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Masahiro Matsunaga
MasahiroMatsunaga
"The Silver Flash"
Name Masahiro Matsunaga
Kanji 松永正博
Romanji Matsunaga Masahiro
Characteristics
Race Soul
Birthday August 3
Gender Male
Height 180 cm (5'11")
Weight 64 kg (141.1 lbs)
Eyes Blue
Hair Silver
Professional Status
Affiliation Gotei 13, Soul Society, Noble Matsunaga Family
Occupation Captain of the 6th Division, 3rd Head of the Matsunaga Family
Team 6th Divisio
Partner Akihiko Tanaka
Base of Operations 6th Division HQ and Matsunaga Manor, Seireitei, Soul Society
Personal Status
Status Active
Zanpakutō
Shikai Kangetsu
Bankai Byakko Kangetsu

Masahiro Matsunaga (松永正博, Matsunaga Masahiro) is Captain of the 6th Division in the Gotei 13, alongside his lieutenant, Akihiko Tanaka. Captain Matsunaga is a highly accomplished Shinigami, and among the most powerful members of the Gotei 13. He's extremely proficient in all forms of combat and strategy, a refined nobleman and highly intelligent, not only making him a strong individual but a high ranking political figure within Soul Society. Among the many monikers he possesses, his most famous is "Ginsen" (銀閃, "Silver Flash"), which revolve around his long silver hair and the speed in which he moves.

Aside from his captain duties, Captain Matsunaga comes from one of the newly formed Great Noble Families, replacing the former Kuchiki Clan as the primary house charged with compiling and protecting the history of Soul Society. He currently holds the title of the 3rd Head of the Matsunaga Family, a title passed down to him after the death of his father.

He currently resides in the Bleach: War of Souls universe.

Appearance

Masahiro Matsunaga has piercing blue eyes, possessing a similar charming effect on female shinigami as Captain Miyazaki, and shoulder length silver hair swept back with a single bang coming down across his face. It is noted that his hair seems to shine and shimmer in the light, creating a sort of flash when he moves. He is tall, very fit and known to be quite handsome with light skin that is soft to the touch. This is because his skin and hair are treated with very expensive oils, something forced on him by his mother who wishes he maintain a pristine look befitting of royalty.

When dressed in his formal military garbs, Masahiro wears standard Shinigami robes and a three-quarter sleeved captain's haori, coming slightly past his elbows, and lined with a cobalt blue interior. When not dressed in his captain's uniform, he's known to wear several different outfits, all of which have been woven with high quality and expensive materials, though he's mentioned disliking the different clothes he must wear as head of his family.

To signify his noble heritage, Masahiro wears a pair of golden bracers that have his family's crest engraved on them. They have been passed down through the Matsunaga family since it's conception and he holds great value with them. Ironically, the only thing that ties him to his noble heritage that he finds important to him. The bracers themselves reach from his wrist to the middle of his forearms and are engraved with several floral patterns leading to the family crest located in the center of the back of the bracers. These bracers are regularly polished and maintained so the gold never loses its luster. His mother worries that one day Mamoru will damage the bracers in combat, potentially ruining the only thing his father ever gave him to remember him by.

Personality

As a captain of the Gotei 13, as well as head of one of the Great Noble Families, Captain Matsunaga conducts himself in an aristocratic nature which is often interpreted as arrogance by those around him. Unfortunately, this is due to conditioning from his father, who wanted Masahiro to assume control of the Clan. Because of this, he was raised to believe that anyone not among the Great Noble Houses were inferior to them in every way and to not mingle with those of lower class. This act of indifference has made him quite unpopular with many Shinigami during his earlier years in the organization, causing many to question his high ranking status as being nothing more than a political stunt. This further increased his callous nature towards everyone, becoming cold to anyone that tries to interact with him, even with his own division and lieutenant. He's one of the few captains within the Gotei 13 that refrains from showing any emotion, whether its fear, agitation or even compassion to those around him. He has consciously chosen to "disable" these emotions in favor of focusing on his duties to the organization. He commented that such apathy allows him remain calm and collected, not allowing fear or hesitation to cloud his judgement.

