|Name||Yagami no Kenshin|
|Height||182.88 cm (6'0")|
|Weight||81.64 kg (160 lbs)|
|Affiliation||Royal Guard, Shinsengumi|
|Previous Affiliation||Gotei 13, Eleventh Division|
|Occupation||Shinigami, Royal Guardsman|
|Previous Occupation||Kenpachi of the 11th Division|
|Team||Shinsengumi Combat Operations Division|
|Base of Operations||Human World, Soul Society, Spirit King Dimension|
|Shikai||Yagami no Kenshin|
|Bankai||Yagami no Zenshin Hansei|
- "A pleasant smile etched in truth." - Illuminate Void
Yagami no Kenshin (夜神の謙信, lit. "Modest Truth of the Night God") is the former and third "Kenpachi" of the Eleventh Division, and current Commander of the Shinsengumi's Combat Operations Division. Throughout Soul Society's bloody history of wars waged against the denizens of the spiritual realms, Kenshin quickly arose through the ranks, establishing himself as one of Soul Society's first Kensai (賢才, lit. "Sword Saint"), a matchless warrior whose prowess earned him the moniker of Holy Commander of Divine Speed (神速聖将, Shinsokuseishou) for his godlike speed and swordsmanship. Following the early wars, and his Captaincy of the Eleventh Division, he would later be inducted into the Royal Guard. However, when war once again erupted and plunged the heavens into chaos, it was soon realized that an external force was necessary to help maintain the safety of both Soul Society and the Spirit King. Thus he and several others would help found the Shinsengumi, to serve as the eyes and ears and first line of defense against all external threats.
Ebony hair dark as midnight frames a sharp and angular face, while magenta eyes shine with the intensity of the sun. Within these twin orbs, are oceanic depths of wisdom and experience, a warrior ancient as time itself. But there is a resolve within them, a determination and warmth despite the atrocities he has seen, and likely committed in his life. Below the long ridge of his nose are thin lips that smile softly at his company, as light glistens off his marble skin. Though hidden by the bulk of his clothing, there is a rippling mass of tight sinew and muscle of an exceptionally trained warrior honed to a lethal edge.
He is man of unfathomable beauty, the perfect blend of masculinity and feminity in a single form. When he walks, it appears as though the world itself bows in reverence, parting every so subtlety as he passes, leaving not nary a trace that he once walked upon it. Both men and woman find him unspeakable attractive, as he appears to embody every trait or characteristic one would find alluring. When he speaks, his voice, impossibly deep but smooth seemingly resonates with the air, dark and elegant in its tone; commanding, dominating, and enchanting.
The soft rustle of his white trimmed azure haori flutters with each of his silent steps, hanging comfortably over a broad-shouldered and lithe frame. It is a symbol of prestige, worn only by those who shoulder the burden and responsibility as protectors of heaven. Nearly hidden beneath this cloak of authority are the garments of the dead, yet the dark lavender hues of the kosode and hakama reflect their finely woven craftsmanship, and station of their wearer. Cleanly folded, pressed and presentable, his woredrobe is always meticulously pristine, even in the midst of combat. For he is Shinsengumi, without equal, untouchable, pure. A pearl white cord criss-crosses over his chest, tied in the back securing the haori, but its true purpose is representative of the strength and bonds that bind these wayward souls together.
Of all those who have held the title of Kenpachi, none have ever been as enigmatic and eccentric as Kenshin Yagami. To those who recall the early years regarding the Kenpachi he has a far more violent, even malevolent man who cherished only his blade and the blood it had spilt. He was rude, abrasive, and prone to belittling those around him as he saw fit. Truly he was a thug drunk on his own power. But over time it appeared that the responsibilities of captaincy had tempered out his personality. For many it is hard to ascertain when the changes actually occurred. According to some, the change was virtually overnight as though he had become a completely new person. Others claim that the changes were slow and gradual as a result of his duties and responsibilities. Finally there are those who keep their murmured whispers behind closed doors who speak of an imposter or perhaps a consummate infiltrator and skilled swordsman. Ironically all of them are right to some extent.
It is true that the actual Kenpachi was undergoing some shifts in his personality due to the responsibilities of becoming a Captain, however his temperament was veering worse rather than better. Seemingly by chance or perhaps some hidden and unknown desire, Yagami no Kenshin encountered and battled against the Third Kenpachi, slaying him and using one of his most insidious abilities, literally inserted himself into his place. Such power had essentially enabled Kenshin to assert himself into the minds and memories of those around him, and thus the Zanpakutou Yagami no Kenshin, became Kenshin Yagami the Third Kenpachi. Still such a transition was not entirely smooth, as Kenshin had been forced to adapt into a role he clearly had no experience in, and thus the mystery began.
The enigma that surrounds Kenshin is inherent in his nature; he is anything but normal as he does not possess the same wants and desires as a regular Shinigami but rather an instinctive drive that compels him to think and act in accordance to what he is at heart; a sword. Above all else, Kenshin desires battle, and actively seeks it out. For this reason his status as the Third Kenpachi was rarely called into question as most inheritors of the title lean towards a particularly bloodthirsty mindset. Unlike most Kenpachi however, Kenshin's motivations for doing so are oddly compelling yet overly simplistic. While his ability to see the "truth" allows him to see all truths and beings for who they truly are, it does not immediately grant comprehension and understanding. Only in the throes of battle, can Kenshin begin to unravel the mystery that is people. Thus he has a propensity to randomly engage people in mortal combat, as a greeting, making conversation. He greatly enjoys these sessions, talking animatedly during the exchange, pointing out flaws in their form and offering sagely advice on what they can do to improve themselves.
