"To control food is to control life itself, you see! I create my dishes to foster life, and I create the ingredients from my own body."
|Affiliation||Soul Society, Soul King|
|Position||Second Officer of the Zero Division|
Divine General of the South
|Previous Position||Captain of the 12th Division|
|Previous Division||12th Division|
|Previous Partner||Hiyori Sarugaki|
|Base of Operations||Soul King Palace|
|Manga||Volume 58, Chapter 516|
|Video Game||Bleach: Brave Souls|
Kirio Hikifune (曳舟 桐生, Hikifune Kirio) is a former captain of the 12th Division and a member of the Royal Guard, holding the title "Ruler of Grain" (穀王, Kokuō). She holds the position of Second Officer of the Zero Division (零番隊 第二官, Zerobantai Dainikai), as well as "Divine General of the South" (南方神将, Nanpō Shinshō).
Upon her return to Soul Society, Kirio is a plump, purple haired lady with styled swirl-shaped markings on her cheeks and black lips. She has a large silver adornment in her hair and wears the standard Shinigami uniform beneath a white, long-sleeved haori decorated with the Royal Guard's emblem. Captain Shinji Hirako noted that her appearance has changed drastically since he last saw her, so much so that he didn't even recognize her.
Kirio's true form is a slender and well-endowed version of her plump self with her long hair left down. She is only plump initially as her cooking technique uses up her entire Reiatsu, forcing her to gain as much weight as possible beforehand in order to ensure that her body is able to endure the process.
Hikifune is a cheery individual, and will maintain that demeanor even while lashing out at others over minor slights, such as striking Shinji Hirako for not recognizing her. She, like Ichibē Hyōsube, will often keep her rowdy teammate Tenjirō Kirinji in line with physical force, as well as pick up his slack in regards to explaining things to visitors. She takes great pride and passion in preparing her Reiatsu-enhancing food, While normally upbeat, Hikifune is very serious when warning others about Ōetsu Nimaiya, as he is far and away the most unpredictable member of the Royal Guard. Regardless of her preference for physical punishment and eccentric nature as a chef, Hikifune acted like a mother to Hiyori Sarugaki during her time in the Gotei 13 and displays similar tendencies even while in the Royal Guard, demonstrated when she gave Ichigo Kurosaki some rice balls to eat as he was leaving to rejoin the fight against the Wandenreich. In combat, she is very confident in her abilities and creations, confidently telling the Schutzstaffel that no matter what they do, they cannot escape the Tree of Life she grew to contain them.
At some point in the past, Kirio invented the Artificial soul, something the Soul King recognized as a significant contribution to Soul Society, hence her promotion to the Royal Guard. During her time as the captain of the 12th Division, her lieutenant, Hiyori Sarugaki, became very attached and came to love Kirio as much as she would her own mother. However, approximately 110 years ago, Kirio left the Gotei 13 to take up a position within the Royal Guard. She was soon succeeded by Kisuke Urahara, but failed to attend his inauguration ceremony.
The Thousand-Year Blood War arc
After the death of Captain-Commander Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto, Kirio returns to Soul Society with the other members of the Royal Guard, where they are greeted by the surviving Gotei 13 captains and Ichigo Kurosaki. Hitting Captain Shinji Hirako after he remarks that the Royal Guard wasn't what he had expected, she then asks where Hiyori is, before introducing herself after realizing that Shinji didn't recognize her. Shinji replies that she has changed so much that she is like a different person. Kirio and the others later proceed to take Ichigo and some of the injured Shinigami with them to the Soul King Palace. Upon arriving, she hits Kirinji for not properly explaining about the Palace to Ichigo. She then tells him about the Palace's layout.
After Ichigo Kurosaki and Renji Abarai arrive at her palace, Gatonden, Kirio insists on feeding them, providing them with ample food. Kirio explains to them that eating is essential for them to continue training, as if they are not well rested, they will surely die in the next palace. She explains that like her creation, the Soul candy, her food is imbued with Reiatsu, and asks if they can feel it. She then explains that members of the Royal Guard all invented something that influenced the Soul Society and warns them to be wary in the next palace, as one never knows what Ōetsu Nimaiya might do.
Later, after Ichigo launches himself toward the Seireitei, Hikifune asks Kirinji where Ichigo is. When Kirinji reveals he just left, Hikifune throws a package after Ichigo and tells him it is a rice ball for him to eat if he gets hungry on the way to the Seireitei. After Ichigo catches it and thanks her, Hikifune notes Ichigo has changed and states his wavering Reiatsu is just a memory now. The next day, when Yhwach, Jugram Haschwalth, and Uryū Ishida arrive at the palace, Hikifune senses their presence while eating.
Hikifune appears when Yhwach and his elite guard infiltrate the Soul King Palace. She secretly erects a cage around the entrance portion of the palace structure in order to imprison the Quincy before admitting that she is surprised that she did it, as it has been quite some time since she has created such a big confinement. When Lille Barro fails to pierce the structure with his Heilig Pfeil, Hikifune explains how the tree is imbued with her Reiatsu and points out how Lille's bullets are made of highly concentrated Reiatsu before revealing that the tree will absorb all Reiatsu attacks like these. Telling the Sternritter that they can go crazy if they like, Hikifune states that they will never escape this tree of life.
Hikifune attempts to block Lille Barro's attack against Nimaiya, but is shocked to see that he was hit anyway, and is further shocked as Lille explains his power. Soon afterward, Hikifune, after reverting to her slender form, is defeated by the Sternritter.
- Gikon: Kirio is the one originally responsible for developing the theory of artificial souls, as well as the means of inserting them into the body, Gikongan.
- Cage of Life (命の檻, Inochi no Ori): Hikifune has infused remnants of a tree with her Reiatsu. The tree branches have become so infused and accustomed to feeding on Reiatsu that they will eat any Reiatsu used to attack the tree itself. This makes it an effective defensive structure to hold off Reiatsu-based attacks, which allows it to continue to grow at an extremely fast rate. She can also generate branches of this tree from her body at will.
Wok Chuan: Kirio carries a large wooden Wok Chuan (spatula) which she can use to block attacks.
Powers & Abilities
Master Chef: Kirio is a master chef of the highest caliber. She possesses a skill for culinary cuisine in taste, texture and smell, which allows her to create astonishing foods from the finest ingredients. To Hikifune, controlling food means controlling life; she cooks to give form to life.
- Food Enhancement: Using the same logic she used to invent Gikongan, Kirio can imbue the base ingredients of the food she creates by infusing the materials from the onset of growth with her Reiatsu, fundamentally changing the nature and properties. All the ingredients come from her body. Through the use of these ingredients she can augment any food she makes which then empowers anyone who eats it beyond any level they could ever assume.
- Fat Growth/Reduction: Because her method of cooking uses up all of her Reiatsu, Kirio loses most of her weight in the process. As a result, she must bulk up again between feasts.
Ōken: As one of the Royal Guards, Hikifune has the Ōken imparted in her bones, which grants her the ability to travel into and out of the Soul King Palace, as well as grant permission to others simply by willing it.
Appearances in Other Media
|Video Game Appearances|
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- Hikifune makes her first appearance outside the manga in Bleach: Brave Souls as part of the commemoration for the Thousand-Year Blood War arc tie-in. She is a ranged character with the "Shinigami Killer" ability whose second strong attack heals her and her teammates. Her special attack is Cage of Life (命の檻, Inochi no Ori), where she traps her enemies in a cage-like tree that consumes Reiatsu, inflicting immense damage.
- Hikifune was voted the 45th most popular Shinigami character in the fifth character popularity poll.
- When she was first seen, her shihakushō was colored white instead of black.