<b>Contact Info:</b> Arcadiasilver@gmail.com | <user name=arcadiaspheres site=plurk.com>
<b>Other Characters Played:</b> N/A
<b>Preferred Apartment:</b> None
<b>Character Name:</b> Kuukaku Shiba
<b>Canon Point:</b> After the first Sternritter invasion of Soul Society.
<b>Background/History:</b> Kuukaku enters the narrative as the mysterious friend of Shihounin Yoruichi, whom the cat claims can help them get past the walls of Seireitei when their initial attempt at entry was thwarted by Ichimaru Gin. The invaders travel across the backwoods of the Rukongai to try and find the mysterious Shiba, only to find that their last place of known residence is just a flat lot of dirt in the words. According to Yoruichi, Kuukaku moved about a lot, so tracking them down would not be easy.
Eventually, they come across a house flanked by massive stone arms holding aloft a banner proclaiming it the residence of one Shiba Kuukaku. Gaudy in the extreme, the cat happily replied that this was surely Kuukaku’s residence as “Kuukaku always had weird taste in houses”. Upon stepping onto the property, the party is assaulted by two towering, muscular men who believe them to be intruders. Yoruichi’s presence, however, diffuses the situation handily since both guards recognize her instantly. Escorted into the underground complex, Ichigo and his friends are introduced to Shiba Kuukaku, head of the Shiba Clan. (They were surprised, they believed Kuukaku to be a man.) Of course, this was the time that Kuukaku introduced her little brother Ganju, who would accompany them into Seireitei. The same guy that got into a fight with Ichigo earlier that evening and who obliged him with continuing it immediately after seeing each other. In the tussle, Kuukaku’s pipe was shattered and she disciplined them both severely. By burning down her own house in a single fiery punch.
After filling her in on the situation, Kuukaku immediately agrees to help them get into Seireitei. But to get there, they have to train to use a special orbs that would allow them to form a canonball with their spiritual energy that would be the basis of the battering ram that would break them through the shield surrounding the seat of shinigami power. While Chad, Orihime and Ishida had no problems using the Spirit Absorbing cores, Ichigo and his untamed power lacked the control or focus to get it right. It takes some instruction from Ganju, but Ichigo eventually gets it right...or close enough to hopefully not kill everyone.
The next morning sees the group fired out of the canon by Kuukaku’s kidou and makes its way towards Seireitei. Kuukaku watches them blast off with a strangely vulnerable look, the worry for her little brother naked upon her face.
We see a glimpse of Kuukaku in Seireitei, approaching Jidanbou, one of the gate guardians about something. Its of note here that the Rukongai populace refers to her as “Kuukaku-sama”, and seem to treat her with great respect.
The next we see of her is at Rukia’s execution after Aizen had been revealed to be the traitor he was. Kuukaku arrives in her usual attention-grabbing style, descending from the clouds on Jidanbou’s shoulders and firing an impressive kidou on Aizen’s forces.
After that is when Kuchiki Rukia seeks her out after she is granted her freedom to finally apologize for Kaien’s death. Kuukaku reveals that she’d known all along and promised herself that if Rukia made at least a single effort to apologize, she would forgive her. Her presence in the manga ends with her “inviting” Ichigo and Rukia to eat dinner with her.
The next time we see Kuukaku is when the Royal Guard, with Kurosaki Ichigo and the injured Kuchiki Rukia, Kuchiki Byakuya, and Abarai Renji, come to her to use her Kuukaku Canon to return to the Royal Realm. She makes a statement that Ichigo going to the Royal Realm will “make uncle sad” (the uncle in question is Ichigo’s father, Kurosaki Isshin, making her and Ginjou Ichigo’s first cousins), but it must be done if Soul Society is to survive. After the party departs, Kuukaku reveals that she and her brother are training with the deceased Fullbringers Kugo Ginjou, Shukuro Tsukishima, and Giriko Kutzusawa. She states that all of them will have to participate in the next battle.
<b>Personality:</b> Shiba Kuukaku is shameless, brash, loud, bossy to the point of tyrannical (especially if you’re Ganju), intelligent, inventive, aggressive, proud, violent and secretly underneath all the noise and bravado, someone who deeply loves and cares for her family. She just expresses that love with her fists, more often than not.
As the head of the disgraced Shiba Clan, Kuukaku lives a hermetic lifestyle in the far-flung reaches of Rukongai, away from Seireitei and the power base of the other Great Noble Clans. The details surrounding their fall are vague and unarticulated, yet Kuukaku does not seem to lament the loss of her family's status, indicating that she doesn't care much for the political and social climes of nobility and seems to be content with her exile from the halls of Soul Society's power.
Like her beloved fireworks, Kuukaku is loud, bright, flashy, and impossible to ignore. As far as modesty goes, Kuukaku seems to have little: she dresses revealingly, if not necessarily provocatively, with a shirt with her clan's symbol and a plunging neckline that shows off her impressive cleavage and a high-slit skirt over what appears to be no undergarment whatsoever. Whenever she is out and about, she wears a white cloak with gold chain that seems to be a sign of her former status, since nobody else is seen in Rukongai wearing a similar garment.
