Anima Gladium or Soul Sword, it is similar to the Zanpakutō (斬魄刀, Soul-Cutter Sword; Viz "Soul Slayer") Except the Anima Gladium was made for the Bloodline of Shade Shadowmane by Shade himself. Though not a spiritual weaapon like the Zanpakuto it works perfectly with any form of Jutsu to allow the user complete control of the battlefield when needed.
Communication & PersonalityEdit
A wielder knows their Anima Gladium spirit very closely and vice versa. The connection is very deep, though in the beginning the connection is one sided, with the wielder being unable to fully hear the spirit communicating with them. It is not uncommon for the introduction of the weilder and Anima Gladium spirit to take place in the "inner world" while the prospective weilder sleeps.
As stated, a Anima Gladium is a being unto itself, and tends to be highly temperamental. Its mood is determined by how it is treated by its weilder and its overall personality. This allows a weilder to partially determine whether or not it will achieve its true power.
Normally, the Anima Gladium spirit can only be seen by its wielder. Otherwise, they dwell in their own "inner world", created within the minds of the weilder. As such, each weilder's inner world is drastically different from another weilder's, and is unique to themselves. A Anima Gladium's spirit can bring its wielder into its inner world, though weilders can voluntarily achieve this simply by meditation.
Forms of Anima GladiumEdit
All Anima Gladium have two levels of release. The first one is Shikai and the second one is Bankai. The power and forms of Shikai and Bankai are dependent on the Anima Gladium, and vary according to the wielder's strength and training.
Most Anima Gladium look like regular katana, with slight variations between them as one would expect between different swords. Their variations are commonly:
- Katana (刀): The term katana may be applied to the standard-size, moderately curved, Japanese sword with a blade length of greater than 60 cm (23.6 inches). The katana is characterized by its distinctive appearance: a curved, slender, single-edged blade, a circular or squared guard, and a hilt long enough to accommodate two hands.
- Wakizashi (脇差 (わきざし), side insertion): A short blade between 30 and 60 cm (12 and 24 inches), with an average of 50 cm (20 inches). It is similar to but shorter than a katana, and usually shorter than the kodachi (小太刀 (こだち), small sword). The wakizashi was usually worn together with the katana. When worn together, the pair of swords were called daishō (大小, large and small). The katana was often called the long sword, and the wakizashi the companion sword.
- Nodachi (野太刀 (のだち), field sword): The nodachi was more difficult to wield due to its size and weight. The length of the hilt of the nodachi varied between twelve to thirteen inches (30 to 33 centimeters). Due to its weight and size, its cutting capability and range exceeds those of a katana.
- Tantō (短刀, short sword): The tanto is commonly referred to as a knife or dagger. The blade is single or double edged, with a length between 15 and 30 cm (6-12 inches, in Japanese 1 shaku). The tantō was designed primarily as a stabbing weapon, but the edge can be used for slashing as well.
- Anima Gladium can also be disguised as other objects, though such objects seem to need to be of similar proportions to the sword itself.
An Anima Gladium will return to its sealed state when its wielder is knocked unconscious.
Shikai (始解, Initial Release) is the second (or first upgraded) form available to an Anima Gladium. To activate it, the weilder needs to learn the name of their Anima Gladium. This is not as easy as simply picking a name, for the living spirit of the Anima Gladium already has its own name. The weilder must be able to communicate and harmonize with their Anima Gladium effectively, which requires being able to speak to the spirit within its world.
The blade changes shape and gains special abilities by chanting a Kaigo, or release incantation. Using the Kaigo, followed by the name of the Anima Gladium, activates Shikai. It is crucial to memorize each phrase, for every Anima Gladium has a different incantation.
The commands vary between users and range from a simple imperative verb to a short poem. They often relate to the Anima Gladium's signature ability or hint at the nature of its spirit.
Achievement of the Shikai is a mark of control of a Anima Gladium.
Bankai (卍解, Final Release) is the second and final upgraded form of an Anima Gladium. To achieve Bankai, one must be able to materialize and subjugate their Anima Gladium spirit. Materialization means the opposite of getting dragged into the Anima Gladium's inner world: the wielder needs to summon the Anima Gladium's spirit into the physical world. It usually takes 10,000 years or more to achieve, plus the experience needed to master it.
The power and forms of Shikai and Bankai are dependent on the Anima Gladium, and vary according to the wielder's strength and training. But in general, one's power can grow 500 to 10,000 times greater by attaining it. Only the strongest weilders can use it, and it is the ultimate technique of a Anima Gladium.
Weakness: The biggest flaw of Bankai lies in the overwhelming power it releases. Its power and form are often far beyond those of a normal weapon, which is why one needs to train at least 10,000 years with Bankai in order for one to become capable of using it completely and effectively. No Bankai should be used in battle before this period of time has been reached. A broken Bankai can be returned to its former state. A Bankai's form and strength is determinant on how much the spirit recognizes its wielder. If the Anima Gladium does not fully recognize its wielder, then it may not give its Bankai's true name. The result is the Bankai not being in its true form and therefore weaker.