Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Featured Pipe Smoker (Fictional): Kūkaku Shiba

Kūkaku Shiba is a character from the anime series Bleach. She is a former Soul Reaper who has gone renegade from the ranks of the Soul Reapers and lives with her brother Ganju in an outlying district of the Soul Society (the place where departed souls go after death). She is a very powerful spirit being with an expertise in fireworks and when left alone enjoys smoking her pipe, which is of the old Japanese kiseru design. She always appears with what seems to bandages around her head, right shoulder and ankles, and if you look closely you can see that her right arm is prosthetic.

She has a very elegant way of holding her pipe which keeps her fingers away from what is most likely a very hot bowl.

Her brother Ganju had previously encountered Ichigo Kurosaki (the main protagonist of the series). Kūkaku's and Ganju's brother, who had also been a Soul Reaper, had been killed by another Soul Reaper, which was one thing that led to Kūkaku's departure from the Soul Reaper ranks. As a result of her brother's death, both she and Ganju have great animosity for other Soul Reapers, of which Ichigo is one. He and Ganju begin fighting, which she tolerates as she placidly smokes her pipe.

Until one of them knocks it from her fingers during the fight.

At this, she becomes somewhat agitated.

Soon after, in their ongoing struggle, Ichigo steps on...

...and shatters her pipe.

At which point she becomes quite perturbed.

And things tend to...


...from there.