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Ikkaku Madarame (斑目 一角

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1 Ikkaku Madarame (斑目 一角 on Wed Jun 30, 2010 12:54 am

Toushiro Hitsugaya

Toushiro Hitsugaya
十番隊隊長 Jūbantai Taicho

Ikkaku is a bald man, and is in fact made fun of by a lot of people, especially 11th Division Lieutenant Yachiru Kusajishi, who calls him either "cue ball", "chromedome", or "pachinko-head" (as a result of her fondness for giving people nicknames or when he questions her direction skills). He often insists that he's not bald and his head is "shaven" while it is obvious that it isn't. As a result of the constant ridicule he gets, Ikkaku is very self-conscious about his baldness to the point where he will threaten anyone that points it out. Ikkaku's bald scalp is very reflective when seen under the sun, causing the members of the 8th and 11th Divisions to mistake it for a full moon in one of the omake segments, much to his chagrin. He also has distinctive small red markings at the outer corner of his eyes. Ikkaku has a scar running down the left side of his chest that he gained while fighting Ichigo Kurosaki during the Soul Society Arc. Unlike most Shinigami, Ikkaku doesn't wear tabi with his sandals on. The only other person who doesn't wear tabi is 8th Division Captain Shunsui Kyōraku. He wears the standard Shinigami robes.
edit Personality

In terms of his attitude, Ikkaku is a stereotypical 11th Division member — violent, fight-loving, and rude. This has been noted by Tetsuzaemon Iba, among others. He loves fighting so much that he is unwilling to travel anywhere without a sword, resorting to carrying a wooden one when posing as a student at Ichigo Kurosaki's school. However, Ikkaku does have a sense of loyalty and responsibility unlike many of the lower-ranked 11th Division members and is fiercely loyal to his captain, under whose command he wishes to die.

Ikkaku shares many personality traits with his division's captain, Kenpachi Zaraki, which explains why they seem to have so much respect for each another. Ikkaku considers fighting fun, just as his captain does, and tries to get as much fun as he can out of his opponents, so much so that he would take deadly risks to drag out the fight for as long as possible. He also shares Kenpachi's penchant for limiting his skills in order for fights to last longer (with the only difference being the fact that he chooses to do so by restricting the use of his Bankai whereas Kenpachi prefers the use of his power-sealing eyepatch given to him by the 12th Division). Like Kenpachi, Ikkaku is seen constantly smiling when engaging in a fight with a formidable opponent. And like all 11th Division members, he considers the only honorable battles to be those that are fought one-on-one. Even the threat of death is not a reason to ignore this fact, as they believe that the winner is only to be determined when the other dies. He does consider surviving an otherwise lost battle good luck, as his captain taught him, and is also sensible enough to carry a blood-clotting ointment in the hilt of his Zanpakutō.
edit History

Not much is known about Ikkaku's history. Ikkaku came from the streets of Rukongai. At some point, he met Yumichika Ayasegawa, and the two became friends. The two would frequently go from village to village looking for opponents for Ikkaku to face in combat.
Ikkaku is defeated by Kenpachi and is lectured to become stronger.

They would later have an encounter with Kenpachi Zaraki and Yachiru Kusajishi before they entered Seireitei. Yachiru warned him that messing with Zaraki while he was in a good mood was a bad idea, but Ikkaku did not take the warning seriously. When face to face with Zaraki, he immediately became alarmed by his reiatsu, but was happy to finally have a real challenge. Zaraki 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 Zaraki though not able to wear him down, only succeeding in Ikkaku receiving wounds while Kenpachi remained untouched by his blade. When Zaraki mentioned he was having fun, he decided to finish Ikkaku with one quick strike resulting in Ikkaku's loss of the fight.[2] Ikkaku became mad that Zaraki would just walk away without finishing him off. Zaraki plainly told him that he had no interest in weaklings who cannot fight. He noted that he did not have any obligation to finish Ikkaku off. Ikkaku thought he was toying with him and demanded that Zaraki kill him. Zaraki lost his patience, grabbed hold of Ikkaku and asked him that if he loved to fight so much, then why was screaming for death. Zaraki 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 and come back to kill him. As Zaraki left, Ikkaku asked him his name and was told he is Kenpachi from Zaraki.[3]

Afterwards, when he had rehabilitated from his wounds Ikkaku searched for Zaraki everywhere in order to challenge him but never could find him. Until one day when Ayasegawa came to him with some news, as he had heard that Zaraki 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. Ikkaku was taken aback by this revelation as he saw that protecting others really was not Zaraki's style and set out to find his old opponent.[2]
Ikkaku serving under Kenpachi during their first days in the 11th Division.

