"Sometimes I like to play with my food before I dine. It makes the meal that much more enjoyable!"
This article is about the Bount Ryō. For the high school student, see Ryō Kunieda.
Utagawa is a tall, lean man with wavy brown-red hair arching at the front and parted on either side with wing-like tufts brushed above his ears, maroon eyes, thin and flat eyebrows, pronounced cheekbones, and a thick goatee shaped like a straight line extending from underneath his lower lip to the underside of his chin, as well as a pointed tongue. He wears a purple vest with a black lining, in the left breast pocket of which he keeps the golden pocket watch comprising the sealed form of Fried, and a dull green tie over white dress shirt, as well as brown slacks and black dress shoes.
At his core, Utagawa is a true sociopath; he has no qualms with consuming the Souls of living Humans to empower himself, personally ranks their appeal to him by quality and taste, and sees Humans as nothing more than food for the Bount. Despite presenting himself as merely a concerned minder of Yoshino Sōma whenever he is tasked with bringing her back to Jin Kariya, Utagawa takes considerable pleasure in overpowering and harming her, as demonstrated when he restrained her with enough force to bruise her neck, mocked her intelligence for not understanding her value to Kariya, and later stomped on her arm after roughly throwing her to the ground just to hear her cry out in pain, knowing that she was too weak to fight back; he also enjoys targeting the weakest member of a group of enemies and defends it as an established tactic. He also has a notable sadistic streak: when preparing to consume the Soul of a living woman, he took time to snidely assure her that her body would not feel any pain from the act, and when confronted by Ichigo Kurosaki and his friends, Utagawa threatened to have the snake of Fried that was holding her between them as a hostage permanently disfigure her by injecting its venom through cuts all over her skin if they made the wrong move; furthermore, when a powerless Uryū Ishida took the woman's place as his hostage in order to save her, Utagawa had the snake restraining him brutally slam his head into the ground solely to entertain himself despite knowing Uryū was not a threat to him. He has a habit of licking his lips when talking to people.
Though he maintains a veneer of politeness and class when in control of a situation, Utagawa is quick to lash out at others when the tables turn on him or something interferes with his entertainment; while reclaiming Yoshino when she was fighting Ichigo, Utagawa expressed utter disgust toward the latter for interrupting his conversation and had Fried create snakes to attack him before Ichigo even considered him an enemy, and after Yoshino rescued Uryū from him, Utagawa prevented Ichigo and his friends from going after her and intensified his assault to take out his anger at his entertainment being ruined on them. However, he is capable of some level of empathy; after being sent to recover Yoshino once more and finding her staring forlornly at an old marionette doll in a store display case, Utagawa gently commented on how valuable the doll must be and simply suggested that Yoshino return to Kariya soon instead of taking any action against her, eventually leaving without confrontation when Yoshino refused. Utagawa is also readily willing to admit when an opponent has performed an impressive maneuver, such as when Ichigo bypassed his front-oriented defense with Shunpo in order to attack him from behind.
In line with his sociopathic nature, Utagawa's ultimate desire is to usurp leadership of the remnants of his clan from Kariya: to this end, he serves as Kariya's enforcer, primarily in dealing with Yoshino, and is unfailingly respectful and affable when speaking with him as a way of ingratiating himself, though never to the point of self-effacing subservience, which he despises. Whenever someone else comments on or inquires about his ambition, Utagawa simply smiles and deflects or declines to comment on the matter. He is also keenly interested in Kariya's own plans, though he does not truly understand Kariya himself. Utagawa's biggest weakness and the cause of his eventual demise is his arrogance and lack of foresight; viewing himself as smarter than Kariya and an objectively better leader of the Bount, Utagawa believed he had manipulated the latter into handing over his Bount crest, the key to his powers, during the battle in the Bount Mansion and attempted to seize control of the Bount under the belief that the others would recognize him as a superior of theirs who could lead them into a new stage of life, but was flabbergasted and began visibly panicking when his fellow Bount simply mocked his appeal and Kariya himself remained completely unperturbed by this, eventually breaking down in shock upon realizing that Kariya had produced a fake crest for his Doll and tricked him into exposing his true colors.
Utagawa has a somewhat complex relationship with Fried: though the two share similar personalities and Fried is more than happy to follow his commands, such that Utagawa considers them to be of one mind and body, he has claimed that her anger issues sometimes cause her to disobey him and that her realism clashes with his idealism regarding their ability to trust others.
