- "Why am I helping you? You should be asking why I'm helping us. I get that you aren't used to this "other you" business, but one of us alone couldn't save my world. Two of us though... I'd be willing bet that we'll be the ones holding the crown when all's said and done."
- —Kentaro to his alternate self.
|The Other Kentaro|
|Name||Kentaro "Nanashi" Shiba|
|Previous Occupation||Blades of Night's Veil member|
|Previous Team||Blades of Night's Veil|
|Previous Partner||Itazura Kori|
|Base of Operations||Reikai|
|Family||Kentaro Hiroshi (alt)|
Rōnin Shiba (father)
Miyoko Kato (mother)
Kireina Shiba (aunt)
Shuji Kato (uncle)
Kaien Shiba (godfather, guardian)
|Bankai||Not yet revealed|
Kentaro Shiba (健太郎芝), known to his friends as Kenny or Ken, is a Shinigami hailing from an alternate world where Averian succeeded in dominating the Reikai following The Collapse. He is the son of Rōnin Shiba, who is Kenji Hiroshi's alternate world counterpart, and Miyoko Kato. In addition he is the godson of Kaien Shiba, as well as the nephew of Kireina Shiba and Shuji Kato.
Following his and Kaien's successful flight into an alternate world he joined forces with Itazura Kori, becoming one of the first members of the newly created Blades of Night's Veil. In reality he was merely using Itazura's resources and contacts for his own ends and eventually left the organisation to pursue his own mission to hunt Averian and his Espada. Kaien and he invaded Hueco Mundo to ascertain Averian's strength-level and, miraculously, encountered Fujimaru Kudō, his sister Matsuri, as well as Kentaro's own mother and uncle, who had all been thought dead during the Tower of Night Incident. Together with his friends and family Kentaro returned to the Reikai where, for a time, he was content to watch events unfold. An encounter with his former mentor, Kenji Hiroshi, convinced him to join forces with his counterpart, where he parted with Itazura on tense terms. Kentaro, taking the name Nanashi (名無し, Nameless), greeted his counterpart, Kentaro Hiroshi, and his partner, Akiye, where he solicited them for aid at Kenji's direction. In this capacity he and his friends became members of the Six Directions.
Whilst allied with his counterpart Kentaro was rarely present in the Reikai to combat either the Imawashī, the Kikkashō, or the Gotei Remnant. Instead he focused the bulk of his attention to committed hit-and-run attacks against Averian and his Espada, and was the sole combatant to solely devote himself to this task.
Kentaro, like his alternate world counterpart, was a lean-built young man even as a child, who sported an athletic physique from an early age. Unlike his counterpart however Kentaro shared more similarities with his mother's family, the Kato clan, than he did the Shiba clan, with him sharing a striking resemblance to his maternal uncle Shuji in his youth. Twenty years prior to the outbreak of the Tower of Night Incident Kentaro was a fresh graduate of the Shinō Academy. At this time he sported spiked black-coloured hair with a slight blue tint throughout, with his bangs and fringe appearing messy and unkempt. He styled the back of his hair, which he kept long, into a tight ponytail by way of a red ribbon. His Shihakushō was heavily modified; in addition to a long-sleeved high-necked black kosode and black hakama, Kentaro donned a tatami-style chest-plate. He commonly carried his Zanpakutō's sheath and used both the blade and sheath during battle.
During the Tower of Night Incident Kentaro was a young adult and began to display traits similar to Kaien and his father, with fair-skin and features. He was relatively tall, muscular, and was considered attractive. Instead of the long ponytail he sported previously he now styled his hair into parting bangs to frame his face, whilst maintaining a spiked style. During this time he received extended training from Kenji Hiroshi. He adopted the latter's style of dress as his own with mixtures of his old outfit, for his kosode retained its high-neck, albeit with a poncho-like appearance.
By the time he fled into an alternate world following The Collapse, Kentaro was noted by Itazura and Mariko Kori to bear a striking resemblance to the Kentaro they knew; Itazura even mistook the two initially. Kentaro now sported straight black hair with noticeably less spikes, with only his fringe retaining his prior seen style. He likewise styled his fringe to the left to obscure that side of his face, with a second bang on the right. Upon arriving in the alternate world Kentaro was a mess of injuries; he lost his left-arm to Averian's blade, and bore numerous bodily injuries of varying severity. All of these injuries save his lost arm where healed by Yuu Hoshiko. His clothing was likewise shredded. After affiliating himself with the Blades of Night's Veil, Kentaro donned a new outfit consisting of a long black coat, a white undershirt, and black trousers. After reuniting with his mother and uncle, Miyoko made her son a new specialized outfit. This new outfit was similar to the one he wore whilst a member of the Blades, with some alteration. It now sported a storm flap, a maroon cinch on the collar, and a maroon lining. The cuffs of the shirt are now grey, and he now wears a pair of brown leather belts from which he secures his Zanpakutō. He also changed his hairstyle to adopt a wavier look, to help distinguish himself from his counterpart.
