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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 hand... is a heart.
~ Ulquiorra's last words before his death.

Ulquiorra Cifer is a major antagonist from the anime and 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.

Appearance

Ulquiorra is a slender, yet fairly muscular, male Arrancar of average height with a melancholic appearance. He has fairly short, messy black hair, pale white skin, a black upper lip, and green eyes with small slit-shaped pupils, similar to a cat's. Part of his bangs fall between his eyes, and he has distinctively thick eyebrows. He has teal lines which descend from the lower part of his eyes. His facial expression rarely changes, though he is almost always frowning. He wears typical Arrancar clothes: a white jacket, black sash, and a white hakama. However, his jacket has longer coattails than others, and the collar is higher.

Like most other Arrancar, he possesses remnants of his former life as a Hollow in his appearance. His Hollow hole is located on his sternum, though the hole was initially located on the base of his throat. The remainder of his Hollow mask lies on the top-left side of his head, forming a broken horned helmet. His Espada tattoo lies on the left side of his chest.

As a Hollow, Ulquiorra was roughly the same size, with a full white mask and body, and large black wings mounted on his lower back. His mask covered his entire face, with a line running up the middle that diverged into three near the top of his head, and two long horns sprouting out from the sides of his head at ear level.

Personality

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.

History

Early life

As a Hollow, Ulquiorra felt alone in the world, being white while those around him were black. He wandered Hueco Mundo alone, lamenting his existence, until one day he came across a white tree with many sharp spines. Ulquiorra found it satisfying due to its emptiness and sank into it, destroying part of his mask, finally at peace. An unspecified amount of time later, he was recruited by Sōsuke Aizen into the Espada.

Role in the story

Arrancar arc

Ulquiorra arrives in Karakura Town to gather information on Ichigo Kurosaki. When Yammy Llargo states he is unenthusiastic to be there, Ulquiorra says he cannot complain, as he asked to come along. After Yammy absorbs the souls of the nearby Humans with Gonzui and comments on their bad taste, Ulquiorra asks him why he expected such weak souls to taste good before noting that no one was staring at Yammy like the large Arrancar thought. Ulquiorra mentions they have only come to kill one being, and the others can be left alone. When Yammy admits such a task will be hard, Ulquiorra reveals there are currently only three beings of note with any spiritual strength before being confronted by Yasutora Sado and Orihime Inoue, the former of whom he declares to be "trash" as he allows Yammy to grievously injure him.

Ulquiorra watches as Yammy is prevented from attacking Orihime by her Santen Kesshun and, upon seeing Orihime using her Sōten Kisshun on Sado, deduces that it is not healing, but something like time reversal, which he has never seen before. When Yammy stops Orihime's subsequent attack, Ulquiorra tells him to simply kill her, but he is quickly stopped by the timely arrival of Ichigo. Yammy asks if he is their target, which Ulquiorra confirms before stating Yammy's lack of subtlety caused Ichigo to notice them. When Ichigo cuts off Yammy's arm, Ulquiorra expresses mild surprise. As he watches Ichigo and Yammy fight, he notes Yammy charges into battle rather than read his opponents as he taught the large Arrancar. He is surprised Ichigo can cut through Hierro so easily, and that Ichigo's Reiatsu is so solid despite having only recently gained Bankai. However, he reasons that at his current level, Ichigo is no threat to Aizen. After Ichigo soundly beats Yammy, Ulquiorra notes the latter is struggling and asks if he wants to switch, but Yammy tells him to shut up and proceeds to take out his Zanpakutō, causing Ulquiorra to question whether it is actually necessary to use it against Ichigo.