Even though aloof, Masahiro is fiercely loyal to Soul Society and the organization, with his family being the principal historians guarding its history. As a scholar, he's well educated and well informed of many matters regarding this area, tracing back events to the first generation of the Gotei 13 and its conception. The ideals of justice and stability are deeply engrained within Masahiro and preserves those values with the utmost loyalty. As such, insubordination is not something to be tolerated and can be met with extreme punishment. He does not seek appreciation or gratitude for what he does, and typically meets compliments with a cold stare, dismissing the thoughts of others as if they were of little worth.

His relationship with his division can be trying at times, but no one can question Masahiro's skill and power. What was initially perceived as nothing more then political pandering to the Great Houses, it was quickly discovered that Masahiro is a true Shinigami with power far exceeding many within the organization. Even when compared to the other captains, Masahiro excels evenly in nearly all aspects. This level of skill is matched with his level of confidence, and in turn forces the other members of his division to accept him as their true leader. It is because of his abilities that the division follows his orders without question and vied so much for his approval. Especially his lieutenant, whom Masahiro simply treats as a weakling unfit for his title. While others seem motivated for recognition, Masahiro does not show approval to enforce the idea that what an individual accomplishes should be done for the community and for themselves. In essence, he educates them into believing that one should not receive praise for doing their duty. It is an obligation and one should accept, and do to its fullest, without the need for praise.

Underneath this cold exterior, though, Masahiro is a deeply passionate man whose troubled childhood has made it difficult to express how he truly feels. Being emotionless allows him to refrain from making mistakes, as well not to become too emotionally attached. He can thank his father for this mode of thinking, as the idea of duty and obligation were forced onto him at a young age. He does value the lives of those around him, protecting the weak and defenseless. But, again, this idea comes from being bound by duty and not to be viewed as a hero.

Many of these qualities parallel former 6th Division captain, Byakuya Kuchiki, both of which present themselves emotionless and loyal, but also have deep areas of intense emotion that keep hidden from others.

Plot

Powers & Abilities

Mamoru Stats

Mamoru's Battle Data, clockwise. Top: Offense (90), Top Right: Defense (90), Bottom right: Mobility (90), Bottom: Kidō/Reiatsu (80), Bottom Left: Intelligence (80), Top Left: Physical Strength (80). Total: 510/600.

Zanjutsu Master: Despite his aristocratic nature, Masahiro is a master swordsman of such caliber that it places him among the elites within Soul Society. Against his father's wishes, he has studied numerous styles of swordfighting, including their stances and techniques, allowing him access to a greater range of abilities that make him unpredictable in combat. Masahiro's fighting style is graceful and elegant with no wasted movement, capable of using his speed for flawless precision and to inflict lethal damage with minimal effort, as well as parrying incoming attacks and create an opening for himself. There is a form of beauty when it comes to Masahiro wielding a sword, with each of his movements and techniques appearing effortless. While a master of many forms, he often fights in the typical two-handed grip for additional power, but can seamlessly transition between styles as the need arises. Combined with his talent in speed and agility, Masahiro is a deadly combatant who engage with any opponent and still remain confident in his success against them. Regardless of the weapon his opponent wields, be it bladed or blunt, Masahiro remains calm and is able to parry their attacks to create a more advantageous position for himself. He's admitted that the only weapons he has some trouble against are oversized weapons because their wielders tend to be clumsy and swing them awkwardly. His skill is great enough to fight, and seemingly overpower, the Quinta Espada, Violeta Riano, while engaging in sword combat. Throughout the entire battle, he remained composed and was shown pressing Violeta to the point she needed to use her firearm to even the battle. He can make short work of anyone below a master swordsman, often taking out his foes with a single stroke before his opponents have the time to register them being hit. Regardless of a single opponent or group, Masahiro remains one of the top sword masters in the entire organization with natural skill and talent.

