Byakuya has slate gray eyes and long black hair, which he keeps up in intricate white headpieces called kenseikan that symbolize his nobility as the head of the Kuchiki family, one on top of his head and another on the right side. He wears the standard captain uniform along with a white scarf made by the master weaver, Tsujishirō Kuroemon III. The scarf is made from the silver-white, windflower light silk (ginpaku kazahana no uzuginu) and is a family heirloom that is handed down from generation to generation and is given to each Kuchiki family head. The scarf alone is worth enough to buy ten mansions in the Seireitei. He also wears fingerless white tekkou that cover only the back of his hands.
Byakuya Kuchiki is the 28th head of the noble Kuchiki clan, one of the four great noble families in Soul Society. As such, Byakuya acts in an aristocratic manner — he seems always serene and apathetic towards other people, even when he is actually deeply conflicted. He is also extremely calm, even in battle, and is very seldom surprised by even the most drastic of actions. However, when he was younger, he was quick to anger and very hotheaded, as noted by his grandfather. Due in part to his status in Soul Society, he generally acts indifferent, bordering on arrogance, to most situations that he is faced with as seen from how he rarely views his opponent worth his time. Despite this trait, Byakuya is a very perceptive man and is fully aware of the limits of his abilities and usually anything he states in comparison to an opponent is justified.
Byakuya strongly believes in law and order. As the head of one of the great noble families and as a captain in the Gotei 13, he always works hard for a peaceful society. He feels that if someone in his position does not follow the rules as a good example, then no one will follow them. He believes that to maintain the order, all law-breakers must be punished, even if that goes against his own wishes. In spite of his icy and regal manner, Byakuya cares for and protects those important to him. After the events of the Aizen incident, he admitted that law isn't perfect and became more lenient, as well as more protective, of his adoptive sister, Rukia.
Byakuya is popular among the female Shinigami of Soul Society, and was voted number one in the "captain we desire to release a photo book for" poll taken by the Shinigami Women's Association. He likes Japanese cherry blossoms, night-time walks, spicy food, and bananas, but he does not like sweets. Similar to Sōsuke Aizen, he excels in calligraphy. He, apparently, is very fond of calligraphy, being the representative or possibly president of the Calligraphy Society.
As astonishing as it may seem, Byakuya seems to have a comedic side, as he not only attends the lieutenant's meeting when Renji's absent, but also implies that he attends the meetings of the Shinigami Women's Association when Rukia's absent. As he puts it, "part of a captain's responsibilities is to make sure the lieutenant's responsibilities are taken care of," to which Renji asks if goes to Rukia's meetings, which is only responded by a smile similar to that of Gin Ichimaru's. He also once jokingly remarks that he uses Senbonzakura to cut his hair. In one of the omake chapters, Byakuya claims that life in general is not supposed to be entertaining, and even makes up an idea for a game that is not really meant to be amusing.
Having descended from noble stock, Byakuya is easily offended if his name is not used properly. As such, he views Ichigo Kurosaki in disdain for always referring to him improperly, although he has never said anything to him to change that. On one occasion, Byakuya calls Ichigo to his mansion in order to have a talk with the young substitute Shinigami, but they were interrupted by Yachiru's appearance, who asks Ichigo to follow her elsewhere. After Ichigo's disappearance, it is revealed that Byakuya wanted Ichigo to refer to him properly, and to stop calling him by only his first name. When Byakuya talks with Ichigo, he calls him by his full name, Ichigo Kurosaki.
Byakuya has shown open disdain for those who have been disgraced or who he finds to be annoying or overconfident. This is shown when he uses unnecessary force against Ganju Shiba, who was little to no threat to him, just because he was a member of the formerly noble Shiba family. He also shows that he bears a grudge toward Yoruichi Shihōin for being better than him at Shunpo as well as annoying him by constantly rubbing his face in it, with this particular grudge spanning 110 years. This goes even as far as him even disliking having to use techniques taught to him by Yoruichi.
In some golden cups, he sees his house had been altered by some tunnels, which are revealed to be Yachiru Kusajishi's handiwork. In one of them, he discovered that Yachiru, Nemu Kurotsuchi, Rangiku Matsumoto, Nanao Ise, Isane and Kiyone Kotetsu, Soifon, and Yoruichi were having a tea party in his house, without his knowledge (his face is not shown when he sees the room's interior). Later, when he tries to board up the secret door, Yachiru reveals another to Byakuya's intense surprise, and his face is shown with dismay.
Byakuya was born into the Kuchiki family, one of the four noble families. Byakuya grew up in the Kuchiki mansion in the Seireitei of Soul Society. He would spend countless hours training, in preparation of taking over the leadership of the Kuchiki family and the 6th Division from his grandfather, Ginrei Kuchiki.
