Rukia is undeniably the most popular character in Bleach. Her zanpakuto, Sode no Shirayuki, is also the most popular zanpakuto, despite its powers being a mystery for most of the series.
The powers of her zanpakuto were first shown during the Arrancar arc, and Rukia has demonstrated its Bankai just once in the series.
Despite this, Sode no Shirayuki is the coolest zanpakuto in the series.
In this article, we will share all about Sode no Shirayuki, so let’s dive into it.
Rukia Kuchiki’s Zanpakuto: Sode no Shirayuki
In its sealed form, it looks just like a normal katana. It has a rectangular tsuba with a vaguely flame-like pattern on the longer sides and curved lines on the short side.
The blade has a series of curved lines embossed on both sides and is connected to a reddish-brown hilt.
The true beauty of this Zanpakuto is revealed when it is released.
To release her zanpakuto, Rukia utters the command “Dance” and holds her zanpakuto out in front of her and rotates it counter-clockwise.
As the blade turns, the blade, hilt, and tsuba turn completely white. White ribbons emerge from the pomment and Sode no Shirayuki reveals her true form.
This transformation also releases a rush of cold air in all directions.
The all-white zanpakuto is so beautiful that it is regarded as the most beautiful zanpakuto in the Soul Society.
Sode no Shirayuki is an ice-type zanpakuto, with its main ability being freezing. The way it works is that the Zanpakuto brings Rukia’s body temperature below freezing, as a result, anything that touches her freezes.
The sword increases Rukia’s reach, helping her freeze people and objects away from her.
She is even capable of killing her own body by controlling her own reishi and putting herself in a state of cryostasis. By stopping all the molecules in her body, she can prevent any material or substance from affecting her as it becomes unable to enter her body.
As Rukia’s nerves continue working even in this state, any optical attacks on her still stay effective.
Rukia can lower her to such a degree that the ground below her freezes instantly, causing ice quakes. Moreover, she can also achieve an absolute zero temperature but can only maintain it for four seconds.
Sode no Shirayuki possesses multiple techniques, which Rukia refers to as dance. Let’s see what these dances are.
Some no mai, Tsukishiro: Rukia utters the dance’s name while holding her zanpakuto upside down.
As the blade begins to glow, she makes a slashing motion with her target in position. The slashing motion creates a circle with the tip of the blade and freezes the space within it.
A white light emerges from the circle and travels upwards, freezing everything in its path. Shortly after, the frozen victim shatters along with the ice.
Tsugi no Mai, Hakuren: Rukia punctures the ground with her blades as she calls out the dance’s name. This creates a large circle of ice, similar to the previous move.
She repeats this a total of four times in a semicircle and then takes a battle stance.
The energy builds up at the tip of Sode no Shirayuki and is released in the form of a large, powerful avalanche of cold air. This cold air is capable of freezing anyone it comes into contact with.
San no mai, Shirafune: Rukia calls out the name of the dance and gathers moisture from the air onto the tip of her blade, creating a blade of ice.
This allows Rukia to extend the reach of her blade. After peircing its opponent, the ice blade freezes anything in the surrounding and immediate area.
Ice-Rope Connecting: In an event where Rukia is unable to reach her sword, she can create an extension of ice from her hand to the sword’s hilt. Allowing her to access the zanpakuto’s abilities from a distance.
Bankai: Hakka no Tagame
Upon activating Bankai, not only her zanpakuto but also Rukia herself transforms. In this new form, Rukia is seen adorning a white, ankle-length kimono with lined patterns.
Her robe has an attached ornate collar, edges, and shoulder parts made of transparent ice with long and wide sleeves.
She also has long, flowing ribbons attached to her back, forming giant loops. A small ice flower formation can also be seen at the center of her chest, as well as a half-crown that extends around the back of her head.
Rukia’s irises and hairs get dyed white, while her balde resembles its shikai form but is made of transparent ice.
Rukia’s Bankai, Hakka no Tagame increase the range of influence of her ability to reach an absolute zero temperature.
Upon release, her Bankai creates a pillar of cold mist and rises up into the air. By raising her blade towards her opponent, Rukia releases a massive wave of freezing cold mist that freezes anything in its path to absolute zero and kills it.
Any physical contact with her causes other people to freeze solid due to just how cold her body gets.