Hohō Master: One of his defining qualities is his use of Flash Steps, which is nearly unparalleled within Soul Society. Even among his fellow captains, his skill is undeniable. He is able to gracefully move through attacks, weaving between them and remaining completely unharmed. His speed also allows him to match opponents, successfully dodging or countering them, as well as granting him the ability to traverse huge distances seemingly in the blink of an eye. He can instantly disappear without a trace and reappear in a new location, regardless of the distance between both points, and allow him an opportunity to strike a target before they are aware of his movements. As such, he's trained in utilizing the numerous high level techniques associated with Flash Steps, such as the ability to leave behind an afterimage of themselves to distract their targets. This allows him to instantly surprise them before they can react. His speed is so great that he was able to match Violeta Riano, an Espada who is known for her incredible speed, during their brief encounter. His nickname, "Ginsen", comes from this astonishing level of quickness, with some observes noting that the only thing that can be seen at times as Masahiro transitions between movements is the gleam of his sword as it moves through the air. Many of his attacks rely on speed more so then strength, using his deadly accuracy to strike down opponents before they can attack. With equally impressive reflexes, if an attack were to be a mere few inches from him, he would still possess enough speed and reaction time to completely disappear from the path of an attack and reappear safely in a different location. Often appearing either at the side or behind a target to maneuver himself for a better position.

  • Utsusemi (空蝉; "Cicada", referencing their molting): Way of Onmitsu, 3rd of the Shihou, this technique allows for a movement at such speeds that it leaves behind an afterimage that is completely unmistakeable to the real one. Masahiro very rarely utilizes this technique and only when facing an opponent who can match his speed. The afterimage that is left behind from this technique is so real that it can still be struck by an attack, react to it and even appear damaged. Utsusemi is a technique reserved as a last resort for Masahiro, only utilizing such a maneuver if he were faced with someone of equal speed and technique. It is known that he's able to transition to and from this technique seamlessly, even going so far as producing another afterimage shortly after the first one to continue confusing his target. Though its rare for him to have to resort to such a thing.

Kidō Master: If one were to rate Masahiro's abilities, his skill in Kidō would be rated third, but even then he possesses phenomenal talent in wielding magical energies. He's highly versed in both binding and destructive spells, and can cast either form during battles with equal skill. Because of his great knowledge in Kidō, it allows him access to high level spells and can cast them without incantation, with almost no effort while still retaining formidable power behind them. Even when using low level spells, he can deliver them with such devastating results, that it can often be confused as higher level to the untrained. His skill compared to lieutenants or other seated officers is so vast that he could counter mid-level spells with his lower level ones and cancel them out entirely, if not overwhelm them with his own. It is unknown if he has specific spells he prefers to cast, as he seems to wield a wide range during battle, but he tends to lean towards the lower half of each form since they are quicker and more versatile. Higher level spells often require more time to prepare and can come with a great sacrifice if wielded improperly. It has been said that Masahiro's tremendous talent stemmed from his desire to prove to his father that he was more than capable of becoming a captain within the Gotei 13. With his immense spiritual power, Masahiro casts spells with such potent magical energy that few can counter him when engaging in battle. When casting, it appears just as graceful and effortless as his Zanjutsu and Hohō abilities, transitioning between spells as he sees fit to perfectly counter his opponents.

High Intellect: Since birth, Masahiro has been educated in many forms of academic studies such as mathematics, literature, cultures and science, as well as a comprehensive look into the history of Soul Society and its events. Because of his strict studies, Masahiro has developed into a brilliant scholar whose mental prowess is held at an equal level to his physical ability. Though not as intelligent as the 12th Division captain, Masahiro is still very impressive in his ability to absorb information and understand its meaning. Because of this, his mind works much more efficiently and grants him an impressive array of mental abilities to compliment his other strengths.

  • Perceptive Combatant: This level of mental acuity grants a wide range of awareness and deductive reasoning, using his intelligence when observing his opponents to discern attack patterns and identify any possible weaknesses. When in battle, Masahiro prefers to keep his opponents at bay through defensive fighting as to allow him an opportunity to study his enemies and use his keen observation to anticipate his opponents to quickly avoid their attacks.
  • Master Strategist & Tactician: Even in his youth, Masahiro has always shown a fascination with battle strategy and tactics. He's read about nearly every major conflict or battle throughout Soul Society's history, or at least what has survived its near total destruction all those centuries ago. With countless formations and tactics memorized, Masahiro applies this knowledge every time he battles, ensuring that he is never caught off guard. Through careful trial and error, he can quickly understand the powers and abilities of his opponents, while simultaneously build the proper counter strategy in his mind. Despite initial reluctance in accepting Masahiro among the ranks of the Gotei 13, he has shown the ability to efficiently command his entire division, ensuring a high level of success during his missions. This is also why he expects a great level of obedience and loyalty at his command, so as to not have unforeseen variables clouding his judgment and ruining his plans.

