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"Focus! We aren't out of this yet."
—Kensei admonishing Shūhei.[src]
Drill Instructor
Kensei new profile
Name Kensei Muguruma
Kanji 六車 拳西
Romanji Muguruma Kensei
Race Visored
Birthday July 30
Gender Male
Height 179 cm (5'10½")
Weight 75 kg (165 lbs.)
Professional Status
Affiliation Six Directions
Previous Affiliation Gotei 13, Ryū Order
Occupation Commander
Previous Occupation 9th Division Captain in the Gotei 13 & Ryū Order
Partner Shūhei Hisagi
Previous Partner Mashiro Kuna
Base of Operations Reikai
Personal Status
Education Shinō Academy
Status Active
Shikai Tachikaze
Bankai Tekken Tachikaze

Kensei Muguruma (六車 拳西, Muguruma Kensei), known affectionately amongst the Six Directions as the Drill Instructor (軍事訓練教官 (ぐんじくんれん きょうかん), Gunjikunren Kyōkan), is a Visored, who was formerly Captain of the 9th Division in both the Gotei 13 and the Ryū Order. Following the Collapse he joined Kentaro Hiroshi's Six Directions as a Commander and instructor, where he pitted his strength and experience against the resurgent Imawashī and mysterious Kikkashō.


Kensei's profile pic

Kensei is a tall, muscular man with sharp features, short light-silver hair and brown eyes. In most of his appearances it is rare if he isn't scowling.[1] During his time as an exile he wore a dark purple A-shirt with a white trim, green cargo pants, black combat boots, and a pair of orange fingerless gloves.[2] After his return to the Gotei 13 he wore a black kosode, a pair of black hakama, a white ōbi, and a white Captain's haori. Upon his defection to the Ryū Order he maintained this attire with the exception of the insignia emblazoned upon the back of his haori, which was that of the Yin and Yang.[3] Sometime prior to the Collapse Kensei donned his old green cargo pants and dark purple A-shirt, but wore his old white haori over the top, essentially mixing his two former styles.[4] In the intervening years he has allowed his silver hair to grow. Although he maintains the messed-up mohawk-style up-top he has allowed his hair to grow out at the back, which now reaches down between his shoulder blades, and his fringe and bangs now hang over his face as they did during his first tenure as Captain of the Gotei 13's 9th Division.


"Are you going to cry? Well!? I won't waste my time on spineless cowards! You either find the resolve... or I kill you. Decide quickly!"
—Kensei to Kenji.[src]

Kensei declares he'll give Hisagi an earful.

Kensei is a serious and decisive individual, though he is easily annoyed and is rather temperamental, often to a fault; being incredibly aggressive.[1] He is greatly annoyed by what he perceives to be cowardice, which was made very evident when Kenji expressed his worry regarding the capture of his friends, saying he'd only mess things up again should he go after them. Kensei grabbed him by the throat and declared he did not waste his time on cowards, telling Kenji to find his resolve or die by his hand, or he could forget about his help in the rescue of his friends.[1] Despite this he does have some measure of respect for the boy. He was the first to save Kenji's life when he blacked out from exhaustion during the rescue of Kusaka, Ino and Kazuma, not only killing the last of Kenji's foes personally, but also hoisting Kenji onto his shoulder and carrying him to safety afterwards.[5] He was also the only original Visored to join Kenji's fledgling Ryū Order, replacing Kenji's father as a Captain in the organization.

His opinion of Kentaro has yet to be fully shown, though it can be inferred he does indeed like the young man.[6] He willingly offered him advice regarding his decisions during the Collapse, and has shown a tolerance for him and a degree of respect he neither showed Kenji nor Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto.[7]

