|“||If I'm supposed to be a pervert, then your just a filthy womanizer. I really don't like people like you at all, Riser. Not at all.||”|
–Issei to Riser Phenex, Life ?: Piercer of Heaven
Originally an ordinary human, Issei was nearly killed a Fallen Angel known as Raynare, but was saved by the mysterious individual called "Zangetsu." As a result of the incident, he suffers from partial amnesia, and awakened to his potential as a Soul Reaper. While not on the same level as his predecessor, Ichigo Kurosaki, Issei is still regarded as a powerful ally to the Soul Society and the Shinto Faction.
Issei is a youth in his teens, possessing slightly messy brown hair that is usually swept to the right, and reaches past the collar of his shirts. He has been shown to wear many outfits through out the series, but the most common he is seen in is his Kuoh Academy uniform, which is altered with a red tee in place of the standard dress shirt, and sneakers in place of the dress shoes.
When first introduced, Issei has a number of personality traits. He is first shown to be ignorant, self-centered, arrogant, and his ongoing perverted nature, often to make lecherous fantasies, and utterly obsessed with women's breasts and having his own harem. This has caused him to be instantly labeled as a pervert among the girls of Kuoh Academy and has gained him notoriety for being one of the members of Kuoh Academy's Perverted Trio.
After being saved by Zangetsu from nearly being killed by Raynare, Issei's personality has changed significantly. His perversion has been toned down to the point where he only reads dirty magazines and watches ecchi anime rather than peep on girls. He has also matured, focusing more on his school work to the point where he is considered to be one of the top ten students in his year. He takes everything with a grain of salt, and will not believe no-nonsense things until he has confirmed it with his own two eyes. Perhaps a side effect of Zangetsu merging with his soul is that Issei has also developed traits that heavily mirror Ichigo Kurosaki: stubborn, short-tempered, strong-willed, and impulsive. He generally keeps his face set in a near-permanent scowl, with his eyebrows drawn together. His outspoken, hot-headed demeanor is a trait Issei himself has acknowledged, and if somebody picks a fight with him, he cannot help fighting back. He coldly refers to his teachers as "instructors". He is genuinely compassionate and empathetic towards others, promising to bring a Plus flowers and a toy plane, or soothing others when they become upset.
Issei hates fortune telling, horoscopes, feng shui, psychics, and anyone whose trade involves taking money from people for things they cannot see. In spite of his perverted attitude, he quickly becomes shy and uncomfortable or even downright panicked around actual nude or immodestly dressed women, a fact both Yoruichi Shihōin, Rangiku Matsumoto, Rias Gremory, and Akeno Himejima have teased him for. Kisuke Urahara notes that Ichigo also shared a similar trait. He does show respect to those older than him, but only those who have earned it.
When it comes to fighting, Issei has a complex sense of honor; he regularly seeks to exact revenge for the cruel actions of his opponent, such as instilling the fear of being murdered in Riser and cutting off the right arm of Yubelluna in retaliation for him blowing off Akeno's right arm off. He often taunts and belittles his opponents when fighting, sometimes attacking without warning. Issei has a strong desire to win his fights, but in what he views as a legitimate manner. Isesi's resolve in battle can waver at times, which can impede his fighting prowess, and goes into a state of depression and self-loathing when he loses a major battle or lets a friend down. One such example was the battle against Riser, where he was beaten down to near unconsciousness, and Rias declared that she forfeited the match when she saw that Riser was about to kill him. Issei still feels self-anger at himself for being so weak and allowing Rias to cry, an emotion that elicited the awakening of the other Zangetsu.
Issei despises those who mistreat their allies in any way, even if they are his own enemies. He especially hates those who's perversion is far worse than his own, the most obvious case being Riser Phenex, who openly fondles Yubelluna's breasts to make a point to Issei regarding his former dream of becoming a "Harem King." The action is enough to set him off, and causes Issei to punch him in the face, stating that if he is supposed to be a pervert, then Riser is nothing more than "a filthy womanizer." Issei can be described as a romantic: that arranged marriages are a blight to the name of true love. This belief is what makes Issei agree to take part in the Rating Game against Riser. He also believes that love should only blossom between those who truly love each other, and heavily despises any and all forms of "false love."
