Every action anime needs cool heroes for the viewers to cheer on, and in Bleach, that hero is Ichigo Kurosaki, the substitute Soul Reaper. On his adventures, Ichigo meets many new allies and enemies, and some of today’s enemies are tomorrow’s allies… or vice versa.
One of these villains is the unforgettable Espada, Grimmjow Jaegerjaques. He’s a major figure in Sosuke Aizen’s arrancar army, but this wily hollow isn’t quite like his Espada peers. Often, Grimmjow fights for his own reasons, and his loyalty to Aizen’s cause seems a bit shaky at times. But then again, he might have a hidden good side to him. What are the top 10 things to know about this villain?
10 He’s a rogue
As mentioned above, Grimmjow is a man who looks out for number one. While he never fully betrays Aizen, Grimmjow seems much more interested in pursuing his own interests, and he devises his own missions and goals. Never do we see him actually act on Aizen’s orders. He made an unauthorized trip to Karakura Town with his fracciones to hunt down Ichigo, and later, he even attacked Ulquiorra so he could get a chance to fight Ichigo again. What will this wily arrancar do next?
9 He has a sense of honor
Some of the Espadas are bloodthirsty, and they enjoy seeing their opponents helpless before them. The mad scientist Szayelaporro, for example, disables his enemies and torments them at leisure. But not Grimmjow! He wants a fair fight, or else a duel feels cheap and meaningless to him.
Like Ikakku, he wants to draw out the best in his opponent, and he laughed with delight when Ichigo donned his hollow mask in their final fight. Grimmjow went as far as asking Orihime to fully heal Ichigo so they could have an honorable duel. At least he fights clean.
8 He used the caja negacion
The caja negation, or “negation box,” is an artifact that, according to Grimmjow, Espadas are allowed to use on their subordinates to punish bad behavior. Only Grimmjow is seen using one, though and he applied it to his fellow Espada Ulquiorra!
While trying to revive Ichigo, Grimmjow faced an unhappy Ulquiorra, and Grimmjow knew that dueling Ulquiorra at length would be a disaster. So, he used this negation box to seal away Ulquiorra for a few hours and get him out of the way.
7 He wants to be king
Just like Disney’s lion Simba, Grimmjow just can’t wait to be king. His backstory shows him as a panther-shaped hollow who wandered the desert alone, until he met five Gillians who wanted him to lead them to glory as their king. Surprised, but intrigued, Grimmjow accepted and became their ringleader.
Now, as an Espada, Grimmjow can’t stand anyone looking down on him, and he’ll crush anyone who gets in his way. It’s a fairly shallow motivation, but deep down, Grimmjow is a wild animal. Why not listen to his instincts and reach for the top?
6 He can taunt others
This ties into how Grimmjow loves a fair fight, and he’s only happy when facing someone at their full strength. Grimmjow is mouthy during battle, and he’s good at taunting and mocking his opponent to goad them into fighting even harder. He does this several times against Ichigo, who is often afraid of his own power.
Eventually, Grimmjow’s unkind words got to him. In their final duel, Ichigo admitted that yes, Grimmjow was correct: Ichigo was here to fight, and defeat every Espada, including Grimmjow. And right after that, Ichigo delivered the final blow that won him the fight.
5 His shifting ranks
Where does Grimmjow stand among the arrancars of Sosuke Aizen’s army? This changes a few times. Early on, before the Espadas were formally organized, Grimmjow became arrancar #12, ranked among his five lesser followers. But he had the strength to join the Espadas, as #6 (sexta).
When he lost his arm, Luppi Antenor became the new sexta Espada, and Grimmjow’s “6” tattoo was burned off. Finally, when Orihime fully healed Grimmjow, he killed Luppi and regained his rank for good.
4 His namesake
Where does someone come up with a name like “Grimmjow Jaegerjaques”, anyway? Most of the Espadas are named after architects and interior designers, and the same is true of Grimmjow. In this case, his name comes from Nicholas Grimshaw, a British architect with a quite long and successful career.
Mr. Grimshaw has designed, among other buildings, London’s Waterloo International railway station and Cornwall’s Eden Project, among other modernist buildings. By contrast, Grimmjow is more likely to wreck a building during one of his high-voltage fights!
3 He helped the good guys
Grimmjow is one of only two Espadas to survive the battle against Aizen, the other being #3, Tier Halibel. What Grimmjow did with his life after that is largely unknown, but when the Soul Society clashed with the Wandenreich for the final time, this arrancar came to help.
He was still spoiling for a fight with Ichigo, but Nelliel and others kept him in line. Grimmjow even battled against Sternritter “D” Akin Nak Le Varr, but was knocked out with the Sternritter’s poison ball.
2 He kept his scar on purpose
Grimmjow and Ichigo crossed swords three times, and in the first battle, Grimmjow had a clear upper hand. Still, Ichigo surprised him with a Getsuga Tensho blast, and this attack put a large scar on Grimmjow’s chest.
But even with Orihime’s healing powers on hand, Grimmjow never erased this scar. Instead, he kept it as a reminder of his and Ichigo’s bitter rivalry, a constant motivation and reminder of their feud. Now that’s a tough attitude!
1 He appreciated Orihime
Overall, Grimmjow is a villain through and through. But he does have a modest good side, such as his insistence on honorable duels and fighting fairly. That, and when Orihime healed him, Grimmjow felt that he owed her a favor. So, when Loly and Menoly started beating Orihime, Grimmjow burst onto the scene and killed (temporarily) both arrancars to give Orihime a break.
He also urged her to heal her own bruised face. She became his reluctant companion, though Grimmjow lost his temper and started shouting when Orihime refused (at first) to heal Ichigo for Grimmjow’s own selfish reasons.
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