Animated Character Database

Nanao Ise (伊勢 七緒, Ise Nanao) is the co-lieutenant of the First Division of the Gotei 13, under her uncle, Captain Shunsui Kyōraku, and Vice-President of the Shinigami Women's Association. She has also formerly served as Lieutenant of the Eighth Division.


Nanao is a slim and youthful girl with long black hair normally kept pinned back, with flat bangs that hang to the right side of her face. Nanao also wears a standard Shinigami outfit. She has slightly light blue eyes that have a deep tint of violet and wears glasses with a slight oval shape to them. As a child, she had rounder glasses with chin-length hair that framed both sides of her face.

Seventeen months after Aizen's defeat, Nanao has her bangs tucked behind her right ear. Ten years after the defeat of Yhwach, Nanao returned her hair to its initial style prior to the defeat of Aizen.

As a young girl, Nanao had short black hair kept in a bob, and wore a simple white kimono. Upon entering the Shin'ō Academy, she grew her hair out and began wearing glasses in addition to the standard student uniform. Nanao also bears a very close resemblance to her mother, especially as an adult.


Nanao is a very serious and pragmatic person who often puts up with her captain's silly antics, but like all lieutenants, she is extremely respectful of her captain and follows his instructions without hesitation. She is almost always carrying a heavy book. Nanao is often accosted by her captain, whose teasing takes various forms. Nanao's usual reaction is to scold him or hit him with something, usually a fan. When she is particularly annoyed she takes off her glasses in an act so frightening that most people who see it are reduced to gibbering wrecks just by witnessing it. Even the sadistic, cold-hearted 12th Division captain, Mayuri Kurotsuchi fell victim to this intimidating spectacle.

In her free time, she likes to go shopping, but even more to read, and often visits the library. She is on good terms with fellow reader Momo Hinamori; she even brought her books during her hospitalization. Nanao also has an article serialization in Seireitei Communication, titled "Please be Moderate", which is very popular, especially among the male readers. Nanao is known to be an excellent calculator, a skill very handy, given that she has to do most of her captain's paperwork. Her favorite food is sweet bean jelly, and she does not like powdered green tea, a trait which is shared with her captain.

Nanao is the Vice-President of the Shinigami Women's Association, but is usually the one who attempts to maintain and control the meetings due to the juvenile actions and behaviors of President Yachiru Kusajishi. Yet while she attempts to be the main moderator, Yachiru usually has higher say on everything from budget decisions to activities done by the club making any of Nanao's comments or advice worthless. She is also frequently at odds with Shinigami Men's Association leader Tetsuzaemon Iba, of whom she usually forces her superiority and control regarding the influence and power she and the Women's Association have over his association.


Nanao Ise was the daughter of Shunsui Kyōraku's deceased older brother and the previous head of the entirely female House of Ise. As a young girl, she overheard her mother entrusting the House's Zanpakutō, Shinken Hakkyōken, to Shunsui. After her mother died, Nanao was taken in by an elderly couple who were relatives of her family and entered the Shin'ō Academy, where she excelled in Kidō despite being unable to imprint on her Asauchi. During her tenure at the academy, Nanao saw Shunsui visiting the headmaster and recognized his hairpins as being identical to those belonging to her mother. Upon graduating, Nanao was surprised to learn that she had been placed in the 8th Division despite having put the Kidō Corps in her assignment preferences, and eventually saw Shunsui again, where she noticed that he had changed his kimono and removed his hairpins; this allowed her to recognize him as the man whom her mother entrusted something precious to.

Nanao was notable for being in the Eighth Division when she was a little girl, and enjoyed being read to by former Lieutenant Lisa Yadōmaru, something they did regularly each month around the time of the first. Eventually, between the period of time when Lisa was forced to hide alongside the other transformed Visored and the present day, she worked her way up from being Shunsui's subordinate to his lieutenant.


Soul Society arc[]

While her captain, Shunsui Kyōraku, relaxes on the floor beside her, Nanao notices that one of the Ryoka, Yasutora Sado, is managing to make his way through the Eighth Division barracks. While observing the Human run, she asks Kyōraku if she should go out and take care of Sado since he is only a mere Ryoka that is causing havoc. In response to her query, Kyōraku rebuffs her request and begins to teasingly call her “Nanao-chan!” which causes her to become irritated and to smack him on the head with her fan. She later spreads flower petals so that Kyōraku can make his grand entrance in front of Sado. But when he starts teasing her, she gets mad at him and dumps the rest on his head.

