|Previous Affiliation||Gotei 13, Philosophers, Onmitsukidō|
|Previous Occupation||2nd Division Captain|
|Previous Team||2nd Division, Onmitsukidō|
|Previous Partner||Garian Shinjo|
|Family||Kusaka Kori (son)|
Anika Shihōin (アニーカ四楓, Shihōin Anīka), known famously as the original Flash Goddess (瞬神, Shunshin), was the first Captain of the 2nd Division in the Gotei 13, the first Commander-in-Chief of the Onmitsukidō, as well as a member of the Shiseiten's Fourth Generation. In life she was the biological mother of Kusaka Kori, Sojiro Kori, and Yoichi Shihōin, as well as the godmother to Kenji Hiroshi and the one who revealed his status as a member of the noble Shiba clan. Whilst she was Kenji's godmother Anika openly introduced Kenji as her son, and Kenji often introduced her as his mother. She was also a good friend of Michael Yume and his wife Ayane Emiru. During the events of the Winter War Anika gathered a group of reputable exiles to combat Sōsuke Aizen's Privaron Espada in Kagamino City, which included her godson and Kei Yume, whom she once watched over.
Many remarked upon Anika's youthfulness despite her great age. Even Kenji couldn't quite believe she had been around for nearly two-and-a-half-thousand years when he himself was merely pushing one-hundred. On their first meeting he thought that she was only slightly older than he was until being corrected by Annora, who told him who she was. Even during the final years of her life Anika remained quite youthful, without a wrinkle at all, passing for a teenager on so many occasions she stopped correcting those who made the mistake. Kei Yume, who knew Anika as a slightly younger woman, remarked that she hadn'y changed a bit. The only way her age could even be discerned at all was by her eyes; which where often said to be ancient. She sported long black hair and blue eyes and generally wore a white kimono-like jacket called an uwagi accompanied by white hakama. Beneath she usually completely avoided wearing the commonplace shitagi and instead wore bandages that covered her chest; revealing her taught stomach. When she actually was actually seen with her Zanpakutō she usually carried it in her right-hand instead of securing it to her outfit. As a Captain she also donned the staple white haori, and wore a sleeveless kosode with a hood attachment.
- "Kenji: "Anika...!?"
Averian: "Haha! I'll leave you now, little man. She won't survive her wounds."
Kenji: "Mark my words you Arrancar bastard: I will crush you!""
- —Kenji and Averian, following Anika's sacrifice.
Kenji described Anika as a formidable woman who often beat him to within an inch of his life as a means of violently bringing his power and potential to the surface; this was one reason why, in the words of Kei Yume, Kenji's face drained of colour when Anika's name was mentioned. Once his heritage was revealed Anika revealed herself to have been a good friend of Kenji's mother Aiko, and also revealed herself as his godmother. She was the earliest teacher of both Kenji and Kusaka, being the latter's mother, and seen Kenji as a son due to the brotherly bond between both boys. When Kenji came to her for help after having his resolve dented following the capture of Kusaka, Ino and Kazuma, Anika told him to leave his doubt at the door or she'd save the Illusive Man the trouble and kill Kenji herself.
Despite her harsh words and actions Anika, even over Annora Hiroshi, was the closest thing to a mother Kenji ever had. She loved the boy like her own and even gave her life to protect him from Averian. She asked him to kill her so it wouldn't be Averian's blow that finished her, resulting in Kenji killing her with his own hand; even so, Anika had no regrets., though Kenji claimed the cut was cruel. This one event set in motion the First Spiritual War; Kenji declared he would crush Averian beneath his boot, with Averian wondering how far Kenji would go to defeat him, initiating the war as a test of his resolve. Even after the Collapse Kenji's drive for vengeance was as strong as ever.
- Main Article -- Bleach (Kenji Hiroshi).
- Main article -- Bleach: Sun and Moon Chronicles.
Birth of the Bakkōtō arc
- Birth of the Bakkōtō Part I
- Birth of the Bakkōtō Part II
- Birth of the Bakkōtō Part III
- Birth of the Bakkōtō Part IV
- Birth of the Bakkōtō Part V
- Trickster Strikes Part V
- Trickster Strikes Part VI
- Trickster Strikes Part VII
- Trickster Strikes Part VIII
- Trickster Strikes Part IX
- Trickster Strikes Part XI
- Trickster Strikes Part XII
- Mastering One's Inner Demons Part III
- Kusaka vs. Kagura Part I
- Party Crashers Part I
- Party Crashers Part II
Tsuji Crisis arc
Kagamino City arc
- Survival Against the Odds: Kenji vs. Averian (mentioned)
- Tadashi and Shin vs. Averian (background, unseen)
- March of the Visored (background, unseen)
- Kickoff of the First Spiritual War
Powers and Abilities
Hakuda Master: Anika is a master of the martial arts and is capable of incapacitating opposition many times her size with casual ease. She moves with the grace of a large cat and is capable of injecting her strikes with tremendous strength.
