- "My father told me once that you can't change the world on your own... but after the Collapse, with so many people dead, there comes a time when someone has to stand up and take charge. It may as well be me. I'm Kentaro Hiroshi... and I'm here to end this chaos!"
- —Kentaro to the survivors of the Collapse.[src]
|Previous Affiliation||Ryū Order, Horiwari|
|Previous Occupation||Ryū Order member|
|Partner||Akiye, Riki Nagakura|
|Previous Partner||Shigeru Yūdai|
|Base of Operations||Reikai|
|Marital Status||In a Relationship|
|Education||Garian Shinjo, Shigeru Yūdai|
- The one who returned from the brink a changed man. - Kenji-Taichō
Kentaro "Nanashi" Hiroshi (健太名無し郎博, Hiroshi Nanashi Kentaro, meaning sharp and generous), known to others as Kentaro Shiba (健太郎芝, Shiba Kentarō), is the son of Kenji and Ino Hiroshi; as well as the partner of former Imawashī operative Akiye. He is the only surviving son of Kenji, older brother of Kay Hiroshi, and the godson of Shigeru Yūdai. He also has an alternate world counterpart in Nanashi Hiroshi, with whom he is allied. Kentaro is a natural Visored as well as one of the Seijin-trained, having studied extensively under Garian Shinjo. Due to his connection with Averian and the latter's connection to The Outsider, Kentaro is classified as a Pseudo-Tenjin, and one of the few beings capable of landing a killing blow to the Tenjin or those blessed with their power.
Throughout the series Kentaro has served as one of the author's primary characters; oftentimes he is only behind Kenji in terms of coverage. Throughout Parts II and III Kentaro struggled to find answers concerning his unique predicament, and often came to blows with his father and mother as a result. He eventually forged his own path after meeting Garian Shinjo and Akiye. Immediately following the Collapse Kentaro leads the surviving remnants of the Ryū Order as its Head-Captain and Ryūjin after the disappearance of his parents and injury or death of the vast majority of the Order's leadership, consolidating all Horiwari's survivors under his leadership as members of the Six Directions. He is widely acknowledged as one of a select group of people with the ability to unify the Reikai, and is thus a target of both the mysterious Kikkashō and the resurgent Imawashī; a position he shares with Ryan Kuchiki. He has also vowed to do what his father could not and kill Averian, seeing the latter as a dangerous future element.
Per the beginning of Bleach: Cataclysm he is upgraded from the primary supporting character he was portrayed as during Bleach: War of the Worlds to primary protagonist in the works of Kenji-Taichō, replacing his father in that role.
Kentaro possesses traits typical to the Shiba clan, with many likening him to both his father and grandfather. He possesses fair-skin and naturally coal-coloured eyes, and tends to style his hair flat with spikes at the back. His strong physical likeness to Dastan Shiba and Suitai Shiba is particularly pronounced, with many describing him as Dastan's double. Although he preferred to forgo a top due to the tropical climate of Horiwari, he later began wearing high-necked shirts, usually of a blue colouration, with a pair of white shorts after opting to travel around the World of the Living. In preparation for his planned assault on the Imawashī to rescue Akiye, Kentaro underwent fierce training under Garian Shinjo. He matured greatly during this time, putting on muscle, and began to wear a black combat uniform not unlike the uniform of the Onmitsukidō, with an assortement of bands around his left-arm and legs. During his stay in Kōhai Tochi he donned a black-coloured form-fitting reiatsu-concealing hooded overcoat, which was later revealed to have been an intended gift from Akiye.
Following the rescue of Akiye the intervening years did much to see Kentaro mature physically. He gained extra height, weight and muscle, and mostly forewent his earlier wardrobe. He returned to a grey-coloured high-necked shirt, but tended to forego a shirt completely. He likewise ditched the various bands in favour of simple wristbands and kept his trousers secured by a simple leather-hide belt that likewise secured a purple sash in addition to his Zanpakutō. Following The Collapse, which saw Kentaro fill a leadership role in the Reikai, he once more altered his standard wardrobe. He now dons a black coat buttoned only at the neck, a white undershirt, a purple belt from which he secures his Zanpakutō, a pair of black hakama, and a pair of sandals which has rapidly became his signature outfit. He has also been known to carry his father's old white sleeveless haori which he sometimes wears strapped around his right shoulder, worn beneath his black coat.
- "You’ll remember this as the day you almost killed Kentaro Hiroshi!"
- —Kentaro to Ichihara, demonstrating his cockiness.
Although he shares his father's likeness in terms of appearance Kentaro's personality is unlike either of his parents. In the beginning he had none of his mother's kindness and little of his father's sense of duty and compassion, being an angry young man who seemed to hate everyone and everything, mostly stemming from Hikaru's bullying. He appeared to be predisposed to violence, though he has mellowed since meeting Akiye. He can still react violently however, and tends to lash out at his father during conversations. Against Nakajima he physically assaulted the still dazed man with powerful kicks and punches and even called him a cunt after delivering the killing strike. However Kenji himself is also said to be violent. The difference, though, is the excessiveness. Kentaro would happily go to any lengths to destroy his opposition, even maiming them to the point they can't fight back; this is a trait he shares with his grandfather, Dastan, as Suitai Shiba noted Dastan to have had the same mindset. During his battle with Suitai, Kentaro ham-stringed his granduncle before telling him to leave as a form of mercy, only for Suitai to reply that it wasn't a mercy at all. Kenji, for all his violent tendencies, rarely kills unless there is a great need and would never maim a fellow warrior because he sees the action as "dishonourable". Kentaro has no such notion and showed his willingness to go to any length when he rescued Akiye, threatening the lives of innocents just to procure information. However, Kusaka, who is a remarkable judge of character, tells Suitai that Kentaro is "tame" in comparison to himself (Kusaka) and states he rarely goes that "extra mile", despite him being a darker individual than Kenji.
