Kenpachi; the Ghost; the Silent Night; the White TearAge:
11th Division CaptainAppearance:
Seisui Naito, the child of a Rukongai couple struggling for mouthfuls of water in the slums, was cursed from the moment of conception to lead an existence balanced on the tragic precipice of life and death. A premature birth by nearly seven weeks brought him into Soul Society both significantly underdeveloped and so pale that he appeared to be stillborn. The midwife who delivered him famously called him the "ghost-child". His quiet but enduring wails and chilling, milk-white tears--symbols of his painful future--fell upon the deaf ears and ashamed eyes of his parents; the sadness sunk into his unwashed cheeks as the struggle of poverty continued on. Still, he lived, much to the surprise of the fearful and shallow couple. The unwanted child was a mark of inconvenience on their own quest for basic survival. Concerns over clean water, keeping a patched roof, and hiding from the parasitic gangs that infested the area tainted their minds with stress and suspicion. A tragic, common practice had Naito's father holding a cupped hand tightly over cracked lips, suffocating his own son to avoid detection from armed men looking for rent or carelessly owed money. Such was his fate, and the unfortunate, socially downtrodden, and ethically deformed lifestyle continued for many years.
Once he had aged a bit, Naito's parents began the practice of leaving him alone in their sparsely lit, one-room home for days at a time. A cup or two of water and a stale chunk of bread--he had begun to exhibit insatiable hunger, a marker of great spiritual power--were the only things left to keep him company during the chilling, lonely nights; it was a sign of their bitter tolerance and his increasingly demanding presence in their lives. They would return days later, enraged at his cries of loneliness, or that his weakness had caused a glass to tip, allowing the hard-earned liquid to seep into the moldy floor. His labored breathing, which carried on from his infancy, was ignored. This harsh treatment continued until they could take no more of his frailty; they left him on the dangerous streets to fend for himself, which colored his life from that day forward.
What Naito's parents could not have known was that a remarkably rare, incurable genetic disease called Charon's Breath was nestled amidst the roots of his issues, not a pallid personality or his premature birth. The two parents had unwittingly cursed their son with a perfectly imperfect pairing of genes, producing the savage and painful ailment whose side-effects caused them so much grief. The illness tricks his own flesh and blood into injuring his lungs by replacing naturally lost tissue--wear and tear that would usually cause no problems--with inherently hostile cells. These cells then degenerate more tissue, which starts the process again, turning this major organ into a self-destructive machine that gets worse the more it repairs itself. His ghostly, pale skin and fair complexion stem not only from his early birth, but from this lack of proper lung function, which severely impacted the development of his features during his formative years.
It was only after joining the ranks of the Gotei 13 and excelling in Zanjustu far beyond his peers--to the surprise of everyone, considering that his condition was only getting worse--that Naito met the now-exiled Captain of the 4th Division, Veritas Junshin
. It was he who finally diagnosed the young Shinigami with Charon's Breath. But even the extensive knowledge of the Seireitei could not cure such a deeply ingrained disorder. With the help of the former 12th Division Captain, a man who passed away two decades ago, Junshin developed the now famous ventilator that keeps the Kenpachi from succumbing to the fatal condition. This development occurred forty-three years ago, and it gave Naito the stability to make full use of his staggering spiritual power and rapidly climb to the rank of Captain, all within a few short months.
The device itself is such a staple of Naito's appearance that only a select few have seen his face since its creation. Shrouded in mystery, only rumors remain of what he must look like after so many years of hiding beneath the metal ventilator. He was once considered quite attractive, although his pale skin and troubled demeanor made him difficult to approach, even then. Now that he must wear the apparatus at all times, his lower lips feature two ring-like piercings made of silver. Black studs rest at the center of each--attachable to the inside mechanics of the ventilators. Although two models of the ventilators have been made, they both cover the lower half of his face--from the bridge of his nose to beneath his chin--and continue around his cheeks and the back of his neck. The outer rim and features of the devices are always a deep purple, with a midnight black being chosen for the depressed, flat areas, neck-guards, and filters in order to contrast with the rest of the design. This color scheme was picked with aesthetics in mind.
