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Old 05-22-2012, 04:53 AM   #1
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Default The meaning of "Kenpachi" in the Gotei 13

So I think that many people found it confusing or a plot inconsistency that during the SS arc, it was mentioned that the title "Kenpachi" was given to the strongest shinigami in the Gotei 13... yet it is later revealed that there are many shinigami far stronger than Kenpachi including Aizen, Yamamoto, Isshin, Urahara, Kyouraku, Ukitake, Unohana, Yoruichi, and Gin.

It made one wonder about the definition of "strongest" shinigami. Strongest in what exactly?

With the new information about Azashiro Kenpachi, the 8th Kenpachi in SS it all became clear.

Azashiro rightfully deserved the title of strongest shinigami. His power was at a level that even Aizen himself respected and claimed that his Kyouka Suigetsu would not work on (Even Yamamoto had to grab hold of Aizen by getting stabbed to prevent KS from affecting him).

From what we know of the novel, Azashiro did "something" and was imprisoned in Mugen by SS and Gotei 13. He was not "defeated" and succeeded by the 9th Kenpachi. No, rather the 9th Kenpachi was actually just the Vice-Captain of Azashiro and was auto-promoted to captain of the 11th squad and subsequently given the title of 9th Kenpachi.

Evidently this means that 9th Kenpachi was not necessarily stronger than Azashiro or even captain material really.

Now you might ask, well why wasn't Hisagi and Kira promoted to Captain in the absence (betrayal) of their squad captains? Well that is because the 11th squad captain position is a special position. The 3 requirements to become a captain (as outlined by Yoruichi) does not apply to this squad. Anyone that kills the current captain becomes the next captain. Well since Azashiro wasn't killed, this ritual could not be completed which left a vacancy in the position. The next was to promote the second in command to captain.

So the 9th Kenpachi did not "earn" his position. He was just given it. Being a mere VC level, it was no surprise that the 10th Kenpachi beat him and took over. And the same with the current Kenpachi.

Basically it's just this: Azashiro was imprisoned and not defeated and thus the title of Kenpachi was handed to some fodder. This means that the title of "strongest" was seriously downgraded, devalued, and cheapened.

The fact that Zaraki holds the title of Kenpachi means nothing. Zaraki is of course still a pretty strong captain but he is definitely not "the strongest" or anywhere close. I'm amazed at how Kubo managed to retcon this plot hole so well with this backstory.

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Old 05-22-2012, 05:35 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JackRyder View Post
So I think that many people found it confusing or a plot inconsistency that during the SS arc, it was mentioned that the title "Kenpachi" was given to the strongest shinigami in the Gotei 13... yet it is later revealed that there are many shinigami far stronger than Kenpachi including Aizen, Yamamoto, Isshin, Urahara, Kyouraku, Ukitake, Unohana, Yoruichi, and Gin.

It made one wonder about the definition of "strongest" shinigami. Strongest in what exactly?

With the new information about Azashiro Kenpachi, the 8th Kenpachi in SS it all became clear.

Azashiro rightfully deserved the title of strongest shinigami. His power was at a level that even Aizen himself respected and claimed that his Kyouka Suigetsu would not work on (Even Yamamoto had to grab hold of Aizen by getting stabbed to prevent KS from affecting him).

From what we know of the novel, Azashiro did "something" and was imprisoned in Mugen by SS and Gotei 13. He was not "defeated" and succeeded by the 9th Kenpachi. No, rather the 9th Kenpachi was actually just the Vice-Captain of Azashiro and was auto-promoted to captain of the 11th squad and subsequently given the title of 9th Kenpachi.

Evidently this means that 9th Kenpachi was not necessarily stronger than Azashiro or even captain material really.

Now you might ask, well why wasn't Hisagi and Kira promoted to Captain in the absence (betrayal) of their squad captains? Well that is because the 11th squad captain position is a special position. The 3 requirements to become a captain (as outlined by Yoruichi) does not apply to this squad. Anyone that kills the current captain becomes the next captain. Well since Azashiro wasn't killed, this ritual could not be completed which left a vacancy in the position. The next was to promote the second in command to captain.

So the 9th Kenpachi did not "earn" his position. He was just given it. Being a mere VC level, it was no surprise that the 10th Kenpachi beat him and took over. And the same with the current Kenpachi.

Basically it's just this: Azashiro was imprisoned and not defeated and thus the title of Kenpachi was handed to some fodder. This means that the title of "strongest" was seriously downgraded, devalued, and cheapened.

The fact that Zaraki holds the title of Kenpachi means nothing. Zaraki is of course still a pretty strong captain but he is definitely not "the strongest" or anywhere close. I'm amazed at how Kubo managed to retcon this plot hole so well with this backstory.
1st.
Let me ask you this:
The 8th Kenpachi(Azashiro) was arround longer than 1000 years or arround the past 1000 years?
I am asking this because Yamamoto said himself to Aizen that in the past 1000 years there hasnt been a Shinigami stronger than himself ...