During an address to his division, Zaraki was greeted by Ikkaku and Yumichika, who had become Shinigami and joined the division. Ikkaku told Zaraki that he had come back just as he had suggested, which caused Zaraki to smile. Later they were present when the division battled a caterpillar-like Hollow. While initially the division lost several members, Ikkaku showed up to fight it but was stopped by Zaraki who decided to kill it himself. After the Hollow was dispatched more come which prompted Ikkaku and Yumichika to join in the fight. Though at first Zaraki was against it, he was persuaded upon realizing the two have similar fighting traits as him.[2]

Sometime later Ikkaku, whilst walking around the 11th Division barracks is greeted by Renji Abarai a fresh transfer from the 5th Division. Renji asked that Ikkaku train him. The two battle and Ikkaku became impressed at his new students eagerness to excel. When he asked Renji why he wanted to get strong so badly, Renji explains that he wishes to surpass someone. They continue to train well into the evening, advancing as far as using their Shikai against each other. Ikkaku then tells Renji that they have finished training and if he wished to learn any more then he would have to figure it out on his own as Ikkaku did not want Renji to end up mimicking his style. Renji then asked him if he had Bankai and why he did not use it, to which Ikkaku commented that he had his reasons and he alluded that he was chasing someone as well. He then told Renji his name and instructs him to remember it as the next time they fight it will be to the death. He then explains to him why he gives his name to his opponent, as Ikkaku left, Renji thanked him.[2]
edit Plot
Soul Society arc
Ikkaku and Ichigo clash

Ikkaku and Yumichika Ayasegawa are the first Shinigami to encounter Ichigo Kurosaki and Ganju Shiba upon their intrusion into the Seireitei.[4] Ikkaku does his Tsuki-Tsuki dance to give Ichigo and Ganju time to exit their sand pit and becomes irate when they just stand there looking at him. Ichigo and Ganju get into an argument about possibly fighting which prompts Ganju to run off, while Yumichika chases after him, Ikkaku is left to fight Ichigo. After resolving why Ichigo didn't run off as well Ikkaku attacks. Ichigo dodges and attempts to counter but Ikkaku blocks him with his scabbard. Ichigo breaks free and attacks from above as Ikkaku attacks from below resulting in small cuts near both their eyes, they then exchange names.[5] Ichigo wipes the blood from his brow, to which Ikkaku states that he doesn't understand as only a rookie would remove both hands from his sword. Ichigo explains that the blood is getting in his eyes and Ikkaku chides him telling him that he should find some way of stopping the bleeding so he wont have to do that, as he applies ointment in a small compartment in the hilt of his sword to his brow stopping the bleeding of his own wound. Ichigo calls him a cheater but Ikkaku states that in fact he is just smart. He tells Ichigo is weird to him as his actions are that of a rookie so he cant really tell that he is a warrior. But he notes that his reactions are very fast and his attacks are very strong, while his body movements are close to his own. Still unsure of what to make of him, Ikkaku asks Ichigo who is his teacher. Ichigo explains that he only taught him for ten days so he doesn't know if that a true teacher but his name is Kisuke Urahara. Ikkaku's becomes somewhat surprised and states that if he is Ichigo's teacher then it would be very rude of him to kill him so easily.
Ikkaku releases Shikai

Ikkaku then releases his Shikai, much to Ichigo's surprise and rushes at him. Ikkaku strikes at Ichigo to which he dodges and blocks the attack, only to be followed by a flurry of attacks. Ichigo thinks he has the upper hand stating that it takes longer to attack with a spear, but Ikkaku warns him that he is wrong as he swings at Ichigo's head before it is blocked. Ikkaku then surprises Ichigo as he says a second release command causing his Shikai to split into a three-sectioned staff causing Ichigo to react before the spear head can hit him square the face, blocking with his forearm causing a deep wound. Ikkaku then tells Ichigo that Hōzukimaru isn't a spear but a Sansetsuken. Ikkaku details that Ichigo will most likely be unable to use the arm to wield his sword any longer and is surprised with Ichigo uses the cloth at the end of his hilt to wrap his arm and then attack. Ikkaku moves just in time as Ichigo destroys the wall behind him with a single downward slash. Ichigo states that it seemed like Ikkaku finished talking but he doesn't know Ichigo's sword and the next time he will be the one who wont be able to hold his weapon.[6] Ikkaku goes on the offensive once again and attacks, they continue to battle with Ikkaku gaining the upper hand until Ichigo notes that he is getting used to fighting against his weapon. Ikkaku is noticeably surprised that Ichigo was able to to stop his Hōzukimaru single-handedly. Ichigo then goes on the offensive and cuts Ikkaku's Hōzukimaru in half, while dealing a deep wound to the center of his chest as well. Ikkaku laughs and tells Ichigo he should give up as he can still hold his sword, to which he takes the bladed end and spins it as he advances. Ichigo yells at him to put it away as he has already lost but Ikkaku refuses stating that the only way he will lay down his weapon is if he is dead and he will never walk away from a fight like a coward. The two collide resulting in Hōzukimaru breaking further as a grievous wound is dealt to Ikkaku's arm. He notes that Ichigo was too strong as he falls to the ground unconscious.[7]
Ikkaku realises that Ichigo administered First Aid on his wounds