A trait regarding Issei that is most notable about him is his change from a pervert to a delinquent in the eyes of the public. After being saved by Zangetsu, who is melded with his soul, he has begun exhibiting traits that were found in Ichigo Kurosaki, the most prominent being his respect for the deceased, and anger at those who disrespect the dead. On more than one occasion has he gotten into a fight with various people who have blatantly disrespected the dearly departed, hence earning his reputation as a delinquent among the student faculty.
Other than this, Issei is kind, courageous, and unwaveringly determined of wanting to protect those who are important to him despite almost dying by the hands of his opponents. He's also very caring, "putting his nose on other peoples business" as he helped Yuuto, Koneko, and Akeno overcome their fear and hatred of their mournful past. Due to this, he gained strong friendship from his comrades and affection from most girls of the Occult Research Club, and from those in the Soul Society.
Initially, Issei's parents had a great deal of trouble conceiving a child, failing twice. So when Issei's mother got pregnant for a third time his father had paced back and forth in front of shinto shrine honestly wishing that this time they would succeed. When the child was finally born he was named Issei, meaning Honestly, for his father's honest prayers.
He is a childhood friend of Irina Shidou and they would always play together before she moved to England, although he thought she was a boy at the time. At some point when Issei came over to Irina's house, she kissed him while he was sleeping. Sometime during his childhood, Issei met an old man who told him and other children stories about breasts, which eventually led to Issei's fascination with them, and his perverted tendencies.
He attended the same middle school with Matsuda and Motohama and the three of them started attending Kuoh Academy one year before the story, and have come to be known as the Perverted Trio to just about the entire school.
Powers and Abilities Edit
Natural Abilities Edit
Expert Hand-to-Hand Combat: In the beginning, Issei was virtually weak and unable to properly defend himself. However, after Zangetsu merged with him, and undergoing training with Kiba and Koneko, and further sharpening his skills with Urahara, his body has come into top form. He has repeatedly shown great agility and coordination in his attacks. In addition to having powerful kicks and punches, Issei is proficient in counterattacks, takedowns, and body locks. He has repeatedly caught an opponent's weapon strikes with a single hand.
Enhanced Strength: Initially, Issei had little strength and power, but after being trained by various characters in the series, he developed excellent power. He is deceptively strong, smashing a man's head through a concrete road with a single kick. He was also able to hold his own against many powerful opponents with brute force alone when not relying on Boosted Gear or Zangetsu, such as Sairaorg Bael and Riser's Rooks, the latter of which he defeated effortlessly with swift succession.
Enhanced Speed and Reflexes: Originally, prior to Zangetsu merging with him, Issei had moderate speed and reflexes, having to run and evade various women after peeping on them through out his years. After Zangetsu manages to heal his wounds, he has developed sharpened reflexes, and can move much faster. Urahara sharpened them in order for Issei to become a fast and agile fighter. As a result, he has great reflexes, dodging a strike with no wasted effort and immediately counterattacking. He can strike quickly, without warning, and in rapid succession. His speed allows him to follow the movements of faster opponents to better analyze their movements, and block otherwise fatal strikes.
Enhanced Durability: Despite only being human with the powers of a Soul Reaper, Issei has developed some degree of durability, having been beaten down many times by women as punishment for peeping on them. Zangetsu taking up residence inside of him after Issei unknowingly breaks the soul on the badge has only further increased it, as he is capable of withstanding the assault of a large Hollow. It isn't until a month of training underneath Kisuke Urahara that his body becomes more resilient. His endurance becomes strengthened to the point where he can continue fighting effectively after receiving many injuries, and can survive attacks which would easily kill normal Humans. Because a Soul Reaper's life force is their Spiritual Energy, Issei can withstand attacks which would be fatal to most Soul Reapers.
Advanced Growth Rate: Like Ichigo before him, Issei has a penchant for being able to adapt and grow at an incredible rate. On more than one occasion has he been able to grasp basic control of advanced techniques that would have otherwise taken several years to master, even for the most gifted of Soul Reapers. Shortly after gaining Soul Reaper powers via Zangetsu merging with his soul, and with no previous training, he began learning advanced spiritual energy sensing techniques by sheer instinct. He gains considerable experience in the use of the Flash Step while training with Yoruichi, which was done the same time he was learning how to use Boosted Gear properly.