Yoruichi Shihōin appeared to be on good terms with the members of the Kuchiki noble family, as she would often visit the Kuchiki manor to play tag with Byakuya. On one such occasion, approximately 110 years ago, she is presented to a training Byakuya by his grandfather Ginrei Kuchiki, the head of the Kuchiki family as well as the 6th Division captain. Upon seeing the arrival of Yoruichi, he swung his sword at her and called her a demon cat. Yoruichi laughed and playfully began to tease him, calling him "Little Byakuya," complaining about why she received such a greeting after she came all the way there to see him. Byakuya yelled at her that he would never want to see the likes of her and that he will be the head of the Kuchiki clan soon enough so he has no time to waste on her. This prompted Yoruichi to steal the ribbon holding his hair back, Byakuya reacted by quickly turning and swinging his sword at her, but she used Shunpo to move to the roof of a nearby building. Yoruichi laughed at him and exclaimed that if the head of clan Kuchiki could get his hair tie stolen by a girl at play, then she would worry about the future of the clan. Not to be defeated so easily, Byakuya told her not to move an inch, but before he could finish speaking, she told him that he couldn't catch her just as she used Shunpo again to begin the chase. Byakuya plainly stated that he could see that she wished to incite his wrath, and he promised to make her see the error of her ways, further making the claim that his Shunpo is far superior to the likes of hers.
Fifty-five years ago, Byakuya married Hisana Kuchiki, who was a commoner from Rukongai; therefore, he broke the rules by accepting her into the noble Kuchiki family. Five years later, she became sick and was near death. Shortly before her passing, Hisana asked Byakuya to find and adopt her biological sister, Rukia, whom she had abandoned as a baby. She also made him promise that he would not tell Rukia about her real family, for she believed that by abandoning Rukia when she was younger, she was not worthy to be called her sister.
One year later, Byakuya found Rukia at the Shinigami Academy and immediately adopted her into the Kuchiki clan. By adopting her, Byakuya respected his late wife's final wish, but had broken the rules of his clan again. He later swore upon his parents' graves that he would never break the rules again, no matter what. As a result, he, though entirely apathetic on the surface, is actually deeply conflicted with the matter of Rukia's execution; should he intervene, it would require breaking the promise to his parents and the rules again, but should he do nothing, he would fail to fulfill the last promise he made to his dying wife to protect Rukia as his own sister.
Less than 49 years ago and not long before Rukia joined the Gotei 13, Byakuya became the captain of the 6th Division. Gin Ichimaru became captain of the 3rd Division at the same time, and Gin would commonly start pointless conversations with Byakuya during times they crossed paths.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Soul Society arc~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Byakuya is present during the captain's emergency meeting called by General Yamamoto. However, he remains silent throughout the constant bickering between his fellow officers.
Upon Renji's defeat by Ichigo, Renji is brought to a secure location and watched over by his Izuru Kira, lieutenant of the 3rd Division and Momo Hinamori, lieutenant of the 5th Division. Distraught, Momo asks Izuru to call for the 4th Division medics. Byakuya then appears behind Momo and tells them that there is no need, as Renji is to be thrown in jail. When Momo tries to plead with him, Byakuya plainly tells her that he doesn't want excuses, since Renji was alone when he fought and he has no reason to have lost. Momo asks him how can he say that, but she is stopped by Izuru, who apologizes to Byakuya before a reluctant Momo does the same.
Byakuya later interrupts Ganju Shiba and Hanatarō Yamada's attempt to rescue Rukia. Ganju decides, out of the two, he would take on Byakuya. Byakuya tells him that he could sense some faint spiritual pressure going toward Shishinrou, at first he thought it was someone strong holding back his spiritual pressure, but it was nothing but a big fat bug. Ganju goes to attack Byakuya, but before he knows it, Byakuya is past him, severely damaging Ganju's left arm. Byakuya tells him to be gone, but Ganju tells him that he doesn't know how it is among the nobles, but a coward that could be scared away by such an attack does not exist in the Shiba family. Upon hearing his family name, he apologizes for not hitting Ganju harder, but he questions what Byakuya can do from so far away. Rukia looks on and realizes what is about to happen and screams to Byakuya to stop. Byakuya releases his Shikai and he is practically shredded by Byakuya's Shikai. Ganju falls to his knees as Hanatarō and Rukia stare in disbelief.
As Byakuya raises his sword to finish Ganju off, he is stopped by Jūshirō Ukitake, captain of the 13th Division. He tells Byakuya that he thinks that is enough and he explains that the release of a Zanpakutō in Konnatokoru is a first class offense. Byakuya tells him that it is a war time situation, causing the ban on releasing a Zanpakutō to be lifted. Ukitake wonders if the lifting of the ban has something to do with Captain Aizen’s death.
Byakuya and Ukitake then sense the arrival of a strong spiritual pressure at the level of a captain. Ichigo then shows up and tells Rukia that he has come to save her and he goes to engage Byakuya in combat.