Hakuda: While not his most used form of combat, Masahiro is still a capable hand-to-hand combatant. Its currently unknown what his level of skill is in this specific area, but its safe to assume that it is higher than that of a lieutenant. He's rarely seen using Hakuda, but when he does his actions are effortless and keeps himself calm and collected, meaning that he has enough confidence in his own ability to hold his own in combat. He's also noted in fighting with open hand techniques instead of a closed fist, preferring to strike with open palm strikes to knock back his opponents. His speed allows him to instantly appear behind opponents, where he can either deliver a single strike to the back of the neck and incapacitate them, but he has also shown the ability to parry attack barehanded if need be. Masahiro also has a penchant for certain grappling techniques, such as grabbing the wrist and flipping his opponents over on to their backs. With his preferred techniques and its usage, his style of fighting can be very much compared to that of modern day Aikidō, in which techniques consist of entering and turning movements that redirect the momentum of an opponent's attack, and a throw or joint lock that terminates the technique.

Immense Spiritual Pressure: As a member of a noble house and a naturally gifted combatant, Masahiro possesses immense levels spiritual pressure that when vented can be felt over great distances. Combined with his already admirable combat skills and abilities, Masahiro is one of Soul Society's most formidable captains. As with most captains containing such large quantities of spiritual pressure, weaker willed individuals are overcome with a sense of fear and paralysis, causing them to perspire the longer they stand in his presence, and even begin to suffocate in some extreme cases. When exerting his spiritual power, its represented visually by shining blue aura or cold mist, mirroring the abilities of his Zanpakutō. Having such large quantities of Reiatsu also affords him certain physical and spiritual benefits, such as increasing the power of his attacks, as well as granting him a higher level of resistance to damage so that he may cancel out enemy attacks.

Zanpakutō

Kangetsu (寒月, "Winter's Moon") Appearing as a regular katana, Kangetsu has a simple silver circle cross guard with a star burst pattern extending from the base of the blade. The handle is wrapped in a light blue cloth with a matching colored scabbard.