Keen Intellect: Despite his somewhat punkish attitude, Issei is analytical, perceptive, and deductive. In his high school, Issei's grades are almost always near the top, despite his work as a Soul Reaper. Aside from that, Issei can determine the pattern of his opponent's battle methods and form a proper counter-strategy to defeat his opponent's attacks.
Immense Spiritual Power: Originally, Issei had above-average spiritual energy, likely due to Boosted Gear's influence. However, after Zangetsu's subsequent merging with him, he has developed tremendously vast levels of spiritual energy, well beyond most other Soul Reapers. His spiritual power is noted to be especially condensed and heavy, almost suffocating to a degree, which surprised Rukia Kuchiki, and constantly gives out levels on par with that of a lower level Captain. Even at less than half strength, his spiritual energy is comparable to a captain-level fighter. Like Ichigo, Issei's spiritual power is overflowing around him, almost like a torrent with a blue shade, however while Boosted Gear becomes active, it develops green strands. After so much as a single Boost, Issei's spiritual power is said to match even Captain's like Toshiro Hitsugaya and Yoruichi. However, like Ichigo, his spiritual energy is rather difficult for him to control, as he has no formal training in controlling it. Due to this, and him having far more spiritual energy than his body can consciously contain, it leaks out constantly, preventing him from hiding it and effectively making stealth impossible when dealing with other spiritually-aware beings. He has learned how to harden his spiritual energy and enhance the strength of his attacks, or use it as a barrier to reduce the impact of attacks on him, if not negating them completely.
Spiritual Awareness: After his near-death experience with Raynare, and Zangetsu saving his life by merging with his soul, Issei has developed the ability to clearly see spiritual beings and sense their presence. After a month of training with Urahara, his senses have continued to improve with time, learning various advanced sensing techniques, such as using a spirit ribbon to find and locate Asia. Even from a considerable distance, he can detect the condition of a being with spiritual power.
Soul Reaper Abilities Edit
Master Swordsman: In terms of fighting style, Issei mainly relies on the use of swordplay, along with the occasional fist-fight. Aside from his initial training with Urahara, he is essentially on a "learn as you go" training regimen; thusly, his skill has developed by fighting rather than formal instruction, becoming even more capable with every fight.
Flash Step Expert: Though not particularly versed in its various techniques, Issei is proficient enough in the technique itself to keep up with and even surprise high-level Soul Reapers with his speed. As noted by a spectator during a Rating Game, his speed is said to be on par with even a Knight from one of the higher-ranking Pillars.
Zangetsu (斬月, Slaying Moon): When Issei first becomes a Soul Reaper, his Zanpakutō was a standard-looking katana, but oversized, with an equally-oversized brown sheath hung by a strap across his back and over his right shoulder. It had a rectangular bronze tsuba with gently inward-curved edges, a stylized flame pattern on the long sides, and a simple decorative slit on the short sides. The hilt's handle had a red wrapping and two light blue tassels attached to the handle's base, which was decorated with a flame design on its short sides. The large size is due to the unfocused but immense amount of Issei's spiritual power, which he did not know how to control. As a result, the sword itself was rather weak, since very little spiritual power was used to create it. Nevertheless, it was powerful enough to subdue Raynare, who was considerably powerful for a Low-Class Fallen Angel, and the Stray Devil, Vizor. Because of the weak nature of its spiritual energy, Riser Phenex blows off most of the blade during the Rating Game, forcing Issei to learn the name of his Zanpakutō in order to release its true form. This form was due to Boosted Gear being in a sealed state (i.e. Twice Critical), hence the limited amount of power it exerted.
- Shikai: The Shikai form of Zangetsu resembles an oversized khyber knife instead of a formal katana. It has no tsuba and no proper hilt; what Issei holds is the cloth-wrapped tang. The sword is about taller than Issei is, and has a black blade with a silver edge. The cloth wrapping on the tang seems to react to Issei's will, changing length at a thought or twining about the blade in an impromptu sheath. When in combat, the cloth falls away when necessary, shrinking back to a manageable size. The cloth can be used to swing the weapon like a flail and to toss it at opponents for mid-range combat, as well as bandage wounds, but these are done rarely. Issei has, on more than one occasion, used Zangetsu's wide blade as a shield from incoming attacks, and for deflecting energy attacks. Unlike most Zanpakutō, which can be sealed into their original form, Zangetsu is always in its Shikai form. Yoruichi Shihōin has stated his Zanpakutō is a full-time released form type because of Issei's vast but uncontrollable spiritual energy upon generation of it, implying it is simply a type of Zanpakutō which, without proper control of his spiritual energy, remains in Shikai form once in said state. It has also been stated by various characters that this form of Zangetsu is actually half of it's true form. While Zangetsu's Shikai is mainly used for combat, it does possess one known ability.
