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"Kentaro Hiroshi. He is our hope. His strength will unite the Reikai and his vision will show us the way going forward. Kentaro – like his father before him – will step forward and do what must be done. And he will succeed!"
—Sanada to Averian regarding Kentaro Hiroshi.[src]
Sanada the Brave
Sanada's profile
Name Sanada Shirono
Kanji 真田 白野
Romaji Shirono Sanada
Race Soul (Shinkūmyō)
Professional Status
Affiliation Six Directions
Occupation Commander, Shinigami
Team Six Directions
Partner Kentaro Hiroshi
Zanpakutō
Shikai Jūrensha
Bankai Not yet revealed
Rin'ne Not yet revealed
Vengeance hid behind a smile. -- Kenji-Taichō

Sanada Shirono (真田, Sanada Whitefield), famously known as Sanada the Brave (真田勇敢, Sanada Yūkan), is a Shiniagmi of the Ryū Order; specifically its elite Ryū Guard. Following the Collapse Sanada, as one of the few survivors of the aforementioned event, fell in behind Kentaro Hiroshi as one of the Commander's of the Six Directions, where he pitted himself against the resurgent Imawashī and the mysterious Kikkashō. Sanada is one of the few Shinkūmyō left following the Collapse.

Appearance Edit

Sanada full view

Sanada.

Sanada is a black-haired and black-eyed young man with a lean but powerful physique, with a somewhat frail appearance; completely unlike Kenji and Kusaka. He wears a sleeveless kimono with a floral motif, a thin white ōbi, and a floral-themed pair of predominately white hakama;[1] and tends to keep his hair in a ponytail if he doesn't leave it unbound. Per his recruitment into the Ryū Order he also wears a sleeveless haori of a violet coloration to mock the Gotei 13 Captains,[2] but replaced it entirely following the Collapse so he wasn't making light of the dead. He has since donned a flowery haori to match his prior theme.[3]

Personality Edit

"If you fall before your family’s vengeance is claimed,” Kenji whispered, “I will deliver their killer a slow and painful death. I promise!”
“And if the Arrancar you hunt slays you,”
Sanada whispered back, “I will destroy him or die in the trying. You have my word."
—Sanada and Kenji's vow.[src]

Although vengeful by nature, Sanada is an equally cautious and kind man.[4] When faced with the arrival of Kenji and his uncertain intentions Sanada kept his cool and dismissed the man so he could focus on his own business.[2] He later attempted to befriend Kusaka but was initially put off by Kusaka's distrusting nature, with Sanada himself demonstrating astute powers of observation by correctly deducing that Kusaka did not wish to befriend him.[4] In terms of character Sanada is a distant man with most, and tends to sink into moments of sudden anger; all due to his family's massacre.[5] He did however retain his composure long enough without dropping into an angry disposition to treat Eri Kurosaki until more skilled help could arrive, demonstrating a level-headedness which few others would have shown in similar circumstances.[6]

Following the Collapse Sanada decided to follow Kentaro as he once did Kenji, stating that to survive this uncertain time there could be no division, whilst noting he was more familiar with Kentaro and never-much liked Ryan Kuchiki. He also believed that Kentaro was the only man capable of uniting the Reikai. He defended his Commander-in-Chief passionately when Averian questioned his ability, demonstrating supreme belief in the younger man.[7] He has also since avenged his family's death by personally killing Shiki Shirono and has now returned to his prior persona, which was that of a laid-back and honourable man, without the sudden anger.[8] During the First Battle of Nishiendo he again demonstrated his astuteness by finding and killing the invading members of the Gotei Remnant, whilst hoping that Hitsugaya and Amagai chose to retreat rather than force a confrontation that would result in their unneeded deaths, showing he dislikes unnecessary bloodshed.[9]

History Edit

Sanada's childhood is unknown to many but he learned how to control his powers seemingly through trial-and-error advancement, outside the tutelage of the Shino Academy and separate from his own clan's instructors. The Zanpakutō he carries was stolen from the corpse of an unfortunate student who got overzealous during a practical exam and was killed by a Hollow in the Rukongai, who Sanada buried under an oak tree. He would return to the site on occasion as he grew to pay his respects.