2nd.
Was it directly stated that Azashiro had reiatsu so high that he would negate Kyouka Suigetsu?
I am asking this because this would be just pure bullshit ... He would be tons stronger than Aizen and Yamamoto and thats just not possible for a Shinigami whos younger, much younger than Yamamoto(Im basing this on his apperance since he seems to be arround Isshin, Shunsuis age), plus thats a little over the limit of the Shinigamis powers, Aizen himself claimed that his abilities were unsurpassable in Soul Society.

3rd.
It was never confirmed that there were any Captains stronger than Zaraki Kenpachi aside from Yamamoto. It "seemed" to us(some of us fans) that there were Captains stronger than Kenpachi due to their "inteligence" and "zanpakutou abilities"(BTW in Aizens case, he never revealed his power when he was a Captain), however it was never confirmed anything about him being weaker, he could be but its not yet confirmed. And for the record, no Captain has shown raw power even close to that of Kenpachis aside from Yamamoto whos the Captain Commander so Kenpachi MAY as well be the strongest and he has feats that "imply" this such as:

-His unpatched strikes are basically one-shooters for any Captain.
-He restricts himself using bells and en eyeptach that restricts reiatsu to enjoy himself in battle for a longer time(to not own his opponent instantly).
-While patched can hold himself against two other Captains in shikai(Komamura and Tousen).
-Defeated Tousen in bankai while patched and Tousens bankai is among the top 5 most hax abilities in this manga, after all restricting your opponents vision, smell and hearing is one hell of an ability and Kenpachi could counter this BY LETTING Tousen stab himself on pourpose ...
-One-shooting the Espada with the strongest hierro while released with a simple two handed sword strike from mid-range ...

Kenpachi has indeed feats to put him among the strongests shinigamis, his endurance, durability and physical strength and even his reflexes(dodging Tousens strikes without 3 of his main senses to the point where the wounds inflicted would not be fatal and he was dodging those strikes when they were touching his clothes, so that he could feel exactly where they would come from and therefore dodge a BIT of the strike) are the best in Soul Society not counting Yamamoto.

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Old 05-22-2012, 06:40 AM   #3
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the novel is canon right?

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Old 05-22-2012, 07:21 AM   #4
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A Kenpachi isn't the strongest Shinigami, just the best swordsman in the Gotei 13.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JackRyder View Post
Azashiro rightfully deserved the title of strongest shinigami. His power was at a level that even Aizen himself respected and claimed that his Kyouka Suigetsu would not work on (Even Yamamoto had to grab hold of Aizen by getting stabbed to prevent KS from affecting him).
And this is the very definition of jumping to conclusions. Yamamoto made it explicitly clear that in the last 1000 years not a single Shinigami has surpassed him. In a world where everyone has a unique ability, the more logical assumption is Azashiro simply has an ability that makes Kyouka Suigetsu null. It's been hinted at that his ability is perception-based already.

Threads like these, or rather, notions like these are why the Vasto Lorde were so hyped around these parts.

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Old 05-22-2012, 07:46 AM   #5
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Aizen didn't mention why KS might not work on him. At least in that excerpt he didn't.

Though you do make a good point that the title has potentially been "cheapened" by the 9th's promotion, however, we don't know if the VC was just fodder or not. He might not have been.

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Old 05-22-2012, 08:17 AM   #6
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what novel is this? kubo released a novel? LOL

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Old 05-22-2012, 10:01 AM   #7
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The only thing clear is this:

Azashiro is the real Kenpachi.

Zaraki, the bitch, never earned it and will never be the Kenpachi until he kills Azashiro or kills the one who kills Azashiro etc.

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Old 05-22-2012, 10:11 AM   #8
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When did they say that the word "Kenpachi" meant the strongest of the Shinigami? That wouldn't have made sense at all, even when it was first introduced.

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what novel is this? kubo released a novel? LOL
Not Kubo, someone else, though Kubo does have his hand in it.

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Old 05-22-2012, 12:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Halloween Fanatic View Post
The only thing clear is this:

Azashiro is the real Kenpachi.

Zaraki, the bitch, never earned it and will never be the Kenpachi until he kills Azashiro or kills the one who kills Azashiro etc.
Azashiro was not killed. He was imprisoned. And why talk so bad about Kenpachi when he clearly killed the previous Captain and is the only Kenpachi with actual feats? Azashiro has just been introduced in a novel that is probably non-cannon ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mist Puppet View Post
When did they say that the word "Kenpachi" meant the strongest of the Shinigami? That wouldn't have made sense at all, even when it was first introduced.
It was stated by Zaraki himself before he joined the Gotei13(in his and Yachirus flashback).

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Old 05-22-2012, 12:33 PM   #10
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Pretty sure the novel... or novella cuz of its size... is canon.

Either way this isn't some glorified fanfic.

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Old 05-22-2012, 01:31 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Grimm6jack View Post
It was stated by Zaraki himself before he joined the Gotei13(in his and Yachirus flashback).
No, the title of "Kenpachi" goes to the strongest swordsman in Soul Society, not the strongest Shinigami. The strongest Shinigami becomes Captain Commander.

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Old 05-22-2012, 01:49 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Halloween Fanatic View Post
The only thing clear is this:

Azashiro is the real Kenpachi.