Kentaro appears to be an easy-going individual who takes most things in his stride, rarely being surprised or taken aback, even in the heat of battle. The loss of his own world, coupled with the loss of his left-arm, did much to shake his confidence however. When he launched an investigative assault on Hueco Mundo he was notably shaken, appearing nervous and anxious; this suggests some degree of post-traumatic-stress. It was only the steadying presence of his godfather that overrode his doubt in this instance. When faced by Juan Álvarez and Joel Félix however he quickly reaffirmed his resolve, which almost resulted in the pairs death at his hand. His reunion with his mother and uncle afterwards, not to mention his friends Fujimaru and Matsuri, did a lot to restore his self-confidence. He is now more-or-less back to his old self. Kentaro comically demanded to know where the four aforementioned had run off to, as he wiped tears from his eyes.
Kentaro is noted for his rough disposition and manner non-befitting of a noble. In this regard he is much like Kaien Shiba and Kenji Hiroshi, as well as his counterpart. He is merciless in battle, uses taunts to goad his opposition into reckless acts, whilst seeking to completely dominate his opponents spirit to utterly break them. He can be viewed to be somewhat rude, specifically with those he had a rapport with in his own world. He compared the Itazura of the primary world unfavourably against the Itazura of his own world, noting the former to be a "blockhead" in comparison. He was however astute enough to ascertain that something must have occurred differently in the primary world to warrant the change, even if he did not know what this event was.
Kentaro was the son of Rōnin Shiba and Miyoko Kato and was born in the first year of Kaien Shiba's Captaincy of the 13th Division in the Gotei 13. Kaien was then named his godfather as was his uncle Shuji Kato. His potential was spotted early on and, twenty years prior to the Tower of Night Incident, Kentaro graduated the Shinō Academy with top marks in Zanjutsu and Kidō, and high marks in Hohō and Hakuda. He joined the 2nd Division and Onmitsukidō, holding dual positions in both organizations, but eventually applied to the 13th Division.
During the Tower of Night Incident, which saw the so-called Tower of Night to appear in the World of the Living, Kentaro was present alongside his father to investigate the structure. He deduced that the Tower was responsible for the reported increase in Hollow activity but could not figure out a means of disabling it. Rōnin suggested they set up a forward camp close to the Tower's location, but both where shocked when the Tower suddenly disappeared completely. Instead of returning to the Seireitei father and son duo opted instead to combat the Hollow, causing them to miss their check-in time. Kentaro was shocked when, the following night, Kaien appeared before the two. Whilst he claimed to understand their reasons for staying he told them that they cannot do things as they normally would this time, as the other Divisions are interested in finding out what the Tower is. It is then that Kaien himself notices that the Tower has vanished. He comically asks how they managed to lose a Tower. Before Kentaro can reply the Tower suddenly reappears, leading Kentaro to state that Kaien's eyesight is going wonky in his old age. Rōnin, ignoring the two, asks what time it is. He then theorizes that the Tower only appears for a specific period and asks for Kaien's permission to stay and test his theory. Kaien gives it, noting he has nothing better to do, before whacking Kentaro on the head for ridiculing his eyesight.
An hour later the Tower once again disappeared from sight completely, more-or-less proving Rōnin's theory correct. Kentaro wonders what they are to do now. Kaien merely informs his fellow clansmen that it is time to return to the Soul Society and make their reports. Once back Kentaro is approached by his mother who states that she was worried when his father and he missed their scheduled check-in. She remarks that she could barely restrain Shuji and that he was quite cross. Kentaro states that "cross" is his uncle's default state but assures his mother that he will speak to him later. He then informs her that Rōnin was off making their report and will likely be late.
- Main article -- Bleach (Kenji Hiroshi).
Tower of Night Incident
- Main article -- Bleach: Cataclysm.