He has also shown that he is headstrong; once he sets his mind on something he rarely changes it, even should his parents become involved, for he argued with Kenji regarding his decision to spare and seek out Suitai. Even Akiye, whom Kentaro is in a relationship with, admits that most of the time she is unable to change or alter his way of thinking when he grasps an idea by the horns. He did however spare his granduncle due to their familial bond despite claiming earlier that his next action would be to take the elder's head. Despite this trait however he has demonstrated a surprising degree of calm outside his violent tendencies; at times showing the patience to prepare tea and develop and launch effective stratagems to divide his enemies strength, though he has little patience for his father or his methods. He is, on the downside, very cocky. After coming to terms with his hatred for his father and fostering a more amicable relationship with him, Kentaro's subsequent pride in his lineage has caused him to grow arrogant. Even against individuals who could arguably be called his equal, Kentaro goaded them and even remarked cockily that they'd "remember it as the day they almost killed him"; before swiftly ending them.
Kentaro is also highly devoted to his comrades, due to the fact they where his only companions when everyone else ostracised him. He was bullied incessantly as a child by Hikaru, who turned the other children against Kentaro, who feared his naturally occurring Hollow powers. Kentaro has stated that the only constant in his childhood was Shigeru Yūdai, who was also his godfather. In his efforts to kill Shinzō it was revealed he would keep reviving as long as there where Shirushi active, leading Shigeru to request Kentaro's help in ending his life, as the brand would not allow him to do so himself. Although emotionally torn and noticeably indecisive, Kentaro eventually did what his godfather asked, striking him down after Shinzō began to take control. Prior to his end Shigeru called Kentaro "son", with Kentaro thinking highly of the man "who'd been like a father" to him. He later braved the dangers of Kōhai Tochi -- alone -- to rescue Akiye from imprisonment and death, despite only having known her for a few weeks. This indicates just how deep the connection between them went in the beginning, though much of their initial relationship was built upon adrenaline; Riki remarked that the only reason Kentaro was going after her was because she was the only one who'd ever gone to bed with him, earning him Kentaro's anger in the form of a broken jaw. Even sixteen years on this is true on at least some level. Following her victory over Zatoichi, Akiye coaxed an embarrassed Kentaro into a sexual encounter behind some bushes with very little complaint from Kentaro and only a short moment of hesitation. He would even remark much later that he missed those days, specifically the whittling away of time behind the hedges. He went to Itazura's aid because of their familial bond and immediately turned the tables with his arrival, telling his attackers to "get the fuck away from his cousin". He later used his body as a cushion (despite being heavily injured) to prevent Hawke's descent after successfully dispatching Kitsui Kōhai; a feat which was in and of itself a show of his devotion. Kentaro had been unconscious mere moments before due to battling Ichihara Kōhai, having been awoken subconsciously by Hawke's release of Bankai; at which point he ran like a man possessed to protect his cousin from a drop that would have killed him.
- "When I fought my uncle Suitai Shiba I was on the back-foot from the start, but I was confident that I could win. You could say I was calm because of that."
- —Kentaro to Shiju Shūdō.[src]
Following the Collapse Kentaro, despite showing a rapid degree of maturity as a leader, retains much of his prior personality; albeit tempered by age and experience. Although hot-headed and confrontational by nature he has learned to let certain things slide, though he is far from consistent in this regard. He has also developed his powers of observation to the point that he was fit to "read" Averian's heart simply by crossing swords with him, coming to the conclusion that Averian was going to be a problem later down the line because he saw events transpiring around him as a distraction; nothing more, which Averian refused to answer by fleeing the scene. Much of his former naiveté has also left him. When faced with evidence that Hiden Shinzui and Eiji Shinzui where working for the Imawashī, Kentaro immediately confronted them regarding this revelation; which they admitted to. Kentaro immediately attacked the duo alongside Hawke, though he ultimately failed to kill them, though he did manage to find out some information regarding the resurgent Imawashī. This reaction infers that Kentaro has once again embraced certain aspects of his so-called "Kage" persona, a persona known specifically for his heavy-handed approach. However, his ruthlessness has been tempered, most notably through Kentaro's full embracing of the Yuengiri's philosophical doctrine. He almost never loses his cool anymore -- even when in battle. He explained to Shiju Shūdō that he has turned his confidence into a calming influence which, coupled by the latter's guidance, served to restrain the darker aspects of his personality and bring the good to the forefront. In addition his actions have inspired tremendous loyalty amongst his comrades. Hisagi and Sanada both defended him passionately when Averian spoke ill of Kentaro.
