InformationBleach Character - Ikkaku
3rd seat of the 11 squad
His Captain Kenpachi of the 11 squad
Ikkaku is bald, a fact that is made fun of by many. The 11th Division lieutenant, Yachiru Kusajishi, calls him either "cue-ball" or "pachinko head", a result of her fondness for giving people nicknames or when he questions her direction skills. As a result of the constant ridicule he gets, Ikkaku is very self-conscious about his baldness, to the point where he will threaten anyone that points it out. Ikkaku's bald scalp is reflective, which causes members of the 8th and 11th Divisions to mistake it as a full moon in one of the anime's omake segments, much to Ikkaku's annoyance. He also has distinctive small red markings near his eyes. Unlike most Shinigami, he does not wear tabi with his sandals.
PersonalityIn terms of attitude, Ikkaku is a stereotypical 11th Division member — violent, fight-loving, and rude; this has been noted by Tetsuzaemon Iba, among others. He loves fighting so much that he is unwilling to travel anywhere without a sword, resorting to carrying a wooden one when posing as a student at Ichigo's school. He does have a sense of loyalty and responsibility, however, unlike many of the lower-ranked 11th Division members. Ikkaku is fiercely loyal to Kenpachi, under whose command he wants to fight and eventually die. He also often insists that he is not bald and his head is "shaven" while it is painfully obvious that he is bald. He seems to be in denial and threatens death to anyone who points his baldness out.
Ikkaku has many personality traits in common with his division's captain Kenpachi Zaraki, which is why they seem to have so much respect for one another. Ikkaku considers fighting fun and tries to get as much "fun" as he can out of his opponents, so much so that he will take deadly risks to drag out the fight for as long as possible. During a fight with a challenging opponent, he is almost constantly smiling, much like Kenpachi does. Like all 11th Division members, he considers the only honorable battles to be those fought one-on-one and even the threat of death is not a reason to ignore this fact, since, as a rule, the winner is only determined when the other is dead. He does consider surviving an otherwise lost battle good luck, however, he's also sensible enough to carry a blood-clotting ointment in the hilt of his Zanpakutō.
Ikkaku is one of the few Shinigami in Soul Society who is referred to by their given name instead of their family name, a rarity amongst them, but seemingly more common between members of the 11th Division. Only Makizō Aramaki and Tōshirō Hitsugaya have called him Madarame so far. Ikkaku appears to be one of only two characters who are left-handed, the other being Uryū Ishida. It is equally possible he is ambidextrous, like Lisa Yadōmaru, as he switches to his right hand during his battle with the Arrancar Edrad Liones and uses his sword sheath as a secondary weapon in battle.
HistoryNot much is known about Ikkaku's history, but it is likely that he has been in the 11th Division since becoming a Shinigami. The anime is much clearer about this; Ikkaku becomes a Shinigami after hearing that Kenpachi had become the captain of the 11th Division. During Renji Abarai's time in the 11th Division, Ikkaku was Renji's senpai and taught him how to fight.
Ikkaku and Renji's last training session.Like Rukia Kuchiki and Renji, Ikkaku came from Rukongai. At some point, he met Yumichika Ayasegawa and the two became friends. They would later have an encounter with Kenpachi Zaraki and Yachiru Kusajishi before they entered Seireitei. Kenpachi and Ikkaku fought; Kenpachi easily defeated Ikkaku and nearly killed him. When he asked Kenpachi why he did not kill him, Kenpachi replied that if he killed Ikkaku now, he would never get another opportunity to fight Ikkaku again. He then told him not to seek death, but to consider himself lucky for not having died. The encounter is Ikkaku's main reason for staying in the 11th Division, as he wants to continue serving under Kenpachi and might not get a chance to fight him again otherwise.
