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Kaien Shiba (志波 海燕

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1 Kaien Shiba (志波 海燕 on Tue Jun 29, 2010 7:23 am

Toushiro Hitsugaya

十番隊隊長 Jūbantai Taicho

Kaien had a youthful appearance and was a fairly tall person, with white skin and aqua green eyes. Kaien had spiky raven black hair. He wore the normal uniform with his lieutenants badge on his left arm as standard. He had a tattoo of the Shiba family crest on his arm.

It is stated that Ichigo Kurosaki closely resembles Kaien in appearance. After first seeing him, Ukitake is stunned by Ichigo's appearance. Byakuya Kuchiki also notes the resemblance and even states that Ichigo's attitude annoyed him as Kaien's had. While Rukia was training Ichigo, she often became exasperated by his lack of understanding of things Kaien would have known.

Kaien's siblings, Ganju and Kūkaku, do not remark upon or even openly notice Ichigo's resemblance to Kaien.
edit Personality

Kaien, a very ethical man, was adored by many of the 13th Division members. He was outspoken and bore a rough disposition, but his down-to-earth attitude was one of the reasons why everyone looked up to him. Kaien treated his fellow company members indiscriminately, regardless of their social standing or rank. Because of this, he was popular among aristocrats and commoners alike within his Division.[2]

Kaien believed that one's "heart" was determined based on the prospects of fighting and protecting. He was a firm believer in Captain Ukitake's policy on fighting, which consists of two types of combat: 1) The fight to protect life, and 2) The fight to protect honor. Kaien took it a step further and believed they both end up being the same thing: "Heart." He believed that every time one connected with another, a little bit of "heart" is born between them. He thought of "heart" as not something inside you, but rather what is born whenever you think of, or remember, someone else. He believed that one's "heart" exists in others, and that it remains with his or her comrades even after death. Having held such views, he believed that people should never die alone.[3]

Kaien's favorite food was ohagi, and he liked to take afternoon naps if he could.[1]
edit History

Kaien was the oldest of the Shiba siblings, and grew up in Rukongai, although the Shiba house was once one of the great noble houses. His sister Kūkaku and their younger brother Ganju are all that is left of the Shiba clan. While Kūkaku was old enough to know, Ganju didn't know his brother was a Shinigami.

Ganju's beloved Bonnie-chan was actually an injured piglet in the mountain area in Rukongai found and looked after by Kaien, during the time when the Shiba family was still one of the great five families. Bonnie-chan's ribbon was given to her by Kaien. Bonnie-chan was very fond of Kaien, and even now, she is still not as emotionally attached to Ganju as she was to Kaien. The door guards of the Shiba family - Koganehiko and Shiroganehiko - were previously the educators of both Kaien and Kūkaku. Ever since the demise of the Shiba family, only the two of them continue to serve in the family.[4]

Kaien later decided on becoming a Shinigami; he passed the entrance exam on his first try and was shortly recognized as a prodigy, as he completed the six-year curriculum of the Shinigami Academy after only two years.[5]

Sometime between 110 and 101 years before the current time, Kaien was approached by Captain of the 13th Division Jūshirō Ukitake five years after graduating the Shinigami Academy. During that time, he tries to persuade a then-reluctant Kaien Shiba into becoming his lieutenant. The two converse about the current happenings in Soul Society, including a young Gin Ichimaru who happens to be a child prodigy surpassing the previous record set by Kaien himself. Kaien shrugs off any attempt Jūshirō makes at him being any type of prodigy. While visiting the Shiba residence, Jūshirō is shown to be quite popular with the servants, with Kaien noting that Jūshirō was still very charming and that he had a smile that made his servants blush. Jūshirō dismisses the compliment as he tries to remain humble about his notable quality.[6] After a few years of denying the position, he decides to take it, if not for any other reason than to take care of his family.

Due to Ukitake's sickness, Kaien was usually in charge of everything in his captain's absence.[7]
Kaien explaining to Rukia about heart.

