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Harribel was once a Vasto-Lorde class Menos Hollow who gathered Apacci, Sung-Sun, and Mila Rose together to form a group to stand up against the male Hollows who viewed them and other female Hollows as easy prey. When asked by Apacci why she allowed a Hollow they captured escape rather than eat it, Harribel explained that she refused to become strong by sacrificing others and stated that she preferred to win in a group if she couldn’t win alone.
Later on, Harribel and her followers were called before the court of the God-King of Hueco Mundo, Baraggan Louisenbairn, whom Harribel had had a number of dealings with before. At the meeting, the God-King said he’d grown tired of her rebellious attitude and made her an offer: serve him or go somewhere that he could not see, noting there was nowhere in Hueco Mundo he couldn’t see. One of the Hollows working for Baraggan approached Harribel, asking her to see sense, but she responded by slashing him across the face. Baraggan scolded her for being so bold as to attack his servant right in front of him, but let Harribel and her followers leave unscathed. At some point after this, Harribel and her comrades were attacked in their lair by an Arrancar, which Harribel recognized as the Hollow she’d slashed at the meeting with Baraggan.She fought him, but his spiritual power proved even more than a Vasto-Lorde Hollow and he easily fought her off. Harribel told Apacci, Sung-Sun, and Mila Rose to get away while she kept the Arrancar busy. Though they ran away at first, they refused to abandon their mistress and came back to protect her, but all three were struck down by the Arrancar. Harribel made one last charge at him, but she was defeated and the Arrancar prepared to finish her, saying he’d destroy her and join the upper ranks of Hueco Mundo. However before he could slay Harribel, Aizen arrived, stopping his attack and said such power was natural for an Arrancar before finishing him off. Aizen went on to say the power of sacrifice allowed many things, apologizing to Harribel for giving the Arrancar power, but no brain to control it. He went on to explain the concept of sacrifice, before offering Harribel a place in his forces, which would give her the strength to protect her comrades. Soon after, all four becoming Arrancars with Harribal becoming an Espada and her three comrades becoming her Fracciónes.
Invasion of Hueco Mundo
Harribel was amongst the Arrancar awaiting Ulquiorra Cifer’s and Yammy Llargo’s return from the Human World and later attended the transformation of Wonderweiss Margela into an Arrancar. Later Harribel and the other Espada went to a meeting called by Aizen, where he told them about Ichigo Kurosaki, Uryu Ishida, and Yasutora “Chad” Sado coming to Hueco Mundo to save Orihime Inoue. After Aizen told them not to underestimate the three, Nnoitra Gilga commented that they didn’t look like anything, but Harribel reprimanded him. She reminded him that Aizen just said not to underestimate them, but Nnoitra replied that wasn’t what he meant, telling her not to get testy. He then asked Harribel if she was scared, but their conversation was interrupted by Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez getting up to go deal with the three. She looked on as Grimmjow was then restrained by Aizen with his spiritual energy.
Harribel was later looking out off the balcony of her quarters as Aaroniero Arruruerie was slain and Apacci asked her what they should do. Soon after this, Harribel and her Fracciónes watched Ichigo’s fight with Grimmjow from her quarters. As they felt the shockwaves of the fight, Mila Rose noted the 6th Espada was getting too carried away. Harribel told her not to worry, saying it was understandable to be afraid, since they were watching an Espada fight in Resurrección form. The 3rd Espada went on to say this was their most primal fear and they should remember it well. However Harribel went on to say it didn’t feel like Grimmjow was fighting a human since the traits of Ichigo’s spiritual energy felt nothing like what she expected of a human. She then noted it felt more like this was a fight between two Espada.
