"I don't know how it is with you nobles. But a coward that could be scared away by something like that does not exist in the Shiba family!"
Ganju is a tall muscular man with chin-length black hair and partially missing left eyebrow. He wears a vest, scarf, bandanna and pair of goggles.
Ganju possesses a hot temper, a strong ego and a deep hatred for Shinigami. This grudge is slow to dissipate even after he learns the truth of the incident. Though he always acts tough, he has shown that he also has a softer side, easily being cowed by his older sister Kūkaku, (although he does show the ability to stand up to her) and later develops an understanding to Ichigo Kurosaki with a relationship similar to what Ichigo has with Renji Abarai. He is noted to be rather unattractive and rather than deny this opinion, he tends to talk around the subject, especially when Yumichika Ayasegawa makes note of it. Ganju has been shown to be forgetful, like when he was sent to the World of the Living by his sister to collect information on the situation with the Bount, he was quickly and easily side tracked when he got a job as a convenient store clerk for the convenience store Hanatarō was working in, and later just as quickly forgot about the job and had to rush back in the middle of training to work his shift.
Not much is known about Ganju's history, except that he was very loyal to his elder brother, Kaien Shiba. One night, during a mission in hunting a Hollow, Kaien was killed, but not by the Hollow. Rukia Kuchiki brought Kaien's body back to the Shiba household and admitted to being Kaien's killer, which would eventually spawn Ganju's hatred towards the Shinigami.
Because of his brother, Kaien Shiba's, death at the hands of Rukia Kuchiki when he was still young, Ganju holds a grudge against all Shinigami. It is implied that after Kaien and his wife Miyako's death, the Shiba clan lost its status as one of the Noble Clans (which include the Kuchiki and Shihōin clans). There now remain only four Noble Clans, as the Shiba had been the fifth. Ganju eventually started his own gang in the Rukongai; however, he was still living with his older sister Kūkaku Shiba and has assisted her on some occasions.
Soul Society arc
After Ichigo's group fail in their first attempt to invade Seireitei, they gather in the house of an elder. Ganju suddenly bursts through the door having been thrown off by his boar Bonnie-chan. As he gets up he greets the old man, who in turn tells him to go home. Ganju says that he has not seen the old man in a long time and wanted to come by and then tells him that he is impolite by scaring the guests. He then sees Ichigo and questions what a "Punk Ass Shinigami" was doing there.
Ganju then grabs Ichigo's face and asks him once again what a "Punk Ass Shinigami" was doing in there. Ichigo however doesn't even frown and simply punches Ganju in the face starting a heated argument where Ichigo questions who Ganju even is. Ganju then introduces himself as the "number one Shinigami hater" and tackles Ichigo out of the house. As Ganju orders Ichigo to leave Ichigo easily attacks Ganju leading to a heated battle between the two until Ganju is told by his gang what time it is and that he should be heading home to his "Ne-Chan". He then tells Ichigo to stay put as he is not running, but still has to be somewhere else.
Upon seeing each other at Ganju's older sister Kūkaku Shiba's home, Ichigo and Ganju immediately resume their fight, causing Kūkaku to violently stop them. After Kūkaku hears the strangers out, she decides to help them, but Ganju protests. He reminds Kūkaku about what happened to their older brother, Kaien Shiba. Kūkaku, silences him in a very serious manner and tells him to not bring that up again. Kūkaku tells him to go and help train in controlling their Reiatsu. Ganju watches as Orihime Inoue, Yasutora Sado, and Uryū Ishida all achieve their goal in forming a sphere and sees Ichigo fail to do so. Ganju decides to give Ichigo a helpful, but dangerous tip. Ichigo is stopped in time by Kūkaku, who then turns her attention to Ganju. In another comedic fashion she beats them and takes away their dinner privileges. The next day Ganju reveals that he is planning to go with them to the Seireitei. When Ichigo says no, Ganju tells them all about the death of his older brother at the hands of a Shinigami, though Ganju leaves many details out. As they begin to leave, Yoruichi reminds them that if they meet any captains they must not fight them. Ganju and the others set out for the Seireitei in the Spirit Orb after it is launched from Kūkaku's Cannon.
Flying towards the Seireitei, Ganju begins the incantation to strengthen the spirit Orb so it can break through the Seireitei's shield. Ichigo's arguing with the others causes him to mess up and the Orb shatters after it hits. Fortunately, it gets them through, but the explosion afterwards separates them into four separate groups. Ichigo and Ganju safely land together, thanks to his Seppa technique. However they are immediately confronted by Ikkaku Madarame and Yumichika Ayasegawa. Sensing their Reiatsu, Ganju opts for a hasty retreat. When Ichigo refuses, he leaves without him, but Yumichika immediately gives chase. Despite the obvious strength difference, Ganju manages to evade the brunt of his attacks. He uses the Spirit Orb to successfully deal slight damage to both him and Yumichika and manages to shortly escape from Yumichika. Yumichika quickly catches up and after a few more rounds of cat and mouse, Ganju manages to outsmart and defeat him.