But like any sword he knows when he is expected to remain "sheathed". It is during these periods of inactivity (in which he is not actively seeking combat) that he becomes extremely contemplative, almost stoic and prone to reacting slowly to events. He speaks his words softly and carefully, as to him words are just as dangerous as swords, thus when he speaks it should have meaning. While there are those who wouldnt call him kind or compassionate, he is sincerely curious and forthcoming to people, though outwardly he appears aloof. This strange combination lends him to being often misunderstood, as he seems to always be speaking seriously, even when making outrageous or strange inquiries. He isnt necessarily friendly given his disposition, but he does not regard many as "enemies". To Kenshin the idea of enemies and allies is somewhat relative. Technically anyone who battles him is considered an enemy, but only until the end of the battle. Afterwards his previous demeanor returns, and he will happily speak to them regarding all manner of things as if they were close friends. This is because of his ability to see the "truth" in all things. This includes the very souls of other entities. As a being who see's in only one-dimension, the physical characteristics of a person are irrelevant. He sees deep into their soul gaining an intuitive knowledge of who they are. To a simple truth like Kenshin, virtually all people are living miracles in his eyes, mysteries to be experienced and understood.
This causes Kenshin to exhibit some strange behaviors, and knowledge regarding people that he ordinarily shouldnt have. When he speaks to people, he can be rather invasive with his dialog with little respect to their privacy, making him appear brutally honest and blunt. In fact the very notion of telling a lie or a fabrication is incomprehensible to Kenshin. It isnt as though he doesnt understand lying but that he is incapable of telling a lie. If asked directly Kenshin will generally speak the truth, and if not refrain from doing so outright. Conversely this makes him appear highly sympathic to people as he seemingly understands any pain or suffering they're going through. Coupled with his persistance in rooting out the cause of their trouble marks him as a clumsy if well-meaning and compassionate individual. Whenever Kenshin acts he commits fully to the task, giving rise to his intensity as a person. This has often led to somewhat comical scenerios, as he only interpets exactly what is being said and not the spirit of the word itself. Using metaphors and other analoges is lost on Kenshin and he is prone to taking what others say seriously, even in a joking fashion. This is made even more humorous given his outwardly stoic personality. Regardless, Kenshin acts with a resolve that is unshakeable, and his commitment to all that he is and does, including his allies and any task set before him, have made Kenshin an invaluable member of the Gotei 13 and Shinsengumi.
Since man and spirit first discovered the concept of "sword", Yagami no Kenshin has existed and endured. Born as a fragment of a divine power, the entity that would become Yagami no Kenshin was originally one of the first swords ever wielded by man. As eons passed, legends of swords of great power etched themselves unto the history of man, each a reflection, perhaps even another form of Kenshin. He is a sword whose nature is reflected by the wielder, and time after time he has been sought, wielded and battled with. He is "sword" incarnated, always changing but remaining the same. And once more he would find himself wielded by yet another swordsman, a woman of great skill and passion, who shared his namesake --- Yagami Nise.
Nise was a formidable swordswoman who believed strongly in justice and righteousness. She acquired Kenshin by traveling deep into the spiritual world, traversing challenges that would shake the very world itself, braving dangers that would driven lesser men mad. In the war-torn era predating Soul Society itself, she was a beacon of light, a ray of hope that fought against the darkness. But fate would soon test her mettle against one of the greatest adversary of her time, a swordswoman of legendary prowess, a villainous monster made flesh, who slaughtered hundreds of thousands leaving naught but a blood soaked trail in her wake! This demon, this spirit called itself Unohana Yachiru.
Spurned by her belief, Nise sought to battle this criminal, and journeyed far across the spiritual realm, until they met in a field of blood, surrounded by the deaths of countless souls. On the epitaph of the once beautiful Doubutsu Kato, as wraiths known only as Gods of Death, did they meet. It was a climactic battle, that shook the very land, the clashing of swords echoing in the cacophony of a fallen nation. Yet, as true as Nise's beliefs were, as righteous as her cause, skill was not enough, and for the second time that day, Bankai would be unleashed. Unfortunately the power Kenshin possessed was never meant for mortal hands, and in her desperation, Nise was obliterated, and Kenshin lost in a brilliant pillar of light. From the ashes of Doubutsu Kato, those who participated in this battle would found the Gotei 13 and later Soul Society itself. As one tale begets the next, Yagami no Kenshin would soon resurface, forever changed, and forever the same.
The Third Kenpachi
In the ashes of Doubutsu Kato, Soul Society arose, and for a time things were at peace. But like a river, history repeats itself and in the centuries that followed, conflict plagued Soul Society. Yagami no Kenshin wandered the realms, fighting, fighting, endlessly fighting. For the first time in his existence, Kenshin felt something a being of his nature might call... despair. Yagami Nise had been one of his longest known comrades, a beloved friend and ally. He knew her life was a fleeting one, as all lives were, but her passion, her conviction in justice, compassion and righteousness had impressed him to be in awe of her person. Yet it was not Yachiru's blade, nor that of any other that had slain her, but Kenshin himself. His power, his blade had been the one to turn against her in her darkest hour of need.
And so he continued to wander, contemplating a name and woman whom existed only in fleeting memory. As though guided by regret and longing, Kenshin returned to the site of their battle, drawn for inexplicable reasons he could not fathom, only knowing that it felt right. In the place of a once bloody battlefield he instead found a wondrous and great celestial metropolis. Gone was the distinct construction that had marked the various spirits and clans that had once dotted the landscape, instead replaced by towering structures, buildings forged by the greatest human artisans and architects in history! He looked upon the Southern Gate, and exhaled a breath of awe.