Ulquiorra watches as Yammy attacks a distracted Ichigo until the latter is saved by the arrival of Kisuke Urahara and Yoruichi Shihōin. After Yammy, effortlessly beaten by Yoruichi, begins to battle Urahara, Ulquiorra steps in to deflect a blast away from Yammy. He strikes Yammy in the stomach with his hand, scolding him for being so reckless, and asks if he knew just who the two he faced are. He states that at Yammy's current level, he will not win, no matter how much he tries. Ulquiorra, opening a Garganta, tells Yammy it is time for them to retreat. When Yoruichi asks if they are running away, Ulquiorra, telling her she is foolish to make such a taunt, notes that if the two of them tried to fight him while protecting the others, it is obvious who would emerge the winner. Ulquiorra, stating his mission is over, says he will tell Aizen the 'fake' Shinigami he is interested in is nothing more than a piece of trash.

Shortly after leaving, Ulquiorra and Yammy, arriving back in Hueco Mundo, are greeted by Sōsuke Aizen and an assembly of Arrancar in order to share their findings from the mission to the Human World. Ulquiorra, using his Solita Vista ability, asks that they all look carefully as it swirls around them, replaying the events of his mission. As Aizen sees for himself, he understands why Ulquiorra chose not to kill Ichigo. As Ulquiorra begins to explain his reasoning, he is interrupted by Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez, who questions his choice to allow Ichigo and his friends to live as, regardless of their threat level, they are their enemies. Grimmjow begins to taunt Yammy, but Ulquiorra, stepping in, ends the building altercation. He explains that the problem is not Ichigo, as what Aizen is observing is not Ichigo in his current state, but his growth rate. Although it is true his growth rate is quite high, it is disproportionately unstable because it is so immense. He states if they were to just leave him alone, he would eventually destroy himself or become one of their pawns. Grimmjow finds the argument pointless, as Ulquiorra could be wrong and he might get powerful enough to get in their way, but Ulquiorra brushes it aside, stating if it comes to that, he would finish him off himself. Despite the argument, Aizen congratulates Ulquiorra on his work in completing the mission.

A month later, Ulquiorra arrives just as Yammy's arm is being reattached. He states it was a good idea to bring Yammy's severed arm back, though the other Arrancar complains that it will rot, as it will take far too long to heal. Yammy states it would be nice if their bodies healed on their own like Ulquiorra's eyeballs do. Ulquiorra states he should just be happy they could reattach it, for if his arm was completely destroyed like Grimmjow's was, he would have been kicked out of the Espada as well. Yammy agrees, and after his arm is fixed, they depart, Ulquiorra telling him Aizen has summoned them. They, showing up just in time, join several other Espada at the creation of an Arrancar. When Ulquiorra asks Aizen what the status of the Hōgyoku is, Aizen states it is on schedule as far as Soul Society is concerned. He explains how he is capable of using it at full power, resulting in the creation of Wonderweiss Margela. When Aizen asks Ulquiorra if he remembers the directive he gave him, Ulquiorra states he does. Aizen, giving him the choice to bring anyone he wants, insists Grimmjow go. Ulquiorra sends Yammy, Wonderweiss, Luppi, and Grimmjow to Karakura Town to act as a distraction to the Shinigami while he goes to capture Orihime. Ulquiorra, ambushing Orihime and her two guards, startles her as he asks why Soul Society would only send two guards. Though he states only two guards are not to his liking, he notes the disabling of the Kōryū is rather convenient for him, as he claims it is not his style to rush a conversation.

After Ulquiorra takes out the two guards with Bala blasts, Orihime tries to heal them. Ulquiorra, amazed at the level of her power, tells her to come with him and not to speak, as her answer will have to be yes, for if she says anything else, he will kill her. He shows her friends engaged in their own fights elsewhere. Ulquiorra explains she is not to speak or ask questions, as she has no rights; they are not negotiating, and it is entirely up to her if her friends die. He reveals Aizen desires her power, and he is under orders to bring her back unharmed. Later, Ulquiorra, arriving just in time to stop Grimmjow from releasing his Zanpakutō, states their mission is accomplished, and multiple Garganta open up to take the Arrancar present back via Negación. As they leave, Ulquiorra notes that within Ichigo's Reiatsu there are traces of a new power he has acquired, but is unsure as to what extent. By threatening her friends' lives, he convinces Orihime to come peacefully, allowing her to say goodbye to one person beforehand. This makes it appear as if she betrayed her friends of her own free will.