Ukitake asks Byakuya who Ichigo is, but Byakuya simply says that he is no one. Ichigo tells Byakuya that he has been standing around all carefree and didn't even move when he was talking to Rukia. Byakuya states there’s no reason that he would he need to sneak up on the likes of him and that Ichigo thinks too highly of himself. Byakuya then releases his spiritual pressure, forcing Rukia and Hanatarō to their knees. As Ichigo pulls out his Zanpakutō, Byakuya notes that Ichigo has not even budged to his spiritual pressure and remarks at how it seems as though Ichigo has gained strength. Byakuya tells him that he doesn't know how he has reacquired the power of a Shinigami, but he should have just gone back to his normal Human life. He uses Shunpo to get behind Ichigo, who blocks his attack with his Zanpakutō. Ichigo tells him that he saw every single step Byakuya made. They move apart and Byakuya tells him that he sees that Ichigo has improved and that in that case, he will show him the decisive difference in strength. Rukia screams at Ichigo to run as Byakuya releases his Shikai.
Yoruichi arrives just in time to stop the release of Senbonzakura's Shikai, surprising both Byakuya and Ukitake. Hanatarō asks Rukia if she knows who Yoruichi is, who says she’s heard the name before. Byakuya notes that she is the former Commander-in-Chief of the Onmitsukidō and the former Corps Commander of the Correction Corps. Ichigo asks Yoruichi if she has come to save him and thanks her but tells her that he is determined to defeat Byakuya. Before Ichigo can react, Yoruichi is in front of him and she impales him with her hand right into his bandaged chest wound, and Ukitake comments that she must be trying to save his life by releasing a strong tranquilizer directly into his body. Yoruichi acknowledges Ukitake as Byakuya comments that she won’t be able to get away so easily. Yoruichi asks him if he ever win even one against her in a game of tag and Byakuya asks if they should try again. Then the two engage in a test of speed using Shunpo with Yoruichi carrying an unconscious Ichigo, while still staying a step ahead of Byakuya. He quickly gains on her, and cuts her across the chest with his blade. However, it was a decoy, and Yoruichi remarks to him that he can't catch her with that level of Shunpo. She quickly moves to the top a nearby building and yells down to Byakuya that in three days she will make Ichigo stronger than him. Until then, the fight between the two will be on hold. As she uses Shunpo to leave she tells Byakuya that he can follow her if he chooses, but the "Goddess of Flash" will not be caught so easily.
Byakuya then proceeds to leave the area, with Ukitake asking him where he is going. Byakuya continues to walk away, stating that he has lost his interest and that Ukitake can do whatever he wants to do with them.
Later, after hearing of the execution date being moved up, Ukitake tries to convince Byakuya to do something, Byakuya tells him that he has already heard from a Hell Butterfly. Ukitake tells him that he will get to the point, but Byakuya interrupts him telling him that he doesn't care. He explains that the execution has been moved to tomorrow and as that is what has been decided, he will honor their decision. The stress of the situation causes Ukitake to succumb to his illness. Byakuya tells him not to stress as this isn't the first time he has lost a subordinate to his inability, and therefore it won't make a difference if he loses more. Byakuya then states that Rukia is a member of his family and not Ukitake's, so even if she is killed, it shouldn't concern him.
Byakuya is then seen at in his quarters praying at the shrine to his wife when he is told that the execution is about to commence. He then says goodbye to Hisana's picture and leaves to the execution grounds.
Sometime later, Renji has escaped from jail and is beating his way through his fellow 6th Division members to get to Rukia, so that he may save her from execution. He then feels a strong spiritual pressure. He looks to the top of a tower and sees Byakuya on top looking down at him. Byakuya asks him where he is going. He tells Byakuya that he is going to save Rukia, and asks if Byakuya will allow him to pass by peacefully, to which Byakuya tells him he won’t allow him to.
Byakuya uses Shunpo and appears behind Renji, but when goes to attack he is surprised that Renji blocks him. Renji notes that Byakuya attempted to use "Senka", which is his favorite technique. He comments on how he has seen the move countless times, and after so many times of following Byakuya's movements with his eyes, his body is fast enough to follow, too. Byakuya remarks that Renji is talking as if he has already won. Byakuya then releases his Shikai, but before it can release, Renji stops it with his Shikai, to Byakuya's surprise. Renji reiterates that Byakuya's sword can no longer kill him. He tells him that it’s not because he's his lieutenant, but because even before he joined the Gotei 13, the only one he has ever wanted to surpass was him. Byakuya notes that Renji just released his Zanpakutō without calling its name. Before he can finish what he was going to say, Renji releases his Bankai.