Towers as high as any cloud gleamed with glazed marble tiles. Mansions of gold and silver sparkled with brilliant light. Blue mist descended upon the sky casting rainbows about. Standing next to the gate was an equally tall an imposing sentry, garbed in black cloth of the finest silk weaved from heavenly thread! Truly it was a sight to see! Countless plots of land dotted across the landscape, each possessing its own unique structure of each era that had passed before! Trees and flowers exotic and more beautiful than any found on earth flourished as though grown for a thousand millenia! From his vantage point he could see people of all shapes and sizes in the bustling metropolis, each graced with nobility of beauty, wealth and passion! It was marvelous, it was breathtaking! Truly this once hellish site had now become the pearl of the spiritual world!
Curious beyond measure, Kenshin began his trek through this heaven, never once stopping to ponder for every time he stood to admire one spectacle a dozen other mysteries would draw his attention elsewhere. And so the sword wandered, but all the while more vivid than any dream thoughts of Nise filled the gaps in his mind. Like a butterfly he fluttered, never knowing where he was going, until the fateful day he encountered the Third Kenpachi. In the outskirts of Soul Society where beasts as white as bone, hunted and killed. Where lawless vagabonds preyed on innocent and guilty alike, did they meet. To the Kenpachi, Kenshin was nothing more than another insect to be trampled with, only the strong survived, only those worthy enough to withstand his blade deserved the gift of life.
And so began a battle that would change both their lives. For Kenshin, battle is synonomous with conversation, and so when the crazed madman leaped upon, sword brandished glinting with light as it descended upon him, he responded in kind, face lit with amusement as he began to eagerly converse with the gungho warrior. Needless to say, the Kenpachi was both unnerved by the display of such formidable swordsmanship in the face of death, and the swordsmans penchant for discussing all manner of trivial things as their swords clashed. As the Kenpachi felt his arms burn from exhaustion, he for the first time felt the familiar sense of dread creep up his spine. Before him lay perhaps the greatest swordsman save for Yachiru he has ever faced, yet the intent in his blows, the message lined within every stroke, was empty save for a simple truth.
And when he understood it, he was appalled, terrorified, enthralled, and humbled. So shocking was this revelation that it was as if his entire philsophy had changed, but in the midst of battle, the lapse of the mind can mean the difference between life and death, and to a swordsman who lived by the sword, he could only smile with content as he died by the sword. With but a few moments left, he beseeched Kenshin to do what he could not, and with that his life was gone. Whether his intention was pure, or perhaps he understood what the Kenpachi had truly meant in his last eulogy, Kenshin used of his hidden techniques, a sword skill so powerful, it severed not only life but the thread of destiny itself, binding it to his own. And so the wandering sword became the infamous Kenshin Yagami the Third Kenpachi.
Kenshin's migration to the Shinsengumi is one of the Gotei 13's most legendary fables, a unique mixture of intrigue, outrage, and strangely enough comedy. Few have understood the reason for his actions, but this tale begins only a century after Kenshin had inherited the role of Third Kenpachi. The Shinsengumi was only beginning to form, infantile in its inception, though there was roaring support. Kenshin's role lies at the end of its formation, as for whatever reason even the brightest scholars cannot fathom, the Kenpachi had seemingly declared war on Soul Society.
That day had begun like those that preceeded it, routines carried out in the same methodical fashion as always, until Kenshin fought one too many Captains as part of his morning greeting. By this time, the Captains of the Gotei 13 had long since become accustomed to Kenshin's idioms, but it was at this point that the Gotei 13 had welcomed a new Seventh Division Captain, and unfortunately did not explain to her the eccentricity of the local Kenpachi. Consequently she lacked the requisite tolerance and foreknoweldge of dealing him. Sadly, when her first greeting that morning was the edge of a blade pressed firmly against her neck, the cold visage of Kenshin's eyes boring into her, her first impression was one of unbridled rage, echoing with the ashen taste of betrayal. With a rallying cry, she and the rest of her division, began the counter assault on what she believed to be a traitor and now rogue Shinigami. Events only spiraled out of control from there.
- The Swan and the Hunter (Battle vs Hiroya Ginkarei)
- I Am Truth (Kenshin vs Sōsaku Yawarakai)
- Bleach: Paradox Nexus
Powers & Abilities
Immense Spiritual Power: Kenshin Yagami's spiritual pressure is overwhelming, it is an indominitable well of power so pure and focused it shines like the sun. Where others have pressure that is just staggering, his is a beacon, it is without fault, without weakness, and touches the very depths of any soul who stands before it. Its nature is so strange, so otherwordly, that it is often confused as something entirely else than spiritual energy. It can at best be described as, "the calm before the storm", it is a center of power so immense, that it washes out numbing all other spiritual sensations. It is warm, and gentle, it does not harm others, it does not crush the world around it, it simply exists as a pillar of power. His conviction and resolve are without match, and it is immediately noticable upon sensing it, there is no hesitation, no fear, it is as if there is nothing that could deter him. When he releases his power, it soars across the horizon like a song that harmonizes with all things, it is almost impossible not to feel inspired, to feel rejuvenated, to not want one's own power, one's own song to join with his. But like any blade, this is only one side of his strength, should an enemy find themselves on its opposing side, Kenshins's spiritual power becomes a nightmare. In its presence, all that exists will be cut down, there is no malice, no anger, no reason just the simple truth that anything before it will end. It is as if the entire world bores down before his enemies, warping around them to collapse and destroy them completely and utterly. It is an empty, mind-numbing power that has no other purpose than to kill.
