Kenpachi Zaraki, the captain of the 11th Division of Getei 13, has a very peculiar relationship with his zanpakuto.
To unleash the true power of one’s zanpakuto, one needs to know their zanpakuto’s name, and in Bleach, names play a very integral part in one’s power.
This fact was very apparent in Ichibe’s power, where, with his ability, he could remove one’s name from existence, which would in turn remove their powers from existence.
Then, in chapter 557, Kenpachi Zaraki releases his zanpakuto! How is that possible? Wasn’t his zanpakuto always in a released state?
In this article, we will tell you the truth about Zaraki and his zanpakuto!
How Did Kenpachi Zaraki Get His Zanpakuto?
To understand Kenpachi Zaraki’s zanpakuto, we must first understand how he received it.
The 11th division captain that we know now is from District 80 of the Nother Alley of Rukongai.
As a kid, he had no name, and he eventually made his residence district his surname, Zaraki.
District 80 was the worst district. It was the most lawless region of Rukongai, full of thieves and murderers.
One day, Zaraki found the dead body of a Shinigami and took his Asauchi. Asauchi is a class of nameless Zapnakuto that all low-class shinigami wield.
During his time with the Asauchi, he eventually became proficient in swordsmanship and unknowingly imprinted his soul on the Asauchi.
Sometime during this time, he met Yachiru Unohana, the first Kenpachi of the Soul Society, and fought her.
This was the first time he had ever felt fear for his life, and at the same time, it was the first fight he enjoyed.
Having been bored slashing anything else, he had subconciously sealed his true power to have fights last longer. This is also what resulted in his defeat against Unohana.
Sometime later, in the 79th district, after a fight, a young girl suddenly appeared, seemingly out of nowhere.
When he asked about where she came from, this child did not respond and touched the Kenpachi sword.
He was surprised by how she seemed not to be scared of the sword. He then took her with him and named her Yachiru in memory of the only one he admired, Yachiru Unohana.
Later, Zaraki killed Kenpachi Kiganjo, the then-captain of the 11th Division, in a duel with a single blow in front of two hundred members of the division.
As per the 3rd Captain Qualification Trial, Zaraki became the new captain of Division 11 and the new owner of the title Kenpachi.
Zaraki Kenpachi’s Zanpakuto: Nozarashi
Zaraki’s zanpakuto in its sealed form, the balde, is longer than most zanpakuto and roughly the size of a nodachi but relatively narrow.
The Tsuba was long and shaped like a serrated, eliptical bicone. Zanpakuto’s hilt and braid are both white but are mostly covered in white bandages, like his brown Saya.
Initially, Zaraki was the only captain known in the history of Seireitei who could not unleash his Bankai.
Furthermore, because of Zaraki’s zanpakuto’s peculiar design and Zaraki’s enormous spiritual pressure, everyone believed that his zanpakuto was always in the released state.
During his fight with Ichigo, Zaraki learned that he could become much stronger upon learning his zanpakuto’s name and wished to learn it.
Also, being nameless for so many years, he also noted how lonely it must have been to have no name.
Later, during Zanjitsu, after defeating Retsu Unohana in the battle and awakening his true strength, Zaraki hears his Zankapkuto calling her name, Nozarashi.
We first witness Nozarashi in her released state during Zaraki’s fight with Gremmy Thoumeaux.
When Gremmy summoned a massive meteorite to tackle it, Zaraki uttered, “Drink”.
This released his zanpakuto, and Nozarashi took her form. The form she took resembled that of a hybrid between a great axe and a war cleaver.
It had a long handle wrapped in cloth, and the top of the blade had a brass cover with a green tassel attached to the backside.
The release increased Zaraki’s cutting power insurmountably to a level where he could even cut through space effortlessly.
Unlike other Bankai’s, Nozarashi’s name has not been revealed, or it may not even have it.
In chapter 668, after Gerard threw Zaraki away, Yachiru apears before him, asking him to get up again and keep figthing.
When Zaraki asks where she has been, she replies by saying that if he uses her in the right way, then there is nobody and nothing he can’t cut down.
Then spiritual energy starts leaking out of his hand, and Yachiru tells the current Kenpachi that this power is what is called the Bankai!
Soon, a pillar of strong spiritual energy rises up whose waves are capable enough to destroy nearby buildings, and it reveals Kenpachi has a completely new look.
The Zanpakuto becomes an altered version of its previous form, where it gets shorter but the blade is more jagged.
Kenpachi’s skin turns red, and multiple markings appear across his face. Horns grow on his forehead. Kenpachi in this form resembles that of an Oni.
His cutting power increased exponentially. Where before he wasn’t even able to cut Gerard’s shield, he was now able to cut the Quincy in half with a single slash.
In this state, Kenpachi enters a berserker state where he is unable to differentiate between enemies and allies and attacks regardless of his wellbeing.
If Zaraki’s bankai releases more power than his body can handle, then his body starts breaking.
This was highlighted in Chapter 670. During his fight against Gerard, when the Quincy attempted to attack him, and he lifted his right arm to attack, but his arms tore apart.
Yachiru then apologizes and says she released too much power, and his body just couldn’t handle it.