Byakuya is somewhat surprised and asks since when has Renji been able to perform Bankai. Renji plainly tells him that he will never know, since he never did care about his subordinates. Renji asks Byakuya again to save Rukia and in return Byakuya tells him that he will not say the same thing twice. Renji goes to attack Byakuya, who uses Shunpo to move to the top of a nearby tower. Renji attacks the towers and only succeeds in knocking Byakuya off, but even then, Byakuya blocks the large Bankai with his Zanpakutō. Byakuya concedes that Renji's power is truly at the level of Bankai, but he feels that it’s time for the battle to end. Byakuya then releases his Shikai, destroying Renji's Bankai. However, just as abruptly as Renji's Bankai falls apart, it reconstitutes itself. Renji then explains that he knows the technique of Senbonzakura well, and explains that Zabimaru's segments are connected by his spiritual energy and they cannot be cut apart by knives. Byakuya is noticeably surprised at this revelation. He then slams Zabimaru into the ground, but Byakuya gets away, barely causing him to land in a kneeling position. Renji comments that Byakuya's knee has touched the ground and that it is time to end this conflict.
Byakuya gets up and tells him if he wants to put an end to it, that's fine, but the curtain that falls down at the end shall be pulled down by the blade of his sword. Renji defiantly tells him that he has already told him that he knows his sword in and out and the sword that will pull down the curtain will be his, as he goes to attack. Byakuya uses Hadō #33 Sōkatsui to cause a great amount of destruction in the area, causing Renji to have to use his Zanpakutō for protection. Renji realizes that the move has allowed Byakuya to hide his movements and he goes on the attack again, but Byakuya uses Shunpo to confuse him causing him to lose control of his Bankai. Byakuya then tells him that he is the fool as he didn't use Kidō to blind him, but to disrupt the rhythm of his Bankai. Byakuya tells Renji the biggest flaw of Bankai. He then tells Renji that it is too early for him to use Bankai in battle. Renji refuses to give up and says that he knew that but says his Zanpakutō is not only bulky but durable, and even if it loses one or two segments it can still fight. Byakuya then uses Bakudō #61 Rikujōkōrō, stopping Renji in his place. Byakuya then tells Renji to put away his sword and he will live, unless he is still dreaming about defeating him. He then asks Renji if he forgot or if it has never occurred to him that he, too, has Bankai. Byakuya then releases his Bankai, which obliterates the building behind Renji, shredding him. Renji falls and Byakuya tells him, in story form, that the difference between them is class.
Byakuya explains the power of his Bankai and tells Renji that he should be proud, as someone who after being struck by his power, is still able to retain the form of his body. Renji stirs and Byakuya takes notice and tells him not to move as it will only shorten his life. But Renji refuses to give up and begins to stand and lunges at Byakuya, who use his Bankai technique Senkei to incapacitate him. He states that he is sure that Renji knows that his Bankai is now gone, and explains that if Renji chooses to get up, he will kill him sooner. Renji tells him that he swore to his soul to save Rukia, and stands. He then runs toward Byakuya, attempting to attack him, but his sword breaks upon contact. Renji falls to the ground and Byakuya takes off his scarf, throws it on top of Renji's body and tells him congratulations, as his fangs actually reached him; he then leaves Renji there.
Byakuya arrives at Rukia's execution, and when Rukia looks at him, he turns his head away. Rukia thanks Byakuya even though he still refuses to even look at her. As Rukia's execution commences, Byakuya is greatly surprised by the interference and arrival of Ichigo Kurosaki. After Ichigo saves Rukia he gazes upon Byakuya. After Ichigo easily dispatches three lieutenants, he ends up crossing swords with Byakuya.
Byakuya asks Ichigo why he keeps on trying to save Rukia, but Ichigo questions why Byakuya isn’t trying to save her. Byakuya brushes it off as a pointless question and states that even if he was inclined to answer, Ichigo wouldn't understand. The two clash and push themselves apart. Byakuya then tells Ichigo that he will kill him and with his own hands, he will carry out Rukia's execution, but Ichigo states that won’t happen. The two then charge toward each other.
Byakuya states that he finds it interesting that Ichigo was able to master Shunpo, but before he can finish Ichigo interrupts him, taunting Byakuya, stating that he hasn't scratched him once and telling him to hurry up and use Bankai. Byakuya tells him that his taunts are meaningless and he won’t change his mind about Rukia's fate or Ichigo's. He then releases his Shikai, but Ichigo blocks that attack with a blast of spiritual energy.
The effect of Ichigo's attack results in a large explosion, which injures Byakuya's left hand, prompting him to ask if that attack was an ability of his Zanpakutō. When the smoke clears, a large fissure is evident where the attack took place. Ichigo confirms what the ability is, and explains that its name is Getsuga Tenshō. Once again, Ichigo tells him to fight with his Bankai. Byakuya remarks at how arrogant the name of the attack is, but he decides that since Ichigo wants to see his Bankai, he will show it to him and then releases it. Ichigo uses his Getsuga Tenshō to attack Byakuya, but it’s blocked by Senbonzakura Kageyoshi, which crushes him into the ground. The smoke clears and an injured Ichigo lays upon the ground. Ichigo begins to get up and he admits his error at using only his Shikai. Byakuya, unimpressed, and says that he is talking as though he has already achieved Bankai, but Ichigo says that’s exactly it.
