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Could it be?

Is it possible that Muramasa's master is a member of the Kuchiki family? I've been thinking this for a while, ever since Byakuya apparently betrayed the Gotei 13. The upcoming episode titles only supported this theory in my mind. Then this shot from 248 cemented it for me.

It's shadowed, so it can't be seen properly, but that looks like the ginpaku kazahana no uzuginu that Byakuya wears, the same one that is an heirloom of the Kuchiki family. Coincidence? I don't believe in them.

A couple of Byakuya shots for comparison:

From Fade to Black

From episode 237.

Hopefully the question will be answered in the upcoming episodes. The titles known so far are:
December 8th - 249: Senbonzakura's Bankai! Offense and Defense of the Living World | Senbonzakura bankai! Gensei no koubō | 千本桜卍解!現世の攻防

December 15th - 250: That Man, for the Sake of the Kuchiki | Sono otoko・Kuchiki-ke yue ni | その男・朽木家ゆえに

December 22nd - 251: Dark History! The Worst Shinigami is Born |Yami no rekishi! Saikyō no shinigami, tanjō | 闇の歴史!最凶の死神、誕生

(Episodes titles taken from Wikipedia.)

Any other theories as to the current arc? Upcoming fights and outcomes? Who might be coming to the living world (besides Rukia, who was seen in the preview)? I'm personally hoping that Renji won't let Rukia go into the hotzone in her currently weakened state, no matter how good she is at kidou. What will happen to the zanpakutou that Kenpachi has been so gleefully breaking? Will Kenpachi actually defeat Tenken in bankai form?


( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 6th, 2009 02:01 am (UTC)
I am so glad I am not the only person who had that thought re: the scarf. I only glimpsed that shadow for a moment and then thought I must be insane, but I can't imagine any other reason Byakuya would be personally involved.

I just keep waiting for Sen's mask to break off. That's what I want. Desperately.
Dec. 6th, 2009 03:11 am (UTC)
Yeah. Byakuya is rather proud and very focussed on the Kuchiki family's honour. Something like this would be a rather massive stain that he probably wouldn't want people to know about.

Sen looked rather pretty from what we could see of his face when Ichigo broke a bit of his mask. Can you imagine what Tobiume and Haineko would have been like if he'd revealed that prettiness in front of them? They were bad enough with Hyourinmaru. Poor dragon.
Dec. 6th, 2009 02:20 am (UTC)
The Kuchiki theory makes a lot of sense, actually. Wasn't one of the first times we saw Byakuya acting against the Gotei 13 when the others were going to see what they could find out about who Muramasa might have belonged to?

I need to re-watch, but didn't Yamamoto say something about the whole incident being hushed up? Even so, I can still see Byakuya as wanting to keep others away from the records, just in case. Plus, hushing something up among the Gotei 13 wouldn't mean that the Kuchiki family would have forgotten about a rogue member. The titles of 250 and 251 would line up with that kind of storyline very well.

My only prediction is that we will see a flashback about what exactly happened when Byakuya disappeared after his fight with Senbonzakura.
Dec. 6th, 2009 03:24 am (UTC)
Yeah. Knocking out the guards on the building that Oomaeda was headed for. And the fact that nothing was mentioned in later eps about information being found means that Byakuya either destroyed or removed whatever records did exist there. That was probably the errand in Sixth Division as well: assuming that each Division keeps separate records, Muramasa's master was a Kuchiki and the Sixth Division is normally led by the current head of the Kuchiki clan, Muramasa would probably want all records from there checked as well.

Yeah. It was hushed up. Which doesn't explain why Jyuushirou and Shunsui knew nothing about it, if it was that serious, if it was a recent event. And no, I can't see the Kuchiki forgetting something like that.

Ooh, that would be lovely. How long did it take him to decide to 'join' Muramasa? And how did he know about the connection between Muramasa and his clan?
Dec. 6th, 2009 02:57 am (UTC)
Hmm... I didn't pay attention to the shadow.

But this theory makes sense because he went to research about it (knocking everyone out) and keeps stating that he's "protecting his pride". Normally, that's about Rukia, but he did break Sode no Shirayuki...
Dec. 6th, 2009 02:59 am (UTC)
My goodness, I wonder if it's father? Because know about his grandfather as being the previous 6th Division taichou. There's nothing mentioned about his father...
Dec. 6th, 2009 03:14 am (UTC)
Hm. If it was Byakuya's father, why do Jyuushirou and Shunsui seem to know nothing of this event? They're amongst the oldest Captains, and if Muramasa's master was that much of a threat, surely they would have been involved in subduing it?
Dec. 6th, 2009 03:11 am (UTC)
This makes a ton of sense...it would have to be a black mark on his pride if one of his family members (his father, like you said below) had gone bad.