- Inspiring Resolve: Kenshin's spiritual power has a purity that is unmatched, a single but modest truth that exists and serves as the foundation for his being. By releasing a wave of his reiatsu, Kenshin can in effect reaffirm this truth, not only within himself but within others as well. This can cause temporary, fleeting deceptions, such as illusions to immediately dispel on anyone within range of his reiatsu. Consequently this also hinders the strength and potency of any illusions cast nearby, and weakens its hold on thos affected by them.
- Rejuvenation: As it has the power to strengthen one's resolve to see truth, that same resolve will consequently strengthen one's own body. Spiritual beings are if anything products of their own willpower, and an injury to that will is represented as a physical injury. By strengthening and reaffirming the resolve in another, Kenshin's spiritual power serves to act as a means of rejuvenating those within it, healing minor injuries, renewing one's strength and power. Although Kenshin is incapable of performing Kido, he can in a similar manner towards bestowing a human with Shinigami powers, pierce another entity in their Saketsu/Hakusui and bestow upon them energy, to rapidly heal and restore their own reserves.
Immense Strength: Kenshin is deceptively strong given his build, capable of collapsing an entire building with a single strike. While this is partly due to his augmented physical strength, it is mainly a byproduct of his immense level of reiryoku manipulation. Kenshin has spent much of his time suppressing his spiritual power, condensing and compressing into his form, that it has gradually turned into brute physical strength. While in combat he has learned to supplement this by channeling massive amounts of spiritual energy through his body and on the point of impact releasing them in an explosive burst to multiply the damage of his attacks several fold. Extended use of this ability has allowed him to perfect its energy expenditure and steadily increase his reserves over time.
Immense Durability: Shinigami are known for their ability to withstand otherwise lethal blows but Kenshin has demonstrated this to levels beyond his peers, suffering multiple blows that would fell Shinigami several times over yet continue fighting. His incredible willpower and determination are seconded to none, allowing him to push through where others would fall. However it has been recently revealed in his battle against Sosaku that this is largely due to the fact that his body is nothing more than a spiritual construct, a projection of the Zanpakutou itself. Wounds that would be otherwise fatal are merely an inconvenience to Kenshin, and unless the Zanpakutou itself is destroyed, he will literally regenerate the body given time. Unlike a Hollows regeneration this process is slow requiring days of rest and inactivity to replenish and reconstruct the spiritual body to its former self.
Expert Hand-to-hand Combatant: Kenshin is a swordsman, nothing more, and nothing else, if he fights it is with a blade in hand. He has never fought without a sword, and while his swordsmanship is unequaled, his hand-to-hand combat skills pale in comparison. He is a skilled hand-to-hand combatant however, but he generally relies entirely on his swordmsanship. His skill with a sword though does translate in some measure to hand-to-hand, preferring a style that makes use of precision based finger strikes similar to the snake style, with wide arcing strikes with his arms and legs, as though each limb where a blade in of itself.
Master Manipulator: The greatest deceptions are those that remained unknown. Arguably Kenshin's greatest skill may not even be his swordsmanship, but in his ability to decieve and manipulate others. His powers and unique perspectives grant him insights that would be impossible to obtain otherwise, and he exploits them ruthlessly. Not only did he infiltrate Soul Society, but he slew a Captain and took his place, eventually replacing the Third Kenpachi with Kenshin Yagami in the heart and soul of history. From the perspective of an outsider, his ability to manipulate is so ingrained in his personality, he does it unconciously. Using his fearsome abilities to pierce the minds of those around him, tugging at their hearts, abusing their trust, their friendship. Kenshin has never needed to lie, the truth afterall is the greatest tool in the art of the deception. Using anothers own perceptions against them, turning what they believe to be real and true into his own weapon. His words flow like silk, his visage a momument to what men and woman hold dear and envious in their hearts, he uses these tools to quietly and efficiently move his plans along. Even those who should be his enemies, for in Kenshin's mind, he has none, only resources, only pawns and tools to be used to complete whatever objective he has mind. It is a simple and cruel idealogy, yet comforting. He treats all those around him with respect, afterall their lives however fleeting and minute have meaning. Yet the crux of it all, is that he is not even aware of it; cannot concieve of it. Afterall, it is simply how he perceives the world, how he interacts with it, touches it, feels it, lives within it. Perhaps the greatest deception lies in himself, the truest falsehood, and yet he is not even aware of it.
Master Strategist and Tactician: As a master beguiler, Kenshin possesses a vast wealth of knowledge in psychology, history, tactics and strategy. He can create even complex strategies very quickly, and his tactical genius allows him to adjust his plans as necessary when carrying them out. His unique abilities make him an extremely adaptable opponent, able to analyze, predict and counteract the attacks and movements of those around him with frightening ease. Evident by his previous two persona's, he has gained an in depth understanding of the entire echelon of Soul Society, from its disgruntled souls in Rukongai to its illustrious nobility and Chamber of 46. Kenshin was able to do all that was necessary to secure his place in the Royal Guard, the highest circle of power in all of Soul Society. Even more impressive is that his exploits remain completely unnoticed.
Enhanced Spiritual Awareness: Spiritual energy at its most basic form is a mote of will, and on the canvas that exist as the spiritual realm, it is a sea of emotion. Kenshin's unique ability to see all things as they truly are, grants him an equally unique spiritual sensitivity. To his senses, the concepts of "nature", "density", even "distance" are irrelevant, these are things that are in constant flux, always changing and fluctuating, providing no real context to him. What Kenshin detects is the will or emotion itself, the intent. Suppression of one's spiritual power, be it magic, skill or otherwise bears no difference to him, for the intent, the will always remains. But it is a simple sense, it does not reveal anything more beyond its presence, nothing else is distinguishable, all will's that exist are "faceless" to him, he is unable to recognize one will from another, they simply are. Spatial dimensions however are irrelevant to Kenshin, he simply knows where the source of a will is.
