He's tough, he's principled, and while he may not seem the friendliest guy at first glance, he deserves our love just the same. Join us in celebrating the birthday of Bleach's Byakuya Kuchiki, Rukia's brother-in-law and one of the shining stars among the Soul Reapers! (And while you're at it, check out new episodes in our Bleach section).
Byakuya Kuchiki is the head of the aristocratic Kuchiki family, and one of the few people actually born in the Seireitei. He’s also Captain of Squad 6, and a legendary Soul Reaper. But for all his illustrious ancestry and impressive skills, Byakuya is quiet soul who would be embarrassed being the center of attention as the birthday boy. He’d much prefer a quite night at home with family, enjoying some spicy food and moon gazing.
Byakuya lives under the double burden of expectations and responsibilities, and he takes his nobility and honor very seriously. While he isn’t cruel to commoners, he definitely believes in laws of the Seireitei [episode 59]. There was only one time he put his personal emotions above the law, when he married his Rukongai wife [episode 62]. The guilt he suffered for what he considered a selfish act haunted him for years, and it so clouded his mind that he almost let his sister Rukia get executed, and even wanted to kill her himself when Ichigo destroyed the Sogyoku [episode 55].
Because Byakuya keeps such strong control of his emotions, some opponents might underestimate his fighting skills. But it pays to remember that he is the most famous of the Court Guard Captains, known for his deadly, efficient grace. His zanpakuto, Senbonzakura, can split into a thousand blade shards and shred his enemy in moments [episode 52, episode 58].
After almost seeing his sister executed, Byakuya has learned the importance of balancing the demands of honor with the needs of those he loves. He still comes off as unapproachable, but inside he’s softened quite a bit.
-- Pancha Diaz (Bleach manga editor)
Birthday: January 31
Height: 180 cm
Weight: 64 kg
Bankai: Senbonzakura Kageyoshi
Tactics: Senkei Senbonsakura Kageyoshi, Shukei Hakuteiken (One of techniques Byakuya uses with the bankai of his zanpaku-to Senbonzakura Kageyoshi)
Description: The fourth heir of the Kuchiki clan, one of the Four Great Noble Clans of the Soul Society. Known for his hard-nosed outlook and uncompromising attitude, he usually bottles up his emotions, even with his sister-in-law Rukia.
They say there's no crying in baseball -- but is there bleeding in tennis? When a bruising match between Ryoma and Shinji leaves blood on the court, can Ryoma stay on his feet long enough to win? Find out in the latest episodes of The Prince of Tennis, now online in The Prince of Tennis section!
Episode 19: Battle-Scarred Ryoma
Ryoma injures his eye as he tries to bounce back from a series of shots from Shinji Ibu. Ibu’s shots were strategically chosen to momentarily paralyze Ryoma. Ryoma isn’t giving up despite his injury...
Episode 20: Time Limit
The Seigaku Team watches intently as Ryoma figures out a brilliant strategy—a combination of his split step and his father’s “two-sword style”—to shut down Ibu’s “spot.”
The stakes are high in this week's new episode of Naruto Shippuden, as the Leaf ninja are called upon to protect a mysterious clan -- and the secret of a forbidden jutsu! Catch up with the series in the Naruto Shippuden section.
Episode 144: Wanderer
The Leaf ninja fail to capture Itachi and also lose track of Sasuke. Calling off their pursuit, the team is heading back to the village when an urgent assignment from Lady Tsunade comes in.
It's been fun and games up to now, but it's time to get serious in this week's fresh episodes of Hikaru no Go as Hikaru tackles the challenge of turning pro! Check out the series in the Hikaru no Go section.
Episode 19: Hikaru's True Strength
Summer’s winding down and thanks to all his internet playing with Sai, his game has gotten stronger…
Episode 20: The Road to Turning Pro
After a chance meeting in a bookstore, Kishimoto, the captain of the Kaio Go Club, takes Hikaru to a Go Salon to see what kind of player he truly is...
It's a new season and a new story arc as Bleach episodes 110-113 launch today! Ichigo is back to normal, regular school life, or so he thinks, but nothing ever stays quiet for long in Karakura, and when some dangerous strangers arrive, our Soul Reaper heroes face their sternest test yet! Check out the new episodes and all previous seasons of Bleach in the Bleach section.
It’s back to high school and Hollow slaying for Ichigo Kurosaki, who is now officially recognized as a Substitute Soul Reaper by the Soul Society. On the day he returns to Karakura First High School, Ichigo meets an unusual new student named Shinji Hirako.
Uryu is attacked by a Menos Grande and is saved by his father, Ryuken. Ryuken defeats the Menos with a single attack. He tells Uryu that he can help him regain his powers but only under Ryuken’s conditions.
Isshin Kurosaki shows up in his Soul Reaper form and defeats Grand Fisher with a single strike. When Kisuke Urahara appears, Isshin and Kisuke discuss the fact that Sosuke Aizen has made contact with Hollows and is attempting to create a form of Hollows with Soul Reaper powers called Arrancars.
Ichigo senses that the hollow within him is getting stronger and fears that he’ll be swallowed whole in his current state. Meanwhile, the Soul Society's Department of Research and Development detects large amounts of spiritual pressure headed toward Karakura Town.
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