Hueco Mundo Arc

Upon arriving in Hueco Mundo, Ulquiorra brings Orihime to Las Noches for an audience with Aizen. He has her display her powers to all Espada assembled by "regenerating" Grimmjow's arm, much to the disbelief of Luppi, and confirms this is the power he spoke of upon his first excursion into the Human World. Ulquiorra is present when Aizen tells the Espada of the intruders. Afterward, Aizen warns the Espada to treat the intruders with caution, as just four of them went into Soul Society and faced the Gotei 13. When Zommari Rureaux notes he is missing one, as there are currently only three intruders, Ulquiorra mentions they are missing Orihime. He sits silently as the other Espada argue until Grimmjow interrupts them by attempting to walk out against Aizen's orders. He, alongside the other Espada, watches as Aizen subdues Grimmjow with his Reiatsu to keep him in line.

Shortly after, Ulquiorra, arriving in Orihime's chambers, informs her that her friends have infiltrated Hueco Mundo. When she asks why, Ulquiorra explains they have come to rescue her, which is the only reason they need. He states that for her such a thing should have no more meaning, because, in both mind and body, she is their comrade. Her wearing the same clothes as the Arrancar signifies that concept. He forces her to acknowledge her mind and body exist for Aizen's will. As Ulquiorra leaves Orihime, he acknowledges she is a girl of strong spirit.

His thoughts are interrupted by Nnoitra Gilga, who asks how he is handling her, explaining he knew Aizen entrusted her care to Ulquiorra. Nnoitra asks how far along he has gotten in "taming" her, but Ulquiorra, ignoring him, walks away, calling him degenerate scum. Undeterred, Nnoitra, using Sonído to move in front of him, asks Ulquiorra to not get so testy, as he is only asking if everything is going well. Ulquiorra cannot comprehend why Nnoitra really cares about something so trivial, but tells him not to worry, as Orihime has been under Aizen's spell even before she arrived in Hueco Mundo. When Nnoitra asks if Aizen used Kyōka Suigetsu as usual, Ulquiorra assures him the situation was not big enough of an issue to warrant its use. He reveals that the moment she was invited there, multiple psychological cages were put in place. She could not say no, as her friends were in danger, and she had 12 hours to say goodbye to only one friend. Nnoitra does not understand, so Ulquiorra further explains she is set to believe they are not the enemy, and therefore she will follow them of her own free will. He makes note that, by allowing her to say goodbye to a friend of her own choosing, it is as though she is a traitor, coming to them of her own free will. Finally understanding, Nnoitra states the plan was well thought out and he would expect nothing less of Aizen, but Ulquiorra, correcting him, states such things are nothing more than a game to Aizen, as no matter what, she cannot escape. Afterward, Ulquiorra arrives as Aizen presents the Hōgyoku to Orihime.

Later, Ulquiorra arrives to confront Ichigo Kurosaki as he and Nel make their way through Las Noches. Ulquiorra, taunting Ichigo, states Rukia Kuchiki has died. Unsure of this, Ichigo tries to leave. When Ulquiorra asks if Ichigo can really leave without killing him, Ichigo says he has no reason to do so. Ulquiorra is perplexed before Ichigo explains Ulquiorra has not harmed any of his friends. Ulquiorra asks Ichigo what he would do if he knew he was the one that kidnapped Orihime. Ichigo, realizing Orihime did not leave of her own free will, attacks Ulquiorra, who finds it odd her friends came while they had doubts. Scolding Ulquiorra for causing Orihime to be branded as a traitor, he releases his Bankai, knowing he must go all out. Ulquiorra is unimpressed, but is shocked to see Ichigo wearing a Hollow mask. Ichigo fires an enhanced Getsuga Tenshō at the Espada. As Ulquiorra blocks the attack with his forearm, Ichigo manages to send him flying through some pillars. As he gathers himself to launch an attack of his own, Ichigo attacks and Ulquiorra, stopping it with his bare hands, is pushed back a good distance. Assuming he has won, Ichigo goes to leave with Nel, only to find Ulquiorra is barely injured. Ulquiorra, disappointed that Ichigo believed he would not be able to stop the blast with both hands, asks Ichigo if that was all of his power. When Ichigo does not respond, Ulquiorra, figuring it is, fires a Cero at Ichigo, sending him flying.

