Byakuya is a tall and slim man with fair skin, slate grey eyes and long black hair with a single long strand in between his eyes, which he puts light-silver hairpieces at the top and back of his hair. He also keeps his hair in intricate, silver-white headpieces called kenseikan, which symbolizes his nobility as the head of the Kuchiki Clan, wearing one on the right side of his hair.
Aside from wearing the standard Soul Reaper black shihakusho, Byakuya wears a finely crafted variation of the standard sleeveless, captain's haori, featuring a high collar with light gold edges and small, light gold tassels attached to the corners. The coat also has a cobalt blue coloration on its' inside, as well as the 6th Division's rhombus number on the coat's back. He also wears a long scarf around his lower neck and near the coat's collar, which is woven by the master weaver Tsujishirō Kuroemon III. The scarf is made from silver-white, windflower light silk (ginpaku kazahana no uzuginu) and is a family heirloom, having been handed down from generation to generation and given to each head of the Kuchiki Clan. The scarf alone is worth ten mansions in the Seireitei. Byakuya even wears a pair of fingerless, white tekko which only covers the back of his hands.
As the 28th Head of the Kuchiki Clan, Byakuya acts in an aristocratic manner. He always seems serene and apathetic towards other people, even while actually deeply conflicted. He is notably calm, even in battle. He generally acts indifferent, bordering on arrogance, to most situations he is faced with, and rarely views his opponent as being worth his time. Byakuya is easily offended if his name is not used properly. As such, he views Ichigo Kurosaki with disdain for always referring to him improperly. When Byakuya talks with Ichigo, he calls him by his full name. Byakuya is very perceptive, fully aware of the limits of his abilities, and anything he states in comparison to an opponent is usually justified. Despite consistently stating himself to be far stronger than opponents like Zommari, Byakuya retains a formal tone, always using "watashi" which is a formal way of referring to oneself. When he was younger, he was quick to anger and very hot-headed, as noted by his grandfather.
Byakuya strongly believes in law and order. As a captain of the Gotei 13 and head of one of the great noble families, he works hard for a peaceful society. He feels that if someone in his position does not follow the rules as a good example, no one else will. He believes that to maintain the order, all law-breakers must be punished, even if it goes against his own wishes. Byakuya feels that "part of a captain's responsibilities is to make sure that the lieutenant's responsibilities are taken care of". In spite of his icy and regal manner, Byakuya cares for and protects those important to him. After the events of the Aizen incident, he admits law isn't perfect, and becomes more lenient towards his adoptive sister, Rukia. Because of his promise to Hisana, Byakuya smothered Rukia despite his pride by making sure she would never become a seated officer because of the risks that involve missions for such positions.
Byakuya is popular among the female Shinigami of Soul Society, and was voted number one in the "captain we desire to release a photo book for" poll taken by the Shinigami Women's Association. He likes Japanese cherry blossoms, night-time walks, spicy food, and bananas, but does not like sweets. Like Sōsuke Aizen, Byakuya excels in calligraphy.
As astonishing as it may seem, Byakuya seems to have a comedic side, as he not only attends the lieutenant's meeting when Renji's absent, but also implies that he attends the meetings of the Shinigami Women's Association when Rukia's absent. As he puts it, "part of a captain's responsibilities is to make sure the lieutenant's responsibilities are taken care of," to which Renji asks if goes to Rukia's meetings, which is only responded by a smile similar to that of Gin Ichimaru's. He also once jokingly remarks that he uses Senbonzakura to cut his hair, which surprised Renji that Byakuya has actually made a joke for the first time.
Byakuya has shown open disdain for those who have been disgraced or who he finds to be annoying or overconfident. This is shown when he uses unnecessary force against Ganju Shiba, who was little to no threat to him, just because he was a member of the formerly noble Shiba family. He also shows that he bears a grudge toward Yoruichi Shihōin for being better then him at Shunpo as well as annoying him by constantly rubbing his face in it, with this particular grudge spanning 110 years. This goes even as far as him even disliking having to use techniques taught to him by Yoruichi.
Three-Tails Arc (Anime Only)Edit
Key of the Solar Eclipse Arc (Anime Only)Edit
Allied Forces Invading Army Arc (Anime Only)Edit
Ryuha Armament Alliance Past Arc (Anime Only)Edit
Master Swordsman Specialist: Byakuya is a master of swordsmanship, possessing flawless precision and performing lethal attacks with little effort. Due to his extensive training, as well as the philosophy of the Kuchiki Clan prioritizing elegance, Byakuya's swordplay is considered to be highly refined and tactful. He demonstrates this clearly through the stance that he employs, one that appears to be a neutral, two-handed stance that keeps Senbonzakura parallel to Byakuya's waist, while his right foot remains slightly more forward than his left. In maintaining this stance, Byakuya manages to keep steady even while fighting in the air, attributing to his proficiency in Shunpo as well, which enables him to shift his positioning and distance swiftly from an opponent to analyze their fighting style without losing the advantage of maintaining his almost aggressive swordsmanship. He is also skilled at using swordplay with one hand, while using mid- to high-level Kidō spells with the other to make unpredictable attacks, to throw his opponents off guard.
