What Is a Konpaku (Modified Soul) in Bleach?
Tite Kubo’s Bleach has introduced us to a variety of different in-universe concepts, so many, in fact, that you’ll probably need a proper glossary of terms to know what every term means. In this article, we are going to focus on one such term, which was proven to be one of the more intriguing concepts in the world of Bleach. The topic of this article is going to be the Konpaku, or a Modified Soul, and we are going to tell you everything you need to know about it.
Konpaku or Modified Souls are human souls that have been enhanced by scientists at the Soul Society’s Research and Development Department to help the Shinigami fight the Hollows. They were engineered as part of Project Spearhead, which was ultimately halted due to ethical reasons. Kon is the only canon Konpaku in the series and the most famous one, while additional have been introduced in the filler episodes of the anime.
The rest of this article is going to focus on the concept of Konpaku in Bleach. You’re going to find out everything you need about the Konpaku, but also about Project Spearhead. Last but not least, we are going to list the known Konpaku from both the canon and the filler episodes of the series. Some spoilers might be present.
What is a Konpaku in Bleach?
Modified Souls were designed to avoid causing panic among ordinary humans by leaving an empty gigai or Shinigami being forced to reside in corpses or living beings, after expelling their original soul. By ingesting a Modified Soul, it forces the Soul of the Shinigami to leave the body and take control of the organism, working in a programmed manner and adjusting as far as possible to a normal personality, which does not draw attention to the rest of the humans. They were created by Kirio Hikifune, former Captain of Division 12 and now a member of the Royal Guard.
Considering that the original name Gikongan wasn’t pretty enough, the Shinigami Women’s Association decided to rename the Modified Souls into Soul Candy. In keeping with this more casual and frivolous name, different artificial soul dispensers were designed to look like typical PEZ candies, with an animal figure on top. Apparently, the nature of the animal that appears in the candy dispenser determines the personality of the soul that inhabits the candy.
Thus, the most popular version in Soul Society, and the one that is Rukia Kuchiki’s favorite, is Chappy the Rabbit, a hyperactive character, with remarkable physical strength and a way of speaking similar to that of a small child. The Shinigami Women’s Association has worked hard on the discipline of artificial souls, suggesting a large number of Soul Candy designs and different soul personalities, mostly to please President Yachiru Kusajishi.
As revealed in an omake, with the participation of Nemu Kurotsuchi, who is the Vice President of the Research and Development Department, Yachiru experimented with new types of Soul Candy, which were used by Tōshirō Hitsugaya and his squad when they were in the world of the living, apparently with very satisfactory results.
The known types of Soul Candy used by the Shinigami are:
- Chappy, a rabbit: The most popular among female Shinigamis, and the favorite of Rukia Kuchiki , who used it during one of her stays in the world of the living. Of a restless and hyperactive personality, he tends to end all sentences in hop (pyon in the original version).
- Yuki, a duck: Chosen as the second most popular.
- Pupples, a dog: The third in popularity. Sometimes called Papyrus.
- Diana, a serpent
- Alfred, a skull
- Claudia, a penguin
- Gringo, a panda: Also called Buscabulla, he is malevolent and is always angry, throwing continuous threats at whoever he looks at. He ends his sentences in agh (in the original version, yorosh). It was used by Yumichika Ayasegawa.
- Ginnosuke, a cat: He possesses the personality of a bum, more twisted and malicious. He finishes his sentences in jia (in the original version, nyah). It was used by Renji Abarai.
- Blues: Sometimes called Bruce, he is a coward. He finishes his sentences in uish (in the original version, uho). It was used by Ikkaku Madarame.
- Kaneshiro, a frog
- Momone: Also known as Salidorra, it grants its user the personality of a pervert. He ends his sentences in hmm (in the original version, besh). It was used by Rangiku Matsumoto.
- King: Also called Analyst, he is very serious but also very stupid. Usually, think about useless percentages. Besides, he doesn’t end sentences with any special endings, because he would be quickly forgotten. It was used by Tōshirō Hitsugaya.
What was Project Spearhead in Bleach?
The secret project that led to the creation of Mod-Souls was named Project Spearhead and was conducted by the Research and Development Department. The Shinigami intended to use corpses as anti-Hollow fighters by implanting Mod-Souls into the corpses, which, once implanted, would bestow superhuman abilities on a specific area of the host’s body (e.g.: super-fast running, perfect singing, giant powers, immense cleverness, superhuman hearing, etc.).
However, the project was scrapped due to ethical concerns. The experiment was stopped and all Mod-Souls were destroyed; or, at least, it was thought so. One of the few surviving Mod-Souls is Kon, who initially walks around Ichigo’s body for a short time. After Ichigo and Rukia get Kon out of Ichigo’s body, Ichigo puts the candy in a stuffed animal because it would look stupid if he yelled at the candy.
Project Spearhead was not the topic of canon stories in a big way; it was mentioned and it was explained what it was, but the canon narratives never really dug too deep into the story as it did not prove to be overly important for the general story. On the other hand, the Gotei 13 Invading Army filler arc from the anime series focused exclusively on the consequences of that project.