As Ichigo tries to see if Nel is alright, Ulquiorra kicks him further. When Ichigo summons his mask to take the blunt of his Cero, Ulquiorra is impressed by his reaction time. Realizing Ichigo will be unable to use his mask, he asks him to surrender. Refusing, Ichigo stabs Ulquiorra in the shoulder, reasoning that because Ulquiorra is the main Espada, after he finishes him off, everyone else will be simple clean-up.

Ulquiorra looks at him before, tearing his coat, revealing he is merely Espada number 4. When Ichigo, stunned, asks him if he is really only number 4, Ulquiorra states he is the Cuatro Espada, Ulquiorra Cifer. Impaling Ichigo through the chest with his bare hand, he tells him he cannot defeat him, and even if he did, there are three more Espada above him. He concludes there can never be any victory for either him or his friends. As Ichigo lies fatally wounded, Ulquiorra expresses disappointment that he overestimated Ichigo's abilities, as he failed to meet his expectations. He leaves Ichigo, suggesting he retreat if able to, and if not, die; either way, his journey has ended. Returning to Orihime's room in Las Noches, he questions Loly Aivirrne and Menoly Mallia about what took place there, as Orihime is gone and the room is trashed. After discovering Grimmjow has taken Orihime, Ulquiorra tracks them down with ease. Ulquiorra immediately questions what Grimmjow is doing, going out of his way to heal an enemy he has defeated. When it becomes clear he will get no answer, Ulquiorra, stating Aizen has placed Orihime in his care, tells Grimmjow to hand her over. Grimmjow, refusing, attacks, but Ulquiorra easily blocks. Grimmjow, taunting him, fires a Cero, which Ulquiorra blocks. Ulquiorra, appearing above Grimmjow, fires a point blank Cero, which Grimmjow counters with his own, sending both Espada flying. Ulquiorra, emerging from the rubble unscathed, is grabbed from behind by Grimmjow, who throws a portable Caja Negación field into Ulquiorra's Hollow hole, temporarily trapping him in another dimension.

Later, Aizen, leaving Hueco Mundo for the Human world, leaves Las Noches in the control of Ulquiorra, who returns from the other dimension by ripping an opening back into Hueco Mundo. As he awaits Ichigo's arrival, he asks Orihime if she feels afraid now that there is no one left to protect her. She, boldly answering no, states she has confidence in her friends and Ichigo, and she is not fearful because her heart is with them. She elaborates further, detailing how she left to protect them, and though she did not initially understand why they came for her, she can now understand their actions. Ulquiorra, not knowing how she can harbor such feelings, presses her further. He asks her what a heart is, as he hears humans talk of it all the time to the point that it seems a physical concept. He, reaching out to touch the area above her heart, asks where he can find it. Just as he is about to further interrogate her, Ichigo breaks in, prepared to fight. Ulquiorra unsheathes his sword to kill Ichigo in order to protect Las Noches.

When Ichigo tells him to get away from Orihime, Ulquiorra states he has every intention of doing so, as Aizen's orders are to guard Las Noches in his absence and not to kill her. He notes that, unlike her, Ichigo is different, as killing him would be protecting Las Noches, and resolves to destroy him with his sword. Ichigo is surprised, stating he believed he would have to force him to take out his sword, and asks Ulquiorra if he finds him a worthy opponent. Ulquiorra states that, at the very least, he sees him as someone who must be destroyed.