The biggest change to his personality stemming from the Collapse however is that he now suffers from an extreme case of survivor's guilt. The only one of his siblings to survive the Collapse was his younger sister Kay, and he blames himself for the deaths of Hotaru, Akira, and Shinrei. Perhaps because of this same guilt he is very protective of Kay, at times going overboard with his reprimands. He suffers from recurring nightmares and doesn't sleep well because of this, at times forgoing the act out of fear. When exhaustion finally catches up with him his sleep is disturbed by dreams regarding the Collapse, specifically the deaths of his family and close friends, who look upon him with accusatory expressions. He wakes screaming and in-tears nine-times-out-of-ten and carries a lot of guilt around with him because, in his own mind, he should have tried harder; somehow he should have gotten more people out alive. Things finally came to a head immediately after the meeting where Kensei and Shūhei revealed vital information regarding the resurgent Imawashī. Kentaro staggered through the night in a trance-like state until he chanced upon Kensei, who imparted some words of advice. Taking what Kensei told him on-board Kentaro declared the following to Akiye: “... I had a talk with Kensei. He helped me realize something. I did all I could to save you and Kay during the Collapse, but I left my brothers and friends behind. In the back of my mind I knew I couldn't save everyone, but I did what I could. That was my decision; I need to live with that, own that decision and accept it. The sooner I realize that the easier my life becomes.” As a direct result of this he has shaken off his nightmares, returning to his normal self in the process.
In his free time Kentaro has taken to drinking excessive quantities of alcohol, his most common partner-in-crime being Shuhei Hisagi, with whom he has a strong relationship. The pair's relationship mirrors that once shared by Kenji and Kusaka. They enjoy poker, crack jokes, and whenever Akiye has had enough of Kentaro, he goes to Shuhei's to kip on his sofa. In addition Kentaro enjoys cooking. He surprised his fellow Commanders with a feast per their successful flight from the Imawashī, drawing compliments from Akiye, Kensei and Shuhei regarding the fine quality of the food he prepared.
Despite not setting out to do this Kentaro has inadvertently gained a number of rivals throughout his journeys. The first, and possibly his most negative, is the rivalry he once shared with Hikaru. The latter bullied Kentaro throughout his childhood but where equal on the field of battle. The next rivals he gained where in the form of Riki Nagakura and Jinta Kanō, both of whom lost their lives during the Collapse, though Kentaro never actually acknowledged the rivalry, for he saw the two as dear friends ahead of anything else; this was demonstrated most strongly when it was revealed that Riki was, in fact, alive. As he journeyed throughout the World of the Living with his friends he met Haruki Satonaka, who was the son of Kenji's own rival Van Satonaka, and although the rivalry started off very one-sided on Haruki's side it has evolved over the years to be akin to the one shared by Kenji and Van themselves. Haruki embraced his parentage, particularly in regards to Van, whilst Kentaro fought to get out from under the shadow cast by Kenji. These differing ideals caused both to clash on more than one occasion over the years, though how Kentaro will act towards Haruki now that he too has embraced his parentage is unknown; Akiye, however, theorizes that this will only intensify the rivalry further, which Kentaro acknowledges.
During the various specials and omake segments in which he appears, Kentaro is portrayed almost exactly as he is in the main story. He is almost always paired alongside Haruki Satonaka and is usually vexed or outright enraged by the antics of Kenji and Van, and once told his father to drown himself. He has even played his trump card -- telling on their father's to Ino or Anna -- just to get their father's off their backs. Like his father however Kentaro has also broken the fourth wall, for he agreed when Haruki claimed that he and Kentaro where the only normal characters in the segment.
Kentaro was conceived from the union of Ino Choyo and Kenji Hiroshi in the months before his father's first battle with Van Satonaka against Averian. Whilst Kentaro was the first child born to Ino and Kenji he was the third of Kenji's children overall. His elder brother, Shinrei Hiroshi, and elder sister, Lisa Hiroshi, where all born sometime before the outbreak of the Winter War. Prior to his actual birth Kentaro acted as a "lightning rod" of sorts when Averian attempted to kill Ino, which resulted in him manifesting Hollow-like attributes naturally as he grew. Kenji managed to lock away most of his son's Hollow abilities but admitted that the seal was only temporary. Kentaro would eventually gain twin brothers and a sister.
Growing up Kentaro was feared by children his own age and bullied as a result, specifically by Hikaru. He came to resent his father, who had undergone Hollowfication years prior, and blamed him for his strange predicament. Kentaro's bitterness served to drive a wedge between father and son, with Ino often having to intervene in their arguments, stressing his relationship with her; the relationship was placed under even greater strain when Kentaro attempted to stab his father. Kentaro subsequently spent a great deal of time with his godfather, Shigeru Yūdai, who often took him on trips during his off-duty hours. When asked by Kentaro where they where going Shigeru always replied with "You'll see", before whisking him away on some arranged adventure.
Kentaro remained a solitary and surly youth until he met Riki Nagakura and Jinta Kanō, with the three becoming nearly inseparable. He especially developed a close bond with Riki over their shared predicament which finally resulted in Riki confronting Hikaru and beating him to within an inch of his life, necessitating the intervention of Ino just to treat the latter's injuries. Kentaro likewise came out of his shell, becoming more sociable in the process, to the point he "had a thing" with fellow classmate Akane, and befriended Harumi Kazuki and Ashni.
When Shigeru was secretly tasked with infiltrating the Imawashī criminal organisation by Kenji, Kentaro was distraught at the prospect of Shigeru leaving Horiwari and going somewhere that he couldn't follow. Shigeru remarked that he hoped that Kentaro never saw where it was he needed to go and Kentaro subsequently ran off in tears. At this time Kentaro's emotional state inadvertently affected the seal Kenji placed upon his Hollow powers, bringing forth vivid dreams and full-blown hallucinations that involved an individual known as Teki "speaking" to him.