Shortly thereafter, Ganju is caught and pursued by other Eleventh Division members. A few in particular insult his looks and say that they are going to use his head as a door knocker, "a very ugly door knocker". While running, he and Ichigo are reunited, unfortunately Ichigo brings a large group of Eleventh Division Shinigami with him. Suddenly, a small and scraggly Shinigami, falls out of the crowd and within arms reach. Ichigo and Ganju decide to take the kid hostage and use him as a bartering tool in order to escape. The plan fails miserably due to the fact that the Eleventh Division Shinigami hate the Fourth Division. Just before the Shinigami attack, a large explosion occurs. Not caring about this, Ichigo and Ganju (who is carrying the Shinigami kid), use this as a distraction and make a hasty escape. After taking cover in a large storage building, Ganju and Ichigo learn the kid's name is Hanatarō Yamada. When Ichigo asked why he brought the kid with them, Ganju says he just accidentally picked him up and carried him. After a few arguments among themselves, Hanatarō agrees to help them rescue Rukia. They sneak through the underground passages and emerge at the base of Sōkyoku Hill. However they are immediately confronted by Sixth Division lieutenant, Renji Abarai. Unable to help, Ganju and Hanatarō watch as the two battle. Eventually Ichigo wins, but with Ichigo injured and more Shinigami approaching they retreat back to the underground passages.
As Hanatarō heals Ichigo, Ganju decides to rest. While asleep Hanatarō also heals Ganju's injuries. Ganju wakes up and finds Hanatarō sleeping on him and drooling. Ganju almost hits him, but Ichigo tells him about how hard Hanatarō has been working. The next day the three resurface in the same spot and continue their way back to the Shishinrō to rescue Rukia. Shortly there after the three are seemingly attacked by an unknown force. An amount of Reiatsu so strong and powerful descends upon them that they have trouble running and they are confronted by Kenpachi Zaraki, the captain of 11th Division and his lieutenant, Yachiru Kusajishi. Hanatarō is knocked unconscious and Ganju is knocked breathless, both from Kenpachi's spiritual pressure alone. As Ganju recovers, he prepares to fight alongside of Ichigo, but Ichigo orders him to grab Hanatarō and run. Though not wanting to, Ganju decides it is best to retreat. As Hanatarō awakens he asks where Ichigo is and tries to persuade Ganju to turn back and help him. However, Ganju refuses and tells Hanatarō why they must go and rescue Rukia for Ichigo. While running, Ganju says to himself that he does not want Ichigo to die as he still has questions to ask him. Time passes and after a loud and powerful explosion, Ganju and Hanatarō realize the fight is over. Both wonder who won and both hope Ichigo found a way to survive.
Ganju and Hanatarō arrive at the Shishinrō and use a key Hanatarō stole from a storage shed to open the door. They find Rukia, but Ganju immediately recognizes her as the same Shinigami who killed his brother Kaien. He becomes furious and almost attacks her, but is interrupted by Byakuya Kuchiki, the captain of the Sixth Division. Because of Ganju's past with Rukia, Hanatarō decides he will try to stall Byakuya long enough for them to escape. Knowing Hanatarō does not have a chance, Ganju decides to fight Byakuya himself. In a matter of moments, Ganju is defeated by Byakuya. He awakes the next day all bandaged up with Sado and Ishida, the three of them locked in a cell. They decide to wait and see if Ichigo can rescue them, but help comes from unexpected ally; Kenpachi and his group along with Orihime. Wanting to repay Ichigo for the terrific fight and feeling this was the best way that he would be able to reunite with him, Kenpachi has decided to help them. The eight of them decide to go and rescue Rukia, but are stopped by Kaname Tōsen, Sajin Komamura, Shūhei Hisagi, and Tetsuzaemon Iba, the captains and lieutenants of 9th Division and 7th Division. Kenpachi immediately tells them to leave, which they do. They manage to arrive at the Sōkyoku Hill after the battle between Ichigo and Byakuya. With Ichigo, they decide to leave, but a message from Isane Kotetsu and Rukia's spiritual pressure appearing at the top of Sōkyoku Hill causes them rush back. They are unable to stop Sōsuke Aizen and his men from leaving with the Hōgyoku. Ganju returns home to the comical beatings of his sister as she heard he was worthless in the fights. Rukia and Ichigo join the Shiba family for dinner before Ichigo returns home and Ichigo and Ganju enjoy trying to stuff food down each other's throat.
Bount arc (anime only)
Note: Events occurring in this arc are only in the anime and do not constitute canon material.