Fake Karakura Town Arc

As the two battle, Ichigo initially remains on the defensive, blocking Ulquiorra's amazingly fast attacks, but eventually he, deciding to go on the offensive, follows the Espada's movements closely enough to catch his arm and land a blow. Although Ulquiorra is barely cut, Ichigo has demonstrated a strength he did not have in their last battle. Undeterred, Ulquiorra, demonstrating his true speed, is blocked by Orihime's Santen Kesshun technique. When Ulquiorra asks her why she chose to help Ichigo, Orihime does not know what to say. As Ulquiorra tries to explain, Ichigo, interrupting, prepares a Getsuga Tenshō, but Ulquiorra tells him that by now he should know it will not work. However, Ichigo wraps the Getsuga around the blade, surprising Ulquiorra. Ulquiorra explains that without his mask on, Ichigo's attacks will do nothing.

When Ichigo notices the presence of Loly and Menoly, who have grabbed Orihime while she stood back from the fight, he advances on them, but Ulquiorra, intercepting him, deflects his Getsuga Tenshō. Telling Loly he was not trying to save her, he continues to stop Ichigo from advancing, saying he must kill him if he wishes to fight anyone else. They are interrupted by the arrival of Yammy. When Yammy states he is there to help, Ulquiorra states he does not need help. Ulquiorra tells him his job is elsewhere, suggesting he either sleep or fight the others, but Yammy refuses. When Yammy asks why Loly and Menoly are there, Ulquiorra, telling him to ask them, continues to fight Ichigo. When Yammy defeats Menoly and Loly, he asks Ulquiorra if he is allowed to kill Orihime next, but they are interrupted by Uryū Ishida, who takes on Yammy.

Ichigo, finally donning his mask, manages to crack Ulquiorra's blade. As Ichigo attacks, Ulquiorra, dodging, counters with a Cero. Surprised to find Ichigo has effortlessly blocked it, Ulquiorra moves to the top of the dome of Las Noches. As Ichigo notices their location, Ulquiorra reveals there are two things forbidden within Las Noches: the first is using the Espada's Gran Rey Cero, and the second is any of the Espada ranked four or above releasing their Zanpakutō, as either has the potential power to destroy the fortress. He proceeds to release his Zanpakutō. As he warns Ichigo to stay alert, he attacks. Although Ichigo defends himself with a Getsuga Tenshō reflexively, the upper-right portion of his mask is destroyed. Ulquiorra, noticing the reflex, says if Ichigo had not done so, his head would be lying at his feet.

Ulquiorra mentions Ichigo's power has increased and he can use his mask longer, but he still easily shattered his mask. He goes to attack Ichigo. When Ichigo dodges, Ulquiorra closes in for a strike. As Ulquiorra promises to show him the true difference in their power, Ichigo unleashes a Getsuga Tenshō, but Ulquiorra is completely unharmed. Ulquiorra states Ichigo's Getsuga Tenshō is similar to his Cero. When Ichigo disagrees, Ulquiorra, noting he has not yet seen it, demonstrates the Espada's fully powered Cero Oscuras. The Cero Oscuras critically injures Ichigo and completely destroys his mask. As Ichigo falls, Ulquiorra tries to get him to surrender. When Ichigo tries to fire a Getsuga Tenshō in defiance, Ulquiorra, losing his calm, destroys part of the area, saying it is useless for Ichigo to keep trying. Sending his opponent flying once more, Ulquiorra, picking Ichigo up by the throat, tells him to just drop his sword and give up, as by now he can see the difference in their strength. An injured Ichigo states he has always known that Ulquiorra was stronger, but nothing he sees will change his mind, and he will defeat him regardless of his strength. Upon listening to Ichigo's reasoning, Ulquiorra, deciding to show Ichigo true despair, activates Resurrección: Segunda Etapa.