Matters came to a head a week following Shigeru's departure and a week of restless nights where Kentaro very nearly became Averian's unwitting pawn. Kentaro's mind was taken over by Teki who led Kentaro's possessed body to attack Kenji. Kenji, surprised to see his son at so late an hour, asked what was wrong. Instead of answering Kentaro lunges at his father. Kenji demands to know what is going on and only realizes what has happened when Kentaro answers his questions with Teki's voice, with Kenji noting in a calm manner that he may as well call himself Averian. Kenji subsequently utilizes forbidden Kidō and ancient Yuengiri techniques to once more place a seal on his son's Hollow powers, which also temporarily cuts his connection with Averian.
Shortly after beginning his travels around the World of the Living Kentaro would meet and befriend Haruki Satonaka's group alongside Harumi. Haruki revealed he was the son of Van Satonaka, who was Kenji's own good friend and rival, once Kentaro noted he recognized the name and asked if there was any relation. The two where often left vexed by their father's ridiculous antics which included Easter egg hunts and Christmas eve parties. During the former they went behind their father's backs and told Ino and Anna, whilst the latter involved them ditching the party altogether to dispatch nearby Hollow.
Shortly following his meeting of Haruki and friends Kentaro was joined by Harumi, Jinta and Haruki on a personal matter to research Kentaro's Hollowfication independent of either Kenji or Van. The four friends infiltrated the Seireitei and broke into the great repository of knowledge underneath the Central 46 Compound, unaware of the fact that Shin Nagakura and Tadashi Kori had covered their tracks and enabled them to operate without being detected by the Gotei 13. Kentaro successfully accessed the files pertaining to past incidents of Hollowfication, and discussed the subject at length with Harumi. She helped him realise that his anger against Kenji was misplaced. Haruki, meanwhile, learned of the existence of The Masters by studying records of their past tournaments, whilst Jinta learned of the existence of Project Nijū, which explained how he was capable of manifesting two Zanpakutō.
Kentaro eventually travelled to the Soul Society alone to aid the war effort against Averian. He served under Yoshiro Kazuki and Tadashi Kori and survived an encounter with Averian. After his encounter with Averian in Soul Society Kentaro resolved to escape his father's shadow by besting him in combat. To achieve this end he initially studied under his two guardians -- Naibu Shizuka and Ashido Kanō -- whilst studying the teachings of the Yuengiri. He continued his travels around the World of the Living flanked by his friends, and was eventually drawn into a lasting conflict with the Imawashī criminal organisation and the secretive Kikkashō, all with a new enemy-turned-lover known to him only as Akiye.
Kentaro also fought against Sōritsu Kuchiki after identifying him as possessing the same spiritual energy as Averian, which enabled him to recognise Sōritsu's reiatsu mingling with Ryan's own during the First Battle of Nishiendo. He then fought against Haruki Satonaka sometime later as part of their ongoing rivalry, with the result unknown, the conflict being witnessed by Harumi Kazuki and Jinta Kanō. Unknown to both youths however was the fact their father's observed the match from afar as well whilst comparing the rivalry to their own.
- Main Article: Bleach (Kenji Hiroshi)
- Main article -- Bleach: Sun and Moon Chronicles.
- Main Article -- Bleach: War of the Worlds.
- Averian Strikes Back: Kentaro attacks Kenji!?
- The Footsteps of Fate
- Out On Their Own: The Conflict That Brought Them Together
- Wandering Aimlessly: Meeting the Mysterious White-Haired Girl
- A Rock and a Hard Place: The Old Swordsman
- Bestiality with a Kind Heart
- A Time for Forgiveness
- Decision Making
- The Strength of Bonds
- A Bold Scheme: The Best Laid Plans
- Challenging the Vices Saga
- Liberation Saga (Only at the End)
- Folly of the Youthful
- Battle Beyond all Limits! Kentaro vs. Soritsu
- Hatching Schemes and Catching Up
- Shifting Loyalties
- Dealing with Loose Ends
- Dealing with Loose Ends: Family Cleanup
- Dealing with Loose Ends: Price of Treachery
- Unveiling the Grand Scheme
- Cutting to the Heart of the Matter
- Cutting to the Heart of the Matter: Kentaro's Vengeance
- Return of the Legend
Kikkashō Unveiled arc
- Main article -- Bleach: Cataclysm.
Testing the Waters arc
- Kentaro Takes Charge
- Meeting upon the Sands
- Matters of Trust
- Matters of Trust II
- Leaving Doubt at the Door
- Fleeing the Imawashi
- Fatherly Intervention
- Putting Names to the Faces
- New Resolve
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.
Meian's Legacy mini-arc
Braving the Waves arc
- Return of the Silver Wind
- One on One Meeting: Hikaru's Resolve Revealed
- Secrets Revealed
- Solitary Invasion
- Main Article -- TBA.
- Christmas Special! Eggnog, Presents and Hollow!?
- Easter Special! An Egg hunt with Kenji and Van!
- Movement Special! White is the New Black!
- Knives: Kentaro carries two unassuming knives on his person which he uses traditionally as aides to his Zanjutsu skills, or as a means to injure his opponents by quickly drawing said blade and slashing them in close-quarters, a practice he put to avid use against Nakajima when he plunged one of his knives into the man's side.
- Wakizashi: A weapon created using a combination of Reijutsu and Kidō, based on a technique employed by Ino Hiroshi, Kentaro's mother. Using this wakizashi Kentaro charges the blade with Ittō Kasō; the fabled spell of sacrifice. Instead of sacrificing his body Kentaro sacrifices the wakizashi. Its effectiveness was proved when Kentaro used one such blade to kill Kyū Senshi.