Ikkaku wakes up and wonders why he is still alive as he is greeted by Ichigo. He asks him what he still doing there to which Ichigo states no reason, he then tells Ikkaku that he just found out Zanpakutō return to their sealed form when their owner is unconscious. When Ikkaku realizes Ichigo has his Zanpakutō he yells at him to give it back. Ichigo tells him he had no intention of keeping it, he just borrowed some of the ointment, noting that he used it all between the two of them. Ikkaku is surprised that Ichigo helped him and becomes irate at the thought of having been saved by his own enemy. Ichigo then asks him where he can find Rukia Kuchiki, though initially unsure of why Ichigo would want to know upon hearing that he has come to save her Ikkaku begins to laugh. He tells him that there is no way that 5 people and a cat can save her from the Gotei 13. Though he eventually tells him where she is being held, he then warns him that if he is the strongest in his group he should watch out for his captain Kenpachi Zaraki who will surely be looking for him. When Ichigo asks Ikkaku if his captain is strong, Ikkaku further states he'll know if he sees him and in fact he'll know his strength if he survives the meeting.[8]
Ikkaku recovers in the 4th Division's barracks

While recovering from his injures at the 4th Division's headquarters he is given a unsanctioned interrogation by Mayuri Kurotsuchi to whom he tells no details of his fight. Disturbed that Ikkaku has nothing to offer as far as information he states that he will need to be punished for his behavior, though Mayuri is promptly stopped by Zaraki who asks him since when does he have authority over the members of other divisions. Mayuri quickly leaves and Ikkaku tells Zaraki about what direction Ichigo went and why he was there. He provides a description and how he told him who Zaraki is, he details that his strength is great and remarks that he will most likely keep getting stronger.[9]

When the 11th Division decides to help Orihime Inoue, they are meet in resistance by the Captains of the 7th and 9th Division, along with their respective lieutenants. Ikkaku and Yumichika intercede wishing to fight against the lieutenants as they figure that they are not good enough to take on Zaraki. Ikkaku is called out to fight by Tetsuzaemon Iba, who details that it has been some time since they last saw each other and how ;his insulting loud mouth has gotten sharper. Ikkaku retorts that he is one to talk making note that Iba left the 11th Division because he couldn't become lieutenant The two leave to fight elsewhere.[10]
Ikkaku and Iba friendly fighting

Later Ikkaku and Iba are seen resting after their battle drinking with each other. Ikkaku makes a comment about a lightning strike and Iba scolds him for being ignorant as it was no lighting strike but Kidō and it wouldn't have reached them as it was a targeted attack. Iba then states that Ikkaku has not improved one bit as he still knows nothing of Kidō. Ikkaku tells Iba he was never interested in Kidō anyway and states that unlike him his mother didn't make him a "do it all" type of guy. Iba explains that he wasn't always so good, but instead of focusing on one thing being well rounded means a better chance at a promotion to lieutenant. They then fight again after engaging in a small argument about Iba always drinking too much of Ikkaku's booze.[11]

Ikkaku shortly hears the message from lieutenant Kotetsu about the traitorous actions of 5th Division captain Aizen.[12]