Shunpo Master: Byakuya is arguably best known for his skill in Shunpo. Having been taught by, but never beating "Flash Master" Yoruichi Shihōin, he is easily one of the most proficient users of this skill in all of Soul Society. Byakuya's speed is said to even match that of the Septimo Espada, Zommari Rureaux, who's Sonído is said to be the fastest among all the Espada. He remained able to use Shunpo after severing the muscles and tendons in his left leg.
- Senka (Flash Blossom): A special Shunpo technique where one moves to their opponent's back, directly attacking and sealing one's "Saketsu" and "Hakusui" in one strike. This attack is his favorite to use. The movement is so fast that an opponent may not be able to tell whether he was attacked from the front or the back and even an outside observer may find it impossible to tell what the movements are.
- Utsusemi (Cast-Off Cicada Shell): Way of Onmitsu, 3rd of the Shihō. It allows for a movement at great speed, leaving an afterimage behind. It was a technique taught by Yoruichi Shihoin.
Kidō Master: Byakuya has displayed his knowledge of high level Kidō spells, able to cast several in quick succession without the incantation and with almost no effort and still possessing formidable power. He has been shown to use spells up to level 81 and possesses advanced knowledge of Kidō application and consistency. He can use low-level spells with devastating effects, as well as a counter to enemy attacks. He even uses a low-level lightning spell to burn a hole right through Ichigo's shoulder. In truth, Byakuya is a man that employs Kidō as a means to demonstrate his authority, using their grand powers to show his opponents the folly of entering combat with him.
Hakuda Combatant: While used less often, Byakuya is highly proficient in this area. Byakuya stealthily knocked out several Shinigami guards with a single strike each.
Master Tactician: Byakuya is a highly perceptive fighter, being able to almost immediately determine an opponent's attack patterns and weaknesses. He is also a crafty tactician, as demonstrated from how effectively he uses his Kidō to confuse his opponents. He can discern the motives and abilities of his opponents and effectively uses his knowledge to end the battle in his favor.
Enhanced Endurance: While not having the most imposing appearance compared to other Soul Reaper captains like Kenpachi Zaraki, Byakuya has shown to be a very resilient fighter. During his final fight against Ichigo, despite gaining several major injuries, Byakuya was still able to continue fighting effectively and even ignored his wounds to the point that he seemed unfazed by them. At the end of the fight, he was still able to perform an impressive Shunpo to leave. During his fight with the Septimo Espada Zommari Rureaux, Byakuya's resilience proved great enough for him to willingly damage himself to escape from his enemy's possession attack and continued to fight as if he was unaffected. During his fight with Tsukishima, he had his entire left arm mutilated by Senbonzakura, and still defeated the Fullbringer. During his fight with Aizen alongside the Rescue Team, Byakuya continued fighting despite his moderate injuries, including a severe cut on his left abdomen and a burn on his right arm from a point-blank Hado No. 63: Raikoho.
Immense Spiritual Power: He can exert an immense amount of Spiritual Pressure, which, in addition to his already admirable combat skills and finesse, makes him one of the most formidable captains in all of the Soul Society. His spiritual pressure can be felt from a great distance, and it has the tendency to make people perspire in fear. Ganju Shiba has stated Byakuya is the strongest leader in the entire history of the Kuchiki Clan, and Koga Kuchiki has stated few, if any, of the Kuchiki Clan leaders have been as powerful as Byakuya is, further elaborating on his power level. His Reiatsu color is white.
Senbonzakura (Thousand Cherry Blossoms): Its sealed state is like that of a regular katana, with a simple bronze cross-guard, which is a simple open frame, much like a four-pane window. It has a light-blue handle and a white sheath.
- Shikai: Senbonzakura's Shikai release command is "Scatter".
- Shikai Special Ability: In its Shikai, Senbonzakura's blade separates into a thousand tiny, slender blade fragments, which fly away from the hilt, leaving only the sword's handle in Byakuya's hand. The release can be negated before it completes, as seen when Yoruichi Shihōin wrapped the blade in cloth during Byakuya's short battle with Ichigo. However, if the release completes itself, Senbonzakura is rendered near unstoppable. While the blades are supposedly too small to be seen normally, they reflect light in such a way as to resemble cherry blossom petals. By swinging Senbonzakura's hilt, Byakuya can control the blade fragments, allowing him to shred opponents at a distance and break through almost any defense. The blades can be used for defensive purposes, as they can protect Byakuya from an incoming sword swing without even moving. In order to protect Byakuya from his own attacks in both Shikai and Bankai, Senbonzakura possesses a "Hurtless Area" (Woundless Zone) where it does not cut anything within an 85 cm area radius of Byakuya, unless he himself allows the blades to enter the area. During his second battle with Ichigo, he controlled the blade fragments with his hands to keep up with Ichigo's speed.