SynopsisSoul Society arcIkkaku and Yumichika are the first to encounter Ichigo Kurosaki; while Ganju Shiba runs and Yumichika chases after him, Ikkaku is left to fight Ichigo. Although they are mostly evenly matched, Ichigo comes with the victory and heals his wounds with and ointment that Ikkaku carried on him. While recovering from his injures at the 4th Division's headquarters he is interrogated by Mayuri Kurotsuchi to whom he tells no details of his fight. When Zaraki arrives at the scene, Ikkaku tells him about Ichigo's power and remarks that he will keep getting stronger. When the 11th Division decides to help Orihime Inoue, they are meet in resistance by the Captains of the 7th and 9th Division, along with their respective lieutenants. Ikkaku is left to fight agaists Tetsuzaemon Iba, but a victor is not decided.
Bount arcDuirng the Bount arc Ikkaku, along with Yumichika, leads the 11th Division after the Bounts invade Soul Society. Ikkaku attempts to fight Maki Ichinose after sensing his reiatsu, unaware of his identity since he is invisible, but does not get to actually fight him. Kenpachi notes after Maki's escape from Ikkaku that the intruder is a coward to fight that way. Kenpachi eventually finds and defeats Maki himself.
Ikkaku blocking Edrad's "final blow."During the arrancar arc Ikkaku along with Yumichika, Renji, Rangiku Matsumoto and Rukia are part of the advanced force led by Captain Hitsugaya. When Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez leads the second attack on the real world, Ikkaku is left to fight one of his Fracción, Edrad Liones. During their fight, Ikkaku goads Edrad into unleashing his Zanpakutō (not knowing that Arrancar release their Zanpakutō in an entirely different manner to those of the Shinigami) and Edrad releases his Zanpakutō, completely overpowering him. Realizing that since the others are in similar fights and won't notice, he releases his Bankai and wins the fight. When Luppi leads the next invasion he is forced to join in a group battle compromised of Yumichika, Rangiku and him-self against Luppi. He spends the rest of his time in the real world at Keigo Asano's residence.
Fake Karakura Town arc
"The Elites," including Ikkaku in the far right.
Pō stands over a defeated Ikkaku.When Aizen along with his top three Espada attack Fake Karakura Town, he along with Yumichika, Shūhei Hisagi and Izuru Kira are left to protect the four pillars that keep the real Karakura Town in Soul Society. After slaying some Hollows sent to destroy his pillar, Barragan Luisenbarn sends one of his Fracción, Pō to fight him. Unlike the others who are successful in defending their pillars, Ikkaku is defeated as a result of the fight against Pō, who then destroys the pillar he was guarding. Pō thinks that Ikkaku is still hiding something from him, demanding him to show his true power. Ikkaku replies that even if he does have something left, he would not waste it on him. Before Pō can finish him off, Captain Sajin Komamura punches Pō which sends him flying a considerable distance away. Komamura then defeats a released Pō following his own release. After Pō is defeated, former member of the 11th division and 7th division lieutenant Tetsuzaemon Iba confronts Ikakku for not using his Bankai and letting his pride get in the way of stopping the Arrancar. Iba tells Ikkaku after seeing his captain's Bankai that the difference between Sajin's and Ikkaku's Bankai is like night and day. Unlike Captain Komamura, Ikkaku chooses to hide his full power, but if he wants to do things his way, he must become stronger and win, even at the cost of his life.
Powers & AbilitiesMaster Swordsmanship Specialist: Despite being ranked as 3rd seat officer in his division, his rank does not reflect his fighting abilities, which are of near captain level. According to Yumichika Ayasegawa, Ikkaku is the 2nd strongest man in the 11th Division. It is unclear whether this explicitly means that he is stronger than any other male in the division (excluding Kenpachi) or whether he is the second strongest person in the division (surpassing Yachiru, its female lieutenant). Ikkaku has even achieved the Bankai of his Zanpakutō, putting him at a level beyond most of Soul Society's lieutenants. Ikkaku intentionally hides this fact from everyone, with the exception of those he trusts to keep it a secret. The reason he does so is to stay in the 11th Division under Kenpachi, since he believes he might be promoted or forced into becoming a captain if anyone else knew. The advantage of this secrecy is that it allows him to travel to the world of the living without his power level being placed under a limit as is required for all captain and lieutenant level Shinigami. In fact, during the second Arrancar assault, Ikkaku was the first to defeat his Arrancar opponent in his released form after he unleashed his Zanpakuto's Bankai - a feat that required the other Shinigami to relinquish the limiters over their powers in order to fight more effectively.