Master Swordsmanship Specialist: Kenshin Yagami is one of Soul Society's most prestigious master swordsman, a warrior who has achieved the pinnacle of his craft, possessing such masterful skill it has transcended to a level where his very movements stir the very fabric of reality. He has mastered zanjutsu in all of its forms, all of its techniques, every skill. With but a single glance he can discern every form of attack, every defense, and every technique an opponent has at his or her disposal. He is a prodigy unlike any other, who learns and adapts to the pace of his opponents with effortless ease. From the strength of his blows, to the speed and precision of his strike, his mastery is made apparent by a single stroke of his blade! Kenshin has no distinct fighting style, no stance, no guard to protect himself. That is because he is at a level where such things are unnecessary. Thousands of fightings styles and techniques have been absorbed and integrated into a singular method that allows him to attack from any position, any angle of his choosing. It is brutally efficient, ruthlessly methodical and without any discernable weakness. His swordsmanship is capable of pushing opponents to the brink of their abilities as shown in his battle against Hiroya Ginkarei. His sword skills blur the line between the physical and the mystical, conjuring mighty dragons born of blades to descend upon his opponents, or erecting nigh impenetrable barriers of blades as strong as the greatest binding spells. When he battles the world itself becomes an extension of his sword; from a single sweep of his blade howling winds surge forward as colossal tornados ripping apart the landscape, a simple stab into the earth capable of causing monstrous earthquakes, upturning entire sections as fissures and chasms spread outward. His swordsmanship is a force of nature itself turning even the docile environment into a raging maelstrom of death and oblivion.
- Ken'atsu (剣圧, lit. "Pressure of the Sword"): When one's strength, speed and skill with the sword reach a certain level, the force of their blade as it cuts through the air is able to project such an immense amount pressure that sword is able "to cut the heart with no blade". At its core, ken'atsu is about the projection of the force of one's attack. To beginners it is a technique requiring time and effort to use effectively. To a master such as Kenshin, there is a ken'atsu in every strike he makes for it requires no concious effort and is merely the result of his supreme mastery in the art of the sword. The sheer force left in the wake of his attacks is enough to upturn rock, and carve his enemies into dust as though sliced with a powerful blade of wind. For Kenshin his ken'atsu possess such might that they are capable of even cutting through even magical forms of defenses, as he cuts swaths through the barriers, and supernatural defenses erected in vain to protect them.
- Hitotsume: Nadegiri (撫で斬り, lit. "The First: Killing Stroke"): The first technique Yamamoto ever created as spirit, it like many other sword skills requires but a single stroke to invoke. It is a technique that harnesses one's spiritual pressure, channeling that mass into the strike itself, allowing one to attack with the full brunt of their resolve. As the mass is transmitted through the sword it creates a very thin almost imperceptable wave concentrated at the edge of the blade. As the technique nears its completion the force of the strike ripples out in a single killing stroke. Kenshin could see, discern and understand not only its technique, but its history, its conception, and consequently the mind of its wielder at the time of its creation. He knows the technique as intimately as he knows his own soul. It like many other skills can be incorporated into every strike he makes. When he attacks, he attacks with the full force of his reiatsu, hitting with such immense and overwhelming force the ground beneath him quakes. Every attack is accompanied by torrential winds, chasms of earth being ripped apart, and shockwaves echoing into the heavens. Whether he is a single step or near the edge of the horizon, a single strike of his Nadegiri can sweep across the land with such immense force that he can stir the very elements themselves.
- Ittou Sunawachi Banto (一刀昇天万刀, lit. "One Sword Gives rise to Ten Thousand Swords"): The practice of a single downward stroke; the most basic of skill of swordsmanship a thousand times over, ten thousand times until it becomes ingrained into the soul. With a single stroke, the echoes of a thousand more resound within his soul, and by his will are actualized into reality. When Kenshin swings his blade, he is able to transform that single strike into a cascading wave of blades that shimmer into reality; echoes of the past, of the present and of the future, brought forth with the simplest of sword strikes. These conjured blades follow the arc of any one of his attacks, appearing as crescent beams of energy rapidly oscillating onward as they annihilate his foes. This technique is so simple to Kenshin that he has integrated it into his very swordsmanship, using it to attack foes be they in close range or at a distance. The thousands of arcing blades can come from around Kenshin, and are capable of omni-directional attacks.
- Hokotate (矛盾, lit. "Spear and Shield"): Kenshin is able to manipulate his ittou sunawachi banto into a shimmering barrier of blades that surround him like an impenetrable shield, granting him the power of an ultimate defense. Any attacks that come into contact with the scilitating blades within the barrier is shredded by the thousands of blades flickering within it. The barrier appears to have the strength of a high-level kido barrier, though its power relies on the fact that the blades are attacking in such speed and numbers that its offense has become his own defense. Kenshin further demonstrates the ability to rearrange the barrier as he see's fit, generally forming a sphereical barrier surrounding him, or creating a long towering curtain of death. He has shown to use this ability in a variety of ways, tactically implementing them in combat such as creating an enclosed dome to trap his opponents.
