Nanao Ise (伊勢 七緒) is the co-lieutenant of the First Division of the Gotei 13, under Captain Shunsui Kyoraku, and Vice-President of the Shinigami Women's Association.
Nanao Ise was the daughter of Shunsui Kyoraku's deceased older brother and the previous head of the entirely female House of Ise. As a young girl, she overheard her mother entrusting the House's Zanpakuto, Shinken Hakkyoken, to Shunsui. After her mother died, Nanao was taken in by an elderly couple who were relatives of her family and entered the Shin'o Academy, where she excelled in Kidō despite being unable to imprint on her Asauchi. During her tenure at the academy, Nanao saw Shunsui visiting the headmaster and recognized his hairpins as being identical to those belonging to her mother. Upon graduating, Nanao was surprised to learn that she had been placed in the 8th Division despite having put the Kido Corps in her assignment preferences, and eventually saw Shunsui again, where she noticed that he had changed his kimono and removed his hairpins; this allowed her to recognize him as the man whom her mother entrusted something precious to.
Nanao was notable for being in the 8th Division when she was a little girl, and enjoyed being read to by former Lieutenant Lisa Yadomaru, something they did regularly each month around the time of the first. Eventually, between the period of time when Lisa was forced to hide alongside the other transformed Visored and the present day, she worked her way up from being Shunsui's subordinate to his lieutenant.
She is a very serious and pragmatic person who often puts up with her captain's silly antics, but like all lieutenants, she is extremely respectful of her captain and follows his instructions without hesitation. She is almost always carrying a heavy book. Nanao is often accosted by her captain, whose teasing takes various forms. Nanao's usual reaction is to scold him or hit him with something, usually a fan. When she is particularly annoyed she takes off her glasses, though her face has never been seen while doing so. Apparently this act is quite frightening, as most people who see it are reduced to gibbering wrecks just by witnessing it. Even the sadistic, cold-hearted 12 Division captain, Mayuri Kurotsuchi fell victim to this intimidating spectacle.
In her free time, she likes to go shopping, but even more to read, and often visits the library. She is on good terms with fellow reader Momo Hinamori; she even brought her books during her hospitalization. Nanao also has an article serialization in Seireitei Communication, titled "Please be Moderate", which is very popular, especially among the male readers. Nanao is known to be an excellent calculator, a skill very handy, given that she has to do even most of her captain's paperwork. Her favorite food is sweet bean jelly, and she does not like powdered green tea, a trait which is interestingly shared with her captain.
Nanao is the Vice-President of the Shinigami Women's Association, but is usually the one who attempts to maintain and control the meetings due to the juvenile actions and behaviors of President Yachiru Kusajishi. Yet while she attempts to be the main moderator, Yachiru usually has higher say on everything from budget decisions to activities done by the club making any of Nanao's comments or advice worthless. She is also frequently at odds with Shinigami Men's Association leader Tetsuzaemon Iba, of whom she usually forces her superiority and control regarding the influence and power she and the Women's Association have over his association.
Nanao is a slim and youthful girl with long black hair normally kept pinned back, with flat bangs that hang to the right side of her face. Nanao also wears a standard Shinigami outfit. She has slightly light blue eyes that have a deep tint of violet and wears glasses with a slight oval shape to them. As a child, she had rounder glasses with chin-length hair that framed both sides of her face.
Nanao is at least skilled enough to perform mid-level spells without incantation. Nanao claims she was appointed to her position as lieutenant solely due to her ability in Kido. She is skilled enough to easily create intricate and advanced spells like Hakudan Keppeki within a small amount of time when given the right information.
Nanao is proficient enough in Shunpo to keep up with most lieutenant-level Shinigami.
High Spiritual Power
Being a lieutenant of the Gotei 13, Nanao boasts a high spiritual energy.
Nanao's Zanpakuto takes the form of what appears to be either a wakizashi or tantō, with a rectangular tsuba decorated with diamond shapes on its corners and question-mark shapes on its broad sides. She keeps it concealed within her sleeve. This is shown just before Shunsui Kyoraku and Jushiro Ukitake's fight with Genryusai Shigekuni Yamamoto, when she reaches in her sleeve only to be overwhelmed by Yamamoto's Reiatsu.
Not Yet Revealed
Not Yet Achieved
Soul Society arc
When Yasutora "Chad" Sado makes his way to the Eighth Division’s offices, Nanao is talking to Shunsui Kyoraku, who was teasing her, calling her “Nanao-chan!” which she hates. She later spreads flower petals so that Kyoraku can make his grand entrance in front of Sado. But when he starts teasing her and she gets mad at him and dumps the rest on his head.
During the fight between Kyoraku and Chad she stays out of the picture, and then receives a message from the Onmitsukido, informing her of the murder of Sosuke Aizen. She runs to Kyoraku to tell him, and then as they turn to leave, she notices that Chad, who has been cut by Kyoraku, is not dead. She asks permission to deliver the finishing blow, but Kyoraku says no and instead tells her to take him to the Fourth Division.
Much later, during the day of Rukia Kuchiki's execution, she finds Kyoraku at his usual spot sleeping up on a roof. She puts up once again with his teasing as she tries to hurry him to the Sokyoku Stand. As he asks her what he should do, she tells him that no matter what she thinks or advises, he would still do what he wanted to. “Don’t worry,” she also said, “I will follow you at a safe distance... so that I will not get dragged into anything.”
After the failed execution, Nanao follows Kyoraku and Jushiro Ukitake to the place where they could battle Yamamoto without getting anyone else implicated. She then describes the spiritual pressure that is Yamamoto's, but while trying to take out her Zanpakuto, she is caught in Yamamoto’s stare and is suffocated by his spiritual pressure. Kyoraku breaks the eye contact to save her, and transports her to a safer spot through the use of Shunpo. She then realizes that it is not only difficult to win against Yamamoto even with two captains on their side, but it is near impossible.
She is sent on the behalf of Captains Ukitake and Hitsugaya to request the presence of a sleeping Captain Kyōraku in the archives. She is one of the several Gotei 13 captains and lieutenants to gather in a single room, to have a meeting held by Captain Ukitake. She, her captain, and Captain Ukitake watch over the reconstruction of part of the Seireitei. She informs Yamamoto that Ukitake and Shunsui have found documents from Ran'Tao and that it contains information about the Jokaisho. She is then ordered by Yamamoto to tell Ukitake to continue searching through the documents. She is with her captain and Captain Ukitake when Captain Hitsugaya informs them of the situation and Hitsugaya states that they should be getting new orders from Yamamoto soon.
Beast Swords arc
After Muramasa's defeat, Nanao reports to Kyoraku and Ukitake about the Toju. Knowing that only Captain Kurotsuchi can figure out a way to solve this problem, Shunsui sends Nanao with a box of sweets to bribe the scientist to help them. Kurotsuchi initially refuses to help, but Nemu accepts the sweets and apologizes for her captain's lack of interest. Later on, after several items go missing in the Fourth Division compound, she assists in the investigation of the underground sewers. During the journey, she, along with Hanataro Yamada, Ikkaku Madarame, and his Zanpakutō, Hozukimaru, run into a powerful squid-like Toju and are washed away by the overflowing sewer water caused when Hanataro triggered a booby trap. Soon after, she meets Hanataro's Zanpakuto, Hisagomaru. Suddenly, the squid-like Toju reappears and attacks the group. After the Toju's defeat, Nanao and her search party return above ground, where she is congratulated by her captain.
Later, she is sent by her captain on a mission to defeat another Tōjū along with the much quieter half of Katen Kyokotsu. She initially finds the girl disturbing to be around, due to her aggressiveness and the way she tortures the Toju they were sent to kill. As a result, Nanao uses a Kido spell on Katen Kyokotsu while the spirit is battling the Toju, but her interference allows the Toju to escape. She enlists the help of Rangiku Matsumoto in order to try and get the girl to come out of her shell, but both women fail drastically. Afterwards, she notices that the spirit likes flowers, and thus places one in her hair as a gift. Suddenly, both are ambushed by the Toju from before. Before the Toju can move in to make the kill, however, they are saved by Captain Shunsui Kyoraku's timely arrival. Later, at a party, Katen Kyokotsu puts a flower in Nanao's hair, signifying that they are friends.
The New Captain Shunsuke Amagi arc
Shortly after Shusuke Amagai is appointed the new 3rd Division captain, Nanao informs Kyoraku that the 3rd Division is holding a party for their new captain. When Kyoraku tells her that sake usually tastes better in mid-day, she responds "I wouldn't know". During the Menos invasion, she claims that it is strongly reminiscent of a trick. Later on, she interrupts her captain and Captain Ukitake and reports that fights between different divisions are breaking out across the Seireitei.
