Shi-Kai → Katen Kyoukotsu
- release command → "Hana Kaze Midarete Kashin Haki Tenpuu Midarete Tenma Warau" ("Flowers Fall In The Wind, The God Of Flower Weeps The Winds Of Heaven Are Falling Buddah's Laughing")
Shunsui has two zanpakutou's.
Ban-Kai → Unknown
With his old-style hat and his flashy flower coat, Kyouraku Shunsui strikes a rather different appearance from all the other Taicho, who wear the white coat symbolizing the Taicho rank on top of their normal Shinigami attire. Kyouraku wears his flower coat on top of that.
Kyouraku is among the first Taicho to encounter the “ryoka”. He meets up with Sado Yasutora, or Chad, in his squad compound. There, he gently drifts down from a second level to the ground amidst falling petals, then rises to announce his name to Chad.
In his conversation beforehand with his Fuku-Taicho, Ise Nanao, it can be seen that he is a humorous person, and this is shown once more as he tries to stop Ise from throwing out more petals as there were enough already. Ise then proceeds to dump the whole basket of petals on him.
However, despite his humor and his dislike for combat, once Chad engages him it is at once seen that he is no mere fool, but someone not to be taken lightly. He deflects Chad’s first attack with one arm, and then proceeds to dodge all of Chad’s attacks. Trying to stop Chad from going further, he asks Chad why he continues to fight, and for what reason. Despite his attempts to stop him both through speech and action, Chad continues to come at him. Seeing his determination, Kyouraku decides reluctantly to wound him, though he tells Chad that he plans to kill him, having no choice. Taking out his two swords, he watches as Chad runs towards him, then dodges Chad’s attack and slashes him.
At this time the message that Aizen Sousuke has been murdered arrives and Ise informs Kyouraku. Taking a look at Chad, she realizes he is not dead and asks to deliver the finishing blow. Stopping her, Kyouraku rationalizes that if it were indeed one of the ryoka who had killed Aizen, it would then be better to keep him alive and question him instead. He then asks her to send for people of the 4th Squad to rescue Chad.
Later, right before Rukia’s execution, a harried Ise finds Kyouraku on a rooftop, chewing on a blade of grass. Asking him to hurry up, Ise is irked when Kyouraku again tries to joke with her as usual. Then, getting serious, he asks her what he should do. She then replies that no matter what, he will still do what he wants. All she can do is keep right behind him and stay out of trouble. Kyouraku gives a sigh and says, “Then it will again be me that will get into trouble with Yama-jii (Yamamoto).” At the execution, after Kurosaki Ichigo stops Kikou from executing Rukia, Ukitake appears with a shield sporting the Shihouin house crest and with Kyouraku eliminates Kikou from the scene. After the ruckus, they are left shocked when Ichigo destroys the Soukyoku Stand, and then Ichigo engages Kuchiki Byakuya after defeating three Fuku-Taicho. Trying to go to her sister, Kotetsu Kiyone runs forward and is followed by her colleague Kotsubaki Sentarou. Kotsubaki is then hit by Soi Fong and when Ukitake runs forward to stop Soi Fong, he is in turn stopped by Yamamoto.
Yamamoto gravely states that what they have done is beyond mere punishment and that they are not ignorant of what that means. Kyouraku then shows his thinking skills by grabbing Ukitake and running away first, with Ise in close pursuit. Ukitake then asks Kyouraku to release him as he wanted to save his subordinates. Kyouraku asks him not to worry, as on the one hand, they had to take the fight elsewhere, or else Yamamoto’s power would most likely cause more casualties, and on the other hand, that another on their side (Shihouin Yoruichi) was coming to help.
Running to a deserted spot, they reach the site and are confronted by Yamamoto. When Ise is nearly suffocated by Yamamoto’s spirit power, Kyouraku breaks their eye contact, and brings Ise via Shunpo to a safe place, and returns to the compliments of Yamamoto. This is when Yamamoto mentions the history of his two most beloved students.
Kyouraku was a diligent pupil under Yamamoto’s tutelage, along with Ukitake. Despite his frivolous nature and a penchant for women, Yamamoto states that he was “prudent and stronger than anyone at seeing through to the truth.” He also goes on to say that both of them had exceptional powers and that they were very strong at fighting. They were the first to become Taicho from the academy that Yamamoto had created himself. “I was proud of you…” Yamamoto states, “like my own children.”
