"How many times do I have to tell you, there is no point in saving the dead. That's a Shinigami's job. You should learn how to save the people who are alive."
Ryūken Ishida (石田竜弦, Ishida Ryūken) is an Echt Quincy who is the son of Sōken Ishida and father of Uryū Ishida. He is the Director of the Karakura Hospital and also known as 'The Last Quincy'; a title contested by his son.
- 1 Appearance
- 2 Personality
- 3 History
- 4 Plot
- 5 Equipment
- 6 Inventions
- 7 Powers & Abilities
- 8 Last Quincy Status
- 9 Appearances in Other Media
- 10 Censorship
- 11 Trivia
- 12 Quotes
- 13 References
- 14 Navigation
Ryūken Ishida is a middle-aged man of average height and appears quite fit for his age. He normally wears thin, frameless glasses and a plain grey suit with a light blue shirt and a tie adorned with Quincy crosses. He has narrow blue eyes, and is fair-skinned with white hair.
When Ryūken was a teenager, he kept his bangs combed over to one side. He also wore more casual clothes, such as a regular jacket, checkered shirt and jeans, rather than suits.
Ryūken has a cold, work-oriented demeanor, and is apparently estranged from both his father and son. He detests his status as a Quincy on the grounds that it does not enable one to make a proper living, and would rather focus on saving the living instead of the dead. He even goes so far as to state that the Quincy would become extinct once Sōken's generation died out, urging Uryū not to follow in his grandfather's footsteps. Despite this, there are Quincy crosses all over his tie, and there are Quincy crosses all over the floors and walls of Ryūken's hospital. When he was younger, he cared more about the future of the Quincy. He also put the customs of the Quincy first in his younger years, as well as Masaki's safety.
His actual feelings towards his son are hard to place. Despite his attitude towards being a Quincy, he helps to restore Uryū's lost Quincy powers on the condition that he never associate himself with Shinigami again, even if they were his friends. To this end, he constructed a secret chamber underneath Karakura Hospital which hides Spiritual Energy. During their fight, Uryū tries to finish the fight with an attack meant to capture rather than kill, perhaps indicating feelings for his father that made him stay a final blow. Thus Ryūken was able to escape and shoot Uryū, but his somewhat tender tone as he talks to his unconscious son suggests that deep down he also loves Uryū.
Ryūken also shares a relationship with Isshin Kurosaki, not unlike that of their sons (though seemingly friendlier; Isshin comments that Ryūken never called him "Kurosaki" before in a slightly hurt tone). Their friendship was briefly mentioned when Chad was injured: Isshin told a hospital worker to tell his boss that he needed them and some beds would clear up (though it may have seemed at the time like this was more a threat than a favor).
Ryūken was introduced to Kanae Katagiri when they were both young children. It was her job, as a mixed-blood Quincy to protect him, a pure blooded Quincy, at all costs. She dedicated her life to him and was always there by his side for the rest of her life.
During one night in his teenage years, Ryūken walked in on his mother and Masaki Kurosaki and informed them that he could hear his mother yelling from outside. After both she and Masaki left the room, he conversed with Katagiri about why Masaki was taken into the Ishida household, and how he thought Masaki wouldn't be happy marrying him. Katagiri claimed that he was kind for wanting to marry her out of love but he rebutted this and insisted that if she wasn't happy, then she could not have a positive outlook for the future, and made it clear he was referring to the Quincy future, not their personal future.
When Masaki went to help Isshin Kurosaki, Ryūken tried to stop her, asserting that Quincy are only supposed to come out after Shinigami die in battle and even then a mixed-blood Quincy should be sent and not a pure-blood Quincy. Masaki refused to back down, running off when she sensed an explosion whilst maintaining she would not be able to live with herself if anybody died when she could have done something. He failed in stopping her so he told Katagiri to prepare the Reishi armor. However he returned home when he sensed that Masaki was victorious in her battle against White.
The following night, Ryūken greeted Masaki when she returned from school but his mother immediately began to scold her for her actions. Ryūken angrily confronted Katagiri when he realized she told his mother about Masaki's fight, insisting nothing wrong had happened. However Katagiri alerted Ryūken to Masaki's wound and maintained that it would spoil the Quincy bloodline with the infection given to her by the Hollow. He saw the Hollow hole forming on Masaki's chest and, despite his mother's protests, ran from the mansion with her in his arms. A Hollow immediately confronted him but was slain by Isshin who had returned. Angry, Ryūken accused the Shinigami of causing Masaki's condition but was stopped by the appearance of Kisuke Urahara who insisted he could help Masaki.