- Getsuga Tenshou (月牙天衝, Piercer of Heaven): At the instant of the slash, Zangetsu, absorbing Issei's spiritual energy, releases highly condensed spiritual energy at the tip of the blade, which, magnifying the slash attack, flies forward. This slash takes the form of a crescent moon or the shape of a wave. Issei only used this attack once prior to learning it's name, immediately after awakening to Zangetsu's Shikai, and later learned it's name when the other Zangetsu informs him of the unique abilities each Zanpakutō possesses, and stating that knowing the name of the ability amplifies it's power. The Getsuga Tenshou is a powerful technique with great force, capable of causing large-scale damage and destruction. Issei has used this technique in several different manners, such as striking the ground, creating an omnidirectional blast which knocks away incoming attacks, or slashing at the ground, upturning it and crushing everything in its path. He is also capable of amplifying the power of the Getsuga Tenshou with Boosted Gear, as even one Boost is enough to blow apart all of Kuoh Academy while simultaneously dealing serious damage to Riser himself.
Boosted Gear (Būsuteddo Gia): Issei's Sacred Gear and main weapon. The Boosted Gear is one of the 13 Longinus which holds the spirit of the Welsh Dragon, the Red Dragon Emperor, Ddraig, one of the Heavenly Dragons. It is said to have the power to kill a God when fully mastered. Boosted Gear takes the form of a red gauntlet on the wielder's left hand that has the ability to Boost the user's power every 10 seconds without limit, and its sub-ability can Transfer the multiplied power to a being or object, it can even be used on certain parts of the user's body such as the eyes for enhanced vision.
- Dragon Shot (Doragon Shotto): One of Issei's signature moves. Issei fires a beam of energy by concentrating his magical powers. This move is usually used in tandem with the Boosted Gear to increase its destructive powers. He has also developed a small scale Dragon Shot that is meant for knocking out humans. During his training with Urahara, after witnessing the power of his Getsuga Tenshou, Issei starts working on how to redirect his Dragon Shot by moving them in different directions.
- Boosted Gear: Scale Mail (Būsuteddo Gia: Sukeiru Meiru): The Balance Breaker of Boosted Gear that creates a Red Dragon Armor and Issei's trump card. Issei first activated an imperfect version during his encounter with Kokabiel, using his powers as a Soul Reaper to allow him to maintain the armor for thirty seconds. In this form Issei can Boost without the 10 second limit. At the back of his armor there are two rocket boosters that gives a temporary boost of speed and flight.
"Ever since that incident, I can hardly remember some things. I remember most stuff, like my parents and my friends, but the stuff I've forgotten is that I'm a pervert and that I have a thing for boobs, apparently. I can't remember anything about who stabbed me, or who saved me... only the words I heard." -Issei's monologue
"Honestly, these people... No respect for the dead these days!"
- Issei's height is 170 cm. (5 feet 7 inches) and his weight is 62 kg. (137 lbs.), as stated in the visual book with his data.
- Issei's birthday is on April 16.
- Issei's appearance is based off of Kazuma Torisuna from s-CRY-ed because the author is a fan of the series.
- Issei is a fan of Dragon Ball (Drag-so Ball in the Anime and Manga).
- Supposedly, one of Issei's power-ups was to involve sucking Rias'breasts. Unfortunately, that was already too much for Fujimi Shobo, so the author resorted to something else.
- His favorite food is cheesecake.
- This incarnation of Issei is one of the few listed to be apart of another faction, rather than of the Devil's side. It's also among one of the many ideas of Issei not being reincarnated as a Devil, or as another species altogether.
- Issei's main theme is, "Bring It," which is performed by Trapt.