- Muramasa: Murderous All-Slaying Sword (村正:殺人一切 滅剣, "Satsujin Issai Metsuken"): A technique whose power is hinted at its legend. When Muramasa crafted the infamous blade that bore his own name, he challenged Masamune to a contest to determine whose blade was superior. To this end both swordsmiths planted their blades in the bed of a river and observed. Muramasa's blade was a sword that cut the river, and slayed anything that stood in its way, while Masamune's blade only parted the water, fish and leaves deflecting around its edge. Though Murasma claimed he was the winner due to his swords edge, Masamune would instead gain victory for his blade only cut that which its wielder deigned as an enemy, not the blood thirsty weapon that killed indiscriminately as Muramasa's did. This technique is an attack that embodies the legend of the bloodthirst of the demonic sword Muramasa, by releasing a wave of black and crimson light from the tip of Kenshin's blade. The arc of light will launch itself towards his enemy, ignoring obstacle, ignoring magic, ignoring any form of magical or supernatural defense, blowing through them outright. The only true method by which one can defeat this technique is through constant evasion, since the light will without exhaustion continue to search for its target. Attacking or deflecting the attack only causes it to rebound for a moments before it begins its attack pattern anew, though it can be worn down with repeated assault. The arc of light is drawn to the presence of blood, meaning it will continue to go after whomever is the most injured.
- Masamune: Exalted Sword of Mercy (正宗:慈心の尊剣, "Masamune: Jishin no Mikotoken"): The sister technique to Masamune: Murderous All-Slaying Sword, it is a sword that embodies the idea of victory through non-violence, it is a sword that does not cut flesh, but instead one that cuts the mind. It is an unusual sword because though its edge is sharp, it does not cut, nor does it draw blood. It is an attack that when struck against its victim instead creates the illusion of injury, of loss and inevitable and encroaching defeat. So potent and powerful is this illusion, it is extremely difficult to even realize one has been affected. With each successive strike the illusion becomes more and more prominent; these injuries cumulating tear down at the walls of resolve, causing doubt, fear and panic within the victim. Kenshin's own fearsome display of swordsmanship and godlike speed further enhance the effectiveness of the illusion. Finally with blow meant for certain death, the illusion overwhelms the victim, and they fall prey to their despair and drift into unconciousness. It is a technique that muddles the mind of its victim, making them feel the full extent of injury regardless of physical ability. Like its sister, it too can be released as an arc of brilliant white and golden light that will search for its target; unlike its sister though, it will bypass all known physical defenses, evasion, and deflection offering no sanctuary from its light, as it simply phases through matter bypassing it entirely. Only magical defenses have any hope of defending oneself from this attack. When the illusion takes hold in its victim, Kenshin is determines the extent of the illusory injury, but creating too extravagant or unbelievable an injury the less effective it becomes.
Hohō Master: Kenshin Yagami commands such speed and agility that are as legendary as his swordsmanship, that he is referred to as the Holy Commander of Divine Speed (神速聖将, lit. "Shinsokuseishou"). A former Kenpachi, Captain, Royal Guard and now a commander of the Shinsengumi's own Combat Operations Division, Kenshin boasts reflexes that have been honed in the throes of battle for thousands of years. He has mastered every facet of the physical condition, capable of extraordinary feats of speed and agility that allow him to weave through a maelstrom of attacks like water through sieve. He is a phantom, shifting through his attackers like an oily shadow, phasing and materializing on the field of battle with a serene elegance and grace. Kenshin's speed does not rely on a mastery of Shunpo, relying on an entirely different mode of movement.
Immense Speed: Even with infinite translocation capabilities of his shukuchijutsu, Kenshin would be no more powerful than an average warrior if he did not possess the immense speed and overwhelming agility that has made him so infamous. His movement is like liquid, graceful and flowing, yet vast and encompassing, as though no distance existed at all between he and his target. With no discernable transition between one movement and the next it appears as though Kenshin simply "exists" at any one point in the battlefield. He has battled multiple Captain-level opponents at once; evading, and slipping through their attacks like water through a sieve, outright shattering their defenses with his speed alone!
Shukuchi (縮地, lit. "Reduced Earth"): An ancient form of teleportation said to have been used by kami and other powerful spirits. In truth, shukuchi is a form of relational movement between concepts, places or beings. Thus its usage is puncuated by movement from one or more transitory realms, to reach a specific destination. Having a clear understanding, and image of the location is the key in regards to speed, or a powerful or strong emotional tie. Due to Kenshin's Hakutou Kaigan, his perceptions of reality afford him the ability to use this movement flawlessly, perfecting it until he has achieved nigh teleportation in the field of battle. During his movement there is no transition from one location to the next, to any observer it appears as though he discorporates and phasing out of existing, only to rematerialize solidly in the next location as though displacing himself. There is no trace of his movement, nothing to indicate he wasnt already existing in the next location, and no matter how keen the eye or one's senses are, his movements simply cannot be tracked, unless said abilities operate across all spiritual realms. Kenshin's mastery of this technique is such that it is as natural to him as it is to take a single step for any other being. He is notorious for his ability to sneak up on others, or to disappear abruptly. Even without the use of this movement, his raw natural speed is similiarily immense, and has shown that his natural speed is as fast as other masters of Shunpo without having to use the technique.
- Shukuchi Hiken - Kyoukasuigetsu (縮地秘鍵 - 鏡花水月, lit. "World Belittling Hidden Mystery - Flowers Reflected On a Mirror, Moon Reflected on Water"): What is truth, but another reflection of our perceptions; like the flower and the moon, are they merely reflections or mirrors of truth? Kyoukasuigetsu is an incredibly powerful and near paradoxial movement based technique. When Kenshin moves with his shukuchi he can temporarily shift his location from one transitory realm to another nigh instantly to disregard the concept of space and time, to create phantom images, or reflections that exist simultaneously during its execution. In this state, Kenshin is capable of attacking from multiple directions, each phantom as real and true as the original in their lethality. Kenshin however can only achieve three temporal phantoms with this technique. Furthermore as Kenshin exists simultaneously in three different positions, in order to hurt him, one must target all three at once, or no damage at all will be inflicted. However his stability as a spiritual entity is weakened, making any damage he takes in this form extremely damaging should he suffer it. Thus Kenshin prefers to use this technique as strategically as possible, using it to temporarily confound his opponents, or to briefly overwhelm them in an overwhelming assault.