  • Shikai: When preparing to release its Shikai, Masahiro positions his sword in front of him and says the command "Bite" (刺す, "Sasu"). From there, the blade instantly goes cold and the metal is transformed into a thick sheet of solid ice with an incredibly sharp edge. In fact, Kangetsu in Shikai is still highly durable and can fight effectively against other weapons. The ice itself is held together by Masahiro's immense spiritual pressure, granting it the power to clash against solid weapons without fear of shattering. Its edge can still slash through material as if it were steel.
Shikai Ability: Kangetsu is an extremely powerful ice-type Zanpakutō, the likes of which haven't been seen in generations. Immediately upon release, Kangetsu begins drawing in ambient heat, sapping it so as to lower the temperature nearby. Even if released for only a few moments, frost begins to build over everything in the area and chilling the air to the point that one could see their breath. Another signal of Kangetsu's power is it can also cause snow to fall, slowing covering everything in a white blanket. This ability to sap heat can also physically effect anything living within its range since robbing something so essential can restrict their ability to move and react. Individuals have noted to feeling as if their bones are being frozen solid and found that Kangetsu had robbed some of their mobility. Prolonged exposure to Kangetsu's power can eventually kill plant-life, though it is unknown if it could prove fatal against larger creatures or beings. Masahiro appears to be immune to Kangetsu's power, allowing him to safely wield his Zanpakutō without fear. As an ice-type Zanpakutō, Kangetsu's ability revolves around the creation of ice either through his own power or freezing the moisture in the air by lowering the temperature to extreme levels. When creating ice or frost, Masahiro is able to mold it for a variety of offensive and defensive techniques. These creations can also vary in size and shape, and can be used either for close range or long range. This grants Masahiro and Kangetsu the ability to fight effectively from virtually any place or position. As with his blade of ice, Masahiro's creations also prove to be highly durable, able to withstand a barrage of physical attacks with only minor damage. While tough, they are not completely invulnerable and repeated strikes can chip away and eventually shatter the creations. Even smaller projectiles can be destroyed before they reach their target, but this requires great skill and strength to do so. Also, objects frozen can also experience a dramatic decrease in their durability, in which Masahiro can destroy them if they are encased in ice as if they were stone. For all its strengths, Kangetsu does possess a natural weakness against extreme heat. Though this is more a battle of spiritual power between Masahiro and an opponent wielding this opposite element. Kangetsu also works much more effectively at night, or when in an area lacking natural sunlight or dry heat. Its not that his powers are severely limited, its more so that Kangetsu gets a natural boost to its power when not battling against these conditions.
  • Asajimo (朝霜, "Morning Hoarfrost") The effect of severely reducing an area's temperature is a passive ability of Kangetsu and the frost it produces is known as Asajimo. This rapid heat drain can have adverse effects on living and non-living objects. When in the presence of Kangestu, a living being will immediately begin feeling cold to the point their joints have trouble moving as they used to. Their speed is also effected, unable to move or react as fast as they could naturally. Against non-living targets, the frost produced damages the structural integrity of most things, causing them to become brittle and weak over time. This means that a strike from a strong attack is capable of shattering something that would otherwise be capable of withstanding the force.
  • Hyōshō (氷晶, "Diamond Dust"; lit. "Ice Crystals") A standard technique in which Kangetsu freezes the moisture in the air and Masahiro swipes his sword towards a target, releasing a volley of shards of ice to skewer his opponents. Each time he swings his sword, Masahiro can release another volley, potentially releasing dozens of shards to damage a target. Because of its technique's ease in creating these shards of ice, Masahiro can quickly send them flying with minimal difficulty. Quick enough to either intercept an opponent, damage an entire group or cancel out multiple projectiles directed at him.
  • Shunkan Tōketsu (瞬間凍結; "Frozen Moment") By concentrating the arctic energies contained within the blade, Masahiro makes a simple slash across a target and it is immediately frozen in a large block of ice, either suffocating them over time or simply shatter them if Masahiro strikes it. The dangers of Kangetsu is most seen in this technique as any single slash has the capacity to instantly freeze a target. What makes Shunkan Tōketsu so deadly is that Masahiro can use this technique at any time and the speed in which it encases a target is astounding. Because the technique relies on physical contact, it is most effective in close combat for maximum efficiency. But due to Masahiro's incredible talent and experience, he has found other uses for this technique by simply freezing an area to quickly erect a large ice structure of ice to protect him. He does this by scraping the tip of Kangetsu across the floor around him to create the makeshift wall of ice.