In most cases he is greatly annoyed by immaturity and jokes, preferring to maintain a degree (or at least semblance) to seriousness, showing a lot of exasperation in the interactions between Hiyori Sarugaki and Kenji Hiroshi, with the former often assaulting the latter with her sandals, leading Kenji to respond with greater and ever-increasing flamboyance that visibly irritated Kensei.[1] He again demonstrated this trait when Hawke and David had a food-fight, telling both to sit on their asses.[8] He also demonstrated a similar mindset when reacting to Shinji's plan to help Kenji save his friends. He dismissively referred to Shinji and his own role in the mission as nothing more than a "sideshow", leading Shinji to complain that Kensei made their role sound unimportant.[2] After agreeing to the mission however he took it in his usual stride, giving one-hundred percent. He later responded to David's jibes (he demanded that Kensei smile) by striking the younger man, slamming his face into the floor face-first, at which point he did smile.[8]

In almost all of his appearances Kensei is depicted as an individual who dislikes small-talk, especially during difficult situations and battles. During the final battle with Averian's premier Battle Doll he did not speak once upon arrival. Instead he focused all his energy and power on bringing the Arrancar down alongside his fellow Captains.[9] He also admonished both Shūhei Hisagi and Sanada Shirono during their flight from the Imawashī, pointedly telling both to keep their reports until later and focus on the task at-hand.[4] In his free-time however he has demonstrated a social side, as well as a rarely-seen caring-side, though his aggression still colours his interactions. When Kentaro struggled with survivors guilt following the Collapse, resulting in recurring nightmares, it was Kensei who ultimately helped him see his decisions in a different light and come to own the mistakes he made, helping him move on.[6]

Kensei seems to have formed a type of rivalry with Amagai following their battle, looking forward to their next bout. This may be due to their serious personalities and dislike of small-talk.[10]



Main Article - Bleach (Kenji Hiroshi).

Part I

Main Article - Bleach: Sun and Moon Chronicles.

Exiles arc

Birth of the Tsuji

Quincy Blood War saga

Arrival arc

Part II & III

Main Article - Bleach: War of the Worlds.

Prelude to War

Final Clash arc

Impostor arc

Part IV

Main Article - Bleach: Cataclysm.

Testing the Waters arc

Bound by Blood arc

Note: The below arc is filler and is thus separate from the main plot of Bleach: Cataclysm, despite it being classed very loosely as canon.

Braving the Waves arc

Navigating the Waters arc

Powers and Abilities

Great Spiritual Energy: As a former Captain of both the Gotei 13 and Ryū Order, as well as a Visored expressing a dual-type spiritual pressure, Kensei boasts impressive spiritual power. His reiatsu was of sufficient strength to be felt throughout Kohai Tochi during the rescue of Kenji's friends, being described as a "beacon".[2] Following the Collapse Kensei is one of the strongest individuals left alive on the side of the old Ryū Order, second only to Kentaro, who remarked he could not afford to lose a man of Kensei's calibre.[11] He was fit to immediately pressure the likes of Amagai during their battle, with the latter leaving it far more the worse for wear.[10]

Zanjutsu Mastery: Kensei is in his element up-close and personal, where he can bring his formidable Zanjutsu and Hakuda skills to bare. His mastery of Zanjutsu, coupled with his quick reflexes, marked him as one of a very select few capable of reacting to and effectively countering Averian's premier Battle Doll in close-quarters Zanjutsu combat.[9]

Hakuda Mastery: Following the Collapse Kensei is recognized as the foremost Hakuda specialist amongst the Six Directions.[4] He is masterful in close-quarters combat, combining explosive power and swift combination attacks, to completely devastate his opposition; to such effect even foes as powerful as Averian's Battle Dolls could only defend themselves indirectly against his fierce assaults, which was prior to the Collapse.[9] The speed and strength of his attacks post-Collapse enabled him to easily bypass the defences of one Dastan Shiba, whom he replaced as 9th Division Captain of the Ryū Order, and land a powerful one-handed blow to the latter's stomach before he could even react or mount an effective defence.[4] He was also fit to immediately throw Amagai onto the defensive during their brief battle.[10]

