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|Height||192 cm (6'3")|
|Weight||87 kg (192 lbs.)|
|Affiliation||Gotei 13, Soul Society|
|Occupation||Captain of the Eighth Division|
|Partner|| Nanao Ise |
|Previous Partner||Lisa Yadōmaru|
|Base of Operations||Eighth Division HQ, Seireitei, Soul Society|
|Status||In Soul Society|
|Bankai||Not Yet Revealed|
Shunsui Kyōraku (京楽 春水, Kyōraku Shunsui) is the Captain of the 8th Division in the Gotei 13, Nanao Ise serves as his Lieutenant.
Shunsui is a tall, Shinigami with grey eyes and brown wavy-hair, (During the flashbacks of his youth, Shunsui had soft straight hair). His hair is tied in a long ponytail and has long bangs that frame the left side of his face. He wears a straw hat (or sakkat) and a shoulder draped pink flowered ladies kimono over his captain's uniform, that is rose pink on the inside and he has a thin lined facial hair around his mouth and on his cheeks and chin. Although his haori and obi sash are cheap, his pin-wheel hairpins are very expensive. He also doesn't wear tabi with his sandals, just like Ikkaku Madarame.
Kyōraku is a laid back and flamboyant man, evident in his style of dress and general attitude and he is rarely seen without a smile on his lips. In his off time, he can be seen drinking sake in bars and napping. He likes steamed buns that go with sake, but dislikes powdered green tea. Other times, he likes to chase after women, particularly his lieutenant, Nanao Ise, whom he calls "my Nanao-chan" (Lil' Nanao in the English Dub). Nanao will often respond by hitting him with whatever she has on hand. He often refers to Takuma Daichi as "pretty boy" due to his appearance, though he gets a simple exasperated roll of the eyes as a reaction. He would have done this also when Lisa Yadōmaru was his lieutenant, so it shows that teasing is a part of his personality. Kyōraku tends to use a more familiar speech style than most other characters. He generally refers to his fellow captains and Shinigami by their first name followed by an honorific. Kyōraku is a peace-loving man who will always try to talk his way out of a fight, though he doesn't wish to insult opponents by refusing to fight. The slightly eccentric Kyōraku also seems to like making an impression on opponents and teammates; Takuma seems to have gotten most of his personality traits from Kyōraku himself due to their close friendship. He also dislikes taking the life of an innocent, as he left Chad alive when Nanao offered to kill him.
Captain Kyōraku also wrote a romance novel titled "Rose-colored Path", which ran in Seireitei Communication, but was very unpopular. His photo collection, on the other hand, titled "Using Arms as My Pillow", became widely popular, and was quickly sold out, partially because it came out in lesser number of copies than similar collections by the other captains. Kyōraku also doesn't seem to care that his autobiography, "My Kittens Are So Shy," is the absolute worst-selling book.
Though Kyōraku tries to talk his way out of a fight, he does insist on fighting when the situation is grave, as seen in his battle with the 1st Espada Coyote Starrk. When Starrk asked that they only pretend to fight, he replied that he couldn't do that "this time", as much as he prefers to do things the same way. He is also one of the most proficient combatants in Soul Society, and maintains a level of honor and integrity when engaging in battle, much like his best friend Jūshirō. He refuses to fight with children or even in the presence of a child. He always maintains a semblance of respect for his opponent and is polite in combat situations and prefers to fight one on one.
Despite being one of the the strongest and oldest captains, Kyōraku retains a level of humbleness and isn't overly arrogant about his strength, although when fighting Starrk, he does comment on how the fight "wouldn't be too easy" even after finding out that Starrk is the 1st Espada, but he does recognize that Hitsugaya has the potential to become stronger than him given enough time. Kyōraku has shown a great distaste for fighting, telling Love Aikawa that it doesn't matter whether you owe someone or they owe you, as soon as you start fighting, you are in the wrong either way.
Shunsui is the second son of the high-ranking noble Kyōraku family. Despite being of such old and prestigious lineage, he disliked studying and training, and preferred to chase the ladies, although being told by General Yamamoto that he was able to see the truth and was wise for his age. Because of this, he was sent against his will to the Shin'ō Reijutsu Academy (Shinigami Academy). While there he came to know Jūshirō Ukitake, who would become his best friend and fellow captain. He, along with Jūshirō Ukitake, was one of the first Shinigami to become a captain through the Shinigami academy. Furthermore, he was personally trained by Yamamoto. He and Ukitake are the oldest captains amongst the Gotei 13, with the exception of Retsu Unohana and Yamamoto himself. It is stated that the four of them have been Captains of the Gotei 13 for at least 200 years as of 110 years ago before the current time.