- Fushichō: The fabled red Kyūtai, reigning over fire in all its forms and granting its bearer immunity to both flames and the ravages of time, came into Kentaro's possession when he stole it from Shinzō during a failed attempt to assassinate him. In the intervening years he refused to forcibly bond the orb and utilize its powers even though he possessed the requisite knowledge to force such a connection, which seemingly impressed the orb. Kentaro would become the sole individual Fushichō willingly offered its powers to, which seemingly occurred in the aftermath of the Collapse (it's the reason Kentari survived the event). Kentaro keeps the Kyūtai embedded within his body, specifically his left palm. It takes the form of a red-coloured crescent moon-like marking which glows.
- Immortality (semi-inactive): Fushichō has the ability to render its host immortal: the only thing thus far known to be capable of killing a wielder of a Kyūtai is someone who wields one themselves, though a Tenjin is just as capable. Kentaro chooses not to be an immortal being though Fushichō has pushed this on him in the past as a means of preserving Kentaro's life.
- Fire Dominance: Fushichō allows Kentaro to completely repulse, absorb, and be otherwise immune to flames; their intensity, level of power, and quantity do not matter. He will emerge from any flame-based assault without so much as a slight burn, which will also only serve to empower him and his Kyūtai. Fushichō was fit to void Averian's powerful blue-coloured pyrokinesis (and actually absorb it so it could be replicated), void the flames of the Sōkyoku, as well as completely repulse Ryan Kuchiki's Taiyō Satsuriku.
- Reiatsu-concealing Poncho: A piece of clothing knitted by Kentaro's mother for his early adventures. This article of clothing rendered Kentaro's reiatsu completely undetectable to sensory techniques. The piece has saw little use since the Collapse but when stealth is of the utmost importance Kentaro still uses it, despite its sentimental value.
Powers and Abilities
Prodigy: Even by the standards set by his gifted parents, Kentaro is a remarkably gifted young man, who was often compared to the genius of Tōshirō Hitsugaya growing up. Following The Collapse Kentaro himself was mentioned right alongside Kenji, Van and Kei, showing the development of his skills. Kentaro is lauded as an even greater example of Shinigami potential than either of his parents or contemporaries. He is masterful in Zanjutsu, has the speed required to exceed most Captain-class combatants, and has the requisite skill and experience in Hakuda to contend with those who devote themselves entirely to the art. His mastery of Kidō is also unsurpassed; a result of being one of only three students trained personally by Ino Hiroshi and, later, by the man who single-handedly revolutionised the practice of Kidō that it now widespread. In addition Kentaro's strategic mind and rate of adaptation is frightening, as is his growth rate. Kentaro needs little more than observation to determine, or even mimic, techniques he encounters. He was capable of incorporating elements of Kenji and Kei's fighting-styles after watching the two spar, as well as mimic the fierce fighting styles of the old Imawashī and adapt them to his own. Coupled with his spiritual power Kentaro is easily one of the strongest individuals left alive following the Collapse.
Immense Spiritual Energy: As a descendant of noble blood and as a wielder of Bankai, Kentaro has spiritual power exceeding that of a Captain-class combatant. After his training with Garian Shinjo his power rivalled that of the original Imawashī and their leader Shinzō. He was even able to contend with the frighteningly powerful Sōritsu Kuchiki when fighting alongside Akiye. Post-Collapse he is arguably the strongest surviving member of the old Ryū Order, and is second only to Tōshirō Hitsugaya. His own reiatsu is powerful enough to contend with the Sōritsu-enhanced Ryan, his own power described as "rising in challenge", which more-or-less confirmed Kentaro to be at a level beyond that of a typical Captain-class combatant.
Zanjutsu Mastery: Although he lacks the extensive experience of his father, Kentaro is an immensely skillful swordsman in his own right. He has defeated such swordsmen as Shinzō, Nakajima Kōhai, and Suitai Shiba in one-on-one battle. He was likewise one of a very select few who engaged in and survived a fight with Sōritsu Kuchiki who, by age and experience, should have easily defeated him. Even as a child Kentaro's advanced abilities allowed him to pressure his father in a battle. Kentaro utilizes an advanced and personal style of Zanjutsu referred to as the Niten which focuses on wind-laced strikes and timed offensive marches to render an opponent's defences all but inconsequential. In addition he can further augment his swordsmanship through Kidō to produce the Onigiri technique, which coats his Zanpakutō in a potent electrical field capable of being combined with the Niten form. Following The Collapse he emerged as one of the premier swordsman to survive and be active in the Reikai. His skills enabled him to engage the real Averian without suffering an injury in return, which was something even Kenji failed to accomplish. He was also fit to completely out-duel the Sōritsu-enhanced Ryan Kuchiki through a combination of trickery and psychological warfare.
Hakuda Expertise: Although preferring the use of his Zanpakutō and mastery of Kidō, Kentaro has significantly more skill in hand-to-hand combat than he lets on. For himself he seemingly prefers kicks, meaning he can use both Hakuda and Zanjutsu interchangeably, much like his uncle Rosuto. In addition his reflexes and experiences are keen enough that he can read the movements of Hakuda masters like Kensei and react with appropriate blocks when attacked. His mastery allows him to battle the likes of Riki Nagakura for an extended duration, who is one of the foremost practitioners of Hakuda left following The Collapse, though he has yet to actually defeat his rival in this regard.
