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Tōsō
Toso
Race Soul
Birthday 31 January
Age 40 (Physical)
2100+ (Actual)
Gender Male
Height 185 cm (6'1)
Weight 88 kg (194 lb.)
Blood Type 0-
Professional Status
Affiliation Soul Society
Previous Affiliation Gotei 13
Profession Shinigami (Formerly)
Previous Position Captain
Previous Division 3Third Division
Previous Partner Daiki Akiyama†
Sakaala
Base of Operations Rukongai
Personal Status
Relatives Masao Akiyama† (Foster father)
Haruka Akiyama† (Foster mother)
Daiki Akiyama† (Foster brother)
Akane Akiyama† (Foster sister)
Hitomi Akui† (Lover)
Kenshin Akui† (Son)
Teruo Akui (Grandson)
Yuji Akui (Grandson)
Zanpakutō
First Appearance
Story Debut Crosscurrent
Roleplay Debut Fists of Calamity! Two Grandmasters Collide!


Tōsō (闘争, "Strife"), also known as "Nomad" (遊牧民, yūbokumin), real name Kentarō Akiyama (秋山拳太郎, "Big Fist Son of the Autumn Hill"), is a male Soul. The Founding Captain of the Third Division, once renowned as one of the greatest Hakuda masters in the history of Soul Society, he has since become a nigh-forgotten mythical figure.

Appearance

TosoNomad

The Nomad.

Tall and broad-shouldered, Tōsō is a mature man possessed of a supremely honed physique. His complexion is medium dark. He has a square-shaped face with sharp, solemn-looking features and a straight nose. His fairly short, straight black hair are upright, unkempt with some strands hanging upon his forehead and interspersed with some streaks of grey. Moreover, he displays the beginnings of a widow's peak. Usually, he is clean-shaven. There is a vertical scar that cuts through his right eye and eyebrow ridge, surrounded with old burnt tissue. His remaining eye is blue-grey.

The usual attire consists of a simple kimono not unlike the shihakushō of the Shinigami, if rather worn. To conceal his features, Tōsō habitually wears a dark grey cloak with a hood on top. Normally, he tends to wrap pieces of cloth around his hands. In addition, he wears ordinary white tabi and waraji.

Personality

The current disposition and worldview of Tōsō is a monument to the person he used to be; a gravestone.

He was a naive idealist, believing he could instigate change for the better. He hoped he could make the world a better place, to combat millennia of poverty, persecution, avarice and war, drive them into a corner and extinguish them to create a utopia. An inherently unavailing struggle, the futility of which he was discovering slowly but surely, in small and overwhelming doses, ever eroding his innate benevolence and geniality. He used to be sanguine, enchanted by the lofty and noble ideals of royalty and wise sages. He was patient, understanding and trustful, finding strength in the company of others and always striving to lend them his strength in return. He was astonishingly merciful, seeking a modicum of good in the hearts of the most vile of villains.

But he experienced disappointment. Profound disillusionment and betrayal. His hopes were vanquished, his dreams broken, his bonds tampered with or severed. He realised the folly of his goals. So he turned away from the embarrassment of his early life and committed himself to serve what he had previously perceived as forces of evil. Deceived once more with half-truths, twisted facts and blatant lies to the cause of somebody else, believing it was his own. He became ruthless and arrogant, believing himself superior to the people he used to serve. Methodical and uncompromising. With his moral restraints undone he believed he could change the world himself, by force, that he could remove the tumour of nobility festering with corruption and bring common people the freedom they wanted. And to achieve that he slaughtered hundreds, cutting a bloody swath through many a battlefield and ravaging many a city with no hesitation. A vigilante and an unfettered punisher, so he thought, in fact the pawn of a different party that time around.

Be that as it may, with every sacrifice he made and each paroxysm of pain that contorted his body in physical, mental and spiritual agony, he gradually realised he was still being used. In the end, inevitably, there came the day of epiphany that shaped him into the person he had been ever since. A shadow. From that day onward he had no ties and no restraints. He was alone, a single person against the entirety of existence. After enduring so many hardships, so many defeats and disappointments, he cast away every single ideal he once held. He was no longer good nor evil, but what perhaps he had been destined to become from the very beginning - a force of chaos. He had endured the suffering and woes of the entire world. Thus, the only salvation was to drown the world in primordial chaos, unite everyone and everything in a tempest of eternal madness.

