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 with white edges. The helmet shrouds most of its yellow-and-black face, although its triangular eyes are visible. Resembling shoulder pads, Bisharp's 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, sharp 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, and is also said to use underhanded tactics during battles. 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. Bisharp keeps a close eye on members of its pack to ensure none of the Pawniard think about betraying it, and absorbs defeated packs into its own tribe during territorial disputes. The Bisharp tribes are in turn spearheaded by Kingambit, which has been known to lead gangs of Bisharp into battle. It is said that only the most outstanding members of the Bisharp tribes can evolve into Kingambit. Bisharp typically lives near forested areas. It has violent conflicts with Fraxure over the locations of sharpening stones, and is preyed on by Tinkatuff for its metal.
Damage done to the Bisharp holding the Leader's Crest can be inflicted from any source, as long as the player's Bisharp lands the finishing blow, in order to count towards the evolution requirement.
Stealing or removing the Leader's Crest from a Bisharp holding it before defeating it does not count towards the requirement, but giving the Leader's Crest to a Bisharp (via Switcheroo or other moves) before defeating it does.
This Pokémon was unavailable prior to Generation V.
The official Trainer's Guide for Pokémon Scarlet and Violet on the Pokémon website mentions that in order for a player's Bisharp to evolve into Kingambit, the Bisharp "must hold a Leader's Crest and defeat three wild Bisharp that are also holding a Leader's Crest". This is despite the fact that the Leader's Crest is not required to be held by the player's Bisharp at any point for it to evolve.
Bisharp looks and acts similar to a traditional Japanese bandit—specifically a leader—with features resembling samurai armor, while its behaviour and bipedal appearance are reminiscent of a soldier. It may also originate from kaijin, humanoid villains found in Japanese monster movies.
According to art director Ken Sugimori, Bisharp and Pawniard were created when the design team received orders for an urban Pokémon with a Dark/Steel typing, and that they are both designed to have humanoid and insectoid qualities. The insectoid elements may reference the fact that Japanese rhinoceros beetles are called 甲虫 kabutomushi in Japanese, literally "Kabuto insect", where Kabuto is a type of samurai helmet.
Just like its pre-evolved form, Bisharp may also draw some inspirations from a chess piece (in this case, a bishop). 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.
Bisharp may be a combination of bishop (a piece in chess) or bisect (to cut or split into two) and sharp.
Kirikizan may be a combination of 切り刻む kirikizamu (to mince) and 斬 zan (to cut or slay).