Flash Steps: Ikkaku has been seen using flash steps frequently, although he only uses it to keep up with stronger opponents; this way he can fight more.
High Level Spiritual Energy: Sometime before the main storyline but after years in the Shinigami Academy, Ikkaku learned Bankai. At this time he was already at lieutenant level fighting ability, since he always sparred with Iba, the 7th Division lieutenant. Ikkaku's power level increased on a scale of 5-10 afterward, making him much more powerful. In fact his bankai release created a huge amount of reiatsu, which appeared as a giant whirlwind coupled with purple electricity. His entire body glowed bright red as he faced Edrad in this form.
Hand-to-Hand Combatant: Before he became a shinigami, Ikkaku was always roaming around looking for fights. He won against everyone he fought even when he did not use a sword. Ikkaku had to fight with his hands against his opponents since not all of them had a sword, and upon seeing his strength most people fled from him.
Ikkaku's ShikaiHōzukimaru (鬼灯丸, Demon Light or Winter Cherry), It appears like any regular Zanpakutō when sealed, but has a hollow hilt which Ikkaku stores a blood-clotting ointment in. Hōzukimaru's sealed form enables Ikkaku to employ it in battle as a normal weapon, with its sheath being wielded in his other hand to serve as a secondary weapon. Ikkaku has shown to be very proficient at how he wields his Zanpakutō's sealed form, which leaves both his Shikai and Bankai as his "trump cards".
Shikai: It's Shikai command is "Grow" (延びろ, nobiro; "extend" in the English version). Hōzukimaru's Shikai is unusual in that Ikkaku slams Hōzukimaru's hilt (and sometimes its pommel) into its sheath to activate it when saying the command phrase. Once activated, Hōzukimaru takes on the form of what initially appears to be a yari (spear) with a wax wood shaft. The pommel also has a red horsehair tassel. While it does technically function as such, it is also a three section staff, which surprises opponents when they first attack. Ikkaku uses the command "Split" (裂けろ, sakero; "split apart" in the English dub) to separate the sections, after which the sections can independently reconnect and separate again at will.
Ikkaku using Ryūmon HōzukimaruBankai: Ryūmon Hōzukimaru (龍紋鬼灯丸, Dragon Crest Demon Light), keeps the three-section theme but loses its yari properties. Instead, it is merely three over-sized weapons connected by an equally large chain. To activate it during his battle with Edrad, Ikkaku slams the two broken pieces of his Shikai back into the spear-form and says Bankai. Ikkaku's two main weapons are a Chinese Monk's spade and a standard Guan dao. Both have a traditional horsehair tassel at the hilt and a long cylindrical weight for a pommel. The pommels are connected by a heavy chain to the center section, which resembles an axe-like blade with a parallel handle forged into the blunt end and a dragon crest on one side of the blade. Despite all three weapons being of near-ridiculous proportions, Ikkaku wields them easily. Ikkaku usually holds one blade in each hand and lets the central portion "float" behind him, though he will occasionally spin the entire configuration about using the center handle as a pivot.
Ikkaku's Bankai, like his Shikai, is quite unusual. Aside from the increase in power, his Bankai offers no special abilities and no special defense properties. While quite capable of injuring opponents, the weapons are easily damaged. To make up for this, Ikkaku's Bankai gets increasingly more powerful as the fight drags on. After he performs his Bankai, the dragon crest will slowly fill in with crimson dye as Ikkaku's Spiritual Pressure rises. It fills faster when he spins Hōzukimaru with the center handle. Ikkaku comments that his Zanpakutō is actually very lazy in battle (in stark contrast to Ikkaku himself) and needs to be woken up through causing or receiving injury; which would explain its ability to accumulate attacking power the longer the fight extends. When the crest is completely filled, Hōzukimaru is at its full power. However, the force of unleashing so much power can leave his Zanpakutō's edge brittle afterward. Ikkaku has not used his Bankai as frequently as he should be (as Iba points out), since he does not want anyone to know about it; because of this, the full extent of Ryūmon Hōzukimaru has yet to be seen.
from bleach wikki
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