And it really could be his dad...we've not seen any other mention of him at all...
Dec. 6th, 2009 03:19 am (UTC)
I thought 'pride = Rukia' at first, until he went and broke Shirayuki. Protecting Rukia doesn't match up with breaking her main means of defence.

He hasn't hurt anyone so far, really, has he? He's been using his speed to get behind guards and knock them out, and he and Sen gave Ichigo plenty of time to block that attack when they covered Houzukimaru's escape. A head on fight against Ichigo is something they had to have known they wouldn't win easily, but they could easily have made Ichigo back down by seizing Rangiku or Momo that time. He refused to kill Renji. Despite seeming to be a traitor, he's doing very little damage to his 'former comrades'.
Dec. 6th, 2009 03:32 am (UTC)
Actually, I just want to know which side Senbonzakura is on... because we don't know what happened after he attacked Byakuya - was Byakuya able to bring Senbonzakura back to his senses and everything the two of them are doing now is just an act to be close to Muramasa?
Dec. 6th, 2009 03:37 am (UTC)
I don't think Byakuya could be tricking Muramasa if Sen wasn't in on it. Maybe if we get a flashback scene, that'll be explained. They certainly seem to be working closely right now, and Sen hasn't killed anyone, just like his master. Given the bloodthirstiness demonstrated by other zanpakutou spirits, this suggests that Byakuya might have some measure of control still.
Dec. 6th, 2009 06:11 am (UTC)
I...don't think Senbonzakura is in on this, much as I would like to concur on that.

If he was in on it, he wouldn't have told Byakuya to kill Sode no Shirayuki--and you saw his reaction when she broke. He hadn't believed he would do it, and the anger in his eyes when he threatened him was genuine. You don't go sacrificing your girlfriend even if it is all just an act and you know she'll be alright later on.

Also, Senbonzakura isn't that good of an actor, to be honest >> he's like Byakuya in TBTP. Hotheaded, emotional, and not very good at keeping his cool. Oh, and he had been ready to kill Rukia after he handed her the broken pieces of Sode no Shirayuki. If Renji hadn't stopped him, his sword would have sliced her in half.

And--I'm pretty sure he was sincerely trying to kill Ichigo XD except that Ichigo is impossible to kill, and Sen has some sort of fixation on him (probably cause he beat him before, and now he wants to prove that he's stronger), so that's most likely why he hasn't gone after anyone else.

Another thing, if I'm not mistaken, I believe it was Byakuya who asked 'what are you doing here' when the other Zanpakuto showed up to help out, not Senbonzakura, which leads me to believe even more that this is something he's not sharing with his Zanpakuto. Which is likely why their relationship is so strained. Senbonzakura doesn't trust him, and on good grounds too. At the same time, Byakuya doesn't trust anyone, considering he regained control of shikai, I'm sure that he thinks he'll be able to handle this all on his own, and doesn't need his Zanpakuto's power at all (which, ironically enough, is the same thing Senbonzakura told Ichigo the first time he fought him. He said he's strong without Byakuya).

So this might actually lead to some Byakuya/Senbonzakura character development in the end. Byakuya's greatest flaw is his arrogance, and assuming that he doesn't need anyone's help. This will be a good lesson in teamwork for him, in which he realizes that he does need his Zanpakuto, just as much as his Zanpakuto needs him ^.^


Of course, considering how high my hopes were for the Soi/Suzu fight, I'll probably be better off not expecting too much, cause we all know how THAT one turned out >>
Dec. 6th, 2009 08:43 am (UTC)
I'm glad I'm supported on this - I kept thinking about why Byakuya would be doing what he's doing - when it was apparantent it wasnt' to save Yamamoto I really had no idea. Then I saw that picture and I KNEW it had to be because the master behind Muramasa is a member of the Byakuya family. His pride would want to keep anyone from his family from doing anything more shamefull than they already did in the past.

I know we're all right! Can't wait to see it...
Dec. 6th, 2009 10:58 am (UTC)
I find that theory really interesting. And I think it's pretty plausible and would explan a lot about Byakuya being so reluctant to involve anyone else in his plan.

Also. In ED 20, we see a person sitting/caught? within what looks like a circle of swords, Senbonzakura (or another samurai-like entity) patrolling around it. I've been wondering who that was but I'm starting to think it might have been Kouga. He has a scarf but he doesn't look like Byakuya - hmmm, mysteries...
Dec. 8th, 2009 08:39 am (UTC)
Actually, looking at the silhouette and noting the hairstyle, part of me is thinking that it might be someone else.

Choujirou Sasakibe, 1st Division Lieutenant. The stole or such looks more like his and the vague shape of hand on hilt looks more like his basket-hilt rapier.
Dec. 16th, 2009 03:27 pm (UTC)
Just saw the new eps and Muramasa's master is a Kuchiki, but I think that Byakuya is up to something. I don't think he betrayed Seiretei and the Gotei 13.
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )