Maki Ichinose is a former member of the 11th Division of the Gotei 13 and a villain from the Bount Arc of the Bleach anime.
Ichinose once served in the 11th Division under Captain Kenpachi Kiganjo, who was eventually challenged by Kenpachi Zaraki for position of 11th Division captain. As the fight started, Ichinose and Kaname Tōsen tried to stop it and Tōsen told Ichinose that he felt Zaraki was too dangerous. However Zaraki killed Kiganjo in the battle, taking his place as captain, and Ichinose angrily challenged him to a fight. Though at first he refused, Zaraki said he’d consider it if Ichinose could wound him. But as Ichinose tried to use his Zanpakuto, Zaraki easily knocked it out of his hands and told the Shinigami to stand for himself. Later, Ichinose left the Soul Society and wandered until he came upon a village being attacked by a Hollow.
After saving a young boy, Ichinose tried to take on the Hollow, but was unable to fight it and it seemed as if it would kill him. However Jin Kariya came to his rescue with Gō Koga and let Ichinose finish the Hollow. The Shinigami then joined the Bounts, utterly loyal to Kariya.
Heading to the Soul Society
Ichinose eventually accompanied Kariya on his mission to track down a Quincy so as to reach the Soul Society. Kariya eventually informed the Shinigami and the other Bounts that he’d located Uryu Ishida after Ichinose welcomed him back. Soon after this, Ryō Utagawa approached Ichinose as he was walking outside the mansion, asking what he thought Kariya’s true objective was. Ichinose said that he didn’t know or care, he was Kariya’s subordinate and it was not his place to question him. Ryō asked the Shinigami why he let Kariya make all his decisions for him, but Ichinose didn’t answer. Later on, as Ichigo Kurosaki and his friends managed to infiltrate the Bount mansion, Ichinose was commanded to guard Uryu and Yoshino Soma.
Eventually Rukia Kuchiki, Ririn, Kurodo, and Noba came upon Ichinose, who revealed that he used to be in the 11th Division. The Shinigami managed to defeat the Mod-Souls. Rukia tried to use Kido spells against Ichinose, but he easily dealt with the attacks, and she asked why he was helping the Bounts. Ichinose explained that everything his former captain fought for had disappeared after Kenpachi took command. Thus Ichinose had lost the will to live, but Kariya gave him new purpose, which is why he fought for the Bount. The Shinigami then prepared to fight Rukia, but sensed that Kariya was in trouble and went to aid him.
Ichinose found Ryō turning on Kariya, attempting to become leader of the Bounts himself. The Shinigami released his Zanpakuto, cutting down Ryō, and then turned his attention to Ichigo.
The two began fighting, but before either could claim victory, Kariya stopped the fight, saying Ichigo had piqued his interest. He easily brought down Ichigo, but before he could be on his way, Ichigo got back to his feet. Ichinose prepared to finish Ichigo when the Bounts mansion was attacked by Ururu, Jinta, and Yoruichi, allowing Ichigo to escape with Uryu and Yoshino. Ichinose and the Bounts watched as the mansion burned down and when the flames died, the Shinigami told Kariya he’d find the tool Kariya needed to fix an old clock. However the Bount said he’d find it instead and the following day, Kariya was trying to fix the clock, Ichinose told him he’d sent the other Bounts to the rendezvous point. Soon following this, Kariya started battling Yoshino so as to create the bitto, when Ichigo and Renji showed up. Ichinose and Koga blocked their way, fighting the two, and Kariya managed to kill Yoshino, successfully creating the bitto. Later on, Ichinose and the other Bounts met up in a cave where Kariya demonstrated the special abilities of the bitto, taking a vial of purified soul energy from one, which increased his power greatly. Soon afterwards, Ichinose apologized to Kariya for allowing Mabashi to slip away and headed out to find him. He found Mabashi fighting Shuhei Hisagi and brought Mabashi back to the Bounts’ base. Afterwards, Ichinose helped the Bounts activate the gate to the soul Society and headed in after they succeeded.
