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Zennosuke Kurumadani (車谷 善之介, Kurumadani Zennosuke), sometimes referred to as either "Afro-san" (アフロさん, Afurosan) or "Af-san" (アフさん, Afusan) due to his large Afro, is the Shinigami who replaces Rukia Kuchiki as the guardian of the areas around Karakura Town. He is a member of the Thirteenth Division.[2]


Kurumadani is a muscular man of tall stature with dark brown hair, brown eyes and thick eyebrows. His hair is uniquely combed into an Afro which is also the source of his nickname. In addition, he possesses thick sideburns.

He wears the standard shihakushō of the Gotei 13, like many other Shinigami.


Kurumadani believes himself to be an elite and is therefore upset at the fact that there are many people in Karakura Town able to kill Hollows. He was, however, happy to be assigned to Karakura Town, even at Rukia's expense.[3]


Soul Society arc

After Rukia Kuchiki is arrested and brought back to Soul Society, Zennosuke replaces her in guarding Karakura Town from Hollows. During his time in Karakura Town, he discovers that an unusually high number of townsfolk can see him. He also notes that most of the Hollows that appear in the town are destroyed by others before he arrives on the scene. He complains of this to Soul Society, but he is brushed off and told not to interfere with the other spiritually aware people around town.[3]

Bount arc (anime-only)

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

Click "show" to read the arc plot. 

Zennosuke later appears again when Rukia pursues Ririn and Kurōdo who wore disguises of Bounts that took over them. When he sees her, he says "hello" only for Rukia to blast him, she misses and he dodges, but eventually manages to hurt him unintentionally.[4]

Arrancar arc

Zennosuke running away

He remains in Karakura after Ichigo Kurosaki's return from Soul Society and meets Ichigo just after the latter vanquishes a Hollow. Zennosuke yells at Ichigo and demands to know who he is. Ichigo introduces himself with his Substitutes badge, to which Kurumadani claims he has never even heard of a Substitutes badge. As Ichigo complains that the badge is useless, he and Zennosuke is interrupted by Shinji Hirako.[5] As Shinji and Ichigo fight on, Zennosuke looks on in shock at their monstrous spiritual pressure. He also witnesses Shinji revealing himself as Visored and inviting Ichigo to join them.[6] Later, he is seen running away from the battle between Madarame and Edrad Liones. He passes Keigo Asano who mistakes him for an actor.[7]

Hueco Mundo arc

Zennosuke watches as Urahara puts everybody to sleep

An injured Zennosuke warns the Karakura-Raizer Team that an Arrancar is coming. After receiving medical treatment in Urahara's underground training room, he helps the Karakura-Raizer Team in their bid to defeat the Unnamed Female Arrancar and destroy her fortress. Zennosuke stays awake upon the defeat, and is seen standing with Tessai, Jinta, and Ururu as Urahara activates Tenkai Kecchu.[8]

Fake Karakura Town arc

Zennosuke impedes Aizen

Zennosuke is found unconscious in the Real Karakura Town in Soul Society by Keigo Asano, who takes his Zanpakutō.[9] Later, as Keigo, Tatsuki Arisawa, Mizuiro Kojima, Chizuru Honshō, and Don Kanonji are running from Aizen, Keigo attempts to fight Aizen, reasoning that Zennosuke's Zanpakutō is the only object that will not disintegrate before contact. However, before Keigo can attempt to attack Aizen, Zennosuke arrives and pounces on Keigo, taking his Zanpakutō back. Keigo notices that Zennosuke is shaking, who denies it and states that he would not let an amateur like Keigo use his Zanpakutō. He releases his Zanpakutō and uses its special ability in an attempt to trap Aizen under rubble. He then urges the others to run, prompting Keigo to wonder if that's all he uses his Zanpakutō for. However, Aizen effortlessly breaks through the rubble and continues to follow Zennosuke and Keigo's group as they are running away from him. He is then interrupted by the sudden arrival of Gin Ichimaru, who states that he has returned.[10]

As Gin betrays Aizen, the group runs away, but they quickly run into Aizen again. When Ichigo arrives, he calls Zennosuke "Imoyama-san" (イモ山さん), prompting the Shinigami to give out to him. Ichigo then tells the group to stay where they are,[11] and forces Aizen to move to another location.[12]

The Lost Substitute Shinigami arc

The duties of Hollow control in Karakura Town have become the sole charge of Uryū Ishida, since Kurumadani has proven to be quite unreliable in that regard.[13]

The Thousand-Year Blood War arc

Zennosuke scolds Ryūnosuke Yuki for sleeping while he is trying to explain his mission so he can take over for him.[14] Shino arrives and hits Ryūnosuke due to his comments on how she is flat chested. Kurumadani along with Ryūnosuke and Shino walk through a Senkaimon and enter the Human World. Zennosuke questions what happened to Yuki's face. He replies that he was born like that and Kurumadani goes along with it. After bringing them through the Senkaimon, Zennosuke prepares to go back to Soul Society. Before departing he tells the two to work hard and avoid fighting.[15]

Powers & Abilities

Spiritual Power: Kurumadani possesses an average level of spiritual power.


Tsuchinamazu causing an earthquake.

Tsuchinamazu (土鯰, Soil Catfish; Viz "Earth Catfish"): In its sealed state, Tsuchinamazu is an average katana featuring a tsuba that is rectangular in shape.[9]

  • Shikai: When released with the command "Good Morning" (おはよう, ohayō)[1], it takes the form of a wind and fire wheel with a wooden handle embedded in the blade. This handle is wrapped in blue fabric that descends in the form of two small ribbons, which are further accentuated by the addition of a small golden bell, at either end.[16]
Shikai Special Ability: By slamming into and simultaneously piercing the ground, Tsuchinamazu is able to fissure a significant portion of the surrounding earth and cause the resulting shards to arise upwards. These shards can assume the form of sharp spikes that are capable of impaling enemies. Zennosuke has also been shown to be able to use these fragments of earth to fashion a primitive cage to completely trap his opponent within.[17]

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
Bleach: 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

  • Zennosuke appears in the video game Soul Carnival. Although which division he is a member of is not revealed in the manga or anime, the game considers him as a member of the Thirteenth Division, as he is needed to fulfill the "Bonus: 13th Division".[18]
  • He also appears in Flame Bringer as a boss.[19]



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Bleach Official Character Book Souls, page 65
  2. Bleach 13th Blades., page 159
  3. 3.0 3.1 Bleach manga; Chapter 88.5
  4. Bleach anime; Episode 80
  5. Bleach manga, Chapter 184
  6. Bleach manga; Chapter 185, page 6-11
  7. Bleach manga, Chapter 202, page 12
  8. Bleach anime; Episodes 213-214
  9. 9.0 9.1 Bleach manga; Chapter 412, page 16
  10. Bleach manga; Chapter 413, pages 14-19
  11. Bleach manga; Chapter 417, pages 6-7
  12. Bleach manga; Chapter 417, pages 15-19
  13. Bleach manga; Chapter 424, page 14
  14. Bleach manga; Chapter 480, page 7
  15. Bleach manga; Chapter 480, pages 11-12
  16. Bleach manga; Chapter 413, page 16
  17. Bleach manga; Chapter 413, page 17
  18. Bleach video game; Bleach: Soul Carnival
  19. Bleach video game; Bleach: Flame Bringer
  20. 13 BLADEs., page 253
  21. 13 BLADEs., page 254
  22. 13 BLADEs., page 255