The rest of Naito's facial appearance matches almost perfectly with the ventilator--the function of its coloring. His royal purple eyes poke out beneath tufts of black hair like a man possessed by intent. These irises are colored so vividly and abnormally that many consider his stare not only the most intimidating in Soul Society, but the most memorable, as well; this impact is helped by the special black eyeliner, Gādo no Me, that he applies daily. The root of this feature is his powerful purple Reiatsu, which also seems to splice hues of the color into his medium length hair, although the midnight strands often hide it in darker lighting. His current cut lays it all down rather flat, with somewhat messy bangs and enough on the sides and back to reach down to the middle of his neck. Although his ears can only be seen if his hair is tucked behind them, some might notice that they are each pierced with three silver rings--one in the lobe and two just a bit higher--and that a matching studs rest in the middle of the scapha.
Although he stands at an above-average height of six feet, Naito's physical presence and sleek body make him seem quite a bit taller than he actually is. His muscle structure, while toned and well-defined visually, is tightly wound around his hairless form like a wall of sun-bleached marble; there is no fat to be found anywhere, partially because of his intense, self-destructive training, and otherwise due to his sickness and over-clocked immune system. Although none dare think it now, many used to assume that this sickly yet chiseled figure could not produce as much power as bigger, healthier Shinigami. It took no time at all for Naito to prove that his strength was not to be judged by his condition, and that his will to fight was stronger than his size could ever hope to contain.
Although often subjected to the cautions of Koyuki Akari
and Uri Urakeshi Rokotsu
, the 4th Division Captain and his Lieutenant, Naito is almost always covered in battle wounds from his many training circuits, sparring matches, and field excursions. The scars of these injuries vanish whenever he goes in for his weekly inoculations--antibiotics and steroids that allow his lungs to function within livable range--with the helping hand of skilled medical Shinigami. Unfortunately, because of his unique personality and the overwhelming urge to fight that consumes his mind, the external wounds continue to pile up, creating a forever-shifting pattern of marks across his pale skin.
Like his body, Naito's uniform is riddled with a smattering of cuts, tears, gashes, and inconsistencies that lend a glimpse into a world where strife is commonplace and combat is a simple fact of life--this is true because of both personal reasons and the function of the 11th Division. His black Shihakushō is entirely unaltered outside of the physical wear and tear that always seems to fray at edges and rip apart seams. Because it does not affect his abilities in combat one way or the other, he never found a reason to bring any outside sense of style into his brand of clothing, which has made him one of the more predictable Captains in regards to personal fashion. His haori, which he wears within normal regulations, is rarely in one piece; to see it in such a condition would mean that he had just returned from a trip to the 4th Division, and that it would likely be marred within a few hours. Although the different gashes and openings in the fabric of his uniform change on an almost daily basis, Naito knows full-well that his duty demands that he be in a relatively presentable manner when called for a Captain's meeting or other formal affair. During such times, he reluctantly heads off to the 4th Division to have his clothing mended.Personality:
The fractured youth, constant pain, and foreboding sense of mortality that embodies Seisui Naito has colored his personality heavily. Like a jigsaw puzzle with only black pieces, his psychological profile is almost impossible to complete; each factor in his personal view could have been caused by any number of traumatic experiences--the list is almost endless. While the final result is simple enough to understand on the surface, the complexities of his true motivations are both astounding and heart-breaking, and even his closest friends--he has just a few--are privy only to the most basic of his feelings and opinions. Strangers, especially those of other Divisions, choose not to question how the Kenpachi functions socially. They see him as a demon on the battlefield--a secret weapon of the Seireitei--and hold no public opinion beyond that simple function.
Although many of his personality traits and emotions are kept from the world around him, one is not; Naito is publicly known as an indomitable spirit of willpower and personal drive. From the outside, this is seen as a defining factor in his blistering rise to the top of the 11th Division, his terrifying ferociousness in battle, and his continued survival despite a terminal illness. What most cannot comprehend is that this drive to fight is all that he has. A childhood without safety, attention, or love; years scraping by on the harshest streets of Rukongai; and the impossible pain of his disorder have conditioned Naito into a self-defining fighter--a Shinigami whose life has been so wrapped up in the struggle for survival that it literally embodies him. All other emotion is not only difficult for him to express, but painful to even consider.
