| Muramasa |
|Master||Kōga Kuchiki (formerly)|
|Former Partners||Kōga Kuchiki, Kamui|
|Bankai||Not Yet Achieved|
|Base of Operations||Formerly Kōga Kuchiki's Inner world|
Ryan's Inner World
"The relationship of the Shinigami Zanpakutō is talk and sympathy. But... There are exceptions, just like you. You really are interesting."
Muramasa (村正, Muramasa) is a mysterious Zanpakutō spirit who has the power to release other Zanpakutō spirits from their owners, and is the chief antagonist of the anime-exclusive Zanpakutō Unknown Tales arc. After being used by Ulquiorra and defeated by Ryan Getsueikirite, he is recruited by Kamui. He works alongside him, Setsuna Inoue, and Wonderweiss Margera until he re-meets Ryan, who offers him the position of a partner, and friend. Muramasa is currently with Ryan.
Muramasa looks like a tall thin man with shaggy, dark brown hair and two bangs dropping and crossing atop the bridge of his nose. He has pale skin and turquoise color eyes that are surrounded by dark circles similar to the design of his clothes and sword hilt. The most prominent feature are his long fingernails, shown to be much shorter before his long separation from his master. Muramasa wears a white long robe-like coat, somewhat reminiscent of an Arrancar's. The collar of the robe is covered with a thick fur, held at the front by a ruby broach that also attaches a purple ascot like handkerchief to his chest. At his waist, Muramasa wears a wide sash decorated by a purple stripe. He wears boots whose tips are pointing upwards.
When he comes face-to-face with Ichigo Kurosaki for the first time, he identifies himself as a Zanpakutō. Muramasa has also shown himself to be a very mysterious person, as his supposed agendas seem to only hide a deeper goal that not even his allies are aware of. Despite his usually composed self, as noted by Orihime, Muramasa is suffering great emotional pain. This was seen from his outburst at Orihime trying to label him and from his joy at seeing Kōga.
Throughout the arc, Muramasa is seen suffering from an unknown ailment as the more he uses his powers and himself, the more he causes various physical effects to his being. In earlier stages his eyes to run tears of blood which later glass over, filled with blood completely. In more extreme cases, he becomes physically sick and weak, even becoming transparent at some points. This carries on even during his time with Ulquiorra.
Several hundred years before the start of the main storyline, Muramasa worked faithfully as the partner of Kōga Kuchiki. During which, he used his power to type the favor of a civil war in Soul Society to the Seireitei's side. When Kōga began feeling under-appreciated, Muramasa would regularly comfort him, even to the point of overly praising him. When Kōga was framed as a traitor, it was Muramasa who inspired Kōga to seek justice. Muramasa's good intentions turned sour when Kōga killed the men responsible and had a mental-breakdown from the realization that his life as he knew it was over.
Kōga soon rebelled against the entire Soul Society, convinced that everyone was jealous of his power and were insignificant stepping stones to greatness. As Kōga continued to kill more people, he continued to sink deeper into insanity, and soon found himself even abusing Muramasa himself. This disharmony soon cost Kōga as he lost the ability to communicate and even use Muramasa's power. Believing that Kōga abandoned him, Muramasa fell into despair until centuries later he learned that Kōga was sealed away.
Zanpakutō Unknown Tales arc (anime only)
Note: Events occurring in this arc are only in the anime and do not constitute canon material.
