Ryūken Ishida|石田竜弦|Ishida Ryūken is the son of Sōken Ishida and the father of Uryū Ishida. He is also the Director of the Karakura Hospital, he is also known as the last Quincy, a status contested by his son.
Ryūken is a tall and fair-skinned man that appears fit for his age. He is normally seen wearing thin and frameless glasses and a plain grey suit with a light blue shirt and a tie adorned with Quincy crosses. He has narrow blue eyes and silver hair; however, in a flashback, he is seen with brown hair.
Ryūken appears to be a cold, work-oriented man, and is apparently estranged from his father and son. He detests his status as a Quincy on the grounds that it does not enable one to make a proper living, and would rather focus on saving the living instead of the dead. He even goes so far as to state that the Quincy would become extinct once Sōken's generation died out, urging Uryū not to follow in his grandfather's footsteps.. Despite this, there are blue crosses all over his tie and during the anime's Bount arc, there are blue crosses all over the floors and walls of Ryūken's hospital, as well, both resembling the Quincy cross.
His actual feelings towards his son are hard to place despite his attitude towards being a Quincy, he helps to restore Uryū's lost Quincy powers on the condition that he never associate himself with Shinigami again, even if they were his friends. To this end, he constructed a secret chamber underneath Karakura Hospital which hides Spiritual Energy. During their fight, Uryū tries to finish the fight with an attack meant to capture rather than kill, perhaps indicating feelings for his father that made him stay a final blow. Thus Ryūken was able to escape and shoot Uryū, but his somewhat tender tone as he talks to his unconscious son suggests that deep down he also loves Uryū.
Strangely enough, Ryūken also shares a relationship with Isshin Kurosaki not unlike that of their sons (though seemingly friendlier; Isshin comments that Ryūken never called him "Kurosaki" before in a slightly hurt tone). Their friendship was briefly mentioned when Chad was injured with Isshin telling a hospital worker to tell his boss that Kurosaki needed them and some beds would clear up (though it may have seemed at the time like this was more a threat than a favor).
When his son is about to be killed by two Hollows, Ryūken appears suddenly and saves him with a single arrow. Uryū is shocked to see him, but still calls him by his first name instead of "dad", causing Ryūken to scold him. As they are attacked by the other Hollow, Ryūken easily kills it with one shot and tells his son to kill the Arrancar before they can regenerate. As Uryū questions how he can have Quincy powers, Ryūken notes that his exact words were only that he had "no interest," not that he did not have them, and explains how he, against his wishes, inherited the title of the Last Quincy by revealing his father's Quincy Cross. He then reveals that he can give Uryū his powers back but on the condition that he never associate with Shinigami again.
His training is very difficult and Ryūken mocks his son's abilities throughout it, despite Uryū trying his best to avoid being struck by Ryūken's attacks. When Ryūken asks him if he has reached his limit, Uryū uses Gritz to seal Ryūken's movements, but he quickly breaks out and shoots Uryū in the chest. He then reveals that the only way to restore the Quincy powers lost to the Quincy: Letzt Stil is to exhaust the body to its limits and then pierce the body 19mm to the right of the heart with a single spiritual arrow. Ryūken laments that Uryū's last Gintō technique should have been Heizen instead of Gritz despite the fact that it would not have defeated him, it would still have allowed his son to hurt him. He explains to his unconscious son that this is the reason why he calls him an idiot, although he decides that this time he would let it slip.
Hueco Mundo arcEdit
As Ryūken is smoking outside the training ground, Urahara appears in front of Uryū and they both leave the hospital. Ryūken later enters the training room, only to find his son's goodbye letter and to have a surprise visit from Ichigo's father, Isshin Kurosaki. Ryūken questions him as to how he got in and calling him Kurosaki much to Isshin's dismay. Ryūken is quick to change the subject when he sees Isshin's powers had returned. When Isshin tells him that his son escaped, he replies that whether or not Uryū allows his powers to live or die is completely up to him, and that it is also his choice whether to live or die, seeing that he only gave him his powers back. Isshin calls him a bad father, although Ryūken retorts by saying that he is still a better father than him.