At the heart of Naito's personality lies Charon's Breath. The prognosis for his particular situation has him in the last few years of his life; at most, he has a decade left before the condition progresses too far for even his ventilator to help him. But even though he has survived far past the normal life expectancy for the illness, which is usually fatal within a century, the threat of sudden death has never lost its sting. Some consider a hundred year average to be quite high; they believe that the slow but steady progression makes it a rather kind disease. What those individuals fail to comprehend is the pain that its victims endure. Naito constantly wheezes, chokes, and coughs from the upheaval in his chest, and its psychological effects are plain to see by the grim acceptance in his eyes, even when blood is seeping from his ventilator.
But the darkest, saddest truth is that Naito is in no way perfect. Where the outside world sees a silent, stoic warrior who can fearlessly stare down the armies of Hell, the walls of his personal quarters have heard the deepest cries of anguish from a man who has lived a life of tragedy. These somewhat rare episodes of catharsis are brought on by an overflow of realization--a failed repression of reality that can bring even the Kenpachi to his knees. Charon's Breath is the one enemy Naito has no hope of defeating. While he has accepted his early death as a fact, even before Veritas Junshin diagnosed his condition, there had always been room to compete and survive and improve. But now that the fight is being lost at a much quicker pace, he finds himself more and more aware of how horrible his life has been, and its impact on his psychological state is only growing. He is simply not equipped to deal with such emotion--his parents robbed him of that ability.
While the episodes of catharsis can be devastating to his insides--his psychological health, particularly--they can also cause extreme damage to his surroundings. Yūrei, his Zanpakutō spirit, is called forth during these rare occasions like a moth to the flame, releasing massive amounts of Reiatsu in its attempt to contain the situation and protect Naito from all danger, including the terrors of his own mind. This flood of spiritual pressure is so powerful that even other Captains could face serious injury should they try to intervene. Kamen, the 11th Division Lieutenant, is the only one capable of entering his private quarters while the purple energy spills forth. His purposeful design can ignore even the most violent of the episodes--as can the walls of the Kenpachi's personal quarters.
The facade that most see--stoic, strong, and silent--is no less a part of Naito's true nature than it appears, however. Decades of pain have made him almost entirely immune to the physical trials of combat. Those years have also reinforced his willpower and resolve into a wall of indifference, making him not only immune to most psychological suggestion, but completely single-minded on the battlefield. This becomes far more menacing when coupled with his unique fighting style, one that is almost as suicidal as it is effective. With little care for his own safety, Naito will often risk devastating wounds in order to eliminate his targets or utilize his Zanpakutō abilities; although rarely talked about, his goal has increasingly crept towards death in battle, which would save him the pain of suffocation over the next few years.
In civil conversation, Naito is generally silent, preferring to listen to what others have to say far more than speaking, himself. This is due not only to his generally withdrawn, socially inexperienced personality, but also to the pain that talking brings him should he muster up the want to contribute. Anything he says should always be taken seriously. Those who know this best of all are the members of the 11th Division. When the Kenpachi speaks, everyone stops to listen, especially when the mechanical tone seems the least bit irate. He often wheezes between words and coughs at the stress of vocalization, making him speak in short bursts of meaning rather than complete sentences.Equipment:Ventilators:
Naito's famous ventilators may not have complicated serial numbers or unique names, but they are solely responsible for his continued survival in such an advanced stage of Charon's Breath. Originally created by Veritas Junshin and the former Captain of the 12th Division, the maintenence and production of these devices has been passed on to the predecessors of both men, Koyuki Akari and Hanjimono Kin
. Although there are two distinct models, each ventilator's medical functions perform identically, with no basic improvements having been made to their design despite years of dedicated research. By absorbing ambient reishi in the atmosphere with every one of Naito's breaths, these mechanical devices funnel spiritual particles through a tube that goes down his throat and into the main stem bronchi of his lungs. The reishi can then replace lost tissue with false, temporary cells that go on to impede new, tainted ones from bonding to his organs, thus stalling the degenerative cycle. Unfortunately, this fix is only temporary--the invasive and powerful tissues created by his own body quickly destroy the ventilator-born cells, starting the process over again. This constant cellular battle has been playing out in his lungs for decades, but it remains the only thing keeping him alive. Without his ventilators, which he only removes to eat, drink, and apply medicine, he would find himself unable to breath. Suffocation would occur within a few short days. While talking, these mechanical devices change Naito's voice into metallic, whirring caricature of itself. There is also a limiter chip set into each ventilator that reduces its function to the point where he cannot enter Bankai at will; he must get permission from Central 46 in order to use the full release of his Zanpakutō outside of Hueco Mundo.
