- "Nice work you did," Though Echo merely shrugged his shoulders in reply. "You're going to go far, kid. Anything that gets in your way... will pay. You have that ruthlessness about you; the cold heart of a killer." Echo stopped all movement. "Tell me, then, what happens to you? You are in my way."
- —Echo and an unnamed Onmitsukidō member.
|Blake "Echo" Shihōin|
|Name||Blake "Echo" Shihōin|
|Height||174 cm (5'8½")|
|Weight||54 kg (119 lbs.)|
|Affiliation||Shihōin Clan, Soul Society|
|Occupation||Lieutenant of the 2nd Division, Corps Commander of the Patrol Corps|
|Previous Occupation||3rd Seat of the 2nd Division, Corps Commander of the Detention Unit, 4th Seat of the 2nd Division, Corps Commander of the 4th Unit, 5th Seat of the 2nd Division, Corps Commander of the Inner Court Troop|
|Base of Operations||2nd Division Barracks, Seireitei|
|Relatives||Yoken Shihōin (older brother)|
Juunan Shihōin (younger brother)
Echo (反響, Hankyō), born Blake Shihōin (ブレーク 四楓院, Shihōin Burēku), better known by his moniker of Shunsoku (俊足, Speedster), was the last man to serve as Lieutenant of the 2nd Division in the Gotei 13. Following the Collapse he teamed up with Ryan Kuchiki and seized control of the newly organized Gotei Remnant, whilst revealing himself as a member of the Kikkashō.
Echo is a highly fit and athletic Shinigami. He sports a muscular and well toned physique, heavy brown eyes that glow white when he exerts his spiritual power and has neck-length black hair with a straight cut to frame his face, the back of which is held up in a thin ponytail that reaches the base of his back. In addition the ponytail is blond instead of black, a fact which results in him getting much ridicule for his strange sense of style. Like his brother, Juunan, Echo is a lean-made-up man whose only of average height: another fact he dislikes others voicing in his hearing. Echo also possesses quite sharp features and is noted to adopt a particularly crazed exterior during the heat of battle. It is also rare to see him smile.
Echo favors the typical Shihakushō (死覇装, Garment of Dead Souls) of the Shinigami, though his is more in-line with Academy uniform as he wears a white kosode sporting dark blue outside lining with long sleeves bound to his wrists by pieces of string, traditionally black hakama, a pale blue ōbi, white tabi and average waraji. In addition he is known to wear fingerless tekkou gloves. He generally wears his zanpakutō threaded through his ōbi in the traditional style with the sheaths overlapping slightly, though at times he wears the wakizashi strapped horizontally across his lower back and the katana over his right shoulder.
Unlike so many of the members of the famed Shihōin family, Echo definitely breaks the norm. By no means is he playful nor is he joking by nature. His personality at the time of Akemi's Captaincy served as an obvious foil to his playful and rather naive superior. He is calm, cold and quite harsh, though still an effective leader, and repays any breakage of the law with the maximum punishment available to him. Despite his leadership skill he would be quick to cast others aside as trash should they fail to complete their duties effectively. He believes strongly in the creed of the Onmitsukidō, which is: "If you see your allies losing, that's your chance. Don't step between them. Take the enemy down from behind. And if the enemy is so strong you can't even do that, then just watch your ally be killed. That's what it means to be Onmitsukidō." The only person Echo has broken this creed with was Ryan Kuchiki, whom he saved in the Vandenreich Invasion, despite his own confusion at the time.
Ryan also notes Echo to be highly ruthless. Despite being a Lieutenant in the Gotei 13, by no means was he chosen for the position because he was more suited to it than anyone else. He was simply much more powerful than any of his contemporaries, which mostly boiled down to his attitude. In conjunction with the creed of the Onmitsukidō, Echo follows his own personal moral code, which is summed up most effectively by "survival of the fittest". Only the strong and cunning in this world prevail. Due to this he is distant with most of the people around him, with some calling him another Katashi because of it, though he simply employs a different form of compassion than most. Miria offered insight into his character by claiming that, deep down, he is actually quite helpful and kind though these traits are so rarely seen by others that her words are often discredited. Ryan also notes that his "compassion runs deep" and "that once befriended, you'd never find a fiercer one standing in your corner".
- Main Article - Bleach (Kenji Hiroshi).
- Main article -- Bleach: Cataclysm.
Braving the Waves arc
Powers and Abilities
Great Spiritual Power: Being stated as a Shinigami with Captain-level ability all-around the board, Echo has a great amount of spiritual power at his disposal despite his position as a Lieutenant. He was one of two candidates to Captain the 2nd Division following the death of Akemi, indicating that he possesses both Captain-level reiatsu and Bankai, even though he ultimately failed in his application. His spiritual power is white in coloration, causing his eyes to shine when he exerts it strongly enough. His spiritual power is also highly unique, being unaffected by the deadly Kouryū current within the Dangai, enabling him to literally walk through the Kōtotsu, as well as control the Blanks for his own purposes. In fact, his control of the Blanks is rivaled only by the Shinenju.
Blank Manipulation: Like the fallen house of Ryōdoji before him, Echo can manipulate the Blanks for various purposes. He can call large groups to his location, instantly heal his body by absorbing multiple Blanks to restore lost limbs or simply close open wounds and even use them to repair his Zanpakutō instantly should it be broken. Echo is also capable of augmenting his physical abilities, demonstrated during his battles with the Quincy during the Vandenreich Invasion. His experiences against the Quincy have colored his usage of Blanks, as a number of his abilities are merely imitations of some of their more advanced techniques, such as Blut. As such Echo has highly developed physical strength and durability.