At the Urahara Shop both Ryūken and Isshin learned about Hollowfication. The Quincy accused Urahara of lying but knew the choice wasn't his to save Masaki as only a Shinigami could do so which he didn't believe Isshin would do as he had so much to lose from saving her but was surprised by his agreement. After Isshin saved Masaki, Ryūken left the Urahara Shop and ran into Katagiri. He informed her of Masaki's state, that he left her with the Shinigami and lamented his inability to protect the Quincy. However, he was rebuked by Katagiri who insisted she would be heartbroken if that were true. Ryūken then returned home with her.
Years later, Ryūken married Katagiri and she gave birth to their son, Uryū Ishida. However, six years before Uryū and Ichigo Kurosaki became friends, Katagiri collapsed on the same day that Masaki was killed, 17th June and died 3 months later, leaving Ryūken a widower like Isshin. After Katagiri's death, Ryūken performed an autopsy on her corpse for an extended period of time despite his son's pleas for him to stop.
When his son is about to be killed by two Hollows, Ryūken suddenly appears and saves him. Uryū is shocked to see him, but still calls him by his first name instead of "dad," causing Ryūken to scold him. As they are attacked by the other Hollow, Ryūken easily kills it with one shot and tells his son to kill them before they can regenerate. As Uryū questions how he can have Quincy powers, Ryūken notes that his exact words were only that he had "no interest," not that he did not have them, simultaneously stating Uryū had "no talent". He then explains how he, against his wishes, inherited the title of the Last Quincy by revealing his father's Quincy Cross. He then reveals that he can give Uryū his powers back, but on the condition that he never associate with Shinigami again.
His training is very difficult and Ryūken mocks his son's abilities throughout it, despite Uryū trying his best to avoid being struck by Ryūken's attacks. When Ryūken asks him if he has reached his limit, Uryū uses Gritz to seal Ryūken's movements, but he quickly breaks out and shoots Uryū in the chest. He then reveals the only way to restore the Quincy powers lost to Quincy: Letzt Stil: Exhaust the body to its limits and then pierce it 19mm to the right of the heart with a single spiritual arrow. Ryūken laments that Uryū's last Gintō technique should have been Heizen instead of Gritz. Despite the fact that it would not have defeated him, it would still have allowed his son to hurt him. He explains to his unconscious son that this is the reason why he calls him an idiot, although he decides that this time he would let it slip.
Hueco Mundo arc
As Ryūken is smoking outside the training ground, Urahara appears in front of Uryū and they both leave the hospital. Ryūken later enters the training room, only to find his son's goodbye letter and to have a surprise visit from Ichigo's father, Isshin Kurosaki. Ryūken questions him as to how he entered, calling him Kurosaki much to Isshin's dismay. Ryūken is quick to change the subject when he sees Isshin's powers had returned. When Isshin tells him that his son escaped, he replies that whether or not Uryū allows his powers to live or die is completely up to him, and that it is also his choice whether to live or die, seeing that he only gave him his powers back. Isshin calls him a bad father, although Ryūken retorts by saying that he is still a better father than him.
Isshin notices that Ryūken still smokes despite being in a hospital, ignoring the "No Smoking" sign right next to him.
The Lost Substitute Shinigami arc
Ryūken heals Uryū's wounds after he is attacked by an unknown intruder. While Uryū is recovering, Orihime Inoue and Ichigo Kurosaki arrive to see him. Uryū scolds Ichigo for coming, prompting Ryūken to respond that he talks too much. Uryū asks Ryūken if he should be letting visitors in if they will have a bad effect on his wounds, but Ryūken assures him that he will be fine, further commenting that Uryū was cut down and should not be ordering his doctor around. Upon hearing his words, Ichigo asks Uryū what happened to him. Uryū does not answer, prompting Ryūken to state that sharing information is important and that he should not put his kindness to waste, to which Uryū yells at Ryūken to be quiet. Uryū tells Orihime that he has nothing to say at the moment and asks her to go home. Ichigo offers to take Orihime home, but Ryūken says that he will do it instead, telling him that his father might get upset if Ichigo stays out too late. Ichigo thanks Ryūken and heads home.
Once Ichigo is gone, Ryūken informs Orihime that it was neither a Hollow nor Shinigami that attacked Uryū. He tells her that he inspected the Reiatsu inside Uryū's wound, and questions if it should even be identified as Reiatsu, as it was a type of Reiatsu that he had not encountered before. When Orihime attempts to ask Ryūken questions about Uryū's attacker, Ryūken tells her that he is telling her all he knows. He also informs her that Uryū knows nothing about his attacker, so he cannot give her any information anyway. Ryūken then hypothesizes that the enemy has acquired a power that is unknown to them, the enemy is actually Human, and that the enemy's powers are actually closer in nature to hers and Yasutora Sado's rather than a Shinigami's. He further states that since Quincy are still Humans, and if Uryū was attacked because he was a Human, then it is likely that either she or Sado would be attacked next. He then takes Orihime home.