When she speaks, its usually casual and lazy, holding little regard for the traditional suffixes of polite Japanese society. When she’s angry - and it doesn’t take much sometimes - she peppers her yelling with liberal amounts of profanity, often directed at the object of her ire. Said language is usually accompanied by swift and brutal physical discipline. To the skull. Sometimes if she’s especially angry, she skips the hitting and goes straight for the fireball punch. She’s going to say what she thinks of you, your training, your intelligence and skill and be damned if she’s going to still her tongue just for the sake of politeness. Politeness is for people too scared to be honest about what they think! But for all her violence and bluster, in moments when she’s alone, vulnerability or affection can be seen. Her concern for her brother launching himself into Seireitei is as clear as day, her memories of Kaien are touched with a particular pain and love of family, and her sudden arrival at Soukyoku Hill in the finale of the Soul Society Arc indicates that maybe, just maybe, she cares what happens to Soul Society.
In exile, self-imposed or not, Kuukaku is allowed to pursue her talents and hobbies with no restraint (or complaints from her neighbors as the case may be). Though not explicitly stated, its indicated through her ostentatious decor outside her house and through Yoruichi’s dialogue (“Kuukaku always had weird taste”), seems to indicate that Kuukaku’s artistic sensibilities run along the same lines as her attitude. Over the top, in your face, and unapologetic as to how much your eyes hurt because of it.
<b>Abilities/Powers:</b>Fireworks: Kuukaku is the self-proclaimed “Number One Fireworks Technician” of Rukongai, and so far nobody seems to be disputing the title. Though Ganju is the one we see primarily use fireworks in combat, he says himself that Kuukaku is much better at it than he is. Both as a combat ability and as a profession, Kuukaku is head above the rest in her craft, combining kidou and her fireworks platform the Kuukaku Cannon, she is able to launch Ichigo and his crew over Rukongai and into Seireitei on a single shot.
Kidou: Kuukaku displays mastery over high levels of kidou, primarily hado (destructive style - big surprise), and capacity of creating her own kidou spells as seen when she uses the Kuukaku Cannon and Ganju attempts to use the follow up incantation. It should be noted that few others in the series have been known to use and create their own kidou spells, the only other person seen to have created their own kidou is Chessmaster Genius Urahara Kisuke. When the forces of Soul Society confronts Aizen for his treason on Soukyoku Hill, Kuukaku makes a flashy, show-stopping entrance by firing a massive kidou wave of lightning on Aizen. While falling from about a mile up in the sky. While riding on the shoulder of a giant with no hands.
Shunpo: Kuukaku is seen in a few panels running very quickly, if not shunpoing.
Strength: Kuukaku displays preternatural strength, especially when punishing her delinquent brother Ganju and Ichigo when they “wreck” her house after crossing paths again. She continually physically abuses Ichigo through his training as well as any houseguests who might voice displeasure over her methods.
Intellect: Kuukaku possesses a keen mind, capable of assessing and understanding a scenario with limited information. In addition, her construction of the Kuukaku Canon indicates she has at least practical knowledge in applied engineering and physical science. Her skill with fireworks suggests that she also has some specialized knowledge in chemistry and constructs and complies her own shells and rockets. Her own unique kidou spells, as well as her Spirit Absorbing Cores and her Cannon show someone with an aptitude for invention and research.
If this didn’t make Kuukaku awesome, keep in mind she does this with <i>one hand</i>.
<b>Items/Weapons:</b> Sword: Kūkaku possesses a sword which resembles an ordinary katana. It has an pale orange hilt and a rectangular tsuba, the corners of which curve inwards. She keeps it attached to the back of the stub of her right arm
Reishūkaku (霊集核, Spirit-Gathering Core): This invention uses its wielder's Reiryoku in order to generate and maintain a spherical shell of energy. She will be bringing one of these with her
<b>Sample Entry:</b> <a href=http://skycrane.dreamwidth.org/12204.
<b>Sample Entry Two:</b>Fireworks were delicate work.
Fireworks were also tedious work when making them in large amounts. Double the exasperation when you only had one functioning hand to do it with. But Kuukaku persisted, even with the lack of proper facilities, the lack of fucking <i>anything</i> to be honest. She was a resourceful woman, but even she couldn’t weave straw from gold. Or sake from spit. Fuck, she needed a drink, she already loathed this place.
“Oi, Kisuke, where’s my magnesium?”
He leaves the pale white flakes by her side with no word, as if understanding just how foul a move she was in right now. Carefully tapping out the metal into the gunpowder-covered rice hulls, she covers the sphere with tissue paper and goes to the other half of the shell and starts threading through the fuse. Usually, she’d have Ganju doing this kind of handsy work, but he wasn’t here.
He was just home, alone. Or out running around with that gang of idiots that called him “boss”, on that damned boar. Probably getting into trouble, into fights, making a nuisance of himself, the brat.
He was fine without her. He had been for a long time.
Bracing the bottom half of the shell between her knees, she tries to align the top and bottom half and keep it still enough to start the line of paste along the hemisphere.
“Fuck this!” she shouts as the powder and the magnesium spills on the floor when her knees tilt down too far. Kicking the whole thing across the room, she storms off, leaving it all strewn across the floor.
She hated being confined, told what to do, how to act, how to <i>be</i>. But most of all, she hated being confined by her own weakness.