Battle of Karakura TownAfter Aizen arrived in the fake version of Karakura Town to be confronted by the forces of the Soul Society, he summoned Harribel, along with her Fracciónes, Coyote Starrk, Lilynette Gingerbuck, Baraggan, and his Fracciónes. When Captain-Commander Yamamoto trapped Aizen, Gin Ichimaru, and Kaname Tōsen in a fire prison with his Zanpakuto, Baraggan assessed the situation, noting that Aizen was trapped. Harribel said he underestimated their master, but he retorted that she underestimated him. Baraggan then took command while the 3rd Espada looked on with the rest of the Arrancar. After the pillars keeping the real Karakura Town in the Soul Society were defended from Baraggan’s Fracción, the Arrancar engaged the rest of the Gotei 13 with Harribel taking on Captain Toshiro Hitsugaya. As they clashed swords, the 3rd Espada noted a disturbance in her opponent’s spiritual energy (which he’d felt due to Momo Hinamori’s arrival). Hitsugaya just said he had no idea what Harribel was talking about and they continued to fight. Enraged to find her Fracciónes defeated by Yamamoto, Harribel decided to take things up a notch and condensed energy into her Zanpakuto to attack Hitsugaya. Harribel then unzipped her jacket, revealing her Espada tattoo and her rank as the 3rd Espada. Hitsugaya found it hard to believe she was only the 3rd Espada, but she responded by saying she hadn’t begun to show him her power. Harribel unzipped the rest of her jacket to reveal her Hollow Mask remnants and, realizing how serious an opponent he was facing, Hitsugaya released his Bankai. As they continued to fight, the 10th Division Captain was sent crashing into a building as Harribel wondered if this was the power of a captain and questioned how her Fracción could’ve been defeated. She proceeded to release her Zanpakuto as Hitsugaya watched, before Harribel dealt him what appeared to be a finishing blow. Deciding that the 10th Division Captain was finished, the 3rd Espada decided to focus on Yamamoto to avenge her comrades. However, Hitsugaya appeared and attacked Harribel, but she dodged and countered, wondering how he survived unscathed. The 10th Division Captain revealed he’d made an ice clone of himself as a precaution when Harribel entered her Resurrección form. She’d only taken down Hitsugaya’s ice clone and he told her not to underestimate him. They continued to battle each other and Harribel eventually began using her Resurreccíon form’s ability to generate water blasts to attack Hitsugaya. However he froze the water, saying it was useless against his ice, but Harribel said she’d show him it wasn’t useless. As they continued talking, Hitsugaya sent an ice dragon to attack her, but the 3rd Espada demonstrated the ability to boil away water as she deflected it around her. Harribel went on to say when he realized her water could become Hitsugaya’s weapon, he should’ve realized the opposite was true as well, which were the rules of battle. Harribel attacked with a powerful surge of water, but the 10th Division Captain froze it. As they continued fighting, they kept using each others attacks against each other and Hitsugaya managed to freeze Harribel, but she broke out. The 10th Division Captain went on to say another law of battle, a person faces the greatest danger when they use their best attack. As they continued attacking each other, Hitsugaya stated Harribel and he were waiting for the same thing, for the battlefield to be filled with condensation so she could finish him in one strike. The 10th Division Captain went on to say neither of them are going to get anywhere if they both wait for the same thing. Hitsuagaya then stated he’d never tried this in Bankai and Harribel asked him what he was talking about. The 10th Division Captain said he didn’t have to wait for water since his Hyorinmaru was the most powerful ice-type Zanpakuto in the Soul Society, all water and all of heaven was under his command. Hitsugaya began to use his Hyoten Hyakkaso technique and Harribel looked at the sky, shocked as dark storm clouds appeared. She asked what it was and the 10th Division captain explained the technique before asking for her name. Harribel told him her name and Espada rank and Hitsugaya said his own name and rank before unleashing his technique. A hole in the clouds appeared and snow began to fall, but when Harribel touched the snowflakes, ice flowers bean blooming on her body and she became alarmed. Hitsugaya told her that the Hyoten Hyakkaso made whoever touched the snow instantly freeze. As the snow caused Harribel to be encased in ice, the 10th Division captain said she would die once all one hundred ice flowers had bloomed and that she wouldn’t be able to take revenge for her Fracciónes after all. Finally, Harribel was encased in an enormous obelisk of ice flowers, but after Wonderweiss Margela arrived, he let loose a scream that shattered the obelisk. After emerging from the obelisk, seemingly unharmed, Harribel attacked Hitsugaya as he contemplated fighting alongside the Visored. But before she could strike him, one of the Visored, Lisa Yadomaru, appeared and blocked her attack before another Visored, Hiyori Sarugaki, pushed her back. Harribel blocked an attack from Lisa, saying she expected them to attack her all at once and continued fighting the two Visoreds, who eventually summoned their Hollow Masks. They and Hitsugaya released their Zanpakuto’s Shikai and Harribel clashed with them, generating an explosion.