  • Gengetsu Hyōgarō (弦月氷河牢, "Crescent Moon Glacial Prison") His strongest technique in Shikai, Gengetsu Hyōgarō allows Masahiro to create a massive glacier sized structured to completely engulf any targets in its path. To prepare the technique, Masahiro holds the handle of Kangetsu with both hands and begins to focus his energy into the blade, causing the blade to emit a cold vapor in the process. Masahiro then swings upward and releases these energies in the form of a massive wave of ice. Its crescent shaped formation is where it gets its name from, the wall of ice arching back similar to wave curling, while the other side is composed of huge amounts of jagged ice. Anything caught in its wake is immediately frozen in the wave, and unless freed after a short period of time, anything living will eventually be killed by its punishing low temperature and lack of air. Masahiro tends to encase his opponents in this ice prison and then walk away, leaving behind a frozen monument to their deaths. Also, because of its sheer size, the power required to use this technique is huge and Masahiro is only able to utilize it once per battle.
  • Bankai: Byakko Kangetsu (白虎寒月, "White Tiger Winter's Moon") When activating his Bankai, Masahiro does not typically enter a specific stance when doing so, though he does sometimes hold the blade up in a defensive manner before stating the word. Upon stating the command, a massive stream of white cold wind whirls around Masahiro and forms into a tall tornado. The force of these winds can easily blow out windows and blow back loose debris, while the cold air begins to freeze everything nearby. As the winds continue to rage on, large slabs of ice continues to spread out and the weather changes to something similar to frozen tundra. Dark grey clouds form above to mask the sun so that Byakko Kangetsu's powers are unhindered. When the winds finally settle and Masahiro is seen, both he and Kangetsu have altered appearances. Kangetsu's blade is now a deep blue crystal with a sharp edge in the shape of a katana's sword. This blade glows a bright light when activating its techniques and it is known to be extremely cold to the touch. As for Masahiro, his uniform has been altered to incorporate a white tiger's fur that he wears around his neck and covers his shoulders and arms. The white fur has a series of black stripes so that it resembles a tiger's pelt and it extends down the back ending in a tail. The fur is held together across Masahiro's chest by an ornate blue jeweled necklace with buckles on the fur with insignia's edges into the buttons that resemble the head of a tiger. He also wears black gloves with the white fur covering his wrists and the back of his hands. The appearance is supposed to be a fusion of snow tiger features into Masahiro's attire.
Bankai Ability: The difference between Kangetsu and Byakko Kangetsu is the sheer volume of ice that Masahiro can produce during battle, as well as a larger area that he can steal heat and lower the temperature. Masahiro also still has access to his Shikai techniques, though these have also been greatly enhanced in Bankai to be much more effective. When Bankai is active, Byakko Kangetsu can instantly freeze any body of water, transforming smaller bodies into solid ice or freezing the surface of larger bodies into a thick sheet of ice. Also, the expulsion of such extreme temperature drops immediately coats everything in the surrounding area in a thick blanket of white snow and frost, transforming the environment into a frozen tundra. Masahiro can unleash large waves of ice with a simple swing of his sword and freeze large areas instantly. The strength of his power is so great that he can even encase energy projectiles directed at him with his ice and smother them like a blanket over a fire. Anything caught in the power of Byakko Kangetsu has little chance of survival, with Masahiro shattering the constructs and killing his targets instantly. Byakko Kangetsu appears to effect the weather, not only by producing dark grey clouds, but Masahiro can also summon brutally cold winds to create frost and lower the mobility of his targets. His skill in creating and shaping the ice is masterful, able to create jagged sharp pieces to damage opponents, or smooth surfaces to glide or slide on if he so wishes.
  • Uhyō Shin'nō (雨氷親王, "Glaze Ice Imperial Prince") Similar to Daiguren Hyōrinmaru's Zanhyō Ningyō, Uhyō Shin'nō is a Bankai technique in which Masahiro can shape a large amount of ice into an exact replica of himself to fool his enemies. By forming a thin layer of ice and using his speed, he can quickly swap himself with the replica without his opponent being aware. It can still be struck just like any other physical object, but the difference between Zanhyō Ningyō and Uhyō Shin'nō is that there is another effect it has. While Zanhyō Ningyō simply shatters after being struck, when Uhyō Shin'nō is struck ice will immediately begin to form around the area where it is struck, eventually spreading and encasing the attacker. This makes Uhyō Shin'nō more of a trap technique. It is unknown if Masahiro can create multiple replicas with this technique. Interesting enough, Masahiro does not like this technique, as it resorts to trickery and deceit, qualities he despises, but he understands that in times of war such tactics are required to gain victory.
  • Hyōrasenga Ranbu (冰螺旋牙乱舞, "Spiral Ice Fang's Boisterous Dance") When Masahiro is in Bankai, each swing of his sword is capable of creating waves of ice. By applying that ability, he swings his katana in a full circle and releases a massive wave of jagged ice that wraps itself around Masahiro in an upward spiral. Masahiro can use this technique to attack or defend himself from multiple targets trying to surround him, allowing him to create a barrier between himself and his opponents, but can also strike them if they are close by. The quickness in the creation of this spiral is nearly instant, able to form and shape the structure with relative ease. Masahiro can also form this structure reactionary, allowing his amazing reflexes to take charge and effortlessly shape the ice around him.
  • Shirotōkan Sekkenshūen (白凍寒席巻終焉, "White Frost Sweeping Death")

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