Madarame Ikkaku (Bleach)

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Madarame Ikkaku affectionatly known as "baldy". Ikkaku loves being a member of the 11th squad under Captain Kenpachi Zaraki. He is a strong fighter and is good friends with Yumichika Ayasegawa. He was the first person that Ichigo fought when he entered the soul society. During the Arrancar arch, Ikkaku fights against an Arrancar and reveals he has acheieved Bankai.

Character Outline

Ikkaku is bald and is made fun of by his peers for it. The 11th Division lieutenant, Yachiru Kusajishi, calls him either "cue-ball" or "pachinko head", a result of her fondness for giving people nicknames or when he questions her direction skills. As a result of the constant ridicule he gets, Ikkaku is very self-conscious about his baldness, to the point where he will threaten anyone that points it out. Ikkaku's bald scalp is reflective, which causes members of the 8th and 11th Divisions to mistake it as a full moon in one of the anime's omake segments, much to Ikkaku's annoyance. He also has distinctive small red markings near his eyes. Unlike most shinigami, he doesn't wear tabi with his sandals.

Despite being ranked as 3rd seat officer in his division, his rank does not reflect his fighting abilities, which easily surpass lieutenant level. According to Yumichika Ayasegawa, Ikkaku is the 2nd strongest man in the 11th Division.[2] It is unclear whether this explicitly means that he is stronger than any other male in the division (excluding Kenpachi) or whether he is the second strongest person in the division (surpassing Yachiru, its lieutenant). Ikkaku has even achieved the bankai of his zanpakutō, putting him at a level beyond most of Soul Society's lieutenants. Ikkaku intentionally hides this fact from everyone, with the exception of those he trusts to keep it a secret. The reason he does so is to stay in the 11th Division and one day die under Kenpachi, since he believes he might be promoted or forced into becoming a captain if anyone else knew, and does not want to deal with people asking him to become one.

In terms of attitude, Ikkaku is a stereotypical 11th Division member — violent, fight-loving, and rude; this has been noted by Tetsuzaemon Iba, among others. He loves fighting so much that he is unwilling to travel anywhere without a sword, resorting to carrying a wooden one when posing as a student at Ichigo's school. He does have a sense of loyalty and responsibility, however, unlike many of the lower-ranked 11th Division members. Ikkaku is fiercely loyal to Kenpachi, under whose command he wants to fight and eventually die.

Ikkaku has many personality traits in common with his division's captain Kenpachi Zaraki, which is why they seem to have so much respect for one another. Ikkaku considers fighting fun and tries to get as much "fun" as he can out of his opponents, so much so that he will take deadly risks to drag out the fight for as long as possible. During a fight with a challenging opponent, he is almost constantly smiling, much like Kenpachi does. Like all 11th Division members, he considers the only honorable battles to be those fought one-on-one and even the threat of death is not a reason to ignore this fact, since as a rule the winner is only determined when the other is dead. However he does consider surviving an otherwise lost battle good luck, and he's also sensible enough to carry a styptic ointment in the hilt of his zanpakutō.

Ikkaku is one of the few characters in Bleach that is more commonly referred to by their given name than their family name, a rarity in Bleach but seemingly more common amongst the 11th Division. Only Makizō Aramaki and Tōshirō Hitsugaya have called him "Madarame" so far. As an odd side note, Ikkaku appears to be one of only two Bleach characters who are left handed, the other being Uryū Ishida. It's also possible he's ambidextrous, like Lisa Yadōmaru, as he switches to his right hand during his battle with the arrancar Edrad Leones and uses his sword sheath as a secondary weapon in battle. --[Kai+Mar] 06:50, 3 June 2008 (EDT)


Not much is known about Ikkaku's history, but it's likely that he has been in the 11th Division since becoming a Soul Reaper. The anime is much clearer about this; Ikkaku becomes a Soul Reaper after hearing that Kenpachi had become the captain of the 11th Division. During Renji Abarai's time in the 11th Division, Ikkaku was Renji's senpai and taught him how to fight, as well as to tell his name to his opponents before he kills them.

Like Rukia Kuchiki and Renji, Ikkaku came from Rukongai. At some point, he met Yumichika Ayasegawa and the two became friends. They would later have an encounter with Kenpachi Zaraki and Yachiru Kusajishi before they entered Seireitei. Kenpachi and Ikkaku fought; Kenpachi defeated Ikkaku and nearly killed him. When he asked Kenpachi why he didn't kill him, Kenpachi replied that if he killed Ikkaku now, he would never get another opportunity to fight him again. He then told him not to seek death, but to consider himself lucky for not having died. The encounter is Ikkaku's main reason for staying in the 11th Division, as he wants to continue serving under Kenpachi and might not get a chance to fight him again otherwise. --[Kai+Mar] 06:50, 3 June 2008 (EDT)


During the events of the Soul Society invasion, Ikkaku fights Ichigo Kurosaki and loses, though Ichigo uses Ikkaku's medicine to save Ikkaku's life. Along with Yumichika Ayasegawa and Makizō Aramaki of his division, Ikkaku helps Ichigo's friends, and has a "fight" with 7th Division lieutenant Tetsuzaemon Iba that consists of sharing some sake in between bouts of fighting. After Aizen's betrayal, Ikkaku refuses Renji's attempts to talk him into becoming a captain, noting that he wishes only to serve Kenpachi. Ikkaku, along with Yumichika, are put in charge of 11th Division matters while Kenpachi is unable to during the Bount invasion, and also has a short fight with Maki Ichinose.

At some point between the Soul Society Arc and the Arrancar arc, Renji approaches Ikkaku, pleading with him to become a captain, but Ikkaku refuses, saying that if he does, he can no longer serve under Kenpachi, comparing his desire to do so to Renji's dream of surpassing Byakuya Kuchiki.

Ikkaku is later assigned into Tōshirō Hitsugaya's team to defend Karakura Town from arrancar invasions, and fights Edrad Liones, winning once he releases his bankai, though he loses to Luppi in a later invasion partly because he does not use his bankai. Ikkaku and Yumichika also stay in Keigo Asano's home during their time in the human world, and comically have to put up with Keigo's sister, who has a crush on him because of his bald head. Ikkaku and the rest of the Hitsugaya's team later come back to Soul Society due to General Yamamoto's orders. --[Kai+Mar] 06:50, 3 June 2008 (EDT)

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