Hohō Expertise: Although not possessing of the raw speed demonstrated by Kentaro and Sanada, Kensei possesses the finest honed reflexes of anyone in the Six Directions.[4] He was capable of not only reacting to the attacks of Averian's premier Battle Doll but counter in reprisal, which even Kenji struggled to do before his return as a Kodairei.[9] He was also fit to outmanoeuvre Dastan, landing a devastating punch to the latter's stomach during their brief battle.[4] He saved Kenji from an assassin following the latter's exhaustion, despite Shinji moving at the same time, and killed the individual before Shinji arrived on-scene.[5]

Enhanced Durability: Kensei suffered extensive burns from Amagai's Bankai but was capable of operating normally, even sustaining his Bankai.[10]

Enhanced Strength: Kensei was fit to pull Shūhei through the air by tugging on the second weapon comprising Kazeshini, pulling him clear of Dastan's attempted follow-up attack.[4] Amagai later remarked upon Kensei's strength, claiming he did not expect the latter to pressure him so much; Amagai, even when behind his Bankai-shield, was sent flying into a building after a fierce sequence of Hakuda strikes.[10]


Tachikaze (断地風, Earth-Severing Wind): When sealed, it is shown as a short katana with a rectangular guard in an 'H' shape, with white hilt wrapping.


Kensei dispatching a Hollow with Tachikaze's Shikai.

  • Shikai: Kensei's Shikai is triggered by the command Blow it Away (吹っ飛ばせ, futtobase, Send 'em Flying in the English Dub and Viz: Blast Away), which shrinks his Zanpakutō down into the form of a combat-knife with light purple hilt-wrapping in the centre of a grey handle, and a small ring beneath the guard, located on the blunt-side.[4]
Shikai Special Ability: Kensei can use Tachikaze to manipulate wind and energy, though the true power of Tachikaze lies in its ability to cause the path of its slashes to explode.[10] Merely upon release Kensei was fit to assault a foe with a series of wind-blades, allowing Shūhei to dispatch the target effortlessly, who then violently exploded.[4]
  • Niten (二天:風道, Two Heavens): A form of offensively-based Zanjutsu usage taught to Kensei by Kentaro. Usage of this style improves the strength of Kensei's wind-based abilities and enabled him to almost completely nullify the flames of Amagai's Zanpakutō by blasting the flames free of their fuel-source via a powerful explosion.[10]
  • Bakudantsuki (爆弾突き, Bomb Thrust): By gathering spiritual power in the blade of Tachikaze and thrusting it forward via a punching motion, Kensei releases a Cero-like blast from his fist and blade. Under the effects of his Hollow mask it was expansive enough to catch countless Hollow summoned by Vamp, killing them instantly.[7]
  • Kiryū (気流, Airflow): By slashing at the air with his Zanpakutō, Kensei can release multiple blades of wind, which was the basis for the Niten style. Using this attack he was capable of eviscerating a foe, allowing Shūhei to finish him, before then blowing the man to bits.[4] During his battle with Amagai he demonstrated a more refined version that allowed him to create powerful gusts without the slashing motion.[10]

Takken Tachikaze released.

  • Bankai: Tekken Tachikaze (鐡拳・断風, Iron Fist Earth-Severing Wind): Kensei likens his Bankai to an out-and-out power-type. Upon release an explosion of wind surrounds Kensei and his Zanpakutō, which causes Tachikaze to transition from a single combat-knife into a pair of dual knuckle-blades, which Kensei holds in each hand. Purple bands wrap around his arms, appearing as a form of segmented armour, while a thicker purple band arches behind him and over his head, with its ends protruding from under his shoulders.[10] Kentaro admits that, in terms of destructive power, Takken Tachikaze is unsurpassed amongst the Six Directions.
Bankai Special Ability: Tekken Tachikaze is a Bankai that allows Kensei to continually assault his foe with the destructive power of his Shikai by channelling it into his knuckle blades at close-quarters. The explosion caused by the actual release can also serve as a potent weapon in-and-of-itself. The mere release of Tekken Tachikaze voided a massive flame-based attack from Amagai by knocking said flames from their fuel-source.[10]
  • Tekkotsu: Tekken Tachikaze (鉄骨, Steel-frame: Iron Fist Earth-Severing Wind): not yet revealed but vaguely commented upon. Kentaro claims that Kensei is capable of a heightened degree of power whilst in Bankai, which is supposedly this technique. Kensei himself revealed its name and existence but said little else regarding its nature.