While in the Soul Society, Ichinose used the light manipulation powers of his Zanpakuto to make himself invisible. He infiltrated the Seireitei, briefly having an encounter with Ikkaku Madarame, and managed to enter the Department of research and Development, deleting some of the information inside. Later on, Ichinose helped Kariya and Koga recruit people from Kusajishi to attack the Seireitei. After Kariya returned from battling Byakuya Kuchiki, Ichinose informed him that he’d sent the other Bounts to watch the Seireitei. Eventually Shinigami began heading towards the Bounts locations and Ichinose stayed behind to keep them busy while Kariya took their forces to attack the Seireitei. Ichinose managed to fight off the Shinigami, despite being outnumbered, until Kenpachi arrived.
The 11th Division captain told Ichinose he’d fight him, only if he let everyone else pass through. He agreed and began fighting Kenpachi, nearly defeating him with the power of his Zanpakuto, However the 11th Division captain removed his eyepatch, unleashing all of his power, and Ichinose became enraged that everything he’d tried had failed.
He charged at Kenpachi in a rage, saying that he stood in the way of justice, but the 11th Division captain managed to slash Ichinose across the chest. However Kenpachi took pity on him and made the Shinigami realize that he’d been clinging on to and fighting for Kariya, because he’d lost sight of his own path. Ichinose realized that Kenpachi was right and decided that he had to fight for himself. He and the captain clashed for the last time and Ichinose was struck down. Later on, Ichinose showed up as Ichigo and Kariya battled one another, attacking Ichigo, who asked Ichinose what he planned to do.
He didn’t answer and Ichigo pushed him back, telling him to stop, but Ichinose said he couldn’t. However he suddenly appeared behind Kariya, holding his sword up to the Bount’s neck. Kariya demanded to know what Ichinose was doing and the Shinigami said that once, he would’ve be fine if Kariya destroyed the Seireitei, but his fight with Kenpachi had reminded him that he wanted to make the Gotei 13 better.
Ichinose said his goals became revenge when his captain had died and he would follow Kariya if he used the power of the Jokaisho to improve the Soul Society. But if he tried to destroy the Soul Society, Ichinose would fight him. However Kariya thanked Ichinose for getting him the time he needed to fully gain the Jokaisho’s power, before impaling him with his arm and blasted him back with his wind powers, killing him.
Ichinose’s most prominent trait is his sense of justice and duty, believing that those with great power should use it for purposes beyond their own desires. His anger towards Kenpachi still remains, despite the fact that he believes that he has moved on from the past. As a result, Ichinose undergoes harsh training to become strong enough to defeat Kenpachi and even broke his vow to Kariya, despite being fiercely loyal to him, to fight Kenpachi.
Ichinose has an extremely high level of spiritual power, able to stand up to Kenpachi Zaraki, who is known for his incredible spiritual energy. He is highly skilled in swordsmanship and in combat, analyzes the power his opponent possesses before fighting all out. Ichinose can also figure out the basics of his opponent’s abilities and possesses great skill with Shunpo, a Shinigami technique that lets him move at high speeds, and kido spells.
Like all Shinigami, Ichinose can release the Shikai abilities of his Zanpakuto, Nijigasumi, with the release command “Shine Brightly” (Flash and Burst in the English dub). When he does so, Nijigasumi can generate an infinite amount of light, which Ichinose can use to take control of shadows to attack his enemy.
Nijigasumi can also manipulate light to make Ichinose invisible, create a blinding flash of light to disorient his opponents, generate illusions since the light Nijigasumi generates creates an alternate dimension around Ichinose and his opponent, letting him alter his opponent’s perception, and dissolve his sword’s blade to create another blade of pure light, as well as blades separate from Nijigasumi to use as projectiles.
Nijigasumi’s most powerful ability is Saigyoku Nijigasumi, which creates lights all around the area that form around Ichinose’s opponent into a sphere, also surrounding anyone in a large area. The sphere then crushes everything inside by collapsing in on itself and only strong enough spiritual energy can stop this.
- The name of Ichinose’s Zanpakuto is Japanese for “Rainbow Mist”.