|Height||175 cm (5'9)|
|Weight||58 kg (128 lbs)|
|Affiliation||Gotei 13, Soul Society
|Previous Affiliation||Akiyama Family|
|Previous Partner||Tsuki Miyazaki|
|Base of Operations||Seireitei, Soul Society|
|Bankai||Sōen: Shisha Yakōgun|
Sasori Akiyama (秋山サソリ, Akiyama Sasori) is the 20th Head of the Akiyama Family as well as the 4th Seat of the 2nd Division under captain Soi Fon. He is a Commander of Torture and Interrogation Force of the Onmitsukidō In his work, he uses intimidation, scare tactics and psychological warfare to gain superiority over his opponents and make them reveal important information. His mind games and abilities to manipulate wires to cause pain makes up for his not intimidating appearance which makes him even more dangerous.
Sasori is a tall, lean but slender man. He has medium-length, messy dark hair, which reaches just over his shoulders, and red eyes. Physical strength is not is strongest trait and, with his long fingers and deeply sunken eyes often adorned with bags underneath, he can create quite intimidating look; with the addition of proper lighting and the right choice of words. Aside from the unique eye color, his trademark is an artificial arm created by his grandmother and modified by the people of the 12th Division. There are several scars on his right arm which interweave with tribal tattoos, creating a mixture of black and white markings on his entire arm. There are also many burns, cuts and scars on his back; a reminder from his own imprisonment and torture.
He generally dresses in a standard Shinigami uniform - a Shihakushō kimono, matching hakama panys, zōri sandals and tabi socks. He doesn't modify his uniform in any way and prefers to stick with a regular shinobi shōzoku when commanding the Onmitsukidō. He calls it "The Shadow Warrior Strategy" (影武者の作戦, Kagemusha no Sakusen) - when in battle the enemy won't be able to distinguish the leader if he wears the same uniform as a regular soldier.
When not performing any duties he wears a dark violet kimono with red diamond pattern, matching hakama pants and the zōri. His Gigai's attire has a distinctive red-and-black motif. He wears a red, V-neck shirt with numerous black splotch-like marks all over it; furthermore, it is notably torn into rags on the ends, leaving a large tear through the shirt on his left side. Over this, he wears a black jacket with gray inner lining. It has a hood, which he normally does not wear over his head, as well as numerous white lining and silver-colored accessories. This includes an array of five rings near the patch of his left, and a closed buckle on his right, having but a single prong, followed by five marble-shaped studs running down vertically below. On Sasori's under sleeves, just below his forearms, there are more arrays of five marble-shaped studs, with one set on each. Around hiss right sleeve, there are two pieces of red cloth tied over each other around where his wrist would be. Sasori's pants are tight-fitting and have two different colors: left is black and right is red. It is held up by a black-and-red striped belt, which is loosened, left dangling from his left side with the silver buckle hanging at the end, with a single prong.
Sasori wears tight, red gloves on both of his hands which serve as both his weapon and an element of clothing. He also wears a collar around his neck, split into two sections, with the top having a red color while the bottom is black. It is attached together with a silver buckle with two prongs; each one slides through the first opening on either side. There are several more openings for the prongs to fit into on the right side of the red and black cloths.
Hundred years ago, during his stay with his grandmother, his hair was shorter than it is currently, he had two earrings on his left ear and he carried a pouch with herbs and medicine strapped to his waist. At that time, he always wore a yukata - with slightly different pattern than now - and geta sandals.
Sasori is possibly one of the most carefree people in the entire Onmitsukidō, which greatly contradicts the policy and principles of the squad established by Soi Fon. Despite the tough and serious atmosphere in both the division and the Onmitsukidō, Sasori manages to keep his comedic attitude within his Torture and Interrogation Unit. He seems to have a penchant for dramatic phrasing, as well as a habit of exaggerated posing when speaking which, as stated by his captain, makes him "more like a comedian rather than an assassin". He also appears to fear very little to nothing, as he is seen openly taunting lieutenant Ōmaeda; sitting on the table during the Onmitsukidō Commanders meetings and showing only gleeful interest at the thought of any war or major danger which could potentially destroy the Seireitei. He also has an odd habit of sitting in strange positions, like on the back of chairs, on tables, on barrels, and even on a pile of bodies in the middle of battle. He is also completely calm and cool-headed in most situations; even when Izumi attacked him with what would be lethal blows, he simply dodged away casually while continuing to have his conversation with Tsuki. He seems to be able to completely switch off his attention to the surrounding world and focus all of his emotions, skills and brain functions on battle and the desire to kill the enemy. This is what makes him a talented, yet slightly unstable assassin.
Hundred years ago, Sasori had a complete and utter lack of fear and doubt, going as far as to rob the patrolling lower rank officers of Gotei 13 of their possessions so he could pawn them in the lower districts of Rukongai to earn money for his schemes. This helped him to realize that stealing from people and gaining a kind of superiority over them is actually really fun. From that day he has never been seen looking with any feeling other than amusement by any turn of events regardless of whom they affect. Only on rare occasions did he let go of his trademark smile, such as frowning in annoyance at being summoned to 4th Division as a compulsory volunteer or surprised when Yoruichi Shihōin arrived unannounced and unnoticed until she was made known. However, these moments were short-lived, as Sasori would usually just grin again.
During combat, Sasori likes to toy around with his opponents and victims in a sadistic and cruel way, as seen when he gleefully forced two Hollows to try to kill each other. During the Seireitei Civil War, all of Sasori's confrontations had been for the sake of personal amusement, hinting at a sadistic side, such as when he is seen laughing joyfully after severing Momo Hinamori's leg. The only thing he shows a real interest in is an opportunity of fighting his friends, Tenshin and Sakazuki.
Although he appears to be merciless and mentally unstable, Sasori is a very loyal person to those precious to him and won't hesitate to do anything (often crossing the line of legal measures) to help them. Also, he is often seen talking with his Zanpakutō - usually apologizing for causing her pain while releasing the Shikai state. Aside from Tsuki Miyazaki - his friend and sort of adopted sister, his grandmother and his two friends, Sōen is the only person Sasori talks openly and frankly. He is also unusually loyal to his captain, Soi Fon. He will obey her every command and, without a twitch, attack anyone she points at. Since their first meeting hundred years ago, when she and Yoruichi visited their clinic, Sasori has developed an admiration to the work of the 2nd Division and the Onmitsukidō which, in time, changed into a crush on Soi Fon.
The origins of the Akiyama family are dated back to times before the foundation of the Gotei 13. When there was no Seireitei and the souls in Rukongai had to take care of themselves, the Akiyama were the people to go to in case on an injury or sickness; they used their intuition and talent to bring people back even from the toughest conditions. At that time, the healing by using Kidō wasn't utilized and the process of recovery was long and often painful. Then came the Akiyama - by mixing different herbs and ingredients, with new methods of healing, they managed to create a variety of drugs and medicine to speed up the treatment. This made them one of the most crowded and busiest places in Soul Society and finally, when the street guardians - later known as the Gotei 13 - started to roam the streets, they've asked the 2nd Head, Sanmoto, to join their ranks. That's how the members of the Akiyama family became involved with the Shinigami and raised to the rank of a noble family.
During the next millenium, as the community later known as Seireitei started to grow and establish some governing body, 9th Head of the Akiyama - Enchō - has been picked as a member of the first Central 46. Together with other people and nobles they were suppose to set the rules and principles for the entire Court. However, Enchō decided that he should be the one to dictate the rules, since it was his family who took care of the abandoned souls before the idea of Gotei 13 even was born. Using his skills in acting and Kidō control, he created a puppet of himself with the ability to transfer voice and be manipulated by thin threads of Reiryoku. With this, he was able to attend the meetings of the Central 46 and, at the same time, research various forms of Kidō, His goal was to create a ritual which would enable to transfer his essence into another spiritual or physical body and, in result, obtain immortality. However, Enchō's plans were quickly discovered, his research and experiments destroyed and the man himself was imprisoned. This also revoked the Akiyama's noble title and forced them to live in the Rukongai, when they started their activity.