Sometime after Aizen's defection from Soul Society 6th Division lieutenant Renji Abarai approaches Ikkaku to ask him to take the vacant captain's position of the 5th Division. Ikkaku firmly refuses but Renji is insistent making note that there aren't any other lieutenants who can use Bankai and even if there was he would be the only one qualified. He affirms that Ikkaku could have any vacant spot and he should be the next captain. Ikkaku then reminds Renji that he told him long ago when he trained him to fight that he had no intention of telling anyone besides him and Yumichika that he is capable of Bankai. If it got out then he would have others telling him the same thing. Ikkaku explains that he has no intention on becoming a captain as that would mean that he could no longer fight under captain Zaraki. He further explains that just as Renji's desire is to surpass captain Byakuya Kuchiki then his is to fight and die under the command of captain Kenpachi Zaraki. He asks Renji if he understands he wont ask him again.[13]
Bount arc (anime only)

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

Ikkaku, along with Yumichika, leads the 11th Division after the Bounts invade Soul Society. Ikkaku attempts to fight Maki Ichinose after sensing his reiatsu, unaware of his identity since he is invisible, but does not get to actually fight him. Kenpachi notes after Maki's escape from Ikkaku that the intruder is a coward to fight that way. Kenpachi eventually finds and defeats Maki himself.
Arrancar arc
Ikkaku comes to Karakura Town

Ikkaku along with Yumichika Ayasegawa, Rangiku Matsumoto, Renji Abarai and Rukia Kuchiki are part of the advanced force led by captain Tōshirō Hitsugaya to defend Karakura Town against the threat of the Arrancar. To aid in their mission they dress as students at Ichigo Kurosaki's school.[14] He later almost beats up Keigo Asano but is stopped by Rangiku who slaps him in the head and warns him that if he doesn't stop she will tell on him to his lieutenant Yachiru Kusajishi, to which he immediately apologizes.[15]

While Ichigo speaks to Rukia in his room, Ikkaku and the 3 others pop out of a ceiling light and make their way into the room much to Ichigo's displeasure. Kon becomes enamored with Rangiku's bosom and goes running toward her but she knocks him away, prompting Ikkaku to ask Ichigo if the reaction is some kind of trend in his world, to which Ichigo states no its just the way Kon is.[16] When asked where they will stay as Ichigo explains that they cannot all stay at his house, Ikkaku leaves stating that him and Yumichika will find a place to stay somewhere.[17] Ikkaku is later seen atop a building with Yumichika having a conversation about how its impossible for them to have such well made rice balls with artistic wrapping without something more going on as its too much for one person to make so many of them.[18]

When the 6th Espada, Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez leads an attack on the living world, Ikakku is seen with Yumichika ready for action to face the oncoming enemies.[19] Ikkaku is left to fight one of his Fracción, Edrad Liones. Edrad makes the comment after Di Roy is defeated that whoever fought him was lucky as though he looked like an Arrancar he didn't deserve the rank. He was a complete failure. The Edrad then motions to Ikkaku and tells him that he has no luck at all as he has to fight him.[20] Ikkaku is attacked and goes flying through a nearby building. He then takes notice of a scared and confused Keigo Asano, who is wondering what is going on. He then asks Asano if he can stay with him, noting that if he takes care of the Arrancar it will save his life and therefore they would be helping each other out. After Asano says yes Ikkaku then asks the Arrancar what his name is, to which he is told Arrancar Trece but then Edrad stops himself stating that what would be the point of telling him anymore all that he needs to know is that he is the one who will tear him apart. Ikkaku is put off by this a tells the Arrancar about the concept of the "Last Curiosity". He tells Edrad his name and rank.[21]

As the two fight Edrad tells him if that is all he can do with a Zanpakutō then it would better serve as a waist ornament as blades wont cut the Hierro of an Arrancar. Ikkaku attacks causing Edrad to move his own Zanpakutō to block the attack. Edrad tries to goad him stating that a Shinigami who refuses to release his Zanpakutō is a shame, but Ikkaku simply retorts that he is the one who needs to release.[22]

They continue to fight and Edrad is, however, easily overpowered by Ikkaku's unique style of fighting using both his Zanpakutō and sheath. Analyzing his fighting style, Edrad realizes the attacks of his blade come from his right hand, while the left defends using the Zapakutō's sheath, and he thinks he now has the upper hand. Unfortunately for him, Ikkaku is ambidextrous, causing Edrad to be left vulnerable as he switches the sheath and slashes Edrad's face, breaking the remains of his mask in two. Ikkaku tells him that he was lucky as he was going for his head. Ikkaku then spits out two teeth telling Edrad that channelling his reiatsu into his hands has lost him two molars but resigns to replacing them later. Ikkaku then explains that in 5 or 6 more attacks Edrad will need to release his Zanpakutō. Edrad plainly states that releasing or not wont make a bit of difference in the fight no matter who it is that does it first. Mocking Ikkaku for boasting of his own prowess when he should be cowering in fear at the opponent he will surely loose to. Edrad then takes out his Zanpakutō and releases (not knowing that Arrancar release their Zanpakutō in an entirely different manner to those of Shinigami). When Ikkaku asks him what is that Edrad explains that it is an Arrancar's Zanpakutō release as he transforms into a hulking form. He then finally announces himself as Arrancar Trece Edrad Liones.[23]
Ikkaku blocking Edrad's final blow.

