Bleach fans will certainly remember the first time they met Mayuri Kurotsuchi. The eccentric Captain of the 12th Division fought Ishida and almost died during the battle, but as it later turned out, he had much more to offer in battle. But, aside from his battling skills, Maruyi Kurotsuchi has been fascinating Bleach fans with both his intelligence, as well as his bizarre personality, which is why he is so popular within the fandom. Now, Mayuri is known as a very productive character and as a great inventor, although a lot of his inventions are more bizarre than anything else. This helped him to modify his Zanpakutō as well. In this article, we are going to focus on Mayuri Kurotsuchi’s Bankai and explain why it is so unique in the world of Bleach.
Due to its specific evolution and all the changes it has gone through, Mayuri Kurotsuchi’s Bankai was a major part of the Bleach lore, and because the Bankai was so special, we have decided to write an article explaining its powers and abilities to you. Mayuri’s 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 Mayuri Kurotsuchi’s Bankai, Konjiki Ashisogi Jizō?
Ashisogi Jizō is the Zanpakutō of Mayuri Kurotsuchi. Externally, it is an ordinary katana with a purple hilt and some sort of handle on the guard plate that allows it to be attached to a belt. The scabbard itself is red and Mayuri carries his sword between his legs. Ashisogi Jizō’s Spirit is seen for the first time in a filler arc. It is small (about 50 cm) and has wings that are very similar to a moth.
The head of Ashisogi Jizō’s spirit is very similar to the Bankai, golden in color and sporting a single strand of blue hair. Above his head is a circle that is connected to the wings and is reminiscent of a halo (Ashisogi Jizō’s Bankai also has this circle, only that it hovers in this form above his head). He also wears a green cloak and a red cloth around his neck, under which, just like in the Bankai, he hides several sharp blades, which he can also extend. In addition, it does not speak properly, but only produces a ringing sound that sounds like speech.
In addition, the Bankai’s self-destruct mechanism is also in Ashisogi Jizō’s Spirit form, allowing Mayuri to destroy it with the push of a button. Ashisogi Jizō is transformed by the release command “Rip”, after which it turns into its Shikai form. The sword turns golden and three blades grow out of the guard plate, which represents a kind of face. Ashisogi Jizō’s special ability is that the blade secretes a drug that paralyzes the opponent’s part that is hit, but does not take away the perception of pain.
Now that we’ve explained all the basics, let us discuss the Bankai. Ashisogi Jizō’s original pre-modification Bankai form is called the Konjiki Ashisogi Jizō, with the Zanpakutō transformed into a giant golden baby-headed caterpillar that secretes a very dangerous poison. It wears a red scarf and a silver circle floats above its head, reminiscent of a halo. Furthermore, Mayuri has equipped his Bankai with a self-destruct mechanism so that he can destroy it if it turns against him.
Mayuri has fundamentally modified his Bankai later on in the story to be able to effectively battle the Sternritter. Dubbed Konjiki Ashisogi Jizō: Matai Fukuin Shōtai, it takes the form of a gigantic, misshapen baby lying atop a mountain of umbilical cords. The Bankai is fundamentally different from the previous version. Mayuri feeds his Zanpakutō data about his opponent throughout the previous fight so that when the bankai is released, the baby can now “give birth” to a Konjiki Ashisogi Jizō that is specific to the respective opponent’s abilities and can defeat them easier. From a wide scar in the baby’s stomach, another baby bursts out, which looks like Mayuri’s former Bankai.
During the battle against Pernida Parnkgjas, the Bankai gave birth to a baby that had its nerves directly on the outside of the skin. This made the baby more sensitive to pain and also provided an excellent target for Pernida’s “The Compulsory”. However, the change also had a very decisive advantage: the baby’s nerves are distributed over approx. 70,000 different tissue layers of the skin, which means that even if Pernida took possession of one of them and deformed it, only a thin layer of the creature’s skin peeled off and it can continue to attack unhindered. Otherwise, due to its enormous size, the baby is able to eat even huge opponents like Pernida.
When does Mayuri use his Bankai for the first time?
Mayuri’s Bankai was actually one of the first ones we’ve seen in the whole series, as he used it during his initial fight with Ishida back in the first arc. But since, then, Mayuri’s Bankai had gone through numerous changes that were carefully and in detail elaborated by Mayuri himself. All of this culminated in his giant Konjiki Ashisogi Jizō: Matai Fukuin Shōtai, which was the culmination of Mayuri’s experimentation with his Zanpakutō.
This happened during Mayuri’s battle against Pernida Parkgjas, as Mayuri blocks the attack and Pernida begins to transform again. Mayuri then remembers that the Soul King’s right hand symbolizes tranquility while the left symbolizes progress. This is confirmed when Pernida finally takes a new form, which this time is made up of three arms. Mayuri then releases his Bankai. When revealed, it has a very different appearance than usual. Kurotsuchi comments that he has reconfigured his Bankai and that the ability of this metamorphosis is to give birth to a new Ashisogi Jizō. We are going to leave the details for another article, so this is just an introduction to how and when it happened.