Kidō Mastery: Like his mother before him, Kentaro is a highly skilled practitioner of the arcane arts. Ino instilled in him a wide array of knowledge that includes all known Kidō fields, from destruction and healing, to forbidden and esoteric. He also developed a personal ocular-based style that allows him to fire spells by line-of-sight with absolutely no wasted movement or charge time that remains unique to him. Ayumi and he also inherited Kenji's personal style designed solely to combat Tenjin and those blessed by them. He is capable of applying wards to himself and others prior to battle that react specifically when he or his allies are attacked, or drastically harden his skin and bone briefly to ward off attackers. His mastery of Hadō is specifically noteworthy. He has demonstrated the thus-far unique ability to infuse his spells into inanimate objects which only activate on his command using specialised incantations. When used in this manner on large targets, such as a prison in Kōhai Tochi, Kentaro could destroy the complex completely and outright kill Captain-class criminals of the Imawashī organisation who where caught in the explosion. His strength-level also matched that of the Sōritsu-enhanced Ryan Kuchiki, showing that he is more than capable of contending with other Kidō masters on equal-ground. His greatest achievement however is the unique manner that he empowers his various equipment. Kentaro has devised a means of infusing throwing knives with such spells as Ittō Kasō; this removes the risk to his own body whilst allowing him access to the potent "spell of sacrifice", which proved powerful enough to kill Kyū Senshi outright. Like Kenji he has a particular knack for lightning-based spells. Kentaro can combine his Zanjutsu skills with Kidō to produce the Onigiri technique, which electrically charges his Zanpakutō. Under the right conditions Kentaro's basic Byakurai was potent enough to completely blow off Shinzō's arm.
- Sōkōha (紺碧狐層, Azure Kitsune Stream): a potent Hadō spell of Kentaro's own creation which combines fire and lightning to produce exceptional amounts of energy, with a composition that Kentaro can alter as he sees fit to produce complex and unique shapes. Thus far he has used it as a diversion, and as a projectile attack potent enough to force Nakajima Kōhai to release his Bankai.
Hohō Mastery: Due to his innate possession of Hollow-based powers and training as a Shinigami, Kentaro is capable of naturally using both Sonído and Shunpo. Whilst he was faster utilising his unique mixture of the aforementioned techniques Kentaro's solitary Shunpo was advanced enough to outpace the original Imawashī membership. When he did finally embrace his Hollow powers and returned to using his personal mixture his speed spiked, to the point even Shinzō failed to keep pace. Even when chased by the Shunkō-using Katashi, Kentaro's base-speed was enough to keep ahead of his opponent and outmanoeuvre him. Following The Collapse Kentaro was fit to traverse massive distances in mere minutes and catch his grandfather, Dastan Shiba, completely by surprise. His mastery of high-speed techniques extends to those usually restricted to the Onmitsukidō, such as Utsusemi, allowing him to replace himself with an after-image to escape harm. Perhaps his greatest achievement however is the replication of his father's Shukuchi technique through combination of Hohō and Kidō. This technique allows Kentaro to bridge massive gaps in the blink of an eye and even traverse the realms instantly.
Tenchikaimei (天地晦冥, All is plunged into Darkness). Kentaro's Zanpakutō takes on the form of a broad-bladed sword with a rather short blade compared to more traditional katana, with a simple and dirt-covered bandage-wrapped hilt. Kentaro was known to keep him in a constant state of release but following the Collapse Kentaro instead returns him to his sealed state, which has a new appearance. His Zanpakutō sports purple hilt-wrapping and a small rectangular guard.
- Shikai: Tenchikaimei is classified as a darkness-type Zanpakutō that manipulates darkness and shadow and is released with the command "Envelop". Tenchikaimei itself takes the form of a long nodachi with a circular guard which Kentaro carries on his back via a dirty bandage-wrapped sheath. Following the Collapse the release now enshrouds Kentaro's entire body, suffusing his limbs in a shadowy aura, making him difficult to discern at night-time. After he first released his Zanpakutō into Shikai Kentaro was limited solely to defensive and supplementary applications, but following the Collapse he was finally able to manifest some of Tenchikaimei's offensively-focused powers, though he admits Tenchikaimei is not suited for offence. Kentaro has since mastered Tenchikaimei to its highest-level.
- Shikai Special Ability: Tenchikaimei creates stable fields of darkness which Kentaro "falls into"; effectively reducing his body weight to zero and temporarily leaving himself invulnerable to all form of damage, as its primary darkness-based power. Due to his body having no mass when in this state Kentaro's base speed is exceptionally high; to the point that he can overwhelm even experienced Captain-class combatants with his speed, and catch up with fleeing opponents without trouble, even when placed under the effects of a limiter. He can also extend this protection to anyone within physical contact of him at the time he "descends", which greatly aids team-based combat. Following the Collapse, Kentaro has trained extensively with Tenchikaimei, gaining a number of additional effects whilst released; thus he has truly mastered his Shikai. He can now apply some of the benefits of his Bankai to his Shikai, enabling him to launch potent attacks from any angle and without warning, greatly increasing his effectiveness as a combatant whilst mitigating some of the old weaknesses his Zanpakutō was restricted by. He can also use existing shadows as a medium to sense things, even when his own senses are being actively blocked or restricted, which is a passive bonus of his shadow-based powers. In addition to this Shigeru Yūdai once noted that Kentaro's Zanpakutō operated on the same principles as his own shadow-based powers whilst using his Resurrección, hinting that Tenchikaimei has much more at its disposal.
