(鵬, ) and Ban (磐, Ban) are twin Bount who serve as enforcers of Jin Kariya.[1]

Appearance

Hō and Ban are two young men with raven-black hair, fair skin, and narrow maroon eyes. Both wear an orange shirt underneath a mostly-zipped-up brown sweater emblazoned on each side of the chest area with an inward-facing darker brown half-circle terminating in a thick black line with a black dot in the middle of the brown section, as well as baggy dark gray shorts with rolled-up legs. However, their hairstyles and hats set them apart; Hō has short hair underneath a red baseball cap styled after a skull, while Ban has a white beanie over chin-length hair that is parted down the middle to frame his face.[2]

Personality

Hō and Ban are smug, arrogant, and sadistic men who delight in their targets putting up a fight and look down on Humans as having low physical capabilities in addition to a reduced learning capacity. They also take great pleasure in their ability to attack and kill people from afar without making their own presences known, leading to their tendency to draw out assassination attempts in order to toy with their prey; however, they will simultaneously criticize their targets for drawing out a conflict by fighting for survival for too long. Furthermore, Hō and Ban are confident in their own power, knowing that Guhl and Günther draw from a resource that is widely required by Humans to live and thus cannot truly be escaped from by their victims, especially when it is raining, which emboldens them enough to confront their targets personally.[2] In combat, they are especially cruel, willing to harm even those they have been ordered to take back alive and kill others by tearing apart their bodies from the inside by invading them with Guhl and Günther.[3]

Despite their callous natures, Hō and Ban care considerably about both each other and their Dolls; while hunting their prey with Guhl and Günther, Hō and Ban will often make genial observations and hold philosophical conversations with each other[2] as well as finish each other's sentences when speaking, and they are distressed whenever Guhl and Günther risk harm in battle. However, when Ban was incapacitated and knocked out by Noba, though initially frantically concerned for him, Hō proclaimed that he would be able to continue fighting without needing him and began angrily ordering Guhl around, only to be shocked and frightened when the latter did not obey him.[3]

Plot

Bount arc (anime only)

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

Jin Kariya orders Hō and Ban to retrieve Uryū Ishida.

After Uryū Ishida is rescued from Ryō Utagawa by Yoshino Sōma and brought to Karakura Hospital, where Ichigo Kurosaki gather to protect him, Jin Kariya tasks Hō and Ban with retrieving him for Kariya's plan.[1] That night, Hō and Ban infiltrate the hospital and begin attacking Ichigo and his friends by having their Dolls, Guhl and Günther, flood the rooms, battle with Ichigo's group, and attempt to kidnap Uryū directly by encasing him in water several times, though this is thwarted by Rukia Kuchiki discovering their vulnerability to heat from Kidō, which annoys Hō and Ban enough for them to ramp up their attack across the entire hospital.[2]

Hō and Ban confront Ichigo Kurosaki's group directly.

Eventually, as Ichigo and his friends run desperately around the hospital in search of an escape route, Hō and Ban confront them in front of one of the emergency exits and re-summon Guhl and Günther to force them back, leading the group to take the elevators to the ground floor in an attempt to move outside. However, Hō and Ban remain nonplussed and follow them to the parking lot, where Ichigo's group discovers that it is raining across Karakura Town,[2] and resume their attack by trapping most of the group in surging water in order to drown them, though they are forced to abandon this when Yasutora Sado and Orihime Inoue run off with Uryū to a different part of town.[3]

Hō and Ban's weakness is exposed when they are separated.

Upon catching up to Sado and Orihime, Hō and Ban mock their inability to win as Guhl and Günther repeatedly reform from Sado's attacks and overwhelm Orihime's defenses, but are caught off-guard when Sado's barrage of energy blasts results in Ban instinctively running away from Hō, causing their control over their Dolls to falter due to the physical distance between them and giving Sado and his friends a chance to run away. Soon afterward, Hō and Ban find Sado, Orihime, and Uryū hiding in an abandoned factory and succeed in capturing the latter with Guhl just as Ichigo, Rukia, and 6th Division Lieutenant Renji Abarai catch up with and join their friends in the factory.[3]

Hō and Ban die after Guhl and Günther are destroyed.

With Ichigo and his friends refusing to run away, Hō and Ban decide to kill them and have Guhl and Günther infiltrate their bodies through their mouths and noses in order to tear their bodies apart from the inside out, which they are completely unable to defend against. Suddenly, Noba begins teleporting Ban away from Hō in increments of two meters at a time until Ban is dropped off a ledge onto his head, incapacitating him and shaking Hō's control over Guhl. Though he attempts to continue fighting on his own, Hō finds Guhl no longer listening to his commands and dies alongside Ban when Ganju Shiba burns their crests with a firework, destroying their Dolls.[3]

Powers & Abilities

Dolls

Main article: Guhl and Günther

Hō and Ban summon Guhl and Günther.

Guhl (グール, Gūru) and Günther (ギュンター, Gyuntā) are Hō and Ban's respective twin Dolls. When summoned, the bottle caps that form their crests are encased in large spheres of water that are perched on thin stalks of water. Guhl and Günther can freely control and manipulate water, and uniquely, Hō and Ban can control and give commands to either one of them if need be; the bulk of their bodies being water also makes them hard to destroy, as they can simply reform the water spheres and stalks if they are destroyed or disrupted. However, distance between Hō and Ban prevents Guhl and Günther from maintaining their physical form, forcing them to stay together.[2][3]

Weaknesses

Proximity-Based Control: Though the resonance phenomenon of their twin nature allows Hō and Ban to control each other's Doll if needed, it also works against them; should Hō and Ban be moved more than a meter apart from each other, either of their own accord or by an outside force, their control over Guhl and Günther will be disrupted and the Dolls themselves will weaken, and when the two are several meters apart, Guhl and Günther will completely collapse, leaving Hō and Ban defenseless. Furthermore, if either Hō or Ban loses consciousness, the other twin will have a much harder time controlling their respective Doll, to the point of the latter outright not reacting to orders anymore.[3]

Quotes

  • (Ban, regarding Ichigo Kurosaki's group) "They can't help it; Humans simply don't have the capacity to learn. They are physically inferior. With their limited lifespans, they are forever condemned to mediocrity."[2]
  • (Hō, regarding Ichigo's group) "True, they are pitiful, but isn't it boring if they don't even present a challenge?"[2]
  • (Ban to Hō) "They'll all be dead before they know it, and they won't even know that it was our Doll that killed them. You should show a little compassion."[2]
  • (Hō to Ichigo) "Ha! I don't need him! I'll destroy you all myself!"[3]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Bleach anime; Episode 71
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 Bleach anime; Episode 72
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 Bleach anime; Episode 73

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