|“||Ain't no chance of salvation for us. Never has been. With or without Aizen, that's never gonna change. If there's one thing I'm grateful to that guy for, it's the fact that he gave me power. Thanks to that, I've been able to savor greater battles than ever before. I'm gonna be strong. Stronger than anyone.||„|
|“||This is a battle. Of course it's gonna be unfair. That which is called 'battle' was a monster originally born of unfairness and intolerance. I can't stand that guy. I can beat that guy. I can't forgive that guy. We make enemies for all sorts of reasons, and from the moment you make an enemy, until one of you draws his last breath - you're in a battle.||„|
|~ Nnoitra Gilga to Orihime Inoue.|
Nnoitra Gilga is the 5th Espada of Sōsuke Aizen's army and a villain from Bleach. He has a long history with his archenemy Nelliel Tu Odelschwanck, the former 3rd Espada, and is the one responsible for giving her her serious head injury, which turned her into a child form with the assistance of Szayel Aporro Granz. He symbolizes "Despair", and is heavily implied to be a death seeker.
He was voiced by Nobutoshi Canna in the Japanese dubbed version of the anime, and by Michael Sinterniklaas in the English dubbed version.
History with Nelliel
Nnoitra was once the 8th Espada and one day while on a mission for Aizen, he wiped out a large group of Hollows. Nelliel Tu Odelschwanck, the 3rd Espada at the time, asked him why he'd done so since he hadn't received any order and reminded him that their orders were to find Vasto Lorde-class Hollows.Killing those Hollows went against those orders, but Nnoitra said that if they resisted Aizen, they were rebels and killing them helped Aizen. He went on to say that if he could kill them, they were never Vasto Lordes, so he was following his orders and noted Nelliel had gotten quite uptight about killing a few hundred Hollows. She responded by saying that Nnoitra should think before he spoke, since they used to be Hollows themselves, they were just lucky to have evolved beyond that level.
The 8th Espada said that if Nelliel was angry at him and thought she could beat him, then she should attack him. The 3rd Espada just replied that she was shocked, since despite Nnoitra having been turned into Arrancar, he was still just a child. The 8th Espada was suddenly attacked by a Hollow and was knocked unconscious, waking up to see Nelliel reading a book and the Hollow lying dead. Nnoitra asked her why she'd helped him, but the 3rd Espada said that she didn't help him, instead she had prevented the Espada from losing a member.
The 8th Espada stated that he couldn't stand Nelliel and she obviously knew that, then asked why she kept following him around. The 3rd Espada stared at him and simply said it was because he was weaker than her. As time went by, Nnoitra went on killing Arrancar and Hollows alike, saying they were unfortunate to face him. Nelliel noted that he'd just killed Arrancar and the 8th Espada retorted that he knew that and went on tell her he wanted her to know one thing if she was going to keep following him, no matter who he faced, he would not be benevolent or merciful. Later, Nnoitra challenged Nelliel to battle, but she said she wouldn't draw her blade against someone like him and he would not draw her into his demented world. The 8th Espada responded that the only reason they needed to draw their blades was for the sake of drawing their blades. Nelliel said she didn't understand that reasoning, then asked what drove Nnoitra's bloodlust and he said it was his defining moment, to be gasping for his final breath in the heat of a battle. The 3rd Espada questioned this and pointed out it would only be a temporary high, which the 8th Espada agreed was true, but nothing else could fill the void. Nnoitra said that he'd been given power and would use it to kill everyone in his path, until he died, taking in his last breath. As time went by, he continued to challenge Nelliel to battle over and over, but each time, she would beat him and during one of these fights, she was leaving. However Nnoitra said that this one would be a battle to the finish and the 3rd Espada asked him if he wanted her to finish him off. She refused to do so and told the 8th Espada to stop talking so big, then said they had become beasts when they turned into Hollows. But now that they were Arrancar, they'd gotten their sense of reasoning back and that rational people needed a reason to fight, while Nnoitra had none. The 8th Espada cried that he had a reason, the fact he couldn't stand her, but Nelliel stated that was not a reason, just an instinct. The 3rd Espada went on to say that it was for the reason, she considered Nnoitra was just a beast and did not recognize him as a warrior. Nelliel then stated that she couldn't bear to take the life of a beast then left and the 8th Espada was offered a hand by Tesra Lindocruz. However Nnoitra just threw his Zanpakuto at him and told not to be him not to be friendly, since just because he lost, they weren't on the same level. Tesra asked the 8th Espada why he was so focused on Nelliel and none of the other Espada and Nnoitra said it was because he hated her for being a woman able to outrank a man on the battlefield.
