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Kenpachi Zaraki (更木 剣八

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1 Kenpachi Zaraki (更木 剣八 on Tue Jun 29, 2010 5:40 am

Toushiro Hitsugaya

十番隊隊長 Jūbantai Taicho

Kenpachi is a muscular Shinigami with a wild and aggressive appearance that fits his personality. He wears a sleeveless captain's haori which has a ragged look to it (assumed due to violence that accompanies the position of captain of the 11th Division). He styles his spiked-hair with small bells at its tips and wears a special eyepatch on his right eye created by the Shinigami Research and Development Institute to suppress his vast amount of spiritual energy[3]. When he makes his first appearance the eyepatch is more elegant having a gold-like lining and having a chain as one of the straps, this changed after his defeat by Ichigo and has since worn a normal black eyepatch with normal straps. He has pronounced hairless eyebrow ridges and a huge scar running down the left side of his face, which he apparently gained long before he served in the Gotei 13, even before finding his future lieutenant, Yachiru Kusajishi. He is also one of the tallest Shinigami, towering at 202 centimeters (approximately 6 feet 6 inches), making him slightly taller than Yasutora Sado and almost double the height of his lieutenant. His stature is often exaggerated even more for dramatic purposes, especially in contrast with Yachiru's.

Kenpachi's unique hairstyle is partly due to the result of his habit to take a bath everyday before going to sleep, which is a necessity to him due to his strong perspiration. During these baths, he usually washes his hair with soap, making it stiff. He enjoys doing so because it's easy for him to set his hair to his preferred style. He once tried a hair treatment recommended by 1st Division Lieutenant Chōjirō Sasakibe, but his hair became too silky and was impossible to set for a while. Since then, Kenpachi has greatly disliked the lieutenant.[4]

Kenpachi is once shown attaching the bells to his hair, which apparently takes a while to accomplish. The highest bell in particular takes him several hours to attach, as the tip of his hair is just beyond his reach. Occasionally, 11th Division 5th Seat Yumichika Ayasegawa offers to do it for him, only to be turned down by Kenpachi due to thinking that it's weird for someone else to style his hair.[5]
edit Personality

Although he's known to be a violent fighter, Kenpachi's actions tend to be for the best and is usually portrayed comically (this comical shift is primarily centered on his appearances in the anime and omake, with the exception his casual conversations with his lieutenant). He is usually depicted as a person who has a very poor sense of direction, asking Yachiru for directions (who then randomly points in a direction, as her sense of direction is just as bad). Kenpachi lives for battle and enjoys a good fight more than anything. He even holds back in an effort to make any fight last longer. He also claims that injury and death are nothing but the price one pays for a good fight. Despite his division being the most blood-thirsty squad of the Gotei 13, the 11th Division have their own code of ethics, which is different from the rules and regulation of Soul Society.

Although he thrives for battle, Kenpachi has shown to have emotions and cares for Yachiru. Kenpachi and Yachiru have been close, ever since they met, and have a father-daughter-like relationship (making Yachiru one of the few people he cares for, along with 11th Division 3rd Seat Ikkaku Madarame and 11th Division 5th Seat Yumichika Ayasegawa).

Aside from Yachiru, Kenpachi deeply gives meaning to his name. Following his fight with Ichigo Kurosaki, Kenpachi talks about the pain of not having a name, as he lived his early years without one. This causes him to feel guilty that his sword isn't acknowledged by its own name.[6] Since then, he has strived to learn its identity.

Despite his tendency to be brutal, Kenpachi usually stops a fight if his opponent is too injured to fight back, claiming that he isn't interested in fighting "weaklings who can't fight anymore; nor is he obligated to deal a death blow to anyone who isn't capable of fighting any longer". However, he will unhesitatingly kill his opponent if they refuse to end their fight, as seen during his battles with Kaname Tōsen and Nnoitra Jiruga.[7][8]

On multiple occasions, Kenpachi has shown to greatly respect those who can defeat him in a fight and to those who can push him to his limit. Ever since Ichigo handed him his first known loss(though Ichigo also considers their fight a loss for him), Kenpachi has considered the latter a member of his division. He also expresses his willingness to engage him in a rematch every time they meet, only to be turned down as Ichigo already considers themselves as friends. Nevertheless, Kenpachi still challenges him in a duel, as evidenced when he aided Ichigo in his fight against the Bount (where he gave "his blessing," stating that in doing so would make Ichigo stronger for "their anticipated fight").

Kenpachi also strongly believes that fun comes before working. In every battle, he tries to get as much enjoyment out of it as possible. One example is when Kenpachi sends his 5th seated officer, Yumichika, to fend off the Bount in Karakura Town, as he is the only high-ranking officer who wasn't busy, or rather, busy having fun, as Yachiru was snacking and Ikkaku was napping. During his free time, Kenpachi always takes his afternoon nap. He doesn't have a particularly favorite dish, but he particularly hates nattō.[9]

It seems that Kenpachi sometimes contradicts his own logic in fighting. On the one hand, Kenpachi wishes to increase his own personal power. On the other hand, he conceals his strength to enjoy a fight for as long as possible. Irrational to a certain extent, Kenpachi is one of the most complex characters in the series, as he exhibits a wide range of traits: lethargic, bloodthirsty, rebellious, empathetic, and wise.
edit History
Kenpachi and Yachiru Kusajishi before joining the Gotei 13.

