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|“||Do you understand what I am telling you? Using this ability, I am able to impregnate myself into my enemies, and thus I can be ever reborn into a new body. Just as the phoenix, the immortal bird, engulfs itself in flames once it reaches old age and is reborn, its life begun anew, from the midst of those flames. Do you realize now? Immortality. This is its most absolute form. One does not attempt to escape death, but accepts it as one's due, and allows life's cycle to continue, not allowing that death to bring an end to one's own existence. Eternally repeating that cycle of death and rebirth, an existence such as this... truly, mine is what may be called a "perfect existence"! For one such as me, the concept of "death" as an end to life simply holds no meaning. You may kill me, but in defiance of the finality of death, I will simply arise once more. Now do you understand? It is impossible for you to truly kill me. As such, you have no means to achieve victory in this battle.||„|
|~ Szayel Aporro Granz to Mayuri Kurotsuchi regarding Gabriel.|
He was voiced by Kōsuke Toriumi in Japanese and by Hank Matthews and Benjamin Diskin in English.
At some point in the past, Szayel was demoted from the Espada and helped Nnoitra Gilga (then the 8th Espada) launch an attack on Nelliel Tu Odelschwanck, the 3rd Espada at the time. Szayel helped Nnoitra capture her two Fracción. Pesche Guatiche and Dondochakka Birstanne to draw her into a trap. He then used a device that created an illusion of Nnoitra, which distracted Nelliel, allowing the 8th Espada to attack her from behind. The attack left a wound on her head, cracked her Hollow Mask remnants, and knocked her unconscious. As Nnoitra picked up Nelliel's body, Szayel came forward, asking if there was anything else he could do to help. The 8th Espada told him his job was done, causing Szayel to ask him if he needed to be so cold and say he should at least be allowed to see the end. Nnoitra threw Nelliel off the side of Las Noches and told Szayel they were going, but he said that he'd appreciate if the 8th Espada lost the presumptuous tone. Nnoitra reminded him that he wasn't an Espada now, but Szayel reminded him that if it weren't for his help, he wouldn't have had the opportunity to attack Nelliel. Nnoitra looked back down at the former 3rd Espada and her Fracción and was surprised to see that she'd reverted into a child. Szayel said he had not anticipated this and came to the conclusion that her spirit energy was leaking out of her cracked mask, making her spiritual body shrink. At some point after this, Szayel regained his place amongst the Espada.
Invasion of Hueco Mundo
Szayel, along with the rest of Espada, went to a meeting called by Aizen. At the meeting they were told about the arrival of Ichigo Kurosaki, Uryu Ishida, and Yasutora Sado who'd come to save Orihime Inoue. After the Espada were shown an image of the intruders, Szayel said he didn't see what all the fuss was about and asked what the danger was. Aizen went on to say that while they shouldn't underestimate the three, the trio couldn't stand up to them, telling the Espada just to head back to their quarters and wait. Soon after this, Aizen was told by a messenger that Exequias had finished off Dordoni Alessandro Del Socaccio. He demanded to know who ordered the Exequias to attack Ichigo when Szayel appeared at his door and told him he was responsible.
The 8th Espada got to his knees and asked for forgiveness, which Aizen gave him. He then asked Szayel if Dordoni's body benefited his research and the Arrancar said it had, before leaving.
Later, Renji Abarai and Dondochakka Birstanne fell into a pit trap that dropped them right in front of Szayel. He explained he set a number of traps in Las Noches and was surprised that they fell for the simplest one. Szayel proceeded to introduce himself, saying he was the 8th Espada and Dondochakka fell on Renji, complaining about the hole until he noticed the Espada standing there. The Arrancar said that Szayel was the top researcher and weapons development specialist in Hueco Mundo and Renji asked if the explanation was for him. Dondochakka was surprised to realize he was sitting on the Shinigami and the two began arguing, until Szayel told them to stop talking.