Bringing Down his Enemy
Soon after this, Nnoitra conspired with Szayel Aporro Granz (who had been demoted from the Espada at the time) to bring down Nelliel. Together they defeated her two Fracción, Pesche Guatiche and Dondochakka Birstanne, and when the 3rd Espada was looking for the two, Nnoitra appeared, carrying his Zanpakuto, and asked what she was looking for. Nelliel asked if showing his weapon was some sort of intimidation, advising him not to since it made him look weak. Suddenly an explosion went off that caught Nelliel's attention and the smoke cleared to reveal her horribly wounded Fracción. Enraged, Nelliel turned back to Nnoitra, demanding to know if he was responsible and they engaged each other. However, using a device Szayel had built, which created a hologram of the 8th Espada, he managed to get in a sneak attack and strike her head, breaking her Hollow Mask remnants and knocking her unconscious. Nnoitra picked up her body, noting she would probably call this an act of a beast but he didn't care and Szayel approached him, asking if he needed anything else. The 8th Espada told him he was done, to which he responded by asking if Nnoitra had to be so cold, since they'd worked as partners and said he should at least be allowed to see the end of their work.
The 8th Espada said they weren't partners, they'd just had the same motives and threw Nelliel off the side of Las Noches, so that he could increase his power by the time she returned. Nnoitra told Szayel they were leaving and the Arrancar retorted that he'd appreciate it if he dropped the presumptuous tone, but the 8th Espada noted that Szayel wasn't an Espada anymore. Szayel pointed out that Nnoitra would never have succeeded if it weren't for his help while the 8th Espada looked over the side of Las Noches. He was surprised to see that Nelliel had reverted into a child and Szayel noted that he hadn't anticipated this and never seen anything like it. He deduced that that her spirit energy was leaking from her damaged mask, making her spiritual body shrink. Nnoitra said he didn't care why it happened and that it would be unlikely that they'd get the chance to cross blades again, stating it was a shame. He went on to increase his strength, eventually becoming the 5th Espada.
Invasion of Hueco Mundo
Nnoitra, along with many of the other Espada attended the transformation of Wonderweiss Margela into an Arrancar. He later attended a meeting of the Espada that was called by Aizen, where they were told about the arrival of Ichigo Kurosaki, Uryu Ishida, and Yasutora "Chad" Sado coming to Hueco Mundo to save Orihime Inoue. Aizen told them not underestimate the three, but Nnoitra stated they looked incredibly weak only to be reprimanded by Tier Harribel (the current 3rd Espada) for not listening. The 5th Espada responded that wasn't what he meant, telling her not to get testy and asked Harribel if she was scared. However Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez interrupted by getting up to go take care of the group himself, only for Aizen to subdue him with his spiritual energy. Later, after Ulquiorra Cifer was leaving the room where Orihime was being kept prisoner, Nnoitra appeared and asked him about the girl, saying he knew Aizen had entrusted her care to the 4th Espada. The 5th Espada then asked how far Ulquiorra had gotten in "taming" Orihime, but he just walked away, calling Nnoitra degenerate scum. However Nnoitra quickly blocked the 4th Espada's path, telling him not to get testy, when he only wanted to know if everything was going well. Ulquiorra stated he didn't understand why the 5th Espada would care and told him not to worry since Orihime had been under Aizen's control before she even came to Hueco Mundo.
Nnoitra asked if he used the power of his Zanpakuto, but Ulquiorra said the situation didn't warrant its use and explained that numerous psychological cages had been put in place when Orihime had ben asked to come to Hueco Mundo. By putting her friends in danger, she'd been in a situation where she couldn't refuse to surrender. Nnoitra said he didn't understand what kind of cage had been put in place when they'd given her 12 hours to say goodbye to one of her friends. Ulquiorra said that it was to convince her they were on her side and letting her say goodbye, made it look like she'd left of her free will and thus look like a traitor. Finally completely understanding, Nnoitra noted it was a very well thought out plan and that he expected nothing less of Aizen. However Ulquiorra said that their master thought of this as nothing but a game and that no matter what had happened, it wouldn't have mattered.
Fighting the Intruders
After Chad defeated Gantenbainne Mosqueda, Nnoitra appeared, wondering if he was the first one to make it that far. Despite Gantenbainne telling him to run, the human charged at the 5th Espada, who just stood there, leaving himself completely open. Chad delivered a powerful blow to Nnoitra's stomach with his Brazo Izquierda del Diablo, but this had no effect on him at all. The 5th Espada asked if that was his best shot, then used his Zanpakuto to slice Chad's Brazo Derecha de Gigante in half and slash him across the chest. Nnoitra said he was nothing more than a weakling and sat down to rest, when he was approached by Tesra, now his Fracción. He asked if the 5th Espada was going to finish Chad off, but he said he was not, since no one would admit he was the strongest if he just killed thousands of nobodies.
Nnoitra began explaining that there was no value in killing a weakling, when he sensed something and told Tesra the closest spiritual energy signature was taken by Aaroniero Arruruerie. But he'd found a very large energy signature and he was going to crush it, however he sensed that Chad was still alive. The human rushed to attack Nnoitra, but Tesra blocked the attack, then took him down and asked the 5th Espada if they should go, only to be greeted by a blade to his throat. Nnoitra angrily told him not to get involved and Tesra apologized, saying enemies tended to put all their strength into a final attack if he were to be hit, it could've injured him. However the 5th Espada stated there was not a single person in existence that could break him and he was the strongest Espada, telling Tesra not to forget that.
Nnoitra went to watch Ichigo Kurosaki fighting Grimmjow, studying Ichigo's attacks until the fight ended. When the 6th Espada ended the fight, the 5th Espada attacked him, gravely injuring him and said he was a sore loser. Nnoitra then told Ichigo he was his opponent now and was about to finish Grimmjow off when the Visored blocked his strike, demanding to know why he would try to kill someone who couldn't move. The 5th Espada pushed Ichigo away from him and told Grimmjow that he couldn't stand him, since first he looses to his enemy, then had his life saved by him. Nnoitra went on to ask the Visored his name and said he'd remember it in the short time he'd be alive. He proceeded to throw his Zanpakuto at Ichigo, who dodged only to be attacked relentlessly by the 5th Espada. Orihime tried to intervene, but Nnoitra made Tesra subdue her and the Visored demanded that he let her go. However the 5th Espada laughed then stuck out his tongue to show his rank and said the person who Ichigo barely won against and just got all beat up against was weaker than him. Nnoitra stated it was all over for the Visored and then apologized since he'd already forgotten his name, before they continued to fight. The 5th Espada noticed that Ichigo was moving very well and asked him if this was the first time he'd faced someone with a long weapon. He replied it was the second time and Nnoitra, unimpressed, changed direction and attacked him from behind. Orihime yelled at him to stop and asked how he could do this, when Ichigo was already injured, but the 5th Espada just told her to shut up. Nnoitra asked her if she was stupid and said that the reason he was injured was exactly why he was fighting him. The 5th Espada went on to say that this was a battle, so of course it wouldn't be fair and that combat was a monster born of unfairness and intolerance. Nnoitra went on to say that Ichigo was foolish to think no one would come after him when he had forced his way into his enemy's headquarters. The 5th Espada then stated he'd been watching the Visored's battle with Grimmjow, so he knew what he was capable of.
Ichigo attacked, but Nnoitra said he was too slow and countered with his Zanpakuto, but he dodged and managed to get in close enough to attack the 5th Espada. However he caught the blade with his hands and drew Ichigo in closer, saying his sword just looked sharp, then head-butted him into a nearby structure. As they continued fighting, Nnoitra noticed Nel and recognized her, noting how pathetic she'd become, then asked if her mask ached. Ichigo asked how the 5th Espada knew her and went on to say he'd been wondering why she was here, thinking the Visored had brought her. Nnoitra said he realized that Ichigo had brought her here, not knowing who Nel really was, which left the Visored confused as to what he meant.