Kenpachi's surname came from the district he once resided in, Zaraki, which was district #80 of the North Alley of Rukongai. District #80 was the worst, most lawless region of Rukongai, full of thieves and murderers (whereas area #1 was the most orderly and law-abiding). While residing in District #80, Kenpachi was nameless. During that time, he became proficient in swordsmanship and killed numerous enemies. During his travels outside of District #80, he found a small girl and named her Yachiru, in remembrance of the only person he ever admired, after she showed no fear of his sword. Yachiru came from area #79, Kusajishi, where her parents were murdered. The two events were apparently quite close. On that day, he also took on a name: Kenpachi, the title bestowed upon the strongest Shinigami in every generation, the one who has slain the most enemies and won the most battles.[10][11]

They would later have an encounter with Ikkaku Madarame and Yumichika Ayasegawa before they entered Seireitei. Yachiru warned Ikkaku that messing with Zaraki while he was in a good mood was a bad idea, though Ikkaku didn't take the warning seriously. When Kenpachi and Ikkaku meet face to face he immediately became alarmed by his reiatsu but was happy to finally have a real challenge. Kenpachi attacked with enough force to crater the ground under Ikkaku which somewhat alarmed Yumichika. Due to Zaraki's strength, Ikkaku was on the defensive, holding off Zaraki's relentless strikes. The two continued to battle with Ikkaku trying to overwhelm Kenpachi, though he failed to do so, only succeeding in him getting wounds while his opponent remained untouched by his blade. While Kenpachi mentioned he was having fun, he decided to finish Ikkaku with one quick strike resulting in his loss of the fight.[12] Ikkaku became mad that Kenpachi would just walk away without finishing him off. Kenpachi plainly told him that he had no interest in weaklings who couldn't fight. He noted that he didn't have any obligation to finish Ikkaku off, to which Ikkaku thought he was toying with him and demanded that Kenpachi killed him. He lost his patience and grabbed hold of Ikkaku and asked him that if he loved to fight so much, then why was he screaming for death. Kenpachi explained to him a philosophy to follow for people like them. "Don't admit defeat and seek death, die first, then admit defeat. When you lose, but don't die it just means you were lucky. At those times, think only about survival. Survive and think only about killing the guy who failed to kill you". Zaraki then smiled at him and stated that it was not like he went easy on him; he was just lucky to escape death. He expressed that Ikkaku should live, come back, and try to kill him again. As Zaraki went to leave Ikkaku asked him his name and is told he is Kenpachi from Zaraki.[13]

Sometime later it became widespread news that Kenpachi had beaten the captain of the 11th Division of the Gotei 13 in a single blow, which made him the new captain of that division (as per the 3rd Captain Qualification Trial).[12]
Kenpachi during his first days as the 11th Division Captain.

The following day upon Zaraki's first addressing of his division, he was greeted by Ikakku and Yumichika who had presumably already become Shinigami and joined the division. Ikkaku told Zaraki that he had come back just as he suggested, causing Kenpachi to smile. Later they were present at the battle of the division verses a caterpillar Hollow, while initially the division lost, Ikkaku showed up to fight it but was stopped by Kenpachi who decided to kill it himself. After the Hollow was dispatched, more came, prompting Ikkaku and Yumichika to join in the fight. Though at first he was against it, he was persuaded upon realizing the two had similar fighting traits and as such, would like to fight by his side; Kenpachi allowed them to participate after.[12]

Sometime shortly after joining Kenpachi was forced to learn kendō from Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto because he hadn't learned any formal swordsmanship training, having bypassed those normally necessary qualifications due to the way he attained his position. Kenpachi hated using kendō because his battles would end too quickly with it, so he only used it if his own life was in danger.[14]
edit Plot
Agent of the Shinigami arc

Kenpachi first appears with Gin Ichimaru, and both were teasing Byakuya Kuchiki about his sister Rukia Kuchiki being sentenced to death, saying that he is depressed, as a noble family wouldn't stand to have a criminal as a member. Byakuya says that he didn't think lower class people could understand the feelings of nobles. Kenpachi counters by telling him not really but he is very bright, and since he is so bright why doesn't Byakuya allow him to finish Rukia off before she is executed. Byakuya states he didn't know with Kenpachi's level he could actually kill people. Kenpachi tells him to try him and the two were about to engage in combat but Gin stopped Kenpachi by tying and luring him away.[15]
Soul Society arc

After Ichigo Kurosaki and his friends arrive in Soul Society, Kenpachi tells Gin Ichimaru that a captain should have no problem killing a Ryoka. Kenpachi asks Yamamoto where the Ryoka are heading, but an invasion alarm goes off and Kenpachi runs out of the captains' meeting.[16]

He begins to hunt the strongest Ryoka, but his lieutenant, Yachiru Kusajishi guides him in the wrong direction for some time.[17] While he is lost, he comes across the 4th Division's compound and he finds and stops Mayuri from "interrogating" his 3rd Seated Officer, Ikkaku Madarame. Once Mayuri leaves, Ikkaku tells Kenpachi that the Ryoka Ichigo is getting stronger and that he is aware of the captain.[18]

After awhile, he figures out where Ichigo is heading and proceeds to wait for him to arrive. While Ichigo, Ganju Shiba and Hanatarō Yamada run through the Seireitei they encounter Zaraki's tremendous reiatsu. Among the three he tries to discern which one is the strongest and finally realizes its Ichigo. He goes and introduces himself and tells Ichigo he has come to kill him.[19] Zaraki confronts Ichigo as the others try get away from his strong reiatsu but aren't capable of getting far. Zaraki is determined to fight Ichigo no matter what the issue maybe, showing himself to be unconcerned with his friends or Rukia's fate.[20] When Zaraki sees Ichigo's battle stance he compliments him on though it has openings but admits that he likes his spiritual pressure. Zaraki acknowledges that he understands why Ikkaku lost to him, but makes note that Ichigo is still weaker than him, so he decides to give Ichigo a fighting stance. Zaraki then bares his chest and tells Ichigo to cut him anywhere and not to hold back. When Ichigo refuses to attack a unarmed opponent, while Zaraki commends him he states that it is simply a handicap and while he appreciates the thought Ichigo should save his sympathy for someone else. Zaraki warns him to either kill or be killed.[21] Ichigo attacks Zaraki's exposed chest directly but causes no injury much to his confusion. Zaraki is unamused and disappointed and begins to unsheathe his Zanpakutō and tells Ichigo its his turn and asks him not to die to quickly.[22]

