wears a white and yellow robe which reveals his abdomen. He has blue eyes, short red hair, and triangular white ears. He uses his long tail to balance in the air. Both Saru and Hebi have fangs.[4]

Personality

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

While both heads have individual personalities, both are very competitive, often wanting to avenge any losses they incur as soon as possible. While both of them have a firm resolve, the baboon is much calmer in expressing his desires. The snake, however, is very impertinent, and will insult Renji when he is unhappy with a situation. When they confront Renji Abarai while he is recovering from his defeat at the hands of Ichigo Kurosaki, the baboon asserts that he is healed and ready to fight while the snake insults Renji for not recovering more speedily.[5]

While under the influence of Muramasa's brainwashing, Saru is usually the one who does the serious talking to their opponents, and frequently disciplines Hebi when he misbehaves. She occasionally downplays the significance of events, such as the drastic difference between her spirit and manifested forms.[4] Saru can be very cruel, threatening to decapitate Rukia Kuchiki and show Renji her head in order to make him fight her and Hebi seriously. She believes true strength is not found only in having the will to fight, but in the will to kill one's opponent.[6] Meanwhile, Hebi is fascinated by frogs, eagerly watching one hop around while waiting for Muramasa's return.[7] He is rarely serious in conversation, and gets angry at Saru when she reprimands him for this.[4] Hebi does not like fighting one-sided battles, and will complain if he overpowers his opponent too easily.[6] However, though they frequently get into arguments with each other, in battle, Saru and Hebi manage to set aside their differences and work together as a team very effectively.[4][6]

Saru and Hebi are very critical of Renji, calling him an idiot and claiming he is weak.[4] They left Renji because they wanted to grow stronger, and were tired of Renji's weakness. Saru claims Renji is a coward, and believes his weakness lies in the fact that he cannot muster the courage to kill his own Zanpakutō spirit, which is why she and Hebi wish to kill him.[6] However, they are visibly impressed when Renji gains the will to fight them seriously, and congratulate him when Renji defeats them.[8]

After being freed from Muramasa's brainwashing, Saru is somewhat rude toward Renji, implying she and Hebi take after him and sarcastically congratulating him when Renji figures out what she is saying.[9] She maintains a healthy antagonism toward Renji, vocally refusing to "clean up" after him in battle.[10] Saru is usually the one to keep Hebi on-task, and berates him when Hebi messes around. However, she cares about him, and becomes deeply concerned when Hebi abandons her and Renji in order to live life on his own.[11] Meanwhile, Hebi is very critical of Muramasa and his goals, referring to the Zanpakutō Rebellion as "ridiculous".[8] He is still not serious in conversation, whining to Renji about being hungry while the latter is reporting to several captains, and can be very stubborn, refusing to return to sword form when Renji orders him to do so.[9] Hebi frequently insults Saru for having a large bottom.[10] He is easily distracted by wildlife, and will ignore his mission in order to pursue any animals he sees. Additionally, Hebi temporarily leaves Saru and Renji because he wishes to be free, and has fun eating lots of food and lazing around, though he comes to care about Karin Kurosaki and grows serious when he realizes the Boomerang Tōjū tricked him.[11] Saru and Hebi claim to have "unfinished business" with Senbonzakura, and are very confident in their own abilities.[12] Additionally, they refuse to stop fighting until they have nothing left.[13] Saru and Hebi can be overconfident in battle, allowing the Hammer Tōjū to recover while they were being praised for seemingly defeating him. They do not like being compared to Senbonzakura, and frequently deride his secretly childish nature.[3]

Plot

Soul Society Arc

Ep42Zabimaru4

Zabimaru berates Renji.

Zabimaru is broken during Renji's fight with Ichigo,[14] and Renji is subsequently arrested and imprisoned for disobeying orders.[15] While Renji is imprisoned, both he and Zabimaru begin to recover from the ordeal. While Renji rests, an impatient Zabimaru physically manifests next to him, surprising Renji. As the baboon demands to know how long Renji plans on lying in the cell injured for, the snake insults Renji for still being injured. After Renji notes their rudeness, the baboon tells Renji he is recovered from the battle and is now waiting for him as the snake chastises Renji for not healing up already and asserts that he wants to fight Zangetsu. When they both insist they will win this time, Renji informs Zabimaru that Ichigo is no longer their enemy, prompting the baboon to ask him who their enemy is now.[16]

Renjiarrivestotrainforbankai

Zabimaru manifests next to Renji before training.

