Why did Coyote Starrk split himself in Bleach? Explained

Bleach's Coyote Starrk (Image via Studio Pierrot)

The highest ranking of Aizen's Espada in Bleach, Coyote Starrk, was split in half centuries ago. He is the product of a massive Hollow splitting itself in half due to devastating loneliness and desperation for companionship. Additionally, it has the power to kill off anyone it could consider a friend or companion.

Starrk is an Arrancar, a Hollow that removed its mask and gained Shinigami-like abilities. Starrk is paradoxically also an unenthusiastic and lazy person who doesn't actively seek out violence or conflict, unlike his fellow Espada.

This presents a dual-sided character, with Starrk's half being lazy and unmotivated. Meanwhile, the other half, Lilynette Gingerbuck, is more mischievous and lighthearted.

Disclaimer: The following article will contain spoilers for Bleach's anime and manga.

Coyote Starrk's dual nature explained Starrk's relationship with Lilynette Gingerbuck Starrk's origins in Bleach


The man known as Coyote Starrk wasn't always the lazy and uninspired Espada presented to the audience in the Hueco Mundo arc starting in Bleach chapter 244. It isn't until chapter 274 (episode 283) that the audience gets an explanation as to why Coyote Starrk split himself and the nature of his relationship with Lilynette Gingerbuck.

Starrk and Gingerbuck were a single, combined Hollow at one point in their lives. This Hollow tried living with other Hollows but caused them to die simply because its spiritual pressure was too strong. The Hollow wanted friends, envying the way the weak stuck together, and sought companions strong enough to be around it. This was what led to it splitting itself into Starrk and Gingerbuck.

The debate over who the original was shortlived. The two vowed never to be alone, searching for true companions to call their own. Unfortunately, their first real friend was Sosuke Aizen, and they joined up because Starrk figured Aizen had the strength to stay near them without dying. While they truly believed they found friends in the other Espada, Starrk, and Gingerbuck reacted differently to this newfound companionship.

The opposites and their relationship

Starrk and Gingerbeck in Bleach (Image via Studio Pierrot)
Starrk and Gingerbeck in Bleach (Image via Studio Pierrot)

Starrk and Gingerbuck were opposites in every sense of the word. Starrk was a lazy man, constantly not putting effort into anything, including getting out of bed, despite being powerful. He did show concern later on when Baraggan Louisenbairn died, even expressing this to Aizen when he refused to give any eulogy for Baraggan. He also began to fight harder when Gingerbuck sacrificed herself for him.

Gingerbuck was the bright, cheerful, and childish half of the Espada duo. She was easily enraged, especially in the heat of battle against Jushiro Ukitake. She shows her more serious side when expressing sorrow over fellow Espada Aaroniero Arruruerie's death. Gingerbuck also acts like a younger sister to Starrk, constantly annoying him and calling him by name instead of any honorific.

One of the interesting things about the two, aside from Gingerbuck being the sealed form of Starrk's Zanpakuto, is the split in motivation. Of the two, Starrk has no self-motivation or drive to better himself or fight without provocation or encouragement from Gingerbuck. Even after fighting Love and Rose, Gingerbuck had to motivate him to keep fighting.

Final Thoughts

The Espada duo of Coyote Starrk and Lilynette Gingerbuck were a sympathetic villain duo throughout Bleach's Hueco Mundo and Fake Karakura Town arcs. While they both died toward the end of the Fake Karakura Town arc, it wasn't without pathos for Starrk. As he died, he started to realize something important about his loneliness.

Starrk wasn't alone in the end. He had Lilynette, the other Espada, and finally found people to be around. Despite dying and regretting his inability to repay Aizen for helping him escape his loneliness, the fact that Lilynette was created made life all the more worth it.

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