This model, designed by Veritas Junshin and the former 12th Division Captain, is a triumph of technology far beyond its time. Even with the recent advances in mechanical engineering and the blinding intellect of Hanjimono Kin, no improvements to its basic functions could be made to enhance the medical ability of the device. The particular strengths of the Model One design are its relatively simplistic construction and the durability of its mechanical parts. Because of Naito's propensity for danger and battle, this model was created with replacement in mind, and a dozen of these are stored between the 4th, 11th, and 12th Division headquarters in case of an emergency breakdown or malfunction. The modest cost of the polymer components and its streamlined design make it a simple matter to reproduce more if such a need arises. Because of its advanced technology and its singular use as a medical device, this model is able to last for months before needing a refit. As such, it is the one most commonly associated with Naito; he wears it during all but the most strenuous activities and keeps an extra in his private quarters in case of an emergency.
Although Hanjimono Kin and Koyuki Akari may not have been able to improve the medical functions of the masterfully designed ventilator, they certainly knew how to tweak it for combat. The second model features two small, circular vents on the sides in addition to a honeycomb extension to the piece on the front. These ports are designed to absorb far more spiritual energy than the single filter of the first model, making it more efficient for the rapid, semi-shallow breathing associated with life-or-death battle. In addition, the circuitry and mechanics within the ventilator's structure have been violently over-clocked to improve the speed of said absorption. Spiritual energy techniques (Cero, Kidō, etc.) can be focused through the vents and transferred into replacement cells, with any excess Reiatsu expelled through the two circular openings as a sort of white mist. Although either ventilator can absorb spiritual energy in this manner, only the Model Two design can withstand higher powered techniques with any reliability; even then, it can only be done to a certain extent before the circuitry fries out, leaving Naito without his lifeline. This specific design, while far more useful in combat, was not created to withstand taxing, constant use.Gādo no Me (Eyes of the Guard):
The makeup surrounding Naito's purple eyes has more than just an aesthetic purpose. This black eyeliner was designed by his closest friend, Urawaase Senaka
, to counteract the sensitivity of his unique irises, which are naturally sensitive to bright lights. By using her skills in both artistry and the mystical techniques of Kidō, she managed to create a flowing ring of spiritual energy that allows Naito to stare into the sun itself without the need to blink or tear--its usefulness and capabilities exceeded far beyond either of their expectations. Where he once had to shield his eyes on a cloudless day, Naito can now weather a sandstorm painlessly, or glare an opponent down for hours without blinking. Half intimidation tactic and half utility, this unique makeup has become a regular feature on the Kenpachi's face, but few actually know of its true capabilities. It has become a useful tool in keeping the members of his notoriously rambunctious Division in line; duties are rarely forgotten with the threat of purple eyes on the nape of one's neck.Reiatsu-Suppressing Saya:
Although this piece of equipment has no legitimate name due to its rather recent creation, it has become essential for Naito's continued service to the Gotei 13. Because of his declining health, increasing spiritual pressure, and his general lack of fine control, this special scabbard was created in order to seal away the tremendous ambient Reiatsu of Yūrei, his Zanpakutō. Too many operations had been put at risk by his aura for it to continue unchecked; even the weakest of Hollow could sense his impending arrival from miles away, taking the element of surprise out of the equation and limiting the use of tactical advantage. Although Naito himself had no problem with this--such roundabout ways of engaging enemies, to him, is generally unnecessary--others searched for a way to fix this problem. It was Tsuriba Satto
and Kuchigane Yochi
who eventually found a solution through altering the sacred stone, sekkisekki--they made it more manageable--and changing its shape and consistency to match Naito's own designs. It was a tremendous success. As long as his Zanpakutō remains in its black saya, no spiritual pressure is produced or leaked by Yūrei. While this does not eliminate the Reiatsu produced by the Kenpachi itself, it severely cuts the apparent power of the two combined, making it difficult to precisely determine how capable he actually is. Most are terrified to find out that their initial assessment is absolutely incorrect, and that Naito is leagues beyond what anyone could possibly imagine from such a limited sample.Abilities: Zanjutsu Master:
Though sickly in appearance, Naito is widely considered the most threatening combatant in Soul Society outside of Harotaissen Tsuribakki
, himself. This status is due not only to his skill with a Zanpakutō, but his suicidal method of combat--a terrifying mixture of straightforward strikes and fearless maneuvers that defy the traditional logic of self-preservation. While most combatants are capable of placing themselves in danger to gain an advantage in combat--it comes with being a warrior--Naito embodies this tactic to a unique level. He consistently leaves openings in order to strike with simple and devastating strength. Although this tactic often ends in mutual injury, his pain tolerance generally negates the damage he sustains while his own massive strength makes his end of the trade quite devastating. These skills were developed on the crime-ridden streets of Rukongai, where he had no other choice but to defend himself as best he could in order to survive. With no formal training--his experience comes from trial-by-combat--many 'proper' swordsmen find his style irritatingly brutish and unrefined. Even during his training at the Shinigami University, Naito rejected the complicated techniques taught to him; he still managed to defeat his entire class, many of whom were a year or two ahead of him. His teacher and greatest critic, a man respected as a premier duelist, fell to his sword in mock-combat just a few days later.
