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"Sōritsu...! Let me tell you something: when you killed Miria, you made a big mistake. You see, instead of shattering my will, all you did was galvanise it. I feel your strength waning; every day is a struggle for you, and every day it becomes easier for me to exert more control. I will kill you. Count on it!"
—Ryan to Sōritsu.
Rose
Ryan Kuchiki profile
Name Ryan Kuchiki
Kanji ライアン朽木
Romanji Kuchiki Ryan
Characteristics
Race Battle Doll (Shinigami)
Gender Male
Professional Status
Affiliation Gotei Remnant, Kikkashō, Imawashī
Previous Affiliation Gotei 13
Occupation Commander of the Gotei Remnant
Previous Occupation Lieutenant of the 5th Division
Team Gotei Remnant, Imawashī
Previous Team 5th Division
Partner Blake Shihōin, Erika Fujibayashi
Previous Partner Miria Fujibayashi
Base of Operations Reikai
Personal Status
Marital Status Single
Education Shinō Academy, Sōritsu Kuchiki
Family Ginrei Kuchiki (Grandfather)
Kōga Kuchiki (Father, deceased)
Unnamed Mother (Deceased)
Sōritsu Kuchiki (Surrogate Father)
Status Active
Zanpakutō
Shikai Taiyō Satsuriku
Bankai Not yet revealed

Ryan Kuchiki (ライアン朽木, Kuchiki Raian), better known as Rose (ローズ, Rōzu), is the 30th Head of the Kuchiki clan as well as the Commander of the Gotei Remnant. Prior to this occurrence he was formerly the Lieutenant of the 5th Division in the Gotei 13, under Captain Yuuna Tomoko. He was a close friend to both Miria Fujibayashi and Blake "Echo" Shihōin, and was known to have been instructed by both Sōritsu Kuchiki and Anika Shihōin. He later took Sojiro Kori as an apprentice, doubly to keep him out of trouble and because he genuinely saw potential in the Kori scion.

During Part I and II of the series he fought in the Winter War, the Quincy Blood War, as well as the First Spiritual War on the side of the Soul Society, serving in the role of a supporting character. In this latter conflict he fought alongside Tadashi Kori and Shin Nagakura, as well as Kenji Hiroshi and Kusaka Kori; he was specifically responsible for gathering formation on Dastan Shiba on behalf of Kenji, and crossed blades with Averian on his friends behalf. In addition he was a pivotal ally in the conflicts surrounding Oda Kōhai in Heisekai during Part III, specifically to Itazura Kori and Rosuto Shiba.

Following the Collapse Kentaro Hiroshi discovered that Ryan had somehow assimilated the memories and powers of Sōritsu Kuchiki who was, in fact, one of Averian's Battle Dolls. This made Ryan into a Battle Doll by association, essentially making him one of Averian's pawns. Ryan's consciousness, however, still existed within the newly fused body, and he was constantly waging a fierce war for control against his surrogate father. The death of Miria Fujibayashi at Sōritsu's hand galvanised Ryan's will to see Sōritsu dead, and he now patiently awaits his opportunity to exact bloody revenge.

Appearance

Pre-Collapse

Ryan Kuchiki full

Ryan Kuchiki.

Ryan is a highly fit and athletic Shinigami. He sports a muscular and well toned physique, calm brown eyes and flowing black hair which he usually ties up in a ponytail sporting many spikes, with a neatly trimmed fringe and well-maintained bangs which frame his face on either side. Lately however he has begun to let his hair grow out, though only at the back, mimicking his surrogate father. In addition he sports deliberately dyed short tufts of red hair on the left side of his head, in the same fashion as his departed father Kōga. His clothing consisted of a heavily modified Shihakushō of his own design with black kosode, a high collar, and protective red shoulder guards modelled after the Academy fashion. He also sported red-coloured hakama, a white ōbi, black tabi and standard waraji. He commonly wore his Zanpakutō threaded through his ōbi in the traditional style, with both sheaths overlapping in a loose X-shape. In addition Ryan wore the Kuchiki family scarf wrapped around his neck and, dependent on his mood, the Kenseikan in his hair. When he does wear the latter he lets his hair hang loose and keeps the Kenseikan to the right. In addition, like his departed father before him, Ryan wears a red scarf though his is short and worn like a sash which is fastened over his left shoulder, instead of being draped over both of his shoulders.

Post-Collapse

Ryanpostcollapse

Ryan following his fusion with Sōritsu.