The 5th Espada explained that she was really Nelliel Tu Odelschwanck and Nel tried to deny it, so Nnoitra tried to step on her. However Ichigo blocked the attack and told her not to worry, but the 5th Espada just kicked him flying and noted that it seemed as if Nel had lost her memory. But Nnoitra stated that with the blow he dealt to her head, it was no wonder she couldn't remember anything and Ichigo asked him what he meant. The 5th Espada picked up Nel and said that he was the one who dealt the wound to her Hollow Mask remnants and the Visored yelled at him to stop. Enraged, he charged at Nnoitra, who countered, but Ichigo succeeded in slashing him across the chest, only to realize that despite making contact, the attack had done nothing. The 5th Espada asked if he'd forgotten that his sword couldn't cut him and kicked Ichigo away, saying Nelliel always made him angry just like the Visored was doing now. Thus he broke her head from behind and threw her out of Las Noches, then Ichigo screamed at Nnoitra to let her go before charging at him again. However the 5th Espada countered, throwing Nel away at the same time and went over to Ichigo, saying it was time to end this. Nnoitra proceeded to grab his sword arm and break his wrist, however, much to the 5th Espada's surprise, seeing Ichigo get hurt caused Nel to transform into her original form.
Settling the Score
Before Nnoitra even realized what was happening, Nelliel used Sonído to move Ichigo to safety and after briefly talking with him, she resolved to face off against her old enemy. The former 3rd Espada attacked the 5th Espada and slashed him across the chest, before he could react. Nnoitra tried to attack Nelliel, but she kicked his Zanpakuto away and pushed him off balance, putting some distance between them. The 5th Espada stopped himself and fired a Cero at her, but the former 3rd Espada use her hand to stop the blast completely, which surprised him greatly. Nelliel then absorbed it into her mouth and fired her Cero Doble back at Nnoitra, catching him in an enormous explosion. Tesra, letting go of Orihime, ran to his aid, only to be knocked away for his trouble by the 5th Espada, who asked him who the hell told him to let go of the girl and he apologized. Nnoitra smiled at Nelliel and asked her what was wrong, saying her face showed that she was wondering how he was still standing and admitting he'd forgotten about her Cero Doble.
The 5th Espada then asked her how many years had passed since Nelliel had left Las Noches and went on to say she shouldn't assume the Espada were at the same power level she'd remembered and that her number meant nothing now. As she and Nnoitra continued to fight, he asked if Nelliel remembered calling him a beast or saying they didn't have the same strength. The 5th Espada gloatingly asked how it felt to be beaten to death by a beast, but the former 3rd Espada kicked away his Zanpakuto. Nelliel went on to say it would be difficult to transform after regaining her former form and began releasing her Zanpakuto. Nnoitra tried to stop her, but she succeeded and he was forced back, then overwhelmed by the former 3rd Espada's Lanzador Verde attack. The 5th Espada attempted to block with his Zanpakuto, but the attack still forced him into a rock. Nelliel went over to Nnoitra and told him it was over but he shouldn't despair as she would not take his life, but suddenly she reverted into her child form.
Initially surprised, the 5th Espada stepped on her laughing, then kicked her, causing an enraged Ichigo to attack him. Nnoitra however just slammed him into the ground and, having become bored with him, ordered Tesra to finish him off. He proceeded to release his Zanpakuto and brutally beat up Ichigo, while the 5th Espada forced Orihime to watch and calling her my pet.However Kenpachi Zaraki arrived and easily cut down Tesra, then looked to Nnoitra to be his next opponent.
Battle with Kenpachi
As Kenpachi explained to Ichigo why he was there, Nnoitra took the opportunity to attack, but the captain blocked, though he was impressed by the strike. The two introduced themselves, telling each other their ranks as well and they began fighting with Kenpachi eventually getting close to deal a fatal blow to Nnoitra. However the sword did nothing and the 5th Espada cut the captain on the shoulder, saying that he possessed the most powerful Hierro of any Espada and that Kenpachi could never cut him. Undeterred, the captain continued to fight Nnoitra and as their battle went on, he eventually managed to slam him into the ground, before trying to impale him. The 5th Espada dodged and Kenpachi asked why he would, meaning that the attack was dangerous so despite his boasts, he had some weak spots.