The family returned to their old ways, providing medical services to the people of Rukongai. Some of them seemed to still hold a grudge on both Enchō and the Shinigami which, in result, created a split in the family with some of the members leaving the estate. Sometime later, captain Retsu Unohana of the 4th Division requested assistance of 17th Head, Yosaku, in order to confront a plague spread by Hollows which rendered most of the Gotei useless. This event helped to strengthen a bond between the Akiyama family and the 4th Division; in return for medicine, herbs and advice the Akiyama's banishment was alleviated - their members were able to join the ranks of the Gotei 13, but were forbidden to obtain the important positions of power, such as captain or lieutenant.
On November 5th, about hundred and twenty years before the current events, Sasori Akiyama was born. From the beginning he wasn't a typical good child who eats his vegetables, plays nice and comes back home right after it gets dark. He was a loud, impulsive and hyperactive prankster which often forced his father and grandfather to chase him throughout the entire Rukongai. To calm him down and keep in the family estate longer than a few days, they would often sent him to his grandmother, Saeko, who was in charge of the family's clinic. She showed Sasori the basics of first aid and diagnosis, which he learned quite quickly like an Akiyama should, and, as another hobby, Saeko tought him how to control small, wooden puppets with strings tied to the fingers. This also was proved useful when dealing with children - a puppet performance was enough to grab the child's attention and allowed for the examination. Sasori was now irreplacable in the clinic entertaining the younger patients and occasionally creating medicine.
As the time went on moving, Sasori's behavior has changed. He became less interested in learning the healing techniques and went to polish his already acquired skills. To do so, he began venturing into the lower districts of Rukongai in search for fights. The more brawls and battles he attended, the more injuries he received and more he could train his healing abilities. He wasn't paticulary interested in learning how to fight, he just wanted to endure them by wandering into lower districts and scamming people out of money to provoke fights. This experience allowed him to understand human psychology a little in order to predict the enemy's thought process and pick the right strategy to influence their behavior. He learned to observe muscle movements, facial expression and even the style of speech; everything to gain mental domination over the others. During one of those scams, Sasori managed to win money from one of the more influencial gang members in the entire Rukongai. It quickly transformed into a fight, as a result of which, one of the thugs managed to cut off Sasori's arm and leave him to bleed out. The boy managed to stop the bleeding, using the family skills, just in time to return home and ask his grandmother for help. However, without the arm it was impossible to stitch it back and even if, the motos skills could've never been regained. There was a way, though - Saeko managed to create a wooden arm, serving as a prosthesis. There was no chance of controlling it, however, and Sasori was forced to live with only his right arm and a useless artificial one. The only thing he has left was to return to the Akiyama clinic and try to live a peaceful life again.
At one point of time, the clinic hosted a very unusual guest - captain of Squad 2, Yoruichi Shihōin. She has just returned from a mission carried out with her Onmitsukidō and some of the injuries actually prevented the soldiers from continuing their duties. As they were undergoing treatment, captain Shihōin's personal bodyguard, Soi Fon, started feeling bad. After a while, she started to manifest muscle tremor and massive pain. Grandma Saeko managed to identify poisoning but it was quite difficult to restrain the young Shinigami since the hallucination started kicking in. She wasn't listening to anyone, slowly being absorbed by overwhelming pain, muscle spasms and visions. Sasori has an idea how to immobilize the soldier; he managed to touch her shoulders, before she kicked him right in the stomach, thus being able to place his custom made spider silk threads on her and, with little to no hand gestures, restrain her in order to prepare the right treatment. The silk was woven so tightly, it was almost like a straightjacket. Plus, with enough effort, Sasori was able to force Soi Fon to move a couple of steps forward, making her almost a living puppet. When the Onmitsukidō finally were cured, Captain Shihōin about his skills. She stated, he would make a good Onmitsukidō soldier and should try enrolling into the Shinigami Academy. If he manages to survive, he would be accepted in no time.