110 years ago, he is shown to have a unique relationship with his Lieutenant Lisa Yadōmaru, though in contrast to his relationship with his current Lieutenant Nanao Ise, Lisa is more outgoing and perverted in a way much like his own personality. But he finds that his position requires him to be the "adult" in the situation. He is shortly present at the promotion ceremony waiting in line with the other captains as the newly appointed 12th Division captain and 8th Division Lieutenant Kisuke Urahara and Takuma Daichi arrive to the meeting.
A few months later, Kyōraku hears of Takuma's imprisonment at the hands of his Captain Ginrei Kuchiki due to insubordinance. Deciding to speak with the new prisoner, he visits the Maggot Nest and confronts Takuma. In their conversation, Kyōraku points out the error of his ways, and a grieved Takuma begs for the Captain's forgiveness. Kyōraku merely states that he should be earning the forgiveness of his former captain and not him. He secretly promises to assist in doing so, giving Takuma necessary information in order to release himself from his bonds. It took 7 more years before the former Lieutenant would suceed in his task, with Kyōraku congratulating him. He is also witness to Takuma's defeat of Byakuya Kuchiki, in order to secure his position in the Gotei 13.
2 years later Shunsui is present at an emergency meeting called by Captain-Commander Yamamoto. When he decides to create a investigative team to locate the missing 9th Division squad members. When he gives out orders, Yamamoto orders him to guard the Seireitei. When Yamamoto decides to send both Kidō Captain Tessai Tsukabishi and Kidō Lieutenant Hachigen Ushōda of the Kidō Corps. Shunsui instead advices him to send only Hachi and replace Tessai with his own Lieutenant, Lisa. He tries to cheer up a shaken Kisuke Urahara, telling him not to worry about his Lieutenant, Hiyori Sarugaki, who was sent to help the 9th Division, because she is strong, though not as strong as Lisa. During a night-walk he meets up some squad members, and also notices Lt. Sōsuke Aizen taking a night walk. Later in his barracks he is addressed by a very young Nanao Ise, who has come to see his Lieutenant, Lisa Yadōmaru. Shunsui then remembers that Nanao always comes to him around the first of every month to have Lisa read to her. Nanao confirms this, only to be told that Lisa is away on a mission, but should be back soon.
Powers & Abilities Edit
Immense Spiritual Power: As one of the strongest and oldest Captains in the Gotei 13 Kyōraku has tremendous spiritual power. He is not overwhelmed by the Spiritual Pressure of General Yamamoto as most people would be in such a situation. His strength is shown even further as he was able to defeat Coyote Starrk, the Primera Espada, with only the use of his Shikai.
Master Swordsmanship Specialist: While in battle his power is said to be stronger then any other. His power is unrivalled by anyone who came before him or anyone since. While hating the concept of having to engage in a fight, Kyōraku is presumably one of the most proficient swordsmen in all of Soul Society. He is a highly adaptable combatant as his two swords have allowed him to become ambidextrous, meaning that he is able to switch hands between the two swords. Kyōraku usually swings with more strength in his left hand then his right; however, he can easily switch or balance the strength between his two hands, much to the surprise of his opponent. Kyōraku states that he only uses his wakizashi in situations where his katana is too difficult to use. He claims that he does not use them together on a regular basis. The best example of Shunsui's prowess is shown from his ability to fight on even grounds with Starrk, the 1st Espada, with only his sealed Zanpakutō while other captain-level Shinigami have been seen requiring at least their Shikai against an Espada. Shunsui's fighting style involves evasion and attacking an opponent either in the front or back using the element of surprise to overwhelm them.
Kidō Master: While not his preferred style of combat, Shunsui has high prowess in Kidō combat. During his battle against Chad, he was able to effortlessly launch his opponent several yards away with a seemingly small blast from his finger similarly to Hadō spell #1.
Flash Steps Master: He is masterful in the art of Flash Steps as a captain. He notably makes a massive leap in Flash Steps within mere moments to remove Nanao from the battlefield and return almost instantly, commended even by Yamamoto prior to battle. Shunsui's skill is proficient enough for him to effortlessly dodge Starrk's attacks without mussing his hat or Kimono.