Renji soon escapes from his confinement[17] and searches for Ichigo, who is in an underground training area with Yoruichi Shihōin. Much to Ichigo's surprise, Renji reveals he too has been spending time trying to achieve Bankai and informs Ichigo and Yoruichi that he has managed to fully manifest his Zanpakutō spirit, which is a necessary step towards attaining Bankai. To prove his words, Zabimaru's large form appears beside Renji as he walks off to train alone and allow Ichigo to focus on his own training.[18]

Zanpakutō Unknown Tales arc (anime only)

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

Beast Swords arc (anime only)

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

Powers and Abilities

254Zabimaru's Reiatsu

Saru and Hebi's Reiatsu.

Great Spiritual Power: As the Zanpakutō spirit of a captain-level Shinigami, Saru and Hebi possess a large amount of Reiryoku. They easily overpowered Renji Abarai with their Shikai alone,[4][6] and fought evenly against Senbonzakura for a short period of time prior to the latter activating his Bankai.[12] Even when on his own, Hebi easily overpowered a Tōjū when he decided to fight seriously.[11] Their Reiatsu is red, and Saru and Hebi possess enough control over it to use it as a shield against attacks.[8]

Master Swordsmen: Saru and Hebi are highly proficient in swordsmanship. They fought evenly against Renji and Senbonzakura, both master swordsmen, on separate occasions while performing fast, acrobatic, and powerful attacks with their Shikai.[4][6][12]

  • Whip Mastery: Saru and Hebi have displayed incredible proficiency with the extended form of their Shikai. They have considerable control over where and how the segments move when they attack, and can effectively use their Shikai for long-range combat.[6] Hebi has used Zabimaru to attack his opponents from several angles at once by surrounding them with blade segments and pulling, resulting in his opponent being crushed and slashed by a rotating sphere of blade segments.[11]

Enhanced Strength: Saru and Hebi possess a large amount of physical strength. They frequently throw each other around with their chain, and can attack with enough force to accidentally crater the ground upon hitting it.[4] During their fight, Saru sent Renji flying into a building with a single slash of her sword on two separate occasions, and Hebi effortlessly threw Renji around with his tail.[6] Saru is strong enough to run up the side of a building on all fours.[8] During their battle with Senbonzakura, Saru casually kicked him through a building.[12] Hebi easily blocked a direct attack from the large, muscular Hammer Tōjū, and Saru managed to temporarily knock him out with a single kick to the head. Saru can easily bend steel bars with her bare hands.[3]

Enhanced Speed: Saru and Hebi are considerably fast combatants. They effortlessly kept up with Renji, a Shunpo expert, during their battle, and initially overwhelmed him with their speed.[4][6] During their battle with Senbonzakura, Saru and Hebi easily matched his speed, and even outmaneuvered Senbonzakura a few times.[12] Hebi effortlessly dodged several point-blank attacks from the Hammer Tōjū during their short battle.[3]

Enhanced Endurance: Saru and Hebi are considerably resilient combatants. They managed to get up in order to fight Byakuya Kuchiki despite having been severely wounded by Senbonzakura Kageyoshi a few minutes before.[13] Hebi willingly allowed himself to be beaten nearly to death in order to protect Karin Kurosaki, and managed to remain standing afterwards.[11]

Keen Intellect: Saru is a very perceptive individual. She figured out how to operate the controls for the Tōjū containment devices after watching Renji do so a few times.[3]

Zanpakutō Abilities

235Zabimaru in use

Saru and Hebi use Zabimaru.

  • Shikai: Saru and Hebi can manifest the Shikai of their Zanpakutō form at will in a burst of red Reiatsu. It takes the form of a long, 6-part segmented sword with a rectangular, jagged bronze tsuba and a black handle; starting from the hilt, each segment is wider than the one preceding it, and there are 2 pick-like protrusions on the front and back of each segment, with the ones on the front being much longer than the ones on the back.[4] The number of segments can grow almost without limit. However, Saru and Hebi cannot both wield their Shikai at the same time, and must switch it between each other when attacking.[6]
Shikai Special Ability: Saru and Hebi can use their Shikai for powerful long-range attacks by swinging it at their opponent, causing the segments to separate in a whip-like formation. This allows for a variety of attacks, ranging from a downward slash which pulls an opponent with it[6] to a web of blade segments which crushes and slashes an opponent from dozens of angles at once.[11] However, they can still use it as a sword for close-range combat.[4][6]
241Hihio Zabimaru

Saru and Hebi activate their Bankai.

  • Bankai: Hihiō Zabimaru (狒々王蛇尾丸, Baboon King Snake Tail): Upon activation, a whirlwind forms around Saru and Hebi before dispersing as Hebi transforms into a large, skeletal snake with dozens of bone-like segments making up his vertebral column and a large mane of red fur around his head. The snake is attached to a bone-like sword hilt, which Saru holds and uses to control Hihiō Zabimaru.[8]
Bankai Special Ability: Hihiō Zabimaru can be used for powerful long- and short-range attacks. It can pin its opponent between its teeth and ram them into buildings, or follow them through the air and deliver powerful biting attacks. Additionally, Saru claims it is more potent than Renji's Bankai is because it has no blind spots.[8]
241Hikotsu Taiho

Saru uses Hikotsu Taihō.