Hakuda Master: Echo, as a former commander of the Detention Unit of the Onmitsukidō, was not allowed to use weapons in the Nest of Maggots. As such he was required to become highly proficient in unarmed combat to compensate, and was capable of putting down highly organized escape attempts by inmates of the Nest of Maggots single-handedly. During the Vandenreich Invasion he came to Ryan's aid against the Soldat, and was capable of killing them single-handedly, whilst fighting back-to-back with Ryan.
Zanjutsu Expert: While not his favored form of Shinigami combat, Echo has increased his skills regardless in order to address his rivalry with Ryan. During their days in the Academy he was capable of matching all of Ryan's own Zanjutsu skills and could even perform them himself. As such he has mastered the three classical Forms of Zanjutsu combat taught to students. He has also developed a tremendous aptitude for Battōjutsu. The emphasis of training in Battōjutsu is on cutting with the sword before you engage an enemy in combat. All of Echo's initial strikes are Battōjutsu techniques and stances, and he is capable of incorporating multiple cuts into a single motion after drawing the sword. Like Ryan, the extreme speed of his drawing slash prevents most enemies using Kidō against him as they cannot focus on their incantations or the hand motions needed to perform them, giving him a huge advantage over users excelling in Kidō. This also applies to those who require a fighting pose to fire their techniques, an example being Cero and the faster Bala attack. Even without Shunpo he can avoid most attacks aimed against him, even with little actual time to react.
Hohō Expert: As a high-ranking member of the Onmitsukidō as well as a Shinigami with Captain-level ability, Echo has tremendous skill and knowledge in various Hohō applications. His expertise in the Shunpo art is surpassed only by the older Captains in the Gotei 13 as well as his own Captain, hinting at his superior application compared to other Lieutenants.
Onkyō (音響, Sonic). Echo's Zanpakutō is sealed in the form of a daishō pair sporting square guards and black sheaths. He wears them threaded through his ōbi in the traditional style with the sheaths overlapping slightly, though at times he wears the wakizashi strapped horizontally across his lower back and the katana over his right shoulder.
- Shikai: Unlike most Zanpakutō, Onkyō has two Shikai commands, each producing a unique automatic effect. Regardless of command used, however, Onkyō retains its daishō form.
- Shikai Special Ability: Onkyō's release command is "Burst" (破裂, Haretsu), which has the automatic effect of producing powerful sonic waves over large areas at the speed of sound, which can disrupt attacks, render opponents unconscious and even cause Onkyō to vibrate at high levels, greatly increasing his ability to cut through solid material. Every verbal declaration of the release command produces the sound wave attack. After learning his Bankai release Echo also noted that he could control the pitch, range and speed of the sound wave with great precision, allowing him to target specific targets; though Ryan noted that he could go no faster than the speed sound travels naturally when performing his attacks. The effect of the sonic waves can be targeted at or neglected from specific opponents, making it ideal for use in group fighting.
- Shōgekiha (衝撃波, Sonic Boom): Onkyō's technique which changes Onkyō into its Shōgekiha form. By slashing his Zanpakutō swiftly down vertically and calling the techniques name, Echo produces an explosive sound-wave caused by the shock wave preceding his slash, which travels above the speed of sound. The concussive force can mortally wound even the sturdiest of targets and cause depressions in the earth. Echo prefers using the technique at close range after delivering a Battōjutsu strike, which, more times than not, completely destroys his enemies body.
- Shōgekiha Nijūshin (衝撃波二重身, Sonic Boom Doppelganger): an expansion of Onkyō's Shōgekiha form. With it Echo can create a longer lasting sound which produces an echo, which in turn produces a completely solid, clone-like image which can be sustained for long durations. Echo commonly uses this clone for espionage or to test his opponents abilities before revealing his true self, though he's also used it as a means of holding his enemy down so he can kill them.
- Bankai: Zenohakai Shōgekiha (全を破壊 衝撃波, All-destroying Sonic Boom): not yet revealed, though vaguely commented on. Ryan Kuchiki states that Echo's Bankai is one factor that cemented his nickname in the first place, suggesting that its power is related in someway to echos, which is the repetition of a sound by the reflection of sound waves.
- "Ryan: "You are an idiot, Echo. Watch your back!"
Echo: "Shut your mouth before I break it. Above you!"
Both: "Too slow!"
Ryan: "I thought you used your allies weakness to strike an enemy down?"
Echo: "Who said you where my ally?"
- —Even fighting back-to-back, Ryan and Echo can't help but hate one another.
Lieutenant Ryan Kuchiki: Although the two dislike being in each others company for even the briefest time-span (making Lieutenant meetings for them particularly difficult), they have been paired together repeatedly by their superiors ever since their Academy days, regardless of their feelings. What caused their mutual dislike for one another is not known, though many have speculated towards an event in their childhood, though the truth remains skewed and ultimately unknown. Whatever the cause Echo and Ryan are often at one another's throat as a direct result. However, despite their differences, the two make a formidable team and have come to trust each other explicitly to guard the others back in battle which, again, stems from their Academy days. During their studies the two were the fiercest of rivals and competed with one another in everything they did, whether it was a trivial matter at best or full-blown training sessions.
Behind the Scenes
- Blake's appearance is based on Sakura Shinnojou from Gamaran,