Nanao does not get involved in the fight between her captain and Sado, preferring to observe the events from the sideline. A messenger from the Onmitsukidō arrives and informs her that Sōsuke Aizen, Captain of the Fifth Division, has been murdered. As soon as Kyōraku defeats Sado, she runs to his side to update him of the news she has just learned. Both of them turn to leave the battlefield but Nanao notices that despite being cut down by her captain, Sado is still alive. Upon this discovery, she gathers a dense amount of Reiatsu around her right hand and requests permission to deliver the killing blow to the Ryoka. Much to her surprise, Kyōraku denies this request and instead advises her to bring the injured Sado to the Fourth Division for medical attention.

On the morning of the scheduled execution of Rukia Kuchiki, Nanao seeks out her captain in order to inform him of the time. She finds him lying down on a roof, having previously fallen asleep while relaxing. She wakes him up in order to prompt him to leave for the event but Kyōraku soon begins to teasingly flirt with her in his usual way. She tries to tolerate his words but soon she angrily admonishes him for his attitude while snapping a reed from his mouth and asserting that they should leave for the Sōkyoku Hill. Kyōraku sits up reluctantly, clearly conflicted about the execution, and asks Nanao what she thinks he should do about it. Nanao insists that no matter what she thinks or advises, he would still do what he wanted to. “Don’t worry,” she also says, “I will follow you at a safe distance... so that I will not get dragged into anything.”

After her captain and Jūshirō Ukitake help Ichigo Kurosaki in preventing the execution of Rukia from taking place, she follows the duo as they seek an area that they can battle Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto without involving others. Yamamoto follows them and Nanao immediately begins to notice that Yamamoto's power is intense so she decides to try and help her captain fight him. As soon as she reaches into her robe, Yamamoto begins to exert an immensely dense amount of Reiatsu that completely paralyzes her and even prevents her from breathing as well. Kyōraku soon shields her from the power, apologizing that she was hurt by his decisions, before he swiftly carries her to a safe distance away from the battle where she can recover. Left alone, she wonders to herself that despite Kyōraku and Ukitake teaming up together, the task of defeating Yamamoto is still nearly impossible.

Arrancar arc[]

Nanao assists Shunsui, Jūshirō Ukitake, Sentarō Kotsubaki, and Kiyone Kotetsu search for clues to Sōsuke Aizen's master plan in the Daireishokairō. She points out there is some data that is unrelated to the Hōgyoku. They then stumble upon information that Aizen is trying to make a copy of the Ōken using Karakura Town.

The Thousand-Year Blood War arc[]

While the captains are in a meeting, the lieutenants gather and discuss the situation with the Wandenreich and recent disappearances of Hollows and Rukongai residents. She listens as Izuru deduces that Shinigami were likely involved in the disappearance of the Rukongai denizens. When the Wandenreich attack Seireitei, Nanao notices the assault and rushes outside.

Nanao visits Shunsui after the Wandenreich assault and complains that he does not answer her when she knocks on the door. Shunsui states that this may be the last time they meet and apologizes. Shunsui later becomes Captain-Commander and appoints her as his co-lieutenant of the 1st Division along with Genshirō Okikiba when he moves to that Division. She is also present with Shunsui when the Wandenreich invade Soul Society for the second time.

Nanao stands close by her captain as he is confronted by Jugram Haschwalth, who is prevented from approaching or attacking due to a specialized Kidō barrier, Hakudan Keppeki. She explains the ability of the barrier, to which Haschwalth acknowledges who she is and her skill in Kidō. He then asks her whether the other captains are capable of this Kidō spell, to which she admits they are not. Haschwalth states that it is unfortunate because if they had been they would have been able to die fighting instead of being executed. She and her captain are then startled by an explosion not far from where they are.

She and her captain then listen to Kisuke Urahara's message regarding Bankai recovery. Later, when Haschwalth draws his sword and states it is his role to tip the balance in favor of the Wandenreich, Shunsui moves in front of Nanao as the wall behind them is destroyed. Revealing he had gradually absorbed the Reishi on his side of the barrier, Haschwalth notes it took him a considerable amount of time to do so and says it is a splendid technique. Asking Haschwalth if she should feel honored, Nanao makes a motion with her hand, causing a wall of hexagons to appear as she reveals she created a new wall while Haschwalth was absorbing Reishi. When Haschwalth notes this wall appears to have been made with a different technique, Nanao confirms this and explains how the wall is comprised of smaller hexagonal plates joined together before asking Haschwalth if it appears to be weaker because it is not a single wall. Haschwalth confirms this before noting the appearance of it being weak is too obvious to be true. As the Sternritter prepares to attack, he receives an order to leave, surprising Nanao.

