|“||Sorry, but I simply can't stand the sunlight, and the sunlight can't make it in here.||„|
|~ Aaroniero Arruruerie to Rukia|
In the Japanese version, he was voiced by Toshihiko Seki as Kaien Shiba, Ryūzaburō Ōtomo in the deep voice, and Mayumi Yamaguchi in the high voice. In the English version, he was voiced by Dave Mallow as Kaien Shiba, Keith Silverstein in the deep voice, and Wendee Lee in the high voice.
Aaroniero was once a Gillian-class Menos Hollow that was transformed into an Arrancar, eventually joining the ranks of the Espada by devouring an enormous number Hollows with his Zanpakuto. He would become the last of the first generation Espada and at one point devoured a Hollow known as Metastacia, who had joined with a Shinigami lieutenant called Kaien Shiba. As a result, Aaroniero gained Kaien's powers and memories, as well as Metastacia's ability to fuse with other beings.
Greeting RukiaAaroniero later attended a meeting of the Espada called by Aizen, where they were told about Ichigo Kurosaki, Uryu Ishida, and Yasutora Sado coming to Hueco Mundo to save Orihime. The 9th Espada sarcastically noted that the intruders were just children, but though Aizen warned not to underestimate the three, he noted they shouldn't be too worried.
Soon after that, Rukia Kuchiki, who'd met up with the group, was separated from the others and came across Aaroniero, who got her to follow him into a tower. After getting inside, the 9th Espada said that he hated sunlight and proceeded to remove his mask while introducing himself. However upon his doing so, Rukia immediately recognized the face underneath as that of Kaien Shiba, who'd been her close friend and mentor.
At first, she couldn't believe it, since she knew the lieutenant was dead, she'd had to kill him herself, but the appearance was unmistakable. Then as Aaroniero started to talk to her, Rukia found that the voice and mannerisms were unmistakable, it had to be Kaien. He pulled out a set of cushions and told her to sit down since they had a lot to talk about. Then Aaroniero explained that the night he'd been possessed by that Hollow, his spirit began crumbling after the battle. Eventually it completely shattered and was thrown into Hueco Mundo, because the Hollow he'd been fighting had been one of Aizen's experiments. It had the ability to regenerate back in Hueco Mundo when it was destroyed and because he'd been fused with it, it had regenerated Kaien's body. However he'd emerged with control over their body after the regeneration, which Rukia found hard to believe at first, but Aaroniero assured her it was true. He then explained he'd become a member of the Espada, so he could have a chance at getting revenge on Aizen and that the sky outside was created by Aizen as a means of watching what happened in Hueco Mundo.
Aaroniero told Rukia that he had an important mission that he needed her help with and they would talk more elsewhere. However as she got up, the 9th Espada attacked her with his Zanpakuto, which shocked her and she listened to him speak quite coldly about his own death. Rukia willingly offered "Kaien" her life to repent for killing him, but she went on to say that she couldn't give it to him until she'd saved Orihime. Aaroniero just said he was joking, but told her that there was something she could she if she really wanted to repent for what she did.
He then asked her to kill her friends, but Rukia finally realized something was wrong since Kaien would never ask her to do such a horrible thing. She released her Zanpakuto and attacked Aaroniero, who managed to fight back, stating that he had full knowledge of her fighting style. He released Kaien's Zanpakuto, Nejibana, and succeeded in outfighting Rukia, who noted that his fighting style was exactly like that of Kaien.
However the Shinigami noticed that Aaroniero kept avoiding sunlight after she blasted open a wall with a Kido attack. Rukia used a Kido spell to hold her opponent in place then another to blast open the wall behind him, covering him in sunlight and revealing his true face.
Ending the Battle
Aaroniero's heads began talking with his upper head noting that their ruse was up and the lower head saying they should reintroduce themselves. The 9th Espada did so and Rukia asked him what he was, but the upper head told her not to make them repeat themselves, saying his name and Espada rank again. Aaroniero's two heads also told Rukia not to make comments about them, since they'd gotten tired of hearing people's opinions about it a long time ago. The 9th Espada then analyzed the Kido she'd just used, bringing up more memories of Kaien and saying Rukia could've seriously injured him if she'd used the attack against him. However the Shinigami replied that she was now completely sure Aaroniero wasn't Kaien and could now fight him without holding back, but he questioned if holding back was what kept her from harming him. The 9th Espada then appeared behind her with Sonído, saying that while it was true daylight kept him from using his powers, as long as he was in shadow, he could use it as much as he wanted. Aaroniero proceeded to resume Kaien's form, noting that it was quite annoying that Aizen put that daylight there, especially since there were many like him who could only use their powers in the dark. The 9th Espada went on to explain that his power wasn't merely shape-shifting and revealed that he was the only member of the Espada that used to be a Gillian-class Hollow. Aaroniero stated that this was because he was the only Arrancar in existence who could continually grow in power. The 9th Espada explained that the story he'd told her was partially true and when Metastacia reformed in Hueco Mundo, he'd devoured the Hollow, gaining its powers.
Aaroniero then removed the glove on his right hand to reveal his own Zanpakuto, Glotonería, and revealed that he could use it to devour a Hollow, granting him its abilities and spiritual power. The 9th Espada then explained he'd done that to Metastacia when he came back in Kaien's body and that the body he was now using actually was that of Kaien Shiba with all of his strength and memories intact. Aaroniero had used them to impersonate Rukia's friend in order to manipulate her and the Shinigami, realizing the meaning of what he said, began losing her determination. The 9th Espada proceeded to release his Zanpakuto and impaled Rukia on Nejibana, but noted that she was still conscious and commended her for her fight to survive. However Aaroniero said her efforts were pointless since she could never bring him down, but the Shinigami stated that she remembered and held her broken Zanpakuto up to the 9th Espada's face.