Renji looked at him angrily and the 8th Espada told him to calm down, saying that despite being an Espada, he wasn't very skilled in combat. Szayel began explaining more about who he was, but Renji interrupted, saying he didn't want to hear his life story. The Shinigami proceeded to activate his Bankai, only for it to immediately vanish. The 8th Espada told him that he knew everything about his Bankai, which allowed him to create a device to suppress it that was in the room they were in. Renji was confused as only someone who'd fought him would've seen his Bankai and Szayel explained that Yylfordt Granz was his brother.
Renji was shocked and the 8th Espada explained he wasn't fighting him for revenge, revealing he'd placed spirit recording insects on Yylfordt, so he could know everything his brother knew. Telling Renji he had no chance of winning, Szayel unsheathed his Zanpakuto and said he was excited to fight a Bankai user, asking the Shinigami to keep his body as intact as possible.
After they fought each other for a while, two of Szayel's Fracción, Lumina and Verona, ran into the room, crying that Aaroniero Arruruerie had been killed. Szayel said he was so preoccupied with the fight, he hadn't noticed and told Renji that Rukia and Aaroniero had killed each other. This made the Shinigami angrily attack Szayel, but he blocked easily, saying that the lieutenant couldn't beat him with just his Shikai.
However, Renji put more force into the attack, which lightly injured the 8th Espada and swung at him again. But Szayel stepped on it as it hit the ground, breaking a small part off and threw it to Lumina and Verona to play with. He then told Renji he'd lost interest in his power and sent out the rest of his Fracción to deal with him, explaining he'd modified each of them. Medazeppi attacked Renji and as the two fought, Lumina and Verona wanted to join in, but Szayel told them not interfere, saying he wanted a good epilogue to the battle. After Renji succeeded in cutting Medazeppi's hand, the 8th Espada said that he'd done well surviving this far, but now there was no controlling his Fracción anymore. Medazeppi began smashing everything around him in a rage with Renji barely dodging and Szayel noted it was a shame the Shinimgai's body wouldn't be in perfect condition after this. Suddenly Medazeppi was attacked and killed, by Uryu Ishida, who'd sensed the energy from the fight.
A Quincy Joins the Fight
The Fracción began cursing Uryu for killing Medazeppi, but Szayel yelled at them to stop talking since his new guest wanted to say something. The Quincy thanked him for his consideration, then asked if he was an Espada with the Arrancar telling him his name and rank. Uryu didn't believe Szayel was a threat due to his lower rank, but he retorted that he was still stronger than him, then asked him who he was. He revealed was a Quincy and the 8th Espada laughed, saying that he was very lucky to meet a Bankai user and a Quincy in one day. Szayel then stated if he were Yammy Llargo, he'd be shouting “suerte”, when suddenly Uryu got behind him, saying he felt like shouting “suerte” since he was fighting an opponent full of openings. He shot Szayel through the chest, making him fall to his knees but as his Fracción went to help him, the projectile disappeared and he laughed madly again.
The 8th Espada said Uryu was foolish to think the attack worked and revealed he knew about his fight with Cirucci Sanderwicci, allowing him to analyze the Quincy's abilities. Szayel's Fracción attacked Uryu but Renji protected him, and began putting a plan into action. The 8th Espada told his Fracción not to get involved since he was interested to see what they could do in their current state. Renji swung his Zanpakuto around his head, then swung it at Szayel, who stated this was just brute force and deflected it.
However the lieutenant ran up to the 8th Espada, grabbing him by the neck and surrounding them both with his Zanpakuto, trapping them. Renji admitted that he had no chance of winning with his current power, but at such a close range, a Kido would harm even Szayel and proceeded to use Shakkaho, generating an enormous explosion. Renji collapsed and the 8th Espada fell back, becoming angry that a Shinigami managed to outwit him. However Uryu appeared behind Szayel, saying that he had a habit of being just far enough from his opponent that he couldn't be attacked.