However, with the deaths of Stark and Baraggan, Aizen deemed the 3rd Espada to be of no more use to as Harribel found herself slashed across the torso before she could react. Furious that Aizen broke his word to her, Harribel stabbed Aizen in the chest before learning she attacked an illusion as she is impaled by Aizen from behind. Aizen then told Harribel that she will never raise her sword against him again before letting her plummet to the ground. However, Harribel was healed by Orihime in the aftermath of Aizen's defeat before she and her Fracciónes were allowed to return to Hueco Mundo.
The Thousand-Year Blood War arc
After the fight between Aizen and the Soul Society, with Baraggan and Starrk dead and Aizen removed from power, Harribel became the ruler Hueco Mundo with the her Fracciónes, now called the Tres Bestias, as her enforcers. However, Harriel was captured by group known as the Vandenreich and held captive.
Harribel is calm, reserved, and knowledgeable and prefers not to fight and instead watch from the sidelines as she dislikes killing others, especially if it’s just to gain power. However, if challenged or ordered to, Harribel can be a fierce and wrathful opponent. Her loyalties are also to the Tres Bestias, taking their defeat by Yamamoto to heart during her fight with Hitsugaya. Harribel has a great deal of respect for Aizen, which she apparently returns, before learning that he used her as a tool.
PowersHarribel has an immense amount of spiritual powers and is even forbidden to release her Zanpakuto in Las Noches, which could destroy the fortress. She is highly skilled in swordsmanship, able to fight on par with a captain Shinigami, one that is a swordsman prodigy. Harribel is also ambidextrous, so she can wield her sword with either hand, and is extremely knowledgeable in combat, as well as skilled in battle tactics. She can use Cero, a powerful energy blast, and she fires hers from her Zanpakuto, so it has a wide range, following the slash of her sword. Harribel is also a master of Sonído, an Arrancar technique that lets her move extremely fast, and can use Garganta, another technique that opens a portal to and from Hueco Mundo. Harribel’s Zanpakuto Tiburón, can use the technique, Ola Azul, which gathers spiritual energy in the hollow part of the blade and launches it at her opponent. She can keep it concentrated in the blade and unleash it in a ribbon-like form when attacking. Like all Arrancar, Harribel can enter her Resurrección form by releasing Tiburón with the release command, “Destroy”. When she does so, she becomes more powerful with greater speed and strength. Harribel gains a large blade on her arm and can generate water from the gill markings on it. She can use Hirviendo, a technique that boils any water that comes into contact with her blade.
La Gota, another technique that concentrates water on the end of her blade and fires it as a blast, strong enough to destroy a house, and Cascada, a powerful surge of high pressure water that can cover several blocks.
- In the Japanese version, Harribel is voiced by Megumi Ogata who voiced Petz of Sailor Moon R. In the English version, Harribel is voiced by Laura Bailey who voiced similar sounding antagonists like Lust and the Cloud of Darkness.
- The aspect of death that Harribel represents is Sacrifice, which plays out within her fighting style. In retrospect, she shares similar personality traits to the previous number three Espada Nelliel Tu Odelschwanck.
- She refers to herself as the Tres (Spanish for three) Espada instead of the Tercera (Spanish for third) Espada, as opposed to other Espada (i.e. Grimmjow is the Sexta (sixth) Espada and Aaroniero is the Noveno (ninth) Espada.
- The name of Harribel’s Zanpakuto is “Shark” in Spanish and “Imperial Shark Empress” in Japanese, a reference to her shark-like appearance as a Hollow.
- Her Ola Azul technique was originally called Proyectil Azul before the release of Volume 41 of the manga.
- There are several differences between the Anime and Manga.
- One Example is with Tier reveals her Espada Tatoo. In the anime her Mask fragment cover most of her breast. In the manga version, her bone fragment only covers her nipples.
- Another example is her clothing. In the manga version, Tier's outfit reveals both her thighs and the bottom portion of her breasts. In the anime version, her clothing are slightly altered. The clothing covers both her exposed thighs and the bottom portion of her breasts.
- Another example is Tier's released form. In the manga version, bone fragments only cover her nipples. In the anime version, the bone fragment cover most of her breasts, almost like a bra.