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Ryō Utagawa is one of the Bounts and a villain from the anime TV series Bleach.
Orihime Inoue and Yasutora “Chad” Sado came across Ryō after he’d finished feeding on a human’s soul. However the Bount left before they could fight and captured Yoshino Soma, under Jin Kariya’s orders,
defeating her Doll. Ryō threatened to kill her and she attempted to resummon her Doll, but it didn’t work and he brought her to the Bounts’ mansion, presenting her to Kariya. He later went to feed on human souls when Ichigo Kurosaki, Uryu Ishida, and their friends showed up at the truckyard he was at. Ryō didn’t answer Ichigo’s questions, instead asking how delicious a Shinigami’s soul tasted.
He proceeded to summon his Doll, Fried, and used her to turn many nearby objects into snakes. As they took on the snakes, Ryō noticed that Uryu wasn’t helping them and attacked him, but was intercepted by Ichigo. The Bount noted it taking out the weakest enemy first was natural, then wondered what a Quincy’s soul tasted like.
Uryu then offered to take the place of a human world Ryō was holding hostage, an offer he accepted. The Bount was about to feed on the Quincy’s soul and his friends tried to stop him, but the snake that was restraining Uryu smashed his head on the ground. Ryō tasted the Quincy’s blood, but was forced to release him to defend himself from a fireball sent at him by Yoshino, who disappeared with Uryu. Before Ryō could resume fighting the others, Renji Abarai arrived with Tessai, Jinta, and Ururu, prompting him to retreat. The Bount later asked Maki Ichinose what he thought Kariya’s true objective was. The Shinigami replied that he didn’t know or care and his duty was to follow the Bount leader, not to question him. Ryō asked Ichinose why he let Kariya make his desicisions for him, but the Shingami didn’t answer it. After Gō Koga captured Yoshino and Uryu, Ryō threw Yoshino into a cell,
telling her Kariya wasn’t forgiving her actions anymore. He taunted her and told her that she shouldn’t summon her doll, since it would kill her. Ryō then went to Kariya and asked if he wanted to see the Quincy, which his leader said yes to. As they headed to the room where Uryu was being held, Ryō asked if he should begin their plan. Kariya told him not yet and his subordinate asked what he was waiting for, saying he couldn’t understand it. The Bount leader replied that their memories have become dull over the years and he was now seeing the world in color. Ryō said he understood, but Kariya angrily replied that he didn’t and later as Kariya was talking with Uryu, Ryō looked on with the other Bounts.
When Ichigo, Rukia, Ririn, Kurodo, and Noba arrived in the entrance hall of the mansion, the Bounts appeared to confront them. After Kariya and Ichigo talked with each other,
Ryō stepped forward, asking why they looked so surprised to see him and if it was because they were afraid of him. When Rukia, Ririn, Kurodo, and Noba tried to leave to find Uryu,
Ryō summoned Fried and sent his snakes to attack them, but Ichigo deflected them away. The four managed to get away and the Bount leapt down to confront him as the Shinigami looked around, thinking he would have to fight seven Bounts at once. Ryō said the Bounts were independent, not fighting in a group and that he was going to fight Ichigo himself. To prove that, the Bount asked Kariya to remove his Doll summoning crest, which would leave him powerless. The leader did so, putting the crest on the ground and told Ryō to take his time. His subordinate said that if any of the other Bount attacked Ichigo, he could attack Kariya without hesitation. Ichigo replied that he didn’t know what Ryō was doing, but he was going to cut him down. The Bount began attacking with Fried, noting that the Shinigami was full of openings, as his snakes assaulted him. One of them wrapped around Ichigo’s leg and Ryō formed his Doll into a blade form, then attacked Ichigo. The Shinigami blocked and they continued to clash with Ichigo eventually using
Shunpo to slash the Bount. Ryō complimented his skill, before asking if Fried was ready, then said it was over and activated his Doll’s Snake Net power. As Ichigo found himself unable to stand anywhere without being attacked, Ryō explained what the technique was and said the Shinigami couldn’t escape. Pillars of snakes shot up wherever Ichigo stood as the Bount explained that the Snake Net was like sensory reflex. Ryō went on to say that even if the Shinigami used Shunpo to get near him, Fried would get him first. Ichigo found himself unable to escape the snakes and eventually they piled onto him, slamming him into a wall. Ryō mockingly apologized for damaging the mansion, then asked if he should go after the other intruders. Kariya told him to just let Ichinose take care of them when suddenly Ichigo got back to his feet, saying he had better deal with them so he could go help Rukia. Ryō asked him what he could do in his state, but the Shinigami said his attacks weren’t as strong as he thought. The Bount said he’d like to say Ichigo using his spiritual energy for protection was impressive,
but he couldn’t escape Fried’s attacks. Ryō went on to say he would crush the Shinigami with his power and unleashed his Snake Net again. However Ichigo countered with his Getsuga Tensho, easily overcoming the snakes and Kariya complimented him on doing so. Suddenly Ryō made Fried steal his master’s Doll summoning crest and the Bount leader asked him what he was doing. He stated that he was going to be the new Bount leader and when the other Bounts questioned him about doing so, Ryō asked if Kariya’s methods were any good. He then stated that his former master was able to manipulate them because he had power, but now he had his crest. Noting he didn’t think it would be so easy to steal it, Ryō explained to Ichigo the few Bounts who wanted to move to a higher stage, a new leader was required. He went on to say he was more suitable to the task, but Kariya interrupted, saying it was impossible for him. Ryō angrily told him to stop acting so powerful, since he had his crest, but the Bount leader asked what his point was. The traitor angrily said he had his source of power, but Kariya asked why he was so flustered.
Ryō snarled that he was the one flustered, repeating he has his crest, but the Bount leader asked why does he continuously tell him about it. The traitor angrily sent Fried to attack him, but Kariya blocked it much to Ryō’s shock since only a Doll could stop another Doll’s attack. Suddenly Ichinose appeared to protect his master and Ryō sent snakes to attack him, telling him not to get in the way. However the Shinigami disappeared and struck down the traitor.
Like all Bounts, Ryō can feed on human souls to grant himself immortality and special powers. Also like other Bounts, his primary weapon is his Doll, Fried, which takes the form of a small gold pocket watch when sealed. When Ryō releases Fried, she takes the form of a large gold snake that he primarily wields as a whip, but can form into a sword like weapon and a shield.
By striking surfaces with it, the substance forms into a snake, which Ryō can control and use to attack or ensnare his enemies as well as defend himself. When they are destroyed, they return to whatever substance they were originally. Fried’s most powerful ability is Snake Net, where Ryō swings her all around an area to create seals everywhere. Whenever a person touches somewhere in that area, a seal appears from which pillars of snakes emerge to attack that person. It can react instantly to anything the opponent does, narrowing down what they can do.
- The name of Ryō’s Doll is German for “protection”, a reference to her ability to prevent the opponent from getting near him with her Snake Net technique.
- He was apparently Kariya's right hand before he betrayed him.