- Shukuchi Hiken - Senpo Sengoku (縮地秘鍵 - 千歩千国, lit. "World Belittling Hidden Mystery - One-Thousand Steps, One-Thousand Worlds"): In this strange yet wondrous world where thought and emotion are given form, where does each step take us, but to another realm of existence? Senpo Sengoku is a movement technique in which Kenshin is able to travel directly to another person's inner world that he has observed with his Hakutou Kaigan. Though this movement is simply another use of shukuchi, Kenshin's ability to enter an inner world is akin to a backdoor that he can readily exploit against his enemies. There is nowhere they can run, nowhere they can hide, eventually he will be able to find them. Through this method Kenshin is capable of striking an enemy when they are at their weakest; slumbering and safe inside their own mind. Here he can battle against them or even their Zanpakutou spirits without arousing suspicion and should he win, he can temporarily sever the connection between Shinigami and Zanpakutou.
Yagami no Kenshin (夜神の謙信, lit. "Modest Truth of the Night God") in his sealed state appears as a standard katana with a circular guard, black handle and sheath. The blade portion is noted to have a very sharp edge, even in comparison to other Zanpakutou, and when one's image is reflected, it is said that one can truly see themselves for who they are. An unknown fact is, that in all states, Kenshin's true form is the Zanpakutou being wielded, the physical body holding the blade is a projection of the Zanpakutou itself. However, since the projection and Zanpakutou are both one and the same, if his "body" is killed, than Kenshin simply becomes inert, his blade portion shattering with the "body" dispersing into spiritual particles. Given enough time however, generally a week or few weeks, Kenshin will eventually have reformed himself. This mystery surrounding Kenshin has led some to believe that Kenshin is immortal. Such claims though, are not completely unfounded. As a Zanpakutou, its unknown whether Kenshin requires the same nourishment and rest that Shinigami require, or whether his lifespan is finite.
- Shikai Release: Its release command is "All things are void, All things are temporary, All things are in a middle state between these two." (すべてのものは無効とされ、すべてのものは一時的なものは、すべてのものは、これら2つの中間状態になっている, subete no mono wa mukō to sare, subete no mono wa ichiji-tekina mono wa, subete no mono wa, korera futsu no chūkan jōtai ni natte iru); Once released, Kenshin's sword begins to glow with an ephemeral light, from the growing number of cracks that form on the blade portion. The sword pulses with power and with each burst, the light shines brighter and the cracks begin to chip away, until they shatter revealing the new form of Yagami no Kenshin. In its released form, Yagami no Kenshin appears a beauitfully crafted sword bearing many flowerly motifs throughout its design. The circular crossguard is an intricately designed floral pattern with dark highlights inlined with a brilliant gold interior giving it the appearance of a blooming flower. The hilt is composed of a silver-white fabric wound tightly around the obsidianlack handle, like a roses stem. Yet the blade portion itself is the most breathtaking and remarkable feature. It is a translucent sapphire blue, long and thin in its length it appears as though it were made of glass that seems to forever glow faintly with a white light. The sheath that houses this blade is silver-white and decorated with additional foral patterns.
Shikai Special Ability: Yagami no Kenshin has a very unique and profound ability relating to the very nature of existence, and non-existence. All things exist in a constant state of flux, in reality there is nothing that simply ceases to exist, it is always changing form. Thus Kenshin's first power relates to the ability to see all things as they are, the "truth" of their existence; changed and unchanged. All objects of existence and phenomena are the result of causes. When one cause changes or disappears, then the resulting object or phenomena will also change or disappear. Thus Kenshin's power is also the ability to sever the cause, the bond that exists between the progenitor and its child. This is manifested as the ability to sever the bonds between "will" and "energy", negating the existence of a phenomena, or rather injecting a change into the causation to render its creation void.
- Hakutou Kaigan (魄刀開眼, lit. "Yin Sword - Eye Opening Truth"): The fundamental power of Yagami no Kenshin lies in its ability to see the nature of existence of all things, in essence their "truth". Kenshin's perspective of reality is not the same as other beings, he see's all things as they truly are, at their very foundation. As a three-dimensional entity he views things on a one-dimensional plane, all things are laid bare. When he looks upon a person, he see's beyond the superficial physical layer, he see's the core of their soul, the fundamental aspects that make up who they truly are. His perspective of any individual is extremely intimate, knowing them at such a fundamental level. For Shinigami he knows their name, as well as the name of their Zanpakutou. When he looks upon a place, or an object he see's it in its totality, how and what its composed of, even its history for each spiritual particle is a small iota of will, a different perspective, and he discerns it all. In battle this ability is particularly fearsome, for any power that exists he is able to see everything about its nature, but like anything power is perspective, and he will know a power as intimately as its wielder does. Consequently many tactics employed in battle are rendered ineffective; feints, bluffs, illusions, deceptions, he see's through them, all of these things void within his eyes, fleeting temporary actions that have no meaning.