Edrad then explains to Ikkaku what the true power of an Arrancar's release. He then sends a blast at Ikkaku sending him flying.[24] Edrad quickly gains the upper hand as Edrad's Resurrección increases his reiatsu dramatically, allowing him to overwhelm Ikkaku with ease. As the fight is taken to the sky Ikkaku release his Shikai but Edrad suddenly appears and smash him into the ground and leaving a crater around him. As Ikkaku tries to get up, he is told by the Arrancar to give up gracefully, as there is no need for him to be beaten into nothing. Refusing to give up Edrad gives him a finishing blow causing a column of flame to extend into the sky. When the smoke clears Ikkaku has managed to withstand the blow holding Edrad's fist upon his back despite the fact that he is greatly wounded and Hōzukimaru is broken into two pieces.[25]
Ikkaku revealing his Bankai to Edrad.

When Edrad lifts up his fist Ikkaku explains that there was never a difference in their power. Realizing that since the others are in similar fights and won't notice, Ikkaku tells Edrad to be quiet, and promise not to tell anyone about what he is about to see, to which he then releases his Bankai.[26] Edrad stands surprised at the release of reiatsu and that his opponent has Bankai. Ikkaku tells him that this is his Bankai, Ryūmon Hōzukimaru. Edrad makes a feint attempt at flattery but Ikkaku doesn't buy it and tells him that it is only natural that they both show their true levels of reiatsu. The two take to the sky and continue their fight with Edrad striking at Ikkaku with flaming fists. Ikkaku easily cuts through Volcanica right down the middle knuckles of Edrad's fist. Before the Arrancar notices too late that Ikkaku is about to attack him from above. When Edrad tries to block the blade cuts deeply into his forearm, causing Edrad to ignite his flames to push Ikkaku back. Edrad then notices that the Bankai's blade is damaged and cracked, resolving that he still has a fighting chance as long as his other arm doesn't get cut. Ikkaku then begins to swing around his Bankai, and when he sees that Edrad had realized that his reiatsu is rising, Ikkaku explains that Hōzukimaru is, in high contrast to himself, is a "lazy bum" and needs to be awoken, either through battle or by his current movements. Putting all of his strength into one final attack, Edrad does the same and both of the fighters collide in a large explosion.[27] When the smoke clears, Ikkaku's Bankai breaks into different pieces and he falls face first into the ground below, followed by Edrad who has lost his left arm as well as the left side of his abdomen.[28]

Afterwards, both Ikkaku and Yumichika go to Keigo Asano's home as a part of an earlier agreement for saving him from the Arrancar. Although Keigo, at first, tries to get them thrown out, hoping his sister, Mizuho Asano was against it, she only praises his actions and even gives Ikkaku and Yumichika both clothes and food. It is revealed that this is because Mizuho has a thing for guys with "shaved heads."[29][30]

Days later while Ikkaku is meditating, the others are trying to attain Bankai causing Rangiku and Yumichika to get into a small altercation with their Zanpakutō as they are too similar to them, they are summarily yelled at by Hitsugaya.[31] He is alerted along with the others of the arrival of an invasion force lead by Grimmjow's replacement, Luppi. He and Yumichika face off against Luppi who introduces himself as the 6th Espada.[32] Luppi becomes bored and insists that they all fight against him 4 on 1 as he is going to release and take them all on as a group.[33] Ikkaku is surprised at the Luppi's release gives him 8 tentacles to control.[34] Luppi attacks Ikkaku, Rangiku and Ayasegawa all at once beating them up a good amount before taunting them.[35] Ikkaku yells as Yumichika and Rangiku are eventually ensnared along with the others by one of Luppi's many tentacles. The Arrancar then takes notice of her taking note that she has a nice body, detailing that is so nice and sexy and asks if he should fill it with holes as he reveals his tentacles ability to manifest spikes as he proceeds to skewer her on them. But before she can be done in by the attack the tendril is cut off from Luppi by a blast of energy by Kisuke Urahara.[36] Luppi recaptures her while Urahara takes on Yammy, allowing Luppi to taunt her for being so careless. Luppi threatens her but is surprised as his other tentacles are frozen by Hitsugaya. Who then uses his Sennen Hyōrō technique to crush the Arrancar.[37] Luppi escapes death due to Negación, having only been incapacitated by the ice.[38]

Upon learning that Orihime has followed the Arrancar back to Hueco Mundo, Ikkaku and the rest of her team return to Soul Society to help in the preparation for the war against Aizen.[39]
Fake Karakura Town arc
Ikkaku, one of the "elite warriors" in the fake Karakura Town.