  • Hikotsu Taihō (狒骨大砲, Baboon Bone Cannon): As its segments separate in bursts of red energy, Hihiō Zabimaru fires a powerful, concentrated energy beam from its mouth. This technique is powerful enough to completely destroy the Shinigami Research and Development Institute with a single use.[3] Additionally, Hihiō Zabimaru can fire smaller blasts at its opponent, but these blasts are less powerful.[8]


Trivia

Zabimaru omake

Zabimaru in Human form.

  • Zabimaru's appearance is similar to that of an omake from both the anime and the manga, when Mayuri Kurotsuchi gave out a pamphlet about altering Zanpakutō spirits to Renji and Hisagi. One of the choices involved changing the Zanpakutō spirit's gender and species (they briefly imagine a well-endowed female Zabimaru with red hair), which both were amazed by and which Renji comically asked Mayuri to do. However, Renji does not recognize Saru's manifested form, and is confused as to how Saru took such a form.[4]
  • The spirit form of Zabimaru appears on a karuta card in episode 303.

Quotes

  • (Saru and Hebi to Renji Abarai) "We both heard the voice. It told us to follow our instinct, and we will fight because that is our true instinct!"[4]
  • (Saru to Renji Abarai) "We refuse to be weak. We want to be stronger. We've grown tired of your weakness, so we now wish to leave you, and that is all."[6]
  • (Saru to Renji Abarai) "Have you forgotten that we know everything about you? Like the time you gave up something that was very dear to you. We saw how desperately you tried to get it back. You fought for it then, yet in spite of what you did, you still don't have confidence in yourself. Perhaps killing your precious friend and holding her severed head in front of your face will finally get you to be serious. Will that force you to take this seriously?"[6]
  • (Saru to Renji Abarai) "True strength is not just about having the ability to fight."[6]
  • (Hebi to Saru) "I've been thinking about it, and I'm not so sure I want to spend all of my time chained to you anymore! I'm finally able to exercise some free will! I don't want to be bound to you anymore!"[11]
  • (Hebi to himself) "I've always wanted to stuff my face without being told to mind my manners! This is a dream come true!"[11]

Battles & Events

Zanpakutō Rebellion

Events

Participants Chapter(s) Episode(s)
The Rebellion Begins: Rise of Muramasa None Episode 230
Return of the Zanpakutō Spirits None Episode 253, 254

Battles

Participants Chapter(s) Episode(s) Result
Zabimaru vs. Renji Abarai None Episode 234, 235, 236 Loss
Zabimaru & Renji vs. Byakuya Kuchiki & Senbonzakura None Episode 241 Loss

Tōjū Campaign

Battles

Participants Chapter(s) Episode(s)
Senbonzakura & Zabimaru Trapped None Episode 263

Battles

Participants Chapter(s) Episode(s) Result
Zabimaru & Renji vs. Boomerang Tōjū None Episode 258 Win
Zanpakutō Spirits vs. Kirikaze None Episode 265 Win

References

  1. Bleach manga; Chapter 118
  2. Bleach manga; Chapter 118, page 2
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 Bleach anime; Episode 263
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13 Bleach anime; Episode 234
  5. Bleach manga; Chapter 118, pages 2-3
  6. 6.00 6.01 6.02 6.03 6.04 6.05 6.06 6.07 6.08 6.09 6.10 6.11 6.12 6.13 6.14 6.15 Bleach anime; Episode 235
  7. 7.0 7.1 Bleach anime; Episode 230
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 8.7 Bleach anime; Episode 236
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Bleach anime; Episode 237
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Bleach anime; Episode 254
  11. 11.00 11.01 11.02 11.03 11.04 11.05 11.06 11.07 11.08 11.09 11.10 Bleach anime; Episode 258
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 Bleach anime; Episode 241
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Bleach anime; Episode 242
  14. Bleach manga; Chapter 97, page 18
  15. Bleach manga; Chapter 99, pages 8-9
  16. Bleach manga; Chapter 118, pages 1-5
  17. Bleach manga; Chapter 127, page 13
  18. Bleach manga; Chapter 133, pages 11-15
  19. Bleach anime; Episode 231
  20. Bleach anime; Episode 243
  21. Bleach anime; Episode 253
  22. Bleach anime; Episode 255
  23. 23.0 23.1 Bleach anime; Episode 265

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