Muramasa is first seen after arriving in a dark cave surrounded by the Zanpakutō spirits released thus far of the Gotei 13 captains and their lieutenants. When Haineko approaches him and asks him if they could leave that place, he tells her that they are waiting for the rest of their comrades to be free, and proceeds to introduce a new member in their ranks. After the captains, lieutenants and other Shinigami of the Gotei 13 are summoned by Shigekuni Yamamoto-Genryūsai, Muramasa appears and tells the Shinigami who have gathered at the Sōkyoku Hill that their captain-commander will not be attending and that their spirits are now free of them. After a small confrontation with the gathered Shinigami, he summons a katana and stabs the ground with it, creating purplish flames of energy that erupts and causes the peak of Sōkyoku Hill to rise. After Ichigo's brief fight with Sode no Shirayuki, Muramasa appears to stop her from reuniting with Rukia and startles Ichigo with his reiatsu showing he is very powerful. It is then revealed that he, too, is a Zanpakutō spirit. He explained that his goal is to free all Zanpakutō from their "enslavement" of Shinigami. Angered by Muramasa's attempt at justifying himself, Ichigo quickly engaged him in battle. While initially the battle was evenly matched, Muramasa used his powers to release Zangetsu from Ichigo's being, who quickly took over the battle for Muramasa.
Muramasa was surprised when Ichigo's inner hollow took advantage of Ichigo's weakened state and lack of Zangetsu's influence. Although the inner hollow proved too powerful for Zangetsu to handle, Ichigo soon took control again and returned to his normal form. As Ichigo fell unconscious, Muramasa began wondering about Ichigo. Deciding to investigate, Muramasa, being a Zanpakutō, used his abilities to enter Ichigo's inner world. When Ichigo refuses to answer Muramasa's questions about the unique powers that defeated Zangetsu, Muramasa uses his powers to paralyze Ichigo and then forcibly summons Hollow Ichigo. The inner Hollow finds amusement in this development. As Muramasa noted that Hollow Ichigo's powers aid Ichigo considerably and greatly resemble a Hollow, he asks what he is beyond another side to Ichigo's soul. Hollow Ichigo merely says he is Ichigo's purest instincts. Muramasa decides to "free" the inner Hollow the same way he did with the other Zanpakutō, by forcing them to accept their inner desires. To Muramasa's shock, Hollow Ichigo is completely unaffected by the spell and instead attacks him. Still curious as to what the inner hollow really is, Muramasa is forced into an intense fight. Hollow Ichigo quickly shows himself to be a powerful and equally intense fighter, forcing Muramasa on the defensive.
After realizing that Hollow Ichigo was out of his power to control, he instead decides to destroy him with assistance from his invisible powers. Before he could strike down the bound hollow, Ichigo breaks free from his binding and saves his hollow half, greatly shocking Muramasa. When Muramasa asks why a Shinigami would protect a hollow, Ichigo merely states that he is not a Shinigami, but a human. Muramasa is then given an even greater surprise when Ichigo forces Muramasa out of his inner world through sheer spiritual pressure. Back outside of Ichigo's soul, Ichigo swears to get Zangetsu back. Before Ichigo could attack Muramasa, Zangetsu reappears and intervenes. After Ichigo is able to defeat Zangetsu, Muramasa voices his surprise at Ichigo's resolve to fight his partner. Ichigo explains he did this to honor his partner and their bond. Suddenly, Muramasa becomes immensely ill and transparent, making him retreat. While alone, Muramasa says to himself, Ichigo may be something of importance. He then resolves to capture Ichigo by any means necessary to use Ichigo's unique powers.
Later, he appears to be limping through what appears to be the Forest of Menos in Hueco Mundo, killing several Gillian-class Menos. After killing a Hollow, he is seen killing and absorbing another Hollow that he deemed to be sufficiently powerful. Muramasa is later seen coming out of what appears to be a Garganta, where he starts coughing and states that he is not used to the body yet. He is immediately confronted by Ichigo who witnesses Muramasa's arrival out of the Garganta along with Momo and Rangiku. Muramasa sees that Ichigo isn't afraid of his powers and so binds them with his spiritual threads but they are quickly released as he is in a weakened state and starts to cough and bleed from both his eyes. Ichigo takes advantage of this situation and tries to attack Muramasa, only to be blocked by Senbonzakura. Byakuya Kuchiki then puts an end to the confrontation and leaves with the Zanpakutō spirits.
