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Okay, it seems that no matter what thread I end up reading, there is always some debate about Hisagi's shikai in regard to what Captain Yamamoto had previously stated about Zanpakutou (that there are only two zanpakutou in existence that are actually a pair, and they are wielded by Captain Shunsui and Captain Kyoraku). Hisagi is actually probably my favorite Bleach character, but I'm going to be totally honest and objective with my statement: Hisagi's zanpakutou is not a pair, and the idea that it would be means people are reading into it way too much. His zanpakutou is clearly singular and I'm pretty sure that Kubo didn't intend for it to cause such a big debate.
Fact 1) The historical basis for Kazeshini is the manriki-gusari, a short sickle (pretty close to a kama) attached to a weighted chain (the chain is rather long as well, I'm going to guesstimate the average to be about 10 feet, but I'm not entirely sure). Its a popular enough weapon to make it into multiple media outlets (Axl Low from the Guilty Gear fighting fame series uses a weapon very similar to the Kazeshini, except his blades are still only bladed on one side). The manriki-gusari is a single weapon; the individual units that make up the weapon are not counted as singular weapons, and no one who would be using one (back before LARPing, when it as a, you know, genuine tool for killing) would refer to it as a set of three weapons; a single weapon that had three parts, sure. But it is a single weapon, is always treated as such, and its usage reflects that. In contrast, Captain Kyouraku's is clearly a set of weapons, and it even starts as a two different types of blade. Captain Ukitake's is a wee bit trickier because he has a rope that connects them. However, the rope is ostensibly not a weapon; Unlike the chain which is long enough to allow Hisagi a great range of manipulation and control of his weapon, the rope would not allow the same to be done with Ukitake's blades and seems to be nothing more than ceremonial. In other words, it's still two blades, and their connection has no significance to the ability or the nature of them being or not being a pair.
But then, a manriki gusari isn't a pair you say? True, it's not. Leading me to...
Fact 2) Release commands.
Captain Kyouraku: "The petal-storm swirls, the flower god sings, the dark storm rages, the sky demon smirks"
Captain Ukitake: "The waves are my shield, the thunder is my blade"
Captain Hisagi: "Harvest"
Aside from the obvious fact that Captain Ukitake and Captain Kyoraku's release commands are a lot longer than Hisagi's, If you look at the structure of each one, the commands themselves are far different than any captains because they refer to multiple subjects. The typical release commands follow the simple formula: A command-form verb /command-verb clause, then the name of the zanpakutou (which acts as the subject). Simple, right? Shunsui and Ukitake's aren't like that. They are the only zanpakutou that refer to multiple clauses within a single release command. Ukitake's makes two separate commands, one referring to waves, one referring to thunder; Shunsui refers to two clauses, a storm of some sort and a divine figure of some sort, both having two different images associated with them that still retain their own theme (hence why he has four commands). The key point I am trying to refer to here is that both releases are commanding more than one thing. Hisagi's release has only one command.
This brings me to my final point, which is
Fact 3) The nature of zanpaktou: Zanpakutou are spirits that reside within weapons who can manifest themselves at the command of the wielder of said weapon. This goes hand in hand with the release commands in that, as Yamamoto refers to them as a pair, it means that they probably have two spirits inside of them, as in twins. Just look at the names (For reference, the name of Ukitake's is Sougyo no Kotowari, meaning 'Truth of Pisces' and Kyouraku's is Katen Kyoukotsu, meaning 'Flower Sky Crazy Bones'). First off, Ukitake's literally refers to Pisces/a pair of twin fish. Kyouraku's has two specific titles in it, and they have so little to do with one another that it would defy logic to be a single spirit with such a name. Hisagi's simply has the name 'Wind-death- or 'Death-wind'.
There you go. Hisagi's zanpakutou is a single weapon. Yamamoto wasn't lying or wrong, and Kubo didn't contradict himself. It's one weapon and that's all it was ever meant to be.
A very nice analysis and I wholly agree
Yeah Hisagi's Zanpakutou never struck me as a dual one anyways, despite it being "in 2 pieces". It's still a singular weapon as you've stated.
An interest thought you brought to the table however is the possibility is that Sougyou no Kotowari and Katen Kyoukotsu might have dual Zanpakutou spirits as well
I'd never thought about that. I'd be interested to see their Zanpakutou spirits now ^_^
A Zanpakutou is supposed to be the physical representation of a shinigami's power so if that is the case, does this mean Kyouraku and Ukitake's powers have some kind of duality to them?
Good analysis, I also agree in that it is just one weapon and not a dual one.
