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Overview

Sōya Azashiro (痣城 双也, 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.[1][2] He was a member of the prominent Azashiro Family.

Appearance

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.

Personality

Sōya is rather straightforward with his words and doesn't hesitate to say what is on his mind.

History

At some point in the distant past, Sōya was born into the noble Azashiro Clan. During that time, life in Soul Society was far more brutal, as all the Noble Families were in a constant power struggle with each other. Anyone who lost said struggle would be falsely tried for crimes and sentenced to be executed by captured Hollows. Those with enough strength to fight Hollows, however, would be sent into the Dangai without a Jigokuchō.[3]

A young Sōya Azashiro watches his sister die in front of him.

While the Azashiro Clan initially managed to survive the struggle thanks to their proficiency in Zanjutsu and Kidō, over the generations they became complacent and weak, relying only on their financial wealth. While the young Sōya was initially no different, his older sister wanted to become a Shinigami instead and preserve her family's declining pride and convinced Sōya to join her. Shortly afterwards, however, the entire Azashiro Clan was framed for crimes they did not commit, and all members and servants were sentenced to death by fighting Hollows. As Sōya and his sister were the last ones standing, she sacrificed herself to kill the last Hollow in the pit to save her brother. Despite the other Nobles agreeing to let any survivors live, they broke that promise and sent in more Hollows to kill Sōya.[3]

As the trauma caused Sōya to mentally snap, his Zanpakutō Spirit, Urozakuro, first manifested her powers and, manipulating the Reishi around them, brutally slaughtered all nearby Nobles and allowed Sōya to escape into the Rukongai. The surviving Hollows were publically blamed for the massacre instead and executed, while Sōya remembered his sister's last request to him: to become a Shinigami.[3]

250 years before the defeat of Sōsuke Aizen, Sōya Azashiro approached Captains Kenpachi Kuruyashiki and Shunsui Kyōraku, and the members of the 11th Division, as they were celebrating in the Rukongai. As Urozakuro confirmed to him that Kuruyashiki was his target, Azashiro challenged Kuruyashiki to a duel for the status of Kenpachi. While Shunsui was suspicious of the young man, and warned Kuruyashiki to be careful, Kuruyashiki accepted the challenge and asked Shunsui to act as witness. Once Kuruyashiki confirmed to Azashiro that the requirements for the duel have all been met, Kuruyashiki suddenly found himself eviscerated by an unknown force.[1]

As Kuruyashiki started bleeding out, the members of the Eleventh Division refused to accept his defeat, and claim that Azashiro had cheated. As they tried to attack Azashiro despite Shunsui's warnings, a dying Kuruyashiki activated his Shikai, Gagaku Kairō, and forced his subordinates back. Furious, Kuruyashiki demanded that they accept his loss with the honor expected from them. As Azashiro noted that Kuruyashiki would have been able to win had he used his Bankai, he realized that Kuruyashiki refused to use it as not to endanger his subordinates.[2]

Calling Kuruyashiki foolish for this sentiment, Azashiro finally introduced himself to Kuruyashiki. As Kuruyashiki acknowledged Azashiro as the next Kenpachi, he whispered with his last words to Azashiro not to make the same mistakes he did and to never hold back against an opponent, as that is what it means to be a "Kenpachi".[2][4]

Plot

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.

Kidō Master: Azashiro is highly skilled in Kidō; in combination with his Zanpakutō's powers, he can cast several high-level Hadō spells at once.[3]

Zanpakutō

Urozakuro redirects here. For the manifested spirit see Urozakuro (Zanpakutō spirit)

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.[4]
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 Sōsuke 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.[2][3]
  • 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, 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.[3]

Weaknesses

Zanpakutō

Stagnant body (Bankai): By Urozakuro's own accounts, all Bankai have some sort of drawback to use. Her drawback means that as long as her Bankai remains active, Azashiro's physical body cannot be trained, preventing him from getting stronger conventionally and leaving him severely weakened if his Bankai would be negated.[2]

Absorption (Bankai): While the ability of Urozakuro to fuse Azashiro's body with Reishi makes it very difficult, if not impossible, to hurt him conventionally, it does make him extra vulnerable to any abilities focused on "absorption". For example, Ruri'iro Kujaku's ability to absorb Reiatsu or the Pícaro's Chuchería ability, which sucks in Reishi like a black hole, are highly dangerous to Azashiro.[2][5]

Appearances in Other Media

Video Game Appearances
Blade Battlers
Blade Battlers 2nd
The Blade of Fate
Dark Souls
The 3rd Phantom
Flame Bringer
Tasogare ni Mamieru Shinigami
Shattered Blade
Versus Crusade
Heat the Soul
Heat the Soul 2
Heat the Soul 3
Heat the Soul 4
Heat the Soul 5
Heat the Soul 6
Heat the Soul 7
Soul Carnival
Soul Carnival 2
Hanatareshi Yabou
Bleach Advance: Kurenai ni Somaru Soul Society
Erabareshi Tamashii
Soul Resurrección
J-Stars Victory Vs
Brave Souls
Paradise Lost
Jump Force

Promotional artwork of Azashiro and Urozakuro Bleach: Brave Souls.

  • Azashiro is playable in Bleach: Brave Souls as part of the Bleach: Spirits Are Forever With You promotional event. In this form, Azashiro is a ranged strong attack character with the "Speed" Attribute, as well as the "Hollow Killer" and "Arrancar Killer" abilities, who has a chance to inflict Drain with every attack. He has three Innate Skills built in at ★5: "Dodge Arrancar Damage 50%", "Dodge Hollow Damage 50%", and "Complete Status Immunity", and his unlockable skills are "Berserker +40%", "Bombardment +1", "Debilitator +2 secs.", "Frenzy +1", "Guard Break", "Havoc +20%", "Sprinter +1", "Status Ailment Spiritual Pressure Boost +80%", and the new skill "Counterattack", while his Soul Trait is "Strong Attack Recharge Time -12%". Meanwhile, his Arena Traits are "Strong Attack Damage +13%" and "Spiritual Pressure +90", while his Arena Abilities other than "All Stats +5%" are "Poise" at level 5 and "Strong Attack Damage +30%" at level 10. Azashiro's special is Jūsō Ittō Kasō (重奏・一刀火葬, Ensemble: Single Blade Cremation), where he casts Ittō Kasō using many Gigai as a catalyst to inflict immense damage, Burn, and Drain.


Trivia

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Bleach novel; Spirits Are Forever With You, Chapter 2
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Bleach novel; Spirits Are Forever With You, Chapter 16
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Bleach novel; Spirits Are Forever With You, Chapter 18
  4. 4.0 4.1 Bleach novel; Spirits Are Forever With You, Chapter 19
  5. Bleach novel; Spirits Are Forever With You, Chapter 17
  6. 13 BLADEs., page 253
  7. 13 BLADEs., page 254
  8. 13 BLADEs., page 255

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