Following that, Yamamoto draws his Zanpakutou against them. As he flares up, and releases his Zanpakutou’s Shi Kai, he then asks them both to do the same.
Kyouraku’s Zanpakutou is then revealed at this point to be a double-sword type, with a relatively long command release. His two swords are shaped like Arabian-type swords, and it is guessed, through his command release, that they are attack-type Zanpakutou. He and Ukitake then engage in the fight against Yamamoto.
During their fight, they receive news that Aizen had in fact been a traitor, and all three rush to the Soukyoku grounds. After Aizen’s successful escape, Kyouraku is not really seen anymore, except in a small scene in the anime where he mentions that Yamamoto is getting rusty as turning them into search squads will not really work.
His flashy appearance belies a strong character, and a man of peace. As mentioned, he is frivolous in behavior and hankers after women, a prime example being his “Nanao-chan” as he likes to call Ise. His peaceable nature is seen when dealing with Chad, and his sense of justice when he attempts to save Rukia with Ukitake. Despite his appearance, just the fact that he was among the first to become a Taicho should speak for his fighting ability, and he is what can be considered a worthy Taicho amongst the Gotei 13 Squads.
Description: Ise Nanao has never once released her Zanpakutou, seemingly more dependent on her demon arts.
The standard teacher stereotype female character, Ise is a rather uptight, bespectacled and always serious girl. Despite her slender and demure appearance, the fact that she has made it to the rank of Fukutaicho and has never once seen fit to release her Zanpakutou (though this could be due to the fact that Kyouraku Shunsui has always protected her) during all this time proves that she is not one to be trifled with.
She first appears in the Fukutaicho meeting, but does not make an actual appearance till Sado Yasutora (Chad) makes his way to the 8th Squad’s offices. She is seen in a conversation with her Taicho, who delights in teasing her, often calling her “Nanao-chan!” much to her dislike.
During the course of the conversation she is seen as a serious and able assistant to Kyouraku, though having to put up with his teasing all the time. However her expression at the end of it shows that she does care about him, although one may question what kind of care this is.
Later she is seen to be helping Kyouraku by scattering flower petals as he makes his grand entrance. Unfortunately she is not inclined to stop even when he asks her to, and when he goes into his usual irritating routine of calling her Nanao-chan, she drops the entire petal basket onto him, creating a comical sight.
During the fight between Kyouraku and Chad she stays out of the picture, and then receives a message from the Covert Forward Corps, informing her of the murder of Aizen Sousuke. She runs to Kyouraku to tell him, and then as they turn to leave, she notices that Chad, who has been cut by Kyouraku, is not dead. She asks permission to deliver the finishing blow, but is denied it by Kyouraku who talks her out of it and asks her to bring the 4th Squad to save Chad. Much later, during the day of Kuchiki Rukia’s execution, she finds her Taicho as usual up on a roof. She puts up once again with his teasing as she tries to hurry him to the Soukyoku Stands. As he asks her what he should do, she tells him that no matter what she thinks or advises, he would still do what he wanted to. “Don’t worry,” she also said, “I will stay several steps behind you, so as not to get caught in trouble, but I will follow.”
After the failed execution, Nanao-chan follows Kyouraku and Ukitake Juushirou to place where they could battle Yamamoto without getting anyone else implicated. She then describes the power that is Yamamoto, but while trying to do something, she is caught in Yamamoto’s stare and suffocated by his power. Kyouraku breaks the eye contact to save her, and brings her to a safer spot. She then realizes that it is not only difficult to win Yamamoto even with two Taicho on their side, it is next to impossible.
Ise does not make any appearance after this and seems to have been pushed to the background for the time being, even in the filler arc.
An able and serious person, Ise is always ready to follow the rules but also to stand up for justice if necessary, such as the help she provided to Kyouraku to stop Rukia’s execution. She also is almost never seen without a book, and despite her irritation at her Taicho’s teasing, she cares a lot for him and just shows it in different ways. Despite her being uptight, this just makes her, and her coldness all the more wonderful.