* Spirit: Voiced by: Daisuke Hirakawa
Byakuya Kuchiki's zanpakutō is Senbonzakura (千本桜?, literally "thousand cherry blossoms"). Its shikai is triggered by the command "scatter" (散れ, chire?). In the English manga the phrase is translated inconsistently; at the start of volume fourteen it is translated as "die", though later in the same volume "scatter" is used instead. When manifested in the anime Zanpakutō Unknown Tales arc, Senbonzakura resembles a masked man in samurai armor with a half-cherry blossom decoration on his helmet.
In its shikai, Senbonzakura's blade separates into thousands of slender, petal-like blades. The release can be negated before it completes, such as when Yoruichi Shihouin wrapped the blade in cloth during Byakuya's short battle with Ichigo. While the blades are too small to see normally, they reflect light in such a way as to appear as cherry blossom petals. Byakuya can control the blades at will, allowing him to shred opponents at a distance and break through almost any defense. While Byakuya can control the blades with his mind alone, using his hands allows him to do so more effectively, making the blades move twice as fast.
Senbonzakura's bankai, senkei form.
Byakuya's bankai, named Senbonzakura Kageyoshi (千本桜景厳?, literally "Vibrant Display of a Thousand Cherry Blossoms"), is essentially a much larger version of Senbonzakura's shikai. To activate it, Byakuya drops his sword. The sword passes through the ground and two rows of giant blades rise up from the ground. These then scatter into millions of tiny blades. The number of blades is great enough that Byakuya can use them for defense and offense at the same time. He commonly forms them into large masses of blades to crush opponents. Like with his shikai, its attack is triggered with the phrase "scatter".
Byakuya's bankai has several forms, achieved by arranging the blades in different patterns. They are activated by saying the name of the technique followed by the name of his bankai. Each form presents a different advantage, such as increasing offense at the expense of defense.
Byakuya's attack form is "massacre scene" (殲景, senkei?, Viz: "annihilate"), which unites the scattered petals into complete swords that form rows of swords around Byakuya and his opponent. In this form, Byakuya abandons the defense potential of his many blades and concentrates on killing the enemy. While Byakuya can control these swords as he does his regular blades, he usually attacks with just one in hand. He remarks in his battle with Ichigo that he normally only shows senkei to those he has sworn to "kill by his own hand", Ichigo being the second to see this. After immobilizing an opponent, he can call in the other blades to hit them while they're trapped. He can also use all the blades at once for one immensely powerful strike. Byakuya demonstrates that Senkei can also be used as a barrier to protect those inside from a barrage of Ceros blasts. He also displays the ability to activate Kageyoshi from inside Senkei, shattering all rows of swords at once.
To overwhelm the defense of an opponent, Byakuya can use "pivotal scene" (吭景, gōkei?). This aligns every blade in a spherical formation around his opponent, which then collapses into them from every possible angle, leaving no blind spots and no chance to escape.
As a final attack he can use "final scene" (終景, shūkei?, Viz: "last sight"). This condenses every one of his blades into a single sword, drastically increasing its cutting power. The blade appears bright white and its aura takes the form of a bird, earning it the name "white imperial sword" (白帝剣, hakuteiken?, Viz: "white emperor sword"). Byakuya also grows pure white wings and a halo-like circle in the back, both made of spiritual power.