When Ichigo's hand starts to bleed, Zaraki asks him why he seems to be surprised that his sword can't cut him. Zaraki then pushes Ichigo back using his arm against Ichigo's blade. Zaraki then explains why Ichigo's sword can't scratch him. He then takes out his own sword and asks Ichigo that at the very least he should try to place a dent upon his sword.[23] Ichigo tries to run away from Zaraki but he can't seem to shake him and ends up running into at every turn. Zaraki eventually gets bored of chasing after him and sits down. He finally seems happy when Ichigo confronts him, Zaraki then asks if Ichigo is preparing to die or if he is surrendering. Ichigo refuses to do either, he goes to attack and finally succeeds in injuring Zaraki.[24] Zaraki is extremely excited at the revelation that Ichigo can actually injure him, he tells Ichigo to not relax and keep his spiritually pressure up, he then attacks Ichigo.[25] The two clash and the battle continues with Zaraki having the upper hand but is happy to see Ichigo improving. He comments on how Ichigo is using the sounds of his bells to determine his position. Ichigo questions if Zaraki is underestimating him as he has not released his Zanpakutō. Zaraki then explains that his Zanpakutō has no name and has never had a seal on it, its currently in its true form. Ichigo is relieved to hear this and goes to attack once again but Zaraki goes to stop him and explains further about his Zanpakutō's state. He then stabs his Zanpakutō through Ichigo's breaking right through it and stabbing Ichigo in the chest, he then tells Ichigo that he warned him not to relax his spiritual pressure and that it has become weak because he saw a chance to win. He retracts out has sword frustrated that the battle was so easy and is now over.[26] Ichigo eventually gets up much to Zaraki's surprise accompanied by a large burst of spiritual pressure. Ichigo then goes to attack Zaraki surprising him further and dealing him a serious injury to the left side from his shoulder down the side of his torso. Zaraki deflects Ichigo's next attack and stabs his sword into a nearby building, Zaraki begins to laugh and becomes extremely excited and says that now the fight is just getting started, noting that they should drag out the fight. He then lunges at Ichigo and causes his face to get cut by the blade just to get close to Ichigo. The battle escalates even more, regardless of his injuries Zaraki continues to fight, it is then that Ichigo learns the drive behind Zaraki's personality. [27]
Kenpachi after removing his eyepatch.

Zaraki realizes that both he and Ichigo are evenly matched and he enjoys the feeling and euphoria of the moment, causing him to take off his eyepatch, making note that he considers Ichigo a worthy opponent so it only makes sense to fight him at full power.[28] Zaraki's spiritual power rises as he removes his eyepatch, prompting Ichigo to wonder what is going on, so Zaraki explains to him what the eyepatch does. Zaraki then takes out his Zanpakutō and cuts a nearby building in half with one quick slash. He then tells Ichigo he will use all his power to kill him.[29] When Ichigo increases his power he greatly impresses Zaraki, it is then that Ichigo explains that he can do so by borrowing Zangetsu's power and fighting side by side with him, and that he will never loss to someone like him who only fights by himself. Zaraki asks if Zangetsu is Ichigo's Zanpakutō, fighting side by side with it, and borrowing its power, as Zaraki finds it ridiculous. He believes that Zanpakutō are just tools of war, believing that fighting side by side with one is the words for weak losers who are afraid to fight on their own. They both release their spiritual pressure and run at each other to make a final strike that release enough spiritual pressure that it collapses all the buildings around them. The battle ends in a draw, with Ichigo falling first and Kenpachi shortly after, both admitting defeat.[30] Yachiru calls for Retsu Unohana to heal Kenpachi, Kenpachi tells Yachiru that he lost but needs to pay him back. He raises his sword and acknowledges that he ignored it for a long time and wants it to communicate with him. Kenpachi does not hear it speak and faints, which scares Yachiru.[31]

During his recovery in his quarters, Yachiru and Makizō Aramaki bring back Orihime Inoue and he tells her that he will help her find Ichigo.[32] Much later on, Orihime guides Kenpachi, Yachiru, Ikkaku, Yumichika Ayasegawa, and Makizō to Ichigo and finds Yasutora Sado, Uryū Ishida, and Ganju Shiba on the way, freeing them in the process.[33] As they continue to search for Ichigo, Kenpachi realizes that they are being followed, and Captains Kaname Tōsen and Sajin Komamura, as well as their respective lieutenants Shūhei Hisagi and Tetsuzaemon Iba confront them. Kenpachi tells his subordinates to go ahead without him, but Ikkaku and Yumichika stay behind, eager to fight as well. Though reluctant, Kenpachi accepts their help, and they fight against Hisagi and Tetsuzaemon elsewhere.[34] Kenpachi alone battles the Captain Komamura and Captain Tōsen and is able to fend them off easily, which leads him to goading them into releasing their Bankai. Although Sajin is reluctant to do so, Kaname obliges, revealing that he always had an uneasy feeling about Kenpachi since he became a captain.[35]
Kenpachi defeats Tōsen.