In a flashback of Captain-Commander Genryusai Shigekuni Yamamoto's, Nanao appears beside her captain to help Captain Jushiro Ukitake, Sentaro Kotsubaki, and Kiyone Kotetsu search for clues to Sosuke Aizen's master plan. She points out there is some data that is unrelated to the Hōgyoku. They then stumble upon information that Aizen is trying to make a copy of the ken using Karakura Town.
Gotei 13 Invasion army arc
In the Human World, Rangiku and Nanao complete their share of the cleansing of the area around Karakura Town. They had been setting up barriers for the past month. Rangiku suggests that they celebrate, prompting Nanao to note that Rangiku has seemed somewhat depressed recently. Rangiku receives an order to return to Soul Society. Nanao opens a Senkaimon and the pair enter the Dangai, noting that while it is the designated path, it is creepy. As Rangiku notices something odd, their Hell Butterflies turn into energy. The following day, Nanao and Rangiku arrive in Seireitei and are brought before Captain Yamamoto. When questioned, they insist that only three hours have passed since Hitsugaya ordered them to return.
Later, Nanao appears with other members of the Gotei 13 in the Human World as they escape the Dangai and fend off Kageroza Inaba. After fending off Inaba and forcing him to retreat, Nanao joins other members of the Gotei 13 as they hold a meeting in Ichigo's room. A few days later, the Shinigami gather in Ichigo's room once again. Nanao reports that Retsu Unohana has escaped Seireitei, has informed her that the Reigai are very powerful without their limiters and that Captain-Commander Yamamoto's wounds will take time to heal. As they discuss what to do with Nozomi, who wishes to help fight Inaba, Nanao insists that without knowing what her powers are, they cannot put her at risk as Inaba is targeting her. While in the Human World, she assists Captain Unohana in treating the wounded.
The 10 Thousand Year Blood War arc
While the captains are in a meeting, the lieutenants gather and discuss the situation with the Wandenreich and recent disappearances of Hollows and Rukongai residents. She listens as Izuru deduces that Shinigami were likely involved in the disappearance of the Rukongai denizens. When the Wandenreich attack Seireitei, Nanao notices the assault and rushes outside.
Nanao visits Shunsui after the Wandenreich assault and complains that he does not answer her when she knocks on the door. Shunsui states that this may be the last time they meet and apologizes. Shunsui later becomes Captain-Commander and appoints her as his co-lieutenant of the 1st Division along with Genshirō Okikiba when he moves to that Division. She is also present with Shunsui when the Wandenreich invade Soul Society for the second time. Nanao stands close by her captain as he is confronted by Jugram Haschwalth, who is prevented from approaching or attack due to a specialized Kidō barrier, Hakudan Keppeki. She explains the ability of the barrier, to which Haschwalth acknowledges who she is and her skill in Kido. He then asks her whether the other captains are capable of this Kido spell, to which she admits they are not. Haschwalth states that it is unfortunate because if they had been they would have been able to die fighting instead of being executed. She and her captain are then startled by an explosion not far from where they are.
She and her captain then listen to Kisuke Urahara's message regarding Bankai recovery. Later, when Haschwalth draws his sword and states it is his role to tip the balance in favor of the Wandenreich, Shunsui moves in front of Nanao as the wall behind them is destroyed. Revealing he had gradually absorbed the Reishi on his side of the barrier, Haschwalth notes it took him a considerable amount of time to do so and says it is a splendid technique. Asking Haschwalth if she should feel honored, Nanao makes a motion with her hand, causing a wall of hexagons to appear as she reveals she created a new wall while Haschwalth was absorbing Reishi. When Haschwalth notes this wall appears to have been made with a different technique, Nanao confirms this and explains how the wall is comprised of smaller hexagonal plates joined together before asking Haschwalth if it appears to be weaker because it is not a single wall. Haschwalth confirms this before noting the appearance of it being weak is too obvious to be true. As the Sternritter prepares to attack, he receives an order to leave, surprising Nanao.
Upon observing the light of Auswahlen light rising up from the Seireitei, Shunsui tells Okikiba and Nanao that he may have to leave the Seireitei, saying that the Soul King Palace is in danger. Later, Nanao is present in the laboratory being used by Urahara. When an angered Kenpachi Zaraki begins to approach Urahara after the latter prevents him from leaving to search for his lieutenant, Nanao confronts him and reminds him that he has a duty to perform here and that his division members will be able to search for Yachiru much faster than he can. After a minute or two, Kenpachi admits she is right and backs off, prompting Urahara to give a sphere to Nanao to charge with her Reiatsu. While in the laboratory, after the door to the palace begins to disintegrate, Nanao notes that the absence of Ukitake's vast amounts of Reiatsu is causing this, but she is interrupted by Lisa, who has arrived with the other Visored in shihakushō, and informs Nanao that there's no way they're going to let things go.