The 8th Espada replied that Uryu had a habit of attacking people from behind, then asked the Quincy if he thought he'd won, only for him to reply he had. Five of his Steele Schneider attacks surrounded Szayel, holding him in place and he said this was impossible, since the energy of his weapon should've been sealed. Uryu just replied that there were things in the world even he didn't know and noted their end.
The Quincy proceeded to pour a drop of spiritual energy from his Ginto, activating Sprenger, and enveloping Szayel in an explosion. As the dust cleared, the 8th Espada was shown to be alive, though badly injured and Uryu told him he was shocked that he was still on his feet.
Szayel explained that he had analyzed his spirit energy from before, which let him minimize the damage. He picked up Lumina and proceeded to devour him, healing his injuries and when Verona started to cry, Szayel angrily quieted him by saying he'd make a new one. The 8th Espada explained that his Fracción were unique in that he could feed on them to heal his injuries. Uryu called him a monster, but Szayel said he preferred being called a genius and began walking away. The Quincy asked what he was doing and the 8th Espada said he was going to change clothes, then told them to think of a plan, since he'd be thinking of one himself.
Beginning the Second Act
Uryu, Renji, Pesche, and Dondochakka attempted to run from the battle, only to end up in the same room as before. Szayel, now wearing a change of clothes, asked if they had a nice walk, then said it was time to begin the second act and explained that he could control the corridors, so that they led back to his room. The 8th Espada commented that their expressions made it look like they thought this was a bad joke, but then said a bad joke was inferior beings forcing him to use his full power. Szayel proceeded to release his Zanpakuto and after completing his transformation, he said the second act could now begin, but corrected himself, saying the second act was ending.
Szayel released black liquid from his back, which spread around the room, causing clones of his enemies to form upon touching them. The 8th Espada explained that the clones had all their abilities, then told them he'd removed the limiters on their powers that were in the room. Szayel proceeded to tell them to fight all out with Uryu calling this a truly bad joke and they engaged their duplicates. However they began getting confused on who was who and Uryu pointed out the differences between them and their clones. His and Renji's clones had different shades of skin color around their eyes and different amounts of hair, the Dondochakka clone had different types of dots on the back, and the Pesche clone had pants. Renji said it was a pretty big mistake for Szayel, but he just said he did that on purpose, because he didn't like the any of the styles they had. The Shinigami decided to he had to get out of the room, so he thought of a plan and activated his Bankai. This in turn made the Renji clones do the same, destroying the room in the process and the Shinigami explained he did this on his own. Szayel came towards them, saying whoever had to report this to Aizen wouldn't be happy and got rid of all the clones, saying he was going to show them the true power of his Resurrección.
Uryu and Renji attacked Szayel, but two large Hollows, which had been acting as a throne for the Arrancar, protected him from the attacks. The 8th Espada said that he was going to force them to participate and one of his wing-like appendages enveloped Uryu, then spat him back out. Szayel thanked him for the meal and one of the bulbs on his wing burst, releasing a doll of the Quincy. The 8th Espada held it up, stating that this would now be Uryu and touched the doll's head, which Uryu felt.
He proceeded to flick it in the back of the head, slightly injuring the Quincy and decided to rip it in two next. Renji begged him not to, but Szayel ignored him and tore the doll in half, only for it to not have any effect. The 8th Espada taunted them for thinking something would happen and showed them he did that to get to the body parts inside the doll. Szayel took out a piece with “stomach” written on it and broke it, causing Uryu's stomach to be destroyed as well and making him cough up blood. Renji angrily attacked the 8th Espada for doing that, only to be swallowed by one of his wings as well. Szayel noted everyone kept getting surprised by such a small thing and went on to say humans, Shinigami, and Quincies were all the same and if there was a reason for Aizen to destroy them, it was their inferiority. Szayel then created a doll of Renji as well and told him he should just give up, only for Renji to charge at him. The 8th Espada just pulled the part representing his left Achilles tendon out of the doll and destroyed it, making the Shinigami collapse. Szayel decided to continue destroying Renji's tendons and told him not to move as he destroyed another part. This made the Shinigami scream in pain and the 8th Espada said he shouldn't move because he didn't want to cause them too much pain.
However Pesche attacked Szayel, making him drop the dolls and allowing him to grab them. Dondochakka then released Bawabawa from his mouth and Pesche jumped on top of him, telling the 8th Espada they didn't have time to deal with him. Szayel told Pesche his attitude was unfitting for a Fracción, but was caught off-guard by the Arrancar making a cut across his arm. He explained that his Zanpakuto, Última, was made from overflowing spirit particles and told Uryu it was just like his weapon. The Quincy didn't see the similarity and the two started arguing, giving Szayel time to decide to have his minions take care of Bawabawa, while he dealt with Pesche and Dondochakka. His minions went to attack, only to be easily defeated by Dondochakka and Pesche explained to Szayel he'd made one major error. That was looking down on them, because he'd beaten them before and he went on to say they were worlds above the level they were last time.
The two then unleashed their Cero Sincrético, an attack that combined both their Ceros into one blast. However Szayel overcame the attack and the two tried to figure out why it didn't work. The 8th Espada explained that they'd given him too much time and since they were Nelliel's Fracción, he was able to easily analyze their spirit energy. Szayel went on to explain that though their Cero Sincrético was powerful, he'd know that from the beginning and they lost because they hadn't used it before. The 8th Espada decided that they had nothing left to throw at him and that it was time to end their battle.
Battle with Kurotsuchi
All of a sudden Captain Mayuri Kurotsuchi showed up and Szayel asked him who he was, but the captain didn't feel he needed to answer. He was more excited about seeing the Arrancar and Espada and eventually Uryu asked him what he was doing there. Mayuri pretended not to remember “a low grade specimen” like him and Szayel told them to stop arguing, asking the captain once again who he was. However the 8th Espada decided he didn't want to hear the answer, saying Mayuri was just someone else to be erased by him. But the captain said not hearing Szayel's name would prove problematic, since when he put the Arrancar in specimen jars, he wouldn't be able to label them.
This just made the 8th Espada laugh and they began fighting, with Szayel succeeding in creating a doll of Mayuri. He eventually got the captain down to the point where he was breathing heavily and seemingly losing. The 8th Espada began destroying body parts, saying that it was sad a captain couldn't do anything to resist his powers.
Mayuri began coughing up blood and seemingly died as Szayel destroyed one last part, then laughed saying that that had been so easy it had been boring.
However the captain suddenly got back to his feet, saying “gotcha” as if he were completely unaffected. Szayel began destroying more body parts, only for it to have no effect on Mayuri, and became increasingly frustrated. Finally the 8th Espada angrily threw the doll to the ground and began stepping on all the remaining parts in a rage, only for it to still do nothing. Szayel angrily demanded to know what ability Mayuri had that protected him, but he said he had no such ability. The captain revealed that he had placed surveillance bacteria on Uryu, which let him watch his fight with Szayel. Thus he'd know about the 8th Espada's abilities and shortly before leaving the Soul Society, he'd created dummy body parts to protect his real ones. Szayel stated that couldn't be possible since he'd demonstrated that ability less than an hour ago, but Mayuri pointed out if it weren't true, he wouldn't be standing here. Szayel then grabbed Nemu, Mayuri's lieutenant, and called the captain foolish for letting his subordinate get caught. However the lieutenant said that just because the 8th Espada caught her, it didn't mean he could use her as a hostage.
Szayel told her to shut up and Mayuri noted he'd become annoyed with everyone becoming so worked up. The captain proceeded to release his Bankai, creating Konjiki Ashisogi Jizo, which began releasing poisoned gas into the air. It began to affect Szayel, who tried to think of a way to counter it only for the Bankai to crush him. As it lifted its head, Renji realized it was eating the 8th Espada, but after Mayuri gave them the antidote to his Bankai's poison, Nemu began screaming in pain.
