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This article contains information from anime sources that were not written by Tite Kubo and therefore are not considered canon material by the wiki.

Yoshino Sōma (相馬 芳野, Sōma Yoshino) is one of the Bount[1] and Jin Kariya's former wife.[2]

Appearance

Yoshino is a tall woman with chest-length brown hair that parts over her forehead in a large, leftward-facing bang, pale violet eyes, and thin eyebrows. She wears red lipstick and a faded green dress with a popped collar encircled by a red tie ending in a flat edge and purple frills lacing the bottom; the dress is divided into two halves gently curving away from each other at the front of her midsection and is colored maroon in a bra-like portion over her breasts, with the section below this being colored orange-gray instead. Underneath this, Yoshino wears a short, dark shirt that leaves her midriff bare, blue-gray pants with a light gray arrow pointing downward at her crotch at the front of the waist, and plain brown shoes.[1]

Many centuries ago, when living among Humans, Yoshino wore a light pink and plain dress with a fluffy white collar around her neck and a white hood covering her head.[2]

As a Bount created using Ran'Tao's Soul as a template, Yoshino shares many physical similarities with the latter, most noticeably in her face.[3]

Personality

Initially, Yoshino comes off as sardonic and callous toward Human life, having attempted to consume the Soul of an innocent security guard and referring to it as a man and a woman simply having a good time when Yoruichi Shihōin stopped her,[1] and later attempting to repeat this with an innocent woman walking down the street. However, when confronted by Ichigo Kurosaki over this, Yoshino expressed a desire to avoid fighting him if possible and criticized him for not possibly being able to understand her goals.[4] Moreover, unlike the rest of the Bount, she has a hostile relationship with her ex-husband Jin Kariya and refuses to accept his "forgiveness" for her actions, due to her adversity to taking orders from anyone.[5] She can also be very blunt, having told Uryū Ishida outright that Quincy Souls are not appetizing and that his in particular smells even worse due to his lack of powers, as well as teasing him about his self-pitying nature.[6]

Eventually, Yoshino reveals her true colors when she rescues Uryū from an attack by Ryō Utagawa and treats him with slightly cold compassion while explaining her motivation: she believes strongly in the one rule of the Bount that prohibits them from consuming living Souls since it would grant them immense power and allow them to affect space, disturbing the balance of the worlds, and plans to stop Kariya's ambition now that he is openly breaking this rule for his own ambition; to this end, she attempted to consume living Souls herself in order to gain the power necessary to fight him, but eventually found that she no longer wanted to break the rule after being thwarted and instead resolved to fight him with her current level of power, as well as to protect Uryū, who would be crucial to Kariya's plan as the Last Quincy.[6] Though she once truly loved Kariya with all her heart, Yoshino grew to hate him for constantly trying to control her actions[7] and cut ties with him entirely upon seeing him ferally devouring a living Human's Soul in the streets,[2] which is part of what led her to comprehend the destruction that Kariya would bring to both the Bount and Soul Society where no one else could.[8]

Ultimately, Yoshino lives in a state of quiet depression from her unwantedly-long life causing her to be ostracized from normal Humans and wants nothing more than to finally die; she has come to hate how the passage of time both plants foolish ambition in the Bount and ruins the fleeting dreams that result from it, and because of her inability to live among normal Humans, Yoshino feels a crushing loneliness and resides in an otherwise-abandoned apartment building so she can watch people go about their lives on the street below and not feel lonely. Having been saved from committing suicide out of despair at her agelessness in the past by Kariya, Yoshino has come to believe that only normal Humans can be happy and believe in the concept of eternal love because they only live for a few decades instead of endless centuries like the Bount do; furthermore, she believes that simply living for centuries has stripped away most of her humanity and is firm on maintaining what little she has left by refusing to forgive Kariya for his monstrous actions. However, Uryū observes that Yoshino lives next to a large clock whose ringing shakes her entire apartment despite hating time and theorizes that, despite her claims of wanting to die, she is still expecting something to happen that will make her want to live; furthermore, he believes that there is a small ray of hope within her lonesome eyes and that she has not completely fallen into despair because she still seeks out hope, something which Yoshino does not deny.[2]