Mayonaka no Sutorōku (Stroke of Midnight):
The Mayonaka no Sutorōku--named by Uraawase Senaka--is one of the few legitimate Zanjutsu techniques that Naito employs, which makes it somewhat notorious to those who have heard of it. Like all things involved in the Kenpachi's method of combat, it is astonishingly simple in its execution. By twisting his entire body and focusing all of his strength into a downward arc, Naito can create a pummeling blow that acts far more like a bludgeoning strike than one would ever expect from a slashing weapon. This peculiarity is due to a swirling vortex of negative pressure and the Reiatsu that gathers around Yūrei during the lightning quick movement, displacing objects around it as if the weapon itself were thicker and blunter than it actually is. Material--living or otherwise--struck by the Mayonaka no Sutorōku is crushed, not cut, and the force of the impact is so strong that it can invert the side of a reinforced building in an instant. Shrapnel and debris from such a strike could likely be found miles away. Unlike many unique techniques that other high-ranking Shinigami employ, Naito does not save the Mayonaka no Sutorōku for specific situations; it has as much chance of being used as any normal attack, which makes it even more dangerous due to its unpredictable nature. This, in addition to the collateral damage that it can easily cause, has given it a fearsome reputation deserving of 'the Silent Night'.
Changquan (Long Fist):
A martial art born in the Human world nation of China, the dao-centric techniques of Changquan were painstakingly taught to Naito by Okada Ayano
, the premier swordsman of the Gotei 13 and Captain of the 3rd Division. Although they are often considered a notoriously even match in the ways of Zanjutsu--their friendly rivalry is followed by many Shinigami, some of whom bet on their weekly sparring matches--Ayano's formal training and mental focus are far beyond Naito's, making her the perfect individual to teach the unteachable. This particular martial art, which focuses on the centrifugal movement of the body, massively increases his power through continual momentum. Sideways somersaults, wide-arc slashes, and an incredibly aggressive offense all play to Naito's strengths, making him an unbelievable force of nature once he opens this stance. It also allows him to dodge physical injury through the acrobatic movements involved in some of the strikes. While this application is never the actual purpose of its use--he could not care less about personal injury--it lets him scrape by without dealing quite so much damage to his own body, which can really add up in battles against particularly fearsome enemies. Although he has not mastered Changquan as much as Ayano might like, his interpretations of its stylistic movements are instinctive and almost savant-like. This school of technique rarely relied upon; Ayano is the only opponent he has ever faced that required its use in order to defeat.Hakuda Expert:
While Naito much prefers the use of his Zanpakutō over hand-to-hand combat, his brutal strength and straightforward nature make him incredibly dangerous, even when disarmed. His Hakuda style, like his Zanjutsu, does not usually stem from any formal training or specific written art--his time in his Shinōreijutsuin classes taught him very little he cares to employ. Instead, he closes gaps as quickly as possible and pummels his enemies into oblivion with repetitious and powerful strikes. Each one of his attacks bears sharp enough teeth to crater holes into steel walls. Although there may only be the simplest strategy behind his fist-fighting movements, Naito's sometimes relentless assault can leave very little time for an opponent to react or gain back their footing. Because of a lack of training and his generally haphazard attitude about combat, openings in his stance and attacks can allow skilled combatants to injure him during his onslaught. These wounds rarely slow him down--they almost never make him stop--which is as much a psychological terror as it is a strategic nightmare. Still, the most skilled performers of Hakuda or other martial arts can generally defend themselves through their advanced techniques and decades of experience. They may not be a match for the Kenpachi's raw strength, but he is no master of hand-to-hand combat, and the flaws in his style are exploitable to those who know how to handle themselves.Shunpo Expert:
