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|Previous Affiliation||Gotei 13|
|Previous Occupation(s)||4th Seated Officer|
Kenji Fujibayashi (藤林健二; Fujibayashi Kenji) was a shinigami of the Gotei 13 who had a peculiar zanpakutō release. This ability led to a massive project performed by the Twelfth Division with supervision from the Kido Corps. The experiment ended up as a failure, and the test subjects were scheduled to be destroyed. Feeling that this order was wrong in its entirety, Kenji freed them and led them into exile in the human world.
He started off as a member of the Eleventh Division, due to his aim in specializing in the zanjutsu form. From there, Kenji slowly gained himself a reputation of being able to hold his own against enemies without having to release his zanpakutō. Kenji's tactical mind garnered even more respect when he helped drive off a massive influx of Hollows from the human world, as well as holding off a gillian menos until reinforcements arrived. This victory gained praise from the Kenpachi of the time, and Kenji was promoted to the Fourth Seat based on his combat ability and tactics alone.
The Kenrei Project
Main article: Kenrei Despite his achievements, Kenji's shikai remained largely unknown. It was only when he was forced to release it when dealing with a rogue shinigami did knowledge of it become known.
The Twelfth Division took great interest in Kenichi's ability to combine itself with Kenji, and requested permission to study his shikai. They intended to use information gained from the shikai in order to create a breed of elite shinigami to fight the hollow forces. The Commander-General agreed (as well as Kenji, though reluctant), under the terms of allowing the Kidō Corps to supervise the project for safety.
Kenji hardly participated, if at all, in the procedure of creating the elite warriors themselves, though he was informed of the results. He was disappointed by the results, but outraged by the termination of the project and the ordered extermination of those who were able to survive the experiment. In an act of defiance, Kenji broke into the facility, freed the survivors, and fled with them to the human world.
Personality and Traits
Often described as a kind-hearted individual, Kenji was respected by his superiors and peers for his calm and collected personality. Even to members of the Fourth Division, he shown friendly behavior. One could go as far to say that it was difficult to be mean to Kenji without feeling bad about it afterwards.
Even so, Kenji does not have highly idealistic views, being straightforward about his views of certain matters.
Powers and Abilities
Master Swordsmanship Specialist: Kenji utilizes the unorthodox form of his zanpakutō to his advantage.
Flash Step Expert: Kenji has a decent ability in the art of hohō.
Keen Intellect: Kenji has been credited as a tactical genius, capable of utilizing numerous factors to benefit those under his command and hinder his foes.
Kenichi (研一; lit. one who studies) is the zanpakutō of Kenji Fujibayashi, with the unique ability to merge with its wielder, combining its power with Kenji's own. It is sheathed on Kenji's back in a manner similar to a wakizashi.
- Shikai: There is no visible difference between released and sealed state, for the zanpakutō. However, Kenji's eyes change color. The incantation to release shikai is "Fuse, Kenichi" (ヒューズ, 研一; Hyuzu, Ken'ichi).
- Shikai Ability: Instead of the zanpakutō changing its form to suit the user, Kenichi's spirit enters Kenji, forcing both entities to harmonize with each other in order to fully utilize their strengths to fight the enemy. In shikai mode, Kenji's potential power vary with the synchronization with Kenichi, but absolute harmony will achieve levels that rival an average bankai power. Kenji is capable of checking to see how high his combative levels are, not needing to speak out loud to do so.
The harmonizing levels rise and drop with Kenji's mental state. Kenji's level tends to be affected by mental affliction, varying from his emotional to physical states. Negative emotions such as great anger tend to cause his harmony with Kenichi to fall, for example.
Behind the Scenes
- Kenji's zanpakutō inspired the creation of the Kenrei.