Konpaku in Bleach
In our final section, we are going to list and introduce all the known Konpaku in Bleach, both canon and non-canon ones:
Kon is Ichigo Kurosaki’s own mod soul at the beginning of the series. He is a Modified Soul intended to inhabit Ichigo’s body during his missions, allowing him to simultaneously hunt Hollow as a Shinigami and attend school/at home as a human. When Ichigo is not in his Shinigami form, Kon inhabits the body of a lion-shaped stuffed animal.
In the Soul Society Arc, he appears for a small clip at the end of almost every episode. The shows he hosts are called Shinigami’s Cup and Shinigami’s Cup Golden. Kon is Bleach’s mascot, so to speak, and appears in almost every episode – when the episode is actually over. Since the time skip, however, he has not appeared again
Ririn is a character that appears only in the anime and not in the manga, so she is counted as a filler character In her gigai she looks like a little girl with blond hair and blue eyes. She wears a pink dress and long pink boots, and she also wears a small black cape. In her stuffed animal form she looks like a chicken, with a light blue dress and a dark blue cape, and the circular white eyes with blue rims are quite striking. Ririn is bitchy, choosy and very dominant, she beats up Kon several times because he often annoys her.
Kurōdo is a character that only appears in the anime and not in the manga, so he is counted as a filler character. In his Gigai, Kurōdo has long hair that is black on the right side and blonde on the left, his eye color is ice blue. He wears a gray suit and a gray top hat, and he has eye-catching round glasses. In his stuffed animal form, he takes the form of a bag with yellow beady eyes and also wearing a suit, however, he also resembles a bunny. Kurōdo seems very crazy and loves big breasts as he was happy to be assigned to Orihime.
Noba is a character that only appears in the anime and not in the manga, so he is counted as a filler character Noba has dark red hair and turquoise eyes in his Gigai, and he wears a ninja-style suit with fur on the collar. In his stuffed animal form he looks like a turtle with a suit and bow tie. Noba seems very quiet and withdrawn as he speaks very little. When he’s in his Gigai you only see his eyes, he also has a zipper there, which he sometimes closes so that his entire head is covered.
Nozomi Kujō is the first Mod-Soul created in Soul Society and hunted by its creator Kageroza Inaba. The young girl has a “defensive” personality. She is fairly quiet, rarely talks, and reveals very little about herself. She often tries to turn down the help of Kon, Ichigo, and his friends since she “didn’t ask for their help”. Over time, she develops a strong friendship with Kon and Ichigo, who prevented her from killing herself.
Since then she’s been trying to be a little more open, but teasing and insults are easier for her than niceties. Nozomi walks through the Dangai covered by a large cloth. When she appeared in the human world, Kon, Rukia, and Ichigo felt an unusual reiatsu. Since Ichigo and Rukia were hunting hollows, Kon set off alone and a few minutes later stumbled across Nozomi, who was lying naked in a parking lot with only a blanket.
He took her to the Kurosakis’ clinic and laid the girl in Ichigo’s bed, where she slept for a very long time. The next day when Kon went to check on her, he found her not in bed but in front of the TV. He immediately brought her back to Ichigo’s room before the Kurosakis see her. There he asked her for her name, which she did not want to reveal. After Kon then told her his name and that he had found her, she sat on the back corner of Ichigo’s bed, threw sheets at Kon and called him a pervert.
Although Nozomi is a Mod-Soul, she has Shinigami powers and therefore also possesses a Zanpakuto and Kido skills. Kido Expert: Nozomi shows that she’s adept at the art of kido, as she can cast the kido spell Hado #58 Tenran without an incantation.
Kagerōza Inaba is a filler character and the main antagonist in the Gotei 13 Invading Army arc. He is the 7th Officer of the 12th Division and prior to the Arc, his duties are said to have included policing and researching the Dangais and the In-Between. As it turns out in the course of the story, Kageroza is a mod soul that got the personality of its inventor Ōko Yushima.
For a long time, Inaba pretended to be a quiet, unobtrusive shinigami so that no one would notice his machinations. Inaba is very sophisticated, devious and has a rather intimidating nature. That he was able to create reigai, almost perfect copies of shinigami, shows that he possesses high intellect. He respects his commander Mayuri Kurotsuchi in many respects when it comes to science and research.
Rukia Kuchiki found out in Ichigo and Inaba’s first fight that the latter must be pretty strong since he can control even the proud Reigai clones. Additionally, Inaba was able to route away a hollowfied Kuroi Getsuga (albeit a restrained one), which Rukia says is a testament to his strength. In addition, he could easily fight against several commanders.
Ōko Yushima was a shinigami who served in the 12th Division and also served in the SRDI. He is also the inventor of mod soul. After graduating from the Shinigami Academy, Ōko joined the 10th Division. But since, according to his comrades, he actually has no real fighting talent and is more of a thinker than a fighter, he was transferred to the 12th Division. Ōko didn’t seem to like this very much, but he didn’t refuse. In the 12th Division created a project called Spearhead which revolved around research into his own invention, Mod-Soul.
But for moral reasons, research should be stopped and previous work destroyed. Unable to allow this, Ōko sent part of his data into a dangai and transfused his spirit into his two mod-souls, Kageroza Inaba and Nozomi Kujō, hoping that the two would continue his work. Ōko himself appeared unconscious and was imprisoned in the maggot’s nest. Kageroza tries everything in his power to catch Nozomi Kujō so that they can both heal Ōko Yushima or become him again.