When Byakuya kills his sister's Zanpakutō, Sode no Shirayuki at the request of Senbonzakura, Muramasa sends him to deliver the remains of the broken Zanpakutō to its owner, and sends most of the Zanpakutō spirits to back him up, resulting in a full-scale battle with the Shinigami. When Byakuya returns to Muramasa's hideout, Muramasa receives a communication from a Hell Butterfly, prompting Byakuya to ask if he plans to go to the Human World. Muramasa brings the rogue captain to see the Captain-Commander, who is sealed inside a barrier by three Zanpakutō spirits. After explaining the conditions of Yamamoto's sealing, Muramasa tells his allies to prepare for another encounter with the Shinigami soon.
When the Shinigami invade the base, Ichigo manages to find Yamamoto's barrier. Before he can attempt to free Yamamoto, Muramasa appears and engages Ichigo in battle. Poking at Ichigo's temper, Muramasa eventually gets Ichigo to unleash his full power on in the form of an ultimate Getsuga Tenshō. Muramasa then shockingly momentarily merges with the blast and then directs it at the barrier, destroying it. Quickly Yamamoto awakens, full of sorrow for the turn of events. It is then revealed that Yamamoto was never "sealed", but rather Yamamoto created the barrier himself in an effort to prevent Muramasa from gaining control of Ryūjin Jakka. Desperate to find a power source great enough to break through the barrier, Muramasa staged the "Zanpakutō Rebellion" to find such a power and eventually found it in Ichigo. The Zanpakutō spirits are furious to discover they were just pawns for Muramasa's plan, making them attack him in rage. However, by that time, Muramasa had already succeeded in enslaving Ryūjin Jakka and uses its power to destroy the cave, along with the reckless Zanpakutō spirits. Muramasa then vows to use this power to destroy Soul Society.
Muramasa travels to Karakura Town with Byakuya's guidance. He intends to use the knowledge he gained from entering Yamamoto's inner world to break the seal holding his former master, Kōga. When he arrives at the location of Kōga, he is found by Orihime Inoue. He attacks Orihime, but collapses from the effort. Inoue heals him, restoring much of the strength he had lost. She remarks that his Reiatsu is similar to an Arrancar's. He is then attacked by Uryū Ishida. When Chad and Uryū manage to fight back against Muramasa due to his wavering power, Senbonzakura appears to aid Muramasa. Muramasa then makes his way to Kōga's seal and with the knowledge he gained from Yamamoto, recites a spell which breaks his master free. Though initially overjoyed to see his partner, he quickly becomes horrified as Kōga stabs him upon awakening. Kōga explained that it was punishment for Muramasa abandoning Kōga back when he needed him, which led to Kōga being sealed away. Muramasa then realized that Kōga had not relinquished him, but rather could no longer communicate with him because of their disharmony. Kōga, unable to realize that himself, resolved to kill Muramasa. At the last second, Byakuya stops Kōga, scolding the rogue Shinigami.
Human World arc
In the Human world arc, at a park in the human world, Ulquiorra's two arrancar commanders were holding up a large golden kido barrier which held Muramasa at it's center. Ulquiorra surprises Muramasa when he breaks the barrier by saying the zanpakuto's release command, "Whisper". Muramasa then reverts to his sword form and Ulquiorra retrieves it. Ulquiorra states that his plan is beginning just as Ryan and Summer arrive on the scene. He then refers to Ryan as an "interesting development". Ryan is amazed at Ulquiorra's spiritual pressure, comparing it to that of the arrancar he had defeated the year prior. Ulquiorra's two commanders prepare to mount an assault, but are stopped by Ulquiorra, who calls them by their names: Halcón, and Vano Reina. Ulquiorra decides to test his new weapon by releasing Muramasa, causing the spirit's of Kagemusha (Ryan's zanpakuto) and Summer's unnamed Zanpakuto to be released and to appear in front of their former masters. Ulquiorra remarks on how pleased he is that the rumors he had heard about Muramasa were true. Both Ryan and Summer attempt to fight off their zanpakuto only to be thrown back and defeated. Ulquiorra then orders his new servants to kill their masters. Just as the deed was about to be done, the Vizard arrive with their masks on, one of which he recognizes as Shinji Hirako. Ulquiorra decides not to pick a fight and leaves with his two commanders and with Summer and Ryan's zanpakuto spirits.
