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Villain Overview

Hearts, you say? You humans are always so quick to speak of such things. As though you carry your hearts in the very palms of your hands. But this eye of mine perceives all. There is nothing that it overlooks. If this eye cannot see a thing, then it does not exist. That is the assumption under which I have always fought. What is this "heart"? If I tear open that chest of yours, will I see it there? If I smash open that skull of yours, will I see it there?
~ Ulquiorra Cifer to Orihime Inoue.
Your words are those of a man who knows not true despair. If you know it not, then allow me to teach you. This is the face of true despair.
~ Ulquiorra Cifer to Ichigo Kurosaki
I see now. In the palm of my a heart.
~ Ulquiorra Cifer's last words

Ulquiorra Cifer is a major antagonist from the anima/manga series Bleach. He is an Arrancar that served as the 4th Espada in Aizen's army.

Ulquiorra is very unique among the Arrancars in which he displays signs of nihilism and often questions his own existence. As a result, he can come across being emotionless and display little to no regard for any form of life.

He was voiced by Daisuke Namikawa in the Japanese version of the anime, and by Tony Oliver in the English dubbed version of the anime.


Ulquiorra is an extremely cold and callous individual with a very brooding and indifferent attitude, willing to kill both enemies and comrades that get in his way. He refers to anyone he finds uninteresting as trash, fully expendable but is not extremely violent unlike other Espada. Ulquiorra does not believe in human emotions, which he calls the "heart" and reasons if he can't see it, it doesn't exist. His unfriendly attitude lets him stay completely calm and he is never easily surprised or caught off guard. Ulquiorra doesn't comprehend a human's trait of fighting even against all odds as seen when he angrily shouted at Ichigo "that continuing to fight is pointless".

He is also shown to have an extremely knowledgeable and cunning personality, demonstrating the ability to easily figure out how a person's powers work. Ulquiorra seems somewhat demanding as well, seen when he made Orihime eat a meal brought to her, even threatening to force food down her throat or strap her down and feed her via IV. This shows that while Ulquiorra doesn't like getting his hands dirty, he's capable of doing inhumane things without any remorse. Unlike most other Arrancar, he accepted death, while most others died cursing their enemies or showing fear of death. Ulquiorra also very rarely changes his facial expression, keeping a very melancholic expression most of the time.

Powers and Abilities

Ulquiorra's Resurrección Murciélago.

Ulquiorra possesses an enormous amount of spiritual power to the point that he is forbidden to release his Zanpakuto in Las Noches. He is also extremely skilled at hand-to-hand fighting, as well as swordsmanship, though he doesn't engage in it often. Ulquiorra possesses a number of abilities including Sonído, an Arrancar technique that lets him move extremely fast, which he can use on a master level, the ability to fire a Cero, a powerful energy blast, from his index finger, a powerful Hierro, an Arrancar technique that makes his skin strong enough to block attacks, Pesquisa, an ability that lets him sense spiritual energy, Bala, a concentrated shot of spirit energy that he shoots from his hand, and Garganta generation, a portal that lets him move to and from Hueco Mundo, which he can uniquely use to broadcast images. Ulquiorra also possesses high-speed regeneration, the ability to show others what he has seen by crushing one of his eyes, and great intellect, able to understand any situation he comes up against that.

Ulquiorra's 2nd form, Segunda Etapa.

Like all Arrancar, Ulquiorra is able to enter his Resurrección form by releasing his Zanpakuto, Murciélago with the release command "Enclose". In this form, he becomes even more powerful and gains the ability to generate energy javelins, which he can throw or wield as melee weapons, and an enhanced Hierro and speed. This form also lets Ulquiorra use his Cero Oscuras, a black Cero that is a good deal stronger than a normal one.

Unlike most other Arrancar, Ulquiorra can transform into a second release form, called Segunda Etapa, which increases his spiritual power to overwhelming levels. His spiritual energy also changes in nature, causing anyone around him to feel great despair. When transforming, his body is covered with a lot of fur, his clothes disappear, his hollow hole grows exponentially, the marks on his cheeks evolve and a small line appears above each of his eyes. Uryu Ishida has even described it as so dense and heavy, that it could hardly be classified as spiritual energy.

Ulquiorra also gains a tail that he can use in combat to lift or strangle someone and the ability to create a Lanza del Relámpago, a more powerful version of the javelins he created before that can explode when he throws it, generating an explosion that makes Las Noches look small in comparison. Ulquiorra can use them in rapid succession but he has trouble controlling their trajectory.



  • Ulquiorra was voted 10th on a Bleach character popularity poll, receiving 3751 votes.
  • His theme song is "Moonshield" from the album, "The Jester Race" by the group "In Flames".
  • Ulquiorra's first appearance in the manga differs a good deal from his later ones. He was portrayed with thinner eyelashes, no black borders on his coat, a higher Hollow Hole, a longer Hollow Mask remnant with more of a crack, and shorter hair and he made different facial expressions more.
  • Fans voted Ulquiorra's death scene to be the most impactful of the year and it was played in Jump Festa 2009 with Tite Kubo present.
  • He had dark colored nails in the manga, but in the anime they were normal.
  • The aspect of death Ulquiorra represents is Emptiness.
  • His fight with Ichigo came second in a best bout poll.
  • The name of Ulquiorra's Zanpakuto, Murciélago, is "Bat" in Spanish and "Black Winged Great Demon" in Japanese, a reference to the large black bat wings he gains in Resurrección form.
  • The name of Ulquiorra's second release form is Spanish for the "Second Despair".
  • He is considered one of Ichigo's main Arrancar rivals.
  • Ulquiorra has appeared in a number of Bleach video games such as some of the Heat the Soul series, Soul Carnival 2, and Shattered Blade.


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