Nevertheless, Tōsō still had honour. He still had some values. Composure and politeness determined his conduct, even if his cynical outlook led him to frequently point out inherent flaws and deconstruct others and their achievements to their most base constituents. He did not torment the innocent, or the wicked, he did not attack unprovoked. Instead, he roamed the Soul Society, attempting to enlighten others to its profound flaws, the depravity and injustice they led to. To convince them that the world was beyond saving, that no change but the utter devastation and a new beginning was enough to bring forth eternal bliss. If he found people he had deemed misguided, he granted them the chance to deliberate upon his revelation. If he found people who decided to strike him down, him, the herald of a new age, he removed them as obstacles on the way of progress. People might have observed him from a distance, walked alongside him or crossed his path, the only path. Whatever happened, he proceeded ever onward, unabated, a juggernaut. He did not trip, he did not sway, he did not take turns or shortcuts. To him, the world as we know it was but an illusion, a disgusting and decaying façade that concealed the true world, in all its unadulterated glory, with skewed notions of right and wrong.

However, deep within him, the fragments of his past selves remained. Eventually, he confronted his peers from the days of yore about his vision. And then, not only he has been proven to be nihilistic to the extreme, a slave rather than master of chaos, but also not to be as invincible as he used to think. The ensuant deliberation caused him to reconsider everything. He reflected upon the total of his experience, as well as the wisdom shared and gained from the confrontations. Ultimately, he has liberated himself from the grasp of primordial chaos to once again become Kentarō Akiyama. Hope cast light on the mind long clouded by despair and fury. Once more optimistic, a genuinely passionate saviour, yet level-headed, tempered after millennia of arduous struggle. At last, he has seen the light at the end of the tunnel and that is his singular destination. A free world, a world of balance between order and chaos. And even though that destination might remain forever unreachable, he shall travel toward it through the greatest of hardships, never to stray again into the darkness that surrounds him, until he the day he draws his final breath.

History

YoungKentaro

Young Kentarō, a disciple of Hakuda.

In the time before there was the Gotei 13, so they legends say, lived a particular boy. An amiable child who waded through the blood and stench of outermost Rukongai districts, a nameless commoner unaffected by abuse and poverty. For the boy knew there was good in the world, and so he sought it. He had power, fearsome power, one he wished to employ in the service of law and order. A self-proclaimed hero, he would use his preternatural strength to slay stray Hollows and vile criminals alike. Stop the tide of evil with his bare hands. Eventually, perhaps inevitably, rumours of his extraordinary feats spread far and wide. One day he was approached by the agents of a noble family. With promises they convinced him to follow them, so that he would enter the Soul Society proper and thus realise his dream on a far greater scale. So they said.

He had power, and House Akiyama craved that power for themselves. They adopted the boy and gave him a name: Kentarō Akiyama. They fed him, gave him clothes, taught him how to write and read, explained the intricacies of etiquette. And, in order to cultivate his talent, they had him join the Genji School. Many years he spent on training. Possessed of truly peculiar qualities he had to overcome, or circumvent, many inherent limitations in order to fully harness his tremendous might. But he had wise and experienced teachers, Master Senpū chief among them, who told him of the very ideology and values he sought: nobility, stability, happiness. He made friends and acquaintances, surrounded by like-minded people who strove to accomplish similar goals. He was praised and scolded, encouraged and criticised. With labour and meditation he conquered numerous challenges imposed upon him. In the end, he became a warrior ready to fight for the better world he dreamt of.

But he was only a warrior, a vassal and servant to a noble family. One of the many, his remarkable gift notwithstanding. He participated in countless wars and battles on their behalf, fought criminals, invaders, and monsters, defended cities and palaces. He was the clenched fist and the risen guard of the Soul Society, the bastion of benevolence and hope. That was what he was led to believe, at least. For his foster family had primarily power and wealth in mind. His companions wanted glory, status, or each other. Friends were rivals, nobility were tyrants, the people were cattle. Villages and cities were hives of scum and villainy, palaces – monuments to greed and vanity, lofty sayings and philosophies a thin disguise for hypocrisy. There was only so much dissonance he was willing to tolerate or ignore as he struggled with the shackles of responsibility imposed upon him, entangled in the eternal feud between warring noble houses. However, it was during that time he met the most important person in his life. He found love. Pure, innocent love. Hitomi Akui, a noble woman of similar disposition. Nevertheless, it was during that time he first encountered the monster who would become the Scourge of Soul Society: Sakaala, the other pivotal figure. He grew intimately close and discussed many things with the former, all the while he fought with and witnessed the atrocities of the latter. Eventually, encouraged by Hitomi, he decided to abandon House Akiyama in order to join the Thirteen Divisions of Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto and, as the Founding Captain of the Third Division, finally become the protector he had always striven to be.