Isshin notices that Ryūken still smokes despite being in a hospital, ignoring the "No Smoking" sign right next to him.
The Lost Substitute Shinigami arcEdit
Ryūken heals Uryū's wounds after he is attacked by an unknown intruder. While Uryū is recovering, Orihime Inoue and Ichigo Kurosaki arrive to see him. Uryū scolds Ichigo for coming, prompting Ryūken to respond that he talks too much. Uryū asks Ryūken if he should be letting visitors in if they will have a bad effect on his wounds, but Ryūken assures him that he will be fine, further commenting that Uryū was cut down and should not be ordering his doctor around. Upon hearing his words, Ichigo asks Uryū what happened to him. Uryū does not answer, prompting Ryūken to state that sharing information is important and that he should not put his kindness to waste, to which Uryū yells at Ryūken to be quiet. Uryū tells Orihime that he has nothing to say at the moment and asks her to go home. Ichigo offers to take Orihime home, but Ryūken says that he will do it instead, telling him that his father might get upset if Ichigo stays out too late. Ichigo thanks Ryūken and heads home. Once Ichigo is gone, Ryūken informs Orihime that it was not a Hollow who attacked Uryū; nor was it a Shinigami. He tells her that he inspected the Reiatsu inside Uryū's wound and questions if it should even be identified as Reiatsu, as it was a type of Reiatsu that he had not encountered before. When Orihime attempts to ask Ryūken questions about Uryū's attacker, Ryūken tells her that he is telling her all he knows. He also informs her that Uryū knows nothing about his attacker, so he cannot give her any information anyway. Ryūken then hypothesizes that the enemy has acquired a power that is unknown to them and that the enemy is actually Human, and that the enemy's powers are actually closer in nature to hers and Yasutora Sado's rather than a Shinigami's. He further states that since Quincies are still Humans, and if Uryū was attacked because he was a Human, then it is a probable that either she or Sado would be attacked next. He then takes Orihime home. Later, Ryūken by chance comes across Ichigo who attempts to chase after a man that was responsible for having Keigo Asano and Mizuiro Kojima assaulted and knocked out by a thug. He insists that Ichigo not pursue the man. As Ryūken looks over two students, noticed that the man was able to sense his spiritual pressure and retreated because of it. He then assures Ichigo that his friends are uninjured and will be fine. When Ichigo tries to make sense of the situation, Ryūken tells Ichigo to not get involved in the situation. While Ichigo refuses, Ryūken asks him what he intends to do given the fact that he has lost his powers, making Ichigo sink into despair.
Quincy Cross: Ryūken's Quincy Cross is in the shape of a pentacle just like Uryū's current one. However, Uryū's original Quincy Cross was shaped differently from Ryūken's. Instead, it was in the form of a regular cross with the circle shape behind the Pentacle still present.
Seele Schneider: Though never actually shown using the soul cutting swords in combat, Ryūken keeps them in a hidden storage room under Karakura Hospital. In anime omake, he used them as arrows to fire at Isshin.
Powers & AbilitiesEdit
Master Archer: As the Last of the Quincy, Ryūken possess all the skill of the previous generation. His skills in archery are determined by his ease of one handed firing as well as precision attacking a target without inflicting any harm to anything but his target. He is highly precise, able to easily hit an area 19mm to the right of the heart in order to return his son's lost Quincy powers.
Reishi Absorption: Ryūken as a Quincy primarily absorbs spiritual energy from the atmosphere, and combines it with his own spiritual energy to form weapons. He has an easier time collecting this energy in environments with higher concentrations of spiritual particles, such as Soul Society or Hueco Mundo. To a sufficiently powerful Quincy, there is no difference between spiritual particles and spiritual energy as a source of power. He can manipulate spiritual energy for offensive purposes.
- 'Hirenkyaku|飛廉脚||lit. "Flying Screen Step/God Step", Viz translation, "Flying Bamboo-Blind Leg: Though never actually shown using this in combat, Ryūken is capable of using this Quincy high-speed technique.
Spiritual Awareness: As a Quincy, Ryūken can sense Hollows at a significant distance.
