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Shunsui Kyoraku is the captain of the Eighth Squad in the Gotei 13 and his lieutenant is Nanao Ise. He is also the captain of the Ninth Division in the Heroes Alliance forces and his two lieutenants are Nanao and First Squad Lieutenant Chojiro Sasakibe.


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Physical Appearance

Shunsui Kyoraku is a tall, light-skinned Shinigami with high cheekbones, grey eyes, and long wavy brown hair. His hair is tied in a ponytail and has long bangs that frame on the left side of his face. He also has a noticeable amount of body hair on his chest, feet and arms. He wears a straw hat (called a sakkat) and a pink, flowered lady's kimono, which he drapes across his shoulders and over his captain's uniform (a basic black Shihakusho, and a white haori with a raspberry rose coloration on the coat's underside and the Eighth Squad's rhombus number on the coat's backside). Although his haori and ori sash are cheap, his pin-wheel hairpins are very expensive. He does not wear white tabi with his sandals. He has thin facial hair around his mouth and on his cheeks.


An enigmatic individual, bordering between the extremes of persona, Captain Kyoraku's most defining characteristic is ironically that he is truly uncharacteristic. He presents himself as a man that values peace above all else. Flamboyant and laid back, the humble Shunsui carries himself throughout the day as a being without a care in the world. The Captain traipses about Seireitei, engaging fellow officers in the drink of choice, sake, and also enjoying confections such as steamed buns and other delicacies. Shirking his duties and opting to take a nap does not escape the realm of possibilities. He is not above using his own staff to acquire whatever may strike his palate that particular day. It is nearly impossible to see this man without a smile plastered onto his unshaven face. Shunsui fancies himself something of a ladies' man as well. In particular, his repeated interactions with Nanao Ise, whom he was known to have addressed as "my miss Nanao", and Lisa Yadomaru, both of whom had once served him as subordinates, demonstrate his affections for the opposite sex. It is actually not uncommon to find the man lounging about in red light districts throughout Rukongai; definitely engaging in many acts unbecoming of a squad leader or even Shinigami in general. And what ties together this man's playful demeanor is his indiscriminate familiarity with all those that cross his path, be they ally or foe; evident by his speech pattern as shown when he would even address Coyote Starrk as "Espada" and Sosuke Aizen as "Captain Aizen". He demonstrates great respect to all people before him, addressing his fellow officers and colleagues with appropriate honorifics.


Powers and Abilities

Zanjutsu Prowess

  • Master Swordsman Specialist - While hating the concept of having to engage in a fight, Kyoraku 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. Kyoraku usually swings with more strength in his left hand than his right hand; however, he can easily switch or balance the strength between his two hands, much to the surprise of his opponent. Kyoraku 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 an unreleased Starrk, the Primera Espada, with only his sealed Zanpakuto 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. His two swords move at a different pace. He takes advantage of that while fighting. While the enemy is at the mercy of his wakizashi’s speed, his tachi swoops in for the final blow. That is the most common method used for swords like his.

Shunpo Prowess

  • Shunpo Master - He is masterful in the art of Shunpo as a captain. He notably makes a massive leap in Shunpo 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 and 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 true 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 that 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.

Other Skills

  • Enhanced Strength - Shunsui has shown that he is very powerful in terms of strength, as shown when he cracked a barrier that Aizen put up to protect his blind spot with just his Shikai attack, while Ichigo in Bankai and using his Getsuga Tensho could not even damage a similar barrier.
  • Enhanced Durability - Shunsui has the ability to survive seemingly unscathed from devastating attacks after taking on Captain-Commander Yamamoto, whose Zanpakuto 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.

Spiritual Power

  • Tremendous Spiritual Power - As one of the strongest and oldest Captains in the Gotei 13, Kyoraku has tremendous spiritual power. He is not overwhelmed by the Spiritual Pressure of Captain-Commander 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. His Reiatsu is pink.


Katen Kyokotsu (Flower Heaven, Crazy Bone) - His Zanpakuto 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 Zanpakuto, Katen Kyokotsu has a personality of her own. However, unlike other Zanpakuto, this personality shines through in battle and prevents Shunsui from fighting with his full powers until Katen Kyokotsu is in the mood for it. Because of this, Shunsui does not like to "play" with "her".

  • Shikai - It's Shikai release command is "Flower Wind Rage and Flower God Roar, Heavenly Wind Dance and Heavenly Demon Snear". Kyoraku sets the two blades against each other in a cross, and then pulls after uttering the poem-like command. When the flash clears, Katen Kyokotsu has become a pair of huge, heavily-curved, black Chinese scimitars with silver edges. The hilt and tsuba of each are still the same as they were in Katen Kyokotsu'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 still serve as one (the wakizashi) being used mainly for speed strikes, and the other (the tachi) being used mainly for power strikes. Hence that they still exist as a daisho sword pair, with the wakizashi being slightly smaller in size than the tachi.

    Katen Kyokotsu's Shikai Form

Shikai Special Ability - The power of Katen Kyokotsu is to "make children's games real". The Zanpakuto makes the rules and anyone who steps within the boundaries of its spiritual pressure is forced to play by those rules, including Shunsui himself. According to Shunsui, "if you win you live, if you lose you die".

  • Bushogoma (Lazy Spinning Top) - Shunsui rotates with both blades facing in opposite directions creating large wind blades that fire toward an opponent from Katen Kyokotsu. The wind blades join together forming a spinning circle of wind that upon contact with a target envelops the target with tornado-like intensity. The attack is not only dangerous but can disorient an opponent trapped within it. The technique is powerful enough to counteract high-powered Cero blasts. The game this technique represents is a spinning top game.
  • Takaoni (Mountain Demon)
  • Kageoni (Shadow Demon) - The rule of this game is that whoever gets their shadow stepped on "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.
  • Irooni (Colourful 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's. For example, by wearing black robes and calling "black," one would inflict massive damage on an 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.




Background in Other Media



See Also

  • Shunsui Kyoraku/Battles & Events