- Kaimeimuchi (晦冥鞭, Darkness Lash): an offensive application Kentaro learned sometime following the Collapse. It allows him to apply his "darkness field" directly to his opponent and then launch them through the air in a state of weightlessness, before then removing them from this field. The sheer speed the person moves at in this weightless state means they hit obstacles or surfaces with massive concussive force.
- Kagehōshi (影法師, Shadow Figure): not yet revealed.
- Kage (陰, Shade): Kentaro literally wears his Bankai as an outfit, as he takes a physical transformation, similar to his father. His hair lengthens and becomes wavy and his body is clad in blackest night. His eyes and the area surrounding them remain his normal skin pigment and he retains his Zanpakutō, which is also dyed pitch-black.
- Bankai Special Ability: Kage allows Kentaro to "fall into" his fields of darkness without being encumbered by his earlier restriction..
- Weakness: Kentaro himself notes Kage's weakness as being too cost-effective to use effectively in battle. The energy requirement relegates its usefulness tremendously; to the point it could potentially cost him his life if he failed to finish his opponent immediately after activation. He has learned to limit this however through trial-and-error. He tends to release his Bankai and then attack his opponent with tremendous ferocity, before resealing his Bankai, which somewhat mitigates the energy drain.
- Shinuchi (真打, True Strike): not yet revealed.
Although he is not classified as a Visored in the traditional sense, instead being considered as the sole natural Excavado in existence, Kentaro is still counted amongst the Visored's number; even though, as later explained, his Hollow powers are a product of his connection to Averian and The Outsider, which makes Kentaro a minor Tenjin. He is counted as a Visored due to having been instructed in the use of his Hollow powers by Kenji, and then by Kensei following the Collapse. In the beginning his powers manifested suddenly and without warning, overriding all his senses of reason and restraint, rendering Kentaro little more than an unthinking and unhesitating killer; a monster in every sense, who only calmed down once exhausted, knocked unconscious, or the Hollow power was somehow suppressed. He has since mastered these abilities to a level not even his father reached; this enables him to use the full measure of Averian's power coursing through him, without the latter being fit to manipulate him as he can his Battle Dolls. Thus far Kentaro has been the only Soul to be born with Hollowfication. To this day, although weakened considerably, the seal placed upon his Hollow powers by Kenji is still in effect.
- Cero: Kentaro, although preferring his Kidō abilities, is capable of performing the signature attack of the Hollow race. He uses his in much the same way as his father used his Jitsugen; it could thus be considered one of Kentaro's signature attacks. He tends to fire it from his open-palm.
- Sonído: Although preferring the use of Shunpo, remarking he prefers to be identified as a Shinigami, Kentaro once utilized Sonído without reservation or hesitation; to the point it became his trademark. It is arguably far swifter than his Shunpo as he utilised Sonído against Shinzō to switch places with a clone (created through Sonído) without Shinzō even noticing the deception. His Sonído was so swift that it enabled him to evade Sōritsu's Zanapkutō ability.
- Hekigenkai (劈限定, Burst Limit): A trait unique to Kentaro that stems from Averian which Kenji had initially sealed off to protect his son, though the seal eventually weakened, enabling access to this form. Although Kentaro admits that overuse of these powers opens up the possibility of Averian's power controlling him as it did in the past, Kentaro has achieved a modicum of control over the Arrancar's power within him, and it no longer drains him upon use. In addition his hair lengthens out considerably and black markings appear across his body; specifically his back and shoulders.
- Enhanced Strength: Kentaro, upon taking this form, was capable of stopping the colossal blade of Nakajima's Bankai with his bare-hand and then throw the multi-story warrior like a rag doll.
- Hekigenkai: Second Stage: A furtherance of Kentaro's Hollowfication, achieved by tapping the deepest recesses of Averian's power and drawing it forth, which he has also mastered. His skin darkens, hand-shaped wings erupt from his back with a scaly and veined appearance, and his hair lengthens out to his shoulder-blades. Like the initial stage it drains Kentaro swiftly even if used for only a short time, though he has now mastered it.
- Enhanced Spiritual Power: Although the full measure of this forms spiritual power was unknown the power coursing Kentaro's veins enabled him to shrug off the attacks of Ryan Kuchiki, despite the latter possessing the spiritual power of Sōritsu. Activation also seems to grant Kentaro an influx of "fresh" spiritual power. During his battle with Shinzo, for example, Kentaro was all-but-tapped prior to utilizing this form, but upon assuming this form he had the necessary reserves to launch a fatal Cero.
- Enhanced Strength: Kentaro was fit to violently throw Ryan a tremendous distance upon taking this form, greatly surprising the latter.
- Enhanced Durability: Kentaro withstood multiple high-level Kidō spells fired at him by Ryan in rapid-succession without physical harm.
- Enhanced Endurance: Simply by taking this form Kentaro was capable of forcing his poisoned body to move, despite his limbs refusing to budge an inch beforehand.
- Flight: As the wings suggest Kentaro becomes capable of full-flight. He used his wings to quickly outdistance Shinzō's attempt to draw him in using his Bankai, moving swiftly enough that the Bankai failed to catch him.
- Enhanced Cero: Kentaro's Cero is empowered to the point that it was capable of collapsing Shinzō's Bankai sphere, causing the energy within to implode, killing Shinzō in the process.