When Aizen along with his three top Espada attack fake Karakura Town, he along with Yumichika Ayasegawa, Shūhei Hisagi, and Izuru Kira are left to protect the four pillars that keep the real Karakura Town in Soul Society.[40] He begins a battle with one of Barragan Luisenbarn's Fracción, Choe Neng Poww. Upon seeing the large Arrancar Ikkaku mentions that he prays he's as tough as he looks. Poww then inquires pray to whom, wondering if Shinigami pray to a god. Ikkaku seems to perplexed by the concept too, realizing he doesn't really pray to any god he resigns that it doesn't matter he'll just pray to the Arrancar's guide. Poww counters that then they have no problem as their god and king knows full well that he is no match for him.[41]
Ikkaku defeated by Choe Neng Poww.

Unlike the three others who are successful in defending their pillars, Ikkaku is defeated as a result of the fight against Poww, who then destroys the pillar he was guarding.[42] Poww then mentions that he thought Ikkaku has something more up his sleeve, but considers that if he is dead then he would guess not. As Ikkaku tries to get up Poww steps on his back causing him to scream out in pain. Poww is happy that he still lives and asks him to show him what he has left, as Poww tries to force him to give in or die. Ikkaku is still defiant and replies that he has nothing left and even if he did he wouldn't waste it on him. Before Poww can finish him off, 7th Division captain Sajin Komamura punches Poww and Iba stops more of the real town from appearing, Poww then sends Komamura flying a considerable distance away with a single punch. Poww then uses his Resurrección, Calderón.[43]

This causes 7th Division lieutenant Tetsuzaemon Iba to grab Ikkaku and run, stating that they are no match for someone who just sent his captain flying. Komamura flash steps back a few moments later with no injuries and intercepts an attack by Poww. Komamura then defeats a released Poww with his Bankai.[44]

As captain Komamura's Bankai dissipates Ikkaku looks on in amazement, Iba interrupts him saying that of course it is making note that the difference between the captains Bankai and his is like night and day. Ikkaku looks on in shock as Iba asks him if he didn't think he'd notice and then promises not to tell his captain. He then tells Ikkaku that his job was to protect the pillar and yet it was destroyed. He further tells Ikkaku that the reason why is that he wants to hide his strength. Iba explains that he doesn't care if Ikkaku dies because he wants to hide his strength but don't disobey orders to do so. Making note that Ikkaku's stubbornness has cost them in battle. Iba tells him that so long as he is in the Gotei 13, he must obey orders even if it means crushing his stubbornness and pride. Though Ikkaku tries to explain himself Iba punches him in the face making Ikkaku irate as he tries to fight back but is easily pushed to the side. Iba questions him as to why he would attack head on in his condition. As there is no point in coming at him head on if he is just going to get crushed. He notes that he has to win, even if it means running away or sneaking up from behind. Ikkaku immediately states that it is something a coward would do and he is no coward, which prompts Iba to yell at him to get stronger and win, even at the cost of his life. [45] Ikkaku then notices captain Komamura standing behind Iba, he wiggles his ears and tells them not to worry as his ears appear to be failing him today.[46]
Zanpakutō Unknown Tales arc (anime only)

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

Ikkaku, along with all other Shinigami who had learned their Zanpakutō's name, is called to Sōkyōku Hill under the belief Captain Yamamoto called them. This is proven to be a trap set up by a rogue Zanpakutō spirit named Muramasa, who called them and had captured Yamamoto. To make matters worse, Muramasa somehow "frees" all the Zanpakutō spirits from their spiritual bond with their Shinigami partners. The spirits then begin to attack the entire Seireitei. Later after hearing that Ichigo got his partner back, Ikkaku goes to Ichigo for answers. Together, they find Hōzukimaru. To prove to Ikkaku he is who he claims to be, the two of them do their "lucky dance" together. While Hōzukimaru agrees to fight one-on-one, Hōzukimaru quickly takes control of their battle with his Bankai. Fortunately, but to Ikkaku's dismay, the Onmitsukidō appears and drive Hōzukimaru away.