- Kuusokuzeshiki (空即是色, lit. "Form is Emptiness"): All things that exist in reality are like illusions; temporary fleeting constructs, they exist but have no awareness, and change as easily from one stray thought to the next. Like a mirror, the blade of Yagami no Kenshin reflects the only modest truth in this world; all things are void. But one must first learn to decipher the disparity between all phenomena. If Kenshin has seen, and observed an ability with his Hakutou Kaigan, then he can see the lines that separate it from the void. And with his blade he can sever those binds, rendering it unto nothingness. If Spiritual Power is the result of when "will" aligns with "spiritual energy" then by severing the link between these two, any power from from this union will dissipate. It is a blade that kills illusions, and if all phenomena are illusions, then it is a blade capable of neutralizing them. When a power is dissolved in this manner it dissipates like a shower of broken glass. However a power must first be observed as it is created, if it is to be cut down down, without that, Kenshin is unable to discern the link. Further iterations though are not necessary, once a particular power has been observed, it can be cut down as many times as it manifests.
- Satori (悟り, lit. "Enlightenment"): A power that is widely unknown but considered by Kenshin himself as one of his more fearsome abilities. Satori references comprehension, understanding, and in many ways it is a derivative of his Hakutou Kaigan. Due to how he perceives reality, Kenshin also is able to perceive thoughts of others. Thus when he interacts with other people he creates a connection that is fundamentally deeper than a passing greeting, almost as if he were apart of their past, and present, an acquaintance, a friendly but familiar face. This power is not inserting Kenshin directly into someone's past, but rather creating an indirect connection. Further meetings and sharing of experiences increases the potency of this effect, allowing Kenshin to quickly make allies out of those he meets, or in some cases enemies. Perception is fickle and a familiar face can be either salvation or destruction.
- Samsara (輪廻, lit. "Endless Cycle of Death and Rebirth"): Samsara refers to the cycles of reincarnation, of one form changing into another. Kenshin's unique abilities allow him to manipulate this phenomena, when he enacts a powerful and drastic change---death. Upon death, a soul changes and it transitions elsewhere, however Kenshin is capable of creating a link during this process, borrowing and emulating its essence. In effect he is able to insert himself into that persons existence. When those who knew the individual gaze upon Kenshin, they actually ignore his existence completely, and instead project their own memories and perceptions of the slain on Kenshin. Thus his appearance, even his personality conform to what they perceive him to be, even if there are descrepinces, Kenshin will adjust as necessary to complete the deception, though that in of itself is its own skill. Despite its power Kenshin rarely makes use of this ability, though there are hints that the former "Third Kenpachi" may not have been as people remembered in the past.
Bankai Release: Yagami no Zenshin Hansei (夜神の全信反省, lit "Reflection of the Night God's Absolute Truth")
Bankai Special Ability: Yagami no Kenshin represents a simple truth within the world, it is both definitive and absolute, yet abstract and broad, encompassing all known phenomena within creation. Upon Bankai, Yagami no Zenshin Hansei transforms into a blade that represents a single absolute truth; all things are void. From its glass tip a blackness envelopes the pristine and elegant blade, consuming it whole until it shatters revealing an empty void in reality. Before its blade all things in creation are rendered naught, all forms of phenomena returned to non-existence. True to its name the blade is a reflection of the night gods absolute truth, and that which it severs is drawn into oblivion, cause, effect, origin, in the face of its edge these things are meaningless. As an extension of Yagami no Kenshin's ability to neutralize supernatural powers, Yagami no Zenshin Hansei is one capable of neutralizing all things; there is nothing that it cannot cut, nothing that it cannot destroy, its power being one that defies the boundaries of the physical and supernatural, it is the imposition of absolute order onto the chaos of existence.
- Bansho Kouryoku Shinsou (万象光力真相, lit. "All Creation Illuminating Truth"): The blade of Yagami no Zenshin Hansei is the singular truth that exists within reality, an absolution of both creation and destruction from whence all things are born, and all things return. It is much less a "blade" and more akin to a phenomena existing outside of space and time. The world around its edges twists and distorts as creation becomes oblivion, and all that which meets its edge will be neutralized and become void. Its power is the complete manifestation of Yagami no Kenshin's Kuusokuzeshiki, allowing it to negate any power that comes in contact with it. But the depths of its prowess go beyond the mere potential to sever the connection between will and power. This sword is able to alter and ultimately negate even the causality between that which arises from cause and effect, capable of severing the bond between people, objects, and all phenomena. It is a terrible and violent power that if he so choose he could render even the relationship between Zanpakutou and wielder void, cutting it completely. However there exists one limitation of this weapon, but even that in of itself is a fearsome power. To render whatever is cut into the void, Kenshin must first sever all connections it has to the world. For objects their destruction is easily assured, for their existence is like his own; a modest truth. But for sentient creatures, their ability to influence the world must be cut one at a time, meaning that those cut by his blade invariable and temporarily lose access to one of their own powers. This ability can be anything from a unique power at their disposal, to something physical as a sense such as sight, touch, or hearing.
Kenshin Yagami is an Aizen-Class Character.
Behind the Scenes
- Yagami no Kenshin's Shikai is a metaphor of its name - Modest truth of the Night God. The "Night God" in japanese mythology is Tsukuyomi ("God of the Moon"). As the moon is often associated with lunacy or illusions, Yagami no Kenshin's power is the ability to see the truth and break any illusion. It is also rather ironic that its primary ability is to destroy illusions yet Yagami no Kenshin's appearance and personality is determined by the dreams and imagination of those around him.
- The image for Yagami no Kenshin's shikai is the sword Hakutou Hari from Katanagatari. Along with that, Bakushukuchi, Sokuchiken, and Hakutou Kaigan are all the signature techniques of Sabi Hakuhei from the same series.
- The kanji that composes the name of Kenshin's Shikai ability, "Kuusokuzeshiki" is derived from the famous Buddhist saying "Form is emptiness, emptiness is form" (色即是空，空即是色).