As a direct result of his fusion with Sōritsu, Ryan's appearance changed drastically following the Collapse, to the point he was completely unrecognisable compared to his former look. He retained his height, muscle, and athletic build, but this was reinforced by an ever sterner exterior that was classical Sōritsu; his followers noted him to look fiercer overall. Ryan's black-coloured hair became as long as Sōritsu's had been, and reached the base of his back when left unbound. He also stopped dying his fringe in homage to his father. His attire also changed noticeably; instead of Ryan's previous outfit he favoured simpler garb that consisted of a black long-sleeved shirt and black pants. Ryan also took to wearing a tatami-style chest-plate similar to that once worn by Rosuto Shiba, with protective plates covering his waist, chest, thighs and shoulders. Garian notes that Ryan now looks identical to what Sōritsu looked like when the latter was in his prime.

Personality

Pre-Collapse

"I'm far less now than what I once was. I'm just like a painter gone blind, a composer gone deaf. I remember where the power was, where he could be found, but the power I can touch is only a memory."
—Ryan to Miria Fujibayashi regarding the theft of his Bankai.[src]
Roseimage

Ryan's down-to-earth attitude.

Despite his near-mythical status within the old Shinō Academy, Ryan possessed an approachable and down-to-earth personality despite being a man of high birth even amongst the nobility; he was thus accepted and liked by most he encountered. He readily agreed to help Tadashi Kori with his investigations. Nami even remarked that he was very free and loose, particularly with his speech, for he noted the company Tadashi arrived with to be "heavenly".[1] He was also a man who disliked politics. He found the constant behind-the-scenes manoeuvring of the noble families to be annoying, and particularly disliked the attempts by the Kuchiki elders to marry him off to secure more lasting alliances.[2]

Ryan battle

Ryan's battlefield expression was icy and fierce.

On the field of battle Ryan was a man transformed. He became harsh, unrelenting, and completely without mercy; all traces of the down-to-earth Ryan disappeared like he never existed at all.[3] These same traits extended to his many investigations. Ryan wasn't above goading his opponents into an engagement if it suited his ends, and was known to carefully plan his approach to produce better results, and it was this mentality he also adopted when dealing with his fellow nobles.[2][4] The only time Ryan wasn't a bloodthirsty killer whilst fighting was when he was in the company of Miria Fujibayashi. Their relationship was intimately close and although the two never crossed the line into full-blown romance, it was clear that both wished to do so.[2] Miria was his pillar and confidant when he was at his lowest points and was usually the one to restore his confidence and shore up his resolve after a crushing defeat; Ryan even admitted that he would not know what to do without her.[5] Ryan's relationship with Miria was often used against him however. Chief amongst those to manipulate Ryan in this way was Sōritsu himself, who often physically abused the woman to force a reaction from his student.[6]

Ryan's care

Ryan telling his squad-mates and friends that they do not have his permission to die needlessly.

Despite his noble status Ryan's positive outlook and dislike of his noble status ensured he made friends amongst the lower classes, coming into the confidence of Tadashi Kori, Kentaro Hiroshi, Blake Shihōin and a number of others.[1] He worked alongside Blake and Anko Amatsuki to provide Kentaro with the information that would allow him to mount a successful rescue of Akiye, noting that Kentaro helped him regain his stolen Bankai years later as a "debt repaid".[7] He also demonstrated a caring side to those he considered his allies. He admonished Itazura Kori for carelessly placing Yori Hisagi, Naoko Izuru and Hoshi Madarame in danger in Heisekai for something as trivial as revenge; he further stated that he wasn't giving any of them permission to die.[8]

Post-Collapse

"Heh! Are you both so frightened of my sword that you resort to attacking me at range? It doesn't matter for distance is irrelevant. I hold both your lives in the palm of my hand."
—Ryan to David and Hawke before casually placing his hand on the former's chest.[src]

Following the Collapse a massive and unexplained change came over Ryan. Although he was capable of forging the survivors of the old Gotei 13 into the Gotei Remnant, showcasing his previously seen charisma and leadership, it quickly became apparent that Ryan no longer cared for the upkeep of the Spirit Cycle of Souls; even his own allies came to view him as a despot unworthy of his command, chief amongst them Tōshirō Hitsugaya and Shūsuke Amagai.[9] He viciously put down any public insurgents without mercy or hesitation, which led both Myōga Hisamaru and Hina Hogosha to rally the survivors of the now defunct Kidō Corps and Onmitsukidō into secretive shadow organizations devoted to removing the man from power.[10] Ryan eventually joined the Kikkashō and entered into an alliance with the resurgent Imawashī, which was the final straw for a number of his followers; both Tōshirō and Amagai abandoned the Gotei Remnant to side with Kentaro Hiroshi and the Six Directions.[11] This only furthered Ryan's descent into darkness. He became even more critical of his followers and turned to the Imawashī with ever-increasing regularity, to the point the Souls of the Reikai lived in constant fear.