During her time with Uryū, Yoshino develops a close bond with him[9] and confides in him about her guilt over having attacked living Humans and her self-loathing for being a member of a race that can only die without growing in number, where she learns about the concept of pride in one's own power and decides that she has some left, ultimately leaving Uryū with a kiss on the forehead so she can settle things with Kariya.[10] Due to her maternal power, she also has a much closer relationship with her Doll, Goethe, than most Bount do; the two trust each other implicitly and are willing to die together, to the point that they were able to physically bond when the crest of Goethe was broken instead of immediately dying. When death finally came for her, Yoshino was content to pass away in Uryū's arms and thanked him for showing her compassion.[11]

History

Yoshino lives in a European town many centuries ago.

Following the meltdown of a Jōkaishō in Soul Society that altered Souls in the cycle of rebirth, Yoshino was born many centuries ago with the facial features of Ran'Tao[3] and grew up in a European city, where she made friends and led a peaceful life, only to feel a growing sense of isolation as she stayed young while those around her grew old. With her former residence left in a desolate state of disrepair and the normal Humans of the city believing her to be a witch because of her agelessness, which caused them to pursue her as a mob, Yoshino fled to an abandoned church and prepared to end her own life with a shard of glass out of despair at being left behind by time.[2]

Jin Kariya stops Yoshino from killing herself and reveals himself to be a fellow Bount.

However, before she could do so, Jin Kariya entered the church and revealed himself to be a fellow immortal Bount as he asked her to live with him. Eventually, the two of them fell in love and got married, and Yoshino was happy for a time, but had her tranquility shattered when she witnessed Kariya consuming the Soul of a living Human, breaking the one law of the Bount tribe. From there, Yoshino realized that Kariya's ambition and desire for revenge against Soul Society threatened not only the Shinigami, but the remaining Bount as well,[8] and so began working to subvert his plans and stop him, specifically by refusing to follow his orders like the rest of the Bount did and increasing her own power.[2]

Plot

Bount arc (anime only)

Note: Events occurring in this arc are only in the anime and do not constitute canon material.

Yoruichi Shihōin interrupts Yoshino's attempt to consume a man's Soul.

During the trials set up by the Mod-Souls, Yoruichi Shihōin and 2nd Division Captain Suì-Fēng discover Reishi residue on a skirt and shirt filled with ashes in Karakura Town, leading them to track Yoshino to a train yard as she hypnotizes a security guard and attempts to consume his Soul by biting his neck. However, Yoruichi attacks Yoshino before she can complete the process, leading Yoshino to escape after promising that Yoruichi will know who she is in time.[1] The following night, Yoshino hypnotizes a young woman walking down the street into an alleyway where she is waiting, only to have her consumption of the woman's Soul interrupted by the arrival of Ichigo Kurosaki, now armed with a Bount sensor in the form of Ririn.[4]

Yoshino summons her Doll, Goethe, to fight Ichigo Kurosaki.

Forced to abandon the woman, Yoshino flees to a larger alleyway elsewhere in the city, and when Ichigo pursues and confronts her once more, Yoshino refuses to answer his questions and instead summons her Doll, Goethe, to fight him on her behalf, resulting in a fierce battle where she manages to overpower an unprepared Ichigo, but is caught off-guard when Rukia Kuchiki comes to his aid[4] and Ryō Utagawa intervenes to recapture her and bring her to Jin Kariya. There, Kariya expresses concern for Yoshino's behavior and recent actions, though Yoshino coldly rebuffs him. After being locked in a storage room by Utagawa, Yoshino escapes the next day.[5]

Yoshino rescues Uryū Ishida from Ryō Utagawa.

Upon reaching Utagawa's battle with Ichigo and his friends, where Utagawa has taken Uryū hostage and sadistically wounded him, Yoshino attacks Utagawa with Goethe and separates him from Uryū with an intense blaze before taking Uryū to a safehouse, where she treats his head injury and discusses his status as the Last Quincy who has lost his Quincy powers. Though Uryū assumes she intends to consume his Soul, Yoshino instead reveals she is working against Kariya, who is breaking the Bount tribe's one rule of not consuming living Souls and needs Uryū's Quincy powers for his plan. Once Uryū loses consciousness again, Yoshino takes him to Karakura Hospital.[6]

Yoshino shares her troubled past with Uryū.