Ulquiorra explains he is the only Espada with a second release, which not even Aizen has seen. As Ichigo tries to fight with no fear, Ulquiorra resolves to show him true fear. Flying towards Ichigo at full force, he easily overwhelms him with his speed. Ichigo, going on the defensive, summons his Hollow mask, only for Ulquiorra to shatter it instantly. Ulquiorra expresses his inability to understand Ichigo's resolve, believing it is a Human's "heart", which causes them pain and will result in their deaths. Uryū and Orihime arrive to the top of the dome just in time to see Ulquiorra send a Cero Oscuras through Ichigo's chest.

After Ulquiorra drops Ichigo's limp body, Orihime tries to heal Ichigo, but Ulquiorra says it is no use. Uryū attempts to attack with arrows, but it proves ineffective, and Ulquiorra states he believed Uryū to be the calmest of Ichigo's friends. As they continue to fight, Ulquiorra manages to sever Uryū's left hand. Despite this, Uryū keeps fighting, but is quickly defeated. Orihime, not knowing what to do, begins to panic. As she screams for Ichigo to help, Ichigo's arm begins to move, and his hair begins to grow longer. Ichigo stands, appearing entirely different, wearing a new Hollow mask with long horns. Shocked at his enemy's unexpected revival, and believing Ichigo to be dead, Ulquiorra demands to know who he is. Ichigo, summoning his sword to his hand without touching it, answers with a roar. Believing words to be useless, Ulquiorra fires a Cero Oscuras, but it is countered by Ichigo's own stronger Cero. Ulquiorra refuses to believe a Human could release a Cero, especially one capable of blowing away his own. Ichigo, appearing behind him, effortlessly takes off the Espada's left arm. Ulquiorra, quickly regenerating the arm, states he is the only Arrancar capable of instantly regenerating any non-vital body part. He resorts to using Lanza del Relámpago.

When the attack misses, Ulquiorra explains it is difficult to control. As he prepares a second spear, Ichigo uses Sonído to attack, shocking Ulquiorra. Ichigo throws the detached arm at him, but Ulquiorra, slashing it away, thrusts the spear, but Ichigo catches and breaks it. Ulquiorra is left dumbfounded, allowing Ichigo to slice him down the torso and slam him to the ground. As Ulquiorra states he cannot believe he was defeated by a Human turned Hollow, Ichigo, stepping on Ulquiorra's head, begins charging a Cero. Ulquiorra comments on how Ichigo shows no mercy, something very Hollow-like, but because Ichigo has beaten him, he has no reason to live. Ichigo releases the Cero, creating a vast and powerful explosion on the dome of Las Noches. Ulquiorra survives, but his left arm, both legs, and lower torso are blown away in the blast. Ichigo, tossing his tattered body aside, prepares to impale his throat with his sword. Uryū, stopping him, states Ichigo will no longer be Human if he goes through with such a merciless finish. In retaliation, Ichigo stabs Uryū, and just as he is about to attack Uryū with a Cero, Ulquiorra, having partially regenerated, severs one of Ichigo's horns, causing his Cero to disperse skyward.

The explosion shatters Ichigo's mask and he collapses to the ground. As his body and leg begin to regenerate, Ulquiorra muses that it is merely a front, as his internal organs were decimated by Ichigo's Cero and cannot regenerate. Even so, he believes Ichigo is finally dead. However, the hole in Ichigo's chest completely repairs itself and he awakes, shocking Ulquiorra with his ability to use High-Speed Regeneration. He, removing Zangetsu from Uryū's chest, throws it to the newly awoken Ichigo, demanding for the fight to finish. Ichigo refuses, stating his arm and leg should be cut off as well for the fight to be fair, as it was his inner Hollow who interfered. As Ulquiorra prepares to cut off his arm and leg, his body begins to dissolve into ash, and he realizes he is finished. He tells Ichigo to kill him now, but Ichigo refuses. Ulquiorra, woefully exclaiming Ichigo never does what he wants, admits his interest in humans has increased. Taking one final glance at Orihime, he asks her if she is afraid of him. With a saddened expression, she tells him she is not afraid. In his final thoughts, Ulquiorra ponders what a heart is. Ulquiorra reaches out to Orihime with his hand, but before Orihime can grab hold of it, his hand begins to dissolve into ash. From her gesture, he, finally realizing what a heart is, believes that there in his disintegrated hand is a heart. Ulquiorra fades entirely into the wind.