As for kyoraku's and ukitake's swords:
In both releases, the command suggests a form of duality and the name of each sword also does. Thing is, it is said each zampakuto's spirit has a name and a personality of it's own. If kyuraku and ukitake had two different spirits within them, each of them should have a name and a power of their own. For the time being, I doubt they actually also have a pair of spirits....
edit: I just remembered zabimaru. The guy could apparently speak from his mouth and tail. I don't know if that was actually two spirits but I think kyoraku and ukitake could have something similar to that too....
Last edited by kkck; June 04, 2009 at 09:45 PM.
Yeah perhaps it's that type of duality.
One thing to note is that while unreleased, Kyouraku has 2 separate swords while Ukitake has one which separates when he releases.
I used to think that Hisagi had dual zanpakutou (used to, as in, after the chapter where he just released to shikai), two dual sickle like weapons, seemed obvious enough. Then I saw his method of attacking, and then I no longer believed it is a dual zanpakutou. THe weapon itself is always used in a tendem, not like how Ikkaku uses both his unreleased zanpakutou and the sheath, but as Hisagi needs both weapons, connected by the chain to do the attacking. All of his attacking comes from throwing one of his dual-sickles, and loosely controlling it with the chain. We havn't seen him attack with his sickles in hand bashing at the enemy, but only throwing it and controlling it with the chain, so I agree, its a single zanpakutou, its just got a weapon on either end (of the chain).
I also have to say that Hisagi is one of the most intriguing characters to me, not a favorite just yet. As he seems powerful (being a semi-prodigy in the shinigami academy and all, defeating Yumichika unreleased while Yumi was in his... weaker shikai form, and then defeated Findor easily once releasing), his shikai seems powerful and unpredictable too, so who knows how good he is. Plus, the mystery of the 69 tattoo intrigues me still, I still wonder why kensei has it. Very interesting character, I hope Kubo shows us more of him sometime.
Hmm...I've never heard of a "manriki-gusari" in all of my diverse martial arts training, but I always thought Kazeshini was supposed to be a kusarigama.
I'm sure Lanner probably knows what I mean, but for those who aren't aware, a kusarigama was a weapon commonly used in old, classic Ninjutsu. It's a kama (a small, hand-held harvesting scythe) with a chain from the base of the handle attached to either a heavy iron weight (usually used for threshing wheat) or another kama. It's one of those few martial arts weapons, outside of the sword and spear, that was actually designed to be a weapon. I'll look into this manriki-gusari to see which one I find more similar, but that's just what I've always thought it was supposed to be.
Okay, I've found several videos and descriptions of the manriki-gusari. Compare it to a kusarigama...
According to Wikipedia:
"The Manrikigusari (万力鎖) or Kusarifundo is a traditional Japanese chain weapon with two steel-weights on the ends designed to strike, ensnare or trap an opponent. One tactic was to bunch the chain in a fist and fling one weighted end into the face, groin or solar plexus of an opponent, quickly and discreetly disabling or even killing them. Typical Manrikigusaris are approximately three feet long. These weapons are one of the traditional weapons of Ninjutsu. The manriki gusari could also be thrown before drawing another weapon, thus possibly confusing, or surprising your enemy. Many forms taught to hit directly with only one swing, so that your opponent would not expect the blow."
"The kusarigama (鎖鎌?, lit. chain sickle) is a traditional Japanese weapon that consists of kama (the Japanese equivalent of a sickle) on a metal chain (manriki) with a heavy iron weight at the end. Though the kusarigama is derived from a farmer's scythe, and though the sickle was often carried as a weapon during the feudal era of Japan, these farmers did not carry kusarigama. Its purpose as a weapon was very obvious, so unlike a sickle, it could not be carried openly. The art of handling the kusarigama is called Kusarigamajutsu."
To me, Kazeshini appears less like the manriki-gusari and more like the kusarigama.
Last edited by Yakedo-Tenchou; June 04, 2009 at 10:15 PM.
Crap! I totally made that mistake. When I wrote manriki-gusari, I was thinking of a kusarigama. Ach. Major typo on my part ; ;
Well i'm going to have to disagree with you, because for one the release commands of a Zanpaktou just roughly define what the Zanpaktou does and thats about it. And a Kusarigama is indeed a single weapon, but we are not talking about a Kusarigama. The weapon we are talking about is Kazeshini and as you can clearly see it is not a Kusarigama. If anything it is almost two Kusarigama combined together that are connected by a chain. As opposed to being just a single Kusarigama that has a single scythe and a weighted chain. So just by looking at the two weapons you can clearly see that Kazeshini is a paired Zanpaktou. But i'll even take it a step further, Kazeshini is defined as "The form of two Kusarigama-like weapons, each with two sickle blades one inverted giving it the resemblance of a fan."