Following the battle over Uryū against Hō and Ban, Yoshino finds a weakened Uryū crawling in the street and takes him to her apartment to recover, where she explains her despondent outlook on life and her desire to die after living for so many centuries with no way to coexist with normal Humans, as well as her intention to defeat Kariya using only the power she currently has and her realization that he will destroy the Bount with his desire for revenge.[8] However, Uryū realizes Yoshino has a spark of hope in her mournful eyes and promises to help her achieve her goal however he can to help her find hope, which Yoshino is genuinely touched by.[2]

Yoshino kisses Uryū farewell as she prepares to leave and confront Kariya for the final time.

That night, Yoshino and Uryū are attacked by Gō Koga and his Doll, Dalk, who manage to subdue and capture them. When brought back to the Bount Mansion, Yoshino is imprisoned in a proper cell by Utagawa at Kariya's behest.[9] Soon afterward, Ichigo and his friends attack the mansion to rescue Uryū, and when freed from the room he was being kept in, Uryū has his friends rescue Yoshino as well, whom they bring to the Urahara Shop to be healed.[12] Upon waking up next to Uryū, whose wounds were also further treated, Yoshino admits her guilt and apathy to him, only to be inspired by Uryū's explanation of his pride as a Quincy. After kissing Uryū on the forehead, Yoshino leaves the Urahara Shop.[10]

Yoshino is killed by Jin Kariya as part of his plan.

Yoshino confronts Kariya at the wreckage of the Bount Mansion and begins fighting him with Goethe, who agrees to die with her here. However, Kariya outmaneuvers Goethe and reveals Yoshino is still able to control him despite her weakened state due to her maternal power. With Uryū joining them at the mansion out of concern for Yoshino, Kariya restrains Yoshino and grasps her crest, preventing Goethe from moving, before shattering it altogether. Though Goethe initially goes berserk from this, Yoshino fuses with him to fight Kariya personally, but is ultimately lethally wounded by Kariya and dies in Uryū's arms as Kariya uses her power to create the Bitto.[11]

Powers & Abilities

Yoshino's maternal Reiryoku, manifesting as light-blue Reiatsu.

High Spiritual Power: Yoshino possesses a strong and unique type of Reiryoku that Jin Kariya and Gō Koga describe as being "maternal" in nature; because of this Reiryoku, Yoshino is the only Bount who can produce offspring, making her crucial to the creation of the Bitto, and has an unusually close bond with her Doll, who is unfailingly loyal to her even when she is weakened or when her crest is destroyed. Her Reiatsu is light-blue.[11]

Hypnosis: Yoshino can hypnotize normal Humans by singing a soft tune, which causes their eyes to glaze over and compels them to stumble toward the sound of her voice.[1] She can pick specific targets out of a crowd from a distance.[4]

Enhanced Agility: Yoshino is notably acrobatic and agile; upon being confronted by the notably fast Yoruichi Shihōin, Yoshino managed to evade and escape from her by rapidly performing several backflips away from Yoruichi and leaping over a train car.[1] Later, when being pursued by Ichigo Kurosaki, Yoshino easily scaled a fence by jumping to the top.[4]

Enhanced Strength: Despite her slender build, Yoshino possesses considerable strength; while carrying Uryū Ishida, she near-effortlessly leapt several meters into the air from a standing position and through a skylight.[9]

Expert Hand-to-Hand Combatant: Yoshino displayed great proficiency in close-quarters combat during the end of her battle with Kariya; after fusing with Goethe to match his strength and speed, Yoshino managed to fight him evenly for almost a minute using rapid punches, kicks, jabs, and leg sweeps.[11]

Doll

Main article: Goethe

Yoshino summons her Doll, Goethe.