New Soul Society arc
The cause of the Gotei captain's retreat is then made clear. Muramasa has arrived, starting a Zanpakuto Rebellion. Ryan finds Kagemusha, and beats her, gaining her powers back again. Summer also defeats her zanpakuto, gaining back her shikai. The entire Gotei 13 then, one by one, fought and defeated their zanpakuto gaining back their powers. Ryan then takes on Muramasa on Sōkyoku Hill. Muramasa, being an illusion-type as well, is able to fend off Kagemusha's shikai. Ryan decides to don his mask and use his regained Bankai, defeating Muramasa in a fiery clash.
Elsewhere, in the depths of Seireitei, Ulquiorra had appeared, using the Zanpakuto battles as a distraction to get what his master had once used; the Hōgyoku. Sensing Muramasa's defeat, the Arrancar makes an appearance on Sōkyoku Hill. There, Muramasa expresses his delight at his new master's success, to which Ulquiorra degrades him as a failure. Just before Ryan can step in, Ulquiorra stabs Muramasa, causing the later to fade into dust. Ulquiorra then departs via Garganta.
Powers & Abilities
Immense Spiritual Energy: Muramasa apparently has considerable spiritual energy, as evident from Ichigo being very startled by it. It was noted by Orihime to be very similar to an Arrancar.
Master Swordsmanship Specialist: As seen from his short skirmish against Ichigo, Muramasa has considerable swordsman skills, as he was able to fight on even grounds with Ichigo with a single hand. Even when his strength is wavering, Muramasa is still highly dangerous, easily able to take down dozens of Menos Grande.
Enhanced Speed: Muramasa has shown to be quite fast, as he is able to keep up with a Shunpo expert like Ichigo. During his battle against Hollow Ichigo in its inner world, while forced on the defensive Muramasa was able to successfully dodge all of Hollow Ichigo's flail-like attacks from his sword.
Keen Intellect: Throughout Muramasa's assault on Soul Society, he has repeatedly shown himself to be a highly crafty individual. He is a powerful strategist and manipulator, able to fool enemies and allies alike to suit his need. These talents allow him to formulate plans well in advance to stay steps ahead of his enemies.
Hollow Absorption: Muramasa has the ability of absorbing Hollows. The purpose of doing this is unknown but after he finished absorbing it, his strength is restored for a proportionate amount of time equal to the Hollow's power. At anytime, Muramasa is able to summon forth any of the Hollows to attack his target.
Garganta: He was seen using a variation of this technique to travel to and from the Forest of Menos. Although the way he uses it is slightly different from how the Arrancar use it. Instead of causing the portal to open by "splitting" the air apart in a segmented pattern, he seemingly tears it open, similar to how the Menos Grande use it.
At any time, Muramasa can summon his sealed Zanpakutō form. It takes the form of a standard-sized katana with a purple hilt-wrapping and a guard in a shape similar to the Kidō Corps' emblem, consisting of a circle with a pentagon-like shape in the center and three points protruding from the edges evenly spaced apart.
- Shikai: Muramasa will unleash a wave of energy that will affect any target close enough.