Quotes

The fact that you only have two escorts is a bit anticlimactic, but having those annoying walls fixed in place suits me just fine, since rushing a conversation isn't really in my nature.
~ Ulquiorra to Orihime Inoue.
Do not ask any questions. Do not say anything. You have no rights. What you hold in your hand is the rope to the guillotine above your friends' necks. Nothing more. Understand, girl. This is not a negotiation, it's an order.
~ Ulquiorra to Orihime.
What would you have me say? 'Don't worry, I'm sure he's still alive'? Ridiculous. I am not here to comfort you. I don't understand: why are you so fixated on life and death? At any rate, your friends will soon be annihilated. So what if that's one step closer? They should have seen this coming from the start. If they couldn't see it coming, the fault lies in their own foolishness. Laughing them off as a group of idiots would be sufficient. Why can't you do that? If it were me, and my friends entered Hueco Mundo without first gauging their strength, I'd be infuriated by their stupidity.
~ Ulquiorra to Orihime.
Even if you rise up a thousand times, there will be no victory for any of you.
~ Ulquiorra to Ichigo Kurosaki
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.
Do not allow yourself to be shaken. Do not weaken your stance. Open your senses. And do not let your guard down for an instant.
~ Ulquiorra to Ichigo
No matter how your appearance and techniques may resemble those of an Arrancar, it is as distant from us as the Earth from the sky. It is an understandable route for humans and Shinigami who wish to obtain power to imitate Hollows. However, it will never allow you to stand upon the same level as Arrancar.
~ Ulquiorra to Ichigo.
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 to Ichigo before transforming into his Segunda Etapa form.
You are a fool, Ichigo Kurosaki. You willingly seek to challenge an opponent so much more powerful than you that it strikes a primal fear into your being. Incomprehensible. If this is the work of the 'heart' that you people speak of, then it is because you possess this 'heart' that you humans bring hurt upon yourself, because you possess this 'heart' that you lose your lives.
~ Ulquiorra to Ichigo.
The greatest ability that I possess is not my offensive capacity but my regeneration. Unlike other Arrancar, who relinquished most of their capacity for high-speed regeneration in exchange for their massive power, I alone retained the capacity to regenerate any part of my body other than my brain and vital organs in an instant.
~ Ulquiorra talking about his greatest ability.
I see. So you show no mercy. Just like a true Hollow. I care not. Defeated by you as I stand, my existence holds no further meaning.
~ Ulquiorra to Ichigo Kurosaki before getting shot point blank by his Cero
Kill me. Make it quick. I no longer have the strength left in me to even walk. If you do not cut me down now, then this will go unsettled for eternity.
~ Ulquiorra begging Ichigo to kill him.
I see now. In the palm of my hand... is a heart.
~ Ulquiorra's last words before his death.