Gotei 13 Invading Army arc (anime only)
Note: Events occurring in this arc are only in the anime and do not constitute canon material.
The Thousand-Year Blood War arc
After Ichigo leaves for the Royal Palace with the Royal Guard using Kūkaku's cannon, Ganju asks his sister if she is okay with this. Kūkaku tells him that she is and that if he does not go now, the next attack could be the end of Soul Society. Therefore they have to let him go even if their uncle would not be happy. She then tells him to go back to the Great Kūkaku Training Hall and help Kūgo Ginjō, Shūkurō Tsukishima and Giriko Kutsuzawa with their training. She tells Ganju that he will have to fight in the next battle.
During the second invasion by the Wandenreich, Ganju interrupts Ichigo and his friends leaving for the Soul King Palace while proclaiming he is coming along. When Ichigo questions why he is doing so, as they only need Kūkaku, Ganju reveals that he has a map of the palace, which they will need in order to get through it. Ichigo tells him that it will not be as easy as it was before, only for Ganju to state that this is why he is coming along. Afterward, Ganju, Ichigo, Orihime, Sado, and Yoruichi are launched toward the palace by Kisuke Urahara.
Later, Ganju and his friends arrive at the palace, where Ganju tumbles out of the fake Tenchuren on impact due to Orihime being unable to cushion his fall with Santen Kesshun. When Orihime moves to heal a defeated Ichibē Hyōsube upon seeing his head lying on the ground, Ganju tells her she cannot help him while he is in pieces. After expressing shock when Ichibē revives himself and listening to his explanation, Ganju rushes toward the main palace alongside the others. Eventually, Ganju and the others arrive at the main palace, where they confront Yhwach. Soon afterward, Ganju expresses shock when Ichigo's right side is enveloped in Blut Vene veins upon touching Yhwach's sword.
Shortly after Ichigo clashes with Yhwach, Ganju and the others are interrupted when Yoruichi gets struck by an arrow fired by Uryū. After Uryū blocks their path, they are then confronted by the arrival of the Schutzstaffel, who have them surrounded.
After falling off the palace, Orihime catches Ganju and the others, and bumps his head against Ichigo's. After reaching one of cities, the Fullbringers Riruka Dokugamine and Yukio Hans Vorarlberna arrive with a box to transport Ganju and his friends back to the main palace. Once their destination is reached, Ganju tells Ichigo that he has grown, to which Ichigo assumes he meant physically. Ganju then recants his statement. After exiting the box, the group finds that the entire Royal Realm has been remodeled by Yhwach.
Ganju and the others navigate their way through the newly formed Royal Realm to find where the enemy is, only to unintentionally bump into Askin along the way. Soon after, Ganju and the others split up to search for Grimmjow. Ganju gets lost and wanders aimlessly for a while before ending up at Silbern. He flies up from a hole of sand next to Sado, who asks him where he had been. Ganju faces the Quincy statues Sado is confronting and shouts that they will face his wrath, but gets annoyed when Sado ignores him. Sado tells him that they just need to keep things simple and eliminate the statues in order to clear the way for Ichigo.
- Sword: Ganju wields a short blade that resembles a meat cleaver or a Chinese dao.
- Fireworks: Ganju often uses fireworks while fighting. He has a holder on his back in which he keeps his fireworks.
- Senpen Banka (旋遍万花, Enveloping Whirl of Myriad Flowers): While trying to evade his opponents or distract them, Ganju uses scorch ball-type fireworks to gain some time for himself to complete another technique. During Senpen Banka, which Ganju states is a Shiba Clan technique, he throws several Shakudama (灼玉, Scorch Ball) fireworks at his opponent. This technique can lightly injure an officer-level Shinigami.
Powers & Abilities
Hand-to-Hand Combatant: Short-tempered as Ganju is, he is shown himself an able fighter, able to hold his own against Ichigo during their short fight. His style of fighting is brawling, using lunging power strikes to take his opponent down quickly.
Swordsmanship: Though Ganju is not a member of the Shinigami forces, he is part of the Shiba clan and can fight on a level above that of an average Shinigami, but lower than that of the higher ranking seated officers. Ganju's sword skills are limited, so he relies primarily on his arsenal of fireworks, agility, and earth magic.
Enhanced Endurance: During the few fights Ganju was a part of he has demonstrated impressive resilience. Even after several solid hits from Ichigo or slices from Yumichika, he is able to continue fighting effectively.
High Spiritual Power: Being of the Shiba clan, Ganju possesses high spiritual pressure, enough to be acknowledged even by someone as Byakuya Kuchiki, albeit he called it weak. Furthermore, during their confrontation with Zaraki, Ganju was able to retain consciousness (albeit brought down to his knees) by the powerful captain.