While his ability to finely control his tremendous Reiatsu is nowhere near the level of other Captains, Naito is capable of using a unique adaptation of Shunpo--a technique rooted in the foreign concept of subtlety--with the skill necessary to sit at the head of the 11th Division. He can generally compensate for his spastic energy regulation by utilizing his unmatched strength to 'push' him further than his steps would normally allow. This makes it seem as if he were more proficient in Shunpo than he actually is. Although the mechanics of this unique version of movement are slightly different than the traditional Hohō art, they still function for the purpose of rapid movement over both short and long distances, making them identical for Shunpo as far as classifications go. Naito most often uses this freedom of movement to quickly bridge the gap between himself and ranged opponents, allowing him to press the attack, cut off a potential advantage, and intimidate his quarry in one fell swoop. Because spiritual particles rarely move as fast as skilled Shunpo, he must be careful to give his ventilator time to absorb energy between bursts; if he does not, it may provoke a sudden surge of pain and a tightness in his chest that could affect his performance. This weakness is one of many that has always prevented him from reaching his full potential in the arts of Hohō. It is extremely unlikely that his skills will improve in the short time he has left, especially since his spiritual pressure is only growing larger and harder to control.
Although Naito's control of his Reiatsu leaves much to be desired, the actual bursts of speed he can produce, although raw, can be incredibly impressive. The Toomichi is a technique that relies on this explosive and unrefined spiritual energy; it literally launches him like a projectile with almost no hope of a safe touchdown. This is done by focusing as much of his power as he can beneath his feet--the first step of traditional Shunpo--and then letting go of all control, causing an astonishing release of propulsion that flings his body at blinding speeds. This particular technique has almost no safe application, as stopping short once it has started is next to impossible without restraint beyond the ability of all but a master of Shunpo. Instead, Naito uses it as a sort of makeshift attack. The speed produced by the Long-Walk, which makes its user appear to breach massive distances in an instant (hence its name), can cause devastating damage to whatever he happens to impact with, especially if his sword is drawn. The recoil can severely injure him, however; the point of the technique is to cause mutual damage that the Kenpachi can simply shake off. Most opponents are not so resilient. Rare instances have caused him to actually use it as a method of transportation, propelling himself into a high arc and landing like a meteor miles away.Vast Spiritual Power:
Deep within Seisui Naito, a man who should have died over two hundred years ago, is the true reason for his continued survival--a massive source of ever-growing Reiryoku outmatched only by the Captain-Commander. His titanic physical strength and elongated lifespan owe themselves almost entirely to this spiritual power, which boosts his immune system and grants his muscles unprecedented abilities. Unfortunately, because of his sickness and his mental fixation on the struggle of survival, Naito has ignored any and all training meant to gain control over the vast energy, despite the constant advice of other Captains. It has allowed him to reach the level of Kenpachi, which is more than good enough for him. To improve upon it in the last few years of his life would be far too bothersome. Still, this vast, raw spiritual pressure is enough to cause other Captains to bend at the knees, earning Naito a great amount of infamy--appropriate for his position. When fully unleashed with the intent to kill or be killed, the purple Reiatsu can flatten landscapes and cause steel-hearted Lieutenant-class combatants to flee for their lives. The unique properties of impending death that Naito's spiritual pressure embodies can cause those awash in it to experience intense feelings of loneliness, sorrow, dread, and even the foreboding sense of mortality that he shares. This ability to spread the curse of his inner-most feelings has made him a notoriously difficult opponent to spar, let alone face in an actual arena.Kidō Practitioner:
Because of his inability to finely manipulate his Reiryoku, Naito's abilities with the mystical arts of Kidō are tied down to the fundamentals that all students must learn at the academy. Neither his martial mind-set nor straightforward style of combat are conducive to this deeply strategic Shinigami practice. Outside of the first half-dozen spells of each school, he is almost completely incapable of producing any result beyond a horrendous metallic screech and a contained explosion of purple energy, even with the help of Urawaase Senaka and Yorushi Niiro
--two Captains who are not only masters of Kidō, but premier teachers, as well. Naito will almost never fall back on this method of self-defense once his sword is drawn, and Hakuda is much preferred--although similarly underused--if he should happen to find himself disarmed. His actual opinion on the art is rather open-minded, however. As much as he finds himself unable and unwilling to use Kidō in combat, Naito fully recognizes it as a powerful and legitimate strategy on the battlefield. Unlike many others in the 11th Division, he considers masterful practitioners to be spectacular warriors worthy of respect.Immense Strength:
Naito's sickly body holds an ironic, secret strength that is simply overwhelming. Fueled by both his vast spiritual power and his unflappable drive to fight, the muscle tissue in his body can exert forces far beyond that of other Captains; at his peak and while wearing the model two ventilator, the Kenpachi can almost match the physical strength of the Captain-Commander, which is a feat that terrifies even the most stalwart warrior. In battle, this unrelenting physical force backs up his borderline-suicidal strikes with tremendous damage-dealing capability, making even skilled blocking techniques somewhat ineffective. The shock of a parried strike can still snap bones, break weapons, and throw skilled swordsmen out of stance. It is this bolstered fitness that has allowed him to live despite a fatal disease infesting his lungs and wearing away at his tissue. Without the added energy of his Reiryoku, Naito likely would have died over two centuries ago. This unique strength has caused many opponents to falsely diagnose his physical appearance as weakness; these individuals have long since been killed.Immense Endurance:
Although his body has been ravaged by Charon's Breath, Naito's pain tolerance and physical fortitude is beyond measurement. Forced to live a life bathed in both constant pain and the awareness of mortality has caused his nervous system to adapt to the continuous conditions. Nerve clusters and damaged cells fail to send proper impulses to his spinal chord and brain, making it impossible for him to receive the entirety of painful sensations. Those few messages that do reach him are instinctively ignored. Unfortunately, while Naito may be able to withstand a lost limb or stabbed gullet, his lung tissue is so singularly regenerated that the pain can never cease, nor can it be brushed off. This physical and mental endurance does not apply to the inevitable wear that his disorder has on his lungs. The disease is completely fatal, and every passing day brings Naito closer to the end of his life. Until then, his ability to withstand outside damage will more than likely keep him alive, just so that his own body can betray him in his final days. Tactician & Strategist:
Naito may not be the most sophisticated combatant in the Captain-class, but few understand the simple and effective strategy behind his methodology. While many high-ranking fighters use complicated battle planning, textbook maneuvers formed over decades, and other staples of advanced combat, Naito is known to dive headfirst into battle with no regard for politics or subtlety. This effectively negates the 'song-and-dance' of battle, bringing it from chess to checkers in a matter of seconds. With no time to formulate or enact complicated plans, many opponents find themselves in a gladiator's arena, fighting with sticks and spears instead of complicated maneuvers. Naito excels at this. By pressing the attack and giving absolutely no time for his opponents to think, speak, or scheme, he brings his own strengths to the fight while eliminating the potential advantages of his foes. Still, he is capable of surprisingly complicated tactics once his Zanpakutō, Yūrei, has been released. These often involve secretive, underground movements and well-timed strikes.Death Sense:
Charon's Breath, while debilitating and absolutely fatal, has provided Naito with an extreme sense of self-awareness regarding the condition of his organs and inner tissues. Most individuals fail to notice anything of the sort unless a patch of tissue sends them clear messages of pleasure or pain. Such is not the case with the Kenpachi. While he generally ignores it--he disregards most things in the same way--his nervous system has bonded with his consciousness in a way that he can immediately and instinctively diagnose his current condition if he were so inclined. This can include how much adrenalin is pumping through his system, how much internal bleeding he may have, what kind of poison might be in his bloodstream, and, most dreadfully, how much time he has left before his lungs finally fail. The last section of knowledge speaks to why he rarely uses this ability; to understand how much time he has left on a regular basis is to put a ticking clock in front of his eyes. Such an ability, if constant, would threaten to drive him mad. This extra sense has granted him an extreme level of self-awareness on the battlefield, and although he often makes use of it only when he fears his ventilator is failing--it allows him to estimate how long he can continue fighting--it can quickly turn the tables on those who utilize poisons or diseases.