Afflicted with Hollowfication by none other than Sōsuke Aizen during his captaincy, Kensei was one of the original Shinigami-Hollow hybrids alongside his then lieutenant, Mashiro Kuna.[1] As a result of Kisuke Urahara's intervention, he was fit to affirm himself as a Visored. Following the Winter War, Kensei has furthered his control in utilizing his Hollow powers, by teaching not only Kenji Hiroshi how to control his powers, but also Kenji's son, Kentaro, progressing to the point that the only person considered stronger than him within the surviving members of the Ryū Order is Kentaro himself.[7]

Kensei's Hollow mask

Kensei's Hollow Mask.

  • Hollow Mask: His Hollow mask resembles a flat hockey face guard with six slitted eye holes arranged in two columns. It has three extensions on either side which cover the sides and back of his head.[9][7]
Power Augmentation: While wearing the mask, Kensei's Hollow powers supplement his Shinigami powers, giving him a vast increase in his physical parameters,[9] and especially the strength of his existent Zanpakutō powers.[7]
  • Enhanced Spiritual Power: The sheer strength of Kensei's mask-enhanced spiritual power was enough to stun Kentaro, knocking the air from his lungs, as Kensei slaughtered a group of Hollow.[7]
  • Enhanced Strength: With his mask on, Kensei's strength is greatly enhanced. He was capable of tearing the Hierro of Averian's premier Battle Doll, which was described as "pure brute force", and break the bone beneath with a powerful double-punch.[9]

Kensei's controlled Hollow form appeared identical to the original Hollow transformation he took prior to its stabilisation.

  • Controlled Hollow Form: Kensei and Mahsiro appear to be the sole members of the original Visored capable of invoking a heightened state of Hollowfication, which results in a more bestial transformation that nevertheless retains a Humanoid appearance. This transformation appears identical to that originally took by Kensei before Kisuke Urahara stabilised his transformation with his Hōgyoku. This form appeared as a muscled humanoid with cylindrical protrusions on his arms and back, giving Kensei a hunchbacked posture. His hands and feet are likewise covered with a thick white skin similar to Hierro.[12]
  • Immense Strength: Kensei's enhanced strength borders on the ridiculous; one punch from him can substantially crater the earth.[13][14] During his initial uncontrolled transformation Kensei was fit to destroy Bakudō #63. Sajō Sabaku through brute force, a feat Hachigen stated was simply not possible.[15] He was further fit to sheath his fists in spiritual power to further increase the potency of his attacks, to the point of inflicting serious injuries to Love and momentarily knocking him out.[16][14]
  • Immense Durability: Kensei's enhanced durability is heightened to truly ridiculous degrees. During his initial transformation the combined attacks of Love, Rose and Lisa failed to inflict even a scratch on him.[17] Even an energy blast to the head only served to divert him slightly.[14] It took Hachi employing Bakudō #99. just to pin Kensei whilst in this form.[18][19]

References & notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Darkest Pursuits
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Invading the Dark Depths
  3. Surprising Return
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 4.9 Fleeing the Imawashi
  5. 5.0 5.1 Darkness Lifted
  6. 6.0 6.1 New Resolve
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 Facing the Terrors
  8. 8.0 8.1 Putting Names to the Faces
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 9.6 Liberation Saga
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 10.6 10.7 10.8 10.9 First Battle of Nishiendo
  11. Leaving Doubt at the Door
  12. Bleach manga; Chapter -102, page 19
  13. Bleach manga; Chapter -102, page 16
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 Bleach anime; Episode 210
  15. Bleach manga; Chapter -101, pages 16-17
  16. Bleach manga; Chapter -101, page 6
  17. Bleach manga; Chapter -101, pages 6-7
  18. Bleach manga; Chapter -101, pages 14-17
  19. Bleach manga; Chapter -100, pages 8-10


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