Sasori's first days in the Shin'ō Academy weren't as easy and smooth as he had planned. Due to his missing arm he couldn't properly train sword swings and techniques during Zanjutsu class or throw proper punches and acrobatic kicks on Hakuda lessons. He was pretty good at Hōhō and held his ground during Kidō classes. During his first years of study, he didn't excel at anything and tried to keep a low profile; not that he needed it because he was so good at anything - he just didn't need any unnecessary attention. On the fifth year, when they started venturing into the Human World, Sasori managed to score one of the top marks in the field practice; mostly because of his abilities to set traps and heal injuries to keep himself in battle longer than others. This has placed him on the third place in the entire group right after Tenshin Mikogami and Sakazuki Goemon. All of them were exceptionally talented in separate areas of Zankensōi: Tenshin was a gifted swordsman, Sakazuki excelled in Kidō while Sasori was the fastest of all three. After constantly being placed in the same groups during practice mission, all of them quickly became close friends and continued to interact with each other even after graduating and going separate ways. During one of the training patrols around the Rukongai, Sasori stumbled upon a newcomer - a soul of a girl named Tsuki Miyazaki. From the beginning she displayed high levels of Spiritual Energy by complaining about her constant hunger. Sasori decided to help young Tsuki and brought her into the Akiyama family and, from now on, began treating her like a younger sister. Later on, Tsuki decided to follow her foster brother's footsteps and become a Shinigami. During the final graduation their paths have split with Sasori joining the Onmitsukidō and Tsuki the Tenth Division.
When Sasori joined the Onmitsukidō, he was surprised to find out that Yoruichi Shihōin was no longer present in the group. Instead, it was Soi Fon claiming the position of the captain and the Supreme Commander. They weren't on good terms from the start - Soi Fon was annoyed with Sasori's useless arm and sent a request for Squad 12 to do something about it. The scientists managed to connect the nervous system to the prosthesis and add panels which allowed Sasori to create a small, personal shield from his Reiryoku. After that, with his both arms efficient, Soi Fon gave Sasori another welcome gift - a pair of gloves with wires attatched to them. It was supposed to be a present from Yoruichi as soon as the boy entered the squad. Impressed by his puppetry skills, she asked her friend - Kisuke Urahara - to develop this weapon. Sasori decided to use these gloves instead of his Zanpakutō as his regular weapon. The choice was simple - every use of his Shikai was inflicting pain to both him and his sword spirit, Sōen. The release of the sword was now supposed to be his last resort technique. With that, Sasori begun his career in the 2nd Division as well as the Onmitsukidō. During one of the missions, he managed to immobilize several targets and, using his psychology skills gained from being a former con artist, forcing them to rat out the whereabouts of his boss. After acquiring this intel he, along with a small unit of soldiers, captured and exectured the entire hideout. This impressed Soi Fon who placed him in the fourth branch of the Stealth Force - Torture and Interrogation Unit.
During his time as a member of Torture and Interrogation Unit, Sasori was responsible for capturing and transporting suspects back to the Unit's headquarters. It was required that they had to be brought back alive and with the ability to speak. This forced Sasori to train with his wire gloves in order to control the tension of the strings to just restrain, inflict pain or purely sever off limbs. After enough practice, Sasori was able to bury the wires underground in order to set traps and barriers. He was quickly skilled enough to capture large goups of enemies by himself and wait for the rest of the squad to appear. During these times, he would constantly talk with the captives, observing their facial expression and listening to their tone of speech to further develop his psychological knowledge. His skills were recognized and, fifty years after joining the Gotei 13, he became the Torture and Interrogation Unit Commander and, what comes with that, a the Fourth Seat of the Second Division.