Upon observing the light of Auswählen light rising up from the Seireitei, Shunsui tells Okikiba and Nanao that he may have to leave the Seireitei, saying that the Soul King Palace is in danger. Later, Nanao is present in the laboratory being used by Urahara. When an angered Kenpachi Zaraki begins to approach Urahara after the latter prevents him from leaving to search for his lieutenant, Nanao confronts him and reminds him that he has a duty to perform here and that his division members will be able to search for Yachiru much faster than he can. After a minute or two, Kenpachi admits she is right and backs off, prompting Urahara to give a sphere to Nanao to charge with her Reiatsu. While in the laboratory, after the door to the palace begins to disintegrate, Nanao notes that the absence of Ukitake's vast amounts of Reiatsu is causing this, but she is interrupted by Lisa, who has arrived with the other Visored in shihakushō, and informs Nanao that there's no way they're going to let things go.

When the Shinigami enter the Royal Realm, Nanao runs alongside Shunsui through the city as Lille Barro begins sniping the Shinigami. However, he does not hit Nanao, and she accompanies Shunsui as he manages to get close to Lille. Shunsui applauds Nanao's Shunpo skill, and he tells her that she should return to the others since the situation is dangerous. However, Nanao refuses, and Shunsui instead tells her to tell the others to go on without him, which she accepts. Before Nanao leaves, she tells Shunsui that if he dies, she will shave his chest hair off.

Nanao returns to the other Shinigami, saying that they should go on ahead and she will return to assist Shunsui. Soon afterward, Nanao finds Shunsui heavily injured and closing his eyes, prompting her to wake him up and beg him to take her Zanpakutō despite the promise he made to her mother. When Lille appears behind Nanao and attacks, Shunsui moves both of them to a pocket dimension within Lille's shadow using Kageoni and confirms that Nanao knows about her mother before deciding to return her Zanpakutō to her as Kyōkotsu appears behind Nanao.

Nanao expresses disbelief at Kyōkotsu being her Zanpakutō, only for Shunsui to correct himself by saying that Katen Kyōkotsu created the younger girl in order to store Nanao's Zanpakutō. After explaining the history of the Ise family and its curse tied to their inherited Zanpakutō, Shunsui reveals that he is her uncle and that Nanao's mother, his sister-in-law, entrusted the Zanpakutō to him, which he gave to the younger girl of his Zanpakutō spirits to hide, prompting the girl to pull the wrapped Zanpakutō out of her face. Nanao states that she understands Shunsui did not want to give the Zanpakutō back to her before revealing that she has decided to accept the curse and that she believes the person she decides to love would also believe the curse is ridiculous. Shortly afterward, Nanao emerges from a shadow on Lille's forehead before blocking a blow from him with the wrapped Zanpakutō, sending her flying down onto a building below. As Lille demands to know if she will challenge him alone, Nanao unwraps her Zanpakutō, Shinken Hakkyōken.

When Lille wonders what kind of sword she is carrying and notes that he cannot even see the blade, Nanao notes that this is good because Shinken Hakkyōken reflects the power of the entity it is fighting and is currently diffusing the light from Lille's eyes. Nanao leaps toward Lille, who asks her if she plans to cut him down with that sword before blocking her strike with his arm, which is severed at the wrist. As Nanao expresses shock at Lille parrying her blow despite seemingly being caught off-guard, Lille claims she has wasted her one chance to kill him while forming a ball of energy to attack her with. Nanao admits that she did not expect fighting with a sword to be so frightening and begins panicking over a wound on her leg caused by her attack. However, Shunsui emerges from Nanao's shadow and takes hold of her hand while telling her that they will go together before assuring her that he will always be behind her. As Nanao realizes that Shunsui has always been there to support her, Lille attacks them with Trompete, only for Nanao to reflect the power of the attack back at him with Shinken Hakkyōken, causing Lille to disintegrate.

