Yoruichi Shihoin doesn’t even need his zanpakuto to fight. Here’s how she invented her own unique fighting style in Bleach.
Bleach is a popular action anime with a well-defined combat system, but as some characters have proven, there is still room for creativity and improvisation. Most of the fighters in this series use zanpakuto, or sharp swords, while the Quincys use bows and arrows. Then there’s Yoruichi Shihoin, who invented his own fighting style from scratch.
This technique is called Shunko, and it fits perfectly with Yoruichi’s natural talents and his extensive training in hakuda, or martial arts. Little Bleach characters can use Shunko, but those who can are sure to surprise their enemies and strike them with their own signature style. Here’s the full scoop on how Shunko works and how it’s used throughout Bleach.
How Yoruichi uses the Shunko technique
Lady Yoruichi has always been a thug in Bleach, even when she was a captain in Gotei 13. Unlike most other captains, however, Yoruichi did not use her zanpakuto at all – her name and shikai are still unknown. Instead, she devoted all of her time training to Soul Reaper hakuda, advanced stealth techniques, and even some limited kido applications. Thus, Shunko was born.
Shunko combines hakuda and kido, manifesting as an aura that surrounds the user in combat. His energy is focused on the fighter’s arms and back, and for this reason, a Shunko user typically wears special clothing that exposes these areas. The aura can act as a shield against enemy attacks, although Yoruichi relies more on his speed and agility to protect himself in battle. When used, Shunko’s aura will have either electrical or wind-powered properties, depending on the user. Yoruichi is lightning-based, while his student Soi Fon independently developed a wind-based Shunko.
By dramatically increasing a fighter’s speed, strength, and stamina in combat, Shunko creates the ultimate unarmed fighter in Bleach. However, it is difficult to manage even for experienced users like Yoruichi – only hakuda masters can hope to reap these benefits. The energy emitted by Shunko can be shaped according to the user’s will, as shown when Soi Fon has formed swirling vortices around her to hold her longer. Likewise, Yoruichi can reshape his into the thunder god Raijin’s drums and perform ranged attacks with him. Yoruichi’s younger brother, Yushiro, can even focus his Shunko’s energy on his back and release it in the form of a powerful explosion, damaging his enemies.
During BleachIn the Bloody Thousand Year War arc, Yoruichi introduced another form of Shunko called Raiju Senkei: Shunryu Kokubyo Senki. When used, it coats its entire body with kido electrical energy and gives it feline features. She acquires cat claws, ears, and a tail when using this form, functioning almost entirely on instinct while no longer understanding human speech. In a sense, Yoruichi goes wild in exchange for greater power.
Shunko in the history of bleach
Since its three primary users are secondary characters who don’t always need them in combat, Shunko is rarely used during Bleach. One exception was the Soul Society arc, where the only Shunko vs. Shunko battle in history took place. Yoruichi and her former student Soi Fon disagreed, and after they both achieved their balance with conventional martial arts, the latter unveiled her Wind-based Shunko, believing that she was the sole user of this. technical. Much to her shock, Yoruichi activated her own lightning-based Shunko, explaining that she invented it first and gave it her name. The two fought from a standstill with a combination of deadly shikai from Shunko and Soi Fon, and the battle ended before either of the fighters was seriously injured.
Shunko saw little to no use in later arcs of the Bleach anime, but he reappeared in the Thousand Year Blood War arc, when Yoruichi unveiled his final form during his battle with Sternritter “D” Askin Nak Le Vaar. Yoruichi went completely wild, and only Kisuke Urahara knew how to keep her happy and focused on the fight – including a cat toy.
Most notably, when using this form of Shunko, Yoruichi’s kido energy changes 48 times per second, meaning his opponent cannot develop immunity against it. She turned the tables with this immense power, but once Askin used her Voll Stern Dich ability, it was up to Kisuke to finish the job that Yoruichi’s incredible Shunko had started.
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