- Shikai Special Ability: Muramasa has the ability to break into the inner world of targets and bend them to his will. This ability causes the Zanpakutō's to take control of the wielders sword arm causing him/her to unwillingly attack others. This power works similar to how a tape-worm leeches off its target. The only way to combat against Muramasa's power is by understanding how the Zanpakutō works and sealing ones "heart" against it. Though in order to block the attack in that state one must have incredible reiatsu and concentration. By drawing upon and warping the Zanpakutō spirit's true instincts to the point of strongly desiring to satisfy it regardless of what may happen, Muramasa can remove the spiritual bonds between Shinigami and Zanpakutō spirits. The manifested spirit is typically as tangible shadowy figures from weaker Shinigami and with greater individuality and power from stronger Shinigami. A Shinigami with a strong enough will can still access Shikai but not Bankai as it requires the Zanpakutō spirit to submit to the Shinigami's will. So far the only way shown to snap them out of this desire is to defeat them in a battle. However, they will only return to their wielder if it is them who defeats them. If another person defeats them they will revert back to sword form and their blade will break in two.
- Energy Wave: This sword is shown to be able to unleash considerable energy waves, capable of creating huge fissures if struck in the ground.
Spiritual Threads: In battle, Muramasa has demonstrated a power that creates multiple invisible spiritual threads that he can manipulate to bind a person to the ground. It can also be used as a defensive method against strong attacks like Ichigo's Bankai Getsuga Tenshō. These threads are visible on reflective surfaces such as a building's windows in Ichigo's inner world.
Illusions: By channeling his spiritual energy into his opponent, Muramasa is able to distort the target's perception, effectively making a person's five senses unable to properly register what is happening. This power can be negated by one using their spiritual energy to close off their emotions before the hypnosis takes place.
Hollow Form: Driven to absolute despair from being rejected by his beloved partner Koga, Muramasa's will finally snapped, releasing all the Hollows he absorbed to help sustain his life. Shortly afterwards, Muramasa's unstable energy sucked all the Hollows back and remerged with him, resulting in a horrific Hollowfication. It is theorized by Uryū that because a Zanpakutō’s unity with a Shinigami is what preserves its existence, Muramasa needed the combined energy of the Hollows in order to sustain himself. But doing so would also increase his anger. In his new form, Muramasa's anger mindlessly drives him to attack everyone he sees in a desire to end his suffering. His form becomes an armored version of his former self, complete with long shoulder-pads and a helmet-like mask similar in appearance to a stag beetle with its long horns with eyeholes similar to his sword's tsuba design. He has furry tufts around his neck and collarbone. His eyes are glowing red and his arms become long and slender with long curved blades sticking out from his elbows. His Hollow hole is where his heart would be with fang-like protrusions around it. He has later been shown to be able to enter this form at will.
- Enhanced Spiritual Power: Muramasa's power in this form is greatly enhanced. According to Rukia, the continued release of it would cause tremendous harm to Karakura Town.
- Enhanced Speed: While in this form, Muramasa becomes dangerously fast and evasive, able to dodge all of Uryu's 1200-rounds-per-shot attacks and keep up with Ichigo while he is in Bankai and wearing his Hollow mask.
- High-Speed Regeneration: Muramasa is able to quickly heal any damage to his physical being, even if the said injury partially severs his body.
- Cero: Muramasa is shown able to fire from his hand a very potent purple Cero blasts almost as large as himself. Oddly it is the same color as Ryan's Cero, who he would later become good friends with.
- Bala: From a single hand, Muramasa can unleash a large barrage of purple Bala blasts.
- Muramasa was the name of a famous swordsmith from the 16th century. Muramasa's blades were thought to have an unnatural blood lust, crying out for blood at night, and refusing to be sheathed until they drew blood, even resorting to cutting their owner.
- Muramasa is the only Zanpakuto know to have had two shinigami masters in which it resided in the both master's inner worlds. He learns to trust Ryan as he once did Koga and has gone so far as to call Ryan his new Shinigami.
- "The Shinigami's control over the Zanpakutō is over. And now... Zanpakutō shall now rule the Shinigami."
- "My wielder? My wielder died by my hands"
- (To Ichigo Kurosaki) "The strength of you is the strength of ties ... How interesting!"
- (To Hollow Ichigo) "The relationship of the Shinigami Zanpakutō is talk and sympathy. But ... There are exceptions, just like you. You really are interesting."