When Kaname releases his Bankai (which changes a small area in general), Kenpachi learns that he is unable to see, hear, and sense spirit energy. However, he is still able to fight off Kaname with the sense of touch, as he is able to feel when the blade makes contact with his body. However, Kenpachi becomes frustrated with this style of fighting and lets Kaname impale him with his sword. Kenpachi then grabs hold of Suzumushi's hilt and figures out that only by grabbing Suzumushi is he able to see and hear Kaname. Before Kaname can attack him, Kenpachi grabs Suzumushi once more and manages to gravely wound Kaname, which dispels his Bankai.[36]

Kaname tries to retaliate, but Sajin blocks a slash from Kenpachi, which shatters his helmet. Kenpachi reveals that he never cared what Sajin looked like (though he was curious), and proceeds to fight against him once he releases his Bankai. However, the battle doesn't last long; Sajin senses Shigekuni Yamamoto-Genryūsai fighting and abandons his fight with Kenpachi.[37] Yumichika appears sometime afterwards and tells Kenpachi the result of his battle. Kenpachi, in turn, tells him that Sajin ran off. He is surprised when seeing Yumichika with no signs of injury against Hisagi, which begins to question him but Yumichika begins to talk about beauty (much to Kenpachi's annoyance).[38] While they do receive Isane Kotetsu's message about Aizen's betrayal, they did not accompany the other captains to Sōkyoku Hill.[39]

A week after the incident with Aizen, Kenpachi finds Ichigo training with Ikkaku on his division's grounds. Seeing his wounds healed completely, Kenpachi tries to fight him again, but Ichigo runs off and Kenpachi is unable to find him (even after hours of searching).[40] He does not see Ichigo and his friends when they leave the Soul Society, telling Yachiru that him and Ichigo will certainly meet again because they are the only ones who are what they seem to be.
Bount arc (anime only)

Note: Events occurring in this arc are only in the anime and do not constitute canon material.
Kenpachi easily blocks Maki Ichinose's attack.

Kenpachi and his squad feel the presence of an old member from the 11th Division, Maki Ichinose, but he tells everyone to ignore him.[41]

He attends a meeting called by Mayuri, with regard to the missing data from his division's archives. Kenpachi tells Yachiru that he is aware of this because it could be Maki Ichinose who is responsible for the deed (which is later confirmed).[42]

Kenpachi also helps fight off the Bount invasion in Soul Society, at first he refuses to help, but after hearing that the 10th division spotted Maki Ichinose, he sets off to find him, arriving in time to stop him from attacking Chad. Kenpachi then informs Tōshirō Hitsugaya and Ichigo to let him fight Maki. Kenpachi fights Maki and is generally unimpressed by the former officer's strength. Maki manages to trick Kenpachi and traps him within his Saigyoku Nijigasumi ability, but Kenpachi breaks through it by briefly removing his eyepatch. He congratulates Maki for forcing him into removing his eyepatch, despite having done so for just a second. Maki, realizing the battle has turned against him, attacks Kenpachi frantically and questions why he has so much power, yet has no just reason in using it. Kenpachi silences him and tells him that he should fight on his own accord instead of being dependent on others. After realizing the meaning of Kenpachi's words, Maki and Kenpachi charge at each other with full power, but Kenpachi claims victory and greatly wounds Maki (also breaking his sword). The fight with Maki having ended, Kenpachi takes Yachiru and heads back towards the Seireitei.[43]
Arrancar arc

Kenpachi is seen when Yamamoto calls him and the other captains for an emergency meeting and complains.[44][45]

Kenpachi appears to Ichigo as his instinct and desire to win, explaining to him that they were both the type of people who lived to fight battle after battle. After Orihime is taken to Hueco Mundo, Kenpachi arrives with Byakuya Kuchiki to retrieve Tōshirō Hitsugaya's group and bring them back to Soul Society.[46]
The New Captain Shūsuke Amagai arc (anime only)

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

It is known that Kenpachi had to fight the new 3rd division captain. Shūsuke Amagai then made a request to Commander General Yamamoto to start inter-division training sessions so the Gotei 13 could better coordinate its divisions. The idea was initially unpopular among most other captains, particularly Kenpachi Zaraki, who did not believe he should be concerned with other divisions' problems. He then proceeds to go after Ichigo after finding out he was in Soul Society, but both Ichigo and Kenpachi end up protecting princess Rurichiyo from assassins. Kenpachi then finds Rukia who tells him to keep the incident a secret; however, he does not even know what is going on. Later when Yamamoto ordered Ichigo's capture, he, like most Shinigami, is seen as reluctant to go after him, saying that he "is not in the mood".
Hueco Mundo arc

Kenpachi arrives alongside Captains Byakuya Kuchiki, Mayuri Kurotsuchi, and Retsu Unohana in Las Noches after the titanic battle between Ichigo Kurosaki and Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez. Kenpachi comes to Ichigo's aid as he blocks an attack by the Arrancar Tesla. The Arrancar tries to attack but before he realizes Kenpachi has dealt a fatal slash wound down his chest. Finished with Tesla, Kenpachi looks to Nnoitra Jiruga to be his next opponent. When Ichigo questions what Kenpachi is doing in Hueco Mundo, he only responds by kicking Ichigo stating that he is in the way of the field of battle. Kenpachi then explains that Kisuke Urahara was asked by Captain-Commander Yamamoto to send them to Hueco Mundo in preparation for the Winter War.[47] Nnoitra finally decides to attack and is blocked though still impressing Kenpachi with his strike. Nnoitra then asks Kenpachi his name, with both men giving their name and rank.[48]
Kenpachi fights Nnoitra Jiruga.

The two opponents continue to fight with Kenpachi getting close to dealing a fatal blow to Nnoitra but his sword wont cut when it makes contact on the Espada. Nnoitra manages to cut Kenpachi on his left shoulder and laughs telling him that his Hierro is unsurpassed by any current and former Espada. He then goes on to taunt Kenpachi that his blade will never be able to cut him.[49]

Kenpachi, undeterred, continues to fight Nnoitra with even more ferocity much to the Espada's surprise. Nnoitra then dodges and moves himself to a significant distance so that he can swing his weapon and launch it at Kenpachi. Dodging it, Kenpachi grabs the chain the weapon is attached to and reels Nnoitra in; he then grabs Nnoitra by the face and slams him into the ground and attempts to skewer him with his Zanpakutō before the Espada narrowly escapes. Kenpachi questions why he dodged his attack, deducing that if he moved, it must mean the attack was dangerous. Kenpachi states that though Nnoitra claims that he can't be cut by Shinigami swords, he still seems to have some soft spots on him. Dismissing it entirely, Nnoitra jumps up and attacks him from above, though Kenpachi catches his blade with his bare hands then states that he has met a lot of annoying people and they all said that his sword can't cut them. But he has never meant anyone whose eyes and throat can't be cut and he stabs his sword into Nnoitra's covered left eye and out the back of his head. Unaffected Nnoitra grabs his wrist much to Kenpachi's surprise, as the Espada moves himself in closer and thrusts his hand into Kenpachi's chest.[50]