Zaraki, the bitch, never earned it and will never be the Kenpachi until he kills Azashiro or kills the one who kills Azashiro etc.
Neah, Zaraki earned it alright, the traditional way, it's just the his opponent might not have been so strong. And that's definitely no more than a maybe since he killed that bastard that would regularly defy authority and so probably had the power to back up his attitude (from TBTP)

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Old 05-22-2012, 03:22 PM   #13
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Wasn't it stated somewhere that the title went to the one who has fought the most battles and killed the most enemies? Or was that just an anime filler line? Wait, let me look that up...

EDIT:

Spoiler:


There you go. Unless that is a misstranslation. Early Bleach scans were a bit...iffy at times.

Also, I don't know if you just 'earn' the title by slaying the acting Kenpachi, regardless of whether or not you have surpassed his 'body count'.

Either way, I guess the Zaraki Kenpachi has earned his title one way or another, given his bloodthirsty attitude. And the previous ones before him, probably, too.

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Old 05-22-2012, 03:30 PM   #14
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I doubt Zaraki killed the most enemies, since we've guys like Yamamoto who are over 2000 years old.

Why is it said that it's given to the best Shinigami in SS if the known Zaraki are clearly not the best?

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Old 05-22-2012, 03:33 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward Newgate View Post
I doubt Zaraki killed the most enemies, since we've guys like Yamamoto who are over 2000 years old.

Why is it said that it's given to the best Shinigami in SS if the known Zaraki are clearly not the best?
And he has been captain commander for a very long time, if not that very period. Generals hardly enter the fray when they have their lower officers doing the job. Plus, wherever there is turmoil, Zaraki is hell-bent on being there first. Was that way when the Ryoka landed, no?

So yeah, it is possible for other captains or shinigami to have been in more fights and have more kills than the captain commander. Boiling it down to small numbers,the average shinigami patrol in the weekend is engaging in more battles on a weekly basis than the captain commander is.

EDIT:

Additionally, think of what the assigned tasks of the divisions are. The 11th has always been the combat division. No matter what happens, they usually are up first when it comes to battles. Kubo might've later forgotten about that or retconned it or just stopped giving a fuck but that was their original purpose.

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Old 05-22-2012, 03:52 PM   #16
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interesting if it's canon, KS not working on him?

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Old 05-22-2012, 05:10 PM   #17
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Well this is all very interesting and I would like to make my contribution





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Old 05-22-2012, 05:54 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kisabuna View Post
No, the title of "Kenpachi" goes to the strongest swordsman in Soul Society, not the strongest Shinigami. The strongest Shinigami becomes Captain Commander.
I was only saying what I REMEMBER from the chapter/episode that I read/saw. I remember Kenpachi saying to Yachiru that his name would be Zaraki(name of one of the districts or something) and the other would be Kenpachi wich is the name"title" to the "strongest" shinigami.

Yeah you do have a point, the strongest Shinigami is the CC ... Too many retcons(inconsistencies ) in this manga to actually give a fuck about this ...

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Old 05-22-2012, 06:24 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yak View Post
Wasn't it stated somewhere that the title went to the one who has fought the most battles and killed the most enemies? Or was that just an anime filler line? Wait, let me look that up...

EDIT:

Spoiler:


There you go. Unless that is a misstranslation. Early Bleach scans were a bit...iffy at times.

Also, I don't know if you just 'earn' the title by slaying the acting Kenpachi, regardless of whether or not you have surpassed his 'body count'.

Either way, I guess the Zaraki Kenpachi has earned his title one way or another, given his bloodthirsty attitude. And the previous ones before him, probably, too.
Zaraki has been captain for less than 100 years right? I don't think anything important even happened in the last 100 years besides the Vaizard thing. Yamamoto, Ukitake, Kyoraku, and Unohana have been shinigami for much longer... such as the Quincy War.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kisabuna View Post
No, the title of "Kenpachi" goes to the strongest swordsman in Soul Society, not the strongest Shinigami. The strongest Shinigami becomes Captain Commander.
If you're going to use that logic, aren't all shinigami (well except Yoruichi) swordsman? And it's hard to believe that Zaraki or his predecessor were the best "swordsman" in SS. Both of them were thuggish brutes that had no skills whatsoever. Just swinging wildly. In fact, in the Noitorra fight, Zaraki actually decided to use Kendo which he learned from Yama.

The 2000 year old man that teaches Kendo? I think I know who's the best swordsman in SS.

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Old 05-22-2012, 06:33 PM   #20
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If everything but straight up hand to hand combat were excluded, Zaraki would likely be superior to the majority of Captains, largely due to his ridiculous endurance. The 11th division pride themselves at being "combat specialists", which I interpret to mean strictly hand to hand, since I recall Ikkaku expressing disdain at Iba having learned Kido, and of course there's the matter of Yumichika wishing to hide his Kido based Shikai from the rest of the division.

So at most, the title "Kenpachi" should mean "strongest hand to hand combatant", although I would of course place Shinigami such as Aizen or Yamamoto significantly above him even in this category.

As it stands, I would personally rank him as the least impressive Captain overall.

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