Later on at the 6th Division Barracks, some of the Zanpakutō have shown up for Byakuya. The Zanpakutō are then surrounded by Soifon and the Onmitsukidō along with Ichigo, Yumichika, and Kira. Ikkaku and Hōzukimaru take their fight outside of the area. Ikkaku is then finally able to release his Shikai and gain the upper hand cutting Hōzukimaru on the shoulder. However, Hōzukimaru retaliates by releasing his Bankai using the three weapons separately. Hōzukimaru's dragon crest finally lights up, signalling full power. He then uses his axe-like weapon and unleashes a large amount of spiritual energy. He and Ikkaku than clash, causing a giant crater in the ground and Ikkaku was able to win using his Shikai. He then makes a happy grin when he senses Kenpachi's spiritual pressure. After the battle ends and the remaining Zanpakutō spirits escape, Ikkaku is found by the 4th division and taken in for treatment.[47]

After recovering, he joins his fellow Shinigami to the living world to fight Muramasa again.[48]
edit Powers & Abilities

Master Swordsmanship Specialist: Despite being ranked as 3rd seat officer in his division, his rank does not reflect his fighting abilities, which are of near-captain level. According to Yumichika Ayasegawa, Ikkaku is the 2nd strongest man in the 11th Division.[49] He uses a fighting style that is noted at being rough but powerful alongside the use of complex movements that allows him to lunge with his sword from the left and defend with his sheath at the right, though he is ambidextrous and can easily switch between the two techniques. He uses misdirection in his attacks and even though doing so allows for holes in his defense he is more than capable of making it up with surprise attacks.[50] However, his mastery of this skill is great enough that Renji Abarai begged Ikkaku to train him.[2]

Naginatajutsu Master: Ikkaku's Zanpakutō is a Naginata-type weapon while in Shikai form, Ikkaku uses it perfectly against other sword-type weapons.[51]

Bōjutsu Master: Ikkaku's Zanpakutō is a Naginata-type weapon while in Shikai form, it can split apart into a three-sectioned staff and back into a Naginata. While in the split form he is highly proficient in the use of techniques similar in use to that of bo to take advantage of its versatility.[52][53]

Flash Steps: Ikkaku has been seen using Flash Steps frequently, though he only uses it to keep up with stronger opponents; this way he can fight more.

High Spiritual Power: Though only a 3rd Seat, Ikkaku boast a high spiritual level and has the spiritual power level of a lieutenant of the Gotei 13. His spiritual energy is red.

Enhanced Strength: Ikkaku obviously possesses a high level of strength, as he was able to block a punch from Edrad Leones in his released state, even when severely injured.[54] Several of his enemies also comment to the strength of his blows.

Enhanced Endurance: Ikkaku has been shown to have an incredibly high endurance. In his first fight against the Arrancar Edrad Liones, who had released his Zanpakutō, Ikkaku was losing with ease against an Arrancar even when the he uses his Shikai. Ikkaku is then told by the Arrancar to give up but he fights back and after using for the first time his own Bankai he won against the Arrancar. In another fight with Arrancar Choe Neng Poww, Ikkaku was losing poorly, even his Shikai was completely destroyed, yet he wanted to fight regardless.[55][56]

Enhanced Durability: Despite taking on a lot of wounds, Ikkaku can continue to fight against great odds.[57][58]

Expert Hand-to-Hand Combatant: Before he became a Shinigami, Ikkaku was always roaming around looking for fights. He won against everyone he fought even when he did not use a sword. Ikkaku had to fight with his hands against his opponents since not all of them had a sword, and upon seeing his strength most people fled from him.

Hōzukimaru redirects here. For the manifested spirit that appears in the Zanpakutō Unknown Tales arc see Hōzukimaru (spirit).

Hōzukimaru (鬼灯丸, Demon Light): It appears like any regular Zanpakutō when sealed. Madarame does hide a small vial of healing ointment in the base of the hilt, though. Hōzukimaru's crossguard is an oval, with what look like three small teardrops in relief on both the top and bottom end. Hōzukimaru's sealed form enables Ikkaku to employ it in battle as a normal weapon, with its sheath being wielded in his other hand to serve as a secondary weapon.
Ikkaku's Shikai, Hozukimaru.

