"You found... a way to restrain yourself, so that you could enjoy fighting forever. I found... a way to heal myself, so that I could enjoy fighting forever. However, now I know for sure... that the power I obtained... was all for this day. There is only one Kenpachi in every era. That is a rule, and also an unavoidable destiny. Because... when a strong person finds another strong one... they stop using the sword just for themselves. Suddenly, their sword... is used to either kill or raise... the other strong person."
|Previous Affiliation|| Gotei 13|
|Previous Occupation|| Captain of the Eleventh Division|
Captain of the Fourth Division
|Previous Team|| Rokudanzaigatana|
|Previous Partner|| Tenjirō Kirinji|
|Base of Operations||Hell|
- "Genuine elegance." - Tite Kubo
Retsu Unohana (卯ノ花八千流, Unohana Yachiru), once known as Yachiru Unohana (卯ノ花 八千流, Unohana Yachiru), is a female Shinigami that now resides within the confines of Hell, who was once regarded throughout history as the most diabolical criminal to have ever existed in the Soul Society as well as the first to hold the title of Kenpachi; granted to the strongest Shinigami in a generation and to those that had slain the most enemies. She was the first Captain of the Eleventh Division in the Gotei 13, having laid the foundation for the division as it exists today, and would later become the Captain of the Fourth Division, having earned a name for herself as the greatest of healers. Unohana met her end at the blade of Kenpachi Zaraki in order to finally complete the transition of passing down her title to the next heir. Upon her death, for the malevolent acts she had committed throughout the centuries, she was sentenced to Hell; becoming a Togabito in the process.
Unohana has the appearance of a very youthful woman with blue eyes and black hair. She wears the standard Shinigami captain uniform apart from using an obi instead of the normal sash. Her hair is long and is always worn as a large braid in front. Over 100 years ago, she didn't have the large braid. During her battle with Kenpachi Zaraki, she wears her hair down for the first time and is revealed to have been covering a notable scar in-between her collarbone.
Unlike most Shinigami who carries their Zanpakutō in their sash, Unohana has a large string attached to the sheath of her Zanpakutō and carries it over her shoulder, or has her lieutenant Sayune Yukihara carry it for her, whenever they are together on the battlefield. When engaging in actual combat, Unohana unravels her braid and allows her hair to flow loosely behind her back.
Unohana has a gentle and warm personality that augments her appearance. Unohana is a soft-spoken, polite, and caring woman who uses honorifics when addressing everyone, including her subordinates and the enemy. She rarely shows any signs of panic or distress, and has a great sense of duty, shown in the times that she orders Hanatarō Yamada's imprisonment and Isane Kotetsu's chasing of Renji Abarai when he runs away with Rukia Kuchiki. With her grace and kind manners, she lets others know quietly that while she may be soft, she is not to be taken lightly.
Despite her gentle nature, several members of the Eleventh Division and even her fellow Captains fear her. According to the former Captains of the Fifth and Seventh Divisions respectively, she can be very frightening as the look on their faces implied they would never want to get on her bad side (they noted that being destroyed by Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto's Bankai would be a preferable fate). This is, at first, played as a sort of comic relief, with Unohana revealing her ability to frighten anybody by closing her eyes and forming a soft gentle smile which belies the dark ominous fear hidden in her words, causing every single person whom she would speak to, even the fearless Kenpachi Zaraki, to follow whatever command she would "ask" of them to do. It is later revealed that this sense of fear instilled into those around her is from her past as the first Kenpachi, a title held by the strongest Shinigami. In alignment to this side of her, Unohana's gentle expression changes drastically into a chilling callous glare. Suiting this look, Unohana herself is uncaring and cold, able to kill an enemy or even an ally in cold blood without a second thought and without remorse whatsoever. This was shown during her role in the Quincy genocide. However, after the revelation of her past as the first Kenpachi and Shunsui Kyōraku calling on her to draw on her experience from then, Unohana's personality has taken a much darker turn. Remaining ominously silent during the meeting with the Central 46, it isn't until her fight with Kenpachi Zaraki that she shows her original violent and bloodthirsty nature, commenting how the scar left on her chest was causing her pain just from the sound of the latter's voice.
