Bleach: What Is the Tenteikura & Why Is It So Important to the Gotei 13?

Bleach: What is the Tenteikura & Why Is It so Important to the Gotei 13?
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The Bleach series is full of numerous interesting concepts, some of which are exceptionally important for the lore. Although each major group had something of its own, the Gotei 13 are by far the best-explored one in that aspect, which is why this article is also going to explore one of these concepts, a concept that is actually very important for the Gotei 13. The topic of this article will be the Tenteikura, a very special spell used for communication among the members of the Gotei 13 and which has, among others, proven to be useful in dangerous situations. In this article, we will tell you what the Tenteikura is and why it is so important for the Gotei 13.

Kidō Spell #77, Tenteikura, was first shown when Isane Kotetsu used it when she wanted to let everyone know about Aizen’s real nature. The Tenteikura is used to deliver messages to everyone in a specific area. In addition to reciting the incantation, the user must draw certain characters on their arms animated by the incantation in order to transmit the message. It is a quick means of communication between the Shinigami and can be used in a variety of situations, as it is quick and effective.

As you might have deduced, the Tenteikura will be this article’s main topic. We will tell you what the Tenteikura is, how it is activated, and what it is used for. It hasn’t been used that often, so we will also tell you who used it and when, so you’ll have a full, detailed, and comprehensive guide to this special spell. Of course, some spoilers will be present, so if you’re not fully up-to-date with everything that’s been going on in Bleach, we have to advise you to approach this article with care.

The Tenteikura is a quick and effective means of communication

Whatever you might have thought, we’ll start off by saying that Tenteikura is actually a Kido spell. Now, since Kido spells are an important part of the lore, we will explain what they are quickly before returning to the Tenteikura.

Kido is the type of magic used by the Shinigami. The Shinigami use Kido spells for many purposes, including binding, healing, and attacking. These spells usually require some sort of incantation to activate. They are performed by concentrating spiritual energy. Most Kidō spells can be divided into two categories: Bakudo and Hado.

The first category is more general and refers to almost all spells aimed at keeping the opponent at bay, including pursuit and communication spells. However, some of the Bakudo spells can be quite painful to the opponent, if not fatal. Hado spells, however, are intended solely to induce pain and usually consist of some sort of focused burst of energy.

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With the exception of healing spells, which have neither an incantation nor a name, kidō spells consist of four separate steps: first reciting the incantation, which usually takes a long time, then the category (bakudo or hado), then the number, and as last the name. A spell’s number indicates the difficulty of using the spell correctly and effectively. With sufficient training, the first step can be skipped.

So, as you can see, Kido spells are an essential part of understanding the powers and abilities of the Shinigami; all Shinigami know at least some Kido spells, although not all of them are equally skilled with them (e.g., Rukia was a very skilled Kido user, whereas Renji had trouble performing even the simplest ones, and there’s also the 11th Division, whose members never use Kido).

Tenteikura is, as we have said, a Kido spell, and it is actually Kido #77, which means that it is a very complex spell that requires time to master (the higher the number, the more difficult the spell).

So, what is the Tenteikura exactly? Well, a Kido spell enables communication between a group of people within a selected area. The caster has to draw specific drawings on their hands and perform the incantation, after which a large rectangular frame appears, through which the message can be transmitted normally. The incantation is as follows:

黒白の羅!二十二の橋梁 六十六の冠帯 足跡・遠雷・尖峰・回地・夜伏・雲海・蒼い隊列 太円に満ちて天を挺れ
Kokubyaku no ami! Nijūni no kyōryō, rokujūroku no kantai. Ashiato, enrai, senpō, kaichi, yafuku, unkai, aoi tairetsu. Taien ni michite ten o hashire.
Silken net of black and white! Twenty-two bridges, sixty-six crowning sash; footprints, distant thunder, pointed peaks, revolving grounds, nightly prostrations, sea of clouds, the pale ranks of troops, complete the grand circle and surpass the heavens.

So, once the spell is activated and the frame appears, the caster can transmit their message around the designated area. As far as it seems, the caster mentally determines the spell’s radius, as the incantation doesn’t actually contain any information about that.

Any message can be transmitted, and while the downside is that everyone in the radius is actually going to hear it, even potential enemies, there is a way to get around this. Namely, while everyone in the designated radius will get the message, only those whose Reiatsu is familiar to the caster will actually hear it; this means that enemies, whose Reiatsu is usually unknown to the caster, won’t be able to hear it, despite being within the radius.

Still, if they are skilled enough, even those who are not able to hear it will be able to know that it is sent, as they will be able to feel the transmission thanks to their powers.

The Tenteikura is usually used as a last resort, as it is not a regular means of communication in the Seireitei. Usually, the members of the Gotei 13 send messengers or Hell Butterflies; Tenteikura has, so far, only been used during battles, as it allows the transmission of a message quickly throughout the battlefield.

As far as the users are concerned, being Kido #77, Tenteikura is probably complex to master, so we assume that only those who are truly skilled in Kido spells are able to use it. We assume that all Captains can use it, as well as those whose Kido mastery is high (such as members of the 4th Division, also probably Rukia, Rangiku, Momo Hinamori, Kira, Nanao Ise), but we don’t think that the likes of Renji, Ikkaku or Omaeda could use it. So far, only three characters have ever used it.

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The first time that Tenteikura was used was when Aizen’s plot was revealed to Unohana and Isane. After Aizen made his leave, Unohana instructed Isane to use Tenteikura to inform the Gotei 13 about Aizen’s betrayal and his plans. Seeing how Isane is a member of the 4th Division (she was, at the time, Unohana’s Lieutenant and would later succeed her as Captain), it makes sense that she was able to use it.

The second time happened in Hueco Mundo when Kaname Tosen strangely performed Tenteikura to allow Aizen to communicate with the intruders. As a Captain, it makes sense that Kaname Tosen could use Tenteikura, so this is not the strange part here. What was strange here was that Tosen performed the spell while Aizen communicated with it.

This confirmed that the user doesn’t necessarily have to be the message’s sender, as someone can perform Tenteikura for someone else. Of course, Aizen was also able to use the spell, so it wasn’t like Tosen was doing him a favor; it was more a sign of his loyalty to Aizen.

Finally, the third and so far final time was during the first Quincy invasion, when Toshiro Hitsugaya instructed Rangiku to tell everyone that the Sternritter could not seal but rather steal their Bankai; this happened moments after Cang Du stole Toshiro’s Bankai. Interestingly enough, each of these three Tenteikura was different, indicating that the spell’s manifestation depends on the user.

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