* Shikai: Its Shikai command is "Grow" (延びろ, nobiro; "Extend" in the English version). Hōzukimaru's Shikai is unusual in that Ikkaku slams Hōzukimaru's hilt (and sometimes its pommel) into its sheath to activate it when saying the command phrase. Once activated, Hōzukimaru takes on the form of what initially appears to be a naginata (spear) with a wax wood shaft. The pommel also has a red horsehair tassel.[59] While able to deliver powerful blows, it is not very durable as it tends to break against particularly strong strikes.

Ikkaku's Shikai separated.

Shikai Special Ability: Ikkaku uses the command "Split" (裂けろ, sakero; "Split apart" in the English dub) to separate his naginata into its true form which is a Sansetsukon (Three Sectional Staff), after which the sections can independently reconnect and separate again at will.[60] This special ability surprises one's opponents when they first attack. These chains are also able to extend a fair length, allowing Ikkaku to swing his weapon like a flail for mid-range attacks.

Ikkaku's Bankai, Ryūmon Hōzukimaru.

* Bankai: Ryūmon Hōzukimaru (龍紋鬼灯丸, Dragon Crest Demon Light): It keeps the three-section theme but loses its naginata properties. Instead, it is merely three over-sized weapons connected by an equally large chain. To activate it during his battle with Edrad, Ikkaku slams the two broken pieces of his Shikai back into the spear-form and says Bankai. Ikkaku's two main weapons are a Chinese Monk's spade and a standard Guan dao. Both have a traditional horsehair tassel at the hilt and a long cylindrical weight for a pommel. The pommels are connected by a heavy chain to the center section, which resembles an axe-like blade with a parallel handle forged into the blunt end and a dragon crest on one side of the blade. Despite all three weapons being of near-ridiculous proportions, Ikkaku wields them easily. Ikkaku usually holds one blade in each hand and lets the central portion "float" behind him, though he will occasionally spin the entire configuration about using the center handle as a pivot.[61][62]

Bankai Special Ability: Ikkaku's Bankai, like his Shikai, is quite unusual. Aside from the increase in power, his Bankai offers no special abilities and no special defense properties. It releases some reiatsu which starts to grow in strength. Ikkaku treats Hōzukimaru a lot different than others (as they just let theirs slumber and use it when they want to do Bankai). But if he forces it to awaken suddenly, cutting the enemy and not getting cut becomes a lot harder to handle than it should be. Thus Ikkaku's Bankai gets increasingly more powerful as the fight drags on. After he performs his Bankai, the dragon crest will slowly fill in with crimson dye as Ikkaku's Spiritual Pressure rises. It fills faster when he spins Hōzukimaru with the center handle. Ikkaku comments that his Zanpakutō is actually very lazy in battle (in stark contrast to Ikkaku himself) and needs to be woken up through causing or receiving injury; which would explain its ability to accumulate attacking power the longer the fight extends. When the crest is completely filled, Hōzukimaru is at its full power.[63] However, the force of unleashing so much power can leave his Zanpakutō's edge brittle under excessive stress.[64]

edit Relationships
Yumichika Ayasegawa

Main article: Yumichika Ayasegawa Ikkaku and Yumichika have been best friends since before they joined the Gotei 13 and are often seen together. His trust in Yumichika is great enough that he is one of the only people who knows about Ikkaku's Bankai.
Kenpachi Zaraki

Main article: Kenpachi Zaraki Having fought against Kenpachi and lost, Ikkaku developed great respect for him, deciding that if he cannot defeat him, then he will fight under his command. Ikkaku refuses to reveal his Bankai as he wishes to die under Kenpachi's leadership.
Yachiru Kusajishi

Main article: Yachiru Kusajishi Ikkaku and Yachiru do not get along, due to Yachiru's habits of making nicknames for Ikkaku such as cueball and baldy, as well as biting his head. After much pestering from Yachiru, Ikkaku added wheels to her Zanpakutō's scabbard, allowing her to run with it without it being dragged behind her[65]. Ikkaku also made a scooter for her birthday.[66]
Renji Abarai

Main article: Renji Abarai

Renji once served with Ikkaku in the 11 Division. At Renji's request, Ikkaku trained him in Zanjutsu. Renji started off poorly, being easily overpowered by Ikkaku, but he gradually advances under Ikkaku's tutelage. During a training session, he is visibly saddened when Ikkaku tells him that his training would be over afterwards. Ikkaku told him that he already knew everything he could teach, but Renji knew that he had a Bankai, and asked why he keeps it hidden. Ikkaku told him it was just "his style," and tells Renji that he does not want anyone but him and Yumichika to know about it, revealing trust between the two Shinigami.
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