Prosthetic Arm: Artificial wooden arm created by his grandmother, and later modified by the members of the 12th Division, in order to replace Sasori's lost left arm. Linked directly to the nervous system, the prosthesis does not require an external energy source, and can be moved at will like a natural appendage, taking electrical pulses from the nerves to power and regulate the various motors and pneumatic actuators inside.
Anken ((暗剣, lit. "Dark Blade" ): Sasori owns a small set of throwing knives hidden inside his sleeves. He can release them all at one in one swift motion. They can be comined with the Wire Gloves in order to create a homing projectile.
Metsubushi (目潰し, lit. "Eye Closers" ): Hollowed-out orbs made of brittle material filled with pepper, dust and crushed glass. Used to blind enemies by throwing them at the target's eyes. Metsubushi are not lethal weapons, but the amount of blinding pain the target suffers leaves them wide open for attack.
Wire Gloves: A pair of gloves created by the first head of the Research and Development Institute, Kisuke Urahara, given to Sasori by Soi Fon on Yoruichi Shihōin's orders. They have a small compartments in which a large amout of wires are installed. Activated by muscle movements, the wires can be launched and retracted and will. Additionally they are able to conduct Spiritual Energy which allows Sasori to control their movement more precisely. The wires can change their sharpness depending on how much Spiritual Energy is poured on them; they can be regular strings used to restrain enemies (shown to be strong enough to immobilize Marechiyō Ōmaeda) or razor sharp to cut through flesh, wood and metal. They are Sasori's main weapons, he relays on them more than his own Zanpakutō
Powers & Abilities
Psychological Manipulation: As a result of his often journeys to the lower districts of the Rukongai, Sasori developed outstanding understanding of human psychology and can use it for various purposes, often by changing the perception or behavior of others through underhanded, deceptive, or even abusive tactics.
- Interrogation Expert: As the Commander of the Interrogation Force, Sasori is a master of interrogation both physically and psychologically, and plays an important part in the extracting of information, as he interrogates suspects and prisoners. He has the ability to subject people to great suffering without ever using physical torture. He has complete knowledge of human psychology; by attacking a person's mind, he can gain control over their spirit. He is also a sharp individual, able to easily tell if someone is lying.
Healing Expert: Part of the legacy of the Akiyama family is the proficency and vast knowledge in healing arts, both physical and by using Kidō. During battle he can close minor injuries almost instantly and estimate how much longer he, or others, would be able to fight. Before joining the Gotei 13 he used to work in the 4th Division as a volunteer as well as a surgeon in the Akimaya family's clinic in the Rukongai.
High Spiritual Energy: As one of the top officers in the 2nd Division and the Commander of one of the Onmitsukidō units, Sasori posseses a large amount of Reiryoku and is able to use it during interrogation to induce fear and/or paralysis in his target. His energy's color is green.
- Good Reiatsu Contol: As a member of the Onmitsukidō Sasori is able to conceal his energy and hide his presence, preventing detection. He is also able to use his speed to create a "Reiatsu Afterimage" which leaves a trace of Spiritual Energy where Sasori used to be, confusing the enemy.
- Jibachi Nui (地蜂縫い, lit. "Earth Wasp Sewing"): Sasori buries the razor sharp wires underground. Once an enemy stumbles into the area, he pulls the string to trap their feet in a formation of wire, cutting them off. It is first seen when used to sever Momo Hinamori's ankles during the Seireitei Civil War.
Kikai Shahei (機械遮蔽, lit. "Mechanical Shield"): Sasori activates a mechanism inside his prosthetic arm to open into a couple of segments, through which he radiates his Reiatsu. The energy spreads out like a thin film and turns into a protective sheet, blocking all physical attacks and some weaker Kidō techniques.
Sōen (操演, Puppeteer; lit. "Puppet Performance"): In its sealed form it resembles a worn-out, jagged katana with golden guard and pommel. The cloth wrapping the handle is also dirty and tattered and the sheath is black.
