Character study: Ulquiorra Schiffer

 

Ulquiorra Schiffer is one of the longest running personal enemies for Kurosaki Ichigo in the manga Bleach. He is the 4th Espada in Aizen Sousuke’s army, and his aspect of death is Nihilism. He has been one of my favorite Bleach characters for a while now, and I don’t really know why… I think it is the same thing as with Kadaj from Final Fantasy, I just think they need a hug! (Ulquiorra would certainly kill me before I had the chance…)

If you watch the anime or manga, you probably know how Ulquiorra’s sad end came about, and it was certainly sad. Not only did he fade after a victory that Ichigo saw as un-fair, but he also in the end thought he had found what he had looked for his entire existence: the heart.

I decided myself that Ulquiorra was not dead, I decided that since he never got a flashback scene, he just withered away to dust for so to materialize again later (Mayuri became water and escaped!! I so call that Ulquiorra can blow away and materialize!!). But alas, I have now found out that he does have a flashback scene, just that it is a extra chapter in the character guide UNmasked… MY ULQUIORRA IS DEAD!!!! NO!!!! (I now live on for more awsome Ichigo and a hope for a Grimmjow return T.T)

But I am happy that we got a background on him! Since it does explain a little of how he has become like he is.

In the chapter he says that he was born in a deep hole where there was no light, and he were together with hollows like himself. I don’t really know how this works since I guess he were a adjuncas at this point? And that both he and his clan had been born from the same Gillian? I am not sure XD But he is adorable XD

But he is different from his fellow hollows, as they are deep black, and has mouths to feed with, while he has nothing than his eyes  and is completely white beside his eyes, hair and wings. He then kills all of them with no remorse, probably because they decided to turn against him. as hollows are mostly canibalistic.

He keeps wandering alone. He can only see. He can not feel, he can’t hear anything or eat anything. His only sense is that of his sight, and all he learned in his early life was to trust his sight. If he didn’t see something, it didn’t exist at all for him, and this is a fact that he believed in until the end. And another sad fact was that because he had no other sense to help him understand things with, the things he saw made no sense to him.

He had no companions, and because he could not count on any other sense than his eyes, he could not rest at all, since he knew he would be eaten by other hollows.

Then he comes to the place that is the source for the crystal like trees in Hueco Mundo. He is captivated by the energy, but also the emptiness of the trees. They are just there, and they don’t need to interact with others or think about anything. He sees it as the closest thing to a void he had ever seen, and the sad fact is that he explains it as one of the only things he can be able to comprehend himself: With no colour, no sound, no scent, it only exists there.

In the end he lets himself fall into the source, and his mask is broken off as he falls into it. Then he is captured inside it, and as he loses all sight as well, he for the first time in his life feels happiness. He felt that his happiness was in this instant that he had nothing, and he could lose nothing, thus for him, total nothingness was happiness.

Firstly, it seems that Ulquiorra is a exeption to most of the rules of hollows. He is strong, yet he should not have been able to have eaten anything in the start, yet he killed off his entire clan, something that means he must have been really strong to begin with. He is also so far the only Vasto Lord class known that has been able to take off his mask himself, and not with Aizen’s help, another proof of his strenght. But since he is never shown to have eaten another hollow, it might be that he gained a lot of strenght from lying at the source for the crystal trees.

It is still not known how he met Aizen, but we can sort of understand why he had such a high position and did most of the work for Aizen, since a person with no desire at all have to be a wonderful person to trust. He does not desire more powers as the others did, he follows reason, and he had no reason to dissobey Aizen at all.

But with this past revealed, there is another important thing to point out: Ulquiorra’s despair. His first release is the form close to the one he had when he was a Vasto Lord, but the last form, that he tells Ichigo is the true form of Despair, looks a lot like his kin. Does Ulquiorra see despair as becoming like his kin then? And if he does, is it because he saw them as normal hollows and wanted desperately to be like them? Or that he feared to become like them and that was his despair? Their blackness must have seemed like a complete void to him, yet to become like them frightens him? Might this also be a reason he left the void he felt happiness in in the end? Even if he longed for that emptiness, maybe it frightened him as well in the end? And emptiness is his one true despair, no matter how much he longed for it.

In the end it seems that falling into the void and seeing nothing, and also the fascination he has with Ichigo and Orihime all comes back to the fact that he wants to pull himself from the one sense he has always had. He wants to find something his eyes can not see, and know that it is still there. He can not see the thing called feelings, but he links them to the heart that he neither can see, and he keeps longing for it without even knowing enough about life to know that the longing for an answer is a feeling. I think he understands this in the end, as he reaches for Orihime. He did not understand what a heart is, but he understand that there was a feeling in him, that made him reach for her. He understood that he felt longing, and as he pulls his hand back and laments having to die as he finally felt some interest for someone, he for the first time seems like he is sad, as he knows he is about to die, and will never be able to figure out these two people that is so different from him. Orihime who feels so much love for everyone, and Ichigo who lives on to protect, while he himself wishes for nothing to protect or worry about at all.

Hearts, you say? You Humans are always so quick to speak of such things. As though you carry your hearts in the very palms of your hands. But this eye of mine perceives all. There is nothing that it overlooks. If this eye cannot see a thing, then it does not exist. That is the assumption under which I have always fought. What is this “heart”? If I tear open that chest of yours, will I see it there? If I smash open that skull of yours, will I see it there?”

Ulquiorra to Orihime before the fight with Ichigo

Ulquiorra’s real despair in the end, might have been that he never fitted in. His true form was that of his kin that he killed without ever being able to understand, and in his life, he might just have wanted to understand the sensations that his eyes were never able to tell him what was. He says that Nihility is having nothing, and having nothing to lose, he sees this as true happiness, yet he still follows Aizen? Why follow a man and take orders from him if that goes against all his views of true happiness? He protected their home when Aizen was away, and he followed his orders. Might this be a sign that Ulquiorra really did try to find some meaning? And he followed Aizen because he helped him on the way to be able to look for that meaning? In the end, he faded before he knew any real meaning in life…

I see. This. Yes. This thing in my hand is the heart?

Ulquiorra’s last words

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5 thoughts on “Character study: Ulquiorra Schiffer

  1. I still refuse to admit he’s dead. At least not in so many words.
    He’s probably just floating around in the soul vat somewhere. Hallows are purified after being killed by a shinigami, right? He’ll be back eventually, in some form or another. Even if it’s not implicitly stated in the actual story. And if not, I’ll continue to delude myself as such ^^

  2. Wow! Now I understand fully about Ulquiorra!
    Before I read this I always been confused of what’s the meaning to everything his said and do.
    And then I found this wonderful blog after being confused for >6months. You explain everything fully and everything I always wanted to figure out.
    Your analysis has opened my eyes and mind! Thank you so much for having written this!
    Xoxo,
    Yeonji

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