Overview Shunsui Kyōraku
was first introduced in the season 1 of the anime series Bleach is the Captain of the 8th Division in the Gotei 13. His lieutenant is Nanao Ise.
Shunsui Kyōraku is a tall Shinigami with grey eyes and long wavy brown hair (though during the flashbacks of his youth, Shunsui is shown to have straight and significantly shorter hair). His hair is tied in a long ponytail and has long bangs that frame the left side of his face. He wears a straw hat (called a sakkat) and a pink, flowered ladies kimono, which he drapes across his shoulders and over his captain's uniform. He has thin facial hair around his mouth and on his cheeks. Although his haori and obi sash are cheap, his pin-wheel hairpins are very expensive. Like Ikkaku Madarame, he does not wear tabi with his sandals.
Kyōraku is a laid back and flamboyant man, evident in his style of dress and general attitude, and he is rarely seen without a smile on his lips. In his off time, he can be seen drinking sake in bars and napping. He likes steamed buns that go with sake, but dislikes powdered green tea. Other times, he likes to chase after women, particularly his lieutenant, Nanao Ise, whom he calls "my Nanao-chan" (Lil' Nanao in the English Dub). Nanao will often respond by hitting him with whatever she has on hand. He would have also done this when Lisa Yadōmaru was his lieutenant, which shows that teasing is a part of his personality. Kyōraku tends to use a more familiar speech style than most other characters. He generally refers to his fellow captains and Shinigami by their first name followed by an honorific. Kyōraku is a peace-loving man who will always try to talk his way out of a fight, though he doesn't wish to insult opponents by refusing to fight. The slightly eccentric Kyōraku also seems to like making an impression on opponents. He also dislikes taking the life of innocent people, as he left Chad alive when Nanao offered to kill him.
Though Kyōraku tries to talk his way out of a fight, he does insist on fighting when the situation is grave, as seen in his battle with the First Espada, Coyote Starrk. When Starrk asked that they only pretend to fight, he replied that he couldn't do that "this time", as much as he prefers to do things the same way.He is also one of the most proficient combatants in Soul Society, and maintains a level of honor and integrity when engaging in battle, much like his best friend Jūshirō. He refuses to fight with children or even in the presence of a child. He always maintains a semblance of respect for his opponent and is polite in combat situations and prefers to fight one on one.Even when fighting powerful opponents, like Starrk or Aizen, he never (or at least rarely) loses his cool, going as far as to make small talk and joke around with his opponents.
Despite being one of the strongest and oldest captains, Kyōraku retains a level of humbleness and isn't overly arrogant about his strength, although when fighting Starrk, he does comment on how the fight "wouldn't be too easy" even after finding out that Starrk is the 1st Espada, but he does recognize that Hitsugaya has the potential to become stronger than him given enough time. Kyōraku has shown a great distaste for fighting, telling Love Aikawa that it doesn't matter whether you owe someone or they owe you, as soon as you start fighting, you are in the wrong either way.
Shunsui is the second son of the high-ranking noble Kyōraku family. Despite being of such old and prestigious lineage, he disliked studying and training, and preferred to chase the ladies, although being told by Captain-Commander Yamamoto that he was able to see the truth and was wise for his age. Because of this, he was sent against his will to the Shin'ō Reijutsu Academy (Shinigami Academy). While there he came to know Jūshirō Ukitake, who would become his best friend and fellow captain. He, along with Jūshirō Ukitake, was one of the first Shinigami to become a captain through the Shinigami academy. Furthermore, he was personally trained by Yamamoto. He and Ukitake are the oldest captains amongst the Gotei 13, with the exception of Retsu Unohana and Yamamoto himself. It was stated that the four of them have been Captains of the Gotei 13 for at least 100 years as of 110 years ago before the current time.
110 years ago, he was shown to have a unique relationship with his Lieutenant Lisa Yadōmaru, though in contrast to his relationship with his current Lieutenant Nanao Ise, Lisa was more outgoing and perverted in a way much like his own personality. But he found that his position required him to be the "adult" in the situation. He was also the first to casually mention, to an inquisitive lieutenant Sōsuke Aizen, that the previous 12th Division Captain was promoted to the Royal Guard. He was also present at the promotion ceremony of the newly appointed 12th Division captain Kisuke Urahara.
9 years later Shunsui was present at an emergency meeting called by Captain-Commander Yamamoto. He decided to create an investigative team to locate the missing 9th Division squad members. When he gave out the orders, Yamamoto ordered Shunsui to guard the Seireitei. When Yamamoto decided to send both Kidō Captain Tessai Tsukabishi and Kidō Lieutenant Hachigen Ushōda of the Kidō Corps, Shunsui instead advised him to send only Hachi and replaced Tessai with his own lieutenant, Lisa. He tried to cheer up a shaken Kisuke Urahara, telling him not to worry about his lieutenant, Hiyori Sarugaki, who was sent to help the 9th Division, because she was strong, though not as strong as Lisa.
During a night-walk he met up some squad members that were on guard and congratulated them of keeping watch on the Seireitei. He also noticed lieutenant Sōsuke Aizen taking a night walk, muttering to himself that he was maybe over-thinking things before leaving. Later in his barracks he was addressed by a very young Nanao Ise, who had come to see his Lieutenant,Lisa Yadōmaru. Shunsui then remembered that Nanao always came to him around the first of every month to have Lisa read to her. Nanao confirmed this, only to be told that Lisa was away on a mission, but would be back soon.
Katen Kyōkotsu (aka Flower Heaven, Crazy Bone
"Flower-Heaven Bone of Madness"): His Zanpakutō is unique in that it exists as two completely separate swords, existing as a daisho
sword pair, consisting of a tachi and a wakizashi. Their cross guards are rectangles, with the corners cut off, decorated by a pattern of cherry petals and lines, and each sports a dark-blue handle. He keeps them sheathed through his waist tie at his left side; although, during battle, the swords have been shown to be placed on both sides of his sash. Like other Zanpakutō, Katen Kyōkotsu has a personality of her own. However, unlike other Zanpakutō, this personality shines through in battle and prevents Shunsui from fighting with his full powers until Katen Kyōkotsu is in the mood for it. Because of this, Shunsui does not like to "play" with "her". Shikai Special Ability
: The power of Katen Kyōkotsu is to "make children's games real". The Zanpakutō makes the rules and anyone who steps within the boundaries of its spiritual pressure is forced to play by those rules, including Shunsui himself. According to Shunsui, "if you win you live, if you lose you die".
Powers and Abilities
- Master Swordsman
- Kido Master
- Shunpo Master
- Immense Spiritual Power
- Enhanced Strength and Endurance
- Immense Spiritual Power
- Kyōraku is the only Shinigami known to wield a Zanpakutō that exists as two completely separate blades in both its sealed state and its Shikai.
- His past lieutenant is Lisa Yadomaru before she was transformed by Aizen as a Vizard. Currently her lieutenant is Nanao Ise who strongly resembles Lisa Yadomaru.
- His Zanpakutō and Jūshirō Ukitake's Zanpakutō have the longest release commands as of yet. Word-for-word, Ukitake's is the longer of the two, although the translation in the English manga drastically shortens it and lengthens Kyōraku's.
- In the most recent popularity poll, Kyōraku was ranked 17th (he came 36th in the 2nd and 29th in the 3rd).
- His Zanpakutō, Katen Kyōkotsu, was joint 33rd in the Zanpakutō poll, tying with Shun Shun Rikka and Gamuza.