And that was the momentous decision which set him on a downward slope.

For the Shinigami, so-called "Defenders", were "Defenders" in name only. Unlike the noble families they did not fight each other for personal gain, and did indeed fend off enemies of the Soul Society – at least, those whom they deemed to be such foes. Throughout the war with the Quincies and numerous other conflicts Captain Akiyama witnessed wanton slaughter on both sides, taken aback by the callousness and cruelty of his own comrades. Limited not by the whims of his lord but the orders of his superior and the constraints inherent to his duty as a military officer, he grew distant from his former friends, including Hitomi. He felt he had been deceived again, merely swapped one delusion for another. He felt stifled. Eventually, he would encounter Sakaala again, and again. No longer was the Arrancar's depravity so outstanding in comparison, all the while his lack of restraint would become ever more alluring. Conflicted, Captain Akiyama sought to consult Hitomi once more, only to find her engaged with his foster brother, Daiki Akiyama. The revelation left him devastated. Unable to continue in his current role nor to return to his previous life, he opted to burn his bridges instead. So that he left the Gotei 13 to approach his former enemy.

Sakaala was no simple brute. Intrigued by Kentarō's tenacity and enormous power, he spoke. And his words were electrifying. For he claimed to be a propagator of absolute freedom, the sole man willing and able to stand against the corruption of those who ruled the mockery of Heaven with an iron fist. Desperate to find a way to fulfil his dream, the sole important thing to him that remained, Kentarō believed – because he wanted to believe. No more lies to fool him, no more rules to restrict him, no more politics or orders to steer him. Finally, he could do as he pleased, unbridled. So he did. Kentarō waged war upon Soul Society. Not the concept of it, no, not the people of it, but the foul demons at its reins and the vicious hounds who defended them. He did not hesitate and he did not relent. Mansions and palaces were ruined, their guardians slaughtered, their owners murdered. Billows of smoke rose to the sky, the clamour of brutal war resounded across plains, villages and cities, the flames of his revenge cast a crimson aura upon the ones who had wronged him. With the power of his Hakuda, the only aspect of his previous life that did not as much remain unchanged but changed with him, he strove to remove the tumour of falsity once and for all to uncover the pristine world beneath. But he had been deceived, once again.

He destroyed outposts of the twisted order, but the people were not rejoicing. His new comrades were not warriors but savages. They raped, pillaged, and burnt; nobody was safe from their animalistic rage. In the process of removing the corruption Sakaala displayed ample corruption himself as he took the wealth, servants, and daughters of fallen nobles and their subjects for himself. And, in the end, one day Kentarō slew his foster brother in a duel that cost him one of his eyes. Victory that brought no satisfaction but confusion, shock, and a feeling of emptiness. Because for all his flaws and hypocrisy his brother did fight for the sake of good until the bitter end. While Kentarō vanquished him, he felt wrong. Inevitably he realised that in his quest to cleanse the world with force he had indeed become the very thing he sought to combat in the past – a ferocious, uncompromising villain. Once again he was used, ignorant of the manipulation until he had been too far gone to escape from the clutches of despair. But there was always more despair to dispense in that olden world.

Broken, Kentarō withdrew from the Soul Society altogether for a time. On the precipice of madness, he eventually sought guidance from his old master. Set on a course toward the light within an overwhelming darkness, he resolved to approach Hitomi, apologise for everything he had done in his misguided attempts to become a defender of the weak. He returned to her, spoke with her, was with her. Then, blessed by her forgiveness, he embarked on one last journey. Visited places, talked with the common people. Accepted the world for what it was and decided to mould it into a better place, slowly but surely, with the woman whom he loved at his side. No longer would he let his lofty goals overshadow what was truly important to him. So he came back. But what he found was ruins, ashes, and the body of his beloved. Hitomi Akui was dead, killed by none other than Sakaala in a monstrous display of spite.

