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Sōya Azashiro (痣城 宗谷, Azashiro Sōya), otherwise known as Kenpachi Azashiro (痣城 剣八, Azashiro Kenpachi), was once a captain of the 11th Division in the Gotei 13. He was the 8th Kenpachi, having won the title from his predecessor, Kenpachi Kuruyashiki. He was a member of the prominent Azashiro Family.
In contrast to his title as Kenpachi, Azashiro has a rather gentle and docile appearance. He has long black hair, kept tied in a ponytail with a golden band that would belong to that of royalty, except for two long strands on opposite sides of his forehead that hang downwards. His eyes are always narrowed, symbolizing his seriousness and indifference to events that occur around him. Azashiro wears a unique variation of the captain haori, first being worn when he was made the captain of the Eleventh Division. It has a golden mantle with black markings going around his neck and attached onto his haori at the edges, going down until his midsection. His haori has long bell-sleeves, which each have slight cuts right above the elbows. Underneath his haori, Azashiro wears a standard Shinigami's uniform: the shihakushō. This consists of a black kosode and black hakama. As a captain, he wore a standard white obi with his shihakushō, but after siding with Kamui, he takes to wear a thick golden belt over the obi, closed at the front by four locks. On either side of this strange belt, there seems to be some unique depictions that would be normally seen in mythology books.
Sōya is rather straightforward with his words and doesn't hesitate to say what is on his mind.
He became the eighth Kenpachi after killing the 7th Kenpachi Kuruyashiki, also becoming the captain of the 11th Division. During his time as a captain, he used the power of his Bankai to keep track of everything that occurred with the Seireitei, being able to see and hear all that would happen and be said. Azashiro would stage a coup d'état against the Gotei 13 several years after. During which time, every captain except for Shunsui Kyōraku and Jūshirō Ukitake attempted to subdue the rogue Shinigami, but to no avail. None of their attacks would do any damage to him. Because of this event, the Royal Guard were forced to act and apprehend the rogue. Azashiro surrendered immediately due to their sudden intervention, however, for unknown reasons. It is rumored that the Royal Guard members that were sent to apprehend Azashiro were far stronger than him or were able to overcome his Bankai's power. He was then sentenced to the Muken, the lowest level of Soul Society's prison. During his imprisonment, he become acquainted with Sōsuke Aizen.
Bleach: Spirits Are Forever With You
Powers & Abilities
Great Spiritual Power: As a former captain of the Gotei 13, Azashiro possesses a great amount of Reiryoku.
The name of Azashiro's Zanpakutō is unclear. Its Bankai name, Urozakuro (雨露柘榴, Rain and Dew Pomegranate), is repeatedly used as the name for his Zanpakutō, because it always exists in a Bankai state. The name Urozakuro would most accurately describe its Bankai form and not necessarily the Zanpakutō itself. The shape of Urozakuro's sealed form is unknown.
- Shikai: By Azashiro's own admission, he does not know the release call of his Zanpakutō. In Shikai form, the sword has no unique features, and is compared in appearance to a standard Asauchi.
- Shikai Special Ability: Unique to Urozakuro, the Shikai does not possess an ability of its own and is instead entirely dependent upon the Bankai. In Shikai form, all of the Reishi that Azashiro had fused together with in Bankai is drawn to him and condensed into the form of a single sword. It is the act of abandoning his all-powerful shield but gaining a powerful spear instead.
- Bankai Special Ability: The power of Azashiro's Bankai is to fuse with all of his surroundings and to control it. This is a power that extends to everything, even the air and the ground. According to Yoruichi Shihōin, Azashiro's inner world is constantly fused with the outside world. As such, pinpointing his location to an exact coordinate is impossible, as whenever she attempted to determine his location, she could never track his location down to anything more specific than "he is within Seireitei". Azashiro used this power to fuse his own being with various portions of the Seireitei, which made Seireitei itself a mere extension of his being. As such, his senses were also mixed with Seireitei, allowing him to perceive everything that goes on within that area. Whether they be living or nonliving; organic or inorganic. Likewise, he can merge two or more substances together as well.