Nnoitra dismissed this and jumped over the captain, then attacked, but Kenpachi caught his Zanpakuto, saying he'd met a lot of annoying people who claimed his sword couldn't hurt them. However the captain went on to say he'd never met anyone whose eyes and throat couldn't be hurt and drove his sword through Nnoitra's covered eye. But this had no effect on the 5th Espada, who grabbed Kenpachi's wrist and moved himself closer, before driving his hand into the captain's chest. Pulling his hand free, Nnoitra said he knew the captain couldn't understand what happened and lifted up his eyepatch with Kenpachi's Zanpakuto, revealing that behind it was his Hollow Mask remnants and Hollow Hole. The 5th Espada went on to say that the captain's blade just went right through him, but Kenpachi just started to laugh. This enraged Nnoitra, who tried to kick him, only to get his ankle grabbed by the captain, who apologized for laughing. He went on to explain that if no matter how many times he slashed the 5th Espada, he wouldn't die, there was no longer any joy in killing him. However Kenpachi concluded that if he cut Nnoitra enough times, he would die and was excited by the prospect of cutting his opponent up.
They continued to fight with the captain eventually succeeding in cutting the 5th Espada's arm and eventually cut him again, as well as cutting off part of his Zanpakuto. Kenpachi said he's finally gotten used to Nnoitra, then thanked him for warming him up and asked that he express his gratitude by being allowed to use his Zanpakuto. The captain attacked the 5th Espada, but he dodged and tried to counter, but was cut by his enemy again.
Nnoitra tried to fire a Cero at Kenpachi, who deflected the blast, much to his surprise and attempted to impale him with his hand again. However the 5th Espada's movements were off, only cutting off the captain's eyepatch and leaving himself open to another slash on his chest. Kenpachi realized what happened to his eyepatch and told Nnoitra, who'd been wondering about his power increase, that his eyepatch suppressed his power.
Fighting in Release Form
Enraged, Nnoitra released his Zanpakuto and asked Kenpachi how it felt to see an Espada release his Zanpakuto. The captain just smiled, saying he had nice spiritual energy and that it was almost like it was sharpening his blade. Nnoitra told Kenpachi to come and cut him with his newly sharpened sword and the captain attacked, but was shocked when he was blocked and slashed on the chest. The 5th Espada mocked him as he knocked Kenpachi away, but after seeing that he was never making any movements, he set his sets on Yachiru.
The captain recovered, cutting off one of his arms and Nnoitra commended him for playing dead, but he corrected the 5th Espada, saying he'd decided his best plan was to cut off each arm one by one. Otherwise the Arrancar would just keep blocking, but Nnoitra said Kenpachi couldn't cut off each arm and demonstrated his regeneration ability. The 5th Espada attacked and they continued to fight until he revealed his third set of arms and pierced the captain's chest. Nnoitra said he would kill Kenpachi with all six of his arms, before generating another two scythes and telling him it was over. But the captain just started laughing hysterically, surprising the 5th Espada and said he was greatly enjoying the fight, saying that it had just begin. Nnoitra and Kenpachi threw themselves at each other, throwing pieces of debris at one another and attacking each other relentlessly with the captain sustaining numerous wounds.
After receiving a critical wound from Nnoitra, Kenpachi realized at this rate, he was going to die and reluctantly used his kendo technique, admitting it had been some time since he used it. The 5th Espada became confused and the captain revealed that Captain-Commander Yamamoto had made him learn it when he joined the Gotei 13. However Kenpachi said he never liked it and asked Nnoitra if he knew that a sword was more powerful when you wielded it with two hands instead of one. The 5th Espada charged at him, but the captain gripped his sword with both hands and landed a powerful strike, dealing him a fatal blow. Kenpachi, surprised that Nnoitra was still alive, started to walk away, but the Espada demanded to know where he was going, since the fight wasn't over. The captain said he didn't know what he was talking about and that he wasn't going to bother to finish an opponent who could not fight back.
Nnoitra got to his feet, insisting the fight wasn't over and taunted Kenpachi to come back and finish their battle. The 5th Espada went to attack him and the captain finally gave in, dealing a final blow to his chest and making him fall to the ground. As Nnoitra died, he made eye contact with Nel, who had awakened to see him die and as he lay dead, Kenpachi thanked him for a good fight.