Nnoitra retracts his hand from the wound he just made and states that he bets Kenpachi can't understand what just happened. He then uses the tip of Kenpachi's Zanpakutō to lift up his eyepatch, showing that under it is the remnants of his hollow mask as well as the placement of his hollow hole. Nnoitra then explains that it is impossible for a person to have his head pierced and still be alive, as Kenpachi's sword did not reach his brain but simply went right through him. When Kenpachi starts to laugh he enrages Nnoitra who attempts to kick him, but Kenpachi grabs his ankle and apologizes for laughing. He then explains that if he is unable to cut him it means no matter how many times he slashes, the Epsada won't die, thus removing the joy of killing him. On the other hand Kenpachi notes that if he cuts him enough times, he will die. Ecstatic at the idea that he can look forward to slicing his opponent up, the two continue to clash. After a few strikes Kenpachi finally succeeds in cutting Nnoitra's forearm. They continue fighting on, fiercer than before, until Kenpachi cuts him again, as well as taking off a piece of the Espada's sword. Kenpachi then announces that it appears that he has finally gotten use to Nnoitra's Hierro strength. Kenpachi makes note that he did not have enough practice; therefore, his moves have not been as quick and he cannot control his own strength. He then thanks Nnoitra for warming him up and then asks that he be allowed to use his Zanpakutō to express his gratitude. He thrusts at Nnoitra who dodges and then prepares his own attack only to be cut again by Kenpachi. Trying again to gain a upper hand, Nnoitra fires a Cero at Kenpachi, who simply deflects it away from him with his hand. The Espada is somewhat surprised, but follows up with another hand thrust attack in order to impale Kenpachi once again. His movements are off and he only succeeds in removing Kenpachi's eyepatch as well as leaving himself open to be slash directly down his chest by Kenpachi.[51]

Kenpachi then realizes that his eyepatch has been ripped off, and tells Nnoitra that now he sees what happens when his eyepatch is ripped off, still confused about the power increase until it is explained to him what the eyepatch really is. Infuriated, Nnoitra finally releases his Zanpakutō, which doubles his arms and heals the injury Kenpachi inflicted when his eyepatch was torn off. Nnoitra then asks how it feels seeing an Espada release their Zanpakutō for the first time. Though all he gets in response to his question is a smile from Kenpachi, who tells him that he has nice reiatsu and that it's been a long time as it was like the reiatsu itself is sharpening his blade. Undeterred, Nnoitra tells him to come and cut him with his newly sharpened blade. Kenpachi wastes no time and goes on the offensive, but is surprised when his attempts are blocked and he is dealt a grievous wound across his chest. Nnoitra then sends Kenpachi flying away from him as he mocks him.[52]

Noticing that there is no movement from a unresponsive Kenpachi, Nnoitra sets his sights on Yachiru, but Kenpachi recovers and manages to cut off one of his arms. When Nnoitra comments on Kenpachi playing dead, he is corrected when Kenpachi states he was just thinking that with four arms Nnoitra is just going to keep blocking his blade, so seeing as he couldn't think of anything, his next best step was to just cut the arms off one by one. Nnoitra tells Kenpachi that he is crazy if he thinks he can cut off his arms and notes that he can't even cut off the one he already did, as he displays his ability to regenerate his arm. He then goes to attack, but Kenpachi blocks him, and is soon thrown back into a nearby structure. As Nnoitra mocks him, Kenpachi kicks out of the rubble and grabs him by the face and slams him into the ground, then he attacks as he manages to pin Nnoitra down, but Nnoitra reveals his two hidden arms and pierces Kenpachi's abdomen. Nnoitra then tells Kenpachi that he is going to use all six of his arms to to take him out.[53]
Kenpachi using kendō to kill Nnoitra Jiruga.

Nnoitra then generates another scythe weapon and tells Kenpachi that it is over. However, Kenpachi beings to laugh hysterically much to Nnoitra's surprise. He then admits to how much he is enjoying the fight and notes that it isn't the end because the fight has just begun. Kenpachi then cuts through a nearby structure sending it flying at Nnoitra. The two go at with full force, with Kenpachi sustaining many injuries in the process. Nnoitra then cuts off a piece of the same structure, but Kenpachi cuts it in half before it can crush him. The two continue to fight with Kenpachi gaining more wounds but relentlessly still continuing to fight with no stopping. After being critically wounded by Nnoitra, Kenpachi begins to realize that at this rate, he will end up dead. He then reluctantly decides to use kendō, though he admits that it's been quite some time since he has used it. When Nnoitra becomes confused, Kenpachi explains that the Captain-Commander made him learn it when he first joined the Gotei 13, but he never liked it and asks Nnoitra if he knew a sword is more powerful when you use two hands instead one. Nnoitra becomes bored with the conversation and charges at Kenpachi, who grips his sword with both hands and swings it down.[54]

Kenpachi manages to land a powerful blow, dealing Nnoitra a fatal wound to his chest almost severing him in half. He is surprised that the Espada is still alive and then turns to walk away. Nnoitra yells at him asking where he is going as the fight isn't over. Kenpachi explains he doesn't know what he is talking about, as the blow finished him and he is not about to be bothered with finishing someone off who can't even fight back. Undeterred, Nnoitra gets up and tells him the fight isn't over and taunts him to come back and continue fighting. Finally Kenpachi gives in as Nnoitra moves to attack him, but Kenpachi lands another blow to his chest and Nnoitra falls to the ground.[55] Kenpachi stands over Nnoitra's corpse victorious, thanking him for the good fight.[56] He then tells Ichigo to get his sword and yells for Orihime to come over and heal him; however, Coyote Starrk arrives to recapture her and he narrowly avoids both Kenpachi's and Ichigo's attack.[57]