That definition itself pretty clearly states that Kazeshini is a pair of Kusarigama conected together by a chain. And the definition of the word pair is "A set of two similar things considered as a unit." And as we have seen Kazeshini is not a single Kusarigama. Thus meaning that Ukitake, Kyoraku, and Hisagi all have paired Zanpaktou's. So once again saying that Kazeshini is a Kusarigama is false, because a Kusarigama is a single weapon. I mean just by looking at Kazeshini you can clearly tell that both sides of the Zanpaktou are a similar pair. If you were to look at Ukitake's Sōgyo no Kotowari and Kyoraku's Katen Kyōkotsu and Hisagi's Kazeshini you can clearly see the undoubtable resemblance between the three Zanpaktou's, that of course being that they are all paired Zanpaktou's.
hisagi's shikai looks wicked and medieval! someone else's shikai should turn into a massive scythe thingy. like the grim reaper's.
Kazeshini, and now that we have gotten that out of the way lets move on. I don't really care what your "interpretation" of what Katon Kyoukotsu and Sougyo no Kotowari "symbolize" or "mean" because that means nothing. There is no need to go into the realm of theory because if we do that then anyone can become an expert and spin what they interpret to their advantage. Also how do you know that Kazeshini is not two different weapons? Let me guess, is it beacuse of Hisagi's release command or Kazezhini's meaning? And what i'm about to do i could literally do the same thing with almost every other Zanaktou that we have seen. But if that indeed was the case then what exactly does "howl" mean when Renji uses his Shikai? Because i'm sure just by him saying that specific release command that his Zanpaktou would be a Wolf and have wolf related power right? When indeed his Zanpaktou is a Baboon with a Sanke for a tail, so how is that explained? And when Renji uses Bankai the meaning of his Bankai is Baboon King Snake Tail which is obviously two seperate tangible things/images.
So does that mean Zabimaru in Bankai form seperates into two different spirits? The same goes for Hyōrinmaru which stands for Ice Ring, which once again are both two real and tangible things/images, yet Hyōrinmaru is a single Zanpaktou. Even Tousen's Bankai Suzumushi Tsuishiki represent's Devil Cricket which yet again are both real and tangible things/images. Just like Sōgyo no Kotowari represents Pisces and Katen Kyōkotsu represents Flower and Bone which yet again are all tangible things/images. And it does not matter if we are talking about Shikai or Bankai because we are talking about the "meanings" of the commands and Zanpaktou names. Well at least thats what you were basing your arguments on. And you can't backtrack now, because thats what you have based your theory on and now you have to live with it and deal with other peoples interpretations. So in the examples i've provided adding a comma, period or whatever between the names or commands does not change the fact that they are still two different things. So this is exactly what i meant when i said that anyone can twist these meanings to represent different things.
Also when Yamamoto stated that Katon Kyoukotsu and Sougyo no Kotowari are both paired Zanpaktou's we don't know what he meant. For all we know he could have meant that both Zanpaktou's use two types of attacks that complement eachother. Such as water and electricity which i see no reason can't come from one Zanpaktou spirit, we haven't been told otherwise. Also not once did Yamamoto say that each of the Zanpaktou's posessed two different spirits, all we saw were two weapons, just like in Hisagi's case. So again going into theory relam here makes no sense because anyone can twist these meanins to suit their own views. So i am going off of what we know to be true and that is, that Kazeshini is not a Kusarigama. And that Katon Kyoukotsu, Sougyo no Kotowari and Kazeshini are the only Zanpaktou's with two weapons that exactly resemble their counterparts that we have seen thus far. So going off of that, which is exactly what we know to be true and no theories there, all three sets are indeed paired Zapaktous. Now if down the line Kubo clarifies these meanings then thats fine, but for now that is all we know.
thought i dont agree with the theory of the two spirits, i always have agreed with the fact that hisagi's wasnt a twin zanpakutoh. Never doubt it. The analysis was perfect in the two first points, i will keep my right of discussing the 3rd point, to not cause a useless discussion.
Well I'm not sure they're twin spirits because we've never seen that before. The closest IMO we might get is as kkck said: something more akin to Zabimaru i.e. 2 personas on a same spirit.
Well it comes down to what people interpret.
Either you get:
1 - Kazeshini is a dual Zanpakutou, in which case one has to rethink Yamamoto's statement.
2 - Kazeshini is a dual Zanpakutou and Yamamoto was wrong.
3- Kazeshini isn't a dual Zanpakutou and Yamamoto was correct in his statement.
Case 2 wouldn't be good news so I believe nobody wants to acknowledge that one.
In case 1, we'd have to rethink what Yamamoto meant by "the only 2 Zanpakutou which are in pairs". He doesn't say dual, he says in pairs >.>
I want to point out kazeshini had none of the duality elements kyoraku and ukitake showed. I like to think of kazeshini as something like this:
Sorry for the bad image but it is the closest thing I could find.