- Shunkō (瞬閧, Flash War Cry): an advanced technique which has Anika fight by driving pressurized Kidō into her shoulders and back, which enhances her physical abilities to monstrous levels. Her mastery extends to teaching others how to utilize this rare ability.
- Hanki (反鬼, Reverse Demon): An ability which nullifies an opponent's Kidō by hitting it with another one of perfectly opposite speed and energy.
Enhanced Strength: Anika has demonstrated the needed strength to easily incapacitate the likes of Kenji and Kusaka with only one or two strikes, which is indicative of her high strength.
Joshin (女神, Goddess). Anika's Zanpakutō is sealed is the form of a katana with a wooden hilt and no guard. When she did carry it on her person she usually did so in her right-hand or carried her from her shoulder via a piece of string wrapped around the guard.
- Shikai: Not Revealed.
- Shikai Special Ability: While she rarely released her Zanpakutō at all Anika's intimate mastery lent her the knowledge required to use her Zanpakutō's power regardless of the state of its release. Her Zanpakutō was a Kidō-type that enabled her to fire excessively condensed reiryoku from her blade's edge, as well as control reiryoku more finely.
- Soyogōka (そよ業火, Breath of Hell Fire): with a mere swing of her Zanpakutō Anika could release incredibly powerful waves of condensed reiryoku with enough destructive force to wipe out entire groups of enemy opposition with only a single use. Kenji also revealed that she could spend time charging the attack, making it even more deadly. Garian later described it as an attack meant to "tear asunder", though what he meant by this was ultimately left unsaid. Anika herself uses it as her signature attack and has used it in many different waves over the years, many of which Kenji mirrored when he created his own Jitsugen (実現, Fulfillment).
- Biyokūgōka (尾を業火, Tail of Hell Fire): with a mere pierce of her Zanpakutō Anika could release incredibly powerful waves of condensed reiryoku that took the form of a long whip-like stream that could be controlled with great precision to clear entire rooms of enemies quickly and efficiently, without substantial collateral damage. Kenji revealed that the force of this attack was enough to shatter stone with its mere utterance and that Anika had an annoying habit of using it instantaneously without provocation. Anika once used it to trap Kenji, Kusaka and Ino in place, showing that it can also double as a trap.
- Bankai: Nojoshin (埜女神, Wild Goddess). Anika's Bankai was an excessive expansion of her Shikai's ability to control and fire condensed reiryoku, only she could now control it freely. The Bankai consisted of a massive energy tiger many times larger than Anika herself, which possessed both incredible speed and phenomenal strength, which was actually a manifested form of Nojoshin. She rarely used it however because of its taxing nature. Garian once said she couldn't use it for long durations and instead implied it was more suited for short bursts.
- Bankai Special Ability: Anika and Nojoshin where in perfect sync. Whatever Nojoshin experienced was transferred to Anika once sealed, which Anika put to practical use when information gathering was needed. She thus concluded that her Bankai was much more suited to reconnaissance than actual battle. Ino speculated that this may explain why she found it so draining to use during battle.
- Yajū Nojoshin (野獣 埜女神, Animalistic Wild Goddess): the true form of Anika's Bankai which is achieved by joining with Nojoshin's manifested form. Anika takes the form of a white kitsune-like creature with pink spiritual energy and glowing red eyes. In this state her speed and strength increase to unimaginable levels, as a mere swish of her tail was enough to send Kenji and Kusaka flying, whilst knocking Kazuma and Ino unconscious. She remarked before hand that her power was so fearsome she had to be careful not to crush someone unintentionally.
Behind the Scenes
- Anīka's appearance is based on Kunieda Aoi from Beelzebub.
- Anika claims to have known Michael Yume before he had died. Admittedly, Anika was also close friends with Ayane Emiru, the wife of Michael Yume. Despite Michael's and Ayane's passing, Anika continued to have close ties with the Yume Clan, so much so that she eventually became the babysitter of a young Kei Yume. However, Anika kept her identity from Kei, and was generally referred to as Auntie the majority of the time.
Notes & references