Nnoitra is extremely crude, lecherous, sexist, sadistic, callous, and manipulative, referring to Orhime as "pet-sama" and swears more than any other character. He firmly believes in male superiority over females, openly insulting and attacked Nelliel while she was the 3rd Espada, but it is unknown if he has the same attitude towards her replacement, Tia Harribel. Nnoitra seeks to prove himself as the most powerful member of the Espada and dislikes killing off weak opponents, but has no problem with slaying strong opponents in a weakened state. He hates looking weak, refusing any form of help in battle, such as when he hit Tesra away for trying to help him. However Nnoitra does have some level of concern for his Fracción, such as when he told him to leave after scanning Kenpachi's power with his Pesquisa. He possesses an enormous amount of bloodlust and hunger for combat, that is only rivaled by Kenpachi, the most bloodthirsty and treacherous man in the Soul Society. Nnoitra believes the greatest way to end his life would be on his own two feet, drowning in his own blood, slain by someone with more strength and determination than him. His love of battle makes him constantly seek to become stronger so more and more people will challenge him to battle and thinks himself to be indebted to Aizen, since he allowed him to exceed his natural fighting capabilities. However, this doesn't stop Nnoitra's desire to fight from making him defy Aizen's orders so he could lie in wait for Ichigo and his friends. He also has somewhat of an inferiority complex that developed when he was the 8th Espada, due to his apparent inability to beat his enemies. Whenever someone refuses to kill Nnoitra, he takes it as a great insult to his pride, because it makes it seem as if they don't think of him as their equal or superior.
Ironically, Nnoitra doesn't do this for his enemies and will use any method to win, no matter how dishonorable, iniquitous, and unfair it may be. He is also quite sadistic and vituperative, as seen when he forced Orihime to watch Tesra brutally beat up Ichigo. After being put in this situation by Kenpachi, Nnoitra was angry as he realized this was directed at him before he angrily attacked his opponent but this led to his death.
Nnoitra possesses an incredible amount of spiritual power able to fight on par with Kenpachi Zaraki, a captain known for his incredible amount of spirit energy. He is also highly skilled at wielding his unique Zanpakuto, taking advantage of its design to strike his enemies and has considerable physical strength despite his appearance. Nnoitra possesses use of a powerful Hierro, an Arrancar technique that makes the user's skin extremely durable to attack and he is stated to have the strongest out of all the Espada.
He also can use a version of the Pesquisa, a technique that lets the user sense spiritual energy, and his functions much like sonar and can gauge the spirit power of those he uses it on. Nnoitra can also use Cero, a powerful energy blast but unlike other Arrancar, he fires it from the tip of his extended tongue and Sonído, a technique that lets him move extremely fast.
Like all Arrancar, he can enter his Resurrección form by releasing his Zanpakuto, Santa Teresa, with the release command, "Pray". When he does so, Nnoitra gains greater power and strength and four arms, each of which carries an enormous scythe. He has a third pair, which is hidden upon his initial transformation, but he can let them out at any time, usually to surprise his opponent. Nnoitra can regenerate any of his arms instantly and generate extra scythes out of the folds of his arms.
- The aspect of death Nnoitra represents is Despair.
- He embodies this with acceptance; he realized "there was no salvation", wishing to at least go out on his terms.
- His fight with Kenpachi came in tenth in the Bleach best bout poll.
- The name of Nnoitra's Zanpakuto, Santa Teresa, is "Praying Mantis" in Spanish and "Sacred Crying Mantis" in Japanese, a reference to the fact that the scythes of his Resurrección form make his arms resemble those of a praying mantis.
- Nnoitra has appeared in a few Bleach video games, appearing in Heat the Soul 5 without his Resurrección form and was playable in Versus Crusade and Heat the Soul 6 and 7 with it.
- There are several censorships between the Anime and Manga
- One example is after Kenpachi cuts opens Nnoitra by using kendo. In the anime, there's only a deep cut with some bleeding. But in the manga version, Nnoitra is bleeding more excessively, and all three of his left hands are completely cut off.