Aaroniero said he didn't know what she remembered and asked how she expected to fight him with a broken sword. But Rukia used her Sai no Mai, Shirafune technique to form a tip on the sword made of ice, which went right through Aaroniero's head. The Shinigami said that she'd remembered where Kaien's heart was and that though the 9th Espada had his body, his heart was with her.
Rukia then brought her sword down, shattering the tank that was Aaroniero's head and bringing an end to him. His bottom head died screaming in pain and calling out for Aizen to save it, saying that he promised he'd never feel pain again, while the top one simply cursed Rukia before splitting in half.
Descent into Hell
Upon dying, Aaroniero fell into Hell, arriving around the same time as Szayel Aporro Granz. After landing, Szayel noted how sturdy Aaroniero's tank was and the 9th Espada asked if he'd been hoping it would shatter. The 8th Espada said no and stated that if it had broken, he could have had the chance to study the liquid inside it. Aaroniero became angered, saying that he didn't know where this was, but it was a good thing Aizen wasn't here since now he could get rid of Szayel without anyone knowing. He let out Glotonería, but the 8th Espada told him to stop since they should work together to figure out where they were. However Aaroniero just said he could figure that out after devouring Szayel, but he reminded the 9th Espada that he held the higher rank. This didn't have an impact on Aaroniero, but they were suddenly interrupted by a man standing on a hill above them, who informed them that they were in Hell. The 9th Espada demanded that he come down and explain things, but he just laughed, saying they were already dead. Aaroniero refused to accept that, but Szayel, remembering his death, attacked the man, demanding to know if there was a way back to Hueco Mundo.The man said there was none and he was joined by three other beings, then introduced himself as Shuren, saying they'd have to serve him if they wanted to survive Hell. He introduced the other three as Taikon, Gunjō, and Garogai, then ordered them to attack the two Espada. Aaroniero and Szayel released their Zanpakuto and fought back, but they were quickly overwhelmed and beaten with Shuren saying they didn't have the power to open it (The gate of Hell).
Aaroniero doesn't have much of a unique personality due to the fact that most of the time he's seen, he is imitating Kaien Shiba. He does seem to have a great amount of pride due to his unique ability amongst Arrancar to continue growing stronger, as well as his position amongst the Espada despite the fact he used to only be a Gillian. Aaroniero has also demonstrated a cruel and sadistic side, taking enjoyment in toying with his opponents, especially by using memories he's gained. His two heads seem to have some level of individuality, since when revealed, they refer to themselves in plural and each reacted differently to dying.
Powers and Abilities
Aaroniero has considerable spiritual power, due to devouring approximately 33,650 other Hollows, as well as the considerably powerful Kaien Shiba. He is a highly skilled swordsman due to his indirect absorption of Kaien Shiba and is adept in using Sonído, an Arrancar technique that lets him move extremely fast.
Aaroniero also has the unique ability to send information of what he's seeing and experiencing to other Arrancar. Due to indirectly devouring Kaien Shiba, he can use Kaien's Zanpakuto, Nejibana, which he releases with the release command "Rankle the seas and the skies."
When Aaroniero does so, Nejibana becomes a cross between a trident and a Chinese halberd called a <ji and gains the ability to generate and control waves of water. Aaroniero's true Zanpakuto, Glotonería, takes the form of a deformed, tentacled, mouth like appendage in place of his left hand. By devouring a Hollow with it, he gains not only their power, but also their individual abilities and can manifest any aspect of them, including their physical form and any of their powers at any time though this power is nullified by sunlight. Aaroniero also gains all the memories, knowledge, and battle skills of those he devours and can merge himself with other beings, an ability he gained from Metastacia.
Like all Arrancar, Aaroniero is able to enter his Resurrección form by releasing Glotonería with the release command, "Devour". When he does so, Aaroniero's lower body becomes an enormous blob-like mass with numerous tentacles and he gains the ability to fully use all the powers of those he has devoured. In the video game, Bleach: Versus Crusade, he could fire a light-blue Cero, a powerful energy blast used by Arrancar and Hollows, from his tentacles.
- The aspect of death Aaroniero represents is Greed.
- He has appeared in a number of Bleach video games, Heat the Soul 5, 6, and 7 and Versus Crusade.
- There are a number of theories amongst some fans as to why Aaroniero came out so different to other Arrancar. One is that when he was formed into a Gillian, there were two Hollows with equally stronger personalities than all the other Hollows involved. Thus they each emerged dually in control of the Gillian, which caused them great pain, then Aizen offered to end their pain by turning Aaroniero into Arrancar. Another is that he was just the result of Aizen's early Arrancar experiments, before he perfected the process.
- The name of Aaroniero's Zanpakuto, Glotonería, is "Gluttony" in Spanish and "Eating Hollow" in Japanese, a reference to its special ability to devour Hollows to grant him their power.
- A joke amongst some fans is that Aaroniero's head looks like a lava lamp.
- His fight with Rukia came in seventh in the Bleach best bout poll.
- When Aaroniero entered his Resurrección form when fighting Rukia, his Resurrección form is purple. But when he released this form in Hell, it is yellow.