At first, Byakuya doesn't believe him, and Ichigo says he will have to show him. Ichigo then releases his Bankai, Tensa Zangetsu while Byakuya gazes in disbelief, and asks why his Zanpakutō’s shape looks like that of a sealed Zanpakutō. Byakuya then tells Ichigo that it seems that he enjoys stepping on their pride, so he will carve on his body the penalty for violating their pride. Before Byakuya can attack, Ichigo gets up close, pointing the tip of his blade at Byakuya's throat, and asks him if that pride has anything to do with Rukia's execution, because if so, he will step all over it.
When Ichigo backs off, Byakuya calls him arrogant and tells Ichigo he will regret not attacking when he had the chance and shouldn't count on getting another one. The two clash, but neither hits the other as both equally dodge the others attacks. Eventually, Ichigo becomes so fast that Byakuya makes note that his speed is amazing to the point that Senbonzakura Kageyoshi can't keep up with him. Although Byakuya keeps attacking, Ichigo shows off his great speed by moving around him in a circle, escaping his attacks. Ichigo taunts him by asking if he is going too slow for him, and comments on how he can go even faster. Byakuya tells him not to get cocky and uses his hand to direct Senbonzakura Kageyoshi at Ichigo, causing it to move even faster. However, Ichigo is able to fend off Senbonzakura Kageyoshi. Byakuya gazes in disbelief, thinking how it's impossible, as he deflected all of them. Before Byakuya realizes it, Ichigo is behind him taunting him, before Byakuya grabs Tensa Zangetsu, wounding himself. He then realizes the power of Ichigo's Bankai and promises to destroy it.
Ichigo moves away and Byakuya reveals Senbonzakura Kageyoshi's true form, using the technique "Senkei". Ichigo stares in disbelief, but Byakuya assures him that the thousand swords will not strike him all at once. They continue to battle and Byakuya asks him why his movements have become slower. Ichigo taunts him, saying he swore Byakuya was so slow that he thought he wasn't moving at all. Byakuya then calls forth one of the surrounding swords, stabs Ichigo in the foot and then uses Hado #4 Byakurai, shooting a hole through Ichigo's right shoulder. Byakuya pulls the sword from Ichigo's foot and he falls to the ground. Byakuya then tells Ichigo that he is at his limit and he explains Senkei. Ichigo finally realizes that he is the one that had gotten slower. Byakuya commends him on having made it as far as he did, having accomplished the wins he attained and even surviving Senbonzakura Kageyoshi intact, but tells him that he must realize by now that this is the end. He then raises his sword for a killing blow, only for Ichigo to grab the blade with his hand to stop it. Byakuya is surprised and asks how it is possible, but he then realizes that something is wrong and asks who this is. Ichigo looks up with his face half covered by a mask as he screams that he is nobody.
Ichigo goes into an insane rage as his inner Hollow takes over and he slashes Byakuya across his chest wounding him. He then shatters Byakuya's blade with his bare hand. Byakuya regains his composure and calls forth another sword just as the crazed Ichigo charges at him. Ichigo then fires a spiritual blast, which Byakuya notices, with surprise, is black. Before he realizes it, Ichigo attacks him from behind, but Byakuya survives and asks if he is a Hollow. However, before Hollow Ichigo can finish Byakuya off, Ichigo rips off the mask, apologizes for the Hollow’s interference and tells him they should start from the beginning. Byakuya agrees to forget what just transpired, but points out that neither of them have the strength to continue this for much longer and decides that they must end it with the next blow. Ichigo agrees but asks again why Byakuya won’t save Rukia, to which he answers back that he will tell him if he defeats him. Byakuya then uses the technique "Shūkei, Hakuteiken", which amazes Ichigo, who states the he has no technique like that, since all Zangetsu taught him was Getsuga Tenshō. Thus, he states that he will just place all of his strength into one attack. The two charge at each other, releasing a torrent of powerful spiritual pressure.
In the end, Ichigo is wounded but so is Byakuya, who tells Ichigo that the reason why he supports Rukia's death sentence is because he believes in following the rules, even if the rules mean the death of a family member. The concept of personal feelings is overridden by the rules and he states that emotions are useless and he never had them to begin with. Ichigo tells him he doesn't understand, and if he was in his position, he would fight the rules. Byakuya finally understands that Ichigo never was fighting him, but Soul Society's rules and he thinks that Ichigo has the same personality as Kaien Shiba, who he remembers as being infuriatingly liberal. Byakuya then tells Ichigo that his liberalness has shattered his blade, and therefore, he can no longer pursue Rukia and he leaves the area.
Later, when Sōsuke Aizen orders Gin Ichimaru to kill Rukia, Byakuya pulls her out of the attack and takes it instead. Byakuya collapses in Rukia's arms due to all his injuries.