Unohana likes strong flavored food, preferring it to bland tasting dishes. In her free time, she climbs mountains throughout Rukongai, during these excursions, she collects medicinal herbs. Once a month, she holds an Ikebana class for the members of her division. Unohana is also the President of the Ikebana Club (Flower Arranging Society.)
Unohana was a founding member of the Gotei 13 as well as one of its first generation members. She became the first Kenpachi of the Eleventh Division, but before Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto brought together the Gotei 13 and brought her in as a member, she was and always will be the most diabolical criminal to ever exist in Soul Society.
It is said that she has been a Captain for at least 200 years; along with fellow captains Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto, Jūshirō Ukitake and Shunsui Kyōraku. It is stated that the four of them have been Captains of the Gotei 13 for at least 200 years as of 110 years ago before the current time. This makes her one of the oldest captains among the Gotei 13, despite her rather youthful appearance. Ukitake also refers to her as "Senpai" denoting her seniority to both him and Shunsui. At some point in the past, Unohana was the first Kenpachi, being known then as "Yachiru Unohana". Whether before, during, or after this time in her life, Unohana was taught medical techniques by Tenjirō Kirinji. She later abandoned her name as Yachiru at the same time she passed on the Kenpachi title and took on the name "Retsu".
Approximately 110 years ago, Unohana was present for a promotion ceremony, that took place at the 1st Division Headquarters, along with the rest of the assembled captains. She witnessed the arrival of the newly appointed Captain of the 12th Division, Kisuke Urahara. Her lieutenant at this time was Seinosuke Yamada. Nine years later, Unohana was present at a emergency meeting called by Captain-Commander Yamamoto where he decided to create a investigation team to locate the missing 9th Division squad members. When he gave out orders, Yamamoto ordered Unohana to prepare the relief stations for casualties, but Unohana interrupted him and asked if it wouldn't be better for her to tend to the wounded there. Yamamoto plainly told her that he couldn't send healers out without knowing what the situation was like.
Powers & Abilities
- "Unohana Yachiru... a founding member and part of the first generation Gotei 13, which was also regarded as the strongest. Amongst that group, she ruled as the Captain of the Eleventh Division and laid the foundation for what the current Eleventh Division is built upon. Before her power was sought out by Yama-jii, she was, and always will be, the most diabolical criminal to ever exist in Soul Society. Having possession of all sword styles and flows in existence... she aptly named herself Yachiru, meaning "eight thousand styles". The one who invented the art of killing."
- —Shunsui Kyōraku noting Unohana's past as "Kenpachi Yachiru".
Master Healer: Unohana is by far the most knowledgeable on health related matters in all of Soul Society. She is known to be highly proficient in conventional healing techniques as well as herbal healing. Her knowledge of anatomy is high enough that upon examination of Aizen's "dead body", she concluded it was not Aizen or even real. She also seems to be able to heal more than just Shinigami, evident when she heals Yasutora Sado, a human, and Gantenbainne Mosqueda, an Arrancar.
Immense Spiritual Power: As one of the oldest Captains in the Gotei 13, it is safe to assume that Unohana has tremendous spiritual power.
Flash Steps Expert: Unohana is proficient enough in this skill to be of the average level of speed possessed by a Captain.
Keen Intellect: Along with her general skill of healing, she is able to detect the smallest details. This helps her in her mastery of healing. She can detect anomalies and problems lesser healers wouldn't. She can tell by a simple look what type of medical attention if any is needed. She also a powerful analyst with great attention to detail, able to quickly determine how to counteract any ailments in a person. Her powers of perception were also able to deduce that Aizen's elaborate illusion of a corpse doll wasn't real, but even more so that Aizen was perpetuating a much larger scheme.
Without question, Unohana is one of the most skilled Masters of Kidō in all of Soul Society. She has revealed the rare talent of using most spells silently without the need for any means of movement either, which signifies that she is of Master status. In addition to that, Unohana is capable of altering the nature of certain spells in order to accomplish purposes that are normally unattainable by the use of such a technique.