Later, Ryūken by chance comes across Ichigo who attempts to chase after a man that was responsible for having Keigo Asano and Mizuiro Kojima assaulted and knocked out by a thug. He insists that Ichigo not pursue the man. As Ryūken looks over two students, he notices that the man was able to sense his spiritual pressure and retreated because of it. He then assures Ichigo that his friends are uninjured and will be fine. When Ichigo tries to make sense of the situation, Ryūken tells Ichigo to not get involved in it. While Ichigo refuses, Ryūken asks him what he intends to do given the fact that he has lost his powers, making Ichigo sink into despair.
The Thousand-Year Blood War arc
Ryūken and Isshin Kurosaki use a portal that Sōken Ishida once used to escape from the Quincy in order to enter Wahrwelt. Isshin expresses his gratitude toward Sōken, and Ryūken says it is the only time he has been grateful for his father's habits, causing Isshin to chastise him for being a bad son. Soon afterward, Ryūken and Isshin find Uryū, whom Ryūken gives an arrowhead forged from the silver blood clot that killed Katagiri before stating that Uryū should be the one to fire it.
Quincy Cross: Ryūken's Quincy Cross is in the shape of a pentacle just like Uryū's current one. However, Uryū's original Quincy Cross was shaped differently from Ryūken's. Instead, it was in the form of a regular cross with the circle shape behind the Pentacle still present.
Reishi Heisō (霊子兵装, Spirit Particle War-Garb; Viz "Spirit Armor"): Armor which Ryūken wore when preparing to save Masaki. It includes a large bow and a staff hung across the wearer's back with a chain.
Still Silver Arrowhead: After his wife was killed by Yhwach's Auswählen, Ryūken performed an extensive autopsy lasting for several days; eventually, he discovered a silver blood clot in her heart and deduced that it was the cause of her death. Ryūken later forged this silver into an arrowhead, which he gave to his son Uryū to use against Yhwach.
Powers & Abilities
Master Archer: As the Last of the Quincy, Ryūken possesses all the skill of the previous generation. His skill in archery is to the point where he can fire an arrow with only a single hand, as well as being able to shoot a target behind someone without harming anything but the target. He is also precise enough to be able to easily hit an area 19 mm to the right of the heart.
Reishi Manipulation: as a Quincy he primarily absorbs spiritual energy from the atmosphere, and combines it with his own spiritual energy to form weapons. He has an easier time collecting this energy in environments with higher concentrations of Reishi such as in Soul Society or Hueco Mundo.
Spiritual Awareness: As a Quincy, Ryūken can sense Hollows at a significant distance.
Great Spiritual Power: Ryūken has displayed a great amount of spiritual energy. According to Ryūken his powers are quite different from the feeble ones his son lost during the Ryoka Invasion. He inherited all of the powers and techniques from the previous generation, his father, Sōken Ishida, and therefore was given the title of "Last Quincy".
Keen Intellect: In terms of intellect, Ryūken is a very intuitive and perceptive man. Much to Uryū's dismay, Ryūken has repeatedly demonstrated that he can easily see through his son's tactics. When Uryū left to aid Ichigo and Sado in rescuing Orihime Inoue, Ryūken immediately determined what his son was doing without even looking at the note his son left.
Heilig Bogen (神聖弓 (ハイリッヒ・ボーグン), Hairihhi Bōgun; German for "Holy Bow", Japanese for "Sacred Bow"): Like most Quincy, Ryūken uses a bow as his primary weapon, but unlike his son, Ryūken is capable of willfully changing its size and can fire multiple shots at once. His bow is white, rather than blue. Upon entering Wahrwelt during the Quincy Blood War, Ryūken wields a new weapon in the form of a small crossbow.
- Heilig Pfeil (神聖滅矢 (ハイリッヒ・プファイル), Hairihhi Pufairu; German for "Holy Arrow," Japanese for "Sacred Destruction Arrows"): By further condensing Reishi, Ryūken is capable of forming spiritual arrows. With his new bow, Ryūken fires Heilig Pfeil which are more arrow-like in appearence, including a noticeable arrowhead, shaft, and fins on the end shaped like a Quincy Zeichen similar to Uryū's.