Kentaro later discovered the cause of Ryan's radical shift in character though he does not know how this occurred. Ryan seemingly underwent a fusion with Sōritsu Kuchiki, who Kentaro revealed to have been a Battle Doll created by Averian; Ryan thus expressed many of Sōritsu's own traits, chief amongst them his aggression and heavy-handed approach to dealing with situations.[12] Kentaro further postulated that the real Ryan lay somewhere deep within, buried below Sōritsu's persona; Kentaro was momentarily able to get through to him during their first encounter following the Collapse, and Ryan seemed to be genuinely shocked by his actions.[9] Rumours also circulated that Ryan had Miria Fujibayashi killed; Yori Hisagi confided to the Yume sisters that Miria's body had been discovered the day before, and inferred that Ryan himself was responsible.[10] This remains unconfirmed however but considering the way the Sōritsu-controlled Ryan has behaved following the Collapse it may not be outside the realm of possibility, especially considering the great delight he took in injuring Hawke and David Kori.[11] It should also be noted that Sōritsu bore no love for Miria; he repeatedly put her in harms way in the past as a means of goading Ryan into a confrontation.[6]

"Kentaro will stop you. I have every faith in him... and when he does, I'll drag you down, and I will not be merciful. You harmed Miria: for that you will die."
—Ryan to Sōritsu.

Kentaro has postulated however that the true Ryan, who fought beside Kenji Hiroshi and Kusaka Kori during the First Spiritual War, is fighting back against Sōritsu for control. Kentaro confided to Akiye that Ryan could have killed him at any time during the First Battle of Nishiendo, revealing that the latter did not; in fact Ryan momentarily took control, only to be overcome. Ryan however left Sōritsu with a stern warning: when Kentaro does stop him he (Ryan) will be waiting to exact vengeance for harming Miria.

History

Ryan was born the son of Kōga Kuchiki and Ginrei's daughter six months after Kōga was sealed away by Ginrei and Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto. Growing up Ryan would routinely visit Sōritsu Kuchiki and always referred to him as Katame-sama (片目様, Mr. One-eye); a reference to the scar running through his right eye. This annoyed Sōritsu but he decided against sending the boy away due to him having lost his father and uncle, Sōjun Kuchiki, so quickly one after the other. Ryan would come to identify Sōritsu as a father-figure and Sōritsu took the young Kuchiki under his wing. Unknown to Ryan, however, was the true identity of Sōritsu. The latter was already decades dead at the hand of Averian and had been replaced by an identical Battle Doll. Averian began a lengthy grooming process that would mould Ryan into the perfect pawn for his future plans. This process finally bore fruit centuries later when Ryan was altered into a Battle Doll through a fusion with Sōritsu, essentially putting the younger Kuchiki under Averian's control.

As a Shinigami Ryan rose through the ranks quickly alongside Blake Shihōin and Miria Fujibayashi. He graduated the Shinō Academy in only a single year, and had achieved Shikai within six months. During his time as a student he also defeated Kenji Hiroshi and Kusaka Kori in sparring two-on-one. He would later achieve and master Bankai whilst still a seated officer. Ryan was one of many Shinigami stationed within the Seireitei during the Winter War and fought against the Quincy barely two years later. The role he played is currently unknown. A number of years after the conflict Ryan was named the next Head of the Kuchiki clan, replacing his cousin Daisuke Kuchiki. Then Captain of the 5th Division Yuuna Tomoko appointed him as her Lieutenant following this, beginning a prosperous working relationship. Following the Collapse however it was rumoured Ryan personally slew his ex-Captain, though few know whether this was fact or fiction.

Synopsis

Main Article - Bleach (Kenji Hiroshi).

Part I

Main article -- Bleach: Sun and Moon Chronicles.

Rivalries arc

Birth of the Bakkōtō arc

Patrol Corps arc

Trickster arc

Part II

Soul Society arc

Invasion of Kōhai Tochi arc

Part III

Impostor arc

Rise and Fall of Legends arc

Quincy Emergence arc

Part IV

Main article -- Bleach: Cataclysm.

Braving the Waves arc

Part V

Powers and Abilities

Ryan spiritual power

Ryan's spiritual power.

Ryanpowerpostcollapse

Ryan's spiritual power post-Collapse.

Immense Spiritual Power: Ryan was a powerful Shinigami even before he fused with Sōritsu; widely regarded as the strongest heir the Kuchiki clan had ever produced since Sōritsu himself. He possessed Captain-class spiritual energy and wielded Bankai, having mastered its use in a fraction of the usually required time.[3] Once released his spiritual power was observed to have resonated throughout Heisekai, being strong enough to be felt as far away as the Royal Palace.[13] He was capable of folding his reiatsu into defensive Kidō barriers which where powerful enough to temporarily resist the piercing power of Sōritsu's Bankai; this is notable for the latter's Bankai can normally pierce even the strongest of defences in a mere second.[14] Following the Collapse and his union with Sōritsu, Ryan's spiritual energy was grandly and explosively augmented;[12] to the point he could engage both Hawke and David Kori two-on-one without incident, injuring both extensively.[11] He was also capable of engaging Kentaro Hiroshi, who clashed with him multiple times.[9] Kentaro, however, deduced that Ryan was by leaps-and-bounds the more powerful of the two. Kentaro postulated that Ryan and Sōritsu where in a constant struggle for control, and that this reduced the level of spiritual power their fused body could call upon to defend himself.

