All characters © Kubo Tite

Twenty things Urahara Kisuke won't tell you (and that he never will)

1. He can't remember his own age. It's somewhere in the low two-hundreds, he knows that, but time moves a little faster in the human world, and he had forgotten the exact number at one point down the road. When signing human-related documents however, he likes to say 28.

2. When Yoruichi first learned to transform was also when Kisuke first discovered the horrific cat allergies his gigai possessed. It was the constant sneezing that had finally won him over, the perpetual discomfort of a pink nose and watery eyes. Instead of having Yoruichi discontinue her own form, Kisuke had discovered a way to efface his affliction for good with the use of the twelfth division's medicine and some of his own improvisations.

3. He prefers mentality over physicality. Kisuke created the gigai, the fleshbody. He is the keeper of the mod-souls, the trainers of Jinta and Ururu. The creator of the Hougyoku, the parallel Karakura Town. His knowledge is extensive. Not only does he know everything about the inner workings of the Council of Forty-Two, but he can recite every rule of the Secret Mobile Corps by heart, if you ask him right.

4. Kisuke knows and hates the burden his knowledge can sometimes be. His face smiles sunnily, as always, but if you squint you can see the weary lines between his eyes, the bare detection of crow's feet at the corners. At times, he just wants to tell everyone everything: Kurosaki Ichigo, your father is a captain-class Shinigami. Kuchiki Rukia, I gave a you a gigai that hides the Hougyoku and slowly corrodes your powers. Yamamoto sou-taichou, Aizen is a traitor. Inoue Orihime, your power is something more than just healing. The list goes on. Perhaps the reason for why Kisuke has so much energy all the time is because of the alluvion of knowledge trying to burst forth.

5. He knows that he is the perhaps one of the only people who can mess with Shihouin Yoruichi and live. One time he slipped a pinch of catnip into her meal, out of curiosity, with some very interesting results. Anyone other than him would have been slaughtered mercilessly for that, but whether or not because they had grown up together or the fact that she considers him an equal, he had gotten off fairly easy.

6. It's one of Kisuke's more shameful points to actually admit that he enjoys moving people around as his pawns. The thrill of manipulation, execution, and success--it's one thing that he and Sousuke Aizen have in common.

7. He never gets mad. Even in the most red-hot battles, even amongst the most idiotic people, Urahara only smiles and laughs. He sees anger as an unnecessary emotion, an utterly asinine excuse for a fight. Protecting something important should be the only reason to fight in the first place; anything else is not even worth his time. This is why he can never understand the eleventh squad, and it is because of this disposition that people think he never takes anything seriously.

8. If he decided to exhibit an interest in human casinos, Kisuke would be a rich man. But he prefers higher stakes, ones with greater losses and even greater gains all around. It makes the game more exciting, and so much more rewarding when wins. Kurosaki Ichigo's potential was one of those stakes. Others had scoffed when they had heard of Kisuke's wagers. Climbing out of an impossible hole before turning into a hollow? Bankai in three days? Kisuke has faith, however, and gambles risks because he alone knows he'll be right. He hasn't been proven wrong yet.

9. Kisuke is one of those people who can analyze your spirit particles mid-battle and devise a strategy within seconds. This is why everyone in the Gotei Thirteen hates fighting with him. His plans would change in accordance with what he saw, and he could improvise better than a jazz pianist. To win, they realized, would require them to be as unpredictable as he.

10. It's not that he failed to master the Hougyoku, he wants to tell Aizen. If recalled, he had the little glass ball for almost a hundred years--more than enough time to do more than look at it prettily. At one point he had tried to destroy it, fearing his creation, but of course that had been a mistake. Trying to master the Hougyoku would ultimately fail, he muses, but the trick ultimately was to accept it and treat it as an equal. Only then would it work for you. Everyone else who claimed ownership or control over it would, ultimately fail. Kisuke has long since mastered the powers of the Hougyoku, which in part is why he is not unduly worried about the fate of the world. This is his world, after all.

11. Like anger, hatred is a strong emotion and one he sees unworthy of most people. Granted there are people he distrusts or flat-out doesn't care for, but to hate another human being, no matter how heinous they are, is something that Kisuke can never do.

12. Even though he doesn't particularly hate anyone, he harbors a certain level of disgust for Kurotsuchi Mayuri.

13. Kisuke is very fond of his underground training facilities. They take a while to put together, but there are no others like it elsewhere. He is fond of these basements that stretch for miles not only because they provide the perfect training grounds, or that they remind him of his home Seireitei, but because they provide a perfect refuge for thought. He goes there to meditate more often than not.

14. One of the reasons he likes Kurosaki Isshin so much is because the two of them are very much alike. It's so hard to find shinigami with a sense of humor these days; lately it's been all about protecting Seireitei and saving the world and all of that other uptight business. Not only does Isshin (and Shunsui, for that matter) see importance in taking things easy, but he also likes to have the element of surprise to him. Identity concealment certainly has its perks.

15. Shihouin Yoruichi had waited until as late as possible to recommend Kisuke for the captain's position, and not just because of Hikifune-taichou's promotion. She didn't think the world, living or dead, was ready for Kisuke's idealism.

16. One time when the Karakura Educational Board came by, wondering why Jinta and Ururu were not in school, Kisuke had posed as a homeschooling teacher. He didn't know the first think about arithmetic, grammar, or modern human history, but when he was through with the inspectors they stopped showing up, for some odd reason.

17. He thinks Kidou is greatly underestimated in the spirit world. Aspiring shinigami are taught the basics of it in school, but as soon as they graduate most of it is cast aside and lost in the excitement of creating a zanpakuto. What seems to be forgotten is the fact that Kidou came long before the zanpakuto, and successful users of it could master anything. It was how Kisuke ultimately created the Hougyoku.

18. His bankai bears a strong resemblance to Shihouin Yoruichi, but only in personality. There is a reason that he never uses it to train, this only being only one of them. Due to the impressive feat of having achieved bankai in three days, Benihime was rather temperamental and often responsive only to him. Besides, she was heavily Kidou-based therefore incompatible with many sword-types.

19. Although one wouldn't know it, Kisuke holds the greatest respect for the arts. There is never time in Seireitei (if you could believe that) for things such as music or art, and it is a field that people like him are greatly deprived in. He has no sense of pitch, rhythm, or even range, but it is in the early mornings when Kisuke likes to sing to himself in the shower. He feels strongly that if people payed attention to music more, they'd have less time for fighting.

20. Jinta had once remarked on how pathetic it was that the Owner's best friend was a cat. He was still a child then, and believed that if it looked like a cat, walked like a cat, and sounded like a cat, then it was definitely a cat. Yoruichi was undoubtedly Kisuke's best friend. The loving caresses, the milk-bowl that was always full, and the way Kisuke always played with her tail was something akin to love, if Jinta didn't know any better. He had made fun of the Owner on many occasions for talking with the cat, as if Yoruichi could understand what was being said, and suggested that he get some real friends.

Jinta knows a little better now.