War on Two Fronts arc
- Musabori (むさぼり, Devouring): one of the legendary Kyūtai forged by Garian Shinjo. This particular orb was used by Kentaro during his battles in his alternate world and was brought with him when he was sent to this one. It presumably works just like that used by Garian in the primary world, in that it coats the wearer in a dense layer of spiritual power that serves as armour to protect the wearer from physical attacks, though Kaien claims it is not absolute against an entity as powerful as Averian.
Powers and Abilities
Immense Spiritual Energy: Kentaro possesses Captain-class spiritual power. Itazura mistook him for the main timeline Kentaro, showing the quality and quantity of his spiritual power is quite similar. He was able to easily combat Averian's Espada even with a two-on-one handicap.
Zanjutsu Mastery: Despite the handicap the loss of his left arm entails, Kentaro remains a dangerously skilled swordsman. He was capable of fighting two enhanced Espada-level Arrancar at once by himself without too much difficulty. He was likewise capable of dispatching a large number of sword-wielding criminals in the blink of an eye.
Hakuda: Whilst his full skill is unknown Kentaro served as an operative of both the Onmitsukidō and member of the 2nd Division in the Gotei 13. This suggests his skills are substantial.
Lightning Generation: Kentaro was capable of producing lightning-clones to act as diversions. Thus far he has demonstrated two clones at once.
Enhanced Durability: Despite being stabbed through the back by Juan, Kentaro was unaffected by the injury and merely claimed he was unused to fighting with only one arm.
Immense Speed: Whilst his skill-level with Shunpo is unknown, Kentaro is remarkably fast even without its use. He was capable of switching places with a lightning clone so quickly that Joel Félix and Juan Álvarez where both fooled.
Kidō Mastery: Kentaro has demonstrated the ability to interlace various Kidō spells and defensive techniques into his fighting-style to account for his disability, despite admitting that he was new to such tactics. He is capable of producing ninety-level Hadō to devastating effect.
The name of Kentaro's Zanpakutō has not yet been revealed. It takes the form of a katana with a square-shaped guard which he wears on his left-hand side.
- Shikai: The release command of Kentaro's Zanpakutō is unknown. His Zanpakutō, whilst maintaining the shape of a sword whilst released into Shikai, is shrunken down whilst turning completely white. Instead of a katana his Zanpakutō takes the form of a machete with an enclosed blade and a portion acting like a hand-guard. Armoured plates likewise form over his shoulders, with the addition of a tatami-style chest-plate. By his own admission he once disliked the defensive focus of his Shikai, describing it as "limiting". After losing his left-arm however he has seemingly altered his view-point, as it gives him a means of defending himself from the left without resorting to defensive Kidō.
- Shikai Special Ability: Kentaro's Zanpakutō produces a ribcage-like construct that is suspended in the air around him, with Kentaro in the centre, that seemingly follows his movements. The bones are surrounded by potent black-coloured flames which, when combined with the bones themselves, produce a potent defensive force even against two augmented Espada-class Arrancar.
- Bankai: Not yet revealed. The fact Kentaro can release his Shikai without a verbal command of any kind is indicative of his achievement of Bankai. He has likewise stated that his Bankai is "on a completely different level" to the Bankai wielded by his counterpart.
Behind the Scenes
- The original version of this character was intended to be much darker, highlighting all the negativity Kentaro felt towards his father. However, as Part II concluded and a different path was chosen, he was essentially shelved. Kentaro Hiroshi became the primary version of the character whilst Kentaro Shiba -- otherwise known as Nanashi and the character this article represents -- hailed from an alternate world as of the 2015 retcon. This character thus underwent a complete shuffle and re-imagining.
- There are a number of key differences between Nanashi and his alternate world counterpart that serve to set them apart from each other:
- In his own world Nanashi was affiliated closely with the Gotei 13 whilst Kentaro enjoyed a tenuous alliance with them at best. Nanashi himself served as his godfather's Lieutenant, which was a position formerly held by his father.
- Nanashi was never afflicted with any form of Hollowfication. He remains the only child of Kenji (in the worlds shown) not to have additional racial abilities in some shape or form. His counterpart possesses pseudo Tenjin status as well as Hollow-like abilities, with most of his siblings either possessing Hollow abilities or Quincy powers.
- Nanashi never harboured feelings of resentment for his own father or family at large. He grew up embracing his roots and developed a sense of fairness, justice and temperance that the primary Kentaro struggled with until Part IV.
- Nanashi is left-handed, whilst Kentaro is ambidextrous. Ironically Nanashi had to learn how to fight with his right-arm after the loss of his left, which is something that hinders him in the beginning and causes him to doubt himself.