- Hekigenkai: Third Stage: The final evolution of Kentaro's Hekigenkai and the absolute limit he can take his Hollow powers without succumbing to them and relinquishing control to Averian, which would make him one of the latter's Battle Dolls. Kentaro's hair lengthens considerably and turns white and he loses his wings, with his enhanced musculature shredding his top to ribbons. Kensei notes that Kentaro bears a heavy likeness to Averian himself whilst in this form. His Zanpakutō is coated in a white shroud of spiritual power.
- Time limit: It seems Kentaro cannot take this form after having been in it previously. He did not assume it when he fought four of the Imawashī four-on-one even though it would have allowed him to defeat them easily.
- Main article -- Kentaro Hiroshi/Fusions.
- Main article -- Kentaro Hiroshi/Racial status.
- Main article -- Kentaro Hiroshi/Relationships.
Alternate world counterpart
- Main article -- Kentaro Shiba.
Kentaro possessed an alternate world counterpart in Nanashi's World. This Kentaro was the godson of Kaien Shiba and failed to unify the Reikai following the Collapse. He narrowly escaped death at the hands of his world's Averian and fled to the primary world alongside his godfather.
- "You are right, of course. How can anyone trust me? Its not normal Hollowfication that plagues me. At least that can be controlled. The kind of power that courses through my veins was not meant for mortal men. I'll tell you what you can trust however: my rage. I will sever the link. He may not have struck the blow that killed her, but that bastard was just as responsible for my mother's death as Kurokawa was. And he will pay. Slowly, in every way I know he fears. And before he dies he will know true fear. That is my promise. -- Kentaro regarding Averian.
Behind the Scenes
- Kentaro was created as part of a collaborative effort undertaken by the author, Razo, APS and Ashy; as well as the various other members of the old Gravity Force collaborative group. This group wanted to begin a Generation 2 story-line that involved the children of the Gravity Force's individual main characters. In the case of Kentaro he was the son of Kenji and Ino. Haruki Satonaka was the son of Van and Anna, who became Kentaro's primary rival, and was likewise created as part of this collaboration.
- Kentaro and Haruki share a number of traits. Like their fathers before them they are good friends and rivals and often worked together. They where also often left vexed by their father's eccentric behaviour.
References & notes
- ↑ Kentaro is first mentioned by his mother, Ino, in this chapter who reveals to Kenji that she is pregnant with their first child. This occurs in the extension to Desperate Stand: Averian Appears! This additive was written into the reference material of the First Spiritual War page, which is part of the newly established canon.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Kentaro Takes Charge
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 Dealing with Loose Ends: Family Cleanup
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Averian Strikes Back: Kentaro attacks Kenji!?
- ↑ Wandering Aimlessly: Meeting the Mysterious White-Haired Girl
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 New Resolve
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Surprising Intervention
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Unveiling the Grand Scheme
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Meeting upon the Sands
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 Terrors End
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 Putting Names to the Faces
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 Tense Negotiations
- ↑ 12.00 12.01 12.02 12.03 12.04 12.05 12.06 12.07 12.08 12.09 12.10 12.11 12.12 12.13 12.14 12.15 Cutting to the Heart of the Matter: Kentaro's Vengeance
- ↑ 13.00 13.01 13.02 13.03 13.04 13.05 13.06 13.07 13.08 13.09 13.10 13.11 Challenging the Vices Saga
- ↑ Cutting to the Heart of the Matter: Akiye's Defiance
- ↑ Cutting to the Heart of the Matter
- ↑ 16.00 16.01 16.02 16.03 16.04 16.05 16.06 16.07 16.08 16.09 16.10 16.11 Kentaro vs. Shinzo
- ↑ 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 Betrayal's End
- ↑ Dealing with Loose Ends: Price of Treachery
- ↑ Leaving Doubt at the Door
- ↑ 20.0 20.1 20.2 20.3 20.4 Dealing with Loose Ends
- ↑ Cutting to the Heart of the Matter: Son of Kusaka
- ↑ 22.0 22.1 Matters of Trust
- ↑ 23.0 23.1 Imparting Wisdom
- ↑ 24.0 24.1 Clash Upon the Sands
- ↑ 25.0 25.1 25.2 25.3 25.4 25.5 Terrors of the Night
- ↑ 26.0 26.1 Terrors of a Different Kind
- ↑ 27.0 27.1 27.2 27.3 27.4 27.5 27.6 27.7 Second Battle of Nishiendo
- ↑ 28.00 28.01 28.02 28.03 28.04 28.05 28.06 28.07 28.08 28.09 28.10 28.11 First Battle of Nishiendo
- ↑ Changing Loyalties?
- ↑ 30.0 30.1 Christmas Special! Eggnog, Presents and Hollow!?
- ↑ 31.0 31.1 Easter Special! An Egg hunt with Kenji and Van!
- ↑ Movement Special! White is the New Black!
- ↑ Desperate Stand: Averian Appears!
- ↑ In the Wake of Disaster
- ↑ Fun in Atlantic City
- ↑ 36.0 36.1 36.2 Out On Their Own: The Conflict That Brought Them Together
- ↑ The Masters
- ↑ Project Nijū
- ↑ The Realities of War
- ↑ The Hidden Shadows Arc
- ↑ 41.0 41.1 41.2 41.3 41.4 41.5 41.6 Battle Beyond all Limits! Kentaro vs. Soritsu
- ↑ Folly of the Youthful
- ↑ A Fight For Old Time's Sake
- ↑ 44.0 44.1 Cataclysm (book)#Events
- ↑ Solitary Invasion
- ↑ 46.0 46.1 Cataclysm (book)#Techniques
- ↑ Fleeing the Imawashi