When Ichigo hears from Aizen that he plans to destroy Karakura Town, he proceeds to run off. Kenpachi tells him not to be so hasty, he then tells him that everything is planned and not only did Urahara send the Captains to Hueco Mundo but also made it possible to wage war in Karakura Town.[58]
Fake Karakura Town arc
Kenpachi and Byakuya arrive to fight Yammy

Later Kenpachi, alongside Byakuya Kuchiki, arrives to the battle between Yammy Riyalgo and Ichigo. After Byakuya attacks Yammy with a huge Kidō blast, Kenpachi cuts off one of Yammy's legs, making him fall over. He then berates Byakuya for "stealing" the first blow and tells him to get away from the battle area. Byakuya calmly calls his statement nonsense, since he was the first to arrive and that Kenpachi should learn his place. Kenpachi however ignores Byakuya and tells him not to complain then if he get sliced into pieces alongside Yammy.[59]

Kenpachi then tells Ichigo he is a disgrace as he seems to get "beat to hell" everywhere they go; he then tells him to move out of the way. When Ichigo stares at him confused Kenpachi goes to strike at him, but Ichigo dodges and screams at him that he could have killed him. He then goes and charges at Ichigo but is slapped away by Yammy and sent flying into a nearby structure. As Yammy rants and raves, Kenpachi kicks a large piece of rock at him but the Espada crushes it to rubble before it can make contact. Kenpachi then states that he is surprised that Yammy can throw a decent punch when he wants to, as he barely felt it when he hit him. He then tells Yammy that even though he must think he is a big fly, if he is going to punch him he better put some effort into it. Yammy then enraged goes to attack Kenpachi.[60]

As Yammy tries to punch him, Kenpachi cuts off three of his fingers. Screaming in pain, holding his injured hand, Yammy then notices Kenpachi on his arm, which he runs up to strike at his head.[61] Kenpachi cuts off another of Yammy's legs causing the Espada to fall down. Kenpachi admits that he is a tough one but is disappointed as Yammy lies unconscious, prompting him to call Byakuya to finish the Espada off. Byakuya asks him what he is talking about, to which Kenpachi responds that he figures Byakuya must be bored standing around, so he figures he would at least allow him to finish the Espada off. Byakuya deduces that Kenpachi expects him to clean up his mess, and asks who he thinks he is talking to. Kenpachi states that he doesn't like to kill weaklings, but Byakuya states that he will not as a savage like him is better suited to the task. Kenpachi takes offense to what was just said to him, but before he can do anything about it, Yammy makes his presence known by confirming he is not down for the count yet, slamming his large hand down in between the two. The two captains look up at Yammy as he prepares to fire at Cero at them. The large blast is fired, but they both dodge the attack, prompting Byakuya to state that he can't believe that Kenpachi thought he could finish off the Espada the way he did, pitying his poor judgement. Kenpachi brushes the comment off, stating that to him Yammy is ready to be finished off, but the Espada is obviously too much for Byakuya. To challenge this Byakuya releases his Bankai and tells Kenpachi that if Yammy is not to much for him then he should prove it. Kenpachi likes this idea stating that he has always wanted to compete against Byakuya. The two captains move toward each other and then turn toward Yammy stating that he is in the way as they both lash out and strike the Espada in his face. [62]

Yammy's huge form is knocked off balance by the powerful attack inflicted on him by the two captains, but he survives and gets back up, injured and infuriated. Kenpachi states he is surprised that Yammy survived, believing he has lost his mind. The Cero Espada then becomes frustrated with the two captains, and his Resurrección changes form. After transforming, he warns the captains that making him angrier is the last thing they would want to do, since his release, Ira, increases in strength the angrier he becomes. He then taunts Byakuya and Kenpachi, saying that if they make him even angrier he will make sure that their deaths are humiliating and painful.[63]
Zanpakutō Unknown Tales arc (anime only)

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

When captain Shunsui Kyōraku asks if Ikkaku Madarame and Yumichika Ayasegawa are representing their captain, Ikkaku tells them that Zaraki and Yachiru are out and as such they are the only ones who can attend a meeting.[64]
Wabisuke attacks Zaraki from behind, but is unable to cut him.

As the Zanpakutō launch an all out attack, Kenpachi makes a dramatic appearance just as the Shinigami are loosing ground.[65] Ichigo is relieved to see him though Soifon questions what is the need for all the theatrics and not mention the fact that he's late. Kenpachi tells her that he got there as soon as he could so he could fight as well before they took out everyone. He gazes among the spirits and asks if there is someone left to fight. Kenpachi is then attacked from behind by Wabisuke, but upon the blades contact its power has no effect much to Wabisuke's surprise. Kenpachi grabs the sword and questions the spirit on whether it was trying to cut him with such a dull blade. He then yanks the sword from its hand and Wabisuke down causing him to revert back to his sealed form and break into two pieces.