When the Shinigami enter the Royal Realm, Nanao runs alongside Shunsui through the city as Lille Barro begins sniping the Shinigami. However, he does not hit Nanao, and she accompanies Shunsui as he manages to get close to Lille. Shunsui applauds Nanao's Shunpo skill, and he tells her that she should return to the others since the situation is dangerous. However, Nanao refuses, and Shunsui instead tells her to tell the others to go on without him, which she accepts. Before Nanao leaves, she tells Shunsui that if he dies, she will shave his chest hair off.
Nanao returns to the other Shinigami, saying that they should go on ahead and she will return to assist Shunsui. Soon afterward, Nanao finds Shunsui heavily injured and closing his eyes, prompting her to wake him up and beg him to take her Zanpakuto despite the promise he made to her mother. When Lille appears behind Nanao and attacks, Shunsui moves both of them to a pocket dimension within Lille's shadow using Kageoni and confirms that Nanao knows about her mother before deciding to return her Zanpakuto to her as Kyokotsu appears behind Nanao.
Nanao expresses disbelief at Kyōkotsu being her Zanpakuto, only for Shunsui to correct himself by saying that Katen Kyokotsu created the younger girl in order to store Nanao's Zanpakuto. After explaining the history of the Ise family and its curse tied to their inherited Zanpakuto, Shunsui reveals that Nanao's mother, his step-sister, entrusted the Zanpakuto to him, which he gave to the younger girl of his Zanpakuto spirits to hide, prompting the girl to pull the wrapped Zanpakuto out of her face. Nanao states that she understands Shunsui did not want to give the Zanpakuto back to her before revealing that she has decided to accept the curse and that she believes the person she decides to love would also believe the curse is ridiculous. Shortly afterward, Nanao emerges from a shadow on Lille's forehead before blocking a blow from him with the wrapped Zanpakuto, sending her flying down onto a building below. As Lille demands to know if she will challenge him alone, Nanao unwraps her Zanpakuto, Shinken Hakkyoken.
When Lille wonders what kind of sword she is carrying and notes that he cannot even see the blade, Nanao notes that this is good because Shinken Hakkyoken reflects the power of the entity it is fighting and is currently diffusing the light from Lille's eyes. Nanao leaps toward Lille, who asks her if she plans to cut him down with that sword before blocking her strike with his arm, which is severed at the wrist. As Nanao expresses shock at Lille parrying her blow despite seemingly being caught off-guard, Lille claims she has wasted her one chance to kill him while forming a ball of energy to attack her with. Nanao admits that she did not expect fighting with a sword to be so frightening and begins panicking over a wound on her leg caused by her attack. However, Shunsui emerges from Nanao's shadow and takes hold of her hand while telling her that they will go together before assuring her that he will always be behind her. As Nanao realizes that Shunsui has always been there to support her, Lille attacks them with Trompete, only for Nanao to reflect the power of the attack back at him with Shinken Hakkyoken, causing Lille to disintegrate.
As they watch Lille's remains fall, Nanao collapses from shock and is caught by Shunsui, who commends her for her effort. When Shunsui prepares to head off and meet up with the others, Nanao protests against this due to his wounds, which Shunsui promptly collapses from.
Ten years after Yhwach's defeat, Nanao calls over Shunsui from Ukitake's burial site. Later, at the ceremony to promote Rukia Kuchiki to the captaincy of the 13th Division, Nanao gives the order for Rukia to enter.
Bleach movie 1
Bleach movie 2
Bleach movie 3
Bleach movie 4
Nanao Ise is a playable character in the following video games:
- Bleach Heat the Soul 3
- Bleach Heat the Soul 7
- (To Shunsui Kyoraku) "What is wrong with you, Captain Kyōraku. That Ryoka is still alive. Shall I finish him off?"
- Nanao writes a serialized article in the Seireitei Communication called Please Don't Get Carried Away (大概にしてください) which is one of the top three most popular columns and is very popular among the male readers. The column resounds with readers' problems and complaints.
- Japanese : Hitomi Nabatame (2005 – Present)
- English : Kate Higgins (2007 – Present)
all information on Nanao Ise came from http://bleach.wikia.com/wiki/Nanao_Ise