Over the years, Tite Kubo’s Bleach has introduced us to many various groups of characters. The main ones are the humans and the Souls (or the Shinigami, to be more precise), but we’ve also been introduced to the Hollows, the Quincys, and some Hell dwellers. These are all canon characters. But, the anime adaptation of Bleach had several important filler arcs, and in these arcs, they introduced us to other groups from the lore; these groups are not canon but are part of the larger Bleach lore, and the Bounts are among them. The Bounts received their own anime-exclusive original arc, and in this article, we are going to tell you who they are and why they are so powerful.
The Bounts are artificially-created, spiritually aware beings who can live forever by consuming souls. They were accidentally created in the Soul Society during an experiment, and the real-life legends of vampires inspire them; in the story, it is said that the humans formed these legends after seeing the Bounts. They are extremely powerful, can absorb Reishi, and use magic. They also have special crests that they can use to summon Dolls, which act as their versions of the Zanpakuto and their spirits, although they are not actual weapons, just a manifestation of their powers.
The rest of this article will tell you what you need to know about the Bounts. The Bounts might not be canon, but they guys had one of the better filler arcs in the anime, and they were actually a challenge both for the protagonists and for Soul Society. This article is going to tell you about their stories, as well as their powers and abilities. Be careful, though, because this article will be one large spoiler for you if you haven’t seen the Bount Arc already.
The Bounts were basically like vampires, but they do have their special traits
Bounts only appear in the anime, not in the manga, so they are, as we have said, counted as filler characters. Bounts are spiritually-aware beings with special abilities similar to those of the Quincy; this explains why Ishida had such an important role in this filler arc.
But, while the Quincy only have the power to kill Hollows and exterminate their souls completely, the Bounts have the ability to absorb souls, which actually allows them to live forever and maintain eternal youth.
For a long time, the Bounts had a code that they would never absorb living human souls, but when they do, they become even more powerful than if they absorbed dead souls. Jin Kariya and his troupe were the first to break this code.
The Bounts were created a long time ago as an accident. They were created as part of experiments executed in Soul Society, conducted by the former head of the pre-Research and Development Institute research division, Ran’Tao. She was actually doing experiments related to the possibility of achieving eternal life, so she used the slowly aging Shinigami soul as a base, but in the experiment, certain elements reacted with the human souls in the real world, and there was an explosion that created the Bounts.
They were scattered all over the world, trying to survive. But then they went to war against the Quincy, who killed many of them; after that, the Bount were sought out and killed by the Shinigami, and very few of them survived.
The Bounts have long wanted to use the powers of the Quincy that they could access to take their revenge on Soul Society. When Ran’Tao heard that all Bounts should be killed, she helped them escape to a peaceful place and gave Jin Kariya, their leader, a book on summoning their Dolls. Since all of this happened 1,000 years ago, hardly anyone knows anything about the Bounts, as Ran’Tao also destroyed all records of her experiments.
The known Bounts from the series include Jin Kariya (their current leader), Sawatari, Yoshi, Gō Koga, Yoshino Sōma, Ugaki, Hō and Ban, Mabashi, Ryō Utagawa, and Cain. Maki Ichinose was not a Bount but rather a Shinigami, but he was allied with them in the filler arc.
The Bounts were highly powerful due to the unique source of their powers
The Bounts can live forever by absorbing human souls, which serve as their food, so to speak. Normally they only absorb dead souls, but Jin Kariya and his group broke the Bounts’ codex and started absorbing living souls. The difference is that they get much stronger as they absorb living souls, but the downside is that they age; the best example of this is Sawatari, who has consumed numerous living souls and now looks like an old man.
Since Shinigami souls were taken as the basis for the creation of the Bounts, they have their own version of Zanpakutō spirits, their own Dolls, just like the Shinigami; still, they are different beings with different abilities and personalities.
The difference between the Dolls and a Zanpakutō is that the Dolls are very dominant, while a Zanpakutō mostly has a similar personality to its owner. Also, Bounts must train their Dolls to obey them; however, sometimes, the Bounts lose control of them and are then killed by their own Dolls, examples being Ugaki and Mabashi. It was a bit different with Cain Nao because if a Bount is too weak, his own Doll can kill him easily. If they get along well with their Dolls, they can bond with them, just like Yoshino Sōma.
Each Bount has a Crest for its Doll, such as Ryō Utagawa’s golden pocket watch. If the Crests are destroyed, the Bount will also die. For the Bount to be able to awaken their Doll at all, Ran’Tao wrote a guide that helped them. It is striking that they use many German words, even in the Japanese anime original, and that some of the Dolls have German names.
So they are summoned with the phrase “Zeige Dich!” which is German for “Show Yourself!”. In Soul Society, it is learned that the Bounts can absorb spirit particles. They can heal themselves and strengthen, and we also learn that they can hide their Reiatsu. When they die, they crumble to dust as they have long exceeded their lifespan.
Ugaki and Jin Kariya together, invented the Bitto, mosquito-like dolls that absorb human souls. Sawatari wonders what’s wrong with absorbing the souls themselves, the difference being that the power the Bittos bring back is concentrated, and the Bount can increase their power tenfold. However, Jin Yoshino sacrificed Sōma to summon the Bitto.