Rukia and Renji are surprised at Kenpachi's power to effortlessly take down a Zanpakutō spirit like that. The other Zanpakutō spirits are not surprised at the reiatsu of Kenpachi as Gonryōmaru asks him where has he been all this time. Yachiru reveals that they were late because they got lost on their way back from fighting Hollows in Rukongai. After she tells the story Kenpachi tells her to back off as he wants to fight. He looks over all the possible combatants and sets his sights on Byakuya Kuchiki, as he has always had a strong desire to face the 6th Division captain in battle. Senbonzakura steps in and tells Byakuya he will handle things and that he should leave. He then releases his Bankai, but Kenpachi is unimpressed and removes his eyepatch telling the Zanpakutō spirits they all should get out of his way. His reiatsu builds at a devastating rate so that once it comes into contact with Senbonzakura's Bankai it easily dissipates it much to the Zanpakutō spirits surprise. Kenpachi's reiatsu increases even further overwhelming everyone in the vicinity, he then appears in front of Senbonzakura and strikes at him causing a huge explosion of reiatsu that blooms out like a bomb decimating buildings and sending everyone besides Byakuya (seemingly the only able to stand the increased reiatsu) flying away from the battlefield.
Zaraki vs Byakuya

When Byakuya states that he just blew everyone away Kenpachi plainly tells him that he had no intention of fighting any of them anyway. The two begin to battle though Byakuya isn't really interested to fight. When they cross swords Byakuya releases his Shikai though Kenpachi effortlessly deflects it, feeling disappointed Kenpachi raises his reiatsu and and sends it at Byakuya who blocks it and proceeds to use Senka. Kenpachi effortlessly blocks the attack much to Byakuya's surprise, and ask if Byakuya actually thought that he couldn't follow his Shunpo. Byakuya counters by asking Kenpachi whether he thought his sluggish speed could catch him. Kenpachi goes on the offense as Byakuya uses Shunpo to move out of the way, causing Kenpachi to states that it looks like Byakuya speed is only good enough to dodge him. Byakuya then appears behind Kenpachi who only can react enough to place his arm up causing his forearm to be slashed by Byakuya's attack.

Byakuya then tells him that he cannot be caught by Kenpachi who takes the statement as a challenge, as he lunges at Byakuya who dodges the two attacks but is surprised as Kenpachi catches his blade with his bare hands on the third attempt. Kenpachi states that he caught him and slashes him but Byakuya moves enough so that the wound isn't fatal. When Byakuya questions why he did that, Kenpachi states that if he hadn't he wouldn't take the fight seriously. Byakuya uses his Shikai again, managing to tire out Kenpachi though he seemingly deflects it again. Byakuya tells Kenpachi to leave him be or in his next attack he will truly kill him. Kenpachi laughs at the notion and tells Byakuya to try as he always wanted to fight with him in a battle to the death. The two then face off once Byakuya resolves to continue the fight.[66]
Zaraki grabs the Zanpakutō spirit Ashisogi Jizō shortly before it self-destructs.

Although before the two can continue their fight they are interrupted by Ashisogi Jizō in its Bankai form. It fills the area with its deadly poison allowing Byakuya to escape with ease. After repelling Ashisogi Jizō's poison with his Reiatsu, Kenpachi took his anger out on the rogue Zanpakutō spirit capturing him after it was chased by Yachiru. Before he can do anything captain Mayuri Kurotsuchi arrives and causes his Zanpakutō to self-destruct. Before Kenpachi can leave to find Byakuya so they could finish their fight, Yoruichi arrives with news of captain-commander Yamamoto's location.[67]

Upon arriving at the rogue Zanpakutō hideout, the Shinigami are hesitant to enter without a strategy, but Kenpachi quickly enters, eager to find another good fight. True to his nature, Kenpachi yet again found himself lost and unsure of where to go next. He is ambushed by Tenken and Gonryōmaru. Soon seeing that the two Zanpakutō spirits were only fighting to stall for time, Kenpachi became determined to make the Zanpakutō spirits fight him seriously.[68] Zaraki quickly defeats Gonryōmaru and tells Tenken, who had been holding back while Gonryōmaru was there, to attack him with all of his power. Tenken transforms into his Bankai form and attacks Kenpachi.[69]
edit Equipment
Kenpachi's eyepatch.

Eyepatch Power Seal: Kenpachi wears an eyepatch created by the Shinigami Research and Development Institute just for him that can seal the bulk of his reiatsu, but since he has so much of it, it does not noticeably hinder him in battle; in fact, it makes him just ahead of most other captains and Espada. The reason for wearing it is that since Kenpachi loves fighting so much, he cannot fight most opponents at full strength without defeating them quickly. He also wears bells to this effect, so the enemy can hear him.[70][71]
edit Powers & Abilities
Kenpachi's Battle Data, clockwise. Top: Offense (100), Top Right: Defense (80), Bottom Right: Mobility (60), Bottom: Kidō/Reiatsu (0), Bottom Left: Intelligence (50), Top Left: Physical Strength (100). Total: 390/600.[72]

Kenpachi is the only known captain of the Gotei 13 who didn't attend the Shinigami Academy (asides from Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto, who founded the academy). He is also the only captain that does not know the name of his Zanpakutō; because of this, he cannot use his Bankai. In addition, he has no apparent skill (or at least interest) in Kidō and Flash Steps. However, he more than makes up for his faults with his sheer power and endurance, easily making him one of the strongest Shinigami in Soul Society.[1]

Master Swordsmanship Specialist: Kenpachi's skill with his sword was honed to a master level, due to the lawlessness of Zaraki district, letting him strike multiple times with changes of attack type (from slash to pierce) without any difficulty. His unpolished skills and strength with his sword make it so he always fights with one hand free. He only uses both hands when faced against opponents he feels will beat him otherwise, as shown with Nnoitra and momentarily Ichigo.[73] His insane cutting strength is also evident as he is capable of easily cutting through an Espada's Hierro, which is harder than steel, as well as slicing apart a skyscraper with a mere flick of the wrist. As the Captain of the 11th Division, which specializes in sword fighting, he is one of the most, if not the most, proficient swordsmen in all of Soul Society.

* Kendō: Kenpachi has also displayed considerable knowledge and skill in Kendō (a requirement Yamamoto put Kenpachi through before officially joining the Gotei 13), though Kenpachi despises using skills and techniques learned from another source.[74][75][76]

Expert Hand-to-Hand Combatant: While preferring to use his blade in battle, Kenpachi has demonstrated several times to be very dangerous barehanded as well. He can easily catch an opponent's attack with a single hand, perform powerful kicks and take-downs, and has demonstrated superb skill with throwing weapons.