Everything that had ever been dear to him was gone. His foster family, his friends, his master were all dead, most of them because of his own fault. Because in his indecision and foolishness he dragged them all down the spiral of madness that was his life, an incessant cycle of violence spun up more or less directly by the wicked Arrancar. With Hitomi's death the last thing that anchored Kentarō to reality was gone as well. His sanity was shattered. On that fateful day he changed for the final time. It was a profound change, one that redefined his very existence in a sudden revelation. For what he gazed upon was pure, incomprehensible chaos. A notion well-known to him. He had been experiencing it, witnessing it, suffering and wielding it for as long as he could remember. Ultimately he realised there was no order, no certainty, no sense to be found in a world like that. He perceived the ultimate lie present before his eyes – that the world he thought of as real was a mere illusion, a façade, an artificial abomination. A gestalt of supposed truths and concealed lies created for the semblance of order in a world of chaos. And he saw that chaos in all its glory. Beneath the veil there it was, sublime, inviting, devoid of the enforced hardships and hypocrisy of the simulacrum.

Ultimately, Kentarō clashed with Sakaala for the last time. While he had never been able to best the Arrancar before, in spite of his own combat prowess, empowered by boundless rage he held the advantage. Initially. His enemy had always had some power to spare, a trick up his sleeve, and that time proved no different. Gradually, Sakaala gained the upper hand. Pushed so far but in the end still stronger, the Arrancar methodically battered the martial artist, strike after strike, all the while the world around them was undone by the cataclysmic ferocity of their battle. Eventually, Kentarō found himself on the precipice of utter defeat. But that was not the end. As his fury abated an unusual clarity befell his mind. In that moment he was no longer conflicted. In his burning desire to avenge the death of his one true love he at last achieved a perfect unity of body, mind, and soul. Reborn, he stood up and confronted Sakaala again. Blow after blow he pummelled his nemesis, relentless, unstoppable. Driven into a corner, virtually helpless, Sakaala attempted to destroy him with one last desparate attack. Although Kentarō prevailed, and won. However, with his revenge taken, Kentarō Akiyama was no more. All that was left was an empty shell, a shadow of the man he used to be, led by little more than the pure chaos he had given himself up to. Then, just like that, he vanished without a trace.

And while his accomplishments, status, crimes and even name have been lost to the oblivion of time or excised altogether owing to the severity of what he had done, he may well be more than myth. His tale perseveres amongst the external districts of the Rukongai, the very place he allegedly hailed from. The only accounts of his existence, both of his rise and downfall as well as continued up to recent memory. People speak that he still roams the world, seeking to convince others to his worldview and to smite those that offer resistance to the emergence of chaos. And in those accounts, not privy to the full knowledge of his life, he is habitually referred to with a moniker, one that reflects what he came to be the epitome of – "Tōsō", that is strife.

Plot

Powers and Abilities

Trivia

  • The reason for Tōsō's creation was a self-imposed challenge to craft a genuine Hakuda Grandmaster, and a character hopefully in the same league as the greatest powerhouses of this wiki, such as Seireitou Kawahiru or Hiromasa Ishikawa. A task in which he has succeeded, as Tōsō's revised Price Level is an outstanding 134,000.
  • Tōsō references Saitama of One-Punch Man fame. In that both were initially idealistic heroes who arduously strove to ultimate power only to find themselves profoundly disillusioned with reality. However, Tōsō's deconstruction of the typical shōnen protagonist, a somewhat clumsy celibate hero who wants to save the whole world, eschews parody in favour of more down-to-earth, sombre exploration of the consequences of such an attitude in a more realistically treated setting. Alternately, he might be considered to explore a seinen perspective of an otherwise shōnen fictional universe.
  • His theme is audiomachine - Nomad. The theme associated with his backstory is audiomachine - When It All Falls Down.

Appearances

Bleach Renascence

Obsolete

Battles

Participants Chapter(s) Result
Kentarō Akiyama vs. Daiki Akiyama (Flashback) Rise/Fall Win
Kentarō Akiyama vs. Sakaala (Flashback) Rise/Fall Win
Tōsō vs. Ryota Watanabe & Koji Saito Fists of Calamity! Two Grandmasters Collide! Win
Tōsō vs. Seireitō Kawahiru Fists of Calamity! Two Grandmasters Collide! Draw
Tōsō vs. Teruo Akui Rise/Fall Win

References

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