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Ulquiorra Cifer (ウルキオラ・シファー, Urukiora Shifā), pronounced Ulquiorra Shiffer in the English dub and originally romanized as Ulquiorra Schiffer, is Espada cuatro (4) in Aizen's army of Arrancar, and is one of the series' central antagonists, as well as one of Ichigo's main Arrancar rivals.
Ulquiorra is a very cold, callous, dispassionate figure, and is rather aloof, brooding, and indifferent, willing to harm both his comrades and enemies should they ever get in his way. He refers to anyone he does not find interesting as "trash" and treats them as expendable. Despite this, like most of the other top Espada, he is not particularly violent and will only fight when provoked or ordered to by Aizen.
Ulquiorra demonstrates a strange habit when killing victims he is particularly interested in, stabbing them with his bare hand in the same location as his Hollow hole, as stated by Grimmjow. Whether he is consciously aware of this habit or not is unknown. During a speech to Orihime, he claims that he does not believe in Human emotions, which he refers to as the "heart," reasoning that if his eye cannot see them, then they do not exist. These words, and much of Ulquiorra's overall behavior, reflect the concepts of materialism, which also connects to his aspect of death as an Espada, nihilism. In the last seconds of his life, he seems to finally find his own "heart" and understand feelings.
His cold demeanor allows him to stay completely calm and in control in most situations, and he is not easily surprised or caught off-guard. However, he does not seem to comprehend the Human trait of fighting against all odds or the very concept of the Human heart; during his final battle with Ichigo, he completely overwhelms the Shinigami after releasing his Zanpakutō, yet Ichigo continues to fight on regardless. Because of this he shouts at Ichigo out of frustration, telling him that "to continue fighting is pointless." He then transforms into his Segunda Etapa form in an attempt to show Ichigo "true despair." He also seems to contradict himself, telling Ichigo that although it is natural for humans to mimic Hollows to become stronger, they will never be the equal of Hollows, though the Arrancar are doing much of the same by mimicking Shinigami.
Ulquiorra is also highly perceptive, cunning, and analytical. During his and Yammy's first visit to the Human world, he makes several surprisingly accurate remarks on the Humans who confronted them. He theorizes that Orihime Inoue's healing power is a temporal-spatial ability, which Aizen later describes as the rejection of fate, and comments on how Ichigo Kurosaki's Bankai can easily cut through Yammy's defenses. He also notes that Ichigo's power fluctuates, varying between very weak and stronger than his own.
Ulquiorra seems to be demanding as well, such as when he came to Orihime's chamber and ordered her to eat a meal an Arrancar servant brought in, claiming that, for Aizen's benefit, it was her "duty" to stay alive. When Orihime hesitates, he threatens to force the food down her throat, or strap her to a table and feed her via an IV. This also implies that, while he prefers not to dirty his hands, Ulquiorra is fully capable of committing truly abhorrent and inhumane actions without feeling any shred of remorse or hesitation.
After Ichigo's Hollow form overwhelms and strikes him down during his last battle, Ulquiorra still maintains his composure and calmly berates himself for being defeated by a "Human-turned-Hollow." Believing that he no longer has a purpose in life since he was quickly defeated by his opponent, he demands that Ichigo kill him, and compliments Ichigo when he decides to use a point-blank Cero to kill him, claiming that the lack of mercy was "rather Hollow-like." This is a marked departure from most of his fellow Arrancar, who died cursing their enemies or with an abject fear of death.
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