As they watch Lille's remains fall, Nanao collapses from shock and is caught by Shunsui, who commends her for her effort. When Shunsui prepares to head off and meet up with the others, Nanao protests against this due to his wounds, which Shunsui promptly collapses from.

Ten years after Yhwach's defeat, Nanao calls over Shunsui from Ukitake's burial site. Later, at the ceremony to promote Rukia Kuchiki to the captaincy of the 13th Division, Nanao gives the order for Rukia to enter.

Echoing Jaws of Hell arc[]

Three hours before Ukitake's Konsō Reisai, Nanao is informed by Mayuri via hologram that she and the other lieutenants are to gather in the Human World and perform the Jogimen Reibaku ceremony, which she acknowledges as she tells Genshirō to stay by Shunsui's side while she is gone. That night, Nanao gathers alongside the lieutenants and Ichigo in the Human World, where they are attacked by several Jigoku no Gaki.


  • Shinken Hakkyōken (神剣・八鏡剣, The Divine Sword, Sword of Eight Mirrors): A Sacred Ceremonial Sword used in religious rites and rituals and passed down the Ise Clan. Considered a sacred treasure of Soul Society.

Powers & Abilities[]

Kidō Expert: As a student in the Shin'ō Academy, Nanao specialized in and focused on Kidō because she was unable to imprint on her Asauchi, allowing her to graduate with her Kidō grades alone. Nanao claims she was appointed to her position as lieutenant solely due to her ability in Kidō. Nanao is skilled enough to perform low- and mid-level spells without incantation. She can easily create intricate and advanced spells like Hakudan Keppeki within a small amount of time when given the right information. She was also skilled enough to quickly create a new seemingly more powerful hexagonal barrier to stop Haschwalth, despite stating it looks weaker, which he complemented her even more for because he would have to resort to a more violent method to break through it.

Shunpo Expert: Initially, Nanao is only proficient enough in Shunpo to keep up with most lieutenant-level Shinigami. When Shunpo masters Shunsui Kyōraku and Jūshirō Ukitake were fleeing Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto, she was able to keep up with both captains, though she was exhausted from struggling to keep up after a while. However, by the time that the Gotei 13 invade Wahrwelt, Nanao improves her Shunpo skill to the point where she can keep up with her captain's speed without tiring, something which Shunsui compliments and praises her for.

High Spiritual Power: Being a lieutenant of the Gotei 13, Nanao boasts a high spiritual energy.


Inexperienced Swordsman: Due to Nanao's lack of experience with close-range combat, she was unable to suppress her fear and pain, finding it difficult to even hold herself steady in her first fight.


  • When Nanao was affected by Yamamoto's Reiatsu, she teared up and was foaming from the mouth. In the anime however, the tears and foam were all omitted.


  • "The desk-work expert who takes care of the division's administrative matters on behalf of her captain, who hardly performs any normal tasks." - Tite Kubo
  • The theme song that Kubo chose for Nanao is "Sumire" by the artist Chiaki Seike.
  • Nanao was voted the 22nd most popular character in the third character popularity poll and the 30th in the fifth.
  • Nanao's glasses-suspension ranked 64th in the first Zanpakutō poll.
  • Prior to its reveal in the manga, Nanao's Zanpakutō was shown in the artbook All Colour But The Black to be either a wakizashi or tantō, with a rectangular tsuba decorated with diamond shapes on its corners and question-mark shapes on its broad sides. She kept it concealed within her sleeve.
  • Nanao writes a serialized article in the Seireitei Communication called Please Don't Get Carried Away (大概にしてください, Taigaini Shi te Kudasai) which is one of the top three most popular columns and is very popular among the male readers. The column resounds with readers' problems and complaints.


  • (To Shunsui Kyōraku) "What is wrong with you, Captain Kyōraku? That Ryoka is still alive. Shall I finish him off?"
  • (To Shunsui Kyōraku) "You don't want to give me this sword, do you, Captain? Is it for my sake? Just as my mother decided to cast aside her curse of her own will, I choose with my own will to take that curse upon myself. And besides, even if I do become cursed, I will...No... I have a feeling the one I love will be the kind of man to scoff at the notion of a curse and laugh it off as ridiculous."
  • "I never knew that it felt so terrifying to hold a sword in your hands and fight. A cut... It might have been sliced open by those scattered light beams just now. It hurts... So this is how much it hurts to be injured in battle. It hurts... I'm scared... My legs...won't move..."