Appearance & Personality
Birthdate: 10 December
Hair: Black (with hint of grey)
Height: 6'1" (186cm)
Relatives: Masaki Kurosaki (Wife, deceased), Ichigo Kurosaki (Son), Karin Kurosaki (Daughter), Yuzu Kurosaki (Daughter), Kaien Shiba (unknown, possibly clansman, deceased), Kukaku Shiba (unknown, possibly clansman), Ganju Shiba (unknown, possibly clansman)
Isshin Kurosaki (formerly Isshin Shiba) is a man of many faces in the series Bleach. From the beginning of the story we are led to believe that he is merely an unusual character. The truth about Isshin Kurosaki is hidden beneath his normally wild behavior, usual banter and awkward social behavior. On the inside, he is a very serious and powerful man.
As a civilian Isshin owns a small clinic he and his family runs. Aside from Ichigo, Isshin has two other children, Karin and Yuzu.
Through out the earlier parts of the series Isshin is more of a comedy relief character than the key character he would later become.
Isshin looks to be in his early to mid forties, but usually dresses like a twenty year old flamingo dancer. Isshin tends to style his hair so that the hair at the top of his sticks up and his side burns look rather neatly trimmed. Despite his attention to his hair Isshin looks like he tends to neglect shaving and has a scruff across his chin. Except for when he goes to visit his wife's grave and changes to his Soul Reaper form Isshin usually wears frilly shirts with or without a doctor's shirt.
In his Soul Reaper's uniform, Isshin wears the black uniform with a shoulder pad on his left arm and his old captain's jacket hanging from under it.
In the opening of the series, Isshin is seen acting like a child when he attacks his son for being late to dinner. The surprise attack results in Isshin getting beat up by him. When he and Ichigo begin to argue, Yuzu steps in and threatens to not feed either of them if they keep fighting. Isshin then complains about how Ichigo can see spirits but he can't. After Ichigo leaves the room, Isshin also complains that Ichigo never talks to him about his problems with having to deal with spirits. Karin responds by telling Isshin that she understands her brother since their father always acts like a child. The rebuff causes Isshin to respond by crying to a mural of his wife, Masaki, which he keeps on the wall of their house. When Ichigo finds out that his family is attacked by Hollows, Isshin is the first to be taken out.
The next day Isshin is there to wake Ichigo up for school dropping on him feet first. After Ichigo is awake Isshin is the first one to go outside and ready to fix a hole in their wall, cheerfully quipping about how nice it is that no one had died.
Memories in the Rain
On day Ichigo wakes up late for work and wonders where his father is. When Ichigo looks at his watch, he realizes that his father is getting ready for the next day.
Isshin calls a family meeting and discusses the days plans for the morning, where he points out that he had his hair cut despite the unnoticeable difference.
When morning comes, Isshin tries to motivate his daughters to continue to climb the steps of the hill leading to the cemetery that they're going to visit. To give his daughters motivation, Isshin balances himself on his hands and begins to climb the hill, picking up speed when Yuzu and Karin ignore him.
Once in the cemetery Isshin and the rest of the family gather at Masaki's grave to pay their respects. Isshin is the first to suggest a competion between him and Ichigo in Tombstone Dominos, he stops when Yuzu again threatens not to feed him.
When Ichigo steps in to later stop the Hollow, Grand Fisher from eating his sisters, Isshin is waiting at the bottom of the hill for his family to arrive. Secrets about this story are revealed later. During Ichigo's fight with Grand Fisher, Isshin keeps Yuzu and Karin in a small temple and notices that there is something different about Ichigo. After Ichigo and Grand Fisher's battle is concluded, Isshin runs into his son at Masaki Kurosaki's grave. Ichigo realizes that Isshin is smoking a cigarette, something he doesn't ever remember seeing his father do. Isshin reveals that he smokes one cigarette each year in front of his wife's grave, stating that Masaki believes her husband looks cool while smoking.
Before walking away, Isshin tells Ichigo that he is proud that his wife sacrificed herself to save their son. Ichigo is left standing in the rain at the end of the story almost awestruck as Isshin walks away wishing Ichigo to live a long and fulfilling life.
Spirits Are Among Us
Isshin is a huge fan of the show, Spiritual Hotsprings with Don Kanoji and he demonstrates it by watching his show religiously and performing the laughing arm cross.
When the family goes to watch the show live, Isshin tries to get on TV like Ichigo, by trying to jump the security line, but is stopped by Yuzu. After the spirit transforms into a Hollow, Isshin covers his daughters from the fragmenting glass, despite being too far away for the glass to hurt them. Isshin is seen later complimenting Kanoji on his way of dressing himself.
Battle of the Rubicon/ Right Arm of the Giant
Isshin is only seen once during this story when he and Karin are looking for Chad after his hard fought battle with a Hollow. After Isshin arrives on the scene and can't find Chad, he thinks that Karin just wants some attention and begins to pester her. Karin is infuriated by her father and attacks him.
Soul Society Arc
Before the four friends and Yoruichi take off to invade Soul Society, the group spends a little time at home during the beginning of their Summer Break. They decide to go see the annual fireworks and sure enough, the rest of the Kurosaki family is there to cause a scene. When the team meets at the river bank, Isshin shows up and leads them to where he has reserved some seats, a lot closer to where the show will be. Isshin also tries to play down the fact that he knowingly drank alcohol filled melons that an old man is always selling.
The last thing Isshin does before his son leaves is to give him a luck/ fertility charm that his mother had given him. Isshin also tells Ichigo to come back alive.
Arrancar Story Arc
After the teens return home and try to get their lives back in order, things seems to get worse. While Ichigo is off fighting a Hollow and meeting a new student named Shinji Hirako, Kon decides to run off in Ichigo's body.