Vast Spiritual Power: Even by a captain's standards, his Spiritual Pressure is absolutely monstrous. In fact, it is so great that Kenpachi can fight on par with two other captain-level opponents without using his full power, even when he is wearing his energy-sealing eye patch and his opponents release their Zanpakutō's Bankai. His spiritual energy has been shown to be powerful enough to affect entire areas to the point of disrupting energy attacks from enemies, and cause others from seemingly miles away to enter a state of paralysis and confusion.[77] Similar to Ichigo, when unleashing a strong enough surge of energy, it becomes visible and yellow in color with the appearance of a skull.[78]

* Damage Resistance: He can also use it as a sort of armor, making it impossible for him to be harmed by nothing less than the most skilled or powerful opponents. This is first demonstrated when Ichigo tries to cut Kenpachi at the start of their fight. Kenpachi allows Ichigo to strike him, yet not only does he fail to cut him, but Ichigo's hands start to bleed because of it. This is comparable to an Arrancar's Hierro.[79]

* Shockwave: He has also demonstrated enough control to focus and unleash his spiritual pressure in the form of a powerful shockwave. When using both hands, his shockwave can cause a huge radius of destruction.

Highly Perceptive Combatant: Despite his seeming disregard for any strategy in his fights and his self-admitted aversion to thinking during battle, Kenpachi is a very insightful man, regularly showing more understanding than one would expect. Even Byakuya was impressed by Kenpachi's ability to understand things he has no personal experience with. He is very adept at finding and exploiting weaknesses in his opponents' techniques, such as in his battle with Kaname Tōsen, where he subdued the latter's Bankai while armed only with a Zanpakutō and the one sense that was left accessible by Tōsen's Bankai at the time - that of touch. He is also adept at adjusting to his opponent's attack patterns and battle methods to better counter them. While he admits to having no sanity or common sense, Kenpachi is actually very perceptive and notices traits in people that others wouldn't notice and sees what drives a person's actions. For example, he correctly singles out Kaname Tōsen and Gin Ichimaru as the only captains who are afraid to die.[80][81] He has also demonstrated keenly sharp intuition to incoming danger, as shown from being able to repeatedly dodge Tōsen's assault while still affected by is Bankai.
Kenpachi using his strength to hold back Nnoitra's blade one-handed.

Immense Strength: Perhaps due to years of combat experience and time on the battlefield, Kenpachi has a very large degree of physical strength, most commonly displayed by his ability to fight back his opponent's attacks with a single arm. Repeatedly, he has shown clear evidenced of his strength from acts like kicking Tōsen through a building and slamming Komamura over his shoulder with one hand in their battle, as well as when he grabbed Ichigo's giant sword barehanded and reeled both him and the sword in for an attack. He also demonstrated his strength when he rammed through a building fighting Ichigo. He was also able to stop and deflect the fifth Espada, Nnoitra Jiruga's Cero with just his bare hand, and managed to cut through Yammy Riyalgo's Hierro even in his released state to the point he cut off his leg in a single strike.[82][83][84] He is even able to fend off an opponent's gigantic sword with a single hand.[85]

Immense Speed: While he possesses little skill for Flash Step, Kenpachi has shown to be deceptively fast for his size and build. However, in the Anime, Kenpachi once used what appeared to be Shunpo.[86] Thanks to his tremendous raw power, Kenpachi's leg strength allows him to more than make up for his lack of Flash Step, allowing him to move fast enough to instantly close a huge gap of space between him and the opponent and even seemingly disappear from sight. In battle he is able to strike with incredible speed in rapid succession, making it highly difficult for his opponents to find an opening and counterattack.

Immense Durability: His physical strength is matched by his durability, Kenpachi has been shown to easily ignore most of the injuries he's sustained in battle (much like a berserker), not suffering any debilitation despite having multiple slash wounds in his body. He even allowed himself to be stabbed during his fight with Tōsen, just to grab Tōsen's blade in-order to break his Bankai's effect. During his battle with Nnoitra he suffered numerous slash wounds and was even impaled with no visual impairment of his fighting abilities despite the Espada noting that most people would have already been dead at that point.[87][88]
Kenpachi's unnamed Zanpakutō.

Kenpachi does not know the name of his Zanpakutō, and is the only captain of the Gotei 13 who cannot perform Bankai. It appears that after his fight with Ichigo Kenpachi wishes to learn more about his Zanpakutō because he wants to become stronger. He can also identify with the pain of not having a name to be called by, however he is not yet capable of communicating with his Zanpakutō, and it is implied that he continually tries to learn from it so that he can just achieve a new level of power. Zangetsu notes that Kenpachi's disharmony with his sword causes the two to damage each other's powers and that he cannot hear the cry of his sword because of that. As it is revealed in the Hueco Mundo Arc, he has at least communicated with his Zanpakutō on some level after his loss to Ichigo. During his fight against Nnoitra he refers to his Zanpakutō as "him".

* Shikai: Despite not knowing its name his Zanpakutō is in a constant release state much like Ichigo's Zangetsu. The blade is much longer than that of a standard Zanpakutō, roughly the size of a nodachi with a guard that extends inward from its center similar to a shinai. The hilt is white although most of it is wrapped in bandages, as is his sword's sheath. Despite constantly being in its Shikai state, Kenpachi’s Zanpakutō does not grant him any additional abilities due to their lack of communication.[89][90] A further consequence of their disharmony is that it leaves the Zanpakutō with little spiritual energy and becomes easier to damage, ironically making its appearance a reflection of Kenpachi's own practice of weakening himself to fight others on an even level: it is a chipped and seemingly worn-down blade. Despite its appearance, it is easily capable of cutting through most objects. This is demonstrated when he stabs straight through Ichigo's Zanpakutō and later slices a building in half with careless effort after releasing the full force of his spiritual power.

Shikai Special Ability: Unknown

* Bankai: Not Achieved.

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