While being treated for his massive injuries by Captain Unohana, Byakuya calls for Rukia and breaks a promise he made to his wife by telling Rukia the truth of her past. He also explains why he was conflicted for so long between his promise to Hisana and his parents, making it hard for him to determine the role he should take when she was sentenced to be executed. He then thanks Ichigo for helping him make his decision to save Rukia in the end and he apologizes to Rukia.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Hueco Mundo arc~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Byakuya, along with Jūshirō Ukitake and Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto, is told that Rukia Kuchiki and Renji Abarai have disappeared and that the Second Division is looking for them all throughout Seireitei.
Byakuya later arrives alongside Captains Kenpachi Zaraki, Mayuri Kurotsuchi, and Retsu Unohana in Las Noches after the titanic battle between Ichigo Kurosaki and Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez.
He arrives in time to save Rukia from the 7th Espada, Zommari Leroux. Upon his arrival Zommari asks him who he is. Noting that Byakuya must be a captain since he is wearing a haori, he then states his name and title and asks Byakuya to do the same. Byakuya plainly states that he doesn't need to answer him as he is his enemy. He then lets Zommari know that he also has a question to ask, he asks him if he is the one that has injured Rukia. Zommari tells him that he is not the one but he was going to finish the job.
Zommari goes on to say that if Byakuya intends on saving injured Shinigami, all his efforts would be futile. Byakuya, using Shunpo, asks Zommari what he means by “futile.” Zommari uses Sonido to move behind Byakuya, who blocks his attack. Byakuya then sees more of Zommari and asks what is that he is doing. Zommari explains that it is Gemelos Sonido, stating that among the Espada, his Sonido is the fastest, as by adding in additional steps he can create quasi-clones. Zommari goes on to state that Byakuya shouldn't feel embarrassed if he is in too much shock to follow along. Byakuya tells him that, on the contrary, Zommari is the one who should be shocked, because he just revealed his entire hand to him. He then attacks Zommari and slashes him across his chest, but finds that he in fact is behind him. Zommari attempts to attack him from behind stating that Gemelos Sonido is not limited to two copies, but Byakuya states he figured as much and uses Hadō #4 Byakurai, shooting it under his right arm directly into Zommari's chest. Zommari falls down from the attack but it is revealed to just be a copy and Byakuya is now surrounded by them. Zommari states that the number of clones through Gemelos Sonido can grow to five maximum. The two remaining clones attack from both sides with the real one stabbing Byakuya through with his sword from the front. Zommari tells him farewell, stating that the reason for his defeat was the arrogance that kept him from telling Zommari his name. Immediately afterwards, though, Zommari realizes that Byakuya is not there and his sword has only pierced through his empty haori. Byakuya then appears far behind Zommari and states that he used the Way of Onmitsu, 3rd of the Shihou, Utsusemi, which he hadn’t wanted to use because Yoruichi Shihōin taught it to him. He states to Zommari that he is the arrogant one, but he should not despair, because he will not lose due to that arrogance, but simply because of a difference in power.
Zommari claims that he is not arrogant and says that because Byakuya is captain class, he thinks of them on the same level and attacks him in that manner. Byakuya plainly says the idea that an Arrancar would think of itself as an equal to him is already a form of pride itself. Zommari responds that arrogance seems to be a part of Byakuya's nature. Therefore, he will take his pride and pulverize it through the very core of his being. Zommari releases his Zanpakutō and then he makes a gesture which causes Byakuya to go into battle stance, though nothing happens. Zommari then asks if something is wrong, stating that Byakuya's intuition told him that he was going to attack but that nothing had occurred. Using his power, he takes possession of Byakuya's left leg, and explains how his power works. He then questions Byakuya's intellect, informing him that this power is just beyond his understanding. Byakuya then severs the tendons to his left leg, stopping Zommari's control over it. Instead, Zommari turns his attention to the unconscious body of Rukia, but Byakuya shields her body with his left hand. Zommari is amazed that Byakuya can move that fast with an injured leg, and applauds his skill as a captain.
Hanatarō Yamada follows Byakuya to the battlefield, but Byakuya orders Hanatarō back, because there is no guarantee that he can continue fighting without swallowing him up as well. When Byakuya realizes that Zommari has taken possession of his left hand, he cuts the tendons. When Hanatarō tries to stop him from injuring himself Byakuya uses Hadō #1 Shō to push Rukia away and tells Hanatarō to fall back. Zommari notices that Byakuya was rather quick to throw away his own arm and leg with no hesitation, instantly regarding that which is stolen from him as an enemy, even if it’s his own body. The fact that he can make such cool-headed decisions is impressive, though Zommari finds that it foolish and careless. He then questions whether Byakuya intends to fight an Espada of his power with only half his body, telling him that he is being presumptuous. Byakuya tells him that he has already told him that their power levels are as distant as the earth is from the heavens. Zommari then explains the full scope of his powers, mentioning that he has taken control of Rukia's head, thus taking control of her entire body, and after having her slash Hanatarō across the chest, he warns Byakuya to drop his sword or he will force Rukia to slit her own throat. Byakuya then restrains Rukia with Bakudō #61 Rikujōkōrō, freezing Rukia's possessed body in place, surprising Zommari. Byakuya then releases his Bankai. Zommari becomes desperate and tries to use the full range of his power to control Byakuya's Bankai, to which Byakuya explains that he would never be able to take control of over a million blades due to only having fifty eyes. Byakuya then states that the situation Zommari currently is in is what they would call futile. Byakuya activates his "Gōkei" technique to crush Zommari.