Healing Kidō (治療用鬼道, Chiryōyō Kidō): As the Captain of the Fourth Division, Unohana is known for her skills in the healing branch of Kidō; known by name as Kaidō (回道, "Turn Way"). While she had always possessed an immense prowess for Kidō, her abilities in the healing aspect did not flourish until she had learned special healing techniques from Tenjirō Kirinji. Unohana's healing spells are so effective that Shinji Hirako had told Ichigo Kurosaki, when he arrived to the battlefield, that he made the right decision in bringing Unohana to heal the wounded rather than Orihime Inoue, whom possesses the power to reject phenomena entirely. This serves to imply that Unohana's skill lies far beyond that of Orihime's mystical power, but may also be due to the former retaining far more experience in matters such as healing in wartime than that of the latter. Unohana is, however, the one who had invented the use of "time-space regression" as a form of healing, which Hachigen Ushōda would later base his own Kidō style around. The use of this regression allows for healing normally unrepairable injuries, such as the loss of a body part. She is far more experienced in this healing ability as even Hachigen, with his Hollow powers fueling his unique Kidō, was unable to heal Hiyori Sarugaki after she was bifuricated, but was capable of making a full recovery after Unohana had arrived to the battlefield. During her Captaincy, Unohana took time to refine her Kidō skills and develop powerful healing Kidō; some of which, were considered impossible feats, such as replacing and/or repairing damaged lungs and important body parts. One particular method at which she heals using Kidō involves using her own spiritual energy as a catalyst that "excites" the reishi within the patient's body. The more reiryoku the patient generally possesses within their body will cause their own body to heal in chronological proportion, allowing for a sufficiently strong person to be healed completely, no matter how sever the injury, in a matter of seconds. However, the other method at which she uses her energy as a catalyst involves a complex procedure in which she causes the small remaining reiryoku within an exhausted patient's body to oscillate, causing it to grow from that one focal point until the patient recovers all of their internal energy. Once this happens, the physical body subsequently heals itself of injuries. Unohana used this form of energy healing through the use of green rectangular prism-shaped to surround the patient and commence with the aforementioned procedure.
Bakudō Prowess: In regards to Unohana's gentle nature, her use of Kidō focuses more on defensive techniques. Subsequently, she utilizes several obscure forms of barriers and shields which serve the purpose of protecting herself and those whom she deems as comrades. Her barriers are nigh invincible, as a single silently cast Bakudō was strong enough to effortlessly block Shunkō-empowered strikes from Yoruichi Shihōin and Suì-Fēng simultaneously, forcing both of the combatants to fall back while Unohana's barrier had not cracked even in the slightest. Her use of Dankū was shown to be most impressive. It did not merely summon a mirror wall that defends against powerful attacks like that which usually appears during uses by other Captain-level Shinigami but actually "split" the space between her and her opponent with a glass-like wall that could take the brunt of same-number Hadō attacks without so much as yielding a crack in its defense. Unohana makes major use of the El Escudo spell in direct confrontation, changing its size, density, and shape to better suit her defensive needs. She typically will use several layers of Bakudō spells in order to imprison an opponent of equal or greater power, revealing that her seals could restrict even Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto and force the latter to use the might of his Zanpakutō in order to escape capture. Unohana, being a Master, has also shown manipulating spells in order to use them for purposes that they were not originally intended for, which is the mark of true Kidō mastery. One such example of this was the use of Sajō Sabaku, which is normally meant to chain an opponent together, but was instead used as a whip to tear apart an opponent's Hadō attacks. While not very often, Unohana also utilizes wards in order to protect herself in battle but more commonly to protect medical facilities during times of war, providing a safe haven for injuried subordinates and comrades that can receive medical attention without fear of enemy ambush.
