Bisharp is a bipedal, humanoid Pokémon. It has a round, red and black head, similar to a war helmet, topped with a golden, double-headed axe blade. Its face is primarily yellow with a black outline. The helmet shrouds most of its yellow-and-black face, although its triangular eyes are visible. Resembling shoulder pads, its red shoulders project slightly over its arms and have a thin yellow line where they meet its black torso. It has white, metallic hands that resemble gloves, with retractable, blades attached. Encircling its torso are two blades, which create the impression of a ribcage. Its thighs are red and become progressively thinner as they connect to the knee. Both of its feet are metallic and split down the middle, resembling cloven hooves. These hooves are also similar to steel war boots or possibly leggings.
In the wild, Bisharp rules over a pack of Pawniard, and fights other Bisharp to become the alpha of the pack. The loser of these fights is cast out. It is notably pitiless, having no expression when finishing off prey. When hunting, the Pawniard allow the leader Bisharp to perform the finishing blow. Once a Bisharp's head blade is chipped or damaged, it retires from its position as boss.
The types it has are also the two types that were introduced in Generation II.
Pawniard and Bisharp are the only Pokémon that can have Defiant as a non-Hidden Ability.
Bisharp looks and acts similar to a traditional Japanese bandit—specifically a leader—with features resembling samurai armor. It may also originate from kaijin, humanoid villains found in Japanese monster movies.
Bisharp is a combination of bishop (a piece in chess) and sharp (describing its metal blades). Akin to Pawniard evolving into Bisharp, a pawn in chess can be promoted into a bishop piece (among other chess piece classes) if it reaches the opponent's side of the board. It may also involve to bisect (to cut or split into two), referring to Bisharp's cutting abilities. Its name could also refer to the twin blades on its torso (derived from the numerical prefix bi-, meaning "two" in Latin).
Kirikizan may be a combination of 切り刻む kirikizamu (to mince) and 斬 zan (to cut or slay).