Zommari survives this encounter by retreating into the lower half of his Zanpakutō's released state. Though heavily injured, Zommari tries using his power to gain control over Byakuya, who counters by using Bakudō #81 Danku. Byakuya explains that when he used Kidō to stop Rukia's possession, he figured out that Zommari's ability to possess was somewhat similar to Kidō, so in turn it could be cancelled out by Kidō. Zommari becomes irate and begins to use his power multiple times in order to try to take control of Byakuya, but to no avail. Byakuya uses Shunpo and appears behind Zommari and puts his sword to the Arrancar's throat. Zommari begs for mercy and asks him to show some compassion. He angrily shouts at Byakuya that Shinigami are arrogant, taking an unnatural authority to proclaim Hollows as evil. Byakuya, impassive, states that he was not fighting Zommari because of Shinigami protocol, but because Zommari attacked Byakuya's pride (referencing Rukia) and kills Zommari with a slash from the shoulder down. Zommari, in his final moments, shouts out his praise to Aizen before he dissipates into the wind.
Byakuya then instructs Isane Kotetsu to come out of her hiding place and take care of Rukia and Hanatarō. Rukia Kuchiki wakes up while being healed and is shocked to see his haori missing and him injured, but Byakuya merely brushes off her concern and tells her to rest as there is a much bigger fight forthcoming.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Powers & Abilities~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Master Swordsmanship Specialist: Byakuya is masterful at swordsmanship, capable of flawless precision and lethal attacks without much effort.
Flash Step Master: Byakuya is probably best known for his usage of Flash steps. Although having been taught by, but never beating "Goddess of Flash" Yoruichi Shihōin, he is still easily one of the most proficient users of this skill in all of Soul Society.
Senka (閃花, Flash Blossom): a special Shunpo technique where one moves to their opponent's back, directly attacking and sealing one's "Saketsu" and "Hakusui" in one strike (effectively cutting them off of their spiritual energy flow). This attack is his favorite to use. The movement is so fast that an opponent may not be able to tell whether he was attacked from the front or the back and even an outside observer may find it impossible to tell what the movements are.
Utsusemi (空蝉; Cicada, referencing their molting): Way of Onmitsu, 3rd of the Shihou. It allows for a movement at great speed, leaving an afterimage behind. It is a technique taught to him by Yoruichi Shihōin.
Kidō Master: Byakuya has displayed his knowledge of high level Kidō spells, able to cast several in quick succession without the incantation and with almost no effort and still possessing formidable power. He has been shown to use spells up to level 81 and possesses advanced knowledge of Kidō application and consistency. He can use low-level spells with devastating effects, as well as a counter to attacks. He even uses a low-level lightning spell to burn a hole right through Ichigo's shoulder.
Hand-to-Hand Combatant: While used less often, Byakuya has shown a highly proficient skill in this area. In the anime, Byakuya was able to effortlessly knock out several Shinigami guards stealthily with a single strike each.
Master Tactician: Byakuya is a highly perceptive fighter, being able to almost immediately determine an opponent's attack patterns and weaknesses. He is also a crafty tactician, as demonstrated from how effectively he uses his Kidō to confuse his opponents. He can discern the motives and abilities of his opponents and effectively uses his knowledge to end the battle in his favor.
Enhanced Durability: While not having the most imposing appearance compared to other Shinigami captains like Kenpachi Zaraki, Byakuya has shown to be a very resilient fighter. During his fight against Ichigo, despite gaining several major injuries, Byakuya was still able to continue fighting effectively and even ignored his wounds to the point that he seemed unfazed by them. At the end of the fight, he was still able to perform an impressive Flash Step to leave. During his fight with the 7th Espada, Byakuya's durability proved great enough for him to willingly damage himself to escape from his enemy's possession attack and continued to fight as if he was unaffected.
Immense Spiritual Power: He is capable of exerting a vast Spiritual Pressure, which, in league with his already admirable combat skills and finesse, makes him one of the most formidable captains. His spiritual pressure is so great it can be felt from a great distance and it has the tendency to make people perspire in fear. In the anime, his spiritual pressure is white. It is implied by Kōga Kuchiki that he is among the few immensely strong heads of the Kuchiki clan, further elaborating on his power level.
