When Kisuke Urahara first appeared in Bleach, he was a mysterious shop owner that Ichigo kept calling “hat and clogs” due to his trademark clothing choices. But, as it turned out, Kisuke Urahara is one of the most layered characters in the whole series and is a character that has one of the best stories overall in the series. Kisuke Urahara seems like a weakling, but he is in fact the most intelligent and one of the most powerful characters in the series, with even Yhwach labeling him as one of the five “Special Threats” due to his skills and abilities. We’ve seen Urahara’s Shikai, Benihime, but his Bankai is even more impressive and even more dangerous. In this article, we are going to talk about Urahara’s Bankai, Kannonbiraki Benihime Aratame.
Having been mentioned earlier in gimmick fashion when Urahara claimed that a simple shopowner could, by no means, know Bankai, the revelation of his Bankai was a big moment Bleach, and since that moment, as well as the Bankai, were so special, we have decided to write an article explaining its powers and abilities to you. Urahara Bankai is quite specific in the world of Bleach, and it was essential for us to explain how it works, how it was activated, and why it is so special ahead of the big reveal in the anime. There will be spoilers, so you have to be careful how you approach certain parts of the article.
What is Urahara’s Bankai, Kannonbiraki Benihime Aratame?
Benihime is Kisuke Urahara’s Zanpakutō and one of those whose Zanpakutō Spirit is known to be female (although the Spirit was never actually seen). Kisuke described her as “not exactly nice.” In the sealed form, Benihime is a Shikomizue. However, flashbacks from when Kisuke was still a Captain show that Benihime looked like an ordinary Zanpakutō at the time. The end of Benihime’s staff, like Rukia’s gauntlet, can separate a soul from its body, but this is likely due to a modification Kisuke made to Benihime during or after Benihime’s conversion from katana to shikomizue.
Urahara’s Shikai is activated with the “Awaken” command. It takes the form of a classic sword of average length. Benihime has a fairly thin blade and her sword hilt curves; it also has a blood-red band on the sword hilt. Benihime’s abilities consist of the ability to form red energy and then use it for defense and offense. All of Benihime’s abilities are activated when the basic release command is used. The known abilities are:
- Nake, Benihime: In this technique, Kisuke Urahara fires a red reiatsu missile from his zanpakutō during a sword swing, similar to Ichigo’s Getsuga Tenshō. This energy wave has great explosive destructive power. While fighting Yammy Llargo, Kisuke easily resisted his attacks. As Kisuke also mentioned in the fight against Yammy, this technique is similar to a Cero, as he spoke of stopping Yammy’s Cero with a “similar technique” and then, claiming to show Yammy that technique again, attacking with that technique.
- Kamisori, Benihime: A variant of the above technique, in which the Reiatsu projectile is fired at a longer range rather than directly at a sword slash. It possesses high speed and great penetration, capable of penetrating the Hierro of an Espada-level Arrancar. Kisuke can also control the trajectory of the projectile.
- Chikasumi no Tate: A defensive ability of Benihime. This creates a smooth surface of energy that deflects attacks. The power of this ability was enough to block a Yammy Llargo punch with ease. Chikasumi no Tate also saved an arm for Kisuke in his fight against Ichigo when it self-protected him from a Getsuga Tenshō.
- Kirisaki, Benihime: This technique was used in the third Bleach film. In doing so, many small, red energy beams are released from the Chikasumi no Tate, which cause a rather moderate amount of destruction, but they are very fast, and thanks to the large amount, a hit is very likely.
- Tsuppane, Benihime: With this technique, Kisuke can neutralize enemy attacks by drawing a circle of red energy in the air with the blade. The prerequisite for the success of the technique is that he has previously sufficiently analyzed the reiatsu released during the attack and the muscle movements of his opponent. Kisuke was able to counter Yammy Llargo’s bala.
- Shibari, Benihime: A technique used by Kisuke against Aizen, it creates a band when swinging the sword and wraps around the opponent, it seems to be somewhat elastic.
- Hiasobi, Benihime, Juzutsunagi: A technique used by Kisuke along with Shibari against Aizen. Fireballs will appear on the ribbon with which the opponent was tied.
Now that we’ve explained all the basics, let us discuss the Bankai. The name of Urahara’s Bankai is Kannonbiraki Benihime Aratame. When released, a manifestation of the Zanpakutō Spirit appears behind Urahara in the form of a huge, hunched-over woman with long hair pulled up in an elaborate hairstyle, her arms, and hands composed of multiple segments like a puppet.
She has the ability to “restructure” anything she touches. This is done by first “splitting” the object in question and then “joining” it back together with stitches, during which process Kisuke is able to alter the state or function of the object in question in a variety of ways. However, the target of this ability must either be directly touched by the Bankai Spirit’s hands or be within a certain radius of the Bankai Spirit, beyond which the ability can no longer take effect.
Urahara used this power of “remodeling” to do the following:
- Apparently, he can use it to destructively remodel the bodies of his opponents if they are near him. Thus, in the fight against Askin Nakk Le Vaar, he created a cleavage in the Star Knight’s arm, which escaped the wider effects of the rebuild by retreating quickly enough outside of Benihime’s controlled area.
- He is also able to restore function to injured body parts or enhance intact body parts, such as healing his eyes which had been destroyed by Askin’s “The Deathdealing” and remodeling his own arm in a way that allows him greater physical abilities by giving him additional strength.
- Using Benihime’s stitches, Kisuke can open a portal of sorts, allowing people to sneak through obstacles or penetrate otherwise inaccessible barriers.
Kisuke once said that his Bankai is not suitable for training purposes. He is also known to have learned his Bankai in three days using the same method as Ichigo.
When and how did Urahara activate his Bankai for the first time?
Without going into too much detail (as that will be covered in another post), we can just say that Kisuke Urahara used his Bankai against Askin Nakk Le Vaar for the first time. After a brief battle, Askin confirms that he does not intend to miss the opportunity to see such an achievement of His Majesty and asks Kisuke what he thought of such information. However, Kisuke gets up and tries to cause him some damage with his sword, however, he fails. Askin is surprised to see that Kisuke can move with such agility while he is surrounded by the Gift Bereich Kisuke answers Askin’s questions, leaving the Sternritter very happy. He then proceeds to attack him with Gift Ring, which manages to hurt the right eye of the Shinigami. Askin then explains that it was the only option he had to defeat guys as complicated as him, however, Kisuke, before such a warning, decides to finally release his Bankai Kannon Biraki Benihime Aratame.