Bount arc (anime only)
Note: Events occurring in this arc are only in the anime and do not constitute canon material.
The night that Yoshino Sōma encounters Ichigo Kurosaki while seeking to consume living Souls, Utagawa is dispatched by Jin Kariya to recover her and takes time to consume a man's Soul in a warehouse, where Orihime Inoue and Yasutora Sado are led to him by Kurōdo and Noba. Though intrigued by the scent of their Souls, Utagawa decides to save them for another day since he is full and departs. Shortly afterward, Utagawa finds Yoshino fighting Ichigo and dispatches her Doll, Goethe, with his own, Fried, before restraining her and bringing her to Kariya, who has Utagawa lock her in a storage room after admonishing Yoshino for being reckless.
The next day, Utagawa attacks a man and a woman in a parking lot, where he succeeds in consuming the man's Soul and prepares to devour the woman's as well before being confronted by Ichigo and his friends. Refusing to answer Ichigo's questions about his motives and his connection to Yoshino, Utagawa begins attacking them with snakes generated by Fried and picks up on Uryū Ishida being powerless, which he exploits by taking the woman hostage, forcing Uryū to exchange himself for her so she will not be hurt, and proceeds to have the snake restraining him slam Uryū's head into the ground solely for his own enjoyment. However, Yoshino intervenes and rescues Uryū from Utagawa, who is left angered by her interruption.
Before Utagawa can take out his frustration on Ichigo and his friends, 6th Division Lieutenant Renji Abarai arrives with Ururu Tsumugiya, Jinta Hanakari, and Tessai Tsukabishi, forcing Utagawa to flee. That evening, Utagawa learns from Kariya that he has taken precautions against Yoshino's defiant actions. Sent to find Yoshino once more, Utagawa comes across her staring at an antique store display and instead discusses her disobedience against Kariya with her, only to brush off Yoshino's warning that his ambition will be the end of him. Later, Utagawa brings Kariya to the rest of the Bount, who have finally arrived in the Bount Mansion.
After listening to Kariya promise the Bount that they will finally be able to emerge from the shadows of history, Utagawa catches up to Maki Ichinose elsewhere in the mansion and inquires about what Kariya plans to do with Uryū, only for Ichinose to refuse to answer. When Gō Koga succeeds in capturing both Yoshino and Uryū and bringing them to the mansion, Utagawa throws her in a lightless cell and cruelly mocks her futile attempt to defy him since Kariya will no longer forgive her transgressions. Alerting Kariya to Uryū's arrival, Utagawa walks with him to the main hall and discusses the slow progress of their plan, but is shocked when he inadvertently angers Kariya and is berated for not understanding.
Soon afterward, Utagawa confronts Ichigo and his friends in the main hall alongside the rest of the Bount, and when he attacks Rukia Kuchiki and the Mod-Souls as they run off to find Uryū, Ichigo intercepts his strike, leading the two of them to begin fighting; during this, Utagawa has Kariya seemingly give up his Bount crest as proof that neither he nor any of the other Bount will interfere in the battle, as they are independent by nature. Utagawa initially manages to match Ichigo by turning Fried into a sword and a shield to intercept and block Ichigo's attacks between generating snakes, but Ichigo manages to slash his shoulder from behind, leading Utagawa to decide that it is time to get serious.
Consequently, Utagawa begins using Snake Net to track Ichigo's Shunpo movement through the hall and continually attack him with snakes no matter where he reappears, eventually slamming Ichigo into the wall with a surge of snakes. Though he assumes Ichigo defeated from this, Utagawa is surprised when he emerges with only minor injuries due to shielding himself with Reiatsu and is further shocked when Ichigo attacks him with a Getsuga Tenshō. In the commotion, Utagawa has Fried steal the crest Kariya put down and uses it as leverage in an attempt to wrest leadership of the Bount from him; however, Kariya reveals the crest is fake and Ichinose kills Utagawa for his betrayal.
Powers & Abilities
Swordsman: Utagawa also possesses some skill in using Fried as a sword; when confronted by Ichigo Kurosaki, Utagawa briefly engaged him in direct combat by shifting Fried into a medium-length blade.