He would, at some point, earn the epithet of Sanada the Brave, though the story behind this title is currently unknown.

The night that saw his clan massacred took place when Sanada himself was in the Rukongai, visiting a veteran Shinigami under a large waterfall. He returned home to find his family and closest friends slaughtered, the only survivor his father, who told him it was Shiki Shirono who was responsible for their demise. Sanada stayed with his father until his life was spent and subsequently swore vengeance. He buried the dead and resolved to chase Shiki to the ends of the earth if need-be, but he did not escape the Seireitei as quickly or as easily as he hoped. Sanada was intercepted by a group of Onmitsukidō soldiers, who had been tipped off by Kaito Kuchiki to believe Sanada himself was responsible for the crime, who would not allow him to pass, declaring him a traitor. Although not wishing to inflict harm upon them Sanada resorted to violence to get away, knocking the group unconscious.[5]

This action, however, brought the ire of the Gotei 13 down upon Sanada, and Captains Tadashi Kori and Shin Nagakura where sent to apprehend him. This turned out to be a mistake however as, unknown to the Gotei 13 at large, Tadashi and Shin had known Sanada since childhood, having met him on their patrols many years previously. Both men engaged their friend in combat but purposefully allowed him to escape, at the same time killing the Onmitsukidō operatives in the immediate area, though all accepted that this action would be attributed to Sanada as well.[5]

Sanadavskenji

Sanada meets Kenji.

Sanada managed to avoid further confrontation with the Onmitsukidō due to the intervention of Blake Shihōin, who feared what Tadashi and Shin would do in reprisal, and travelled to the Human World. He soon encountered a number of Shiki's associates, which immediately angered the once peace-loving Sanada, who drew his Zanpakutō to force the whereabouts of the traitor from them. Engaging the group in combat in hopes of learning Shiki's whereabouts, Sanada was instead interrupted by Kenji Hiroshi who had tracked him down in hopes of him joining the Ryū Order and lending his sword to the war against Averian.[2]

Sanada would later discover that this meeting was not fate: Tadashi and Shin had orchestrated the meeting with Kenji through Kusaka Kori, which served to protect Sanada from any reprisal by the Gotei 13, least they risk open war with the Ryū Order, with whom they had allied with to defeat Averian.

Synopsis Edit

Main Article -- Bleach (Kenji Hiroshi).

Parts II & III Edit

Main Article -- Bleach: War of the Worlds.

Prelude to War Edit

Ending of a War Edit

Part IV Edit

Main Article -- Bleach: Cataclysm.

Testing the Waters arc Edit

Bound by Blood arc Edit

Note: The below arc is filler and is thus separate from the main plot of Bleach: Cataclysm, despite it being classed very loosely as canon.

Braving the Waves arc Edit

Navigating the Waters arc Edit

Part V Edit

Main article -- TBA.

Powers & Abilities Edit

Sanadaspiritpower

Sanada's spiritual power.

Great Spiritual Energy: As a former guardsmen hand-picked by Kenji to help him challenge Averian, it can be inferred that Sanada boasts impressive spiritual power; roughly on-par with Kenji's own upon his recruitment, which was higher than that of a typical Captain-class fighter.[2] The sheer force of his spiritual power has been known to cause depressions in the ground beneath his feet and, when released with concussive force, has been known to knock people back and render them unconscious.[9] Prior to his recruitment by Kenji the Gotei 13 thought it prudent to send two Captain-class Shinigami to apprehend him, suggesting that Sanada is a formidable combatant in his own right; this is further proven by the fact Tadashi and Shin, who where the oldest Captains at this time excluding the Captain-Commander, where the two who where sent to arrest him.[5] Following the Collapse he proved powerful enough not to be overwhelmed by the spiritual pressure exerted by Averian.[7]