Hadō Prowess: While not very often, Unohana does make use of certain Hadō spells in combat. However, due to her preference to remain outside of conflict as a healer, her style of Hadō application, if utilized at all, centers around the defeat of an enemy in a single attack. Unohana has shown that she can use the Hiryūgekizokushintenraihō spell rather efficiently and effortlessly, to which Isane Kōtetsu remarked it was impressive of even someone of Captain-class to use that spell without an incantation and still retain magnificant destructive potential. In similar cases to her Bakudō, Unohana can manipulate the shape and nature of her Hadō spells as well. In some cases, she has even revealed using Hadō spells to actually accelerate healing of her patients in crisis situations. One such case was the use of Haien's heat that she was able to instantaneously cauterize an opponent's bleeding life-threatening injury. The fact that she was able to use the great heat generated by the Haien spell to cauterize an injury without causing any harm whatsoever to the patient is a testament to her master-level precision and accuracy in the use of dangerous spells of offensive nature for the applicable and effective use of healing.
Unique Spells: Being a Kidō Master and always pursing new methods at which to better serve her role as Soul Society's healer, Unohana has taken it upon herself to develop many unique spells that serve multiple purposes. However, very few of them are offensive Hadō-type spells.
- Mugaihara (無害原, Harmless Horizen): Unique to Unohana alone, it turns her spiritual pressure range into a field where "no harm can be done". What this means is that while within this Kidō's range, nothing can cause harm. No opponent may create a wound on another, as all attempts of attack are negated and rendered useless. Because of its absolute negation of harm, it was nicknamed the "cease-fire" Kidō spell. However, in order for it to be used, Unohana must enter a meditative-like state, similar to that of Jinzen. Disrupting her concentration will cause the spell to deactivate on its own, but it is very rare the case that such a thing happens, as killing her would be a paradoxial impossibility within the Mugaihara's range.
Master Swordsmanship Specialist: Although she has never been seen in battle, it is known that her personal speciality is sword fighting, including her particular mastery in the kendō style of fighting. She is more than capable of fighting on even ground with Sōsuke Aizen. She is said to know all of the schools of swordsmanship, as well as all the swords. Thus the meaning behind her previous name, "Yachiru". Considered to be the one who invented the art of killing.
Minazuki redirects here. For the manifested spirit that appears in the Zanpakutō Unknown Tales arc see Minazuki (spirit).
Minazuki (肉雫唼, "Flesh-Drops' Gorge"); In sealed form, Minazuki is slightly longer than an ordinary katana, and resembles a nodachi. The guard has an oval shape and the handle is red. Instead of tying it to her obi, Unohana carries her Zanpakutō over her shoulder by a rope strap or lets Isane carry it for her.
The release command of Minazuki is currently unknown. Due to Unohana having obtained the Bankai of her Zanpakutō, she can release the Shikai form of Minazuki without the need for a command; however, very rarely does she invoke the Shikai form of her weapon. When released, Minazuki will start to morph, turning into a green like gas substance before taking a solid shape of a giant, green, one eyed Manta Ray like creature with the capability to fly, allowing the double function as a means of transportation. It is large enough to transport many people on its back (at least a dozen, based on its size when compared to those riding it). It seems to act on verbal orders and when landing it has the ability to somehow create a pair of bird like legs. After accomplishing its purpose, it will change back into the green gas substance before returning to it's sword form when it's duty has been fulfilled.
Minazuki's main aspect is its ability to heal. When the wounded are placed within Minazuki's mouth, they are swallowed and stored inside it's stomach. Minazuki's stomach acids are strong healing medicines and ointments which gradually soak over the wounded, curing their injuries. Currently it has shown to be able to carry at least five people within its stomach. When Unohana gives the word, Minazuki will regurgitate the people back out of its mouth. Minazuki is a Zanpakutō that can influence the body through the use of unique medicinal techniques, using such targets as the meridians or such techniques such as herbs and ointments, in order to effectively heal any form of illness. The true capabilities of this Zanpakutō far outmatch any form of healing that either Unohana or her former mentor, Tenjirō Kirinji, would be otherwise able to preform; the power of which being used only in circumstances where Unohana finds it either impossible or impractical to preform the healing onto the specific victim(s). Due to this and also not wishing for an enemy to learn of Minazuki's special medicines, the power of her Shikai is reserved only for crisis situations.