Goethe (ゲーテ, Gēte) is Yoshino's Doll. A bulky, humanoid fire golem who speaks in simple sentences, Goethe can unleash powerful blasts of flames and regenerate from any attack.[4] He can also fuse with Yoshino, granting her a considerable power boost and allowing her to use his flames to fight enemies personally. Due to Yoshino's maternal Reiryoku, Goethe is unfailingly loyal to her and considers Yoshino to be his mother.[11] Yoshino summons him by striking the finger claw on her left middle finger against the bracelet on her right wrist, creating a spark of fire that she arcs over her head and spreads across the ground, which causes Goethe to rise from the flames.[4]

Quotes

  • (To Ichigo Kurosaki) "My plan? Even if I told you, there's no way your feeble mind could comprehend it."[4]
  • (To Jin Kariya) "I've done nothing for which I need your forgiveness. I won't be ordered around by you or anyone else!"[5]
  • (To Uryū Ishida) "Well, to be completely honest, your Soul doesn't smell very tasty. And now that you've lost your powers, it's even less appetizing."[6]
  • (To Uryū) "I see. There's only you. That must be a very lonely feeling."[6]
  • (To Uryū) "I want you to be quiet and listen. If you give me a chance to explain, then I won't have to hurt you."[6]
  • (To Uryū) "I needed more strength to fight Kariya and I knew there was no other way. But I realize now that I was wrong to do so. There is no justification for ever breaking the rule."[6]
  • (To Uryū) "There was a time when I was like that. A time when I looked at the world through sentimental eyes. Those warm feelings are gone now, replaced by an empty chill. The passage of time has worn them all away."[2]
  • (To Uryū) "I've been hearing those bells for so long now, it doesn't affect me anymore. Not the sound of the bells, nor the passage of time."[2]
  • (To Uryū) "It's strange, almost like I'm separated from reality. But as I watch those people busily going through their lives, I don't feel so lonely."[2]
  • (To Uryū) "All this time to think, giving our imaginations infinite fuel, allowing them to poison our minds with foolish ambitions. All this because of time."[2]
  • (To Uryū) "If it were possible, I think I'd like to die."[2]
  • (To Uryū) "One of the curses of eternal life is that after a while, you start to believe that you can do anything you want. Sometimes it becomes difficult to tell the difference between yourself and a god."[2]
  • (To Uryū) "I've found that possessions only complicate things. They're too much of a burden. Life is easier this way."[2]
  • (To Uryū) "Sometimes, as I look down from here at the Humans, I think: we live for hundreds of years, Humans are so shortsighted compared to us. But then again, it could be a blessing. Maybe they view the world that way because they know their time is limited. They don't take life for granted, and work as hard as they can. That's why they're happy."[2]
  • (To Uryū) "It's as if I were watching history pass me by, and I was the only one left behind - trapped in the moment. I continued to move forward in time, but I felt like time had abandoned me."[2]
  • (To Uryū) "Eternal love...there was a time when I truly believed it was possible. But I know better now: it doesn't exist. The word "eternal" - it only has significance for you Humans because you know your life is limited. But to a Bount like me, it's just a meaningless word."[2]
  • (To Uryū) "A god has no rules to follow. A god can do whatever he wants."[2]
  • (To Uryū) "I may not have much, but I still have some humanity! I will never be able to forgive Kariya for losing his. Kariya took the Soul of a living person, then he used the same mouth to tell me he loved me. I couldn't forgive Kariya for that, but what was truly unforgivable was the fact that I was completely unable to stop him. It's ironic, though: his lies are what gave me the hope to live, but only through the pain of his betrayal did I discover that I still have a Human heart, and that gave me a reason to live."[2]
  • (To Uryū) "I attacked living Humans too. I'm despicable."[10]
  • (To Uryū) "I like that...pride. It has a nice sound. You're right. I think I might still have a little bit left inside."[10]
  • (To Goethe) "Goethe, are you my alter-ego? Tell me, do you have any problem with dying here?"[11]
  • (To Goethe) "Come to me, Goethe. We're together 'till the very end."[11]
  • (To Uryū) "This will be fine. This way of dying is just fine. Your eyes are so intense...I thank you for everything, proud Last Quincy."[11]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Bleach anime; Episode 68
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 Bleach anime; Episode 74
  3. 3.0 3.1 Bleach anime; Episode 97
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 Bleach anime; Episode 69
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Bleach anime; Episode 70
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 Bleach anime; Episode 71
  7. Bleach anime; Episode 73
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Bleach anime; Episode 106
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Bleach anime; Episode 75
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 Bleach anime; Episode 78
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 11.6 11.7 Bleach anime; Episode 79
  12. Bleach anime; Episode 77

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