- That which he fuses with or to is not limited to just physical substances. Such things as the five senses can also be subject to this ability; ideally, not just physical, but anything mental and spiritual are also subject to influence. One such example is that he could merge his senses to the air surrounding the Seireitei, allowing him to know, see, and hear everything that occurred within the Seireitei's walls. Using this same ability appears to allow him to outmaneuver Aizen's Kyōka Suigetsu, which has the power of complete hypnosis, to the point that Aizen himself claimed that Kyōka Suigetsu would be rendered useless against Azashiro.
- As a defensive measure, Azashiro can merge with the air so that all enemy attacks are unable to make contact with him. He can also use this technique to teleport vast distances effortlessly, appearing akin to that of spacetime manipulation. The degree to which Urozakuro allows him to merge his being with desired targets is vast, such that some instances of this ability can be demonstrated as though Azashiro had not done anything whatsoever, or rather the effect that has been put into motion is not noticeable, whereas in other circumstances, the merging power becomes visibly evident once the effect is put into action. Azashiro is able to produce a blade/razor-like effect in the air around him, allowing him to kill his opponents without a single motion nor a glance, although the specifics at which this power is tied into his "fusion" ability is not yet clear.
- Seitai Yūgō (生体融合, Living Body Fusion): One of his Bankai's ultimate techniques, Azashiro used this ability to kill Kuruyashiki in a single move. While the specifics of the technique have not been made clear, it ideally allows him to merge with a victim's body and destroy them from the inside, thus destroying their internal body. However, doing so seems to make him vulnerable to damage.
- Utsusu (写す, Imitate): Azashiro is capable of copying his mouth and hands several times over, among other body parts, in several different locations at once. Doing so allows him to utilize hundreds of high-level Kidō, such as Ittō Kasō and Kurohitsugi, at the exact same time, allowing him to effortlessly overpower a large number of opponents and even eradicate a captain-level opponent or stronger with overwhelming assaults of Kidō.
Shunsui Kyōraku stated that Azashiro had never revealed his Zanpakutō in person, and when he was confronted about this by Central 46, he stated that "I've already shown it." Kyōraku also noted that people would say "to explain this in a specific manner, he, indeed, kept his Zanpakutō on him, but it was not seen by our eyes." The spirit of Azashiro's Zanpakutō has shown herself to be a woman with purple hair styled in a manner befitting a traditional royal princess, along with a gold necklace with several strands hanging down from the front. Two dark purple sashes go around her cheeks, covering up both of her eyes, in an x-shaped manner. She wears a light purple kimono with two dark sashes running up and down both edges of the kimono, both of which are dark purple in color with a gold diamond design. The kimono is left open and loose to reveal her large ample bosom. It is kept tied together by a pink obi with a flowery design in a ribbon. From what has been seen, the spirit of Azashiro's Zanpakutō is rather crude and sadistic, in comparison to her level-headed and indifferent master. Even when speaking with Sōsuke Aizen, a dangerous criminal of immense strength, she only spoke in sarcastic and mocking remarks about the former. She suggested that Azashiro steal the Hōgyoku from Aizen by tearing him apart in cold blood, from his toes to the blood vessels behind his eyes. In addition, she appears to be deeply infatuated with her master, always finding an excuse to whirl her arms around him in a seductive manner.
- Azashiro was voted the 45th most popular Shinigami character in the fifth character popularity poll.
- Urozakuro ranked 24th in the second Zanpakutō poll.
- In the second best bout poll, Azashiro's fight with Kenpachi Zaraki ranked 77th while his fights with Don Kanonji and Kenpachi Kuruyashiki ranked 83rd.
- (To Sōsuke Aizen) "To make sure that I don't get an answer that has no value, I will say this before we begin... I do not take an interest in the sins you've committed, nor do I care for the power of the Hōgyoku. Such things are a waste in my presence."
- (To Sōsuke Aizen) "The feeling of defeat cannot be understood by one such as myself."
- Bleach novel; Bleach: Spirits Are Forever With You Part I
- Bleach novel; Bleach: Spirits Are Forever With You Part II
- 13 BLADEs., page 253
- 13 BLADEs., page 254
- 13 BLADEs., page 255
|Original Characters||Sōya Azashiro • Cien Granz • Kenpachi Kuruyashiki • Roka Paramia • Pícaro • Urozakuro|
|Books||Bleach: Spirits Are Forever With You|