Kidō: Although his full skill has yet to be shown Sanada has demonstrated ample skill in the healing arts; he was capable of stabilizing Eri Kurosaki's state long enough for Ino to arrive on-scene and take over for him.[6] Post-Collapse his skills in Kidō usage are second-to-none, specifically his healing skills, which far-and-away outstrip Kentaro's own prodigious abilities. In addition he has developed a Kidō-based Garganta-like variant to traverse the spiritual realms, though it seems to take some time to prepare.[7]

Kenji medium style

Sanada vs. Kenji.

Zanjutsu Master: Sanada is a paragon of swordsmanship. There are few in the realms capable of matching his finesse and skill, which is a phenomenal achievement considering he is almost an entirely self-taught swordsman; following the Collapse he is regarded as being the second-best swordsman amongst the Six Directions.[8] An adherent of Form I techniques Sanada is a balanced master of the sword equally at his comfort in attack or defence and is more than capable of matching the likes of Kenji on the field of battle.[2] He was also fit to hold off Dastan Shiba long enough through use of a clone to buy time for him and his team to escape the Imawashī and meet up with Kentaro.[3]

Sanadaswordplay

Sanada utilizing Onigiri.

  • Onigiri (鬼斬り, "Demon Sword"): a skill he learned from Maki. Using it he charges his blade with Kidō spells of varying level to replicate their effects in close-quarters combat; this greatly augments his swordsmanship, which is powerful enough to dispatch several members of the attacking Gotei Remnant with just a single swing.[9]
  • Shōnetsujigoku Onigiri (焦熱地獄鬼斬り, Burning Hell Demon Sword): the strongest offensive technique in Sanada's entire arsenal which applies the fearsome power of Ittō Kasō, the fabled spell of sacrifice, to his Zanpakutō. By utilizing the base principal of Onigiri Sanada voids the sacrifice of his body.
  • Wan'nesu: Sanada was trained in the Yuengiri philosophy and style by Maki Zhijun prior to his death, though his training was ultimately left incomplete by the time of the Collapse. Kentaro picked up his training after finishing his own, leading Sanada to manifest the Battle Aura.
  • Battle Aura (一戦霊気, Issenreiki): Sanada, whilst in Hueco Mundo with Shūhei Hisagi, managed to finally manifest his unique Battle Aura, which Sanada described as the Onmyōken (陰陽剣, Yin and Yang Sword).[7] Thus far his is the only Battle Aura with two very distinct and separate states, which are:
  • Inken (陰剣, Yin Sword): this state enables Sanada to "reject his foes reality and substitute his own". It is an attack which returns the target to its former state regardless of circumstance, achieving this through usage of unorthodox healing techniques, whilst rejecting, reversing and reconstructing phenomena in a limited range. Using this technique he can theoretically force a Zanpakutō into its sealed state.
  • Yōken (陽剣, Yang Sword): this state enables Sanada to "kill his foes sword". It is an attack which perfectly matches that of the opponents in order to cancel it out completely, emphasising power over everything else. Using this technique he can force his foes to fight a solely physical battle without use of their various spiritual abilities or Zanpakutō techniques, perfectly countering even someone of Averian's strength.[7]

Shunpo Mastery: Sanada's base speed and reflexes are top-notch; even when he was testing the waters against Kenji he was capable of reacting to Kenji's then lightning-enhanced reflexes and match him blow-for-blow, despite holding back.[2] He was later shown capable of matching the speed of Kensei and Shuhei.[3] He is the only man left alive following the Collapse who is capable of outrunning Averian; a fact he was quick to remind his fellow Commanders of when Hisagi noted he was the best candidate to watch the Arrancar's movements, leading Sanada to be added to the team alongside him.[9] He later proved this claim true when he successfully intercepted the latter's sword.[7]

Sanadadefence

Sokuho's unconventional use.