Minazuki (皆尽, "All Things' End"): In the activation of her Bankai, Unohana's blade begins to seep thick blood as it begins to surround her and encompass the entire space around her. While not confirmed, it is presumed that this is the blood of every single person to have ever been killed by Unohana's Zanpakutō. In Bankai, her physical blade is replaced by the flow of blood that erupts outwards, forming a thin strand from the base of the guard. Because of the iron and carbon composition in blood, Minazuki can form a makeshift blade that allows for Zanjutsu combat. While also forming a blade out of this blood, this still carries the effects of the Bankai, meaning anyone cut by the blood blade also succumbs to Minazuki's power.
Truly a being of genuine elegance indeed, Minazuki initially assumes the guise of a gentle and selfless creature, wishing only to heal the plagues and injuries that befall the poor victims that stand before its presence. It arrives and then leaves, taking away the pain of all the victims that cry out in mercy without seeking retribution of any sort, the merciless creature relieving them of their suffering. But this is nothing but a folly, a despicable lie that mocks the peaceful concepts of life and compassion, as its Bankai releases all of this suffering back onto the world. It does not feel remorse for such a feat, taking only personal amusement in witnessing the excruciating pain it had claimed to generously rid the world of... once more plague the natural order of life itself in a manner most vile and detestable. The power of Minazuki's Bankai is actually the extreme opposite of its Shikai. Since the Shikai deals in healing any and all forms of injuries, the Bankai actually causes the reopening of every single wound, of both the physical and mental, among others, of anyone who comes into direct contact with the blood of Minazuki. In essence, Unohana claims that if her Shikai is to bring out Minazuki's physical form, the Bankai manifests Minazuki inside-out, hence the blood that spews from the release. The translation of the Bankai's name, "everything is exhausted", references this power in that all manner of healing, whether by the hand of Unohana, another healer, or the victim's body's own involuntary actions, is completely rejected and all of that pain is immediately inflicted onto the aforementioned victim. In doing so, this would almost definitely result in the instantaneous death of the victim, as no matter how trained they may have been or how resilient and durable their body may have been, no amount of preparation could allow one to anticipate such utter pain in a single helping; thus, the Bankai of Minazuki can be classified without prejudice as an instant kill. This power is especially dangerous to beings such as Menos Grande, which are crafted from thousands of Hollows, each of which have suffered some degree of injury in their lifetime. Additionally, just as Minazuki can create a makeshift blade out of this blood, Unohana can cause the blood formed from Minazuki's Bankai release to also take on similar properties, making each individual drop of blood as sharp as a blade. It appears that in addition to re-opening their own wounds, Minazuki is also capable of unleashing the injuries of which it has absorbed from victims in its Shikai state at Unohana's whim. In a face-off against Sōsuke Aizen, Unohana declared that she would make him relive every single ounce of pain that he caused others, such as Tōshirō Hitsugaya and Momo Hinamori, whom were healed by Minazuki's Shikai some time prior; a claim which, if not for the timely intervention of Shunsui Kyōraku, would have most definitely been proven true. Should the Zanpakutō of a Shinigami target also come into direct contact, the spirit within will also feel the wounds of their past become reopened all at once, which results in the blade crumbling away to dust, leaving its master defenseless. Unohana is capable of controlling the degree of the injuries that are re-opened in a victim that comes into contact with the blood, such was the case with Kenpachi Zaraki, whom only suffered minor psychological distress in order to awaken his primal instincts and to return him to his prior state. However, it has been confirmed several times that the mental injuries inflicted upon Zaraki at full power alone would've been enough to subdue the powerful Captain, much less the physical injuries that could've been bestowed upon him.
- "While it is good to be energetic, please remain quiet inside the hospital. As long as you are still inside this building, your lives are in our hands. Please do not forget that."
- (To Shinji Hirako) "The act of saving a comrade in need should require no thanks."
- (To Kenpachi Zaraki) "I am strong. Stronger than anyone but you. That is why I must take your life this day. A hundred times, or even a thousand. That is why I must bring you healing. No matter how many times it takes until you are restored to your true self. Until finally you can surpass me, and move on to far greater heights."
Behind the Scenes
The content found on this page is based off of canon Retsu Unohana, in order to expand on the character and to add fan content to it.