Last Quincy Status
Ryūken is able to use many Quincy techniques and items to augment his abilities, including presumably high-level techniques, which are rare in comparison to his son. This is caused by the fact that regardless of his personal wishes and intent, he has inherited all Quincy abilities and techniques from his father, Sōken; after his passing, he has claimed the title of Last Quincy. Apparently he is now using the same, or a similar, pentacle to Sōken's, although whether this has something to do with the title of Last Quincy remains to be seen.
Appearances in Other Media
|Video Game Appearances|
- Ryūken is the host of the Quincy Encyclopedia, an omake segment that airs at the end of a few anime episodes. Like the Arrancar Encyclopedia hosted by Gin Ichimaru, here Ryūken recites several facts about Quincy. After he is done, Isshin, who is also present, usually makes a humorous comment, which usually calls for Ryūken to comically shoot several arrows at him. In the first two omake, despite his obvious intent to shoot Isshin, he always defends himself by stating "my finger slipped". From the fourth one on, however, he does not even bother to cover up these antics, though he usually has some reason for shooting Isshin on hand.
- Ryūken is playable in Bleach: Brave Souls in multiple forms.
- Ryūken's first playable form draws from his standard appearance as the director of Karakura Hospital and is a ranged character with the "Heart" attribute, as well as the "Shinigami Killer" ability. Though most of his attacks are ranged, his second strong attack is melee and is his only attack that can inflict Paralyze. His unlockable skills are "Berserker +30%", "Bruiser +50%", "Devastation +40%", "Long Reach +20%", "Sprinter +1", and "Weaken Attack", with his Soul Trait being "Damage Taken -20%". His special is The Final Quincy (最後の滅却師, Saigo no Kuinshī; lit. "The Final Destruction Monk"), where he fires an extremely powerful Reishi arrow that inflicts immense damage to any enemy it hits.
- Ryūken is also playable as his younger self, who wields a standard-size Heilig Bogen, as part of the Thousand-Year Blood War arc tie-in. In this form, Ryūken is a ranged strong attack character with the "Heart" attribute and the "Shinigami Killer" ability. His unloackable skills are "Berserk +60%", "Bruiser +40", "Devastation +60", "Frenzy", "Havoc +20", "Nullify Ranged Resistance +100%", and "Sprinter +1", while his Soul Trait is "Strong Attack Recharge Time -14%". His special is Arrow to the Future (未来への一矢, Mirai e no Ishi; lit. "Single Arrow to the Future"), where Ryūken fires a single, powerful shot that inflicts immense damage.
- Ryūken attacking the upper and lower halves of The Menos Grande with Heilig Pfeil was slightly toned down in the anime. In the anime, when Ryūken attacked the upper half, white fluid was shown. And when he attacked the lower half, there was simply an explosion upon impact before dissipating. Both halves of The Menos Grande weren't shown producing blood when shot by Ryūken's arrows in the anime as they did in the manga..
- In the English version of Bleach Official Character Book Souls, he is called Ryūgen Ishida.
- In the Quincy Encyclopedia Isshin Kurosaki implies that Ryūken once wore a Quincy Uniform just like his son, but Ryūken shot an arrow at the image Isshin was about to show, leaving the appearance of his uniform unknown.
- While Ryūken scorns his status as a Quincy, he appears to still acknowledge it as his hospital and tie have blue crosses all over them, an obvious reference to his Quincy heritage.
- Despite his cold nature and distant relation to his son, Ryūken still cares for Uryū.
- In episode 235's omake, he looked deeply at a picture of child Uryū and then attacked Isshin who teased about Uryū's "rebellious stage," blaming Isshin for Ichigo's influence.
- In episode 272's omake, Ryūken was enraged at both Isshin and Ichigo for the injuries Uryū sustained from Ichigo's Hollow transformation.
- In episode 348's omake, after hearing his hospital's nurses gossiping about Uryū, Ryūken personally delivered a meal to his bedridden son while leaving two signs outside Uryū's room; one of which says: "No Child Knows How Dear He Is To His Parents".
- In the manga flashbacks, he has been shown to have white hair his entire life. In the anime, he has been shown to have brown hair in one flashback.
- (To Uryū Ishida) "How many times do I have to tell you, there is no point in saving the dead. That's a Shinigami's job. You should learn how to save the people who are alive. I have no interest in it and you have no talent in it. The Quincy will become extinct with your grandfather's generation, understand?"
- (To Uryū Ishida, when asked why he hates being a Quincy) "Because you can't make a living from it."
- (To Isshin Kurosaki, about Uryū) "I have restored his Quincy powers. It is up to him whether they live or die. As well as whether he lives or dies."