He was the first person in Seireitei to treat Rukia like an ordinary person since her adoption into the Kuchiki family. Until he came along, she was treated with careful respect to her face and talked about and bashed behind her back.[8] She was grateful for the fact that Kaien treated her as an equal, and it has been hinted that Rukia may have come to develop romantic feelings for him because of this. She didn’t pursue him because Kaien was already married to the third seat of the 13th Division, Miyako Shiba.[9]

When Kaien’s wife died at the hands of a Hollow, Metastacia, Kaien swore revenge. Ukitake and Rukia accompanied him in his search. They found the Hollow in its lair, and Kaien asked for permission to fight it alone. Ukitake granted permission, and Rukia watched in horror as the Hollow’s abilities became apparent. Kaien’s Zanpakutō was broken as soon as he touched the Hollow, but Kaien continued to fight it alone. It obviously pained Ukitake to not help his lieutenant, but when Rukia asked why they couldn't help Kaien, he told her that it would kill his pride. Rukia yells at her captain, saying that pride isn’t important compared to life. He answers her calmly: "Rukia, remember this. There are two types of fights. Whenever we are in battle, we must be one of the two. The fight for life or … the fight for pride! Right now … He is fighting for his pride! His wife’s pride … his men’s pride … Most importantly … his own personal pride. Dismiss this as his stubbornness … and let him fight alone like this…"[10]
Kaien Possessed by the Hollow Metastacia.

Kaien held his own against the Hollow for several minutes before the Hollow revealed its true ability.[11] It merged itself with Kaien, and when Ukitake stepped in, the Hollow laughed maliciously and told him that he and Kaien were now the same being, because they were both spirits. It was not the same as possession.[12]
Kaien thanks Rukia for the chance to fight for his honour before appearing to die.

Rukia, who had been Hollow-Kaien’s first target and was told to run while Ukitake held it off, however she returned because she was afraid to face that cowardice. Ukitake was struck by his illness at that moment, and the Hollow-Kaien attacked her again. Ukitake yelled at her to kill it because it was not Kaien anymore. Rukia stabs Kaien as he leaps at her.[13] Kaien’s consciousness surfaces before he dies and he thanks Ukitake for letting him fight alone. He thanks Rukia, and then apologizes to her.[14]

She takes Kaien’s body back to the Shiba house to entrust him to Kūkaku and Ganju. From that stemmed Ganju’s absolute hatred of all Shinigami.[15] Ukitake went to the Shiba house to explain to Kūkaku what had happened, and she accepted it and decided to forgive Rukia if she ever apologized. It took Rukia many years to work up the courage to do so.[16] Kūkaku and Ganju still make many of their own decisions based on what their brother would have done. That’s why Kūkaku agreed to help Ichigo and Yoruichi.[17] It is also why Ganju eventually came around to helping them.[18]

Since his death, the 13th Division has not assigned another lieutenant, and instead is run by two 3rd Seats, Sentarō Kotsubaki and Kiyone Kotetsu.
edit Plot
Hueco Mundo arc
Aaroniero Arruruerie, as seen with Kaien's appearance.

After Rukia is separated from her companions, she encounters an Arrancar and follows it into a dark tower. Once inside, it explains that it cannot stand sunlight and takes off its mask while introducing himself as the 9th Espada Aaroniero Arruruerie, who, upon removing his mask, is immediately recognized by Rukia as Kaien.[19][20]

At first, Rukia is confused and can't believe her eyes as the appearance is unmistakable. But she also remembers that Kaien is dead and that she was the one who killed him and hence, can't be alive. But once he addresses her, the mannerisms and voice is unmistakably Kaien's. He then pulls out a cushion and tells her to sit as they have much to discuss.[21]

Kaien then explains to her that the night he was possessed his spirit began to crumble after the battle, and by time she had brought his lifeless body back to the Shiba house, it had completely shattered and from there, it was thrown into Hueco Mundo. He explains that the Hollow he fought was one of Aizen's experiments and that every time it was destroyed it would come back to Hueco Mundo and regenerate. However, since the Hollow had fused with him, the regeneration restored his body, but instead of the Hollow being in control, he was. At first, Rukia has a hard time believing such a thing, but Kaien assured her that he was serious. He then went on to explain that as he ended up taking control of his body again, he went on to become an Espada to aid in his revenge against Aizen. Kaien states that outside the sky is blue, that the blue sky is the dome of Las Noches created by Aizen, and that the light of the blue sky allows Aizen to see anywhere he wishes.[22]

He then tells her there is a mission of great importance that only she can carry out and they will talk further in a different location. He then takes out his Zanpakutō and attacks her. [23] Rukia becomes confused and listens to him speak so coldly about her involvement in his death, and resigns herself to be a just sacrifice for what she did to him and willingly offers her life to him. But she relents and states that she has come there to save Orihime and that until she does, she cannot give her life to him.[24]