Earth Magic: Ganju's earth magic doesn't seem to operate on the same principle as standard Shinigami Kidō, as it is used without incantation and is unnumbered.
- Seppa (石波, Stone Wave): By moving his hand in the same pattern as the trembling current, the sign of the Shiba clan, Ganju can reduce anything he touches to sand. He normally uses this as a delay tactic, blasting through walls in order to run away, but he has demonstrated that it has other potential uses in a fight; such as when he used it to sink Ichigo's Zangetsu into the ground up to the handle, effectively rendering it useless. He can also perform "Seppa" with his feet. He has also shown the ability to project a Stone Wave in order to break the fall of himself and Ichigo upon arriving in Seireitei.
- Renkan Seppa Sen (連環石波扇, Stone Wave Fan of Linked Rings): Using his Earth Magic abilities, Ganju draws a trembling current, the sign of the Shiba clan, on a surface with his hand, allowing him to turn anything he touches to sand. Ganju can make a number of these symbols over a designated area in a specific pattern before casting another spell, which allows him to turn an even larger area to sand.
Appearances in Other Media
|Video Game Appearances|
- The theme song that Kubo chose for Ganju is "Sakura" by the artist Handsome Hanji.
- Ganju and Yumichika's battle is extended in the anime. After hitting Yumichika with his Chitami, Ganju and Yumichika are both affected by it and fall into a trash pit, before Ganju flees again.
- (To Hanatarō Yamada) "Ichigo came all the way to Soul Society to save Kuchiki. He must want to rescue her with his own hands! Yet he has given that mission to us, and stayed back alone. In doing so, he is telling us that rescuing Kuchiki is the top priority no matter the cost! Don't you see? He has entrusted us with the task that he is willing to throw his life away for!! So we have to do everything in our power to rescue her. If we waste valuable time here, then Ichigo's sacrifice becomes meaningless!"
- (About Kaien Shiba) "Sorry Aniki... I'll avenge your death next time. This time I blame my sister... because she didn't bring me up to be... a coward who runs away and leaves his friends behind!!"
- (To Byakuya Kuchiki after being stabbed) "I don't know how it is with you nobles. But a coward that could be scared away by something like that... does not exist in the Shiba family!!"
- Bleach Official Character Book Souls, page 106
- Bleach manga; Chapter 518, page 15
- Bleach Official Character Book Souls, page 31
- Bleach manga; Chapter 78, pages 17-19
- Bleach manga; Chapter 78, pages 1-5
- Bleach anime; Episodes 23 and 24
- Bleach anime; Episodes 25, 26, and 27
- Bleach anime; Episodes 28-31
- Bleach manga; Chapters 103, 104, and 115
- Bleach manga; Chapters 137, 138, 164, 167, and 183
- Bleach anime, Episode 337
- Bleach manga; Chapter 518, pages 13-15
- Bleach manga; Chapter 598, pages 1-5
- Bleach manga; Chapter 611, pages 9-10
- Bleach manga; Chapter 613, page 12
- Bleach manga; Chapter 614, page 15
- Bleach manga; Chapter 619, page 7
- Bleach manga; Chapter 620, pages 2-7
- Bleach manga; Chapter 624, pages 10-11
- Bleach manga; Chapter 625, pages 10-16
- Bleach manga; Chapter 627, pages 5-15
- Bleach manga; Chapter 629, pages 11-13
- Bleach manga; Chapter 635, page 7
- Bleach manga; Chapter 661, pages 16-17
- Bleach manga; Chapter 90, pages 6-9
- Bleach anime; Episode 28
- Bleach anime; Episode 22
- Bleach manga; Chapter 87, pages 2-3
- Bleach anime; Episode 26
- Bleach manga; Chapter 87, pages 2-3
- Bleach anime; Episode 26
- Bleach manga; Chapter 90, page 16
- Bleach anime; Episode 28
- Bleach anime; Episode 27
- Bleach manga; Chapter 105, page 2
- Bleach manga; Chapter 116, page 14
- Bleach manga; Chapter 116, page 34
|Manga Canon||Ganju Shiba · Kūkaku Shiba · Yūichi Shibata · Koganehiko · Shiroganehiko · Hironari Horiuchi · Hisana Kuchiki · Kenji Yamashita · Mitsuru Ishino · Sadatomo Saionji · Taichi Miyamoto · Nobutsune Seike · Wolfman Clan Elder · Ganju's Gang · Bonnie|
|Anime Only||Ran'Tao · Kusajishi Bull's Gang · Rurichiyo Kasumiōji · Shū Kannogi · Sayori · Gyōkaku Kumoi · Hanza Nukui · Jinnai Dōko · Kuzuryū · Genga · Mayu · Tōba|
|Game Only||Konoka Suzunami|