Master Strategist & Tactician: Despite his laid back attitude, Shunsui has repeatedly shown himself to be a perceptive and insightful man. According to Yamamoto, even when he was younger, Shunsui has always had an eye for seeing the truth character of anyone he meets. Shunsui easily saw through Kurotsuchi's attempt to hide being used by the Bounts. He was also one of the few people to suspect Aizen was hiding something. In battle, Shunsui has proven to be very adept at noticing and understanding details in an opponent's skills or attack patterns. During his battle against Chad, he quickly determined the basics behind Chad's Reiryoku blasts, warning him about the kinds of techniques, and even explaining that his energy blasts would eventually use up his life energy.
Enhanced Durability: Shunsui has the ability to survive seemingly unscathed from devastating attacks after taking on General Yamamoto, whose Zanpakutō is the most devastating in all of Soul Society in terms of destructive power. He was also able to withstand a Cero at point blank range from Starrk, the Primera Espada, in his released form without any noticeable injuries.
Katen Kyōkotsu (花天狂骨; Flower Heaven, Crazy Bone): His Zanpakutō is unique in that it exists as two completely separate swords, existing as a daisho sword pair, consisting of a tachi and a wakizashi. Their cross guards are rectangles, with the corners cut off, decorated by a pattern of cherry petals and lines, and each sports a dark-blue handle. He keeps them sheathed through his waist tie at his left side; although, during battle, the swords have been shown to be placed on both sides of his sash. Like other Zanpakutō, Katen Kyōkotsu has a personality of its own. However, unlike other Zanpakutō, this personality shines through in battle and prevents Shunsui from fighting with his full powers until Katen Kyōkotsu is in the mood for it. Because of this Shunsui does not like to "play" with it.
- Shikai: Its Shikai command is "Flower Wind Rage and Flower God Roar, Heavenly Wind Rage and Heavenly Demon Sneer" (花風紊れて花神啼き天風紊れて天魔嗤う, hana kaze midarete, kashin naki, tenpū midarete, tenma warau). Kyōraku sets the two blades against each other in a cross, then pulls before uttering the poem-like command. When the flash clears, Katen Kyōkotsu has become a pair of huge, heavily-curved, black Chinese scimitars with silver edges. The hilt and cross guards of each are still the same as they were in Katen Kyōkotsu's sealed-form, but they now sport long red tassels dangling from the end. Despite the two swords becoming identical in this state, Shunsui has stated they they still serve as one (the wakizashi) being used mainly for speed strikes, and the other (the tachi) being used mainly for power strikes.
- Shikai Special Ability: The power of Katen Kyōkotsu is to "make children's games real". The Zanpakutō makes the rules and anyone who steps within the boundaries of its spiritual energy is forced to play by those rules, including Shunsui himself. According to Shunsui, "if you win you live, if you lose you die".
- Bushō Koma (不精独楽, Lazy Spinning Top): This technique causes tornado winds to flow from Katen Kyōkotsu to envelope the target. This move originally gave the impression that Shunsui's Zanpakutō was wind-based. However, this too is a game. In this case, it is a spinning top game.
- Takaoni (嶄鬼, Mountain Demon): This move was also used in Shunsui's battle with Starrk, but Starrk's attack hid the nature of the attack. However, Shunsui later explains that with this "game" whoever is higher up "wins."
- Irooni (艶鬼, Colorful Demon): This is a color-based game where you say the name of the color you want to cut with your sword and you cannot cut anything else. If the color that you call does not exist on your body, the damage is minimal, even if the attack would normally inflict a much more severe wound. The opposite is true; by calling out a color you're wearing and attacking, the damage given is proportional to the amount of that color on you. To maximize damage, you have to use a color that maximizes the risks to your person as well as your enemy. For example, by wearing black robes and calling "black," one would inflict massive damage on a enemy if struck even if the actual blow itself was minimal or minor, but the caller would also suffer serious damage if he/she is struck by the enemy in return.
- Kageoni (影鬼, Shadow Demon): The rule of this game is that whoever steps on a shadow "loses." The game itself allows competitors to manipulate shadows to their advantage. For example, Shunsui has demonstrated the ability to hide himself in shadows by using this technique, and he can also control the shadows and use them to attack an opponent by attacking the shadow they are currently standing upon.
- Bankai: Not yet revealed. Ukitake warned Shunsui not to release his Bankai "where others can see."