They began to hear Szayel speaking, saying it would take much more than that to defeat him. The 8th Espada told them to bear witness to his greatest power, Gabriel, which allowed him to be reborn within another being and leave that person an empty shell. Szayel then forced his way out of Nemu's body, noting that the only downside to his ability was that it ruined his hair. The 8th Espada explained that Gabriel made him able to constantly resurrect himself making him the perfect being with death as just a part of his life cycle. Szayel went on to say that he couldn't win no matter what he did and Mayuri walked past him, going to Nemu. The 8th Espada thought the captain was upset by the death of his subordinate, but the Shinigami just turned back to him smiling and saying he had an interesting ability. Mayuri then mockingly asked if that was all he could do, but Szayel then made Konjiki Ashisogi Jizo attack the captain. The 8th Espada proceeded to explain that when the Bankai ate him, he was able to take control of its nerves and gaining complete control over it. However it suddenly exploded and Mayuri explained that he'd made it so his Zanpakuto would blow up in case it was ever used against him. The captain then stated it was time to test his new drug and Szayel took a defensive stance, only for Mayuri to tell him it had already taken effect. Suddenly everything began slowing down to the 8th Espada, eventually reaching the point he couldn't understand what Mayuri was saying. The captain went on to explain that he kept several different drugs stored in Nemu's body in case she was eaten or her body was invaded. The one affecting Szayel was one he called the superhuman drug, which made everything go incredibly slow for the one affected with one second feeling like a century.
It also made Szayel's movements incredibly slow and as Mayuri brought his blade closer to him, he managed to slowly lift his hand in an attempt to protect himself. The captain then drove his sword through Szayel's hand, saying the next few seconds would feel like a century. The 8th Espada stood there, experiencing an eternity of time and wondered how long it would be before the blade finally pierced his heart. Szayel begged for his death to come quick, when the Zanpakuto finally went into his heart, killing him.
Descent into Hell
After dying, Szayel fell into Hell, landing alongside Aaroniero and said he'd noticed someone falling with him. He noted how strong the 9th Espada's head tank was and he asked if the 8th Espada hoped it would break. Szayel said that he'd only meant if it had cracked, he could've studied the liquid inside. Angered, Aaroniero said it was convenient Aizen wasn't there and prepared to attack the 8th Espada with Glotonería. Szayel told him to wait, saying that they figure out where they were together, instead of killing each other. Aaroniero said he didn't really care and that he'd investigate on his own, but Szayel reminded the 9th Espada that he had the higher Espada number. However a man interrupted them, telling them that they were in Hell and Aaroniero demanded that he come down and explain things to them. The man told them they were already dead and though the 9th Espada didn't understand, Szayel remembered dying. He went to attack the man, demanding to know if there was a way back to Hueco Mundo and the man said there was none.
Szayel said he'd better not be hiding anything when three other beings appeared him and the man introduced himself as Shuren, saying they had to serve him to survive Hell. He introduced the others as Taikon, Gonjo, and Garogai and ordered them to attack the two Espada.
Aaroniero and Szayel entered their Resurrección forms with Szayel firing his Gran Ray Cero at Shuren, only for him to dodge. He asked if that was the power of an Espada's Cero, noting that it was disappointing, and said that he had no use for the two. Szayel and Aaroniero were quickly defeated with Shuren saying they didn't have the power to open it (The gate of Hell).
Bleach: Spirits Are Forever With You
In the novel Bleach: Spirits Are Forever With You, zSayel is revealed to have been Espada 0 in the past, having possessed a Resurrecion Segunda Etapa. He split himself into his current incarnation and his brother in order to get better control over himself.