- Bankai: Senbonzakura Kageyoshi (Vibrant Display of a Thousand Cherry Blossoms): To almost every foe that witnesses it, the Bankai of Senbonzakura is the last thing they see before they die. Very few are awarded the right to see it by Byakuya, even less make it through the fight alive after confronting it. Byakuya's Bankai is a much larger version of Senbonzakura's Shikai. To activate it, Byakuya drops his sword straight down. The sword phases into the ground, as though it were a pool of water. Energy ripples expand out, turning the surrounding area dark, and within seconds, two rows of a thousand giant blades rise up from the ground. Those thousand swords scatter, and countless flying blades pierce the enemy. No one knows the exact number of blades generated, and no one can dodge or even see the movements of these blades. The number of blades is great enough that Byakuya can simultaneously use them for offense and defense. He commonly forms them into large masses of flower petals to obliterate opponents instantaneously. As they move through the air like torrents of waves, they give the appearance of cherry blossoms flowing swiftly along the wind. Senbonzakura Kageyoshi's defensive use allows Byakuya to cover himself entirely in these tiny blades, forming a body shield. Unlike his Shikai, his Bankai is mentally controlled. While Byakuya can control the blades with his mind alone, using his hands allows him to do so more effectively, making the blades increase in speed threefold, as it was able to briefly keep up with Ichigo's Bankai-enhanced speed. Similar to his Shikai, its attack is triggered with the phrase "Scatter".
- Bankai Special Ability: Byakuya's Bankai has several forms, achieved by arranging the blades in different patterns. Each form presents a different advantage, such as increasing offense at the expense of defense. This variety of techniques makes Senbonzakura Kageyoshi extremely versatile in the Bleach series. These techniques are activated by saying the name of the technique, followed by the name of his Bankai, Senbonzakura Kageyoshi:
- Senkei (Slaughterscape): The true form of Senbonzakura is seemingly created by his blood, which glows and turns into spiritual energy, mixing with the tiny blades of his Bankai. This unites the scattered petals into complete glowing swords, numbering in the thousands, that form four rows. These rows float just above the other, and circle around Byakuya and his opponent in a continuously moving, column-like array. It abandons defense in favor of a concentrated offense. Though visually menacing, this form is not meant for attack from all sides; rather, it is to concentrate his power into fewer blades, thus increasing his attack power. While Byakuya can mentally control these swords as he does his regular blades, he commonly calls them to his hands for actual melee combat. When in his hand, they lose their glow, and take the form of his sealed Zanpakuto. While they seem solid in this state, the swords can just as easily dissipate back into the multitude of tiny blades that they are made up of. It seems to take fewer blows from a Senkei blade to gravely injure an opponent than the multiple cuts needed from the unfocused Bankai. The Senkei also cages himself with his enemy, allowing neither combatant to move very far from each other, though the area is still large enough for maneuverability. The most effective use of the Senkei form is that it allows for use of all the swords at the same attack level, making it highly versatile as a way to effectively defeat an enemy unaware of the danger of the situation. It is extremely rare for him to use this ability, doing so only when he has sworn to cut down the opponent with his very own hands. During their second fight, Byakuya claimed that Ichigo was the second being to ever witness the ability.
- Gōkei (Mawscape): This form increases the number of tiny blades immensely. It creates a spherical formation of innumerable blade fragments, which swirl around the opponent like a cloud before flying into them from every possible angle, leaving no blind spots and no possibility of escape. It proceeds to collapse in on itself, obliterating the opponent. When used, it completely obliterated a very large building from the inside out, and the resulting shockwave generated by the attack forced Byakuya himself had to use Shunpo to escape the destruction.
- Shūkei: Hakuteiken (Endscape: White Emperor Sword): This condenses each and every single one of his blades into a single, potent sword, drastically increasing its cutting power. The spiritual energy and pressure of this form released is immense. The blade appears bright white and its aura takes the form of a bird, earning it the name "Hakuteiken" (White Imperial Sword). Pure white wings form on Byakuya's back, as well as a halo-like circle, made of concentrated spiritual energy. The blade in this form is dangerous enough to cause aggravated injuries in one single blow. The wings are capable of being used for flight. Whether or not this form allows only one single attack or more is as yet unknown in the series.
- Ginrei Kuchiki (Grandfather, missing)
- Sojun Kuchiki (Father, deceased)
- Hisana Kuchiki (Wife, deceased)
- Rukia Kuchiki (Sister-in-Law/Adoptive Younger Sister)
- Team Karakura
- Yoruichi Shihōin (Shunpo mentor and rival-in-speed)
- Kisuke Urahara
- Tōshirō Hitsugaya
- Ikkaku Madarame
- Yachiru Kusajishi
- Kenpachi Zaraki (rival)
- Shinigami Captains
- Kakashi Hatake
- Jellal Fernandes
- Roy Mustang
- Ryuha Armament Alliance
- Sōsuke Aizen
- The Arrancars
- The Espada
- The Bounts
- Jin Kariya
- Kugo Ginjo
- Shunkuro Tsukishima
Background in Other MediaEdit
- Such a buzzing fly. Prepare to die!