Great Spiritual Power: Ryūken has displayed a great amount of spiritual energy. According to Ryūken his powers are quite different from the feeble ones his son lost during the Ryoka Invasion. He inherited all of the powers and techniques from the previous generation, his father, Sōken Ishida, and therefore was given the title of "Last Quincy".
Keen Intellect: In terms of intellect, Ryūken has shown himself to be a very intuitive and perceptive man. Much to Uryū's dismay, Ryūken has repeatedly shown himself easily able to see through his son's tactics. When Uryū left to aid Ichigo and Sado in rescuing Orihime Inoue, Ryūken immediately determined what his son was doing without even looking at the note his son left.
Reishi Bow: Like all Quincy, Ryūken uses a bow as his primary weapon, but unlike his son, Ryūken is capable of willfully changing its size and can fire multiple shots at once. His bow is white, rather than blue.
- 'Heilig Pfeil
- 神聖滅矢 (ハイリッヒ・ブファイル)|Hairihhi Bufairu|German for "Holy Arrow",
- Japanese for "Sacred Destruction Arrows: By further condensing reishi, Ryūken is capable of forming spiritual arrows.
- 'Klavier' (クラヴィーア, Kuravīa; German for "piano"':
- A technique where Ryūken fires a multitude of arrows one-handed and at rapid speed.
Last Quincy StatusEdit
Ryūken is able to use many Quincy techniques and items to augment his abilities, including presumably high-level techniques, which are rare in comparison to his son. This is caused by the fact that regardless of his personal wishes and intent, he has inherited all Quincy abilities and techniques from his father, Sōken; after his passing, he has claimed the title of Last Quincy. Apparently he is now using the same, or a similar, pentacle to Sōken's, although whether this has something to do with the title of Last Quincy remains to be seen.
Appearances in Other MediaEdit
Anime Omake Segment: Quincy EncyclopediaEdit
Ryūken is the host of the Quincy Encyclopedia, an omake segment that airs at the end of a few episodes. Like the Arrancar Encyclopedia hosted by Gin Ichimaru, here Ryūken recites several facts about Quincy. After he is done, Isshin, who is also present, usually makes a humorous comment, which usually calls for Ryūken to comically shoot several arrows at him. In the first two omake, despite his obvious intent to shoot Isshin, he always defends himself by stating "my finger slipped". From the fourth one on, however, he does not even bother to cover up these antics, though he usually has some reason for shooting Isshin on hand.
- In the English version of Bleach Official Character Book Souls, he is called Ryūgen Ishida.
- In the Quincy Encyclopedia Isshin Kurosaki implies that Ryūken once wore a Quincy Uniform just like his son, but Ryūken shot an arrow after the image Isshin was about to show, leaving the appearance of his uniform unknown.
- While Ryūken scorns his status as a Quincy, he appears to still acknowledge it as his hospital and tie have blue crosses all over them, an obvious reference to his Quincy heritage.
- Despite his cold nature and distant relation to his son, Ryūken still cares for Uryū, as he is seen in the episode 235 omake looking deeply at a picture of child Uryū and then attacking Isshin who teased Uryū about being in a "rebellious stage", blaming Isshin for Ichigo's influence. In the episode 272 omake, Ryūken shows even greater rage at both Isshin and Ichigo for the injuries Uryū sustained from Ichigo's Hollow transformation. Also during episode 348's omake, after hearing three of his hospital's nurses gossiping about Uryū, Ryūken then personally delivers a meal to his bed-ridden son while leaving two signs outside Uryū's room: one states that no visitors are allowed and the other says: "No Child Knows How Dear He Is To His Parents" which Ryūken obviously placed himself.
- (To Uryū Ishida) "How many times do I have to tell you, there is no point in saving the dead. That's a Shinigami's job. You should learn how to save the people who are alive. I have no interest in it and you have no talent in it. The Quincy will become extinct with your grandfather's generation, understand?"
- (To Uryū Ishida, when asked why he hates being a Quincy) "Because you can't make a living from it."
- (To Isshin Kurosaki, about Uryū) "I have restored his Quincy powers. It is up to him whether they live or die. As well as whether he lives or dies."