Gallery

Trivia

  • 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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           Bleach-logo.png Villains

Hollows
HexapodusAcidwireShriekerGrand FisherThe Demi-HollowBulbous GMetastaciaRunugangaMenos Forest GuardianZonzainAyonHooleerBattikaroaMichelTapeworm HollowYosuke

Shinigami
Sōsuke AizenGin IchimaruKaname TōsenGanryūRiyanJaiMueBauBeninMaki IchinoseSōjirō KusakaShūsuke AmagaiMakoto KibuneŌko YushimaYachiru UnohanaMayuri Kurotsuchi

Dark Ones
GanryūRiyanJaiMueBauBenin

Bounts
Jin KariyaRyō UtagawaYoshino SōmaHō and BanGō KogaUgakiSawatariMabashiYoshiDolls

Arrancars
Coyote Starrk/Lilynette GingerbuckBaraggan LouisenbairnTier HarribelUlquiorra CiferNnoitra GilgaGrimmjow JaegerjaquezLuppi AntenorZommari RureauxSzayel Aporro GranzAaroniero ArruruerieYammy LlargoDordoni Alessandro Del SocaccioCirucci SanderwicciGantenbainne MosquedaAbirama RedderCharlotte ChuhlhourneFindorr CaliusGgio VegaChoe Neng PowwNirgge ParduocEmilou ApacciFranceska Mila RoseCyan Sung-SunTesra LindocruzShawlong KūfangEdrad LionesNakeem GrindinaYylfordt GranzDi Roy RinkerLumina & VeronaMedazeppiAldegorAisslinger WernarrDemoura ZoddHammerhead Shark ArrancarLoly AivirrneMenisMenoly MalliaPatrosRudbornn CheluteUnnamed Female ArrancarWonderweiss MargelaCloning ArrancarArturo PlateadoRudbornn CheluteGrand FisherYing and Yang

Aizen's Arrancar Army
Leaders: Sōsuke AizenGin IchimaruKaname Tōsen
Espada: Coyote Starrk/Lilynette GingerbuckBaraggan LouisenbairnTier HarribelUlquiorra CiferNnoitra GilgaGrimmjow JaegerjaquezLuppi AntenorZommari RureauxSzayel Aporro GranzAaroniero ArruruerieYammy Llargo
Números: Fracción (Abirama RedderCharlotte ChuhlhourneFindorr CaliusGgio VegaChoe Neng PowwNirgge ParduocEmilou ApacciFranceska Mila RoseCyan Sung-SunTesra LindocruzShawlong KūfangEdrad LionesNakeem GrindinaYylfordt GranzDi Roy RinkerLumina & VeronaMedazeppi)
Exequias: Rudbornn Chelute
Others: • Aisslinger WernarrDemoura ZoddHammerhead Shark ArrancarLoly AivirrneMenoly MalliaWonderweiss MargelaArturo PlateadoAsguiaro EbernLuders Friegen

Kasumiōji Clan & Associates
Gyōkaku KumoiHanza NukuiJinnai DōkoRyū KuzuGenga

Togabito
KokutōShurenTaikonGarogaiGunjōMurakumoShrieker

Zanpakutō Spirits
Ashisogi JizōGegetsuburiGonryōmaruHainekoHōzukimaruHyōrinmaruKaten KyōkotsuKazeshiniMinazukiMuramasaRuri'iro KujakuRyūjin JakkaSenbonzakuraSode no ShirayukiSōgyo no KotowariSuzumebachiTenkenTobiumeWabisukeZabimaruZangetsu

Xcution
Kūgo GinjōShūkurō TsukishimaYukio Hans VorarlbernaJackie TristanGiriko KutsuzawaRiruka Dokugamine

Quincies
Wandenreich: YhwachUryū IshidaJugram HaschwalthQuilge OpieSternritter (Pernida ParnkgjasAskin Nakk le VaarBambietta BasterbineÄs NödtLiltotto LamperdBazz-BCang DuQuilge OpieBG9PePe WaccabradaGerard ValkyrieRobert AccutroneDriscoll BerciMeninas McAllonBerenice GabrielliJerome GuizbattMask de MasculineCandice CatnippNaNaNa NajahkoopGremmy ThoumeauxNianzol WeizolLille BarroLoyd LloydRoyd LloydGiselle GewelleShaz DominoGuenael Lee)

Burn the Witch
Bruno BangnyfeDark Dragons

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