Shikai: Sōen is a unique Zanpakutō since her primary ability can be triggered without using the release command. When an opponent is cut and leaves their blood on the blade, they receive a mark around the place the wound is. These marks are called "Fingers" and can stack up to ten on a single target. The Fingers and Sōn's ability are activated, when spoken the command: "Imprison" (閉じ込める, tojikomeru). In the Shikai state, the sword doesn't change appearance.
- Shikai Special Ability: Through blood sample and Spiritual Energy connection, Sōen can take control over motor functions of others against their will as if they were a marionette. Targets are still conscious, but can’t resist the user's puppet control. In contrast to Sasori's regular weapon, the Wire Gloves, the threads created by Sōen cannot be felt when activated which gives an additional element of surprise. This form of control can be used in a variety of ways; from small arm movement in order to redirect the attack, to taking full control and use the target as a human shield and/or a weapon. The more Fingers placed on the target, the stronger the puppetry.
- However, there are several weaknesses to Sōen's ability. First of all, beings with stronger Spiritual Energy than Sasori are able to sever the connection and regain their motor skills. Furthermore, the technique works best at close to mid range, so if the opponent manages to maintain a proper distance the manipulation will weaken and eventually disappear. Secondly, to keep the connection active requires a great deal of focus and every distraction can break the ability. Also, if Sasori gets wounded to the point of bleeding, Sōen reverts back into her sealed form. Finally, every use of the Zanpakutō puts a great strain on the user's physical and spiritual health, hurting both him and the sword spirit.
- Jisshi (十機の集, Ten Fingers; lit. "Collection of Ten Puppets"): After striking ten different enemies Sasori can take control over all of them using one finger for each "puppet". This technique is quite risky, as it leaves the user vulnerable and open for an attack and without the ability to use his hands.
Bankai: Sōen Shisha Yakōgun (操演死者行軍, Marching Dead Puppets; lit. "Puppet Performance: March of the Dead"): To activate his final release, Sasori stabs the ground with his Zanpakutō. A large amount of steel wires spurts from underground wrapping around the surroundings, creating an enclosed space in 8 meter radius. All targets inside Shisha Yakōgun are forced to carefully maneuver through the trap; same rule applies to Sasori. Since the wires need to be strained all the time, this Bankai must be released in an area with a lot of obstacles.
- Bankai Special Ability: Shisha Yakōgun's wires can be connected to Sasori's Wire Gloves in order for him to set traps and manipulate the entire area. If the enemy isn't careful enough, they risk getting slashed by the wires. The most powerful, however, is the ability to absorb and storage Reishi inside its threads. This means, if an enemy dies inside Shisha Yakōgun, they can be dissolved into Spirit Particles and become part of the Bankai. At any time, the wires can form a shape of the absorbed soul in order to help during combat. Since this power is materialization of Sasori's soul, the consciousness of the defeated enemy is imprinted into his Inner World. Pulling the Zanpakutō out of the ground cancels the Bankai.
- Torikago (鳥カゴ, Birdcage): All of the Shisha Yakōgun's wires create a mesh cage in shape of a dome, reducing the Bankai area to 4 meter radius. There are no threads inside and the mesh walls are strong enough to repell any Kidō up to level 60. While in this form, Sasori cannot summon the wire puppets nor use the walls to his aid. This mode acts as an enclosed arena for hand-to-hand combat only.
- When written with one kanji sign (蠍), sasori means scorpion.
- His favorite food is beef stew and orange juice, while his least favorite is raw tomato.
- He wishes to fight his friends, Sakazuki and Tenshin, the most.
- Momo Hinamori, the lieutenant of Squad 5, is the person Sasori despises the most out of the entire Gotei 13. He shares that feeling with his best friend, Tsuki MIyazaki.
- When it comes to skills and personality, Sasori is based on Donquixote Doflamingo from One Piece and Sasori from Naruto.
- He'd be voiced by Hiroshi Kamiya (Izaya Orihara from Durarara!; Trafalgar Law from One Piece) in the Japanese version and Robert McCollum (Mifune from Soul Eater; Shinya Kogami from Psycho-Pass) in the English dub.