Unbeknown to Kon, Grand Fisher is back and has come to destroy Ichigo. After escaping temporarily, Kon is eventually caught and saved by Isshin. It is revealed that Isshin had filled the charm he returned to Ichigo with barriers to protect Kon should he ever be attacked by a Hollow in Ichigo's body. Isshin explains that he has always known since they visited the cemetery, that Kon sometimes stays in Ichigo's body.
As Isshin approaches Grand Fisher, it is explained that twenty years ago Isshin had come to the human world and fallen in love with Masaki and became a human.
Grand Fisher laughs at Isshin's want to fight him despite the size difference in their weapons (Fisher's is as big as a skyscraper at this point, while Isshin's is about the size of a regular katana.), and stabs at Isshin after changing into his final Arrancar release.
Fisher stares in disbelief as Isshin tells him that all captain level Soul Reapers can suppress their power so that their swords are small and not out outrageously large like Fisher's. Isshin looks at Kon and explains that he had fought Arrnacars before and then greets Urahara Kisuke. The two explain to each other that the Arrancars and the Vizards are on the move to achieve their next goals, whatever that may be. Urahara reveals that Isshin has been in our world for twenty years and has lost most of his powers.
When Ichigo was engaged in a battle with Aizen Soskue, Isshin interrupts the fight, stepping in between the two combatants and head butting his son off of the building so they could hide from Aizen and talk a little bit. After having a short discussion, they continue their battle with Aizen. Gin Ichimaru promptly arrives and begins to battle Ichigo while Isshin takes on Aizen. With one flick of his finger, Isshin easily knocks Aizen away, hurling him through several buildings.
Later, as the prolonged combat continues and Isshin appears to have the advantage, he notices that Aizen is now having a harder time with him. He asks his opponent why his movements are slowing down, why he's breathing heavy and if he has reached his limit already. Aizen states that he has reached his limit as a shinigami, then begins to transform with the Hougyoku. At this point, Kisuke attacks Aizen from behind and takes over the fight. After this, Aizen fully transforms and says that he is invincible. This is when Isshin and Kisuke try to attack him head on but both get deflected, but it was a trap and they have chains connected to him and hold him down while Yoruichi slams him into the ground, but appears to have no affect and Aizen states that he will kill them all. After that, Kisuke and Youruichi just fuss about how her armor broke, while Isshin stands in the background in disbelief, listening to the two argue. Later, after the three of them are overwhelmed by Aizen and utterly defeated, the latter leaves for Soul Society with Gin. Isshin and Ichigo follow them, but while traveling to Soul Society, Isshin decides to teach his son a powerful technique, the Final Getsuga Tensho.
Powers & Abilities
Albeit brief, we first witness some of Isshin's powerful swordsmanship as he defeats a giant
(and his extraordinarily large Zanpakutō) with one swing of his normal sized, unreleased Zanpakutō. Isshin has proven to be a very powerful, captain-level shinigami as displayed by his battle with Aizen. His fighting and combat skills are so immense that he was nearly able to defeat Aizen one on one (something which the other Captains and Vizard's could not do, combined) before the latter's Hougyoku-transformation, without ever releasing his Zanpakutō and barely breaking a sweat.
Isshin seems to have high knowledge in the use of Kido, capable of placing a protection spell onto a charm which he gave to Kon whilst he was inside Ichigo's body. This helped protect him against attacks from foes as powerful as an Arrancar. He is also able to erect powerful barriers capable of erasing traces of Reiatsu.
Even without the use of his Shinigami powers, Isshin can take a hell of a beating regularly, as shown throughout the series, walking away without sustaining any major injuries.
Isshin was the former Captain of the Tenth Division in the Gotei 13 as well as the former head of the Shiba Clan. During that time, the Division's Vice-Captain was a younger Rangiku Matsumoto while Toshiro Hitsugaya was the third seat.
Nearly twenty years before the current events, Isshin traveled to the Human World in order to investigate the deaths of several Shinigami's. While there, he discovers a strange, unknown type of Hollow (created by Aizen) and engages it in battle. However, before he is able to defeat it, he is suddenly attacked from behind by Aizen, causing him to nearly lose his life to the powerful Hollow. Before the latter has a chance to deliver the killing blow, Masakiappears and defeats it, but is injured in the process. As the Hollow self-destructs, Isshin protects her from the explosion. Later, they introduce themselves, with him taking a strong liking to her. Eventually, he returns to Soul Society in order to report the incident to Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto.
Later on, without permission, Isshin returns to the Human World and discovers that Masaki was gravely injured after stepping in to rescue him from the Hollow. It is at this time he first meets Urahara, who informs him that he knows how to save Masaki's life. Urahara explains what is happening to the girl, about Hollowfication and also how to save her from it.
Isshin agrees to sacrifice his Shinigami powers, thereby also vacating his seat of Captain and life as a Shinigami in order to remain in the Human World to protect Masaki.
Isshin begins to regain a portion of his Shinigami powers directly after his son's Inner Hollow manifests itself during the latter's intense training with Urahara. It is quite possible that Isshin is actually more powerful than currently shown due to the fact that Urahara states that Isshin has lost a good amount of his Shinigami powers during the past twenty years.
Despite his goofy nature in front of his family, he is a doctor in Karakura Town and is quite knowledgeable in regards to current events in Soul Society. This gives evidence to show that not only is he a powerful warrior, he is also quite an intellect.
The name of Isshin's Zanpakutō is Engetsu. Not much is known about its abilities, but he has shown to use a powerful version of Getsuga Tensho against Aizen. While traveling between the real world and Soul Society (in the Precipice world), he decides to teach Ichigo a new technique, the "Final Getsuga Tensho". In order to learn it, Ichigo must confront Tensa Zangetsu in his inner world, just like his father did with his own Engetsu sometime before.