A clone of him named Cien Granz (who is Arrancar 100) appears as one of the main antagonists alongside Azashiro Kenpachi and Roka Paramia. Cien regains Szayel's power from when he was Espada 0. It is said that while only showing of 30% of his Reiatsu, he possess more than Espada 0 Yammy.
Szayel has the manner of a meticulous scientist and unlike the other Espada, he is rather narcissistic, pretentious, and flamboyant. He is quite sadistic and cruel, so he often makes disturbing comments about his enemies, and viewing other beings as research material. Szayel looks down on any beings that are not Hollows, hoping that one day Aizen will wipe all of them out. He has a habit of toying with his foes and views himself as somewhat of an actor with each battle being a performance. Szayel also calls himself the perfect being due to his Gabriel power, thus thinking of himself as truly immortal. He also didn't seem to have a good relationship with his brother, referring to Yylfordt's death at Renji's hands as breaking a bunch of parasites.
Powers and Abilities
As one of the Espada, Szayel possesses great spiritual power and is a master scientist and inventor, developing numerous devices, weapons, and traps in battle. He also has numerous ways of analyzing his enemies' powers, then finding a way to counter or nullify them.
Szayel possesses great strength despite his build and though he states he isn't very skilled in combat, he is a skilled swordsman. He also possesses the ability to use Hierro, a technique that protects his body with his spiritual energy, Gran Ray Cero, an Espada exclusive version of the Cero, a powerful energy blast, and Sonído, another technique that lets him move quite fast. Szayel has also enhanced his Fracción before they were transformed into Arrancar, making it so he can devour them to heal himself. Like all Arrancar, Szayel is able to enter his Resurrección form by releasing his Zanpakuto, Forniacarás, with the release command, “Sip”. When he does so, he gains an increase in power and becomes able to send out black liquid from his back, that creates clones of beings by touching them. These clones have all the same powers as the original person and multiply when defeated and Szayel can alter the appearances of these clones. He is also able to envelop people into the wing like appendages on his back, then spit them out to produce a doll of them, which functions somewhat like a voodoo doll. Szayel can open up this doll, though with no effect to the original person, and destroy the small objects representing their body parts to destroy the original ones in their bodies, bringing them down from the inside out. Szayel is also able to take control of beings when he enters their bodies (such as getting eaten by them), by taking control of their nervous systems. His last ability is Gabriel, which allows Szayel to be reborn by placing a portion of himself in a person through physical contact, then force his way out of the host, usually killing them in the process. He emerges in a sort of cocoon, maturing into his full self in seconds and takes great pride in this power, comparing himself to a phoenix.
- The aspect of death Szayel represents is Madness.
- Szayel has appeared in a few Bleach video games as a playable character.
- In both the anime and manga, when Szayel reached out his hand while under the affect of the superhuman drug, it was his left hand. However it was shown that the hand stabbed by Mayuri was his right.
- Szayel's abilities in Resurrección form all seem parasitic in nature.
- When Szayel uses his doll creation ability, the objects representing the body parts have the name of what they represent written on them in Spanish.
- Szayel can be considered as the Espada counterpart of his archenemy Mayuri Kurotsuchi.
- The name of Szayel's Zanpakuto, Fornicarás, is "You Will Fornicate" in Spanish and "Lewd Concubine" in Japanese. In the English version of the manga and anime, its name was changed to La Lujuriosa, which is Spanish for "The Lustful".
- There are some differences from manga to anime with Szayel:
- In the manga, Szayel literally ate his Fracción, while in the anime, he turns them into glowing purple orbs.
- When Szayel gets shot by Uyru's arrow. In the manga version, Szayel gets stabbed in the neck, but in the anime, a shadow covers Szayel and the arrow pierces him in the stomach.
- When Szayel uses his technique "Gabriel", which allows him to be reborn, on Nemu. In the anime, a ball comes out of Nemu's mouth and transforms into Szayel. In the manga, Szayel directly comes out of Nemu's mouth.