  • Kizou (寄贈, Gift): as one of Averian's earliest creations who possessed a great deal of his own power the Battle Doll forged in Sōritsu's image possessed a number of "gifts", which would later become known as the Gift of The Outsider.[15] When Ryan fused with this Battle Doll he inherited these same "gifts", becoming a very minor Tenjin.[12] These inherited traits include:
Ryanhealing

Ryan's self-healing.

  • Immortality & Regeneration: Although his battle with Hawke and David was short the duo quickly discovered that they could not land a killing blow on Ryan; whatever injuries they inflicted upon him quickly healed, leaving not even a scar.[11] Interestingly enough Kentaro was capable of injuring him without this instant self-healing taking place, which hinted at the latter's own Tenjin status.[9] His various "gifts" also rendered him immortal to all save a killing blow from those with Tenshi-like powers.
  • Kamishini (神殺, God-Killing): Normally a Tenjin is immortal; even if struck down in battle they will revive in Amenokai, and they have a massive tolerance for shrugging off pain and ignoring even the most extensive of injuries inflicted upon them; this is the reason neither Hawke nor David could sufficiently harm him.[15][11] This trait is rendered powerless before another celestial being, or celestial artefact.[11] Ryan is capable of landing a killing blow on these individuals.
  • Pyrokinesis: His reiatsu took the form of swirling blue flames which could be directed at an opponent for offensive means, or retained within his Zanpakutō to augment blade-swings. This power stemmed from Averian, having seemingly been gifted to him following the Collapse.
Roseattack

Ryan's swiftness.

Zanjutsu Mastery: Ryan was a formidable swordsman even before he graduated the Shinō Academy; he demonstrated the needed skill to soundly defeat both Kenji and Kusaka whilst the three where students, displaying his prodigious talents.[Notes 1] His skill enabled him to combat and eventually defeat a Bankai-wielding Sōritsu with only his Shikai,[14] and fight numerous Captain-class combatants during the period he lost his own Bankai to a Quincy Medallion without being encumbered.[13] Following the Collapse he is regarded as one of the foremost Zanjutsu specialists throughout the Reikai, capable of going toe-to-toe with Kentaro Hiroshi.[9]

Hohō Mastery: Ryan's speed was sufficient enough to outpace both Kenji and Kusaka during their respective academy classes, graduating at the top of his class after only a year. Following the Collapse he was capable of following the movement of Kentaro, Hawke and David.[9] With the two latter he could casually approach David and place his hand on the Quincy's chest, noting beforehand that distance was irrelevant.[11]

Zanpakutō

Taiyō Satsuriku (太陽殺戮, Sun Slaughter). Ryan's Zanpakutō took the form of a katana with red hilt-wrapping and a black sheath. Unlike his previous Zanpakutō, which consisted of twin katana whilst sealed, it now exists as a sole katana.

  • Shikai: Ryan releases his Zanpakutō with the command "Kill and Wound" (殺傷, sasshou). Once released Taiyō Satsuriku returns to the sealed form it once took prior to Ryan's fusion with Sōritsu, becoming twin katana with circular guards. A long red-coloured cord joins both katana together at the base and can be used to bind a target for a follow-up strike.
Shikai Special Ability: Each katana expresses a different power. The blade in his right-hand can project a stream of molten metal at a fraction of the speed of light to punch through all but the sturdiest of defences in mere seconds, though repeated use damages the blade until only the hilt remains. The blade in his left-hand can be sacrificed into thousands of minuscule blade-fragments which can be directed to attack all at once as a stream of cutting blades, or kept back for defensive purposes.
  • Kōdo Satsuriku (高度殺戮, Advanced Slaughter): a technique which transforms Taiyō Satsuriku into its Kōdo (高度, Advanced) form. By spinning the weapon by its connective cord Taiyō Satsuriku takes the form of a bladed rope-like weapon which can be extended or shortened to suit Ryan's needs. It also continually projects its own reiatsu which works to throw off the opponent's senses, enabling them to fall prey to powerful optical illusions which Ryan can cast with mere eye-contact.

Behind the Scenes

  • Ryan's appearance is based on Sengoku Iori from Gamaran.
  • This characters name first name, Ryan, was inspired by Ten Tailed Fox. The main characters of the latter bore some variation of the name Ryan.

References & notes

  1. Ryan noted in passing that Dastan must have been considerably skilled to inflict the injuries he did to Kenji and Kusaka, noting that he never accomplished that even though he beat them both two-on-one.
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