He tells her that he was only joking, but there is something only she can do for him if she is to truly repent for what she did. He asks her to kill her friends, and Rukia quickly realizes something is wrong and that this cannot be who he claims to be, as Kaien would never ask her to do such a thing. She releases her Zanpakutō and begins to attack him.[25] The two engage in battle for a brief period with the impostor Kaien goading her with his knowledge of her fighting style. He then releases his Zanpakutō and begins to relentlessly attack Rukia.[26][27]

In the middle of the battle, Rukia gets an idea and exposing him to the light outside, which causes his true face to be revealed - a cylinder filled with liquid with two, small, floating heads inside. Rukia then learns that the original story he gave her about what happened after Kaien's spirit died was partially true. In fact, Aaroniero consumed the Hollow Metastacia and absorbed its ability. It was through eating that Hollow and gaining its abilities that he gained access to Kaien Shiba's body. He, in fact, is using the spirit body of Kaien Shiba and all his experiences and memories are in still intact. Aaroniero was using them to impersonate Kaien and manipulate Rukia in turn. Rukia, realizing this, cannot bring herself to attack the impostor so long as a shred of Kaien remains alive.[28]

After recalling Kaien's teachings about the heart and using a technique that he did not remember teaching her, Rukia was finally able to bring peace to Kaien's soul.[29]
Zanpakutō Unknown Tales arc (anime only)

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

Kaien makes a brief appearance in Rukia's flashbacks while she fights Sode no Shirayuki, in which he watches over and praises her while she trains with her Shikai.[30]
edit Powers & Abilities

Genius Intellect: Kaien was a prodigy when he was younger, although he is modest about the level of intellect and skill he possessed. He entered the Shinigami Academy on his first try where he received high marks and showed an innate aptitude in the Shinigami skills. These talents allowed him to graduate top of his class in two years.[31]

Expert Swordsmanship Specialist: Kaien was a skilled swordsman, evident from when he trained Rukia, and somewhat shown by Aaroniero when he was fighting Rukia based on Kaien's memories. Kaien's techniques and form are revealed during the battle, and are described by Rukia as "His upper-body stance. Spear technique reminiscent of a dance, using one wrist as the center of its rotation. Then crushing the opponent between the spears thrust and the rising waves."[32]

Flash Step Expert: Kaien has shown able to effectively use flash steps, which he did to cut off a couple of Metastacia's arms, taking the Hollow by surprise.[33]

Kidō Expert: Even when disarmed in combat, Kaien has shown that he could still fight via the use of Kidō. He was seen using mid-level kidō without incantation in rapid succession while still being effective.[34]

High Spiritual Energy: According to Ganju, even by the standards of the Noble Clans, Kaien naturally had high spiritual energy. By the time he entered the Shinigami Academy, his spiritual energy was already comparable to a lieutenant.[35]
Aaroniero holding Kaien's Zanpakutō, Nejibana

Nejibana (捩花, Japanese name for the Spiranthes; Viz "Twisted Flower"): Kaien's Zanpakutō is sealed in an average katana with a rectangular cross guard with smooth rounded edges and a dark blue hilt.
Nejibana's Shikai used by Espada Aaroniero Arruruerie.

* Shikai: Its Shikai command is "Rankle the Seas and the Skies" (水天逆巻け, suiten sakamake; Viz "Rankle the Seas and Heavens"). Kaien holds Nejibana upside down and begins to twirl it in his hands as it glows, transforming into a cross between a trident and a ji (a Chinese halberd) with a crystalline appearance. Like the ji, it bears a horsehair tassel, although it is blue instead of the traditional red; similarly the two side blades are straight with concave edges as opposed to the usual crescent blade. The end of Nejibana turns into a corkscrew/drill shape. Water flows freely from both the trident and the end.[36]

Shikai Special Ability: Nejibana's ability lies in the manipulation of water. Being hit with it is reminiscent of being hit by crashing waves, as water constantly flows from it and the surrounding area. Nejibana's tip is constantly flowing with water with every arc and slash, and each crushing blow creates large waves.[37]

* Bankai: Not Achieved

edit Appearances in Other Media
Kaien as he appears in Bleach: The 3rd Phantom

On the Bleach Beat Collection (a CD released by Sony demonstrating Bleach characters' personas through music) Kaien sings Nimorebi. On another track (along with his former Captain Ukitake) sing Fuu~Inochi to Hokori. He also appears in Bleach: The 3rd Phantom as a member of 5th Squad, greeting the character as you enter the Gotei 13.

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