Senbonzakura (千本桜, "Thousand Cherry Blossoms,"; a reference to Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura): A regular katana, with a simple cross guard, which is a simple open frame, much like a four-pane window. It has a light blue handle and white sheathe.
Shikai: It is triggered by the command "Scatter" (散れ, chire).
Shikai Special Ability: In its Shikai, Senbonzakura's blade separates into a thousand slender, tiny blade fragments, which then fly away from the hilt, leaving only the sword's handle in Byakuya's hand. The release can be negated before it completes, such as when Yoruichi Shihōin wrapped the blade in cloth during Byakuya's short battle with Ichigo. However, if the release completes itself, then Senbonzakura is rendered near-unstoppable. While the blades are supposedly too small to be seen normally, they reflect light in such a way as to appear as cherry blossom petals. By swinging Senbonzakura's hilt, Byakuya can control the blade fragments at will, allowing him to shred opponents at a distance and break through almost any defense.
Bankai: Senbonzakura Kageyoshi (千本桜景厳, Vibrant Display of a Thousand Cherry Blossoms): is essentially a much larger version of Senbonzakura's Shikai. To activate it, Byakuya needs to drop his sword straight down. The sword phases into the ground, as though it were a pool of water. Energy ripples expand out, turning the surrounding area dark, and within seconds, two rows of a thousand giant blades rise up from the ground. Those thousand swords then scatter and countless flying blades pierce the enemy. No one knows the exact number of blades generated and no one can see the movements of those blades or even dodge them. The number of blades is great enough that Byakuya can use them for defense as well as offense at the same time. He commonly forms them into large masses, designed to obliterate opponents instantaneously. As it moves through the air like torrents of waves, it gives the appearance of cherry blossoms flowing swiftly along with the wind. Byakuya's defensive use allows him to cover himself entirely in these tiny blades, and form a body shield. Unlike his Shikai, his Bankai is entirely mentally controlled. While Byakuya can control the blades with his mind alone, using his hands allows him to do so more effectively, making the blades increase in speed three fold. Similar to his Shikai, its attack is triggered with the phrase Scatter.
Bankai Special Ability: Byakuya's Bankai has several forms, achieved by arranging the blades in different patterns. Each form presents a different advantage, such as increasing offense at the expense of defense. This makes Senbonzakura Kageyoshi one of the most versatile Bankai in the series. These techniques are activated by saying the name of the technique, followed by the name of his Bankai, Senbonzakura Kageyoshi.
Senkei (殲景, Slaughterscape; Viz: "annihilate"): The true form of Senbonzakura is seemingly created by his blood, which glows and turns into spiritual energy, mixing with the tiny blades of his Bankai. This unites the scattered petals into complete glowing swords, numbering in the thousands, that form four rows. These rows float just above the other, and circle around Byakuya and his opponent in a continuously moving, column-like array. It abandons defense in favor of a concentrated offense. Though visually menacing, this form is not meant for attack from all sides; rather, it is to concentrate his power into fewer blades, thus increasing his attack power. While Byakuya can mentally control these swords as he does his regular blades, he commonly calls them to his hands for actual melee combat. When in his hand, they lose their glow, and take the form of his sealed Zanpakutō. While they seem solid in this state, the swords can just as easily dissipate back into the multitude of tiny blades that they are made up of. It seems to take fewer blows from a Senkei blade to gravely injure an opponent than the multiple cuts needed from the unfocused Bankai. The Senkei also cages himself with his enemy, allowing neither combatant to move very far from each other, though the area is still large enough for maneuverability. The most effective use of the Senkei form is that it allows for use of all the swords at the same attack level, making it highly versatile as a way to effectively defeat an enemy unaware of the danger of the situation. It is extremely rare for him to use this ability, doing so only when he has sworn to cut down the opponent with his very own hands. Ichigo was the second being to ever witness the ability.
Gōkei (吭景, Mawscape): This form increases the number of tiny blades immensely. It creates a spherical formation of innumerable blade fragments, which swirl around the opponent like a cloud. It then flies into them from every possible angle, leaving no blind spots and no possibility to escape. It then collapses on itself, obliterating the opponent. It was strong enough to completely obliterate a very large building from the inside out, and the resulting shockwave generated by the attack is so powerful that Byakuya himself has to Flash Step away.
Shūkei: Hakuteiken (終景: 白帝剣, "Endscape: White Emperor Sword"; Viz: "Last Sight: White Emperor Sword"): This condenses each and every single one of his blades into a single, potent sword, drastically increasing its cutting power. The spiritual energy and pressure of this form released is immense. The blade appears bright white and its aura takes the form of a bird, earning it the name Hakuteiken (白帝剣, White Imperial Sword; Viz: "white emperor sword"). Pure white wings form on Byakuya's back, as well as a halo-like circle, made of concentrated spiritual energy. The blade in this form is dangerous enough to cause aggravated injuries in one single blow. The wings are capable of being used for flight. Whether or not this form allows only one single attack or more is as yet unknown.
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