  • Sokuho (速歩, Quick steps): although he stated it was not its primary use the force this technique applies enabled Sanada to use it as a makeshift defence, allowing him to divert the path of an opponents blade. He used it against Dastan Shiba through one of his clones.[3]

Zanpakutō Edit

Jūrensha (銃連射, Rapid Fire). Sanada's Zanpakutō takes the form of a katana with a circular guard and white wrapping. He wears it secured to his waist in the traditional manner. Its appearance does not change upon release to Shikai.[2][3]

SanadaShikai
  • Shikai: Sanada releases Jūrensha with the command "Chip Away" (傷 先に, Kizu Sakini). Sanada's eyes change and multiple images bearing his exact likeness break away from his body, though not necessarily to attack his opposition; though each apparition is a solid clone of Sanada, with some measure of his real skill as one could stall a Captain-class fighter of Dastan's calibre.[3] Sanada tends to keep his Zanpakutō in a constant state of release like Kensei Muguruma whilst keeping his clones back encase of an emergency,[2] though he must declare the release command to call them to his side.[3]
Shikai Special Ability: Jūrensha's special ability, aside from the creation of multiple clones, is known as Sekireigan (鶺鴒眼, Wagtail Eye). It offers two passive traits, the first of which is movement at extremely fast speeds; enough to surpass most Captain-class opposition.[2] The second, and arguably its most fearsome trait, is reading and recording events at remarkable speeds, including even the smallest details.[3] Both of these traits combined allows Sanada to quickly identify an opponents attacking style and subsequently shatter their momentum with lightning-fast swordplay; leading to a quick victory, even against opponents of greater strength.[2]
  • Saisei (再生, Replay): an ability unsuited for battle that plays off the passive ability of Jūrensha dealing with the reading and recording of events. This ability projects the recorded events onto a solid surface, enabling the events Sanada has seen to be played back in real-time.[10]
  • Bankai: Not yet revealed, but vaguely commented upon. Kentaro suggested he not use it whilst others where about, which Sanada agreed with. Sanada further claimed that it wasn't suited for prolonged engagements or battles of attrition.
Sanadarinne

Sanada's Rin'ne.

  • Rin'ne: Kyūbi no Kitsune (九尾の狐, Nine-tailed Fox). Sanada releases his Rin'ne with the command "Cry" (こんこん, Konkon; lit. Cry of a Fox), followed with the declaration of a number between one and nine. This determined the amount of tails he grew; one-tail was the weakest, with nine-tails being the strongest. The release caused his black hair to lengthen and turn white, whilst his kimono was replaced with a form-fitting sleeveless white-coloured kimono. The tails he grew -- regardless of number -- where white in colouration, with a thick pelt.
Rin'ne Special Ability: Sanada's Rin'ne is far more battle-centric than either his Shikai or Bankai. Whilst Jūrensha lends itself more to analysis and evasion, Kyūbi no Kitsune is all about destruction of Sanada's opposition, whether that be through superior fire-power or subtle manipulation.
  • Kitsunetsuki (狐憑き, The State of Being Possessed by a Fox):
  • Kitsunekaji (狐火事, Fox Fire):
  • Enhanced Spiritual Energy: Sanada's spiritual energy was directly augmented by his transformation. Each tail increased his spiritual powers by set increments; one tail was a slight boost, and every tail after that left him with far greater strength than he possessed previously. Four tails left him roughly equal with Kentaro's Hekigenkai; Kentaro's Hekigenkai, pre-Collapse, enabled him to swiftly defeat Nakajima Kōhai despite his use of Bankai.[11]
  • Hyper-speed Combat:
  • Enhanced Strength:
  • Enhanced Shōsho:
  • Enhanced Mekura:

Behind the Scenes Edit

  • Sanada's Battle Aura is based on the Yin and Yang styles of swordsmanship utilized by Kyoshiro Mibu and Demon Eye Kyo respectively in the manga series Samurai Deeper Kyo, with a few alterations.

References & notes Edit

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