Main article: Fried
Fried (フリード, Furīdo; German for "Protection") is Utagawa's Doll. A large, golden snake with black stripes, green eyes, and razor-sharp teeth, Fried is a sadistic and contemptuous individual who can turn any inanimate object that Utagawa concentrates on into a gray copy of herself that can restrain and bite opponents. Fried herself can also be morphed into different offensive and defensive shapes, most commonly a whip, which Utagawa uses to generate snakes from the gashes left by her strikes. Utagawa summons her by withdrawing her sealed golden pocket watch form from his vest pocket, causing it and its chain to transform into Fried.
- (To Kurōdo) "A joke? Not at all. I wouldn't be so rude as to joke about that. I'm always deeply grateful to my food and treat it with the utmost respect - before, during, and after."
- (To Ichigo Kurosaki) "He's a noisy one, isn't he? You know, where I come from, food doesn't talk."
- (To Yoshino) "I suggest you try not to struggle so much, my dear. Fried here has a bit of an anger management problem and doesn't always do what I say."
- (To Ichigo) "Quiet, you insignificant bug! You're giving me a headache!"
- (To Ichigo) "If you'll excuse us - as you should know, nobility and pigs never share the same table."
- (To Ichigo) "Since we're conducting interviews, do you mind if I ask you a question? The Soul of a Human or that of a Shinigami - which do you suppose tastes better?"
- (When told to stay away from Uryū Ishida) "I'm afraid that's impossible. He is easily the weakest and most defenseless among you. Striking at your opponent's weakness is a given, is it not?"
- (To Rukia Kuchiki) "No need to worry about the girl; I have no intention of killing her. However, depending on your actions, I could make countless incisions all over her beautiful skin and let the snake's venom turn her into something unrecognizable! That is a possibility."
- (To Uryū) "I can't tell you how much it hurts that you would even question my integrity."
- (To Fried after she injures Uryū) "You've always been such a realist, Fried, never trusting anyone. Humans are such delightfully whimsical creatures."
- (To Ichigo and Rukia) "Sometimes I like to play with my food before I dine. It makes the meal that much more enjoyable!"
- (To Yoshino) "I don't understand why Master Kariya is so tolerant of your behavior. You seem unworthy of him to me."
- (To Maki Ichinose) "Because life is simpler that way, isn't it? When you let him make your decisions for you, when you trust in his judgement entirely, there's no need to think for yourself."
- (To Ichigo) "Don't know much about us, do you? We Bount are very independent; we're far too proud and free-spirited to ever fight in a group, especially against a Substitute Shinigami. I can easily handle you myself."
- (To the other Bount) "Tell me, Koga: are you honestly satisfied with the way things are going under Kariya's leadership? Kariya's method is far too convoluted. There is no end in sight! The only reason Kariya has been in charge up to this point is because he had the power! But as you can all see, his crest is in my hands now! I've been biding my time, waiting for the opportunity to take it from him! But never in my dreams did I imagine that it would be so easy!"
- (To Ichigo) "Remember what I said earlier, when I mentioned that we Bount are fiercely independent? For us to collaborate on anything is very rare. We are few in number, but when we have to work together to achieve a single goal, the one who acts as leader must be truly exceptional! Someone with qualities like mine, not Kariya's!"
- (To Jin Kariya) "Have you completely lost your mind, Kariya?! You stand there as if you're still in control, knowing full well that I now possess the source of all your power! You have nothing at all! You're powerless! Defenseless! At this point, you couldn't defend yourself against me, much less this Substitute Shinigami!"
- (To Kariya) "I'm in complete control of the situation! You're the one who's panicked, you're just acting calm! Now, kneel down before me as your leader!"
- Bleach anime; Episode 70
- Bleach anime; Episode 71
- Bleach anime; Episode 69
- Bleach anime; Episode 75
- Bleach anime; Episode 73
- Bleach anime; Episode 76
- Bleach anime; Episode 74
|Current Members||Gō Koga|
|Former Members||Jin Kariya • Yoshino Sōma • Hō and Ban • Ryō Utagawa • Mabashi • Sawatari • Ugaki • Yoshi • Cain|
|Dolls||Baura • Fried • Gesell • Goethe • Guhl and Günther • Nieder • Ritz • Messer • Waineton|
|Former Allies||Maki Ichinose • Ran'Tao • Tōba|
|Related Articles||Doll • Bitto • Bount Invasion • Bount Mansion • Jōkaishō|